Active Adventure and Masked Dance Festival in the World's Last Shangri La

Hiker’s Journey to Bhutan

Bhutan

12 Days

From $7,095

Level 3+

Moderate

Overview

    Book Online Download Itinerary

    Call 1-800-368-2794 or contact us for any questions

    Overview

    With exuberant festivals to honor the guardian deities, gold-spired temples in every valley, and a guiding philosophy of “Gross National Happiness,” Bhutan is truly one of the world's last Shangri-Las. Combining hiking and cultural exploration, we transport you into this rare world, roaming the ancient trails and taking time to experience local life, including a private visit to a nunnery and attending a tsechu—a colorful Tibetan Buddhist celebration with elaborate dance-dramas. Three days of our journey are in the ethereal Bumthang region, the spiritual center of the kingdom.

    Arrive: Paro, Bhutan

    Depart: Paro, Bhutan

    Highlights

    • Attend a wildly colorful Buddhist tsechu festival
    • Explore the peaceful Bumthang region, spiritual center of this Himalayan kingdom
    • Hike the pilgrim trail to the striking monastic retreat of Taktsang
    • Private welcome at a remote nunnery, with the opportunity to join a guided meditation

    Overview

      Book Online Download Itinerary

      Call 1-800-368-2794 or contact us for any questions

      Itinerary

      Download Itinerary Expand All Days
      From Bhutan's green Paro Valley, we head across the countryside to Thimphu, the tiny capital. We'll drive over the Dochu La (10,000'), hike to the isolated Lungchuzekha Monastery (11,800'), then continue to the Punakha Valley to explore the breathtaking Punakha Dzong, an architectural masterpiece built in 1637. A hike through riverside villages brings us to Chimi Lhakhang, a temple dedicated to the Tibetan Buddhist saint known as “the Divine Madman” for his unconventional ways. We'll explore the peaceful Phobjikha Valley, with its grazing yaks and alpine setting on the western slope of the Black Mountains.
      The Bumthang region, where Buddhism was introduced to the country in the 7th century, has an extraordinary concentration of sacred monasteries. In a setting of tidy farmhouses, orchards, and fields, we hike to some of the region's holiest sites, including 17th century Kurjey Lhakhang, whose temples are the resting place of Bhutan's first three kings. We'll watch monks perform their morning prayers, meet villagers in their homes, and enjoy a welcome at a fascinating nunnery not usually open to visitors. Back in Paro, our final hike is to Taktsang, the Tiger's Nest, one of the most venerated pilgrim sites of the Himalayan world. Depart on Day 12 or join one of our extensions.

      Please Note: Due to the timing of our group flights to and from Bhutan, all participants must arrive in Bangkok, Thailand, at least one day before Day 1. Trip members will also need to spend the night in Bangkok on Day 12, the last day of the trip. All overnight(s) in Bangkok are on your own (at additional cost). 

      The itinerary above is our planned schedule. Please note that hiking times are general estimates and vary depending on local weather, daily trail conditions, and festival schedules. Internal flights are also subject to change.

      A note about Bhutan's festivals: It is an extraordinary privilege to witness one of Bhutan's traditional tsechu festivals, a celebration of events in the life of Padmasambhava, the 8th century master who brought Buddhism to Tibet and Bhutan. He is considered by members of the Nyingmapa sect of Tibetan Buddhism to be their founder. Such festivals are celebrated throughout Bhutan, and are attended by Bhutanese from all around the countryside, who leave their farms and dress in their finery to gather and celebrate with friends. Activities include sacred dance-dramas performed by monks or laymen wearing costumes of silk and brocade and, for certain dances, masks representing animals or deities. The dances take place in beautiful monastery courtyards under the brilliant cobalt sky. Each trip will witness one of these festivals. 

      Dates & Pricing

      Pricing below is per person and based on double occupancy. The earlier you book, the more choice you’ll have. WT also has the most generous cancellation and transfer policies in the industry, we make it easy if you change your mind. Have a small group of your own? Take over an existing date or choose your own. You’ll have your own private guide–and the adventure–all to yourselves!

      Payment & Cancel Schedule

      At time of reservation: $600
      90 days prior to departure: Balance

      Cancellation & Transfer Schedule

      Up to 91 days prior to departure: No Charge!
      61-90 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost
      46-60 days prior to departure: 50% of trip cost
      45 days or less: 100% of trip cost

      Included
      • Expert leadership of a Wilderness Travel Trip Leader and local guides
      • Accommodations in lodges and hotels
      • All meals
      • All activities as indicated in Detailed Itinerary
      • All ground transportation and baggage handling from meeting until departure
      Not Included
      • Travel to and from the arrival and departure location as indicated in Detailed Itinerary
      • Additional hotel nights outside the trip's scheduled dates
      • Optional gratuities to Trip Leaders or staff
      • Emergency medical evacuation insurance (required)
      • Other expenses of a personal nature (some alcoholic beverages, laundry, etc.)

      Accommodations

      Scroll through our signature accommodations for this trip below. Although it is highly unlikely, we may make substitutions when necessary.

      Le Meridien

      Thimphu, Bhutan

      Days 1-2 (2 nights)

      Opened in 2014, Le Meridien's brilliant white building capped with a vibrant red roof and orange-trimmed windows reveals a modern twist on traditional Bhutanese architecture. Guestrooms are spacious and have wonderful views of Thimphu's tranquil mountains nearby, and the hotel is within a five-minute walk of the famous Memorial Chorten...

      Hotel Lobesa

      Punakha, Bhutan

      Days 3-4 (2 nights)

      Perched on the slopes of plantations overlooking the Punakha Valley, and managed by a family who has resided in the Punakha Valley for generations, Hotel Lobesa is a clean and relaxing respite. Rooms are comfortable, have Wi-Fi, and the hotel is near the famous Temple of Fertility, Chimi Lhakhang. If...

      Yue Loki Guest House

      Phobjikha, Bhutan

      Day 5 (1 night)

      This small, rustic country lodge with its classic Bhutanese architecture is set in a wonderfully remote location in one of Bhutan's most pristine valleys. The rooms are simple, clean, and comfortable, with private bathrooms and showers and a wood burning stove in each room. The staff can prepare a hot-water...

      Yangkhil Resort

      Trongsa, Bhutan

      Day 6 (1 night)

      After a long day of travel through the countryside, the Yangkhil Resort is a welcoming oasis. Built in traditional Bhutanese style, this hillside hotel, with its breathtaking views of the mountains and imposing Trongsa Dzong, features spacious chalet-style rooms that are simple but comfortable, modern, and clean. A dining terrace...

      Gongkhar Lodge

      Bumthang, Bhutan

      Days 7-9 (3 nights)

      This small family-run hotel is located just outside Jakar and enjoys a superb location with 360-degree views of the valley. The large cottage-style rooms are warmed by a wood stove and offer a comfortable ambiance. Locally made jam, honey, and cheese are some of the breakfast buffet highlights. The staff...

      Zhiwa Ling Hotel

      Paro, Bhutan

      Days 10-11 (2 nights)

      Located on 10 acres in a serene setting in the green Paro Valley, the deluxe Zhiwa Ling is a wonderful example of traditional Bhutanese architecture, every bit of it hand-carved in Bhutan by local craftsmen. The guest rooms are airy and large, with balconies opening onto views of world-famous Taktsang...

      Trip Leaders

      Wilderness Travel Trip Leaders have a passion and a joy for creating an unforgettable journey. We are extremely proud of them and the incredible travel experiences they make possible. For more information, including client comments about them and which specific trips they will be leading, please click on their profiles below.

      Kipchu Dorji

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      Kinley Gyeltshen

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      What the Trip is Like

      This trip is Level 3+, Moderate, according to our trip rating system. There are hikes on 7 days, ranging in length from 2 to 6 hours. The hikes are moderate and suitable for people in good shape who enjoy mountain hiking. Although you carry only a daypack, there are some steep ascents and descents, and the hikes are at moderate altitude, which can make them feel strenuous. Please note that travel times vary depending upon local conditions, and the itinerary may change while you are in Bhutan due to government regulations and local climate conditions.
      Review Trip Level Details

      For your own enjoyment, we recommend you make a special effort to be in good physical condition for the journey by hiking, running, swimming, bicycling, or engaging in other forms of aerobic exercise well beyond your normal routine. Walking up and down flights of stairs is also an effective way to train for the steep ascents and descents in the Himalaya. Weekend hikes that involve long sections of uphill and downhill walking are great for conditioning your legs.

      Bhutan is known to have the most unpredictable weather in the Himalaya, so it is best to be prepared for a range of conditions. During spring (mid-March to early June) in the Thimphu and Paro regions, daytime temperatures range from 65°F to 85°F but colder spells are not unusual. The autumn season arrives in September and lasts until mid-November. At this time, skies tend to be clearer and temperatures lower, sometimes falling to below freezing at night. At altitudes of 8,000 to 10,000 feet (as in Bumthang), daytime temperatures range in the 50s and 60s with nights dropping to the 40s. Clouds often form in the afternoons, disappearing at night to reveal brilliantly starry skies. At altitudes above 10,000 feet, daytime temperatures can be in the 60s but as low as the 30s and 40s if it is windy. Evening temperatures at these higher altitudes often drop to around 15°F and sometimes lower. Rain and snow are not uncommon at any time of year making waterproof rain gear a necessity for Bhutan.

      Our accommodations in Bhutan range from rustic to very comfortable. The hotels in Paro and Thimphu offer a great deal of comfort, while the lodges in Punakha, the Phobjikha Valley, and Bumthang are rustic, but well-situated and cozy. Most rooms are twin-bedded.

      At most guesthouses, simple buffets are provided at lunch and dinner. Bhutan's cuisine is generally based on basic rice with stir-fry and stew options.

      Extend Your Trip

      Client Testimonials

      "Loved this trip. It was a great combination of hiking and cultural activities, with the comfort of staying in hotels and lodges."

      Andy C.

