Bhutan Motorcycle Tour - 12 Days
Start your engines, shift your gears and ride beside the mountains inhaling pure Himalayan pine scented breeze in this motorcycle tour.
- Cultural exploration of Thimphu, Punakha, Gangtey and Paro
- Biking to Panoramic Chelai La Pass, Douche La Pass, Pele La Pass, and Yotong La Pass
- Explore Tang valley and Tiger Nest Monastery
- Panoramic mountain scenery and valleys
- Village exploration in Gangtey
- Ancient Himalayan Monasteries
- Pristine environment of Bhutan
The knees in the breeze, heightened senses, roar of the engine, shifting scenery, the in-control-feel and the wind behind our backs are a great way to enjoy the picturesque landscape, negotiate the mountainsides, ascend our lofty mountain passes and inhale that pure Himalayan pine scented breeze. That sounds great. We are talking about 12 days Bhutan Motorcycle tour.
Over the years, we have operated motorcycling trips for riders and adventure enthusiasts from overseas and they tell us that the minimal traffic, disciplined motorists, awe inspiring scenery, gentle curves and the open roads offer the ideal conditions for enjoying motorcycle tours in Bhutan.
Bhutan Motorcycle tour enables you to enjoy and experience the thrill of motorcycling infused with encounters with the last Himalayan kingdom’s vibrant culture, stunning landscape, intact environment and the friendly Bhutanese people. The route takes us from the alluvial agricultural lands of western Bhutan to the cultural heartland in central Bhutan.
Arrive in Paro and Transfer to Hotel and Test Ride in the Evening. Overnight at a Hotel.
Ride to Haa valley via Chelai La Pass (3,950m) – 4 Hours. Overnight at a Hotel.
Ride to Punakha via Douche La Pass (3,100m) – 5 Hours. Overnight at a Hotel.
Ride to Trongsa via Pele La Pass (3300m) – 5 Hours. Overnight at Hotel.
Morning Visit to Trongsa, Ride to Bumthang via Yutong La Pass (3495m) – 2 Hours and Sightseeing in Bumthang. Overnight at a Hotel.
Ride from Bumthang to Tang Valley – 3 Hours and Sightseeing in the Afternoon. Overnight at a Hotel.
Ride to Gangtey Valley across the Yotong La and Pele La Pass – 4 Hours. Overnight at a Hotel.
Ride from Gangtey Valley to Thimphu – 5 Hours. Overnight at a Hotel.
Sightseeing in and around Thimphu. Overnight at a Hotel.
Ride from Thimphu to Paro – 1.5 Hours and Sightseeing in Paro. Overnight at a Hotel.
Hike to Tiger Nest Monastery – 4 Hours. Overnight at a Hotel.
Transfer to International Airport for your Final Departure.
Departures & Availability
We do not have fixed departure date for this trip. This trip can only be organized upon your request. There is an option of private and tailor-made journey best suited for you, your family and friends. We have price discounts according to the group size, the bigger your group, the bigger your group discounts. We allow complete flexibility on your departure date, please choose your preferable date.
- Pick up from and drop off at the hotel and the airport on a tourist car / van /minibus.
The Royal Enfield motorcycle for the number of days riding. We use Royal Enfield Thunderbird – 500cc and Royal Enfield Himalayan – 411cc. (You also have options available to bring along your own bikes)
Standard government-approved accommodation (in twin sharing rooms) for the duration of the tour.
Full-board meals – breakfast, lunch, dinner and tea & snacks – for the duration of your stay.
Motorcycle mechanic all along the route.
Drinking water for the duration of the tour.
Country presentation and tour Briefing on the evening of Day1 with welcome drinks.
Licensed English-speaking Bhutanese tour guides.
Monument and museums entrance fees for all sightseeing locations detailed in the itinerary.
Cultural afternoon/evening sessions with traditional mask and folk dances (with beverages). Only for group tours.
Bhutan visa fees and processing assistance.
Government royalty (35% of $200), which goes to the country’s health and education projects.
All route access and monument entry permits and fees.
All government taxes, official expenses and tourist service charges.
International airfare and airport departure tax.
