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  • 10 Days Dagala thousand lakes trek in Bhutan. Trekking in Bhutan.
  • View of Thimphu valley as seen from Buddha Point, Thimphu, Bhutan.

10 Days Dagala Thousand Lakes Trek In Bhutan

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10 Days 9 Nights
Availability : Mar to Jun, Sept to Nov
Paro International Airport
Paro International Airport
Min Age : 15+
Tour Details

On this 10 Days 9 Nights journey including 6-Day trek through the pristine environment home to some of the world’s most endangered species of fauna and shimmering crystal-clear mountain lakes, you will discover what sets Bhutan apart from the rest of the world. On Day 2, you’ll hike to the most recognized and a ‘must visit’ sacred site in Bhutan, Paro Taktsang or Tiger’s Nest, hanging on the face of a steep rock cliff.

The six-day trek from Day 4-9 will take you through an area adorned with several pristine, crystal clear lakes. As you walk amidst the shimmering lakes you’ll be treated to stunning views of the entire Himalayan mountain range and some of the world’s highest peaks including Mt. Everest, Mt. Jomolhari, Mt. Masang Gang, Mt. Jichu Drake, Mt. Gangchen Ta and many more.

On Day 6, an entire day will be dedicated to visiting some of the picturesque mountain lakes where you can engage in trout fishing at an altitude of 4,300m/14,105ft. This day can also be spent resting and studying the pristine surroundings and appreciate natural beauty of the landscapes. The trail also takes you through several Bhutanese villages so you can get a good idea of traditional Bhutanese village life as you make your way back from the lakes. You will also come across yak herders who lives a semi-nomadic lifestyles at an altitude over 3,500m/11,480ft above sea level.

The best time to embark on this trek is between March-June or September–October.

Trip Highlights
  • Hike to the 8th century sacred site where Bhutan’s iconic landmark, 17th century Paro Taktsang or Tiger’s Nest is perched on the face of a sheer rock cliff.
  • Travel to the two most developed cities in Bhutan, Paro and Thimphu and experience true glimpse of modern Bhutan with its ancient culture and value still intact.
  • Trek through the pristine mountain passes of Bhutan and spend a day fishing in the crystal-clear lakes at an elevation of 4,300m/14,105ft and explore the beautiful surroundings with panoramic views of the Himalayan mountains.

Departure & Return Location

Paro International Airport, Bhutan

Season

March to June and September to October. In winter the high mountain passes become impenetrable due to snowfall.

Difficulty

Moderate to Difficult. This trek demands a good level of fitness, stamina and strength. The trail passes through an elevation of 4,500m/14,765ft above sea level. We recommend you to train and prepare.

Trip Cost

During Low Season

During the months of January, February, June, July, August & December
US$2168 – for single person traveller
US$2078 per person – for a couple or group of 2 people
US$1808 per person – for a group of 3 people or more

Trip Cost

During High Season

During the months of March, April, May, September, October & November
US$2618 – for single person traveller
US$2528 per person – for a couple or group of 2 people
US$2258 per person – for a group of 3 people or more

Price Includes

  • Visa Fee of US$40
  • Sustainable Development Fee (SDF) of US$65 per person per night to the Royal Government of Bhutan
  • Surcharge of U$40 per night for a single person traveller
  • Surcharge of US$30 per night per person for a couple/two person travellers
  • All meals - Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • 4 Nights Hotel Accommodation on a twin sharing basis (double occupancy)
  • 5 Nights camping in pristine wilderness
  • Trekking equipment and haulage
  • Round trip airport transfers
  • Dedicated land transport with driver for the entire duration of your trip within Bhutan
  • English speaking Licensed Tour Guide. Guides speaking other languages can be arranged at additional fee.
  • All internal taxes

Price Excludes

  • All Airfares - Both domestic and international. We can arrange domestic airfare and international airfare to and from Bhutan at no additional cost. You just have to take care of the connecting flights.
  • Travel Insurance
  • Emergency evacuation
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Laundry services, telephone call charges
  • Supplemental charges of US$30 per night if you opt for a single room occupancy
  • Premium accommodation in a 4-Star hotel and above
  • Cultural shows that require advance arrangement
  • Tips to Guides and Drivers
  • Any other personal expenses

Complementaries

  • Entrance Fees to parks, museums and other national monuments
  • Mineral water
  • Light snacks between meals
Itinerary - 10 Days 9 Nights
All tour services we provide are independent with flexible itineraries which can be customized to suit your interest and requirement.

