Embracing the majesty of mountain biking in the Kingdom of Bhutan
On our mountain bike tour in Bhutan we invite you on a road to self-discovery in a country that measures its progress in terms of happiness. And what could define happiness better than descending into one lush green valley after another, always accompanied by Buddhist shrines and the mighty Himalayas?!
Combined with cultural highlights such as the world famous Tiger’s Nest monastery, this is an unforgettable adventure that will leave you feeling that you’ve experienced the soul of Bhutan.
After a long time in the planning we headed to Bhutan with Dan Milner to experience and document the incredible culture, landscape and trails that make this kingdom a mountain bike Kingdom. This is MTB adventure in Bhutan.
- Descend to/from the world-famous Tiger’s Nest monastery
- Stay in typical Bhutanese hotels immersing yourself in the rich culture
- Descend 15km – 30km per day on sublime prayer flag lined singletrack
- Ride breathtaking ridge lines at 4,000m encircled by snow capped peaks
- Explore trail gems only a handful of mountain bikers have ever ridden
- Relax in a traditional hot stone bath after a hard day in the mountains
Tour Dates 2023
Tour Dates 2024
- 22 Oct – 1 Nov (2 PLACES)
- 19 – 29 November (4 PLACES)
- 21 Apr – 1 May (3 PLACES)
- 5 – 15 May
- 20 – 30 October
- 3 – 13 November
Travelling as a group of friends or family? Contact us to create your own private trip.
Is this mountain bike tour Bhutan for you?
We want you to have the best experience in Bhutan, so it’s important to be sure that this is the perfect mountain bike adventure, with the right level of challenge, for you.
You’re a very experienced mountain biker, riding at least three times a week through the season and comfortable with: steep, fast singletrack descents; tough climbs; hike-a-bike; technical rock chutes; drop-offs; boardwalk; and muddy, forested singletrack. Read more on our advanced skill level.
What is Adventure in Bhutan?
Mountain bike tour in Bhutan Itinerary
This mountain bike tour in Bhutan will take you to the heart of this Himalayan kingdom. Some of the riding in Bhutan is shuttle-assisted, with lots of descending, but there are still some climbs and long hike-a-bikes most days to contend with. You’ll be riding at over 3,000m / 10,000ft much of the time, so be prepared to pace yourself as you acclimatise to the altitude and surroundings. There is also exposure on some trails.
- +Day 0 - Pre-trip night in Bangkok
We recommend arriving into Bangkok at least one night prior to your flight into Paro, Bhutan, to allow for any delays.
- +Day 1 - Welcome to Bhutan! The magical Kingdom
Today your guide will meet you at Paro airport, where we’ll load up the vehicle and transfer to the capital city Thimphu. En-route we will stop to visit Tamchog Lhakang (the Iron Chain Bridge) and take a short break to breathe in Bhutan’s fresh air and rich nature. We will walk over this 15th century iron bridge reconstructed using original chain link from the famous Tibetan bridge builder TangThong Gyalpo.
When we arrive at Thimphu we’ll have lunch and your guide will go through the all-important pre-trip briefing, after which you’ll head out to build your bikes in the ornate town square.
Once bikes are built and stored we will take an evening visit to the Memorial Chorten Stupa, a sacred shrine built in the memory of the third king of Bhutan, then on to a welcome dinner where you can enjoy fine authentic Bhutanese cuisine
Accommodation: Small hotel, Thimphu
Meals included: L, D
- +Day 2 - Best of Thimphu’s XC/Enduro trails to get Acclimatised
Your first ride in the magical Kingdom of Bhutan will prepare you for the challenge of mountain biking at altitude. We’ll set off on a sedate cross country-style ride that will gradually introduce you to some “enduro” features as we go, helping to set the scene of the adventure ahead.
After a gradual 4km climb and with the blessing of Bhudda as we pass, we’ll drop into the capital’s favourite MTB trail, the KC Trail, that extends for 8km of flowing singletrack with grin inducing S-bends. The trail ends at a breathtaking monastery at Motithang where we will have a picnic lunch.
After lunch we have a hike-a-bike of about one hour before enjoying a long ridgeline descent of 8km surrounded by amazing views of the city below and towering mountains high above your playground.
From the bottom of this trail we will load the bikes on the shuttle and drive up to the radio tower where we will hike-a-bike for 20 minutes to reach Chokhortse monastery. This loop is about 6km with some technical sections, but it is generally a fantastic flowing singletrack punctuated with great views over the capital city.
After our ride you will have time to stroll around the city and enjoy a nice dinner at one of the best restaurants in the capital city.
Your time in Bhutan is not just about riding, but also to enjoy some very good craft beers and local culture – both rural and urban. Tonight we’ll go to one of our favourite bars called the Mojo Park where young musicians will be playing covers and originals to go along with your beers!
Distance cycled: 30km (app. 3 hours)
Accommodation: Mountain hotel in Thimphu
Meals included: B, L, D
- +Day 3 - Thimphu to Punakha Enduro
After a traditional Bhutanese breakfast we will hop in the shuttle and drive up to Dochula pass at an altitude of 3,000m from where we can enjoy a stunning panoramic view of the Himalayas.
From here we will set off to ride the infamous Madman trail that will see us dropping 2,300m down to Lobesa village some 25km away in the Wangdue valley, on ever-changing natural singletrack.
