Bhutan walking tour

“An eleven day cultural holiday with some beautiful hikes added to the mix. A tailor made itinerary travelling with a local guide, and staying at hotels along the way. ”


Paro | Thimpu | Hike to Cheri Monastery | Hike to Tashigang Goenpa | Punakha Dzong | Wangduephodrang | Phobjikha Valley | Black necked cranes | Gangtey Gompa | Hike across Kayche La | Taktsang Monastery

Description of Bhutan walking tour

This Bhutan walking tour is a tailor made, eleven day itinerary which can, of course, be adapted to suit your interests and needs. But if having the option to arrive at some of Bhutan’s most splendid cultural sites on foot rather than by vehicle appeals, then this Bhutan walking holiday will certainly do the trick. Walking rather than full on trekking and wild camping, this trip is for visitors who love to walk but perhaps not all day every day, and also enjoy the comfort of hotels.

The reason why walking holidays in Bhutan are such a wonderful way to discover the country is mainly because some of its isolated regions, remote monasteries and villages are only accessible on foot. You will, therefore, also be walking in the footsteps of ancient pilgrims or traders and in many places will feel as if you have walked back in time, exploring the wonders of the country’s splendid Paro, Punakha, Thimphu and Phobjikha Valleys.

Highlights of this trip include hiking in the Phobjikha Valley, famous for being home to the black-necked crane between the months of November to March, trekking up to the stunning Taktshang Monastery, perched on a 900m high cliff, and also walking up to 18th century Lungchotse Lhakhang. From here, you will have earned a view over the Bhutan Himalayas.

As well as the bigger pictures of the Himalayas, you will also get a chance to see every day life in Bhutan, visiting small villages, farms, having a cooking lesson or taking part in a Buddhist meditation. Because this walking holiday is not only about taking steps through Bhutan’s stunning landscapes, but also into its everyday life and precious culture.

Travel Team

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

My promise to sustain my environment:
Environment has always been our major concern. We try our best to implement the policy of environmental conservation on every service and tour. Our main direction is to provide first class adventure and holiday experience in Bhutan.
We have also conducted various plantation and river cleansing campaigns, in order to contribute to environmental conservation.
Explanations are given during any trekking tours of how to conserve scarce fuel resources, as well as reducing litter & waste production (for example by not ordering numerous different items from trekking lodge menus, and by treating water rather than buying numerous mineral water bottles).
We have recycling information booklets we provide to every client on arrival wherever possible. We do not produce a glossy brochure, concentrating on a comprehensive website, and providing as much information to our travelers as possible electronically, reducing the use of paper and inks.
In the field, guides, porters and clients are all oriented in responsible travel. A zero litter policy is in place so that it minimizes wastage in the region.

The Impacts of this Trip

Our Company operate as such that the journeys ensure benefits to the local people and their surrounding as much as possible and any potential negative impacts at the destinations are minimized. We are dedicated to giving something back to the local community.
We understand and appreciate the hard work the guides and porters perform. Therefore we treat and obey the following Guide and Porter Policy to ensure the conditions for our guides and porters are of a humane standard. We work towards eliminating avoidable illness, injury and death.
All our staff are from local communities. Our guides are English speaking and have years of experience as they live locally. Each guide comes fully equipped and supported by us, having obtained the training in the related tourism sectors including Department of Tourism, Guide Association of Bhutan and Association of Bhutanese Tour Operators.
We also organize a small donation foundation where the travelers can also help the locals by supporting one student by giving educational materials such as pencils, crayons, books and paper etc.


2 Reviews of Bhutan walking tour

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 02 Jan 2020 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Trekking was fantastic, very quiet, we went in November (the iconic Tiger's Nest Monastery was busy). The scenery, climate, remote unspoilt nature and culture of Bhutan was fantastic. It was perfect going to places/monasteries that were only accessible on foot as it meant that there were no large groups there. You can easily trek for hours and meet nobody except a few yak hearders. On the roads we saw fairly large buses full of tourists but they appeared to only go to the main attractions en masse. It was perfect going as a couple as it was super flexible on where you went and how long you spent at a particular site. The guide and driver were absolutely excellent. I highly recommend this operator which the holiday was booked through (via Responsible Travel). Highly recommend hot stone bath but don't go to a fancy spa. We went to a farm at night and it was good fun seeing the stars whilst in a wooden bath. Final highlight was the landing and take off at Paro airport, not for the faint hearted! We had crystal clear views of Everest on the way back to Delhi. Highly recommend tracking down the local archery arena. We went in Thimpu and it was fascinating to watch, it's their national sport.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

If accommodation is important to you then upgrade and ask specifically which accommodation you will be allocated prior to confirming the booking so that you can check it out in advance. We stayed in four different hotels over 10 night. With hindsight we wished we had camped. The quality was highly variable, two hotels were very good, two weren't. The food was highly repetitive, catering for "foreign tourists" and only just palatable in some cases. We are well travelled and not fussy eaters. Ask your guide/driver to take you out of the hotel to eat at local restaurants, we did and it was much better. They are free to do this, so unless very eat outside of the hotel. Probably stating the obvious but best to leave as early as possible for Tiger's Nest Monastery, it does get busy. Ask your guide to visit the two other monasteries that are further up the mountain...nobody there and views are spectacular. Go in November, weather was perfect and we saw the first black-necked cranes arriving in the Phobjikha Valley. You need to be relatively fit to enjoy this trek as there are some super steep inclines and you can be trekking uphill for a few hours. We saw a lot of people not on trekking holidays really struggling at Tiger's Nest. We spent virtually no money so be aware that whilst the initial cost seems high that's basically it. Exchanging cash is easy and is only really needed for the tips at the end but drivers/guides are happy to accept any currency. ATMs virtually non-existent. Bring ear barking in some places is from dusk to dawn. Locals call them "solar dogs" as they sleep in the sun during the day and go wild at night. If you suffer from motion/car sickness then take some medication with you. The surfaces of the roads are ok but because Bhutan is so mountainous you can be on extremely high, winding roads with no safety barriers for a few hours at a time. Try the sweetcorn they sell at the side of the roads. Take everything you need such as sun lotion with you. There are no shops as such other than some selling tourist stuff in the larger towns. Go with an open mind and remember that Bhutan is very much a developing country. Allow at least 2 hours to get through immigration if travelling via Delhi, queues were horrendous at peak times.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes tourism is the biggest earner after exporting hydropower but there isn't a great deal to buy and as the food is included then really it was only the hotels and tour operator that directly benefitted. However, there is a tourist tax as part of the daily rate and that goes to support education, healthcare etc. Our guide and driver were meticulous about picking up any litter they came across on the treks (not that there was much) so it is in the national psyche to keep Bhutan unspoilt. Unfortunately water was always supplied in plastic bottles. Unfortunately, the carbon footprint of this holiday is super high due to the flights and using cars to transport small groups around.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Excellent, dropped a star on the rating because the accommodation was very variable (but always clean and with functioning facilities). We are considering going back to another area of Bhutan but camping rather than staying in hotels and would use Responsible Travel again. One point for improvement would be that there is no additional travel information supplied other that what is on the website. Some more detail on the basics such as the logistics, currency etc would be useful.

Reviewed on 27 Apr 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Walking to Tigers Nest Monastery and feeling truly involved in the customs and beliefs of the Bhutanese people.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Do some light reading on Buddhism before you go and be prepared for the long journeys by car, eg, music, etc

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Absolutely as we always ate in local restaurants, bought from local shops etc

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

The most extraordinary and special experience. The tour was seamlessly co-ordinated, informed and our tour operator had listened to my requests to upgrade my hotels in some areas.

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