Treat yourself to an adventure travel trip to Bhutan in December 2018 to explore a tiny Himalayan Kingdom, a unique Asian destination that may become a favorite one - for life!
Tucked into the eastern Himalayas between China and India, the Buddhist kingdom of Bhutan is a modern-day Shangri-La of awesome beauty and friendly people. Culturally and spiritually, it is a profoundly rich country where human relations and Buddhist beliefs outweigh economic indicators—where “gross national happiness” is promoted by the King of Bhutan as a measure of his enchanting country’s progress. Bhutan’s Buddhist faith permeates all strands of cultural, ethical, and secular life, bringing with it a reverence for Bhutanese society, the environment, and the land. Buddhists believe in preserving nature and giving more back to the earth and the culture than one has taken.
Bhutan, “Land of the Thunder Dragon,” has had a cautious approach to tourism until recently, but now welcomes visitors and beckons all to discover its unique treasures. AdventureWomen is fortunate to have the opportunity to explore this peaceful nation, just half the size of Indiana, on a customized 12-day adventure tour just for women that incorporates so much more than the typical sightseeing, hiking, and visiting monasteries.
Within its small boundaries the ecological diversity of Bhutan is amazing. Through centuries of self-imposed isolation, this sovereign state has been able to preserve its spectacular natural environment and nurture its unique culture. Drawing inspiration from its neighbor, Tibet, Tantric Buddhism has flourished and influenced art, crafts, and architecture for hundreds of years, and has shaped the Bhutanese way of life.
Throughout our adventure vacation to Bhutan, you will be immersed in the culture, history, and Buddhist practices of the country, visiting the Bhutanese people in their traditional pastoral hamlets, where they live much the same as they always have. You are welcomed with warmth and hospitality as you walk to traditional monasteries and awesome dzongs—originally built as fortresses during the Middle Ages—which today function as the center of both religious and secular activities. From the colorful, patterned weavings of Thimphu, to dramatic sweeping vistas of the snow-capped Himalayas, our adventure celebrates the breathtaking beauty of this peaceful realm.
Head to Bumthang and visit one of the oldest temples in Bhutan, and take a walk through the countryside, passing paddy fields. These fertile valleys are covered in fields of buckwheat, rice and potatoes. This serene region is one of the most peaceful places in the kingdom. Not many trips incorporate this very special region, considered the spiritual heart of Bhutan and an area of great historical and cultural importance, for it contains numerous sacred sites.
Visit the Pema Choeling Nunnery, a large nunnery where about 100+ anim (nuns) complete 12 years of study and participate in an impressive spiritual drum ceremony with the nuns for the well-being of all sentient beings and world peace. Have a chance to share stories and learn from the nuns over lunch.
As you leave for Trongsa, stop in the Chumey Valley at a traditional Yahtra sheep wool weaving center. Trongsa is situated on a steep ridge and offers spectacular views of the deep valleys surrounding it.
You will learn about the Black-Necked Cranes, which are winter visitors in Bhutan, arriving in late October and staying until mid-February. They visit the Phobhjikha Valley in large numbers, which is a declared protected area for the cranes. Take a beautiful nature hike through the valley, overlooking the plains created by the glacier that some claim is like the setting of a Shangri-La!
Hike to Taktsang – The Tiger’s Nest – a serene monastery and one of the most holy sites in the kingdom. It clings impossibly to a sheer cliff face 900 hundred meters above the Paro Valley. Legend states that Guru Rimpoche flew to the site atop the back of a tigress and meditated in the cave for three years, three months, three days, and three hours in order to subdue evil demons residing within it. The cave has been considered a sacred site ever since and many famous saints have traveled to meditate in it.
Much of the magic in Bhutan happens spontaneously, so our Bhutan travel itinerary is enhanced by festivals, ceremonies, and Buddhist rituals you encounter daily along our route. You'll delight in our ability to take advantage of these many opportunities to participate in authentic cultural events as they present themselves, allowing us a window into Bhutanese culture experienced by few visitors.
Step back in time with AdventureWomen as you venture in December 2018 into the heart of Bhutan to discover its magic. Explore this tiny kingdom through the eyes of its people and leave with a deep respect for this country’s rich culture.
- Bhutan Adventure Travel Tour: Day-by-Day Itinerary
- What's Included in your Bhutan Adventure Tour
- What to pack for Hiking & Exploring in Bhutan
- Travel Tips & Information About Traveling to Bangkok, Thailand for Our Connection to Bhutan
- Detailed Itinerary: Bhutan Womens Tour
- Visit the Pema Choeling Nunnery in the remote region of Bumthang and engage in an impressive and emotional drum ceremony with the nuns
- Walk through Phobjikha Valley to see the rare black-necked cranes and visit the Royal Society for the Protection of Nature’s exhibit dedicated solely to these birds
- Explore the magnificent fortress of Punakha Dzong, once the capital of Bhutan
- Spend two nights camping in an exclusive campsite in Punakha
- Hike to see the breathtaking views of Taktsang “the Tiger’s Nest” monastery in Paro
What You'll See and Do
- Historical Sites
- Local Delicacies
- National Parks
- Natural History
- Spa Element
- Wildlife Viewing