- Your travel insurance (mandatory for the trip, see the travel insurance page).
Tips for tour guides, porters, driver, hotel lobby and in restaurants. (Tipping is expected)
Personal clothing and equipment.(See the equipment section for detail information)
All items of personal nature like drinks, laundry etc.
- Any expenses other than the Price Include section
Detailed ItineraryExpand All
Day 01: Arrive in Paro and Transfer to Hotel and Test Ride in the Evening.
We arrive in Paro in the morning. The afternoon will be left aside for briefing and getting to know your Royal Enfield motorcycle. We will also enjoy a short group ride together to northern Paro to get acquainted with the motorcycle and the Himalayan highways of Bhutan.
Day 02: Ride to Haa valley via Chelai La Pass (3,950m)
We ride to Haa valley today across Chelai La Pass (3950m) the highest motorable pass in western Bhutan, in Haa valley we will visit some farm houses, ancient temples and a good flat ride in the rustic valley before we ride back to Paro for the night.
Day 03: Ride to Punakha via Dochula La Pass (3,100m)
Today we mount our steel horses early and ride to Punakha, the medieval capital of Bhutan. We will be riding across the Dochula Pass which offers panoramic view of the eastern Himalayas. From the pass we enjoy the winding descent to the subtropical Punakha valley. In route we will be visiting the “temple of fertility”. The afternoon will be left aside for the visit to the Punakha Dzong, the castle of great happiness. We will also enjoy a walk across the longest suspension bridge in Bhutan before we head to the hotel for rest and relaxation.
Day 04: Ride to Trongsa via Pele La Pass (3300m)
This morning we ride across the Pele La Pass (3300m) to Trongsa, the central hub of the country. There will also be lots of opportunities for photography stops along the way as we now enter the more rural countryside of the country. We will also be taking rest stops at wayside markets, villages and scenic areas. With stops along the way we will be arriving in Trongsa in the afternoon.
Day 05: Morning visit to Trongsa, Ride to Bumthang via Yotong La Pass (3495m) – 2 Hours and Sightseeing in Bumthang.
In the morning we will be visiting the impressive Trongsa Dzong which is a shining example of traditional architecture and craftsmanship. We then saddle up and ride our Enfields across the Yotong la pass (3495m) to Bumthang, the cultural heartland of the country. We will be making plenty of stops along the way for photography, rest and relaxation.
We arrive in Jakhar, Bumthang in the early afternoon and visit the cultural sights of Tamshing, Kurjey and Jambay lhakhangs (temple/monastery). Later in the evening we visit the local craft brewery for our tryst with the local wheat beer or apple juice and fresh cheese.
Day 06: Ride from Bumthang to Tang Valley – 3 Hours and Sightseeing in the Afternoon.
We will be riding the backroads of Bumthang to Tang valley. The ride takes us across pristine forests and wayside settlements to the hidden mountain village of Tang. In Tang we will be visiting the manor house, museum and walk around the village before we head back to Jakhar. For those less inclined to ride today, there will also be options available for cultural sightseeing in the valley or relaxation at the hotel.
Day 07: Ride to Gangtey Valley across the Yotong La and Pele La Pass
Today we retrace the ride across the Yotong La and Pele La Pass to Gangtey valley. Gangtey is also known as the valley of the cranes owing to the large number of endangered cranes which roost in the wetlands from November until April before traversing the Himalayas to the Tibetan plateau. In Gangtey we will visit the Gangtey monastery and also walk the nature trail before calling it a day.
Day 08: Ride from Gangtey Valley to Thimphu
From Gangtey we ride to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. Thimphu is an exciting blend of the traditional and contemporary and is the only capital city in the world devoid of traffic lights. Upon arrival in Thimphu we check into the hotel for a moment of rest and relaxation. In the afternoon we visit the Buddha point, at 51m this is one of the largest statues of Buddha in the world. The vantage here offers panoramic views of the capital.
Day 09: Sightseeing in and around Thimphu.
We enjoy a full day cultural sightseeing of the capital where we learn about the arts, crafts, spirituality, archery and other cultural and historical aspects of the country.
Day 10: Ride from Thimphu to Paro – 1.5 Hours and Sightseeing in Paro.
