Bhutan

Heralded as the Kingdom of Happiness, the mystical land of Bhutan is steeped in spiritualism. The mountainous nation is devoutly Buddhist, and monasteries, ceremonies & daily devotion is ubiquitous. Warm smiles greet you on the happy faces of simple-living locals, & it is easy to see why it has been declared the happiest country in the world.

GEt in touch learn more

activities & experiences

Spirituality forms the basis of any visit to Bhutan, such is its pervasiveness. Regardless of one’s own beliefs, seeing the vibrant prayer flags fluttering in th mountain breeze, the cacophanous festivals and the majestic monasteries clinging to the mountainside is a profound experience. But delve deeper into the landscapes of Bhutan and you will find a great deal more.

Bhutan’s excessive altitude – ranging from 8-10,000 feet (2,450-3,050m) – can make strenuous activity challenging for even the fittest visitor, but with a couple fo days to acclimatise, you will be able to enjoy changing landscapes, spectacular views and even some safari opportunities.

  • Explore local shops & crafts
  • Grab some binoculars for unique birdwatching opportunities
  • Mount up for a horseback ride through the winding valleys
  • Kayak or raft along the glacial rivers
  • Sample the distinctive – & delicious – local cuisine
  • Take a safari in search of Bengal tigers
  • Visit the numerous religious buildings scattered throughout the country
  • Ease weary limbs in one of several hot springs
Bhutan 3
Bhutan 2

destinations

When thinking of Bhutan, one might envisage the snow-capped peaks of the Himalaya. While this is a distinct aspect of the highest country in the world, it is by far the only one. Lush forested valleys give way to pristine lakes and the low-lying foothills provide extensive walking and cycling trails to explore without being overly steep or taxing. Religion and culture is a fundamental part of any visit to Bhutan, and by exploring monasteries and sacred sites you will begin to understand the sense of peace and contentment that exudes from every radiant face.

Paro Taktsang


Undoubtedly the most recognised, and photographed, destination in Bhutan, Paro Taktsang, or the Tiger’s Nest monastery, clings to the side of a steep mountainside. Even on the smooth, flat plains of a valley, this remarkable structure would be a stunning building, but its almost unfathomable location makes it simply spectacular to witness. Visitors can walk to the monastery, though altitude can make it somewhat challenging and, to make you feel even more unfit, you will likely meet elderly Bhutanese folk happily making their daily pilgrimage as if it is the easiest stroll in the world!

Thimphu


The capital of Bhutan, Thimphu is wonderfully intriguing. The architecture is highly distinctive and tradition can be found at every turn. Museums and libraries share the history of the country, while the city’s Clock Tower Square hosts regular concerts and performances, with dances telling the tales of Butanese folklore. Here, you will also be able to sample Bhutanese traditional dishes, both at small cafes and fine-dining restaurants, and also take in some shopping for arts, crafts and the many, many carved phalluses on display! (Explanation in FAQs)

Royal Manas National Park


Bordering Northern India, Manas National Park is where you will discover Bhutan’s safaris. One of the last remaining bastions of the Bengal tiger, Royal Manas National Park is filled with wildlife found in few other places in the world. On its forested plains you will discover Asian elephant, Greater one-horned rhinoceros, Clouded leopard, Himalayan black bear, and pangolin among other creatures, including an abundance of birdlife. With luck, you may even spot the incredibly rare golden langur, a species of monkey endemic to the region spanning the countries’ border.

Changlimithang


Archery is a vital part of Bhutanese culture, and experts have been using this method of hunting for centuries. At Changlimithang Archery Ground you will be able to observe this fine art and the inordinate skills of the locals. For the more enthusiastic, you can even be taught the ways of the bow and arrow and try your hand at archery yourself.

Phobjikha Valley


Also known as the valley of the black-necked crane, and for good reason. On a tranquil stroll along the Gangtey Nature Trail, you will pass by monasteries, Buddhist statues and stupas to emerge at the winter roosting place of these majestic birds. The locals celebrate their annual return in a series of festivals which, while traditional, raise conservation awareness for the endangered black-necked crane.

Bhutan 20181011114809
Bhutan 9

accommodations

The government of Bhutan have only allowed western tourists to cross their borders in the last 50 years and maintain a stringent hold upon the industry. Because of this, development and, ergo, your choice of accommodation is limited. Some of the larger international hotel names are present in Bhutan, offering their usual high standard of accommodation and service, but to visit the more remote regions your adventurous spirit will need to extend to your lodgings. Comfortable and homely, these simple homestays and lodges are a far cry from the RItz-Carlton, but are pleasant enough and add a rustic charm to your stay.

It is likely that, if you choose to visit Bhutan, you will understand that you are visiting a country that is underdeveloped for luxury western tourism. It is a wonderfully beguiling destination and one that will you most certainly find endearingly captivating. But with that, one must also accept sometimes humble lodgings. If you are willing to forgo the luxurious furnishings of the more exclusive hotels of the world, you are sure to relish the experience. Regardless of where you stay, every property will have the Rothshild assurance; we have carefully assessed accommodation options and will only book those that meet our standards.

