Day 01: Arrive Paro (By Druk Air)
The flight into Paro on our national carrier, Druk Air, is a befitting introduction to the spectacular beauty of our country. In clear weather, magnificent views of the world’s highest peaks, give way to the lush green Paro valley as you land. Your Bhutanese escort from our company will greet you on arrival, and then drive you the short distance to the Hotel. After lunch, visit the Ta Dzong, an ancient watchtower, which now houses the National Museum. Below the museum is the Paro Rimpung Dzong, the centre of civil and religious authority in this valley. A short walk takes you to the base of the dzong and across a traditional cantilevered, covered bridge. A short distance further is one of the innumerable archery grounds. (Archery is the national sport of Bhutan). If we are lucky, we may catch a match in action. Dinner and overnight in Hotel.
Day 02. Paro Sightseeing
Sightseeing for altitude familiarization.
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. Altitude 3,350m; Distance 10 Km; Time 3 – 4 hours.
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. Altitude 3,700m; Distance 12 Km; Time 4 – 5 hours.
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. Altitude 3,800m; Distance 16 Km; Time 6/7 hours.
Day 06. Jimilangtso – Simkota. (4-5hours)
The trail takes you through dwarf rhododendron trees past the lake of Janetso. Overnight camp.
Day 07. Simkota – Phajoding (4 hours)
From here we slowly descend down to Phajoding Monastery from where Thimphu town is visible at the valley floor. Overnight camp.
Day 08. Phajoding – Thimphu
After breakfast, descend down to the Thimphu valley. End of Trek.
Day 09. Thimphu Sightseeing
After breakfast, 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 we drive to the Traditional Medicine Institute where medicines are prepared according to ancient practices and finally visit the Handicrafts Emporium followed by shopping for souvenirs in the shops of Thimphu. Over night in Hotel.
Day 10.Paro, Excursion to Taktsang Monastery
A very special day, with an excursion to view the spectacular Taktsang (Tiger’sNest) monastery – After breakfast a short drive takes us to Satsam Chorten, from there a 2 hour horse ride till the viewpoint point of the monastery. 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. Built in the 1600s, this incredible monastery clings to the edge of a sheer rock cliff that plunges 900 m into the valley below. Legend has it that Guru Padmasambhava, the tantric mystic who brought Buddhism to Bhutan, landed here on the back of a flying tiger. Looking at the monastery flying tigers doesn’t seem so impossible after all. After Lunch, drive to the ruins of the Drukgyal Dzong 16 km up the valley. Built in 1647 by the great Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, father and unifier of medieval Bhutan, the dzong was destroyed by accidental fire and left in ruins as an evocative reminder of the great victories it was built to commemorate. Explore the ramparts and on a clear day experience an unforgettable view of Mt. Jhomolhari (7,314 m). On the way back, visit Kichu Lhakhang built in 659 by the Tibetan King Srongsen Gampo. Dinner and over night in hotel.
Day 11. Departure
Early morning, drive to the airport and farewell.