Once in Lobesa we will visit the popular temples of Bhutan to pay your respects to one of Bhutan’s most charming and eccentric historic figures nicknamed ‘The Divine Madman’ at the Chhimi Lhakhang – also called the fertility monastery. Getting to the temple involves a relaxing ride through a beautiful village surrounded by paddy fields and locals working the land.
After visiting the temple we’ll shuttle the bikes up the steep valley walls to Talo village before we enjoy riding on one of the best natural downhill singletrack trails in the valley. Stretching 9km with an altitude loss of 1,000m, this ride takes us through lush rhododendron forests and small villages, punctuated by monasteries and spectacular viewpoints.
As we arrive in the deep valley floor we visit the famous Punakha Dzong fortress. Our cultural tour guide will explain its intricate art, architecture and its historical significance before we head back to our accommodation for a shower and a cold beer.
Distance cycled: 34km (app. 7 hours)
Accommodation: Small resort, Punakha
Meals included: B, L, D
- +Day 4 - Punakha Gravity and Flow
Today we’ll shuttle to Tshochhasa village and again enjoy a long downhill of 10km with 1,000m of vertical lost.
This trail begins with some technical rock gardens before opening up to a flowing trail that will deliver us directly back into the valley that is home to the raging river of Punakha and the longest suspension bridge in Bhutan.
From here we’ll ride on the scenic Pho-chu trail for 7km on a technical undulating singletrack that will get the legs and lungs working after a lunch stop by the river.
As we exit at the Samdingkhar bridge where our vehicle will be waiting, we will shuttle the bikes back up to Sewla trailhead and enjoy 10km of the most exhilarating, flowy singletrack in the country.
Distance cycled: 30km (app. 6 hours)
Accommodation: Small resort, Punakha
Meals included: B, L, D
- +Day 5 - Rest day with some must-see attractions of Bhutan
Today we experience more of Bhutan’s fascinating culture and allow our legs and lungs to recover a bit. We’ll drive to Punakha valley to visit Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal stupa, which involves us taking an easy sight-seeing pedal through paddy fields for about 45 minutes to the hilltop where the temple is located.
The temple itself is a splendid example of Bhutan’s finest architectural and artistic traditions and the only one of its kind in the world. Once we have learned all about this temple we will continue by crossing the suspension bridge to the other side of the Mo Chu river for about 2 hours of easy biking until we reach our picnic lunch served on the banks of the Punakha river.
After lunch we will continue to Punakha Dzong – the most impressive fortress in Bhutan situated at the confluence of two rivers. This ancient fortress is the winter residence of the monastic order’s leadership and still serves as the administrative headquarters for the Punakha region.
Finally we will drive to Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Lhakhang Nunnery which is perched on a ridge amid pine trees and overlooking valleys of Punakha and Wangduephodrang, where the magnificent structures of Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Lhakhang gleam. We will spend a little time with the nuns as they love to speak English with visitors and learn about our cultures.
Distance cycled: 30km (app. 4-5 hours)
Accommodation: Small resort, Punakha
Meals included: B, L, D
- +Day 6 - Punakha Hidden Valley Ride
We’re moving on to the Khotokha valley today. Our drive to the head of our trail will be around 2 hours and upon arrival we’ll get on our bikes and ride down into this hidden valley that is so cut off from civilisation and the tourist path it will feel you have been transported back 200 years into ancient Bhutan.
As we start biking the trail will become thinner and less travelled until it disappears altogether. We’ll hike-a-bike up to Moleyla pass at 3,000m, but don’t worry you are about to be rewarded with one of the most technical and natural trails in the country. The hike-a-bike is a beautiful walk through pristine forests all the way to the saddle, where you can look down to your hotel 1,000m below you in the valley.
The Khotokha trail is 40% rock gardens and then it becomes a glorious forest ride where you can just shred and follow the rider in front of you. The trails are full of roots, leaves, switchbacks, natural berms, small jumps and very fast sections allowing you to get into the flow of this extraordinary trail.
Distance cycled: 50km (app. 5-6 hours)
Accommodation: Small resort, Punakha
Meals included: B, L, D
- +Day 7 - Phobjikha Ridge Ride
Today we’ll drive to the valley of Phobjikha, which is one of the most picturesque meadow valleys in Bhutan. We’ll ride for 2 hours to reach the pass before entering Phobjikha valley. Here we will dismount the bikes and hike-a-bike for about 30 mins until we pop out at these beautiful highland meadows.
From here we’ll ride down the ridges for 8km and past one of Bhutan’s famous monasteries called the Gangtey Gonpa.
You will love it here as the ride takes us on the periphery of the bowl-shaped marshland and meadows, offering spectacular views. As we have been cycling through beautiful rhododendron forest on most of our travels, the contrast of descending into the unique open meadows of the valley is striking.
This afternoon we will spend some time chilling out at the resort or wander around the valley exploring this unknown corner of the Kingdom of Bhutan.
Distance cycled: 32km (app.7 hours)
Accommodation: Small resort near Paro
Meals included: B, L, D
- +Day 8 - Drive to Paro
After a number of big mountain days, today is recovery day so that your legs get the chance of some rest.
We’ll set off from our accommodation on a drive to Paro in the western corner of Bhutan. Once we reach Paro we will stroll around town visiting some of the cultural must-see sights of the valley, the 7th century Kyichu lhakhang monastery and the sister temple of Jambay Lhakhang in Bumthang. These two are considered the oldest Buddhist temples in Bhutan.
