Druk Path Trek with Three Days Cultural Tour in Bhutan 10 Days

Trip Facts

  • Duration 10 Days
  • Difficulty Level Moderate
  • Destination Bhutan
  • Transportation Private Comfortable Transportation
  • Activity Cultural and Historical Tours, Trekking and Hiking,
  • Best Season March - May and Sept- Dec
  • Group Size Min 2, max 14 People
  • Trip Start/End Paro, Bhutan
  • Max Altitude 4,110m/13,480ft

Highlights

  • Trekking the classic route connecting Paro to Thimpu
  • Sightseeing in Paro-hike up to Tiger’s Nest
  • Rhododendron forests, alpine meadows, yak pastures, clear lakes, and mountains along the way
  • Crossing high mountain passes like Dochula Pass(3,100m) and
  • Jangchu La Pass(4,180m
  • We visit important fortresses like the Jele Dzong, Punakha Dzong, Drugyel Dzong, and Rinpung Dzong among others.
  • We also visit a number of monasteries including  Phajoding Monastery and Thuijidrag Monastery.

Druk Path Trek with  Cultural Tour in Bhutan Overview 

Druk Path Trek is one of the most beautiful and popular short-distance treks in Bhutan. This 10-day-long journey runs through an ancient trading route scaling high mountain passes connecting the picturesque valley of Paro and Thimpu.  Druk Path Trekking takes us through colorful rhododendron forests, beautiful lakes, and alpine yak pastures. This popular trek sees over 1200 trekkers each year. The monasteries, alpine landscape views, the trek’s marathon-like nature, and short duration attract trekkers from all over the world. 

Bhutanese soldiers raced this course in a single day as a punishment in the past. So, the trek also has a historical significance. We arrive at Paro airport (2,235 m) the first day and take an acclimatization hike to Tiger’s Nest the next day.  Our trek begins on Day 3 with a climb up through pine forests and apple orchards which open up to the ruins of Jele Dzong sitting on a high grassy ridge. The ridge gives us breathtaking views of Mt. Jomolhari. 

The following 4 days bring even more excitement- we trek above the tree line, cross high mountain passes like Phume La ( 4,210 m), tranquil mountain lakes, and views of mountains like Mt. Jomolhari, Gangkar Punsum, and Jitchu Drake running along the Bhutan-Tibet border. Over the course of the last three days of our Druk Path Trek, we make descents through pine and juniper forests and phadjoding monasteries bringing us to Thimpu, Bhutan’s capital.  Druk Path Trek is best enjoyed from September to December and late February to May. Days are mostly nice and warm but the nights can be very cold with high chances of snow at higher altitudes.

 Adventure Club Trek also organizes various other tours and treks in Bhutan. For an even shorter Bhutan trip, consider our Glimpses of Bhutan Tour- 4 Days, Journey to Druk Yul Tour- 5 Days, and 6 Nights 7 Days Bhutan Tour among others.  Laya Gasa Trek-19 Days and Chomolhari Trekking-12 Days are two of the most beautiful long-distance trekking options in Bhutan.

Itinerary

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As your flight nears Bhutan, you can enjoy amazing views of the Himalayas including the sacred Chomolhari and Jichu Drake peaks. At the airport, you will be greeted by a representative from Adventure Club who will take you to your hotel in Thimphu for a good night's sleep. Today, we will visit Rinpung Dzong which was built in 1646 and now houses the district Monastic Body and government administrative offices of Paro Dzongkhag. We will also visit Kichu Lhakhang, the oldest temple in the country, and Drugyal Dzong, built-in 1646 to commemorate Bhutan's victory over Tibetan invaders during the 1600s

  • AccommodationHotel
  • MealsLunch and Dinner
  • Max. Altitude2,250m/7,382ft

Today, we hike up to Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest) monastery, which is Bhutan's most famous monastery situated at 3,180 meters. Guru Rinpoche (Guru Padmasambhava) meditated in a cave where the monastery stands. He flew to the cave on a tigress’ back and meditated in the cave for three years, three months, three weeks, three days, and three hours. We start our hike after breakfast and stop midway at Cafeteria Restaurant for lunch. The round trip to the monastery and back takes around 3 hours.

  • AccommodationHotel
  • MealsBreakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Max. Altitude3,180m

Today marks the start of our trek and our first destination is Jele Dzong. The trail starts with a gradual uphill climb through a forest to reach our campsite. A short hike for around an hour and we reach the Jele Dzong. A perfect view of Paro Valley with snow-clad mountains on the backdrop can be seen from the top. Jele Dzong is mostly in ruins and after exploring the Dzong we visit Lhakhang which houses a Buddha Shakyamuni statue. We then head down to our campsite for a good night’s sleep.

