Duration: 17 Days
Follow in the footsteps of the traditional Gangkhar Puensum expedition route, which has been traveled by locals for centuries and mountaineers since their first expeditions in the region. The strenuous trek will reward travelers with spectacular mount scenery and natural beauty highlighted by visits to the Gangkhar Puensum basecamp and a stop at ancient natural hot springs to relieve your muscles as you glace over spectacular mount views. This spectacular trek requires an excellent level of physical fitness and should only be performed by those with previous trekking experience.
- Destnation: Bhutan
- Activities: Trekking
- Duration: 14 - 21 Days
- Region: Bhutan
- Best Season: Spring / Summer / Autumn
- Group Size: 02+ Pax
Day 1 Arrival at Paro
After arriving from your scenic mountain flight to Para, you will be greeted by a friendly representative of Good Karma Trekking who will take you directly to your hotel. After you get settled in, we will take an afternoon visit to the National Museum of Bhutan known as Ta-Dzong. The museum offers tremendous insight into the tradition and history of the Bhutanese people and government as it has changed throughout the years. We then continue to the Paro Dzong which serves as the administrate center for the district to explore the beautiful architecture of the city before having welcome drink and dinner in Paro.
Day 2 Paro Sightseeing
After breakfast we will take a 3-hour morning hike to visit the holy Taktsang Monastery. The peaceful hike offers some stunning views of the city and surrounding lowland. After resting at the viewpoint we continue to the actual monastery to learn more about the religious practices of the region while observing the daily life and practices of the local monks. This “tiger nest” monastery is one of the holiest in the region and a popular attraction for both locals and tourists alike. We will then hike back to Paro taking time to explore the charming city before returning to the hotel for the evening.
Day 3 Paro to Thimphu
We will take a scenic morning drive to Thimphu passing along the powerful Pa-Chu and Wangchu Rivers. We will stop to visit a historical shrine dedicated to King Jigme serving as a place for locals to atone for their sins and pay respect to the gods. After taking some time to explore the scenic capital city, we will return to the hotel for the evening.
Day 4 Thimphu to Trongsa
We will take an early breakfast and take a 3-hour drive to Punakha while crossing to Dochula pass offering views of the eastern Himalayan giants. Upon arrival in Punakha, we will visit the historical Punakha Dzong located at the crossing of the Po-Chu and Mo-chu Rivers. We will then continue on a 5-hour scenic ride to Trongsa stopping in Wangdue before continuing along the Pelela Pass. We will continue through traditional yak villages before reaching Trongsa to rest for the evening.
Day 5 Trongsa to Jakar
After breakfast, we will travel to the winter palace known for its famous library, which serves as the special commission for cultural affairs. We then continue to Kuenga Rabten to learn about the traditional Bhutanese monarchy before returning to Trongsa for lunch. We will take time to explore the Trongsa fort to learn more about the history of the city before driving to Bumthang along the Yotong La pass.
Day 6 Bumthang
Bhumthang is known as the heaven of hiking in Bhutan and spans from heights of 2,600 to 4,000 meters while offering several monasteries and holy pilgrimage sites. We will visit the Tamshing monastery to visit the local monks residing in the kingdoms oldest monastery before continuing to the Wangdi Chholing Palace famous for housing the cremations of every king. We will learn more about the spiritual influence of the region by visiting Janbay Lhakhang and Kurjey Lhakhang, which portray many features of Buddhism in an accessible but traditional atmosphere. Finally, we will drive to Mebartso or “burning lake” known for its numerous prayer flags and temples serving as pilgrimage locations for spiritual travelers. We will return to explore the bustling streets of Bumthang before resting for the evening.
Day 7 Bumthang to Gorsum
We continue to the starting location of our trek located below the Kurje Lhakhang temple. We then continue along the Chamkhar River passing along the tranquil lowlands as we gradually ascend towards Gorsum where we will make camp for the night
Day 8 Lungsum to Tsochenchen
We will take a trip up the traditional Julila pass as we move from a dense agricultural area past the tree line to enter a desert like area. We continue and transverse the mountain along the Julila Pass located at 4,700 meters taking time to admire the panoramic Himalayan views below before continuing downhill to Tsochenchen to make camp under the crystal clear star filled sky.
