The Druk Path Trek
This five day trek is among the most popular treks in the country as it passes through pristine natural landscape of blue pine forests, high ridges that offer panoramic view of the Bhutan Himalayas, passes by glacial lakes while at the same time offering the opportunity to visit some ancient temples and villages.
It is a moderate level of trek with gradual adjustment to alititude.
The Druk Path Trek is an achievable hike to undertake for beginners as the distances between the camps is fairly short. The trail takes you through forests of fir, blue pine and dwarf rhododendrons at altitudes ranging between 2400m to 4200m. On the third day, we will arrive at Jimilangtso Lake, whose crystal clear waters are home to gigantic trouts.
This trek also offers hikers stunning views of Gangkar Puensum, the highest unclimbed peak in the world. Although this route is accessible throughout the year, the best time to embark on the Druk Path Trek are between March to June or September to November. This trek is followed by a cultural tour to offer our honoured guests a perspective into the essence of the country.
The core of the trek is well established and works well, but as always we can make adjustments to the itinerary at the beginning or end of the trek.
Day 1 / Arrive in Bhutan
The flight into Paro is a befitting introduction to the spectacular beauty of our country as the flight offers magnificent views of the Himalayas. After an exciting descent into Bhutan, you will be met on arrival by our guide and transferred to your hotel for a brief rest. In the afternoon we visit the imposing fortress of Paro, the national museum and enjoy a leisurely stroll in Paro Town to get a sense of the Place.
Day 2 / Paro
Acclimatisation hike to Taktsang Monastery which is commonly known as the Tiger’s Nest, the most awe inspiring monastery and probably the most photographed one in Bhutan. Guru Rinpoche, the patron saint of the country had arrived here on the back of a flying tigress and meditated at this monastery, hence it is called “Tiger’s Nest”. Lunch will be served at the cafeteria before we complete the walk back down.
Day 3 / Paro to Jele Dzong
Distance 8kms; Time 4-5 hours
Today is a short trek. The trek begins above the National Museum, gradually ascending up to the camp. If the weather is clear the Paro valley and the surrounding mountains can be seen. The campsite is near the old Jele Dzong fortress which we can visit in the evening.
Altitude of Jele Dzong: 3436m
Day 4 / Jele Dzong to Jangchulakha
Distance 9km; Time 4-5 hours
We begin the day with a one and half hour climb and then further ascend gradually upwards through a thick alpine forests and rhododendrons. There is fine views of snow capped peaks and you may hear some monal pheasants calling during the day.
Altitude of Jangchulakha: 3962m
Day 5 /Jangchulakha to Jimilangtso
Distance 10km; Time 6 hours
The trail follows the ridge and on a clear day the views of the mountains and valley are beautiful. Our camp is close to Lake Jimilangtso. These lakes are known for their generously sized trout.
Altitude of Jimilangtsho: 3880m
Day 6 / Jimilangtso to Simkotra
Distance 7km; Time 3-4 hours
The trail takes you through dwarf rhododendron trees and edges by the lake of Janetsho. Today you may come across some yak herders camp as there are some bountiful pasturelands just close to the trail. We camp overnight close to Simkotra lake.
Altitude of Simkotra: 4090m
Day 7 / Simkotra to Phajoding to Thimphu
Distance 14km; Time 7 hours
After the lake the trail is a gradual climb and if the weather permits you will have a majestic view of Gangkar Phuensum (the highest mountain in Bhutan) and other mountain peaks. The trail slowly descends through junipers forests and finally descends down to the Phajoding monastery from where the Thimphu town is visible at the valley floor.
The trek from Phajoding to Thimphu is downhill all the way, passing through a forested area consisting of rhododendrons and blue pine. Even with a gentle pace, we will reach Thimphu in about two hours. We end the day with a transfer to the hotel in Thimphu for a comfortable bed and soft pillows.
Day 8 / Thimphu
We stay in Thimphu for a day to do some sightseeing. No strenuous hiking at all today, just cultural treasures and some good coffee if you want it.
Day 9 / Thimphu to Punakha
After breakfast we drive 30 minutes to arrive at Dochula pass (3050m) to behold the panoramic view of the eastern Himalayas. In Punakha we visit the “castle of great happiness“, the temple of fertility and the longest suspension bridge in Bhutan amongst others.
Day 10 / Punakha to Paro
In the morning we return to Paro valley, a drive that will take about four hours. There will also be options available for some cultural sightseeing or to visit a traditional farmers home in the valley to observe the traditional way of life and living. Your exact itinerary can be customised and refined with your guide.
Day 11 / Paro to onward Destination
After an early breakfast at the hotel, drive to the airport for your further travels.
PRICING GUIDE AND INCLUSIONS
High season touring for 11 days will typically cost USD$2750pp for a group of two or more people. The following are included in this price guide:
- Accommodation in our preferred 3 star hotels and guest houses
- Trekking permits and guides
- Trekking gear such as tents and cooking arrangements
- All Meals
- All Transportation
- Visa for entry into Bhutan
What's not included:
- International flights for Paro
- Drinks and Alcohol
- Tips for guides