Dagala Thousand Lakes Trek
Haa Valley Trek
Laya – Gasa Expedition
Merak - Sakteng Trek
Chelila Natural Trek
Punakha Winter Trek
Royal Heritage Trek
Wild East Rodungla Trek
Dhur Hotspring Trek
To the Abode of the Goddesses-Jhomolhari Trek
Trip Rating: Moderate
Trip Length: 14 days
Best Time: April – October
Bhutan is a trekking paradise, situated between two huge neighbours and rising from the lower plains and rising over 7000m to the north. Among several choices of high altitude treks, one of the most beautiful and popular trek is the Jomolhari trek. Its route is moderate, easy to trek and the view of Mt. Jhomolhari is the most spectacular, we cross several high passes and beautiful lakes. Culturally we will visit the Capital town, Thimphu and Paro.
DAY 1: ARRIVAL PARO BY DRUK AIR
Fly into Paro. If you are flying in from Delhi or Kathmandu the flight over the Himalayas is one of the most spectacular experiences one will ever experience. You will fly past Mt. Everest, Kanchenjunga and the entire Himalayan range visible on the left side. On landing at Paro you will be met by our representative. After Customs and Immigrations formalities, you will be escorted to the hotel. Over night at hotel
DAY 2: PARO SIGHTSEEING
Drive the winding road northwest up the Pa-Chu to Drukgyel Dzong, the ruined Fortress which once defended this valley from Tibetan invasion. This Dzong was built in the 17th century by Shabdrung Nawang Namgyel, the spiritual leader of Bhutan. It is believed that through the miraculous power of Shabdrung that the Bhutanese were able to defeat the Tibetans seven times. The name Drukgyel Dzong means ‘victorious fortress’. On a clear day one can view Mt. Jomolhari the sacred Mountain. On the way back visit one of the Typical Bhutanese farm house. Lunch at the Hotel. After lunch drive to Ta-Dzong which was once the watch tower for Paro valley, now it houses the National Museum and then walk down hill pass the Paro Dzong and crossing the typical traditional roofed bridge to Paro town. Overnight at hotel.
DAY 3: PARO – SHARNA
Start of Trek Day 1: Distance 17 kms and walking time 5-6 hours. Starting at Drukgyel(2580m) and camp near Sharna Zampa(2870m). Gradual climb following the Paro river through the agriculture valley and villages. The campsite is opposite to the Gunyitsawa Army check post in a meadow.
DAY 4: SHARNA – THANGTHANGKA
Trek Day 2: Distance 22 kms and walking time 6-7 hours. Starting at Sharna Zampa (2870m) and camp at Thangthangka(3630m). The trial is a gradual ascent with plenty of ups and downs through conifer forest, ferns and Rhododendrons. A magnificent view of Mt. Jomolhari can be seen from your camp site on clear days.
DAY 5: THANGTHANGKA – JANGOTHANG
Trek Day 3 : Distance 19 kms and walking distance 5-6 hours. Starting at Thangthangka (3630m) and camp at Jangothang (4090m). Today trial passes an army post and the village of Soe and a small settlement at Takethang. Yak herders live here . Camp beneath a ruined fortress at the base of Mt. Jomolhari.
DAY 6: JANGOTHANG – HALT
Trek Day 4: Acclimatization Day. You can spend the day relaxing or there are several day hikes to choose from. Two interesting hikes would be to get views of Mt.Jumolhari or Jichu Drake. If you are interested in a lake then you can take the hike to Tsophu. Overnight at camp.
DAY 7: JANGOTHANG – LINGSHI
Trek Day 5: Distance 18 kms and walking time 5-6 hours. Starting at Jangothang (4090m) and camp at Lingshi (4010m) Today you encounter your first major pass at 4890m ( Nyile-la ).You also get snow peak views of Tserim Kang (6789m) Camp near a stream in a meadow.
DAY 8: LINGSHI – HALT
Trek Day 6: Halt : Its worth a visit to Lingshi Dzong. You can also make an excursion to Tsokha (lake) i.e. Base Camp of Jichu-Drake. During the excursion hundreds of Blue Sheep, Musk Deer could be seen. Tsokha is at 4500 m. and the hike is about 4-5 hours.
DAY 9: LINGSHI – SHODU
Trek Day 7: Distance 22 kms and walking time 8-9 hours. Starting at Lingshi (4010m) and camp at Shodu (4110m)The first half of the trek is mostly through treeless valley until you start ascending to Yeli-la pass at 4820 m, from here Mt. Jomolhari, Mt. Tsherimgang and Mt. Masagang can be seen on clear days. Camp in a meadow.
DAY 10: SHODU – BARSHONG
Trek Day 8: Distance 16 kms and walking time 5-6 hours. Starting at Shodu (4110m) and camp at Barshong (3680 m) Todays trial winds up & down following the Thimphu Chhu and crossing it six times. A final climb for about an hour walk will bring you to Barshong. Camp just below the ruins of a small Dzong.
DAY 11: BARSHONG – DOLAM KENCHO
Trek Day 9: Distance 15 kms and walking time 5-6 hours. Starting at Barshong (3680m) and camp at Dolam Kencho (3430m). The trial descends gently down to meet Thimphu Chhu through the dense forest of Rhododendron, birch, conifer trees and across the pasture land. Camp in a meadow
DAY 12 DOLAM KENCHO – THIMPHU
Trek Day 10 End of Trek: Distance 8 km and walking time 3 hours. Starting at Dolam Kencho (3430m) and end of trek at Dodina (2600m). Today is an easy 3 hour descending till Dodina where your vehicle will meet you. It is a 30 minute drive to Thimphu. Overnight at Hotel.
DAY 13: THIMPHU – SIGHTSEEING – PARO
Morning start the sightseeing with Zelukha Nunnery, National Library, Memorial Chorten of Late King, Handicrafts Emporium, Post Office and walk around Thimphu city for shopping of souvenirs from Bhutan. If this day falls on a Saturday or Sunday a visit to the Weekend Market is a must. After lunch drive to Paro enroute visit to Simtokha Dzong the first fort built in 1627-29 by Shabdrung who unified the Kingdom and continue the journey following the Thimphu river till Chuzom (Confluence) and taking the direction toward Paro following Pa-chu for 2 hours. Overnight at Hotel.
DAY 14: DEPARTURE
The Himalayan Horizon-Dagala Thousand Lakes Trek
DAY 1: ARRIVAL BY DRUK AIR TO PARO
Fly into Paro. If from Delhi/Kathmandu the flight over the Himalayas is one of the most spectacular experiences one will ever experience. You will fly past Mt. Everest, Kanchenjunga and the entire Himalayan range visible on the left side. On landing at Paro you will be met by our representative. Drive to Thimphu 2 hours.Overnight Hotel.
DAY 2: THIMPHU SIGHTSEEING
Morning start the sightseeing with Zelukha Nunnery, National Library, Memorial Chorten of Late King, Handicrafts Emporium, Post Office, School of Arts & Crafts and walk around Thimphu city for shopping of souvenirs from Bhutan. If this day falls on a Saturday or Sunday a visit to the Weekend Market is a must. Overnight at Hotel.
DAY 3: THIMPHU – GEYNIKHA
Morning continue sightseeing. After lunch you will drive to the starting point of your trek You drive for 29km (1 hour approx) to a road junction on the Thimphu-Paro highway after which you take an uphill drive for 16 km on dirt road (2 hours approx). Camp at Geynikha 2950m.
DAY 4: GEYNIKHA – GUR
Trek Day 1 – Start of Trek: Distance 5 km and walking distance 4 hours. Starting at Geynikha 2950m and camp at Gur 3350m. Today you trek will take you through alpine flora and fauna (different kinds of birds can be seen). 2 hours of gradual uphill walk and rest at a huge rock platform reveals the beauty of nature below. Another 2 hours walk ends the days trek.
DAY 5: GUR – LABATAMBA
Trek Day 2: Distance 12 km and walking time 5 hours. Starting at Gur and camp at Labatamba (4300m) The trek today will across the ridges and amidst flowers and wild asparagus (in spring) with the mountain side meadows which will freshen the trekkers with poetic sentiments. You will see the spectacular view of the Dagala Range, meadows and yak herders camp from the first pass you will be crossing at 4240m. Lunch will be served nearby a yak herders camp. After lunch walk for about 2 hours across hills and meadows. Camp near Utsho lake where plenty of golden trout flourish.
DAY 6: LABATAMBA HALT
Trek Day 3: Excursion to nearby lakes.
DAY 7: LABATAMBA – PANKA
Trek Day 4: Distance 8km and walking time 4 hours. Starting at Labatamba and camp at Panka (4000m). Today you start your days trek for 20 to 30 minutes uphill before descending down the valley. You will get very good views of the Western Himalayan range inside Bhutan. The trek will take you through meadows, lakes and shrubs. Camp at Panka.
DAY 8: PANKA – TALAKHA
Trek Day 5 : Distance 8 km and walking time 4 hours. Starting at Panka and camp at Talakha (3080m) The days trek will be passing several passes each reveling its own beauty. Lunch will be at a junction which leads to Wangduephodrang. After lunch around 1 hours gradual climb brings you to the last of the Dagala range from where you will have a spectacular view of Thimphu. Camp near Talakha monastery and village.
DAY 9: TALAKHA – THIMPHU
Trek Day 6 – End of Trek : Distance 3 km and walking time 3 hours. Today’s trek will be through alpine forest, mixed vegetation and apple orchards. The trek ends at the road head above Simtokha Dzong. Drive to Thimphu (20 minutes). Afternoon at leisure. Overnight at hotel.
DAY 10: THIMPHU – PARO
Morning at leisure or if today is a Saturday or Sunday then visit the Weekend Market. Early lunch and then drive to Paro (2 hours) and sightseeing. Visit the National Museum , drive to Drukgyel Dzong, evening explore Paro town.