We ride to Paro, the one hour ride is the final section of our adventure on the Bhutanese highway. We will be stopping by roadside café and cultural landmarks. We arrive in Paro in time for lunch in town. In the afternoon we ride the final throttle of our ride to the national museum, the fortress of Paro and the marketplace before heading to the hotel.
Day 11: Hike to Tiger Nest Monastery
Hike to the Tiger Nest Monastery; this iconic cultural landmark is perched on the side of a cliff 900m above the Paro valley floor. Guru Rinpoche, the patron saint of Bhutan arrived at this cliff face on a back of tigress and meditated here in a cave, hence it is called “Tiger’s Nest”. This site has been recognized as the most spiritual of sites in Bhutan and many eminent saints have meditated in this area. We will have lunch and refreshments at the cafeteria which offers an imposing view of the cultural landmark of Tigers Nest before descending back into the valley. At a leisurely pace the hike takes 3 to 4 hours for the ascent and 1 hour for the descent.
Later in the afternoon/evening, we will also have adequate time for a leisurely stroll in the Paro market area before returning to the hotel for the night.
Day 12: Transfer to International Airport for your Final Departure.
Your trip concludes – our airport representative will drop you to international airport for your flights departure from Paro. We check in two hours prior to flight departure to ensure the best seats on board, best suited to take in the panoramic view of the Himalayas.
Gears and Equipment
List of Recommended Equipment
- Personal riding accessories /accessories if required for your own convenience
- Down Jacket (Optional/You can rent one if you really need)
- Goggles or sunglasses for sunbeam, dust and wind.
- A neck warmer is another piece of gear for extra warmth if you feel you will need it and is for cold season i.e. January, February and December.(optional)
- 1 pair warm gloves (This is required if you are travelling in cold season i.e. January, February and December).
- T-shirts (3).
- Waterproof (preferably breathable fabric) shell jacket (preferable if you are travelling in rainy season from June to September.)
- 1 pair cotton pants (loose jeans/khakis), 1 pair shorts.
- 2 pairs lightweight long underwear/thermals (if you are traveling in winter January, February and December).
- 2 pairs of liner socks, synthetic or capilene.
- 1 pair light camping shoes or sneakers.
- 1 pair sandals (Optional).
- Medicines and First Aid Kits
(Please note our guide will also carry the first aid kit bag during the trip. However we still recommend you to bring your personal first aid kit as well)
- Helmet ( available in Bhutan)
- Riding gloves
- Riding Suit
- Long-sleeved base layers
- Passport and extra passport photos (4 copies).
- Airline ticket (Please make a copy and leave on at our office in KTM just in case if you need to change the date of your).
- Durable wallet / pouch for travel documents, money & passport.
- Lip balm. At least SPF 20, 2 sticks. A string taped to the stick is helpful, to hang around your neck and some are now being sold with a cord already attached. Handy as it avoids you from having to stop and look for it.
- Toiletry kit. Be sure to include toilet paper stored in a plastic bag, hand wipes, and liquid hand sanitizer, towel, soap, etc.
- 2 bandanas.
This list is only a guide. While you are required to bring everything on this list, there are numerous options, brands, and versions of each piece of equipment. Use your experience and the listed features to find the best gear for you.
FAQs for Bhutan Motorcycle Tour
Why travel with Ace the Himalaya?
Ace has a reputation for successfully leading treks with knowledgeable leaders and staff taking care of all your travel needs. We are a certified sustainable travel company that also endorses the idea of giving back to the community by participating in various philanthropic activities. Here are 17 reasons to hike with Ace the Himalaya.
What essential documents do I need to bring with me on tours?
Here are some documents that you will need to carry with you:
- Valid Passport – must be valid for up to 6 months after you return from your tour (Keep a separate photocopy)
- Travel insurance (Keep a separate photocopy)
- Cash and Traveller’s Cheques (Keep numbers and proof of purchase separately)
- Flight tickets
- Emergency contact numbers for T/C’s, banks, insurance, family contacts
Weather and Temperature
What is the best season for this tour?
