Tag Archives: travel

Travel to Bhutan: what you need to know

After hydroelectricity, Bhutan’s second biggest income is tourism. Therefore, when you travel here, you are directly participating to the county’s economic growth. 

The visa

Just to clarify: there is a daily price to be in Bhutan (200-270$ per person per day, depending on the season). At first, this price may seem outstanding, and of course, it makes for an expensive trip (backpacking not being allowed). But this daily tariff includes: your guide, driver, car, all meals, hotels (3-stars), and activities (some are extra, like rafting). In order to be able to obtain the visa, you must go through a Bhutanese travel agency and once you have organized your trip, they will apply for your visa. 

The itinerary 

Firstly, determine how many days you want to be in Bhutan. Many travel agencies will have itinerary examples according to the amount of days you will be in the country. However, it is important you know what kind of traveller you are, and request your preferences to your travel agent so they can arrange them for you. In our case, we are very active and need hikes and outdoor activities and this was adjusted accordingly. If you are not used to having a guide with you when you travel, I suggested these types of activities so you don’t feel accompanied the whole time. 

Keep an open mind

Bhutan is different from many places in the world in many ways. From their political system to the ways they preserve their culture, it is the sum of everything that make this place so special. Of course, some questions may arise and bring interesting debates. But keep an open mind, and be respectful as you challenge some of these questions with your guide. Eat with your hands, learn words like “hello” and “thank you” and always smile. 

The Bumdra Trek

I read about this trek in the Lonely Planet and it was in the “off the beaten track” suggestions. Since we love trekking, and we didn’t have time for a 5 day trek in Bhutan, I thought this was a great option since it was one night and two days. The second day ends at the Tiger’s Nest monastery, one of Bhutan’s highlights. 

I will break down each day and give you the amount of kilometres we walked. The amount of time you walk per day depends on how in shape you are! 

Day 1: You start your walk in the morning and walk through beautiful forests. Enjoy the flowers and trees. You take a break for lunch by a small monastery and continue upwards to the base camp (located at 3800m). The camp had amazing food, beds, and views. 

Total upward elevation gained: 1200m 

Total amount of kilometres walked: 8km 


View of the camp from the small temple

Day 2: After breakfast, leave early in order to walk down the mountain. You will see several monasteries on your way down. And then, you get a spectacular view of the Tiger’s Nest monastery. What is special about this trek is that you can see the monastery from above, what others do not get to see. You walk down to Tiger’s Nest, visit the monastery early with little crowds, and then walk all the way down to the main entrance. 

Total amount of kilometres walked: 10km. 

A bird eye view of Tiger’s Nest
Things to bring (you don’t need much since it’s one night and you get a comfy and warm bed to sleep in)  

  • Trekking clothes (1 pant, 1 or 2 tshirts, 2 pairs of socks, hat)
  • Comfortable shoes or trekking boots 
  • Warm clothes and a rain jacket 
  • Camera and something to do (book, playing cards etc). 

If you enjoy nature, camping, and trekking, I DEFINITELY suggest this trek!

For any travel information check out: http://www.jambayangtravel.com

Everest Base Camp: Day by day route

I decided to share the break down of each day during our trek. I have included where we went, stayed, acclimatized and the altitude of each one. In the brackets [] you will see the total amount of kilometres we walked each day. I think this will help you prepare (physically and mentally) for your Everest Base Camp experience. 

I cannot stress enough the importance of physically preparing for this trek. We saw many people struggling during the first two days, which are the easiest because you walk less and you slowly go up in altitude. 

If you have never been in altitude before, i would recommend trying to go to higher mountains (Andes, the Alps, or anything nearby that is higher than 2000m). However, keep in mind that the altitude is felt much more in the Himalayas. 

Our route was 10 days in total, but we did one day less on the way down, so you can have shorter days if you need/prefer. 

So my recommendation is, get on that treadmill, run up and down the stairs, train at the gym and get in shape as much as possible. 