DAY 11: DEPARTURE
The Dragon’s Trail – Drukpath Trek
DAY 1: FLY TO PARO
Spectacular view of moutain on flight. Museum and Paro Dzong and drukyel dzong. O/n Hotel, Paro
DAY 2: PARO SIGHTSEEING
Orientation and to keep in shape with day hike to Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest). Explore Paro Town, O/n Hotel, Paro
DAY 3: PARO – TREK TO JELE DZONG (3450 M) START TREK
Start of Trek: – Walking time approximately 4 – 5 Hours, 09 Km. Starting ancient Ta Dzong (2510m) and camp at Jele Dzong (3450m). The trek trail is rather gradual climb till the camp and if the weather is clear the Paro valley can be seen with the Mt. Jomolhari (7315m) and snowcapped mountains behind the valley. O/n Camp
DAY 4: TREK TO JANGCHULAKA (3780 M)
Waking time approximately 4 – 5 hours, 11 km. Starting at Jele Dzong (3450m) and camp at Jangulakha (3780m). The trail follows the ridge, takes you through alpine forest and rhododendrons trees and most of the walking is up and down on a ridge. Mt. Jomolhari (7315m) is also visible today. You may see Yak herders around your campsite. O/n Camp
DAY 5: TREK TO JIMI LANGTSHO (3880 M)
Walking time approximately 4 – 5 hrs, 12 km. Starting at Jangchulakha (3780mtrs) and camp at Jimilangtsho (3880m). The trail follows the ridge and on clear day the views of the mountains and valley are beautiful, in particular the Jichu Drake (6989m) Camp is close to lake of Jimilangtso. These lakes are known for their giant sized trout’s.
DAY 6: TREK TO LABANA (4130 M) HIGHEST POINT)
Walking time approximately 5 – 6 hours, 13 km. Starting at Jimilangtsho (3880m) and camp at Labana (4130m), the trail takes you through dwarf Rhododendrons trees and then you pass by the lake of Janye Tsho. Today you may come across some Yak herders’ camp and you can really have a look as to how these people live. After crossing Simkota Lake (4090m) reach Labana Camp. O/n Camp
DAY 7: TREK TO PHAJODING (3870 M) – THIMPHU, TREK END
End of Trek, Walking time approximately 4 – 5 Hours, 10 km. Starting at Labana via Phojoding (3870m), you begin with a gradual climb up to Labana Pass (4235m) the highest elevation for this trek. If the weather permits you will views beautiful Himalayan peaks. Below, you can see the entire Thimphu valley. Phajoding to Thimphu is all the way down hill through a forested area of mostly Blue pine, you will reach for nice hot shower. Evening at Leisure. O/n at Hotel, Thimphu.
DAY 8: PUNAKHA
Full day sightseeing and excursion to Punakha. Visit Punakha and Wangdue Dzong and a short hike to Chimi Lakang. Drive back to Thimphu and overnight.
DAY 9: THIMPHU
Visit Memorial Chorten and National Institute for Zorig Chusum (Painting school), After lunch drive to Paro, on the way visit Semtokha. O/n Hotel, Paro.
DAY 10 : FLY ONWARD
Walk the valley uphill to Gangtey Gompa Monastery. Drive to Thimphu with lunch stop at Wangdi or at Dochula Pass. Overnight Hotel.
Note: This is a sample intended to give you a general idea of the likely trip schedule numerous factors such as weather, tour conditions, the physical ability of the participants etc., may dictate itinerary changes either before departure or while on the tour. We reserve the right to change this schedule in the interest of the trip participants’ safety, comfort and general well being. RATES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.
Haa Valley Trek
DAY 1: ARRIVE PARO BHUTAN
Fly to Paro on Druk Air. From a window seat on clear days you can experience a spectacular view of Himalayan peaks as you approach Paro. On arrival you will be received by our representative, and then drive to Thimphu, which will be approximately 1.5 hrs drive. Thimphu is situated at an elevation of 2500 meters / 8200ft. Overnight at hotel in Thimphu.
DAY 2: SIGHTSEEING OF THIMPHU VALLEY
Visit King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk Memorial Chorten, Dupthop Lhakhang ( Monastery for the nuns), National Library, the Painting School where traditional art is still kept alive through instructions in the art of painting Thangkhas ( sacred Buddhist religious scrolls), and the Medicine Institute where traditional medicines are prepared according to ancient practices. After lunch you will visit Lungtenzampa to observe the traditional silver smiths plying at their crafts and tour the Bhutanese traditional paper factory. Return back to town to visit the handicraft stores and stroll around the tiny capital city. Overnight at Hotel.
DAY 3: THIMPHU-PUNAKHA-THIMPHU
Leaving Thimphu the road climbs steeply through a forest of pine and cedar, festooned with hanging lichen high up near Dochula pass (3,050 m). This pass offers panoramic views of the Himalayan mountain ranges. Your car will drop you at the mule track, from where you will hike through the Rhododendron, Magnolia, juniper and pine forest with chirping sounds of the many rare species of birds that are found in Bhutan. Your picnic lunch will be served at a good spot. You will then be driven to Lobesa where you will make another hike to Chimi Lhakhang Temple on small hill.
This temple is dedicated to the great Yogi in 14th century known as Drukpa Kuenley or popularly known as “Divine madman” to the westerners. We will proceed to old Punakha town to view the majestic Dzong ( fortress), situated between the two rivers Pho Chu and Mochu (male and Female River). This fortress is now used as the winter seat of the Je Khenpo ( the Spiritual head of Bhutan). In the past this Dzong was the capital seat of the Kingdom. Evening drive back to Thimphu.
DAY 4: THIMPHU – HAA
After breakfast drive to Haa, the drive is through terraced rice field, apple orchards. Make several stops during the drive to visit a farm house or to talk with small school going children who would be very excited to practice their few words of English with you. Afternoon sightseeing around the Haa valley. Overnight at family run guest house.
DAY 5: HAA – KHADEY GOM 10,611 feet
After breakfast our car will shuttle us to Yangtong, where we will meet our porters and trekking crews. After an hour of baggage loading and arranging we will start our trek. It is a steep climb to Yangtong Gompa set on a hilltop. This big temple surrounded by a few houses is believed to be 300 years old and is dedicated to Guru Rinpochey and his eight manifestations.
From here it is more or less a level trail through pine forest which will bring you back to the main trail to the valley below Saga La (La – Pass). Here the Makhang River flows through the region called Talung, consisting of three beautiful villages known as Tsenka Gom, Tsenka Wom and Langlo. The track winds along the farmland that is fenced with cobblestone walls to protect the farmland from wild animals.
We will climb to a wooden bridge, Chagdo Zam, cross more meadows and some forests until you reach a rock with twin eyes and a distorted mouth. It is believed that a Tibetan saint known as Thangtong Gyalpo, in the 14th century subdued the Nyela Demon and turned it into this rock. Ever since, the travelers using this trail have walked across without any fear of the Demon. This holy rock is located in the Khadey Gom meadow, where tonight’s camp is situated.
DAY 6: KHADEY GOM – DONGNEY TSHO 10,496 via Saga La 12,200 ft
After breakfast we start a gradual hike for about 1 hour through meadows and coniferous forest followed by 2 hour climb to the Saga La Pass 12,200 feet. It is customary to take a gift for the pass, so either pick a rock or break off a twig/flower to pile it on the mini stupa built by thousands of former travelers. Once you reach the top of the pass, shout “Lhagyelo” (God be victorious) and you will be blessed.
During a good weather there is spectacular view from both sides of the Pass, The view towards Paro (east) includes Mount Jhomolhari (23,993 feet), Mount Chaterake (18,270 feet) and below in the valley the Drukgyal Dzong and the sacred Tiger’s Nest Monastery. Looking to the west the peaks of Haa forming the borders with Tibet can be seen.
From the Pass it is good two hours downhill hike through mixed conifers and rhododendrons, the camp is set at an open meadow at Dongney Tsho, surrounded with tall firs. To the left is the black Choshola mountain, a holy place from which a lake escaped.
DAY 7: DONGNEY TSHO 10,496 feet – DRUKGYAL DZONG (8,460 feet)
After breakfast we start our hike steep downhill for about 1.5 hours until we are at Genchu Zam (Bridge). The hike is through thick vegetation with chances of encountering laughing thrushes, magpies, nutcrackers and pheasants. You will cross a beautiful village comprised of eight households and a temple at the left side of the trail known as Chodeyphu, set picturesquely at the base of Mount Lamp Baja (Foggy Mountain, inhabited by mountain goats) Another 1 hour will bring you to Balkan Chu where the ancient Haa Planters’ Trail ends. From the road head you will be picked by your car and shuttle to your hotel.
DAY 8: EXCURSION TO TAKTSANG MONASTERY
After breakfast your car will drop you at the starting point of the excursion to view the spectacular Taktsang monastery (Tiger’s lair). The trail to the monastery climbs through beautiful pine forest, many of the trees festooned with Spanish moss, and an occasional grove of fluttering prayer flags. You stop at the cafeteria for a rest and refreshments and continue the hike (if not tired) for short while until you see, clearly and seemingly within reach, the remains of Taktsang monastery.
Built in 1600s, this incredible monastery clings to the edge of a sheer rock cliff that plunges 900 meters into the valley below. The history states that Guru Padmasambhava, the Tantrum mystic who brought Buddhism to Bhutan, landed here on the back of a flying tiger. Looking at the monastery flying tigers doesn’t seem so impossible after all. Lunch will be served at the cafeteria. Overnight at Hotel.
DAY 9: DEPART PARO BHUTAN
Morning drive to Paro International Airport for departure to your onward destination.
Touching the Heavens – Laya – Gasa Expedition
Considered to be one of the most beautiful trekking routes, this trek offers one a taste of all the treasures that the Himalayan Kingdom is especially known for. Through this trek, one can feast on the wonders of Nature, embodied in some of the most enthralling peaks of Bhutan; see some of the animals that have almost become extinct and engage with the people of the Highlands whose culture is unparalleled. It also offers one the opportunity to soak in a hot spring revered for its medicinal values.
