Please note you will be mailed a set of Team Reference Notes upon registration. This extensive booklet includes detailed information to assist in the planning of your trip; from travel and medical advice to equipment lists and photography tips.
The following is to serve as a helpful guideline on our Bhutan Mountain Bike Trek. Please feel free to call or e-mail if you have any further questions. Our team is here to help!
CHOOSING A PROVIDER
How long has Adventure Consultants been in operation?
Adventure Consultants started in 1990 and we have been guiding internationally ever since.
A few outfitters ‘claim’ to have the same level of experience and prestige with that of Adventure Consultants. In this league, what makes you a first choice for your climbers and trekkers?
We are renowned for the quality of our service and strategy applied to our treks. Our reputation is attributed to our meticulous planning and logistics coordination done by our head office. Once on the ground in Bhutan, you can expect to be well looked after by our guides to that you can relax and enjoy trekking through this amazing country.
FOOD, ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES
What showers and laundry facilities will be available on the trek?
The hotels in Thimpu and Paro have rooms with attached bathrooms, however in other villages bathrooms are shared. It is possible to do a little laundry whilst in Jakar, where we spend 3 nights.
Would you let us know what food will be available?
If you have any special treat you like, we encourage you to bring some along. You’ll get breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as snacks, and ample hot and cold drinks. We can cater for vegetarian as well as many other special diets as long as we are informed of this prior to the trip. All of our treks provide excellent local and western food!
What is the food like?
Hotels and restaurants generally serve Indian, Chinese, Continental and Bhutanese food. You can expect cereal and fruit, along with some cooked options for breakfast; lunch consists of sandwiches or meat and potato dishes; and dinners are generally rice or noodle dishes with a selection of meats and vegetables. Traditional Bhutanese cuisine is very rich and renowned for the plentiful use of chilies but there are plenty of mild dishes available for those that prefer. Please indicate any specific dietary requirements you may have on your application form. We are happy to accommodate for those with specific diets.
What are the hotels like? Can I have my own room?
Through our local agents we book tidy, clean, but simple hotels. We can book private rooms for you if you like, at an added cost. Our standard trips are based on shared rooms, usually twin share and sometimes triple share.
Where do we meet? Will I be picked up?
For the Bhutan Trek we meet in Bangkok where an Adventure Consultants guide or representative will pick you up off your flight on the scheduled arrival date. If you are arriving before the scheduled trip start date, we can often make arrangements for a pick up, though taking a taxi is generally the easiest form of transport before your trip starts.
Do I need to arrive the day before the trip starts? And when should I book my flight to leave?
No, our trip programmes all have an arrival day and a departure day built into them. You are welcome, and encouraged, to arrive a bit earlier to explore your arrival and departure city if you have the time.
When should I book my ticket?
Generally we ask you to wait until 90 days prior to your trip start date to ensure your trip has met the minimum numbers and will operate. If you see a good deal and want to book your flights then ensure you can make changes to your tickets or you run the risk of losing your ticket if we do have to cancel the trip. In such situations we are usually able to help you book on to an alternate departure, either with us or another operator.
Can I get a cheap ticket online?
The problem with these tickets is that you usually end up having to pay quite a lot more if you have to make any changes to your ticket. Some of the places we go to aren't straightforward, and we highly recommend using a travel agent for such travel as there are many intricacies that they can help you with. In the long run they save you money! We use professional travel agents for all our staff and guides' travel bookings to our expedition and trek destinations.
What if I am arriving early or departing late?
Adventure Consultants can make reservations for you and can often make recommendations for attractions you can enjoy while waiting for your trip to begin. Please let our office know your specific plans as we love to pass on sightseeing tips.
CLOTHING & EQUIPMENT
Do you have a recommended list of clothing we should bring?
Yes, you will get be sent a personal clothing and equipment list once our office has received your trip registration form and deposit.
Do I really need all the equipment on the equipment list?
Yes, these lists have been carefully prepared. Please bring everything on the list!
What altitude medication will be available on the trek? Do we need to take tablets before/ during the trek?
The Bhutan Mountain Bike Trek crosses some high passes at moderate altitude so you may feel the effects of high altitude. All our guides carry extensive medical kits which include altitude medication. If you have a previous history of altitude illness then discuss this with your physician, and us, otherwise there is no need to take preventative medication before or during your trek.
You need to bring any medications you regularly use (don’t forget to tell us about them) plus extra. Also bring a small first aid kit including a blister kit and mild headache medication for the normal altitude headaches.
How much weight can we carry on the trek?
You will carry your day pack with your jacket, water, snacks, sun block, camera and whatever else you need for the day. Generally it will be light, 5 to 10kgs (10 to 20 pounds).
