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Druk Path Trek

11 days from £2360pp plus international flights.

The Druk Path is a 5 day route from Paro to Thimphu, across the mountains that separate the two valleys. You'll be trekking in awe-inspiring views and majestic scenery. This itinerary also takes in the main cultural areas in Paro, Thimphu and Punakha, too, for sightseeing.

The trek forms the core of this itinerary, but we've added some extras that we think are must-sees while you're in Bhutan, such as the famous Tigers Nest monastery just outside Paro and several formidable dzongs, a type of fortified monastery. You'll also get to see the eclectic collections at the National Museum and observe students honing their skills in traditional painting at the institute in Thimphu. 

The trek itself is not strenuous, but does include sections of both ascent and descent. The trails are easy to follow and pass through alpine forest and rhododendron fields up to trout-filled lakes and mountain ridges. You may come across traditional yak herders as you walk through these remote areas. The trekking time is about 4 hours each day, so there will be plenty of time to stop and admire the views, You will be camping in private sites, all meals are included and you have the services of porters, a cook and an English-speaking guide. The main luggage and camp equipment is carried by mules, so you need carry only your day pack.      

The trek can be undertaken at any time of year, but we especially recommend the months March to June and September to November, when the weather is generally clear giving great views of the mountains. If you want to see the rhododendrons in bloom, May is the best month to travel.

Itinerary
Arrival at Paro airport

DAY 1: ARRIVE PARO

You have an unforgettable arrival into Bhutan, as your plane flies over the Himalayas and descends into the Paro Valley. Having checked in to your hotel, this afternoon you can explore the town on foot, including a visit to the 7th century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest and most sacred temples in Bhutan. Dinner
Tigers Nest monastery

DAY 2: IN AND AROUND PARO

This morning you'll be driven to the ruined fortress of Drukgyel Dzong, which stands commanding the entrance to the Paro Valley. In the 17th century it was the site of some fierce battles as the Bhutanese triumphed over several Tibetan attempted invasions. Afterwards you start the 5 hour walk along a forest trail to Tigers Nest monastery, famously perched on the side of a cliff 900m above the valley floor. This evening you'll visit Rinpung Dzong. The courtyard galleries contain fine wall paintings depicting scenes from Bhuddhist lore. Breakfast, lunch, dinner  
Thangkha painting

DAY 3: TO JELE DZONG

In the morning you'll visit Ta Dzong which houses the national museum collection. This includes art, religious thangkha paintings, traditional costumes and handicrafts. Now you begin your trek. Today is a short trekking day covering 8kms in about 3 hours. You start with a gradual ascent to the camp near Jele Dzong. If the weather is clear there will be views back to the Paro Valley with the mountains behind. Jele Dzong, a largely ruined fortress, stands above the camp and there is a lhakhang (temple) containing a statue of Buddha. Breakfast, lunch, dinner    
Mount Jhomolhari

DAY 4: TO JANGCHULAKHA

Your trek today starts with a 90 minute climb followed by a more gradual ascent, travelling through thick alpine forests and rhododendrons. Stop to admire views of Jhomolhari and other snow-capped mountains if blessed with clear skies, and listen out for the sharp cries of pheasants. You may spot yak herders as you approach your campsite. The trekking time is 3-4 hours and the distance travelled is 10kms. Breakfast, lunch, dinner 
Dining on the Druk Path Trek

DAY 5: TO JIMILANGTSHO

The trail today follows a ridge and offers some sensational views of the mountains and valley. Look out for Jichu Drake, the peak representing the protective deity of Paro. The camp is close to Jimilangtsho Lakes, famous for their enormous trout. You'll cover 11kms today and will be trekking for about 4 hours. Breakfst, lunch, dinner 
Rhododendrons

DAY 6: TO SIMKOTA

The scenic trail passes through dwarf rhododendron trees and Janetsho Lake today. There are several yak herders' camps in this area and you may come across some of these and gain some insight into their lifestyle. The camp tonight is close to Simkota Lake. If you feel lucky try your hand at fishing here and you may catch a trout for your dinner! You'll have walked bout 11kms today in the course of 4 hours. Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Gangkar Puensum

