This trek is one of the popular ones that is moderately arduous and takes one to high altitudes. The trek, in total, is a five-day hike. On this trek, you get to see and pass some beautiful lakes at high altitude. You also get the opportunity to see diverse fauna and flora on the high mountain ridges as well as the surrounding Himalayas. This trekking package starts in Paro, where you get to see the museums, monasteries, and other things of human interest that are associated with Bhutanese history. It finally ends in Motithang in Thimphu. The highest point of your trekking activities is at 4410 meters.
The Druk Trek starts on the third day when it begins at Paro, above the National Museum, to Jele Dzong on the first day. On the second day, we continue to Jangchulakha from where it is onto Jimilangtso, which is famed for its high altitude lake that it houses, where you will camp by its bank and get a scintillating view of the Himalayan Mountains in the background. From Jimilangtso, it is onto Simikot, and again we camp at another lake called Janetso. It is on this leg of the trek that we pass through forested areas of short rhododendron trees. Finally, it is to Phajoding and then head back to Thimphu. In five days of rugged beauty, we cover a total distance of 46 miles.
1. Day one. Arrival at Paro 2280 m
You will be met at the airport on your arrival by a representative of Yak Holidays and driven to the hotel a short distance away. Then it is a visit to Ta Dzong, an ancient watch tower, built in 1656, and Rimpung Dzong, meaning Heap of Jewels.
2. Day Two. Excursion to Taksang Monastery 2280 m
We begin the day’s activities with an excursion to Takstsang Monastery, also known as the Tiger’s Nest. Then we drive to Drukgyal Dzong, 16 km up the valley. It was built in 1647 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, from where we can view the magnificent Mt. Jhonmolhari (7,314 m). On the drive back, we visit Kichu Lhakhang, built in 659 by the Tibetan King Srongsen Gampo.
3. Day three. Paro to Jele Dzong (trek Starts)
(Camp elevation: 3560 meters; distance: 10 kilometers; trekking time: 4 to 5 hours (1090 meters ascent))
We begin our trek above the National Museum and climb till we get to our camp site at the old Jele Dzong.
4. Day Four. Jele Dzong to Jangchulakha
(Camp elevation: 3770m; distance: 10 km; walking time: approximately 3 to 4 hours (310m ascent & 230m descent)
The day starts with a short trek and continues till we reach camp for the night.
5. Day five: Jangchulakha to Jimilangtso
(Camp elevation: 3780 meters; distance: 11 kilometers; walking time: 4 hours (330 meters ascent & 230 meters descent)
The trek continues along the ridge till we reach the camp that is close to Lake Jimilangtso.
6. Day six. Jimilangtso to Simkota
(Camp Altitude: 4110m, Distance: 11Km, Walking Time: 4 hours, (820m ascent & 400m descent)
The trek takes us via short rhododendron trees and the lake Janetso. We camp overnight.
7. Day seven. Simkota to Phajoding to Thimphu (4 to 5 hours)
(Altitude (Trek End: 2520m), Distance: 15Km, Walking Time: 6 to 7 hours (130m ascent & 1820 descent).
We begin the day by slowly trekking down to Phajoding Monastery, getting a view of the Capital, which we drive on to from here. After having lunch, we drive to the traditional medicine institute, the Takin Preserve Centre, and onto Sangay Gang View Point, and to the largest statue of Buddha.
8. Day Eight Thimphu Sightseeing 2320m
The day begins with a visit to the National Memorial Chorten, built in memory of the Late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk, followed by a nunnery, the national library, the Painting School of Traditional Art, the Handicraft Emporium, and the Tashichho Dzong.
9. Day Nine. Thimphu to Punakha, 1310m (Distance 72Km, 3 hours drive).
We drive via the Dochula pass to Punakha to visit Punakha Dzong, built in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, and then visit Chime LhaKhang, built by Lama Drukpa Kuenley, which is also known as the Temple of Fertility.
10. Day Ten. Punakha to Thimphu to Paro, 2280m (Distance 126Km)
We begin the day by driving to Paro via Thimphu, where we are free to shop and then continue our journey on.
11. Day eleven. Departure
Early in the morning, we are driven to the airport for our outbound flight from the international airport.
1) What is the best time of the year to trek in Bhutan?
The best times to trek in Bhutan are in the months of April and October. The weather is very unpredictable and the chance of a completely blue sky is very rare. You can do the low-altitude treks and other routes for other seasons as well.
