Experience a place of untouched beauty; a kingdom that fiercely protects its natural resources and centuries-old traditions. Bhutan is one of the final frontiers and the opportunity to traverse this magical place is a rare treasure.
Discover seldom-visited areas on a trek that begins in the East and ends in the West. You’ll pass through spectacular scenery, mingle with local farmers as you enter their villages, and witness interesting traditional cultures on this unforgettable cultural trek to Bhutan. From a protected wilderness where West Bengal tigers and rare red pandas are known to frequent to monastery and temple visits for contemplative reflection, this itinerary provides the best of Bhutan.
Day 1-2 Guwahati, India | Samdrup Jongkhar | Trashigang
Upon arrival in Guwahati, drive to Samdrup Jongkhar for your hotel accommodation and some leisure time. Following day you depart for Trashigang stopping along the way to meet the director of sustainability of the region in Deothang. Following you will visit Khaling and then have lunch in the university town of Kanglung.
Day 3-4 Trashigang| Mongar | Bumthang
In the morning head out to the village of Radi and visit the Ranjung monastery complex. Enjoy a nice lunch in Mongar and then explore the district known for its weavers using local textiles and fabrics that are considererd the best in the country. Also visit the Mongar Dzong built in the 1930’s and continues to demonstrate how traditional Bhutanese architecture has continued to thrive throughout centuries. Following day offers a unique drive via the switchbacks through the Thrimshing-la Pass (12,000 ft), the second highest mountain pass that connects the eastern and central parts of the country (7hr drive). There may be a chance to spot a rare Red Panda!
Day 5-6 Bumthang| Trongsa
Bumhtang is considered the holiest valley in Bhutan and attracts Bhutanese from throughout the country wishing to be blessed by visits to the many holy sites. Begin the day at Kurjey Lhakhang, where it is believed that in the 8th century Guru Padmasambhava meditated and subdued the local deity Shelging Karpo. Then head south to the Membertsho, or Burning Lake, an important pilgrimage site. Next day visit the village of Trongsa crossing along the way Kikila and Yotongla while searching for the Himalayan monal pheasant. Upon arrival in Trongsa you will visit the local museum that houses ancient Bhutanese artifacts and view a short documentary providing insight into Bhutan’s history.
Day 7-8 Trongsa | Kasiphey | Drongthang
The day will begin with a short drive to the trailhead where you will meet the staff that will accompany you for the next few days. Enjoy the magnificent view of the Trongsa Dzong that looms in the background giving the entire valley a dramatic effect. A short hike will bring you to Sembji village where you will enjoy tea in the house of a local farming before continuing your trek to the Golebji chorten will lunch awaits. In the afternoon continue to the Dhemlay La Pass and later arrive at the Kasiphey monastery. Overnight camp will be set up.
Next day morning hike will get you to the Trispang village. Small break for tea at a local farmhouse and meet the family. Continue your hike with a steep grade climbing to the Drongthang temple. The afternoon will be filled with activities including, a traditional tea ceremony and learn the art of making “ara”, or village moonshine.
Day 9-10 Drongthang | Mangdephu | Bemji
This day will be yours at leisure to explore the neighboring hamlet of Mangdephu, where current and extended family are descendants of the prominent Benji family. You can help a farmer plow a field, help milking cows, churn butter and even play some indigenous sports such as ‘Khuru’ (darts). A typical lunch will be served at one of the homes. In the evening experience a traditional welcome by the village people including a cultural performance.
Day 11-12 Bjizam | Bumhtang | Paro
Today you will descend to Bjizam where lunch will be served. In the afternoon you will drive back to Bumthang marking the end of your trekking or as many would say “the trek of a lifetime”. Overnight in hotel. Next morning catch your flight to Paro. In the afternoon a short drive to visit the ruins of Drukyul Dzong (fortress of the victorious Drukpas). On a clear day you will be able to see Mount Jhomolhari. The drive back will get you a view of the Tiger’s Nest – Taktsang Lhakhang, perched atop a cliff high above the Paro valley.
Day 13 Tiger’s Nest
Morning hike to the pilgrimage site of Taktsang Lhakhang also widely known as Tiger’s Nest. This extraordinary monastery is perched on the edge of a granite cliff 3,000 ft above Paro Valley. Legend says Guru Rinpoche landed here from neighboring Tibet on the back of a flying tiger, bringing the doctrines of Buddhism with him.
Day 14 Departure
Flight home from Paro International airport after breakfast.