Days: 12 / Difficulty: 2 of 5 (Moderate)
Cultural Tour with Druk Path Trek 12 Day.
Cultural Tour with Druk Path Trek.
Your itinerary starts on arrival in Paro where you will have a day for sightseeing in the valley and then you can take the hike to the famous Tiger's Nest monastery as acclimatization for your trek — always the highlight of any trip to Bhutan! Your trek is called Druk Path trek which takes you over four days from Paro over mountain passes and high lakes and past a remote monastery, to the capital, Thimphu, with its many interesting museums and temples. You will have a full day to explore the sights of the capital and then next day you head east over the Dochu La pass (where you should get some stunning views of the Himalayan range) to Punakha where you can visit the magnificent Punakha Dzong and take a short walk to a fascinating temple of fertility before you return to Paro
Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu and meet our staff/crew at the airport and transfer to Hotel.
Welcome drink and briefing about Bhutan trip, equipment check and relax in Hotel.
DAY 2: Arrive at Paro International Airport from Kathmandu.
Paro is situated in a beautiful valley at 2280 metres and is a fitting introduction to this charming kingdom. Your guide will meet you and take you to your hotel. There should be time for a quick stroll around Paro town before lunch. In the afternoon you can visit the impressive Paro Rinpung Dzong, one of the finest examples of Bhutanese architecture. You can also visit the National Museum. This was previously housed in the Ta Dzong (watch tower) built on top of the hill above Rinpung Dzong to defend Rinpung Dzong and the Paro valley during times of war, in an unusual circular construction resembling a conch shell. Unfortunately, an earthquake in September 2011 damaged the Ta Dzong and the contents of the museum were moved to a neighboring building. You can still see a magnificent collection of Bhutanese artifacts — costumes, religious paintings, arms, textiles and a fascinating collection of Bhutan stamps. The National Museum is due to reopen in the Ta Dzong in 2015. Overnight in Paro
DAY 3: Take a day walk to the ‘Tiger's Nest’,
The sacred Taktshang monastery which clings to the rock face 900 metres above the valley floor. Guru Rinpoche is said to have flown to the site riding on a tigress. He subsequently meditated here for three months. It is one of Bhutan’s most holy sites and draws pilgrims not only from Bhutan but also from neighboring Buddhist countries. You can have lunch at the Taktshang cafeteria from where you get a spectacular view of the monastery. On the way back you can visit Dumtse Lhakhang, a temple built by Thangtong Gyalpo, the iron bridge builder. This evening you can sort out your luggage for the trek. Anything you don’t need to carry with you will be driven safely to Thimphu to await your arrival. Overnight in Paro
DAY 4: DRUK PATH TREK DAY 1. Paro to Jangchulakha via Jili Dzong. 7 hours walk.
The first day of the trek is a long climb; the trek follows the gravel road passing through the village. The wide trail climbs through blue pine and fir forest to a mani wall. It is then a long, but not steep, climb through forests to a camping place in a large pasture just below Jili La, marked by a cairn at 3560m. We will walk on to a second campsite, around 3 hours away from Jili Dzong. Jangchulakha is a pasture for yaks and you will camp here at 3760m. (20 km)Overnight in Camp.
DAY 5: TREK DAY 2. Jangchulakha to Jimilang Tsho.
4 hours walk. Today you climb gradually upwards through juniper forest for around an hour and then you will follow the ridge, making many ascents and descents, from where you can also catch a magnificent view of Mount Jomolhari. Eventually you will make a last steep ascent through large rocks and dwarf rhododendrons to Jimilang Tsho, an isolated lake at 3870m. There is a pleasant camping place here at the far end of the lake. (15 km)Overnight in Camp
DAY 6: TREK DAY 3. Jimilang Tsho to Semkotha.
4 hours walk. Today is a tough day of ascents and descents, but you will be rewarded with several mountain views if the day is clear. Climbing from the lower end of the lake to a ridge at 4010m, you descend again and then climb to crest at 4050m overlooking Janye Tsho. You drop down to the lake, then climb to a ridge at 4150m and descend to some stone ruins overlooking Semkotha Tsho. Camp by the Semkotha Lake at an altitude of around 3834 m. (11 km)Overnight in Camp
DAY 7: TREK DAY 4. Semkotha to Thimphu.
The day begins with a gradual climb. If weather permits there will be a beautiful view of Mount Gangkhar Puensum, Bhutan’s highest mountain, as well as of further peaks from the Doupchu La Pass. The path gradually descends to Phajoding Gompa, where a monastery and retreat centres for meditation are located. From there you continue your final descent for a couple more hours through blue pine forest, emerging just above Thimphu town where you will be met by your driver and taken to your hotel. (15 km)Overnight in Camp
DAY 8: Thimphu sightseeing.
