BHUTAN - A SPIRITUAL DRIVE IN THE HIMALAYAS
The mountains are breathtaking, the countryside is green, the air is pure and the architecture is striking. This is Bhutan, the secret Shangri La or the Land of the Peaceful Thunder Dragon, the best-kept secret in the travel industry.
BEYOND ADVENTURE HIMALAYA - BHUTAN – Due to its relative geographical isolation, Bhutan is not widely known to the outside world. Until 1974 Western tourists rarely visited the country. Today, the number of visitors is strictly limited and therefore only a few people know about the beauty of Bhutan. The few who visit this magical place are astonished by the ancient Buddhist culture in a landscape of incredible nature. Beyond Adventure has obtained the needed visitor permits for you to enter this world.
Experience an intimate insight into Bhutan’s Buddhist culture and way of life. The way most visitors travel in Bhutan is in mini busses but with Beyond Adventure self-drive is always a must, so you get your “own” 4x4 and this way become a member of an even smaller group of people who drive themselves in Bhutan.
You will drive the back-roads of the country to untouched villages, reaching heights close to 4,000m and enjoying the most beautiful sights and sounds of the Himalayan range. Unforgettable nights are organized in carefully selected world-class resorts with international awards from the travel industry.
Begin your journey with passing over the majestic Mount Everest with the Royal Bhutan Airlines to Paro - being the starting point of your endeavour.
EXCELLENCE PAIRED WITH PASSION, ADVENTURE AND PRECISION
Beyond Adventure Himalaya is all about exploring the world on passionate and unique driving adventures. Getting from A to B shall become your experience not just transport. We offer you the opportunity to explore some of your “bucket-list” destinations. All behind the steering wheel of a 4x4 vehicle.
Beyond Adventure Himalaya is a product of 2 strong forces joining. Dharma Adventure Bhutan and Jan Kalmar Beyond Adventure will jointly run these adventures. All will be done in the same high-quality standards which both are individually
We dare to motivate you to go where no-one normally goes and we want to exceed your expectations with our one-of-its-kind concepts. Redefine automotive adventures and target via a distinctive customer teamwork to also extend your network and to create friendships. When joining Beyond Adventure Himalaya you will become part of a passionate team and will immediately feel our uniqueness in how we do create experiences.
Dharma Adventures Bhutan has had for years a unique position in the Bhutanese high-end travel industry and beyond reaching further into the entire Himalayan region. Jan Kalmar Beyond Adventure was established by Jan Kalmar – an adventurer, petrol head and extreme driver who is constantly exploring the planet on four wheels and has achieved World Records in this process.
For us the experience must be distinctive - we supply the best service wherever we go but never lose the flexibility and individual approach. Therefore have we developed an unique Classic Rally-Style Driving Concept for Beyond Adventure, not competing for the fastest time but instead for the most precise timing. This means you drive and navigate by yourself independently. Of course, the support team is always close by and for the most challenging stages, the entire group stays together.
The passion for adventures is deep within our joint Beyond Adventure Himalaya team. We will ensure the best possible comfort. In case of an emergency, break down or a simple puncture, there is always support close by. So, although you drive solitary, you are never alone, even in the most remote areas. On special adventures a paramedic is present to ensure premedical assistance in an unlikely event of emergency.
There is always a local guide present to explain about the area and inform about local habits and traditions, simply to widen your horizon. Behind the scenes, a team of travel experts is on stand-by from start to finish following you via GPS tracking for your safety and comfort - always ready to support if needed.
The experience starts already when signing in, from that moment on you may always rely on our experience to assist you with all aspects of the entire project. Surely most wishes can be sorted.
The true adventure starts at the arrival airport. From here all is taken care of all the way to the departure airport - get ready to explore the world you never knew existed... the extraordinary world!
Let the adventure begin,
You arrive in Paro, home to the only international airport of Bhutan, rated as one of the most adventurous of its kind. Here you will be greeted by our team who will handle luggage, papers and everything else needed to enter this Kingdom. You will swiftly be shuttled to the capital of this small but astonishing country - Thimphu.
Take your time and acclimatize to the heights and speed of Bhutan.
Let our local guide introduce you to the Buddhist lifestyle in the capital without traffic lights or simply enjoy unique Bhutan at your own pace after a long journey with a spa treatment. Relax and rest before your driving endeavour will start tomorrow.
In the evening, the briefing, as well as the introduction to your cars, will take place. Afterwards, a welcome dinner in the hotel’s restaurant will introduce you to Bhutanese cuisine.
Today marks the beginning of your Bhutan driving experience. The day starts with a short drive to the city center where you will be offered to make your own postage stamp. From there we drive uphill to the tallest sitting Buddha in the world. The bronze statue is 51,5m in height and it overlooks the southern entrance to Thimphu Valley. In this breathtaking scenery, you will enjoy lunch on a hill with a stunning view of the Buddha.
