12 Days Druk Path Trek
Day 1 (Paro)
The flight to Paro crosses the Himalaya Mountains, affording spectacular views of the awesome peaks. including the sacred Jumolhari and Jichu Drake peaks in Bhutan. Upon arrival in Paro, you will be greeted by our representative and transferred to your hotel.
In the afternoon you can visit the Paro Dzong. It was built in 1646 and now houses government offices and religious institutions, as do all the dzongs (forts) currently. You’ll cross a traditional wooden bridge on the way to the dzong. You can then tour the National Museum formerly the watchtower for the dzong. It now houses a collection of fine arts-paintings, thangkas, statues, and antiques. Afterward you will visit Kyichu Lhakhang. the oldest temple in the country. In the evening you can stroll through the Paro market and town. Overnight in Paro.
Day 2 (Paro, Thimpu)
After breakfast hike to Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) Monastery, which is Bhutan’s most famous monastery. Guru Rinpoche is said to have flown on the back of a tigress from Singye Dzong in Lhuntse to meditate in a cave where Taktsang Monastery now stands. It is perched on the edge of a steep cliff, about 900 meters above Pars Valley. The hike to reach the viewpoint to the monastery makes for a nice half-day excursion. After lunch, drive to Thimphu. In the evening you can explore Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. and absorb the lifestyle of the people. You can also visit some interesting handicraft shops. Overnight in Thimphu.
Day 3 (Thimpu)
After breakfast you will visit the King’s Memorial Choden (built in memory of the third King of Bhutan who reigned from 1952-1972) Changgangkha Monastery, the radio tower (for a great view of Thirnphu Valley and the Thirnphu Dzong) and the zoo, which contains the national animal of Bhutan: the takin. From there you will visit the nunnery temple. the National Library (where ancient manuscripts are preserved), and the School of Arts and Crafts (also known as the painting school). After a relaxing lunch you will visit the National Institute of Traditional Medicine_ a traditional paper factory, the majestic Tashichodzong. and Sirntokha Dzong (the oldest fortress in the kingdom). Overnight in Thirnphu.
Day 4 (Thimpu, Wangduephodrang)
After breakfast you will drive to Wangduephodrang with a stop en route for tea at Dochu La (3,100 meters), where on a clear day you can get spectacular views of the Himalayas. After lunch you will drive to Punakha, the former capital of Bhutan, and visit Punakha Dzong, which is noteworthy both for being one of the most beautiful dzongs in Bhutan and also for having been built by the first Shabdrung in 1637. On the way back, you will stop at Metshina Village and take a 20-minute walk through the rice fields to Chimi Lakhang, which is a fertility temple, where you may receive a special fertility blessing if you wish.
Day 5 (Wangduephodrang, Thimpu)
In the morning you will drive back to Thirnphu. In the afternoon you can visit the Textile Museum and the Folk Heritage Museum. Or you can hike to Tango Monastery which was built by the “Divine Madman” in the 15th century. It’s a center of study for monks and it affords a great view of the Thirnphu Valley. On the grounds of the monastery is a “sin-testing” tunnel–it is said that if you have sinned, you will get stuck in the tunnel, and if you are without sin, you will go through with ease! Overnight in Thimphu.
Day 6 (Thimpu)
The trek is all uphill through forest, mostly blue pine, this first day. The camp is at Phajoding Monastery, and you can walk around the area and see the monastery. Altitude 3,870m.
Day 7 (Phajoding)
The trail continues to climb for about an hour until you reach Phume La (pass) at 4.210m. From here you will have a view of Gangkhar Puensurn the highest mountain in Bhutan as well as other Himalayan peaks. The trail then descends to Sirnkota Tsho (lake). where the camp is located. It’s possible to go trout fishing here if you wish. Altitude 4.040.
Day 8 (Sinkota Tsho, Jimilang Tsho)
The trail will take you on short ups and downs and through a yak herder camp. Before arriving at the camp, the trail will descend through dwarf rhododendrons. The camp is at Jimilang Tsho (Sand Ox Lake), where you will again have the chance to fish for giant trout, which the lake is known for. There is a good view of Jichu Drake Mountain from here. Altitude 3.880m.
Day 9 (Jimilang Tsho, Jangchu Lakha)
The trek will begin with an hour-long ascent_ following the ridge above the tree line and then eventually descending. The camp is near a yak herders’ camp_ and there are lovely views ofJurnolhari Mountain from here. You may spot some pheasants in the area. Altitude 3.780m.
Day 10 (Jangchu Lakha, Jili Dzong)
There are many ups and downs above the tree line during the first half of the trail. The trail then descends through rhododendron and thick alpine forest to Jili Dzong and across Jili La (pass) at 3.490m. You can visit the dzong and explore the area. The camp is a ways below the dzong, in a yak pasture. Altitude 3,450.
Day 11 (Jili Dzong, Paro)
The trail today is all downhill, past some villages. The trail ends near the Ta Dzong in Pam. You will be met by your driver and driven to your hotel in Pam. In the evening you can visit a traditional farmhouse and, if you wish, enjoy a typical Bhutanese dinner. Overnight in Paro.