We will visit the weekly market, the revered Memorial Chorten, the National Library and the School of Traditional Arts. You could visit Changangkha temple, perched on the hilltop overlooking the town. Devotees flock throughout the day to circumambulate and turn the prayer wheels. The temple also contains beautiful wall paintings and hundreds of religious scriptures written in gold. In the afternoon you can take in more of the sights and culture of the capital, with the option of a trip to Simtokha Dzong (one of the oldest fortresses in Bhutan, dating from 1629 AD). If you prefer to stay closer to town you could drive up to the Radio Tower (offering splendid views of the city from a hilltop festooned with prayer flags), visit the Takin Reserve showcasing the unique national animal, the Takin, browse the striking collection of intricate textiles at the National Textile Museum or visit the Folk Heritage Museum. If you would like to view or buy Bhutanese handicrafts you may like to visit the new market opposite Taj Tashi hotel which has an array of stalls run by local handicraft shops selling purely home made articles with no imports. Tell your guide what takes your interest.Overnight in Thimphu
DAY 9: Thimphu to Punakha.
In the morning drive approximately 3 hours to the old capital, Punakha, via Dochu La pass at 3050 metres, where we will stop for a hot drink and enjoy spectacular panoramic views of the Eastern Himalaya ranges. You will notice the change of climate and vegetation as we approach low-lying Punakha at 1250 metres. Take a pleasant walk for an hour or so across terraced fields to Chimi Lhakhang (Temple of Fertility) built in the 15th century by the ‘Divine Madman’ (Lama Drukpa Kuenley). In the afternoon visit the imposing Punakha Dzong, “Palace of Great Happiness”. Built in 1637, it is strategically placed at the confluence of two rivers, the Po Chu and the Mo Chu. Overnight in Punakha.
DAY 10: Today we return to Paro, a drive of approximately 4 hours.
In the afternoon there will be time to visit some handicraft shops to purchase some souvenirs of your trip and if it is a Sunday you can also visit the weekly market. At the weekends you may be able to stop to see an archery match in Paro archery ground. If you would be interested to you can visit a local farmhouse and take tea with the farmer and his family allowing you to experience traditional Bhutanese village life. Take the opportunity to try the restorative properties of a hot stone bath laid on for you by your hosts at Blue Poppy’s request!Overnight in Paro
DAY 11: Early in the morning your guide will accompany you to the airport to see you off onto your flight and wish you Tashi Delek (goodbye and good luck).
DAY 12: Final Departure:
Today, our Airport representative will take you to the Tribhuwan International Airport (TIA) Kathmandu for your final departure.
Our Tour Package Cost includes;
* Airport/Hotel/Airport pick up and transfer by private car/van.
* 2 nights accommodation in twin bed sharing basis with breakfast at standard hotel in Kathmandu.
* Guide - guide throughout the tour from arrival to departure.
* Sightseeing - all sightseeing and entrance fees including any festival visits.
* Transport - meet on arrival, airport transfers on arrival and departure and all overland transport within Bhutan.
* Accommodation - accommodation in standard hotels.
* Food - full board throughout the trip in Bhutan
* Office Service charge.
* All Government Tax.
Our Tour Package Cost doesn't include;
* Any meals in Kathmandu other than breakfast.
* Travel insurance (if you want us to arrange your travel insurance, we would greatly be happy to assist).
* International air fare to and from Nepal
and to and from Bhutan.
Tourist Visa fee.
* Visa Fee and Fees for Tourism development Fund (USD 50)
* Items and expenses of personal nature.
* Any kind of alcoholic drinks, cold drinks, laundry, phone call, internet.
* Personal Trekking Equipments like sleeping bags, jackets (can all be hired in KTM)
* Emergency Evacuation (Helicopter Rescue).
* Any costs which arise due to a change of the itinerary, because of landslides, political disturbance, and strikes etc.
* Any other costs whatsoever, that is not mentioned in the cost included.
* Tips for guide, porters, driver...
Tipping is expected but it is not mandatory.
Customize Your Bhutan Tour: This is a general itinerary, which can always individually be “tailormade”. The trek package can be redesigned or redeveloped as per your taste, For more information please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: In case of emergency during the trip, Helicopter will be arranged by Swiss Family Treks & Expedition (P) Ltd. The charges must be paid by the clients themselves.