- Best of the mainstream 3* hotels on double occupancy basis while in Thimphu, Punakha and Paro.
- All camping gears that includes-2 person sleeping tents with floors and fly sheet, dinning tent, kitchen tent, toilet tents, dinning tables, chairs, pillows and mattresses
- English speaking Guide
- Cook and kitchen aides
- All intercity transfers and sightseeing by a private vehicle
- Pack animals and animal drivers during trekking
- All necessary supplies
- 3 meals a day
- Bhutan visa fee
- Sightseeing admission fees
Trip Does Not Include
- International and internal airfares
- Travel Insurance and emergency evacuation Expenses of personal nature like drinks, tip, telephone, laundry etc. Extra expenses due to nature or unforeseen events such as flight cancellation, road blockade, no show etc.
Passport and visa
Your passport must be valid minimum 6 months beyond your return date from the trip and make sure that you are not running out of the blank visa pages. Bhutan visa is taken care of by us and you will be emailed electronic visa approval document 3-4 weeks prior the trip date. You will get actual visa seal on your passport upon arrival at Paro airport.
Trek Difficulty and Preparation
This low-altitude trek is one of the most accessible hikes in Bhutan. Our highest altitude is 7,380 feet (2,250 meters);our overnight camps vary from 6000 ft to 7000ft. We’ll usually walk four to six hours each day; some days could be longer, depending on local conditions and the pace chosen by the group. Trail conditions vary from easy to rugged; magnificent to miserable (especially if it rains). Altitude sickness should not be a concern, but we recommend conditioning – jogging, cycling, swimming, and hiking in hilly terrain – in the months before departure. Please note: this trek should not be taken as means of losing weight. If you buy new boots for the trek, please break them in before you leave. Anyone with existing heart, lung, or high blood pressure issues should consult their physician before signing up for this trip.
What a typical trekking in Bhutan is like?
A trekking day in Bhutan usually consists of five to seven hours of walking. Pack animals, ponies or yaks are provided to porter provisions, baggage and equipment. All necessary camping and kitchen equipment are provided and included in the trip cost. Camping gear includes two-person sleeping tents, a toilet tent, a kitchen tent, dining tables and chairs, and foam mattress. You should bring your own sleeping bag.
All trekking parties are accompanied by a trained guide, a cook, and a couple of aides and pack animals with their driver. At least one riding pony is always taken along just in case it is needed. The support crew walks ahead of the trekking party each day, pitches camp before the group arrives, and greets everyone with a warm and most welcome cup of tea or coffee in the dining tent. All meals are carefully planned and prepared. Breakfast and dinner are served freshly prepared at camp and includes a choice of at least four dishes. On trail, we serve a picnic lunch at a pleasant and scenic place. All cooking and cleaning chores are taken care of by our trek staff, so you can relax and enjoy the trek fully.
A trekking day normally begins with an early cup of tea or coffee in your tent. A jug of hot water will be provided for washing; you are expected for breakfast by 7 am. Breakfast is usually cereals, toast, eggs, juice and tea or Nescafe Coffee. By 8 am, we’ll be on the trail. Trekkers can walk on their own pace, but we won’t want to get too spread out on the trail as we explore the villages and temples, and meet people along the way. The lunch stop is around noon to 1 pm. Some days we’ll be served hot fried rice or noodles or bread or boiled potatoes brought in an insulated container (unlike in Nepal, where the crews cook a hot meal while you nap). Lunch is usually accompanied by tea from a large flask. Some days, lunch will be simply sandwiches, fruits and cookies. Usually the day concludes between 4 to 5 pm, with our tents already set up and steaming cups of tea or coffee with biscuits or cookies waiting. As the crew makes dinner, we will have time to update our journals, read, nap, or photograph in the day’s diminishing light. Dinner is usually served around 7 pm. Meals typically include a rice dish, a potato dish, or frequently both. The cook is trained to produce a reasonable variety of Western and Asian dishes. They often add interesting Bhutanese touches, such as cheese sauces.
Clothing and Equipment
Your packing should be guided by these restrictions: Druk Air has a 20 kg(44-pound) limit on checked in baggage. On trail, we expect to provide one pony for each two trekkers, and each pony carries 30 kg (66 pounds) or less.
Essentials Items/Not to forget
Down Jacket: We recommend a down jacket, which has the advantage of being light, compressible, and versatile – say, as pillow at night or long car trips; or even inside our sleeping bag on colder nights. Artificial-fiber jackets filled with Polar-guard, Thinsulate, or Fiberfill are good substitutes, and are cheaper.
For day walking, we recommend Jumper or Pile Jacket. Two or three light layers of clothing, which could be jumpers, shirts or polypropylene, are better than a single heavy layer. Pile jackets with polyester fleece are light, warm and easy to clean.
Sleeping Bag is a must. Choose the one for 20-degree bag. We can rent bags in Bhutan, but we cannot guarantee the quality.
Duffel Bags and Backpack: Suitcases are fragile and cannot be carried by ponies. Please bring a strong, waterproof duffel bag; a spare lockable bag or suitcase for the city stuff that you’ll leave behind in the hotel; and a backpack for your personal items (camera, wallet, water bottle, etc.) on trail.
Mountain Trekking Boots: Bring a pair of good quality of trekking boots with ankle support. If you are buying a new pair, break them in before you leave. Another pair of comfortable camp shoes is also recommended.
Flash lights with spare batteries and bulbs
Water bottle and water purifying pills
- Jumper or sweaters.
- Waterproof jacket, poncho or umbrella.