In the afternoon we’ll visit a farmhouse to try a herbal hot-stone bath which is known to be therapeutic and helps ailments related to joints and muscle aches (after a long week of biking), besides it is simply soothing for your mind and body.
Accommodation: Picturesque resort near Paro
Meals included: B, L, D
- +Day 9 - Paro's World-Class singletracks
By now, you might start believing that the trails in Bhutan get better with each passing day, and today might reaffirm this as we will ride one of your best trails ever!
It is a big day, but with your rested legs it should be no problem. So we’ll start a bit earlier than normal and shuttle the bikes for about an hour to get to the Museum, from there we will hike-a-bike for 2 hours to reach the Jela temple which sits on a ridge overlooking the valley.
We will sit here for a well earned snack before we hit the famous Jela trail which is a 15km descent on one of the best trails in Bhutan, that will leave thinking you are the ‘Divine Madman’!
After lunch in Paro town at a local café we will again shuttle the bikes for about 90 minutes to reach the distant Kila Goenpa nunnery at 3,800m. Once we reach the temple, we’ll enjoy a long descent down to Paro valley for 12km. The trail starts to get nice and loamy on a fast-flowing trail through rhododendron and oak forests. Once we get to Gorina monastery, the trail starts to get loose with a number of rock gardens, making it an awesome ride.
Tonight it’s chill time and we’ll visit Bhutan’s first brew-pub to sample some amazing craft beers, food and good times (and possibly live music!).
Distance cycled: 32km (app.7 hours)
Accommodation: Picturesque resort near Paro
Meals included: B, L, D
- +Day 10 - Paro Enduro with Tiger’s Nest monastery visit
It’s your last ride in Bhutan today, and one that you will remember forever!
From the hotel we will take a shuttle up to the foot of the trail and set off on a wonderful 4-hour ride that is punctuated by hike-a-bike sections that will lead us to the Bumdra campsite where we will have lunch and take in the views over the surrounding valley and mountains.
From here, our goal is a riding loamy high alpine trails, passing countless temples and stupas to get to Bhutan’s ultimate highlight – the Tiger’s Nest Monastery.
We’ll spend an hour visiting the Tiger’s Nest, then we’ll enjoy some snacks as we wait for the tourists to clear the approach path which will be our final descent of the tour. It’s a rocky and dusty affair that will leave you committed to ride in Bhutan again one day.
Tonight we will explore the town on foot, and visit handicrafts shops along the street to appreciate Bhutanese craftsmanship and buy some souvenirs before enjoying a farewell dinner at a local restaurant.
Distance cycled: 32km (app.7 hours)
Accommodation: Picturesque resort near Paro
Meals included: B, L, D
- +Day 11 - Departure
After breakfast at your hotel your guide will take you to the airport. Your guide will help you with the formalities and wish you farewell on your onward journey.
Meals included: Breakfast
Please note: Your mountain bike tour in Bhutan is a living thing, being influenced by multiple factors such as changing weather conditions, group riding abilities, trail damage, to name a few. Your local guides are experts in guiding mountain bikers in Bhutan and will be continually assessing these factors and making tweaks to the itinerary where necessary to ensure that every member of the group has the best possible experience on our mountain bike tour in Bhutan.
- +Tour price
Mountain Bike Tour in Bhutan Price
£4,300 GBP/ $5,805 USD/ €5,160 EUR per person (ex. flights, based on two sharing a room)
- Private airport transfers ( arrival & departure)
- 10 nights’ accommodation in small hotels and guest houses
- Tourism levy (Sustainable Development Fee) of $200 per person per day
- All visa fees
- City and cultural sites guided tours
- All meals starting with lunch on day 1 and ending with breakfast on day 11
- All drinking water and tea
- English-speaking guide
- Support car
- Hot stone bath
- Private chef to prepare all meals
- International/ domestic flights
- Bike rental – we can arrange rental of a good quality full suspension bike at a cost of £560/ $756/ €672 each for the duration of the trip
- Travel and activity insurance
- Single supplement:* £560 / $756 / €672
- Tips in restaurants and hotels
- Alcoholic/ non-alcoholic beverages
- Personal safety and cycling equipment
- Any other items not mentioned as included
*Single supplement is only applicable if you are travelling solo and do not wish to share a room with another rider of the same sex. If you’re happy to do that, you need not add the supplement.
H+I Adventures is bonded by the Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust Limited (ABTOT), so you can be sure that when you book with us your money will be safe.
- +Skill + fitness levels required
Does this sound like you? Your vacation time is precious and we want to be absolutely sure that you’re making the most of it, by finding the perfect mountain bike tour for you. Be honest with yourself, if this adventure isn’t right for you, we have other mountain bike tours that may well be a better fit for your mountain biking experience and ability.
Please note: The skill level required reflects an overall rating for the trails on the trip but you should expect to find sections and obstacles that push your ability levels.
