Bhutan

The most exclusive and beautiful travel destination on the planet

When you enter Drukyul - Land of the Thunder Dragon - you will be one of the privileged few, stepping into the last true sanctuary on earth.

Explore a mystical land of ancient folk lores and traditions, where the everyday belief in dragons and demons compliments modern methods of protecting their carefully guarded culture and pristine environment.

Most importantly, your time in Bhutan offers you the rare chance to discover the secret, to the true meaning of happiness.

The true Shangri-La 


When Bhutan installed its first, and only, traffic light, it just took 24 hours before the decision was made to remove it. It did not bring happiness.

Sandwiched between the huge populace of India and China, this small Kingdom, the last Vajrayana Buddhist country in the world, are the leaders in social, economic and environmental reforms.

Measuring thier country’s success in Gross National Happiness means every action is carefully considered on how it effects the people, their culture, spirituality and the environment.

Democracy has been mandated into the constitution by the King. Schooling and medical is free to every resident. Smoking and tobacco products are banned.

Mountains, rivers and forests are recognised as the home of the gods. To protect their homes, it has been mandated that a minimum of 60% of the land must remain forested for all time. Hunting and fishing in the deep ravines and heavily timbered woodlands is only allowed for catch and release and it is forbidden to climb the high peaks

The people hold a strong belief in rebirth and karma which guides their spirituality and hospitality.  Originally heavily influenced by Tibet, over the centuries Bhutan has created it’s own intriguing spiritual practises and rituals.  

Throughout the land there is a myriad of temples, chortens and lhakhangs - the house of gods - and every district has an architectuarly spectacular Dzong, a mixture of fort and monastery.  

We offer you more than just another pleasant, guided tour.  We provide you with the opportunities to peer behind the tourist veil and absorb some of the ancient knowledge that has been closely guarded by the Bhutanese for so long.

Quick Facts

Capital

Thimpu

Main Language

Dzongkha

Currency

Ngultrum

Area

38,394 km2

Population

785,653

Climate

Sub tropical to alpine 

Main Religions

75% Tibetan Buddhist, 21% Hindu

The true Shangri-La


When Bhutan installed its first, and only, traffic light, it just took 24 hours before the decision was made to remove it. It did not bring happiness.

Sandwiched between the huge populace of India and China, this small Kingdom, the last Vajrayana Buddhist country in the world, are the leaders in social, economic and environmental reforms.

Measuring thier country’s success in Gross National Happiness means every action is carefully considered on how it effects the people, their culture, spirituality and the environment.

Democracy has been mandated into the constitution by the King. Schooling and medical is free to every resident. Smoking and tobacco products are banned.

Mountains, rivers and forests are recognised as the home of the gods. To protect their homes, it has been mandated that a minimum of 60% of the land must remain forested for all time. Hunting and fishing in the deep ravines and heavily timbered woodlands is only allowed for catch and release and it is forbidden to climb the high peaks

The people hold a strong belief in rebirth and karma which guides their spirituality and hospitality.  Originally heavily influenced by Tibet, over the centuries Bhutan has created it’s own intriguing spiritual practises and rituals.  

Throughout the land there is a myriad of temples, chortens and lhakhangs - the house of gods - and every district has an architectuarly spectacular Dzong, a mixture of fort and monastery.  

We offer you more than just another pleasant, guided tour.  We provide you with the opportunities to peer behind the tourist veil and absorb some of the ancient knowledge that has been closely guarded by the Bhutanese for so long.

Bhutan at a glance

Capital

Thimpu

Main Language

Dzongkha

Currency

Ngultrum

Area

38,394 km2

Population

785,653

Main Religions

75% Tibetan Buddhist
21% Hindu

Climate

Sub tropical to alpine

Around every corner you will find a new adventure


  • Trekking in spectacular, pristine environments, without the crowds of tourists that wander around the other Himalayan countries
  • Discovering what true luxury is in one of Bhutan’s high-end lodges, listed amongst the most exclusive in the world
  • Having the privilege to perform the traditional celebratory dance when your arrow eventually finds the mark over your competitor in archery
  • Learning exactly where your chilli tolerance lies, starting with breakfast
  • Sharing a traditional home cooked meal with the family in their peaceful Bhutanese farmhouse
  • Dancing with monks and joining the unfurling of a giant thankga at one of the  spectacular Tshecu festivals
  • Surrendering to the soothing benefits of a ‘hot stone bath’ with medicinal herbs, all under the open sky.
  • Seeing the incredibly rare, black necked cranes circle Gangtey monastery 3 times, as they arrive for their winter hibernation
  • Uncovering why in such a reserved country, phallus symbols adorn the entrance to houses
  • Exploring the architecturally spectacular Dzongs and being invited to join the monks in prayer

Travel Bhutan your way


When you travel on any of our awe-inspiring Bhutanese group departures, you will be joining other like minded adventurers.

We keep group numbers small to make it easier for you to move around, interact and free up time for those wonderful unsuspected opportunities that allow you to enjoy a truly personal experience.

All you have to do is book and pack, the rest has been taken care of.