The first part of the Laya – Gasa Trek goes along the same route as the Jomolhari Trek I right till Lingshi. Highlights of the trek include the unforgettable views of Mount Jomolhari, Jichu Drake and Gangchhenta (Great Tiger Mountain). One has good opportunities to spot blue sheep or even takin.
Maximum Elevation: 5,005m
Highest Camp: 4,220m
Standard: Medium to hard
Best Seasons: April to June & Mid September to Mid Nov
Start: Drukgyel Dzong (Paro)
Finish: Tashitang (Punakha)
Day 01: Arrive at Paro
Described as one of the most captivating experiences, the flight to Paro offers you views of the Himalayan treasures, such as Mt. Everest, Kanchenjunga, Makalu and other peaks in Bhutan such as the Jomolhari, Jitchu Drake and Tsrim Gang. As the flight descends to land at Paro airport, you will have a bird’s eye view of Paro and the adjoining valleys, an experience beyond expression. The landing at the airport is also thrilling.
Our guide will meet you there and take you to the hotel.
Day 02: Paro – Sightseeing
After breakfast drive to Chele-la pass (3,998 m) to enjoy the beautiful scenery of mountain. This is Bhutan’s highest road point.
On a clear day there are superb views of Bhutan’s highest peaks –mount J0molhari and Jichu Drake.
From a turnout on the main road the trail climbs steeply for 45 minutes to Kila nunnery- is the oldest nunnery in Bhutan which was established as a meditation site in the 9th century.
We drive back to Paro and after lunch visit Ta Dzong, a former Watch Tower which now houses the National Museum and Rinpung Dzong which houses the monastic school and the district administration. After a short stroll in town drive back to hotel for the night halt.
Day 03: Paro – Taktsang Excursion
After early breakfast, drive to Ramthangka (base camp) of Taktsang and begin the hike. We follow an ancient path marked by river powered prayer wheels to the holiest Buddhist Shrine in Bhutan and the ultimate point of pilgrimage.
A blend of the spiritual and architectural wonder, the monastery is perched on a 1000m cliff overlooking the valley. Legend has it that the great Indian saint, Guru Padma Sambhava, flew from Tibet to Taktsang on the back of a tigress to tame five demons, who were opposing the spread of Buddhism in Bhutan in 746 A.D. After lunch at a nearby spot, we walk back down.
Drive to the hotel for overnight stay.
Day 04: Paro – Shana (Distance 17km, four to five hours, 360m ascent, 80m descent, camp altitude 2,850m)
Your trek begins with a drive up to Drukgyel Dzong where the motor-able road ends and the trek to Shana begin. It is a 5 to 6 hours walk with gradual ascends following the Paro river through the agricultural valley and villages. The campsite is opposite the army check post in the meadows, near the river at an altitude of 2,580m.
Day 05. Shana – SoiThangthangkha
Distance 22km, seven to eight hours, 770m ascent, 10m descent, camp altitude 3,610m).
The trail is a gradual ascend following the Paro river through conifers and rhododendron. The path narrows and closes in and the trail winds up and down along the drainage. Camp is in the meadow with stone shelter built for trekkers surrounded by conifer and birch forest and on clear days one can have a magnificent view of Mt. Jomolhari.
Day 06. Thangthangka – Jangothang(Distance 19km, five to six hours, 480m ascent, camp altitude 4,080m).
The trail leads bypassing the army post and the valley begins to widen and leading to winter houses of yak herders where hot lunch will be served. Halt camp beneath a ruined fortress at the base of Mt. Jomolhari.
Day 07. Jangothang – Lingshi(Distance 18km, six to seven hours, 840m ascent, 870m descent, camp altitude 4,010m)
After your breakfast you start ascending up the mountainside towards Nyelila. During the ascend you will be seeing Mt. Jomolhari, Mt. Jichu Drake and Tsherim Gang till Nyelila at which point you will be seen off by the former two mountains. There after you will be seeing only Tsherim Gang. From Nyelila pass the trail leads you all the way down to the camp.
Day 8: Lingshi – Chebisa(Distance 10km, five to six hours, 280m ascent, 410m descent, camp altitude 3,880m).
In what is the shortest walking day, the trek today will initially take you to a chorten below Lingshi Dzong. At this place, one can make the choice of staying on the main trail or taking a diversion up to Lingshi Dzong (4,220m), which sits right atop a ridge.
Unlike other dzongs, Lingshi Dzong offers one a very special atmosphere of mystic silence and a great overview of the valley. Once you cross the Dzong, the trail will take you through the villages of Lingshi and Goyul.
A unique architectural facet you will see in Goyul are the stone houses clustered together to a small compact village that is unusual in Bhutan where village houses are normally scattered. Your camp for the night will be at Chebisa, with a beautiful waterfall behind the village. You have the opportunity to visit local houses and interact with the people.
Day 9: Chebisa – Shomuthang(Distance 17km, six to seven hours, 890m ascent, 540m descent, camp altitude 4,220m)
Your trail today goes through a wide pastureland towards Gobu La (pass) and you could be greeted by yak herders on the way. You could also spot large herds of blue sheep above the trail. Once you cross Gobu La (Pass) (4,410m), you descend to the valley followed by a brief climb and again a trek downhill to Shakshepasa (3,980) where a helipad has been established. From there you will have to ascend until you reach the campsite at Shomuthang, located above a river, which is a tributary of the Nochu river.
Day 10: Shomuthang – Robluthang(Distance 18km, six to seven hours, 700m ascent, 760m descent, camp altitude 4,160m).
The walk today would be a little strenuous and so it is advisable to start early. After two hours of uphill trek, you will reach Jhari La (4,750m), from where you catch the first sight of Sinche La, the pass you will have to cross the day after. At the north is the massive snow peak Gangchhenta (6,840 m,) popularly called the Great Tiger Mountain. If the weather is clear, Tserim Kang and the top of Jomolhari will be visible. The camp by the river is called Tsheri Jathang. Herds of takin, the Bhutanese National Animal, migrate to this valley in summer and remain for about four months. The valley has been declared a takin sanctuary.
After a little uphill trek, you will reach the campsite at Robluthang in a rocky meadow.
Day 11: Robluthang – Limithang(Distance 19km, six to seven hours, 850m ascent, 870m descent, camp altitude 4,140m).
After crossing Sinche La (5,005m) – the last and highest pass on the trek in case you don’t intend to continue the Snowman trek from Laya onwards – you descend to a little stone house where a few Laya women – dressed in typical Laya costume with long pointed bamboo hats on their head – live and offer their weaving products. Right behind the stone house you will see an impressive terminal moraine and a glacial lake at the foot of the valley. You can see classic examples of the lateral moraines where the glacier has pushed rocks up both sides of the valley. Below the moraine, you cross the Kango Chhu and soon reach the Limithang campsite. The peak of Gangchhenta towers over the campsite even though it’s quite a distance away.
Day 12: Limithang – Laya(Distance 10km, four to five hours, 60m ascent, 340m descent, camp altitude 3,840m).
It will be an easier day today, as you walk all the way downhill along a narrow winding river valley. The trek will take you through partly deep forest and lead you to the west side of Laya village. You will view Gangchhenta again and also catch a glimpse of Masagang. In the village centre is a community school and a basic health unit with telephone connection. The campsite is below the school.
Day 13: Laya – Koina(Distance 19km, six to seven hours, 260m ascent, 1,070m descent, camp altitude 3,050m).
It is a trail winding up and down along the river valley of Mo Chhu avoiding natural obstacles and affording breath-taking views of the crashing river, feeder streams and water falls. After a series of ascend and descend, the trail will lead you to Kohi Lapcha at 3.300 m. It then drops down to the large stream of Koina Chhu, where you will find the campsite of Koina.
Day 14: Koina – Gasa
(Distance 14km, six to seven hours, 740m ascent, 1,500m descent, camp altitude at Gasa Tsachu 2,240m).
You will be experiencing the last major climb of the Laya Gasa Trek today. Once you cross Bari La (3,740m), it is a down-hill trail all the way till Gasa village (2,770m). Restaurants, which you did not see since starting from Drukgyel Dzong will greet you. There also is a campsite close to Gasa Dzong. (You will have to decide if you want to stay in Gasa village or descend for another hour to the Gasa Tsachu (hot springs) and relax in the thermal water. The Gasa Tsachu is one of the most popular hot springs in Bhutan.
Day 15: Gasa – Damji (Distance 18km, five to six hours, 480m ascent, 470m descent, camp altitude 2,250m).
Beginning with a short climb, the trail again winds through lots of ups and downs, along rolling hills, passes, pine and oak forests, villages and wheat fields. You will also see a beautiful view of the Gasa Dzong glued to the valley wall as if floating in space. You finally reach Damji with its well maintained campsite.
Day16: Damji – Tashithang (Distance 16km, five hours, 250m ascent, 870m descent).
Descending from the high agricultural benches above the Mo Chhu into a lush semi-tropical gorge filled with banana trees, creepers and various tropical vegetation, the trail will take you through areas where monkeys and a few other animals might be seen occasionally. The road actually leads further than Tashithang and will soon reach Damji. You can save about two hours of walking when you arrange transport from the current road head. You will be picked by your car and driven to Punakha.
Day 17. Punakha – Thimphu
After breakfast, we visit Punakha Dzong, which was the ancient capital until 1966. The remains of the Zhabdrung, the saint who unified Bhutan in the 17th century are interred here. The Je Khenpo, head abbot of the monk body of Bhutan, resides here with the monk body from Thimphu during winter. En-route to we will visit ChhimiLhakhang, which was built in the 15th Century (dedicated to Lama Dukpa Kinley also known as divine mad man). It is a pilgrim site especially for childless couple and is a half an hour walk across a local village and rice field. Everyone in this kingdom believes that the Lam’s blessings will help a woman conceive. Continue driving to Thimphu,
Overnight halt in Thimphu.
