The balance of culture and nature on this trip was great, and I loved the hike with the incredible views, camping in comfortable tents and sleeping bag and the service of the staff, as well as the cultural side of the trip.

Mona-Lisa, Wheelers Hill

1 – 3 travellers

Choose one of our itineraries or let Rare Air devise a customised tour to match your interests. Alternatively you can join like-minded fellow travellers on one of our fixed date departures. This is a great option for trekkers wanting to walk safely in a group. Bhutan is one of the safest destinations to travel to, particularly for solo women travellers. However there is no such thing as going completely solo in Bhutan as the government requires that a guide and driver accompany all travellers. At Rare Air we work with only government accredited guides and drivers.

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Group Travel

All of our itineraries are suitable for group travel but can be tweaked to meet the needs or interests of your particular group. Rare Air can also provide your group with a customised itinerary to make sure your group experiences the best bits of Bhutan. A government accredited guide and driver and a comfortable, suitably sized vehicle is provided for your group at no additional cost.

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Walking Clubs

We love to walk at Rare Air and pride ourselves on devising perfect itineraries for walking clubs, be it trekking or hotel based hiking trips. We can match the ability of your group to the most suitable trails and treks. For all of our walking trips you will carry only a daypack. On the treks, ponies carry all equipment so you are free to enjoy lightweight walking and concentrate instead on the incredible scenery. You can choose any of our walking or trekking itineraries or Rare Air can provide a customised program for your club. Other treks are also available.

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Bhutan is an ideal destination for families. Your guide and driver will be on hand to take care of all the logistics of your trip and you will be free to enjoy the sights. Bhutan is regarded as one of the safest countries in Asia and it’s low population makes for easy travelling. We suggest you mix up your trip, perhaps by adding in a short, easy, slow paced trek, so as not to overdose on temples! Talk to us about suggested tailor-made itineraries.

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Bhutan is sandwiched between the two powerhouses India and China. It lies on the Eastern Himalayan Range with much of the country being quite mountainous. It is geographically quite close to Nepal but separated by the Indian state of Sikkim. It is politically aligned to India and doesn’t maintain diplomatic relations with China.
Most people like to fly to Paro, Bhutan’s only international airport, which is serviced exclusively by the two Bhutanese carriers Bhutan Airlines and Druk Air. Both use Airbus A319 planes that seat 114. Access to Bhutan by air is via Bangkok, Singapore, Kathmandu, New Delhi or Kolkata. Airfares are expensive. There are also three road crossings into Bhutan from the southern border with India, via Phuentsholing, Gelephu or Samdrup Jongkhar.
Yes. To make it easier for you, we include it as part of your package and will email it to you before departure.

The two high seasons in Bhutan are spring and autumn. Both offer good, usually mild weather with the possibility of an occasional shower. In spring the rhododendrons are in bloom and autumn is lush and green after the summer rains.

Winter can be a marvellous time to visit Bhutan as the skies are wonderfully clear and the views of the mountains are superb. Eastern Bhutan is well worth a visit in winter. The lower altitudes make for mild temperatures and days can often be clear and sunny.

Summer is not recommended as there are frequent showers and some of the walking trails abound with leeches! We offer discounts on some of our trips that can be done in low season: Western Bhutan Explorer, Bhutan Heartland, Textiles of Eastern Bhutan, Bhutan on a Plate, Temples of Bhutan and Bhutan East to West.

Trekking is best done in the high season, March to May and September to November, with some overlap into low season. Early June and early December can still be okay for trekking, when the weather in the mountains is still mostly clear and the nights are a bearable level of freezing! All gear for our treks is carried on horses, unlike the use of porters in Nepal, and the higher incidence of snow on trekking routes during the colder months makes it impossible for the horses to travel then. Spring is the best time to see the rhododendrons and wildflowers.
Everything! Rare Air provide a government-accredited English speaking guide, a government-accredited driver, air-conditioned vehicle, all transport in Bhutan, airport transfers, all meals, tea and coffee, twin share accommodation in comfortable 3-star hotels with private bathrooms, visa and all entrance fees to tourist sites. On trek we also provide all camping gear, extra staff, a cook and horses for carrying all gear.
You are unlikely to experience altitude sickness on our walking and cultural tours but trekking can be made more challenging by high altitude. We plan our treks to gain height slowly, with some rest/acclimatisation days factored in. Keeping hydrated is crucial for helping the body acclimatise and you should aim to drink around 4 litres for women and 5 litres for men per day. You should talk to your doctor about preventative medication, particularly if you have suffered from altitude sickness before.

Please speak to your travel doctor to find out what vaccinations you need.

For our cultural trips fitness is not a pre-requisite.

For our walking tours you need to have a good level of fitness and for our Walking With The Thunder Dragon tour you will need a very good level of fitness.

For our treks you will need a very good level of fitness and for our remote extended treks you will need a very high level of fitness.

Our day hikes can go above 3,000 metres in altitude and our treks go above 4,000 or 5,000 metres, depending on the grading. You will be likely to experience shortness of breath but having good underlying fitness will help to overcome the altitude and make the whole trip more enjoyable.

Level 1 - Easy grade trips: good level of fitness with the ability to walk uphill over short distances of about 1 hour’s duration.

Level 2 - Easy-medium trips: very good level of fitness with the ability to walk sustained uphill distances for 3 hours.

Level 3 - Medium grade trips: high level of fitness with the ability to walk sustained uphill distances for 5 - 6 hours.

Level 4 - Medium-hard grade trips: very high degree of fitness with the ability to walk uphill for up to 7 hours.

Level 5 - Challenging level trips: excellent degree of fitness with the ability to walk uphill for up to 8 hours at altitude over 5,000 metres. There may be other challenges such as river crossings or rocky, uneven terrain and even ice or snow.

Bhutan is a very safe destination. It has a low crime rate, particularly violent crime, and isn’t beset by scam artists. All trips to Bhutan are package tours, so your guide and driver will always accompany you. We only use government-accredited guides and drivers for our trips. It is also a safe destination for women, with harassment being quite rare.

The sale of tobacco is prohibited in Bhutan and you never see people smoking on the street, unlike other destinations in Asia. The Bhutanese are very modest in their dress and expect visitors to wear appropriate clothing. Loose and comfortable is best, with arms and legs covered, particularly when visiting temples or government buildings.

Bhutanese cuisine is very simple but quite delicious. Rice is usually served with several small dishes, banquet style. Vegetarians are well catered for, as are those with gluten intolerance. Vegans are not well catered for, as butter is often the cooking fat of choice, but vegan dishes are available on request. Bhutanese are not big fans of sweets, so dessert is most likely to be a piece of fruit. If you need chocolate, be sure to bring your own. The Bhutanese love chillies and mostly don’t inflict them on tourists but at least one dish will contain them.

It’s not safe to drink the water, but it can be boiled in your hotel room. On treks, pre-boiled water is provided. Tea is the main drink of Bhutan but coffee is available. Herb tea is uncommon but you can often get a ginger or lemon tea that is caffeine-free. Alcohol can be purchased at the hotels but is not included in the tour price.

We are a plastic bottle free company and ask you to BYO good quality, leak-proof drinking bottles. Bhutan has limited recycling facilities and we would prefer not to contribute more plastic waste.

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