Day 01: Arrival Paro – Transfer to Thimphu
After your arrival at the airport, our local tour executive will be standing outside of the gate to welcome you. Meeting with your guide and after a short introduction your first glimpses of daily life in Bhutan begins by road as you proceed to the capital – Thimphu(7700ft/2350m), driving through traditional settlements and terraces of rice fields. Arriving at your hotel and after short refreshment, you will be taken for your day sightseeing program in the surrounding Thimphu valley. The capital city has many things to offer starting with a gentle valley walking to a visit to many temples and monasteries dotted throughout. Your day program begins with a visit to Semtokha Dzong which is the first dzong built by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel in 1629 located on a lofty ridge. Turning back from Semtokha Dzong visit the newly built golden Buddha Statue and the spot offers impressive views of the valley below. The National Memorial Chorten is your next stop, this beautiful stupa in the centre of the town was built in the year 1974 by the mother of the third king of Bhutan in memory of her son the third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk. If you are here in Thimphu for the weekend, try visiting the open market with its vast array of fresh local products and handicraft items. Your last stop for the day – Trashichoe Dzong, which can be visited only after five in the evening or during daytime on Saturday and Sunday.
Day 02: Thimphu – Phobjikha Valley
Today, the fascinating drive takes you through interlocked valleys and mountain passes are the time beauty of your journey. We suggest you to make an early start since, on a clear day, the panoramic view of the scenic eastern Himalayan range from Dochu-La Pass (10150ft/3100m) is possible one of the best in the country. To reach to the top it takes only 22 Km and can be negotiable within forty-five minutes. Once reaching the pass the top is unlike that of any other pass you will encounter here adorned with multipl colorful prayer flags, striking one hundred and eight stupa with beautifully located Druk Wangyel Lhakhang temple atop the parking lot. Beside this in an amazing setting, you will be able to spot the Himalayan high peaks like - Mt. Masagang(235012ft/7165m), Tsendengang(23288ft/7100m), Mt. Terigang(23944ft/7300m), Zongaphunggang ”Table Mountain”(23288ft/7100m), Mt. Gangkar Puensum the highest unclimbed peak in the world towering at (24735ft/7541m) and many more like Jejegangphu(23288ft/7100m). From this lofty pass it is downhill drive till you reached Wangdue lies at an altitude of (4400ft/1345m). From Wangdue your drive takes you uphill through mixed forest, scattered settlement with many twist and turn the dreiv take you up to an altitude of 11000ft/3354m away from the steeped history and architectural splendor to savor yourself in an enchanting pristine natural beauty of this land. As you descent downhill from the Lawala Pass(10800ft/3293m) you will then gradually descent into the lush green glacier Phobjikha valley known for the migratory endangered Black-Necked Crane that makes it their winter home. This endangered species arrives for their winter home from Tibet in the month of October and live to Tibet in the mid-March. Evening at leisure.
Day 03: Phobjikha Valley – Bumthang
Your drive takes you cross the Black Mountain via scenic Pele-La Pass (11070ft/3375m) which is marked by small stupa and prayer flags. We suggest you taking an early start because the drive is a bit long. The valley enriched with scenic unspoiled natural beauty and the landscape changes to high altitude bamboo, barren mountainsides and bright yellow fields of mustard crops. It is one of the incredibly spectacular and dramatic drive and through alpine forest and rhododendron forest. Arriving Trongsa (6800ft/2070m) visit the Trongsa Dzong, which is possibly the most impressive fortress in the country located on the hilltop ridge below the main town. Notably the structure is aesthetically designed and its clean lines boast a superb sense of proportion and space while finely carved woodwork and elegant paintings suitably embellish it. Visit the main shrine statically located at the southern end of the dzong and was built in the mid-sixteen century. After completion, push off to Bumthang, the heavenly wide-open valley of Bumthaps crossing Yotong-La Pass (11000ft/3354m) and Keki-La Pass (9300ft/2835m) and finally you will arrive at your destination Jakar valley at a cool temperature of 8450ft/2576m.
Day 04: Bumthang Sightseeing
Bumthang is notably define as the Switzerland of Bhutan and lies at an altitude between 2600m-4000m. This fascinating valley is the heartland of Bhutan and home to some of the oldest Buddhist temple and monasteries. The countryside offers unparallel historical and cultural diversity holding majority of national heritages since from time immemorial. Your sightseeing in Bumthang includes a morning visit to the Jakar Dzong located on the hilltop overlooking the valley below. This giant fortress of Jakar was initially built as monastery in 1549 by great grandfather of Zhabdrung and today it is the main administrative center of Bumthang. A eleven kilometer drive from the main town take you to the well known Mebar Tsho (mythical burning lake)one of the site founded by Terton Pema Lingpa in the fifteen century which later became the great pilgrimage sites of Bhutan. Legend says Terton Pema Lingpa revealed many treasures hidden by Guru Rinpoche from the flowing lake. Turning back visit Kencho Sum Lhakhang which is believed to date back to eight century and was later restored by Terton Pema Lingpa in the fifteen century and then Tamshing Lhakhang founded in 1501 by Terton Pema Lingpa who was personally involved in its construction. At your completion make a short hike, that reaches you to Kurje Lhakhang notably the most holy and pilgrimage sites in Bhutan. It was just located above Jambay Lhakhang, dedicated to Saint Guru Rinpoche who was supposed to have meditated here in the eight century, and left his body imprint. Just after few minute drives from Kurje Lhakhang your last stop of the day, the Jambay Lhakhang which supposedly constructed on the same date as Kychu Lhakhang in Paro, by the Tibetan king Songtsen Gyampo in the year seventh century. After Jambay Lhakhang you will be transferred to your hotel for leisure.
