Bhutan Dragon Adventures - vacations and travel
Druk Path Trek
|Contact provider for price||12 Days||Year-round|
|Comfort accommodations||Exertion level: 3|
|Operator: Bhutan Dragon Adventures||12 people max|
- Paro international airport , paro, bhutan
- Active & Adventure trips
The trip begins with two days of sightseeing in Paro, your arrival city, including a trip to Taktshang Monastery. Then you trek from the Paro Valley to the Thimphu Valley by way of beautiful high altitude lakes, camping one night by the Phajoding Monastery. The trip ends with visits to Thimphu and Punakha before returning to Paro and your plane.
0 testimonials about this trip.
3 testimonials about the provider, Bhutan Dragon Adventures:
Aditya Rao & Sirisha Rao
“On the onset we feel that our Bhutan trip was definitely a “Dream come true,” a big thanks to Bhutan Dragon Adventures and Karma and his team for making our trip the most impressive. We visited Bhutan in May ’07 for our honeymoon. All the planning started way back in January ’07 when I touched base with Karma. Karma was lightening fast in responding to our queries, which really helped us mutually build a flawless schedule. Being Indians, we were a little apprehensive initially to register with a travel agent since we could not find any agency tailored to meet the needs of Indian tourists. But Karma was quick enough to come up with a great plan for us and we immediately decided on traveling with Bhutan Dragon Adventures.5
Karma also ensured that we got one of his best guides – Sonam – who had a vast experience of nine years and he ensured that our experience scaled to greater heights. We were really fortunate to have Sonam as our guide. Karma also ensured that we were given one of the best drivers (Sonam – coincidently), adept with the Bhutanese terrain. We were provided with a comfortable Toyota car.
Being vegetarians we were also a little anxious about getting quality vegetarian food, but Sonam and Karma ensured that we were provided with either Indian or Bhutanese vegetarian dishes. Karma and Sonam also ensured that we get permits to visit restricted places like Tiger’s Nest, Phunaka Dzong and the Haa Valley. We were also accommodated a value locations which made our stay very comfortable. We were so impressed with the hospitality and the stay that we cancelled our onward trip to Darjeeling and decided to stay in Bhutan for an additional day.
We will not hesitate to mention that the trip was “a great value for the money’ and we will treasure the moments we spent in Bhutan for our entire lives – thanks to Karma, Sonam and their team. We strongly recommend Bhutan Dragon Adventures for Indians and other national alike.”
Dr. Paul L. Jokiel, Ph.D.
University of Hawaii Kaneohe, HI 96744,
“Karma Gyeltshen is a remarkable person with a strong background in all aspects of the culture, religion, history, art and natural resources of the Kingdom of Bhutan. Moreover, he is extremely knowledgeable about the travel regulations and potential pitfalls of touring this country. Last November, Karma saved my travel group from a difficult situation with another tour company. We had already sent the money to this company for our Druk Airline tickets. We did not receive the tickets or our visas and were asked to pay for the rest of the trip, which included excessive surcharges and an extra day of billing for the day of departure that amounted to a total overcharge of several thousand dollars for our group. There was great potential for a disaster as the company would not give us our tickets or a refund. Karma was able to intervene. He obtained our tickets and visas and immediately mailed them to us. He went on to lead our tour of Bhutan.5
We requested a tour on the spiritual aspects of their culture and we were not disappointed. Karma arranged permission for many special visits to temples and holy places and provided much insight and information on the practice of Buddhism in Bhutan. Karma had obtained special permission for us to visit the sacred areas of Tiger’s Nest, which was very important to me.
Karma was sensitive to our needs as vegetarians and made special arrangements for us. As senior citizens with extensive travel experience in India and Nepal we were astounded at the high standard of accommodations, food, transportation and service provided in Bhutan by Karma. My experience in Bhutan was totally wonderful and positive. I highly recommend Karma Gyeltshen as a travel guide with high integrity and am looking forward to my next trip with him in the Kingdom of Bhutan.”
