The Happiness Nation
Prepare yourself for something entirely different . . . High in the Himalayan mountains between India and Tibet, Bhutan is the only country in the world that measures its progress by Gross National Happiness! On this 11-day luxury Bhutan Yoga Retreat, we journey through mystical mountains, sacred temples and a richly preserved culture, exploring Bhutan alongside the local people, discovering their unique perspectives and enjoying the light of their inspiring spirits!
Tours, Temples & Treks
PARO • HOT STONE BATH & PARO VILLAGE
Site of the Bhutan’s only international airport, Paro has a population of just 11,500! We stay at a charming former Bhutanese royal retreat, where we begin with a gentle unwinding yoga practice outside under prayer flags, with a view to the Paro Valley below. Meet your fellow yogis at our welcome dinner of Bhutanese food in its finest traditional expression! In the following days, we dig into history and culture at the National Museum and a massive dzong (monastery-fortress), but there’s also plenty of time to wander Paro, take a siesta or enjoy a hot stone bath. We end our days with a rejuvenating restorative yoga and pranayama practice followed by a healthy dinner, served family-style.
THIMPHU • CITY & TRADITIONAL LIFE
From our base at Terma Linca Spa Resort, a few miles outside of Bhutan’s capital, we have an opportunity to learn about how Bhutanese people have adapted their culture to the 21st century. Make an exciting two-hour trek into pine and rhododendron forests to reach a hilltop monastery, where we join the monks in their chants and meditation. In the evening, enjoy great Bhutanese cuisine and an optional night out at one of Thimphu’s dance clubs, renowned for great electronic beats! Before leaving Thimphu, we pay homage to the world’s largest golden Buddha, Dordenma: 169 feet tall and filled with 125,000 small Buddha statues.
PUNAKHA • WILD TEMPLE OF THE DIVINE MADMAN
We cross a 10,300-foot pass to the lush Punakha Valley, famous for rice cultivation. Our base is a family resort set among the green rice paddies, with beautiful views from our yoga shala. We trek to the so-called Temple of the Divine Madman, built in 1499. It is one of Bhutan’s most sacred temples — and, as you will see, also a bit funny! On day 7, we explore the dazzling Punakha Dzong, a massive complex that is one of Bhutan’s architectural treasures.
5-Star ZHIWA LING • TREK TO TIGER’S NEST
If skies are clear, we trade our usual morning yoga for a river adventure! Then we travel back to Paro town, where we spend our final three nights at the stunning five-star Zhiwa Ling Heritage resort, set on 11 acres of meadows and mountains. Luxuriate at the hotel spa, practice yoga in the fully equipped studio, meditate in the temple or pick any beautiful spot, indoors or out, to relax and enjoy your retreat time as you wish! Weather permitting, we also trek up to Paro Taktsang, the famous Tiger’s Nest Monastery, clinging to a mountainside 2,700 feet above the valley. On our last evening, we have our closing yoga practice and farewell group dinner, celebrating our new friends and new perspectives from this sacred time together.
August 1 – 11, 2019
Paro • Thimphu • Punakha
Bhutan Retreat Features:
- 10-night / 11-day fully escorted tour
- Learn: from our beloved local guide, Dorji, and private driver, Tenzin
- Connect: meditate with Buddhist monks
- Rest in beauty: four unique hotels blend Bhutanese craftsmanship and modern amenities
- Deepen your practice: one or two daily yoga classes, with beautiful views
- Ascend: hike up to historic temples
- Explore: go dancing in Thimpu and rafting on Bhutan’s “mother river”
- Experience: a culture of joy, kindness and beauty!
ITINERARY & PRICING
We travel slowly and with intention, giving us time to absorb Bhutan’s rich culture and different pace. In addition to the activities below, most days include morning and evening yoga practice.
August 1 - 3: Paro, Bhutan’s second city
Meet in Bangkok. Flight from Bangkok to Paro. Welcome dinner at Gangtey Palace restaurant. Visit the National Museum and the Paro Dzong.
August 3 - 5 | Thimpu, capital of Bhutan
Drive to Thimphu. Visit artisans for traditional crafts. Two-hour trek to a monastery for meditation with monks. Visit Dordenma Buddha. Optional night out at a Thimpu dance club.
Hotel: Terma Linca Resort
August 5 - 8 | Punakha Valley
Drive to Punakha Valley. Trek to Chimi Lakhang (“Temple of the Divine Madman”). Visit the Punakha Dzong.
