Bhutan

9-Day Druk Path Trek

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Tour type

Tour Level: High level

Tour Comfort: Superior

Tour Period: 9 Days

Tour Highlight

  •  Traverse beautiful landscapes from lush valleys to dense forests and snowcapped mountains
  • Hike up to the famous Taktsang Monastery, perched on a cliff 900 metres above the valley floor
  • See nomadic yak herders tending their flock or setting up camp
  • Heal the body, mind and soul during a hot stone bath
  • Visit classical style, 3-storey farmhouses in the Bhutan hillside

tour details

This 9-day tour along the Druk Path is the most popular hike in Bhutan, and there’s a good reason why. For six days, trek through stunning natural landscapes of blue pine forests, high ridges and pristine lakes. Experience the rich culture of this country, too, gazing upon the treasures in the National Museum, witnessing the magnificent Bhutanese architecture of the Ugyen Pelri Palace, and experience unrivalled hospitality at local villages along the way.

After arriving at the Paro International Airport, your guide will wait outside the arrival terminal for you and welcome you in a traditional manner by offering a ‘khadar’ or greeting scarf before escorting you to your hotel.
The tour begins with a visit to Kyichu Temple, one of the 108 temples built in the 7th century by the Tibetan King, Songsten Gampo, to battle against a giant demoness that was believed to be preventing the spread of Buddhism. Afterwards, continue to the ruins of Drukgyal Dzong, which were built in 1646 and have repelled numerous invasions throughout the course of Bhutanese history. In fine weather, the towering peak of Mount Jumolhari can be seen in the backdrop. This mountain, which marks the frontier with Tibet, is sacred and believed to be the dwelling place of the goddess Jomo. At the end of the evening, enjoy a leisurely visit to the town of Paro.

Dinner and accommodation at a hotel in Paro.
Take a short drive from Paro to the trailhead, where the hike begins at the famous Taktsang Monastery, one of the most recognised Buddhist monuments in the Himalayas. Also known as Tiger's Nest, it is perilously perched on a cliffside 900 metres (2,600 feet) above the Paro Valley. The climb to the viewpoint will take approximately three hours. Lunch will be served during the return hike back to the road point.

In the afternoon, drive to see Rinpung Dzong, which was built in 1645 to defend the valley against Tibetan invaders. Today, this dzong is used as an administration centre and school for monks. Next, continue to the magnificent Ugyen Pelri Palace, which is situated in a secluded wooden compound south of the river and one of the finest examples of Bhutanese architecture. Afterwards, tour the National Museum and its collection of precious works of art and cultural artefacts. Its thangkas depicting Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the first Je Khempo and first Druk desi, are particularly significant.

In the evening, see firsthand how rural Bhutanese live and visit a local farmhouse. These traditional, 3-storey homes are very decorative and painted in a classical style. While there there, relax in a hot stone bath, known as a ‘dotsho’. This hydrotherapy is an important part of Bhutanese family life and has been used to treat various diseases for centuries. Its healing properties for the body, mind and soul are highly valued by the Bhutanese people.

Dinner and accommodations at a hotel in Paro.
Today is a short trekking day, which is comprised of a distance of six or seven kilometres to an altitude of 8,500 feet. The trail is rather gradual until you reach camp. If the weather is clear, the Paro Valley can be seen with its snowcapped mountain backdrop.

Overnight at a camp at Jele Dzong.
After an early breakfast, the day begins with 1.5-hour climb then a trek on a gradually ascending trail to an altitude of 9,500 feet. The trail takes you through thick alpine forests and rhododendrons for a total of 10 kilometres. It is not uncommon to see yak herders around the campsite in at this point in the trek.

Overnight at a camp in Jangchu Lhakha.
The trail follows the ridge and, on a clear day, the views of the mountains and valley are beautiful. The trek will go on for a distance of 11 kilometres to an altitude of 11,000 feet.

Overnight at a camp near Lake Jimilangtso.
After eating breakfast at the camp, continue on a trail that takes you through dwarf rhododendron trees and bypasses the lake of Janetso. Trek for a total of 11 kilometres to a maximum altitude of 11,500 feet. During this part of the trail, you may come across another yak herder’s camps and get an idea of how these nomadic people live.

Dinner and camp near Simkota Lake.
This day’s trek will begin with a gradual climb. If the weather permits, you will enjoy a majestic view of the Dochula Pass. At this point in the schedule, you will also see Mount Gangkar Puensum, the highest peak in Bhutan. Afterwards, the trail slowly descends until you’ve reached an altitude of 9,500 feet and trekked 10 kilometres for the day, ending at the Phajoding cafeteria.

Dinner and camp in Phajoding.
After breakfast, enjoy a gradual downhill trek roughly 8 kilometres long to an altitude of 8,050 feet. This part of the trail will take you through a forested area of blue pine dotted with several other tree varieties. Enjoy a leisurely pace along this trail, reaching Thimphu in about three hours. Enjoy the rest of your day at your leisure.

Dinner and accommodations at a hotel in Paro.
After breakfast, your guide will escort you to the airport for your flight onward. Tashi delek!!

Includes

  •  All private transfers, Hotel accomodation and transportation inclusive of taxes during the entire tour
  • Meals as stated in the programme B= Breakfast, L= Lunch & D= Dinner
  • Transfers and tours with English-speaking guides in private air conditioned vehicles
  • All entrance fees as mentioned in the programme
  • Mineral water available in the vehicles
  • Visa fees at US$40 per person

Excludes

  • Domestic airfare (quoted separately, if requested)
  • International airfare to / from Lao (quoted separately, if requested)
  • Optional tours
  • Surcharges for other language guides
  • Surcharges for Lao Pimai (New Year)
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Personal expenditures, such as drinks, souvenirs, laundry, camera fees, communications, postage, gratuities, etc.
  • Meals and services other than mentioned in the programme
  • Drinks with meals
  • Compulsory gala dinners during festive seasons and peak season surcharges which will be advised at the time of booking or when available
  • Early check-in and late check-out at hotels, if not mentioned in the programme

Notes

Upon request, a licensed French, German, Spanish or other language-speaking guide can accompany participants for the whole duration of the trip at an additional cost.

Tour code: DPT09

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