Welcome to Bhutan 2023

Kirchoff Fitness Adventures provides a once in a lifetime experience in global travel that will not only challenge your body, but will open your mind and soul to other cultures. Our commitment to getting you physically prepared, along with giving back to the local communities around the world — will guarantee that when you travel with Kirchoff Fitness Adventures you will have a truly unique experience. Whether you are hiking in the Andes or Himalayas, cycling in Vietnam, climbing up Mt Kilimanjaro or Kayaking in Croatia — Kirchoff Fitness Adventures will deliver an unmatched global experience.

Emerald valleys, deep rhododendron forests, serene villages, exuberant festivals that honor the guardian deities — on this cultural and hiking adventure, we invite you to experience a rare Himalayan world where the guiding philosophy is “Gross National Happiness”.This adventure and fitness experience has been crafted using only local guides so you can experience Bhutan in a truly authentic way. During your adventure you will discover not only Bhutan’s beautiful Himalayas but also discover the Kingdom of Bhutan’s unique heritage.

Highlights include:

  • Engage with RENEW, a local NGO dedicated to the rights of women and families
  • Visit Bhutan’s Royal College of Astrology
  • Experience the Ganekha Festival, a celebration by locals held in a rural town where intricate dance-dramas depict the world of demons and deities. Featuring dances performed by monks and laymen in amazing masks and costumes, festivals are one of the best ways to experience the ancient living culture of Bhutan.
  • Meet woman entrepreneur, Sonam Choden, producing tea that uses the unique ingredients from the blending ingredients from topical zones of Bhutan with ingredients from alpine zones
  • Trek for 4 incredible days on the Dagla Thousand Lakes Trek. Enjoy the views of pristine and crystal-clear lakes as well as an epic vista of the stunning Himalayan Mountains.
  • Private welcome at a remote nunnery, with the opportunity to join a guided meditation
  • Hike the pilgrim trail to the striking monastic retreat of Tiger’s Nest monastery
Day 01 Mon, Oct 16, 2023 Paro Thimphu
Day 02 Tue, Oct 17, 2023 Thimphu
Meditation, National Memorial Chorten, RENEW,
Royal College of Astrology
Day 03 Wed, Oct 18, 2023 Thimphu Punakha
Tashigang Gompa (monastery), Punakha Dzong
Day 04 Thu, Oct 19, 2023 Punakha Thimphu
Yebisa Village, Suspension Bridge, Fertility Temple Visit
Day 05 Fri, Oct 20, 2023 Thimphu Gur
Trek Day 1
Day 06 Sat, Oct 21, 2023 Gur Labatama
Trek Day 2
Day 07 Sun, Oct 22, 2023 Labatama Panka
Trek Day 3
Day 08 Mon, Oct 23, 2023 Panka Thimphu
Trek Day 4
Day 09 Tue, Oct 24, 2023 Thimpu Ganeka Paro
Ganeka Local Festival
Day 10 Wed, Oct 25, 2023 Paro
Paro Valley, Farmhouse visit
Day 11 Thu, Oct 26, 2023 Paro
Tiger’s Nest, farewell dinner
Day 12 Fri, Oct 27, 2023 Paro

Tour Summary: Itinerary in Brief

DAY 01 | MON, OCT 16, 2023


Namgay Heritage

Bhutanese woman with chillies


Arrive at Paro International Airport from Delhi, Calcutta, Kathmandu or Bangkok. Paro is situated in a beautiful valley at 7,480 feet and is a fitting introduction to this charming kingdom. Your guide will meet you and take you on a short one-hour drive along the Paro and Thimphu River valleys to Thimphu, Bhutan’s capital, at 7,612 feet. You can stop on the way to take in the magnificent Tamchhog Lhakhang, the hereditary place of worship for Bhutan’s iron bridge builder. Depending on flight timing, we may be able to visit the weekly market. Take a late afternoon walk around town and soak in the atmosphere of this magical capital with its busy shops and bazaars and photogenic citizens in national dress.

