Bhutan Ancient Trails

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Bhutan Ancient Trails - 11 Days | 10 Nights

From

US$ 2290 / per person

Bhutan Ancient Trails

Highlights

  • Discover the ancient trail of Bhutan that have linked villages for centuries.
  • Visit farm house and interact with families.
  • Enjoy hike around villages and valleys.
  • Discover some of the most sacred monasteries, medieval fortresses and temples.
  • Visit to Switzerland of Bhutan.
  • Hike to Tiger’s Nest.

On this 11 days tour, you will discover the ancient trails that have linked villages for centuries. Most of the time you will hike in meadows of wildflowers to dwarf, rhododendron forest with good mountain views. This tour is best way to discover and experience people, forest and scenery.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Paro-Thimphu

During the journey, one will experience breath-taking view of Mount Everest, Kanchenjunga and other famous Himalayan peaks including the sacred Jumolhari and Mount Jichu Drake in Bhutan. On arrival at Paro International Airport, you will be received by your guide and take you to Thimphu which is 54 km from Paro Airport and about 45 minutes’ drive. Later in the evening King’s Memorial Chorten (built in memory of the third King of Bhutan); visit Buddha statue, and is presumed to be the largest Bronze statue in the world. The three storied high throne of the statue will consists of temples on each floor, visit Changgangkha Monastery, old fortress like temple and monastic school perched on a ridge above Thimphu, south-east of Motithang, visit Post office, where you can personalize your stamp, visit Traditional paper, visit mini zoo, where you can see Takin, National animal of Bhutan and visit the the majestic Tashichhodzong. Evening:Stroll through the town. Overnight hotel in Thimphu.

Day 2: Thimphu (Hike to Tango and Cheri Monastery)

This morning, you will drive 14 km to the north of the capital city of Thimphu to Tango and Cheri Monastery. The hike to Tango monastery is 45 minutes if you take steeper shortcut and 1hr if you take longer route. Phajo Drugom Zhipo the monastery in 13 century and now serves as Buddhist university collage. Decend back to the parking lot where your car will be waiting. Little beyond the turn-off to Tango monastery, the road ends at Dodina. The 45 minutes hike to Cheri Goemba starts from here. Cross the wooden bridge and then climbs steeply to the monastery. Enroute, there are chances to spot the mountain goats. The monastery serves as important meditation retreats. Drive back to Thimphu. Overnight hotel in Thimphu.

Day 3: Thimphu – Punakha(Hike to Lungchuzekha Monastery).

After breakfast this morning, enjoy the scenic drive to Punakha with a stop for tea at Dochu La (3,100 meters), where on a clear day you can get spectacular views of the Eastern Himalayas. You will begin 2 hours hike to Lungchuzekha Monastery from 108 chortens (stupas). The trail passes through rhododendron forests. Walking along the high ridges dotted with colorful Buddhist prayer flags offers us stunning views of Himalayas, plus incredible vistas into the valleys below the pass. Hike back to Dochula. After lunch, drive downhill through the forests of rhododendron, fir and hemlock. You will arrive at Punakha after traversing through rice field and along the bank of River. After arrival, visit Punakha Dzong, which is stunningly situated in between the male and female rivers like an anchored ship. Overnight hotel in Punakha.

Day 4: Punakha – Gangtey/Phobjikha

After breakfast, you will stop at Metsina village and take a 20 minute walk through the rice fields to Chimi Lhakhang, which is a fertility temple. This temple is dedicated to the great Yogi in the 14th century known as Drukpa Kuenley, or the “Divine Madman,” who is believed to bless women who seek fertility. After exploring temple, you will you will drive to Gangtey/Phobjikha which is a famous for winter roosting place for Black necked crane. Phobjikha valley is a conservation area recognized primarily for its ecological richness and prime winter habitat of the Black-necked Cranes (Grus nigricollis) with approximate of 300 cranes every winter. About 30 minutes’ drive from Punakha is Wangduephodrang, the last town before central Bhutan. The district is famous for its fine bamboo work and stone carving. From Wangduephodrang, the road winds up through dense forests of oak and rhododendrons till Lawala pass, which is blanketed with dwarf bamboos. The pass offers panoramic views of the Himalayan Mountains. Drive downhill for little while and you will be awestricken by the stunning views of Gangtey Goenpa and Phobjikha Valley. You will visit Gangtey Goenpa, the only Nyingmapa monastery in western Bhutan. After exploring Gangtey Goenpa, you can hike along Gangtey Natural Trial, the most beautiful and shortest of the existing nature trails in Bhutan. The hike takes about 1hr 30minutes through the pine forest and small bamboo plants. You can see the Phobjkha valley so beautifully from this hike. It is one of the best hike places for the Nature lovers. Overnight hotel in Phobjekha

Day 5: Phobjikha – Trongsa (Hike to Longtey Village)

Following breakfast, you will start your hike from Gangtey to Longtey Village. The initial hike is all ascents through long and beautiful stretch of meadows and farms. From Kayche La ((3700m) which is marked with some prayer flags, you will gradually descend to Longtey Village through thickets of dwarf bamboos, birch, rhododendron, hemlock and fir. You will have a picnic lunch at road point where your car will be waiting. After lunch, you will drive to Trongsa, the ancestral home of the royal family. On arrival, you can visit Trongsa Dzong, the masterpiece of Bhutanese architecture. In the evening, you can browse through Trongsa Town. Overnight hotel in Trongsa.