Skill level: Advanced
- You are very confident handling most types of riding and obstacles, including drops (up to 1 foot mandatory and 6 foot optional), rocks, logs, switchbacks, larger rock gardens and sustained technical singletrack
- You can brake, use gears and corner instinctively
- You have excellent bike handling skills and can lift front and rear wheels, do small jumps, corner, climb and descend steep trails
- You have considerable experience of riding on a wide variety of technical terrains including: rocky, rooty, muddy, loose, fast singletrack, exposed trails, bedrock for extended periods
- You ride at least three times a week and rarely get off and walk sections
- You can climb and descend comfortably on technical singletrack for as long as required
Fitness level: 5
- You have a good level of bike fitness, exercising at least three times every week throughout the year, for an hour at a time
- You can ride a mountain bike for up to six hours a day at a moderate pace, with snack and photo stops, for three or more consecutive days
- You can tackle two or three fairly significant climbs a day, up to 600 metres each
Typical trails you’ll be riding
- Some of the riding you’ll do on our mountain bike tour in Bhutan is just over 10,000ft/ 3,000m with exposure present on some trails
- Double track: undulating jeep roads made up of hard-packed dirt, small rocks and occasionally sand
- Singletrack: rustic singletrack, mainly high mountain trails with very dry, loose surfaces, and through valley forests with roots crossing the trails, and at times you will encounter tennis ball-sized rock gardens, and occasionally flow trails
- The trails in the Bhutan mountains are thousands of years old, so are not buff purpose built trails, they are natural high altitude walking trails that link villages across the region and surfaces will be soft and loose, and/or rocky and dry at times. They are also affected by the weather and may be eroded in places
- You will have to hike-a-bike for up to two hours during this adventure to reach the high mountain passes
- +Arrival + departure details
Your mountain bike tour in Bhutan will start and end in Paro.
You should arrive into Bangkok the day prior to your tour start date, allowing for any delays to flights or luggage, and be ready for your flight to Paro following morning.
Your guide will meet you at Paro airport on day 1 and he will be holding an H+I Adventures sign and wearing an H+I ride top.
On the last day of the tour, your guide will ensure you are dropped off at Paro airport in time to catch your flight back home.
- +Travelling to Bhutan
Paro, Bhutan is served by flights from Bangkok. Should you wish to fly via a different route, please check with us beforehand.
You will need to get yourself to Bangkok, then catch a ‘domestic’ flight to Bhutan. Our ground crew will book this flight for you, and we will confirm the times to you – please wait until we have done this before confirming your main flights. Our ground crew will also obtain your visa for you, and your flight tickets to Paro and your visa will be sent to you around 3 weeks prior to the trip start date.
You should book your bike on to your international flight in advance, otherwise you could face a higher charge at the airport.
Please allow 24hrs layover time at your international airport (Bangkok) if possible, before boarding the flight that we arrange for you to your final destination in Bhutan. This will allow for any weather delays getting in to and out of Bhutan.
Here’s a video showing you how to pack your bike for travel.
All travellers require a visa to enter Bhutan. Our ground crew will sort this out for your tour, so please speak with your tour expert to organise this. You must print out a copy and bring it with you on your adventure. All travellers must have a passport which is valid for at least six months from the time you enter Bhutan.
- +Preparing yourself + your bike for your adventure
Please read the full kit list before you start packing for your mountain bike tour in Bhutan, so that you have everything you need!
Our mountain bike tour in Bhutan is for Advanced riders with level 5 fitness.
The ideal bike for the Bhutanese trails is a good quality full-suspension bike with around 150mm of front travel. To get the most out of your mountain bike tour in Bhutan you should plan some training in advance of your tour, and it is essential that, if you’re bringing your own bike, you must ensure that it has been properly serviced before the trip.
You will experience altitudes of between 3,000ft/ 1,000m and 13,000ft/ 4,000m when mountain biking in Bhutan, so we have some advice on mountain biking at high altitudes.
We recommend that you do travel with your own bike, and have some handy tips on how to do this, however if this isn’t possible for you we can arrange bike rental for you for a high quality full suspension mountain bike for the duration of your mountain bike tour in Bhutan.
- +Your mountain bike guides in Bhutan
Our mountain bike guides in Bhutan are of the highest level.
They are qualified in first-aid and they have the knowledge and experience to lead a group safely in these remote, wild and beautiful parts of Bhutan.
Our guides have years of experience in the saddle on the trails of Bhutan and will be able to enhance your holiday with facts and fables on local history, flora and fauna. They’re also genuinely nice people and will do their best to make sure that everyone in the group has a great time.
- +Accommodation + food
One of the things that sets our adventures apart is the unique local accommodation we use. We aim to use the best, locally-run accommodation in each country, and that which is traditional to that specific area, whether it be city or mountain.
On our mountain bike tour in Bhutan you’ll be staying in a selection of traditional Bhutanese accommodation from rustic mountain huts, to small family run houses, to hidden mountain lodges in the valley floors, where a delicious home-cooked food await.
Most of the food you will enjoy on our mountain bike tour in Bhutan is traditional food influenced by surrounding countries, all prepared with the greatest of care and skill. Typical dishes include: curry, eggs, local meats, noodle dishes and of course plenty of rice.
- +Health + safety
No vaccinations are required for visiting Bhutan.
We recommend you check before drinking tap water. Bottled or filtered water will be readily available throughout the trip.
Also, please let us know if you have any special food requirements, allergies or pre-existing conditions your guides should know about.
You should always consult your own doctor or physician before travelling to new countries to seek their advice on matters concerning your health abroad.
Your health and safety is on our mountain bike tour in Bhutan is our top priority so when you travel with us you also have the peace of mind knowing that you will be covered by Global Rescue emergency medical and evacuation services.
