Ride into the Heart of Bhutan (9 days 8 nights)

** All itineraries, including festivals, can be taken as a Motorcycle Touring journey. Contact us for more information **

Trip Overview

Zoom into the Heart of Bhutan on the back of a thundering two-wheeler. Journey along the mountains, valleys, hamlocks and farm fields of Western-Central Bhutan and experience the unique culture and spirituality of this spectacular country. Walk along the quietly bustling streets Thimphu, the beautiful secluded valleys of Punakha, Phobjikha and Haa; and up to the dizzying heights of the iconic Tiger’s Nest (Taktshang) Monastery.Be transported back in time to a country filled with fortress-like Dzongs, observe the making of world-class hand-woven Kira and Ghor, and traditional handicrafts. Walk into nature, explore and surround yourself in the abundantly rich Himalayan flora and fauna. Take a tip in the traditional Bhutanese hot stone bath and set your heart on fire with the spicy Bhutanese cuisine (they really love chillies)!

Trip Summary

Day 1&2 – Paro; Day 3 – Thimphu, Punakha; Day 4 – Bumthang; Day 5 – Ura, Bumthang; Day 6 – Trongsa; Day 7 – Phobjikha/Gangtey; Day 8 – Punakha, Paro, Day 9 – Paro.

Ride into the Heart of Bhutan Map
Ride into the Heart of Bhutan Map

Price

USD 2,335 (approx. AUD 3,970)

USD 2,322 (approx. AUD 3,947/pillion)

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Inclusions: accommodation, meals, motorcycle rental, museums and attractions fees, professional licensed guide, Bhutan visa processing fees, all administrative costs.

Exclusions: international airfares (contact us to arrange), USD 500 motorcycle security deposit (contact us for information), comprehensive travel insurance, tips and personal expenses.

Itinerary

Day 1 – Paro

Arrive into Paro, a beautiful valley encapsulating a rich vibrant culture, scenic beauty and plenty of myths and legends. Paro is home to many of Bhutan’s oldest temples and monasteries, the National Museum and the country’s only international airport. Mt. Jomolhari (7,314m) reigns in white glory at the northern end of the valley and its glacial water plunges through deep gorges to form Pa Chhu (Paro river). Paro is also one of the most fertile valley in the Kingdom producing a bulk of the locally famous red rice from its terraced fields. You’ll be picked up at the airport and checked into the hotel. After light refreshments, attend the safety briefing on your bikes and the riding itinerary for the next 9 days. Overnight in Paro.

Day 2 – Paro

Today you’ll hike up Bhutan’s most iconic and awe-inspiring Tiger’s Nest (Taktshang) Monastery. Perched seemingly perilously on the edge of a sheer cliff face, Taktshang is one of Bhutan’s most venerated pilgrimage sites. According to legend, Guru Rinpoche miraculously flew here on the back of a tigress, meditated in a cave here for three months and converted the whole of Paro valley to Buddhism. Resting at an altitude of 900 meters above the valley,  Taktshang is an architectural wonder and the spectacular four-hour walk will be sure to be one of your most overwhelming and unforgettable experiences. Relax after the hike with a soak in the traditional Bhutanese Hot Stone Bath. Overnight in Paro.

Day 3 – Thimphu, Punakha

Take an early morning ride to the capital city of Thimphu for some sight-seeing. Thimphu is the seat of government, religion and commerce in Bhutan. It’s a unique city with unusual mixture of modern development alongside ancient traditions. Thimphu was a wooded farming valley until 1961 when it became Bhutan’s official national capital. With an estimated population of 100,000 people, Thimphu has maintained a strong national character in its architectural style and culture. It is a city with no traffic lights  but be sure to look out for the rhythmic signals of the traffic cop! Continue East towards Punakha, past the stunning views at Dochula Pass. Overnight in Punakha.

Day 4 – Bumthang

Ride to Bumthang – the spiritual and geographic heart of Bhutan. Bumthang has an individuality that charms its visitors and separates it from other regions. Comprising of four smaller valleys namely Tang, Ura, Choekhor and Chumey, the deeply spiritual region of Bumthang is shrouded in religious legend. Bumthang is also the traditional home to the great Buddhist teacher Pema Linga to whose descendants the present dynasty traces its origin. Overnight in Bumthang.

Day 5 – Ura, Bumthang

Ride to Ura valley, a town known for the famous dance known as the Ura Yakchoe performed during a festival that is held every year in April/May, where a sacred and important relic is put on display for people to receive blessings. Legend tells of an old woman who sat outside her house and was approached by a lama for a drink of water.  When she came out with the water, the lama had vanished leaving behind only a sack containing a lone statue. The statue has been passed on from generation to generation by the descendants of the woman and is displayed during the annual Ura Yakchoe festival. Overnight in Bumthang.

Day 6 – Trongsa

Ride to the 16th century Trongsa (‘New Village’ in the local dialect), the old seat of power for the first two hereditary kings of Bhutan. Trongsa has its humble origins as a lone tshamkhang (small meditation room) built by Ngagi Wangchuck (1517–54), the great grand-father of the founder of Bhutan Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, after he discovered self-manifested hoof prints belonging to the horse of the protector deity, Pelden Lhamo in 1541. Retreats, temples and hermit residences soon grew up around the tshamkhang which became the modern Trongsa. Visit the imposing Trongsa Dzong and the Trongsa Royal Heritage Museum. Overnight in Trongsa.

Day 7 – Phobjikha/Gangtey

Ride to Punakha via the southern valleys of Gangtey/Phobjikha, home of the endangered Black Necked Cranes. The Gangtey/Phobjikha valley provides rich pastureland for cattle and the district is also famous for its fine bamboo products, slate and stone carvings. Overnight in Punakha.

Day 8 – Punakha, Paro

Sightseeing in Punakha, the old capital of Bhutan situated in a gorgeous valley at the meeting point of Mo Chhu (Mother River) and Pho Chhu (Father River). At the river junction you will see arguably the most impressive and beautiful Dzong in Bhutan – the Punakha Dzong. Punakha served as Bhutan’s capital for over 300 years before it was moved to Thimphu. The low altitude of the Punakha valley allows two rice crops a year, and oranges and bananas are in abundance. Punakha also has one of the most famous festivals in the country, the springtime Punakha Domchoe, dedicated to the protector deity Yeshe Goenpo (Mahakala). Ride to and overnight in Paro.

Day 9 – Paro

After breakfast, you’ll be transported to Paro International Airport for your onward journey.