Day 9 Tsochenchen to Dur Tsachu
We will continue uphill to another pass situated at 3,400 meters offering excellent views of the region and several intimidating peaks on a clear day. We then continue to our campsite before taking time to admire the local wildlife including musk deer, blue sheep and Himalayan bears.
Day 10 Dur Tsachu to Halt
We will continue along the trail before reaching the timeless hot springs to relax and rejuvenate our sore muscles. The hot springs offer an excellent way to relax in the heat while surrounded by mountain scenery and have been visited by travelers and locals alike for generations. We will then return and make camp before taking a short excursion hike to a scenic vantage point for the sunset.
Day 11 Dur Tsachu to Tsochenchen
We will retrace our steps following the trail up from Dur Tsachu along the Julila trail. The trip back offers a difference experience as we return with opposing viewpoints and hike the region with an uphill perspective before making camp to rest for the evening and enjoy the scenery.
Day 12 Tsochenchen to Gorosum
We take an early breakfast before continuing our long hike along a gradually dropping trail to our campsite in Gorosum.
Day 13 Gorsum to Bumthang
We continue downhill along the river before crossing the scenic bridge leading to Dur Village. We continue on a short route to a roadway where we will be transported to Bumthang to celebrate the completion of the trek. We will have a free evening to explore the culture and timeless architecture of Bumthang before taking a well-earned rest at the hotel
Day 14 Bumthang to Wangdue
We continue to Gangtey Goemba, which is peacefully surrounded by pine trees and surrounded by small homes of devotees who worship at the monastery. We will continue to the Phobjikha Valley, which serves as a nesting site for the endangered black-necked crane. We will stop for a picnic in the scenic marsh filled valley before continuing to Wandue for the evening
Day 15 Wangdue to Thimphu
We will drive to Punakha before visiting the monks passing through the Dzong in the capital city of Thimphu. After admiring the traditional fort, we will continue through the Dochula Pass before arriving back in Thumphu for a relaxing evening exploring the traditional street markets.
Day 16 Thimphu tour and Paro
We will begin with a trip to the National Memorial Chorten honoring King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk for his dedication to Bhutan before exploring the Changangkha Temple and National Animal Sanctuary known for its scenic views of Thimphu. We then continue to the Spiritual Zilukha Nunnery and Dechenphodrang monistic school before lunch. We then continue to the National Library, School of Arts, traditional handicrafts center and the local goldsmiths while admiring the diverse craftsmanship of the Bhutanese people. We finish the day with a visit to the Tashi Chhodzong, which serves as the parliamentary capital known for its traditional architecture. We continue by driving to Paro for a farewell dinner and drinks at the hotel.
Day 17 Departure
Depending on your flight time you may be able to see a few more attractions before departing approximately 3 hours before the scheduled flight time. You will be escorted to the airport with a representative from Good Karma trekking staff. After our farewells, you will have plenty of time to plan your next adventure with Good Karma, as one time is never enough.
- Airport / Hotel / Airport pick up & drop by private car / van / bus (all airport transfers).
- Standard government approved accommodation (in twin share rooms) for the duration of tour.
- licensed English speaking Bhutanese Tour Guides.
- All Monument /Museum sightseeing tours, entrance Fees as per itinerary.
- All meals fixed breakfast, lunch & dinner with Tea and Coffee while remaining in Bhutan
- Government Royalty (which is 35% of $250) this goes to the country's health & education projects.
- Private Transport & Driver within Bhutan. (Imported Prado's, Micro Buses & Toyota Coaster Buses)
- Toyota 4 X 4 luggage vans & light trucks for group travel
- All our government taxes.
- Tourist service charge, vat.
- Official expense
- Bhutan Visa Fees and Visa Processing assistance
- Bottled/alcoholic/cold drinks, room service and al a cart meals.
- Your travel insurance (compulsory).
- International airfares and airport departure tax.
- Photography charges (if and when applicable).
- Items of a personal nature such as laundry.
- Personal Equipment.
- Tips to guides, restaurants, hotel lobby. (Tipping is expected.)
- Any others expenses which are not mentioned on Price Includes section.
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