9 Days 8 Nights Tour with Saga Trek
Day 01: Arrive- Paro (by Druk Air)– Thimphu
Thimphu- Alt. 2350m
Distance- 54km/approx… 45mins
The flight into Paro on our national carrier, Druk Air is a befitting introduction to the spectacular beauty of our country. First gift from Bhutan will be the cool, clean fresh air as you step out of the plane. After clearing customs and visa control you will be brief by our guide and transferred to Thimphu, the modern capital of Bhutan. The drive will take around 45 minutes. Upon arrival check in at hotel and later visit National Memorial Chorten. Visitors can get a good overview of the Thimphu valley from the Buddha point (Kuensel Phodrang). The largest statue in the country and then walk around and take a glimpse of the valley. After the visit stroll through the main city of Thimphu and visit the Handicraft Emporium which has all types of Bhutanese products on sale. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
Day 02: Thimphu – Punakha
Distance-71km/approx..02 hrs 30 mins
After breakfast drive to visit Changangkha Lhakhang which is a fortress like temple and monastic school perched on a ridge above Thimphu, south of Motithang. From temple courtyard, there is fascinating view of Thimphu valley. Leaving Thimphu the road climbs steeply through a forest of pine and cedar, festooned with hanging lichen high up near Dochula pass (3,050m). This pass often offers panoramic views of the Himalayan mountain ranges. On the way visit Chimi Lhakhang (Temple of fertility). This Temple was built by lam Drukpa Kuenley (The Divine Madman) in 1499. The trail traverse across rice fields from the road – Wooden phalluses are often found hanging in the four corners of the houses and also phalluses are painted on the walls of houses. It is the common belief that this helps in driving away evil spirits. This pass often offers panoramic views of the Himalayan mountain ranges. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
Day 03: Punakha – Haa
Distance – 185km/approx.: 06 – 07 hrs
After breakfast drive towards Haa, over the Dochula pass onto Thimphu and stop for lunch at one of the local restaurant. After lunch continue your drive to Haa via confluence where the road diverts one to Haa on your left and the right to Paro. The drive from the confluence is through the deep valleys and gorges and mixed forest until you reach Haa. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
Day 04: Haa – KhadeyGom – (Start trek)
Distance: 8 km. Total altitude gain: 500m; Duration: 4-5 hours; Campsite
Elevation: 3,235 m: Level of difficulty: Easy to moderate.
The trek starts today. After breakfast, there is a short sharp climb (150m) to Goemba village, to a temple dedicated to the Buddhist saint Guru Rinpoche. The trail continues on through the village of Talung. After passing through some lovely countryside for an hour and a half or so, you will reach tonight’s campsite, KhadeyGom, where a rock with two eyes and a distorted mouth is a feature. This rock is believed to be a creation by the 5th century Buddhist saint ThangthongGyalpo who, on his quest for iron ore in Bhutan, subdued a demon by slashing its mouth and turning it into a rock. Dinner and overnight at Camp.
Day 05: KhadeyGom – DongneyTsho – CAMP
Distance: 8 km; Total altitude loss: 35m; Duration: 5-6 hours; Campsite
Elevation: 3,200m: level of difficulty: easy to moderate
A gradual hike of about an hour through the pines is followed by another 2 hour climb to the Saga-La Pass, which, as is common at the heads of passes in Bhutan, is marked by prayer flags and mini stupas. Views here are fabulous in all directions. East is the Paro valley with DrugyelDzong where the trek ends. To the north and west lie snow covered mountains on the Tibetan border, particularly the sacred Mt. Jomolhari (7,315m) and Jo Drake (6,794m). Dinner and overnight at camp.
Day 06: DongneyTsho – DrugyelDzong – Paro
Distance: 7 km; Total altitude loss: 620 m; Duration: 3 hours;
Level of difficulty: Easy to moderate The first part of today’s hike is a steep downhill trail for about 1.5 hours, through thick vegetation and much birdsong, until you reach a bridge (Genchu Zam). We then walk through Chodeyphu, a beautiful small village set at the base of the mountain, Lom Bjara. Another hour or so from this village brings us to the road, where the walk ends. Our car and driver meet us and drive to your hotel. Dinner and overnight athotel.
Day 07: Paro (start of trek) – Bumdra Monastery
Today after early breakfast drive towards Paro. Upon arrival start our trek from Sang Choekor Buddhist College (2,800m). Drive till Sang Choekor. The initial 1–2 hour ascent of a ridge can be steep at times but in cool shade. We will reach a clearing with prayer flags and enjoy a spectacular view of both Paro and Do Chhu valleys. About 1-2 hours walk away is the ChhoeChhoeTse Lhakhang (temple); which nestles at the side of the mountain. The trail continues and when we reach the last steep elevation we will see a temple overlooking the views of Paro airport and the snow-capped Himalaya. After another 20 minutes of climbing through ruins and fluttering prayer flags, we hike into the ancient forest for about 40 minutes before we reach a wide meadow with sacred chortens and prayer flags. We will spend the night at camp below the Bumdra Monastery (the cave of a thousand prayers). It has an awesome view of the Himalayan. After lunch we can visit the monastery (if it is occupied) and climb towards the north of the peak (about 4000m) for a better view of the Himalayan ranges before returning for dinner. Dinner and overnight at campsite (3,800m).
Day 08: Bumdra – Tiger Nest – Paro
After a hearty breakfast in the jaw dropping landscape, it is time to either head straight back into the valley or linger awhile soaking up the view and perhaps hang some prayer flags of our own. Eventually we have to drop back into the ancient route of pine and rhododendron forest of the monks’ zig zagging trail. After 1-2 hours of descent we catch glimpses of the golden roofs of temples below and soon come upon the first of many on our way back from the wilds. The path snakes across the mountainside between the monasteries and temples before reaching the gardens of Zangtopelri (Heaven on Earth) from which you can bravely peer over edge and straight down onto the ornate roofs Taktsang in the cliff far below. An hour later and we are at the gates of Taktsang looking across the gorge a steep descent to a waterfall then ascent on steps and you are passing into the Tiger’s Nest itself. After the visit walk down till the road point where your car will pick you up and then drive the winding road to visit Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest temple in Bhutan built in 7th century. Later in the evening drive to stroll Paro town. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
Day 9: Paro – Departure (by Druk Air)
After breakfast drive a short distance to Paro airport where your representative will help you with the exit formalities and bid you farewell and wish you a happy journey back home.
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***Please note that some of the sights/itinerary may change due to season, weather, national holidays, and special events. We maintain the rights to alter the itinerary since tours are made in advance and unforeseen circumstances that mandate change may arise. Itinerary changes are made to improve your overall travel experience in Bhutan. The driving and hiking times mentioned are approximate times and do not include breaks in the journey for sightseeing, photo/tea/meal/rest stops. Due to the ongoing up-gradation of the national highway (east-west), there may be delays in transfer time due to road conditions, road closures, inclement weather and other unforeseen circumstances. During your journey, you will encounter areas of degraded roads, a bumpy ride and road closures – we apologize for the inconveniences. During the treks/hikes, there may be delays or diversion of hiking trails due to trail conditions, inclement weather and other unforeseen circumstances.***