February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September and October. The downhill on the bike rides gets cold in November, December and January
What is the weather and temperature like on the tour?
It depends on the season you’re travelling. During winter (December to February), it is colder at night and relatively warmer during the day, with the temperature ranging from 4°C at night to 22°C. Between March and May, the weather stays prefect as the temperature averages 25°C during the day. From September to December, following the monsoon, the temperature gets cooler and allows for a great time to travel. The average temperature during this season is 20°C. The vehicles and the hotels during the trip will be air-conditioned making your travel very comfortable.
Arrival and Visas
Do I need to obtain VISA for Bhutan?
We will handle the visa procedures for you. The Govt. will sanction the VISA only after the receipt of full payment in advance. The visa fee is included with our tour price. Actual Bhutan VISA will be stamped in your passport on arrival on Paro airport. Without visa clearance number, tourists cannot board the flight or enter the country.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs forwards a copy of this visa clearance to the concerned Druk Air stations and other entry points; we also fax a copy of the visa clearance document to our clients for their reference. While the actual visa is stamped on arrival, the initial visa clearance is also required at the time of issuing Druk Air Tickets.
All you need is to carry 2 copies of original passport-sized photographs, which are required on arrival in the country. Please e-mail us the clear color copy of the passport for the visa procedures.
Will somebody come to pick me up at the airport upon my arrival?
Yes, our airport representative will be there to greet you at the airport. S/he will be displaying a sign board with your name on it at outside the airport terminal. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel by our tourist vehicle.
Payments and extra costs
How much additional money do I need per day?
It depends on your spending habits. Generally, all the foods, accommodation and hot drinks are included in the price. You can allocate USD 10 to USD 15 for chocolates and a few drinks during the trip.
Can I use credit cards in the places visited in trip?
Yes, credit cards are accepted at all the hotels however we suggest you to bring along some cash for expenses personal in nature such as shopping, bar bills etc.
Who Can Participate?
How fit do I have to be for this trip?
This is a moderate level trip and can be enjoyed by most people however a fair amount of fitness will be required so that you can enjoy the trip even more.
What sort of accommodation can I expect in Paro, Thimphu, Punakha, Gantey, Bhumthang and Trongsa?
The hotels are of deluxe 3 star standard and are government approved. All accommodation we use are carefully selected based on our own experience, feedback from past guests, quality of accommodation/rooms/bathrooms, quality of meals/restaurant, convenient location/views, efficient services, traditional ambience/architecture and other facilities such as Wi-Fi access/room amenities/heating/in suite bathrooms/toilet, etc.
What sort of food can I expect in tour?
Most of the restaurants serve Bhutanese, Indian, Chinese and Continental cuisine always plenty to choose from. Local Bhutanese food are spicy like the Indian food.
I am a Vegetarian, is that a Problem?
No problem at all because our restaurants and hotels will serve a variety of vegetarian and meat based meals. We always recommend our guests to enjoy vegetarian meals to avoid food poisoning, eating heavy meals and non- vegetarian meals at the high altitude is not really safe for the stomach.
Is the water available drinkable? Do I need to bring purifying tablets/filter?
The trip price included the drinking water for the all Bhutan trip. You don’t need to bring any bring purifying tablets/filter or pay for the water.
Will it be possible to get any clothes washed along the way, to enable load to be kept as light as possible?
Yes, all the hotels we will be staying at has laundry facilities available. However, please be sure to check the delivery time before you handover your laundry.
What opportunities will I have for shower along the trip?
There will be cold and hot shower facilities available 24X7 at all the hotels.
Can I charge my digital camera or other equipments on my trip?
Yes, all the places we will stay have electrical sockets. The voltage rating in Bhutan is 220V+
Health and Safety
Is Ace the Himalaya's staff insured?
Our company insures all our trekking staff members, including guides, cooks, Sherpa, and porters. Please browse through our legal docment page to view insurance details.
What immunizations will I need?
No vaccinations are compulsory for traveling in Nepal, but we do recommend you are covered for diphtheria & TB, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, *malaria, typhoid, polio and tetanus.