- +Currency + foreign exchange
The official currency of Bhutan is the Bhutanese Ngultrum. ATM machines are available in Paro, but limited in the countryside.
It is not compulsory to tip your guides or drivers in Bhutan, but it is much appreciated. If you feel you’ve had a good service or experience on your mountain bike tour in Bhutan, you can tip at your discretion.
It is not compulsory to tip in restaurants, however should you wish to tip your servers, 10% – 15% of your meal cost would be acceptable.
- +Holiday insurance
You are required as a condition of booking to be insured against medical and personal accident risks. In this policy you must include cover for mountain biking and we recommend that you take out a policy which covers cancellation and baggage.
We work closely with WorldNomads whose policies are specially designed for adventure travel and you can arrange your insurance cover directly with them.
Please note: our mountain bike tour In Bhutan is a living thing, being influenced by multiple factors such as changing weather conditions, group riding abilities, trail damage, to name a few. Your local guides are experts in guiding mountain bikers in Bhutan and will be continually assessing these factors and making tweaks to the itinerary where necessary to ensure that every member of the group has the best possible experience.
Submit your review
It’s an H+I trip so you can take it for granted the organisation, food and accommodation not to mention the riding are 100% dialed in. However my overriding impression is just how privileged we were to be guests in such an awesome country.
From all the hotel staff to the lama serving us tea high in a tiny monastery perched on a peak, from tree covered mountain sides to stunning valleys, from movie set forts to breathtaking temples that cling to the cliffs, from the teachings of the Buddha to tales of the Devine Madman. The people, the landscape, buildings and culture make this trip truly special.
Against this backdrop you would possibly expect the riding to be outshone but no, the trails are as varied as they are thrilling. Long and steep descents with plenty of flow bundled in to keep the smiles bursting out. Where else can you expect to ride trails commissioned by a royal prince? You will even develop a special relationship with the term ‘Bhutanese Shuttling’
Rounding out this 5 star trip are the local team, who are top notch, dedicated to anticipating the group's needs and doing as much as they can to make the trip as memorable as possible. Honestly it was an honour to travel through Bhutan with Pelden and his team.
Do I recommend this trip, hell yeah!
Book THIS trip! Train as hard as you can, seriously, and it will come back to you ten fold! Next, hit the rocket launchers and never look back! This tour transcends any kind of adventure you could possibly imagine on your mountain bike and in your soul!
Beginning with two of the most genuinely kind, knowledgeable, fun, and experienced mountain bikers, Pelden and Binesh, the stage is set for an adventure that will leave you yearning for more and never wanting to go home.
I have never experienced mountains and trails like that of Bhutan and I am from the Colorado Rockies! The riding in Bhutan is off the chart of anything I have ever experienced! This was my 9th H+I Tour…and my absolute hands down favorite! Your stellar guides will lead you up and down EVERY kind of trail you can imagine, from long steep climbs biking and hiking, to fast and flowing leaf and pine single tracks with splashes of spectacularly punchy rock gardens and challenging steep rocky descents!
Phew, now take a breath and then another and then another…the scenery is MIND BLOWING! Riding and hiking through Bhutan’s beautiful mystical forrest land will leave you speechless; until of course you are at your wonderful accommodation at the end of the day eating fabulous food and sharing your adventure with your fantastic friends! Experiencing the cultural aspect of this trip was truly life changing for me and left me with a very very special place for Bhutan in my heart ❤️
Pelden’s extensive experience and knowledge of Bhutan’s culture is riveting and his wonderful way of story telling is quite enchanting. Please take time to engage with the amazingly beautiful people of Bhutan, it will feed your soul. Don’t forget to love on the animals but don’t try to hug a Yak 😆 Spending time in this country of kindness that remains deeply steeped in it’s own culture is the most incredible gift you could give yourself.
Pelden and Binesh are a dedicated team, taking care of anything you may need…and they will steal your hearts as well 😉 I have to mention the rest of the H+I team driver’s Bhin and Phuntsho who were absolutely exceptional! The daily organization was impeccable from morning till you lay your head down to sleep…if you can!
Get to Bhutan! You will be rewarded with the gift of a lifetime that will never leave your soul! The day I had to leave 🥲 was the day I wanted to stay…and stay. I expect a repeat tour very soon!
The adventure begins with the flight to Paro (definitely keep the window shade open!) and the pedal really never comes off the metal. Bhutan is a non-stop feast for the adventurous traveler - the landscape, people, history, food, and culture, there literally is never a dull moment over the course of ten days.
It’s the trails though that are the key to the trip. Euan’s comment in the video that the trails are world-class? To be honest, was hard to believe as in my experience the key to great trails is having great local riders, which seemed a step too far in a small Himalayan country. But sure enough, there is a core group of local riders based around Thimphu who provide TLC to the amazing range of routes featured on the tour. There really is a bit of everything, from modern bench-cut rolling contour singletrack, to classic loamers, to full-on steep rocky natural gnar. You definitely need your A-game on the last couple days in particular.
A+ as well to the in-country team. Pelden and Binesh are stellar guides on the trail and their support crew keep all the rest of the behind-the-scenes details nailed down so the shuttles, accommodation changes, etc, all occur seamlessly.
The combination of exotic location + trail quality may be unmatchable. MTB Shangri-la.
The trails are sick and the guides know how to shred!!!
