Western Bhutan Mountain Biking Tour

Adventure Sports

  • Guaranteed Satisfaction
  • Transparent Price
  • No hidden fees
  • Experience of a More than 10 Years
  • Personal Touch & Professional Service

US$ 2,250 P/P

Trip Info

  • Duration

    9 Days

  • Max. Altitude

    Taktsang Monastery, 3120 m m

  • Difficulty

    moderate

  • Starts From

    Paro

  • Trip Ends At

    Paro

  • Transport

    Private Drive, Mountain Bike

  • Best Season:

    • Spring (Mar, Apr)
    • Autumn (Mid-Sep - Mid November)

Western Bhutan Mountain Biking Tour is a special way to learn insight into unparalleled Bhutan and its culture, nature, people, and way of life, all while enjoying the thrills of mountain biking. It is a unique MTB journey through the high forested mountain passes, sweeping descents, multiple villages and towns, and a patchwork of paddy fields on a combination of pavement, jeep tracks, and some of the most beautiful single tracks. 

The vacation begins with an easy acclimatization ride in Paro Valley, continues to the capital city, and includes time to explore MTB tracks in the Thimphu valley while viewing the must-sees. You can enjoy the pure delight of mountain biking from a quiet picturesque to Punakha to hard encounters over mountain trails en route to Wangdue Phodrang and Gangtey Gompa. You can't help but be impressed by nature's exoticism as you approach lush pastures, gushing waterfalls, and sloping farms.

As you pedal across Bhutan, you are taken on a journey of self-discovery. Every turn of the wheel provides spectacular views of magnificent scenes and sights, fulfilling a cyclist's ideal. Along the pine forest, the fresh air combined with the sound of rustling leaves provides you with still another sense of tranquility. Outstanding scenery, plentiful fauna and plants, and highly devout and compassionate people make for an unforgettable biking tour. 

Note that the itinerary can be customized to fit your riding style, talents, and endurance level, as well as the number of days you choose to spend in Bhutan.

Trip Highlights of Wester Bhutan Mountain Biking Trip

  • Explore the numerous religious sites and beautiful surroundings
  • Ride to the Taktsang Monastery Base Camp and trek to the monastery, perched on a rock with views of mist-shrouded mountains and dense trees 
  • Immerse oneself in the rich culture of the country
  • Ride along the beautiful ridgelines surrounded by snow-capped peaks 
  • Unwind in a traditional hot stone bath after a week of non-stop pedaling 
  • Ride on one of the best MTB biking trails called the KC trail 

Best Season for Western Bhutan Cycling 

Biking in Bhutan can be done virtually any time of the year, however, the optimum seasons for bike and cycling vacations are spring and autumn/fall. The weather is typically clear in the spring (March-May). It is also the greatest time to visit for nature enthusiasts who want to witness nature's mysterious splendor. A wide range of flowers and plants bloom, making your trip an exotic one. Despite the frigid mornings and evenings, the weather becomes warm from September to November. The Black-Necked-Crane festival is held around this season. And the valley takes on a golden hue as the farmers prepare to harvest their rice crops in October. 

Summer/monsoon and winter are also options but the cold and rain can ruin your trip. August will see you drenched in rain, since the Monsoon is in full swing this season, resulting in more treacherous trails. It will be too chilly to ride after December, with the possibility of snow. 

Itinerary in Details

Day 1: Arrival in Paro

🕑 20 minutes drive to hotel

Max Altitude: 2200 m

Once you land at the Paro International Airport, your guide will receive you and transfer you to the hotel. After check-in formalities, you will have a short break to rest. Then, we will have lunch and your guide will go over the necessary pre-trip briefing, after which you will set up your bike. We hop on our bikes and spend the remainder of the day pedaling around Paro valley. 
As per the remaining time, we will ride up the hill to the Paro National Museum for the best view of the Paro valley. Many holy relics, works of art, and handicrafts are housed here, providing a remarkable insight into Bhutan's historical, cultural, and religious history. Then ride to the oldest temple of Bhutan that is believed to be built in the 7th century Tibetan ruler Songtsen Gampo. Located amongst the rice paddies, this temple has a large golden image of Buddha Shakyamuni inside. 

We will also go to the Paro Museum in Paro Rinpung Dzong meaning “fortress of a heap of Jewels”, which has native art, textiles, antiquities, and sculptures on display. We return to the hotel riding over the Wangdi River on a wooden bridge.

Enjoy the traditional Bhutanese Cuisine in the evening and spend the first night in awe.

