At a glance
Recently boasted worldwide as the country with the highest “Gross National Happiness,” Bhutan is a Buddhist kingdom located on the Himalaya’s eastern edge. From subtropical plains to steep mountainous ranges and deep vibrant valleys, Bhutan is uniquely beautiful. With it’s deep history rooted in Buddhism, Bhutan is sacred, dotted with monasteries, ancient fortresses and immaculate scenery.
The country has gained a mythical status as somewhat of a Shangri-La, due to its pursuit of “gross national happiness” rather than a growing GDP, pointedly professing in 2012 that it had the highest happiness rate in the world.
It only opened its doors to tourists in the last 40 years, making the destination an intriguing place for visitors to explore and discover.
Why cyclists love it
- It’s one of those bucket-list destinations that is completely off the beaten tourist track.
- Cycling Bhutan is pure magic. Passing lush valleys, ancient monasteries and awe-inspiring overlooks are enough to draw in outdoor enthusiasts of all sorts.
- Tours here tend to include adventuring of all sorts--from cycling to hiking to whitewater rafting--all in an effort to take in Bhutan’s rich beauty.
A bit of alpine cycling, a dash of scenic hiking, and a splash of thrilling whitewater rafting makes for the perfect way to discover the ancient kingdom of Bhutan! Through several adventure sports, you will witness the country’s incredible culture and beauty. This unique country’s tradition persists, as seen through locals’ dress, ancient architecture and unique cuisine. This tour begins with several days of bicycling the country’s capital, Thimphu, the Punakha Valley, and the spiritual capital of Punakha Dzong. After cycling, you’ll switch modes of travel and spend a half day hiking in Punakha, ascending into a beautiful temple perched high above the valley. Afterwards, cool off with whitewater rafting in the Pho Chu River. Finish your adventure in Paro, with a hike to “Tiger’s Nest,” a temple located on a cliff’s face, high above ground level.
Tour details >
Currency: Bhutanese ngultrum, Indian rupee
Size: 14,824 square miles; 38,394 square km
Border countries: China and India
National tourist office: http://www.tourism.gov.bt/