The trek begins from Geynizampa village and takes you through pristine and crystal clear lakes. You will get to see splendid wildflowers and gaze into the spectacular Himalayan range such as Mt. Everest, Jomolhari, Masang Gang, Jichu Drake, Gangche Ta. You will also be traversing through several Bhutanese villages to witness the authentic village life.
Difficulty level: Moderate
You should have an average physical fitness level to attempt the trek.
ARRIVAL IN PARO
Upon your arrival at Paro International Airport, you will see your tour guide waiting for you at the arrival hall.
Your itinerary will be light for the day to prepare you for your upcoming hike. You will spend the evening in Paro town upon checking in to your hotel. Strolling along the bustling city and getting a glimpse into the Bhutanese culture. You can spend some time visiting the many handicraft shops along the town or simply chill at a cafe.
You will be embarking to visit one of the most popular and iconic landmarks of Bhutan - Taktsang Monastery also known as Tiger’s Nest Monastery! The monastery is located 2,600 feet above the Paro Valley. Your day will begin early in the morning. The entire hike can take approximately 3 and half to 5 hours depending on your pace. You will reach a cafeteria after one hour hike where you can enjoy the stunning view of the monastery. You will be able to see many locals of all ages, from kids to the elderlies making their way up to the monastery - sometimes in sandals. Do not be surprised!
Legend has it that Guru Padmasambhava (aka Guru Rinpoche) flew from Tibet to the monastery on the back of a tigress in the 8th century. He meditated in the cave for 3 years, 3 months, 3 weeks and 3 days before subduing a demon that was terrorising the inhabitants of the valleys. This monastery is considered one of the most sacred sites in Bhutan. A trip to Takstang is a holy pilgrimage for the locals.
*Do remember to pace well and enjoy the views along the way!
One of the most authentic Bhutanese experiences you can have in the Kingdom is definitely pampering yourself with a hot stone bath! Aum Choden Homestay is a two storey traditional Bhutanese house that is 108 years old. It has a rustic charm that will leave you feeling rejuvenated. The locals usually soak themselves in hot stone baths once or twice weekly and it is believed that the hot stone bath has healing properties. Stones are fire-roasted and plunged into the wooden bath tub. Medicinal hot stone bath can help to alleviate some health issues such as stomach ache, hypertension, arthritis or joint pain.
GEYNEKHAR - GURThe trek begins at beautiful Geynekhar village. The villages are famous for their matsutake and chantarelle mushrooms. You will be wandering through terraced fields and coniferous vegetation and then have a short descent down to the river crossing followed by two hours uphill climb until you arrive at a huge rock platform. From there, you will have a spectacular view of the valley below. A further two hours trek will take you to Gur, your campsite for the night, an area of yak pastures located just below your main trail.
GUR - LABATAMAThe trail will take you through the beauty of the rugged mountain vegetation. The path winds through refreshing meadows with wild flowers and asparagus during spring. The first pass you will cross is marked by a huge carin giving it a spectacular view of Kanchenjunga (Sikkim) and some of the gorgeous Himalayan peaks. As you descend from the pass, you will get to see the entire Dagala mountain range including meadows and the yak herders’ camps. Once descended into the Labatama valley, you will gradually climb through the valley passing some yak herders hut until you reach Utsho Tsho (4,300m). The campsite is right next to the lake where there are plenty of gloden trout.
LABATAMAYou will have a relaxing day to explore Labatama valley. You can take an excursion to any of the three beautiful nearby lakes: Reli Tsho, Hen Tsho and Jama Tsho. It is the day for you to recuperate and recharge for the remaining journey.
LABATAMA TO TANKA
The trail climbs along the western side of Dala Tsho up to a saddle at 4,520m where you will have a fantastic view of the prominent Himalayan peaks such as Everest, Kanchenjunga, Masang Gang, Gangchhenta, Tsenda Gang and Jichu Drake. For an even better view, you can climb to a peak close to the saddle with an altitude of 4,720m. From the saddle, the path descends passing through some yak herder huts until Doccha Chhu. You will follow the river for some time, staying higher up on the slope until you reach your campsite at Panka (4,000m). Sightings of Himalayan Monal Pheasants are common on this route.
PANKA TO TALAKHA
The trail begins with passing several mountain passes to a trail conjunction. Hiking through a forest of different varieties of blue poppy, rhododendrons and Himalayan pheasants, you will arrive at Chole La Pass (4,100m). From there, you will trek downhill to Kiwi Chowa (4,030m) and continue via a pass where four tracks converge at 3,960m.
After a long descending trek with splendid sights of spruce, birch, juniper and rhododendrons, you will eventually reach Talakha Monastery at Tshererang where you will be camping for the night. You will be greeted with a distant breathtaking view of the Thimphu city.
TALAKHA TO CHAMGANG
You will hike from Talakha Goemba (Monastery) towards a village of Chamgang. The 440m descent in elevation will take approximately 3 hours.
From Chamgang, you will drive through apple orchards and hydro power substation into Thimphu valley. From the capital city of Thimphu, you will take an hour ride back to Paro district.Upon checking into your hotel, you will be visiting the attractions in Paro.
DEPART FROM PAROThe day that you will say goodbye to this amazing Himalayan Kingdom and vow to be back again to explore more of it someday! You will be departing Bhutan from Paro International Airport. Hopefully you would have made some great memories and new friends that will last you a lifetime. We certainly hope that you will come back to discover more charm of Bhutan in some other parts of the country!