Trekking in Bhutan is an unforgettable experience for travelers who relish taking a break from the fast pace of modern life and genuinely immerse in the untouched nature with lush valleys, high mountains and fresh water lakes.
Bhutan is the first and only carbon-negative country until now. It has 5 national parks, 4 wildlife sanctuaries and 1 strict nature reserve, covering 51.44% of the country. While trekking, you will have many chances to stop and simply take in the majestic scene of mighty mountain peaks and the overview of wonderful valleys.
Following the trails, you will also visit some of the most renowned landmarks of Bhutan, like the Tiger’s Nest, Paro Dzong or Punakha Dzong. These sites are the fine examples of Bhutanese architecture, which is deeply influenced by Buddhism – Bhutan’s national religion. You will also be welcome when they cross remote villages by the most warmhearted people.
Whether you are looking for a pleasant trek or a strenuous adventure, Bhutan has it all. For beginners, one of the most popular treks is the Druk Path Trek. And tougher treks like the Snowman Trek, which can take up to 30 days to finish, are also available in Bhutan.
The weather in spring (March – May) and in autumn (September – November) is the most ideal for trekking. Yet, for several treks like the Nabji Korphu Trek, winter is also a good time to travel.
Tour duration – 7 days/ 6 nights.
Trek duration – 2 days
Tour destination – Thimphu, Punakha, and Paro
Tour overview – A short trekking tour which will take you to the breathtaking sights of Bhutan. Visiting some of the most iconic landmarks of the country and travelling through Thimphu, Paro and Punakha, the large cities which are well-known for their rich history and culture. you will have 2 days on the Bumdra trek, a nice trek which crosses stunning landscape, pristine forests and offers the incredible view of the mighty Himalayan mountains. This is the perfect combination of a culture and trekking tour in Bhutan within just 7 days.
Day 01: Thimphu sightseeing
- Altitude in Paro: 2,280m
- Altitude in Thimphu: 2,320m
- Distance: 55km
- Estimated travel time: 1.30hr
Your plane will land in Paro, one of Bhutan’s biggest cities. And you can catch the splendid sight of Himalayan snowcapped peaks from your plane. Our representative will pick you up and then we will drive to the capital, Thimphu. It is the only capital in the world that does not have traffic lights.
The first visit in Thimphu is the National Memorial Chorten, which was the idea of Bhutan’s Third King, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck (1928-1972). He wished for the building to be a monument for world peace, and later it also served as a memorial to the Third King after he passed away.
Next, we will head to one of the most renowned site of Bhutan – Buddha Point (Buddha Dordenma Statue). The 51.5m statue is the image of Shakyamuni Buddha sitting on a mediation hall, and is believed to emit an aura of peace and happiness to the world. There are 125,000 smaller buddha statues placed inside the giant gold-gilded statue.
We can walk around to experience the local life in Thimphu. The bustling city is Bhutan’s centre of commerce, religion and government. What makes it so attractive is the dynamic vibe of the streets and the juxtaposition of ancient tradition and modernity that one can find in Thimphu. Also, there are great pubs and numerous events in the evening, you will enjoy good music and tasty food at these places.
The first night you will stay at the hotel in Thimphu.
Day 02: Discover Thimphu
Today, we will first visit Changangkha Lhakhang, one of the oldest temples in Thimphu. The temple was constructed in 12th century and located on a ridge above central Thimphu. This giant building is where parents traditionally come to get auspicious names for their newborns or blessing for their young kids from the protector Deity Tamdrin. If you wish, you can also give the resident astrologer your birth date and the monk will consult divination charts to decide which kind of protective prayer flags will benefit you.
After that, we will go to Folk Heritage Museum and the National Textile Museum to explore more about the Bhutanese life and art. The heritage museum is built as a 19th-century rural house with rammed mud timber. Displayed inside are collections of typical household objects, tools and equipment. There are also regular demonstrations of rural traditions, skills, habits and customs as well as hosting educational programs for children organized here. The textile museum is a top choice attraction in Thimphu, a great place to lean about Bhutan’s national art of thagzo (weaving). Here you can find samples of Bhutanese traditional clothes, see the practicing of thagzo on different materials and in various styles as well.
