A Journey Through Bhutan: Paro & Punakha, Bhutan

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October 9–17, 2021
Price
From$10,000
October 9, 2021
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  • Shared Room – 2 TravelersDouble Occupancy, 2 Beds
  • Shared Room – 2 TravelersDouble Occupancy, 1 Bed
  • Shared Room – 1 TravelerPlaced with another traveler
  • Private Room

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615
8 Nights
October 9–17, 2021
Bangkok
Max People: 14

I SO loved and long for our time in Bhutan. It will be with me forever! All I can say is thanks beyond belief for the best experience of my life! Hope to travel with you again soon.

K.
Wellness

Hiking. Yoga. Meditation. Massage. Giving-Back.

Nourishment

Delicious regional and seasonal, locally sourced, primarily organic cuisine, enjoyed against some of the most breathtaking backdrops this world has to offer. Destination dining lovers don’t forget your cameras! Gluten-free or vegan? We’ve got you covered!

Home

Ultra-chic and sophisticated Himalayan mountain lodges mixing tradition with luxury and comfort. While the beauty of Bhutan is best experienced connecting to the people and the culture, no one can blame you if you want to skip a hike or two to relish in the beauty of our luxurious accommodations!

Give Back

Because we believe that a well-balanced holiday is not just about receiving but about giving back as well, join us as we support an off-the-beaten path monastery with over 40 orphaned young monks. Visit, receive blessings, and perhaps even sponsor a young monk that is in need. Just by joining us on this Escape you are making a difference in the young monks’ lives as a portion of your payment goes to support the monastery.

Unique

Bucket List Escape & Beyond. Prepare to be transported the moment you step off the plane. Bhutan is a place like no other — its prayer flags, monasteries, markets, mountains, and magic will stay with you forever.

Tour Details

Join ESCAPE TO SHAPE on a most magical journey to the enchanting Kingdom of Bhutan. Experience the vibrant colors, the sweet sounds of chanting and nature, and the overwhelming sense of peacefulness that permeates this spectacular region. If you are ready to be transported to a land of highlands and prayer flags, monasteries and markets, mountains and magic, then the ethereal Kingdom of Bhutan is indeed for you!

Our unique, bespoke itinerary combines A LOT of hiking, culture, and relaxation as we journey deep into the Kingdom’s heartland, exploring three distinctly different but important valleys; the bustling capital of Thimphu in a valley dotted with monuments, museums, and markets; the almost tropical Punakha valley with its magnificent Dzongs; and the emerald valley of Paro with its rice paddies and ancient temples. Throughout our adventure we return nightly to the simple luxury and comfort of our beautiful Uma by COMO suites in Paro and Punakha.

A Few Important Things To Note

This Escape includes a lot of Easy to Moderate hiking, and one Moderate to Hard hike (Tiger’s Nest). The duration of these activities ranges from 4–6 hours. This includes driving time, time to stop and take photos, time for cultural discussions, and for breaks as needed. The hikes, while physical, are also a way to experience the culture and natural beauty of the Kingdom. Proper footwear is required.

Be prepared to spend time in a vehicle as the roads between Paro, Thimphu, and Punakha can be unpredictable. The cars are comfortable, but the driving time is roughly 4 hours.

The rates listed are based on everyone arriving and departing as a group. If you plan to stay on longer than the below mentioned itinerary you will be responsible for the additional Government surcharges, royalty fees, tariffs and FIT fees.

Passport must be valid for 6 months past the date of entry and have at least ONE blank page.

We strongly recommend purchasing TRAVEL INSURANCE for the entire amount of this Escape (not including flights to/from Bangkok, unless you want to include them in your coverage). Please note that typically travel insurance must be purchased within 2 weeks of making your initial deposit in order to obtain a better rate and cover pre-exiting conditions.