Our trekking route: 

Day 1: [8km] Lukla (2840m) to Phakding (2610m) 

Day 2:  [10km] Phakding (2610m) to Namche Bazar (3440m) 

Day 3: acclimatize in Namche Bazar (3440m) 

Day 4:  [14km] Namche Bazar (3440m) to Pangboche (3930m) 

Day 5: [8km] Pangboche (3930m) to Dingboche (4410m) 

Day 6: acclimatize in Dingboche. You can also take short walks to help acclimatize. We went to Imja Tsho, a Laguna located at 5010m [total of 20km return]

Day 7:  [17km] Dingboche (4410m) to Gorakshep (5164m) + sunset at Kala Patthar (5545m) 

Day 8: [21km] Gorakshep (5164m) to Everest Base Camp(5364) to Pangboche (3930m) 

Day 9:  [14km] Pangboche (3930m) to Namche Bazar (3440m) 

Day 10: [18km] Namche Bazar (3440m) to Lukla (2840m) 

Walking through the Himalayas 

Nepal is an ideal destination for anyone who loves nature and the mountains. The Himalayas are a mountain range in Asia that cross several countries: Pakistan, India, Tibet (China), Bhutan and Nepal. Bordering Nepal and Tibet, with an altitude of 8848m above sea level, lies the highest mountain in the world: Mount Everest. 


It truly was a dream come true to travel half way across the world to the Himalayas. A friend of ours has a project to hike the 14 highest mountains of the world (all above 8000m), with the objective to do so without supplementary oxygen (www.richardhidalgo.com). It was an honour to accompany him to the Everest base camp, located at 5400m.

When you arrive in Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital city, you must take a flight to Lukla (FYI, the most dangerous airport in the world!!) and this is where you start walking. Normally, it takes approximately 11-14 days to go up to base camp and come back down. We took 10 days. The best season to hike is April and May, or in September and October. This also means that there are many tourist on the Everest Base Camp route. We started hiking in March, which was ideal to avoid the big crowds. 

The journey has views that will simply take your breath away. The landscape changes along the way from forests and rivers to dryer, and higher climates. We walked through valleys surrounded by snow capped mountains, through small villages,  Buddhist monasteries and “stupas” and “chortens” (Buddhist monuments). We had to cross high, hanging bridges, and everywhere we went, there were prayer flags decorating the way. 



As we got higher and higher, we could feel the altitude. This is also why the route is so long: you need extra days in order to acclimatize properly. This is very important because if you get altitude sickness, you must immediately go down, and this could ruin your trek. 

One highlight of the trip was reaching the summit of Kala Patthar mountain (5600m). From here, we enjoyed the panoramic view of nearby mountains and of Mount Everest. Most people go in the morning, however, we went in the late afternoon, to enjoy and absolutely beautiful sunset, although a little cold and windy. 


Another highlight was to reach the Everest base camp. Here, we walked the whole length of the camp and we reached the Khumbu glacier.  We also had tea and lunch before heading back down. That day was a long one, we walked until 8pm guided solely by the moonlight and enjoying the stars. 

Taking walks in nature is a type of active meditation. It is an important moment during which your mind focuses on your bodily movements and your senses. You hear birds, you feel the wind, you smell the flowers, and see many beautiful things. All of this brings you directly into the present moment and allows you to connect with your inner self. 

They say a trip occurs three times: when you dream it, when you live it, and when you remember it. 

We have incredible memories for the rest of our lives.  

I will soon be posting the details of our daily walks, and also packing recommendations for your trek to Everest Base Camp. Stay tuned!! 

Best in Pokhara, Nepal

World Peace Pagoda: A beautiful white stupa that was build on the top of a hill to honor Buddha and most of all, world Peace. The best is to trek up since you get to walk trough villages and rice fields. When you finishing visiting, have a tea or juice before heading back down. To go back to Pokhara you have some options: go down the same way you came up (about 1.5h), walk down 20 minutes and take a bus back to town, or walk down 20minutes and take a boat across the lake. 


Phewa Lake: you can do many water activities on the lake: rent a boat, a kayak, or a paddle board and venture out. If it is a hot day, take a swim! 

We rented bikes and cycled around the lake. However, beware! The road is bumpy. 

