“The Drukpath Trek ”

DThe Drukpath Trek : Trek/Culture

Day 1 

Your flight from Bangkok to Paro will take about 5 hours. On this flight the views of the Everest, Kanchen Junga and other Himalayan peaks, including the sacred Chomolhari and Jichu Drakey in Bhutan are awesome. On arrival in Paro our guide will receive you and check you into your hotel. After lunch we will see the rich history of Bhutan exhibited in the 17th century National Museum. The Paro Dzong, a massive fortress built in the 17th century now houses the monastic body. A tour of this beautiful Dzong will introduce us to the unique aspects of the Bhutanese Buddhism. A lovely stroll downhill from the Dzong over an old cantilever bridge wraps up an eventful first day in this magical kingdom.

Overnight in Paro | Altitude: 2200m

Day 2

Taktsang or the tiger’s nest temple is the most revered temple to the Buddhist. This magical temple clings to a vertical granite cliff 800m above the valley. Legend has it that in the 8th century, Guru Rimpochey, a tantric master flew here on the back of a tigress and meditated in a cave around which the temple is built. A hike to this temple will take up most of our morning. In the afternoon, we will host a special Buddhist prayer ceremony at the beautiful 1200 year old Kyichu Lhakhang Temple, to bring us good luck for the rest of the journey.

Overnight in Paro | Altitude: 2200m

Day 3

Start of the Druk Path Trek
Paro to Jela Dzong 
Distance: 10k
Walking time: 6h
Sleeping altitude: 3000m

The start of the Drukpath Trek is at the historic Ta Dzong, the National Museum. We follow a dirt road until it gives way to our trail in the pine forests. The trail is uphill all the way till Jela Dzong, a temple built as a war fortress in the olden days, overlooking the Paro valley below.

Day 4

Jela Dzong to Jangchublakha 
Distance: 10k
Walking time: 4h
Sleeping altitude: 3200m

Today’s trail looks like the setting of Stephen Spielberg’s Jurassic Park. With ancient firs wrapped in Spanish moss, a dinosaur or a Bhutanese Yeti might actually surprise you around the bend. You may see yak herders around the campsite.

Day 5

Jangchublakha to Jimilangtsho
Distance: 13k
Walking time: 6h
Sleeping altitude: 3300m

The trek today starts off with a climb, overlooking the rolling valleys below. Rhododendrons and other high altitude shrubs decorate the rocky trail which climbs up and down. On a clear day the Chomolhari can be seen. Our camp is at the lake of Jimilangtsho.

Day 6

Jimilangtsho to Labana 
Distance: 15k
Walking time: 7h
Sleeping altitude: 3500m

The trail will take us through dwarf rhododendrons and junipers. We will also pass the lakes of Janatso and Simkotha. The view of the far ridge across the valley which you trekked will fill you with a sense of personal satisfaction and renew you with extra confidence in yourself. Tonight is going to be the coldest of all our camps.

Day 7

Labana to Thimphu 
Distance: 12k
Walking time: 6h
Pass to cross: Pumo La, 4200m

An hours’ climb from the camp will take us over the highest pass on this trek at 4100m. On a clear day we can see the Gangkhar Puensum, the highest peak in Bhutan. Descending from the pass over rocky steps, we will be greeted by the sight of Thimphu far below in the valley. From this point on, it’s all downhill. We will be passing through the temple and meditation center complex of Phajoding. Our transport will meet us just as we start emerging from the forest.

Overnight in Thimphu | Altitude: 2400m

Day 8

Explore Thimphu. Visit the National Memorial Chorten (monument), the Textile Museum, Folk Heritage Museum, Takin zoo, the National Library, the Government Handicrafts and the Handicrafts Emporium.

Overnight in Thimphu | Altitude: 2400m

Day 9

Thimphu to Punakha
Distance: 80k
Driving time: 2 ½h

Drive to Punakha (2 ½ hours) over the Dochu La pass at 3000m. If we are lucky with the weather, we can see the entire Bhutanese Himalayas from this pass; east of Chomolhari to Gangkhar Puensum.

Punakha was the capital of Bhutan until the 1950s. Today, the central monk body moves to Punakha in the winter when it gets too cold in Thimphu. With a climate almost tropical in the summer, the valley is blessed with an abundance of fruits and rice. After lunch we will visit the magnificent Punakha Dzong which without doubt showcases the finest example of Bhutanese arts and crafts. After the Dzong, we will go on a short drive in the lush upper Punakha valley and hike for 45 minutes to the beautiful chorten temple of Khamsum Yuley on a hill.

Overnight in Punakha | Altitude: 1250m

Day 10

Punakha to Paro 
Distance: 140k
Driving time: 4h

Bhutan is a place where people live in magic and mysticism. When a couple cannot have children, they pray for the blessings of the Chimi Lhakhang, the temple of fertility, blessed by the Divine Mad Man, in the 1500s. We will start off our day with a short hike to this temple which will take us through a village surrounded by rice fields.

Lunch at the tea shop at the Dochu La pass, and we will resume our drive to Paro.

Overnight in Paro | Altitude: 2200m

Day 11