Bhutan is a hiker’s paradise, with lush rhododendron and evergreen forests, pure mountain air, and serene valleys where the rhythms of rural life remain unchanged. Our exquisite hiking journey explores this rare Himalayan world, from the famed “Tiger’s Nest” in the Paro Valley to remote Bumthang, a little-visited realm of tranquil hamlets, traditional artisans, and ethereal temples. Our experienced Trip Leaders share their homeland with you, and we’ve timed each departure with an enchanting festival—a great opportunity to witness a vibrant Tibetan Buddhist pageant and mingle with the locals in a joyous gathering.
Our trip leader was one reason we loved the trip so much. He introduced us to his culture, country, and religion and we appreciated every climb, every monastery, every van ride, and every experience. He was extremely knowledgable and interesting.
— Andy C., Carrboro, NC
Paro / Thimphu / Punakha and Phobjikha Valleys (Domkhar Festival Departure)
After meeting in Paro, head to Thimphu for a hike up to Tango, a Buddhist monastery and school, where you’ll see monks performing their daily rituals and prayers. In the Punakha Valley, our hikes bring you through riverside villages, to the Khamsum Yuley Namgay shrine for grand vistas of the valley, and to Chimi Lhakhang, a renowned fertility temple dedicated to a popular Tibetan Buddhist saint and folk hero. After exploring the Punakha Dzong, magnificently set at the confluence of two rivers, head to the scenic Phobjikha Valley for hikes in a beautiful alpine setting.
Bumthang / Domkhar Festival / Paro
In Bumthang, forested mountainsides shelter centuries-old monastic complexes and religious retreats, and our hikes lead to some of Bhutan’s most sacred pilgrimage sites, including the 17th century Kurjey Lhakhang. While here, join the locals to watch the whirling masked dancers and drummers of the age-old Domkhar Festival, a spirited expression of Bhutan’s Buddhist culture. Flying back to Paro, take the pilgrimage hike up to Taktsang, the “Tiger’s Nest,” a breathtaking monastic retreat clinging to a cliffside. Depart on Day 12.