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Bhutan’s Nature, Village with Hikes & Cycling 14 Days

Explore the foothills and lowland of Bhutan in winter


Trip Grading

Trip AccommodationTourist standard 3 to 4* hotel. One night spartan camping and 2 nights deluxe camping.

Trip SeasonsBeing the lowland region in Bhutan, it has typical sub tropic climate, summer (April -Sept) are hot, humid and wet. So best time is from Oct to March) when the temperature is around approx 14 - 20degree celsius and clear blue sky.

Group SizeAny number of members

MealsFull Board including evening Tea.

RouteParo, Punakha, Gangtey(Phobjika), Trongsa, Nabji village, Tingtibi, Gelephu, Wangdue, Thimphu, Paro

Trip TypeHiking, Nature, Biking, Birding

Best MonthsJanuary, February, March, November, December

Good MonthsApril, October

Not RecommendMay, June, July, August, September

Trip highlights

Explore the least explore village of Nabji, Korphu through hike and bike.
Nature & Birding in birding area of Tingtibi
Moderate day hike.
Cultural mainstay attractions and sights of Places of Interest.
Interaction with locale and insights into socio economic, religious, cultural and traditional aspects.

Bhutan’s Nature Wildlife Village Tour with Hikes and Cycle is an attempt at showing diversity and best combination of Bhutan in two weeks. For many Bhutan conjures up a image of cold and snowy winters. This is in partly true if you were trekking in the highlands. However many parts of Bhutan are subtropics with dense jungles and thriving birds and other wildlife and these parts are least visited or least influenced by tourists.
Winter months are perfect time to visit these areas with dry and pleasant days with clear skies and cool evening breeze that drives away bugs. On this tour, we cover the main highlights and cultural sights of Bhutan, but also  covers natural beauty of lowlands and foothills, birding, mountain biking and some hikes.
During the visit to remote villages of Nabji and Korphu, you will experience two short days of trekking (less than 6hrs), spend one night in typical primitive camp, and two nights in our deluxe camp. Where it is idle and possible, we use mountain bikes to cover the distance and enjoy outdoors. It will keep you active, without challenging your limits

Outline Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Paro
Upon arrival meet and transfer to the hotel. This afternoon check your bikes and ride around the valley, visiting some of the local attractions. Overnight in hotel.

Day 2: Paro -Punakha
After breakfast drive to Thimphu and continue across Dochula pass to Punakha (4hrs drive). At Dochula pass, stop to enjoy tea/snacks and to see a specatacular long range of snow capped peaks along Bhutan’s northern border. Towards afternoon, we visit some of significant monuments such as Chimi Lhakhang and Punakha Dzong. Overnight in hotel.

Day 3: In Punakha & Wangdue area by bikes and hikes
Punakha valley at about 12oom above sea lever is more than 1000m lower than Thimphu or Paro, and therefore it has semi-tropical type of climate. After breakfast, hike uphill for about 45 minutes to Khamsum Chorten on a ridge top with great view of the valley. Upon return, we spend the rest of the morning biking to the villages north along Pho chu river.  In the afternoon, drive to the village of Limukha located 900m higher than the valley. After short visit, you can bike downhill on the road, which hardly sees any vehicle. Overnight hotel in Punakha (Option to spend night in a Farm House)

Day 4: Punakha-Gangtey
Driving up the black mountains (JSW National Park), we cross over Labanla pass  to arrive in wide high valley Gangtey (Phobjikha – Approx 3000m). From the pass, disembark from the vehicle and ride your bikes downhill. Visit ancient Gangtey Gompa monastery and bike downhill, along the nature path and see the black-necked cranes that make this valley their winter home. These endangered birds are special to Bhutanese and Himalayan Buddhist culture and migrate from the Tibetan plateau. Spend the rest of the day biking around the valley and spotting these birds everywhere.  Overnight in hotel

Day 5: Gangtey-Trongsa
The road journey over 3300m Pele la pass takes about 4hrs to Trongsa. However we plan on taking out our bikes and riding some parts of the way, possibly exploring some villages. When in Trongsa (2000m), visit Trongsa Dzong, also one of most impressive ones in Bhutan. If we have time available, we could also visit the Musuem located inside the Watchtower. Overnight in hotel.

