|Type of tour:||Guided|
|Distance:||28 Miles/day average|
|Dates:||Jun 2; Jul 2; Sep 30; Oct 28, 2014; Jun 8, Jul 6, Aug 10, Oct 12, 2015 (Additional dates available for private groups)|
|Start city:||Paro, Bhutan|
|End city:||Paro, Bhutan|
Discover the ancient kingdom of Bhutan by many modes. Mix a bit of scenic alpine cycling; a dash of cultural hiking; a splash of thrilling whitewater rafting and you have our Multisport Adventure - Discover Bhutan.
This unique country, thought to be the inspiration for Shangri-la, has managed to combine tourism with growth without sacrificing its soul. The ancient ways of life still prevail, men go to work dressed in traditional robes called gho and women in their wraparound kiras. Ancient architectural styles influence newer hotels and fresh mountain vegetables and chilis are combined with cheese for flavorful dishes that have been enjoyed through the centuries.
Your journey begins with several days of bicycle touring, first exploring the seldom visited valleys north of Bhutan's capital city of Thimphu, where you visit the Gompas of Pangri, Tango and Cheri. Then bike up and over Dochula Pass, or take a shuttle, and ride down into the Punakha Valley. Explore the valley by bike, cycling to the spiritual capital at Punakha Dzong. Other than the optional climb, most of your bicycling is in valleys, with gently rolling hills and scenic landscapes.
Switching modes of travel, you spend a half day hiking in Punakha, ascending to a beautiful temple perched high above the valley floor. Then cool off in the afternoon with some whitewater rafting on the Pho Chu River, class 2 and 3 rapids, big enough to be fun, small enough for all to enjoy. Finish your adventure back in Paro with a hike to fabled Taktshang Goemba, better known to foreigners as Tigers Nest, a temple perched on a sheer cliff face, hundreds of feet above the valley floor. Unlike many other tours, you'll have special permits to hike to the actual monastery for a visit, not just view it from far away.
Learn more about guided trips
Day 1: Paro Valley - Thimphu (15 miles/25 km)
Your multisport adventure through the fabled kingdom starts with one of the world's most scenic flights, coming into the Paro Valley. After stepping off the plane into the cool mountain air, we will enjoy lunch and then a short drive to Thimphu (37 mi/60 km/2 hr). Time permitting we will visit the National Museum of Bhutan. You will have time to admire the museum's collection of rare Bhutanese artifacts, art, traditional weaving and other eclectic pieces. This afternoon you will prepare your bike and enjoy a brief sightseeing ride around the city. Wind down your first day in Bhutan with a welcome dinner and orientation.
Overnight in Thimphu.
Day 2: Thimphu (36 miles/58 km)
The ride today heads through a region not often seen on other bike tours in Bhutan, pedaling north to visit the Pangri, Tango and Cheri Gompas. These fortified monasteries have provided spiritual guidance to the local residents for centuries. Now the Tango and Pangri Gompas are centers of higher learning, with Pangri teaching astronomy and Tango instructing monks in Buddhist Philosophy. Cheri monastery was built in 1620 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in memory of his father. Beautiful frescoes of saints, who have attained Buddhahood, adorn the monastery, including a very beautiful statue of 'Tara'. It is now a place where monks go for a three-year retreat.
Overnight in Thimphu.
Day 3: Dochula Pass - Panukha (31 miles/50 km, or 43 miles/69 km)
Mid-morning you can transfer to Dochula Pass (10170 feet/3100 m). You also have the option to cycle up. The views from the pass are magnificent, offering a panorama of the eastern Himalayas. Enjoy lunch at the pass before starting the 26 mile descent from the pass to Punakha through the leafy temperate forests and semi-tropical zone with abundant orange trees, bananas and bamboos.
Overnight in Panukha.
Day 4: Panukha (28 miles/45 km)
Today's relatively flat ride offers opportunities to visit some of the famed temples of the region and enjoy the quiet rural countryside. Today you will visit the Punakha Dzong built in 1637 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel, a Buddhist saint who unified Bhutan in the 17th century. Punakha served as the capital of Bhutan until 1955 and it still is the winter residence of the Je-Khenpo, Chief Abbot, and the central monk body.
Overnight in Punakha.
Day 5: Panukha
Switching modes of travel today, you will set out for a hike through the countryside, visiting several small villages before reaching a temple overlooking the valley. From this higher vantage point you can enjoy great vistas of the area through which you rode yesterday and will raft later today. Descending back to the valley floor, enjoy a great Bhutanese lunch before setting out to raft the Pho Chu River. This scenic float throws some class 2 and 3 rapids at you to excite and refresh, a great way to round out our visit to the Punakha Valley.
Overnight in Panukha.