      Carrboro, NC

      "Hiking to a local farm and meeting the family was a lovely experience, and attending the Paro festival was magical in its own way, adding to the sense of connecting more deeply with this country. The King happened to be there on our second day and mingling with the people, which was a learning experience in its own right."

      Barbara C.

      Tempe, AZ

      "This was an excellent trip. It was my first experience with a group tour and I will definitely join another in the future. I enjoyed the mix of hiking and cultural education. Throughout the trip, food and rooms were beautiful, and the staff at hotels were exceptional."

      Beth B.

      Seattle, WA

      "Bhutan is a very special place and our itinerary gave us the chance to really experience the culture, the environment and the people in-depth. Loved the trip and would highly recommend it to our friends."

      Celes E.

      Seattle, WA

      "Best trip I've ever taken! Our Trip Leader was absolutely a treasure and so knowledgeable about everything."

      Ellen K.

      Boulder, CO

      "WOW! I want to go back. Superb planning and execution at every step of the process."

      Jack G.

      New York, NY

      "Loved the trip—it was such a rich cultural experience."

      Jan S.

      Boise, ID

      "Absolutely one of the best trips I've ever taken—an amazing experience. How can one improve upon perfection?"

      Kathryn H.

      Seattle, WA

      "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."

      Peggy and Michael W.

      Hingham, MA

      "A very valuable trip for people who want to experience Bhutan with feet-on-the-ground."

      Peter R.

      Santa Clara, CA

      "A spectacular trip!"

      Susan H.

      Boulder, CO

      "Going to Bhutan was a longtime dream, and the trip more than met my expectations."

      Susan M.

      Minden, NV

      "This trip was fabulous. Having an amazing guide like Kipchu makes such a huge difference. Bhutan is a very spiritual place and Kipchu's spirituality really allowed us to experience that."

      Vicki V.

      Baltimore, MD

      Book your trip today

      Our Area Specialists know every detail about our tours. They will be happy to answer any questions and help you choose the journey that’s right for you. Contact us to learn more or book your trip today!

      Itinerary

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      Trip Levels

      With more than 200 different adventures to choose from, we want to help you find the trip that’s right for you. Our Trip Level system ranks each trip in two ways: a number rating from 1 to 6 according to the activity, and general travel rigors. 1 is the easiest and 6+ the most difficult—see descriptions below for explanations of each number. A plus (+) sign means the trip is a bit more strenuous than other trips of that level. The detailed explanation of each trip—below the bar with the number rating—is perhaps more important, specifying activities, altitudes, hiking, and travel conditions. The Detailed Itinerary, available by download or mail, gives further information. Our Area Managers can also answer questions and guide you to the trip that best suits your interests.

      Level 1 – Easiest

      Non-camping journeys, optional walks, little elevation gain or loss.

      Level 2 – Easy to Moderate

      Hotel nights and/or safari-style camping, hikes of two to four hours on some days. Other physical activities are sometimes included, such as optional sea kayaking.

       

      Level 3 – Moderate

      Half- to full-day hikes (3-6 hours) over rolling countryside on most days, occasional steep trails. Many of our hotel-based walking tours are in this category, as are our snorkeling adventures.

      Level 4 – Moderate to Strenuous

      Full-day hikes (4-6 hours), mountainous terrain, significant elevation gains and losses (hiking up or down as much as 3,000 feet) on many days. Altitudes no greater than about 10,000 feet.

       

      Level 5 – Strenuous

      Full-day hikes (4-8 hours), mountainous, steep terrain (hiking up or down as much as 3,500 feet) on many days. Trips with hiking at average altitudes of 10,000 to 12,000 feet are in this category.

      Level 6 – Very Strenuous

      Full-day hikes (5-8 hours), mountainous, steep terrain (hiking up or down as much as 3,500 feet) on many days. Most hikes take place at altitudes above 10,000 feet, with some days ascending as high as 18,000 feet.

