The Eastern Himalayas are some of the most incredibly scenic places to visit in the entire world. Long closed to the outside world, the kingdom of Bhutan has now opened its door to a limited number of visitors each year. Because of its long isolation, it has retained its ancient culture within its deep, green valleys with towering snowcapped mountain peaks overhead.
This trip features a great way to visit Bhutan and includes a six day trek in the mountains. Here at a slower pace you can truly appreciate all of the sublime beauty of Bhutan as well as its incredible culture.
We will visit the famed Tiger's Nest Monastery that hangs off the side of a cliff overlooking the Paro Valley. We will explore the fascinating capital city of Thimphu with all of its sights and wonders. But the highlight will be the Yaksa Trek that will be of 11 Days Tour which bring you close to the high mountains with its wildflowers, waterfalls and serene, reflective, mountain lakes.
You will enjoy the full flavor of Bhutan and the highlights of what the Land of the Thunder Dragon has to offer. Swiss Nepal Family Trekking & Expedition is pleased to be able to offer you this incredible trip into an enchanted Himalayan kingdom.
DAY 1 – Arrive at Paro International Airport, drive to hotel.
DAY 2 – Walk to The Tiger's Nest
DAY 3 – Drive to Chele La Pass and acclimatize.
DAY 4 – Trek to Soi Thangthangkha
DAY 5 – Trek to Jangothang
DAY 6 – Rest Day at Jangothang
DAY 7 – Trek to Chora
DAY 8 – Trek to Thombu Shong
DAY 9 – Trek to Gunitsawa
DAY 10 – Thimphu Sightseeing
DAY 11 – Final Departure
DAY 1 – Arrival in Paro (elev. 2280 m): You will arrive in Paro at the country's only international airport. Paro is situated in a beautiful, lush green, well watered valley. We check into our hotel before we begin our day tour of Paro. We will visit the spectacular Paro Rinpung Dzong which is one of finest examples of Bhutanese architecture in the country. We will visit the National Museum to give you some background to understanding the rich history and culture of this Himalayan nation.
DAY 2 – Walk to The Tiger's Nest (elev. 3180 m): Situated 900 meters above the Paro Valley floor is one of the most sacred as well as spectacular sights in Bhutan: Taktshang Monastery. It is better known across the world as The Tiger's Nest because it is said the great guru Rinpoche flew to this place on the back of a tigress in order to meditate in the caves here. He then established this famed monastery, which literally clings to the side of the cliff in one of the most picturesque settings imaginable. This trek up to the monastery will get you prepared for the next six days of trekking in the beautiful Himalayas of Bhutan. We will spend the night at our Paro hotel.
DAY 3 – Drive to Chele La Pass (elev. 2800 m): Today is a day we will do a very short trek as we prepare your body by acclimatization to the high elevations. Our day will take us on a short trek to an incredible overlook at 4500 meters that will give you a spectacular view of the highest peaks in Bhutan. We will walk down the hill, through rhododendron forests to bring us back to our car which will take us eventually reaches the village Shana. We will camp for the night at a stone shelter. This day of short trekking and a taste of the high climate will prepare you for the high elevations of this trek.
DAY 4 – Trek to Soi Thangthangkha (elev. 3860 m): It is our first full day of trekking and is one of climbing we ascend from the valley upwards through beautiful rhododendron and pine forests as we reach lookout points where we will have a sublime view of Mt. Jomolhari, one of the highest peaks in Bhutan. The snowcapped peaks of the Bhutanese Himalayas will surround us on all sides today. We will see herds of yak being cared for by Bhutanese herdsmen. We will camp in a meadow in a stone shelter. Trekking time is 6 – 7 hours.
DAY 5 – Trek to Jangothang (elev. 4040 m): Our destination is the base of Mt. Jomolhari where we will camp beneath the ruins of a Dzong (fortress). Along the way are incredible views of the high Bhutanese Himalayas. Trekking time is 6 hours.