Day 1Arrive Paro International Airport - Sightseeing in Paro

Paro Altitude 2,195m/7,200ft

Arrive Paro International airport by either of only two airlines operating in and out of Bhutan; Drukair, the national flag carrier or Bhutan Airlines, a private airline which was started in 2011. After arrival, your visa will be stamped on your passport at the immigration counter. You will be received by our guide and driver at the exit gate and then transfer you to the hotel. After checking in and settling yourself in the new surroundings, you will be taken on your first adventure into ‘The Thunder Dragon Kingdom’. We will visit Sangchoekhor Monastery on the hilltop overlooking paro valley, a 14th century temple, the National Museum of Bhutan and an impressive Paro Dzong.

Sangchoekhor Monastery

Sangchoekhor monastery is located on a hilltop ridge overlooking the Paro Valley and presents grand panoramic views. It takes about 30 mins drive from the main Paro town to reach the monastery. Sangchoekhor monastery is also known as Sangchoekhor Dzong because of its past connection with Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel, a Tibetan Buddhist master who came to Bhutan in 1616 and unified Bhutan as one nation-state. Dzong means ‘Fortress’ and is the main establishment of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel. The original Dzong was burnt down by a fire in 1932. It was later reconstructed at the initiative of the Chamberlain of Paro Penlop (governor of Paro). Today the monastery is turned into a Buddhist college with more than 100 monks studying Buddhist philosophy. From here we drive back and visit a 14th century temple, Dungtse Lhakhang.

Dungtse Lhakhang

Dungtse Lhakhang (lhakhang means ‘temple’) is located on the other side of the Paro Chhu river about 5 minutes drive from the main Paro tow. It was built in the 14th century by the Tibetan Saint, Dupthop Thangtong Gyalpo, who was popularly known as Chagzampa which means ‘Iron Bridge Builder’. Dupthop Thangtong Gyalpo was not only a great Buddhist scholar but also a great Iron Bridge builder. He built about eight iron chain bridges across Bhutan, though the bridges are no longer in use today, one can still see remnants of some of the bridges. It is said that he built this temple to protect the people in the valley from being afflicted by leprosy. We drive to visit the National Museum of Bhutan called Ta Dzong.

National Museum of Bhutan – Ta Dzong

The National Museum of Bhutan is located in Paro just above the Rinpung Dzong (administrative headquarter of Paro district) was established in 1968. It is housed in an ancient watch tower called Paro Ta Dzong (Ta Dzong means “watch tower fortress”) built in 1649. It displays hundreds of ancient Bhutanese artifacts and artworks including traditional costumes, armour, weaponry and handcrafted implements for daily life. The collection at the National Museum preserves a snap-shot of the rich cultural traditions of the country. After this, we will visit Paro Dzong.

Paro Rinpung Dzong – The Fortress of the Heap of Jewels

Paro Rinpung Dzong (Rinpung Dzong means “fortress of the heap of jewels”) was built by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel in 1646 and established as the administrative and monastic centre of the western region. Today, the Dzong serves as the office of the governor of Paro district and head of the district monk body in Paro. A great annual festival known as Paro Tsechu is held in Rinpung Dzong from the eleventh to the fifteenth day of the second month of the traditional Bhutanese lunar calendar (usually in March or April of the Western calendar). On this occasion, holy images are taken in a procession followed by a series of traditional mask dances conveying religious stories which are performed by monks for five days.

After visiting the dzong we take a short walk to the traditional wooden cantilever bridge built across the Paro river (Pa Chhu) just below the Dzong. The roofed wooden cantilever bridge is built in a traditional style and this type of bridges are called Bazam.

Free time to explore Paro town and get to know the people of the Thunder Dragon Kingdom.

Back to the hotel for dinner.

Overnight at the hotel in Paro. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Accommodation will be provided at one of these 3-Star hotels or similar one:
Tashi Namgay Resort in Paro - Bhutan Acorn Tours & Travel
Tashi Namgay Resort
Olathang Hotel in Paro - Bhutan Acorn Tours & Travel
Olathang Hotel
Khangku Resort in Paro - Bhutan Acorn Tours & Travel
Khangku Resort

Day 2Full Day in Paro - Hike to the Tiger's Nest

Paro Altitude 2,195m/7,200ft

After breakfast, drive to Ramthangka, the base of the Taktsang monastery. Taktsang monastery is located on the face of a sheer 800-meter rock cliff in Paro. It normally takes about 2 hours to reach the monastery from the road head. It is the most popular tourist attraction in Bhutan.