  • AccommodationTented Camp
  • MealsBreakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Max. Altitude3,480m/11,415ft

Today we embark on about 2 hours of trekking. We begin with a gradual ascent (310m) then descend (50m). The trail passes through thick alpine and rhododendron forests and reaches Jangchulakha. We still walk for some time and arrive at the campsite, which offers scenic views of the amazing landscape below. You can also see yak herders around your campsite at the height of 3,600m.

  • AccommodationTented Camp
  • MealsBreakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Max. Altitude3,770m/12,365ft

The initial trail to Jimilang Tsho starts with an ascent through the juniper forest. The path then levels for a while and again climbs up and down finally to arrive at Jangchu La Pass(4,180m). We then make a steep downhill climb passing Tshokam(a camping site) and also cross the upper part of Being Rong Chu to finally arrive at Jimilang Tsho. The lake is famous as the habitat of giant trouts. If time permits we can also fish here enjoying the views of the mountains of Jichu Drake(6,989m) and Gangkar Puensum(7,497m).

  • AccommodationTented Camp
  • MealsBreakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Max. Altitude3,880m/12,729ft

The trail to Simkota starts from the southern end of the lake. We walk up along the rhododendron-filled path until we arrive at Jahnye Tsho. En route, we pass by Phajoding Monastery and Thuijidrag Monastery. Soak in the spectacular view below as we climb higher towards the summit. We also pass a few yak herders' camps before reaching Simkota.

  • AccommodationTented Camp
  • MealsBreakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Max. Altitude4,110m/13,480ft

Today we begin with a gradual climb to enjoy majestic views of Mt. Gangkar Puensum and other peaks. The trail slowly descends through juniper trees to a community hall near Phajoding. From Phajoding the trek to Thimphu is downhill, passing through a forested area of mostly blue pine. After arriving in Thimphu, we check in to our hotel and spend the night.

  • AccommodationTented Camp
  • MealsBreakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Max. Altitude2,350m/7,710ft

Today after breakfast, we visit Memorial Chorten, built in the honor of the third King, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, in 1974. Next, we go to see Bhutan’s national animal, Takin, a rare species of goat family, at Mini Zoo. We also explore the National Library where ancient manuscripts are stored, Sangaygang View Point to catch fantastic views of the entire city, and lastly the Kuenselcholing hilltop where the world’s largest statue of Buddha is under construction. After sightseeing, we leave for Punakha. It is around the 3-hour-long scenic drive. We cross the Dochula Pass(3,100m) enjoying the magnificent views of the Himalayas. We further drive past fir, hemlock, and rhododendron forest followed by rice field to finally arrive at Punakha. While in Punakha we explore Punakha Dzong, the second largest and second oldest Dzong in Bhutan.

  • AccommodationHotel
  • MealsBreakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Max. Altitude1,250m/4,100ft

We drive to Paro today. En route, we stop at Metshina Village from where we go on a short hike to Chimi Lhakhang. It is a fertility temple dedicated to Divine Madman or Lama Drukpa Kuenley. After visiting the temple we continue our journey to Paro again crossing the Dochula Pass. On the way, we again make a stop to visit Druk Wangyal Monastery. Here you can find paintings reflecting the visions and lineage of the present monarchy. We pass through Thimphu to finally arrive at Paro.

  • AccommodationHotel
  • MealsBreakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Max. Altitude2,250m/7,382ft

Today we leave the Land of the Thunder Dragon. A representative from Adventure Club Trek for Bhutan will drop you off at the airport according to your flight schedule.

  • MealsBreakfast

Cost Details

Price Includes

All arrival and departure transfer in a private tourist vehicle.

  • Full board meals with tea/coffee and snacks - for the duration of your stay.
  • Bhutan visa fees and processing assistance.
  • Drinking water
  • Government-approved A and B category hotels on a twin- shared basis.
  • Tented camp during trekking on a twin- shared basis.
  • Transportation in comfortable private vehicle(s).
  • Experienced English speaking guides and local staff.
  • Trekking equipment like sleeping bags, dining tents, kitchen tents, toilet tents, mattresses, etc.
  • Trekking cooks and trek assistant.
  • Porter services for trekking.
  • All city tour with permits, entrance fees for museums and monuments.
  • All applicable Bhutanese government taxes/royalties and Company services charge.

Price Excludes

  • Nepal Entry Visa fees - at present $30 for 15 days US$ 50 for 30 days.
  • Airfare for international flights to and from Bhutan
  • Items of a personal nature (personal gear, telephone calls, beverages, internet, laundry)
  • Travel and Medical/Evacuation Insurance
  • Tips and gratitude provided to staff.
  • Any services in Kathmandu/Nepal (hotels, transport, etc)

Date & Prices

     
Start DateStart: SundayOctober 09, 2022End DateEnd: TuesdayOctober 18, 2022StatusStatusAvailablePricePriceUS $3378
Start DateStart: SundayOctober 16, 2022End DateEnd: TuesdayOctober 25, 2022StatusStatusAvailablePricePriceUS $3378
Start DateStart: SundayOctober 23, 2022End DateEnd: TuesdayNovember 01, 2022StatusStatusAvailablePricePriceUS $3378
Start DateStart: SundayOctober 30, 2022End DateEnd: TuesdayNovember 08, 2022StatusStatusAvailablePricePriceUS $3378

The given cost are per person and exclude international flights. Given below are the departure dates available for online booking. If the given date is not favorable then please Contact us and we will happily Customize your trip on dates more appropriate for you.

