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Experience Bhutan’s untamed beauty and unique culture as you explore Paro, Thimphu and the Punakha Valley on this 15 day adventure.
Your trek begins at the atmospheric ruins of Drugkyel Dzong in the Paro Valley, and leads you through a landscape of rhododendron forest, green alpine meadows and glistening glacial streams. Camp beneath the sacred peak of Chomolhari at Jangothang, before passing tranquil yak pastures cared for by the last remaining nomad communities on the descent to Thimphu.
Our Trek itineraries offer adventurous travellers a rewarding experience to create lifelong memories in some of the world's most amazing destinations . Trek itineraries can be extended or customised to suit your interests and fitness. Discuss itinerary options and extensions with our Asia Travel Experts.
Meet your guide at the airport and travel together to your hotel for check-in. During your drive your guide will provide an introduction to Kathmandu, answer your questions and discuss plans for the following day. Enjoy free time for the remainder of the day.
Kathmandu is by far Nepal’s largest and most diverse city, a genuine melting pot of ethnicities and cultures and a haven for travellers since its rise to popularity as part of the ‘hippie trail’ in the 60s and 70s. Once described as having more temples than houses, this exhilarating and complex capital is rapidly changing, but the half-hidden temples, chilli-growing courtyards and tiny craft workshops of its narrow lanes and alleyways reveal a city that has not yet abandoned its fascinating traditional cultural identity.
Venture to the village of Deopatan, on Kathmandu’s eastern fringes, to see the revered Pashupatinath Temple. Standing on the banks of the Bagmati River, Pashupatinath is one of the most significant temples built in honour of Shiva in the world and attracts thousands of pilgrims from all over India each year. Non-Hindus are not permitted to enter this holy two-tiered pagoda, but standing on the opposite side of the river offers rewarding views of its richly ornamented silver plated doors, gold deity paintings and ornate wood carvings of Parvati, Kumar and Ganesh.
Just a short and interesting stroll away from the temple, you’ll find the iconic Boudhanath Stupa (Little Tibet). Looming at 36 metres tall, the stupa is the largest in Nepal and is considered the most important Tibetan Buddhist structure of its kind outside Tibet. Enjoy wandering the three large platforms at its base, taking in views of the mountains and listening to the prayer chants of pilgrims performing kora.
Fly to Paro (Bhutan) meet with your guide and travel together to your hotel for check-in. In the evening, enjoy a welcome dinner and cocktails.
Enjoy a full day exploring Paro and the beautiful surrounding valley, perhaps venturing up to Taktsang or ‘Tiger’s Nest’ Monastery. Perched precariously on a 1,200 metre high mountainous ridge and often swathed in mist, this striking 8th century landmark was an important place of meditation for the second Buddha Guru Rimpoche and has become the unofficial symbol of Bhutan. You can reach the monastery by horseback, or join pilgrims and monks with huge sacks of rice on their backs taking on the steep climb by foot.
In the afternoon, pay a visit to the impressive Rinpung Dzong, the ‘fortress on a heap of jewels’, then venture to The National Museum of Bhutan to explore a fascinating collection of art, artefacts and Bhutanese flora and fauna.
Today starts with a short drive up to Drukgyal Dzong in the upper Paro Valley. Set against the backdrop of the verdant valley, this-once magnificent 15th century fortress is now in ruins but rewards visitors with awe-inspiring views out to Chomolhari.
From here we start our trek to Shana, following the river on a gentle uphill climb through a narrow valley scattered with tiny farms and villages.
Continuing along the course of the river, the sheer walls of the valley close in on us as we following an undulating path past several local villages.
Tonight we lodge in a specially-built trekker’s shelter in Thangbu, surrounded by picturesque rolling meadows.
Today our journey continues along the hurtling Pa Chu River. The valley begins to widen and a spectacular landscape of cragged mountainous ridges and snow-capped peaks opens up all around us. We pass several small wooden and stone huts where yak herders shelter from the snow in winter months, before reaching our camp at Jangothang.
Tucked beneath a ruined fortress, close to the magnificent glaciers of Chomolhari, and surrounded by trout-filled lakes, friendly villages and remote nomad houses, this is one of the most beautiful and interesting camp spots in Bhutan.
