trip
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4
Introductory to Moderate

Traveller Rating

 

Activities
  • 5 day trek
Accommodation
  • 6 nights hotel
  • 4 nights camping
Meals
  • 10 Dinners
  • 9 Lunches
  • 10 Breakfasts

11 Days$3499USD

Hit the trails with confidence

Flexible Cancellations
Stress free booking, learn more about our flexible terms

COVID-19 safety measures
Read our Covid-19 travel policy and what we're doing to keep you safe

Remote adventures
means social distancing comes naturally

Small groups only
Guided group sizes are strictly limited to maximum 16 people, average of 8-10


 
 
Trip Code: BFT

Trip highlights


  • Attend the colourful and vibrant Thimphu Festival, Bhutan's biggest cultural event
  • Trek in the Bhutan Himalaya from Paro to Thimphu
  • Experience a fully supported camping based trek
  • Ascend high passes and be rewarded with stunning mountain views
  • Discover the ancient sights of Paro and climb high above the city to Taktsang 'Tiger's Nest' Monastery

Why Book With Us

  • World Expeditions have been leading unique adventures all around the world for 45 years. All trips are now 100% carbon offset.
  • Stay nourished with all meals included, relax at quality hand picked hotels and all visa, entrance and sightseeing fees included.
  • Led by experienced local guides who will fill you in on the rich cultural history of Bhutan and the Thimphu Festival.

Commencing our trip in the beautiful alpine valley of Paro, we take time to explore the areas rich cultural history and stunning scenery, including a day walk to the famous Taktsang Monastery. This prepares us for our trek, which winds through old growth forest to the capital of Thimphu, where the annual festival takes place. Bhutan is host to many cultural and religious festivals, and the Thimphu Tshechu is a spectacle of colourful celebration where onlookers are believed to be blessed with good fortune. Taking place over three days, there are a number of culturally and religiously significant dances. It is an exciting time to be in Bhutan, and the local people turn out in their best traditional dress and jewelry for the occasion. At the conclusion of the festival, we return to Paro via the Simtokha Dzong.

Meals included
in the price
Valued at USD$320

Arrive Paro by Druk Air flight which, if the weather is clear, will offer you great views of Mt. Everest, Kanchenjunga, Chomolhari, Tsrim gang and Jichu Drake. The moment you step out of the plane you will see the difference. Bhutan welcomes you with cool, clean fresh air. Peace and quietness is just another bonus. This afternoon we ascend a short hill up to the most obvious landmarks in the valley, the Ta Dzong, a circular fortress that once protected this valley from Tibetan invasion. The impressive watchtower commands sweeping views of the valley below. It also houses Bhutan’s National Museum, which, since 1968, has been the home of the country’s most cherished relics. Later we drive down to visit Paro Rinpung Dzong. Bhutan’s dzongs originally served three purposes: they were fortresses, administrative to the most obvious centers for local government, and a residence for the monks and place for their religious activities. In days of yore—during Tibetan invasion or wars between the valleys— dzongs also acted as strongholds, protecting their vale’s inhabitants. Explore inside the Dzong and walk down towards the cantilevered bridge spanning over the Pachhu River where your car will pick you up and head straight to your lodge. Later in the evening, there will be a pre-trip briefing.

Meals:  D

In the morning, we drive up to the base of Taktsang, famously known as the Tiger’s Nest Monastery, perched on a vertical granite cliff 2000 feet above the valley floor of pine, oak and rhododendrons forests. The legend of Taktsang dates from 747 CE, when Guru Rinpoche, in the wrathful form of Guru Dorji Droloe, arrived here on the back of a tiger and subdued the evil spirits of the region. After about one hour of rather steep hiking, you can rest for a while at a small teahouse with wonderful views of the monastery. If you choose to walk another hour, you can get an even closer look from the small chorten directly opposite. The final stretch climbs down—and then back up—700 steps, crossing a gorge over-laced with prayer flags to arrive at the incredible destination. Enjoy the walk and the experience. You will walk back the same route you followed this morning. Later in the evening if time permits, we visit one of the oldest Kyichu temple built in 7th century. This is one temple that truly feels ancient in the Himalayas. Tiger’s Nest Monastery Hike; Hike Length: 13.2Km/8.2Miles Hike Time: 5-6 Hours Return Hike Elevation Gain: 1,200m/3,960ft Hike Elevation Loss: 1,200m/3,960ft

Meals:  B,L,D

We rise early and after breakfast drive to Ta-Dzong and through village of Damchena from your hotel for about 1.5 Hours. And then start your trek from here bypassing a lone Mani walls, gradually climbing up for about 2 ½ hours through a forest of blue pine and silver birch. Just above the tree line we reach an alpine glade and the Jele La (3580m) and gain fine views back down the Paro Valley. We will visit the Jele Dzong, an impressive fort cum monastery with panoramic views. In the vicinity of the Dzong there are many prayer flags hung from commemorative poles that reflect the ancient Buddhist beliefs that extend across the ridge tops of Bhutan. The whole trail leads you gradually uphill through pine forest. Camp will be below the Dzong.