Day 18: Sightseeing in Thimphu
You will visit the weaving centre, Memorial Chorten (a huge stupa) built in memory of the third King of Bhutan, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, Changangkha monastery, built in the 12th century, Takin zoo, Buddha Point, where the statue of the world’s largest Buddha is being constructed; a Nunnery and the Arts and Craft school. You will also be taken to Sangaygang, a place from where you can have a bird’s eye view of Thimphu town and the surroundings.
In the evening we will visit Trashichhodzong, the seat of Bhutanese polity, which houses the King’s office, Throne room and is the summer resident of the Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot) and the central monastic body. Drive back to hotel at hold at hotel.
Day 19: Departure from Bhutan
After breakfast, drive to Paro international airport for your onward flight. Our representative will see you off.
Where Eagles Dare – Snowman Trek
Duration: 29 days (Total)
Max. Elevation: 5,320m
Highest Camp: 5,050m
Best Seasons: Mid June to Mid October
Start: Drukgyel Dzong (Paro)
Finish: Sephu (Trongsa)
Described by The Lonely Planet as one of the most difficult treks of the world, the Snowman Trek is an extension of the beautiful Laya Gasa Trek, and leads from Laya into high altitudes of the Bhutanese Himalayas. Demanding stamina, endurance and energy, it is designed for experienced trekkers. However, the trek’s worth is embodied in the treasures one can feast on and experience during the trek. Traversing through the most remote areas up to very high altitudes above 5,000m the camps are sometimes on blankets of snow. Trekkers are taken into the Lunana region and further on to Gangkhar Puensum and Bumthang or down to Sephu in Trongsa district, depending on the route chosen.
Groups often fail to make this trek due to problems associated with the high altitude, such as passes blocked by snow. Therefore, the best time for the Snowman Trek – unlike the other high altitude treks of Bhutan – is in summer. People who make this trek remember it as an outstanding achievement.
Day 01: Arrive at Paro
You will land at Paro international Airport, after having experienced one of the most thrilling journeys of your lifetime – the flight to Paro, during which you experience a breath taking view of Mount Everest, Kanchenjunga and other famous Himalayan peaks, including the sacred Jomolhari and Mount Jichu Drake. The landing at Paro, considered one of the most challenging is an enthralling experience.
At the airport, you will be received by our company’s representatives. You will visit some of the standing treasures of Bhutan that Paro houses, such as the National Museum of Bhutan and the grand Paro Rimpong Dzong (Fortress on a Heap of Jewels). After lunch at a local hotel, you will visit Kyichu temple, one of the oldest temples in Bhutan built by King Songtsen Gyempo of Tibet in 659AD. Legend has it that the Buddhist King built 108 temples within a day, Kyichu being one.
Day 02: Paro – Excursion Taktsang
After an early breakfast, we drive up to Ramthangka, (base camp) of Taktsang and then hike to one of Bhutan’s most sacred and religious heritage, Taktshang Monastery or the “Tiger’s Lair.” Perched some 1000 meters on a hill overlooking a valley, it is believed that the great Indian Saint and Buddhist Master, Guru Padma Sambhava flew on a tigress in a wrathful form to this place in 746 AD, to subdue evil forces who were obstructing the spread of Buddhism. The trek, which will take about five hours (up and down) is an unforgettable one and promises every visitor an enthralling experience.
In the evening, you will visit ruins of the Drugyel Dzong, ”Castle of the Victorious Drukpa” located 16 Km. from Paro town. The Dzong was built to celebrate the victory of the Bhutanese forces over the invading Tibetan troops. On a clear day, one can view Mount Jomolhari (“Mountain of the Goddess”) standing at an altitude of 7,329m/24,029ft.
Overnight at hotel.
Day 03. Paro – Shana: (Distance 17km, four to five hours, 360m ascent, 80m descent, camp altitude 2,850m)
The actual trek now begins.
We will drive up to Drukgyel Dzong till the motor-able road ends. The trek to Shana begins which is about 5 to 6 hours, gradually ascending following the Paro River through agricultural fields and villages. The campsite is opposite the army check post in the meadows, near the river at an altitude of 2,580m.
Day 04 : Shana – Soi Thangthangkha: (Distance 22km, seven to eight hours, 770m ascent, 10m descent, camp altitude 3,610m).
The trail is a gradual ascend following Paro River through conifers and Rhododendron trees. The Camp is in the meadow with stone shelter built for trekkers surrounded by conifer and birch forests and on clear days one can have a magnificent view of Mt. Jomolhari.
Day 05: Thangthangka – Jangothang: (Distance 19km, five to six hours, 480m ascent, camp altitude 4,080m).
The trail crosses the army post and the valley begins to widen and you will reach the winter houses of yak herders where hot lunch will be served in one of the houses. We will camp beneath a ruined house (fortress) at the base of Mt. Jhomolhari, Jangothang.
Day 06: Jangothang Halt.
The day in Jangothang provides plenty of possibilities for day hikes with great views of lakes and snow capped mountains such as Jhomolhari and Jichu Drake. There are good chances to spot some blue sheep.
Day 07: Jangothang- Lingzhi: (Distance 18km, six to seven hours, 840m ascent, 870m descent, camp altitude 4,010m)
After breakfast we start ascending towards Nyelila. You will see Mt. Jhomolhari, Mt. Jichu Drake and Tsherim Gang till Nyelila (Pass) at which point you will be seen off by the former two mountains. There after you will be seeing only Tsherim Gang. From Nyelila pass the trail leads you all the way down to the camp.
Day 08: Lingzhi – Chebisa: (Distance 10km, five to six hours, 280m ascent, 410m descent, camp altitude 3,880m).
The walk is through Gongyuel village and if you are lucky you might see the Raven bird and herds of blue sheep. You then reach a small village called Chebisa, winter house of yak herders.
Day 09: Chabisa – Shomuthang: (Distance 17km, six to seven hours, 890m ascent, 540m descent, camp altitude 4,410m).
You will ascend the steep hill side till Gobula pass, (14,268 ft.) From there the walk is a very gradual descend till you get to the tree line, which is the campsite by a river.
Day 10: Shomuthang – Robluta: (Distance 18km, six to seven hours, 700m ascent, 760m descent, camp altitude 4,160m).
The walk starts a little early and we head towards Jhari La pass (4760 m.) From here you drop to Tsharijathang, the valleys where herds of Takin are usually seen grazing in the meadows.
Halt night in camp.
Day 11: Robluta – Lemithang: (Distance 19km, six to seven hours, 850m ascent, 870m descent, camp altitude 4,140m).
You will be passing over the highest point on this trek, Shingela Pass at 16,072ft/4,870 m. The walk is tough till the top, and from there you start descending towards Lemithang. You trek through the valley till Lemithang, which is under Laya District. Here you will encounter the people of Laya.
The camp at Lemithang is beneath Gang Chen Ta, “Great Tiger Mountain.” If time permits it is worthwhile to spend a day exploring the area. Night will halt in camp.
Day 12: Lemithang – Laya: (Distance 10km, four to five hours, 60m ascent, 340m descent, camp altitude 3,840m)
The walk for the day is all the way downhill along a winding river. As you walk down, the path splits in two, one going down in the direction of the river to the campsite which is also used by the army, and the other maintains almost the same height and leads you to the west side of Laya village. You can camp on this flat bench sort profile above the East end of Laya village.
Day 13: Laya – Halt: Rest and explore the Laya village.
Day 14: Laya–Rhoduphu: (Distance 19km, six to eight hours, 1,030m ascent, 750m descent, camp altitude 4,160m).
The trek leads gradually downhill to the Lunana trail junction, and then makes a gradual climb to the camp through a forest of conifers, maple and rhododendron. The Trail improves and becomes wider as we climb out of the river valley. Halt camp at Roduphu near a small stream.
Day 15. Rhoduphu – Narethang: (Distance 17km, five to six hours, 740m ascent, camp altitude 4,900m).
It is a long hike crossing the Tsimo La pass at 4950m(16,200) and descending to NarethangThe campsite at Narethang is towered by the peak of GanglaKarchung (6,395m).
Day 16: Narethang-Tarina: (Distance 18km, five to six hours, 270m ascent, 1,200m descent, camp altitude 3,970m).
From the camp you will climb for about an hour to Ganglakarchung La (5,120m) and then to Karchung La pass at 5240m(17,187 ft) and down glacial lakes, which are sources of the Tang Chhu in Bumthang. Above the lakes are the mighty peaks of Jejekangphu Gang (7300m) and Tsenda Kang (7100m). Halt camp in Tarina.
Day 17: Tarina-Woche: (Distance 17km, six to seven hours, 270m ascent, 330m descent, camp altitude 3,910m).
The walk leads down through conifer forests following the upper ridges of the Pho Chhu, passing some impressive waterfalls. The trail then climbs over a ridge and drops to Woche, a settlement of a few houses, the first village in the Lunana region
Day 18: Woche-Lhedi: (Distance 17km, six to seven hours, 980m ascent, 1,190m descent, camp altitude 3,700m).
It’s a steady climb from Woche to Keche La (pass at 4580m (15,100 ft), and then downhill to Thega village. The hike continues to Lhadi village where we camp.
Day 19: Lhedi-Thanza: (Distance 17km, seven to eight hours, 450m ascent, camp altitude 4,150m).
The trail climbs gradually following the main source of Pho Chhu to Chozo village. Above Chozo the valley opens as we approach Thanza village near the foot of 7100m ZogophuGamp, which is known as the Table Mountain.
Camp site is at Thanza.
Day 20: Thanza-Halt
You have a fantastic opportunity to interact with the hospitable local villagers and explore the beautiful surrounding till the farthest point in Lunana valley. As Thanza is a transfer point for horses and yaks, it is important to spend a day here for our staff to ensure all the necessary yaks are rounded up by the local herders.
