Take an unforgettable biking adventure and experience Bhutan like never before. Pedal to the Taktsang Monastery, an exquisite Buddhist temple located on a steep cliff high above in the misty mountains. Climb to the top of the Chele La pass and admire the snow-carpeted peaks of the famous Himalayan mountains. Cycle through endless fields of lush green rice fields, untouched forests and rich valleys. Be spellbound by the plethora of blossoming magnolias and vibrant rhododendron flowers on the way to Dochula. Experience Bhutanese culture at a Buddhist festival and watch religious mask dances. Trek to the Tharpaling Monastery, a grand temple hidden in the high hills of Jakar.
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Fly into Paro, a town filled with many sacred sites and historical buildings. Take in the stunning scenery of the Paro Valley, where mountains, lush green hills and forest cover the region. Check into your hotel, an elegant traditional Bhutanese building, UMA by Como, and join in the preparation of the bikes for the amazing journey ahead.
Cycle for an hour and continue by foot to the Taktsang Monastery, a divine Buddhist temple complex located on a jagged cliff. Climb up a steep footpath and prepare to be captivated by the untouched beauty of mountainous cliffs and wild forests. Take a tour of the monastery and learn about the ancient teachings of Buddha.
Bike through the beautiful countryside and pass rustic villages. Climb to the top of Chele La pass and admire the snow-blanketed peaks of the Himalayan mountains. Continue on for 22 miles and reach the prayer-flagged summit of the pass. Absorb the breathtaking view from the top and stop for lunch. Trek down the pass and weave through a valley made up of ten sharp turns.
Enjoy a relaxing bike ride to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. Cycle along the peaceful rivers of the Ha Chhu and Thim Chu. Embrace the dazzling scenes of endless rice fields and pristine forests as you pass by. Walk through the town square in Thimphu and experience the lives of locals. Notice the traditional dress worn and the relaxed and friendly attitudes of the Bhutanese people.
Bike 13 miles to Dochula, and be dazzled by a plethora of blossoming magnolias and vibrant rhododendron flowers. Enjoy fruit fresh off the branch as you pass by ripe banana and orange trees. Reach the top of Dochula pass and see the area decorated with colourful prayer flags and Buddhist monuments. Savour the breathtaking view of the Himalayas and hike back down through the rich jungle of the Punakha Valley.
Relax in Punakha and take a day of rest. For those who want to explore more of the town, consider taking a side trip to Punakha Dzong, the ancient capital of Bhutan and home to over 1,000 monks in the winter. Tour the dzong, an elaborate Buddhist fortress built in the 16th century.
Enjoy a full day of cycling and head to the Black Mountains. Pass by scenic rivers, dense valleys and the tiny village of Tikke. Stop for a restful tea break and climb to the top of the Black Mountains. Take in the impressive view from the peak and descend into the Phobjikha Valley where we will stay for the night.
Hop on your bike and try to spot langur monkeys in their natural forest habitat. Continue to the high landscapes of Pele La and see the magnificent Chomolhari Mountain in the distance. Head down the pass and cycle to Trongsa. Tour the village in the afternoon and visit the beautiful dzong located on the waters of the Mangde Chhu River.
Pedal out of Trongsa and make your way to Yutung La pass. Enter the vast Bumthang Valley and stop for a tasty picnic lunch. Climb up to Kiki La pass and descend into Jakar, a picturesque village. Witness the grand Jakar Dzong resting high above in the misty mountains.
Jakar is considered the birthplace of Buddhism in Bhutan and hosts many festivals to celebrate the religion. Take part in a Buddhist festival and participate in a Tshechu. Tshechus are big events where communities come together to watch religious mask dances, receive blessings and socialize. During this time, locals dress in their finest attire and enjoy the company of family and friends.
Trek to the Tharpaling Monastery, a grand monument hidden in the high hills of Jakar. Breathe in fresh forest air and take in the sights of snow covered mountains nearby. Reach the top of the ridge and admire the natural beauty that surrounds you.
Continue farther into the mountainous regions of Bhutan and head to the Shertang La Pass. Bike to the Ura Valley and see white sheep roam the countryside. Keep a look out for the Lunana mountain range looming in the north. Arrive in the village of Ura and camp overnight on a flat area in the valley.
Take on one last high altitude climb and journey to Thrumsing La, the highest road pass in Bhutan. After conquering the pass, stop for a celebratory lunch and take a 53-mile downhill ride to a tropical forest full of bamboo and rare plant life. Prepare for adventure as you bike down the side of a sharp cliff and continue on to the village of Mongar.
Get excited for another day of cycling and beautiful sights. Pedal through Kori La and see an ocean of cornfields and banana groves. Twist and turn through the hairpin roads in Yadi and continue to ride along the lively Gamri River. Arrive in Tashigang, a quaint village that rests by a valley.
Sit back and relax as we drive to Samdrup Jongkhar. Celebrate your amazing efforts and impressive accomplishments at a party in the evening. Not many individuals embark on a unique bike journey like this and we hope it is a memory that will stick with you forever.
On our final day, enjoy a scenic drive to Guwahati, a city in northeast India. Head to the airport where we say farewell. Take a short flight to Delhi and transfer to your flight home or to your next exciting destination.
Uma by COMO, Paro is a 29-room hotel set in Paro Valley with breath-taking views of the Himalayas. The Bukhari restaurant, set amid pine trees, uses mostly organic food from the surrounding area for Bhutanese delicacies such as pakshee paa, a sliced pork dish with chilies and radishes; ema datsee, a chili and cheese dish, or hewa datsee, a combination of potatoes, cheese and chilies. Uma by COMO, Paro is home to the COMO Shambhala Retreat, a holistic health spa with an open-air yoga pavilion overlooking the Paro Valley. Additional facilities include a business center, fitness center and swimming pool. The hotel is a 10-minute drive from the airport in Paro.
Situated in the Thimphu Valley, this new property seamlessly blends Bhutan’s Dzong architecture and modern design. Adorned with classical hand-drawn Buddhist murals, its 52 deluxe rooms, 5 luxury rooms, 3 deluxe suites, 2 duplex suites and 4 luxury suites all afford guests an authentic peek into the region’s art and color. All accommodations have wired and wireless Internet access. Food and beverage options include an all-day, international cuisine restaurant, Ara Bar, an authentic Bhutanese restaurant, and a tea lounge. The Taj Spa is equipped with single and double treatment suites and has a menu featuring Indian holistic and signature treatments, specially designed to maintain physical, mental and spiritual equilibrium. There is a fitness center and a heated indoor swimming pool. The property is a two-hour drive from the airport in Paro, which is the only airport in the country. It is a six-hour drive to Phuntsholing and a 3.5-hour drive to Punakha.
An intimate luxury lodge situated in a lush valley, the Uma by COMO, Punakha is nestled amongst rice fields and orchards, and overlooks a snake-like bend in the Mo Chu River. The lodge has a selection of villas suitable for a travel party of any size, as well as nine deluxe Valley View rooms with private terraces; all rooms boast comprehensive views of the surrounding landscape. The onsite restaurant, Bukhari, is named for a traditional Bhutanese fireplace, uses ingredients from local farms and can provide delicious meals for any palate. There is also a spa, the COMO Shambhala Retreat, with a range of holistic and Asian-inspired treatments, as well as hot tubs with a birds-eye view of the stunning scenery. Uma by COMO, Punakha is part of the award winning property and luxury retail group COMO Group, with a sister property in Bhutan called Uma by COMO, Paro.