September 27 – October 6, 2016
From Paro, Bhutan
Overview: Join us on this wonderful adventure in Bhutan. This short trek provides an excellent opportunity to enjoy the scenery of the high Himalaya from a foreground of mountain lakes and deep rhododendron forests. The route, from Paro to Thimphu, was the main trail between the two towns before the road was built. The highest point reached is 3,800 meters (12,500 feet). Five days are needed to complete the trek. Though at high altitude, the hiking level is considered moderate. You will enjoy Bhutan's culture as you tour the high points of interest.
Facilities in Bhutan are good and this will be a comfortable trip. Travel to Bhutan can be tricky with only one small airline operating into Paro's airport. Be prepared for minor changes and delays. With a positive and flexible outlook, you will enjoy the challenge of this trip creating many fond and unique memories along with wonderful pictures..
Leadership: Our Trek Leader is Marin Johannsson. Our Leader is Marin Johannsson. She holds a B.S. in Recreation with a special emphasis in Outdoor Leadership. Marin has taught rock climbing, snow camping, rafting and canoeing. Trained in first aid, she has led many treks for us since 1990. When not on the trail, Marin also is a rafting guide and collects Tibetan Thangka paintings. Marin works closely with our local guide and dedicated staff members (cook, porters and assistants) to make this special trip a complete success. Ask us for references if you would like to talk to people who have traveled with them.
In the event that this trip is undersubscribed with four or less participants, the group will travel in the care of our local, English–speaking, Bhutanese guide.
Druk Path Day-To-Day Itinerary Detail:
Pre Trip Days: Fly from your home country to meet together in Paro, Bhutan. Remember, people in the Americas 'lose' one day when crossing the international date line. Please check your air itinerary carefully to ensure you arrive in Paro, Bhutan no later than September 27, 2016. If you wish to arrive early or depart late, we can help with accommodations and support for you upon your advance request.
Day 1: The flight into Paro on Druk Air is spectacular. With clear weather, magnificent views of the world's highest peaks, give way to the lush green of the Paro Valley (7,382 feet) where you land. Your Bhutanese guide will greet you after you claim your luggage and clear customs. You will then drive the short distance to your hotel for check-in. Dinner and overnight in Paro. (Dinner)
Day 2: Tiger's Nest. It's a short drive to Satsam Chorten and then about a two to three hour hike (maximum) to an excellent viewpoint for the "Tiger's Nest." It's known locally as Taktsang Gompa, one of the most spectacular and sacred pilgrimage sites of Tibetan Buddhism. The trail climbs through a beautiful pine forest 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 Padmasambhava's meditation cave in 1684. Padmasambhava or "Guru Rinpoche," as he is respectfully referred to in Bhutan, is one of the founders of Tantric Buddhism. His incredible monastery clings to the edge of a sheer rock cliff that plunges 900 meters (2,952 feet) into the valley below. Legend has it that Guru Rinpoche flew here on a tigress to meditate on the cliffs. The tigress being his consort, the divine Yeshe Tsogyel. Dinner and overnight in Paro. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 3: Visit the Natural History Museum at Ta Dzong and the district dzong called Rinpung dzong–fortress of a mountain of jewels, which is now the seat of administration and an institute for monks. In the afternoon, visit your guide's ancestral village high on a steep ridge at 8,530 feet. Dinner and overnight village home stay. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 4: Paro - Jele Dzong. Today we leave Paro by vehicle to drive, about two hours via farm roads, to Jele Dzong (fort) at an elevation of 11,270 feet. Hike the last two hours, all steeply uphill. If the fort's caretaker is available, we can visit the Dzong, otherwise explore the area and rest in the afternoon to aid acclimatization. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 5: The trek starts with a steep climb, lasting about an hour and a half. We pass through a thick alpine rhododendrons forest and gradually climb until we reach camp. You may see yak herders near our campsite. Rest in the afternoon to aid acclimatization. Camp altitude is 3,700 meters (12,100 feet), distance 12 kilometers (6 miles), hiking time 4 - 5 hours. Camping. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 6: Jangchulakha - Jimilangtso. The trail follows the ridge and on a clear day, the panoramic 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 you're lucky, you may also enjoy some well-prepared trout for dinner. Camp altitude is 3,800 meters (12,500 feet), distance today is 16 kilometers (7 miles) and hiking time is 6-7 hours. Camping. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 7: Jimilangtso - Simkota. The trail takes you through a forest of dwarf rhododendron trees, past Janetso Lake. Camp altitude 3,505 meters (11,500 feet), distance is 11 kilometers (7 miles) and hiking time is 4-5 hours. Camping. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 8: Simkota - Phajoding — Thimphu. Today, we slowly descend down to Phajoding Monastery, as Thimphu town, at 7,612 feet, becomes visible on the valley floor. After lunch, we drive to the Traditional Medicine Institute where medicines are prepared according to ancient practices. We continue on to Thimphu, possibly with time for optional sightseeing. Overnight in Thimphu. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 9: Thimphu — Paro (65 kilometers [40 miles], 1.5 hours drive). After breakfast, we'll enjoy the morning sightseeing in Thimpu. In the early evening, drive to Paro. Overnight in Paro. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 10: Departure. In the morning, transfer to the airport for your departure flight. (Breakfast)
Post Trip: It's a same day return for Americans crossing the international date line.
Important Note: This is meant only as a general guide to the schedule of our days. Changes can be made as we go along, based on local conditions, acclimatization, health and fitness levels. Ascents and descents listed in this itinerary are approximate totals. The exact amount will vary considerably and is impossible to measure accurately. The times and elevations given here are rounded off.
This is a moderate trek and fully–supported. It is enjoyable for people who are active and enjoy the outdoors.
Travel Details: If you make your own flight arrangements to the trip meeting point, please note that you must arrive in Paro, Bhutan by September 27, 2016 and depart no earlier than October 6, 2016. You are welcome to travel early or stay for extra days at the end.
Additional days in Bhutan can be arranged upon request and include transportation, accommodation, all meals and an English–speaking guide. Advance notice is necessary.
Please see our Policy section for complete information on our trip cancellation policies. Payment for additional services may be required at the time the service is received. All prices mentioned in this document are in U. S. Dollars ($USD). Please refer to the booking information section of our application form for more information.
Druk Path, Bhutan Trek • Administrative Details:
(+) Land Cost (land cost as itinerary has described):
(+) In-Trip Airfare Estimate (air during itinerary program):
(=) Total Program Cost (Land & In-Trip Air costs combined):
Trip Deposit (submit with application):
Single Supplement (optional single accommodation):
Maximum Group Size:
Other Cost & Need Considerations:
Passport, Visa(s), Physicians Visit, Emergency Medical & Evacuation Insurance, Travel to/from Paro, Meals Beyond Above Itinerary, Beverages, Spending/Personal Money.
Moderate: Usually involves hiking an average of four to six hours each day — with some trekking time being spent at high altitude. Accommodations consist of evenings spent at tea or guest houses and tent camping along the trail.
June 27, 2016 ($100USD late fee thereafter)
The Bhutan Druk Path Trek Printable Itinerary:
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