Taktsang Monastery – The Tiger’s Nest

Taktsang which literally translates to ‘Tiger’s Nest’, is regarded as one of the most important monasteries in Bhutan. Its history is associated with the visit of Guru Padmasambhava (known as Guru Rinpoche), the Indian saint who came to Bhutan and introduced Tantric Buddhism in the mid-eighth century A.D. It is believed that Guru Padmasambhava flew to Taktsang from Kurtoe Singye Dzong in eastern Bhutan, riding on a tigress. Taktsang monastery was originally built in 1692 on the sacred cave where Guru Padmasambhava meditated.

The trail takes you through the ancient path shaded by pine trees. After an hour of steep uphill trekking, you will reach a nice cafeteria from where you can see spectacular views of Taktsang monastery perched on the face of a steep rock cliff and beautiful valley below. Hot tea and snacks will be served here. For those who are still energetic, can hike further up for 1 hour and visit the monastery, receive blessings from many sacred relics and artifacts and enjoy grand views of the Paro valley below.

After lunch at the cafeteria, we retrace our steps back to the base where our driver will be waiting. From there we drive to Paro town. Enroute visit Drukgyal Dzong, the Fortress of the Victorious Drukpa (Drukpa means ‘people of the Thunder Dragon’).

Drukgyal Dzong – The Fortress of the Victorious Drukpa

Located about 14km away from Paro main town is Drukgyal Dzong (the Fortress of the Victorious Drukpa). Drukpa means ‘people of the Thunder Dragon’. Inhabitants of Bhutan is referred to as Drukpa. It was built to commemorate victory against the invasion by Tibetan-Mongol forces in 1649 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel, a Tibetan Buddhist master who came to Bhutan in 1616, unified and founded the nation-state of Bhutan. Although the original dzong was destroyed by fire in 1951, many of its main relics and artifacts were rescued. Today the dzong is completely being reconstructed under the command of His Majesty the King and is expected to complete by 2018.

Free time to stroll Paro town.

Overnight at a hotel in Paro. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Accommodation will be provided at one of these 3-Star hotels or similar one:
Tashi Namgay Resort in Paro - Bhutan Acorn Tours & Travel
Tashi Namgay Resort
Olathang Hotel in Paro - Bhutan Acorn Tours & Travel
Olathang Hotel
Khangku Resort in Paro - Bhutan Acorn Tours & Travel
Khangku Resort

Day 3Paro / Thimphu

Distance 55 km
Time 2 hours
Transportation Private SUV/Minivan/Bus
Thimphu Altitude 2,334m/7,655ft

Drive to the capital city of Bhutan, Thimphu. It is a 55km road journey by luxury Van / SUV and the drive should not take more than 2 hours including stop overs on the way. Upon arrival in Thimphu, check into hotel. If we arrive before the hotel check-in time, we will straight away visit some of the popular places of interest in Thimphu and continue after lunch. Later in the evening after 5pm, visit the majestic Tashichho Dzong.

Bhutan Postal Museum

Bhutan Postal Museum is located in the heart of the city in the same building as Bhutan National Bank so you can also exchange your money into local currency if you wish. The Postal Service in Bhutan was first launched in 1962 with the opening of a post office in Phuentsholing, a town in the south bordering with India. The Postal Museum was opened in 2015 to exhibit the story of Bhutan’s progress and development of communications and postal system in the country. If you are interested in philatelic products and stamp collection, they have a good collection of stamps, First Day Covers and stamp albums. In October of 2017, His Majesty graciously granted several rare collections of philatelic and communications products giving new and additional insights into the history of Bhutan’s philatelic and communications systems.

Visit Royal Textile Academy & Museum

Weaving is an integral component of the culture and tradition of Bhutan. With rapid development and exposure to the western culture, the art of weaving and production of its own handwoven textile is declining fast. To preserve and promote this living art, Her Majesty Queen Mother Sangay Choden Wanchuck established the Royal Textile Academy of Bhutan in 2005 as a non-profit organization. The Textile Museum showcases collection of artifacts to impart understanding of Bhutan’s rich textile traditions and way of life.

National Institute of Zorig Chusum

The National Institute of Zorig Chusum (Zorig Chusum means ’13 Traditional Arts & Crafts’) was established to promote and preserve the thirteen traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan and to facilitate increased access in learning Zorig skills by Bhutanese youths. Many of these traditional arts and crafts are declining with the advent of modern technologies and therefore, the government is putting in lot of effort to train youths to keep the traditions alive. The thirteen arts and crafts are categorized as Shing Zo (woodwork), Dho Zo (stonework), Par Zo (carving), Lha Zo (painting), Jim Zo (sculpting), Lug Zo (casting), Shag Zo (wood turning), Gar Zo (blacksmith), Troe Zo (ornament making), Tsa Zo (bamboo work), De Zo (paper making), Tsem Zo (tailoring, embroidery and applique) and Thag Zo (weaving). These thirteen arts and crafts are an essential part of Bhutan’s cultural heritage that have been practiced from time immemorial.

