Pristine environment and a deep Buddhist heritage in a Himalayan kingdom, Bhutan has become a famous destination for trekkers. The country offers you the most spectacular views of the Himalayan peaks and lush valleys.
There are 5 national parks, 4 wildlife sanctuaries and 1 strict nature reserve covering about 51.44% of the country, making Bhutan the only carbon-negative country until now. Trekking in Bhutan, you will feel truly as one with the nature, crossing dense forests and glacial streams, breathing in the fresh air and looking out to the spectacular view of snow-capped peaks and fluttering prayer flags along the mountain passes.
Trekking in Bhutan is also an opportunity to appreciate the local culture, to explore imposing dzongs and monasteries and witness the life of Bhutanese. Seeing the Bhutanese practicing Buddhism, working on the field and playing archery and darts, you will understand why Bhutanese are one of the happiest in the world.
Bhutan treks cater for all levels of fitness: from easy to tough, short to long, lower to higher altitude. For instant, the Druk Path trek – one of the most popular with beginners, and the famous Snowman Trek – one of the most strenuous adventure in the world. The best time to trek in Bhutan is in spring (March – May) and in autumn (September – November). This is when you will have the greatest view of enormous mountains and scenic valleys.
Tour duration – 8 days/ 7 nights.
Trek duration – 3 days
Tour destination – Paro, Haa, and Thimphu.
Tour overview – The tour is made up of an exploration trip in Paro and an easy trek, which starts from the north of the beautiful Haa valley and trails along the scenic mountains and valleys between Haa and Paro. This trek offers the spectacular views of the Himalayan ranges, with sights of some of the world’s tallest mountains – Mount Jumolhari (7,314m), Mount Jichu Drake (6,989m), Mount Tsherimgang (6,789m) and Mount Kanchenjongga (8,586m) in Sikkim. You will immerse in the pristine Bhutanese landscape when trekking through lush forests, endless meadows and grazing lands. A serene atmosphere will accompany you throughout the trek, when you admire the pleasant sights of religious flags and prayer wheels, or when you come experience life of the local tribes and yak herders.
The best time to do Chelela Pass Trek is March – May and September – November.
Day 01: Arrival in Paro
You will arrive at the Paro International Airport. Enjoy the view from above by looking out of the plane window, you will be met with breathtaking bird-eye view of the snowcapped Himalayan ranges. That is Bhutan’s impressive “Hello” to all visitors!
After meeting your guide and checking in your hotel, we will have some time and then the exciting adventure will begin. We’ll first visit Paro Rinpung Dzong (Fortress on a Heap of Jewels) – the most famous and important landmark in town. The building served as the meeting hall for the National Assembly. Today it houses the monastic body and districts government offices, including the local courts, like most dzongs in Bhutan. Scenes from Bernardo Bertolucci’s 1993 film Little Buddha were filmed at Paro Rinpung Dzong.
Next, we will see the extensive collections of The National Museum of Bhutan, or Ta Dzong, as it was a former watchtower and only renovated in 1968. This is the best place to learn about Bhutan and its culture, you will find here collections of thangkas, bronze statues, Bhutan’s traditional dress, etc., and its most revered treasures, including a stone egg laid by a mule and a ritual dagger of the great protector Dorje Lekpa.
We will then do a leisure hike along the forested hillside to explore Zuri Dzong. The 2-hour hike offers stunning views of Paro valley and the dzong. You will the cool fresh air when walking through forest of cypress and pine trees.
Zuri Dzong is regarded one of the oldest dzongs in the country, dated back to 1352. This is home to the valley’s local protector. Thanks to its location up the hill, this is a great spot for sightseeing and capturing memorable pictures of nature. The hike will end once we reach Paro Cantilever Bridge.
We will stay overnight at the hotel in Paro.
Day 02: Paro sightseeing
Paro Taktsang or Tiger’s Nest as it is commonly called, is one of the most prominent sites in the Himalaya. The striking building overlooks the whole valley from its position on the side of a sheer cliff, approximately 900m above the valley floor. The monastery is one of the most sacred sites in the country, it has an important role in the life of the Bhutanese, and it is said that no trip to Bhutan is complete without a trek to the Tiger’s Nest. Plus, the views from here are breathtaking.
The hike will take 4-5 hours in total, so we will have short breaks along the way, for both refreshments and sightseeing. You will be accompanied with mesmerizing landscape of lush forests and great Himalayan mountains with their white “hats”. The wonderful landscape and pristine nature will make you understand why trekking in Bhutan is an experience like no others!
In the afternoon, we will head out to see Drukgyel Dzong, or the ruins of the dzong to be exact. This is considered the most renowned and attractive archeological site in Bhutan. The site was built in 1649 and completed its mission of protecting the valley from external invasions, until it was destroyed by fire in 1951. Wandering between the ruins of the historic dzong, you will feel like taking a step back in the time of war and relive the glorious past.
We will return to Paro town and stay for another night.
Day 03: Paro – Haa
- Altitude in Haa: 2,740m
- Distance: 70km
- Estimated travel time: 2,5hrs
Say goodbye to the lovely Paro valley, we will hit the road and drive to Haa valley, one of the most remote and sacred valleys in Bhutan.
Haa town sits next to Haa Chhu river and can be divided into two sectors – the northern part with the central bazaar, and the southern occupied by a Bhutanese army camp and an IMTRAT (Indian Military Training Team).
On arrival in Haa, we will visit Lhakhang Nagpo (Black Chapel), and there is another one named Lhakhang Kharpo (White Chapel), two of the oldest temples in the valley. Local legend has it that when the Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo was seeking auspicious locations for the new temples, he released one black pigeon and one white pigeon, and where the temples are now were the locations where the two birds landed. Both temples stand at the foothill of the venerated Meri Puensum.
The inner shrine of Lhakhang Nagpo has a statue of Jowo Sakyamuni wearing a lovely crown and jewels. You’ll also find here a shrine to the red-faced protector Drakdu Tsen beside a trap door leading to the underground pool of a tshomen (mermaid spirit). There are the clay representations of the valley’s three sacred mountains
After that, we will take on the Juneydrak Hermitage hike from Katsho village, about 1km north of Haa valley. We will walk for 40 minutes and first past Chorten Dangrim mani (prayer) wall then cross the stream. Next we will reach a chorten which marks the entry to the hermitage. The caretaker of the chorten will give you access to the Lhakhang. Climb up the steep steps before squeezing between a stone entry way, guarded by the rock painting of a green-faced demon.
You’ll see a rough trail below the hermitage, which curves around the exposed bluff and leads to Katsho Goemba, from where we can have nice views over Katsho village. If there is time, it is also a good idea to visit the goemba to admire the fine antique thangkas inside.
It is otherwise possible to hike Juneydrak from Wangtsa village, following the main path near Dangrim chorten, this will take approximately 2.5 hours.
Tonight, we will rest at the hotel in the Haa town.
Day 04: Haa town – Sagala
- Distance: 6km
- Estimated time: 3-4hrs
- Camp altitude: 3,900m
- Ascent: 900m
Enjoy breakfast and then drive for 1 hour to a village, where we will start Chelela trek – the highlight of this trip.
Following the trail on the right side of the village, we will gradually walk up through yak herders camp until we reach two different paths. We will take the right trail to make the final climb towards the camp at Sagala at an altitude of 3,900m.
Day 05: Sagala to Ningula
- Distance: 12km
- Estimated time: 6hrs
- Camp altitude: 4,200m
- Ascent: 540m
- Descent: 250m
From the camp, we’ll climb up for 30 minutes and reach Sagala pass. If the weather is good, you will have the stunning views of Mount Jomolhari (7,314m) and Mount Jichu Drake (6,989m). Continue on the right side of the trail, after some ascents and descents and a walk through areas of rhododendrons and meadows, we will finally get to the top of the ridge at 4,435m. The view of Haa valley from this location can only be described as breath-taking. After some walk through forests of hemlock and Jupiter, we will be at today’s camp at 4,200m.
Day 06: Ningula to Chelela pass and drive to Thimphu
- Distance: 12km
- Estimated time: 7hrs
- Ascent: 300m
- Descent: 500m
Today we will get to Chelela pass. Hike along the ridge through meadows and yak herder’s camp, we will go uphill and through the rhododendron forest toward Kung Karpo Sky Burial at 4,458m. Reward yourself with the spectacular view of the picturesque Haa valley while climbing up through the stone cairns to Kung Karpo.
The trail will ascend and descend for a few times and we will be accompanied by the spectacular panorama view of Paro valley of the left and Haa valley on the right. The sight of Kila Goemba Nunnery below is also just as stunning. We’ll walk further downhill until arrive at Chelela pass at 3,800m. This is one of the highest mountain passes in Bhutan. A car will be waiting to transfer you to Thimphu.
Day 07: Thimphu sightseeing and drive back to Paro
Welcome to the beautiful capital of Bhutan! Thimphu is town of interesting juxtaposition, where you’ll see ancient landmarks right next to modern shops and restaurants.
The first place we will explore is the National Memorial Chorten. It is dedicated to world peace and prosperity, and later became a memorial to the Third King His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuk. This Tibetan-style building is one of the most iconic religious edifices in Thimphu and is the focus of daily worship for many Bhutanese.
The next visit will be Buddha Point, a massive statue at a height of 51.5m, one of the largest in the world. The giant sculpture, with thousands of smaller Buddha statues inside, emanates an aura of peace and happiness to the entire world. The location of Buddha Point also allows us to enjoy the scenic landscape of Thimphu.
Today’s last destination will Tashichho Dzong (Fortress of The Glorious Religion). The dzong was first constructed in 1216 A.D and had gone through expansion and reconstruction over the years. The prominent dzong is located close to Thimphu town, next to the banks of Wang Chhu River. Remember to watch the captivating scene of flag changing at 5pm. The ceremony begins in the courtyard and ends outside in the front of the dzong.
We will drive back to Paro and stay there for the night.
Day 08: Depart Paro
We will head to the airport after breakfast for your flight to your next destination, marking the end of your Bhutan journey. Tashi Delek (goodbye and good luck) and hope to see you again!
- Group of 2 people: US$ 2,120 per person
- Group of 3 people: US$ 1,910 per person
OFF PEAK SEASON
- Group of 2 people: US$ 1,770 per person
- Group of 3 people: US$ 1,560 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.|
|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.|