After lunch, the real driving starts. It might seem short in distance but it will take some time. Take the curvy and narrow roads to the former capital of the Kingdom of Bhutan - Punakha, located “only” 1,200m above sea level. On your way you will get the most magnificent views of the Bhutan Himalayas if the weather allows. The 108 stupas’ at a mountain pass marked by a vast array of prayer flags is a delight for any photographer’s eye.
A magnificent lodge where you will stay for 2 nights will welcome you after a good day of driving.
Total KM: 143
Today is either a day in the name of action or relaxation - in any case you will surely enjoy the spectacular views from the lodge. The day in Punakha gives you the possibility to visit the most impressive Dzong (Fortress) in Bhutan and to join the optional activities such as riverrafting or mountain-biking.
There will still be time for relaxing in the spa and maybe try out even the optional Bhutanese hot stone bath before a special evening awaits you.
Total KM: 0-40
Today we say goodbye to Punakha, as an off-the-beaten-track route towards more secluded valleys of Bhutan awaits to be conquered. Before that, a visit to an exceptional village and Fertility Temple is planned.
We leave the highway on a real “detour” along curvy roads towards the Khotokha Valley. Here not only the roads are making this a unique experience, but this area is also not “touched” by tourists. Here you will enjoy a picnic lunch surrounded by mountains, forest and real remoteness.
After lunch, the amazing drive through dense forest continues. In the afternoon you will arrive in Gangtey Valley. Enjoy the view from the terrace before dinner, which will mark a good end to a fantastic day. Optionally, an in-room massage or the hot stone bath can be enjoyed.
Total KM: 102
Gangtey Valley will offer you a spectacular day. Start your day with breakfast together with the monk students. From there join a visit to the local school. Afterwards, take part in the Beyond Adventure annual archery and dart games.
Lunch at the hotel at any time you wish. In the afternoon, as an option you can join an amazing hike, deeper into the Valley or heal your soul by enjoying the views or receive specialized spa treatments. Be prepared, dinner will be an extraordinary experience you will never forget.
Total KM: 0
Yesterday’s relaxing time in Gangtey Valley was important as today we will be heading towards Bumthang over 3 amazing mountain passes over 3,400m. Leaving civilization behind you - going deeper and deeper into the sacred and intimate country.
The arrival to Bhumtang marks the perfect culmination of your adventure to the special, peaceful and mysterious Bhutan.
After arriving at the hotel in Bumthang there is time to relax before our special Bhutanese dinner starts. For those interested, a local Swiss Cheese Factory can be visited.
Total KM: 142
The day starts early with a short, scenic flight from Bumthang back to Paro. You will go through a security check at the smallest airport you might have ever seen.
Only 30 minutes later you land in Paro where you can choose your activities. If you are fit, you can conquer the famous Tiger Nest temple hike. It is a 4-5 hours demanding hike to visit one of the most important Buddhist temples in the world. Alternatively, spend the day at the Bhutan Spirit Lodge with time to relax and either enjoy the spa or visit Paro for souvenir shopping before heading to the lodge.
In the evening you will be enjoying a delicious farewell dinner. Enjoy the last moments of the sacred spirit of Bhutan in the lodge with an unforgettable view into the Paro Valley.
It is time to leave the Kingdom of Bhutan, but a part of you will always remain here... The unlimited amount of friendliness found here in Bhutan will mark you for life too.
This marks the end of this life-defining endeavour, however, we do not say “goodbye”, but we say “See you soon on your next Beyond Adventure”!
Depending on your flight schedule, you will be shuttled to the airport by the team.
• A spiritual journey into the unknown
• World-class accommodation
• A glimpse of a forgotten world
• Short-distances with plentiful vistas
• Truly happy and welcoming people
• A country without traffic lights
BHUTAN IS NOT:
• Highways and fast drive
• Modern stressful society
• Visited by an average traveller
• A low-land drive
DURATION AND DATES:
8 days (3 driving days) | ~ 450 KM
May 26 - June 2, 2023
Rental 4x4 SUV
PRICES PER PERSON:
Price upon request.
Beyond Adventure Vehicle
All breakfasts, lunches and dinners and non-alcoholic drinks
Beyond Adventure Organization
Guided hike in Gangtey, archery experience
Transfers from and to airport
GSM / Satellite data connection
* Excluding flights to and from Paro International Airport to and from your home destination.
Optional Extras: Rafting (from € 125), Mountain biking (from € 40).
Group Size: Min. 8 - max. 12 participants. More waves possible if needed to cover demand. Information correct at time of publishing, due to the nature of the projects changes can occur.
In Bhutan the Classic Rally Driving Organization will not take place due to local regulations. Anyhow where possible optional individual driving can take place.