Visit Tashichho Dzong – Open to visitors only after 5PM

Tashichho Dzong, which means “Fortress of the Glorious Religion” is opened to visitors only after 5PM during working days and from 9AM to 5PM on weekends. The original was built in 1216 AD on a location where Dechen Phodrang monastery stands today. Following a fire disaster which destroyed the original dzong in 1771, it was relocated to the present location. The Dzong suffered several earthquakes and fires and was subsequently renovated and new structures added by successive rulers.

It was late His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, the third hereditary King of Bhutan, who renovated and enlarged the entire Dzong to its present form in 1962 over the period of six years. The magnificent architectural feat was achieved using traditional method without any blueprint plans or nails. It houses the Secretariat and office of the King, the Throne Hall, Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs, Ministry of Finance and Central Monastic Body. It is also the summer residence of the Chief Abbot (Je Khenpo) of the Central Monastic Body of Bhutan.

Back to the hotel and gather for dinner.

Overnight in a hotel in Thimphu. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Hotels:
Hotel Amodhara in Thimphu - Bhutan Acorn Tours & Travel
Hotel Amodhara
City Hotel in Thimphu - Bhutan Acorn Tours & Travel
City Hotel
Tara Phendeyling Hotel in Thimphu - Bhutan Acorn Tours & Travel
Tara Phendeyling Hotel

Day 4Gynekha Village / Gur

After early breakfast, drive to Genekha village, the starting point for adventurous 6-day trek which is the main highlight of this 10-day trip. Genekha village is located about 45 minutes drive (33 km) from Thimphu main town along the Thimphu – Phuentsholing highway before Chuzom (confluence). While the horses and mules are being loaded with trekking paraphernalia and supplies, you can visit the community temple and explore the village.

Distance 7 km
Time 5 hours
Ascent 550m
Descent 210m
Camp Altitude 3,290m

The trek starts at beautiful Genekha village and begins with a short descent to the river. After crossing the river you start climbing until you reach a huge rock platform from where you have a picturesque view of the valley below. After another two hours you reach Gur, an area of yak pastures located just below the main trail.

Overnight at a camping tent in the wilderness. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinnet)

Day 5Gur / Labatama

Distance 12 km
Time 6-7 hours
Ascent 1,220m
Descent 110m
Camp Altitude 4,300m

On the second day, the trail takes you across the high ridges from where you can truly appreciate the rugged beauty of your surroundings and the mountain vegetation. The path winds through refreshing meadows adorned with wild flowers and asparagus (in spring). The first mountain pass you cross is marked by a huge cairn and gives a spectacular view of Kanjenjunga (Sikkim) and a number of the Bhutanese Himalayan peaks. As you descend the pass you will be able to see the entirety of the Dagala mountain range including meadows and yak herder camps. Once you have descended into the Labatama valley you begin climbing gradually through the valley, passing several yak herder huts before you arrive at Uthso Tsho. The campsite is right next to the lake.

Overnight at a camping tent in the wilderness. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinnet)

Day 6Full Day in Labatama

Camp Altitude 4,300m

This day will be dedicated to relaxing and recuperating at Labatama. It is a good opportunity to take an excursion to any of three nearby lakes: Reli Tsho, Hen Tsho and Jama Tsho and appreciate the pristine environment. Hikers are encouraged to take the opportunity to engage in some trout fishing in the pristine mountain lake as the location is ideal. Permits are required for fishing so you should let us know of your interest for us to make the necessary arrangements in advance.

Overnight at a camping tent in the wilderness. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinnet)

Day 7Labatama / Panka

Distance 12 km
Time 6-7 hours
Ascent 1,220m
Descent 110m
Camp Altitude 4,000m

The trail climbs along the western side of Dala Tsho up to a saddle at 4,520m. From here onwards you will have a fantastic view of the majestic Himalayan peaks all through the descent. The mountain peaks visible include Mt. Everest (Nepal), Mt. Kanchenjunga (Sikkim), Mt. Jomolhari, Mt. Jichu Drake, Mt. Tshering Gang, Mt. Khangbum, Mt. Masang Gang, Mt. Tsende Gang and Mt. Gangche Ta. If you want an even better view, you can climb a peak close to the saddle with an altitude of 4,720m. From the saddle the path descends, passing some yak herder huts to Doccha Chhu. You follow the river for a while, but stay higher up on the slope to reach Panka with ascents and descents along the way.

