Bhutan 16 Day Cultural Journey

Bhutan 16 Day Cultural Journey

Program Highlights

Bhutan 16 Day Cultural Journey

Dates: TBD   |   Tuition: Request A Quote Learn More

On this program...

  • Hike to the Tiger's Nest monastery high in the Himalayas.
  • Promote Bhutan's famous Global National Happiness policy through a community-based conservation project.
  • White water raft the Mo Chhu river and camp along the shore.
  • Explore Buddhist traditions and history in the Jambay and Kurjey Lhakhang temples.

Group Organizer/s: 

Your contact info here.

WTT Contact: 

Luke Mueller, luke@walkingtree.org

Deadlines: TBD

Request a Quote

SAMPLE PROGRAM PAGE: This is an example of what your private program webpage and itinerary might look like, should you decide to organize a program with us. Please begin by reviewing the suggested itinerary listed under the Pre-Enrollment tab, and then feel free to read through other sections to get a sense of the in-depth information and support we provide for all programs.

Click on the sections above to learn more

Sample Itinerary

DayLocationActivitiesLodging
1USA - New Delhi/Bangkok - ParoToday we'll fly from the US to Bhutan, through either New Delhi or Bangkok. Enjoy some movies on the flight, and rest up for our upcoming adventure!International flight
2Paro - ThimpuOur adventure begins at the National Museum of Bhutan in Paro, where we will experience over 1500 years of Bhutan's cultural heritage through the Museum's art collection and history. We will continue on to the capital, Thimphu, and visit the National Institute of Traditional Medicine to learn about why Bhutan has been coined the "Land of Herbal Medicine". Later on we will have an opportunity to meet with a representative from Bhutan's Gross National Happiness Center to talk about the importance of conserving the environment for Gross National Happiness (Bhutan's primary performance indicator), and have dinner with an environmental conservationist before settling into our hotel for some much needed rest.Hotel Pedling
3ThimpuIn the morning we will meet with a member of the Bhutan Biodiversity Center and learn about the country's unique ecosystems and its pioneering efforts in conservation. Afterwards, we will explore the Takin preserve to get a first hand look at Bhutan's national animal, the Takin! Finish the day with a visit to Buddha Dordenma, one of the world's largest statues of the Buddha, made of bronze and gold. Hotel Pedling
4ThimpuToday we will hike up to the Phajoding Monastery, one of Bhutan's most sacred sites and home to over sixty orphaned monks. This rare experience high in the mountains will provide a perfect place to reflect on Bhutan's unspoilt landscapes and living.Phajoding Monastery
5ThimpuUpon waking up in this beautiful pocket of the Himalayas, we will spend some time in the morning for some quiet reflection and meditation before continuing on to the day's hike. Your trek will take you to the region's sacred lakes before descending back to Thimpu for the evening. Hotel Pedling
6Thimpu - PunakhaToday you we will drive to Punakha by way of Dochula, one of Bhutan's highest drivable passes. Along the way we will spend some time exploring Lamperi Botanical Park and birdwatching with an official from the Ministry of Forestry to learn about the area's flora and fauna.Meri Phuensum Resort
7Punakha - Mo ChhuIn the morning we will visit Punakha Dzong, arguably one of the country's most beautiful structures. Later you will cross Bhutan's longest suspension bridge and walk through small typical villages before your hike to the Khamsung Yulley Namgyal Monastery. In the afternoon, we will all take to the Mo Chhu river for some white water rafting before turning in for the evening on our riverside campsite.Mo Chhu Camp Site
8Mo Chhu - PobjikhaThe adventure continues as we set out to explore more Bhutanese temples. We will first hike to Chimi Lhakhang to view the unique artwork. We will then visit Gangty Goempa, a monastery important to the Nyingmapa school of Budhism in the Pobjikha district.Dewachen
9PobjikhaToday, we will get a feel for the Pobjikha valley on a scenic nature trek on the Gangtey Nature Trail for some spectacular views. Afterwards, we will visit the Black Necked Crane Center before taking a much needed hot stone bath. We'll take some time in the afternoon to relax after many days of activity!Dewachen
10Pobjikha - BumthangIt is time to set out to the Bumthang district. On your drive you will visit the Jambay Lhakhang and Kurjey Lhakhang temples to learn more about Buddhist history in Bhutan's most spiritually sacred valley.Mountain Resort
11BumthangToday, we'll begin the day with a visit to Mebar Tsho, or "burning lake." This small fresh water lake is steeped in religious and historical legend, but is worth the visit for its spectacular beauty alone. After our visit to Mebar Tsho, we will continue on to Ugyen Wangchuck Institute to learn more about Bhutan's efforts in wildlife conservation.Mountain Resort
12Bumthang - TrongsaToday we will drive to Trongsa. We will stop along the way and admire the architecture on our visit to Trongsa Dzong, the largest dzong fortress in the country. We'll finish the day with a visit to the Ta Dzong museum before turning in for the evening at the resort in Yangkhil.Yangkhil Resort
13Trongsa - ParoToday we'll take in the sights of the Bhutanese countryside as we travel to Paro. We'll relax for a while in the Tashi Namgay Resort, our home base for the next three nights.Tashi Namgay Resort
14ParoIn typical Bhutanese fashion, we will continue to promote the country's famous GNH policy, or Global National Happiness, on a community-based conservation project. We will spend the day planting tree saplings which will help bolster the country's negative carbon footprint. Bhutan is the only carbon negative country in the world! We will be leaving an imprint to help keep it this way.Tashi Namgay Resort
15ParoOn our last day in Bhutan, we will hike to the Tiger's Nest monastery, arguably the country's most stunning, as it is perched on a cliff about 3,000 feet above ground. After a long day of trekking and experiencing this awe-inspiring place, we will take a moment of silent contemplation before hiking back down to Paro for our final dinner in country.Tashi Namgay Resort
16Paro - USATravel to Paro airport for your international flight back to the USA. Airplane