Sarangkot is located about 10km away from Pokhara. It is a small village where you can stay at a guesthouse or lodge. We stayed at Bhanjyang village lodges. The best part of staying here, is being able to wake up, walk to the private viewpoint and enjoy a cup of coffee or tea while admiring the sunrise and the mountains. 


And last but not least, pay yourself a treat! Hotel Glacier and Spa is right downtown by the lakeside. The rustic building has luxury rooms, a restaurant, a cafe, and sympathetic staff. It is the perfect place to treat yourself to comfort and relaxation before or after heading out on your trekking adventures. 

5 Travel Preparation and Packing Tips

Planning a trip is so much fun. I love researching, packing, getting on the plane and arriving to a brand new place and all the new things, adventures and flavours ahead. However, preparing can also get overwhelming: where to go? when? researching, being afraid to bring too much or too little, forgetting something important, etc.

Here are some tips to preparing for a trip:

  1. Choose a place you want to go to. This can also be hard when your bucket list is long, so pick one according to the season you will be travelling (avoid rainy seasons, touristy seasons, etc).
  2. Think of what most attracts you to visit this country. My tops are usually mountaineering, scuba diving, and culture. This will help you research, plan, and prioritise the activities and must-dos while you are there. Do a thorough research online and in travel guides/books. However, try to not look at too many pictures on the Internet, this will allow some surprises when you get there.
  3. Plan, but allow for flexibility: plans usually change along the way, and these should be embraced. A strict schedule and making all your reservations beforehand can be limiting.
  4. Pack right: LISTS LISTS LISTS. This will help you sort out what you need to bring. Also, as you highlight what you have, you know what you are missing and what you need to get.

My lists normally include these 4:
– One for personal hygiene and first aid kit.
– Another for specific equipment I will need. In this trip, I need mountain geer, so all those items are on a separate list.
– Other clothing
– Electronics and travel essentials (visas, passports, cards, etc).

5. Spread everything on the ground in piles: this gives you a visual panorama of what you are bringing and you can switch, add, or eliminate things.

Did I leave anything important out?
What are your top travel tips?
Share in the comments below 🙂

City Escape: A Yoga Retreat in Peru

During my numerous vacations and road trips in Peru, I have had the chance to explore the country’s most famous destinations, as well as some of its hidden gems. This has only deepened my love and understanding of the country’s historical, cultural, and natural wonders. Peru has many different climates that offer a perfect escape from busy city life: the lush green Amazon, white sandy beaches along the Pacific coast, the Sacred Valley in the Andes mountains, and so much more.

When I packed my bags and decided to move to Peru, live in Lima, and get married to my Peruvian husband, I struggled to find a yoga studio where I could maintain my daily practice. In 2012, yoga was not very popular in Peru’s capital city (Lima); most people had no idea what it was. Over the years, this has changed and today, there is an growing yoga community, with numerous yoga studios, yoga fan-pages on Facebook, and many opportunities to go on a yoga retreat.

Also as part of my travels and experiences, I completed my RYT200h Hatha teacher training in the Sacred Valley. Ever since, I have wanted nothing more than to share and combine my two passions: yoga and travelling.

The idea to start hosting yoga retreats came about when I travelled for the first time to the north of Peru to visit my husband’s family. The family villa just seemed like a perfect place: a white house with a pool, located on the top of a hill, with ocean views and sounds, and a white sandy beach.

This year, the opportunity came up: two of my favorite yoga teachers were organising a retreat and hadn’t found a place to host it. I was very happy, excited, and a little nervous: I wanted everything to be perfect for my yogi guests, and I wanted everyone to enjoy themselves and relax.

None of the guests had any specific dietary requirements, but I planned a vegetarian menu, with some fish options. During our 4-day retreat, the menu included a variety of homemade almond and coconut milks, flavored water, smoothies, iced tea, hummus and guacamole, fresh salads, an abundance of fruits and homemade desserts.

The retreat included yoga twice a day, enjoying the sun and the beach, snorkelling with turtles. We were a group of 12 women and the feminine energy and connections offered us beautiful moments. It was the perfect opportunity to disconnect from the craziness of everyday life in the city and reconnect with one’s inner self.