11 days | Best season: March to May, Sept. to Nov. | Min. 2 persons. | Max altitude: 4,110m | Moderate trekking
This is a very Popular 5 days Trek and goes to High Altitude and is moderately strenuous. The Trek route passes through some beautiful High Altitude Lakes. You can come across diverse Flora as you pass through the ridge of the Mountain and you can see the beautiful view of the Himalayas around. It starts from Paro near the Museum and ends in Motithang, Thimphu. The highest point is 4110 Meters.
Day 01. Arrive Paro. Representative from Yak Holidays will greet you on arrival, and then drive you the short distance to the hotel. Visit Ta Dzong (built in1656 and renovated in 1968), an ancient watchtower. Rimpung Dzong (literally meaning “Heap of Jewels”, built in 1646. Dinner and over night in Hotel.
Day 2. Excursion to Taktsang Monastery: A very special day, with an excursion to view the spectacular Taktsang (Tiger's Nest) monastery - After early breakfast, a short drive takes us to Satsam Chorten, The trail climbs through beautiful pine forest, many of the trees festooned with Spanish moss, and an occasional grove of fluttering prayer flags. We stop for a rest and light refreshments at the Taktsang Jakhang (cafeteria) and then walk a short distance until we see, clearly and seemingly within reach, Taktsang monastery.
The primary Lhakhang was built around Guru Rimpoche’s meditation cave in the 1684by the Penlop of Paro Gyaltse Tenzin Rabgay, this incredible monastery clings to the edge of a sheer rock cliff that plunges 900 meters into the valley below. Legend has it that Guru Padmasambhava, the tantric mystic who brought Buddhism to Bhutan, flew here on the back of a flying tiger, Dorji Drolo, said to be his favourite consort. Lunch will be served at the Paro town.
After Lunch, visit Ta Dzong (built in1656 and renovated in 1968), an ancient watchtower, which now houses the National Museum. Below the museum is the Paro Rimpung Dzong (literally meaning “Heap of Jewels”, built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the centre of civil and religious authority in this valley. Dinner and over night in Nivvana Lodge.
Day 03. Paro - Jele Dzong (Start of Trek): Today is a short trek. The trek begins above the National Museum; we climb till we reach camp. If the weather is clear the Paro valley and the snow-capped mountains can be seen. The campsite is near the old Jele Dzong. If the caretaker is there you can visit the Dzong.
Camp Altitude: 3560m; Distance 10 Km; Walking Time 4 - 5 hours. (1090 meters ascent).
Day 04. Jele Dzong - Jangchulakha: The trek starts with a short climb and then passes through a thick alpine forest of rhododendron and gradually climbs till we reach camp. You may see yak herders around your campsite.
Camp Altitude: 3770m; Distance 10 Km; walking time: 3 - 4 hours. (Ascent 310 meters, descent 50 meters),
Day 05. Jangchulakha - Jimilangtso: The trail follows the ridge and on a clear day the views of the mountains and valleys are beautiful. Our camp is close to Lake Jimilangtso. These lakes are known for their giant sized trout, and if lucky, you may enjoy well-prepared trout for dinner.
Camp Altitude: 3870m; Distance 11 Kms; Walking time 4 hours, (330 meters ascent, 230 meters descent).
Day 06. Jimilangtso - Simkota. (4-5hours): The trail takes you through dwarf rhododendron trees past the lake of Janetso. Overnight camp.
Camp Altitude: 4110 meters, 11 kms, Walking time: 4 hours, (820 meters ascent, 400 meters descent).
Day 07. Simkota - Phajoding – Thimphu (4-5hours): From here we slowly descend down to Phajoding Monastery from where Thimphu town is visible at the valley floor. After lunch we drive to the Traditional Medicine Institute where medicines are prepared according to ancient practices. Takin Preserve Center and Sangay Gang View Point and to the Largest Statue of Buddha. Overnight in Hotel Sernya. www.hotelsernya.com
Altitude (End of Trek: 2520 meters), Distance: 15 kms, walking time: 6 – 7 hours, (130 meters ascent, 1820 descent).
Day 08. Thimphu Sightseeing: The day begins with a visit to the National Memorial Chorten (1974) built in honour of our late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk and the Dupthop Lhakhang one of the few surviving nunneries in Bhutan. We then visit the National Library, stocked with ancient Buddhist manuscripts, and the Painting School where traditional art is still kept alive through instructions in the art of painting Thangkas (sacred Buddhist religious scrolls). After Lunch, visit the Handicrafts Emporium followed by shopping for souvenirs in the shops of Thimphu. In the evening, visit to the Tashichho Dzong, seat of the national government and the Central Monastic Body, including the summer residence of the Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot of Bhutan). Overnight in Hotel Sernya.
Day 09. Thimphu – Punakha: (Altitude 1310 m, Distance 72 Kms, 3 hours drive). Drive to Punakha via Dochula pass. Visit Punakha Dzong built in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. Visit Chime Lhakhang, which was built by Lama Drukpa Kuenley. The Temple is also known as “the Temple of Fertility”. Overnight in Hotel.
Day 10. Punakha to Thimphu to Paro: (Altitude 2280 m, Distance 126 kms.) Drive to Paro via Thimphu. Afternoon, free for shopping. Evening, drive to Paro. Overnight in Hotel.
Day 11. Departure. Early morning, drive to Airport and farewell.