Day 05: Menchugang – Dhur Village
This beautiful trek begins from Menchugang and takes you all the way to Dhur Village, which lies at an altitude of 2900m, and it is one of the biggest villages in Bumthang comprising around seventy-five households. This single village has a inhabitance of three different type of people group like – Nomadic Kheps ( tax payers) with raising cattle and farmland, Brokpas( Nomade) having Yaks and the third party is the group that came out of the two. The inhabitance of this village also has two different kind of languages/dialect like – Bumthang Kha and the Brokee language, which is spoken by the nomads. As you journey continues you will pass by the scenic landscape as you walk through the ridge and finally drops downhill to the river where a traditional water mill which used to be the source of the livelihood of the people of Dhur village in the olden days. From here the trek takes you uphill through lush blue pine forest and finally reached your campsite in Dhur village of Schonath(3450m), surrounded by hemlock and juniper forest. The silent night here in this campsite provides a hooting sound of Owls, which is common in this site.
Day 06: Dhur Village - Drangela Pass
Today your trail takes you through the virgin nature of huge temperate forest like hemlock, fir, spruce, bamboo, birch and many species of rhododendron trees that will be in its full bloom in the month of April to May. This beautiful journey introduces you with a real wilderness of Bhutan. As your trail push further and after two hours of walking you will arrive at an altitude of 3600m – the Drange-La pass and ascending further to the ridge of Kitiphu, which lies at an altitude 3870m is your second day campsite with a refreshing panoramic view of the high Himalayan snowcapped peaks like – Mt. Gangkar Puensum towering at an altitude of 24735ft/7541m and other permanent peaks. The top also offers a scenic view of the valley below.
Day 07: Drangela Pass – Tharpaling Goempa
At your early rise with the magnificent sunrise the reveal of the majestic Mt. Gangkar Puensum 24735ft/7541m and other Himalayan peaks rise bathing in the down light provide a new experience in Bhutan. After your breakfast the trail begins with a descent downhill through lush forest and then to the religious life with the first glimpse of the monastery like – Zambhala, Chedak and finally Tharpaling Gompa which lies at an altitude of 11810ft/3600m. Longchen Rabjampa who was an eminent philosopher of the Dzongchen sects built this beautifully located monastery in 1352. Peep into the monasteries to experience the religious life and pray for yourself and the wellbeing of the world. After a short stop for lunch the trail takes you through along the ridge of Keki-La Pass(9300ft/2576m and finally drop down following the traditional route between Trongsa and Bumthang “the royal heritage trail” through scenic lush green forest and finally ends your three days trek here with many unforgettable memories.
Day 08: Bumthang – Punakha
At your early, check out in the hotel drive to Punakha which lies at an altitude of 4430ft/1351m. The descent takes your through virgin forest with magnolia tree blossoming in April. Reaching Lobesa a comparatively barren hill lies notably a pleasant forty-minute hike through the cultivated field to Chhemi Lhakha “no dogs temple” dated back to 1499 and was built by lama Drukpa Kuenley’s half brother Ngawang Chhogyel built in honor and memory of Lama Drukpa Kuenley. At your completion drive to your hotel. Evening at leisure.
Day 09: Punakha – Paro – Hike to The Famous Tiger’s Nest
Today you will drive all the way back to Paro, stop for a lunch in one of the finest restaurant in Paro and after good lunch in the restaurant drive further eleven kilometer from the main town to the base of Tiger’s Nest where you will stop and embark on your adventurous hike to an important Buddhist Pilgrimage site in the Himalayas, with its stunning vistas and spectacular architecture against the backdrop of sheer granite cliff face. Your hike ascends about 3000ft/915m from the valley and 9700ft/2950m from the sea level. The trail is quite an uphill task and it takes around 3-4 hours walk at an average speed. Dropping back from Taktsang Goempa, visit Kyichu Lhakhang or otherwise drive further northern end of the valley to visit the ruined Drukgyel Dzong, which means “victorious fort” which was built in seventeen century and built to commemorate the victory over the Tibetan invasion. It’s worth visiting with its background view of Mt. Jomolhari towering at 24000ft/7314m pyramid-shape, snow clad massive that lies on the border to Tibet and revered by the local people as the abode of goddess jomo. Drive in to Paro and explore the tiny town founded in 1982, which once was a small village turned into a small town with a minimum soul of 3000 people.
Day 10: Depart