Bhutan Trekking
 
Mountains and Mystics (trek & overlanding) - 12 Days

Season: March to May and September to December
Number of Days: 12 Days
Grade: Moderate (Trek and Overland)

Day 1: Arrival at Paro International Airport:
Fly on Druk Air to Paro. Druk Air is a Bhutan national flag bearer, which has an exclusive right to fly to Bhutan from 6 other sectors. Limited flights allow only restricted number of flyers into this beautiful Himalayan Kingdom, thereby preserving and conserving valuable culture and environment that has remained intact for centuries. On clear days, during this flight, you will experience breathtaking views of the Himalayan Mountains including Mt. Everest, Jichu Drak and Jumolhari in Bhutan. You will land in the beautiful valley of Paro, located at an elevation of 7,400 ft. At Paro International Airport you will be received by representative of Druk Yul Expeditions. White Khaddar or scarf with Buddhist blessings will be presented to you to be carried along your journey. Take a short drive to your hotel and check-in for lunch. After lunch visit the National Museum (Ta-Dzong), earlier a watchtower for the Rinpung Paro Dzong. It was converted into the National Museum in 1968 and stands on a strategic site on the top of hill overlooking the Paro valley. On the way back visit the Paro Rinpung Dzong. A Dzong in Bhutan is a fortress. Today there are about 20 Dzongs around the country, most built during early part of 17th century. Dzongs are the seat of the district administration as well as the home for the monastic school. This huge fortresses are equally shared, keeping in tradition from past. It was from these fortresses that the Bhutanese repelled many Tibetan and Mongol invasions. Walk down further through walled flat stone pavements, and in about 10 minutes, you will pass through beautiful ancient wooden bridge with shingle roofing, with two guardhouses on each entrance. In the evening, we will walk through the small and picturesque Paro town. Enjoy evening meal at a cozy restaurant. Our representative will conduct detailed briefing about the upcoming tour program.

Day 2: Paro (Excursion):
After breakfast visit the National Museum (Ta-Dzong), earlier a watchtower for the Rinpung Paro Dzong. It was converted into the National Museum in 1968 and stands on a strategic site on the top of hill overlooking the Paro valley. On the way back visit the Paro Rinpung Dzong. A Dzong in Bhutan is a fortress. Today there are about 20 Dzongs around the country, most built during early part of 17th century. Dzongs are the seat of the district administration as well as the home for the monastic school. This huge fortresses are equally shared, keeping in tradition from past. It was from these fortresses that the Bhutanese repelled many Tibetan and Mongol invasions. Walk down further through walled flat stone pavements, and in about 10 minutes, you will pass through beautiful ancient wooden bridge with shingle roofing, with two guardhouses on each entrance. In the evening, we will walk through the small and picturesque Paro town. Enjoy lunch at a cozy restaurant. In the evening take a stroll around the town. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 3: Taktsang Hike:
Drive to Ramthongkha and then hike to viewpoint of Taktsang, the Tiger's Nest (one and a half hours). This magical monastery clings to a vertical granite cliff 3,000 ft above the valley floor. The trail is broad and the walk uphill takes you a little more than a 1000ft above the Paro valley. The view of Taktsang monastery built on the cliff is a spectacular sight. It is a great pilgrim site for the Buddhists and also it is one of the most sacred sites in the Himalayan world. Beyond the viewpoint, the path is narrow and steep as it climbs to a point above the temple, from where walkers descend to the building itself. The main deity of Taktsang is Dorje Drolo, the wrathful form of Guru Rinpoche, the precious Teacher, also known as Padmasambhava. The great tantric mystic is said to have flown here on the back of a tiger, a manifestation of his consort, Yeshi Tsogyal, when he brought the teachings of the Buddhist Dharma to Bhutan in the 8th century. The image of Dorje Drolo inside the temple is shown standing on a tiger. There are 13 sacred sites at Taktsang, and several meditation caves in the cliffs above. Here you can meditate awhile before beginning the descent. Nearby there is a teahouse, where you can stop for lunch or a snack. In the evening, visit a farmhouse in Paro. Overnight at hotel in Paro.

Day 4: Paro – Jele Dzong (Altitude - 11,600 ft / 3,536 m | Distance - 10 km):
The trek trail is gradual and if the weather is clear the entire Paro valley can be seen clearly. Overnight camp.

