Embark on a cultural odyssey through the heart of Bhutan on the Bumthang Cultural Trek. This enchanting 13-day journey takes you on a captivating exploration of Bhutan’s cultural heritage, starting in Paro and continuing to Thimphu, Tongsa, Jakar (Bumthang), Nganglhakhang, Ugyenchholing, and back. Along the way, you’ll visit historic fortresses, sacred monasteries, and picturesque valleys, immersing yourself in the rich history and traditions of Bhutan. The trek takes you through pristine landscapes, offering opportunities for trout fishing, hikes to ancient temples, and encounters with the local culture. From the iconic Taktsang Monastery to the serene Bumthang Valley, this journey weaves a tapestry of Bhutanese culture that will leave you spellbound.
Day 01: Arrive Paro by Druk Air
During this flight, one will experience breaktaking views of Mount Everest, Kanchan Junga and other Himalayan Peaks including sacred Chomolhari and Mt. Jichu Drake in Bhutan. On arrival at Paro International Airport you will be received by our representative. Then drive to Olathang Hotel through Paro valley, an enchanting experience. After lunch go to visit the Ta-Dzong (Museum). Overnight at Olathang Hotel.
Day 02: Paro – Sightseeing
Drive northwest up the Pa Chu to Drugyel Dzong, the ruined Fort, which once defended this valley from the Tibetan invasion. This fortress, now a burned shell, was once strategic in Bhutan’s defense against the Tibetan invasion. Mount Chomolhari, the sacred summit, reaches skyward beyond the Dzong. This can be viewed on a clear day. On the way back you visit a typical Bhutanese farm house. After lunch walk up the hill just above Olathang Hotel to stretch your legs for the excursion to Taktsang view point.
Day 03: Paro – Thimphu
This morning follow the winding road beside the Pa Chu (Chu means river or water) down stream to its confluence with the Wangchu, then up valley to Drugyel Dzong, the capital. Afternoon lunch at the Hotel. After lunch visit the Memorial Chorten, here the faithful circumambulate the shrine dedicated to the Late King saying their prayer beads as they walk. Overnight at the Hotel.
Day 04: Thimphu – Sightseeing
A full day of sightseeing and shopping in Thimphu. Wander in town, visit the handicrafts emporium. Visit the workshop where all the handicrafts are produced ifyou like. Afternoon visit the Tashichho Dzong. Then drive out for Motithang Hotel. Take a walk up the hill beyond the Hotel and visit the Takin penned up there. Overnight at the Hotel.
Day 05: Thimphu -Tongsa
The journey to Central Bhutan begins today. The drive to Tongsa takes approximately 7 to 8 hours. Packed lunch will be provided at the Hotel. Lunch stop at Chendeje Chorten. Overnight at Tongsa Tourist Lodge.
Day 06: Tongsa – Jakar(Bumthang)
Drive to Jakar takes approximately 2.5 hours. Tales of great teacher Guru Padmasambhava dominates this holy valley. From the viewpoint you can see Jakar Dzong “The castle of White Bird”. Lunch at Tourist Lodge. Afternoon hike upto Lame Gompa, a place built by the 1st King for his two nun sisters. Outside of Lame Gompa, one can see the old style of Bhutanese paper making. Overnight in Bumthang Tourist Lodge
Day 07: Bumthang-Halt
Walk in and around Bumthang valley or visit the Dairy farm, Swiss cheese factory and apple juice factory. Try to get some of each-they are the best in Bhutan. Also a fishing in Chamkhar Chu(Chu means river) can be done.
Day 08: Bumthang-Nganglhakhang
The trek route takes you around the Chamkhar Chu a river know for its richness in trout. Lunch stop at Tangbi Lhakhang- then you enter the land Ngang Yul with its centre swan temple Nganglhakhang. This part of the valley was first inhabited by the swans who gave their name Ngang. The Lamanamkha Samdrup having dreamt a vision of how to build a Gompa shot an arrow and at the spot where the arrow landed Nganglhakhang was erected. Cultural programme can be arranged in the evening. Overnight in camp Alt. 9500 ft. Distance 20 Kms about 5/6 hours.
Day 09: Nganglhakhang – Ugyenchholing
Climb gradually to Phephela pass Alt. 3353m. the highest point on the trek route. The trail you follow until the pass takes you through one of the most beautiful frosted area of this region. Allowing for many stops to enjoy the natural beauty of the surroundings.
Day 10: Ugyenchholing – Jakar
The trail you follow takes you along the Tang Chu another river filled with trout. Along the banks of this river is Tang Rimpochen Lhakhang whose foundation is ascribed to Guru Rinpoche and its second foundation to the “Treasure Finder” Terton Pemalingpa. On the way to Jakar you visit Mebar Tso “Flaming Lake”. At Pangshing the transport is provided for onward journey. Alt. 9000ft (approximately). Distance 10 Kms 2-3 hours
Day 11: Jakar – Tongsa
Drive to Tongsa, on the way fish some trouts if you wish. Lunch at Tongsa Tourist Lodge. After lunch and relaxation. Overnight in Tongsa Tourist Lodge.
Day 12: Tongsa – Thimphu
Drive to Thimphu takes approximately 7-8 hours. Picnic lunch will be provided at Tongsa Tourist Lodge. Lunch stop at Wangdi Guest House. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 13: Thimphu – Paro Airport
Drive to internation Airport at Paro for onward flight