13 Days 12 Nights Druk Path
Day 01: Arrive- Paro (by Druk Air)
Paro – Alt.2, 195m
The flight into Paro on our national carrier, Druk Air is a befitting introduction to the spectacular beauty of our country. In clear weather, magnificent views of the world’s highest peaks give way to the lush green Paro valley as you land. First gift from Bhutan will be the cool, clean fresh air as you step out of the plane. After clearing customs and visa control you will be brief by our guide and transferred to your hotel. Later drive the road head to visit Ta Dzong, (National Museum) built in the 17th century as a watch tower for the Paro Dzong. This Dzong was converted into the National Museum in 1967. Below the museum is the Rinpung Dzong, built in 17th century to defend the valley against Tibetan invaders. The Dzong is now used as an administration centre and school for monks. A short walk below the Dzong takes you across a traditional cantilevered to one of the innumerable archery grounds (Archery is the national sport of Bhutan).Dinner and overnight at hotel..
Day 02: Paro (Tiger Nest)
Tiger Nest- 3,180m
After breakfast drive to Ramthangkha to hike up to Taktsang monastery (Tiger’s nest). Hike up to cafeteria will take around 2 hours. At the view point, enjoy the stunning view of the monastery, where Guru Padmasambhava landed on the back of a tigress in the 8th century. After rest at the cafeteria, it is another 1.5-2 hours to Tiger’s Nest. You can visit temples once you are at Tiger’s nest. After the visit walk back to the café, there you will have lunch, and after lunch walk back to the road point where your car will pick you up and then drive to visit Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest temples in Bhutan built in 7th century. Later in the evening drive a short distance to visit a typical Bhutanese farmhouse and explore the lifestyle of a Bhutanese farmer. Together with the family you’ll eat delicious home-made Bhutanese food. Dinner at Paro Farm-stay and overnight at Metta Resort & Spa.
Day 03:Paro – Jele Dzong
Paro – Jele Dzong (distance – 8 km, time – 3 hours).
The trek is rather gradual up till a fortress in ruins (3,400 m). Campsite for the day is reached after crossing the 3,400m Jele la pass, arriving at Jele Dzong which is mostly in ruins. Dinner and overnight at camp.
Day 04: Jele Dzong – Jangchulakha
Jele Dzong – Jangchulakha, distance – 10 km, time – 3 / 4 hours.
The route climbs through thick alpine forests and rhododendrons to a saddle at 3,590m. Stunning views of Mount. Chomolhari(7,314m) and the surrounding mountains can be seen from the trail. The beautiful Monal pheasant can also be seen during the day. Campsite at 3,780m near yak herders’ camp. Dinner and overnight at camp.
Day 05: Jangchulakha – Jigmelang tsho
Jangchulakha – Jimilang Tsho, distance – 11 km, time – 4 hours.
The trek follows the ridge to a saddle at 4,040m, then drops a bit and follows the ridge back to Jangchu la pass (4,180m). Camp is near Jimilang Tsho (Sand Ox Lake) known for its giant size trout. Also there are good views of Mount. Jichu Drake (6,989m), the peak representing the protective deity of Paro valley. Dinner and overnight at camp.
Day 06: Jigmelang Tsho – Simkotra
Jimilang Tsho – Simkota Tsho, distance – 11 km, time – 4 hours.
The trail traverses through dwarf rhododendron trees and Janetsho Lake and passes by yak herder camps. It is a short climb along the side of the ridge and then a short, steep descent to camp at 4,040m which is near Simkota Tsho. Dinner and overnight at camp.
Day 07: Simkotra – Phajoding
Simkota Tsho – Phajoding, distance – 10 km, time – 3 / 4 hours.
The day begins with a gradual climb to a saddle at 4,180m crossing Phume la pass (4,210m) marked by prayer flags. If weather permits, there are enchanting views of Mount Gangkhar Puensum (7,541m) and other Himalayan peaks here. The trail then descends past Thujidrag Goemba, a meditation centre hanging on the side of a precipitous rock face, continuing further through juniper trees to the campsite near Phajoding Goemba (3,870m), an important pilgrimage site. Dinner and overnight at camp.
Day 08:Phajoding – Motithang – Thimphu
Thimphu – 2,320m
Phajoding – Thimphu, distance – 5 km, time- 3 hours.
