Posts Tagged ‘Bhutan’

Insight Vacations Launches New Exotics Collection

December 29, 2013

Insight Vacations has just released its new Exotics Collection, featuring a range of premium escorted journeys, a majestic new destination, and a variety of authentic Signature Hotels, Dining and Experiences. For the first time, the brochure includes an augmented feature that enables you to enjoy India’s flavor using your smartphone to get a preliminary taste of what this incredible region has to offer.

The Exotics Collection offers luxury tours to India, Bhutan, Nepal, Greece, Jordan, Israel, Turkey, Egypt and Morocco.

“We are thrilled with the success of our India program since launching in 2012, and we are delighted we can continue to introduce new product to this extraordinary region,” says Marc Kazlauskas, President of Insight Vacations. “Each itinerary featured in the Exotics Collection has been chosen to showcase these culturally and historically rich destinations, and when combined with Insight’s Signature inclusions, we guarantee our guests a truly unforgettable experience.”

The Exotic Collection’s Signature Experiences include game safaris in search of the Royal Bengal Tiger, Bhutanese cooking classes, and a guided tour of Bhutan’s only commercial cheese factory. Guests stay at hand-selected Signature Hotels with highlights such as the Taj Lake Palace Hotel, Bangalore’s opulent Leela Palace, and the Divani Caravel hotel in Athens. Guests enjoy delectable Signature Dining experiences at every magnificent turn, including a cooking demonstration with a renowned chef in Olympia and a highlight luncheon at India’s Laxmi Vilas Palace.

“When traveling to these wonderful countries with Insight, you can be assured that your safety, comfort and security are our absolute priority – our ground teams are the very best in the business,” says John Boulding, President and CEO of Insight Vacations. “They will take care of you every step of the way.”

Two new itineraries have been added in India, including a sojourn from Delhi to Udaipur on the Colors of Rajasthan and a venture through Mystical South India where guests visit some of India’s oldest temples from Kochi to Chennai. Bhutan – Dragon Kingdom highlights the newest destination to feature its own itinerary, due to the rising increase in Bhutan’s popularity. Additional new 2014 features include four-day stopovers in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, extensive hotel upgrades, additional transfers and flight inclusions on some itineraries and extensive Wi-Fi availability on coaches and in hotels.

Insight Vacations is a part of a joint initiative with The TreadRight Foundation, a not-for-profit foundation established by The Travel Corporation to encourage sustainable tourism within our own family of brands and in the places we visit. To date, TreadRight has donated more than US $2 million to sustainable tourism projects around the world. To find out more about our work with TreadRight visit:

For more information, visit For reservations, contact your travel agent or call Insight Vacations at 888-680-1241.

For more travel features, visit:

‘Like’ us on

Twitter: @TravelFeatures


Rigorous “Tour of the Dragon” mountain bike race takes place in Bhutan Sept 1

July 3, 2012

For cyclists seeking the ultimate challenge in the ultimate destination, the third annual “Tour of the Dragon” mountain bike race, taking place in Bhutan on September 1, 2012, provides participants an opportunity to test their mettle in a destination unlike any other in the world. With rugged terrain, quickly changing altitudes, and spectacular surroundings, this one-day road race offers riders a chance to test their skills and to prove their endurance in a stunning natural setting that remains largely untouched.

Starting in Bumthang in central Bhutan, the event – often dubbed the “Death Race” by participants – crosses four high mountain passes before concluding in the capital city of Thimphu in western Bhutan. It is not just the length of the race, however, that is truly challenging, but also the high elevation and extreme variation of altitude: The 268-kilometer (approx. 166-mile) race spans elevations ranging from 1,200 to 3,340 meters (3,937 to 10,958 feet), and riders gain 3,790 meters (12,434 feet) and lose 3,950 (12,959 feet) in total during the race.

As grueling as this one-day race may be, it is breathtaking, with pristine natural surroundings encountered along the way. From some of the last virgin forests in the world to stunning views of some of the world’s highest peaks, the untouched ecosystems that riders will experience during the Tour of the Dragon make the effort worthwhile.

Participants at this year’s event will also find themselves riding alongside royalty. His Royal Highness, Prince Jigyel U. Wangchuck, who is a biking enthusiast and President of the Bhutan Olympic Committee, conceived the race and is one of the few people who have completed it in record time.

For riders concerned about making the trip to Bhutan for a one-day event, there is so much else to see and experience in this peaceful and happy country. Many of Bhutan’s top hotels are offering race participants 10-night packages, which will also make riders feel like royalty.

For further information on the Tour of the Dragon mountain bike race, visit the event website at For information on the Kingdom of Bhutan and additional accommodations, visit the Tourism Council of Bhutan’s website at

Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB)

Tourism in Bhutan today is a vibrant business with nearly 200 private operators. The Tourism Council of Bhutan adheres strongly to a policy of high-value, low-impact tourism. Tourism in Bhutan is founded on the principle of sustainability, meaning that tourism must be environmentally and ecologically friendly, socially and culturally acceptable, and economically viable. Bhutan does not limit tourist arrivals; in fact, tourism is now a top priority for the government. “The Royal Government of Bhutan recognizes that tourism, in affording the opportunity to travel, can help in promoting understanding among people and building closer ties of friendship based on appreciation and respect for different cultures and lifestyles.”

For more information about the Tourism Council of Bhutan, visit

For more travel features, visit:

‘Like’ us on


Tour Company Offers Opportunity to Trek to Remote Eastern Bhutan

July 1, 2010

Travelers will have a rare opportunity to trek remote Eastern Bhutan, an area just opened to tourists.

The Tourism Council of Bhutan announced on June 16, 2010, the opening of remote valleys of Eastern Bhutan – Merak and Sakten. A select group of travelers will be among the first to trek in this region by joining a tour with Wanderlust and Lipstick founder, Beth Whitman.

This co-ed 17-day journey in October begins in Northeast India, where participants will experience jungle safaris, by jeep and by elephant, before entering the tiny kingdom of Bhutan. The trek into Merak and Sakten will transport the travelers back in time as they explore an untouched land of tradition and mystery. This adventure to the Land of the Thunder Dragon also includes visits to traditional monasteries and temples, including iconic Tiger’s Nest, glimpses of some of the world’s highest peaks, and the opportunity to witness a traditional Bhutanese festival in Mongar.

Bhutan is one of the last remaining frontiers of discovery. This trek will allow travelers to hike through villages populated with a cultural group of highlanders known as the Brokpa, and to experience firsthand the traditions and customs they have retained in this far-flung corner of Eastern Bhutan.

“We applied for permits to Merak and Sakten in 2009 and have been hoping the government would allow us entry,” Whitman said. “Now it appears that we really will be among the first to get a glimpse of this remote area.”

Whitman will be the tour leader and a Bhutanese guide will accompany the group, providing insight into the country’s culture, architecture and environment as well as sharing details on how Buddhism is integral in making Gross National Happiness the cornerstone of their daily life.

Whitman is the author of the Wanderlust and Lipstick guides for women travelers, the publisher of and now leads tours to Bhutan, India, Vietnam and Cambodia.

This co-ed tour is limited to twelve people and at press time is more than half full. The cost is $5,750 and includes in-country transportation, accommodation and all meals.

For the full itinerary, go to

Karen Rubin