Bhutan Hiking Tours
The seven-day hiking tour explores some of the most aesthetic places including temples, monasteries, rural settlements, beautiful passes, and other appealing art and architecture. Enjoying the sight of large varieties of flora and fauna is also the perk of the hike. Relish the distinctive culture of Bhutan that is embodied in people as well as the environs of the nation and have a firsthand experience of the countryside lives.
Day 1: Arrive Paro
The flight to Paro crosses the Himalayan Mountains, affording spectacular views of the awesome peaks, including the sacred Jumolhari and Jichu Drake peaks in Bhutan. If you arrive via Kathmandu, which offers the most breathtaking view of the range, it’s possible to see Mount Everest and Mount Kanchenjunga as well.
Upon arrival in Paro, you will be greeted by our representative, In the afternoon you can visit the Paro Dzong. It was built in 1646 and now houses government offices and religious institutions, as do all the Dzongs (forts) currently.
You can then tour the National Museum, formerly the watchtower for the Dzong. It now houses a collection of fine arts, paintings, thangkas, statues, and antiques. Afterward, you will visit Kichu Lhakhang, the oldest temple in the country. Later in the evening, drive to Thimphu.
Day 02: Thimphu –Day hike To Cheri Monastery (2850m)
Today After early breakfast, drive up the valley towards north along Thim Chhu (river) for a short hike to Cheri Monastery. Cheri Monastery is a small monastery atop a hill with a view over the Thimphu Valley. Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel built this monastery in 1620, and this is where the first community of monks in Bhutan was established. Our car will take us until Dodeda and from there will hike to Monastery. The hike will take about 1hr 20mins. Afterward, descend back retracing the same route keeping our eyes open for the goral (wild goat) often spotted on the cliffs nearby. Our car and driver will be waiting for you at the road end. After lunch, we will visit the King’s Memorial Chorten (built-in memory of the third King of Bhutan who reigned from 1952-1972), Changgangkha Monastery, the radio tower (for a great view of Thimphu Valley and the Thimphu Dzong), and the zoo, which contains the national animal of Bhutan. Then stroll and explore around Thimphu town and do some shopping in Bhutan. Overnight stay at one of the hotels in Thimphu.
Day 03: Thimphu – Punakha (1310m) – Chimi Lhakhang short hike
After breakfast, Drive over the Dochu-La pass (3,100 meters), which on a clear day offers an incredible view of Himalayan peaks before descending into balmy Punakha valley (about 2 hrs total driving time). Take a short hike through beautiful rice fields to Chimi Lhakhang, a temple dedicated to Drukpa Kuenley, who as a favorite saint of the Bhutanese people is known affectionately as “the Divine Madman”. The temple is on a hillside in the middle of rice fields and has become a pilgrimage site for childless couples. Then drive to Punakha. Punakha was the ancient capital of Bhutan. On arrival, visit Punakha Dzong, the “Palace of Great Happiness” built in 1637 by the Shabdrung, the ‘Unifier of Bhutan’.
Day 04: Punakha – Khamsum Chorten hike – Paro (2250m)
After breakfast, hike up to Khamsum Yueley Namgyel Chorten erected by the Royal queen mother for the purpose of the present king in 2002. It offers a great view of the lower valley. Later drive to Paro, visiting Semtokha Dzong en route. The Dzong, built-in 1627, is the oldest in Bhutan. It now houses the Institute for Language and Culture studies. On arrival in Paro, check into the hotel. Overnight at your hotel in Paro.
Day 05: In Paro – Day hike to Chelela Pass
Morning drives up to Chele La Pass through mixed forests offering panoramic views of the snow-capped Himalayas. Enjoy a hike of approximately 3 hours up along the meadow to Kung Karpo La (4100m) enjoying breathtaking views on a clear day of the snowcapped mountains along the ridge that divides Paro and Haa valley. The short steep descent from the top will take us to the nunnery of Kila Gompa. Here the nuns, called anims, live a life of contemplation and seclusion, with daily prayer and spiritual practice. The temple itself is surrounded by numerous meditation huts, and many hidden caves lie inside the rocky cliffs. The gompa is surrounded by a lush forest dominated by tall firs. Sparkling mountain streams wind down the slopes, which are covered with a variety of wildflowers and plants. Kila Gompa is historically significant as a sacred meditation site. Many renowned Buddhist saints have come here to find peace and seclusion. The main temple houses ancient statues of Chenrezig (Avalokiteswara) and Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) among others. The walk down from here to the road is lined with small white chortens and it will take us about an hour. In Paro.
Day 06: Paro – Hike to Taktsang Monastery ‘Tiger’s Nest’ (3120m)
After breakfast drive towards the base camp of Taktsang for the hike up to the Taktsang Monastery-Tiger’s Nest. The trail is broad and the walk of approximately 2 hours uphill. From this point, enjoy the spectacular view of the monastery, The view of Taktsang Monastery built on a sheer cliff face 900 meters above the valley floor is a spectacular sight. The Monastery is also an important pilgrim site for the Buddhists. The great Guru Rimpoche is said to have flown here on the back of a tigress when he brought the teachings of the Buddhist Dharma to Bhutan in the 8th Century. He then mediated in a cave there for three months where the monastery was later built. The cave is said to be the origin of Buddhism in Bhutan. In the afternoon drive to the almost fully reconstructed Drukgyel Dzong. In fine weather, the towering peak of the sacred Mount Jomolhari (7314m) appears as a stunning backdrop. On the return drive to Paro, visit other sights in Paro valley. Overnight at your hotel in Paro.
Day 07: Depart Paro
Breakfast in the hotel, then drive to the airport for flight to your onward destination. Tashi Delek!