Day 21: Thanza- Danji: (Distance 8km, three to four hours, 80m ascent, camp altitude 4,230m).
Today is a relatively short trek but the track is steep. We have to climb a campsite called Danji, and ascend to Jaze la pass. The camp offers spectacular views of snow-capped peaks.
Day 22: Danji-Tsochena: (Distance 12km, five to six hours, 980m ascent, 240m descent, camp altitude 4,970m).
It begins with an initial uphill ascend over three summits to Jaze La pass at 5050 m (16,570 ft). From the pass it is a short downhill trek to the campsite at Tsochena lake.
Day 23: Tsochena – Jichu Dramo: (Distance 14km, four to five hours, 230m ascent, 150m descent, camp altitude 5,050m).
The trail has a series of gradual up and down between the snow-capped peaks and across Loju la pass at 4940 m (16,300 ft) before descending to the camp at Jichu Dramo.
Day 24: Jichu Dramo-Chukarpo: (Distance 18km, five to six hours, 320m ascent, 730m descent, camp altitude 4,600m)
We start with an arduous climb to Rinchen Zoe La pass at 5290m (17,350 ft), the highest on the trek. It is then all downhill to Chukarpo, which is just above the tree line.
Day 25: Chukarpo-Thampe Tso: (Distance 18km, five to six hours, 400m ascent, 700m descent, camp altitude 4,300m)
This is a long downhill walk along the river, followed by a climb up to the ThampeTso, a beautiful clear turquoise lake, with the campsite next to it.
Day 26: Thampe Tsho-Maurothang: (Distance 14km, five hours, 330m ascent, 1020m descent, camp altitude 3,610m)
This is also a short walk to the base of Thampe La and a steep climb to the pass at 4580m (15,100 ft). The trek is then all downhill through rhododendron bushes to the yak pasture of Maurothang where we will camp.
Day 27: Maurothang-Sephu: (Distance 18km, five to six hours, 990m descent).
On the last day of this extraordinary trek your porters will have to change from yaks to horses as the yaks will not be willing to go further down. The path follows the Nikka Chhu to reach a large grassy area overlooking the road and the village of Sephu. You finally reach the road at the Nikka Chhubridge, from where we will drive to Punakha.
Night halt in Punakha.
Day 28: Punakha-Paro
We will visit Punakha Dzong, which was Bhutan’s capital until 1955 and still is home of the Chief Abbot during the winter months. Punakha Dzong (Fortress), built in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, stands like a giant ship on an ocean from afar. Build at the confluence of two rivers, Pho Chhu(male river) and Mo Chhu (female river), the Dzong was destroyed four times by fire and an earthquake in 1897. However, it has now been restored to its original splendour.
En-route to Thimphu we will visit Chhimi Lhakhang, which was built in the 15th Century, dedicated to Lama Drukpa Kinley also known as the “divine mad man”. It is a pilgrim site especially for childless couples, where the Phallus is worshipped. It is believed that blessings from the phallus help a woman to conceive. We continue driving to Paro and halt at a hotel.
Day 29: Departure from Paro
After breakfast, you will be driven to Paro international airport for your onward flight. Our representative will see you off.
The Eastern Twins – Merak – Sakteng Trek
Difficulty rating: Moderate
Maximum elevation: 3480m
Season: Mid March – May, September – October
For this trek, you can either enter from Paro and travel all the way to eastern Bhutan or enter from the Indian city of Gawahati, Assam’s capital and exit from there. You can also decide to enter from Guwahati and exit from Paro.
This is a new trekking route recently opened for tourists. It takes you to nomadic villages of Merak and Sakteng, bordering Tibet and Arunachal Pradesh, India, in Eastern Bhutan.
Apart from the beautiful landscapes, lakes and peaks of north eastern Bhutan, you can interact with nomads and learn their way of life. Moreover, this trek offers you the opportunity to visit Eastern Bhutan, where tourism is not as brisk as the Western part of Bhutan. You further avail the opportunity to visit almost all districts of Bhutan, except some in Southern Bhutan, if you decide to exit from Paro.
Day 01: Gawahati (India)-Samdrup Jongkhar
On arrival at Gawahati, you will be greeted by our representative. You will then be driven to the border town of Samdrup Jongkhar, eastern Bhutan’s commercial hub, which is about 100kms from the airport.
Night halt at hotel in Samdrup Jongkhar.
Day 02: Samdrup Jongkhar-Trashigang
After breakfast, our journey into the wilderness of eastern Bhutan begins. Trashigang is 180 kms from Samdrup Jongkhar and the road traverses through tropical and subtropical trees. En-route, we will visit the hand loom (weaving centre) in Khaling and the Institute of the disabled. The road also passes through the Kharungla National Park, thus offering a diversity of flora and fauna.
Upon arrival at Trashigang we will visit the Trashigang Dzong (Fortress), built in the mid-17th century. Like most Dzongs, it serves as the Administrative seat for the district and houses the monastic body.
Overnight at hotel in Trashigang.
Day 03: Rangjung-Chaling/Damnongchu. 19KM / 6-7 HOURS / 2000M ASCENT 230M DESCENT
This is the first day of the trek and you will take a scenic drive through Rangjung town and Radhi village from Trashigang for about ninety minutes to Chaling. Your trekking crew and pack animals will join you at Chaling.
The trek begins with a gradual climb towards Shaktimi meadow. Along the trail, you will see huts of yak herders dotted along the hill side and yaks and sheep grazing. As you ascent further, you will reach Mendula Pass, at an elevation of 3354m. After you cross this pass, the trek for the rest of the day is a gradual descend through forest filled with rhododendron trees till Donmong Chu (river), your camp for the night at 3124m.
Day 04: Damnongchu-Merak. 14KM / 4-5 HOURS / 396M ASCENT
Your destination is Merak, and the trail follows the river. Apart from the final leg of the trek, it is a fairly easy hike along flat landmass. Right after you ascend, you will reach Gangu village. In another 45 minutes you reach Merak, located at an altitude of 3520m. From your campsite located before the village, you can have a spectacular view of the nearby mountains and village. You have sufficient time to visit the village and interact with the people.
Day 05: Merak-Halt
Explore Merak and Bongmang village, apart from others. Night halt will be in the camp.
The people from Merak and Sakteng, who are known for their exceptional features and for their costume made of Sheep skin and Yak wool. The hat they wear is unusual but has a significance of its own. You can interact with the people.
Day 06: Merak-MiksaTeng. 16KM / 5-6 HOURS / 633M ASCENT 1074M DESCENT
In what is the toughest day of the trek, you will need to ascend until you cross the Nachungla pass, the highest of the trek at 4153m. The trek begins with a gradual uphill climb as you move from Merak, until the first pass at 3900m. A spectacular view of the entire Merak valley can be seen from here. It is also the pass from where you see Merak for the last time. Having crossed the pass, you will be trekking through outgrowths of juniper and rhododendron forests, finally reaching Nachungla pass. You will then descend to Miksateng at 3079m, your camp for the night.
Day 07: MiksaTeng- Sakteng 14KM / 4-5 HOURS / 80M ASCENT 310M DESCENT
The trek starts with a gradual descend till a river. You cross the river and follow its banks for a few hours, before gradually climbing to a hill adorned by a small Chorten (Stupa) overlooking Sakteng valley. From this ridge, you will be descending and camp on the outskirts of Sakteng village, at an elevation of 2950m. You may spot red pandas along the trek, if you are lucky.
Day 08. Sakteng – Teng Jyonkhar 17KM / 6-7 HOURS / 75M ASCENT 130M DESCENT
It is a slightly longer journey today and thus, you will be leaving the camp early. You climb up to a small hill at the western end of the village and then descend to the river, after which you will be walking alongside the river through forests filled with broad leaf trees. We will arrive at our camp for the night at Joenkhar Teng village (1733m), situated on a hillside. The village comprises of people belonging to the Brokpa tribe as well as people of eastern Bhutan (Sharchopas). It also has a community school and an outreach clinic.
Day 09: Jyonkhar-Rangjung
12KM / 5-6 HOURS / 350M ASCENT 950M DESCENT
The last day of the trek begins with a short climb through Joenkhar Teng. You will need to cross few suspension bridges and take short up-hill walks, until you reach Phongmay. On the way, you will visit the Rangjung Monastery, founded by His Eminence Garab Rinpoche.
Halt at Rangjung
Day 10: Rangjung-Samdrup Jongkhar
After breakfast we drive toSamdrup Jongkhar, and halt the night at a hotel.
Day 11: Samdrup Jongkhar – Gawahati:
After breakfast, you will be driven from Samdrup Jongkhar to Guwahati airport for your onward flight. Our representative will see you off.
Where the Adrenaline pumps – Chelila Natural Trek
Duration of Trek : 4 Nights/5 Days
Duration in Bhutan : 9 Nights/10 Days
Starts and ends at Paro
Standard : Medium
Maximum elevation: : About 4,000m
This trek will take you to Bhutan’s highest road point, Chelila pass at about 4,000 meters above sea level.
You can view spectacular peaks such as Mt Jomolhari (7,300 m), Jitchu Drake (7,000m), Tshering Gang, etc.
You will also visit places and institutions that are found only in Bhutan, such as Paro Taktshang (Tiger’s Lair), Tashichhodzong (seat of governance), Drukgyel Dzong (Castle of the Victorious Drukpa), Kyichu Lhakhang (one of Bhutan’s oldest monastery) etc.
You can feast on Bhutan’s flora and fauna.
Day 01: Katmandu/Delhi/Bangkok – Paro
Arrive at Paro. (The flight will be an unforgettable experience. You can see the enthralling peaks such as, Mt Everest, Jomolhari and others. The landing will also be a thrill.) You will be received by a representative of our company who will escort you to your hotel.