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Kipchu attended Dr. Graham&apos;s School in Kalimpong, India, and completed his professional training back in Bhutan, with studies in Buddhist iconography, culture, history, and botany. When Bhutan&apos;s doors were first opened to outsiders in the late 70s, Kipchu was at the frontier as one of the first official guides to his country. In addition to his decades of experience as a Trip Leader, Kipchu has also traveled to England and Nepal for advanced trek leadership training. He has led countless trips throughout Bhutan since 1985, certainly earning the rank of one our most experienced&mdash;and beloved!&mdash;Trip Leaders."},{"GuideID":850826,"First_Name":"Kinley","Last_Name":"Gyeltshen","BioShort":"","BioLong":"Kinley Gyeltshen hails from Bhutan's green and rugged southwest, where traditional farming is still the center of daily life. When the country first opened its doors to the outside world, Kinley was among the early guides selected and formally trained by the government of Bhutan to welcome foreigners in. After university studies in India, he became a professional guide in 1985, completing extensive training in Buddhist iconography, culture, history, and botany. When not on the trail, Kinley channels his energy into biking, and also likes to relax in the company of his large close-knit family. He is appreciated by WT trip members for his encyclopedic knowledge of all things Bhutanese as well as his jovial nature. Kinley is currently the Chairman of the Association of Bhutanese Tour Operators (ABTO), an NGO that promotes the Bhutanese tourism and travel industry with the highest standards of service, ethics, and professionalism."}],"guestreviews":[{"GuestNames":"Andy C.","GuestLocation":"Carrboro, NC","GuestReview":"Loved this trip. It was a great combination of hiking and cultural activities, with the comfort of staying in hotels and lodges."},{"GuestNames":"Barbara C.","GuestLocation":"Tempe, AZ","GuestReview":"Hiking to a local farm and meeting the family was a lovely experience, and attending the Paro festival was magical in its own way, adding to the sense of connecting more deeply with this country. The King happened to be there on our second day and mingling with the people, which was a learning experience in its own right."},{"GuestNames":"Beth B.","GuestLocation":"Seattle, WA","GuestReview":"This was an excellent trip. It was my first experience with a group tour and&#160;I will definitely join another in the future.&#160;I enjoyed the mix of hiking and cultural education. Throughout the trip, food and rooms were beautiful, and the staff at hotels were exceptional."},{"GuestNames":"Celes E.","GuestLocation":"Seattle, WA","GuestReview":"Bhutan is a very special place and our itinerary gave us the chance to really experience the culture, the environment and the people in-depth. Loved the trip and would highly recommend it to our friends."},{"GuestNames":"Ellen K.","GuestLocation":"Boulder, CO","GuestReview":"Best trip I've ever taken! Our Trip Leader was absolutely a treasure and so knowledgeable about everything."},{"GuestNames":"Jack G.","GuestLocation":"New York, NY","GuestReview":"WOW! I want to go back. Superb planning and execution at every step of the process."},{"GuestNames":"Jan S.","GuestLocation":"Boise, ID","GuestReview":"Loved the trip&#8212;it was such a rich cultural experience."},{"GuestNames":"Kathryn H.","GuestLocation":"Seattle, WA","GuestReview":"Absolutely one of the best trips I've ever taken&#8212;an amazing experience. How can one improve upon perfection?"},{"GuestNames":"Peggy and Michael W.","GuestLocation":"Hingham, MA","GuestReview":"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."},{"GuestNames":"Peter R.","GuestLocation":"Santa Clara, CA","GuestReview":"A very valuable trip for people who want to experience Bhutan with feet-on-the-ground."},{"GuestNames":"Susan H.","GuestLocation":"Boulder, CO","GuestReview":"A spectacular trip!"},{"GuestNames":"Susan M.","GuestLocation":"Minden, NV","GuestReview":"Going to Bhutan was a longtime dream, and the trip more than met my expectations."},{"GuestNames":"Vicki V.","GuestLocation":"Baltimore, MD","GuestReview":"This trip was fabulous. Having an amazing guide like Kipchu makes such a huge difference. Bhutan is a very spiritual place and Kipchu's spirituality really allowed us to experience that."}],"Extensions":[{"TripID":10359,"ExtensionTripID":10282,"Trip_Code":"ANGKOREX","Trip_Name":"Temples of Angkor Extension"},{"TripID":10359,"ExtensionTripID":10283,"Trip_Code":"BANGKOK","Trip_Name":"Bangkok Extension"},{"TripID":10359,"ExtensionTripID":10403,"Trip_Code":"KARNALI","Trip_Name":"Karnali Lodge Extension"},{"TripID":10359,"ExtensionTripID":10287,"Trip_Code":"LUANGPRA","Trip_Name":"Laos: Luang Prabang Extension"}],"SimilarTrips":[{"TripID":10359,"SimilarTripID":10593,"Trip_Code":"PJANNAPU","Trip_Name":"Annapurna Lodge Trek Private Journey"},{"TripID":10359,"SimilarTripID":10759,"Trip_Code":"PJBHUT10","Trip_Name":"Bhutan Private Journey"},{"TripID":10359,"SimilarTripID":10465,"Trip_Code":"CELESTIA","Trip_Name":"Kyrgyzstan: Hiking in the Celestial Mountains"},{"TripID":10359,"SimilarTripID":10489,"Trip_Code":"MUSTLODG","Trip_Name":"Nepal: Lodge to Lodge Hiking in Upper 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The restaurant serves Bhutanese and international cuisine, and the bar is a nice place to enjoy a glass of wine or a cup of tea while taking in views of the town and surrounding hills.<\/body>","ItinBlock":"","VendorPhoto":"https:\/\/s3.us-west-1.wasabisys.com\/wildernesstravel\/vendors\/10-khuru-resort-punakha-lobby-interior.jpg","ProductPhoto":"","OnRequest":"Option","Overhead":false,"BookingNotes":"","TicketSession":"","TicketTimeOfDay":"","TicketRound":"","TicketCategory":"","TicketDate":"","TicketLocation":"","NotTicketOnly":false,"Inactive":false},{"VendorID":71328,"ProductID":81156,"SelectType":"Operational","ChoiceGroup":0,"ProductType":"Accommodation","Vendor":"Yue Loki Guest House","Address1":"","Address2":"","City":"Phobjikha","State":"","Postal":"","Product":"Standard Room","Day":5,"Sequence":10,"Duration":1,"PropertyDescription":"This small, rustic country lodge with its classic Bhutanese architecture is set in a wonderfully remote location in one of Bhutan's most pristine valleys. The rooms are simple, clean, and comfortable, with private bathrooms and showers and a wood burning stove in each room. The staff can prepare a hot-water bottle to warm up your bed at night, a pleasant treat during Bhutan's chilly evenings.","ItinBlock":"","VendorPhoto":"https:\/\/s3.us-west-1.wasabisys.com\/wildernesstravel\/vendors\/yue-loki-bedroom.jpg","ProductPhoto":"","OnRequest":"Option","Overhead":false,"BookingNotes":"","TicketSession":"","TicketTimeOfDay":"","TicketRound":"","TicketCategory":"","TicketDate":"","TicketLocation":"","NotTicketOnly":false,"Inactive":false},{"VendorID":71418,"ProductID":81246,"SelectType":"Operational","ChoiceGroup":0,"ProductType":"Accommodation","Vendor":"Yangkhil Resort","Address1":"","Address2":"","City":"Trongsa","State":"","Postal":"","Product":"Standard Room","Day":6,"Sequence":10,"Duration":1,"PropertyDescription":"After a long day of travel through the countryside, the Yangkhil Resort is a welcoming oasis. Built in traditional Bhutanese style, this hillside hotel, with its breathtaking views of the mountains and imposing Trongsa Dzong, features spacious chalet-style rooms that are simple but comfortable, modern, and clean. A dining terrace overlooks a tranquil flower-filled garden with fish ponds, a stream, and water-driven prayer wheel. The staff is friendly and helpful.","ItinBlock":"","VendorPhoto":"https:\/\/s3.us-west-1.wasabisys.com\/wildernesstravel\/vendors\/10-yangkhil-resort-exterior-landscape.jpg","ProductPhoto":"","OnRequest":"Option","Overhead":false,"BookingNotes":"","TicketSession":"","TicketTimeOfDay":"","TicketRound":"","TicketCategory":"","TicketDate":"","TicketLocation":"","NotTicketOnly":false,"Inactive":false},{"VendorID":73720,"ProductID":85469,"SelectType":"Operational","ChoiceGroup":0,"ProductType":"Accommodation","Vendor":"Norbu Lingka Resort","Address1":"","Address2":"","City":"Trongsa","State":"","Postal":"","Product":"Standard Room","Day":6,"Sequence":11,"Duration":1,"PropertyDescription":"<meta charset=\"utf-8\"\/><body>The Norbu Lingka Resort features traditional Bhutanese architecture in a serene setting, with views of the valley and the Black Mountains. It's ideally situated for visiting some of the local cultural monuments, including Trongsa Dong. Take some time to relax in the bar\/lounge or indulge in a massage at the spa.<\/body>","ItinBlock":"","VendorPhoto":"https:\/\/s3.us-west-1.wasabisys.com\/wildernesstravel\/vendors\/10-norbu-lingkha-resort-dining-table-view.jpg","ProductPhoto":"","OnRequest":"Option","Overhead":false,"BookingNotes":"","TicketSession":"","TicketTimeOfDay":"","TicketRound":"","TicketCategory":"","TicketDate":"","TicketLocation":"","NotTicketOnly":false,"Inactive":false},{"VendorID":71421,"ProductID":81249,"SelectType":"Operational","ChoiceGroup":0,"ProductType":"Accommodation","Vendor":"Gongkhar Lodge","Address1":"","Address2":"","City":"Bumthang","State":"","Postal":"","Product":"Standard Room","Day":7,"Sequence":10,"Duration":3,"PropertyDescription":"This small family-run hotel is located just outside Jakar and enjoys a superb location with 360-degree views of the valley. The large cottage-style rooms are warmed by a wood stove and offer a comfortable ambiance. Locally made jam, honey, and cheese are some of the breakfast buffet highlights. The staff is attentive and helpful.","ItinBlock":"","VendorPhoto":"https:\/\/s3.us-west-1.wasabisys.com\/wildernesstravel\/vendors\/10-gongkhar-lodge-bumthang-exterior.jpg","ProductPhoto":"","OnRequest":"Option","Overhead":false,"BookingNotes":"","TicketSession":"","TicketTimeOfDay":"","TicketRound":"","TicketCategory":"","TicketDate":"","TicketLocation":"","NotTicketOnly":false,"Inactive":false},{"VendorID":73721,"ProductID":85470,"SelectType":"Operational","ChoiceGroup":0,"ProductType":"Accommodation","Vendor":"Valley Resort","Address1":"","Address2":"","City":"Bumthang","State":"","Postal":"","Product":"Standard Room","Day":7,"Sequence":11,"Duration":3,"PropertyDescription":"<meta charset=\"utf-8\"\/><body>This guest house offers a lot of cozy Bhutanese charm. There are 18 spacious guest rooms with comfortable queen-size beds and large windows framing beautiful views of the valley. The owner and his staff are warm and welcoming.<\/body>","ItinBlock":"","VendorPhoto":"https:\/\/s3.us-west-1.wasabisys.com\/wildernesstravel\/vendors\/10-valley-resort-exterior-landscape.jpg","ProductPhoto":"","OnRequest":"Option","Overhead":false,"BookingNotes":"","TicketSession":"","TicketTimeOfDay":"","TicketRound":"","TicketCategory":"","TicketDate":"","TicketLocation":"","NotTicketOnly":false,"Inactive":false},{"VendorID":70923,"ProductID":80751,"SelectType":"Operational","ChoiceGroup":0,"ProductType":"Accommodation","Vendor":"Zhiwa Ling Hotel","Address1":"","Address2":"","City":"Paro","State":"","Postal":"","Product":"Standard Room","Day":10,"Sequence":10,"Duration":2,"PropertyDescription":"Located on 10 acres in a serene setting in the green Paro Valley, the deluxe Zhiwa Ling is a wonderful example of traditional Bhutanese architecture, every bit of it hand-carved in Bhutan by local craftsmen. The guest rooms are airy and large, with balconies opening onto views of world-famous Taktsang Monastery. At the hotel&rsquo;s Menlha Spa, enjoy a sauna or a Bhutanese-style massage, perfect after a long day&rsquo;s hike, while the tea room offers local safflower and cinnamon herb teas. The hotel has two restaurants, plus the Mad Monk bar, a great spot for winding down. The Zhiwa Ling has appeared on Conde Nast Traveler&rsquo;s annual &#8220;Gold List.