Arrival to Paro, Bhutan – Hotel check-in and Welcome Briefing by your host / guide, followed by lunch and time for freshening up. Afternoon visit to Kyichu Lakhang followed by an evening exploration of Paro town for sightseeing, shopping, and cultural learning.
Following breakfast at the hotel, we’ll warm up our trekking legs by visiting Bhutan’s most famous monastery, Taktsang. This introductory pilgrimage walk will take us up the hillside to the amazing “Tiger’s Nest” located 900 m above the valley floor which is a treasured landmark and prime spiritual destination for Buddhist pilgrims. We’ll have lunch along the way amongst the whispering blue pines and following our descent, we’ll return to the hotel to enjoy a celebration dinner.
The next morning, having our trekking gear ready to go, we’ll set off for Thimphu (the nation’s capital) driving through breath-taking mountain scenery and road-side views of the Thamchoe Lakhang. Upon reaching Thimphu we’ll drive straight to our launching point of Pangri Zompa gompanorth of the city where we’ll meet our trekking crew and ponies to begin our walk.
The day is a slow uphill first along a dirt road which then transforms into a walking path through dense oak, blue pine and rhododendron forest climbing towards the Sinchula Pass (3,380 m). We’ll have a leisurely lunch and continue our climb with a night halt just below the pass and our tents and hot cups of steaming tea awaiting our arrival.
Following a hearty breakfast, an early morning start will see us cross the Sinchula Ridge. This is the old trade route used for centuries that linked Punakha and Thimphu prior to construction of the national highway. Once we cross the pass, the walking follows the gentle up’s and down’s along the top of the ridge heading east toward Talo Monastery. We’ll reach our meadow camp (2,440 m) in the early afternoon for lunch and have time for reading, relaxing, photograph taking, and exploring the location.
Today the trail gradually winds down toward the Punakha valley and enters more populated areas passing through a number of small villages as we make our way to Chorten Nebu (1,801 m). Camp here will provide us with time to explore the monastery or for those interested in more walking, a two hour hike to visit Kabji Hoko Tso lake where yak herders often graze their animals.
We have a very short walk down the trail to meet our vehicle which takes us on to Punakha. We drive to the hotel, take lunch and freshen up prior to visiting the Punakha Dzong, the traditional winter residence of the monk body and the seat of the government until the reign of the second King, in the afternoon.
An early morning departure will put us on the road headed for the scenic Darchula Pass (3,140 m). This pass will provide Himalayan panorama views and a break to stretch our legs walking amongst the many protective stupas, chortens, and fluttering prayer flags. We will also make a visit to the newly consecrated Drug Wangyal Lhakhang dedicated to His Majesty the 4thKing of Bhutan which features beautifully detailed wall murals depicting the historical legacy of the country’s Kings.Upon reaching Thimphu after lunch we’ll have time for shopping and exploring the city.
We leave early from Thimphu to reach Paro for our check-in and departing flight on Druk Air from Paro International Airport for journey the home. If return flight is scheduled for later in the afternoon, an additional visit to town or location will be scheduled for continued sightseeing prior to departure.
All trips include guide, driver, transport, hotel, meals, entry fees to dzongs and
museums and required travel / route permits.