Visit Paro’s National Museum, which was once a watchtower (Ta Dzong) and Paro Rimpong Fortress (Castle on a heap of precious Jewels) in the evening. Visit Paro town.
Welcome dinner and overnight stay at hotel.
Day 02: Discovering Paro Valley
We will hike to Taktshang – “the Tiger’s Lair” – monastery. (A five hour round trek along an old trail, Taktshang is one of the most revered religious sites in the Kingdom. Perched on a hill about 1000meter and overlooking the valley, it is an architectural wonder. It is believed that the 8th century Indian Saint and Buddhist Master Guru Padma Sambhava came flying on a tigress, in a fiery form to subdue demons who were obstructing the spread of Buddhism.)
In the afternoon, we will visit the ruins of Drukgyel Dzong (Fortress of the Victorious Drukpa) and the 7th century Kyichu temple.
Day 03: Paro – Chonana.Altitude: 3500 m Distance: 14 Km, Time: 5-6 hours
The trek will begin today after a visit to nearby villages.
The overnight camp is at Chonana (3,500m), about 14 kilometres from Paro.
Day 04: Chonana – Jebkarpo. Altitude: 3500 m Distance: 16 Km, Time: 6-7 Hrs
We will scale Chelela Pass, which at about 4,000 meters is the highest road point in Bhutan. On a clear day, you can see a stunning view of the Himalayan mountain ranges.
The trek will be through forests filled with Primula, Blue Poppy and Rhododendrons during the flowering season.
Overnight camp at Jebkarpo.
Day 05: Jebkarpo – Milunga
Altitude : 3500 m Distance :16 Km Time: 5-6 Hrs
The trek traverses along trails that offer spectacular views of Mt Jomolhari (revered as the abode of Bhutan’s mountain Goddess, Aum Jomo), Tsering Gang (The Glacier of Long Life) and Jitchu Drakey.
Overnight camp at Milunga.
Day 06: Milungla – Tong
Altitude:3,500m, Distance: 16 Km Time: 6-7Hrs.
Another day with excellent views of mountains and valley, you may spot yaks, an animal that is exclusive to the Himalayan region.
Overnight camp at Tong.
Day 07: Tong – Thimphu
It is the last day of the trek and ends at Drukgyel. It is a descend all the way to Drukgyel.
After lunch at a hotel, you will move to Thimphu. A cultural entertainment will be hosted in the evening.
Dinner and overnight stay in hotel, Thimphu.
Day 08: Thimphu – Wangduephodrang
You will visit the National Memorial Stupa, one of the most beautiful stupas of the Nyingmapa Sect of Buddhism, built in memory of the Father of Modern Bhutan, Third King Jigmi Dorji Wangchuck, in the morning followed by the National Handicrafts Emporium.
In the evening you will visit Tashichhodzong (Fortress), the power centre of Bhutanese government, which houses the King’s office, Throne Room, government ministries and is also the summer residence of the Chief Abbot.
Towards evening, you will be driven to Wangduephodrang over Dochula pass (3,100m)
Dinner and overnight stay at hotel in Wangduephodrang.
Day 09: Wangduephodrang – Punakha – Paro.
We will visit ruins of the 18th century Wangduephodrang Dzong (Fortress), which was razed by a tragic fire in 2012 and then Chhimi lhakhang, the temple of fertility, and associated with Lam Drukpa Kuenley (Divine Madmonk).
The next stop will be Punakha Dzong, the ancient capital of Bhutan, an architectural masterpiece built at the confluence of two rivers, the Pho (Male) and Mo(Female) chus(rivers). The Fortress is very significant to Bhutan and has some of the most sacred ancient relics.
Proceed to Paro and stop for lunch at Dochula Pass cafeteria. From the Pass one can see the Eastern Himalayan Ranges, comprising snow-capped mountains with altitudes ranging from 6000m-7554m. Dochula is also beautified by the 108 stupas built around a mound.
Dinner and overnight stay in a hotel in Paro.
Day 10: Departure from Paro
You will be escorted to the Paro International Airport for your onward flight to your next destination.
Along the ancestral trail – Punakha Winter Trek
Duration: 7 days
Max. Elevation: 3,400m
Highest Camp: 3,360m
Best Seasons: September to May
Start: Dechencholing (Thimphu)
Finish: Zomlingthang (Punakha)
We will be trekking along the ancient walking route from Thimphu to Punakha. You will be taken through scenic landscape, forest and several villages. It is an opportunity to see rural Bhutan
Day 1: Dechencholing – Chamina (Four to five hours, ascent 860m, camp altitude 3,360m).
After a short drive from Thimphu to Pangrizampa, along the banks of the Wangchu river, you will start the trek. It is a leisurely hike traversing through some traditional and beautiful villages. You will reach Shong Pang and then Chamina village, your camp for the night.
Day 2: Chamina – Dopshing Pang (Seven to eight hours).
A fairly harder trek, today you will need to make a gradual ascend until Sinchula (Pass, 3,400m). On a clear day, you can see Phajoding monastery, located just above Thimphu from here. After about another two kilometers walk, you reach another pass, from where Thinleygang village, Talo Monastery and the motor highway towards the ancient capital of Bhutan, Punakha, is visible. Once you cross the pass, the trek is a gradual descend, until the campsite at Dopshing Pang.
Day 3: Dopshing Pang – Chorten Ningpo (eight hours, camp altitude 2,700m).
It is an easy trek that will take you through thick forests, villages and rice fields. Chorten Ningpo is linked to Drukpa Kuenley, popularly known as the “divine madman”. You will be camping right infront of the temple.
Day 4: Chorten Ningpo – Zomlingthang (two to three hours).
Today too, you will be trekking through several villages until you reach a motor road. It takes about two to three hours. From the road, you walk till Punakha following it.
Halt at hotel in Punakha
Day 5: Punakha – Thimphu
You will visit places of historical importance in Thimphu, Bhutan’s capital and in the evening travel to Paro.
Day 6: Paro halt
This day will be completely dedicated to visiting Paro’s gems along with a trek to Taktshang (Tiger’s Lair).
Day 7: Departure from Paro
Our representative will escort you to the airport for your exit out of Bhutan.
Royal Heritage Trek
Location: Jakar and Chumey Geogs, Bumthang, Drakten Geog, Trongsa
Season: April-May and October-November
Duration: 4 days; start at Wangdicholing Palace and end at Kuenga Rabten Palace (or vice versa)
Tourist Profile: healthy / fit; young or old; enjoys moderate hiking/walking combined with sites and stories on history and culture
Apart from Jakar Dzong (Fortress of the White Bird), you will be seeing Wangdichholing palace in Bumthang, Kuenga Rabten palace in Trongsa, once homes to Bhutan’s monarchs. The trek will take you through path used by Bhutan’s Royal Family in the past.
Day 01: Wangdichholing Palace – Domkar Tashichholing Palace.
The trek begins from Wangdichholing Palace (2600m), in Bumthang, with a gradual ascend towards Jakar Dzong, and further to Kikila pass (3948m). You could make a visit to the historical Wangdichholing Palace and Jakar Dzong, depending on time at your disposal.
After about four and a half hours trek from Wangdichholing, you will reach the lunch spot (Seou Zheysa), which was the actual lunch spot used by the Royal family in the past.
The campsite (Makhagthang) on the banks of Duegang Chhu is a three hour downhill walk from Kikila and stands at an elevation of 2908 m. It is just about half a kilometer from Domkhar Tashichholing Palace.
Day 02: Domkar – Jamsapang
The hike begins with the crossing of the Duegang chhu after which the trail is mostly uphill. A climb for about three and a half hours will take you to Dungmai Jab, located at an altitude of 3678m. This will be your lunch spot.
After walking for about two hours uphill from the lunch spot, you will reach Jamsapang, which stands at an elevation of 4019m. Tungli La (pass) is just a few minutes away from the campsite.
Day 03: Jamsapang – Bjobshisa
The day begins with about an hour’s walk, involving a slight ascend towards Tungli La (4039 m). From here, one can feast on the beauty of the snow peaked Black Mountains sandwiched between Bhutan’s southern foothills at the left and the greater Himalayan range at the right.
The trail from Tungli La is a gradual descend and after about two hours, one will reach the lunch point. Another 2 hours brings you to the third campsite, Bjobshisa, a place used by local cattle herders during the summer/monsoon season.
Day 04: Bjobshisa – Kuenga Rabten Palace
Descending all the way, the trail from Bjobshisa to Kuenga Rabten Palace takes about four hours. The palace was the royal winter residence of the Second King and his junior consort and stands at an elevation of 1,774m. At the back of the palace is an ideal camping ground overlooking the valley and Mangdue River.
Duration: Four days
Max. Elevation: 3,380m
Highest Camp: 3,380m
Start: Kabjesa (Thimphu)
You will see the Sinchula pass, have spectacular views of the Himalayan ranges, including those of Phajoding monastery, Thinleygang and other villages. The trek will take you through beautiful paddy fields.
Day 1: Thimphu – Sinchula (4-5 hrs)
Beginning from Kabjesha in Thimphu, the first day of the trek involves a 4-5 hours climb to Sinchula pass, along a trail carpeted by blue pine, oak and rhododendron trees. The night halt will be in a camp at Sinchula, at an altitude of 3380m.
Day 2: Sinchula – Dupsingpang (5-6 hrs)
With a poor trail, the initial part of the trek is rather slow. On a clear day, one can have a stunning view of Phajoding Monastery and some of the Himalayan peaks. Once you walk for an hour, you will see Thinleygang, Talo Monastery and the highway to Thimphu. The camp at Dupsingpang is at an elevation of 2440m.
Day 3: Dupshipang – Chorten Nebu (7-8 hrs)
This part of the trek will have you descending through dense forests for about four hours. A small stream has to be crossed twice after which you will be walking through villages and rice fields for another 3-4 hours, before you reach Chorten Nebu village where there is an old temple. The halt will be there at an altitude of 1810m.