August 8 - 11 | Paro
Drive to Paro. Trek to Paro Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest Monastery). Rafting trip on Mo Chhu, weather permitting. Free time to meditate and relax. Fly to Bangkok.
Hotel: Zhiwa Ling Heritage
August 1 - 11, 2019
Bhutan — Paro, Punakha, Thimphu
ARRIVING IN BHUTAN
Fly to Bangkok (BKK ) on July 31, spend the night near the airport and meet your EYR group the morning of August 1, to fly together to Paro, Bhutan.
VISA & AIRFARE
We handle your visa. You are responsible for your airfare. Once you book your retreat, our Bhutan guide will contact you to arrange visa and flight to Bhutan.
We are delighted to send you our beautiful Bhutan Yoga brochure!
Our mission is to Open Your World with culturally rich, life-changing holidays in exotic locations. We market worldwide to attract a diverse and interesting profile of clients.
NUMBER OF PEOPLE
8 - 15 people
SOLO TRAVELERS, FRIENDS
More than half of our guests are solo travelers – so you will never feel alone on an EYR retreat! We also attract couples, friends, mother-daughter duos and even the occasional father and son!
EYR is delighted to welcome families with teenagers who are well behaved and mature enough to participate in adult conversation.
Inquire for more information.
BHUTAN YOGA RETREAT INCLUDES:
- 11 days / 10 nights luxury yoga package
- Boutique or 3-5-star hotels: a former palace, a family-owned guesthouse and a luxury spa resort
- Visa to Bhutan
- Airport pick-up in Paro, Bhutan
- All meals: vegetarian, pescatarian and meat options
- Private guide, Dorji, who joins us every retreat
- All transport throughout Bhutan with our private driver
- Gratuities for guide and driver
- All entrance fees to museums, parks, etc.
- 1 or 2 yoga classes daily, depending on travel schedule and excursions
- Mindfulness meditation sessions
- Airfare to Bangkok
- Airfare from Bangkok to Bhutan ($900 ticket you book directly with our guide)
- Alcoholic beverages
- Spa services
DEPOSIT – $1,000
Reserve your spot with a $1,000 deposit. The deposit is nonrefundable; however, should you cancel your reservation 90 days or more in advance of the start of the retreat, you may apply your deposit toward another Exotic Yoga Retreat occurring within 12 months of the date of the initial retreat that you registered for.
FULL PAYMENT DUE 90 DAYS IN ADVANCE
Full payment is due 90 days prior to the start date of the yoga retreat.
Please note that there will be no refunds or discounts for arriving late, leaving early, flight cancellations, travel delays or illness. If you cancel your participation in a retreat for any reason, the cancellation policy below will apply, with no exceptions. We wish we could compensate people for unforeseen circumstances (injury, family emergency, etc.), but we have costs already incurred when reserving retreat centers and hotels. We have designed our cancellation policy to be as compassionate as possible in the case that your plans change. But to protect yourself further, we strongly encourage you to purchase travel insurance.
IF YOU CANCEL YOUR RETREAT
–90 days or more prior to the start of the yoga retreat, you receive: 100% credit of the cost of the full retreat toward another Exotic Yoga Retreat within 12 months.
–31-90 days prior to the start of the yoga retreat, you receive: 50% credit of the cost of the full retreat toward another Exotic Yoga Retreat within 12 months, and will forfeit the remainder.
–0-30 days prior to the start of the yoga retreat, you receive: no refunds or credits.
To officially cancel, you must send an email to EYR stating that you wish to cancel.
IF WE CANCEL THE RETREAT
We have never had to cancel a retreat; however, if we do cancel a trip due too few participants, we will refund to you all deposits and payments you have paid. We cannot, however, compensate you for airfare or travel costs incurred. In the unlikely event that Exotic Yoga Retreats must cancel a yoga retreat due to weather, natural disaster or political upheaval, we cannot guarantee a refund; it will depend on EYR receiving a refund from the venue or tour operator we work with. To cover these risks, we highly recommend you purchase travel insurance.
The best way to protect yourself from any unforeseen circumstance is to purchase trip insurance. Good coverage can protect you if:
–you cancel your participation in the yoga retreat
–the retreat is cancelled due to weather, natural disaster, or not enough participants to run the trip
–your luggage is lost or delayed
–you become ill or injured and need medical care or repatriation