2) How fit do I have to be to do a trek in Bhutan?
Trekking in Bhutan requires you to be physically fit. It is not necessary for you to be in great shape. Any normal person without a disability can do the trek with relative ease. A trekker gains approximately 500 meters in a day. For strenuous treks like Snow Man Trek, Jumolhari, or Laya-Gasa Trek, you need to be mentally prepared besides being physically fit.
3) What is the typical group size? Will I fit in?
At least two of you must embark on any of the trekking expeditions in Bhutan.
4) Do I need any special equipment?
No, you do not need any special equipment. All the necessary equipment for the trek is provided by the trekking company itself. Except you need to bring your personal belongings.
5) What equipment do I need to bring?
The following would be the things you should bring if you feel like it:
(6) Is it safe to trek in Bhutan?
Yes, it is absolutely safe as your security and personal protection are taken care of by the trekking agency, which is licensed by the Government of Bhutan. No, personal trekking or visits to the country are allowed without a package being booked by one. So, once you have paid for your package, you are a protected person within the country from any bodily harm. You have a local with you at all times.
Do I need travel insurance?
It is requested that you get yourself insured for trekking in Bhutan. The insurance should cover medical treatment, theft and rescue—helicopter rescue operation:
There are no helicopters available in Bhutan. As such, immediate rescue by helicopter is not possible as there will be so many formalities involved in bringing a helicopter from India. While you are trekking in Bhutan, if you happen to fall sick, the guide will relay the message to us and we will act appropriately.
Do I need a visa to visit Bhutan?
Except for Indians, Bangladeshis, and Maldivians, all other nationalities require a visa to enter Bhutan.
All visas are issued from Thimphu, and visas are only issued to tourists booked with a licensed local tour operator directly or through a foreign travel agent. Visas are issued only when you arrive in the country, either at Paro Airport or (if by road) at Phuentsholing, Gelephu, or Samdrup Jongkhar.
To enable us to process your visa on time on your behalf and get the visa clearance for you, your visa application must reach us at least 60 days before the date of your travel. The immigration department will then issue a visa authorization letter to enable you to board the Druk Air flight to Bhutan. The actual visa will be stamped on your passport when you arrive at the four entry points.
The visa fee is USD 40.
(9) How will my booking be processed?
For your booking to be processed, we will require a non-refundable deposit of $300, which can be made by bank transfer or online payment. The balance of payment should be made a week before your arrival. Booking should be made sixty days in advance for your visa to be approved by the immigration authorities of Bhutan.
10) Other than the deposit, what other information do I need to send?
The following information is needed to process your trekking package and visa to the country:
The above information can be sent electronically via email attachment.
11. How far do I trek each day?
You will typically walk 4 to 9 miles (5 to 8 hours) every day. Some days may be rest days for impromptu exploration. In high and steep areas, you may move more slowly. You will carry only a light pack. All the rest are carried by donkeys, mules, and yaks.
(12) What is altitude sickness?
Altitude sickness, often known as Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), is a particularly important medical consideration while trekking in Bhutan. Altitude sickness means the effect of altitude on those who ascend too rapidly to elevations above 3000 meters. The initial symptoms of AMS are as follows:
These symptoms are to be taken very seriously. In the event of the appearance of any of the above symptoms, any further ascent should be reconsidered; otherwise more serious problems can occur, which can cause death, sometimes within a few hours. The only cure for altitude sickness is to descend to a lower elevation immediately. Acclimatization by ascending to no more than 300 to 500 meters per day above 3000 meters and proper rest are the best methods for the prevention of AMS.
13) What are normal meals like on treks?
You will have three meals each day, plus snacks. Breakfast usually includes a choice of toast, eggs, hot cereal, and hot beverages. Lunch may be prepared hot or served as a picnic, always with a choice of beverages. Dinner is a major meal with 5–6 main courses, usually including salad and/or soup, several vegetable dishes, and a meat dish. There will be a fruit dessert and hot beverages. We gladly cater to vegetarians. We combine elements of Western and Asian cuisines.
14) What are the camps like while trekking?
In a typical camping trek, each pair of trekkers will sleep in a spacious mountain tent, which is durable from rain, flies, and insects and is fully insect netted. The tent is fitted with foam mattresses.
15) What is your Kathmandu contact address in case my family needs to contact me in case of an emergency?
Please have them contact at any of the following numbers: