Bhutan International Marathon

Marathon

Trip Length: 9 days
Trip Dates: March 2018

Activity Level: Challenging

Journey to Bhutan to challenge yourself and run a half or full marathon. Immerse yourself in Bhutan’s essence as you race through the Himalayas, by temples, villages, and wild nature. The adventure begins as you arrive in Paro, hike the Tiger’s Nest to acclimate, race, then experience the cultural highlights of Bhutan. This will be an unforgettable trip running a marathon and experiencing this jewel of the Himalayas!


Trip Highlights

• Acclimatization Hike to Tiger’s Nest
Bhutan International Marathon »
• Punakha Dzong
• Divine Madman’s Temple
• Pobjikha and Black-Necked Cranes
• Tours of Monasteries and Sacred Sites
• Thimphu Cultural Centers

Trip Details

Trip Cost: TBD
Ask about hotel upgrade if you prefer 4- or 5-star options
Guide: Tshering Tashi

Weather

Temperatures can vary greatly based on current weather. In general, weather is mild. Temperatures ranges from high 70’s to low 40’s in Punakha where the race occurs and a bit cooler in Thimphu. Wildflowers are in bloom and birdlife is abundant.

Race Information

Check out marathon website for course and race details:
BhutanInternationalMarathon.com »

9-Day Itinerary

Day 1, Arrival to Paro Airport
During the flight into Paro Airport, enjoy the view of Mt. Everest, Mt. Kanchenjunga and other Himalayan Mountains including the sacred Mt. Jomolhari and Mt. Jichu Drake. Upon arrival at Paro Airport, you will be greeted by the trip leaders and transported to your comfortable hotel in Paro. Overnight Janka Resort.

Day 2,
After breakfast, we will drive to the trail head and start hiking to Taktsang, or Tiger’s Nest, one of Bhutan’s most sacred sites and an architectural gem. We can take our time, visit the tea house, and explore this sacred pilgrimage site.  Difficulty: moderate to challenging- 4 miles, 3000 feet elevation gain to 10,200 feet. After the hike, we will drive to Thimphu, enjoy some of the sites and overnight Thimphu.  Overnight Hotel Sernya.

Day 3
Today we drive to Punakha where the race begins. We will drive to a 10,500 ft. pass called Dochula, where we will take time to photograph a set of 108 stupas, called chortens, constructed in honor of the Fourth King, and the distant peaks of the Bhutanese Himalaya. Register for race. Overnight Hotel Vara or  Damchen Resorts

Day 4 March 3, 2018
Day of Race. Overnight Hotel Vara or  Damchen Resorts

Day 5
Today we see the sites of Punakha. We will enjoy a very scenic walk to Chimi Lakhang, the temple dedicated to Bhutan’s most infamous saint, named Drukpa Kinlay. Difficulty: easy. We will spend about an hour here, then return to our van on narrow trails wedged between a series of terraced rice paddies. After lunch, we drive a half hour to the north to be guided through the huge and lovely Punakha Dzong at the confluence of the Mo Chuu (Female River) and the Pho Chuu (Male River). Overnight Hotel Vara or  Damchen Resorts

Day 6
Today we travel to Gangtey located in the Pobjikha valley where the endangered Black-Necked Cranes spend the winter. They will be migrating back to Tibet in the spring so we will see these majestic birds and visit the nature center. We can enjoy a walk through the countryside, time to read a book, or enjoy the sites of the town. Overnight Thegchen /Dewachen or Padmasambhava hotels

Day 7
We begin our journey back to Thimphu and visit the Royal Botanical Garden. Overnight Hotel Sernya

Day 8
Explore Thimphu, visit textile museum, the school of arts and crafts, daphne paper factory, Takin zoo, and world’s largest Buddha statue, Tashichho Dzong. Time will be available to sightsee and shop if you choose. Overnight Hotel Sernya.

Day 10
Early departure to Paro Airport for flights bound to connections home.