Duration: 11 nights / 12 days.
Accommodation: Hotels, Resorts and Tents.
Activity Type: Walking, Trekking & Tour.
Difficulty Level: Moderately Easy.
Highest altitude: 4300 meters.
Group size: Minimum 2 pax.
Best Months for the Trek: March – May, September – 2nd Week of December.
Popularity Rating: *****
It is a 5½-day trek near Thimphu, to a large number of lovely high altitude lakes. The trek is easy and most trekking days are short but there are some long steep climbs. It starts from Khoma (near Thimphu) and ends in Simtokha, Thimphu. The highest point is 4300 Meters.
Day 01. Arrive at Paro, 2280 meters, by Druk Air:
The flight into Paro is a befitting introduction to the spectacular beauty of Bhutan. In clear weather, you will be able to see some of the world’s highest peaks as you fly into Paro. As the aircraft prepares to land, you will be surrounded by the lush green valleys. On landing, your Bhutanese escort from Druk & Drukpa Travel will greet you at the exit terminal, and then drive you the short distance to the Hotel.
After lunch, drive to the ruins of Drukgyel dzong (Victory Fortress), built by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to commemorate the victory over the Tibetan invaders in1644. Then visit Kyichu Lhakhang, one of Bhutan’s oldest and most sacred monasteries dating from the 8th century. Overnight in a hotel in Paro.
Day 02. Paro Sightseeing:
After breakfast a short drive will take you to Satsam Chorten, from where you start your 2-hour hike to view the spectacular Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) monastery. The trail climbs through beautiful pine forests. You will stop for a rest and light refreshments at the Taktsang Zakhang (cafeteria) and then walk a short distance until you see, clearly and seemingly within reach, the famed Taktsang Monastery. Built in the 1600s, this incredible monastery clings to the edge of a sheer rock cliff. It is said that Guru Padmasambhava, the tantric mystic who brought Buddhism to Bhutan, came to Taktsang riding on a tigress. After lunch, visit Rimpung Dzong (Paro Dzong) built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. The Dzong is currently the administrative center of Paro. You will also visit the Ta Dzong, an ancient watchtower, now the National museum of Bhutan. In the evening, a two-hour drive will take you to Thimphu. Overnight in a hotel in Thimphu.
Day 03. Khoma – Geynikha (2950 meters):
You willwalk through terraced paddy fields and coniferous forests to the settlement of Geynikha. The route then descends to a chorten that marks a camping place alongside a stream.
Altitude 2800 m; Distance 14 Km; Time 4 hours.
Day 04. Geynikha – Gur:
Crossing a suspension bridge, the trail heads west for a while, then climbs steeply towards the south to a rock platform and a crest at 3200 meters. A further walk of about two hours leads to a camp in a forest clearing at 3290 meters.
Altitude 3290 meters; Distance 7 km; Time 5hrs; Ascent 550 meters, descent 210 meters.
Day 05. Gur – Labatamba:
You will cross the pass at 4240 meters for a view of spectacular Dagala village, and then pass through several herders’ camps en route the foot of the broad Labatamba valley at 4300 meters near Utso Lake, where plenty of Golden Trout flourish. There are many lakes in the vicinity. You will camp near the lake. Overnight in a camp.
Altitude 4300 meters; Distance 12 km; Time 5hrs; Ascent 1040 meters, descent 110 meters.
Day 06. Labatamba – Panka:
The trail climbs along the western side of the lake from where you will get awesome views of the surrounding mountains. From the pass there is a steep descent to another lake at 4350 meters. A short distance beyond the lake leads to the valley and then to Panka.
Altitude 4000m; Distance 8 km; Time 6-7 hours; Ascent 260 meters, descent 520 meters.
Day 07. Panka – Talakha:
The route leads north crossing a pass at 4000 meters, then climbs along the side of a ridge to a crest at 4270 meters. From here there is a view of the Dagala range and a view of Thimphu, far to the north. It is then a long descent through forests to the Goemba and village of Talakha (3080 meters).
Altitude 3080 m; Distance 8 kms; Time 6-7 hours; Ascent 180 meters, descent 1100 meters.
Day 08. Talakha – Chamgang – Thimphu:
Walk downhill on a steep trail to Chamgang (2640 meters) from where our vehicle will pick you up and drive you to Thimphu. After lunch, rest and free to stroll around the town. Overnight in a hotel.
Distance 6 Kkm; Time 3 hours; Descent 440 meters.
Day 09. Thimphu Sightseeing:
After breakfast, sightseeing in Thimphu. It includes: the National Library, which has a vast collection of ancient Buddhist manuscripts, followed by a visit to the Painting School, famous for carving and free hand art. After lunch visit the Simtokha Dzong, the oldest Dzong in Bhutan built in 1627 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, and then visit the National Memorial Chorten, a monument dedicated to the third King of Bhutan. Then visit the Handicrafts Emporium to see the exquisite artistry of traditional crafts and textiles. You will also visit the Tashichhodzong (Fortress of the Glorious Religion), built in 1641 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and reconstructed in 1961 by the third King, His Majesty King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, who is regarded as the Father of Modern Bhutan. You will have the evening free for shopping and leisure. Dinner and overnight in a hotel.
Day 10. Thimphu – Punakha – Wangdue (72 km, 3 hours drive):
After breakfast, drive to Punakha via Dochula Pass. If the weather is clear, we stop for a while to view the higher Himalayas. In Punakha, you will visit the Dzong built in 1637 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and located between Pho Chu (Male River) and Mo Chu (Female River). Punakha is the winter residence of Je Khenpo, the Chief Lama of Bhutan. After lunch, we will drive to Wangduephodrang, and en route stop a while to view Chimi Lhakhang also called the ‘Temple of Fertility’ built by Lama Drukpa Kuenley also popularly known as the Divine Madman in the 15th century. You will also visit the Wangduephodrang Dzong (from outside) built in 1638. Overnight in a hotel.
Day 11. Wangduephodrang – Thimphu:
After breakfast, drive to Thimphu. Lunch in Thimphu. After lunch, you will be free for shopping and photography in the town. Dinner and overnight in a hotel.
Day 12. Departure:
Early morning drive to the airport and farewell.