BHUTAN

Our Bhutan yoga retreat weaves together the best of the country’s culture and nature as we explore ancient fortresses and temples, mingle with monks and hang prayer flags, ride the rapids and discover the significance (and crazy mish-mash look) of the native takin.

By limiting the number of tourist visas issued each year, Bhutan is one of the few countries able to sustain their endemic culture while welcoming in the wider world.  The result is a moving feast of culture, nature and local infectious smiles.

Bring your sense of wonderment and humor as we travel alongside the inspiring locals who measure their life and success by their Gross National Happiness and call the awe-inspiring Land of the Thunder Dragon home.

Retreat Details

Retreat Adventure Duration: 10 Days / 9 Nights • Starting at $6995 per person

October 12 - 21, 2017Gioconda Parker
February 4 - 13, 2018Jenniferlyn Chiemingo
Oct 27 - Nov 5, 2018Melissa Smith

Accommodations

Thimphu

Our first nights in Bhutan on the bank of the Thimphu Chu river are a blend of natural beauty and modern comforts.  Soak up river views at meal times which feature Thai, Chinese, Indian and continental cuisine as well as traditional Buddhist dishes.  If you can, find some free time to try your hand at Bhutan’s national sport on their archery field during the day and sit by the fire and enjoy the stars by night.

Punakha

From the river we head to the forest and gorgeous views of the Punakha Valley below.  Contemporary design melds perfectly with cultural aesthetics from the quiet of reception to the simple luxury of the rooms with their individual meditation-inspiring balconies.

Paro

Bhutanese art and culture are felt in the colors and woodwork of the awe-inspiring reception hall and in the subtle accents in each room of this 5-star, wholly Bhutanese owned, boutique hotel.  Spacious rooms, all with sitting areas and balconies, include the modern comforts of wifi and heated floors for a luxury in-room experience.  The hotel boasts a temple, built from the 450 year old timber of the Gangtey Monastery, on the second floor and an outdoor Meditation and Tea House to complete the beauty out-of-doors.

Itinerary

 

Board your included flight from Bangkok to Paro and to begin your unique Bhutan yoga retreat and ten days of amazing cultural exploration.

Day 1Day One
  • Fly into Bhutan through the Paro Valley and spy the Pa Chu (Paro river) and Ta Dzong (watchtower)
  • Exit the arrivals at the airport to meet up with our guide and head out for the 1 hr drive to Thimphu
  • Stop to visit Tamchogg Lhakhang – one of the 108 chain link bridges built in the 14th century
  • Check in and unwind and relax (for a little bit)
  • Head to Thimpu to explore the King’s throne room and nation’s largest monastery at Tashichho Dzong
  • Opening yoga circle and class
  • Group dinner and welcome to Bhutan!
Day 2Day Two
  • Early morning yoga and hearty breakfast
  • Morning hike across the Thimphu River to the Cheri Goempa Monastery
  • Time to meet and learn from the monastery’s Buddhist monks and receive a special blessing
  • Transfer back to town for a lunch sampling the local cuisine
  • Explore the oldest monastery in Bhutan, Pangri Zampa, which is still in use today as a school of astrology
  • Return to the hotel for the evening yoga class
  • Group dinner at the hotel
  • Optional – if you’ve got the energy, head out to one of Thimpu’s dance clubs (electronic beats anyone?)
Day 3Day Three
  • Early morning yoga and breakfast
  • Visit Memorial Chorten, set up for the man popularly thought of as the Father of Modern Buddhism
  • Travel on to the beautiful Buddha Dodernma, one of the largest Buddha statues in the world
  • Sample authentic Bhutanese cuisine in a local restaurant
  • Visit Motithang Takin Preserve and learn the folklore and history of the takin – the national animal of Bhutan
    • Enjoy a hike through the preserve among the prayer flags and small temples
  • Afternoon visit to the National Library and the superb examples of old and new Buddhist manuscripts
  • Explorations of Thimphu including the Folk Heritage Museum and the school of Zorig Chusum
  • Evening yoga practice
  • Group dinner at the hotel
Day 4Day Four
  • Early morning yoga session and breakfast
  • Drive to Punakha up and down through the Dochula Pass in the gorgeous Himalayan mountains
  • Mid-drive stop to visit the 108 stupas at Dochu La and the Druk Wangyel Lhakhang
  • Hike to the Chimi Lhankhang – a temple dedicated to a great yogi known as the “Divine Madman”
  • Lunch at a local restaurant en route to Punakha
  • Explore the Punakha Dzong – the religious and government center of Punakha between the Pho Chu and Mo Chu rivers
  • Dinner at the local hotel (no evening yoga)
Day 5Day Five
  • Early morning yoga and breakfast at the hotel
  • Head out for a big day on the river rafting either the Mo Chu or Po Chu rivers
    • Raft through the stunning Bhutanese backdrop and by the 17th century Punakha Dzong – no experience necessary, just a willingness to paddle and get wet!
  • Freshening up and lunch at the hotel and a small rest
  • Drive to visit the Nalanda Buddhist College and walk down to Punakha Dzong on an ancient walking path
  • Dinner at the local hotel (no evening yoga)
Day 6Day Six
  • Early morning yoga and group breakfast
  • Drive to the suspension bridge and begin a hike to the gorgeous lhakhang of Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten
  • Enjoy a picnic lunch and stunning view of the valley after the hike
  • Visit to the Sangchhen Dorji Lhendrup Lhakhang Nunnery
    • Explore the beautiful statues of Avalokiteshvara, Gautama Buddha – the nunnery also acts as a center of meditation
  • Walk back to the hotel and enjoy the quick stroll through the pine trees and town
  • Evening outdoor yoga (weather dependent) at the hotel
  • Group dinner at the hotel
Day 7Day Seven
  • Early morning yoga and breakfast at the hotel
  • Transfer to the historic town of Paro
  • Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant in town
  • After lunch stroll to the National Museum
  • Head down a hillside trail to visit Rinpung Dzong with a commanding view of the Paro Valley
  • Visit Kyichu Lhakhang, the oldest and most sacred shrines of the Kingdom dating back to the 7th century
  • Evening yoga session at the hotel
  • Group dinner at the hotel
Day 8Day Eight
  • Get an early start this morning for breakfast
  • A short drive to the north of Paro Valley to Ramthankha to begin your hike to the Taktsang Monastery Tiger’s Nest
    • This most famous of Bhutan landmarks requires a hike of approximately 5 hours to reach the monastery
  • Learn the history and significance of the monastery as one of the most sacred and venerated sites in Buddhism
  • Hike down and head back to the hotel for a late afternoon rest
  • Evening yoga to unwind hiking muscles
  • Group dinner at the hotel
Day 9Day Nine
  • Early morning yoga and breakfast
  • Head out for a journey to Haa via the stunning scenery of the Chelela Pass
    • Stop along the Pass to enjoy the stunning roses, irises, rhododendrons and prayer flags
    • On a clear day take in stunning views of the sacred mountain of Jomothari
  • Enjoy a relaxed lunch in Haa at a local restaurant
  • Visit the main seat of Haa’s guardian deity, Ap Chundo, at Lhakhang Karpo (the White Temple)
  • Explore the duality of the region by following up the White Temple with the Black Chapel, Lhakhang Narpo
    • Built on a lake in the 7th century by Tibetan King Gampo in his mission to build 108 monasteries in a day
  • Head back to Paro for the adventure’s final yoga class
  • Group farewell dinner and (sniff) packing
Day 10Day Ten
  • Group breakfast and final Bhutan goodbyes
  • Transfer to the Paro airport for your flight to Bangkok and onward back home
BHUTAN

