TRIP LENGTH:22 Days
SEASONS: April to June & Mid September to Mid Nov
Day 1: Arrive Paro by Drukair
Receive by our representative and transfer to the hotel. Overnight in Hotel.
Day 2: Paro Sightseeing
Morning: Visit Drukgyal Dzong (ruined fortress - 14 km away from Paro town).
Although in ruins, this Dzong is of great historical importance. It was here that the Bhutanese finally defeated the invading Tibetans and drove them back. From here, the peak of Jumolhari can be seen on a clear day Alt. 7,329m/24,029ft.). On the way back you visit a typical Bhutanese far mhouse. Visit the Rinpung Dzong. This massive fortress is located on a small hill just above the Paro river (Pachu) in the Paro valley. You have to walk about 15 minutes by crossing an ancient wooden bridge built in typical Bhutanese architect. The Dzong houses the District Administration office and the District Monk Body. It was built in 1645 AD. Lunch in the Hotel. After lunch, visit the National Museum (Ta-Dzong). This was actually the Watch Tower of the Paro Rinpung Dzong. It was converted to the National Museum in 1968. Visit Kichu Lhakhang (Lhakhang means Monastery). Kichu Lhakhang was built in 659 AD by the King Songtsen Gampo of Tibet as one of the 108 such Monasteries, which he built in various places to spread Buddhism. It is located between Paro Town and Drukgyal Dzong. It is one of the holiest places in Bhutan as it marks the advent of Buddhism in the country. Overnight in Hotel.
Day 3: Paro-Shana
Trek begins: Drive up to Drukgyal Dzong where the road ends and start the trek by following the river gently uphill through a narrowing valley of paddy fields. You will find plenty of traditional farmhouses in a purely rural setting. The campsite is just beyond an army outpost. Alt. 2800m, Distance - 17 km and time 5-6 hours.
Day 4: Shana-Soe Thangthangkha
Continue uphill through the river valley, which narrows and closes in after some distance. The trail then winds up and down along the drainage. Most of the trail actually is down hill after the initial climb. The campsite is located in a meadow with stone shelter. Alt. Approx. 3400m, distance 15 km, time 4-5 hours.
Day 5: Soe Thangthangkha-Jangothang
Walk up along the Pachu (Paro river), pass a small army outpost where the valley begins to widen again. You can now clearly view the high ridges and the snow-capped mountains all around and also see the yaks and the yak herder’s winter homes. Camp beneath a ruined fortress at the base of the Jumolhari Mountain. Alt. 4040m. , Distance 19 km and time 5-6 hours.
Day 6: Jangothang-Lingshi
Walk up toward the pass through a wide pastureland. Depending on the season you are there, you might find some yak herders in their camping tents along the way. As you come down after the pass to the Lingshi basin, you will see some beautiful views of the Lingshi Dzong, valley, Tserim Kang (mountain) and its descending glaciers at the north end of the valley. Camp in a stone shelter with a built-in fire pit or in the tent. Alt. 4150m. Distance 19 km. Time 5-6 hours.
Day 7: Lingshi-Chebisa
Today is the shortest walking day and you can really take it easy. On reaching the campsite at Chebisa, you can visit the village houses if you feel up to it. Alt. 3850m. Distance 12 km. Time 3-4 hours.
Day 8: Chebisa-Shomuthang
You walk through a wide pastureland towards Gobu-la (pass). On the way, you will see few people herding the yaks. After crossing the Gobu -la (Alt. 4350m) descend down to the valley. The campsite is on a bench above a river, which is a tributary of the Nochu river. Alt. 4260. Distance 17 km. Time 5-6 hours.
Day 9: Shomuthang-Robluthang
As the walk is little strenuous, it is advisable to start little early. After crossing the Jerela (pass) alt. 4600m you come down to Tsharijathang valley where you can normally see herds of Takins. Camp at Tsharijathang. Alt.4390m. Distance 15 km. Time 6-7 hours.
Day 10: Robluthang-Lingmithang
After crossing the Shingela pass, alt. 4900m, you come down and follow the valley. Lingmithang is under the Laya District and you will see people dressed in typical Laya costume with long pointed bamboo hats on their head. Camp at Lingmithang. Alt. 4140m. Distance 19 km. Time 6-7 hours. If you have time, it would be advisable to spend a day here exploring the valley and meeting the people who have a different and unique culture.