Day 6: Panukha - Paro
After breakfast, you will be shuttled back to Paro, where you spend your last couple of nights. Our hotel here is the former residence of the local governor. In the afternoon, you will visit a small village further up the valley, and experience daily life, as you visit a family farm and explore the village.
Overnight in Paro.
Day 7: Paro - Tatshang Goemba
This morning you will hike to visit the renowned Tigers Nest Monastery, Taktshang Goemba. You will have permits to actually visit the temple and will enjoy most of day there in the mountains, hiking and sightseeing. The Taktshang Goemba is one of Bhutan's most spectacular monasteries, clinging to the cliff face, high above the surrounding valley floor. Upon your return to Paro, you will have a chance to explore the local shops before gathering for a final Bhutanese dinner.
Overnight in Paro.
Day 8: Paro
You will transfer back to the airport for your departing flight.
Jun 2; Jul 2; Sep 30; Oct 28, 2014; Jun 8, Jul 6, Aug 10, Oct 12, 2015 (Additional dates available for private groups)
|Tour package: scheduled departures|
|Tour package: private departures|
Available bikes (included in tour cost, must be reserved in advance at time of booking):
Bikes come equipped with:
The bikes will have FLAT pedals. If you want to bring your own pedals, please bring your own shoes and also the necessary equipment to change the pedals.
If you plan to bring your own seat, please ensure that it has a universal seat post.
Helmets are NOT available for rent on this tour; we recommend that you bring your own for safety and hygiene purposes.
Water bottles are not included on this tour. For hygiene and ecological reasons we recommend that you bring your own water bottle.
The entire cycling section is on paved roads, narrow but with little or no traffic. The hiking involves a steady, but not steep ascent to the monastery. The white water is a mix of classes 2, 3 and 4 rapids.
The tour is moderately challenging, due to the white water rafting. There are a total of 4 cycling days that average out to be about 28 miles per day of cycling, which sets a leisurely pace.
Tour start and end
Nearest airport: Paro, Bhutan
Pick up and drop off at the airport is included with the tour package price.
Druk Air is the only carrier serving Bhutan, with flights from Bangkok, Delhi, Kathmandu and Calcutta. Airfare is approximately $915, with occasional fare discounts offered during the low season (summer and winter).
Flights from Bangkok and Delhi depart early in the morning, requiring most guests to arrive a day early in order to meet the flight. The return flights from Paro, arrive back at either Bangkok or Delhi in mid to late afternoon. Kathmandu and Calcutta are stops on the flights from Delhi and Bangkok respectively, so subsequently have later departures and earlier returns.
Passports are required for all guests. Your passport should have at least 6 months validity past your intended travel dates.
Weatherspark.com offers information on average weather conditions at most destinations throughout the globe. Type a destination in the search box, and select "Averages," and you'll find a range of information such as average high and low temperatures, precipitation, cloudy days, humidity and wind speed/direction.
Of course, if your tour is coming up in the next week, you can also select "Forecast" to get the most current information on upcoming conditions.
Pedalers Pub and Grille provide imaginative bike tours for cycling enthusiasts in Asia, Alaska and the Pacific. Enjoy fully supported rides through dramatic landscapes, boutique lodging and hearty meals featuring regional cuisine. Discover the country through the knowledge and stories of local cycling guides, enabling you to return home with an understanding of the local culture.
Strengths of Pedalers Pub and Grille include longer rides for cycling enthusiasts, local staff in each destination, imaginative routes and great value with first class accommodations at moderate tour prices. Among their numerous awards and distinctions is being placed in the top ten bike companies of the world-wide National Geographic Traveler Magazine, along with the National Geographic Adventure Magazine and Best Tour Operators on Earth. They have also been featured in 50 Tours of a Lifetime in 2010 for their Northern Highlights trip in Thailand.
Booking Terms and Conditions
Notice of cancellation must be made in writing and mailed to Pedalers Pub & Grille. The Date of Cancellation will be the day we receive your written notice of cancellation. Cancellations by phone or email will not be considered as valid notice.
Cancellations received before 45 days prior to the scheduled start of the ride will forfeit the deposits paid. Any monies paid in excess of the deposit will be refunded.
Cancellations received less than 45 days prior to the scheduled start of the ride will forfeit all payments made. No refunds will be made.
Our cancellation policy is strictly enforced with no exceptions including medical and family emergencies, deaths in the family, weather or civil unrest. Please note:
• There is no refund for arriving late or leaving a trip early.
• Single supplements are considered part of the trip price and are subject to cancellation fees.
• Pedalers Pub & Grille reserves the right to make route and accommodation modifications as needed.
• On the rare occasion when Pedalers Pub & Grille must cancel a trip, all payments received to date will be refunded, which constitutes full settlement.
• Pedalers Pub & Grille is not responsible for expenses incurred in preparation for any canceled trips, such as airline tickets, or for costs incurred due to travel delays, flight cancellation or illness.
