Chele La Pass is about midway to Haa Valley, typically a day trip tour from Paro. We did not have a full day to spare, but really wanted to see Chele La Pass (the highest drivable pass in Bhutan) and the stunning views of Jomolhari (part of the Himalayas). So we decided to organize a downhill cycle from the pass (just under 4,000 meters) to Paro (2,200 meters).
First of all, organizing the cycling trip was not straightforward. We tried to get our travel agent to set it up before we got to Bhutan, but got nowhere. Even when we got there, the agent was not precise how to organize it either so we had to do it ourselves. We rented the bikes from Thimphu (Bhutan Trekking & Hiking Services; email@example.com) on the way to Paro and arranged to have a truck send it to Chele La Pass on the day we wanted it. We were told the bike shops in Paro did not have smaller bikes for kids. The bike rental place also had cycling guides but they were all fully booked for tours since it was high season. Fortunately, our tour guide got his friend, who happened to be a cycling guide to be with us for the day. If you are moderately comfortable on a bike, you probably don't need a guide but we wanted to be safe since we had our children with us.
Getting up to Chele La took exactly 1.5 hours on windy mountain roads which were in very good conditions - much better than those we traveled on eastwards of Thimphu. As we approached the pass, we started to see the stunning views of Jomolhari's snow cap peaks! This was great because we could not see the Himalayas from Dochu La Pass (between Thimphu and Punakha) both times we passed it, due to clouds.
Cycling down the 35km to Paro was practically effortless despite the thin mountain air. We only had to move out legs the last 5km as we get into Paro town. Just make sure the brakes are in good condition. Traffic was also very light, and the drivers were generally patient with us so we felt rather safe.
The problem was the cold. We kept stopping to warm up despite having layers of clothes and gloves. Took us 3 hours to get to Paro, but probably need less than 2 hours otherwise. We saw another group of experience riders zoomed pass us. They had face mask on which would have helped prevent noses from going numb from the cold. But we recommend don't rush - enjoy the fresh mountain air and the stunning views all the way down...
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.