We will have a lunchbreak and head to Jungshi Handmade Paper factory, which is only 1km from the city center of Thimphu. In the small factory, you can witness the fascinating traditional methods of producing authentic Densho paper. This type of paper was used by monasteries for woodblock and manuscript books and for writing prayer books. It is made from the bark of two tree species, Daphne and Dhekap trees. Some products like stationery and greeting cards are also made in the factory.
In the afternoon, we will head to the National Institute for Zorig Chusum, or also called the Arts and Crafts School, or Painting school. At the institute, there are different courses that teach about the traditional arts of Bhutan, and the discipline and skills of the young students are very impressive. Some craft demonstrations that you can see range from painting (furniture, thangkas) to woodcarving and embroidery.
Last stop today is the majestic Tashichho Dzong (Fortress of The Glorious Religion). First constructed in 1216 A.D, it went through renovations before it was finally completed in 1952 by King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, after he moved Bhutan’s capital to Thimphu. You can enjoy the captivating scene around the edifice with beautiful gardens and green lawns.
You will stay at the hotel in the capital for another night.
Day 03: Thimphu to Punakha
- Altitude in Punakha: 1,300m
- Distance: 75km
- Estimated travel time: 3hrs
From Thimphu, we will drive to Punakha, which was the capital from 1637 to 1907. We will first reach Dochula pass on the way. At 3,050m, the pass is a favoured place of visitors to have a splendid panoramic view of the 108 chortens with the setting of the Himalayan snowcapped peaks.
Upon arriving at Punakha, the first place for us to see will be the majestic Punakha Dzong (Place of Great Happiness). The edifice, as the second oldest dzong in Bhutan, has witnessed some momentous events of the country’s history. Asides from its remarkable structure and scenic surrounding, the dzong is well-known for containing the preserved remains of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the unifier of Bhutan as well as a sacred relic known as the Ranjung Karsapani.
Just a short distance from Punakha Dzong, we will arrive at Pho Chhu Suspension Bridge for the spectacular overview of Punakha Dzong and Pho Chhu Valley. With 160m length, this is the longest suspension bridge in the country.
Afterwards, we will have an easy hike to Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten (1,500m). as the chorten is located on a ridge above Punakha valley, it offers the captivating scene of the whole area. From the suspension bridge, the trail will ascend 200m up the hill. While the walk can be a bit muddy, it will only take around 1 hour to finish. The construction is praised as one of the examples of Bhutanese architecture and the only one of its kind in the world. Later, we will return and stay overnight at the hotel in Punakha.
Day 04: Punakha to Paro
- Distance: 125km
- Estimated travel time: 4hrs
From Punakha, we will return to Paro. While we are on the way, we will do an easy hike to Chimi Lhakhang (Temple of Fertility). From the main road, the trail will ascend only 20m, and after about 30 minutes crossing beautiful hillock fields, we can see the temple, which is at an altitude of 1,500m.
In Paro, there is also an iconic structure that we will see in the afternoon – the renowned Paro Rinpung Dzong (Fortress of The Heap of Jewels). The whole construction is a complex of courtyards, temples, offices and accommodating area surrounded by towering walls. Sitting on a steep hillside, the dzong is a nice location to view the whole picturesque Paro valley with giant mountains and endless green landscape.
Heading to the National Museum of Bhutan (Ta Dzong), we will learn more about the life in Bhutan. The extensive collections demonstrate the country’s rich culture and heritage, including antique thangkha paintings, textiles, weapons and armour and many other natural and historic artifacts.
If you are up for it, try making your own bowl and cup as we arrive at Sangay Handmade Bowl and Cup Factory. The art of Bhutanese woodturning is called Shagzo. Finally, we will return to the town and spend time wandering around Paro’s lovely streets and stay overnight at the hotel in Paro.