&#8221;","ItinBlock":"","VendorPhoto":"https:\/\/s3.us-west-1.wasabisys.com\/wildernesstravel\/vendors\/10-zhiwa-ling-exterior-entrance.jpg","ProductPhoto":"","OnRequest":"Option","Overhead":false,"BookingNotes":"","TicketSession":"","TicketTimeOfDay":"","TicketRound":"","TicketCategory":"","TicketDate":"","TicketLocation":"","NotTicketOnly":false,"Inactive":false},{"VendorID":72181,"ProductID":82009,"ChoiceGroup":0,"ProductType":"Accommodation","Vendor":"Le Meridien","Address1":"","Address2":"","City":"Paro","State":"","Postal":"","Product":"Standard Room","Day":10,"Sequence":11,"Duration":2,"PropertyDescription":"Set along the riverfront, this hotel offers a little bit of luxury in the heart of Paro, while still being conveniently located near the Paro Airport, Bhutan's only international airport. Guestrooms are clean and modern with beautiful wall decorations, wood floors, marble bathrooms, and serene views of the mountains and Paro River. During your free time, relax on the outdoor terrace or enjoy a walk to the river.","ItinBlock":"","VendorPhoto":"https:\/\/s3.us-west-1.wasabisys.com\/wildernesstravel\/vendors\/10-le-meridian-paro-exterior-landscape.jpg","ProductPhoto":"","OnRequest":"Option","Overhead":false,"BookingNotes":"","TicketSession":"","TicketTimeOfDay":"","TicketRound":"","TicketCategory":"","TicketDate":"","TicketLocation":"","NotTicketOnly":false,"Inactive":false},{"VendorID":73325,"ProductID":83530,"SelectType":"Optional","ChoiceGroup":0,"ProductType":"Extension","Vendor":"Trails of Indochina","Address1":"2\/27 Quach Van Tuan, Ward 12","Address2":"Tan Binh District","City":"Ho Chi Minh City","State":"","Postal":"","Product":"Post-Trip Extra Services: Temples of Angkor Extension","Day":12,"Sequence":3,"Duration":3,"PropertyDescription":"","ItinBlock":"<p><\/p>","VendorPhoto":"","ProductPhoto":"","OnRequest":"Option","Overhead":false,"BookingNotes":"","TicketSession":"","TicketTimeOfDay":"","TicketRound":"","TicketCategory":"","TicketDate":"","TicketLocation":"","NotTicketOnly":false,"Inactive":false},{"VendorID":73325,"ProductID":83534,"SelectType":"Optional","ChoiceGroup":0,"ProductType":"Extension","Vendor":"Trails of Indochina","Address1":"2\/27 Quach Van Tuan, Ward 12","Address2":"Tan Binh District","City":"Ho Chi Minh City","State":"","Postal":"","Product":"Post-Trip Extra Services: Laos: Luang Prabang Extension","Day":12,"Sequence":3,"Duration":2,"PropertyDescription":"","ItinBlock":"<p><\/p>","VendorPhoto":"","ProductPhoto":"","OnRequest":"Option","Overhead":false,"BookingNotes":"","TicketSession":"","TicketTimeOfDay":"","TicketRound":"","TicketCategory":"","TicketDate":"","TicketLocation":"","NotTicketOnly":false,"Inactive":false},{"VendorID":73325,"ProductID":83535,"SelectType":"Optional","ChoiceGroup":0,"ProductType":"Extension","Vendor":"Trails of Indochina","Address1":"2\/27 Quach Van Tuan, Ward 12","Address2":"Tan Binh District","City":"Ho Chi Minh City","State":"","Postal":"","Product":"Post-Trip Extra Services: Bangkok Extension","Day":12,"Sequence":3,"Duration":2,"PropertyDescription":"","ItinBlock":"<p><\/p>","VendorPhoto":"","ProductPhoto":"","OnRequest":"Option","Overhead":false,"BookingNotes":"","TicketSession":"","TicketTimeOfDay":"","TicketRound":"","TicketCategory":"","TicketDate":"","TicketLocation":"","NotTicketOnly":false,"Inactive":false},{"VendorID":73379,"ProductID":84061,"SelectType":"Optional","ChoiceGroup":0,"ProductType":"Extension","Vendor":"Tiger Tops","Address1":"PO Box 242\r\n539\/61 Subarna Shamsher","Address2":"","City":"Kathmandu","State":"","Postal":"","Product":"Post-Trip Extra Services: Karnali Lodge Extension","Day":12,"Sequence":3,"Duration":3,"PropertyDescription":"","ItinBlock":"","VendorPhoto":"","ProductPhoto":"","OnRequest":"Option","Overhead":false,"BookingNotes":"","TicketSession":"","TicketTimeOfDay":"","TicketRound":"","TicketCategory":"","TicketDate":"","TicketLocation":"","NotTicketOnly":false,"Inactive":false}],"CustomFields":{"Custom_TC_Detailed_Itin_URL":"","Custom_Trip_Name_Addendum":"","Custom_Welcome_Letter_Addendum":"","Custom_Trip_Level_5":"","Custom_Welcome_Email_Send_List":"","Custom_Welcome_Email-Insurance":"","Custom_FI_Optional_Donation_Text":"","Custom_Final_Docs_Letter_Send_List":"","Custom_Sales_Email_-_Trip_Sales_Points":"<body>I also encourage you to check out this <a href=\"https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/watch?v=s5-RFPsH-U4\">trip video<\/a>, which will give you a great sense of the adventure ahead!<\/body><meta charset=\"utf-8\"\/>\n","Custom_Sales_Email_-_TP_Trip_Sales_Points":"<body>I also encourage you to check out this <a href=\"https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/watch?v=s5-RFPsH-U4\">trip video<\/a>, which will give you a great sense of the adventure ahead!<\/body><meta charset=\"utf-8\"\/>\n","Custom_Sales_Email_-_Payment_Terms":"<meta charset=\"utf-8\"\/><body>In order to confirm your space on this trip, we require a first deposit of $600 per person, which is fully refundable up to 91 days prior to departure.<\/body>","Custom_Sales_Email_-_Region":"<meta charset=\"utf-8\"\/><body>Bhutan<\/body>","Custom_Sales_Email_-_Region_Sales_Points":"","Custom_Emergency_Evac_Insurance":"","Custom_Welcome_Letter_Reading_List":"<strong>Reading List:<\/strong> Elevate your travel experience by delving into this <a href=\"https:\/\/bookshop.org\/lists\/wilderness-travel-bhutan\">curated collection of books<\/a> tailored to your upcoming adventure.","Custom_Valid_Passport_Alternative":"","Custom_Visa":"","Custom_FB_Before_You_Go_-_MISC_1":"","Custom_FB_Before_You_Go_-_MISC_2":"","Custom_Luggage_Requirements":"<strong>LUGGAGE REQUIREMENTS: <\/strong>Please remember that for your flights to\/from Bhutan, there is a total weight limit of 66 lbs. per person. Of this total weight, your carry-on baggage must not weigh more than 11 lbs. and the overall dimensions should not exceed 17&#8221; x 13&#8221; x 8.&#8221; If your baggage exceeds the weight limits, you may be required to pay excess baggage charges on the spot.","Custom_Carry-On":"<strong>CARRY-ON: <\/strong>Valuable or essential items, such as well broken-in hiking boots, camera equipment, binoculars, and prescription medications, should be hand carried on your flights to avoid loss or damage.","Custom_Hiking_Poles":"<strong>HIKING POLES:<\/strong> If you choose to bring hiking poles, they must be packed in your checked luggage as they are not permitted in carry-on bags.","Custom_Daypack":"<strong>DAYPACK:<\/strong> To carry a jacket or rain gear, water bottle, camera, and other items you want on the trail.","Custom_Vaccination_Card":"","Custom_FB_Packing_Reminders_-_MISC_1":"<strong>INTERNAL FLIGHT TICKETS:<\/strong> Please find your internal flight tickets to\/from Bhutan enclosed. Please bring these with you on the trip. <br><br><strong>BHUTAN VISA CLEARANCE: <\/strong>Your Bhutan Visa Clearance is currently being obtained. We will email and mail you copies before the trip. Please make sure to bring it with you on your trip. You will have to present this clearance upon check-in for your flight to Bhutan and\/or upon arrival at the Paro airport. You must bring this physical copy with you","Custom_FB_Additional_Notes_-_MISC_1":"<strong>A SPECIAL NOTE ABOUT TRAVEL IN BHUTAN: <\/strong>Bhutan has recently re-opened to travelers after being closed for over two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although we have meticulously planned the trip and have many decades of experience running adventures throughout the world, it is still possible for there to be some last minute changes to activities and hotel accommodations. Activities and driving times noted in the itinerary may vary, depending on weather, road\/trail conditions, and other local factors beyond our control. <br><br>And while medical services are available in certain areas of Bhutan, you should be aware that they are not of the same standard that westerners expect at home. Your Trip Leader will carry a first aid kit, but please carry your own first aid supplies that you will know you will need. <br><br>In this remote part of the world, it is very important that you make a special effort to be flexible and bring a spirit of adventure to this unique tour. Take pleasure in the knowledge that you will be visiting a fascinating part of the world in the company of an expert Trip Leader. With a truly adventurous attitude, we feel that your trip will be most rewarding and enjoyable.","Custom_FB_Additional_Notes_-_MISC_2":"","Custom_Arrival":"<strong>ARRIVING IN BANGKOK<\/strong><br>\nOn Day 1, please make sure to be at the Bangkok airport early to check-in for your Bangkok\/Paro flight. You will be required to show your Bhutan Visa Clearance at check-in, so please remember to bring a printed copy with you. Please remember that flights to\/from Bhutan are prone to delays and changes, even at the last minute.<br><strong><br> On Day 1, you will meet your Wilderness Travel Trip Leader upon arrival at the Paro airport (they will not be with you in Bangkok). They will be waiting for the group outside of the Customs area, holding a &#8220;Wilderness Travel&#8221; sign.<\/strong>","Custom_Arrival-_Meeting_Place":"","Custom_Arrival_Transfer":"<strong>Important Reminder:<\/strong> If you experience any flight delays\/changes or emergencies en route, please contact\/email your representative at our Berkeley office, as well as our local contact and Trip Leader in Bhutan ? please copy everyone on the same email message to ensure the quickest reply.","Custom_Departure":"<strong>DEPARTING PARO<\/strong><br>\nOn the last day of the trip, you will be transferred to the Paro airport for your Paro\/Bangkok or Paro\/Kathmandu flight (Wilderness Travel will also book this flight for all trip members as part of the &#8220;internal airfare&#8221;).","Custom_Extra_Services":"","Custom_Contact_Information_for_Friends_and_Family":"If friends or family wish to contact you during the trip, we encourage them to call, text, or email you directly. Another option is to reach you by calling the hotel (please see the enclosed Hotel List). If they are unable to reach you directly, please instruct them to call our office in Berkeley, California, and we will get a message to you as soon as possible. If they need to reach you outside of our office hours, we ask that they reach out to your Trip Leaders and Local Agent (contact information is listed below) and also leave a message with our Berkeley office, so that we can follow up with our team on the ground. <br><br>We recommend using <a href=\"https:\/\/www.whatsapp.com\/\">WhatsApp<\/a>, and suggest you download the free app and enter the local emergency contact number(s) in advance of your trip.","Custom_Outfitter_Contacts_Left":"<strong>GANGRI TOURS (LOCAL CONTACT)<\/strong><br>\nKesang Namgyal Email: kesangn@gmail.com<br>\nPhone: (+975) 171-10026","Custom_Outfitter_Contacts_Right":"<strong>KINLEY GYELTSHEN (TRIP LEADER)<\/strong><br>\nEmail: ratugangri@gmail.com<br>\nPhone: (+975) 171-10027","Custom_name_slug":"bhutan-hiking-festival-tour","Custom_Meta_Description":"Hike and explore the Bumthang region, spiritual center of Bhutan, and climb the ancient trail to Paro's cliff-perched Taktsang Monastery \"The Tiger's Nest.\"","Custom_List_Description":"Our hiking journey stretches across Bhutan from Paro, with its famed Taktsang Monastery (the \"Tiger's Nest\") to Bumthang, a sacred region of towering rhododendron forests, misty gorges, and countless holy sites.","Custom_Redirect":"","Custom_PJ_-_Best_Months":"","Custom_After_Dates":"","Custom_Trip_Web_Note":"","Custom_Title_Tag":"Bhutan Hiking & Festival Tour | Active Trip to a Tsechu Festival","Custom_Before_Days":"","Custom_After_Days_Header_1":"<p>Additional Notes<\/p>","Custom_After_Days_Text_1":"<p><strong>Please Note:<\/strong> Due to the timing of our group flights to and from Bhutan, all participants must arrive in Bangkok, Thailand, at least one day before Day 1. Trip members will also need to spend the night in Bangkok on Day 12, the last day of the trip. All overnight(s) in Bangkok are on your own (at additional cost).&nbsp;<\/p><p>The itinerary above is our planned schedule. Please note that hiking times are general estimates and vary depending on local weather, daily trail conditions, and festival schedules. Internal flights are also subject to change.<\/p><div><strong>A note about Bhutan's festivals:<\/strong> It is an extraordinary privilege to witness one of Bhutan's traditional tsechu festivals, a celebration of events in the life of Padmasambhava, the 8th century master who brought Buddhism to Tibet and Bhutan. He is considered by members of the Nyingmapa sect of Tibetan Buddhism to be their founder. Such festivals are celebrated throughout Bhutan, and are attended by Bhutanese from all around the countryside, who leave their farms and dress in their finery to gather and celebrate with friends. Activities include sacred dance-dramas performed by monks or laymen wearing costumes of silk and brocade and, for certain dances, masks representing animals or deities. The dances take place in beautiful monastery courtyards under the brilliant cobalt sky. Each trip will witness one of these festivals.&nbsp;<\/div><p><\/p>","Custom_After_Days_Header_2":"","Custom_After_Days_Text_2":"","Custom_Choosing_the_Right_Trip":"","Custom_References":"","Custom_Visit_Our_Website":"","Custom_Helpful_Links":"","Custom_Choosing_Right_Trip_Office_Contact":"","Custom_About_WT_Expeditions":"","Custom_Arrival_-_Sales":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-04-06T16:26:43 --><p><strong>Suggested Airport:<\/strong> Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK)<br \/><strong>Suggested Date &amp; Time:<\/strong> At least one day prior to Day 1<br \/><br \/>You must arrive in Bangkok at least one day prior to Day 1 due to the timing of the Bangkok to Paro group flight. Please note that overnights in Bangkok are on your own (at additional cost). <br \/><br \/>The Bangkok to Paro flight will be booked by Wilderness Travel and usually departs very early in the morning, between 4:30 am and 7:30 am (subject to change). Upon arrival at the Paro International Airport, you will meet your Wilderness Travel Trip Leader (they will not be with you in Bangkok). Your Trip Leader will be waiting for the group outside of the customs area, holding a Wilderness Travel sign.<\/p>","Custom_Departure_-_Sales":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-04-06T16:26:07 --><p><strong>Suggested Airport:<\/strong> Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK)<br \/><strong>Suggested Date &amp; Time:<\/strong> Spend the night in Bangkok on Day 12, and depart anytime the next day (or later, if you would like to extend your time in Bangkok)<br \/><br \/>On Day 12 (the last day of your trip), you will be transferred to the Paro International Airport for the Paro\/Bangkok group flight. Wilderness Travel will also book this flight for all trip members as part of the &quot;internal airfare&quot;.<br \/><br \/>This Paro\/Bangkok flight typically arrives in Bangkok between 1:00 pm and 5:30 pm, although it is prone to delays and changes, even at the last minute. Because the timing of this flight can change, you should spend the night in Bangkok on Day 12, departing anytime the next day (or later, if you would like to extend your time in Bangkok). Overnights in Bangkok are on your own (at additional cost).<\/p>","Custom_International_Air_Travel":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2022-12-12T16:07:32 --><p>You are responsible for making your own arrangements for flights to and from Bangkok, Thailand. <br \/><br \/>Depending on your routing, it may be necessary to depart from the US one or possibly two days prior to Day 1 of the trip itinerary. The name on your airline ticket must match the name on your passport exactly, and your passport must be valid for at least six months after your date of return to the US.<br \/><br \/>There are many online consolidators for booking travel, but for more personal help arranging air transport, you can contact Exito Travel at 1-800-655-4053 in the US or 1-800-670-2605 in Canada.They are very adept at putting flight itineraries together, to even the most far-flung places. More information can be found on Exito's website at <a href=\"https:\/\/exitotravel.com\/\">www.exitotravel.com<\/a>.<br \/><br \/>Please do not purchase your tickets until you are confirmed on the trip. Once tickets are purchased, please forward a copy of your email flight confirmation from the airline. It is your responsibility to ensure your flight times coordinate with the arrival and departure logistics for this trip.<\/p>","Custom_Extra_Hotel_Nights":"","Custom_Recommended_Hotels":"","Custom_A_and_D_Misc_-_Header_1":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-04-13T13:27:42 --><p>RECOMMENDED HOTELS<br \/><\/p>","Custom_A_and_D_Misc_-_Text_1":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-04-18T14:05:27 --><p>You are responsible for making your own hotel reservations in Bangkok. It is best to check current rates and availability online. We recommend the following hotels:<br \/><\/p><p><br \/>Hotel Novotel Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport: <a href=\"https:\/\/www.novotelairportbkk.com\/\">www.novotel.com<\/a><\/p><p><br \/>The Peninsula Bangkok: <a href=\"https:\/\/www.peninsula.com\/en\/bangkok\/5-star-luxury-hotel-riverside\">www.peninsula.com\/bangkok<\/a><\/p><p><br \/>Riva Surya Bangkok Hotel: <a href=\"https:\/\/www.rivasuryabangkok.com\/en\/\">www.rivasuryabangkok.com<\/a><\/p>","Custom_A_and_D_Misc_-_Header_2":"","Custom_A_and_D_Misc_-_Text_2":"","Custom_About_Private_Journeys":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Header_1":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Text_1":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Header_2":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Text_2":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Header_3":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Text_3":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Header_4":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Text_4":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Header_5":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Text_5":"","Custom_file_name":"hikers-journey-to-bhutan","Custom_Passport":"A valid passport is required for your trip. Be sure to check the expiration date. Your passport must be valid for six months after your date of exit from Bhutan. In addition, we recommend your passport have at least two completely blank visa pages for every country you will be visiting. It is very important that the blank pages say &#8220;Visas&#8221; at the top. The last few pages of your passport, which say &#8220;Amendments and Endorsements,&#8221; and the final page of your passport, which may not have a page number, are not considered to be legitimate visa pages. The service of adding pages for visas was discontinued as of January 1, 2016. You can request a new passport through <a href=\"http:\/\/travel.state.gov\/passport\">US Passport Services Office<\/a> or use a visa service agency, which can take care of your passport renewal and expedite the process, if needed. We recommend <a href=\"http:\/\/www.passportvisasexpress.com\/?affId=2120\">Passport Visas Express<\/a>. Be sure to allow sufficient time to acquire this before your trip. <br><br>It is very important to carry photocopies of your passport's photo page and any acquired visa pages for your trip (if applicable) in case your passport is lost or as an additional piece of identification, as well as two extra passport photos.","Custom_Visas_and_Entry_Notes":"<strong>Bhutan Visa<br><\/strong>US citizens need a visa clearance for Bhutan. Wilderness Travel will obtain this for you through our local partners in Bhutan. It is issued by the Bhutanese government ~2-4 weeks prior to your arrival (sometimes closer to departure), and we will send it to you before the trip begins. You must bring this visa clearance with you on your trip.<br><em><strong><br>In order for us to obtain this visa for you, we need the following documents:<br><ul><li>A color copy of your passport photo page<\/li><li>A 2x2 passport photo (a digital copy is accepted)<\/li><li>Proof of emergency evacuation insurance<\/li><\/ul><\/strong><\/em> <br><br><br>Proof of insurance is required by the government of Bhutan for your visa application. There is not a minimum dollar amount of coverage required, but the document must include your name, coverage dates that include at least the time you are in Bhutan, and proof of emergency evacuation coverage. Please consult our office if you have any questions.<em><strong><br><\/strong><\/em><br>Please upload these documents to your Guest Portal or as a clearly scanned email attachment. If not, we ask that you send it via regular mail as soon as possible after signing up on the trip. <br><br>There is a Bhutan visa fee of $40, which will be included in your Final Invoice. <br><strong><br>Thai Visa<br><\/strong>US citizens do not need a visa for Thailand unless they are staying longer than 30 days. <br><strong><br>India Visa<br><\/strong>If you are planning to visit India before or after your trip, a visa must be obtained well in advance of your departure from the US. Please call or email us for further details. <br><br>If you are a citizen of any country other than the US, check with a local consulate or tourist office for entry requirements.","Custom_Money":"The currency in Bhutan is the Bhutanese ngultrum (BTN). It is best to carry most of your money in US dollars and exchange it into BTN upon arrival. Please note that larger denominations ($100 bills) get a better exchange rate than smaller denominations (of $50 or less). The airport in Paro, Bhutan, typically offers the best exchange rate, so we suggest changing your money there. If you keep your currency exchange receipt from the airport, you can exchange back any extra currency you have upon departure. You can also exchange currency at your hotel in Paro and Thimphu or at a local bank, but you will not be able to exchange back into dollars at the airport. Please remember to keep all currency exchange receipts. <br><br>When traveling to other countries, it's always a good idea to bring crisp, new bills (please note that no USD bills issued in 1996 or earlier will be accepted at any handicraft shop or bank). Most vendors and local shops will accept USD, but it is a good idea to carry some BTN with you. <br><br>Some higher-end or larger shops may accept credit cards for purchases, especially in the bigger cities, but surcharges will be added. If you plan to use your credit cards, please inform your credit card company before your departure that you will be using the card abroad. At the moment, there are ATMs in Bhutan, but they do not accept foreign credit or debit cards. <br><br>You will need to budget spending money for gratuities, any meals en route to\/from Bhutan, and personal items, such as gifts and alcoholic beverages. In Bhutan, wine (usually French or Australian) typically runs at least $40 per bottle (or more).","Custom_Tipping":"Tipping is completely discretionary, but over the years, clients have asked us for tipping guidelines to reward guides for outstanding service. A range of reference would be $175-$200 per trip member for the Trip Leader, $90-$110 for each assistant guide (one assistant guide for groups under 10, 2 for groups of 10 or more), and $90-$110 for the drivers (one or two depending on the size of the group). <br><br>Please note that the Trip Leader takes care of gratuities for luggage handling, waiters at restaurants, and local guides who are with the group for only a short time.","Custom_Food":"Please reach out to us directly to discuss any dietary restrictions or concerns you may have. We can easily make arrangements for most diets, but please keep in mind that certain cultural differences or logistical limitations can make it difficult or at times impossible to accommodate all requests. With this in mind, please inform us at least eight weeks before your trip if you have a special diet, and any food allergies in particular, so we can do our best to meet your needs.","Custom_Communications":"<strong>Telephone<\/strong><br>The international dialing code for Bhutan is 975. Please contact your cell phone company for specific instructions for international use.