Day 6:  Trongsa – Bumthang(Hike to Lamei Goempa)

After breakfast, you will start your journey to Bumthang, a place which holds many holy sites that are centuries old and highly momentous.  On the way you will cross Yontongla pass(3450m) and after pass you will enter in to Bumthang region. On the way you will stop at Yathra (textile weaving) factory, where the Yathra are designed with patterns unique to Bumthang, and you can even watch some of the weavers at their looms. You will drive up to Tharpaling monastery which is preached on the hill side. The monastery was built by a great saint called Kuenkhen Longchen Runjam and about 100 monks live there.   From there you can continue climbing on foot above the monastery to around 3500m to 4300m and from there you will get a wonderful view of Chamkhar valley (where Bumthang town is located). From there you can walk another couple of hours down towards Lama Gomba.  The walk runs along the ridge of Kikila and finally follows the traditional trek route between Trongsa and Bumthang (the Royal Heritage Trail) finishing with a wonderful view of Jakar Dzong. Your car will be waiting at Lamei Goempa to pick you up and transfer to your hotel. Overnight hotel in Bumthang.

Day 7:  Bumthang (Hike to Petseling Monastery)

Following the breakfast, you will start your hike to Petseling Monastery and it is about three hours hike.  It offers panoramic views of the whole Bumthang valley. You can also hike beyond the monastery across the ridge and feel the spirit of the mountains and monastery.  From here return to town, ending your walk at Tamshing Lhakhang. You will visit Tamshing Lakhang – founded in 1501 by Terton Pema Lingpa, the temple was restored at the end of the 19th century. If you are not tired and if you wish, visit Kurjey Lakhang, one of the most sacred places, because Guru Rinpoche left his body imprints on the cave when he was meditating.  Evening you can stroll freely in the town.  Overnight hotel in Bumthang.

Day 8:  Bumthang – Paro

After breakfast, you will drive to airport for your flight to Paro. After lunch, you can visit Kyichu Lhakhang, the oldest and most sacred temple in the country built by the Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo in 8th century, and visit the Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche Memorial House. The Memorial House in Kyichu, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche’s primary residence in Bhutan, was inaugurated as a museum and opened to the public in 2010 to celebrate his centennial. It has been preserved almost exactly as it was when he lived there. Khyentse Rinpoche was one of the main spiritual teachers of the Bhutanese Royal Family. The house includes the reception room where Rinpoche gave private audiences and teachings and his bedroom where he meditated daily and recited prayers, visit the Rinpung Dzong meaning “fortress of the heap of jewels”. It has a long and fascinating history. Along the wooden galleries lining the courtyard of the Rinpung Dzong are fine wall paintings illustrating Buddhist lore. You will walk downhill till the road point crossing the wooden bridge. Your vehicle will be waiting here to take you to Paro town. Walking through the market and meeting with the people will be an enjoyable experience. Overnight hotel in Paro.

Day 9:  Paro (Day Excursion to Chele La Pass)

After early breakfast, you will drive 1.5 hours from Paro to the Chele La Pass at 3988m. You can see panoramic view of the two valleys of Paro and Haa and of course, the beautiful Himalayan ranges of Bhutan from Pass. This Chele La ridge hike will take 3 hours for the round trip with the stop.  From the pass we will hike up along the Meadow to Kung Karpo La(4500m), where there is small stone hut which is sometimes used by monks to meditate, this is actually a place for the sky burial. Weather permitted we will enjoy the breathtaking views of the snowcapped mountains while walking above the tree lines along the ridge that divides Paro and Haa valley. To the west there is KanchenJunga(8,586m),  the third highest mountain in the world, to the northeast, Gangkar Puensum(7,570m), Bhutan’s highest mountain and the highest virgin mountains in the world, Jumolhari(7,314m), Jichu Drakey(6,794) and a host of other peaks. Later in the afternoon, you will drive back to Paro. Overnight hotel in Paro.

 Day 10:  Paro. Hike to Tiger’s Nest Monastery

In the m orning you will hike to Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) Monastery, which is Bhutan’s most famous monastery situated at 3180 meters. Guru Rinpoche (spiritual master) 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. The Monastery is perched on the edge of a steep cliff, about 900 meters above Paro Valley. Lunch will be served at the Cafeteria. Explore the monastery and hike back to the valley in the afternoon. Evening you will visit farm house and experience Bhutanese traditional hot stone bath and test local cuisine.

Day 11: Departure

Drive to the airport for departure. Our representative will bid you farewell.

At a Glance

Tour duration: 11 Days | 10 Nights

Tour type: Hiking tour

Festival:

  • The February departure may attend the Punakha festival
  • The march departure may attend the Paro festival
  • The April departure may attend the Rhododendron and Domkhar festival
  • The September departure may attend the Thimphu, Gangtey and Wangdue festival
  • The October departure may attend the Naked dance festival


Best time:
All season

Activity type: Cultural sightseeing, Home stay, Village tour, Religious sites and Day hikes

Places covered: Thimphu, Punakha, Wangdue, Trongsa, Bumthang and Paro

Maximum elevation: 4300m

Inclusions

  • All meals
  • Tea, coffee and snacks
  • Complementary bottled water in car
  • Hotels
  • Transport
  • Guide
  • Government levy
  • Visa fee
  • Entrance fees
  • Permits
  • Sightseeing

Exclusions

  • Flight tickets
  • Insurance
  • Tips
  • Beverages other than tea and coffee
  • Sleeping bag on trek
  • Laundry
  • Internet bill
  • Phone bill
  • Other bills of personal nature

Accommodation

  • Accommodation in 3 star hotels (upgrade with supplement)
  • Homestay accommodation certified by Tourism Council of Bhutan
  • Camping (optional)

Insurance

Package does not include insurance of any kinds, and that you are required to obtain separate coverage from your home country before your trip begins.