Philosophy Of Travel

Our mission is to inspire the next generation to become global leaders by taking an active interest in the world around them. With a dedication to learning, along with an enduring passion for exploring the world, Walking Tree Travel designs transformative and meaningful travel programs that uncover the authentic culture of each destination and inspire students to take action in their local and global community.

Walking Tree Travel stands for a more open, curious, and compassionate approach to travel. We partner with select schools around the world to provide memorable small-group experiences, and invest in cultivating and maintaining longterm relationships with our partner communities. If you are interested in our organization and philosophy of travel, click here to learn more about us.

Accommodations

In order to provide a safe and memorable experience for our students, teachers, and staff, Program Leaders and Country Directors follow strict guidelines when deciding on lodging, making reservations, and assigning program participants to rooms.

Students will always be grouped in rooms and/or sleeping areas by gender, and will never share rooms with people who are not associated with Walking Tree. Group Organizers and Program Leaders will be roomed separately from each other and from other students. Walking Tree partners with locally-operated, three star or equivalent hotels that are centrally located, clean, safe and wifi-enabled.
Below are a few examples of our partner hotels. Although these are our preferred providers, they are subject to change based on availability. Your final itinerary will provide complete information on your accommodations in the cities you will be visiting.
Thampu: Hotel Pedling – http://www.hotelpedling.com
Punakha: Meri Puensum Resort – http://meripuensum.bt/punakha/
Paro: Tashi Namgay Resort – http://www.tashinamgayresort.com

Tuition & Fundraising

Program Tuition Includes

more tuition information

Program Tuition Excludes: Baggages fees, airline minor fees, personal shopping, passport or visa fees, and activities not listed in the itinerary.*

*NOTE: If you are traveling on a program that is completed before September 1, 2018 your basic travel insurance is included. If you are traveling on a program that departs after September 1, 2018 you must purchase travel insurance if you want to have any supplemental coverage beyond what your family’s package may provide. This change is due to new federal regulations.

Estimated Airfare*

International Airfare: In order to give our travelers the best possible price, we break out airfare from the Program Tuition. We will still handle all booking and ticketing via our flight partner who has access to special fares not available to the general public. We will provide full transparency in cost so that families pay what the flight costs and nothing more. You will be invoiced for the flight once we are able to secure the group’s airline contract.

Standards of Behavior

WTT provides fun, safe, and meaningful programs for our travelers. In order to achieve this goal, it is important that we create an environment of trust, security and respect. All individuals participating in our programs are required to take responsibility for their actions and adhere to a high standard of behavioral conduct. Any of the following are grounds for early dismissal or in-country consequences at our discretion.

ABSOLUTE DISMISSAL

  1. Possessing, consuming or distributing alcohol or illegal drugs
  2. Associating with participants while they are in possession of or are consuming or distributing alcohol or illegal drugs
  3. Behaving in a way that consistently damages the group dynamic or jeopardizes personal or group safety. This includes consistently displaying a negative attitude, intimidating or excluding other participants, sneaking out, disobeying group leaders, and any other behavior that is not conducive to an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect.

GROUNDS FOR DISMISSAL OR IN-COUNTRY CONSEQUENCE

  1. Getting a piercing or tattoo
  2. Stealing, or deliberately damaging or defacing any personal property, buildings or materials
  3. Threatening with or using weapons such as firearms, knives, explosives, etc.
  4. Riding mopeds, motorcycles, or any other type of unauthorized vehicle
  5. Being out of designated area or accommodations after curfew
  6. Breaking group rules

These standards of behavior are essential for the successful completion of a travel program. Please take the time to review these rules as a family and make sure everyone understands and agrees to them before choosing to travel with WTT.

