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  • Tashichho Dzong, Thimphu
  • The last campsite of Druk Path Trek at an elevation of 3,750 meters above Thimphu

9 Days Druk Path Trek From Paro to Thimphu

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9 Days 8 Nights
Availability : March, April, May, June, September, October & November
Paro International Airport
Paro International Airport
Min Age : 12+
Tour Details

The actual trekking is for 6 days only. The first full day is spent on an excursion trip to acclimatize and the last day of the Trek offers you some opportunity to spend whole afternoon in Thimphu, the capital city.

The six day Druk Path Trek is one of the most popular treks in the country as it passes through a gorgeous natural landscapes of blue pine forests, high ridges and pristine lakes while at the same time offering opportunity to visit some ancient lhakhangs, dzongs and villages. Although graded Moderate – Difficult, the Druk Path Trek is a fairly easy hike to undertake as the distances between rest camps are shorter. The trail takes you through forests of fir, blue pine and dwarf rhododendrons at altitudes ranging between 2400m – 4200m above sea level. On the third day of the trek, we will arrive at Jigmelang Lake whose crystal-clear waters are home to gigantic trouts.

This trek also offers stunning views of Mt. Gangkar Puensum, the highest unscaled peak in the world. The best times to embark o this trek are from March to June and September to November.

Trip Highlights
  • Hike to 8th century sacred site where Bhutan’s iconic landmark, 17th century Paro Taktsang or Tiger’s Nest is located.
  • Embark on a 6-day trek through stunning landscapes, high ridges and pristine lakes at altitudes ranging from 2,400m – 4,200m with rich flora and fauna. Trekking in Autumn and Spring offers you an opportunity to interact with yak herders around one of the campsites and understand their semi-nomadic lifestyle.
  • Visit the capital city of Bhutan and get true glimpse of modern Bhutan with its ancient culture still vibrant.

Departure & Return Location

Paro International Airport, Bhutan

Season

Best time is during the months of March, April, May, September, October and November. Weather conditions are unfavourable during December, January and February with heavy snows along the trails and temperature well below zero degree Celsius, July and August are monsoon season.

Difficulty Level

Moderate to Difficult – Good level of fitness is required for this trekking adventure. The trail crosses altitudes over 4,000 meters above sea level.

Trip Cost

During Low Season

During the months of January, February, June, July, August & December
US$1960 – for single person traveller
US$1880 per person – for a couple or group of 2 people
US$1640 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$2360 – for single person traveller
US$2280 per person – for a couple or group of 2 people
US$2040 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
  • 3 Nights Accommodation on a twin sharing basis (double occupancy) at 3 Star hotel
  • 5 Nights Accommodation in a camping tent
  • Round trip airport transfers
  • Trekking equipment and haulage
  • Dedicated land transport with driver for the entire duration of your trip within Bhutan
  • English speaking Licensed Tour Guide. Guides speaking other popular languages can be arranged for 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 - 9 Days 8 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 - Excursion in Paro

Paro Altitude 2,195m/7,200ft

Arrive Paro International Airport by Drukair or Bhutan Airlines. On arrival, go through the immigration and customs formalities and get visa stamped on your passport. Your guide and driver will receive you at the exit gate of the arrival hall.

As you will need to acclimatize to the altitude, today we will take it easy and drive you to one or two places of interest within Paro town. If your arrival time is way earlier than the hotel check-in time, we will visit one or two places of interest within Paro town. Otherwise, you’ll be heading straight to the hotel. Your guide and driver will assist you to check into the hotel so that you can relax for a while and then have lunch, your first taste of Bhutanese cuisine.

Visit 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). 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. This unique ancient watch tower was converted into the National Museum in 1968.

Visit Paro Rinpung Dzong

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 Gregorian 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, take a short walk to the traditional wooden cantilever bridge called Nemeyzampa, where your driver will be waiting for you. The roofed wooden cantilever bridge is built in a traditional style and this type bridges are called Bazam.

