Bhutan - the 'Land of the Thunder Dragon' - a small country sandwiched between Tibet in the north and India in the three sides offers a mesmerizing and unspoilt cultural and natural grandeur. Bhutanese landscape is characterized by rugged terrain and steep mountain valleys from subtropical plains in the south, through temperate zone to the Sub-alpine Himalayas exceeding 7000 meters. Bhutan is predominantly a Buddhist country with Vajrayana Buddhism being Bhutan`s state religion. Hinduism is Bhutan`s second-largest religion mostly followed by the Nepali speaking Bhutanese in the south.
The 10-days Druk Path Trek offers cultural highlights of Bhutan combined with stunning 5-days trek and 3 days cultural tour. Discover Bhutan with one of the finest short treks in Bhutan, the Druk Path, leading from Paro to Thimphu and following the traditional high route between these towns. After an exploration of the Paro Valley, our first day's walk takes us up to the ruined Jele Dzong which sits on a high ridge and commands breath-taking views across to Jumolhari. During the next 4 days of super breaking, we climb above the tree-line and cross several passes, including the Phume La (4210m.).
We make camp beside clear mountain lakes, visit a number of yak herder`s encampments and have splendid views of the peaks on the Bhutan/Tibet border, including Jitchu Drake and Gangkar Puensum. Arriving at Thimphu, we have a full program of sightseeing, at the impressive Tashichhodzong, the traditional summer capital of Bhutan. An excursion to the important dzongs at Punakha completes this unbeatable 10-Day taste of Bhutan.
Druk Path Trekking Itinerary
Day - 1 Arrive Paro International Airport by Druk Air During the journey to Paro, one will experience breath taking view of Mount Everest, Kanchenjunga and other famous Himalayan peaks, including the sacred Jhomolhari and Mount Ji chu Drake in Bhutan. On arrival at Paro International Airport, you will be received by our staff, who will escort you to the Hotel where arrangements have been made for two nights halts.
Day - 2 Paro - Sightseeing Drive to Drugyal Dzong (a ruined fortress - 16 Kms away from the Paro Town). Although now in ruins, this Dzong is of historical importance. It was here that the Bhutanese finally defeated the Tibetans and drove them back. From here too the peak of Jhomolhari "Mountain of the Goddess", alt. 7329 m (24,029ft.) can be viewed on a clear day. On the way back, you visit a typical Bhutanese farmhouse. After lunch, at the hotel, take a leisurely walk to stretch your legs in preparation for the excursion to Takstang viewpoint.
Day - 3 Paro - Excursion to Takstang Spend a full day hiking to Takstang, the Tiger's Nest. This magical monastery clings to a vertical granite cliff 4000 ft. above the valley floor. Legend says that Guru Padmasambhava flew here on the back of a tigress - hence the name - to meditate. The tigress was actually his favourite consort, Yeshe Tsogyel, whom he transformed to a flying tigress for the purpose of this journey. The Guru finished his meditation; he instructed that a monastery be built. The hike to Takstang Monastery takes about 4 hours. Picnic Lunch at the Takstang Cafeteria
Day - 4 Paro - Jele Dzong Distance - approximately 7 Kms. Alt. 2576m. This is a short trekking day. The trek trail is rather gradual till the camp and if the weather is clear, the Paro Valley can be seen with the snow-capped mountains behind the valley.
Day - 5 Jele Dzong - Jangchulakha Distance - 10 Kms. Alt. 2879m. You begin with about an hour and half climb and then ascend gradually up. The trail takes you through thick alpine forest and dwarf rhododendron tress. You may seek yaks and yak herders around your campsite.
Day - 6 Jangchulakha - Jimilangtso(Distance - 11 Kms) The trail follows the ridge and on a clear day the view of the mountains and valley is beautiful. The campsite is close to the Lake Jimilangtso. These lakes are known for their giant sized trout and if lucky you may enjoy a well-prepared lake trout for dinner.
Day - 7 Jimilangtso - Simkota Distance - 11 Km Alt - 3,485 m. The trail takes you through dwarf rhododendron trees and lake of Janetso. You may come across some yak herders' camps where you will have the opportunity to get a glimpse of a nomad's life. The campsite is close to Simkota Lake and if you are lucky, you can do some trout fishing!
Day - 8 Simkota - Phajoding Distance - 10 Km, Altitude - 2,879m. The trek begins with a gradual climb. If the weather permits, you will have a spectacular view of Mount "Gangkhar Punsum", the highest mountain in Bhutan as well other Himalayan mountain ranges from Dochula pass. From this pass, the trek takes you down hill to Phajoding Cafeteria for a nights halt.
Day - 9 Phajoding - Thimpu Distance - 8Km, Altitude - 2,439m The trek to Thimpu is all the way down hill through a forested area of mostly blue pine. The walk, at a leisurely pace, takes about three hours. Back to hotel for a hot shower and delicious lunch. Overnight at hotel.
Day - 10 Thimpu - Sightseeing Visit Tashi Chho Dzong, the main secretariat building where the office of the government ministries, the office of the King and the Throne Room, and the office and living quarters of the monk body and its Chief Abbot are housed. Visit the handicrafts emporium where Bhutanese textiles and other arts are displayed and can be purchased. Visit the painting and woodcraft schools where the traditional art and painting are kept alive. Visit the Memorial Chorten (a huge stupa) built in memory of the third King of Bhutan who reigned the Kingdom from 1952-1972. Visit the National Library where ancient manuscripts are preserved. Visit Simtokha Dzong (6Km from Thimpu), the oldest Dzong in Bhutan, built in 1629 Ad. The Simtokha Dzong houses the largest monastic schools in the country.
Day - 11 Thimpu - Excursion to Punakha/Wangdi A Days' trip to Punakha and Wangdi Valley. Punakha is the former capital of Bhutan (77Km) from Thimpu and Wangdi is 16 Km away from Punakha. The Punakha Dzong houses the winter residence of the monastic body and its Chief Abbot. The massive fortress is situated between two rivers known as "Phochu Mochu" (Male Female River) The drive takes about three hours one way. Evening: Drive back to Thimpu for the night.