Day 1: Arrive in Paro by Druk Air
The flight offers you a beautiful view of the mountains and landscapes. Upon arriving the Paro Valley and after completing visa formalities, you will be met by Gawaling Tours & Treks’ representative at the airport.
In the afternoon, visit Ta Dzong (watch tower) which houses the National Museum. After visiting Museum, drive towards the north to see the Drukgyel Dzong, which is in ruins. On clear weather, we will be able to see Mt. Chomolhari from the Drukgyal Dzong. En-route, visit Kichu Lhakhang, one of the two oldest monasteries built in Bhutan by the King of Tibet, Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century.
Day 2: Sightseeing in Paro
Paro is a valley of religion and myth. The most famous landmark, the Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest), stands on a granite cliff about 3,000 m above the Paro valley. The hike to Taktsang would take us around two and half hours. To reach a cafeteria, a point from where one can enjoy a great view of the monastery is more than an hour walk from the roadhead uphill. Those interested can walk further 45 minutes uphill to get a closer view of the monastery and return to the cafeteria for lunch. The journey downward to the roadhead would take us less than one and a half hours.
Day 3: Paro to Thimphu
Drive to Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan. The journey would take us one and a half hours. Upon arrival in Thimphu, we will visit some of the workshops where young men are trained to continue the handicrafts tradition. Some are busy making masks for the religious dances while others learning the ancient art of thangka (scroll) painting. Stay overnight in a hotel.
Day 4: Thimphu to Punakha
Drive over the Dochu La (la means “pass”) in the morning. On clear weather, we can see around 200 miles of Himalayan summits bordering northern Bhutan. As we descend from the pass, we will notice that the vegetation changes from sub-alpine to sub-tropical. At the lower elevation, we can see banana plants, cactus and other semi-tropical plants, and the green terraced rice fields of Punakha.
We begin our explorations of Punakha valley with a visit to Punakha Dzong, located between two rivers. The Punakha Dzong contains the body remains of Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and is considered one of the holiest of the dzongs in the country. Night halt at hotel.
Day 5: Punakha to Goen Dhamji
The trail passes through the wild banana plants and other sub-tropical plants. If lucky, we might spot Bhutan’s national animal, Takin on the way. In addition to, we can see different kinds of birds on the trail. The trail follows the Mochu till we make a climb to Geon Damji, a beautiful village with its terraced rice fields. This is our campsite for tonight.
Day 6: Goen Dhamji to Tsachu
We walk for around three hours to reach the hotspring. First, we make a gradual climb until the trail smoothens out. Then, take descend before reaching our campsite located by the riverside and the hotspring. Enjoy soak at the spring before and after dinner. Overnight in a camp.
Day 7: Tsachu (Halt)
Morning, take an excursion to the majestic Gasa Dzong, located above the hotspring at a distance of around one and half hours walk uphill. It is a steep climb, but will be worth it. After seeing the dzong, we will descend back to the hot spring. Overnight in a camp.
Day 8: Tsachu to Goen Dhamji
We will follow the same route that we took before. Halt at Geon Damji village for the night.
Day 9: Goen Dhamji to Tashithang/Punakha
As the journey would take us less than three hours, we can take a leisurely walk downhill to Tashithang through the forested area. At Tashithang we will be met Gawaling Tours & Treks’s staff for our post trek celebrations. En-route, visit the Punakha Dzong, the old capital of Bhutan until 1966.
Day 10: Punakha to Paro
Morning, drive to Paro. Stop for lunch at Thimphu and continue our journey to Paro. At Paro visit cultural sites, or engage in our last shopping or take a scroll around the Paro town. Overnight stay in a hotel.
Day 11: Departure
After breakfast drive to the airport for departure.