<br><strong><br>Email &amp; Internet Access<\/strong><br>Internet access is generally reliable in Paro and Thimphu but can be limited in Punakha, Phobjikha, and Bumthang.","Custom_Electricity":"Bhutan has 230-volt current, 50 cycles. Plugs have three round pins in a triangular configuration (Type D) or two round pins (Types C, E, and F), but the most common socket configuration is three round pins (Type D). Please remember to bring a converter and plug adapter kit for appliance use.","Custom_Laundry":"Basic laundry service is available at most hotels and guest lodges.","Custom_Ship_Notes":"","Custom_Inoculations":"Entry requirements are subject to change; check with the Centers for Disease Control for updates. All shots should be entered on your International Health Card (yellow card), which is provided by the facility giving the shots. Keep it with your passport while traveling. This provides an important personal record for you to refer to when making future travel plans. We recommend you discuss the following with your physician:<br><br><br><strong>Polio<\/strong><br>People who have received the primary series of at least three doses of polio vaccine are considered fully immunized. People who are unsure of their status should receive the vaccine (three doses spaced at intervals).<br><br><br><strong>Hepatitis<\/strong><br>The vaccines HAVRIX and VAQTA (two injections, six to 18 months apart) give long-term protection against Hepatitis A and are worthwhile if you travel regularly to developing countries.<br><br><br><strong>Tetanus Booster<\/strong><br>A booster is strongly recommended (effective for 10 years).<br><br><br><strong>Typhoid<\/strong><br>The CDC recommends the shot or the oral vaccine, Vivotif Berna, a course of four capsules, one every other day for a week, with full effectiveness reached in a week. You may not be able to take the oral vaccine simultaneously with mefloquine (for malaria prevention).<br><br>","Custom_International_Health":"","Custom_Malaria_Prevention":"","Custom_Staying_Healthy":"In hotels and lodges, do not brush your teeth with tap water; always use bottled water. Don't use ice in your drinks unless you are sure it was made with treated water. When in doubt, ask your Trip Leader for guidelines.","Custom_Getting_In_Shape":"For your own enjoyment, we recommend you make a special effort to be in good physical condition for the journey by hiking, running, swimming, bicycling, or engaging in other forms of aerobic exercise well beyond your normal routine. Walking up and down flights of stairs is also an effective way to train for the steep ascents and descents in the Himalaya. Weekend hikes that involve long sections of uphill and downhill walking are great for conditioning your legs.<br><br>","Custom_Medical_Care":"Medical services are not readily available in Bhutan and helicopters are not used for evacuation purposes. In the event of an illness requiring evacuation, there are risks involved and evacuation may take several days. Trip members requiring evacuation are responsible for payment of all evacuation costs directly to our agent in Bhutan. Acceptable forms of payment are cash or credit cards. If you use your credit card, be aware that a service charge will be assessed in addition to the actual cost of the evacuation.","Custom_Altitude_Considerations":"On this trip, you will be traveling and\/or hiking at higher altitudes. Individuals vary widely in their ability to acclimatize. Since physical fitness does not confer any protection or facilitate acclimatization, it is impossible to predict how you will adapt to the altitude. The greatest protection is avoiding rapid ascents and allowing time for acclimatization. Normal physiological changes at altitude include headaches, nausea, loss of appetite, sleeplessness, irregular breathing, shortness of breath, fatigue, and swelling of the ankles and eyelids.<br><br><br>It is not uncommon to experience some of these symptoms when you first arrive at high altitude and then have them decrease in severity within a few days. It is important that you inform your Trip Leader immediately of any symptoms or discomfort, however minor, so that he or she can help you monitor the situation. While acclimatizing, avoid pushing yourself too hard, however physically fit you may be or feel. Pace yourself comfortably, rest often. You may find that you walk more slowly than others in the group, or slower than you are used to.<br><br><br><strong>Diamox (Acetazolamide)<\/strong><br>The prescription drug Diamox is now accepted as an effective prophylactic against the early symptoms of altitude sickness. Most people start taking it a day before going to altitude and continue until they feel they are comfortably acclimatized, although some decide to continue its use throughout their time at altitude. Consult with your physician for directions concerning proper usage and dosage. You can also read more about it at <a href=\"https:\/\/www.himalayanrescue.org\/health-problems\">himalayanrescue.org\/health-problems<\/a>. Please note: Diamox is not effective in dealing with more serious symptoms of altitude sickness and it is important you keep your Trip Leader informed of any symptoms you are feeling.<br><br>","Custom_Covid-19":"","Custom_Reading_List":"Elevate your travel experience by delving into this curated collection of books tailored to your upcoming adventure. They will not only entertain but also provide invaluable insights into the history, culture, cuisine, wildlife, mountain trails, or even folklore of the places you're about to explore. Discover the perfect companions for your journey ahead by <a href=\"https:\/\/bookshop.org\/lists\/wilderness-travel-bhutan\">following the link<\/a> or scanning the QR code.","Custom_Photography":"","Custom_Cultural_Considerations":"","Custom_Giving_Back":"","Custom_Enviromental_Concerns":"","Custom_Shopping_and_Souvenirs":"Bhutan has finely crafted handmade goods such as weavings and items made from bamboo, wood, and silver. Although they are expensive compared with those in other Asian countries, bargaining is not customary. Bhutanese stamps are also highly prized as collector's items. There are shops where stamps can be purchased in case Post Offices are closed. <br><br>Currently, you can bring $800 of goods duty-free back to the US. Depending on your tastes, you can spend anywhere from $200 to much more. Be sure to leave room in your luggage or bring along another fold-up bag for purchases. We don't recommend shipping goods home, as the process is complicated and unreliable. Wilderness Travel is not responsible for any shipping arrangements, even if you have enlisted your Trip Leader's assistance in making those arrangements. <br><br>Bhutanese customs regulations strictly forbid the export of antiques. It is also forbidden to take out religious objects (statues, prayer wheels, bells, and so forth) whether old or new. If you have already bought a religious object before entering Bhutan, declare it on your customs form when you enter the country. The Paro Airport customs officers may examine luggage as you depart. Always insist on obtaining a receipt with your purchases.","Custom_Seasickness":"","Custom_Explore":"","Custom_Additional_Information":"","Custom_Essentials":"<ul><li>Air tickets (or E-tickets)<\/li><li>Passport<\/li><li>Bhutan Visa Clearance Document (sent to you by WT shortly before your departure)<\/li><li>One other picture ID, such as a driver's license<\/li><li>Expense money<\/li><\/ul>","Custom_Luggage":"<ul><li>Soft-sided roller bag, with a small padlock (must be unlocked for travel).<\/li><li>Daypack, large enough for a fleece jacket, rain gear, water bottle, camera, and other items you want on the trail. It should be a shoulder pack (not a fanny pack) with a supporting waist belt.<\/li><li>Small roll-up duffel if you are an avid shopper, keeping in mind that you may have to pay excess baggage charges if you are over the weight limit.<\/li><\/ul><strong><br>IMPORTANT! <\/strong>Valuable or essential items such as camera equipment or prescription medications should always be hand-carried on any flight to avoid loss or damage. <br><br><strong>Weight Limits<\/strong><br>Please remember that for your flights to\/from Bhutan, there is a <strong><em>total<\/em> weight limit of 66 lbs. per person. Of this total weight, your carry-on baggage must not weigh more than 11 lbs. and the overall dimensions should not exceed 17&#8221; x 13&#8221; x 8&#8221;<\/strong>. If your baggage exceeds the weight limits, you may be required to pay excess baggage charges on the spot.","Custom_Clothing":"Dress on the trip is very informal, with the exception of two or three hotel dinners for which you may want to dress up a little (jackets are not required for men). <br><br><strong>For Women<\/strong><br>Shorts are frowned upon, but if you feel you must bring shorts, make sure they come to the knee (or below). Long baggy pants are comfortable and appropriate. Sleeveless shirts are not appropriate at any time. <br><br><strong>For Men<\/strong><br>Wearing running shorts or hiking bare-chested is not appropriate. Knee-length walking shorts are fine for men. <br><br><strong>Dress Code for Entry to Dzongs<\/strong><br>You will not be allowed inside a Bhutanese dzong (a building that contains government offices as well as religious offices) unless you are wearing appropriate dress. Both men and women must wear a long-sleeved collared shirt, full-length pant or skirt, and shoes with socks. You will not be allowed to enter wearing a hat, shorts, short skirts, slippers, flip-flops, or casual t-shirts. We recommend keeping a lightweight collared shirt (does not have to be a button-up, a polo shirt is OK) in your daypack. When entering the dzong you might be asked to remove your shoes. <br><br><strong>Fabrics<\/strong><br>Synthetics insulate and keep you warm even when they are damp. Polypropylene, Capilene, fleece, and other synthetic fabrics are excellent insulators and are far lighter than wool; they also have the added benefit of drying quickly. Avoid cotton clothing for hiking. Cotton is not a good insulator, especially as a first layer next to the skin. Once it gets wet from perspiration, it stays wet and keeps you cold. Cotton is fine for city wear and touring. <br><br><strong>Shell Clothing<\/strong><br>Your waterproof jacket and waterproof pants are essential to protect you from rain and wind. Gore-Tex and equivalent fabrics are waterproof and breathable, so they are the best choice. Your waterproof jacket and pants should be roomy enough to fit over other layers of clothing. <br><br>The clothing list below is provided as a guideline only. Please try to keep your clothing and gear to a minimum: <br><br><ul><li>Hiking pants. Synthetic hiking pants are a practical choice. Jeans are not suitable because they are made of dense cotton.