B190129010 Banner Size
Bhutan 2810264

BHUTAN ESSENTIALS

001 Calendar 01

BEST TIME: Mar-May & Oct-Nov

003 Thermometer 01

CLIMATE: LOW: 28-33ºF (-2-1ºC) Dec – Feb / HIGH: 60-81ºF (15-27ºC) Jun – Aug

002 Blood 01

SEASONS: Summer (Wet): Jun-Aug / Winter (Cold): Nov-Mar

004 Group 01

BEST FOR:
Culture & spirituality, adventurers, a unique safari experience

Entry into Bhutan is still stringently monitored. Accommodation is only by government approval, visas are always required in advance and you must be accompanied by a pre-arranged guide at all times. This will, of course, all be arranged or advised of by your travel designer. International flights arrive in Bhutan from nearby Asian countries, including India, Thailand and Nepal.

Some inoculations, including COVD, are required for Bhutan. Your travel designer will assist, but it is highly recommended that you consult your medical travel specialist.

HOW LONG SHOULD I SPEND IN BHUTAN?

Bhutan is an absolutely fascinating country and worthy of at least a week’s attention. Experiences and extensive travel within the country are somewhat limited though, and it advised that you either only visit for a maximum of ten days or combine with another country.

WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT?

Bhutan is cold and wet, though not at the same time. Winters can drop below freezing, while the hot summer months can be almost monsoonal in their rainfall, with almost six inches (150mm) of precipitation falling in July. Spring and Fall are both pleasant, with amiable temperatures and lighter showers giving way to blue skies. March, April and May are the better months of Spring, while October and November are the pick for the Fall.

OTHER DETAILS:

Much of the entertainment in Bhutan is in the landscapes and culture. Because of this, as well as the high altitude, it is a better destination for a fairly wide but select type of traveller. Young families and the elderly may struggle a little. The Bhutanese people are gentle, humble and welcoming, and a certain level of decorum and cultural respect should be adopted. 

When wandering the markets and shops of Bhutan, and even in hotels and private homes, you will doubtlessly notice an abundance of phalluses. Far from being crude, they are a symbol of fertility and prosperity and are also thought to ward off evil spirits. Rather than being aggrandising of the male form, they also serve as a reminder for men to uphold humility and equality.

Bhutan is quite simply unlike anywhere else in the world, and an adventure to this Himalayan nation will not only remain with you for the rest of your life, it may well profoundly transform you, instilling just a little of what makes this the happiest nation on earth.

WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY

Wow, wow, wow!! We are back in LA now, recovering from jet lag and still in shock and awe regarding our experience. From the moment we landed in South Africa to the moment we touched down in LA, our experience was seamless and amazing. 

- Amy Lundberg

We were thrilled with the trip. It was as good as or better than described at every turn. The prep, attention to detail, willingness to make changes and ensure we were ready and prepared was outstanding. Our Travel Designer was awesome! 

- Betsy Robertson

Choosing a safari expert is never easy given the choice and lists upon lists of "top suppliers"....but we made the BEST choice for us....why....because above all, Rothschild listened ....really listened to what we wanted to experience.

- Dawn Jacobs

It was a well organized trip. It was easy to get around since we were guided through all of our itinerary. Everyone was pleasant and very helpful. This is an excellent way to travel. Rothschild Safari did very well and brought a fantastic African experience to us.

- George Kowalski

My trip was beyond AMAZING! I truly enjoyed every moment. The itinerary allowed me to experience a variety of different activities all of which I enjoyed! When I originally thought of going to Africa I was just thinking of safaris. This trip opened my eyes (and my family/friend's) to so much more Africa has to offer.

- Jackie Smith

Trip was PERFECT!! Every single detail was planned out and the accommodations and people were wonderful. This trip exceeded all of our wildest expectations. Every place we stayed was just lovely and each each camp had a different vibe, which was really neat. Everyone we worked with was outstanding. 

Jamie Scarlett

On behalf of the Moravec’s and the Stone’s……thank you for arranging a trip of a lifetime. Every detail was accounted for and all the recommendations were perfect. It honestly could not have gone any better.

Joe Moravec

Meggan Woody and Kim Killick were extraordinary at crafting THE PERFECT safari for our family of 8. They both listened (actually 'read' my email) to EXACTLY what we wanted, within the budget that we needed, and miraculously pulled off miracles in obtaining the properties that we wanted! 

Kim Mather

Every aspect of my trip went according to plan and the plan Rothschild's help me to orchestrate was magnificent! I loved every lodge that I was blessed to be in! They were all very different yet all high end and very accommodating.

Lisa Anderson

It was the most exciting, scenic, inspiring trip we've ever taken. To say it was a trip of a lifetime doesn't begin to capture our experience. Pam Langhoff and the Rothschild team did an outstanding job of helping us plan this trip.

Mary & Rob Johannigman (& family)