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 travelled. So you can fully enjoy the pristine nature along the track.
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 the 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 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 highlight of the trek is the absolutely gorgeous view from the Pass, with the Mount Jhomolhari, Mount Drageygang, Drugyal Dzong and the Taktsang Monastery on one side and Haa valley on the other. Beside you will have opportunity to visit to get connected history, lifestyle of local people and culture of Bhutan. The best times to embark this trek from Mar to May and September to November.
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 Himalaya 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 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 be-ings. When you reach Wangditse Gomeba, overlook from here is 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 at-mosphere of this charming capital with crowded shops, bazaars and hospitality local in national dress.
Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.
Day 02:Discover Thimphu
We will begin our day‘s sightseeing of the following sites:
The Folk Heritage Museum, restored three-storey, 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 type 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, 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, 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 secretariat building, the throne room of His Majesty, the King and various government offices. It is also the summer residence of Chief Abbot and central monk body.
Overnight at the 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 the 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 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 pass 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 culture tour of Paro valley by visiting the National Museum of Bhutan (Ta Dzong), originally built as 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 armour, household objects and a rich assortment of natural and historic artifacts.
Afterwards 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 demonstration of traditional wood turning skills by local artisans who make traditional wooden bowls and cups. It calls Shagzo – the art of wood turning, 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, was built in 1421 by 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 storeys (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 main streets and market at Paro town.
Overnight at the 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 also known as Tiger’s Nest. It is one of the most holy sites in Bhutan, clings to a cliff more than 3000 metres above sea level and 900 metres 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 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 temples marks the introduction of Buddhism in Bhutan. In the 8th century the temple was visited by Guru Padmasambhava.
Overnight at the hotel in Paro.
Day 09: Depart Paro
After early 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 hope to see you again.
- 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
- 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.
|The cost includes||The cost excludes|
|Bhutan visa fee.||Laundry/beverages/telephone calls and any personal expenses.|
|3 star categories hotel/resort twin sharing room||Travel insurance.|
|Accommodation in the best 3 star hotels/resorts in Bhutan.||Airfares.|
|All meals 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.|