Haa, nestles between the mountains of western Bhutan at an altitude of 2,740m, is undoubtedly one of the most isolated, but most pristine and scenic areas of the kingdom. The small Dzongkhag is covered by a green blanket with endless alpine forests and tranquil mountain peaks.
The dzongkhag’s major feature is Haa valley, a steep north-south valley with a narrow floor. The name Haa, connotes esoteric hiddenness, it is otherwise called “Hidden-Land Rice Valley”. Haa valley is the ancestral home of Dorji family, from which the Queen Mother descends. The valley has a large number of villages, monasteries, temples.
The area consists of the Jigme Khesar Strict Nature Reserve, one of the environmentally protected areas of Bhutan with diverse fauna and flora. Except for a few Yak herding communities, the region sees no permanent human settlements, providing the ideal habitat for wild animals, some of which are endangered species like Snow Leopard, Red Panda, Tibetan Snowcock and Rufous Necked Hornbills.
Tour duration – 13 days/ 12 nights.
Trek duration – 6 days
Tour destination – Paro, Haa, Thimphu, and Punakha
Tour overview -Trek through the mountains of Haa valley for a unique experience. This trekking tour in Bhutan is like no other, as Haa has one of the most striking landscape in the kingdom, yet remains leseer-known by travelers. The trail follows a former trade route between Haa and Tibet, which feels remote even to local Bhutanese.
This is a challenging trek that lasts for 7 days, but a really rewarding one at the same time. You will be able to admire the spectacular Himalayan mountains, lush meadows, turquoise lakes, verdant and endless forests and may even catch the sight of rare local plants and animals, all at the altitude of around 4,000m.
The best time to do the Nub Tshona Pata Trek is from the end of April to mid-November.
Day 01: Arrival in Paro
Welcome to Bhutan – the destination that any trekkers need to visit once in their life! From the airplane window, look outside to admire the incredible Himalayan mountain peaks from above. The wonderful Bhutan landscape is one of the main reasons adventurers cannot leave the country out of their bucket list! Our representative will be at Paro International Airport to warmly welcome you.
We will start your Bhutan trip with the first visit to the grand complex of Paro Rinpung Dzong (Fortress of The Heap of Jewels), erected in 1644. The iconic towering white walls of the Dzong can be seen from anywhere in the town, which is always an eye-catching sight with visitors. Trough time, the place is used to house the monastic body and district government offices.
Later, we will spend time at the National Museum of Bhutan (or Ta Dzong) discovering life in Bhutan through the extensive collections of objects displayed in the building. From beautiful thangkas, distinctive Tshechu festival masks to assortments of weapons, textile and other daily items.
You will return to the hotel and stay overnight in Paro.
Day 02: Paro sightseeing
If there is one place you should never miss when traveling Bhutan, it is the Taktsang Monastery, also called the Tiger’s Nest. We will trek for about 4-5 hours to reach the sacred site, which sits on a sheer cliff overlooking Paro valley. The walk to the temple is 4.5km one way, with an elevation gain of 600m. During the trek, we will have breaks for you to enjoy and take photos of the spectacular landscape of Paro valley, with lush forests and endless mountain ranges in the distance. A trek that will make anyone fall in love with the scenery it offers!
Following that, we will head to Kyichu Lhakhang – one of the 108 temples built by the Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo to mark the introduction of Buddhism in the Himalayas. They were all constructed in the 7th century, making Kyichu Lhakhang one of kingdom’s oldest and most striking temples. The attractive sight of elderly pilgrims walking around the temple and spinning many of the prayer wheels makes this one of the most favourite sites in the valley.
We will spend another night at the hotel in Paro.
Day 03: Paro to Haa
- Altitude in Haa: 2,740m
- Distance: 70km
- Estimate trsvel time: 2,5hrs
In the morning, we will drive to Chelela pass, located between Paro valley and Haa valley, to hike to Kila Goemba – one of the oldest nunneries in the country dating back to the 9th century. Set at an altitude of 3,800m and beautifully adorned with colourful prayer flags, Chelela is one of the highest road passes in Bhutan, and from here you can get the amazing views of Mt. Jomolhari (7,314 m), Mt. Jichu Drake (6,794 m), and Mt. Kangchenjunga (8,586 m).