Descending through the valley, we pass tranquil yak pastures and visit several nomad settlements to gain a rare insight into an ancient way of Bhutanese life that is rapidly disappearing.
Exceptional views of mountainside monastery Lingshi Zdong greet us as we descend into Lingshi Basin. At the north of the valley stands the snow-swept bulk of Tserim Kang and its magnificent glaciers.
Tonight we lodge in a stone shelter at Lingshi.
Our trail winds up the valley to the spectacular Yalila Pass (4,930m), rewarding us with unforgettable views of Chomolhari, Tserim Gang and Masagang on a clear day. Look out for blue sheep and native birds as we continue, crossing and re-crossing icy glacial streams on the downhill trek to Shodu.
Following a trail through dense rhododendron forest, we reach the Thim-Chhu River, and follow its hurtling course through the valley for some time. From this point, it’s an invigorating climb up through wooded areas teeming with gray langur monkeys to the serene pasture lands that surround Dolam Kencho.
This morning we venture back into the thick, wildlife-rich forest and make our way through a small mountain pass to the village of Dodina.
Here our trek ends, and it’s just a short drive back to Thimphu.
Once a scattering of hillside hamlets, Thimphu became Bhutan’s capital in 1961 when the King transferred the country’s administrative centre here from Punakha. Despite undergoing significant development since, cars have only existed on Thimphu’s streets since the early 60s and it remains the only capital city in the world with no traffic lights!
Enjoy a full day exploring Thimphu.
Take time to admire the magnificent fortress of Tashichho Dzong and the beautifully ornate Changangkha Lhakhang Temple. Enjoy an overview of the traditional Bhutanese rural lifestyle at the Folk and Heritage Museum, glimpse the rare, priceless Buddhist manuscripts in the National Library and pay a visit to the gleaming golden spire of the Memorial Chorten, where locals gather nightly for evening prayer.
Travel to Paro for your departure flight to Kathmandu. Overnight stop in Kathmandu.
Explore Kathmandu at your leisure, perhaps embarking on a tour of Kathmandu Durbar Square in the heart of the Old City. With its cluster of elegant temples and palaces adorned with intricate wood and stone carvings, this UNESCO World Heritage site is testament to the sublime skill of several centuries of Newar craftsmen. Standing tall on a 12 stage plinth, the magnificent Taleju Temple dominates the square, its impressive three-tiered octagonal shaped roof rising 35 metres into the sky. Wander the area, taking time to admire the gigantic and colourful carving of Kalbhairav (the god of destruction) and the Temple of Kumari (the living goddess).
Venturing west out of the city, climb the 365 steps that lead up to Swoyambhunath Stupa or ‘Monkey Temple’ to see the 2,000 year old Buddhist Chaityas and take in sweeping views of Kathmandu, hemmed in by the looming bulk of the mountains on the horizon.
On your last day, enjoy free time until your departure transfer.
Phone now to discuss options to personalise your itinerary.
All Get About Asia trips have been designed to make sure you have an unforgettable travel experience. We have developed several trip styles to cater for our diverse range of travellers. Read what your ideal Get About Asia experience might look like here.
|Superior:||from AU $6,290|
All GetAboutAsia prices are based on twin share and depend on availability and season. All our itineraries can be customised including international flights and extra nights. For questions or further information, Enquire Now!
Hotels/lodges each night of the itinerary (excluding your departure day) with camping during the trek portion of the trip.
Visas for Bhutan
All nationalities require a visa and a Letter of Invitation for Bhutan. Please contact Get About Asia in order to apply.
Visa for Nepal
All foreign nationals (except Indians) require a visa to enter Nepal
Getting a visa at the airport can sometimes take time due to long queues. There have been instances when passengers were asked to show return flight tickets. You will also need to provide 2-4 passport photos and the following fees in US dollars cash. Always have extra US dollars just in case.
The following costs were correct at time of writing:
- Multi entry visa valid for 15 days - US$25
- Multi entry visa valid for 30 days - US$40
Availability of accommodation and season.