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Druk Path Trek

NZD $3,834

Duration – 9 days / 8 nights (6 days trekking)

Highest campsite – 4100m (13450ft)

Best time to go – April to June, September to November

Difficulty – Moderate degree of fitness, full trekking days

Tour Cost – Single: US$2,440 /  Group of 2 people: US$2,360  /  3+ people: US$2120

For those short on time, but still wanting an immersive Bhutan experience, the Druk Path Trek is the one for you. The most popular short-duration high altitude trek between Thimphu and Paro, and taking in some of the country’s best views and sites. The trek begins from above Ta Dzong – the National Museum after a short uphill drive passing through several settlements and farms. The trail on this trek is quite demanding and rough but your efforts will be amply rewarded. Even though it is a popular trekking route, most of the time it is not at all crowded and quite often you will trek without encountering any other trekkers along the trail. The trail on this trek is known for its rich lush green forest of pine, fur, rhododendron, and juniper, which is quite famous in this area and particularly spectacular in the month of May. An additional interesting feature on this trek are the numerous small high-altitude beautiful lakes surrounded by stunning mountain landscapes.

Description

Wild Mountain Adventures

Wild Mountain Adventure is a leading adventure tour company in Bhutan, and markets their key trekking products under the Bhutan Trekker brand. Their focus is on delivering excellent customer care as you discover Bhutan and exceeding clients’ expectations through the provision of truly unique and inspirational experiences.
As passionate trekkers themselves, the team at Wild Mountain Adventure pay particular attention to the fundamental aspects and small details of planning a trekking trip. They are acutely aware of how refreshing an adventure away from home and regular routines is, and provide really flexible itineraries to meet individual and group adventurers’ needs. With highly trained and knowledgeable local staff, excellent support structures in place, and a focus on the best hospitality, you can be assured of a memorable and unforgettable experience trekking through Bhutan’s beautiful wilderness.

Detailed Itinerary

DAY 01: ARRIVAL PARO I 2250M
On arrival at Paro international airport you will be met by the local tour guide and after a short briefing you will then transferred to your hotel. After a short refreshment in the hotel, drive through Paro valley for an introductory sightseeing trip. Your sightseeing in the enchanting Paro region includes a visit to National Museum, Paro Rinpung Dzong and Jangsa Dumtse Lhakhang. In the evening stroll around the booming town of Paro.

DAY 02: PARO – JELI DZONG I CAMPSITE: 2490M I 10KM I 05HRS
Today after a leisurely breakfast in the hotel drive further above Ta Dzong – the National Museum where your trek begins. The first day of the trek begins with an uphill climb for around 3-4 hours taking you through rich forests of pine, fur and rhododendron. As you near the ridge you will have a breath-taking view of the valley below. Your campsite is located on the other side of the ridge with an eye-catching view of Jela Dzong located on the ridge above the campsite.

DAY 03: JELI DZONG – JANGCHULAKHA I CAMPSITE: 3790M I 11KM I 05-06HRS
After your breakfast walk up to Jeli Dzong and visit the temple interior. This remote dzong was built in the 15th century and houses a 4m statue of Buddha Sakyamuni. Your trek continues following the long ridge with superb views of the valley below. During the day you will have stunning views of the surrounding mountains including Mt. Jomolhari and other small Himalayan mountain peaks. En-route you will encounter some of the beautiful game birds here like Himalayan Monal, Blood Pheasant and other species.

DAY 04: JANGCHULAKHA – JIGMELANGTSHO I CAMPSITE: 3870M I 12KM I 06HRS
Today your trail begins with an uphill climb following the ridge at 4040m. As you continue walking through the ridge, on a clear day the view of Mt. Jomolhari can be visible along with other surrounding mountain landscapes. After dropping from the ridge you then ascend uphill to Jangchula pass (4180m) and then gradually descend down to the shore of a fascinating lake called Jigme Langtsho popularly known as the ‘sand of ox’ lake. The lake is known for its giant size trout. Your campsite is located on the northern edge of the lake.

DAY 05: JIGMELANGTSHO – SIMKOTA TSHO I CAMPSITE: 4100M I 11KM I 05HRS
Today your trail cuts through the ridge with less of a climb. You will traverse through a rich forest of rhododendron and other flowering plants. En-route you will come across yaks and a yak herder’s camp, where you will get an opportunity to have an encounter with the nomadic people and understand their life style. As you continue your trek above the tree line you then finally descend down to Simkotatsho Lake, which is also popular for rainbow trout. Your camp will be pitched close to the lake and is one of the highest campsites on this trek.

DAY 06: SIMKOTATSHO – PHAJODING I CAMPSITE: 3870M 11KM I 04HRS
After your leisurely breakfast your trek gradually ascends uphill to a saddled ridge at 4180m and then gradually up to the fame Phumela Pass at 4210m. The top of the pass is unlike any of the passes that you will encounter on this trek. The pass greets you with the adorning colorful prayer flags. If the weather permits the view of Mt. Gangkar Puensum will be visible along with other surrounding peaks. From here the downhill walk takes you to the first monastery of Phajoding – Thujidrak Goemba. If time permits make a short visit to the goemba. This beautifully located goemba is one of the most popular meditation centers in all of Phajoding and Thimphu, hanging on the precipitous rock face. Continue downhill whilst visiting other temples en-route, with the trial finally leading to the site of the main Phajoding monastic school. Your campsite is located close to the monastic school. If interested you can also choose to spend the night at the eco-lodge located just behind the monastic school.

DAY 07: PHAJODING – THIMPHU I ELEVATION: 2320M I 02HRS
Today after your leisurely breakfast, make a short visit to the monastic school and other nearby surrounding temples. There is rich history and several interesting stories behind these groups of temples and more interestingly your trekking guide will be the key influencer for you to learn the hidden secrets. After exploring the sites of Phajoding you then gradually descent downhill through a rich forest of fur and spruce to the road end. Your vehicle and driver wait to welcome you and then drive to your hotel in Thimphu.

DAY 08: THIMPHU – PARO – TIGER’S NEST I ELEVATION: 2950M I 04KM I 04HRS
We recommend you make an early start. The drive from Thimphu to Paro and then to the Tiger’s Nest base is around 75km. Reaching the base of the Tiger’s Nest you then embark on your somewhat arduous hike of the day up to the Tiger’s Nest. The hike up to the Tiger’s Nest is an uphill task and takes around 2-3 hours at an average speed. The goemba is located on the giant cliff overlooking the valley below and is one of the most important pilgrimage sites in all of the Himalayas. According to the legend the Buddhist saint Guru Padmasambhava founded the site in the 8th century. Returning back from the Tiger’s Nest following the same trail you then return back to the parking area. En-route to Paro stop to visit the historical Kyichu Lhakhang. It is one of the first and oldest temples in Bhutan. Kindly ask your guide for a detailed background history of the temple.

DAY 09: HOTEL – AIRPORT
After your leisurely breakfast in the hotel, check out and depart to the airport and your return flight. Here you bid adieu to your helpful Bhutanese tour guide and driver and then proceed to your onward destination.

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