TORONTO — After two years of extensive restoration and a delayed launch due to the pandemic, the Kingdom of Bhutan is set to reopen its historic and sacred Trans Bhutan Trail for the first time in 60 years this September.
The trail will be officially reopened in a formal ceremony in Bhutan on Sept. 28, 2022. Following the ceremony, G Adventures, the trail’s exclusive launch partner, will be the first group adventure operator to return, with its inaugural sold-out departure on Oct. 2, 2022.
“We’re honoured to be working with the Bhutan Canada Foundation and the Trans Bhutan Trail to launch this newly restored route in magical Bhutan, and we’re thrilled with how popular the new trips have been, even with the delay in reopening,” says Yves Marceau, vice president of product at G Adventures.
“It’s a country we’ve run tours in for more than a decade and have long admired for its commitment to the happiness of its people and sustainable way of life, both philosophies that align with our values as an organization. G Adventures is the pioneer of community tourism and being able to give travellers an exceptional travel experience and simultaneously provide much-needed economic benefits to local people is our mission as a business,” he adds.
Marceau notes that G Adventures’ new trips take travellers through forests, meadows and rural settlements around the Dzongs. Travellers can expect an average of 3-4 hours of hiking each day, plus local meals each night, whether they are camping or staying in homestays, hotels or local guesthouses.
Sam Blyth, chair of the Bhutan Canada Foundation and lead donor for the Trans Bhutan Trail, says G Adventures was an obvious partner to help relaunch the trail, given the company’s success in running small-group tours and commitment to community tourism.
“As well as providing income opportunities for local people – especially youth – in rural communities, the restoration of the trail is a community-based project designed to preserve an ancient cultural icon and provide a sustainable experience for travellers,” says Blyth. “Economic benefit will flow directly into the local communities as a result of community tourism, whether via homestays, the purchase of supplies locally for multi-day trips, or the employment of local guides.”
Two new Active trekking itineraries are available to book with G Adventures in Bhutan into 2023. The 11-day Camp the Trans Bhutan Trail will include camping and homestays, while the 12-day Highlights of the Trans Bhutan Trail will feature accommodations in homestays, locally-owned guesthouses and hotels. Both tours focus on trekking specially selected parts of the 403-kilometre trail.
- Camp the Trans Bhutan Trail: This 11-day tour will cover some of the best portions of the trail. Highlights include idyllic camping spots and overnights in local homestays. Departures from Paro return are priced from $5,699 per person.
- Highlights of the Trans Bhutan Trail: On this 12-day tour, guests will travel and trek along the best portions of this historic trail, venturing from east to west and hiking high mountain passes across lush river valleys and through villages. This Active trip travelling from Paro return is priced from $6,999 per person.
In addition to Bhutan, other long-awaited destinations returning to G Adventures’ portfolio of more than 1,400 trips this September include Australia and New Zealand, both of which have reopened borders for international travel.
For more information go to www.gadventures.com.