Banjaracamps
Essence of Bhutan
Essence of Bhutan
Duration 9 nights 10 days
Best Time Mid March – May & Mid Sep - Nov

A journey with handpicked day hikes to discover glorious hidden landscapes, unforgettable vistas and authentic local experiences that are unique to this Himalayan kingdom.

    ARRIVE IN PARO – THIMPHU (2350 M) 51 km / 1 ½ hrs – hike to Tango Gompa (2 hrs return)

    Day 1: ARRIVE IN PARO – THIMPHU (2350 M) 51 km / 1 ½ hrs – hike to Tango Gompa (2 hrs return)

    Reach Paro by a morning flight. On arrival at the airport our guide will meet you and you are transferred to Thimphu. Post lunch do a picturesque drive to the quaint Dodena Bridge and do a beautiful hike through an iridescent violet and crimson rhododendron cloaked woodland to the Tango Gompa.

    THIMPHU – hike to Phojoding Gompa

    Day 2: THIMPHU – hike to Phojoding Gompa

    Leave after an early breakfast on a beautiful hike through forests of Chirpine & rhododendron to the hidden Phojoding Gompa. Enjoy great views of Thimphu valley and a picnic lunch. Be back at your hotel by late afternoon. Evening at leisure in Thimphu.

    THIMPHU – hike to Lungchuzekha Gompa (4hrs return) - PUNAKHA (1250 M) 85 kms / 3 hrs

    Day 3: THIMPHU – hike to Lungchuzekha Gompa (4hrs return) - PUNAKHA (1250 M) 85 kms / 3 hrs

    Post breakfast an hour’s drive brings us to Dochu La Pass (3010 M). Enjoy the exquisite views and leave on a beautiful hike to Lungchuzekha Gompa through dense forests of Hemlocks, Junipers, Birches and Rhododendron, interspersed with meadows. Once at the gompa enjoy superlative 360° views covering various ranges in the Bhutanese Himalayas crowned by 7000 M + giant peaks like Jhumolhari, Gangkar Puensum – the highest unclimbed mountain in the world and high peaks of the Lunana. Walk back to Dochu La and drive about 2 hrs to reach Punakha by evening.

    PUNAKHA – hike the Giligang Trail (5 hrs totally)

    Day 4: PUNAKHA – hike the Giligang Trail (5 hrs totally)

    Post breakfast a short drive gets you to the starting point of the day’s hike. Begin by walking through traditional farmland and paddy-fields and the up on a twirling trail to reach this Khamsum Chorten – considered by many as one of the finest examples of Bhutanese architecture. Enjoy stunning views of the valley below towards both sides and a well earned rest. The hike from here to Giligang is a gradual climb all the way up to the temple. At several points you get awe inspiring views of sprawling forest covered mountainside with snow covered peaks for a backdrop. After an al fresco lunch here we go downhill to meet the river at Changyul Bridge and come across the majestic Punakha Dzong. Be back in your hotel by early evening.

    PUNAKHA - PHOBJIKHA (2900 M) 82 km / 3 hrs - walk the Gangtey Nature Trail (2 hrs totally)

    Day 5: PUNAKHA - PHOBJIKHA (2900 M) 82 km / 3 hrs - walk the Gangtey Nature Trail (2 hrs totally)

    Check out of the hotel and do a short walk through fields to Chimi Lhakhang - the temple of fertility associated with religious art of the phallus. Then drive via Wangdi and over the Lawa La pass to reach the valley of black necked cranes and rhododendron, Phobjikha, often called as Gangtey too. If visiting mid March – early May you will be greeted with beautiful rhododendron blooms and in winter you will see the rare Black Necked Cranes. Later visit Gangtey Gompa and hike on the exquisite Gangtey Nature Trail.

    PHOBJIKHA – Valley Walks

    Day 6: PHOBJIKHA – Valley Walks

    Enjoy a full day of walking in this serene & still undisturbed valley, visiting typical Bhutanese farm houses and meeting locals and students.

    PHOBJIKHA – PARO (2200 M) 180 kms / 6 hrs

    Day 7: PHOBJIKHA – PARO (2200 M) 180 kms / 6 hrs

    Check out after an early breakfast and drive back to Paro. Visit the National Museum, the first of its kind with an eclectic collection ranging from intriguing specimens of natural history to the finest works of Bhutanese Art. From here walk to the 17 century Paro Dzong (Fortress) and continue walking through the oldest wooden bridge still in use. Evening stroll in old Paro town and peep into some local handicrafts stores.

    PARO – hike to Tiger’s Nest (5 hrs return)

    Day 8: PARO – hike to Tiger’s Nest (5 hrs return)

    Morning hike up to Tiger’s Nest or Taktsang, the most revered temple in the country that literally hangs on a granite cliff overlooking Paro Valley. Afternoon on your way back, you could spend some time doing archery in the village. Alternatively you could visit Kichu Lhakhang - one of the oldest Buddhist temples in the country, and the historic Drukgyal Dzong. Evening at leisure in Paro.

    PARO – hike to Kila Nunnery (3 hrs return) & see Haa Valley

    Day 9: PARO – hike to Kila Nunnery (3 hrs return) & see Haa Valley

    After an early breakfast drive about an hour and a half to Chele La (3800 M), enjoy panoramic views of the two valleys, Paro & Haa and stunning views of the Himalayan ranges of Bhutan. You then do a lovely hike through rich forests with lots of rhododendron clumps enjoying scenic views including sightings of Mt Jhumolhari & Jichu Drake before reaching the isolated Kila Nunnery, nestled high up on a ridge. Enjoy the stunning views and perhaps interact with the nuns. Hike back up to the pass. Drive across the pass for a while towards Haa, enjoy a picnic lunch and drive back over the pass to be in Paro in the evening.

    PARO – FLY OUT

    Day 10: PARO – FLY OUT

    Transfer to airport for your departure flight. Our tour staff will bid you farewell at the airport.

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