Let me first say that I’ve traveled to some amazing places all over the world and my Bhutan experience was the most uplifting and inspiring experience of my lifetime. Having experienced the culture and trails of Nepal on a mind-blowing trip with H+I Adventures 5 years ago, I was eager to take another trip to this region ever since I left the Himalayas. The trip to Bhutan provided the opportunity to ride the best trails a country has to offer while having a cultural expert along with you at all times to share the rich history and provide in-depth explanations/insights into the Bhutanese culture. Our guides and crew provided an experience that felt perfectly in sync with the energy and awe of Bhutan. Each day and ride was thoughtfully planned, well organized, and action-packed but it never felt rushed or hurried. The peaceful, relaxed vibe of Bhutan and our guides seemed to make time slow down, allowing me to be far more in tune with every moment of the trip and connected to the world (and new trails) around me. Off the bike, the cultural experience and interactions with the citizens (and animals) of Bhutan left me feeling inspired to be a better person. It’s hard to put this trip into words but I can confidently say that as someone who grew up on BMX, has been riding/racing mountain bikes since 1992, and has a deep love for enduro/gravity style riding, adventure travel, and cultural immersion, this trip fulfilled me on another level.
The in-depth trail knowledge that was shared before dropping in o new trail and the high level of skill and talent that our guides had on two wheels allowed me to stay in the flow state of mind and ride at my highest level with confidence and at speeds, I usually reserve for my favorite downhill runs. With Pelden and Binesh Aqua showing me the “local lines” I was able to ride new terrain in the same way I ride my local technical trails when I’m pushing myself alongside my fastest and most talented friends. I’m forever grateful to our guides, the ground crew, and all the wonderful people at H+I adventures for making this trip a reality and I can’t wait to visit again and explore the natural wonder and culture of Bhutan further with this talented and uplifting crew.
Till next time Bhutan..
This trip was truly extraordinary. I was on the inaugural Bhutan trip but I would never have guessed - the organisation and logistics were flawless. Everything dazzled the senses - the trails were great fun to ride, the scenery was mind-blowing, the food was delicious... Rounding a corner on a trail to be greeted with yet another panorama of a Buddhist temple or monastery is something I will never forget. Pelden and Binesh were great guides, they really went above and beyond to make our experience a positive one. The now crazy-high tourist tax just to be in Bhutan is unfortunate but I'd say the trip is still worth it.
If you are reading this review or others on Bhutan, let me stop you before reading any more. Navigate over to the reserve your spot tab and BOOK THIS TRIP! Pelden and Biesh are not only world-class riders but equally talented in designing a trip that will change your life.
If you are up for the challenge, Bhutan will bring it and bring it BIG! There really is no deciding what you should do next for a trip. If you are a seasoned MTN biker and seek world-class adventure riding….well, I will repeat it, BOOK THIS TRIP!
This trip was 5 stars and the trip of a lifetime. You will get to mountain bike in the Himalayas in one of the most beautiful countries on earth. Your guides, Pelden and Binesh, are world class riders. They are fast on the climbs and even faster on the descents. The trails are long, techy, challenging, and so much fun. Even more, you will get to be one of the few people in the world lucky enough to ride there on this trip with H+I. Thank you Pelden and Binesh for being so kind and showing me your wonderful country.
Having waited 2 years for the inaugural H + I Bhutan expedition, the anticipation was high and I was not disappointed. I can honestly say this trip was by far the best out of the dozen or so international mountain bike trips I have taken!
We were greeted at the airport with a lovely souvenir and set off on 10 incredible days of riding. I don’t know if I posses the superlatives to describe the roads that climb up forever, followed by the epic descents, the amazing scenery and the wonderful food and accommodations. All of this thanks to our guides Pelden and Binesh plus the rest of the tireless crew. They would literally do anything to make the trip more enjoyable, including stopping by with some chocolates when I was craving sweets. Pelden knows the trails and best of all LETS YOU RIDE YOUR BIKE without incessant stops, unnecessary descriptions of every pebble on the trail or unwanted coaching. He’s simply the best!
I haven’t even mentioned the many unique cultural experiences that are included in the trip. Many thanks to Victoria, Euan, and the great group of riders too!
Imagine riding through the lush forests, with snow-capped peaks looming in the distance. The rugged steep trails wind their way through the mountains, offering breathtaking views at every turn. The rides range from tech, steep, scary switchbacks to fast flowy singletracks. The air is crisp and fresh, and the sense of freedom and exhilaration is unparalleled.
You roll into a lively mountain village, where people are celebrating in the local shrine, to be greeted like family. You sit down with the welcoming, cheerful people of Bhutan and enjoy a tea and a snack. You listen to stories and learn about their impressive way of life. And then off to tackle another challenging climb and a thrilling downhill to the valley.
Every day of our trip in Bhutan allowed us to experience the best of both worlds – an exhilarating adventure and a deep cultural immersion. The amazing local H+I crew made it all possible and generously showed us their beautiful country with all it's treasures. Thank You Pelden, Binesh and everyone else. This was one epic adventure.
Tourism, and especially MTB, is so new to the kingdom of Bhutan, it felt like an honour to ride these ancient yet virgin trails. Riding varies from high alpine single track, to steep (very steep!) tech (very tech!) rock gardens, to loamy forest trails. Uplifts do the hard yards, but you’ll need to dig deep to reach the top, with at least an hour of hike-a-bike most days, and the air is thin up there! But the Himalayan views are so worth it, as are the miles and smiles of descending.
