Pack your hiking boots and your sense of adventure, and join us on a challenging but rewarding trek and tour through the valleys and mountains of Bhutan. After getting acclimated with a hike to Taktsang Monastery, perched some 2,000 feet above the Paro Valley floor, we begin the trek in earnest, reaching the Chomolhari Base Camp at 13,288 feet on our third day. Be rewarded after a steep climb to the lakes at Tso Phu with spectacular views of the peaks Jitchu Drake and Chomolhari. Finally, savor the moment as you reach the excursion’s highest point at 15,600 feet before descending back down the mountains. Between hikes, camp in tents beneath star-strewn skies.
Our journey and tour conclude in the present and past capital cities of Bhutan, Thimphu, and Punakha. First, in Thimphu, visit the Memorial Chorten, a large Tibetan-style stupa in the center of the city, and explore the School of Arts and Crafts, the Heritage Museum, and the National Library. Lastly, in Punakha, explore Punakha Valley and its numerous fortresses and monasteries, such as Simtoka Dzong, Wangdiphodrang Dzong, and Punakha Dzong, before flying out from Paro.
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Explore Paro Valley by vehicle and on foot. Return to the hotel for a welcome dinner and a brief orientation session.
(Zhiwa Ling Heritage; D)
Day 2 - PARO VALLEY
Get warmed up with a hike to the famed ‘Tiger’s Nest,’ Taktsang Monastery, some 2,000 feet up from the valley floor.
Day 3 - DRUKYEL DZONG TO SHANA
The real trek begins as we hike for 4-5 hours and spend the night in an alpine tented camp.
Day 4 - SHANA TO SOI THANGTHANKA
Today is more challenging as the trail continues uphill through the river valley on our 5-6 hour hike. As you reach camp, outstanding views of Chomolhari make for an excellent photo op.
Day 5 - SOI THANGTHANKA TO JANGOTHANG
We continue, now hiking above tree line, through a spectacular valley lined with snow peaks and several waterfalls and camp with Chomolhari looming at the end of the valley.
Day 6 - CHOMOLHARI BASE CAMP
We relax at base camp, photographing Chomulhari in the changing light of the day or taking in an optional day hike.
Day 7 - JANGOTHANG TO TSO PHU
A short hike brings us to the Tso Phu lakes, where we camp. Those who wish to can take on additional hiking or fish for brown trout.
Day 8 - TSO PHU TO CHORAPANG
We cross the Bang Tue La Pass–the highest point on our trek at 15,600’–before beginning our descent. We hike about 6-7 hours today.
Day 9 - CHORAPANG TO THANGBUE
We reach our second pass, Takalung La at 14,400’, where, if the weather cooperates, the view is remarkable, with Chomolhari and Jitchu Drake rising over the mountain range we covered yesterday.
Day 10 - THANGBUE TO SHANA
We stop for tea with views of another dramatic peak, Drake Gang, before beginning one of the most challenging parts of the trek downwards toward Shana. We enjoy the relatively-flat walk to the trail head from Drukyel Dzong then return to Thimphu by vehicle.
Day 11 - THIMPHU
Visit Chorten Memorial, a large Tibetan–style stupa, and, time permitting, explore the School of Arts and Crafts, the Heritage Museum, the National Library, and the Textile Museum.
Day 12 - THIMPHU TO PUNAKHA
Take in Simtokha and Wangdiphodrang Dzongs en route to Punakha.
Day 13 - PUNAKHA TO PARO
Visit Ta Dzong – the ancient watchtower above the Paro Dzong, which now houses the National Museum. Explore downtown Paro in the afternoon.
Day 14 - DEPARTURE
Transfer to Paro Airport for your outbound flight from Bhutan.