Druk Path Trek-10 Days
Walking the ancient high-level route between Paro and Thimpu, plus visits to all Bhutan’s premier cultural sites, Druk Path holiday is the perfect option for anyone looking for a short or introductory trekking experience in the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan; The Land of the Thunder Dragon. After flying to Paro from the Nepalese capital of Kathmandu, our first day’s walk leads us to the ruined Jeli Dzong, which sits on a high ridge above the Paro Valley and commands breathtaking views across to Chomolhari. During the succeeding 4 days of trekking, we climb above the tree-line and cross several passes, including the Phume La (4210m). En route, we camp beside clear mountain lakes, visit yak herders’ encampments and enjoy splendid panoramas of the peaks on the border with Tibet, including Jitchu Drake and Gangkar Puensum, the highest mountain in Bhutan and one of the highest unclimbed mountains in the world. Also included is the chance to hike to the gravity defying Taktsang ‘Tiger’s Nest’ Monastery in the Paro Valley, visit Thimpu’s impressive Tashichho dzong and an excursion to the equally stunning dzongs at Punakha, Bhutan’s traditional winter capital, and at Wangdue. Offering straightfoward, but high level, trekking within a pristine landscape, this popular holiday provides a taste of the unique and utterly fascinating culture of Bhutan.
Highlights of Druk Path Trek
- A great introductory level, fully supported, 5-day trek from Paro to Thimpu
- Breathtaking views of the Himalaya, including Chomolhari & Jitchu Drake
- The ‘Tiger’s Nest’ monastery & the dzongs of Punakha, Wangdue & Tashichho
- Bhutan visas fees, ALL meals, and flights from Kathmandu to Paro included
Outline itinerary for Druk Path Trek
Day 1Fly to Paro (2,280m)
Day 2Morning walk to Taktsang monastery (Tiger’s Nest)
Day 3Trek to Jele Dzong (3,400m)
Day 4Trek to Tshokam (3,950m)
Day 5Trek to Jana Tsho (3,950m)
Day 6Trek to Phajoding Gompa (3,700m)
Day 7Trek to Thimpu (2,320m)
Day 8Drive to Punakha (1,300m)
Day 9Drive to Paro
Day 10Fly back home
It is our intention to keep to the day by day itinerary detailed below, although there might be some flexibility due to local conditions or other factors beyond our control. If this is the case the trek leader will do everything possible to work out the changes to the itinerary in order to minimise your inconvenience.
Day 1. Fly to Paro (2,280m).
You will be met on arrival at Paro airport and driven back to the hotel. Please provide travel plans on booking and we will arrange the pick-up and transfer. A full trek briefing will be given in the afternoon. Please get in touch with us if you like a quote for your flight to Paro (flying from Bangkok, Singapore, Kathmandu and
Delhi). Overnight at hotel in Paro (Meals: L,D).
Day 2. Sightseeing in Paro (2,280m).
Paro is Bhutan’s second largest town and the valley also contains some of the most significant religious and historic sites in the country as well as Bhutan’s only airport. After breakfast we will organise a walk up to the Taktsang monastery known as the “Tiger’s Nest”. It takes about 2 to 3 hours to walk through pine forest and up to the monastery perched on a cliff overlooking the valley. Overnight at hotel in Paro
Day 3. Trek to Jele Dzong (3,400m)- 4 to 5 hours walking.
We drive to the road head at the Ta-Dzong National Museum which is the old watchtower above Paro Dzong. The trek starts along a jeep track before turning off onto a trail and after 1 ½ hours we pass a mani wall at Damche Gom. We continue the climb through blue pine forest and after a further hour arrive to clearing in forest where we usually have lunch. After lunch we walk for an hour through rhododendron and a yak pasture to Jele La. Our camp is a short walk down on other side of the pass. Overnight camping (Meals: B,L,D).
Day 4. Trek to Tshokam (3,950m)- 4 hours walking.
The trail starts with a climb through rhododendron forest and back up to Jele La and then along the ridge to Jele Dzong. The view down the Paro Valley is superb from here with Chomolhari visible in the distance. After a visit to the monastery we follow the ridge through forest of blue pine and rhododendron to the clearing at Jangchu Lakha. We continue further along the trail for ½ hour to Tshokam. Overnight camping (Meals: B,L,D).
Day 5. Trek to Jana Tsho (3,950m)- 6 to 7 hours walking.
From camp we take the high trail as the views are far better than the alternative trail following the valley up to Jana Tsho. After climbing up to the Jangchu La at 4,180m, there are superb views from the pass of Mount Chomolhari. After following the ridge for an hour we descend to the beautiful lake at Jimi Lang Tsho. After a break to enjoy the area we ascend up through rhododendron for a further 1 ½ hours to our camp at Jana Tsho. Overnight camping (Meals: B,L,D).
Day 6. Trek to Phajoding Gompa (3,700m)- 5 hours walking.
After breakfast we ascend from Jana Tsho on a stone path towards Simkotra La then continue along a trail above Simkotra Tsho. Today there are a further seven minor passes to cross and from the fifth pass called Thujedraj the highest unclimbed peak called Gangkar Puensum becomes visible. We recommend you scramble up small rocky hill to the left of the pass where, on a clear day, the whole Bhutan Himalaya can be seen. The final pass is Dochu La where you can see Thimphu valley, there is a steep descent to Phajoding monastery where we camp for the night. Overnight camping
Day 7. Trek to Thimpu (2,320m)- 3 hours walking.
The trail from the camp is downhill all the way to Thimphu passing through blue pine forest. It is not too far to the town so we should get there in time for lunch. In the afternoon there is time to explore the town with your guide, this might include the Tashichodzong, the National library, the pottery and silversmith’s workshops, the late King’s Memorial Chorten, the School of Painting, the Heritage Museum, the Textiles Museum, the paper factory and the Swiss bakery. Overnight at hotel in Thimphu (Meals: B,L,D).
Day 8. Drive to Punakha (1,300m) – 4 hours driving.
Today we drive to Punakha and en route we cross Dochu La pass at 3,100m. There is a long climb to Dochu La where there is superb view of the Himalayas including Gangkar Punsum, from the pass the road descends to Punakha. We will visit Divine Madman’s monastery called Chimi Lhakang before checking in to our hotel. Overnight at hotel in Punakha
Day 9. Drive to Paro- 5 hours driving.
After breakfast we make the short drive to Punakha where we visit the Dzong. Punakha is the traditional winter capital of Bhutan and has a Dzong which is home to over thousand monks in the winter. It was built in the 17th century by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. Then we drive back to Paro passing through Thimphu. Overnight at hotel in Paro
Day 10. Fly back home.
Transfer to Paro airport for flight back home.