Trekking is probably the best way to discover a country, especially for a mystic destination like Bhutan. Gifted with the massive Himalayan mountain ranges, lush forests, and picturesque natural scenery, Bhutan is every trekker’s dream.

There are 5 national parks, 4 wildlife sanctuaries, and 1 strict nature reserve covering about 51.44% of the country, which is why Bhutan is the first and only carbon-negative country until now. Due to its geographic location, the flora and fauna are very diverse, and some species can only be seen in Bhutan. Because of the sparse population and limited visitors, trails are not heavily traveled. So you can fully enjoy the pristine nature along the trek.

Bhutan is a Buddhist kingdom and travelers can learn to appreciate their rich culture when visiting dzongs, temples, and other religious landmarks. Some of the famous sites to visit are the Tiger’s Nest, Punakha Dzong, or Paro Dzong, they are great examples of Bhutanese architecture. They are also the best location to have the whole view of Bhutan’s charming scenery.

There are all kinds of treks in Bhutan, from easy ones like the Druk Path Trek for beginners to one of the toughest treks in the world like the Snowman Trek for experts. Spring (March-May) and autumn (September –  November) are when the weather is most ideal for trekking, but winter is a good time as well with the clear sky for the best view of the Himalayas.

TOUR DETAIL

Tour duration – 9 days/ 8 nights.

Trek duration – 3 days

Tour destination – Paro, Thimphu, and Haa.

Tour overview –Sagala trek starts from Haa valley to Paro, cross through beautiful meadows, virgin forests rich in flora and fauna. One of the main highlights of the trek is the absolutely gorgeous view from the Pass, with Mount Jhomolhari, Mount Drageygang, Drugyal Dzong, and the Taktsang Monastery on one side and Haa valley on the other. Besides you will have the opportunity to visit to get connected history, the lifestyle of local people, and the culture of Bhutan. The best times to embark on this trek from Mar to May and September to November.

ITINERARY DETAIL
Day 01: Thimphu

The flight to Bhutan provides the most spectacular view of The Himalayas. As the plane approaches to the airport, you will see the beautiful snow peaks of the Himalayas range. The first gift from Bhutan will be cool, clean fresh air as you step out of the plane. Our representative will meet you and drive to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan at 2320m, also the only capital in the world that does not use traffic lights. You can stop on the way to take in the magnificent Tachogang Lhakhang, a temple of the hill of the excellent horse.

On arrival in Thimphu, check-in the hotel. After a brief rest, we will drive up to Motithang, a north-western suburb of Thimphu to have Wangditse Gomeba hike. On the way, we will visit The Motithang Takin Reserve to see the national animal of Bhutan, the Takin that has the body of a cow and the head of a goat. The legend says that attribute the creation of these animals in Bhutan by a 15th-century saint name Drukpa Kunley, popularly known as the Divine Madman.

On the trail hike to the Wangditse Gomeba are yellow, green, red, white, and blue prayer flags fluttering in wind. In our physical world these manifest as earth, water, fire, air or wind, and space. Wind houses together the garuda, the dragon, the tiger, the snow lion, and various mantras or a short sutras text in prayer flags contact with the natural energy of the wind impartially increase the life, fortune, health, and wealth among all living beings. When you reach Wangditse Gomeba, overlook from here is a view of Tashicho Dzong, Buddha statue, and Thimphu valley.

In the late afternoon, take a stroll around to explore Thimphu town and soak in the atmosphere of this charming capital with crowded shops, bazaars, and hospitality local in national dress.

Overnight at a hotel in Thimphu.

Day 02:Discover Thimphu

We will begin our day‘s sightseeing of the following sites:

The Folk Heritage Museum, a restored three-story, rammed mud and timber house replicates a rural household and is furnished as it would have been in the mid-19th century to provide an interesting glimpse into rural Bhutanese life.

The National Textile Museum is the place to learn about Bhutan’s living national art of Thagzo (weaving). Weaving is an integral component of the culture and tradition of Bhutan. It displays Royal Ghos and Kiras and introduces the major weaving techniques, styles of local dress, and types of textiles made by women and men.

The Jungshi Handmade Paper factory, a small factory produces traditional Bhutanese paper from the bark of two tree species, the Daphne and Dhekap tree. You can observe the entire process of producing handmade paper. It is named Deh sho paper, was originally used by monasteries for woodblock and manuscript books and also for writing prayer books.

Then we will visit the National Institute for Zorig Chusum, commonly known as the Arts And Crafts School or the Painting School, which operates four to six-year courses on the thirteen traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan. You will be able to see students doing painting (thangkas- painted religious pictures, walls, and statues to the decorations on furniture and window-frames), embroidery (hangings, boots, clothes), or clay arts (religious statues, pottery), wood carving (masks, statues).

In the late afternoon visit the Tashichho Dzong, a fortress of The Glorious Religion. It has been the seat of the government since 1952, after the Third King, His Majesty Jigme Dorje Wangchuck made this dzong to be a symbol of the new capital of Bhutan. It houses the secretariat building, the throne room of His Majesty, the King, and various government offices. It is also the summer residence of Chief Abbot and the central monk body.

Overnight at a hotel in Thimphu.

Day 03: Thimphu to Haa
  • Distance: 112km
  • Estimated time: 4hrs

In the morning we drive to Haa. On arrival in Haa, we will visit the Lhakhang Karpo – the White Temple, built by the Tibetan saint and king, Songtsen Gampo, and located in the tiny village of Dumchoe with its sparkling white wall is situated at the foothills of the three towering mountains venerated. Then we head to the Lhakhang Nagpo – the Black Temple that the legend says that King Songtsen Gampo released a black and a white pigeon to select sites to build the temples. The white pigeon landed on the foothills of the mountain Chenrizi of the towering Rigsum. The black pigeon landed on a little north of the white pigeon, indicating the preordained site of the present-day Lhakhang Nagpo. The temple was named Nagpo (black) as it was built on the site where the black pigeon landed.