We did indeed enjoy our holiday in Bhutan. We were so pleased that you where able to put the trip together for us at such short notice, it is difficult to believe that it was all arranged in just 3 weeks and at no time did we feel that there was going to be any problem. I am sure that you had to work very hard in the back ground to get everything sorted out. Can you thank both Jigme and Kezang for making the trip go as well as it did. Jigme has a vast knowledge of Bhutan and was able to answer all of our questions and although he said he did not know any birds this was not the case. Kezang was a wonderful driver and we always felt safe even when travelling on the roads over the various passes, and both Linda and I appreciated the calm and patient way he stopped to allow us to look at birds and take photographs as we travelled along. It was as if nothing was too much trouble. Your kind donation of the bird book of Bhutan made all the difference to our bird watching and we hope to be able to find time to come to Bhutan again to visit the East of the country and concentrate on a little more Bird watching.
Thank you once again for a very enjoyable Holiday.”
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- This is a custom departure, meaning this trip is offered on dates that you arrange privately with the provider. Additionally, you need to form your own private group for this trip. The itinerary and price here is just a sample. Contact the provider for detailed pricing, minimum group size, and scheduling information. For most providers, the larger the group you are traveling with, the lower the per-person cost will be.
ItineraryDay 01. Arrive Paro:
The flight into Paro on our national carrier, Druk Air, is a befitting introduction to the spectacular beauty of our country. In clear weather, magnificent views of the world’s highest peaks give way as you land in the lush green Paro Valley. Your Bhutanese escort from Dragon Adventures will greet you on arrival, and then drive you the short distance to the hotel.
Day 02. Paro:
Your journey into the Thunder Dragon Kingdom will truly begin with a drive in the morning to the ruins of the Drukgyal Dzong 16 km up the valley. Built in 1647 by the great Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, father and unifier of medieval Bhutan, the dzong was destroyed by accidental fire and left in ruins as an evocative reminder of the great victories it was built to commemorate. Explore the ramparts and on a clear day experience an unforgettable view of Mt. Jhomolhari. On the return, visit Kichu Lhakhang, built in 659 A.D by the Tibetan king Srongsen Gampo. After lunch in Paro, we will visit Ta Dzong (built in 1656 and renovated in 1968), an ancient watchtower, which now houses the National Museum. Below the museum is the Paro Rimpung Dzong (literally meaning “Heap of Jewels”) built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. It is the centre of civil and religious authority in this valley. A short walk takes us to the base of the dzong and across a traditional cantilevered, covered bridge. Nearby is one of the innumerable archery grounds. (Archery is the national sport of Bhutan). If we are lucky, we may catch a match in action. The evening ends with a stroll through Paro’s main shopping district.
Day 03. Excursion to Taktshang Monastery:
It will be a very special day, with an excursion to view the spectacular Taktshang (Tiger’s Nest) Monastery. After breakfast a short drive takes us to Satsam Chorten, from there a two hour horse ride up to the viewpoint point of the monastery. The trail climbs through beautiful pine forest, many of the trees festooned with Spanish moss, and an occasional grove of fluttering prayer flags. We stop for a rest and light refreshments at the Taktsang Jakhang (cafeteria) and then walk a short distance until we see, clearly and seemingly within reach, Taktshang Monastery. The first part was built around Guru Rimpoche’s meditation cave in the 1684 by the Penlop of Paro, Gyaltse Tenzin Rabgay. This incredible monastery clings to the edge of a sheer rock cliff that plunges 900 meters into the valley below. Legend has it that Guru Padmasambhava (Guru Rimpoche), the tantric mystic who brought Buddhism to Bhutan, flew here on the back of a flying tiger, Dorji Drolo, said to be his favorite consort. Lunch is served at the cafeteria.
Day 04. Paro – Jele Dzong (Start of Trek): (Distance 10 kms. Time 3/4 hours. Altitude 3,350 m, 11,000 ft.)