DAY 02 | TUE, OCT 17, 2023

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Namgay Heritage



Early in the morning you will have a meditation session for one and half hours or so before you visit the Memorial Chorten and the huge statue of Buddha Dordenma, which commands a tremendous view of Thimphu valley.  The impressive 3-storey throne holds several chapels and the body itself is filled with 125,000 smaller statues of Buddha. Then we will arrange a meeting with local women (to be confirmed) at RENEW (which stands for Respect, Educate, Nurture and Empower Women), an NGO dedicated to ensuring a gender-based violence-free happy society and that the rights of women and families remain a priority.

In the afternoon drive about 25 minutes to Kabesa and visit Choki Traditional Art School which is the only private institution that offers training of traditional arts and crafts in Bhutan. In addition, the school serves as an orphanage providing free tuition, food and lodging to the most disadvantaged youth of the region. The limited resources make it difficult for students to continue their training. In consequence, some of them cannot pursue their education and strive to pursue their dreams.

On the way back visit Pangri Zampa Bhutan’s Royal Collage of Astrology (it is possible to get a blessing and a reading from the astrologer on payment of a fee).

DAY 03 | WED, OCT 18, 2023

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Meri Puensum

Punakha Dzong


Early this morning we will drive from Thimphu to just above Hongtsho below Dochu La where we will turn off along a farm road and drive about 30 minutes to Tashigang Gompa.  Here you can visit the Gompa – about 30 monks live here during the warmer months. From the monastery walk up towards Lungchotse Gompa which will take about 2 hours.  It is a perfect place to enjoy the bounties of nature. On a clear sunny day one can see the entire Bhutan Himalaya with its snow-covered peaks.  Normally there is no caretaker at the Lhakhang, so you may not be able to go inside.  From here you will walk down another 1.5 hours or so to Dochu La pass at 10,007 feet, where we will stop for a hot drink.  The route is well shaded with rhododendron trees growing in abundance. The path is well padded with fallen leaves. In May and June when the flowers are in bloom it is a magical trek amidst the various hues of white, red, pink and purple.  Then continue your drive approximately 2 hours to the old capital, Punakha, and you will notice the change of climate and vegetation as we approach low-lying Punakha at 4,101 feet.  Here we can visit the imposing Punakha Dzong, “Palace of Great Happiness”. Built in 1637, it is strategically placed at the confluence of two rivers, the Po Chu and the Mo Chu.

DAY 04 | THU, OCT 19, 2023

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Namgay Heritage

Chimi Lhakhang


Take a hike to Khamsum Yuelley Namgyel Chorten via the village of Yebisa. The walk starts from the suspension bridge below Khamsum Yuelley Namgyel Chorten. Hike at a gentle pace for around 10 minutes from the bridge through the paddy rice fields of Yebisa village. Then continue the hike for around 40 to 50 minutes up to the temple. The walk is still fairly gentle but there are some steeper parts. From the top you will see a beautiful view of the valley and surrounding villages. The temple is 98 feet tall and is dedicated to the fifth King. After visiting the temple descend for around 30 minutes until you reach the suspension bridge where you will be picked up by your car. In the afternoon take a pleasant walk for an hour or so across the terraced fields of Sopsokha village to Chimi Lhakhang (Temple of Fertility) built in the 15th century by the ‘Divine Madman’ (Lama Drukpa Kuenley). Then we will return to Thimphu.

We will arrange a visit to Bhutan Herbal Tea, owned by a woman entrepreneur, Sonam Choden, producing tea that uses the unique ingredients from the topical zones of Bhutan and blends them with ingredients from the higher alpine zones.

This evening you can sort out your luggage for the trek. Anything you don’t need to carry with you will be kept safely in Thimphu to await your arrival.

DAY 05 | FRI, OCT 20, 2023

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Camp at Gur



The trek begins with a 2-hour drive from Thimphu to Genekha where you start walking at an altitude of about 9,186 feet. Abundant alpine flora and fauna is a feature of today’s walk.  After two hours’ gradual climb we take a rest at a huge rock platform, overlooking the valley below.  Two hours later we reach the camp at Gur, famous for its spring flowers, at 10,991 feet.

