13 Days Gantey Cultural 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 afts, paintings. thankas, statues, and antiques. Afterward you will visit Kyichu Lhakhang, the oldest temple in the country. In the evening you can stroll through the Pam o 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 Chorten (built in memory of the third King of Bhutan who reigned from 1952-1972), Changgangkha Monastery. the radio tower (for a great view of Thimphu Valley and the Thimphu Dzong), and the zoo, which contains the national animal of Bhutan: the takin. From there you will visit the nunnery temple, the National Library (which houses ancient manuscripts). 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 Simtokha Dzong (the oldest fortress in the kingdom) Overnight in Thimphu.
Day 4 (Thimphu, 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 from Punakha, 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. Overnight in Wangduephodrang
Day 5 (Wangduephodrang, Bumthang)
You will drive to Bumthang. On the way you will drive to Gantey and visit Gantey Camp, the only Nyingmapa monastery in western Bhutan. From there you’ll head to Bumthang the religious headland of the nation. Along the way you will stop at a yethra (textile weaving) factory where the yethras are designed with patterns unique to Burnthanry and you can even watch some of the weavers at their looms. Overnight in Bumthang.
Day 6 (Bumthang)
After breakfast you will tour the beautiful region and visit sights including Jakar Dzong, the administrative center of the valley, Jambey Lhakhang. one of the oldest monasteries in Bhutan. dating from the introduction of Buddhism in Bhutan: and Kurjey Lhakhang. one of the most sacred places, because Guru Rinpoche left his body imprint on the cave when he was meditating. You will visit Tamshing monastery where you can see the oldest paintings and you will visit Mebar Tsho (Burning Lake). where some of Guru Rinpoche’s treasures were found in the 15th century by the famous treasure discover Pema Lingpa. Overnight in Bumthang.
Day 7 (Bumthang, Gantey)
You will begin the day by driving to Phobjikha valley. On the way you will stop in Trongsa and visit the Trongsa Dzong and the Ta-Dzong. You can walk explore Trongs twos. Later you will continue to drive to Phobjikha. You’ll pass through dense forests of oak trees and rhododendrons and arrive at Gantey village. where you’ll visit Gantey Gornpa. the only Nyingrnapa monastery in western Bhutan. Overnight in Gantey.
Day 8 (Phobjikha, Suibikha)
Starting Point — Tshikopang (2900m) Lunch spot — Yaklam Camp — Suibikha (3860m) Time taken — 5-6 hrs. Difficulty— moderate, gradual ascend Attractions — beautiful landscape, flora and fauna sightings (rhododendrons. pheasants. etc.) Overnight in tent
Day 9 (Suibikha, Gogona)
Strating point — Suibikha pass (3860m) Lunch spot — Pangeymo Camp — Gogona (2950m) Time taken —4-5 hrs. Difficulty— moderate gradual descend Attractions — beautiful landscape, flora and fauna sightings, visit to Gogona cheese factory possibility for traditional: hot stone bath since the village has a source for Menchu (mineral water). Overnight in tent
Day 10 (Gogona, Khotokha)
Starting point — Gogona Village Lunch spot — No designated spot Camp — Khotokha (2600m) Time taken — 5 hrs. Difficulty— moderate/ easy Attractions — Scenic beauty (view ofJumolhari can be sighted from Shoblaa pass. for example). Khotokha Valley. Black necked cranes during season, potential day hike destinations (valley surrounded by many monasteries and temples) Overnight in tent
Day 11 (Khotokha, Rubisa)
Starting point — Khotokha Lunch spot — No designated spot Camp — Rubisai Wangdue Phodrang Time taken — 5-6 hrs. Difficulty— moderate Attractions — beautiful valley of Wangdue and parts of Punakha can be sighted from almost all parts of the trail, with magnificent view ofJumolhari. Gangkar Puensum and other snow capped mountain ranges. Overnight in tent
Day 12 (Wangduephodrang, Paro)
Set out for Pare with a stop in Thimphu for lunch and shopping. In the afternoon, you will continue the drive to Paro. In the evening you can visit a traditional farmhouse and, if you wish. enjoy a typical Bhutanese dinner. Overnight in Pars.