Day 5: Jele Dzong – Jangchulakha (Altitude - 11,900 ft / 3,627 m. | Distance - 10 km):
The trail takes you through thick alpine forests and rhododendron trees. The yaks in winter graze in the pastures around the path and there may be some yaks and yak herders around the campsite. Overnight camp.

Day 6: Jangchulakha- Simkota Lake (Altitude - 12,580 ft / 3,834 m. | Distance - 11 km):
The trail goes through dwarf rhododendron trees and passes by the lake of Janetso. One may come across some yak herders’ camps and get a peek into their simple lives. Camp is close to Simkota Lake.

Day 7: Simkota – Phajoding (Altitude - 11,600 ft /3,536 m. | Distance - 10 km):
The trek begins with a gradual climb and if weather permits one will get a beautiful view of Mount Gangkar Puensum, the highest mountain in Bhutan and other Himalayan peaks from Douapchu La pass. The path gradually descends till Phajoding, where the monastery and the retreat centers for meditation are located. Overnight camp.

Day 8: Phajoding – Thimpu (Altitude - 8,050 ft / 2,454 m. | Distance - 7 - 8 km):
The trail to Thimpu goes downhill through the blue pine forests. It takes about 2 -3 hours to reach Thimphu. Evening at leisure and overnight at the hotel.

Day 9: Thimpu (Excursion):
Today’s sightseeing in Thimpu valley includes visits to: National Memorial Chorten: The building of this landmark was envisaged by the third king, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, as a monument to world peace and prosperity. Completed in 1974 after his untimely death, it is a both a memorial to the late king (‘the father of modern Bhutan’), and a monument to world peace. The painting and statues inside the monument provide a deep insight into Buddhist philosophy; National Library: This holds a vast collection of Buddhist texts and manuscripts, some dating back several hundred years, as well as modern academic books mainly on Himalayan culture and religion. Institute for Zorig Chusum (commonly known as the Painting School): where student undertake a six-year course on the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan. National Institute of Traditional Medicine: where the medicinal herbs, mineral, and animals organs available in abundant in the kingdom are compounded and dispensed by traditional pharmacist and medical practitioners. This indigenous healing method is popular in entire Bhutan. Here you will have exclusive privilege of talking to a renowned traditional healer. Folk Heritage and National Textile Museums: These museums, both of which opened in 2001, provide fascinating insight into Bhutanese material culture and way of life. Handicrafts Emporium: This government-run enterprise displays a wide range of beautifully hand-woven textiles and craft products. It also carries a small collection of books on Bhutan, Buddhism and Himalayan culture.

Day 10 & 11: Thimpu – Paro and Paro Excursion over two days:
Morning drive to Paro with a visit to Ta Dzong which houses the National Museum, the ruins of Drugyel Dzong and the courtyard of Kyichu Lhakhang one of the oldest monasteries in Bhutan - dated 7th century AD. Visit National Museum housed at Paro Ta Dzong (Dzong means Fortress). It was originally built as a watchtower to keep an eye on the invaders planning attack on Paro Rinpung Dzong. Then walk down to Rinpung Dzong meaning 'fortress of the heap of jewels" built in middle of 17th century. Your guide will explain you fascinating story behind the history of Dzong. Like in all Dzong around country, Rinpung Dzong also has two divisions. One part houses monk’s body, while another part has offices of local Dzongkhag or district administration. You will come across large monks’ prayer room, and many small temples dedicated to different Buddhist deities. You will have chance to visit some of the temple, and marvel over wall paintings, and Thangkas. Walk down and pass through old wooden bridge constructed over Paro Chu or river. Lunch at a restaurant in Paro town. After lunch drive to Kyichu Lhakhang, originally built in 7th century to tame a she demon in Himalayan region. This monastery houses Maitreya or coming Buddha, and is one of the most important pilgrim destinations in Western Bhutan. Later in the evening, take a stroll around Paro town.

Day 15: Thimpu - Paro Departure:
All departure formalities will be completed in advance, and assisted by your guide. After an early breakfast at the hotel drive to the Paro Airport to board the flight back home.
Trip ends

Contact our travel consultants now and start planning your holiday!

 

Mailing List