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Bhutan Mindful Running Retreat

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It's For You If:

This retreat is level II. This means it’s suitable for you if you: 

  • have some experience running on trails and have the fitness to run at least 8 miles on the road.
  • you don't have to be fast (slow is OK!) and you don't have to run the whole way 
  • are OK with running on trails with loose dirt, mud, rocks, and roots.
  • you are OK with running (with walking breaks) for up to 3 + hours at a time
  • are OK with getting your shoes wet in small streams.
  • are comfortable on high and exposed, and at times narrow, trails.
  • you are OK with with sections of steep uphill and downhill trail sections
  • are game for running in the rain! (Don’t worry about what to wear; we provide you with a comprehensive packing list).
  • have (or are willing to acquire before the retreat) trail-running shoes.
  • If you want only to hike and not run at all, this retreat is not recommended.

About the Trails 

The trails on this retreat are a mix of single-track trails, with some unpaved and paved roads leading us through small villages. The terrain is a varied mix of rice terraces, expansive alpine valleys, Himalayan forests and mountainside monasteries. 

Note: The total run distance for this retreat will be between approximately 30 to 40 miles at most. Each day’s run in this itinerary is represented by time spent on the trail rather than miles run because the mileage covered will depend largely on your run pace. Faster runners will cover more mileage than slower runners on some days. These run times include breaks to enjoy the views, take photos, eat and drink. The precise route and trails run may change due to changes to trail routes, weather conditions, guide recommendations and other safety considerations.

Lower Stress and Find Flow with Mindful Running

Mindful Running is this retreat's defining experience. Your dedicated Retreat Leader will lead you through experiences on and off the trail that are designed to help you discover how to run with more ease and flow. And if you've never run trails before, you'll learn how to adapt your road running technique for this new terrain. And if you're an experienced trail runner, you'll take your running to a whole new level of efficiency and joy. Connect more deeply with nature, yourself and other women through this powerful practice that provides you with skills and insights to maximize the stress-reducing effects of running. 

Travel Mindfully to Truly Unwind

This retreat can be the kind of vacation that truly transforms your state of mind and body, if you're open to it. Our retreats are designed to support you as a whole woman, not just a runner. That means you can expect free time to yourself, away from the group. It means that there are wellness experiences included in your retreat package to support your nervous system reset. This is your chance to heal from the effects of stress and focus on doing the things that energize you, inspire you and feed your soul. 

Weather and Climate

Bhutan's pristine environment, with high rugged mountains and deep valleys, offers ecosystems that are both rich and diverse. With some of the strictest environmental conservation laws in the world, this country is filled with robust forests, and wildlife. 

Bhutan is 8,000 feet above sea level on average. This retreat has been designed so the elevation increases as you travel, allowing for better acclimatization. The retreat starts at about 4,500 feet above sea level in Kathmandu and eventually you will reach a high point of 10,000 feet above sea level at the Tiger's Nest Monastery on day 9. The hike (not a run) to Tiger's Nest will be the most strenuous, with a 1,500 feet of elevation gain in the first two miles. But the reward of visiting this iconic site will be well worth it. 

April is one of the best times to visit Bhutan! Spring is settled in, the Rhododendrons are in bloom, and the weather is typically dry and sunny. You can expect cool evenings in the high 40s to low 50s, with day time temperatures in the 60s and low 70s. Please note that weather can be cooler at higher elevations and can change quickly in the Himalayas. We recommend you come prepared with layers, a warm jacket, a hat and light gloves. 

On this retreat, runners will find they need to adjust their running pace at higher elevations. We have taken this slower pace into account, so you will have plenty of time to run or hike at your own speed. 

2 Nights at Bhutan Spirit Sanctuary

The Bhutan Spirit Sanctuary is an upgraded spa-inclusive resort with just 24 guestrooms. Here, you can find the peace to let go of the daily craziness, find balance between body, mind and spirit, and experience the essence of Bhutan. Enjoy elegant spaces to relax and unwind that are luxuriously comfortable whilst still in keeping with the spirit of Bhutan. During your stay, enjoy free yoga and meditation classes, access to the sauna, steam room, jacuzzi and heated indoor pool. You may take a cooking class with a Bhutanese chef or enjoy a pottery class in the art studio. In the dining room, enjoy a variety of Bhutanese, Western and Indian dishes are served. Book spa treatments during your stay for an additional fee.

2 Nights at Zhiwaling Ascent Hotel

Venture beyond the empty beauty of a hotel chain and experience the warmth and comfort of Zhiwa Ling Ascent, an upgraded hotel living in harmony with nature, culture and tradition. Enjoy first class hospitality at this wholly Bhutanese owned and operated hotel, where the essence of Bhutanese hospitality begins.  At this hotel enjoy a rooftop bar and lounge with 360-degree views of the Timphu valley and surrounding forested mountains, a dedicated yoga area complete with mats, bolsters, straps and access to the Spa Therapy room, a tranquil place to rest and unwind. Simple, modern decoration adorns this intimate space, so as not to distract from your experience of serenity where you can book a special treatment such as a manicure, pedicure or massage for an additional fee. 


2 Nights at Dewachen Hotel and Spa

Encircled by pine forests in the hidden valley of Phobjikha -- home to the very rare Black Necked cranes, the Dewachen Hotel is a lovely sanctuary immersed in nature. At this hotel enjoy magnificent restaurant views, spa and fitness facilities and a traditional hot stone bath. (Spa services and some classes may include an additional cost not included in your retreat package.)

You'll have some free time to enjoy the spa amenities at the hotel on day 5. The best time to reserve your spa appointment is between 2:30pm - 5:30pm on April 12, 2025. Appointments can be scheduled at the hotel upon check-in. 

2 Nights at Dhensa Boutique Resort

Dhensa Boutique Resorts sits in the heart of the lush Punakha Valley. Flanked by thick pine forests, it overlooks the Punakha river and hundreds of paddy fields that stair-step down to the valley floor.  At this hotel enjoy a simplistically designed suite set in a cottage with a private balcony, spa access with a variety of exceptional treatments and therapies, yoga and a unique outdoor wood-fired bath. (Spa treatments and some other activities are not included in the retreat package and may involve an additional cost.)


Food in Bhutan

Experience exceptional dining! Most meals are included in your retreat package, and we handpick high-quality restaurants for unforgettable culinary experiences.

Bhutanese cuisine is a delightful blend of spicy and savory flavors, featuring a variety of dishes centered around rice, red and white meats, and abundant vegetables. Traditional Bhutanese meals often incorporate fiery chili peppers, cheese, and unique herbs, offering a distinct culinary experience reflective of the country's rich cultural heritage.

We make every effort to accommodate your dietary preferences and restrictions. However, there are occasions when we may face limitations. You'll have a chance to indicate your specific dietary requirements in the retreat participant intake form.

Please note that alcoholic drinks are excluded, and snacks and beverages outside of meals and trail runs are not included.

Add-on +US$38

Transformational Travel Journal

One of the best ways to deepen your experience with mindfulness during and after your retreat is to add the Transformational Travel Journal to your package. This co-branded journal by Run Wild Retreats in partnership with the Transformational Travel Journal provides an intentional space to write, draw, sketch and otherwise creatively express what meaning this travel experience has for you. Filled with thoughtful writing prompts, inspirational quotes and mindfulness-inspired ideas, we highly recommend using this journal to help you enhance your mindful running experience. Price includes shipping.


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