DAY 7: TO PHAJODING

This morning your path climbs steadily uphill and if the weather is kind you'll see the impressive Mount Gangkar Puensum, the tallest mountain in Bhutan, plus many other peaks. The trail now descends slowly through juniper trees to the camp at Phajoding. Trekking time today is 4 hours covering 10kms. Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Monks

DAY 8: TO THIMPHU

Your day starts with a visit to Phajoding monastery, built by Shagcha Rinchen who introduced the Kagyu school of Buddhism to Bhutan. Your trek continues downhill, through a forest of blue pine and reaches Thimphu. This part of the trek takes about 3 hours and is 5kms in length. Check in to your hotel on arrival in the town and the rest of the afternoon is free. This evening you will visit Trashichhoedzong, the centre of government and religion in the kingdom and site of the throne room of the monarch. Breakfast, lunch, dinner 
Sightseeing in Thimphu

DAY 9: TO PUNAKHA

In the morning you will visit the National Library with its vast collection of Buddhist texts and manuscripts and the National Institute of Zorig Chusum, where students learn traditional art skills. You will also take in the National Textile Museum, the Simply Bhutan exhibition which provides an insight into traditional rural life and the National Memorial Chorten, built to commemorate the 3rd Druk Gyalp Jigme Dorji Wangchuk, the father of modern Bhutan. After lunch, you will drive across the Dochla pass, with views of many mountain peaks, and on to Punakha. The drive takes about 3 hours and on arrival you check in to your hotel. Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Punakha Dzong

DAY 10: TO PARO

The morning is spent sightseeing in and around Punakha, the former capital. You'll visit the impressive Punakha Dzong and also Chimi Lhakhang, on a small hill in the centre of the valley. This temple is dedicated to the so-called divine madman, who used humour, songs and outrageous behaviour to illustrate his teachings. It is known as the temple of fertility and is much visited by childless couples. The walk to the temple takes about 30 minutes and passes rice paddies. After lunch you'll drive back to Paro, visiting Sitmokha Dzong, the oldest in the country, en route. The drive takes about 4 hours today. Breakfast, lunch, dinner 
Flying out of Paro

DAY 11: DEPART

After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for your onward flight. Breakfast
Price & Dates

Guide price from (pp sharing): £2360 (ex. international flights)

Includes: Twin share accommodation; meals as indicated; transfers and sightseeing as per the itinerary; the service of an English-speaking guide, porters, mules and a cook on the trek; entrance fees; government royalty and taxes; Bhutan visa fee

Excludes: International flights; taxes; travel insurance; drinks; items of a personal nature; sleeping bag

Getting there: This itinerary starts and ends in Paro. Return flights to Paro from the UK operate via India or Nepal and take between 10 and 15 hours. They cost around £1,150 per person.

Departure dates: This is a tailor-made holiday and can be taken at any time of year, though the recommended months for this trek are March to June and September to November.

places you will see

places you will see

Paro
Paro
Paro’s ‘must see’ is Tiger’s Nest, monastery buildings that appear to cling precariously to the mountainside. The trek is an energetic one, but the views are well worth the effort.
Punakha
Punakha
The mighty dzong at Punakha is among the finest in the country, a complex of corridors and courtyards with examples of accomplished carving and craftsmanship.
Thimphu
Thimphu
Bhutan’s capital has a lovely central square, an impressive 17th century fortress and an arts and crafts centre. Buddha Point, named after the giant statue, offers great views of the valley.

customer rating

5/5 from 42 reviews

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facts and information

Time: GMT +6 hours

Flight time: National carrier Druk Air flies from several locations but commonly you'll connect from Delhi (2hrs), Koltata or Kathmandu (both just over an hour). You will need to come via one of these destinations which in turn are about 12 to 15 hours from the UK depending on the routing.

Language: Dzongkha is Bhutan's national language. English is widely spoken and is used in all schools.

Visas: Visas are required and are issued from Bhutan. Tribes will arrange your visa for you through our partners in Bhutan.

Health: There are no compulsory vaccinations.

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