But this place is about much more than the riding. The people are so warm, welcoming, and so keen to show you their land and culture, from grand religious monuments to tiny local restaurants.
The H+I team especially is fantastic: sorting travel, guiding, bike cleaning and repairs, fixing visa issues, nothing is too much trouble. Thank you so much to Victoria, Pelden and the whole crew.
This is just a unique experience, both on and off the bike, memories to be treasured.
This was my first trip with H+I, but I can promise you it most certainly will not be my last.
I had been looking forward to this trip for almost 2 years after a few COVID-induced delays, and so needless to say there was quite a build up of anticipation, and a lot of ways in which this trip could have maybe let down...
...and top-to-bottom, there is not one way in which this trip did not surpass expectations.
Bhutan is even more magical than the fairy-tale land it is described as. It is so unique, the people truly some of the kindest and most welcoming I've met, and the sites, food, nature, and vibe truly unrivaled. I am still reeling with inspiration and awe from the time there.
The rides were world-class - truly more beautiful, interesting, and challenging than anything I've seen. I'll add that I a relatively new rider, and this was definitely at (or slightly beyond) the upper bounds of what I had experience on/was comfortable with going in. But Pelden and Binesh (the truly world-class guides) transformed my riding (and my confidence) over the course of two weeks. Thanks to the ideal combination of their comforting re-assurance, care for safety, and joyful levity, I felt both deeply taken care of and challenged beyond my limits throughout. I crave the privilege to ride with them again.
All of this and to boot - I joined this trip solo, and was delighted by the wonderful riders that H+I seems to attract to its trips 🙂
The whole H+I Crew have done it again.
Where do I start, the people, the landscape, the trails, the Himalayan horizon, I can’t begin to explain the feeling when you arrive; is it the smiles, the culture, the way of life, maybe there is something in Bhutan’s “Gross National Happiness” that we’ve lost in the Western World?
I had little expectations for this trip (my own lack of research), although it wouldn’t mattered if I did, they would have been exceeded significantly!
Thanks to Pelden and Binesh, our guides, great riders, great blokes. Nothing was too hard, and they went above and beyond daily. Thanks to the two drivers, one got us to the trail heads without fuss and the other our bikes.
To the lovers of natural, raw and maybe a little unpredictable trails, with a little rock, a little steep maybe a few tight switchbacks look no further, pack your sense of adventure and your hike-a-bike skills and book a trip and make some memories for a lifetime. You won’t regret it.
To top it off, what a great crew of riders we had!
Dear Victoria and Pelden,
Over the last years, I was contemplating a bike trip to Bhutan, but without really knowing what to expect. H+I made my dream come true. I really appreciated the professionalism of the booking and local teams. The whole experience exceeded all my expectations. Fantastic days filled with incredible trails, cultural visits and very comfortable lodging.
Pelden and Benish were outstanding guides, able to please all our needs down to the smallest details. Pelden shared his love and knowledge about his country, and the rest of the team (drivers and mechanics) were reliable, efficient and friendly.
The trip in Bhutan was surrealist. Everything was taken care of, we just had to enjoy riding, eating and sharing great conversations. The trails were technically challenging for me as I am not a downhill freak, but the scenery and the support from the team made it achievable and so much fun.
The Bhutan MTB trip is a once in a lifetime experience not to be missed. Thank you all for making this dream come true.
With nine H+I trips now under my belt it is fair to say that I love what H+I provide and Bhutan proved to be all that I have come to expect from them and more... So, so much more.
The country itself is both beautiful and fascinating, steeped in tradition with all the locals proving incredibly friendly.
The trails were sublime with a mix of fast and flowy with technical aspects to keep your brain in gear and the descents were so fantastically long. Aching muscles at the bottom included cheeks from all the grinning.
As for the team, Pelden is a true professional, always smiling, well he would, he gets to ride a MTB in Bhutan for a living! His team, including the drivers couldn't have been more helpful, it is very obviously a joint effort that works so well. A special mention from me to Binesh who spent hours sorting my rear rim early on in the trip after I made a silly, unforced error. His hard graft meant I didn't miss a moments biking. Cheers Binesh.
The trip is worth every penny and it felt a real privilege to be there. It really should be on every mountain biker's bucket list, irrespective of where in the world you have ridden before.
The most epic trip ever!!! I can't recommend it enough. A magical place with brilliant biking. Definitely NOT oversold on the technical requirements for the mountain biking... We were all challenged at some point I think. A wonderful group of people that I had so much fun with. We were lucky enough to have Euan with us on the trip (H+I founder) and he was so fun, modest and friendly, and our local guides, Pelden and Binesh, were unbelievably friendly and helpful and always running around doing something for us. My bike has never been cleaned so much!! (Which was extremely helpful getting my bike back through biosecurity!)
Right from the start Victoria in the office was so patient with all our queries and worked out all the logistics for us. I have nothing but great things to say about H+I and this really amazing, true adventure trip.
This trip has everything I want in an immersive mountain biking experience. Amazing trails, Amazing people, Amazing country. Everyday of riding offers something just a little different than the previous.
