A 5-day trek through spectacular views of mountain scenery along the ancient route from Paro to Thimphu. An interesting feature of this trek is the presence of pristine mountain lakes (known for trout fishes). The trail follows high ridges through a gorgeous natural landscape of pine and dwarf rhododendrons at altitudes ranging between 2,400m–4,200m and enjoys splendid panoramas of the snowy peaks, including Mt. Gangkar Puensum at 7,564m (the highest peak of Bhutan). It also includes the must-see sights and takes in the very best of western Bhutan.
Day 1: Arrive Paro
Day 2: Acclimatisation Day [Hike to Tiger’s Nest Monastery]
Day 3: Paro – Jele Dzong [Start of Trek]
Day 4: Jele Dzong – Jangchulakha
Day 5: Jangchulakha – Jimilangtsho Lake
Day 6: Jimilangtsho – Labana via Simkotratsho Lake
Day 7: Labana – Thimphu via Phajoding Monastery [End of Trek]
Day 8: Moving to Punakha
Day 9: Back to Paro
Day 10: End of Tour
Duration of Trek: 5 Days/4 Nights
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Elevation: 2,400m – 4,200m
Best Season: March, April, May, June, September, October & November
Flying into Bhutan offers the most spectacular views of the Himalayan ranges, including Mt. Everest (8,848m/29,028ft), Mt. Kanchenjunga (8,586m/28,169ft) and Mt. Gangkar Puensum (7,564m/24,836ft). On arrival we meet you at Paro International Airport after clearing your immigration and customs formalities and transfer to your hotel in Paro for check-in. Paro is home to the famous Taktshang Monstery (also known as Tiger’s Nest), National Museum, Drukair and Bhutan Airlines. Afterwards, we visit the Ta Dzong (ancient watch tower), located about 6-km from Paro town, which now houses the National Museum of Bhutan. Walk down to the Paro Dzong (also known as Rinpung Dzong), which is located across the Pachhu River (about 2-km from Paro International Airport). The dzong was built in 1644 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to safeguard Paro Valley against Tibetan invasion. The evening is at leisure to relax and enjoy, we have allowed some time for this and also to explore a small Paro town and its surroundings. Tonight enjoy a welcome drink and dinner with BGT. Overnight in Paro.
Bhutan’s famous Paro Taktshang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest) is an unforgettable sight. No visit to Bhutan would be complete without a trip to Paro Taktshang (3,120m). It is stunning in its beauty and location. Today is a real highlight as you take a short hike to the Taktshang Monastery, clinging on a rock cliff at 900m above the Paro Valley floor. The monastery is one of the most revered pilgrimage places in Bhutan because Guru Rinpoche (one the founding fathers of Tibetan Buddhism) is believed to have flown to the site on the back of a flying tigress in the 8th century. An 11-km (round-trip) hike starts from the base of the mountain from the road point (Ramthangkha), which is 2-km drive from Paro town. Enjoy your rewarding hike about 4 hours (round-trip) with extra one hour to tour the monastery at a leisurely pace. There is a small teahouse halfway through from where a view of the spectacular monastery to enjoy! Gentle horse/pony rides are permitted till the viewpoint. Afterwards, there will be time to visit the Kyichu Lhakhang en route, one of the oldest and 108 temples built by Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century (so full of history and mythology). Besides a cultural experience, this short hike help acclimatise for our trek ahead on the following morning. Overnight in Paro.
Distance 7-km with 4-5 hours walking. After breakfast, drive up to the Ta Dzong (National Museum of Bhutan), the starting point of the trek. Meet our trek crew and the horses at the museum, where we begin a short trek through apple orchards and cultivated terracing uphill towards the Jele Dzong (3,480m). If the caretaker is around, visit the dzong (mostly in ruins), perched on a whaleback ridge. The trail ascends gently through forest before reaching our campsite. If weather is clear, take in view of Paro valley including Mt. Jhomolhari (7,314m) and other snow-capped Himalayan mountains. Overnight in camp (3,480m).
Distance 10-km with 4-5 hours walking. Today the route climbs through thick alpine forests and dwarf rhododendron trees and reaches Jangchulakha. From here atop a ridge, enjoy the magnificent views of Mt. Jhomolhari and the surrounding snow-capped mountains. If lucky, you may spot beautiful Himalayan Monal Pheasants or and may hear the sound of some pheasants. You can also see yaks around the campsite. The campsite is near yak herders’ camp (3,770m). Overnight in camp.
