Day 1: Arrive Paro by Druk Air flight
Arrive Paro International Airport. 7,500 ft. Process visas and be received by your tour representative. Check in at Olathang Hotel. Enjoy Bhutanese style lunch and then we drive to Satsam Chorten and hike to Taktsang Monastery. The name Taktsang means "Tiger's Nest". The monastery is perched on a rocky ledge with a sheer drop of nearly 3,000ft. It is said that in the second half of the 8th century, Guru Padma Sambhava, the second Buddha, alighted here upon the back of a tigress. Picnic lunch at Taktsang cafeteria. The round trip hike takes 3 hrs. In the evening visit a typical village farmhouse. Enjoy authentic Bhutanese food - Drukpa style. Go over Trek itinerary with your guide. Overnight and rest well at your hotel.
Day 2: Strart trekking - Paro to Shana Zampa
Today begins your trek. Excitement mounts as you drive to Meet the team at Drugyel Dzong where the road ends and the trek Begins. Your trek accommodations are of the finest quality. Packhorses will carry all supplies, food and your necessities. Cooks will Prepare for your very large appetite sumptuous meals of hearty Bhutanese varieties. You will look forward to each meal with delight! Optional folklore and singing served with local Bhutanese beverage. Arak anyone? High Altitude tents are of the highest quality. Sleeping Bags will be provided. Please bring trekking poles. Paro Shana is a 5- Hour journey. The trail follows the river through the beautiful meadows And paddy fields of the Paro Chhu valley. The ascent is a gradual climb Along the Paro River through the cultivated valleys and villages. Look Back to view the strategically built Drukgyel Dzong, watchtower over Paro Valley. Pass through the small villages of Chamg and Metshi Zampa. Traversing through rice terraces and fields of millet and blue Pine forest. Bhutan is the least deforested land in the world, with 70% of the country blanketed in virgin blue pine forest. The night's camp is just beyond an army outpost at Shana. This is the last stop before Tibet. Your guide will process all necessary permits at the Gunyetsawa army post. Here are a few shops and a school. You proceed over a wooden cantilever bridge across the Paro Chhu. A climb to the rustic village of Shana Zampa for overnight camp. 9.184ft
Day 3: Shana to Thangthangkha
Shana to Thangthangkha is a about an 8 hour trek. Continuing on a gradual climb alongside the Paro Chhu (Chhu means river in Drukpa) through conifers and rhododendron you'll soon enter Jigme Droji National Park. Lunch served at Sheng Karap. Tremo-la is nearby; a stone paved trail utilized as a trade route from Tibet. We are very near the Tibet and Bhutan border. Here there are two paths…one would take you to Tibet, we will not take this path. We take our path to cross over a wooden bridge and continue our climb over a set of switchbacks and cross the river again. Ups and downs, with more ups, will bring us over our last bridge of the day. The terrain can be challenging! You will be looking for a white chorten and a lovely meadow. Here you will see Jumolhari, The Goddess Peak! The white peaks at 24,000ft beacon to you. Night halt. 11,200 ft
Day 4: Thangthangkha to Jangothang
Thangthangkha to Jangothang is a 8-hour trek starting at Pa Chhu. Your climb today gains elevation and you will be comfortably worn out at day's end. You are now entering "yak" country. Yaks are utilized for pack animals as well as supply cheese, milk, tea, meat and Yak hair for weaving of huts, blankets, clothes, backpacks and hats. Burley and huge, the yak plays an important role in Bhutan history, yesterday and today. Remote villages are dotted throughout this area. A stone and log bridge provides access to Jangothang. Winters here long. Unparalleled views of snow peak mountain form the eastern side of the valley. You are in the most spectacular camp spot in the entire Himalayan range. You are truly in the High Himalayas! Camp beneath a ruined fortress at the base of Mt. Jumolhari at 13,500 ft.