• Guests who fail to complete the Rider Questionnaire prior to trip departure will not be allowed to join the trip and will be subject to Pedalers Pub & Grille standard cancellation policy as described above.
• We strongly recommend the purchase of trip cancellation insurance to cover non-refundable items in the event situations force you to cancel your travel plans.
After you sign up
Once we have processed and accepted your application, you will receive a notice of confirmation. In this confirmation will be additional details, such as access codes to your online rider information, meeting times and suggested flight times. You will find all of the information necessary to plan for your ride in the Pedaler's Biergarten area of our website. Here in addition to ride information, forum and a variety of tips & suggestion, you will find a Guest Questionnaire that MUST be completed in order to participate on the trip. Please note that in respect for our environment, we do not print a ride handbook and prefer to present this information online. If you do not have access to the internet please let us know.
Transferring to a different date
If you find you need to change your departure, you can request your booking be transferred to a different departure date without penalty up to 45 days prior to the originally booked tour's departure date. Requests for transfers to a new date made less than 45 days prior may be considered based on circumstances and if approved will be subject to a $100 rebooking fee per person, otherwise our normal cancellation policy applies. Requests for transferring your booking must be made in writing.
If you find you need change plans again and transfer your booking a 2nd time, there will be a $100 handling fee per person applied for the 2nd and all subsequent transfers. If after you have transferred a booking, you find you have to cancel completely, the cancellation penalty will be the higher of the tours on which you held reservations.
Travel Insurance Trip cancellation insurance, along with medical, baggage and flight insurance is available from World Nomads. Underwritten by Allianz, World Nomads offers low cost travel insurance in over 44 countries. With genuine 24/7 assistance anywhere on the planet provided by Mondial Assistance, the world's largest travel insurance and assistance company, and online claims and extensions from anywhere in the world while you are still away, World Nomads offers some of the best travel insurance in the world today. You can read more and get price quotes from our Travel Insurance page in the Biergarten section of our website.
Youth on Tours
Family Multisport Tours - Children from age 8 on up are welcome on our Family Multisport tours. We feel that this is the minimum safe age for the activities during the trips.
Bike Tours - Youths from age 16 on up are welcome on our standard Bike Tours. Children under the age of 16 will be considered on a case by case basis. If a family with younger children wishes to join a date, we will contact guests already registered on that date and with their OK, will accept the family's booking. Youths must share a room with a family member or have a private room (single supplement applies).
Guests are responsible for: choosing a trip that suits their abilities, level of fitness and state of health; arriving at the trip start with the clothing and gear recommended in the Ride Handbook, and with a bicycle suitable / suitably maintained for the ride; respecting the laws and customs of regions visited; following environmental guidelines and regulations while on the trip in accordance with leader directions; and respecting the rights and privacy of other trip members. Pedalers Pub & Grille reserves the right to refuse service to anyone at any time prior to or during the trip if, in Pedalers Pub & Grille's opinion, an individual's behavior or physical condition is not compatible with the general enjoyment and well-being of other trip members.
Pedalers Pub & Grille Limitations of Liability
Pedalers Pub & Grille is not liable for bodily injury or property damage as a result of (but not limited to): physical exertion for which a guest is not prepared; forces of nature; travel by plane, train, auto, boat or other conveyance, or by bicycle, kayak, horseback, foot or other form of active or adventure travel; consumption of alcoholic beverages; civil unrest; terrorism; breakdown of equipment; high altitude; lack of or limited access to medical attention in remote locations; and the adequacy of medical attention once provided. Pedalers Pub & Grille is also not liable for expenses (e.g., meals, transportation or hotel costs) not specified as included in the trip cost but which may be required to get to or from a trip start or end. Pedalers Pub & Grille reserves the right to make route and accommodation modifications as necessary to improve the trip's quality or to accommodate the comfort and well-being of guests. Guests grant Pedalers Pub & Grille express permission to take photographs or make film records of its trips for promotional and commercial use, as well as approving such use by third parties with whom Pedalers Pub & Grille may engage in joint marketing, without financial remuneration.
Pedalers Pub & Grille respects our customer's right to privacy. The personal information gathered from our website and from any printed applications or questionnaires is used solely by Pedalers Pub & Grille for the registration on, operation of and marketing of our tours. Some personal information, such as addresses, maybe exchanged with banking institutions while processing your payment. Pedalers Pub & Grille does not provide any customer information to any outside parties for marketing or any other non-transactional purposes.
This right to privacy extends to our trip rosters. It is entirely voluntary to have your personal information listed on the trip roster. You will have the opportunity to select this option while completing our Rider Questionnaire after you are registered. The trip roster will display name, city, state, email, phone and the answer to the About Me question. If you elect not to appear on the trip roster, you will not receive a copy of the trip roster.