Time: 4 hours
Distance: 9.3 miles
Ascent/Descent: 9,186 feet start; 10,991 feet end

DAY 06 | SAT, OCT 21, 2023

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Camp at Labatama



This is a day to enjoy the beauty of the rugged mountain vegetation, amidst flowers and wild asparagus.  The first pass at 13,681 feet, crowned with a huge cairn, allows a spectacular view of the whole Daga La range, meadows and a yak herders’ camp.  After lunch the walk continues through hills and meadows to camp at 13,287 feet.

Time: 6 hours
Distance: 7.5 miles
Ascent/Descent: 10,991 feet start; 13,287 feet end

DAY 07 | SUN, OCT 22, 2023

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Camp at Panka



The day begins with a 20-minute climb to the pass at Labajong La (14,436 feet), after which we descend with majestic views of Himalayan peaks (including Everest, Kanchenjunga, Jomolhari, Jichu Drake, Tshering Gang, Khangbum, Masang Gang, Tsendegang and Gangche Ta) to the camp at 13,123 feet.

Time: 4 hours
Distance: 4.97 miles
Ascent/Descent: 13,287 feet start; 14,436 feet; 13,123 feet end

DAY 08 | MON, OCT 23, 2023

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Namgay Heritage

Thimphu Valley


We traverse several passes, each more impressive than the last. This is a place to search for different varieties of blue poppy, especially in June and July, and spot mountain birds.  After lunch, an hour’s gradual climb leads to the tip of the last Daga La range above the Thimphu valley.  Another hour of walking through alpine and mixed vegetation including bamboo thickets and wild flowers brings us to the Talekha monastery and village, with amazing views of the Thimphu valley.  We continue to walk through mixed vegetation with apple orchards until reaching the main road where a vehicle will be waiting to take us to Thimphu.

This evening we can find some entertainment – perhaps a karaoke bar or a local nightclub, depending on what interests the group.

Time: 8 hours
Distance: 9.94 miles
Ascent/Descent: 13,123 feet start

DAY 09 | TUE, OCT 24, 2023

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Chham festival dance


In the morning we will drive 1.5 hours to the small village of Genekha to visit the Genekha local festival. You will see locals dressed in their finest clothes who have walked from miles around to attend the festivities. You will see masked dances performed by demons and animals and be captivated by the sound of cymbals, drums and horns and the unforgettable chanting of Buddhist monks who perform religious dance of purification. Arrays of colourful brocades whirl through the air as the dancers spin and dance the “thunderbolt step”. Watch for the Atsara or clown. This dancer, unique in his own style, mimics the other dancers and entertains onlookers. Festival deities are invoked through benediction and luck is increased and misfortune banished.

Late afternoon, drive about 45 minutes to Paro for the night.

DAY 10 | WED, OCT 25, 2023

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Local farmhouse


Start your sightseeing in the Paro valley with a visit to Dumtse Lhakhang, a temple built by Thangtong Gyalpo, the iron bridge builder. Next, we will drive about 10 minutes to view the National Museum located in the Ta Dzong (watch tower) which was built on top of the hill above Rinpung Dzong to defend Rinpung Dzong and the Paro valley during times of war, in an unusual circular construction resembling a conch shell. The Ta Dzong houses a magnificent collection of Bhutanese artefacts – costumes, religious paintings, arms, textiles and a fascinating collection of Bhutan stamps. From the National Museum, take a leisurely 1-hour hike along the forested hillside to Zuri Dzong. The walk passes Gonsaka Lhakhang and then Zuri Dzong and provides wonderful views down over the valley and of Paro Dzong. Zuri Dzong dates from 1352 and is home to the valley’s local protector gods. Continue your walk down to the Uma Resort junction where you turn right towards Paro Dzong and here again you should have a good view of Paro Dzong and town. Your driver will be waiting at the Paro bridge to pick you up. After lunch you can visit the impressive Paro Rinpung Dzong, one of the finest examples of Bhutanese architecture. Nearby you can also visit the 7th century Kyichu Lhakhang, a temple of historical significance and one of the most sacred shrines in Bhutan.