Day 5: Jangothang Halt/Exloration of Jumolhari Mountain
Rise early this morning to view Jumolhari Mountain. Today is for exploration and relax and acclimate. Choose from several day hikes for unsurpassed views of Jichu Drake at 28,000 ft and surrounding unclimbed peaks in the east. Day hike to Tshophu, a high altitude lake at 14,500ft is an alternative, as well as an outing toward the glacier at the foot of Jumolhari Mountain.. Overnight halt in camp. Bask in the shadow of the Goddess.
Day 6: Jangothang to Lingshi - 7 to 8 hours
Jangothang to Lingshi is about a 7 to 8 hour journey through wide yak pastures and 2 high passes, as we trek into isolation. As you come down into the Lingshi basin, you get a wonderful view of Lingshi Dzong, We will visit the dzong. Tserim Kang, at 22,267 ft and its glaciers rise up at the north end of the valley. Watch for blue sheep and musk deer as you trek in the afternoon shadow of the High Himalayas. Night halt is a choice between a stone hut and the tent. 14,400ft
Day 7: Lingshi Dzong to Chebisa
Visit Lingshi Dzong, an impressive 14th century fortress utilized today by monks. High on a mountaintop its beauty entices you as you climb to her courtyard, amongst herds of yaks grazing nearby. Stop enroute in Lingshi Village to mail a post card from the remote High Himalayan village. Continue on for a 5-6 hour hike toward our campsite for the night, Chebisa. Along our way far to the north you can see Jhari La and the razor edged hills you will cross to reach Laya. We will be seeing many medicinal plants and pass thru Goyul Village and visit with locals. Another day in Shangri-la! Overnight Chebisa.
Day 8: Chebisa to Shomuthang 15,000ft
Today we are challenged to a very steep climb and rewards are many on our 6 to 7 hour trek. We will pass through thick forest of rhododendrons and alpine flowers, perhaps even see the Blue Poppy, Bhutans' National Flower. Kang Bum snow peak is visible here and soon to show its majesty as well are Gangchhenta and Tserim Kang. Our camp tonight is by the river named Tsheri Jathang,; the valley here is a Tarkin sanctaury. Overnight campsite Shomuthang 15,000ft
Day 9: Shomuthang - Jhari La pass - trek to Robuthang
Today again up a steep grade we cross over Jhari La Pass, 15,570ft. Descending to Sharijathang there may be sightings of Tarkin here, Bhutans' national animal. A one of a kind huge beast resembling a cow, moose and goat, sighting a tarkin in the wild is a real treat. and photo opportunity. Watch for Himalayan Griffons, Blue Sheep traversing the mountainside, high altitude plants, and glorious large yaks grazing. We camp at Robuthang tonight after our 6 to 7 hour trek.
Day 10: Trek to Lingmithang Valley
Today we will cross our highest pass on our trek, the Shinglela Pass 16,100ft. Our journey will entail 6 to 7 hours today. We are approaching Lingmithang Valley and the home of the Layap people. We may begin to encounter the Laya yak herder ladies at anytime now. You will recognize them from their unusual coinical pointed bamboo hats and their dress made of yak hair. They speak their own dialect. They perhaps will wish to offer us yak dried cheese or tea. The cheese can be quite good if soft! Overnight Lingmithang Valley
Day 11: Laya Village
Depart Lingmithang onward towards Laya. Mount Gangcheyta is now in our clear view. We trek today to finally rest at Laya Village, the 2nd highest village in all of Bhutan. Tonight we will enjoy adance performed by the local Layas and Bhutanese home made drinks. You perhaps will dance too!
Day 12: Laya
Today we will rest here, enjoy conversations with locals, explore Himalayan remote wilderness. Your expert guide will assist you in outings. Overnight Laya.
Day 13: Koena
Being well rested we say good bye,"legzhembe joen" and "kadinchhey" thank you. We descend toward the army camp by the Mo Chhu River (Mother River). Views of crashing rivers, feeder streams and waterfalls surround us. Our camp tonight is at Koena.
Day 14: Gasa
We now continue on for a day of 6 to 7 hours to reach Gasa tonight. We will cross over another pass today, Balela pass at 12,300ft. Our trek today takes us through bamboo forest. We will see chortens and then get our first glimpse of the Gasa Dzong. Here at Gasa Village is a hospital, police station, school and a few shops. We camp here tonight close to the medieval dzong. Gasa Dzong was built in the 17th century by the 1st religious king, Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to protect Bhutan from Tibetan invaders. Sleep in the shadow of the past.
Day 15: Visit Gasa Dzong
Visit Gasa Dzong and village and downwards to our spa in the sky, the Gasa Hot Springs!. You are refreshed as you soak in the mineral tubs. A small village is here and pristine mountain rivers rush by below. Ahhh Bhutan! relax in the Land of the Thunder Dragon.
Day 16: Rest and Relax Day.
Explore yurself and enjoy the hot springs
Day 17: Gasa to Damji
Today we leave early as we have a steep rocky climb ahead. Today we trek for 5 hours, visiting villages and a stop at a farmhouse to view Buddhist altar and relics. Along our way we see water prayer wheels, and greet the locals, "kuzo zangpo la" Hello. They will smile and be pleased. The scenery is changing rapidly now. We are on a high agricultural bench above the Mo Chhu, a lush semi-tropical gorge filled with banana trees, creepers and various tropical flowers and vegatation. Wild orchids, rhodendendrums and poinsettas grow wild here. We may encounter monkeys. Our overnight halt is at Damji.
Day 18: Our final day-end trekking at Tashithang
We end our trekking at Tashithang where our van and driver awaits to drive us. We drive to Wangduephodrang and will overnight at Dragons Nest Resort. Here will we enjoy a hot bath, wonderful balcony views of the quaint village and river,. Enjoy dinner and sleep well. Tonight you could awake to the strange and haunting howl of the jackel, they are in this area.
Day 19: Visit Wangduephodrang - Punakha Dzong - Thimpu
Today after breakfast we visit Wangduephodrang Dzong courtyard. You will have already seen the dzong from your room at Dragons Nest. The architectural wonder is located high on a hill overlooking the river. It is extremely beautiful and impressive and strategically located. We now drive to Punakha to view the Punakha Dzong, the second dzong to be built in Bhutan, 1637. Here the winter residence of the Chief Abbot and Central monk body resides. Punakha dzong is most beautiful and impressive. Lunch along the route on our return west to Thimphu. Overnight Yeezdin Hotel
Day 20: Sightseeing in Thimphu
In the morning we tour the exceptional Textile Museum, featuring masterpieces from the Royal Family of Bhutan and splendid fabric and exquisite Thangkas. A visit to a local bookshop or the post office for collector item Bhutanese stamps, exotic, beautiful and a wonderful gift. Your guide will be more than happy to assist you in your shopping interest, or particular desires. After lunch we attend the famous week - end Thimphu marketplace. Fresh produce, rice, chilies, jewelry, local art, handicrafts and enchanting local shoppers. Photo opportunities are abundant here (make sure to ask permission), as well as wonderful organic produce, and Bhutanese handicrafts, textiles, and art. Evening reception Soenams house, your host in Bhutan.
Day 21: Thimphu -drive to Paro
Breakfast and depart for Paro. Arrive hotel, check in and lunch. We then depart for a visit to the National Museum (Ta-Dzong), a most interesting and unique conch shaped museum. Once the watchtower for the Rinpung Dzong, it was converted into the National Museum in 1968. The museum stands on a promontory overlooking the Paro valley in all its glory. Stroll the village and enjoy farewell dinner with friends.
Day 22: Final Departure to your destination
Our Bhutan representative will drop to to airport and you will fly your final destination.
I t is also possible to combine a tour with a trek. E-mail or fax us for detailed itineraries, costs or other pre-departure information.
Planning trips and booking procedure: email us!