Hiking to Bhutan’s Tiger’s Nest Monastery (Paro Taktsang)

The hike to the Tiger’s Nest Monastery in Bhutan is one of the most incredible day hikes you can experience anywhere in the world. This photogenic Buddhist monastery, also known as Paro Taktsang, is perched on a steep cliff that’s 900 meters tall (3,000 feet) and looks almost unreal.

The Tiger’s Nest hike is relatively manageable for most people with average fitness levels and is conveniently located near the main airport in Bhutan. However, due to Bhutan’s unique tourist tax system, this beautiful country remains largely undiscovered by international tourists.

This travel guide will provide detailed information on how to undertake the Tiger’s Nest Bhutan hike, how to get there, what to expect in terms of difficulty, and everything else you need to know before embarking on this adventure!

Tiger’s Nest: Quick Facts

  • Distance: 6 kilometers (3.7 mi) round trip
  • Elevation Gain: 600 meters (1,970 ft)
  • Top Elevation: 3,100 meters (10,170 ft)
  • Duration: 4 – 8 hours round trip
  • Difficulty: Moderate
Tigers Nest Monastery Hike Bhutan Paro Taktsang

Taking a picture at the Tiger’s Nest viewpoint

How To Get To The Tiger’s Nest Monastery In Bhutan

The Tiger’s Nest Monastery is located approximately 15 kilometers from Paro town and the Paro International Airport in western Bhutan, making it relatively accessible.

The paved parking lot is just a 30-minute drive from Paro. The road to the trailhead may be narrow and winding at times but is not steep or dangerous. Your tour guide in Bhutan can arrange transportation to the start of the trail.

The monastery sits on a steep cliff above the Paro valley, necessitating a hike to reach it. There are no cable cars, and vehicles cannot reach the top. Everyone must undertake the hike!

Tigers Nest Monastery Hike Bhutan Paro Taktsang

The Tiger’s Nest Monastery

Tiger’s Nest Monastery Hike: What To Expect

• Starting The Hike

The trail to the Tiger’s Nest Monastery begins in a dense forest of pine trees, with the monastery visible in the distance at the top of the mountain.

Along the way, you’ll pass Bhutanese stupas, a small stream, and waterfall. The path can be rocky and muddy in places, with occasional tree roots to navigate. The trail transitions from shade to sun as you progress.

Given the popularity of this hike, expect to encounter crowds and horses along the main trail. There are also lesser-used side trails known by local tour guides.

Trekking Path Trail Start

Start of the hike. You can see the monastery barely visible at the top of the mountain!

Trekking Path Trail Start Stream Stupa

A small stupa by a stream

• Taktsang Cafeteria Views

Once you’ve hiked about halfway to the Tiger’s Nest Monastery, you’ll encounter the Taktsang Cafeteria, a mountain cafe offering great views of the monastery from below. This is an ideal rest stop where you can also purchase food, drinks, souvenirs, and use the free bathrooms.

Continuing on, you’ll encounter more views of the monastery and may see local wildlife like magpie birds and grey langur monkeys along the trail. The path gradually becomes less steep until you reach the monastery.

Tigers Nest Monastery Hike Bhutan Paro Taktsang

Another glimpse of the Tiger’s Nest — looking through the prayer flags

Tarai Grey Gray Langur Monkey Bhutan