Continue to the next section

Passport & Visa Check

Passport & Visa Check

US CITIZENS
Passport must be valid for six months after the final day of your travel program, including one open visa page.
Tourist visas will be purchased upon entry to Bhutan, and are included in the cost of tuition.

NON US CITIZENS OR THOSE TRAVELING FROM A COUNTRY OTHER THAN THE USA
Non US citizens should check with their country’s embassy abroad to verify vaccination and visa requirements.
US citizens traveling from a country other than the United States should check the State Department website (www.travel.state.gov) for more information regarding additional visa or vaccine requirements.

Please contact us for further information regarding vaccination and visa requirements.

Health and Safety

Our in-country staff prepare meticulously for all programs. Walking Tree will register our programs and travelers with the U.S. Department of State Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) in case of emergency. In country staff also verify the safety records of our partner organizations, vendors, and transportation providers, thoroughly vet homestay families via in depth interviews and home visits, and keep up on important current events in the region.

Program Leaders are seasoned travelers who are CPR and First Aid certified, undergo thorough training in crisis management, and participate in a multi-day leadership training retreat. We do our best to prepare for any eventuality and have detailed emergency protocols for our leaders, in-country staff and U.S.-based staff.

We receive medical disclosures from all participants to ensure we are able to meet every students’ needs during the program. Please inform us immediately of any additional health issues that you did not list during your initial registration process. Program Leaders will also hold an online information session before your departure, as well as an arrival orientation in-country, in order to give participants important instructions on food safety, hygiene and preventing injury and illness. Leaders and in-country staff always respond immediately to any mental, physical or emotional health issues and follow comprehensive emergency protocols.

VACCINATIONS
Vaccination information and requirements can change frequently. Because of this, and for more information, we suggest that you consult your local travel clinic and/or family physician for specific details.

Travel Insurance

If you are traveling on a program which departs before September 1, 2018 the following travel insurance is included in your tuition:

PLAN COVERAGES

$500 Return Airfare for Trip Interruption
$750 ($150 per day) Trip Delay of six hours or more
$500 (Three or more hours) Missed Connection
$1500 ($250 per article) Baggage/Personal Effects
$300 Baggage Delay – 24 hours
$25,000 Accident & Sickness Medical Expense
$100,000 Emergency Evacuation and Repatriation
Emergency Assistance Non-insurance Worldwide Emergency Assistance Services Included

If you are traveling on a program that departs after September 1, 2018 you must purchase travel insurance if you want to have coverage beyond what your family’s package may provide. This change is due to new federal regulations.

While we work hard to ensure the safest experience possible for our travelers while on program, experience has taught us that travel is never without risk. For this reason, we suggest you consider purchasing travel insurance which would cover you in the event your student needs to withdraw before travel due to a covered reason, loses baggage in route or encounters an emergency while traveling, among other unforeseen circumstances. Please see a summary of a plan below and follow the link for a more detailed explanation or to purchase the plan for your traveler.

Classic with Trip Plus*
Trip Cancellation Up to 100% of Trip Cost
Reimburses your prepaid, non-refundable expenses if you must cancel your trip due to a covered reason.
Maximum coverage: $100,000.

Trip Interruption Up to 150% of Trip Cost
Reimburses for the unused, non-refundable portion of your trip and for the increased transportation costs it takes for you to return home or to continue your trip due to a covered reason. Maximum coverage: $150,000.

Missed Connection $1,600
Reimburses for covered expenses resulting from a covered delay that causes you to miss your scheduled flight or cruise.

Travel Delay $1,600
Receive up to $200 per day per person to cover additional accommodation/travel expenses and lost prepaid expenses due to a departure delay of six or more hours.

Medical Protection: 
Emergency Medical and Dental $50,000
-This primary coverage provides reimbursement for expenses incurred during your trip due to covered medical and dental emergencies. No deductible.
-$750 maximum for emergency dental care.

Baggage Protection
Baggage Loss/Damage $2,000
Covers loss, damage or theft of baggage and personal effects.

Baggage Delay $600
Covers the reasonable additional purchase of essential items during your trip if your baggage is delayed or misdirected by a common carrier for 24 hours or more. Receipts for emergency purchases are required.

Assistance Services
Emergency Medical Transportation $1,000,000
Provides medically necessary transportation to the nearest appropriate facility following a covered injury or illness. Also covers the cost of your transportation back home following a covered injury or illness.

24-Hour Hotline Help Included
Help is just a phone call away with Allianz Global Assistance. Our staff of multilingual problem solvers is available to help you with a medical, legal or travel-related emergency.

