Day Hiking in Bhutan: Tips from Our Experts

If you’re one of the few who knows of Bhutan, you’ve probably also heard it called a hiker’s paradise. Indeed, day hiking is one of the favorite activities of travelers to the gorgeous Himalayan kingdom. And since reaching this remote country takes some effort, we want to be sure you get the most out of your hikes. Our Bhutan experts offer this advice:

Hit the Trails Beforehand

The best way to train for a hiking trip is to hike. A couple months before your trip, head for the hills in order to strengthen your heart, lungs, and legs. Hike wearing your day pack and the footwear you’ll use in Bhutan so it's broken in. If you’re not close to hiking trails, walking stairs or using the stair machine at your gym is a good option. Each outing, aim for 60–90 minutes of continuous exercise that significantly elevates your heart rate.

Slow Down and Enjoy

Once you're hiking in Bhutan, take your time and soak up the views. We recommend imitating the slow, steady, short steps of your guides. Keep your knees soft and flexible when descending steps.

Engage Along the Way

Interact with the people you meet on the trail. Try to greet them in their own language and you’ll likely see their faces light up with appreciation.

Be Prepared for Thinner Air

Hikes in Bhutan often take you to high elevations, and you’re likely to feel the reduced levels of oxygen, even if you’re in top form. We design our itineraries with time to help you acclimatize, but everybody reacts differently to altitude. After you’ve signed up for a trip, we’ll send you information on the symptoms and prevention of altitude sickness.

Have the Right Equipment

Make sure that your hiking shoes or boots are broken in and that you’ve got several layers (including one for rain) that you can add and remove to keep comfortable. Also double check that your day pack is comfy to wear and big enough to carry water, snacks, your camera, and those layers.

Read Ahead

Try to learn a bit about Bhutan before traveling: You can’t appreciate your surroundings when your face is buried in a guidebook.

If you'd like to hear from some GeoEx guests who have traveled to and hiked in Bhutan, please view their comments.