Day 1 Arrival / Paro / Thimphu
Welcome to Bhutan! Upon arrival in Paro airport, be greeted and transferred to the capital Thimphu. En route pass by Tamchog Lhakhang iron bridge. After hotel check-in, have lunch at local restaurant. Rest of the day at leisure.
Day 2 Thimphu
After breakfast, have a 45-minute drive towards the north of Thimphu valley and hike to Tango Monastery, which dates back to 16th century and now the national institute for higher studies of meditation and Buddhist Philosophy. After that, have a picnic lunch and continue your hiking to Cheri Monastery. Located about an hour’s drive North of Thimphu, the trek begins from a prayer flag covered bridge and takes about one hour. Tango and Cheri are about a one hour hike apart, and so are usually visited on the same trip.
Day 3 Thimphu – Punakha
On your way to Punakha, stop at Dochula Pass to have a coffee break and admire the grand 108 stupas. If in good weather, take in the enchanting views of Mt. Himalaya. Enroute you can also do a Dochula Natural trail hike (1.5 hours).
Stop at to Lobyesa and continue another 20 minutes’ hiking to Chimi Lhakhang, a temple dedicated to the Devine Madman and now a sacred place where women pray for children.
Day 4 Punakha / Bumthang
Today early morning we depart for central Bhutan through the tropical vegetation to Nobding. Throughout your trip you will come across the beautiful sceneries of rural Bhutan, with scattered settlements far from the road. We drive about an hour towards Pelela pass (11,000ft). Descend through the open meadows and valley of yak herders and several villages via Chendeji Chorten built in a form of Nepalese style in 15th century. Picnic lunch will be served enroute or at the restaurant at Chendebji. We drive for another 2 hours passing through several villages like Tsangkha, Tashicholing. Enroute stop at the viewpoint of Trongsa Dzong. Continue drive to Bumthang.
Day 5 Trekking
Start at Menchugang and visit the biggest village in Bumthang, called Dhur, at an elevation of 2900 meters above sea level. A walk above the village to gain an aeriel view is interesting. Descend down to the river where the traditional water-driven flour mill can be visited. This traditional flour mill used to be a source of livelihood for the people of Dhur village however was abandoned after the intake channel was washed away by a flash flood. The mill process has since been rehabilitated as it symbolizes an authentic Bhutanese tradition. Continue to trek uphill through the blue pine forest and reach the camp at Schonath (3450m) in hemlock and juniper forest. The hooting of owls through the night is quite common, hence the name the Owl Trek.
Day 6 . 5-6 hours Trekking.
Trekking through the virgin forest of huge temperate trees like spruce, hemlock, fir, birch and many species of rhododendron intorduces you to the real wilderness of Bhutan. Bamboo is the main undergrowth of this wild forest and during the months of April and May the rhododendrons are in full bloom. After 2 hours trekking you will arrive at the Drange La Pass (3600m). Ascending the Kitiphu ridge brings you to an altitude of 3870m for the night camp.
Day 7. 4 hours trekking
The magnificent sun rise in the morning is a new experience in Bhutan. Climb down to the monasteries of Zambhalha, Chuedak and Tharpaling which brings you into the religious life of monkhood at these historical Buddhist learning centres. This afternoon, trek along the ridge of Kiki La and finally follow the traditional trek route between Trongsa and Bumthang (the Royal Heritage Trail) and culmonating in a superb view of Jakar Dzong taht will end your three day trek with many unforgettable memories.
Day 8 . Bumthang to Gangtey
This morning, drive to visit Gangtey Goempo, which holds the most scared relics of all monasteries in Bhutan and is famed for its amazing design. If time permits
explore Gangtey valley
Day 9 Monday, 26 March 2018
This morning do a short hiking along the Gangtey Nature Trail (1.5 hrs) down to Khewa Lhakhang. En route visit the Semchubara Village and a square chorten, then drive to Paro.
Day 10 Paro
This morning, hike to visit Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest), be amazed by the view of this sacred temple hanging on the rocky cliff, and take in the beauty of Paro valley. After that, move to the ruins of Drukgyel Dzong, built to commemorate Bhutan’s victory over the Tibetan invaders. If in good weather, you’ll see a great distant view of Mt. Chomolhari..
Day 11 Paro
Drive up to the hiking point for an exhilarating hiking to Kila Goempa (Kila Nunnery), around 2 hrs. Then go through a forest of chir pine trees, fir trees and spruces that offers a chance to overlook the Paro valley and get back to the motorable road for a drive back to Paro.
The evening is at leisure. Enjoy the night of Paro or buy some souvenirs for your friends and family.
Day 12 Paro / Exit