Traverse the Himalayan nation of Bhutan by bike on this week-long endurance challenge, which combines immersion in Bhutan’s undulating landscapes with experiences focused on Bhutanese heritage and culture. Land in Paro, head to the capital of Thimphu, climb the Dochula Pass to lush Punakha, then return to Paro and end your trip with a hike to the famous Tiger’s Nest Monastery.
• Hiking: Make a pilgrimage to the cliffside Tiger’s Nest Monastery.
• Biking: Take on the cycling challenge of Bhutan’s Himalayan topography.
• Landscapes: Absorb dramatic peak and valley views over the Land of the Thunder Dragon.
• Accommodation: Rest at Six Senses lodges - one of the world’s most sustainable hotel brands in one of the world’s most sustainable destinations.
Arrive into Paro, where you’ll be picked up from the airport and transferred to your accommodation, Six Senses Paro. The Six Senses brand is known for its commitment to sustainability, providing luxurious lodge accommodation in Bhutan that has a low impact on the surrounding environment and wildlife, but a positive impact on the local community. The lodge is perched above the Paro National Museum, which is the perfect introduction to Bhutan and a great place to visit if you have time for sightseeing on your first day. Relax and enjoy a dinner of authentic Bhutanese-style cuisine made using organic, local produce.
In the morning, you’ll drive for two hours to Bhutan’s capital, Thimphu, and dip your toe in the city’s attractions, learning about traditional Bhutanese arts and culture. After lunch, your cycling adventure starts with a loop to Dodina. Riding through villages, farmlands and forest to mountaintop monasteries, you’ll discover a side to Bhutan more off the beaten path. Descending back down to into the capital, you can rest and freshen up at Six Senses Thimphu with a meditation or yoga class (optional – at your own expense), followed by dinner at Namkha - the lodge’s restaurant, which specializes in Bhutanese and Indian cuisine.
Leave the capital for Punakha via the most challenging section of the cycling route, which sees you climb nearly 850 meters to an altitude of over 3,000 meters. This area, known as Dochula, is thought to have a special spiritual energy - 108 chortens (shrines or monuments) can be found atop the Dochula Pass. After refueling with lunch in a scenic spot with views over the steep valleys of the region, you’ll descend 1,750 meters into Punakha through beautiful blue pine forest. Your lodging will be at Six Senses Punakha, a “flying farmhouse” that looks out over verdant rice fields.
Today, you’ll remain based in Punakha and tackle the nearby Tashithang Loop. The first leg will be a gradual ascension of 1,785 meters, then a quick descension of 1,795 meters, followed by mostly level riding for the rest of the day. Your 62-kilometer route will wind through the area’s forests, known for their rhododendron trees, orchids and birdlife. Back at the lodge, take a dip in Six Senses Punakha’s outdoor pool, try Bhutanese dishes with a Western twist at restaurant Ari, then curl up with a good book in the lodge’s cozy library.
Your final ride in Punakha covers a shorter distance and a more gradual incline, as you spin around the gorgeous valleys that encase the city. Take a trip to Punakha Dzong, which dates back to 1638 – not a single nail was used in its construction. Next, you’ll visit Chimi Lhakhang, which predates the dzong by over 150 years; built in 1499, this temple has a rich history and is known for its fertility blessings. Enjoy your final night at Six Senses Punakha – we recommend a thorough massage (optional) to relax and unknot tired muscles after a tough few days of cycling.
You’ll leave Punakha early in the morning and take a road transfer back to Paro, which takes around four to six hours. On arrival, you’ll stretch your legs with a hike to the Taktsang “Tiger’s Nest” Monastery, which is cut into the cliffside. The path crosses a bridge, routes around a 60-meter waterfall and finally heads up the cliff to the sacred monastery – the most spectacular finale to your Bhutan travel experience.
Your Bhutan cycling adventure comes to an end, as you check out of Six Senses Paro and head to the airport for your onward flight. Consider adding extra sightseeing or relaxation time at the end of your trip, or combine Bhutan with a second destination for an even bigger adventure.
To further combat your carbon footprint, we advise offsetting your international flights through a carbon offset program, choosing an environmental cause that speaks to you.