Day 6: Trongsa-Jangbi-trek to Kubdra
Drive for 3hrs or so to the trail head at Jangbi. From Trongsa, the road drops down to Mangdechu for about 2hrs and then following a farm road, climb upto Jangbi village (1360m). From Jangbi begin the trek through the dense forests of bamboos and giant subtropics. After about 2hrs of climb, arrive at the village of Phrumzur. Depending on available time visit the village. The trail then follow the ridge line with grand vista, sighting many birds including great hornbill, monkeys (including Langurs) etc. Along the way there are stone imprints Guru Rinpoche, believed to have journeyed through here to go to Bumthang in 8th centrury.  After walking for about 13km/5hrs, you arrive in remote 2 house settlement of Kubdra (1640m). From the campsite you can get bird’s-eye-view of Nyimshong village and afar on hilltop of Zhemgang town. Overnight in basic tent camp.

Day 7: Trek to Nabji
This part of the trek is a collage of streams, waterfalls and thick forests, of large trees with clippers, orchids and small bamboo that will give you an invigorating feeling of being out in the wild. Animals such as Himalayan Squirrels, Rhesus Mecaques, and small snakes are often spotted along the trail. Himalayan black bears, Red pandas, tigers and Clouded leopards are also present this region. After trekking for about 12Kms/5hrs, arrive in beautiful Nabji village located in the valley. The village is surrounded by terraced rice fields which is harvested towards the mid november. The village is quite a large one with more than 40 households, a temple of Nabji, which means or ‘oath’ that harbors the stone pillar to mark the peace between Bumthang & Assam Kings in 8th century. There is also a small school and the office of the Park, whose inhabitants look forward to seeing visitors. Spend the afternoon, exploring the village, visiting local temple etc. The average elevation of this place is around 1300m above sea level with average day temperature between 55’F-75’F. Meet our vehicle and camp using our Safari Style tents with simple beds and mattress (Lungta Comfort Camp)

Day 8: Korphu & Tingtibi
In the morning, drive up on the farm road (if accessible), if not bike up to Korphu situated on a mountaintop at an altitude of 1,500m. The distance by road is around 6KM or so. After visiting Korphu village, meeting the monpa natives, we cycle downhill and take the farm road for about 20kms, which will take us about 3hrs, passing a large village of Nimshong on the way. Cross the bridge and drive along the main road for about 2hrs to our beautiful campsite by the river, near Tingtibi.

Day 9: Tingtibi – Gelephu
Spend the morning birding in Tingtibi and Shemgang area. Some areas we drive and some areas we bike. Then drive further south to Gelephu.  The journey to Gelephu takes only about 4hrs, so we will occasionally stop for views, stop at the villages, as we descend down the foothills that meet the plains of Assam. Arrive in the frontier town of Gelegphu in the evening. Overnight in simple hotel with A/con.

Day 10:  Gelephu-Tshirang-Wangdue
Your drive will first take you through the plains for about an hour to Sarbang town. Then begin climbing the foot hills for another 2.5 hrs to the hilltop town of Tsirang or Damphu. The views are spectacular all the way and particularly as you approach Tsirang, when you begin to see hillsides dotted with many villages, with views of high peaks in the backdrop. After spending some time and eating lunch here,  continue our journey to Wangdue, which takes another 3hrs or so. From the hilltop, descend to deep jorge of Sunkosh river and follow the river upstream with its bends. Overnight in hotel near Wangdue.

Day 11: Thimphu
From Wangdue, drive up to Dochula pass which takes about 2hrs. Having done the lowlands, it is time to experience some highland hike. A two hour gradual uphill hikes takes us to Lungchuzekha, a remote monastery with spectacular view. Then instead of returning, hike gradually downhill for little over and hour to Trashigang, a hilltop village of buddhist retreat monks and layman and a monastery. From here, bike downhill for 40minutes or so to Hongtsho, which is primarily a Tibetan settlement.  Then we drive for half hour to arrive at the capital of Bhutan.  In the evening, we have time to visit the great Tashicho Dzong.

Day 12: Thimphu-Paro
In the morning, we have all the time to visit some of most popular attractions. Towards afternoon, drive 1hr to Paro, where you can visit any sights missed out previously.  Also take time to stroll in the small charming township of Paro. Overnight hotel in Paro.

Day 13: Paro (Takstang hike)
Finally, we hike upto Bhutan’s iconic site ” Taktsang” or Tiger’s nest monastery. Upon return in Paro, take time out to stroll in the small charming township of Paro. Overnight hotel in Paro.

Day 14: Departure
Departure transfer to the airport in time for your flight.