The Druk Path Trek, is a 6 day long rewarding trekking route following a scenic old mule trail that crosses a mountain chain that separates the valleys from Thimpu and Paro. The trail brings you to a sparsely inhabited region which is situated at an altitude between 2 200 m and 4 000 m. On the way participants enjoy fine alpine scenery and explore spectacular rhododendron, fir and blue pine forests. You visit ancient gompas and temples, dzongs and yak encampments and we put up our camps in remote settlements, near clear mountain lakes and yak pastures. In May when the rhododendron forests are blooming and later in Autumn when the views on the Himalaya peaks of Jitshu Drake and Gankar Puensum are crystal clear, the trek is simply exhilarating. This journey also covers the cultural highlights of Paro and Thimpu including an epic hike to Taktshang Monastery of the Tiger’s Nest, Bhutan’s most famous monastery which is considered as one of the most adored religious sites in the world.
Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu
Day 02: Sightseeing Kathmandu Valley
Day 03: Arrival in Paro, Sightseeing Paro (2 280m)
Day 04: Hike to Tigers Nest (3 120 m)
Day 05: Start Druk Path Trek – Trek to Jilli Dzong (3 570 m)
Day 06: Trek Tsokham (3 770 m)
Day 07: Trek Jimilang Tsho (3 870 m)
Day 08: Trek Simkotra Tsh (4 040 m)
Day 09: Trek Phajo Ding (3 750 m)
Day 10: Trek Motithang and transfer to Thimpu (2 320 m)
Day 11: Transfer Thimpu to Paro and flight to Kathmandu
Day 12: Free day Kathmandu
Day 13: Fly out Kathmandu
Pick-up at Tribhuvan International Airport, meeting with your guide and transfer to the hotel. First impressions of Kathmandu (1,350 m) – walk to medieval Kathmandu Durbar Square and explore the beautiful complex of palaces, temples, shrines and courtyards built by the ancient Nepali kings between the 12th and 18th centuries. We bring you to our office and Thamel – the vibrant tourist area with hotels, restaurants, bakeries and outdoor shops. We get to know each other over a welcome dinner and discuss your itinerary. Overnight in hotel.
Today we discover the highlights of Kathmandu and the valley. We adapt the programm to your interests and desires and what you have seen before. Usually, we go to Pashupatinath on the bank of the Bagmati River, where the most important Hindu temples and burning ghats of Nepal are situated. In Boudhanath we circumambulate together with Tibetan and Nepali Buddhist pilgrims the whitewashed stupa. Our sightseeing usually ends in Patan, the city of Beauty, an astonishing center of fine art and Buddhist and Hindu culture. Overnight in hotel.
Flight to Paro with Druk Air. With beautiful weather you enjoy beautiful views over the Himalaya range including Mount Everest. On arrival in the charming town of Paro (2 250 m), you will be received by your guide and being transferred to your hotel. After refreshing we visit the Ta-Dzong which was originally built as watch tower for the dzong. After its renovation in 1968 the building was converted to National Museum of Bhutan. The National Museum has over 3 000 works of Bhutanese art covering more than 1 500 years of Bhutan’s cultural heritage in its possession.
After we visit the Paro Dzong or Rimpung Dzong (Fotress of the heap of Jewels) which has a long and fascinating history and is known as one the finest examples of Bhutanese architecture. The dzong was built in 1645 AD and is currently used as district administration and home for the monastic bodies. Before entering the Dzong we cross the picturesque traditional cantilever bridge, locally known as Nemi Zam.
In the evening we stroll around Paro’s lively town with colorfully painted wooden shops, restaurants and bakeries. Overnight in hotel.
After breakfast we make a 5 hour long excursion to Taktshsang monastery which is one of the Bhutan’s most revered monuments. We climb for 2 hours through to blue pines to reach the Tigers Nest. The monastery hangs miraculously on a cliff 900 meters above the Paro valley floor. The legend states that Guru Rimpoche flew from Singye Dzong in Kurtoe on a mythical tigress to subdue a local demon named Singey Samdrup. Before bringing Buddhism to Bhutan he meditated 3 years in the caves of Taktshang. After visiting the Tigers you return to your hotel for lunch and you enjoy free time in Paro.
Our hiking route starts today from National Museum and climbs steeply up a ridge passing Kuenga Lhakhang at 2 640m. The trek leads through the shades of blue pine forests, cultivated fields and the stone houses and apple orchards of Damchena (2 880 m). We lunch at Damchena and then we trek through fir forests to a mani wall at Damche Gom (3 260m) before reach our camping place below Jili Dzong (3 570m). We hike today 5 h and gain 1090 m.
After breakfast we visit the 15th century old Jili Dzong. The main hall of the isolated dzong holds an impressive Buddha statue of almost 4 m high. Outside the dzong we have a clear view of Paro valley with Jhomolhari (7 314 m) and Jichu Drakey (6 989 m) mountains in distance. The route continues with a long ridge walk along rhododendron forests to 3550m and then descends through the woods. Soon after we reach the pasture of Jangchu Lakha ( 3 760m). After 3-4 h gentle walking we reach Tshokam, a yak pasture at 3 770 m, where we have a stone bath and camp tonight.
We descend from Tshokam to the foot of the valley, cross the upper part of the Bemang Rong Chu, the only stream at 3 540m. The trek takes you further along the yak pasture of Langrithang and to forests before making a steep ascent through large rocks and dwarf rhododendron s to reach a crest. A few minutes later we can see the isolated “Sand Ox Lake” or Jimilang Tsho at an altitude of
3 870 m. The lake is was named for a bull that emerged from the lake and joined the cattle of a family that uses the area as a summer grazing ground. After 4-5 hours walking, we install ourselves at the pleasant camping place near the striking lake.
After breakfast we climb from the lower end of the lake to a ridge of 4010m. After we descend to a single stone shelter and then climb to another ridge of 4050m which is overlooking the lake of Janye Tsho. We descend to the yak herder camp near the lake and walk along the shore to reach our camp spot at 4 040 m overlooking the lake of Simkota Tsho.
Today we make a strenuous climb over rocky paths passing several false summits to reach the top of Labana La (4 210m). After the Labana La the route descends to a 4210 m pass ensuring views on Dochula and Jhomolhari mountains. After reaching a final pass at 4 090 m we climb down to Thuji Drak, a remote meditation center which hangs on the side of a rocky cliff at 3950 m. With good weather you enjoy splendid views over Gangkhar Puensum and other other Himalaya mountains. Before descending to our camp near the gompa of Phajoding (3 750 m) we overlook the scenic valley of Thimpu and we visit the beautiful temples of the meditation centre of Thuji Drak. Walking hours: 4 h.
After breakfast we trek 3 h downhill to reach Mothithang (2520m). We pass a few chortens and descend through the woods of the residence of the royal family to catch our car. After a short drive and lunch in the hotel, we visit the highlights of Thimpu like the National Institute for Zorig Chusum or the Painting School, the National Memoral Chorten and the Trashi Chhoe Dzong.
In the early morning we return in less than 2 hours from Thimpu to Paro for departure to Kathmandu. Transfer to hotel and leisure time. Overnight in hotel.
On this last day you’ll have plenty of time to for more sightseeing, relaxing or shopping in Kathmandu City. We highly recommend to visit Bhaktapur, a vibrant medieval city with squares, palaces and towering temples dating back to the 13th century or to climb the stairs of the scenic Swayambunath or Monkey Temple, a beautiful stupa which is overlooking the bustling capital city. Overnight in hotel.
Transfer to Tribhuvan Airport. We hope you enjoyed your journey!
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