GUIDES & EXPEDITION TEAM MEMBERS
How many guides will be assigned to our group?
The number of western and local guides will be determined by your group size.
Who goes on your trips?
Our trekkers and climbers come from a wide variety of backgrounds, interests, countries and skill levels, ranging from those seeking skill development to those seeking assistance with the world's highest mountains, or purely adventure. We provide courses, expeditions, treks and guided ascents for all levels of outdoor enthusiasts.
I would like to arrange a private trip, is this possible?
Yes! The Bhutan Mountain Bike is operated on request for private groups and we are also happy to arrange a private group trip to the destination of your choice. We have run many successful private trips and expeditions including summits of 8000m peaks such as Manaslu and Kanchenjunga, all Seven Summits and remote destinations such as Antarctica. There is no specific group size, but obviously larger groups are more cost effective.
HEALTH & FITNESS
What kind of physical condition should I be in for the trek?
Being fit prior to the trek will make all the difference to enjoyment of the trip. As a minimum you should be comfortable riding for 2-3 hours per day on steady incline. There are options for riders to extend their rides if they wish, or to ride in the accompanying tour bus when you run out of steam. Most of the riding is on sealed roads but there are some exciting 4WD tracks and even a little single-track to explore once we get to Bumthang.
COMMUNICATION & ELECTRONIC DEVICES
Will there be any access to a satellite phone? If yes then what would be the charges for usage?
Yes, your expedition guide will carry a satellite phone and you are welcome to use it at a cost of US$3 per minute. Your guide will also post daily dispatches on the AC website in which your friends and family can follow your progress.
I want to contact my friend or relative, who is on one of your trips, how can I reach them?
The expedition will send daily internet dispatches, and we receive updates from our guides while they are in the field. The best place to reach a loved one is through our office.
Will there be any power source for charging batteries, etc. available throughout the trek? What voltage requirements?
Most of the hotels have power available with typical Asian plugs (two nail like horizontal prongs) at 230V for you to recharge your gadgets in the evenings.
What insurance do we need to get?
In addition to evacuation & medical insurance we recommend to all our expedition members to buy trip cancellation insurance on sign up for your expedition. It is also highly recommend purchasing a Comprehensive Travel Insurance policy to provide cover for trip interruption, baggage loss, damage or theft, delayed flights or other such incidents that may occur during your trip. Contact us for expedition insurance advice.
Do I need evacuation insurance?
Yes, it is very important. Many of our expeditions are in remote places with no roads and third world medical services. In the unlikely event you get sick, you want to get to good medical care ASAP.
Who do you recommend for insurance?
You will be sent information specific to your expedition as part of your welcome package and requirements differ depending on where you are travelling and your home location, so be sure to discuss cover with your Client Liaison before purchasing a policy.
What is Trip Cancellation Insurance?
Trip cancellation insurance is an option that may allow you to cancel your trip without losing the total cost of the trip. Adventure Consultants highly recommends cancellation insurance for all expeditions. If circumstances cause us to cancel a trip (e.g. minimum numbers are not reached) then we refund your fees paid but trip cancellation insurance covers your airfare and any other costs you may have incurred.
FEES & PAYMENT
Can I pay by credit card?
We can accept the trip deposit payment on credit card, and we add a 3% fee to accept the balance payment by credit card for your trip. Please contact our office or visit our secure credit card page to send us your credit card details - your card is not charged at the time as we process this here in our office and not via an online payment system.
What is included in the cost of my trip? Does it include airfare?
Each specific trip page on the website has a section as well as a downloadable pdf document with exactly what is and what is not included on the trip. International airfares are not included in the trip price. We can however recommend excellent travel agents whom we have worked with in your country should you require help with arranging your international airfare.
Why are you sometimes more expensive than other operators?
Many of our trips are very similar in price to our competitors. Some companies even wait for us to set our prices and use ours as a guideline!! Some of our main selling points, which sometimes do cost more, are; internationally qualified western guides, proven dependable local operators, small group sizes and safe client:guide ratios, quality equipment and high summit success rates, among other things. You do get what you pay for which is why we stand out from the rest. Many clients come to us after failing on one of our competitors ‘cheaper’ trips.
How do I sign up for a trip?
The best way to reserve your space on a trip is to call our offices or complete our online booking form. Return this with the trip deposit either through a telegraphic transfer (information is on our trip notes downloaded from the specific trip page) or by using our secure credit card page. Phone our New Zealand head office on +643 443 8711 (Monday - Friday, 9:00am - 5:30pm PST + 19 hours) or Freephone 1-866-757-8722 from North America.
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