Let's get together and handcraft your dream Tibetan adventure, whether for yourself or your tribe.

Whether you know exactly what you want or would like us to point you in the right direction, we will make sure that you depart on the dates you choose, can travel the way you feel comfortable and get to experience the places that truely excite you.

We will support you the entire way, from your first enquiry at home to your local guides in the streets or mountains.

All our Himalayan journeys, group or personalised, are sustainable and unique experiences, designed to fully immerse you in the local culture, invigorate your senses and ignite your creativity.

Let us know where your passion lies so we can help you experience the Himalayas from the inside.

Travel Bhutan your way


When you travel on any of our awe-inspiring Bhutanese group departures, you will be joining other like minded adventurers.

We keep group numbers small to make it easier for you to move around, interact and free up time for those wonderful unsuspected opportunities that allow you to enjoy a truly personal experience.

All you have to do is book and pack, the rest has been taken care of.

Let's get together and handcraft your dream Tibetan adventure, whether for yourself or your tribe.

Whether you know exactly what you want or would like us to point you in the right direction, we will make sure that you depart on the dates you choose, can travel the way you feel comfortable and get to experience the places that truely excite you.



We will be support you the entire way, from your first enquiry at home to your local guides in the streets or mountains.

All our Himalayan journeys, group or personalised, are sustainable and unique experiences, designed to fully immerse you in the local culture, invigorate your senses and ignite your creativity.

Let us know where your passion lies so we can help you experience the Himalayas from the inside.

Some highlights


Thimphu and Paro

Some of the best sightseeing, shopping and dinning that you will find in the cities of Bhutan. Small by western standards, these two major towns reside under brilliant blue skies and are surrounded by lush green mountains. Despite new high rises starting to peer over their traditional buildings, they are still wonderful places to wander with the locals and observe everyday life.

Tigers Nest

Around 882AD, Guru Rinpoche flying on the back of a mystical tigress, landed in a cave high up on this 900m cliff face, subdued a local demon and then meditated. Today it is a challenging but a worthwhile trek to the Taktsang (Tigers Nest). The still functioning monastery was built in 1692 around the Guru's cave and is considered one of the holiest sites in the kingdom. 

Dzongs & Lhakhangs

World class architecture and a completely awe-inspiring atmosphere. These majestic fortresses and temples were constructed all over Bhutan in the 17th century to protect from invasion, act as administrative hubs and provide a place of worship. They were built without iron nails and are adorned with traditional Bhutanese woodwork and exquisite craftsmanship.

Dolchula Pass

The drive over the 3,140m pass links Bhutan’s present day capital Thimphu to its older royal capital of Punakha, and offers exceptional views of the snow clad Himalayan mountains. Standing a silent vigil at the top are 108 graceful memorial chortens, dedicated to the Bhutanese soldiers slain in the 2003 war against Assamese insurgents from India.

Bumthang

Bhutans spiritual heartland and stunningly beautiful countryside. It was here in 810AD, that Guru Rinpoche from Tibet, cured King Sindhu from a deity who had stolen his life-force, resulting in the country converting to Buddhism. The four peaceful valleys are now home to the oldest monasteries and hold a treasure trove of sacred artefacts.

Trekking

Pristine forested trails teeming with wildlife, no crowds, sparkling clear air, trekking in Bhutan is unlike anywhere else in the Himalayas. Everything from easy, scenic one day hikes to the stunning ‘Snowman Trek’, considered one of the toughest treks in the world, crossing 11 passes over 4,800m in 25 days, the highest at 5,300m.

Mountain biking

Steep, fast single track descents, tough climbs, hike-a-bike, technical rock chutes, drop-offs, boardwalks and muddy, forested runs. Bhutans amazing network of quiet, remote trails are unlike anything you’ve had pass under your machine before.

Rafting

Cutting through deep valleys or running gently on the low plains, rafting is the perfect way to explore the raw and rugged landscapes of Bhutan. The rapids tend not to be as rough, allowing time to view the natural wealth of the hidden wilderness.

Wildlife

Named as one of the top ten bio-diversity hot spots with one of the most intact ecosystems in the world, Bhutan is home to at least 200 species of mammals and 770 species of birds and 119 species of amphibians and reptiles.   

Some highlights


Thimphu and Paro

Some of the best sightseeing, shopping and dinning that you will find in the cities of Bhutan. Small by western standards, these two major towns reside under brilliant blue skies and are surrounded by lush green mountains. Despite new high rises starting to peer over their traditional buildings, they are still wonderful places to wander with the locals and observe everyday life.

Tigers Nest

Around 882AD, Guru Rinpoche flying on the back of a mystical tigress, landed in a cave high up on this 900m cliff face, subdued a local demon and then meditated. Today it is a challenging but a worthwhile trek to the Taktsang (Tigers Nest). The still functioning monastery was built in 1692 around the Guru's cave and is considered one of the holiest sites in the kingdom. 

Dzongs & Lhakhangs

World class architecture and a completely awe-inspiring atmosphere. These majestic fortresses and temples were constructed all over Bhutan in the 17th century to protect from invasion, act as administrative hubs and provide a place of worship. They were built without iron nails and are adorned with traditional Bhutanese woodwork and exquisite craftsmanship.