We also recommend:
- A dental check-up prior to traveling
- That you know your blood group in case of emergency
If you have any pre-existing medical conditions which might affect you on tour, you make these known to your tour leader and Ace the Himalaya at the time of your booking.
What is your cancellation policy?
Notice should be provided 20 days before the trip start date in case of cancellation. The trip can be canceled for justifiable reasons. Once the trip is canceled, a fee of 30% of the trip cost is retained for administrative costs.
However, the trip amount is entirely non-refundable if the cancellation is not made before the 20 days as per our terms and conditions. For submitting a claim to your insurance company after the cancellation, we can assist with documentation such as a receipt of monies paid. Refund will not be provided for unused accommodation in case of trip cancellation caused by personal reasons/sickness/weather.
More information about our cancellation policy can be found here in Terms and Conditions page.
Do I need to tip my guide and porters? How much would that be?
This is a difficult thing to gauge. We have seen everything from USD 20 to USD 1000 per person for guides and porters. Tipping is not required, but a small gesture of thanks to your guides and local porters thanks for their help. The level of the tip should reflect the level of satisfaction from and personal involvement with your guide.
Are there any communication facilities during the trip?
Telephones and Internet and international calls are readily available in most of the town for this trip.
Are there any photography restrictions?
You will have many photo opportunities during the trip. Please ask for permission before taking a person’s photo. Photography in, monasteries, shrine rooms of Dzongs and religious institutions is generally not permitted, but outdoor photography is. To be sure when visiting such places, you may consult with your guide just to make sure. Carry plenty of films and batteries. Photo shops in Bhutan do not sell equipment or accessories.
Can I add extra days to my trip?
No, because we can’t change your Druk air flight once it is booked.
Is there a minimum and a maximum number for your groups?
We cater to all group sizes, while maintaining the field staff ratio to give you the best quality and experience.
Transportation and flights
Do we book our international flights and Druk air flights?
Yes, you need to book your own International flights. We are a local agent and it would cost you significantly higher to book through us. Please find more information in the International Flight page.
Druk air is the only airline to and from Bhutan. We can ebook the Druk air flight to and from Bhutan and e-mail you the e-ticket.
Druk air flight cost is not included in the trip price. Druk air flights cost are different as per the flights sectors that you are taking. Druk air offer flights from following location. We recommend you to book your flight to Bangkok as they have every day flight to Paro and from Paro as well.
Please let us know which route is more convenient to you, the cost of the flights are as below. Please contact us for the up-to-date Druk air flight rate.
- Bangkok – Paro – Bangkok = US$890
- New Delhi – Paro- New Delhi = US$875
- Calcutta – Paro- Calcutta = US$510
- Kathmandu – Paro- Kathmandu = US$520
- Bangkok – Paro – Kathmandu = US$ 860
- Bangkok – Paro – New Delhi = US$ 875
Are there any weight restrictions on Druk air flights?
Druk Air allows only up to 20 kgs of luggage per person, after which the excess baggage charge is USD 5 per kg.
I want to extend my holiday, any recommendations?
Yes, you can extend your holiday. Ace the Himalaya offers many options and alternatives for your holiday extension. For more information, you can visit our Day trips pages.
These full and frank reviews are from travelers who have traveled with Ace the Himalaya previously. The reviews and experiences shown here are from reputable travel websites like TripAdvisor, Google, Facebook, and Trust Pilot, etc.
What makes this trip different ?
Our CSR with Sambhav Nepal
- Ace the Himalaya believes in giving back to the communities that surround and support tourism in Nepal. Ace provides logistical support and, if needed, cash donations to the projects of Sambhav Nepal (a local NGO).
- Sambhav Nepal and Ace work together to plan volunteer programs that will bring in foreign volunteers and make use of their enthusiasm, time, and talents in a variety of projects.
Sustainability and Responsible Tourism
- Of the few Travelife Partners in Nepal, Ace the Himalaya is one. We respect the procedures for sustainable tourism. Our excursions are socially and environmentally conscious, leaving the lowest possible impact in the Himalayas.
- About 80% of Ace the Himalaya’s staff members are natives of the regions where our trips are organized. It is one of our sustainable and responsible efforts to help local communities, support small businesses, and promote regional culture and way of life.