Distance 11-km with 4 hours walking. The trail follows a ridge, then descends a bit and follows the ridge back to Jangchula Pass (4,190m). From here, we have a sensational view of the valleys below and the distant Himalayan peaks on a clear day. If weather permits, enjoy a great view of Mt. Jichu Drake (6,989m), the peak representing the protective deity of Paro. Later, our trail descends to Jimilangtso Lake (Sand Ox Lake). The lake is famous for its giant sized trouts. Legend has it that this lake is home to a mystical ox and local farmers still bring their cows to the lake in the hope that they can produce a strong and valuable offspring of such a creature. The campsite is on the shores of the lake (3,870m). Overnight in camp.
Distance 12-km with 5 hours walking. The trail traverses through dwarf rhododendron trees and Janetsho Lake, and passes by yak herder camps. Continue up to the larger Simkotra Lake (known for its trout) before we reach a saddle at 4,180m below some rocky peaks. Yak herders camps and yaks encounter are common here. Descending from a small pass we eventually arrive in our campsite at Labana (4,130m). Overnight in Camp.
Distance 10-km with 4 hours walking. Today your final leg of the trek begins with a gradual climb to Phumela Pass (4,210m), the highest pass on this trek. Enjoy a beautiful view overlooking Thimphu valley below. On a clear day, you’re rewarded with a spectacular Himalayan panorama, including Bhutan’s highest peak (Mt. Gangkar Puensum at 7,564m). From here, it’s all downhill walk at a leisurely pace to the Phajoding Monastery (3,960m). Continue downhill through forest of blue pine until the road point in Sangaygang Hill (Bhutan Broadcasting Service Tower) on the outskirts of Thimphu city. Your transport picks you up from here and transfer to hotel. Rest of the day is at leisure to relax and enjoy, we have allowed some time for this and also to explore the surroundings of Thimphu city (2,300m), home to 138,736 inhabitants. In the afternoon, visit the National Memorial Chorten (stupa), built in 1974 in honour of the third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk (1928-1972). This stupa is a prominent monument for Bhutanese daily worship in the city with its golden spires and bells. Another must see place to tick off on your list is Kuenselphodrang (the largest 169ft Buddha Dordenma statue in the world), built in 2006 and sits atop a hill, overlooking the Southern entrance to Thimphu city. Overnight in Thimphu.
After early breakfast, we travel (71-km) about 3 hours to Punakha, once the winter capital of Bhutan until 1955. Along the Thimphu–Phunakha highway follow a rough road approximately (45-minutes) leading to the Tashigang Gonpa (monastery) before reaching Hongtsho. A hike to Lungchutse Gonpa can also be done as a loop starting from Dochula Pass (3,050m) and finishing at Hongtsho village with Trashigang Gonpa. We begin one of the rejuvenating and picturesque hikes (3 hours) climbing up through a forest of moss-covered rhododendrons, hemlock, birch, juniper, spur and bamboo undergrowth past a row of fluttering prayer flags to Lungchutse temple. On clear days, you could enjoy 360-degree views of all major mountains of Bhutan from the temple including Jomolhari (7,314m), Gangchey Ta (Great Tiger Mountain, 6,784m), Masang Gang (shaped like a trident, 7,194m), Zongphu Gang (Table Mountain, 7,094m) and Gangkar Puensum (Bhutan’s highest mountain, 7,564m). Behind these major mountains lie the Tibetan plateaus. Next, we descend the trail towards Dochula Pass for a lunch break, where the picturesque Druk Wangyal Chortens (108 stupas) stand. Continue our scenic journey (52-km) to Punakha–Wangdue Phodrang Valley. Arriving in Punakha (1,350m), visit the fertility Chimi Lhakhang (temple) en route, nestled on a round hillock near a village called Sopsokha, built in 1499 by Saint Drukpa Kunley (known as the Divine Madman). The temple is about 10-km from Punakha Dzong and takes 20-minutes walk through agriculture fields. Legend has it that the childless couples wishing to have a baby from across Bhutan and occasionally from overseas are blessed with a child after visiting this mysterious temple. Overnight in Punakha.