Today’s trek is all downhill through forested areas of mostly blue pine. On completion of trek you are pick up and transfer by road to your overnight accommodation. After you are refreshed and take rest for few hours and in the evening visit Tashichhoedzong, seat of the Royal Government of Bhutan and summer residence of the central monk body and the Je Khenpo. Also walk through Thimphu’s main city and visit the Handicraft Emporium, which has all types of Bhutanese products on sale. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
Day 09:Thimphu sightseeing – Punakha
Distance-71km/approx. 02 hrs 30 mins
After breakfast drive to visit National Memorial Chorten with its golden spines shining in the sun, its tinkling bells built in honor of third King of Bhutan, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck and then drive to Buddha point at Kuenselphodrang, which offers a magnificent panoramic view of the valley below and great photograph opportunities. And also visit Simply Bhutan, which is an exclusive project under the simply Bhutan museum Bhutan Youth Development Fund (YDF), built to offer a unique experience to its visitors. Then only depart to Punakha, leaving Thimphu the road climbs steeply through a forest of pine and cedar, festooned with hanging lichen high up near Dochula pass (3,050m). This pass often offers panoramic views of the Himalayan mountain ranges. After stopping for tea and the view, we descend along a series of hairpin bends to the fertile valley of Punakha. Enroute stop to hike around to Chimmi Lhakhang, a temple dedicated to the Devine Madman and where people pray for children and continue to visit Punakha Dzong, the beautiful Bhutanese architecture armed by the Pho Chu (male) and Mo Chu river (female), serving as the religious and administrative center of Bhutan until the mid-1950s, winter residence of the central monk body and the Je Khenpo (chief abbot). After visit drive to visit suspension bridge nearby (longest bridge in Bhutan). After visit walk back to the road point and later drive to your hotel. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
Day 10: Punakha sightseeing
After breakfast we drive towards the north of Punakha valley and hike for 50 minutes to see the Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten – temple built to remove negative forces and promote peace, stability and harmony in the ever changing world. The Chorten dominates the upper Punakha valley with commanding views across the Mo Chu and up towards the mountainous peaks of Gasa and beyond. After visit walk back to the road and drive towards Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Lhakhang (Temple), perched on a ridge amid pine trees and overlooking valleys of Punakha and Wangduephodrang, gleams the magnificent structures. The temple complex also houses a permanent higher learning and meditation centre for nuns where, apart from religious trainings, it provides life skill training such as tailoring, embroidery, statue making and thangka painting. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
Day 11: Punakha – Thimphu – Paro
Distance – 125km/approx. 04 hrs 30 mins
After breakfast drive to Paro via Dochula pass and enroute stop in Thimphu for few possible sightseeing. Upon arrival visit National Institute for Zorig Chusum, this institute, commonly known as ‘the painting school’, operates four- to six-year courses that provide instruction in Bhutan’s 13 traditional arts. Students specialize in painting (furniture, thangkas – painted religious pictures, usually on canvas), woodcarving (masks, statues, bowls), embroidery (hangings, boots, clothes) or statue-making (clay). The craft demonstrations are a photographers’ dream.And also visit National Library which has extensive collection of books. After lunch continue drive to Paro and upon arrival drive to visit Dungtse Lhakhang, an unusual chorten-like temple that was built in 1433 by the iron-bridge builder Thangtong Gyalpo; look for his mural by the entrance. The atmospheric temple was built to subdue a demoness and the pilgrim path winds clockwise up through the temple core, passing some of the finest murals in Bhutan, representing hell, earth and heaven on three floors. It’s essential to bring a good torch. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
Day 12: Paro –Haa (day excursion) – Paro
Haa – Alt. 2670m
Distance- 65 km/approx. 02 hrs
After breakfast drive to Haa valley via Chela pass (3899m). From the pass one can get a good view of the Himalayan Ranges and the valley beyond. After the view continue drive to Haa upon arrival visit Lhakhang Karpo (white temple) and Lhakhang Nakpo (Black temple) if it is open, because sometimes care taker don’t stay there. And also visit Haa Dzong. Later in the evening drive back to Paro. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
Day 13: Paro – Departure (By Druk Air)
After breakfast drive to Paro airport where your representative will help you with the exit formalities and bid you farewell and wish you a happy journey back home
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***Please note that some of the sights/itinerary may change due to season, weather, national holidays, and special events. We maintain the rights to alter the itinerary since tours are made in advance and unforeseen circumstances that mandate change may arise. Itinerary changes are made to improve your overall travel experience in Bhutan. The driving and hiking times mentioned are approximate times and do not include breaks in the journey for sightseeing, photo/tea/meal/rest stops. Due to the ongoing up-gradation of the national highway (east-west), there may be delays in transfer time due to road conditions, road closures, inclement weather and other unforeseen circumstances. During your journey, you will encounter areas of degraded roads, a bumpy ride and road closures – we apologize for the inconveniences. During the treks/hikes, there may be delays or diversion of hiking trails due to trail conditions, inclement weather and other unforeseen circumstances.***