Squashed into a high pocket of land between Sikkim, Assam, Tibet and Arunachal Pradesh in the northeast of India, Bhutan is an extraordinary country, home to a fascinating and unique culture, stupendous scenery and a truly charming people. This trip explores a land that has been cut off from the rest of the world - both through geographical positioning and its own political desires - so much so that in many places things have barely changed at all over the last 500 years.
On this trip we visit some of the many spectacular dzongs and monasteries of this stunning country. The dzongs are the imposing fortresses which are now the civil and religious centres of the districts, often strategically located on hillsides overlooking valleys or beside gushing rivers. We will also take to the trails of central Bhutan to view the rich agricultural landscapes of the countryside, walking through villages of traditional houses with rows of ethereal prayer flags blowing in the breeze, and experience the cultures and customs of these gentle people.
This is a land of demons and spirits, steeped in mysticism and rituals, and will have you gasping in wonder at its unspoilt natural beauty.
Tours that fall into this category are likely to involve at least a few challenging days and are often in destinations where tourism is still in its infancy.
You can typically expect a mixture of accommodation with some nights being spent in comfortable and characterful places, and some in more basic places, homestays or camping, especially where choices are limited.
These tours will typically involve a couple of days of easy/moderate trekking (3-5 hrs/day) or perhaps a more active approach to a cultural itinerary. For riding trips see the Riding Information section
With this rating, you can typically expect a tour with a strong focus on culture. Depending on the trip this could involve exploring ancient sites, medieval architecture, ethnographic museums and/or having tribal encounters.
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The ancient capital of Punakha is a pleasant town, and its dzong is one of the most photogenic of all Bhutan's ancient fortresses.