Overnight at a camping tent in the wilderness. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinnet)

Day 8Panka / Talakha Monastery

Distance 8 km
Time 5-6 hours
Ascent 180m
Descent 110m
Camp Altitude 3,080m

This day entails the crossing of several passes but none of them require a major climb. You should keep your eyes open for different varieties of blue poppy (June-July) and mountain birds while in this area. After crossing the last pass, Tale La (4,180m) you start a long descent to Talakha Gompa. You will camp right beside the monastery and wake up to the early morning prayers of the monks. From here you will be treated to a great view of Bhutan’s capital Thimphu.

Overnight at a campsite with beautiful view of the Thimhu valley. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 9Talakha Monastry / Chamgang Village / Thimphu

Distance 6 km
Time 3 hours
Descent 440m

From the monastery it’s a short walk down to the feeder road which will lead you to the village of Chamgang. From there, we will drive to Thimphu city and visit two important monuments.

The National Memorial Choeten

The National Memorial Choeten is the most frequented religious site and obviously an important landmark in Thimphu. The National Memorial Choeten is a Buddhist Stupa built in 1974 in memory of the Late Third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck who passed away in 1972. People from all walks of life come here to pray and circumambulate offering you a good opportunity to observe how Bhutanese people devote themselves to daily prayers and take refuge in the teachings of the Lord Buddha.

Buddha Dordenma Statue – Buddha Point

The marvelous 169 feet tall bronze statue of Lord Buddha is located on a hilltop, Kuensel Phodrang, overlooking the Thimphu valley presenting you with a beautiful view of Thimphu valley. It was built in 2015 to celebrate the 60th birth anniversary of the Fourth King His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck and also as a monument for world peace. The giant Buddha statue houses more than 100,000 8-inch tall Buddha statues of the same type.

Free time to stroll Thimphu and shopping as you wish.

Overnight at a hotel in Thimphu. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Hotels:
Hotel Amodhara in Thimphu - Bhutan Acorn Tours & Travel
Hotel Amodhara
City Hotel in Thimphu - Bhutan Acorn Tours & Travel
City Hotel
Tara Phendeyling Hotel in Thimphu - Bhutan Acorn Tours & Travel
Tara Phendeyling Hotel

Day 10Drive to Paro / Departure from Paro

Distance 50 km
Time 1 hours
Transportation Private SUV/Minivan/Bus

After breakfast, drive to Paro and transfer you to Paro International Airport for your onward journey. The drive should not take more than 1 hour. On arrival, your guide will assist you to complete all exit formalities before you check-in.

(Breakfast)

Add-on Options

All tour services we provide are independent with flexible itineraries which can be customized to suit your interest and requirement. You can form a group to get discounts. Apart from the predesigned packages which have proven successful, Bhutan Acorn Tours & Travel can also arrange the following add-on activities to enrich your experiences in Bhutan. These activities can be fitted into any tour itineraries.

  • A short discourse on Gross National Happiness (GNH) by a renowned scholar
  • Astrology chart by qualified Buddhist Astrologer
  • Recitation of prayers by monks/nuns at a monastery/temple to remove obstacles and clear path (Barched Lamsel)
  • Wedding ceremony in traditional Bhutanese style
  • Dinner and cultural show (Folk dances and Sacred mask dances)
  • Archery – the national sports of Bhutan
  • Massage and Spa/Hot stone bath
  • Yoga & Meditation
  • Cooking lessons

Please note that some of the activities may involve extra fees.

Cancellaton & Refund Policy

All your deposits and any payment less administrative fees of US$100 per person will be refunded if you notify us at least 30 days prior to your arrival date. Refer the cancellation fee schedule below to determine the applicable charges:

DAYS TO ARRIVAL CANCELLATION CHARGES PER PERSON
30+ US$100 administrative fee per person
16-29 20% of the total cost
8-15 50% of the total cost
0-7 days No refund is available
Curtailment

In case the trip is cut short or duration lost due to unforeseen reasons after arrival in Bhutan, no refund is available as the payment would have been already made to hotels and other logistics.

Delayed arrival or departure

There shall be no charges for the number of days of delay either during arrivals or departures or both, due to weather conditions, communication problems, cancellation or delay in Bhutanese airline flights, sickness or any other legitimate reason as Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) may deem reasonable. However, the Tourist will be charged on the actual expenses on accommodation, food, transport and any other services provided.

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