Bhutan is a mountain nation tucked in the heights of the Himalaya mountains between Nepal and India. Bhutan is a famously independent nation, which has resisted colonization for centuries, despite its critical position along the silk road. Throughout human history merchants and explorers have traveled along the mountainous trade route through Bhutan, experiencing the striking beauty of the Himalayas and the nation’s rich Buddhist culture, with stops at remote Buddhist temples such as the legendary Taktsang or Tiger’s Nest providing a dash of divine support for the rigorous road ahead through the mountains.
Ryder-Walker has developed what we think is the ultimate trek through the Bhutanese mountains, visiting a variety of ancient and isolated cultures all while under the gaze of the mighty Chomolhari – the mountain of the Goddess. The Thimpu, Lingzhi, and Laya Trek, takes you through the heart of the Himalayas, far past the reach of roads or traditional tourist travel. Our journey begins in the city of Thimpu, where we visit the Tiger’s Nest temple for a travel blessing and Himalayan travelers have done for centuries, then traveling to the high alpine village of Lingzhi, and finishing by journeying through the ultra-remote region of Laya, home to the ancient Layap people.
Bhutan holds a unique cultural history in the historically contentious Himalaya in that it has remained an independent nation since its official formation in the 1600s. However, the Buddhist traditions and history of Bhutan are many centuries older, with temples dotting the mountain hillsides at seemingly unreachable heights and extremes, such as the cherry tree-dotted orchards of Kyichu Lakhang. The people of the Himalayan extremes in Bhutan live through a mixture of tourism, herding yacks, and other traditional trades. While the days are gone of the precipitous Silk Road being the economic heart of the Himalayas, the settlements that arose around it still exist today. The most striking of these settlements are the Bhutanese Dzongs, which are walled fortress-temples that stick out imposingly from the peaceful mountain landscape.
Bhutan is a land of deep meadowed valleys, lively market-cities, and the towering glaciated summits of the Himalayan mountains. Our Thimpu, Lingzhi, and Laya trek centers around the Chomolhari mountain. Referred to as the Mountain of the Goddess, or the Bride of Kanchenjunga is a dominating pyramidal peak that rises nearly 9,000 feet above the valley floor to its summit at 24,000 feet. Originally as the home of a goddess, it was believed to be impossible to climb, and it remains relatively untouched by climbers, in part because of its sacred summit and in part because of the remote nature of the Bhutanese mountains. Our trek through Bhutan makes use of excellent trekking camps that are supported by Sherpas, visits walled Dzongs, and spends the days hiking historic routes that are physically demanding but not particularly technical.
Guided Tours: Bhutan
Chomolhari (24,035 feet) rises like a lofty pyramid on the border between Bhutan and Tibet. Known as Jomolhari “Mountain of the Goddess” by the Tibetan people, Chomolhari is the region’s most sacred mountain, and it’s also the highlight of our fully supported, 16-day hiking tour through the wild, undiscovered Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan. Beginning in the vibrant cultural center of Paro, we ...View Trip Details
*All prices are per person based on double occupancy and subject to change