Meals: Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation: Hotel

Day 2: Taktsang Monastery Base Camp ride, hike to the Monastery, back to Paro & ride to Thimphu

🕑 Cycled Distance: (~80 kms/6-7 hrs)

Max Altitude: 3120 m

We begin our ride early in the morning towards the Taktsang Monastery. We park our bikes at the base camp of the monastery and start our 2 hours long hike up to the renowned Tiger’s Nest Monastery perched on a 900 meters high cliff edge. The monastery is the prime highlight of any Bhutan tour as it is one of the most prominent landmarks of the country. Guru Rinpoche Padmasambhava, the founder of Bhutan's Mahayana Buddhism, is said to have arrived in the Paro Valley on the back of a tigress over a millennium ago and meditated for three months in one of the caves where the current monastery is located.

We might have lunch at the cafeteria located halfway to the monastery while returning. Then we descend back to the base camp, unlock our bikes, and ride back to the city. Soon after, we start pedaling towards Thimphu, Bhutan's capital city. We will stop along the way to see Tamchong Lhakang (the Iron Chain Bridge) and take a brief break to enjoy Bhutan's pure air and natural beauty. We will stroll across this 15th-century iron bridge, which has been reconstructed using an authentic chain link.

The road's gradient is ideal for bicycling because there are no high climbs or descents. We take a quick break at the hotel after arriving in Thimphu and ride our bikes through the markets. If you have energy left, we could take a ride to the Memorial Chorten (large stupa), which was created in commemoration of Bhutan's third King, King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, who reigned from 1952 to 1972.

Feet the vibrancy of the capital.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation: Hotel

Day 3: Thimphu Cross-Country Riding

🕑 Cycled Distance: (~40 kms/6-7 hrs)

Max Altitude: 2900 m

Soon after breakfast, we will start with a relaxing cross-country ride. After a moderate 4 km ascent, we will drop into Thimphu’s one of the best MTB trails, the KC (Kuenselphodrang Park to Changangkha) trail. Kuenselphodrang Park is also known as the Buddha Point and is one of the important places in the country. The KC Trail is an 8-kilometer stretch of flowing single-track with grin-inducing S-bends with pine and rhododendron forests on the west side of Thimphu Valley. Our ride concludes at Motithang, a beautiful monastery where we will enjoy a picnic lunch. The Thimphu Valley can be seen clearly from the monastery’s courtyard.

Following a picnic lunch, we'll hike up to the Takin Reserve Center to observe the national animal. Then proceed to the Wangditse MTB single-track trail, which begins at the Radio tower, where we will hike a bike for 20 minutes to Chokhortse Monastery (2900 m). The loop is approximately 6 kilometers long and includes some tough portions, but it is primarily a magnificent flowing single-track with spectacular views of the capital city. Ascend 300 meters through the blue pine forests before descending to Wangditse Temple. Riding down to Bebeba village is the next step. The entire ride is on a fantastic single-track with spectacular views of the capital city.

We will then visit the Folk Heritage, a three-story, 19th-century typical Bhutanese farm home that houses antiques from the rural dwelling and provides a taste of Bhutanese life. Religious tools and equipment and typical domestic items can be seen here. 

After our trip, you will have time to roam about the city and enjoy a delicious supper with some excellent craft beers at one of the city's greatest restaurants. 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation: Hotel

Day 4: Ride to Punakha

🕑 Cycled Distance: (~65 kms/5-6 hrs)

Max Altitude: 1200 m

After a traditional Bhutanese breakfast, we will set off and ride 16 kilometers from Simtokha to Dochula pass (3140 m), where we'll be treated to a breathtaking panoramic vista of the Himalayas.

Enjoy beautiful views of the Himalayas before setting off on the iconic Madman path, which will take us 2,300 meters down to Lobesa town in the Wangdue valley, some 25 kilometers away, over an ever-changing natural single-track. Once we reach Lobesa, we will pay our respects to one of Bhutan's most fascinating and eccentric history personalities nicknamed 'The Divine Madman' at the Chhimi Lhakhang – also known as the fertile monastery. It is a peaceful journey through a picturesque village surrounded by rice fields and folks working.

Our journey continues to Punakha via a pleasant length of sloping road that runs alongside the river.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation: Hotel

Day 5: Punakha Sightseeing & cross-country ride

🕑 Cycled Distance: (40-45 kms/6-7 hrs)

Max Altitude: 1200 m

We begin our day with a ride to the most beautiful structure in Bhutan, Punakha Dzong. Located at the confluence of Mo Chu and Pho Chu, this colossal structure has exquisite art, architecture, and historical significance.
After touring the fortress, we'll ride to Tshochhasa village and experience a 10-kilometer downhill with 1,000 meters of vertical gain. This track begins with some challenging rock gardens before opening up to a flowing track that will take us back into the valley of Punakha, which is home to Bhutan's longest suspension bridge and the rushing river Punakha.