Dolchula Pass

The drive over the 3,140m pass links Bhutan’s present day capital Thimphu to its older royal capital of Punakha, and offers exceptional views of the snow clad Himalayan mountains. Standing a silent vigil at the top are 108 graceful memorial chortens, dedicated to the Bhutanese soldiers slain in the 2003 war against Assamese insurgents from India.

Bumthang

Bhutans spiritual heartland and stunningly beautiful countryside. It was here in 810AD, that Guru Rinpoche from Tibet, cured King Sindhu from a deity who had stolen his life-force, resulting in the country converting to Buddhism. The four peaceful valleys are now home to the oldest monasteries and hold a treasure trove of sacred artefacts.

Trekking

Pristine forested trails teeming with wildlife, no crowds, sparkling clear air, trekking in Bhutan is unlike anywhere else in the Himalayas. Everything from easy, scenic one day hikes to the stunning ‘Snowman Trek’, considered one of the toughest treks in the world, crossing 11 passes over 4,800m in 25 days, the highest at 5,300m.

Mountain biking

Steep, fast single track descents, tough climbs, hike-a-bike, technical rock chutes, drop-offs, boardwalks and muddy, forested runs. Bhutans amazing network of quiet, remote trails are unlike anything you’ve had pass under your machine before.

Rafting

Cutting through deep valleys or running gently on the low plains, rafting is the perfect way to explore the raw and rugged landscapes of Bhutan. The rapids tend not to be as rough, allowing time to view the natural wealth of the hidden wilderness.

Wildlife

Named as one of the top ten bio-diversity hot spots with one of the most intact ecosystems in the world, Bhutan is home to at least 200 species of mammals and 770 species of birds and 119 species of amphibians and reptiles.   

When to go


The climate varies widely depending on the elevation. Very hot in the southern plains to extremely cold in the northern Himalayan mountains. But broadly speaking summers (mid-June to mid-September) are warm, humid and wet and winters (Dec to early March) cooler and dry.

The rainy season roughly starts in June and ends towards the mid of September, usually consisting of showers in the afternoon.

Snow is possible between December and March, though rather infrequent as it’s the driest time of the year.

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Autumn and Spring


March to May, the driest months and everything is in full bloom. September to November beautiful weather and clear skies, the busiest months.

Monsoon


Hot and humid which can make traveling difficult, but less tourists. Rhododendrons will be in full bloom.

Winter


Winter nights are cold although, often the days are clear, sunny and can be surprisingly mild in the central valleys. In January and February snow may block some mountain passes restricting access from the west to the central valleys.

Quick facts


Geography

Bhutan can be divided into three regions from north to south: the Great Himalayas, the Lesser Himalayas, and the Duars Plain, and sits astride two major bio-geographic realms, the lowland rain forests of South and Southeast Asia and the conifer forests and alpine meadows of northern Asia and Europe. The landscape consists mainly of steep and high mountains crisscrossed by a network of swift rivers, which form deep valleys that drain down to the Indian plains.

Ethnicity

Migrating from Tibet around the 9th century are the Bhutia, making up the largest ethnic group and dominant in the north of the country. The earliest inhabitants, the Sharchops, are from Myanmar and north east India and reside in the east while the Nepalese predominate mainly in the south. As a result of ethnic conflicts with the Buddhist majority, immigration law have been tightened over the years, to reduce the influx of the Nepalese.

Culture

The Bhutanese preserve their national identity by following a highly refined system of etiquette which supports respect for authority, devotion to the institution of marriage and family, and dedication to civic duty. It governs things including, how to speak to authority, eating habits, clothing, even the building code. Social and educational opportunities are not affected by rank or birth and Bhutanese women enjoy many equal rights with men. 

Food

Unique and delicious, authentic Bhutanese cuisine shares some crossover with it’s neighbours, but is quite unlike any other food you have eaten. Hearty and filling, it’s most defining ingredient is the chili pepper followed by a love of dairy, especially cheese. Meat including beef, chicken, pork and yak is eaten, but being a mainly Buddhist nation, vegetarians are well catered for.  Nepali, Indian and Tibetan food are readily available.

Arts & Crafts

The school of Zoric Chusum opened in 1680 laying out strict rules for thirteen types of arts and crafts which are still taught today and continue to form an essential part of daily life. Bhutan's major artistic creative force comes from Buddhism, and every piece represents a connection to their sacred beliefs. Known for its bold colours and exquisite attention to detail and symmetry, the artist always remains anonymous because the beauty lies in the ancient craft itself, not in those who produce it.

Festivals

Beating drums, crashing cymbals and bellowing horns, create a cacophony of sound heralding the swirling costumes of a rare masked or a ritual sword dance. Often performed to exorcise evil spirits or rejoice in a new harvest. 'Tscechus', Bhutanese festivals, are a chance for the locals to dress in their finest, obtain forgivness and recieve blessings for a prosperous future. Keep your eye our for the hilarious, naughty clowns who narrate the complex stories of the gods and revel in picking on individuals in the audience.