Wilderness Experience FAQ Bhutan

Trekking adventure in the Lunana region

Prior to arrival

Do I need specific requirements or abilities to apply for this trip?

In general, all participants must be at least 18 years old and have a basic knowledge of English. In addition, it is very important that you are in good physical condition and not restricted by physical complaints, as the daily four- to nine-hour hikes at high altitudes (2,500m to 5000m) can be very strenuous. For this reason, we ask you before departure for a medical confirmation of your general practitioner about your state of health. Moreover, any weather changes, for example sudden rainfalls, should not be a challenge for you. In addition, you must obtain foreign health insurance before departing to Bhutan. This should also cover an emergency evacuation (remote areas are reached by helicopter). Furthermore, you should make sure to have your standard vaccinations, especially tetanus, refreshed if necessary. Finally, it is essential that you enjoy outdoor life and are highly motivated to go hiking in a unique mountain region.

What services are included?

The fees include the placement in the trip and the assistance in travel preparation. We support you during your planning period and help you with the choice of your health insurance and your flight. Before your departure we will send you detailed information material. After your arrival at the airport in Paro you will be picked up and taken to a guesthouse in the city where you will spend your first two nights. A sightseeing tour is planned for the second day of the trip which will be organized by our local partner and included in the price as well as the entrance fees. Your transfer to the starting point of your trekking tour is included in the total price as well as the accommodation in the tents/hotels/lodges, the daily meals during the tour as well as fees for trekking permits and entrance fees in national parks. The tour is led by experienced English and German speaking guides. Other staff members are also involved in the tour and are responsible for transporting the luggage, preparing the meals and setting up the camps. During the tour you can always contact the staff with problems and questions.

Do I need certain medical precautions or requirements?

In order to prepare for your trekking tour in Bhutan, you should have your standard vaccinations and especially your vaccination against tetanus refreshed. In addition, you should consider putting together a personal first-aid kit that could include, for example, headache tablets, anticoagulants for colds and diarrhea, and plasters.

How long can I attend the trip?

The trip lasts 35 days, of which you will trek 27 days.

What kind of equipment should I take with me?

In addition to your personal first-aid kit, it is also very important to bring good and above all worn hiking boots to avoid painful blisters. In addition, you should also bring comfortable trousers because in jeans the skin is quickly chafed and sore spots develop. Your luggage should also include a sufficient amount of (t-)shirts, spare trousers, shorts, socks and comfortable underwear. Some spare shoes/sandals are also recommended and you should also bring thermoshirts, leggings, pullovers or a fleece for colder times. Remember also that the weather can be changeable: therefore, you should not forget a rain jacket, a warm cap, gloves in addition and sun protection like a hat or a beanie. You should also pack towels and toiletries as well as a two-litre bottle for refilling. You can also take some handy items with you, such as a headlamp, a pocket knife, small solar panels, spare shoelaces, sunglasses, a clothesline and plastic bags for things that need to stay dry. Moreover, a book for your free time is recommendable. And don't forget your camera, because you'll be able to explore fascinating landscapes and take unique photos. You shouldn't bring more than 30kg.

Arrival

How do I arrive at my destination, do I have to organize it myself?

After your arrival at Paro International Airport you will be picked up and taken to a guesthouse in the city where you will spend the first two nights. Your transfer from Paro to the starting point of your trekking tour will be organized and included in the price, as well as the return trip in stages from the end point to Paro.

During the trip

How is the trip structured?

Here you can find a detailed daily schedule.

How big is the group?

The group size varies and is usually between six and fifteen participants.

Life on site

What is the accommodation like?

After your arrival in Paro you will spend the first two nights in a hotel in the city. In the guesthouse you can use WiFi and get meals. Even after the actual trekking tour you will stay overnight in lodges/hotels for the last five nights and receive meals. During the trekking tour you will sleep in a tent that will be pitched daily in the afternoon in new regions for your group. The camping equipment will be provided by our project partners. Be prepared not to have access to electricity during the trekking tour. It is recommended to take solar panels with you when charging smaller devices.

How is the food provided?

During the trekking tour, three meals a day, boiled water from springs and coffee/tea are prepared and served in the morning and afternoon. The meals contain various foods and also typical Bhutanese dishes are part of the meals. Vegetarian meals can also be provided – just let us know before your departure so that the team can prepare on site. You will also receive daily meals on the days beyond the actual trekking tour.

How can I spend my free time?

In your free time during your lunch break, you can use the warmest hours of the day to relax and unwind, or to write a few lines in your diary. After your afternoon hike you can enjoy tea and coffee, explore your new surroundings or use the time to chat with the locals, guides or other participants. After dinner you can relax, play cards and spend time with the others.

Do I have a contact person on site?

During the time of your trip you will always have a German and English-speaking contact person in your area, as the hikes will be guided by experienced guides.

What kind of cost do I have to expect during the project? Can I withdraw cash on site and do I have to pay in local currency?

During your time in Paro or Thimphu (in urban areas) you can withdraw money with your credit card or a regular bank card at the ATMs of the city. In general, you cannot pay with foreign money and you should exchange Ngultrum (or Indian Rupees) in sufficient amount because you still have to pay tips during your tour. You should prepare for about a $300 tip. Euro can be easily exchanged in the banks of the city. Moreover, it is very difficult to say how much extra money you will need, as this depends on your needs and requirements before and after the trekking tour.

How can I contact family and friends at home?

During your time in Paro (and in other cities' hotels/lodges) you can use the guest house WiFi to contact family and friends. Alternatively, you can also get a Bhutanese SIM card. In the mountains there is no internet and also the mobile phone reception is basically not available. In case of an emergency, guides have a satellite telephone with them so that they can reach the appropriate places from where family members can be contacted.

What’s the climate/weather like?

Temperatures are between -3 and -5°C in the morning and evening at over 3,000 metres above sea level. In the afternoon temperatures can rise to 15 to 20°C. In Paro, temperatures usually range between 8 and 21°C and average 15°C.

What happens in case of an emergency?

The guides on the tour are trained for emergencies and have a Wilderness First Responder Certificate which identifies them as first responders in remote locations. In serious emergencies, a helicopter will be called via the satellite telephone for emergency evacuation (make sure that your international health insurance covers such an evacuation). For minor problems, the employees have emergency equipment and a backpack for acute cases of altitude sickness.

Do you have further questions that you did not find here?

Then call us at +49 241-91994357 or send an e-mail to info@natucate.com

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