DAY 6 – Rest: We need to allow our bodies to adjust to this height and what a place to do it. We can take some short hikes to get better views of all the snowcapped peaks in a 360° direction. We will camp again at our same campsite.
DAY 7 – Trek to Chora (3800 m): Today we reach some incredible heights of 4890 meters at Bhotne La (Pass) for the most spectacular view of the mountains. We will see a number of high alpine lakes with their beautiful blue waters reflecting the snowcapped peaks. We will descend into a hidden valley and then climb up steep trails. Today will be the most taxing day of our journey, but what views! The sites more than makes up for the effort in reaching these lofty heights. We will camp at a meadow at Chora. Trekking time is 6 – 7 hours.
DAY 8 – Trek to Thombu Shong (elev. 4180 m): Thombu Shong is a small assembly of three yak herder's huts that we will be heading for. Along the way are a number of steep ups and down. There are a few small villages way up here, along with some mountain streams. We will cross Takhung La at 4520 meters. It is a 5 hour trek today.
DAY 9 – Trek to Gunitsawa (elev. 2730 m): This is the last day of trekking. We climb upwards to Thombu La at 4380 meters, then the trail drops down to the helipad at Gunitsawa. Here we meet our driver in order to return to the capital city of Thimphu where tonight we check into a hotel for a hot shower and a hot, hotel meal. Trekking time is 5 hours before we meet our driver.
DAY 10 – Thimphu Sightseeing: Thimphu is a combination of modern and culture. The hotels here are very modern and enjoyable, yet on the streets you will find yourself being quickly immersed in the local culture of Bhutan. We will be visiting the weekly market where an amazing assortment of items is sold. There is the revered Memorial Chhorten along with the national library and the School of Traditional Arts. On top of the hill is Changangkha Temple where devotees will walk to and circumnavigate around it as well as turn prayer wheels in keeping with the Buddhist faith. You will have a chance to learn more about the culture in the Folk Heritage Museum as well as enjoy scenic overlooks of the city, the valley and the mountains. It will be a full day before returning to your hotel for dinner and to spend the night at your hotel in Thimphu.
DAY 11 – Final Departure: All good things must come to an end and your visit to Bhutan is no exception. In the early morning, your guide will accompany you to the airport to catch your flight as he wishes you Tashi Delek (Goodbye and good luck). This has been a wonderful time and we at Swiss Nepal Family Trekking & Expedition are pleased to be able to offer many different and wonderful adventures into the Himalayas. Be sure to talk with your representative at Swiss Nepal Family Trekking & Expedition about these other wonderful places to visit.
Your safety is of paramount importance while traveling with Swiss Nepal Family Trekking & Expedition. Please note that your leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Every effort will be made to keep to the above itinerary; however, since this adventure entails traveling to remote mountainous regions, we cannot guarantee that we will not be forced to make last minute changes due to Weather conditions, health conditions of a group member, unexpected natural disasters, etc. The team leader will do everything possible to ensure that the trip runs according to plan. Be prepared for any last minute changes. The Himalayas are a big and wild place.
All hotels in Bhutan are approved and categorized by the government as Grade A, Grade B and Grade C Hotels. If you compare these government approved hotels, they are equivalent to 3-4 star hotels elsewhere. A Grade Hotels will be provided in Paro and Thimphu based on availability at the time of booking your trip. We provide you the best hotel in Thimphu. Our accommodations during the trek will be camping (tents). All accommodations are on a twin-sharing basis. If you need single supplement, you will be charged an additional fee.
Different varieties of meals are available at most hotels such as popular Indian, Chinese, and Continental foods. In most parts of Bhutan, non-vegetarian dishes are available such as beef, pork chicken and fish. We recommend you to ask the hotel and restaurant to offer what is fresh and seasonal. Our company however will send you wide assortment of foods during the actual trekking days. According to our plan, we provide three meals a day: breakfast, hot picnic lunch on the way and dinner at the campsite with evening tea and snacks. Swiss Nepal Family Trekking Expedition has well-trained cooks and can whip up delicious meals at any attitude. We request you to let our company know prior to the trip if any special dietary needs are required.