How are the trails? Raw, ancient, natural... Massive descents! Rocky, Gnarly, Chunky, Rutted, Steep, Loamy, Flowy, Fast, Wet, Dry. You won't be bored riding your bike in Bhutan. Bring your long travel bike, and be ready to hone in your tight switch back turning skills. Also be prepared to do a little work and push and carry it up a couple steep ridge-lines. It will be worth it! There's enough time in the schedule that the hike-a-bikes don't feel hurried, so going at my own comfortable pace was just fine. As the kit list mentions, bring some long sleeve jerseys and riding pants, as there are days when you ride through some overgrown trails.
You'll have plenty of opportunity to experience the Bhutanese culture as well. The Guides are more than happy to share information about their country and their culture, as are many of the "locals" you'll run in to on your journey in this country. You'll see plenty of architecture and have the opportunity to visit many very old temples.
The food is plentiful, and is a great mix of both local and western things, and they were able to accommodate everyones dietary restrictions with ease. Pelden and his team are top notch. I don't know how H+I finds such quality folks. You wish you could just go ride with them everyday (outside of the trip course).
This is definitely a trip that will stick in my memory forever. I wish there was a "version 2" of it, as I would probably book it today. There is honestly nothing I would have wished went differently on this trip.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs) mountain bike tour in Bhutan
- Q. How many people will be in the group?
We only run small group mountain bike tours to ensure that everyone has the best experience possible, and there will be a maximum of eight people in each group. We can stretch to a maximum of ten if it’s a group of friends. The minimum number of people we require to run this mountain bike tour in Bhutan is four.
- Q. What’s the age range of people who come on this MTB holiday?
Our mountain bike tour in Bhutan caters for a wide age range; typically between 30- and 55-years-old. As long as you have a good level of physical fitness and the appropriate mountain biking skills, you will enjoy this mountain bike tour in Bhutan no matter what your age.
- Q. What style of mountain bike tour is it?
This mountain bike tour in Bhutan is a guided mountain bike vacation, ideal for Advanced mountain bikers. The terrain you’ll be riding on consists of double track and singletrack through thick forests, villages and across high plateaux and mountain passes. You’ll encounter some steep climbs and rooty sections, as well as fabulous, swooping descents. Altitude is a factor in this trip and we have some tips for riding at high altitudes and managing the effects of altitude.
- Q. How far will we be mountain biking each day?
The distances we cover each day range from 30km to 50km, in accordance with the altitude and height gain/ loss on each stage. Each evening your guides will chat with you about the following day’s mountain biking and give you an idea of the sorts of trails you can look forward to. If there’s anything you feel anxious about, your guides will be happy to discuss it with you.
- Q. Do we have to carry all our gear with us?
No, you only need to carry a day pack with you whilst riding. We have your large kit bags transferred to your next accommodation each day, and have it ready and waiting for your arrival.
- Q. What if I come across a section of trail I can’t ride?
Your guide will be very happy to give you some bike skills help during your trip to help improve your confidence and your enjoyment of your mountain bike tour in Bhutan. If there is a section that you would prefer not to ride, then you can simply hop off your bike and walk. You won’t be the only one to walk certain sections and it’s not a competition in biking ability; it’s a mountain bike holiday!
- Q. Who will be guiding us?
Your mountain bike guides are local to Bhutan and experienced professionals who have a real passion for mountain biking and for the culture and landscape of Bhutan. Your safety is their number one priority, closely followed by your enjoyment of your mountain bike tour in Bhutan. They will always be on-hand to answer any questions or requests you may have throughout your trip. Meet your mountain bike guide in Bhutan…Pelden
- Q. What sort of accommodation will we be staying in?
On this mountain bike tour in Bhutan you will be staying in a selection of traditional mountain huts, small family run hotels and unique mountain accommodation in the Himalayas.
- Q. Which meals are included in the tour price?
All meals starting with lunch on day one, and ending with breakfast on day eleven. Bhutan has a diverse offering when it comes to food, pulling on the country’s history to influence its dishes.
- Q. What type of mountain bike is best for the trip?
A good quality full suspension with 150-160mm front travel would be ideal for this mountain bike tour in Bhutan. It depends on your style of riding because this mountain bike tour in Bhutan is fairly unique in that riders of differing abilties and experience can enjoy the trails equally; the more confident bikers can just ride faster!
- Q. What clothes and kit should I bring?
The daytime and nighttime temperatures vary greatly in this part of of the world, so you must make sure that you have plenty of layers of breathable clothing to ensure that you are always warm enough and can remove a layer if you get too hot, and you should bring a down jacket for the evenings. It is possible that you will experience some rain in the afternoons in the High mountains, so you must remember to bring a waterproof jacket too. You should bring cycling shorts/trousers, gloves, padded undershorts, specific shoes for cycling, sun cream, insect spray, and Advil or Ibuprofen. Read the full kit list to find out what you need to pack for your mountain bike tour in Bhutan.
- Q. Will there be a chance to get laundry done?
Yes, you will have the chance to have laundry done on days 3, 4, 7 and 8, you will also be able to hand wash kit and dry it in the Bhutanese afternoon sun.
- Q. Can I bring a drone with me?
Unfortunately not. We are working hard to provide each and every customer who rides with us an unparalleled mountain bike experience in every destination we ride. This takes years of experience, riding and planning to get right, and a drone adds a very real danger to the group’s riding experience and health & safety. Why not read our tips on taking better MTB pictures, and make the most of your camera?