2011 Trips of the Year: Float Bhutan

Bhutan opened two new districts to travelers last September     Photo: Photo by Holly Wilmeth/Aurora

Northwest Rafting Company co-owner Zach Collier was one of just 25,000 travelers admitted to Bhutan last year. His first move: befriending Ugyen Dorji, local river outfitter and kayak instructor extraordinaire. This fall, the duo will host two commercial rafting trips through the 14,824-square-mile country, focusing on the Mo Chuu (Mother River) and Po Chuu (Father River). The whitewater ranges from Class II to Class IV, with confluences marked by prayer flags for good luck. Rather than a traditional multi-day float, expect half-day river trips with take-outs to mountain-bike and visit Buddhist temples. Nights are spent at a luxury base camp in the Punakha Valley featuring safari tents, home-cooked meals, and Himalayan views. $4,900; October 24–November 7 and November 7–21; nwrafting.com.

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