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!
• Tours of Monasteries and Sacred Sites
• Thimphu Cultural Centers
Trip Cost: TBD
Ask about hotel upgrade if you prefer 4- or 5-star options
Guide: Tshering Tashi
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.
Check out marathon website for course and race details:
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.
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.
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
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
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
We begin our journey back to Thimphu and visit the Royal Botanical Garden. Overnight Hotel Sernya
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.
Early departure to Paro Airport for flights bound to connections home.