Day 05: Bumdra trek day 01 – Distance: 7km; Ascent: 960m
In the morning, we will drive to Sang Choekor Shedra, a Buddhist college (2,900m) and start the trek from here. Climbing up to the ridge, we will get to an open space with many prayer flags, it is also a good location for a grand view of Paro valley and Do Chhu valley.
Continuing, we will arrive at Choechotse Lhakhang temple (3,650m) after 1-2 hours of walking. The path after the temple will slowly go up, with the last part is steeper. Yet, the view of the Himalayas will be totally rewarding for trekkers. To the south it is the landscape of Paro and you can also enjoy the view northwards to the snowcapped mountains.
Another 20 minutes of trekking and passing fluttering prayer flags, we will descend though the dense forest and reach a picturesque meadow with sacred chortens and prayer flags running along the trail. The camping site is located close to Bumdra monastery, at an altitude of 3,700m. We can visit this beautiful temple and watch the monks perform puja and receiving blessings from them.
Day 06: Bumdra trek day 02 – Distance: 7km; Descent: 1,260m
Starting the day with stunning natural scenes at the campsite, we will then get on the trek. We will trek down into the valley, crossing the lush forest of pine trees of rhododendrons and continuing on the monk’s zigzagging trail.
After 1-2 hours, we will see the sight of the temples’ golden roofs in the distance. Following the trail, we will get to the gardens of Zangto Pelri (Heaven on Earth). If you are brave, peering over the edge for the splendid sight of Taktsang monastery’s ornate rooftops perching against the cliff far below.
From the majestic monastery, we will trek for another hour, pass a waterfall and arrive at Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest). Sitting on a cliff more than 3,000m above the sea level, this is one of the most sacred sites of Bhutan. It is believed that Guru Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche) came here on the back of a tigress in the 8th century. Also, every Bhutanese is expected to complete the pilgrimage to the Tiger’s Nest at least once in their life. We will have lunch at Taktshang cafeteria and later descend towards Paro valley floor. It will take 6-7 hours in total.
Later, we will visit Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest and most spectacular temples in the country. Guru Padmasambhava also visited this place in the 8th century.
In the late afternoon, we will have a special dinner with a Bhutanese family. This is the most genuine way to meet and explore about the local life, and you can enjoy your time with the warmest people. We also recommend trying out archery and dart, which your guide and driver will happily teach you. These are the most popular sports in the country, practiced in almost every family.
You will spend the last night at the hotel in Paro.
Day 07: Depart Paro
After breakfast at the hotel, your guide will take you to the airport for flight to your onward destination. It is time to say ‘Tashi Delek’ (goodbye and good luck) and hope to see you again!
- Single traveler: US$ 1,880 per person
- Group of 2 people: US$ 1,770 per person
- Group of 3 people: US$ 1,590 per person
OFF PEAK SEASON
- Single traveler: US$ 1,580 per person
- Group of 2 people: US$ 1,470 per person
- Group of 3 people: US$ 1,290 per person
- If you are planning to travel Bhutan with a group of 4 people and more, please feel free to contact us to get the cost for your group.
|The cost includes||The cost excludes|
|Bhutan visa fee. (US$ 40 per person).||Laundry/beverages/telephone calls and any personal expenses.|
|3 star categories hotel twin sharing room or double sharing room.||Travel insurance.|
|Accommodation in the best 3 star hotels in Bhutan.||Airfares.|
|All meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) in day.||Airport taxes if any.|
|Bottled water, tea, and coffee on the trip.||Excess baggage charge.|
|A sustainable development fee of US$65 per night.||Tips to guides and drivers.|
|Museum fees and other special entry fees.||Services not mentioned.|
|Internal transportation with experienced driver throughout the trip.|
|Gho or Kira (traditional and national dress of Bhutan) for your use during your stay in Bhutan.|
|Bhutanese sim cards.|
|Archery and dart.|
|Experienced guide, cook, and support staff for trekking tour.|
|Essential equipment for trekking tour: kitchen tent; dining tent; toilet tent with toilet pot and toilet paper; sleeping tent with full carpet, foam mattress with bed sheet and foam pillow, one small blanket.|