The Four day trek is the most popular trek in the country as it passes through a gorgeous natural landscape of blue pine forests, high ridges and pristine lakes while at the same time offering the opportunity to visit some ancient lhakhangs, dzongs and villages.
The Druk Path Trek is also a fairly easy hike to undertake as the distances between rest camps is fairly short. The trail takes you through forests of fir, blue pine and dwarf rhododendrons at altitudes ranging between 2400-4200 m. On the third day hikers will arrive at Jimiling Lake, whose crystal clear waters are home to gigantic trout.
This trek also offers hikers stunning views of Mt. Gangkar Puensum, the highest unscaled peak in the world. The best times to embark on the Druk Path Trek are between March-June or September-November.
Flying in to the country’s only airport, in the beautiful Paro valley, the clear mountain air, forested ridges, imposing monasteries and welcoming Bhutanese people in their striking national dress, provides a breath-taking first impression.
After clearing customs and visa control then you will meet our guide at the exit gate.
Visit Ta Dzong; once a watchtower, built to defend Rinpung Dzong during inter-valley wars of the 17th century, Ta Dzong was inaugurated as Bhutan’s National Museum in 1968. Next in line is Rinpung Dzong; the Dzong continues its age-old function as the seat of the district administration, district court and the monastic body. The southern approach to the Dzong has a traditional roofed cantilever bridge called Nemi Zam. A walk across the bridge offers a wide view of splendor of the Dzong’s architecture.
In the evening, visit drive to Drugyel Dzong, which is built by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1646 to commemorate his victory over the Tibetan invaders. Though largely destroyed by fire in 1951, the towering outer walls and central keep remain an imposing sight. On clear day you can see the splendid view of Mt. Chomolhari from the approach road to Drukgyel Dzong.
Today, we hike up to the famous cliff-hermitage called Taktsang, the “Tiger’s Nest.” This day hike is not only historically and culturally interesting, but also incredibly scenic! It takes about two hours to reach the cafeteria, which gives a breathtaking view of the Tiger’s Nest. From Cafeteria it takes 1 hour to reach the main temple. This day hike is not only historically and culturally interesting, but also incredibly scenic! This monastic retreat is built into a sheer cliff face high above the Paro valley. Legend has it that the Tibetan Buddhist saint Padmasambhava flew across the Himalayas on the back of a tiger and landed here, bringing Buddhism to Bhutan. The trail to the monastery climbs through beautiful pine forest and an occasional grove of fluttering prayer flags.
You will set out for the ancient temple of Kyichu. It is one of the oldest temples in Bhutan dating back to the 8th century and one of the many temples built by King Songtse Gampo (the main temple being the Jokhang in Tibet, another sill surviving temple is Jampay in Bumthang). According to a legend, the Tibetan king sent 108 saints all over the Himalayan region to build replica temples of the Jokhang. The king drew a diagram of a devil over the map of the Himalayan Buddhist countries and a temple was to be built on every joint. The two knees of the devil fell on Bhutanese land, one in Kyichu and one in Bumthang. Of 108 temples built during that time, only 3 remain today.
Start of Trek Day 1: Distance 18km and walking time 6-7 hours.
Starting at Demchena and crossing the Jele Dzong (3450m). The trek trail is rather gradual climb till the camp and if the weather is clear the Paro valley can be seen with the Mt. Jumolhari(7314m) and snowcapped mountains behind the valley. camp at Jangulakha (3780mtrs)and The trail takes you through thick alpine forest and rhododendrons trees and most of the walking is up and down on a ridge.You may see Yak herders around your camp site.
Trek Day 2: Distance 12 Kms and walking time 4-5 hrs.
Starting at Jangchulakha (3780m) and camp at Jimilangtsho(3880mtrs). The trail follows the ridge and on clear day the views of the mountains and valley are beautiful, in particular the Jichu Drake (6989m). Camp is close to Lake of Jimilangtso. These lakes are known for their giant sized trout’s.
Trek Day 3: Distance 15 Kms and walking time 5-6 hrs.
Starting at Jimilangtsho (3880m) and camp at Simkota (4130m) The trail takes you through dwarf Rhododendrons trees and then you pass by the lake of Janye Tsho. Today you may come across some Yak herder’s camp and you can really have a look as to how these people live. We have to cross the Simkota Lake to reach Simkota camp. The trail is up and down and the route is most rocky.
Trek Day 4: Distance 19 Kms and walking time 6-7 hrs.
Today begins with a gradual climb and if the weather permits you will enjoy majestic views of Mt.Gangkar Puensum, the highest peak in Bhutan. You may also view a host of other peaks from Phume La (4080m). The trail slowly descends through juniper trees to a Phajodeng monastery.