After a lunch break by the river, we will ride the gorgeous Pho-Chu route for 7 kilometers on a tough undulating single-track. After exiting at the Samdingkhar Bridge we will be climbing to Sewla on the jeep track for another 10 kilometers. Once we get in Sewla, we'll be rewarded with a 10km ridge ride through gorgeous pine trees to Punakha. 

(Note:  We can also raft some white-water rapids in the afternoon at the Pho Chu and Mo Chu.)

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation: Hotel

Day 6: Ride to Gangtey Valley via Wangdue Phodrang

🕑 Cycled Distance: (78 kms/6-7 hrs)

Max Altitude: 3000 m

We head out for Gangtey via Wangdue Phodrang after a delicious breakfast. We keep on riding softly gaining altitude and stop at Nobding for lunch. From here, we'll ride about 8 kilometers down the ridges, passing by the Gangtey Gompa, one of Bhutan's most famous monasteries. From here, we'll continue cross-country riding on a magnificent length of terrain.

You'll enjoy it here because the trip takes us around the rim of the bowl-shaped wetlands and meadows, providing breathtaking vistas. The contrast of descending into the valley's unusual wide meadows is startling after cycling through magnificent rhododendron forest for most of our journey.

Later in the afternoon, we will either relax at the lodge or go on a walk around the valley.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation: Hotel

Day 7: Phobjikha/Gangtey Valley ride

🕑 Cycled Distance: (50 kms/6-7 hrs)

Max Altitude: 3000 m

The gorgeous Phobjikha valley is perfect for mountain bike rides. After breakfast, we take a journey to Gangtey Monastery to observe the beautiful temple and monastic school. Then we'll make a wonderful ride down to Longtey village and the surrounding area on the south side. We pass through pine forests and tall clumps of jade-hued bamboo adorned with prayer flags viewing the bowl-shaped wetlands and meadows. Along the way, we will be rewarded with breathtaking views. We enjoy our picnic lunch beside the river and make another round through the picturesque settlements of Phobjikha Valley.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation: Hotel

Day 8: Drive to Paro

🕑 7 hrs drive

Max Altitude: 2200 m

Today is a recovery day for your legs after a series of long riding days. We will depart from the lodge at Phobjikha valley and drive towards the Paro Valley. After 7 hours of the long drive, we reach the city and check-in at the hotel. You might go to a farmhouse to try an herbal hot-stone bath to relax your mind and body. This herbal hot-stone bath is also beneficial to ailments such as joint and muscular aches (after a hard week on the bike).

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation: Hotel

Day 9: Depart Paro

🕑 20 minutes drive to airport

Max Altitude: 2200 m

After breakfast, your guide will help with the check-out procedure and transfer you to the airport. Your guide will assist you with the paperwork and bid you farewell before departing on your next destination or home country.

Meals: Breakfast

Includes

  • Pick and Drop off to/from Airport as per itinerary
  • Bhutan Visa Fees
  • Bhutan GOVT Daily Royalty as per itinerary
  • Designated hotel or guest houses accommodation during the trip 
  • All of the meals (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner) 
  • Private transportation for sightseeing in Bhutan
  • Backup jeep/truck throughout the tour
  • An English-speaking local mountain bike guide
  • Fees for entrances and road permissions
  • Fees, royalties, and taxes levied by the government

Note: Bhuta Tour Packages are usually designed with minimum standard ( As per GOVT 3* Category) of Accommodation, wherever available and best available in remote areas. A couple of places in Cities can upgrade the accommodation and facilities as available and are interested in extra cost.

Excludes

  • International airfares ( Can be organize on Request)
  • Mountain Bike/bike rental (can be rented anywhere in Paro/ Thimphu) 
  • Gears (Available on rent if require) 
  • Personal Alcoholic/non-alcoholic beverages
  • Travel Insurance 
  • Tips for the supporting crew 
  • Any other expenses not mentioned as included

We provide neat, clean, and comfortable 3-star hotel accommodations on a double sharing basis. 4 stars & 5 stars are also available in the cities like Paro and Thimphu. But you can book them or upgrade on a single basis only at an additional cost. The best available guest houses or lodges will be the accommodations in the rural areas with basic facilities. 

Meals During the Western Bhutan Mountain Biking Trip

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are all included with hot and cold beverages. The hotels and restaurants commonly serve Bhutanese, Indian, and Chinese and Continental cuisines. All of our riding trips include delicious local and Western cuisine. Traditional Bhutanese cuisine is rich and well-known for its liberal use of chilies, but there are plenty of mild options for those who prefer. We can accommodate vegetarians and a variety of other special diets if we are notified ahead of time. Also, please include any special dietary needs if you have them.

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