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Perhaps you’ve heard of the only remaining Shangri-La, Bhutan. It’s a country of vertiginous mountains steeped in traditional Buddhist culture that has remained virtually unchanged by the forces of modernity. Tourism is tightly controlled and visitors to the remote kingdom encounter ancient monasteries, colorful prayer flags, and unsurpassed natural beauty.
In the 1970s, Bhutan suffered from poverty, lack of education, and high infant mortality rates. Its King and government looked for ways to engage with the outside world without exploiting its people and natural resources like many neighboring countries. It championed a new approach to development where prosperity is measured not by GDP, but by Gross National Happiness. Its success is measured by sustainable development, environmental protection, cultural preservation, and good governance.
As much of the world has struggled with massive environmental destruction and social inequity, this emerging democracy is attracting a lot of attention. In the last 20 years, Bhutan has doubled life expectancy, enrolled 100% of children in school, and protected its natural beauty (three-quarters is still forested and 25% of the country is designated as national parks). It has banned export logging and encourages cycling by taxing private vehicles. The country has pledged to be carbon neutral.
This great Happiness experiment faces an enormous challenge – its vulnerability to climate change. Bhutan’s people are still among the poorest in the world and they are dependent on agriculture. The country is counting on hydropower to support its careful modernization. While Bhutan has successfully protected its culture and natural resources, if the world does not take action to address climate change, this country’s efforts to place sustainable economics at the forefront of its governance could crumble.
During Climate Ride Bhutan you will experience powerful traditions, spirituality, and breathtaking beauty. Local environmental experts will provide you with unparalleled access and understanding. You’ll experience stunning bike routes and an unforgettable combination of passion and purpose. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see a country where people and the environment prosper together.
Special note: Did you know that rhododendrons are native to Bhutan? Our local guides have helped us plan this event to coincide with the spring bloom when the valleys and forests are awash in color.
This is a special Climate Ride Funders Trip and the proceeds directly support Climate Ride’s work. Your fundraising on Climate Ride Bhutan will benefit the programs and efforts of Climate Ride including our community scholarships for young climate leaders. You are helping us grow the organization to become an advocacy powerhouse that engages people in the world of active environmental philanthropy and sustainable solutions. Because of this, you cannot change your beneficiary selection after registering. All donations are tax-deductible.
Daily cycling mileages to suit all types of cyclists. This is a fully supported ride which means you can focus on the pedaling and making connections with your new friends while we take care of everything from overnight details, meals, snacks, luggage transport, and much more to make your trip as enjoyable as possible. Learn more in the FAQ.