Then trek to Thimphu is downhill all the way, passing through a forested area of mostly blue pine. Taking a leisurely pace, you reach Thimphu in about 3 hours.
Later on, take an evening stroll along the main street, and perhaps visit a few handicrafts shops, or take refreshments at a local café or bar.
After breakfast visit THE CENTENARY FARMER’S MARKET: Located below the main town, near the Wangchhu River, Thimphu weekend market is by far the largest domestic market for the farmers in Bhutan. Located below the main town, near the Wangchhu River, Thimphu’s weekend market is by far the largest domestic market for the farmers in Bhutan. Farmers come from all over the country to sell their farm products in the market. With its wide assortment of fresh, organic produce, the Farmer’s Market has become a favorite spot for tourists and a recreational place for people from all walks of life.
Then visit Buddha Dordenma site, it is a gigantic Shakyamuni Buddha statue, which is sited amidst the ruins of Kuensel Phodrang, the palace of Sherab Wangchuck, the 13th Druk Desi, overlooking the southern approach to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. It is one of the largest Buddha stupas in the world, at a height of 169 feet (51.5 meters).
We will also stop to visit The National Memorial Chorten; which was built in memory of Third Druk Gyalpo and is dedicated to World Peace. The chorten is a large white structure crowned with a golden spire. It is located close to the center of Thimphu city and is one of its most iconic monuments. Visitors will find elderly Bhutanese people circumambulating the Chorten throughout the day. Chorten literally means ‘Seat of Faith’ and Buddhists often call such monuments, the ‘Mind of Buddha’. The Chorten is an extraordinary example of Buddhist architecture and artwork with its gorgeous paintings and intricate sculptures.
Then we head for Punakha valley. En route, stop at Dochula pass, located on the way to Punakha from Thimphu. The pass is a popular location among tourists as it offers a stunning 360-degree panoramic view of Himalayan mountain range. The view is especially scenic on clear, winter days with snowcapped mountains forming a majestic backdrop to the tranquility of the 108 chortens gracing the mountain pass.
Known as the eldest Queen Mother, Her Majesty Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuk, commissioned the Druk Wangyal Chortens- the construction of these108 chortens. The pass is also popular spiritual destination for both locals and tourists because an important temple is located on the crest of Dochula pass.
Then continue your drive to Punakha and enjoy the scenery of land escape. On arrival stop for a stroll up to the Chimi Lhakhang, also known as the ‘monastery of the Mad Monk’. This auspicious fertility monastery built in 1499 enjoys a very colourful history, which your guide will explain to you. It is still a place of important cultural significance today where females come to receive a ‘wang’, a fertility blessing to aid pregnancy.
Today we will begin our hike by crossing the Mochu River and ascending a numerous switchbacks to the Namgyel Khamsum Yuely Chorten. Looking downstream, the viewpoint here affords grand views of the Mochu River Valley below. We descend from the temple and follow a well-worn path down the valley through rice fields and small villages. Along the way we are rewarded with stunning views, the terraced rice paddies providing an exotic backdrop to the river below.
You will wear Bhutanese dress ( Kira for Women). Punakha Valley, beginning with the impressive Punakha Dzong. The Punakha Dzongkha has been inextricably linked with momentous occasions in Bhutanese history. It served as the capital of the country from 1637 to 1907 and the first national assembly was hosted here in 1953. It is the second oldest and second largest dzong in Bhutan and one of the most majestic structures in the country. Punakha Dzong has also countless monastery inside the Dzong.
Punakha Suspension Bridge: This is the longest suspension bridge in Bhutan, which is built on Po chu river. It connects to the nearby village. It allows villagers to cross the river to go to the other side. The view from the bridge is stunning and extremely scenic.
It’s a return journey from here as we drive back retracing the road till Dochula pass then to Paro. We will have as many stops as possible on the way to make the drive easier and to enjoy the sceneries.
After descending from Dochu La (pass) you will follow the dramatic Wang Chhu and Paro Chhu (rivers) valleys located further up the valley. Paro Valley sits on an elevation of 2,250 metres (7,382 feet).
The Paro valley extends from the confluence of the Paro Chhu and the Wang Chhu rivers at Chuzom up to Mt. Jomolhari at the Tibetan border to the North. This picturesque region is one of the widest valleys in the kingdom and is covered in fertile rice fields and has a beautiful, crystalline river meandering down the valley.
After breakfast in the hotel, drive to the airport in time to catch up your onward flight. Your escort from Discovery Bhutan will bid you farewell and soon the remote and legendary Dragon Kingdom disappears again behind its guardian mountains.