Druk Path trek

14 nights

Day 01:                 Paro
Day 02:                 Paro sightseeing
Day 03:                 Paro – Jili Dzong
Day 04:                 Jili Dzong – Jangchulakha
Day 05:                 Jangchulakha – Jimilang Tsho
Day 06:                 Jimilang Tsho – Simkotra Tsho
Day 07:                 Simkotra Tsho – Phajoding
Day 08:                 Phajodhing – Mothitang – Thimphu
Day 09:                 Thimphu sightseeing
Day 10:                 Thimphu-Punakha
Day 11:                 Punakha-Gangtey

Day 12:                 Gangtey

Day 13:                 Gangtey-Thimphu

Day 14:                 Thimphu-Paro

Day 15:                 Departure

Day 01: Paro                        

A flight to Paro is one of the most spectacular of all mountain flights. One can see Mt. Everest, Kanchen Junga, Makalu and other peaks in Bhutan such as Chomolhari, Jichu Drakey and Tsrim Khang. The first gift from Bhutan will be cool, clean fresh air as you step out of the plane. You will be received by our representative from Vajrayana Tours and Treks and escorted to the hotel.

Afternoon visit to Ta-Dzong built in the 17th century, as watchtower to defend Paro Dzong below. This Ta-Dzong was converted into the National Museum in 1968, and it is filled with antique Thangka paintings, textiles, weapons and armour. Drive to the Rinpung Dzong built in the 17th century to defend the valley against Tibetan invaders. The Dzong is now used as an administration center and school for monks.  Every Dzong has dual system together with the religion section

Overnight Paro valley.

Day 02: Paro sightseeing

In the morning hike up to the Taktsang monastery (Also known as Tiger’s Nest). Choose between a 2 hour round trip hike to the Monastery viewpoint or a longer 3-4 hour and more strenuous hike into the Monastery itself. Enjoy the stunning view of the monastery where Guru Padmasambava landed on the back of a tigress in the 8th century, and meditated here for three months.

If time permits, take a quick visit to Kyichu Lhakhang – one of Bhutan’s oldest and most beautiful temples boasting an orange tree that perpetually bears fruit. In the evening, souvenir shopping in Paro town.

Overnight Paro valley.

Day 03: Paro – Jili Dzong (Distance-seven km, walking time-four to five hours)

The first day is a long day as you have to climb more than 1,000m elevation. You start from the Ta Dzong (National Museum) in Paro. The trek follows a gravel road past a few farms for about 30 minutes and then climbs up a steep ridge before leading through blue pine and fir forests to Damche Gom. Once you reach the ridge below Jili Dzong you descend about 100m to the campsite below Jili Dzong.

Overnight tented campsite at an altitude of 3,480m.

Day 04: Jili Dzong – Jangchulakha (Distance-10 km, walking time-four to five hours)

You begin with a climb for about an hour and a half and then ascend gradually up. The trail takes you through thick alpine forest and dwarf rhododendron tress. You may see yaks and yak herders around your campsite.

Overnight tented campsite at an altitude of 3,770m.

Day 05: Jangchulakha – Jimilang Tsho (Distance-11 km, walking time-four hours).

The trail follows the ridge and on a clear day the view of the mountains and valley are beautiful. The campsite is close to the Jimilang Tsho Lake. The lake is known for its giant sized trout.

Overnight tented campsite at an altitude of 3,870m.

Day 06: Jimilang Tsho – Simkotra Tsho (Distance-11 km, walking time-four hours).

The trail takes you through dwarf rhododendron trees and Janetso Lake. You may come across some yak herder’s camps where you will have the opportunity to get a glimpse of a nomad’s life. The campsite is close to Simkotra Tsho Lake.

Overnight tented campsite at an altitude of 4,110m.

Day 07: Simkotra Tsho – Phajoding (Distance-10 km, walking time-three to four hours).

The trek begins with a gradual climb. If the weather permits, you will have a spectacular view of Mount Gangkar Puensum, the highest mountain in Bhutan and other Himalayan peaks. From this pass, the trek takes you downhill to Phajodhing for a nights halt. The camp is above Phadjoding.

Overnight tented campsite at an altitude of 3,750m.

Day 08: Phajodhing – Mothitang – Thimphu (Distance-four to five km, walking time-three hours).

