With few visitors, untrodden paths, majestic mountains, virgin forests, subtropical jungles and spectacular valleys, Bhutan is a trekker’s paradise. Explore ancient monasteries and temples on gentler community-based village treks in the valleys of Bumthang.
Follow an age-old trading route up through the dramatic and diverse Himalayan landscape on the famous Druk Path Trek, passing by scenic villages, glacial lakes and spectacular rhododendron forests as you journey from Paro to Thimphu. Whether you are looking for a purely trekking itinerary or just to integrate some lighter village walks into your Bhutan trip, you are guaranteed to encounter exotic wildlife, ever-welcoming locals and some of the most striking scenery in the world.
Wildlife and Birding
Given that over 60% of Bhutan’s land mass is protected and largely inaccessible, it is no surprise that Bhutan is bursting with hidden flora and fauna. Over 600 species of birds have been recorded thus far and endangered species like the rare black necked crane migrate from Tibet to Phobjika Valley in autumn (there is a good chance of seeing them on our Western Bhutan Explorer tour). Although big cat sightings are rare, it is possible to spot some of Bhutan’s iconic mammals including endemic golden langurs, red pandas and takin. Most parks are still closed to visitors, although Royal Manas National Park, on the Assam border, is gradually opening up to wildlife tourism. Contact us if you are interested in a customised wildlife or birding tour.
This is Bhutan’s national sport and when it comes to bows and arrows the Bhutanese are fiercely competitive! Watch a private archery performance and take part yourself.
The remote villages of Lhuentse and Khoma in eastern Bhutan are known for their intricate textiles and handlooms. Visit weaving centres in Bumthang and Khaling, and the National Textile Museum in Thimphu is also a must-see. Contact us to arrange a textile-themed tour.
Known as Tsechus, these religious festivals are held throughout the year in Bhutan. A Tsechu is a hugely colourful event that takes place at the district's Dzong (fortress). Masked performers act out traditional stories through music and dance, creating a huge sense of pride and occasion for locals.
Where possible, we try to schedule tours to coincide with festivals.
Bhutan shares two border crossings with India and if you have spare time, then it is highly recommended you enter Bhutan by road either from West Bengal or Assam.
If your Bhutan trip starts in the west (typically Paro or Thimphu), fly into Kolkata to take in its colonial sights and bustling markets, proceed to the tea estates, ride the toy train in Darjeeling and finally drive to the border town of Phuentsholing in Bhutan. You can do this trip in reverse if exiting by road from Bhutan.
If your Bhutan trip starts or ends in Samdrup Jongkhar in the east (on Assam border), you can easily fly in or out of Guwahati, just a 3 hour drive away. As long time specialists in North East India, we can organise a tailormade tour of Assam or elsewhere in the region. If dates work out, you could even join a scheduled tour. Take a look at our North East India page for more ideas.
TIP: For wildlife lovers, consider a trip to little-visited Manas National Park which also borders Bhutan, and is particularly renowned for its birdlife. You can also extend further and visit Kaziranga and Nameri National Parks.
NOTE: You will require either a single or multiple entry visa for India, depending on how you enter/exit Bhutan. Read our India Visa page for more information.