“Feel truly alive on this bike ride through some of the world’s most incredible landscapes!”
Bicycles and Bhutan are a perfect fit. The tiny remote mystical Kingdom of Bhutan is probably the most culturally rich of all the Himalayan Kingdoms and is one of the most inaccessible. Tucked away at the eastern end of the mighty Himalayas, the Land of the Thunder Dragon is a wonderful place for a bike trip with well-paved roads, verdant forests, glacial rivers, and breathtaking mountain scenery. Your adventures will take you from Paro in the west to Punakha, the erstwhile capital of Bhutan. Visit the remote Haa Valley and the current capital, Thimphu. Crossing several passes over 3000m, you will enjoy breathtaking panoramas of the Himalaya. Between rides, visit Punakha Dzong and if you are lucky, see one of the masked dance festivals (on certain departures). There are plenty of long mountain climbs and exhilarating descents to fill your lungs with fresh mountain air and get your heart pumping!
All of the in-country guides are local people, who know the area so you know you will get the insider’s view as well as giving back to the local economy. The tour works with rural communities to encourage homestay based experiential travel with a focus on rural micro-entrepreneurship and skill development. It sets out to promote sustainable and responsible travel in alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals set out by the UN.
Fly into Paro. The flight will take you over the incredible Himalayas, offering some breathtaking views of the world’s highest peaks. As you enter the Paro Valley, you catch glimpses of the Paro Dzong fortress overlooking the river. Above it stands the Ta Dzong, formerly a fortress and now the National Museum. From the airport, take a transfer to your first homestay and settle in.
Begin your day well rested from your travels. Fuel up on a delicious breakfast and head out for adventure! From the road point, you will begin your hike. The path is well-maintained but steep and the walk will take 3-4 hours. Climb through pine forest, amongst trees adorned with tendrils of Spanish moss. Occasionally pass through a peaceful grove of fluttering prayer flags. This incredible monastery clings to the edge of a sheer rock face that plunges 900 meters to the valley below. Legend has it that Guru Padmasambhava, the tantric mystic who brought Buddhism to Bhutan in 747 AD, flew here on the back of a flying tiger Dorji Drolo, said to be his consort.
After breakfast, begin your journey on bike to the Haa Valley. This is one of the most picturesque districts in the already beguiling country. Reached via the Chelela Pass, the Haa Valley is characteriszed by its surrounding rugged mountain terrain. From the pass, you will have incredible vistas of the Himalayas and the sacred mountain Jomolhari. Enjoy a packed lunch here to refuel your body and take a moment to breathe the fresh, pure air. After lunch, head downhill towards Haa. Haa consists of five countries and was closed to the outside world until 2002. It is still hardly touched by much of the tourism which has ravaged so much natural landscape. In Haa, you will visit Wangchuck Dzong, Lhakhang Nakpo (the Black Temple), and Lhakhang Karpo (the White Temple). You will stay the night at the Heritage Hotel in Haa.
Today, you will begin your journey toward Thimpu, the capital of Bhutan. This is a beautiful ride, relatively free of traffic. The road will take you back to Chuzom (the river confluence), where you will see the three shrines in Nepali, Tibetan, and Bhutanese style, built to ward off evil spirits. You will also pass Dobji Dzong, an ancient prison and now home to a monastery. Quaint villages dot the hillsides for the rest of the journey to Thimphu. You will overnight in a homestay in Thimphu.
The road to Punakha begins with a 22 km ride, which will take you up 670 m to the Dochula Pass. The hillsides here are enveloped in verdant temperate forest of rhododendron and magnolia, amongst which wander deer and monkeys. Stop for lunch at Dochula, where, on a clear day you can enjoy panoramas of the Himalayas. From here, head downhill into the Punakha Valley. This ride will take your breath away as you glide through lush forest. Stay overnight at a farm stay in Punakha.
Today will begin with a chance to see Punakha and get to know a little more about the culture of the country you are exploring. Visit the famous Punakha Dzong, built in 1637 by Shabdrung, the “Unifier of Bhutan”. Situated at the confluence of the Mo Chu and Pho Chu (Mother and Father rivers), it is the winter residence of the Je Khenpo and hundreds of monks who move en masse from Thimphu in the colder months. The three-story main temple of the Punakha Dzong is a breathtaking example of traditional architecture with four intricately embossed entrance pillars crafted from cypress and decorated in gold and silver. You will take an uphill drive out of Haa, towards Thimphu. Lunch at Dochula, take an hour for some rest and pictures around the Dochula pass. Cycle down to Thimphu valley and move towards Paro Valley. Overnight at Paro.
Catch your flight from Paro to head home or continue on more adventures!
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- 5% GST
- Entrance fee to all monuments
- Dedicated Trek bicycle for every individual
- Mechanic and cycling buddy to lead the group
- SUV and backup vehicle
- All meals
- Air/Land fares
- Incidental charges