Day 11: Lingmithang-Laya
Today, you walk all the way downhill along a narrow winding river valley. The trail leads you to the west side of Laya village. Campsite is on a high flat bench above the Laya village. Alt. 3850m. Distance 10 km. Time 3-4 hours.
Day 12: Laya Halt
Rest and explore the Laya village.
Day 13: Laya-Koena
The trail winds up and down along the river valley avoiding natural obstacles and affording breath-taking views of the crashing river, feeder streams and water falls. Camp. Alt. 3800m. Distance 19 km. Time 6-7 hours.
Day 14: Koena-Gasa
You cross the Babela pass, Alt.3740m, after which the trail is all the way down till you reach the campsite which is close to Gasa Dzong. Alt. 2900m. Distance 17 km. Time 6-7 hours.
Day 15: Gasa-Gasa Tsachu (Hot Spring)
After a late breakfast, trek to Gasa Tsachu. After lunch relax in the hot spring. The Gasa Tsachu is one of the most popular hot springs in Bhutan. Camp at Gasa Tsachu.
Day 16: Gasa Tsachu-Geon Damji
After a short climb, the trail winds through the rolling hills and passes through the pine and oak forests, villages and wheat fields. You will also see a beautiful view of the Gasa Dzong glued to the valley wall seeming to float in space. Camp. Alt. 2280m. Distance 21 km. Time 6-7 hours.
Day17: Geon Damji-Tashithang
The trail descends from the high agricultural benches above the Mochu (Chu means River) into a lush semi-tropical gorge filled with banana trees, creepers and various tropical vegetation. You will also see monkeys and few other animals occasionally. Camp at Tashithang. Alt. 1700m. Distance 17 km. Time 6-7 hours.
Day 18: Tashithang-Puankha
After a short walk to the motor road, drive down to Punakha valley. Stop at Punakha and visit the Punakha Dzong. Punakha was the former capital of Bhutan. The Dzong lies between two rivers known as Phochu and Mochu, which mean " Male River and Female River ". It was built by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1637 AD and is one of the most important and historical Dzongs in Bhutan. In the Dzong are kept the sacred remains of Pema Lingpa and Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. The Dzong now houses the District Administration office and the winter residence of the state Monastic Body and the Chief Abbot. Lunch in Punakha. After lunch, drive to Thimphu . 77 km. Time approx. 3 hours. Overnight in Hotel.
Day 19: Sightseeing in Thimphu
Visit the Memorial Chorten (a huge stupa) built in memory of the third king who reigned the Kingdom from 1952-1972. Visit the National Library where ancient manuscripts are preserved. Visit the Wood Craft and Painting school where traditional arts and crafts are still kept alive. Visit the Handicrafts Emporium where Bhutanese textiles and other arts and crafts are displayed and can be purchased. Visit Simtokha Dzong. This is one of the oldest fortresses in Bhutan. It was built in 1629 AD. 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, living quarters of the Chief Abbot and the senior monks. Overnight in Hotel in Thimphu.
Day 20: Thimphu - Paro
Drive to Dechencholing 6 km from Thimphu town to view the Queen Mother’s Palace from outside. You can take pictures of the Palace and the Dechencholing Monastery from the outside only. Drive back to Thimphu and take a leisurely stroll in the market.
After lunch, drive to Paro which is 65 km and two hours drive from Thimphu. Overnight in Hotel.
Day 21: Paro Excursion to Taktsang
Drive up to Satsam Chorten (10 km from Paro town) and walk up to Taktsang Monastery. The Taktsang means ‘Tiger’s Nest’. The Monastery is perched on a rocky ledge with a sheer drop of nearly 3000 ft. and overlooks the Paro valley and the river. It is said that in the second half of the 8th century, Guru Padmasambhava meditated in the spot where the Monastery is situated. Picnic lunch at the Taktsang cafeteria. The round trip hike takes about 4 hours.
Day 22 Paro Depart
Drive to Paro Airport. Be seen off by our representative.