Meals:  B,L,D

We continue walking along the wooded crest high above the Paro Valley through conifer and rhododendron forest while numerous orchids, ferns and wildflowers line the trail. To the north we will sight the snow capped peak of Chomolhari in the distance. On this stage we also pass through a number of yak herders settlements. Our camp at Jangchulakha which is also used as the grazing grounds by yak herders is in a fine location overlooking the intermediary valley between the Paro and Thimphu Valleys.

Meals:  B,L,D

Today morning is a strenuous climb up for about 2 hours until we reach the top and continue north along tanned alpine ridge. En route we cross a series of small passes in the vicinity of 4050m with each marked by a stone memorial and an abundance of prayer flags. From the passes there are also fine views of many of the peaks that form the border with Tibet. We keep walking along the ridge rest of the afternoon until Jigmelangtsho comes into view. To reach the lake involves a long and gradual descent taking an hour or so, at first across alpine meadows and then through rhododendron and conifer forest to this wonderful campsite by the side of the lake below, famous for the brown trout.

Meals:  B,L,D

We trek through forests of dwarf rhododendron shrubs passing two lakes. After passing the second lake we begin to ascend gradually. From the top of the ridge at Pumola (4,100m/13,530ft), we enjoy the majestic view of Mt.Gangkar Punsum (7520m), the highest mountain in Bhutan. We then descent to a campsite near Phajoding Goemba. It is one of the remotest, beautiful Buddhist monastery and an important pilgrimage site for the Bhutanese people. There are about 150 monks around and you can interact with them and learning from their pursuits of Buddha-hood and enlightenment. At night, you can have a good view of the Thimphu city with lights!

Meals:  B,L,D

Today is the easiest day of trekking. We make our way for three hours downhill through pine forest. Upon reaching Motithang on the outskirt of Thimphu, we will be met by our WEX Bhutan office group to receive you with sumptuous lunch and drinks. Thimphu is Bhutan’s capital and largest city. Home to the government, royal family, and the head offices of international organizations in the country, Thimphu is a mix of Himalayan and Western sensibilities. In the late afternoon, we visit the National Textile Museum, established in 2001, home to a substantial collection of antique textiles and other works including the royal robes on display. There is also a weaving center attached below the museum where women from all over the country has been employed to weave textiles and earn their livelihood. In the evening, stroll and explore the city on foot. Thimphu is one of the few capitals in the world without any traffic lights and you will observe the dancing policemen controlling traffics.

Meals:  B,L,D

In the morning we drive to Tashichho Dzong, ‘the fortress of the glorious religion’ which also houses the office of the King. But today you will be joining thousands of locales flocking inside the ceremonial ground to witness and observe the Thimphu Tshechu. No single event captures the prevailing Bhutanese culture better than the Buddhist festival known as tshechus, occasions honoring the significant accomplishments of Guru Rinpoche, the 8th Century figure widely revered across the Himalayas as the Second Buddha. Their focal point is a series of prayers and dances inspired by certain religious themes. Dancers in spectacular costumes perform tightly choreographed moves to a cacophony of drums, horns and cymbals. Constant chanting drifts in waves, a solemn base rising to vivid peaks. What makes such occasions particularly remarkable is the manner in which performance merges with the overall setting. The larger festivals take place in the shadows of imposing fortress-monasteries, attracting large crowds from the surrounding region. For Bhutanese, they represent both the opportunity to concentrate on their religion and as major social occasions. People appear in their finery, eating, drinking and making merry. The overall atmosphere is a rarified blend of devotion, conviviality and slight bawdiness. On show is the holistic, integrated and down-to-earth nature of unaffected popular Himalayan Buddhist culture. Enjoy the experience and be spiritually immersed and be captivated with the lively culture and traditions of the world’s only Vajrayana Buddhist country. This day will also be kept flexible for you to explore on your own around.

