There’s no better way to truly comprehend Bhutan’s remoteness than a trek through the country’s incredible countryside. Under the care of an expert trek guide you’ll journey through green forests, past ancient dzongs and up to mountain lakes with spectacular views of the Himalayan peaks. Bhutan offers some of the most spectacular trekking trails in the world, with routes suitable for all levels. Whether you seek an easy two-day trek through Punakha, the ancient capital of Bhutan, or an expedition into the wilderness on the Snowman Trek, we can organise the right experience for you.
Precariously perched on the side of a cliff face, the Taktsang Monastery is steeped in legend. Nicknamed the Tiger’s Nest, it’s here that Guru Rinpoche is said to have arrived on the back of a flying tiger and brought Buddhism to Bhutan through three months of meditation in a cave within the cliff face. Today’s travellers can visit the cave, but at 10,000 feet, the trip to the monastery is considerably more difficult for those without flying tigers. The two hour walk up is steep but well worth the effort to behold this most sacred of religious sites and the incredible views over the valley below.
During centuries of isolation, Bhutan developed an architecture not found elsewhere in the world except in some areas of Tibet. The imposing dzong buildings, with their painted white stone and flared roofs in red and gold, are truly a unique sight. These buildings were first built as fortresses and therefore are often found at high vantage points with spectacular views. Be sure to visit the Punakha Dzong, arguably the most impressive of all dzong architecture. This majestic structure is a beautiful sight and a must for any Bhutan itinerary.
Festivals, locally known as Tshechu, are colourful affairs, where people dressed in bright clothing and traditional masks tell age-old stories through energetic dance. During the proceedings a gigantic Thangkha, a cotton or silk applique often depicting a Buddhist deity, is unfurled, an item so sacred it's believed that to simply look upon it is to be washed of sin. Join the many locals for a day of feasting and dancing and to receive blessings at one of these hugely popular events.
Tipping isn’t compulsory in Bhutan, although it’s becoming increasingly common. Many tourists leave small change to show appreciation for good service. If you choose to take a tour, it’s appropriate to tip your guides and driver.
We recommend that you get vaccinated against Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Typhoid and Polio prior to departure, and that you take malaria tablets while visiting rural areas. All travellers should also be up-to-date with routine vaccinations.
Drinking tap water in Bhutan should be avoided but you’ll find bottled mineral water readily available. Also be aware that many of Bhutan’s sights are situated at high altitude and you are likely to experience mild altitude sickness for a short period. If you suffer from high blood pressure or a heart condition, consult your doctor before travelling.
You will need a passport and visa to enter and exit Bhutan. Keep a photocopy of your passport visa pages and flight ticket separate from the originals when travelling.
All visas are approved from Thimphu and are only issued to tourists booked with a local licensed tour operator, either directly or through a foreign travel agent. Applications for tourist visas are submitted by the tour operator.
Bhutan’s official currency is Ngultrum. You can exchange major currencies like the UK Pound, US Dollars, Euros and Indian Rupees at Paro Airport, most banks and large hotels.
We recommend that you bring travellers cheques (preferably in US Dollars) or cash to be exchanged on arrival. Although there are ATMs in Bhutan, these generally only operate for Bhutanese banks and will not accept foreign bankcards. Credit cards are generally accepted only at large hotels and major handicraft stores.