<\/li><li>Sturdy hiking shorts, modest and knee-length<\/li><li>Long-sleeved shirts. Quick-drying &#8220;travel&#8221; fabrics like nylon are ideal.<\/li><li>T-shirts (synthetics are best)<\/li><li>Full or half sleeve collared shirt (for dzong and monastery visits)<\/li><li>Fleece sweater<\/li><li>Gore-Tex waterproof jacket with a hood. A poncho is not adequate.<\/li><li>Gore-Tex waterproof pants (preferably with leg zippers so they can be taken off without removing your boots)<\/li><li>Shade hat with a wide brim<\/li><li>Medium-weight waterproof hiking boots<\/li><li>Running shoes, Tevas, or other comfortable shoes for city wear<\/li><li>Hiking socks. Thorlo hiking socks (moisture-wicking synthetic with padded toes and heels) are excellent, as are SmartWool.<\/li><li>Casual socks for city wear<\/li><li>Underwear; synthetics dry faster<\/li><li>Sleepwear<\/li><li>Casual city\/hotel attire<\/li><li>Bathing suit for hotel pools (where available)<\/li><\/ul>","Custom_Hiking_Boots":"","Custom_Equipment":"<ul><li>Good quality sunglasses<\/li><li>Reusable water bottle<\/li><li>Personal toiletries, biodegradable soap (toiletries are provided at many hotels, but may not be available at all of them)<\/li><li>Toilet paper is available, but Kleenex packets are handy to carry<\/li><\/ul>","Custom_Personal_First_Aid":"Every trip member must bring a small kit for personal use. Your own experience will influence your choices.<br><br><ul><li>Sunscreen SPF 30 or higher. We recommend mineral-based sunscreens with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide because they do not contain harsh chemicals that are harmful to the environment. Brands such as Honest Company, Badger, and Alba Botanica are found in most sporting goods stores and drugstores.<\/li><li>Lip balm with sunscreen<\/li><li>Aspirin, ibuprofen, or Tylenol for muscle pain or headaches, Tylenol PM for sleep<\/li><li>Topical antibiotic (such as Neosporin) for cuts, bites, or sores<\/li><li>Insect repellent<\/li><li>Blister kit. Look for the long-lasting gel-type bandages that you can apply directly on blisters, such as Band-Aid Advanced Healing Bandages or Curad Gel Multi-Day Bandages. &#8220;Liquid band-aids,&#8221; such as New-Skin, are useful because they dry rapidly to form a tough protective cover over a blister.<\/li><li>Anti-bacterial gel for hand washing<\/li><li>Antihistamine such as Benadryl<\/li><li>Decongestant (daytime and nighttime types) for colds, sinus headaches<\/li><li>Cough drops (for dry throat caused by altitude)<\/li><li>Pepto-Bismol tablets for heartburn, diarrhea<\/li><li>Imodium for diarrhea. If you wish to bring an antibiotic for diarrhea prophylaxis, please consult your physician.<\/li><li>Prescription medications properly labeled<\/li><li>Spare contact lenses or a spare pair of prescription glasses<\/li><li><em>Optional<\/em>: Diamox for altitude acclimatization. See the \"Altitude Considerations\" Section of this Pre-Departure Information Booklet.<\/li><\/ul>","Custom_Optional_Items":"<ul><li>Converter\/plug adapter<\/li><li>Camera, including spare camera batteries and memory cards<\/li><li>Collapsible hiking poles. Hiking poles, such as those by Leki and REI, help to distribute your body weight, taking pressure off your knees and improving your overall balance. Many hikers like using one pole, while others prefer two.<\/li><li>Umbrella for sun and rain protection<\/li><li>Bandanas (good for protecting your neck from the sun and for use as a handkerchief)<\/li><li>Binoculars (small, lightweight)<\/li><li>Reading\/writing material<\/li><li>Your favorite between-meal snacks, such as trail mix or energy bars<\/li><li>Kleenex packets<\/li><li>Travel clock<\/li><li>Money belt or neck pouch<\/li><\/ul>","Custom_Prohibited_Items":"<ul><li>Please do not bring e-cigarettes (vaporizers), including e-cigarette refills. The countries of Thailand, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Singapore, and Vietnam have all outlawed the import and export of e-cigarettes (vaporizers), including e-cigarette refills. Travelers found with these items could be fined or sent to prison for up to 10 years if convicted. This applies for transit through the countries as well as entry into them.<\/li><li>Satellite phones are no longer allowed to be brought into India. This also applies to travelers who are just transiting through India on the way to\/from their actual trip. If you bring a satellite phone to India, it will be confiscated and you could be subject to serious penalties, including arrest. Please double-check entry requirements on your own before traveling.<\/li><\/ul>","Custom_When_to_Go":"","Custom_Children":"","Custom_Tag_Line":"<meta charset=\"utf-8\"\/><body>Active Adventure and Masked Dance Festival in the World's Last Shangri La<\/body>","Custom_Lodging":"7 nights lodges, 4 nights hotels","Custom_Meals":"All meals included","Custom_Difficulty":"7 hiking days on moderate trails, 2-6 hours a day, altitudes between 4,100-12,900 feet","Custom_Currency_Exchange_Rate":"","Custom_Travel_Insurance":"","Custom_Fuel_Surcharge":"","Custom_Signing_Up_For_a_Trip_-_Email":"","Custom_Optional_Hotel_Upgrades_-_This_Year":"","Custom_Optional_Hotel_Upgrades_-_Next_Year":"","Custom_Trip_Cost_Misc_Header":"","Custom_Trip_Cost_Misc_Text":"","Custom_What_the_Trip_is_Like":"This trip is<strong> Level 3+, Moderate<\/strong>, according to our trip rating system. There are hikes on 7 days, ranging in length from 2 to 6 hours. The hikes are moderate and suitable for people in good shape who enjoy mountain hiking. Although you carry only a daypack, there are some steep ascents and descents, and the hikes are at moderate altitude, which can make them feel strenuous. Please note that travel times vary depending upon local conditions, and the itinerary may change while you are in Bhutan due to government regulations and local climate conditions.","Custom_Terrain":"","Custom_Getting_in_Shape":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-06-08T13:07:30 --><p>For your own enjoyment, we recommend you make a special effort to be in good physical condition for the journey by hiking, running, swimming, bicycling, or engaging in other forms of aerobic exercise well beyond your normal routine. Walking up and down flights of stairs is also an effective way to train for the steep ascents and descents in the Himalaya. Weekend hikes that involve long sections of uphill and downhill walking are great for conditioning your legs.<\/p>","Custom_Weather":"Bhutan is known to have the most unpredictable weather in the Himalaya, so it is best to be prepared for a range of conditions. During spring (mid-March to early June) in the Thimphu and Paro regions, daytime temperatures range from 65\u00b0F to 85\u00b0F but colder spells are not unusual. The autumn season arrives in September and lasts until mid-November. At this time, skies tend to be clearer and temperatures lower, sometimes falling to below freezing at night. At altitudes of 8,000 to 10,000 feet (as in Bumthang), daytime temperatures range in the 50s and 60s with nights dropping to the 40s. Clouds often form in the afternoons, disappearing at night to reveal brilliantly starry skies. At altitudes above 10,000 feet, daytime temperatures can be in the 60s but as low as the 30s and 40s if it is windy. Evening temperatures at these higher altitudes often drop to around 15\u00b0F and sometimes lower. Rain and snow are not uncommon at any time of year making waterproof rain gear a necessity for Bhutan.","Custom_Accommodations":"<meta charset=\"utf-8\"\/><body><p>Our accommodations in Bhutan range from rustic to very comfortable. The hotels in Paro and Thimphu offer a great deal of comfort, while the lodges in Punakha, the Phobjikha Valley, and Bumthang are rustic, but well-situated and cozy. Most rooms are twin-bedded.<\/p><\/body>","Custom_Cuisine":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-06-08T13:08:58 --><p>At most guesthouses, simple buffets are provided at lunch and dinner. Bhutan&apos;s cuisine is generally based on basic rice with stir-fry and stew options.<\/p>","Custom_Transportation":"","Custom_What_the_Trip_is_Like_-_Header_1":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-04-06T16:14:30 --><p>INTERNAL FLIGHTS<\/p>","Custom_What_the_Trip_is_Like_-_Text_1":"","Custom_What_the_Trip_is_Like_-_Header_2":"","Custom_What_the_Trip_is_Like_-_Text_2":"","Custom_Trip_Level_Note_1":"","Custom_Trip_Level_Note_2":"","System_Choosing_the_Right_Trip":"<p>Adventure travel often involves exotic destinations, unusual levels of physical exertion, or activities you may not have participated in previously. We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please call Wilderness Travel at 1-800-368-2794 or email us at <a href=\"mailto:\/\/info@wildernesstravel.com\">info@wildernesstravel.com<\/a>.<\/p>","System_References":"<p>We&rsquo;d be happy to put you in touch with a past client that has traveled with us.<\/p>","System_Visit_Our_Website":"<p>At <a href=\"https:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/\">www.wildernesstravel.com<\/a>, you can book your trip online or find out about added departures, last-minute deals, and one-time Limited Edition adventures that aren&rsquo;t listed in our catalog. You can also access our complete library of detailed itineraries filled with enticing photos and videos, read bios of our Trip Leaders, find descriptions of trip accommodations, and check real-time availability of any trips that interest you.<\/p>","System_Helpful_Links":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-01-27T07:52:03 --><p>Wilderness Travel has compiled a list of useful websites for travelers. Find the Toucan Club tab on the home page of our website and choose Helpful Links: <a href=\"http:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/ toucan\/links\">www.wildernesstravel.com\/ toucan\/links<\/a>.<\/p>","System_About_New_Trips":"This is a new adventure and one that we are particularly excited about offering. However, as with all new departures, flexibility and a spirit of adventure are always appreciated! Activities are described in the itinerary but they can vary, sometimes considerably, depending on weather conditions, the group, and other factors.","System_About_Private_Journeys":"<p>Wilderness Travel Private Journeys are designed for people who want to travel with their own small private group, but who still want to experience the same superb itinerary design, great accommodations, and signature quality of Wilderness Travel's escorted group trips. These Private Journeys allow you to choose your own dates and your traveling companions&mdash;and enjoy the WT touch on all aspects of the journey.<\/p>","System_Limited_Edition_Adventures":"This is a Limited Edition adventure&mdash;which means a unique trip we've never run before or offer only every few years. Led by our most experienced Trip Leaders, these journeys often take place in remote destinations with only the most basic infrastructure for tourism. If you see a Limited Edition trip scheduled for this year, now is the time to sign up, as spaces fill very early and the trip may not be back for a while! Planned daily activities and actual timings may vary due to local conditions or the discretion of your Trip Leader&mdash;it is important to bring your spirit of adventure for these special exploratory journeys!","System_Social_Media":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:33:43 --><p><strong>SOCIAL MEDIA:<\/strong> We invite you to share your adventure with us on social media. Tag @wildernesstravel and we may even feature your content on our pages!