Meals:  B,L,D

In the morning we drive up to see the tallest seated Buddha statue in the world at 51m/169ft height, initiated and built on a prophecy made, facing towards the East, bestowing infinite love and compassion to all sentient beings in the spheres. The statue houses enormous meditational house in the base and two storied chapels on the top floors. You will be fascinated at fine art works crafted by the local artisans. We then drive past Simtokha Dzong, gradually winding up across 10,223-foot Dochu La, which in good weather offers 360-degree vistas across 200 miles of Himalayan peaks including Bhutan’s tallest peak Mt. Gangkar Puensum and some of the highest unclimbed mountains in the world! There are 108 stupas adorning the pass and the scenic spot here offers plenty of opportunities for photography and walks around. We drive down through forests of rhododendrons and magnolias, before the road descends into the warmer lowlands around Sopsokha village just in time for lunch. Afternoon, enjoy an easy hike to Chimi Lhakhang, or also referred to as the Temple of Fertility. The temple is dedicated to Drukpa Kunley, affectionately called the Divine Madman. He is one of Bhutan’s favorite holy men and the valley is peppered with traces of his influence. Villagers still enthusiastically recount the legends of his exploits. Women who are having trouble conceiving come here to pray and receive the resident lama’s blessings with a wooden phallus. There are about 25 young monks undergoing monastic education. They will be happy to come out and play soccer with you if they are free! Later we drive up to Wolakha Nunnery, mounted over a hilltop with a good view of the surrounding valleys below. The nuns, apart from their daily Buddhist studies and meditation also work on appliqué and thangka painting. The shrine inside is dedicated mainly to the God of Compassion, Chenrizig or in Sanskrit known as Avolokiteshvara. Meet some of the nuns and interact with them. Chimi Lhakhang Hike; Hike Length: 2Kms/1.2Miles Hike Time: 1.5 Hours return easy Elevation gain: 20m/66ft Elevation Loss: 20m/66ft

Meals:  B,L,D

In the morning we visit Punakha Dzong, one of the magnificent fortresses in the world. This remarkable fortress was built in 1637 between two rivers and once served as the old capital of Bhutan. It has survived many glacial floods and fire. Every February there is a procession known as the Punakha Serda to commemorate the victory over the Tibetans. The Central Monk Body, taking advantage of it’s warm weather, shifts their residence here every winter and goes back to Thimphu in summers. We spend some time exploring inside and if we see a chance, we may be able to meet a senior monk and Q&A session with him in regard to Buddhism and way of life followed by water purification ceremony to bless you with longevity. This afternoon we drive back again towards Dochula Pass and to Paro valley for the night. Evening time on your own, strolling around this minute town for souvenir and last minute shopping.

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning drive to Paro and exit through Bhutan Immigration office and bid you farewell today. We hope you had a wonderful time in Bhutan. Tashi Delek & Bon Voyage!

Meals:  B


Map

Elevation

The map and elevation chart are for illustrative purposes only and meant to provide general guidelines.


Inclusions

  • 10 breakfasts, 9 lunches and 10 dinners
  • airport transfers (day 1 and 11 only)
  • expert bilingual guide
  • group medical kit
  • good quality accommodation in towns
  • the use of a World Expeditions trek pack which includes a quality sleeping bag, down or fibre fill jacket and insulated mat valued at US$500
  • souvenir World Expeditions kit bag
  • all group camping equipment
  • private transportation
  • all park entrance fees and trekking permits
  • pack animals to carry all your personal equipment 20kgs
  • Bhutan Government visa and sustainability fees

  • International flights
  • travel insurance
  • aerated & alcoholic drinks
  • tips
  • bottled water
  • airport & departure taxes

Departure dates

* Guaranteed status denotes minimum trip numbers have been met, however the trips operation will be subject to there being no COVID-19 restrictions or other government travel advisories. Please contact us for further information.


Notes

1
2021 Thimphu Festival Date - 16th - 18th September 2021

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Total Priceper person from

$3499USD

Your trip price includes:

  • Meals valued at USD$320
Options & Supplements*
  • Single SupplementUSD$250
*Prices listed are per person

Essential Information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Bhutan Thimphu Festival & Trek trip notes which contains all the essential information you need to know before booking. Once you’ve booked, we will supply you with a Pre-Departure document which contains a detailed gear list and other important information to help you prepare for your adventure ahead.


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Why travel with us

Award Winning Adventures

Enhancing your journey with authentic experiences, genuine cultural exchange and real exploration are the focal points on all of our adventures. In 2019, we were crowned by our peers as the best in adventure travel at The Travel Awards in Sydney.

Thoughtful Travel

Responsible travel is at the heart of every program we offer as a fundamental and long held philosophy. When you book one of our 100% carbon offset adventures you’re supporting true sustainability in the protection of local communities, natural environments and wildlife.

Ultimate Value

 When you book one of our adventures, you will receive quality services at the best prices with plenty of inclusions. There are no hidden costs, single travellers don’t pay more and you’ll enjoy many ‘extra touches’ that ensure your holiday is excellent value for money.

Positive Impact Travel

By joining this trip you are directly supporting positive impact projects in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

We’ve offset the carbon emitted by this trip by purchasing credits that support important projects that address the UN’s seventeen SDGs, like reducing poverty, affordable and clean energy, reducing hunger, clean water and climate action.

Proceeds from this adventure purchase carbon credits through the world’s largest and most awarded carbon project developer, South Pole, which are invested into projects accelerating the transition to renewable energy sources in developing countries.

Supported projects are based on internationally recognised standards and are third-party audited. They entail a series of positive impacts on the ground, which benefit local communities and ecosystems, that are aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

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