From the road, we will start to walk up towards the highest point at 4,500m, where the view gets even more astonishing. The hike is 3km with a 500m ascent. We will descend and pass picturesque hills of rhododendron and hemlock forest to Kila Goemba. Standing on a sheer cliff, this place consists of 7 small temples and is home to about 30 Buddhist nuns. On the way, keep your eyes out for lovely blue poppies – Bhutan’s national flower that bloom in late May – July. The walk down is 4km with a descent of 700m. The whole hike today will last around 4-5 hours.
Afterwards, drive to Haa valley and stay overnight there.
Day 04: Drana Dhingkha Temple (3230m) to below Tsabjola pass
- Distance: 9-10km
- Estimated time: 5-6hrs
- Camp altitude: 3,800m
Today marks the first day of our “Nub Tshona Pata Trek”.
Enjoy your delicious breakfast and then we will drive for 15 minutes to Drana Dhingkha Temple (3,230m) to reach the trek’s starting point.
From the temple, we will trail through a lush forest of rhododendron and conifer trees and get to a beautiful meadow Tshokam at 3,600m. Following the route, we will slowly walk up to the passes of Chouzu La (3,900m). The trail will pass near the expansive Yulo meadow at an altitude of 3,840m.
Our camping location will be below Tshabjo La Pass (4,107m).
Day 05: Below Tshabjo La pass to Chhosho Lumpa
- Distance: 15km
- Estimated time: 5-6hrs
- Camp altitude: 3,800m
From the campsite, it will be a short walk of 15 minutes to arrive at Tshabjo La pass (4,107m). Next, hike down through the verdant rhododendron and juniper forest, cross a stream and another rhododendron forest before we reach Gongche La pass at 4,200m. The total trekking time to Gongche La pass will be 4-5 hours.
Standing at Gongche La pass, you will be rewarded with the stunning panoramic views of the great Himalayan mountains: Jitchu Drake (6,850m), Mount Chundu Gang (protector of the Haa valley) and the mountain passes behind.
Then we will go down to a meadow called Chhosho Lumpa (3,800m), where we will camp at for the night.
Day 06: Jimilang Tsho – Simkota Tsho
- Distance: 10km
- Estimated time: 3-4hrs
- Camp altitude: 4,050m
Enjoy your breakfast and then we will venture to the highest mountain pass – Tsejey La (or Tshejo La) at 4,370m, the elevation gain is approximately 500m. After 1 hour of trekking, you can admire the incredible view from Tsejey La pass with the rewarding picture of Mount Kanchenjunga (8,586m – the world’s third highest mountain). Later, descend to a swampy area named Tshew (3,990m) before walking up to Dangka Bjido ridge at 4,100m. After another descend, we will see our campsite at an altitude of 4,050m, near the sacred Nub Tshona Pata lake. Spend time strolling around for the nice scenery of the surrounding area and maybe visiting the yak herder’s camp if you are interested.
Day 07: Nub Tshona Pata Lake to Tsho Tsho kha
- Distance: 15km
- Estimated time: 3-4hrs
- Camp altitude: 4,000m
We will hike to Haa valley today. The trail will lead uphill to Dangka Bjido ridge at 4,150m, then slowly descend to Tshew, continue going up to Tsejey La pass (4,370m). You can again enjoy the fascinating sight of Mount Kanchenjunga along the trail.
From this pass, we will trek down to the campsite in Chhosho Lumpa. We will descend further to Gongche La pass (4,231m), from where you can have the incredible views of Haa valley and endless mountain ranges.
We will follow a different route just below Gongche La pass to arrive at the campsite or meadow called Tshog Tshogkha at 3,800m, which is close to one sacred lake. Walk for 5 more minutes to the yak herder’s camp at the hill and you will be rewarded with the scenic trail till the 3rd campsite Tsho Tshokha (4,000m).
Day 08: Phajoding – Motithang (Thimphu)
- Distance: 4-5km
- Estimated time: 2- 3hrs
The day will be free for you to relax or explore the surrounding areas. You can hike up to the top of the mountain for astonishing sights sunrise and sunset sights and the scenery of great mountain– Mt. Jitchu Drake and Mt. Jomolhara and Haa valley.
If you can wake up early, you may see the Himalayan blue sheeps, Himalayan monals and blood pheasants.
Day 09: Tsho Tsho kha to Drana Dhingkha Temple
- Distance: 15km
- Estimated travel time: 3-4 hrs
Today’s trek will be quite easy as we slowly descend, crossing picturesque mountain ranges until we get to Chozu La pass. Next, we will hike through dense forest of junipers, rhododendrons and pine trees to return back to the starting point of the trip – Drana Dhingkha temple.
The whole walk will last for about 3.5 hours until we see Drana Dhingkha temple.
Day 10: Haa to Thimphu
- Distance: 130km
- Estimated travel time: 4hrs
Today we will travel to Thimphu – Bhutan’s charming capital. The town is renowned for its amazing juxtaposition of historic sites and modernity. First, we will visit the striking National Memorial Chorten – the monument of world peace and prosperity and also the memorial to Bhutan’s Third King, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck (1928-1972).
Then we will enjoy the incredible sight of the prominent Buddha Point (Buddha Dordenma Statue) with a height of 51.5m. It is one of the tallest Buddha statues in Bhutan and also in the world. People believe that the giant figure emanates an aura of peace and happiness to the world. Inside there are 125,00 small gilded Buddha statues.
From the giant statue, we will head to another iconic site of Thimphu – Tashichho Dzong (The Fortress of The Glorious Religion). The place has served as the seat of the government since 1952, after the Third King moved the capital to Thimphu. The dzong stands next to the bank of Wang Chhu River, with green lawns and lovely gardens surrounding it.
The rest of the day will be for exploring the dynamic vibe of Thimphu. This town is bustled with shops, bazaars, and hospitality locals in Bhutanese traditional dress. The nightlife here calls for those who want to refresh with delectable local dishes, great music, and awesome bars.
We spent the night at the hotel in Thimphu
Day 11: Thimphu to Punakha
- Altitude in Punakha: 1,300m
- Distance: 75km
- Estimated travel time: 3hrs
We will drive from Thimphu to Punakha – the former capital of Bhutan. En route, we will stop at Dochula Pass (3,100m). Admire the marvelous panoramic views from the mountain pass with sights of the Eastern Himalayan ranges. There is nothing that can compared to the breathtaking picture of 108 chortens on hillside and a background of snowcapped mountains.
In Punakha, we will discover Punakha Dzong (Palace of Great Happiness), which was founded in 1637. It is arguably the most astonishing dzong in the entire country. The expansive building stands right at the confluence of two rivers, the Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu. This place used to the seat of the government and has been the witness to many important moments in the history of Bhutan.
After that, we will pass one of the longest suspension bridges in Bhutan – Pho Chhu Suspension Bridge. You will then take on an easy hike to Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten (1,500m). After crossing a suspension bridge, it is a pleasant hike through picturesque fields of rice and pine trees. It will take approximately 1 hour from the road point to arrive at the temple, and 30-minute walk downhill.
We will stay at hotel in Punakha before heading for Paro the next day.
Day 12: Punakha to Paro
- Distance: 125km
- Estimated travel time: 4 hours
Return to Paro and then we will walk across hillock fields to see Chimi Lhakhang (Temple of Fertility) which sits at an altitude of 1,500m. This is a 30-minute hike through scenic rice paddy fields and small and uniquely decorated houses of Lobasa Village. If you prefer, the hike can be done in the late afternoon, so that by the time we reach the monastery, we can witness the monks doing evening prayer.
On the way, we will also stop at Simtokha Dzong, which is famous for its distinctive structure with its 12-side Utse (central tower). The name ‘Simtokha’ means “Atop a Demon”, as the place is believed to have been built to subdue an evil spirit that was harassing travelers passing this region. The dzong is also well-known as the bed chambers of both Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel and Jigme Namgyel, two of the most important figures in Bhutanese history, are placed here. This will be the last destination in your Bhutan trip.
We will stay at the hotel in Paro for your flight the next day.
Day 13: Depart Paro
After breakfast at the hotel, your guide will accompany you to the airport for flight to your onward destination. Tashi Delek (goodbye and good luck) and we hope to see you again!
- Group of 2 people: US$ 3,640 per person
- Group of 3 people: US$ 3,280 per person
OFF PEAK SEASON
- Group of 2 people: US$ 3,040 per person
- Group of 3 people: US$ 2,680 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 Darts.|
|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.|