Day 01: Arrival at 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 – Punakha
Your drive to Punakha takes around three hours leading you through some of the panoramic landscape and scenery. The region of Punakha lies at an altitude of 1,300m and served as the old capital of Bhutan until 1955. Today it serves as the winter capital of the monastic body and has a temperate climate with rich fertile valley fed by Pho Chhu(Male River) and Mo Chhu(Female River). Your drive to Punakha takes you via Dochu La Pass, which lies at an altitude of 10150ft/3100m and takes a short 45 minutes/22km with many twist and turn. The top of the pass is one of the most finest and beautiful pass surrounded by one hundred and eight stupas built by the elder Queen Mother Her Majesty Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuk in 2004. If the weather is clear the pass offers you with a beautiful panoramic view of the great Himalayan Mountain peaks like – Mt. Masagang(235012/7165m),Mt. Tsendengang(23288ft/7100m), Mt. Terigang(23944ft/7300m), Mt. Gangkar Puensum(24735ft/7541m) and many more. From the pass your drive to Punakha is all downhill through twist and turns passing various settlements on different landscape and finally drops down to Punakha at an altitude of 4430ft/1351m. Your sightseeing in Punakha includes a visit to Punakha dzong locally known as the “Palace of the Great Happiness” which saddles on the confluence of two river (male and female). This massive fortress was built as far as 1637, was built by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel, and was the second of the mightiest dzong built by him. This dzong served as the seat of the governmence beginning from the Zhabdrungs time till the end of second king’s reign. Optional and interesting hiking trails available in Punakha like – Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten Hike, Chorten Ningpo Shedra Hike, Chhemi Lhakhang Hike and Talo Nubding Hike. Discuss with your guide and choose any of the hike that fit your fancy.
Day 03: Punakha – Damji - Gasa
Today after your breakfast in the hotel drive further north of Punakha along the Mo Ch (river) to Tashi Thang this takes you through crossing several villages and sub-tropical mixed forest. The drive from Tashi Thang to Damji takes you through unsealed farm road till you reach Damji which lies lowly as 2200m. Your trekking crew will meet you here. From here your trekking trail takes you through gentle uphill climb through the side of the river to Gasa which lies at an altitude of 2770m. The uphill trail is quite an challenging and we suggest you making an early stary.
Day 04: Gasa – Koina
Your trail takes you a long ascend from Gasa village ascending through the village and then through the slope filled with bamboo which locally known as “hem”, which is the favorite food for the yaks. As you ascend uphill the trail finally reach to the pass of Bari La (3740). From the pass the trail takes you all the way down hill until you finally reach a large stream in Koina where you will set your camp at an altitude of 3050m.
Day 05: Koina – Laya
Today your trail takes you ascent uphill passing the army camp and then leads you through along the Mo Chhu (river) valley until you cross the bridge. The raging river fed by many streams and waterfalls and finally takes you through windy ascend and descent through mix forest of juniper and fir trees. As you continue through dense forest and accompanied by a singing birds the pleasant walk provides you with spectacular view of the landscape and finally leads you to the remote and charming village of Laya, which is one of the exemplary and unique village in Bhutan and is one of the second highest settlement lying at an elevation of 4000m.
Day 06: Rest Day
After a long journey, it is now time to take a break usually spending time at the camp, acclimatizing and drinking in the magnificent view of the high altitude settlement and their environment. There are several opportunities to go and explore the village life. The Bhutanese people are more open and friendly and every visitor can enjoy their hospitality.
Day 07: Laya – Masa Gang Base Camp
Today your trail takes ascend through the beautiful valley of Laya and continue up through the river and after distant walk you will soon leave the tree line. It is one of the dramatic journeys as you get closer to the panoramic view of Mt. Masa Gang, which lies, at a height of 23512ft/7165m and finally takes you to the end destination of your trek to Masa Gang base. Your campsite provides you with a stunning view of the Masa Gang Peak.
Day 08: Masa Gang Base Camp (Halt)
A time to explore the wonders of the surrounding Masa Gang which provides an insight into the charming view of the Peak by ascending onto the ridge which lies at the southern flank of Masa Gang.
Day 09: Masa Gang – Laya
Today after enjoying the last glimpse of the panoramic view Mt. Masa Gang Peak, your walk descent all the way downhill through following the same trail until you reach Laya village. You will set you campsite near the army camp.
Day 10: Laya – Koina
Today the trail winds you with many ascend and descent following the river valley of Mo Chhu, which flows all the way through Punakha. The trail takes you through crossing several streams with several up and down but the raging river provides you with breath-taking views and after cross the Kohi Laptsa Pass (3300m) your trail takes you all the way downhill and then finally drop down to the largest stream of Koina Chhu(river), where you will set you camp.
Day 11: Koina – Gasa Hot Spring
Your trail starts with downhill climb and then finally climb uphill to Bari La Pass (3900m) which is one of the major climb. After making up to the top of the pass, the trail descend all the way downhill through bamboo forest until you finally reach Gasa Village (2770m). If you reach earlier at Gasa make a short visit to the Dzong which dated back to seventeenth century. After the dzong your trail takes you downhill through the village and finally to the Gasa Hot spring. Enjoy the Gasa Hot Spring, which is one of the popular hot spring in the country and is famed for medicinal properties.
Day 12: Gasa – Damji – Punakha
Toray morning spent a few hours relaxing in the medicinal water. The trail from here takes you only half an hour to the roadside, where you will be collected and transferred to Punakha. You can also decide walking downhill till you reach Damji.
Day 13: Punakha – Paro – Hike to the Famous Tiger’s Lair
Your drive takes you via Dochu La Pass(10150ft/3100m) and the via the capital Thimphu. If the weather is clear maks a short stop for reviewing the magnificent Himalayan peaks like - Mt. Masa Gang(235012ft/7165m), Mt. Tsenden Gang (23228ft/7100m). Mt. Teri Gang(23944ft/7300m), Mt. Zongaphu Gang the “Table Mountain”(23288ft/7100m), Mt. Gangkhar Puensum(24735ft/7541m), and many other permanent peaks of Himalayas like – Mt. Jejegangphu, Mt. Kangphug Gang. Your drive from the top to Thimphu is only 22 km. Passving by immigration check post – you will finally reached Thimphu and the turn left following the main road that pass below Semtokha Dzong and then continue further for your destination. The drive to Paro from Thimphu is only one and half hour with 55 km. Reaching Paro drive further northern valley of Paro to visit the Tiger’s Nest which is your main purpose of the day. From the parking lot, the walk to Taktsang Goemba is quite an uphill task and may take around three hours walk at an average speed. Ascending this 3000ft/915m cliff you will reach the most spectacularly located Goemba in all Bhutan. The path is well laid. According to the legend, Guru Rinpoche visited this site in the eight century flying from the eastern Bhutan on the back of the Tigress(a form that one of his consort is believed to have taken). He meditated in the cave for three month and in his terrifying form of Guru Dorji Drolo he subdued the demon who is against the preaching of Dharma. After exploring the temple, walk downhill through the same trail to the parking lot. Drive to Paro town and then to your hotel for leisure.
Day 14: Board your flight back to your onward destination