Day 4: Chorten Ningpo – Punakha
The trek involves traversing through several villages until the road point. You will then be driven to Punakha, which is the ancient capital of Bhutan. A visit will be made to Sangchen Dorji Lhendrupchling Nunnery, which is located above Khuruthang town. Night halt will be at Punakha.
Trails of our Ancestors – Wild East Rodungla Trek
Duration: 10 days
Max. Elevation: 4,160m
Highest Camp: 3,680m
Standard: Medium to hard
Best Seasons: October to early November and April to early May
Start: Toktu Zampa (Bumthang)
This is the most important trade route to eastern Bhutan before roads were constructed.
This can be seen as an extension of the Snowman Trek ending in Bumthang. (The combination of this two – Snowman and Rodung La – treks, connects the country from the west (Paro) to the far east (Trashiyangtse).)
You will see spectacular landscapes, peaks, flora and fauna.
Day 1: Jakar – Ngang Lhakhang (Distance 20km, six to seven hours, camp altitude 2,800m)
The route takes you around Chamkhar Chhu, a river rich in trout and to Thangbi Lhakhang, a temple built by the first Karma Shamar in the 13th century. You then enter Ngang Yul, or the ‘Swan Land”, at the center of which is Ngang Lhakhang, the “Swan Temple”.
It is believed that this part of the valley was first inhabitated by swans who gave their name (Ngang) to the place. A lama called Namkha Samdrup, in his dream had a vision of how to build a temple. Not certain about the location, he shot an arrow in the wild and constructed the Ngang Lhakhang at the place where the arrow landed.
Day 2: Ngang Lhakhang – Ugyenchholing (Camp altitude 2,850m)
Start with a gradual climb to Phephe La Pass (3,353m), an exotically stunning trail and one of the most beautiful forested areas of Bhutan. You will want to stopover at several places and take photographs or loose yourselves in the untainted, pollution free air. Your campsite for the night is Ugyen Choling Palace, which houses one of the most interesting museums of Bhutan.
Day 3: Ugyen Choling – Phokphey (Distance 17km, five to six hours, 920m ascent, camp altitude 3,680m)
It is another walk where you can relish at Nature’s beauty embodied in the flora and fauna that will surround you. The walk takes you through bamboos, hemlock and finally up to an alpine forest. The camp is in a meadow at the head of the valley.
Day 4: Phokphey – Pemi (Distance 20km, six to seven hours, 480m ascent, 1,160m descent, camp altitude 2,950m)
After three hours trekking, you reach Rodung La (4,160m), a pass, after which your journey goes down-hill through a gorge, overlooking some of the mountain valleys. Legend has it that ghosts and yetis are sighted in the region. As you approach your camp for the night, you will see a building made of stone in ruins. The structure was a grain storehouse during the times of the first and second kings.
Day 5: Pemi – Khaine Lakhang (Distance 21km, seven to eight hours, 350m ascent, 1,340m descent, camp altitude 2,010m)
The trail will lead you through the villages of Ungaar, Bulay, Kulaypang and Gomda till you reach Drula village and Khaine Lhakhang (temple). The Lhakhang is one of the oldest temples in the country, built in the mid 7th century by the Tibetan Buddhist King Songtshen Gampo, to subdue demons.
Day 6: Khaine Lakhang – Tangmachu (Distance 18km, six to seven hours, 520m ascent, 810m descent, camp altitude 1,720m)
Your trek starts with a short descend to a stream and a climb back to a basic health unit and community school in Gorsam. Further on, you will pass a Tibetan-style Umling Mani, built by a lama from Tibet, and a chorten (stupa) on Zerim La (Pass, 1,940m). Before you reach the next pass, Tage La (1,760m) you will see Menjabi, a beautiful Bhutanese village with large white houses. South-east of Tage La is Tangmachu Higher Secondary School. There are about 400 students in this school. You could either camp near the school or drive to Lhuentse, the capital of Lhuentse district, with its impressive dzong.
Day 7: Tangmachu – Menji (Distance 16km, four to five hours, 690m ascent, 620m descent, camp altitude 1,830m)
If you have camped at Tangmachu, you will be driven to Kuri Zampa, after which the trek will begin. It is a gradual ascend through paddy fields and villages to Chusa.
Day 8: Menji – Pemi (Distance 20km, five to six hours, 620m ascent, camp altitude 2,450m)
The trek is again uphill through thick forests overlooking mountain views. The camp is under forest shelter at an altitude of 2,400m.
Day 9: Pemi – Taupang (Distance 21km, seven to eight hours, 1,450m ascent, 1,450m descent, camp altitude 2,450m)
Today you will be climbing to Dongla, from where you will have a fascinating view of the mountains. From there, you descend through thick evergreen forests till you reach your campsite.
Day 10: Taupang – Trashi Yangtse (Distance 24km, eight to nine hours, 720m descent)
Though the longest trek of the trip, yet it is not difficult as the walk is a gradual downhill trek. You will be walking along forest covered by chir pine and other hardwood trees and the gigantic oaks of the sub tropical forest zone, until you reach Yangtse.
To Waters that Heal : Dhur Hotspring Trek
Duration: 16 days (7 days trek)
Maximum Elevation: 4,700m
Highest camp: 3,400m
Standard: Medium to hard
Best Seasons: March to April & September to November
A nine-day trek which is also the finishing end of the world’s most challenging Snowman Trek, the trek to this blessed hot spring will bring forth glimpses of nature in its pristine forms. You have opportunities to catch a sight of the Musk Deer, Blue Sheep and Himalayan Black Bear.
Other attractions include glimpses of culture, art, architecture, people interaction
Day 01: Arrive at Paro Airport:
The flight will be one you will remember forever, because of the adrenaline rush you will experience at the views of Mount Everest, Kanchenjunga and other famous Himalayan peaks, including the sacred Jomolhari and Mount Jitchu Drake. The landing at Paro, considered one of the most challenging is an enthralling experience.
Our company’s representatives will receive you at the airport. Following a brief stopover in a hotel, your Bhutanese expedition will begin with visits to places of historical importance in Paro. It will be the National Museum of Bhutan, the Majestic Paro Rimpong Dzong and Kyichu temple, one of the oldest temples in Bhutan built by King Songtsen Gyempo of Tibet in 659AD.
Day 02: The Tiger’s Lair Expedition
After an early breakfast, we drive up to the Ramthangka (base camp) of Taktsang and then hike up to the most famous monastery Taktsang, the Tiger’s Lair. We follow an ancient path marked by river powered prayer wheels to the holiest Buddhist Shrine in Bhutan and the ultimate point of pilgrimage. A blend of the spiritual and architectural wonder, the monastery is perched on a 1000m cliff overlooking the valley. Legend has it that the great Indian saint, Guru Padma Sambhava, flew from Tibet to Taktsang on the back of a tigress to tame five demons, who were opposing the spread of Buddhism in Bhutan in 746 A.D.
On the way back, we visit Drugyel Dzong,”Castle of the Victorious Drukpa,” located 16 kilometers from Paro town. In ruins now, this Dzong was built in 1646 to commemorate Bhutan’s victory over the invading Tibetan forces in the 16th and 17th centuries.
Day 03: Paro – Thimphu:
After an early breakfast, we drive to Thimphu and on the way visit Tachogang Lhakhang, associated with the great Bridge Builder Thangton Gyelpo (1385-1464). We then continue driving to Thimphu and check in at a hotel.
We then begin visiting some of Thimphu’s landmarks, such as the Folk Heritage Museum, National Institute for Zorig Chusum, National Institute of Traditional Medicine, Buddha Point/ Kuensel Phodang – where construction of the largest Buddha statue in the country is nearing completion. We can also visit the Memorial Chorten, build in memory of the Third King and Father of Modern Bhutan, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck and Changangkha lhakhang, a 12th century temple, associated with Lama Phajo Drugom Shigpo.
Overnight at hotel.
Day 04: Thimphu – Trongsa:
- After an early breakfast, we drive to Trongsa. After about 45 minutes, we reach Dochula pass (3,100m), from where we get the first spectacular view of the eastern Himalayan ranges, consisting of snow-capped mountains, with heights ranging from 6000m to 7554m. The beauty of the pass is augmented by the spectacular 108 stupas (chortens), build around a mound.
From the pass, it is a gradual descend along outgrowths of rhododendron, short bamboo and other tress to the subtropical valley of Punakha and Wangduephodrang. We continue driving to Trongsa via Pele la pass( 3,150 meters). Upon reaching Trongsa, we check in to a hotel and then visit Trongsa Dzong , built in 1648 and Ta Dzong, formerly a watch tower, which is now a museum.
Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 05: Trongsa – Bumthang
After breakfast, we drive to Jakar (Bumthang) and en-route stop to visit the Yathra factory in Chummy valley. We continue driving to Bumthang and after lunch visit the Jakar Dzong, Jampal Lhakhang, Kurjey Lhakhang and stroll around the town. Overnight at hotel.
Day 06: Bumthang – Lung sum:
We begin the trek, which is a distance of 18 km (about 6 to 7 hours) alt. 3,160 m. After breakfast the vehicle will reach you up to the trek point just below Kurjey Lhakhang, the holy temple that Bumthang is famous for. The trek route takes you along the Chamkhar-Chhu for a short while and follows the stream flowing from Dur village. The trek trail for Bumthang to Gorsum is rather gradual through dense forest of spruce, hemlock, cypress, juniper and maples. The trail is more or less muddy and ascends gradual till you reach to your campsite. Night will be halt in camp.
Day 07 Gorsum – Lungsum
Distance – 12 km, five hours; 40m ascent; camp altitude – 3,160m
From the river the trail enters the jungles and you walk through dense forests of Spruce, Hemlock, Cypress, Juniper and Maple. Towards the latter part of the trail, you will need to ascend gradually till the campsite at Lungsum.
