Heart of Bhutan bike ride, 12 days

Cycling to Tiger's Nest
  • Beautiful and pristine landscape
  • Demanding ascends, long descends
  • Limited road traffic
  • Most important sights of the country
  • Accompanying support vehicle
  • Domestic flight with great views of mountains
  • Good accommodation in all places
US$ 2265 / person ?
# Itinerary Program
1 Arrival to Paro Arrival and accommodation in the hotel. If time permits you can test a bike and make ride around the valley.
2 Paro - Thimphu Ride 75 km, ➚400 m, ➘250 m. Today we will ride to Thimphu. See the ancient suspension bridge made of iron chains on the way. Afternoon sightseeing in the town and evening in leisure exploring the town's busy life.
3 Thimphu - Punakha Ride 70 km, ➚700 m, ➘1.800 m. After morning sightseeing we will start to Dochu-la pass (3.015 m). Great views of Himalayas in clear weather are stunning. Then we have a long descent to tropical Wangdue and Punakha valleys through mixed quickly changing forest. After reaching Lobesa (1.300 m) we will ride to Chimmi lhakhang, temple famously dedicated to saint who professed religion through drinking, singing and rampant sexual behaviour. Accommodation in hotel and rest.
4 Punakha - Wangdue Ride 45 km, ➚200 m, ➘200 m. At the morning we will ride along Punakha dzong below the Khamsum lhakhang. Here we will leave a bikes for while and we will hike up to this temple overlooking beautiful valley. After descend we will jump to raft for 1 hour cruise to Punakha dzong. From here, once again, we will again take the bikes, and after crossing the longest suspension bridge in Bhutan, we will soon reach Wangdue.
5 Wangdue - Phobjika Ride 70 km, ➚1.200 m, ➘400 m. Today we will get back to high altitude, to Phobjika valley in Black mountains. The road ascend gradually in many turns with beautiful views. Finally we will reach to the pass in 3.350 meters and will descend to pristine glacial valley. Evening visit to local farmhouse and option to try hot stone bath.
6 Phobjika - Trongsa Ride 80 km, ➚700 m, ➘1.500 m. From hotel we will ride through the beautiful valley, over the marshland and through the forest until we climb to Gangtey village dominated by beautiful monastery. From there we will continue back to the pass and down back to main highway. After short climb we will reach Pele-la pass (3.400 m). From here we will be mostly going down. We will make short stop to see Chendebji stupa and enjoy the viewpoint of monumental Trongsa dzong. Reaching Trongsa at the evening.
7 Trongsa - Jakar Ride 70 km, ➚1.450 m, ➘800 m. At the morning we will visit to monumental Trongsa dzong and optionally to interesting museum in watchtower. Then we have to climb twelve hundred meters up to Youtung-la pass (3.350 m). Then we will gradually descent to picturesque Chummey valley. Jakar town is just after crossing another pass (Kiki-la, 2.850 m).
8 Jakar Today we can take a rest from the bikes and see around the valley dubbed as "historical heart of Bhutan". We shall visit the castle, Jakar dzong, ancient Jambey lhakhang and beautiful temple complex of Kurjey. In  Tamshing lhakhang temple, we have opportunity to wash away all our sins... We will also visit Red Panda brewery to taste it's "weiss bier". If you want to do biking anyway, there are interesting options north to Jakar, to remote village of Thangbi (40 km round trip) or Dur (30 km round trip). Another option is the ride to Tang valley where Ugyen Choling palace hosts interesting museum (50 km round trip).
9 Jakar - Ura - Jakar Ride 85 km, ➚2.000 m, ➘2.000 m. Today we will make strenuous circuit over the Shertung-la pass (3.540 m) to village of Ura and other way back to Chummey and again over Kiki-la to Jakar. This circuit is only possible due to newly opened road through pristine deep valley. There are some shortcuts which you can use to curtail the ride. Also you can visit mystical lake Membartsho on the way.
10 Jakar - Paro (by flight) Today morning we will go to domestic airport in Bumthang and take a flight back to Paro. If we're lucky, there will be great sceneries of the Himalayan range. We can also see the road and places through which we were cycling recently just below. After landing in Paro we will get to hotel. Rest of the day will be in leisure or optionally we can make a ride around the valley to Chele-la pass (3.850 m) and back or other trail.
11 Paro Ride 30 km, ➚450 m, ➘400 m + 5 hours hike. Today we will ride to the castle ruins of Drukyel dzong. We will visit ancient Kyichu lhakhang temple on the way. After picnic lunch we will make a great hike to ubiquitous Tiger's Nest monastery overlooking the valley from hight cliff. Hike takes from 4 to 5 hours and it's one of the trip's highlights.
12 Departure Departure from Bhutan. Program subject to time of travel.
Tour variants, extensions and combinations: 
  • Haa valley overnight (+1 day): Instead of going to Thimphu second day, you can make a diversion to Haa valley over the Chele-la pass (3.850 m), which is highest motorable pass in Bhutan. See day 3 and 4 in Western Bhutan Cycle Trip.
  • Gasa hotsprings (+1 day): Extending the trip by 1 day from Punakha is very nice experience. Newly build road leads to Gasa dzong, the mighty monastery fortress on the foothill of the mountains. The hot springs below are great place to hangout at the evening. See day 4 and 5 in Gasa-Gangtey Mountain Ride.