Wake early today and drive (7-km) about 30-minutes to the parking by the Mochhu River before climbing up the majestic Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten. The Queen Mother Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuk built this 100ft tall temple in 1994, located on a strategic ridge overlooking terraced fields and countryside of Punakha Valley. From the parking, cross a suspension bridge over the Mochhu River and walk up through paddy fields to the base of the hill before climbing a moderately inclined trail surrounded by pine trees. It takes about 45-minutes to hike up to the top. Then continue onto the Punakha Dzong, strategically located at the confluence of the Phochhu (male) and Mochhu (female) Rivers. Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal (founder of Bhutan) built the dzong in 1637. Jacaranda trees beautifully cover the dzong with the purple bloom of flowers in the spring. In the afternoon, our return journey (122-km) about 4 hours takes us to Paro, pausing en route at Dochula Pass (3,050m) and soak up the panoramic views of the snow-capped Himalayan peaks, including Bhutan’s highest mountain (Mt. Gangkar Puensum at 7,564m). Continue to Paro via Thimphu and Chhuzom (30-km) where the Pachhu and Wangchhu Rivers join. Chhuzom (confluence) is a major road junction connecting Haa (82-km) to the southwest, Phuentsholing (141-km) to the south and Paro (24-km) to the southeast. Overnight in Paro.
Your tour ends this morning after breakfast. We transfer you to Paro International Airport for your onward journey. Our guide and driver from Bhutan Green Travel will see you off. Tashi Delek (Goodbye and Good Luck!)
Peak Season – Land Only (Prices in USD Per Person)
|Start Date Tuesdays||1 person||2 people||3-10 people||11-15 people||16-20 people|
|08 Sep 2020||$3360||$3010||$2560||$2325||$2235|
|15 Sep 2020||$3360||$3010||$2560||$2325||$2235|
|13 Oct 2020||$3360||$3010||$2560||$2325||$2235|
|20 Oct 2020||$3360||$3010||$2560||$2325||$2235|
|03 Nov 2020||$3360||$3010||$2560||$2325||$2235|
|17 Nov 2020||$3360||$3010||$2560||$2325||$2235|
|16 Mar 2021||$3360||$3010||$2560||$2325||$2235|
|23 Mar 2021||$3360||$3010||$2560||$2325||$2235|
|06 Apr 2021||$3360||$3010||$2560||$2325||$2235|
|20 Apr 2021||$3360||$3010||$2560||$2325||$2235|
|04 May 2021||$3360||$3010||$2560||$2325||$2235|
|18 May 2021||$3360||$3010||$2560||$2325||$2235|
Regular Season – Land Only (Prices in USD Per Person)
|Start Date Tuesdays||1 person||2 people||3-10 people||11-15 people||16-20 people|
|01 Jun 2021||$2930||$2585||$2130||$1910||$1830|
|08 Jun 2021||$2930||$2585||$2130||$1910||$1830|
Our Pricing Policy
Prices are quoted and payable only in (US dollars). All prices published on our websites, brochures and marketing materials are set as low as possible. The guide prices may vary at any time subject to government actions, changes in exchange rates, increase in transportation costs or fuel prices before we have accepted your booking. However, we guarantee our prices who have already signed up for your tour.
- Pickups and drops from airports and hotels
- Comfortable transport (private vehicle) throughout your trip
- Licensed English-speaking guide & driver
- Best accommodation in 3 star hotels with private bathrooms based on 2 adults sharing a twin/double bed (single supplements apply)
- Comfortable farmhouse/home stay/heritage house can also be arranged
- Camping facilities and haulage for trekking tours
- All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and bottled water daily
- All sightseeing & hiking (entrance fees to museums and other attractions)
- Baggage handling at all hotels and camps
- All applicable internal taxes and service fees
- Bhutan visa fees
- International and domestic flights
- Travel insurance
- Other personal expenses such as alcoholic drinks & beverages, laundry, telephone calls, etc.
- Discretionary tips for guides and drivers (see FAQs)
- Upgrade to luxury properties (4 star and 5 star hotels)
- Single room/tent supplement from $50 per night
- Optional activities & additional services