Leisure time to explore Paro town.

Overnight at the hotel in Paro.

Hotels:
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 - Get Acclimatized

Total Hike Time 4 hours
Taktsang Altitude 3,120m/10,235ft

Today, you will hike to Paro Taksang at 3,120m/10,235ft. It is going to be a wonderful adventure presenting you with picturesque view from above and a perfect way to get acclimatized before we start our exciting 6-day trek tomorrow. Later in the afternoon visit a very auspicious 7th century temple later in the afternoon.

Hike to Taktsang Monastery at 10,240 feet above the sea level

After early breakfast, drive to the base of the Taksang monastery from where the hike begins. It takes normally about 2 hours to reach the monastery from the nearest road point. The hike is a steep climb but takes you through the cool shades of pine trees giving you a lot of opportunities to take beautiful pictures of the valley below or the ridge above. There is a nice cafeteria on the way where you can rest and can see the breathtaking view of the Taktsang Monastery. It takes about another hour to reach the monastery from the cafeteria.

Taktsang or the Tiger’s Lair (people prefer to call Tiger’s Nest) is located on a sheer 800-meter rocky cliff in Paro. It is the most popular tourist attraction in Bhutan. It 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 8th century A.D. It is believed that Guru Padmasambhava flew into the cave from Kurtoe Singye Dzong in eastern Bhutan, riding on a tigress.

Taktsang is not only a sacred site visited by Guru Rinpoche but was also visited and blessed by many other renowned Buddhist masters; Langchen Pelgi Singye – one of the 25 disciples of Guru Rinpoche in the 8th century, Jitsun Milarepa – famous 11th century yogi, Phajo Drugom Zhigpo – 13th century saint who brought Drukpa school of Tibetan Buddism to Bhutan, Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel – the founder of nation-state of Bhutan in the 17th century, Desi Tenzin Rabgay – the fourth administrative ruler of unified Bhutan in the 17th century.

It was fourth Desi Tenzin Rabgay who built the Taktsang monastery in 1694. However, the present monastery you see today is not the original structure. It was destroyed by fire in 1998. His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck, the fourth King initiated and personally supervised the reconstruction of Taktsang monastery to its former glory. It was completed and consecrated in 2005.

Inside on of the temple is a Choeten, a Buddhist stupa built in memory of Langchen Pelgi Singye and holds his sacred body relic. It is believed that the Choeten fulfill wishes if you pray with pure devotion.

Lunch at Taksang Cafeteria.

Visit 7th century Buddhist monastery – Kyichu Lhakhang

Kyichu Lhakhang (Lhakhang means “temple”), which is located just a few minutes drive from the main town of Paro, is one of the oldest monasteries in Bhutan. It is believed to have been built in 659 A.D. by the Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo.

According to the legend, spirit of a giant demoness lay spread across Tibet and Bhutan causing obstruction to the propagation of Buddhism. In order to subdue this demoness, King Songtsen Gampo was required to built 108 temples across the affected region. Kyichu Lhakhang, built to pin down the left foot of the giant demoness, is one of the two temples that were built in Bhutan. The other is called Jambay Lhakhang located in the district of Bumthang in central Bhutan and was built to pin down the left knee. Both the temples were believed to have been built overnight.

The old temple is known as Jowo Lhakhang and holds the original 7th century Jowo Jampa Statue in its inner chapel. Jowo Jampa is a Tibetan term for Buddha Maitreya, the Future Buddha. The outer hall of the Jowo Lhakhang houses the statue of Chenrizig, the God of Compassion Avalokiteshara.

Next to the Jowo Lhakhang is Guru Lhakhang which was built by Her Royal Grandmother Ashi Ashi Kesang Choden Wangchuck in 1971 and houses the statue of Guru Padmasambhava. Inside this temple is also a statue of her spiritual root teacher His Holiness Dilgo Khentse Rinpoche, a highly accomplished Buddhist master who passed away in 1992. Many important religious annual rites are conducted here at Kyichu Lhakhang under the patronage of Her Royal Grandmother.