- Hiking shorts (for men) and skirts (for women).
- Nylon windbreaker (for altitude above 4000m/13,120ft).
- Nylong wind pants (for altitude above 4000m/13,120ft).
- Insulated pants (for altitude above 4000m/13,120ft).
- Long sleeved shirt.
- Long Underwear.
- Sun hat.
- Gloves ((for altitude above 4000m/13,120ft).
- Gaiters (for altitude above 4000m/13,120ft).
- Woolen socks and some cotton socks to wear under wool socks.
- Miscellaneous Items.
- Cigarette lighter.
- Small knife.
- Sunscreen (SPF 15+).
- Laundry soap.
- Medical and first aid kit.
- Sewing kit.
- Goggles or sun glasses.
- Lip guards.
- Insect repellents
- Reading materials.
- Pen and diaries.
- Play cards
How we dress during the day?
This is a low-altitude trek for Bhutan, but it is still in the mountains. The days are likely to be cool. Most people are comfortable on long pants, but for women we recommended skirts, mainly for ease in relieving yourself along the trail. There are long stretches where there is little chance to hide and a skirt solves the problem.
Best Trekking Season
Late September to mid-November is generally recognized as the best trekking season in the Himalayas, and so it is in Bhutan. The second best period is March to April. Winter is snowy and summer is rainy. We tend to avoid these seasons, but we always expect some rain. During fall, nights are cold in the mountains – 40 degrees F, or 5 degrees C under 11,500 feet, or 3,500 meters; at higher altitudes overnight temperatures can drop to 14 degrees F, or -10 C. But the bright sun makes the daytime pleasant, with temperatures averaging 68 degrees F, 20 degrees C. Autumn has clear sky with good visibility; spring trekkers are rewarded with rhododendron and orchid flowers in bloom.
If you are traveling to Bhutan during Winter, the only trek we recommend is Samtegang Trek.
High Altitude Sickness and Health Concerns
This low-altitude trek does not present risks of altitude sickness. Bhutan requires no mandatory vaccinations, although we recommend Hep A and vaccination against rabies. Some people consider malaria pills; please consult your physician.
Meals are arranged in hotels while in the cities and cooked by our own staff during treks. This care minimizes chances of food-related sickness. If you want to try something on your own, we advise tourist-standard hotels and restaurants. Please avoid food or drinks sold in the street, and please drink only bottled water or boiled and medicated water supplied by our crews.
Accommodations and meals in the towns
For the most part, we will stay in moderate to best-available accommodations, which are usually small hotels with 10 to 20 rooms of varying designs, rarely with gift shops. Outside Thimphu and Paro, “best available" might be very basic, sometimes without hot water (or any water, for that matter). These adjustments are, we think, part of learning about a new country. During festival period, high demand for accommodations sometimes means we have to use alternative hotels; your cooperation and understanding in this matter is very much appreciated.
Paro and Thimphu have a couple of international chain resorts with remarkably high prices. Our trips do not feature them, but we can book them for additional charges.
Bhutan trips feature three meals each day, mostly at our hotel, usually served in a buffet that includes rice, vegetables, and noodles. Our guide can arrange some dinners at local restaurants, but remember that traditional Bhutanese food always features chilies, and the most popular dish, ema dates, is made with large, hot, green chilies in a cheese sauce.
Our guides are college-educated Bhutanese, proficient in English, and trained and licensed by local tourism authorities. Just as important, they are friendly and committed to deliver the best services.
You can book your international airfare to the gateway city ( eg, Bangkok, or Delhi or Kathmandu) on your own or we can also help you book it through our air ticket consolidators. But internal airfare from gateway city to Paro, Bhutan must be booked through us as its part of package and it has to be booked locally.
When you are sure you are going to Bhutan, it will be wise to put your reservation in line as early as possible as Druk Air reservation is quite a tricky matter. Druk Air is the only airline flying into and out of Bhutan and operates with 2 A 319 craft with capacity less than 100 passengers and gets filled up quickly. Paro-the only airport of Bhutan is connected with Bangkok, Delhi, Kolkatta and Kathmandu and have limited operations. For flight schedules and more information, please visit Druk Air Website.
A deposit of US$ 300 on land plus the cost of internal airfares is requested along with booking application and passport photocopies.
Balance payment is due 90 days prior to your departure. Depending on the number of applicants, we may set an early payment date. If balance of payment is not received by the requested date, we reserve the right to cancel your booking without prior notice. Late payment may be subject to additional fee and has to be made in cashier’s check or through wire transfer.
- 90 days prior departure: US$ 150 per person administration fee.
- 60-89 days prior departure: US$ 250 or 25% of the land cost whichever is higher.
- 45 -59 days prior departure: US$ 450 or 50% of the land cost whichever is higher.
- 30-44 days prior departure: US$ 600 or 75% of the land cost whichever is higher.
- Less than 30 days: 100%.
- Airline cancellation and refund policy can be different and supersedes Highland Asia's cancellation/refund policy.
Travel Protection Plan
While we plan and do our best to make your trip smooth and seamless, there may be chances of unforeseen events and conditions such as illness, accident, inclement weather, and flight cancellation or missed connection or loss of baggage etc. that may cause interruption or delay or total cancellation of your trip putting your hard earned travel investment in jeopardy. It’s also possible that you may need medical assistance, emergency evacuation or medical transportation when you get ill or involve in an accident when you are traveling in remote areas. Far & High’s Tour cost does not cover any of these expenses or losses and so we strongly recommend you that you should protect yourself and your travel investment against those unfavorable conditions.