Bhutan’s mountainous landscape offers one of the best mountain biking experiences, both on roads and trails. The constantly changing altitudes and winding roads offer a close up view of Bhutan’s rich forests, natural landscape, sights and sounds of the Himalayan Kingdom. Needless to mention, you will have to be physically fit for this exciting mountain biking trip of your lifetime.
Day 1: Arrival-Paro
On arrival at the Paro international airport, representatives of our tour company will receive and escort you to the hotel. After lunch, explore the small town of Paro, then visit the Dzong, the national museum and other places of interest.
Day 2: Paro/Thimphu
Ride to Thimphu, which will take approximately five hours depending on the level of professionalism and biking skills. The ride is all along the lined willow trees and the beautiful villages of Paro. All along, you ride parallel to the river banks. On arrival to Thimphu you can have leisure time or explore the city. The market would be in progress where the residents of Thimphu do their grocery shopping, especially handicrafts and fresh farm products. Farmers and vendors from all over the country participate in this market.
Day 3: Thimphu/Punakha
Do some quick sightseeing before heading to Dochula. The ride is between two and three hours. Once you reach the pass at 3000 meters the ride is downhill till you reach the warm and lush valley of Punakha. You can visit Chimey Lhakhang, the monastery of the divine mad man or the temple of fertility. By biking, you can explore the fertile and flat valley, ride north towards the Crown Prince’s Monastery perched on a strategic location on a hill top overlooking the rich rice terraced fields. Visit the Punakha Dzong, which is located at the confluence of two rivers, Pho Chu(male river) and Mo Chu(female river).
Day 4: Punakha/Gangtey
You will ride to Phobjikha valley, the abode of the black-necked cranes, and enroute visit the ruins of Wangduephodrang Dzong, raxed to the ground by a fire in 2012. All along your ride, you will see the villages of Sha. The backup vehicle will always be following the bikers and at any point should the riders get exhausted you can continue in the backup car.
Day 5: Gangtey/Paro
You will visit the Gangtey monastery and then bike towards Paro via Wangdue and Thimphu. You can bike a certain stretch of the road and use the backup car to reach Paro. At the end of your biking tour, you can have a hot- stone bath.
Day 6: Paro, Taktsang monastery hike
After breakfast, drive for half an hour and start the hike. It is a five hour round trip hike, which follows an ancient path marked by river powered prayer wheels. It is one of the most sacred heritage sites in Bhutan, perched on a precarious 3120 meters and about 900 meters above Paro valley. Legend has it that the Buddhist saint, Guru Padma Sambhava, flew from Tibet on the back of a tigress, to defeat five demons, who were opposing the spread of Buddhism in Bhutan in 746 A.D. He meditated here for three years, three months, three weeks, three days and three hours. Taktsang is known for the thirteen caves in which Guru meditated.
On the way, visit the Drukgyel Dzong, located sixteen kilometers away from Paro town. Although in ruins, this Dzong is of great historical importance. It was here that the Bhutanese finally defeated the invading Tibetans and drove them back. From here, the peak of Jomolhari “Mountain of the Goddess” can be seen on a clear day (Alt. 7,329m/24,029ft.). Stroll through town and visit the Paro Rinpong Dzong, built in 1646, Kyichu Monastery the oldest in Paro valley, built in 659 A.D. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 7: Departure
After breakfast, we drive to Paro international Airport and see you off.