After passing Phadjoding monastery, the trek to Thimphu (Mothitang) is all the way downhill through a forested area of mostly blue pine. The walk, at a leisurely pace, takes about three hours. On the way back to Thimphu, stop at the Takin reserve to see the Takin (Bhutan’s National Animal).

In the evening, you can simply spend time relaxing at the hotel or enjoy a well earned massage or hot stone bath. Alternatively, you can explore Thimphu town, visit shops and the Handicrafts Emporium, where Bhutanese textiles and other handicrafts are available.

Overnight Thimphu.

Day 09: Thimphu sightseeing

In the morning, you will visit the National Library which has a vast collection of ancient manuscripts and religious artifacts, and see the ancient manuscripts preserved there. Visit the Institute of Art & Painting school where traditional painting and other crafts are still practiced. Visit the Indigenous Hospital where the traditional medicine are made and ancient healing arts are still practiced. Stopover at the General Post Office and purchase the world’s most beautiful postage stamps, collector’s items and postcards at face value.

Visit Tashichho Dzong , the main Government Secretariat building, which houses the government ministries, the Office of His Majesty the King and the Throne Room, and the offices and living quarters of the monk body. Observe traditional paper making from Daphnia and Edgeworthia shrub to the finished product and maybe purchase some beautiful writing sets from the factory.

Overnight Thimphu.

Day 10: Thimphu-Punakha

This morning you will be transferred to Punakha by road. En route pass the Semtokha Dzong built in 1629, the oldest fortress of its kind that guarded the Thimphu valley, and which today it is a Theological university. Continue ascending to Dochu La (3150m pass) to view the 108 Stupas, commissioned by the Queen Mother as a memorial to those who lost their lives during the low intensity conflict in late 2002 when Bhutan evicted Indian rebels camped in the jungle on the Bhutan – Indian border. On a clear day, you will witness a breathtaking view of the eastern Himalayas covered with snow.

Further drive to Punakha and visit Punakha Dzong. The Dzong is located at the convergence of two rivers, the Pho-chu (Male river) & Mo-chu (Female river).

Overnight at the hotel in Punakha.

Day 11: Punakha-Gangtey

After breakfast, you will be taken to visit to the beautiful and legendary Khamsum Yuley Namgyal Monastery built by the Queen Mother. Then, go for a short hike to the famous Devine Madman’s Monastery the Chimi Lhakhang(Temple). The temple is regarded as a sanctum of fertility and most childless couples usually make a visit to this temple to seek the fertility blessings.

After lunch, continue your drive up a winding mountain road through oak and rhododendron forest, and over a high pass down to Gangtey Gompa. It is one of the most beautiful glacial valleys of the Himalayas. In the evening, relax and enjoy a hot stone bath.

Overnight at the hotel or camp under the stars.

Day 12: Gangtey

After breakfast, visit Gangtey Gompa (Monastery), the only Nyingmapa monastery in western Bhutan. Afterwards, we will explore Phobjikha valley, chosen winter home of blacknecked cranes, migrating from the Tibetan plateau. These cranes are very rare and endangered and highly protected by the Government. The cranes circumambulate three times in a clock-wise direction around Gangtey Gompa as a reverence to the monastery before landing and before flying back to Tibet in early spring.

Overnight in Gangtey.

Day 13:Gangtey-Thimphu

Drive back to Thimphu and en route, visit the Wangdi Dzong which is perched on a spur at the confluence of two rivers. The position of the Dzong is remarkable as it completely covers the spur and commands an impressive view both up and down the valley. Wangdue district is famous for its fine bamboo work, stone carvings, and slate which is mined up a valley a few kilometers from the town.

Overnight in Thimphu.

Day 14:Thimphu-Paro

In the morning, we will visit the Memorial Chorten built in 1974 to honor the memory of the Late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk, popularly known as the Father of Modern Bhutan. Afterwards, shop for souvenirs and then drive to Paro.

In the afternoon, visit the ruined fortress of Drugyel Dzong. The name Drugyel means “Victorious”. The Dzong was built in 1649 AD to commemorate the victory over the Tibetan invaders and it formed one of the chains of defensive fortresses against Tibetan invasion. On a clear day, you will have a spectacular view of Mount Jomolhari. In the evening, souvenir shopping in Paro town.

Overnight in Paro.

Day 15: Departure

Representative from Vajrayana tours and travels will see you off at Paro International Airport.