Then you can visit a local farmhouse for tea or dinner allowing you to experience traditional Bhutanese village life. Take the opportunity to try the restorative properties of a hot stone bath! (Optional - supplement applies)

DAY 11 | THU, OCT 26, 2023

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Tiger's Nest


Take a day walk to the ‘Tiger’s Nest’, the sacred Taktshang monastery which clings to the rock face 2,953 feet above the valley floor. Guru Rinpoche is said to have flown to the site riding on a tigress.  He subsequently meditated here for three months.  It is one of Bhutan’s most holy sites and draws pilgrims not only from Bhutan but also from neighbouring Buddhist countries. You can have lunch at the Taktshang cafeteria from where you get a spectacular view of the monastery. If there is any time left for sightseeing after your hike your guide will suggest something for you to see.

This evening we will arrange a farewell dinner for the group.

DAY 12 | FRI, OCT 27, 2023



Early in the morning your guide will accompany you to the airport to see you off onto your flight and wish you Tashi Delek (goodbye and good luck).

Trip Cost & Payment


  • Expert leadership of a local guide
  • Fitness Training guidance from Chris
  • Group hikes/workouts
  • Accommodations: please note that rooms with double beds are usually not available in Bhutan. Most lodge rooms are twin-bedded.
  • All meals included
  • Government taxes and fees
  • Land transportation, airport transfers for passengers as noted
  • All tours and activities mentioned in the itinerary, including entrance fee
  • ‘Trekking equipment includes two-person tent, air mattress (Note that sleeping bags are not provided.)


  • International airfare
  • Airport transfers for individual arrival or departure, airport departure taxes
  • Optional tipping or gratuities to leaders or staff
  • Additional hotel nights that may be necessitated by airline schedule changes or other factors
  • Pre-trip expenses of medical immunizations (if any)
  • Travel insurance, or passports and visas
  • Soft drinks and alcohol


  • $6,650 (10-14 members)
  • Single supplement: $700
  • Internal Airfare: see last page for 2022 (subject to change)
  • Bhutan Visa Fee: $40 (Kirchoff Fitness acquires Visa for you)

To offer the lowest possible cost, our trips are priced according to the number of participants on the trip. All costs are per person, based on double occupancy. If you wish to have a single room, you must pay the single supplement fee.


At time of reservation: $750 deposit
90 days prior to departure: $5,900 (balance due)


Up to 91 days prior to departure: Amount of deposit
61-90 days prior to departure: 50% of trip cost
46-60 days prior to departure: 65% of trip cost
45 days or less: 100% of trip cost


Because the prices published for our program are set so far in advance of the trip dates, we are occasionally faced with exceptional cost increases and/or currency fluctuations that affect the actual cost of running the trip. In most years, no price changes are necessary. However, we do reserve the right to raise or lower the trip price if there is a significant change in costs or exchange rates. If this is the case, your final invoice will reflect the difference in trip cost.


All travelers must have a valid passport with minimum 6 months validity. We organize visas for Bhutan — we require scanned copies of the passports for each member of the group.


We will do everything possible to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip. We highly recommend coverage for medical expenses, baggage loss, and trip cancellation. Trip cancellation insurance reimburses you for non- refundable payments should you need to cancel your trip due to a covered sickness or injury to yourself, a traveling companion, or family member, or for other unforeseen circumstances. It is a condition of booking that the sole responsibility lies with the traveler to ensure that they carry the correct comprehensive travel and medical insurance to cover themselves, as well as any dependents and traveling companions for the duration of their trip to Bhutan. Kirchoff Fitness will take no responsibility for any costs for loss of personal luggage, money, and goods, medical expenses, theft, damage or cancellation or curtailment of the adventure. The traveler will be charged directly by the relevant service provider for any emergency services they may require.