Useful Info

Visa Information

Indian, Bangladeshis, and Maldivian nationals can obtain a visa at the port of entry by producing a valid passport with a minimum of 6 months validity (Indian nationals may also use their Voters Identity Card (VIC). For other tourists, you will need to acquire visa clearance in advance. Visas are processed through an online system by your licensed Bhutanese tour operator, directly or through a foreign travel agent. Tourists are also required to book their holiday through a Bhutanese tour operator or one of their international partners. The tour operator will take care of Visa arrangements for visitors.

You are required to send the photo page of your passport (passport scanned copy) to your tour operator who will then apply for your visa. The visa will be processed by the Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) once the full payment of your holiday (including a USD $40 visa fee) has been wire transferred and received in the TCB bank account. Once received the visa clearance will be processed within 72 working hours. At your point of entry, you will be required to show your visa clearance letter, and the visa will then be stamped into your passport.

Accommodation

Hotels in Bhutan are approved and classified by the government as grades A, B, and C. These government-approved hotels are equivalent to 3-4 star hotels elsewhere. Based on availability at the time of booking, we will be accommodated in A-grade hotels in Paro and Thimpu and B-grade hotels in Punakha, Wangdue, and Bumthang. All accommodations are on a twin-shared basis. A single supplement will be served on request 

Meals

All meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) are included during your stay in Bhutan. A variety of meals are available in most hotels the most popular being Indian, Chinese, and the more common continental food. Non-vegetarian dishes are generally available in most parts of Bhutan - pork, beef, chicken, and fish. The best advice is to ask the hotel and restaurant to recommend what is fresh and in season.

Weather Information

There is no appropriate season which is to say that Bhutan’s warm and temperate climate, never-ending festivals, and rich and abundant heritage sites provide visitors with a wide array of experiences throughout the year across the country. Bhutan has all four seasons and the climate varies widely depending on the altitude.

Spring (March, April & May)

This time is considered the most beautiful time of the year, resplendent and ablaze with a spectacular array of bright colors. This is the time when the valleys are green with fresh vegetation and fruit trees are blossoming – the time when locals are naturally mirthful and cheery; when visitors are most welcome. Also, you can witness the famous Paro tsechu festival.

Autumn (September, October & November)

Autumn is lovely with clear and crisp blue skies, providing a grand view of some of the tallest unclimbed mountains in the world. It is the best time for trekking and traveling. The climate is cool and temperate and you can get lovely photography opportunities of willows shedding their golden brown leaves, the solitude of parks, and somber views of dzongs and monasteries.

Monsoon (June, July & August)

During these months, Bhutan receives more rainfall than any other region in the Himalayas. Glorious sapphire skies and warm weather is a pleasant times to spend visiting places of cultural and historical interest though this season is not the best time for trekking. Enjoy a cup of warm, aromatic tea while watching the rainfall from your hotel window. Or if you possess an adventurous spirit, grab an umbrella/raincoat while it is raining and take a day tour through the town.

Winter (December, January & February)

Winter in Bhutan is sunny, cool, and agreeable to say the least. Much of the east-west highway remains snowbound during winter. It is the best time to tour the western districts of Paro, Wangdue, Punakha, Thimphu, and Haa. One of the chief attractions in winter is the beautiful Gangtey (Phobjikha) valley where you can expect to see a wide expanse of rolling plain with bamboo shrubs.

Safety Guidelines

Credit cards are not a convenient source of payment in Bhutan as only a handful of hotels in a few places provide this facility. Also, only MasterCard and Visa. US dollars are the most convenient currency and are cashed by most banks.

You should avoid drinking tap water altogether, but it is okay to use it for brushing your teeth. Bottled water is widely available and is best for drinking. It is also wise to carry water purification tablets when trekking in remote locations of Bhutan.

The local currency is the Ngultrum, which is pegged to the Indian Rupee. Note: The Indian Rupee in denominations of 500 and 1000 is no longer accepted in Bhutan.

Bhutan is the only country in the world that has banned the consumption and sale of tobacco, resulting in smoking being largely disallowed in public places. Having said that, consumption is not completely prohibited in Bhutan so if you want to smoke, bring your own cigarettes and ask your guide where you can light up. (seal opened pack only)

Tuesdays are considered the national 'dry day,' with the sale of alcohol prohibited.

When taking photos/filming inside Dzongs, monasteries, temples, or any religious institutions, check with your guide whether it is permitted as some areas do not allow it.

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