<\/p>","System_If_You_Miss_Your_Flight":"<p><strong>IF YOU MISS YOUR FLIGHT<\/strong><br>If you miss your flight or are otherwise delayed, contact our Wilderness Travel office, as well as our local partners, with your new flight information. Refer to the Emergency Contact Information listed in this Final Bulletin.<\/p>","System_Valid_Passport":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-06-16T10:26:21 --><p><strong>VALID PASSPORT:<\/strong> Check that your passport is valid for at least six months from the last day of your trip, and that you have at least two blank pages for any necessary visa or entry and exit stamps.<\/p>","System_Insurance_Policy":"<p><strong>INSURANCE POLICY:<\/strong> If you have purchased the Travelex Travel Protection Plan, you should have received an email confirmation of your policy. Please bring a digital or printed copy of this policy with you. If you cannot find your email confirmation, please contact Travelex's Customer Solutions team at 844-877-1885 or e-mail customersolutions@travelexinsurance.com. If you have not purchased Travelex insurance already, you have the option to do so up to 24 hours prior to your departure.<\/p>","System_Covid-19_Travel_Requirements":"<p><strong>PRE-DEPARTURE INFORMATION<\/strong><strong>: <\/strong>Please review your Pre-Departure Information booklet included in this packet for important information regarding Wilderness Travel's COVID-19 protocols, packing lists, recommended reading, tipping, etc.<\/p>","System_Wilderness_Travel_Office":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:38:07 --><p>Our office in Berkeley, California can be reached at 510-558-2488, or by email at info@wildernesstravel.com. We are available during regular business hours (M-F, 8:30 am-5:00 pm, PST). <\/p>","System_ECI_Travel_Insurance":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:38:31 --><p>If you have purchased the Travelex Travel Protection Plan through Wilderness Travel, please remember to bring your Confirmation of Coverages (COC) with you on the trip, including your Plan Number and important emergency contact information.<\/p><p>If you've purchased a travel protection plan on your own, we recommend that you bring a copy of your policy, including all coverages, with you on your trip.<\/p>","System_Face_Masks_and_Hand_Sanitizer":"","System_DidNotPurchase_Insurance":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-02-28T12:27:44 --><p>Travel Insurance: We recommend that you purchase travel insurance for this trip. For your convenience, we offer Travelex travel protection. Please let us know if you would like us to add the Travelex Travel Protection Plan to this final invoice. You can learn more about the policy on our <a href=\"https:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/toucan\/travel-insurance\">website<\/a>.<\/p>","System_Purchased_Insurance":"Please remember to bring a copy of your Travelex Confirmation of Coverage and State Specific Policy with you on your trip. You should have received an email directly from Travelex with these documents. If you need this email to be re-sent, please contact Travelex's Customer Solutions team at 844-877-1885 or e-mail customersolutions@travelexinsurance.com. <br><br><br>","System_COVID-19":"The Public Health Emergency for COVID-19 declared by the World Health Organization and the US Department of Health and Human Services expired in 2023. As of March 2024, we no longer require guests who exhibit cold or flu symptoms to test for COVID-19. Guests who test positive for COVID-19 will be required to follow local health protocols, wear a mask in group vehicles and during indoor activities for the remainder of the trip, and may be asked to dine separately. Any travel companion sharing a room with them will also be required to wear a mask at all times in the shared group vehicles for the remainder of the trip.<br><br>We encourage all travelers to actively monitor their own well-being and to use common-sense preventative measures such as regular handwashing (or use of hand sanitizer) and\/or wearing a face mask. If you are feeling sick, we encourage you to self-isolate and\/or wear a mask to protect your fellow travelers. Guests may be required to wear a mask if the Trip Leader believes the situation warrants it.<br><br>Leading up to the trip, we encourage you to do everything possible to stay healthy, including avoiding close contact with anyone displaying cold or flu symptoms and washing your hands often. As always, by traveling with Wilderness Travel, guests agree to be accountable for their own well-being. If you are worried about a fellow traveler's cold or flu-like symptoms, you may opt to wear a mask or distance yourself as needed. It's important to remember that there are inherent risks associated with travel and group settings.<br><br>These protocols will be reviewed and adjusted as guidance evolves. <br><br>","System_Photography":"<strong>Camera Recommendations<\/strong><br>With the many advances in digital technology, a simple compact digital camera or even your smartphone is capable of taking pictures suitable for the needs of most people. For higher quality images and the ability to use long lenses for closer wildlife pictures, a DSLR camera is well worthwhile, though heavier. Most digital cameras and phones have good video options, but you may want to consider a GoPro for a lightweight, waterproof option. Always practice ahead of time with new equipment and bring your manual with you. You may want to consider renting camera equipment for your trip from places such as <a href=\"https:\/\/www.lensrentals.com\/\">lensrentals.com<\/a>. This is an especially good idea for renting large zoom lenses that you may need for just one trip. Adding their extra insurance fee to cover expensive equipment is recommended. <br><strong><br>Camera Accessories<\/strong><br>We recommend bringing at least two large capacity memory cards or a small digital storage unit (or tablet) to back up your photos, freeing space on your memory cards. Don't forget to bring a battery charger and a backup battery so one is always charged and ready to use. For trips where you may be away from power sources for multiple days, consider looking into a solar-powered battery charger or buying additional backup batteries, and check that you have the appropriate adapter for the electrical outlets in your destination.<br><strong><br>Sharing Your Images<\/strong><br>We would love for you to share photos from your trip, and with your permission, may even use your photos in our marketing materials or on our photo blog. We request that you send us a small sample of your best images. Please email your photos to wtphotoblog@gmail.com or tag us @WildernessTravel on social media.<br><strong><br>Photography Etiquette<\/strong><br>When taking pictures of local people, be aware of cultural considerations. Approaching people with a warm smile and using polite gestures or simple phrases to ask permission to photograph them usually works well. It is always recommended to engage people in conversation before asking to photograph them, but if people do not wish to have their photo taken, please honor their requests. We urge travelers to avoid giving money in exchange for photo opportunities, which makes it harder for future travelers to have a meaningful personal interaction with local people. Please always heed your Trip Leader's guidelines for what is appropriate. ","System_Gear_Store":"To help you prepare for your next WT adventure, we've put together a great collection of top brands including Patagonia, Outdoor Research, Eagle Creek, and more at our WT Gear Store (<a href=\"https:\/\/wildernesstravel.newheadings.com\/\">wildernesstravel.newheadings.com<\/a>).","System_Questions?":"<p>Our Area Specialists are your single point of contact and would be happy to answer any questions about your trip!<br>800.368.2794 | 510.558.2488<\/p>","System_Pricing_Detail-Small_Group_Adventure":" <br><br>To offer the lowest possible cost, our trips are priced according to the number of participants on the trip. All costs are per person, based on double occupancy. If you wish to have a single room, you must pay the single supplement fee. Please note that Wilderness Travel staff, or guests of Wilderness Travel such as travel writers, photographers, or leaders-in-training, are not included in the tier pricing count.","System_Travel_Insurance":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-01-27T07:58:05 --><p>We highly recommend you purchase travel insurance. You can take advantage of a comprehensive Travel Protection Plan designed for Wilderness Travel by Travelex, or purchase other insurance on your own. See our website for details: <a href=\"http:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/insurance\">www.wildernesstravel.com\/insurance<\/a><\/p>","System_Make_it_Your_Trip":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:44:18 --><p>The prices above are for the ready-to-book adventure outlined in this Detailed Itinerary, a popular option that has been handcrafted by our Area Specialists to include the best of every destination. While many travelers choose to book this tour as is, our Area Specialists are also happy to work with you to customize this Private Journey to suit your specific interests and style of travel. We can arrange for longer or shorter stays, offer hotel upgrades (see below for sample costs), or add an extension to additional places of interest. We can even add special activities or customize excursions depending on your interests. We invite you to contact us to discuss your options!<\/p>","System_Signing_up_for_a_Trip":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:44:42 --><p>Early reservations are recommended since accommodations often sell out far in advance. Please call 1-800-368-2794 and ask for our [Africa Manager] or email us at [africa@ wildernesstravel.com] with any questions that you may have about this trip. To reserve your Private Journey, we will need to know your preferred dates of travel. We will then check availability and send you a proposed itinerary with exact pricing for your adventure. We can typically hold a provisional booking for one week. At that time, we must collect your initial deposit or accommodations will be released. We accept Visa, Mastercard, or American Express card. Upon receipt of your deposit, we will send you a Welcome Packet that includes a letter of confirmation, Detailed Itinerary, Trip Application, Medical Form, and Pre-Departure Information Booklet with information to help you prepare for your adventure. Please see our Cancellations and Transfer Fee Schedule for specific payment information.<\/p>","System_Trip_Leaders":"<p>Wilderness Travel Trip Leaders have a passion and a joy for creating an unforgettable journey. We are extremely proud of them and the incredible travel experiences they make possible. For more information, including client comments about them and which specific trips they will be leading, please visit <a href=\"https:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/leaders\/\">wildernesstravel.com\/leaders<\/a>.<\/p>"},"terms":{"PaymentSchedule":"<p>At time of reservation: $600<br>90 days prior to departure: Balance<\/p>","CancelSchedule":"<p>Up to 91 days prior to departure: No Charge!<br>61-90 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost<br>46-60 days prior to departure: 50% of trip cost<br>45 days or less: 100% of trip cost<br><\/p>"}}