What's Included

What’s Included:
  • Ten days in-country with an expert local English speaking guide
  • Bhutan visa and permit management
  • Round trip flight from Bangkok to Bhutan
  • Breakfast each morning at our hotels
  • All lunches including local eateries and picnic(s)
  • All dinners in a local restaurant or at our hotels
  • Morning and evening yoga on most days (please see the full itinerary for yoga schedule)
  • Three nights luxury boutique hotel in Thimphu
  • Three nights luxury boutique hotel in Punakha
  • Three nights luxury boutique hotel in Paro
  • Full day excursion and hike to the iconic Tiger’s Nest Monastery
  • White water rafting on the Mo Chu River
  • Nature encounter with Bhutan’s national animal, the takin, at the Motithang Takin Preserve

 

  • Hike to the Cheri Goempa Monastery
  • Visit with Buddhist monks and individual blessing (if desired)
  • Opportunity to hang your own prayer flag
  • Explore Pangri Zampa Monastery
  • Up close and personal with one of the worlds largest Buddha statue – the Buddha Dodernma
  • Explore Chimi Lhakhang – the temple of the “Divine Madman”
  • Drive through and time to explore the Chelala Pass’s vibrant flora and views of Mt. Jomolhari
  • Day trip to Haa
  • Visit to Lhakhang Karpo (the White Temple) and Lhakhang Narpo (the Black Chapel)
  • All entry fees for the above sights and additional activities as listed on the itinerary
What’s Not Included:
  • Flights to Bangkok, Thailand (BKK)
  • Any video or still camera fees assessed by the monuments or places of interest
  • Alcohol
  • Gratuities (for your Bhutanese guide – all other gratuities are covered)
  • Items of a personal nature (phone calls, souvenirs, spa services, etc)
  • Travel Insurance (required)

Testimonials

FAQs

You’ll want to schedule your flight into Bangkok (BKK) at least one day before the trip begins.  We have your flight from Bangkok to Paro, Bhutan taken care of on day one of your trip, but flight times are determined closer to the trip so everyone needs to be in the night before.

We’ll also fly you back to Bangkok on the last day of your adventure and we require that you not book any outbound flight from Thailand any earlier than 9pm on the last day.

All U.S. travelers will need a passport that is valid for at least 6 months beyond your date of arrival and have at least one blank page for entry stamps.  We will be taking care of visas for all travelers and will require a full color, scanned copy of your photo passport page (photographs are not allowed).  Entry information can change so please visit the State Department’s website for up to date information.

Travelers from all other countries should check with their government for passport entry requirements.  We will obtain visas for all travelers.

Electricity in Bhutan runs on 220V. Most U.S. based devices that need to be charged (including camera batteries, mp3 players, etc.) work with outlets ranging from 110–240 volts, so they typically do not require a power converter. However, it will be up to you to check your individual electronics. This information is located on the plug itself and is usually very easy to find.

Outlet configurations in Bhutan are normally European-style: round, two- or three-pronged. As outlets can change from place to place, we recommend you bring an outlet adapter to ensure you do not have problems plugging your devices in. Hotel Zhiwa Ling in Paro uses U.S. outlets.

Yes!  Please note that travel insurance in required for all travelers and proof on insurance will be required on day one.  All plans must include medical evacuation coverage.  Please contact The Travel Yogi with any questions.

Yes, all of our lux hotels will have wifi available.

On this adventure, yes, it is necessary that you bring your own mat with you.  Our guides will carry them for you, along with your luggage.  A mat and a strap are good options but unless you absolutely need a block, we recommend you leave that at home.  The Travel Yogi teachers that head out to Bhutan devise classes without props.

There are no inoculation requirements at this time but it is suggested that you be up to date on your tetanus, typhoid and hepatitis A.  Any questions about your specific inoculation needs to should directed to your personal physician in advance of this adventure.