Includes
  • Round trip ground transportation from the Bangkok Airport (BKK) to The Metropolitan by COMO
  • One (1) night at The Metropolitan by COMO in Bangkok (October 12)
  • Seven (7) nights accommodations in Bhutan at the luxurious COMO properties in Paro and Punakha. (October 13-19)
  • All delicious and healthy meals reflective of the region & the season, including unique destination dining experiences in the area
  • Privately guided hikes and experiences to explore the dzongs (fortresses), monasteries, temples, markets & mountains of the Kingdom. Highlights include Tiger’s Nest, rafting in Punakha, Temple of the Divine Madman + much, much more.
  • One 60 minute massage
  • Vinyasa yoga- almost every day!
  • Use of the gym, steam room & indoor pool at Uma Paro
  • Round trip flights from Bangkok, Thailand to Paro, Bhutan
  • Bhutanese Government Visa + Royalty fees + tariffs
  • Monk donations & blessings
  • Numerous cultural surprises and off-the-beaten path experiences
  • Taxes
Accommodations

Uma by COMO, Paro and Uma by COMO, Punakha will serve as our intimate accommodations in Bhutan, a landlocked Himalayan Kingdom where religion and nature have come together in a compelling Buddhist culture. Both properties are instilled with the same principles, for Uma means “living house” and both are inspired by the landscape, spirituality and culture of the special region, heavily steeped in the traditions that surround them. They serve as the ideal locations — among pine-clad valleys, lush vegetation, rushing rivers and snow-capped mountains — for those to whom the joy of discovery is reason enough for a journey.

Please note that due to the size of the properties (169 rooms at the Metropolitan Bangkok and 29 rooms at Uma by COMO, Paro), we will not have exclusive use of Metropolitan Bangkok by COMO or Uma by COMO, Paro — rather, we will be sharing them with other discerning travelers. We will have exclusive private use of Uma by COMO, Punakha.

Price

Private Room: $12,000
Shared Room: $10,000

30% non-refundable deposit per person. Please refer to the policies page for our complete cancellation policy including Covid-19 flexibility. 

Sample Days At Escape To Shape: A Journey Through Bhutan

Please note all activities are optional.

Day 1Zurig Dzong hike, drive to Punakha

7:00–9:00 am – Breakfast Available At Your Leisure
9:00 am – Zurig Dzong Hike
12:30 pm – Lunch
1:00 pm – Scenic drive through Dochu-la Pass, enroute to our private villa in Punakha
7:00 pm – Yoga & Meditation
8:00 pm – Dinner

Day 1Sample Menu

Breakfast
Eggs made to order
Home made muesli with dried fruits & nut milk
Fresh fruits
Yogurt
Fresh juice
Coffee & tea

Lunch
Bucketwheat noodle, chilled cucumber, white daikon with Japanese dressing
Chicken sate with peanut sauce & pickled cucumber

Mid-afternoon Snack – Steamed momo’s (dumplings), Seasonal fruit salad

Dinner
Roasted pumpkin soup
Seared sea bass
Quinoa & roasted cauliflower
Raw coconut with raw chocolate sauce

Day 2Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten hike, Punakha Dzong hike

7:00–9:00 am – Breakfast Available At Your Leisure
9:00 am – Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten Hike
1:00 pm – Lunch
2:30 pm – Punakha Dzong Hike & Visit
6:00 pm – Yoga & Meditation
8:00 pm – Dinner

Day 2Sample Menu

Breakfast
Eggs made to order
Overnight oats with chia & seeds, almond milk & fresh fruit
Fresh fruits
Yogurt
Fresh juice
Coffee & tea

Lunch
Trio of dips & vegetable crudites, flat brad & flat seed crackers
Fish curry with red rice
Chile & cheese (traditional Bhutanese dish)
Grilled pineapple skewers

Mid-afternoon Snack – Banana & almond milk smoothie

Dinner
Rocket, fennel & red radish salad
Grilled shrimp & roasted root vegetables
Mango sorbet

More Info

Packing List

Essentials — all of the things on this list, unless otherwise stated, should be considered mandatory packing:

  • Small Backpack or day back for essentials.
  • Warm jacket: We recommend an ultra light down jacket that you can squeeze up in a ball and have in your backpack at all times just in case you need an extra layer when we are at higher altitudes.
  • Worn-in hiking boots (waterproof recommended although water resistant is OK as well).
  • Hiking socks — thick and comfortable.
  • Waterproof jacket for showers, as you just never know weather patterns anymore! While October is the dry season, Bhutan is not called The Land of the Thunder Dragon for nothing!
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen & lip protection: The sun can be intense in Bhutan. We recommend you apply ample sunscreen in the morning and throughout the day.
  • Hats: NOTE THE PLURAL ON THIS. One to protect you from the sun while hiking & another to keep your head warm at higher altitudes. You may not need the second one, but you should have it in your backpack at all times, just in case. Plus, you will surely want to sit outside at night on one of the lovely terraces to soak in the breathtaking views — and the temperature drops in the evenings.
  • Clothing you can layer (see additional notes below).
  • Trekking pole (not mandatory but highly recommended). If you do bring one please get one that retracts or folds up.
  • Any medication you may need: Please keep in mind that Paro is located at 7,382 feet above sea level, Thimphu is at 7,710 (we are not sleeping in Thimphu but we are visiting Thimphu). There are many peaks and valleys throughout Bhutan so if you MAY suffer from altitude sickness please speak to your doctor about appropriate medication and BRING IT WITH YOU.
  • Clothes to practice yoga in.
  • Swimsuit, sandals, lounge & spa wear.
  • Post hiking clothes to relax in & for traveling by car from town to town (villa to villa).
  • Personal toiletries: Shampoo, lotion, and body wash will all be provided in our hotels/villas.
  • And anything goes for dinners at our villas… if the last two years are any indication, you will be exhilarated yet exhausted at the end of each day, and eager for the next adventure, so casual, comfortable and easy pieces are essential.

A bit more useful information in regards to packing:

Layering

Comfortable warm clothing is recommended; a down jacket and even a sweater or fleece or two are suggested for anytime of year. Altitude differences account for a wide range of temperatures from day to night the year round. We suggest that clothing be layered so that you can adapt to the changing conditions.

When entering temples or holy sites, The Department of Cultural Affairs advises that women wear a dress or long pants. Shorts, hats, T-shirts, umbrellas, smoking and alcohol are not allowed when visiting Temples and Monasteries and Sacred sites. CONSIDERING THAT WE WILL OFTEN BE HIKING TO THESE SITES, LONG HIKING PANTS OR RESPECTABLE YOGA PANTS ARE RECOMMENDED; AND LAYERS FOR THE TOP SO THAT YOU CAN COVER AND UNCOVER AS NEEDED.

Visa Info

A Visa is required to visit Bhutan. Your visa is included in your Escape. We will arrange it on your behalf as many criteria must be met in order for a visa to be issued.

Interested in Extending Your Escape?
A few ideas to get you started below – we are happy to help plan on your behalf!
  • Bangkok, the island & beaches of Thailand or the northwest corner of Thailand, known as the Golden Triangle, all make for easy & wonderful extensions before or after visiting Bhutan.
  • If you have yet to visit the temples of Angkor Was in Cambodia or the UNESCO protected riverside town of Luang Prabang in Laos, now is a wonderful time to do so!
Teacher
Erica in a Yoga position

Erica Gragg

Yoga Teacher / Fitness Trainer / Curator

Erica is an acclaimed yoga teacher, known for teaching a strong, yet playful Vinyasa flow practice. She is largely inspired by the journey of yoga, the subtle to the grand discoveries each individual makes through their practice, inviting students to have fun while experiencing their body in a whole new way through each unique practice. With classes always set to music, from tribal to lounge to classic rock songs, students are able to find their own personal rhythm and expression through each asana. Additionally, Erica is co-founder and co-owner of Escape To Shape, which she created to fill a gap in the travel and wellness market — combining her two passions into one unique, memorable and results-driven holiday. Erica contributes to AFAR, Huffington Post, MindBodyGreen, Charlotte’s Book and Well + Good, amongst others, as a Travel & Wellness Expert.