Bhutan tour with trekking

Trip information
The 14-Day Cultural Tour in Bhutan takes you to an unforgettable sightseeing cultural tour of Bhutan, also famous as the 'Dragon Kingdom', and the last remaining Mahayana Buddhist Kingdom in the world. Experience why everything revolves around spiritualism and philosophy in Bhutan and why the Bhutanese pride themselves with their own Gross Happiness Index - a unique Bhutanese method of measuring ‘pursuit of happiness’. Bhutanese call themselves 'Drukpa' people, their country Druk Yul or the "land of the thunder dragon" and the country officially follows the Druk School of Buddhism with their own trademark of Mahayana Buddhism, exotic monasteries and lifestyle. Moreover, the country is also home to UNESCO's 10 centers for bio-diversity, all within a distance of 150 kilometers resulting in sub-tropical to Arctic-like climate.

This cultural tour combines Bhutan’s cultural and natural grandeur including cultural tours as well as day hikes to the monasteries. Beginning the tour from the scenic Paro Valley, we also visit Punakha, Bumthang, Wangdue and Thimphu with unique Bhutanese culture and lifestyle. Moreover, enjoy the hike to Taktsang (Tiger's Nest) Monastery - Bhutan's most famous monastery situated at 3120 m/ 10200 ft. Besides the unique Bhutanese culture, you will experience breathtaking view of Mount Everest, Kanchenjunga and other famous Himalayan peaks including the sacred Jumolhari and Mount Jichu Drake in Bhutan.

Day by Day Itinerary

DAY 01: Arrive Paro (2250m / 7382ft)
Day 02: Acclimatization Hike to Tiger’s Nest (3180m/10,430 ft)
Day 03: Paro-Shana (Distance 17 km, Time 5/6 hours) Trek starts
Day 04: Shana- Sio Thangthangkha (3750m/12300 ft):20 km, 7/8 hours
Day 05: Sio Thangthangkha- Jangothang (4,040m/13250 ft)
Day 06: Jangothang –Lingshi (4000m/13120 ft): 7/8 hrs/18 km
Day 07: Lingshi- Shodu (4,100m/13450ft): 8/9 hrs/22km
Day 8:: Shodu-Barshong (3,600m/11810ft): 6/7 hrs/16km
Day 09: Barshong-Dolam Kencho (3,600m/11810ft): 5/6 hrs/15km
Day 10: Dolam Kencho-Dodena-Thimphu (2350m / 7710ft)
Day 11: Thimphu Sightseeing (2320m/7610ft)
Day 12: Thimphu-Punakha (Dis.76km, Time 3 hrs)
Day 13: Punakha-Paro (Dis.116Km, Time 4 hrs)
Day 14: Depart from Paro

Detail Itinerary

DAY 01: Arrive Paro (2250m / 7382ft): Crossing over the Himalaya Mountains, the flight to Paro offers spectacular views of the awesome peaks, including the sacred Jumolhari and Jichu Drake peaks in Bhutan. On arrival you will be greeted by the guide and transferred to the hotel. Later in the afternoon, you can visit shops in Paro town. Overnight hotel in Paro.

Day 02: Acclimatization Hike to Tiger’s Nest (3180m/10,430 ft): After breakfast hike to Taktsang (Tiger's Nest) Monastery, Bhutan's most famous monastery. The hike also gives you acclimatization for the next day’s trek. The 8th century Spiritual Master, Guru Rinpoche is said to have flown on the back of a tigress to meditate in a cave where Taktsang Monastery now stands. It is perched on the edge of a steep cliff, about 900 meters above Paro Valley. Explore the Monastery hike back to Paro. In the evening you can explore Paro Town. Overnight hotel in Paro.

Day 03: Paro-Shana (Distance 17 km, Time 5/6 hours) Trek starts: The trek starts from Drugyal Dzong at 2,580 m with a downhill walk on a wide trail. The trail climbs gently traversing through well-maintained rice terraces and fields of millet. The route later enters an area of apple orchards and forests. Soon the valley widens and you reach the army post of Gunitsawa at 2,810m. This is the last stop before Tibet. At 2,870m, just beyond Shana Zampa, there are several good camping places in meadows surrounded by trees. Camp at an altitude of 2850m.

Day 04: Shana- Sio Thangthangkha (3750m/12300 ft):20 km, 7/8 hours: The trail again follows Pa Chhu (Paro River), ascending and descending through pine, oak and spruce forests. Hot lunch will be served after crossing the bridge towards the left side of the river. After lunch follow the river climbing up through rhododendron forests and finally crossing the bridge again, reaching to the campsite at the altitude of 3,750m.

Day 05: Sio Thangthangkha- Jangothang (4,040m/13250 ft): 19 km, 7/8 hrs: The path ascends for a while till you reach the army camp. Then follow the river above the tree line enjoying the stunning view of surrounding peaks. Hot lunch will be served inside a yak herder’s camp. A short walk into the valley will take you to the camp at Jangothang at an altitude of 4,040m. From here, the view of Mt. Jumolhari and Jichu Drake are superb.

Day 06: Jangothang –Lingshi (4000m/13120 ft): 7/8 hrs/18 km: The trail follows the stream or half an hour and crosses the bridge to the right side. Start the climb up to the first ridge with a breathtaking view of Jumolhari, Jichu Drake and Tshering Gang. Then Walk towards the valley, almost flat for a while, until the climb to the Ngye La pass at an altitude of 4,700m. After the pass, it is a gradual descent to the Lingshi camp, enjoying the panoramic view of the peaks and Lingshi Dzong. Camp at an altitude of 4000m.

Day 07: Lingshi- Shodu (4,100m/13450ft): 8/9 hrs/22km: The Laya Gasa route leaves the Jumolhari trek here. The trek route climbs towards a small white Chorten on a ridge above the camp, then turns south up the deep Mo Chhu valley. The trail stays on the west side of the largely treeless valley, climbing steadily a short distance above Mo Chhu. It then crosses the river, and climbs steeply for two hours to Yeli La pass (4,820m). From the pass, on a clear day, you can see Jumolhari, Gangchen Ta, Tshering Gang and Masang Gang. Descend alongside a stream to a shelter, and then further downstream to a camp at Shodu (4,100m), a meadow with a Chorten.

Day 08:: Shodu-Barshong (3,600m/11810ft): 6/7 hrs/16km: At this place, one comes back to tree line. The path follows Thimphu River, descending through rhododendron, juniper and other alpine forests. The view of the cliff facing rocks and waterfalls is stunning. Hot lunches will be served by the riverside. After lunch the trail gradually ascends to the ruins of riversides. After lunch the trail gradually ascends to the ruins of Barshong Dzong, reaching the camp at an altitude of 3,600m.

Day 09: Barshong-Dolam Kencho (3,600m/11810ft): 5/6 hrs/15km The trail descends gently through a dense forest of rhododendron, birch and conifers, and then drops steeply to meet Thimphu Chhu. It stays on river left, climbing over ridges and descending to side streams. Then traverses steep cliff to Dolam Kencho, a camp among pastureland at 3,600m. Day 10: Dolam Kencho-Dodena-Thimphu (2350m / 7710ft): 3 hrs/8km Trek ends: The trail goes in and out steeply to the river and follows it southward to the road head at Dodena, elevation 2,600m where you will be picked up by Bhutan Travelers transport to drive to Thimphu. In the evening, you can stroll through Thimphu town and absorb the life style of the people. Overnight hotel in Thimphu.

Day 11: Thimphu Sightseeing (2320m/7610ft): After breakfast, we visit Memorial Chorten (built in memory of the third King of Bhutan who reigned from 1952-1972), Changangkha Monastery, Takin reserve, Nunnery temple and Folk Heritage Museum. After relaxing lunch, you will visit traditional paper factory, majestic Tashichhodzong and giant Buddha statue on a hill overlooking Thimphu which is reputed to be the largest Buddha Shakymuni in the world. In the evening, you can stroll through Thimphu city and absorb the lifestyle of the people. Overnight hotel in Thimphu.

Day 12: Thimphu-Punakha (Dis.76km, Time 3 hrs): After breakfast this morning, enjoy the scenic drive to Punakha with a stop for tea at Dochu La (3,100 meters), where on a clear day you can get spectacular views of the Himalayas. From the pass, drive downhill through the forests of rhododendron, fir and hemlock. You will arrive at Punakha after traversing through rice field and along the bank of Punakha River. After lunch, you will visit the Punakha Dzong, which is stunningly situated in between the male and female rivers like an anchored ship. Overnight hotel in Punakha.

Day 13: Punakha-Paro (Dis.116Km, Time 4 hrs): Today, you will return to Paro. On the way, you will stop at Metshina Village and take a 20-minute walk through the rice fields to Chimi Lhakhang, which is a fertility temple dedicated to the Devine Madman or Lama Drukpa Kuenley. If you wish, receive the blessing from the Lama’s wooden phallus! Lunch will be served at Dochula. At Dochula, you can also visit the new Druk Wangyal Monastery, which is the only of its kind in the country, with elaborate paintings depicting the lineage of the present monarchy and their visionary works. Then continue drive to Paro. Overnight hotel in Paro.

Day 14: Depart Paro: Drive to airport for departure. Druk Air generally departs in the early morning to avoid adverse weather conditions. Therefore, after taking breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport in the morning depending on the flight schedule and your destination. Our representative will bid you farewell.

Trip Facts

Activities: Trekking and Hiking, Cultural and Historical Tours

Trip Duration: 14 Days

Altitude:Max: 4,040m

Accommodation: 6 night hotel & 7 night camping (tent) during trekking

Meals: Full Board

Transportation: 4WD car or Hiace