Leisure time in the town.

Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Paro.

Hotels:
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 / Jili Dzong

Distance 7km
Time 4-5 hours
Ascent 1,090m
Camp Altitude 3,480m/11,415ft
The 6-Day Druk Path Trek begins today from Ta Dzong

The first day can be quite arduous as you have to climb more than 1,000m elevation. You start from the Ta Dzong (National Museum) in Paro. The trek follows a gravel road past a few farms for about 30 minutes and then climbs up a steep ridge before leading through blue pine and fir forests to Damche Gom. Once you reach the ridge below Jili Dzong you descend about 100m to the campsite below the Dzong.

(Breakfast, Lunch , Dinner)

Day 4Jili Dzong / Jangchulakha

Distance 10km
Time 4-5 hours
Ascent 310m
Descent 50m
Camp Altitude 3,770m/12,370ft

You begin with a steep climb for about an hour and a half, then the slope evens a bit and the ascent is more gradual. The trail takes you through thick alpine forests and dwarf rhododendron trees. You may see herder and their yaks around your campsite offering you an opportunity to interact and experience a glimpse of their semi-nomadic lifestyle.

(Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Overnight at a campsite.

Day 5 Jangchulakha / Jimilang Tso

Distance 11km
Time 4 hours
Ascent 330m
Descent 230m
Camp Altitude 3,870m/12,695ft

The trail follows a ridge and on a clear day the view of the mountains and valley are simply stunning. The campsite is close to the Jimilang Tsho Lake. This lake is known for its giant sized trout.

(Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 6Jimilang Tso / Simkotra

Distance 11km
Time 4 hours
Ascent 820m
Descent 400m
Camp Altitude 4,110m/13,485ft

The trail takes you through dwarf rhododendron trees and past Janetso Lake. You may come across some yak herder camps where you will have the opportunity to get a glimpse of a nomad’s life. The campsite is close to Simkotra Tsho Lake.

(Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 7Simkotra / Phajoding

Distance 10km
Time 3-4 hours
Ascent 130m
Descent 680m
Camp Altitude 3,750m/12,305ft

The day begins with a gradual climb. If the weather permits, you will have a spectacular view of Mount Gangkar Puensum, the highest mountain in Bhutan and several other Himalayan peaks. From this pass, the trek takes you downhill towards Phajodhing where you will halt for the night. The camp is located just above Phadjoding Monastery.

(Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 8Phajoding / Thimphu

Distance 4-5km
Time 3 hours
Descent 1,130m
Thimphu Altitude 2,334m/7655ft

After passing Phajoding monastery, the trek to Thimphu is downhill through a forested area of mostly blue pine. The walk, at a leisurely pace, takes about three hours. On the way, you will pass through Chokhortse Temple on the outskirts of Thimphu and couple of hundred meters steep downhill brings you to a radio transmission tower where your driver will be waiting. This is the point where our trekking staff will bid you farewell. We will drive to your hotel where a sumptuous lunch will be served after 6 days of eating camp meals. Just nearby on the way, if you are interested, we will stop by the Royal Takin Preserve where you can see few Takins (the national animal of Bhutan) in a large enclosure.

After lunch you will visit some of the attractions in the town. The population of Thimphu is about 100,000 and it is the only capital city in the world that does not use traffic lights and billboards.

Leisure time in the town.

Dinner and overnight at the 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 9Departure from Paro International Airport

Today is your final morning in this magical Kingdom of Bhutan. After breakfast, we will drive to Paro and transfer you to Paro International Airport for your onward journey. Your guide will assist you to complete all exit formalities before you check-in. As we bid farewell and wish you a good luck in your onward journey, we sincerely hope that you enjoyed the trip and look forward to serving you again in the future.

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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