Today is a short trek. It begins above the National Museum; we climb till we reach camp. If the weather is clear the Paro valley and the snow-capped mountains can be seen. The campsite is near the old Jele Dzong. If the caretaker is there we can visit the dzong.
Day 05. Jele Dzong – Jangchulakha: (Distance 12 kms. Time 4/5 hours. Altitude 3,700 m, 12,100 ft.)
The trek starts with a short climb and then passes through a thick alpine forest of rhododendron and slopes gradually till we reach the night camp. You may see yak herders around the campsite.
Day 06. Jangchulakha – Jimilangtso: (Distance 16 kms. Time 6/7 hours. Altitude 3,800 m, 12,500 ft.)
Today the trail follows the ridge and on clear days the views of the mountains and valleys are spectacular. Our camp is close to Lake Jimilangtso. The lakes in this area are known for their giant sized trout, and if lucky, you may enjoy well-prepared trout for dinner.
Day 07. Jimilangtso – Simkota: (Distance 12 kms. Time 4/5 hours. Altitude 3,800 m, 12,500 ft.)
The trail winds through dwarf rhododendron trees past the Lake of Janetso. Overnight camp.
Day 08. Simkota – Phajoding – Thimphu: (Distance 12 kms. Time 4/5 hours. Altitude 3,500 m, 11,500 ft.)
From here we slowly descend down to Phajoding Monastery from where the capitol Thimphu is visible at the valley floor. Overnight camp.
Day 09. Thimphu Sightseeing:
We trek into Thimphu. Our sightseeing begins with a visit to the National Memorial Chorten built in 1974 in honor of our late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk, and the Dupthop Lhakhang one of the few surviving nunneries in Bhutan. We then visit the National Library, stocked with ancient Buddhist manuscripts, and the Painting School where traditional art is still kept alive through instructions in the art of painting Thangkas (sacred Buddhist religious scrolls). After lunch, we drive to the Traditional Medicine Institute where medicines are prepared according to ancient practices, and to Lungtenzampa to observe the Royal silversmiths and a Bhutanese paper factory at work. Other highlights include a visit to the Tashichho Dzong, seat of the national government and the Central Monastic Body, including the summer residence of the Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot of Bhutan). We finally visit the Handicrafts Emporium followed by shopping for souvenirs in the shops of Thimphu. Overnight in hotel.
Day 10. Thimphu – Punakha: (72 kms, 3 hrs drive).
After breakfast, we will drive to Punakha via Dochula pass. If the weather is clear, we stop for a while at Dochula to view the Higher Himalayas. Lunch will be in Punakha. Afterwards, we will visit Punakha Dzong built in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and situated between Pho Chu (male river) and Mo Chu (female river). For many years until the time of the second king, it served as the seat of government. The construction of the dzong was foretold by Guru Rimpoche, who predicted, “…a person named Namgyal will arrive at a hill that looks like an elephant.” At one time there was a smaller building here called Dzong Chu that housed a statue of Buddha. It is said that Shabdrung ordered the architect, Zowe Palep, to sleep in front of the statue. While Palep was sleeping, the Shabdrung took him in his dreams to Zangtopelri and showed him the palace of Guru Rimpoche. From his vision, the architect conceived the design for the new dzong which, in keeping with the tradition, was never committed to paper. The Dzong was named Druk Pungthang Dechen Phodrang “Palace of Great Happiness.” The war materials captured during the battle with Tibetans are preserved here. Because it is warmer in Punakha, it is still the winter residence of the Je-Khenpo. Also, King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk convened the first National Assembly here. In the evening, we visit the Chime Lhakhang, which was built by Lama Drukpa Kuenley. He subdued the demons with his “ Magical Thunder Bolt.” This temple is also known as “the Temple of Fertility.” Overnight in hotel.
Day 11. Punakha – Thimphu – Paro:
After breakfast, drive to Paro via Thimphu. Lunch at Thimphu. Afternoon, free for shopping and wandering. In the evening, drive to Paro. Overnight in hotel.
Day 12. Departure:
Early morning, drive to the airport and farewell.