Overnight at a hotel in Haa.

Day 04: Haa – Khadey Gom
  • Distance: 8km
  • Estimated time: 4-5hrs
  • Camp altitude: 3235m

After breakfast, we drive north to the Yangtong village to start the trek. From Yangtong a steep climb (150m) leads to Yangtong Goemba village, marked by a big temple dedicated to the great 8th century Buddhist master Guru Rinpoche. Then the trail takes you through the village of Talung. After crossing a bridge (Chado Zam), several meadows, and a forest you will reach Khadey Gom. We camp near a rock at Khadey Gom.

Day 05: Khadey Gom – Dongney Tsho
  • Distance: 8km
  • Estimated time: 5-6hrs
  • Camp altitude: 3200m

A gradual hike through meadows and pine forest is followed by another 2-hour climb to the Saga La Pass, which is marked by prayer flags and mini stupas made from stone piles. On a clear day, the pass presents a fantastic view on both sides. Looking east you can see the Paro valley flanked by the sacred Mt. Jomolhari (7,134m) and Jo Drake (5,570m). You can spot Drugyel Dzong and the sacred Taktshang monastery in the valley below. You also see the Haa valley and the peaks forming the border with Tibet towards the west.

Day 06: Dongney Tsho – Drugyel Dzong (Paro)
  • Distance: 7km
  • Estimated time: 3hrs

The trek is a steep downhill climb until you reach a bridge (Genchu Zam). It takes you through thick vegetation, and birds like laughing thrushes, magpies, nutcrackers, and pheasants are common. After passing through Chodeyphu, a beautiful small village set at the base of the mountain, Lom Bjara. Another 1 hour or so from this village will get you to the road. Your car awaits you at the trek endpoint to take you to the hotel in Paro.

Day 07: Paro sightseeing

After breakfast, you can start your cultural tour of Paro valley by visiting the National Museum of Bhutan (Ta-Dzong), originally built as a watchtower around 1649. It is on top of the hill above Rinpung Dzong to defend Paro Rinpung Dzong and Paro valley during times of war, in an unusual circular construction resembling a conch shell. This dzong was converted into the National Museum of Bhutan in 1968. The extensive collection includes antique Thangkha paintings, textiles, weapons and armor, household objects, and a rich assortment of natural and historic artifacts.

Afterward visit the impressive Paro Rinpung Dzong, meaning the fortress of The Heap of Jewels, is one of the finest examples of Bhutanese architecture. It was built by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal between 1642 and 1646. This dzong now houses monk body and administrative offices of Paro and is symbolic as the religious and secular center of all affairs of the valley. Along the wooden galleries lining the inner courtyard are fine wall paintings illustrating Buddhist lore such as four friends, the old man of long life, the wheel of life, scenes from the life of Milarepa, Mount. Sumeru and other cosmic Mandala.

Then we head to the Sangay Handmade Bowl and Cup Factory. You will see a demonstration of traditional woodturning skills by local artisans who make traditional wooden bowls and cups. It calls Shagzo – the art of woodturning, one of thirteen traditional Bhutanese arts. You can try your hand as well if you wish.

On the way go to Paro town, we will visit the Dungtse Lhakhang, which was built in 1421 by the famous Tibetan lama, Thangtong Gyalpo (1385-1464). This temple is remarkable primarily because it is in the form of a Chorten, one of the very few which exist in Bhutan is conceived as a mandala, with the different stories (three floors) corresponding to the different levels of initiation, leading progressively upwards towards the heart of the mandala.

In the afternoon we have an explorative walk around the main streets and market at Paro town.

Overnight at a hotel in Paro.

Day 08: Explore Paro valley

In the morning we take a hike to the Taktsang Monastery as good acclimatization for the trek. Taktsang Monastery is also known as Tiger’s Nest. It is one of the holiest sites in Bhutan, clings to a cliff more than 3000 meters above sea level and 900 meters above The Paro valley floor. The legend says that Guru Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche) arrived here on the back of a tigress in the 8th century. Subsequently, he meditated here for three months. You will have lunch at the Taktshang cafeteria from where you get a spectacular view of the monastery.

On the way back to the hotel, we will visit the Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples built in The Himalayas by Tibetan King, Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century. This temple marks the introduction of Buddhism in Bhutan. In the 8th century, the temple was visited by Guru Padmasambhava.

Overnight at a hotel in Paro.

Day 09: Depart Paro

After early breakfast at the hotel, your guide will accompany you to the airport for a flight to your onward destination. Tashi Delek (goodbye and good luck) and hope to see you again.

TOUR COST

PEAK SEASON

March,  April,  May,  September,
October  and  November
  • Single traveler: US$ 2,450 per person
  • Group of 2 people: US$ 2,438 per person
  • Group of 3 people: US$ 2,130 per person

OFF PEAK SEASON

January,  February,  June,  July,
August  and  December
  • Single traveler: US$ 2,050 per person
  • Group of 2 people: US$ 1,970 per person
  • Group of 3 people: US$ 1,730 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.

INCLUDED/EXCLUDED
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/resorts in Bhutan. Airfares.
All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) in day. Airport taxes if any.
Bottled water on the trip. Excess baggage charge.
A sustainable development fee. Tips to guides and drivers.
Museum fees and other special entry fees. Services not mentioned.
Internal transportation with experienced driver throughout the trip.
Experienced trekking guide and cook and support staff for trekking tours.
Essential equipment for trekking tours: tents, foam mattresses, eating utensils and kitchen equipment.

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