Day 0110th April 2020
- Arrival at Paro / Exploring Paro (D)
Most itineraries begin upon arrival at the destination airport. Bhutan is an exception, since the flight to Paro is a highlight of the trip, as the plane crosses the Himalayan Mountains, offering spectacular views of renowned peaks, including Jumolhari and Jichu Drake inBhutan. Once you reach the picturesque and unusually small airport of Paro, you will be welcomed by a Rahhalah representative, and you will be transferred to the hotel. In the afternoon, you will head to Paro Dzong, built in 1646 for fortification purposes. Today, it houses government offices and religious institutions, as is the fate of all old Dzong (forts). You will also visit the National Museum, formerly the watchtower of the Dzong, which hosts a beautiful collection of artifacts, paintings, thankas, statues, and antiques that will shed some light into the Bhutanese culture. Your day will finish at Kyichu Lhakhang, the oldest temple in the country, and Drukgyel Dzong, before returning to Paro to stroll through its streets. Paro is nothing more than a small, provincial town with colorful buildings, limited traffic, singular stores, and a relaxing ambience; and, yet, it is the second most important city of the country, home to the only international airport of Bhutan. Accommodation in Paro: Tashi Namgay resort (deluxe cottage), or similar.
Day 0211th April 2020
- Morning hike to Tiger’s Nest / Kick-off of the Druk Path Trek (B, L, D)
You will start the day with an early morning hike to “Taktsang” or Tiger’s Nest: the most popular and photographed landmark of Bhutan. It is a well-known Himalayan Buddhist sacred site with a temple complex, perched on the cliffs, overviewing the Paro valley. Legend has it that the Tibetan Buddhist saint Padmasambhava flew across the Himalayas on the back of a tiger and landed there, bringing Buddhism to Bhutan. The trail towards the monastery is not only historically and culturally interesting, but it is also incredibly scenic, as you walk through a pine forest, encountering on the way blossoming rhododendrons and groves of fluttering prayer flags.The path snakes along the mountainside and passes through the temples before reaching the gardens of Zangto Pelri (Heaven on Earth) from where you can, if you dare, bend over the edge to look straight down onto the ornate rooftops of Taktshang Monastery. Upon your return, you will be picked up by the driver and head to the starting point of the Druk Path, where you will enjoy lunch and rest for a while before launching into your hiking adventure. In the beginning, the path followsa gravel road past a few farms. It then climbs up a steep ridge and passes through pine and fir forests before reaching Damche Gom. You will end the day near Jili Dzong, where you will camp for the night. Hiking details: To Tiger’s Nest: approx. 4-5 hours. Afternoon trek: approx. 3-4 hours to Jili Dzong. Overnight at the camp (3,480m altitude).
Day 0312th April 2020
- Jili Dzong – Jangchulakha (B, L, D)
You will start the day with a steep climb for about 1.5 hours, and then you will continue to ascend on a milder slope. The trail takes you through thick alpine forest and dwarf rhododendron trees, while you may encounter yaks and yak herders around the campsite. Hiking details: Distance: 10 km. Hiking time: approx. 4-5hours. Altitude change: 310m ascent; 50m descent. Overnight at the camp (3,770 m altitude).
Day 0413th April 2020
- Jangchulakha – Jimilang Tsho (B, L, D)
The trail follows the ridge, offering, on a clear day, beautiful views of the mountains and the valley. Early in the afternoon, you will reach the campsite close to Jimilang Tsho Lake, known for its giant-sized trout, where, if you are lucky, your guides may catch a fish and cook it for dinner. Hiking details: Distance: 11 km. Hiking time: approx. 4hours. Altitude change: 230m descent; 330m ascent. Overnight at the camp (3,870 m altitude).
Day 0514th April 2020
- Jimilang Tsho – Simkotra Tsho (B, L, D)
The trail takes you through dwarf rhododendron trees and the Janetso Lake. On the way, You may come across some yak herders’ camps where you will have the opportunity to get a glimpse of nomadic life on the Bhutanese mountains. Early in the afternoon, you will reach the campsite, pitched close to Simkotra Tsho Lake. Hiking details: Distance: 11 km. Hiking time: approx. 4hours. Altitude change: 820m ascent; 400 m descent. Overnight at the camp (4.110 m altitude).
Day 0615th April 2020
- Simkotra Tsho – Motithang (B, L, D)
Today’s trek begins with a gradual climb. Weather permitting, you will enjoy spectacular views of Mount Gangkar Puensum, the highest mountain in Bhutan, and other Himalayan peaks. Once you pass, though, the Phajoding monastery, the remaining path up to Thimphu (Mothitang) is downhill, walking through a forested area of blue pine. At a leisurely pace, this last part of the route takes around three hours until the end of the trail, where you will meet your driver to head to the hotel. On your way tothe hotel, you will stop for a visit at the Takin reserve. Takin is a large, Himalayan goat and the national animal of Bhutan. Hiking details: Distance: 14 km. Hiking time: approx. 6-7hours. Accommodation in Thimphu: Osel Hotel (deluxe room),or similar.
Day 0716th April 2020
- Exploring Thimphu / Return to Paro (B, L, D)
In Thimphu, you will visit the statue of Buddha Dordenma which is located on the top of a hill in the Kuenselphodrang Nature Park and overlooks the Southern entrance to the Thimphu Valley. It fulfils an ancient prophecy that dates to the 8thc. A.D and was discovered by Terton Pema Lingpa (Religious Treasure Discoverer). As a result, it is said that it emanates an aura of peace and happiness towards the whole world. Your Thimphu exploration will include a stop at the Craft Bazaar that hosts numerous Bhutanese textile and craft shops, before you take the car, once again, and head back to Paro for your last night in Bhutan. Accommodation in Paro: Tashi Namgay resort (deluxe cottage), or similar.
Day 0817th April 2020
- Departure from Paro (B)
After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight back home.