Day 08: Lungsum – Tsochenchen
Distance – 15 km, six to seven hours; 620 m ascent; camp altitude 3,780m
Your trail follows that of the other day until the final lap, wherein the vegetation thins out considerably. The campsite is located above the tree line.
Day 09: Tsochenchen – Dur Tsachu
Distance 18 km, eight to nine hours; 1,340m ascent, 1,530m descent; camp altitude 3,590m
The hardest part of the trek, where you could be pushed to the limits, the trail from Tsochenchen till Juli La which is located 4,700m above the sea level is all up-hill. However, consolation comes in the form of the stunningly beautiful surrounding mountains you can see on a clear day. Once you reach a pass, the trail descends to a lake at 4,220m. This is followed by an ascent to Gokthong La (4,640m). Before reaching the campsite, you will have to navigate through a steep descent. You may come across musk deer, herds of blue sheep and Himalayan Black Bear along the final stretch of the route.
Day 10: Halt at Dur Tsachu.
After a late breakfast, relax in the hot spring or hike to the surrounding areas.
Day 11: Dur Tsachu – Tsochenchen
Distance 18km, eight to nine hours; 1,530m ascent, 1,340m descent; camp altitude 3,780m
We follow the route taken on day 4.
Day 12: Tsochenchen – Lungsum
Distance 15 km, five hours; 620 m descent; camp altitude 3,160m).
We follow the same route taken on day 3.
Day 13: Lungsum – Gorsum
Distance 12 km, four hours; 40m descent; camp altitude 3,120m
From here, the trail will descend gradually and take you through a dense forest of Spruce, Hemlock, Cypress, Juniper and Maple.
Day 14: Gorsum – Dur Village
Distance 18km, six hours; 380m descent
The trail continues to descend gradually till the bridge near Dur village, where you reach the road head. After lunch you can rest at your hotel in Bumthang.
Day 15: Bumthang – Wangduephodrang
After breakfast, we drive to Wangduephodrang, which will take about 7 hours. Lunch will be served at Chendebji, where a beautiful stupa resembling the Boudhanath in Nepal lies. In Wangduephodrang we will visit the ruins of the dzong (Fortress), which was razed to the ground by a tragic fire in 2012. The 17th century structure played a very important role in Bhutan’s history. Night halt will be in a hotel.
Day 16: Wangduephodrang – Thimphu:
After breakfast, we will drive to Punakha, Bhutan’s old capital and still the winter residence of the Chief Abbot (Je Khenpo.) Punakha Dzong (Fortress) epitomises the grandeur of Bhutanese architecture and from far looks like a giant ship perched on a mass of still water. The Dzong is very historic and important as it houses some of the most sacred treasures of Bhutan in the form of religious relics.
En-route to Thimphu, we will visit the 15th century Chhimi Lhakhang, dedicated to the Divine Madmonk, Lam Drukpa Kuenley. The monastery is a place where the Phallus is worshipped and barren couples from around the world visit the temple to receive blessings from the Phallus. We will lunch near the monastery and then head to Thimphu for our night halt.
Day 17: Thimphu – Paro
After breakfast, we will drive around and visit places such as the Folk Heritage Museum, National Institute for Zorig Chusum, National Institute of Traditional Medicine, Nunnery and Bhutanese paper factory. After lunch, we will visit the Trashichhodzong, Bhutan’s seat of polity, which houses the Throne room, King’s office, some government ministries and the summer residence of the Chief Abbot. Later in the evening we drive to Paro and halt the night in a hotel.
Day 18: Departure from Paro
After breakfast, our representative will escort you to the Paro international airport for your journey out of the country.
Gangtey – Gogona – Khotokha Trek
This is a blend of a cultural tour and a trek that will take you to some of Bhutan’s most historical and important places. Apart from the beautiful landscape, flora and fauna, you will reach Gangtey Goempa (temple), the seat of the Peling school of Buddhism. Simultaneously, you can visit Phobjikha valley, where the rare and endangered Black Necked Cranes fly in winter from Tibet and Mongolia. The highlight of this package would be your observation of how development and preservation can co-exist.
Day 01: Arrive at Paro:
You will land at Paro international Airport, after having experienced one of the most thrilling journeys of your lifetime – the flight to Paro, during which you experience a breath taking view of Mount Everest, Kanchenjunga and other famous Himalayan peaks, including the sacred Jomolhari and Mount Jichu Drake. The landing at Paro, considered one of the most challenging is an enthralling experience.
At the airport, you will be received by our company’s representatives. After checking in and a brief stopover in one of the local hotels, you will be taken to see some of the standing treasures of Bhutan Paro houses. Visits to the National Museum of Bhutan and the grand Paro Rimpong Fortress will be the highlight of the morning. After lunch at a local hotel, you will visit Kyichu temple, one of the oldest temples in Bhutan built by King Songtsen Gyempo of Tibet in 659AD. Legend has it that the Buddhist King built 108 temples within a day, Kyichu being one.
Day 02: Paro – Excursion Taktsang
After an early breakfast drive up to Ramthangka (base camp) of Taktsang and begin the hike to Taktsang, the Tiger’s Lair. We follow an ancient path marked by river powered prayer wheels to the holiest Buddhist Shrine in Bhutan and the ultimate point of pilgrimage. A blend of the spiritual and architectural wonder, the monastery is perched on a 1000m cliff overlooking the valley. Legend has it that the great Indian saint, Guru Padma Sambhava, flew from Tibet to Taktsang on the back of a tigress to tame five demons, who were opposing the spread of Buddhism in Bhutan in 746 A.D. Disciples of Guru built the temple, which was later enlarged by Zhabdrung in the 17th century.
After lunch we walk back down and en-route visit ruins of Drukgyel Dzong ”Castle of the Victorious Drukpa,” located 16 kilometers from Paro town. This Dzong was built in 1646 to commemorate Bhutan’s victory over the invading Tibetan forces in the 16th and 17th centuries.
Day 03: Paro – Thimphu
Thimphu has lots to offer and the pick for you will firstly be the Memorial Chorten, one of Bhutan’s most beautiful stupas, built in memory of the Third King, Late His Majesty Jigmi Dorji Wangchuck, known as the Father of Modern Bhutan. A short drive from there will take you to Buddha Point, where the statue of the World’s largest Future Buddha (Maitreya) will be seen.
From there we will move to the Handicraft’s Emporium, Weaving Centre and Changangkha monastery, one built in the 12th century. There will also be visits to the Takin zoo, Sangaygang, which offers a view point of Thimphu valley and a Nunnery.
Lunch will be served at a local restaurant, after which we visit the National Library where ancient manuscripts are preserved and the Wood Craft and Painting school.
In the evening, we will visit Tashichho Dzong, the main secretariat building. This massive structure houses part of the government Ministries, the office of the King and the Throne Room. It also houses the State Monastic Body and the living quarters of the Chief Abbot and the senior monks.
Overnight at hotel.
Day 04. Thimphu – Punakha
We begin our journey to Punakha. After about 45 minutes, we reach Dochula pass (3,100m), from where we get the first spectacular view of the eastern Himalayan ranges, consisting of snow-capped mountains, with heights ranging from 6000m to 7554m. The beauty of the pass is augmented by the spectacular 108 stupas (chortens), build around a mound.
From the pass, it is a gradual descend along outgrowths of rhododendron, short bamboo and other tress to the subtropical valley of Punakha and Wangduephodrang. At Wangdue, we will visit the ruins of Wangduephodrang Dzong (Fortress), which was gutted by a tragic fire in 2012. It was originally build by the Shabdrung in 1638. We then move to Chimey Lhakhang, built in the 15th century and associated with Lam Drukpa Kuenley, the “Divine Madmonk.” It is just an hour walk (back and forth) from the road point. After lunch at the Lhakhang, we move to Punakha.
As we reach Punakha, we can see the Dzong (Fortress), resembling a giant ship bed rocked on a mass of still water from far. Built by the Shabdrung in 1637, it is an architectural icon, located at the confluence of two rivers – the Pho (male) and the Mo (female) chus (rivers). The winter residence of the Chief Abbot and the clergy, it houses most of Bhutan’s sacred relics and treasures.
A visit will also be made to Khamsumyulley Namgyal chorten.
Overnight at a hotel.
Day 05: Punakha – Phobjikha
After breakfast, we begin the 105 km drive to Gangtey via Wangduephodrang. It will take us about 4 hours with the road gradually ascending till Lawala pass (1100 feet). Passing through Nobding village, the vegetation consists of high altitude dwarf bamboo, rhododendrons flowers, Magnolia, fir and pine trees. We will reach Phobjikha valley at 3,000m, in the Black Mountain Ranges. Phobjikha is one of the most beautiful valleys in Bhutan and home to the very rare black necked crane. The birds migrate from Tibet to Bhutan in winter (from October -March). We will be visiting Gangtey Gompa, one of the oldest Nyingmapa monasteries that look like a small Dzong.
Overnight at Farm house or hotel.
Day 06: Gangtey Gompa – Gogona
A moderate trail winds through meadows and fields, then ascends to the Tselela pass through mixed forest of Juniper, bamboo, magnolia and rhododendron. The people of Gogona speak a language called Bjopkha – the language of the nomads. Their life in this isolated valley has kept the tradition, culture and the language still alive. Night halt in camp.
Day 07: Gogona – Khotokha
A gentle climb leads to the Shobjula pass, alt. 11,155ft. From here the descend leads to a wide valley, reminiscent of the big sky and views of mountains all around, Overnight in camp.
Day 08:. Khatokha – Chunzom – Thimphu:
A short ascend leads to the Tashila pass, alt. 9,200ft. Be sure to fill your water shortly after crossing the pass, as the descend is totally dry. Walk down through evergreen vegetation into the drainage of the Dangchu where one will reach the motor able road at Chunzom. Here a vehicle will be waiting to pick you up and head towards Paro.
Overnight stay in hotel.
Day 09. Departure:
After breakfast, you will be driven to Paro international airport for your onward flight. A representative from our company will see you off.