With sacred sites, traditional architecture, and historical buildings, a trip to Paro, Bhutan, is like taking a trip back in time. Nestled in a scenic river valley, the town is the first stop to Bhutan for many, as it is home to the country’s sole international airport. Six Senses Bhutan Paro is perched directly above Paro National Museum, offering incredible views of the valley. Built in the midst of old stone ruins, charming interiors of hewn stone walls and working fireplaces will contrast mid-tone vertical timbers. Community gathering sites such as an open fire pit are available, and all resources used in the construction of this resort are sustainably sourced. The property offers 16 suites, two one-bedroom villas, one two-bedroom villa, and one three-bedroom villa that is perfect for families. Other facilities and services include an all-day dining restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating, a bar, banquet facilities, Spa and Wellness Center with gym, outdoor sauna, yoga room, relaxation and private meditation areas, indoor pool, library, and boutique. The Six Senses Bhutan Paro is one node of the collective Six Senses Bhutan hotels, meaning that guests can conveniently travel to Thimphu, Punakha, Gangtey, or Bumthang assured of the consistent quality of the Six Senses brand throughout their trip.
The capital and largest city of the Kingdom of Bhutan, Thimphu sits at around 8,000 feet above sea level and is 34 miles from the nation's international airport in Paro. As the nation's cultural heart, people venture to this remote capital to catch glimpses of rare Buddhist scriptures at the National Library or marvel at the Buddha Dordenma's 149-foot bronze statue. The Six Senses Thimphu is situated on the valley hillside just south of the town with spectacular views of Thimphu Valley and across to the giant Buddha. The hotel's décor has been designed to reflect the city's cultural dominance. Beautiful cultural items, handcrafted objects, and intricate weavings are abundant throughout the hotel, and modern interiors feature clean lines, wood paneling, whitewashing, and natural stone. Buildings are constructed from rust-colored bricks, and old solid wood has been repurposed into table and bench tops. The property offers 20 suites, 3 one-bedroom villas, 1 two-bedroom villa, and 1 three-bedroom villa. Facilities and services include a Living Room, all-day dining restaurant, private dining room, bar and lounge, banquet facilities, indoor pool, boutique, prayer pavilion, business center, sunken outdoor performance deck, and a Spa and Wellness Center with manicure and pedicure room, and a gym. A branch of the Six Senses Bhutan hotel, guests will be able to easily move on to Paro, Punakha, Gangtey, or Bumthang while still enjoying the comforts offered by the Six Senses brand.
The former capital of Bhutan, Punakha features stunning nature and enchanting cultural sites. Take in the breathtaking mountain vistas of Dochu La Pass, hike to Khamsum Yuley Monastery, or go river rafting along the Mo Chu River. The Six Senses Punakha is reached by a windy road that climbs through pine forests and passes streams, waterfalls, and chortens (Buddhist monuments). Just a 15-minute drive north of the grand Punakha Dzong, the lodge is nestled several hundred meters above the valley floor amidst the rice fields. Drawing on the region’s agricultural heritage, the hotel is designed in the style of a local farmhouse. Clean lines adorn the mud brick structures, and light fittings cleverly crafted from recycled mason jars illuminate the woven bamboo on the walls. The property offers 16 suites, a one-bedroom villa, a two-bedroom villa, and a three-bedroom villa. Facilities and services include a Living Room and Lounge, all-day dining restaurant, library, outdoor pool, and a Spa and Wellness Center with three single rooms, gym, two meditation huts, and yoga facilities. A satellite hotel of the Six Senses Bhutan, guests can travel to other cities in the country — such as Paro, Thimphu, Gangtey, or Bumthang — all under the Six Senses name. With the opening of the Six Senses Bhutan Punakha, this special hotel will tentatively be added to the Remote Lands itineraries.
Price is based on double or twin hotel room occupancy and includes accommodation, transfers, car/driver (on some days), meals and two liters of water per day, bike or e-bike, English-speaking biking guide, a support vehicle, spare bike parts and tools, activities and entrance fees, Bhutan travel permits and visa processing. Flights and optional special activities will be quoted separately. Most personal expenses, including dinners, alcoholic beverages, spa treatments and gratuities can be paid on the spot while traveling. Prices may vary depending on season, choice of accommodation and other factors.
With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.
With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, in the continent that our north American founders Catherine and Jay have adored and explored for decades, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.
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