*Terms, conditions, and exclusions apply. Insurance benefits underwritten by BCS Insurance Company (OH, Administrative Office: Oakbrook Terrace, IL), rated “A­” (Excellent) by A.M. Best Co., under BCS Form No. 52.201 series or 52.401 series, or Jefferson Insurance Company (NY, Administrative Office: Richmond, VA), rated “A+” (Superior) by A.M. Best Co., under Jefferson Form No. 101­C series or 101­P series, depending on your state of residence. Plan(s) may not be available in all jurisdictions. Allianz Global Assistance and Allianz Travel Insurance are marks of AGA Service Company or its affiliates. AGA Service Company is the licensed producer and administrator of this plan and an affiliate of Jefferson Insurance Company. The insured shall not receive any special benefit or advantage due to the affiliation between AGA Service Company and Jefferson InsuranceCompany. Non­Insurance benefits/products are provided and serviced by AGA Service Company. Consumer may be responsible for charges incurred from outside vendors for assistance or concierge services. Contact AGA Service Company at 800­284­8300 or 9950 Mayland Drive, Richmond, VA 23233 or customerservice@allianzassistance.com.

Global Leadership Curriculum

WTT has developed a curriculum that helps each of our travelers mature as global leaders before, during, and after their travel program. These simple, engaging tools are meant to spark discussion, frame the experience, and prepare participants to travel ethically and effectively both on our programs and in the future.

For more information about student learning objectives and the format of the curriculum, click on the ‘learn more’ button below.

Learn More About the GLC

To view and complete the Pre-Program Activities, visit our online portal at the button below.

Pre-Program Activity Portal

Language Resources

DUOLINGO

Want to learn a new language and be better prepared for your travel program? Duolingo is the easiest, most entertaining way to start learning and using a new language right away! The more you practice, the more you’ll be able to communicate with locals in your host country and help your fellow travelers navigate a foreign environment.

Tap the Duolingo owl to get started, or download the app to your mobile phone.

duolingo owl logo

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Travel Day Details

Travel Day Details

Program participants will meet the group organizer at the below airline check-in counter three hours before the departure flight. If you have trouble locating the group, please notify your group organizer or contact WTT.

DEPARTURE FROM USA
Airline:
Flight:
Date:
Departs:
Arrives:

RETURN TO USA
Airline:

Flight:
Date:
Departs:
Arrives:

A NOTE ON FLIGHTS
Air travel is unpredictable. Although we can ensure that our groups arrive to the airport with ample time and follow all airline instructions, there may still be instances when a flight is delayed or cancelled due to weather, mechanical problems, labor strikes, etc. Please note that in such an event WTT is not financially responsible for unexpected costs incurred by travelers. Our programs officially begin and end in our host countries. That being said, our travelers’ well-being and safety is our number one priority, so please know that should flight delays/cancellations occur we will do everything we can to get travelers home in a timely manner and will do our best to keep family members updated on developments.

WTT is not responsible for fees associated with checked baggage. Please also make sure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond the final day in country.

UN-ACCOMPANIED MINORS
Please confirm with your air travel provider as some airlines may require that travelers under a certain age have completed an unaccompanied minor parental consent form. Please consult the airline website to confirm if this is required on your flight.

Program Staff

WTT will send a minimum of one experienced Program Leader on every program. In addition to this Program Leader, we also have a support staff in our host countries that are available to the group for additional help when necessary. Below you’ll find a list of the Walking Tree staff involved in the planning, organizing, and leadership of your program. Meet your support team!

Group Roster

Please have all travelers check below to ensure their name is spelled exactly how it appears on your passport. For edits, email lacey@walkingtree.org

 

Community & Project Details

COMMUNITY PROJECT DESCRIPTION

TBD

HOST COMMUNITY DESCRIPTION

TBD

Communication & Blog

Travelers will be able to keep in touch with family and friends at home by using Wifi (when available at hotels and restaurants) via Whatsapp, Skype, and Wechat for free.

During the program we keep families and friends updated on the group’s adventures as frequently as possible with text and photo blogs. If parents would like updates regarding the group beyond these blog posts and email updates, please direct all general inquiries to info@WalkingTree.org. We are always checking this email inbox and will respond promptly to inquiries. You can also reach us by dialing 303-242-8541 from the U.S. In case of an emergency, please dial 303-997-0310.

Your blog link is – coming soon –

Photos which appear in the blog will become available after the program ends. We will send out a link to the photo gallery, where you will have access to view and download as many of the photos as you like!

Packing List

What follows is a sample packing list, which will be updated for each program. We recommend you bring a larger piece of luggage like a roller, duffel bag, or backpack, as well as a smaller backpack that you can bring on hikes, weekend excursions and shorter activities.

Most importantly, be sure to remember your PASSPORT and STUDENT ID.

Bhutan Packing List pending.

Tuition Details

Smith CT Icons Square Price excludes:

 Baggage fees, airline minor fees, personal shopping, and activities not listed on the itinerary.

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