Druk Path Trek with Three Days Cultural Tour in Bhutan

Duration: 10 Days

Druk Path Trek is one of the most beautiful and popular short-distance treks in Bhutan. This 10-day-long journey runs through an ancient trading route scaling high mountain passes connecting the picturesque valley of Paro and Thimpu.  Druk Path Trekking takes us through colorful rhododendron forests, beautiful lakes, and alpine yak pastures. This popular trek sees over 1200 trekkers each year. The monasteries, alpine landscape views, the trek’s marathon-like nature, and short duration attract trekkers from all over the world. 

Bhutanese soldiers raced this course in a single day as a punishment in the past. So, the trek also has a historical significance. We arrive at Paro airport (2,235 m) the first day and take an acclimatization hike to Tiger’s Nest the next day.  Our trek begins on Day 3 with a climb up through pine forests and apple orchards which open up to ruins of Jele Dzong sitting on a high grassy ridge. The ridge gives us breathtaking views of Mt. Jomolhari. 

The following 4 days bring even more excitement- we trek above the tree line, cross high mountain passes like Phume La ( 4,210 m), tranquil mountain lakes and views of mountains like Mt. Jomolhari, Gangkar Punsum, and Jitchu Drake running along the Bhutan-Tibet border. Over the course of the last three days of our Druk Path Trek, we make descents through pine and juniper forests and phadjoding monasteries bring us to Thimpu, Bhutan’s capital.  Druk Path Trek is best enjoyed from September to December and late February to May. Days are mostly nice and warm but the nights can be very cold with high chances of snow at higher altitudes.

 Adventure Club Trek also organizes various other tours and treks in Bhutan. For an even shorter Bhutan trip, consider our Glimpses of Bhutan Tour- 4 Days, Journey to Druk Yul Tour- 5 Days and 6 Nights 7 Days Bhutan Tour among others.  Laya Gasa Trek-19 Days and Chomolhari Trekking-12 Days are two of the most beautiful long-distance trekking options in Bhutan.

Trip Highlights:

  • Trekking the classic route connecting Paro to Thimpu
  • Sightseeing in Paro-hike up to Tiger’s Nest
  • Rhododendron forests, alpine meadows, yak pastures, clear lakes and mountains along the way
  • Crossing high mountain passes like Dochula Pass(3,100m) and
  • Jangchu La Pass(4,180m
  • We visit important fortresses like the Jele Dzong, Punakha Dzong, Drugyel Dzong, and Rinpung Dzong among others.
  • We also visit a number of monasteries including  Phajoding Monastery and Thuijidrag Monastery.

Outline Itinerary:

  • Day 01: Arrival and sightseeing in Paro (2,250m/7,382ft)
  • Day 02: Paro- Acclimatization : Hike to Tiger's Nest Monastery (3,180m)
  • Day 03: Trek Starts: Paro to Jele Dzong (3,480m/11,415ft): 10 km, 4 - 5 hours trek
  • Day 04: Trek Jele Dzong to Jangchu Lakha (3,770m/12,365ft): 10 km, 3 - 4 hours
  • Day 05: Trek Jangchu Lakha to Jimilang Tsho (3,880m/12,729ft): 11 km, 4 hours
  • Day 06: Trek imilang Tsho to Simkota (4,110m/13,480ft): 11 km, 4 hours
  • Day 07: Trek Simkota - Phajoding to Thimphu (2,350m/7,710ft): 14 km, 5 hours
  • Day 08: Thimphu to Punakha (1,250m/4,100ft): 76 km, 2 - 3 hours
  • Day 09: Punakha to Paro (2,250m/7,382ft): 130 km, 4 hours, Hike to Chimi Lhakhang
  • Day 10: Departure for your next destination
  • Day 01: Arrival and sightseeing in Paro (2,250m/7,382ft)

    As your flight nears Bhutan, you can enjoy amazing views of the Himalayas including the sacred Chomolhari and Jichu Drake peaks. At the airport, you will be greeted by a representative from Adventure Club who will take you to your hotel in Thimphu for a good night's sleep. Today, we will visit Rinpung Dzong which was built in 1646 and now houses the district Monastic Body and government administrative offices of Paro Dzongkhag. We will also visit Kichu Lhakhang, the oldest temple in the country and Drugyal Dzong, built-in 1646 to commemorate Bhutan's victory over Tibetan invaders during the 1600s
    Overnight at hotel. Lunch and Dinner Included

  • Day 02: Paro- Acclimatization : Hike to Tiger's Nest Monastery (3,180m)

    Today, we hike up to Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest) monastery, which is Bhutan's most famous monastery situated at 3,180 meters. Guru Rinpoche (Guru Padmasambhava) meditated in a cave where the monastery stands. He flew to the cave on a tigress’ back and meditated in the cave for three years, three months, three weeks, three days and three hours. We start our hike after breakfast and stop midway at Cafeteria Restaurant for lunch. The round trip to the monastery and back takes around 3 hours.
    Overnight at hotel. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

  • Day 03: Trek Starts: Paro to Jele Dzong (3,480m/11,415ft): 10 km, 4 - 5 hours trek

    Today marks the start of our trek and our first destination is Jele Dzong. The trail starts with a gradual uphill climb through a forest to reach our campsite. A short hike for around an hour and we reach the Jele Dzong. A perfect view of Paro Valley with snow-clad mountains on the backdrop can be seen from the top. Jele Dzong is mostly in ruins and after exploring the Dzong we visit Lhakhang which houses a Buddha Shakyamuni statue. We then head down to our campsite for a good night’s sleep.
    Overnight at tented camp. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

  • Day 04: Trek Jele Dzong to Jangchu Lakha (3,770m/12,365ft): 10 km, 3 - 4 hours

    Today we embark on about 2 hours of trekking. We begin with a gradual ascent (310m) then descend (50m). The trail passes through thick alpine and rhododendron forests and reaches Jangchulakha. We still walk for some time and arrive at the campsite, which offers scenic views of the amazing landscape below. You can also see yak herders around your campsite at the height of 3,600m.
    Overnight at tented camp. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

  • Day 05: Trek Jangchu Lakha to Jimilang Tsho (3,880m/12,729ft): 11 km, 4 hours

    The initial trail to Jimilang Tsho starts with an ascent through the juniper forest. The path then levels for a while and again climbs up and down finally to arrive at Jangchu La Pass(4,180m). We then make a steep downhill climb passing Tshokam(a camping site) and also cross the upper part of Bemang Rong Chu to finally arrive at Jimilang Tsho. The lake is famous as the habitat of giant trouts. If time permits we can also fish here enjoying the views of the mountains of Jichu Drake(6,989m) and Gangkar Puensum(7,497m).
    Overnight at tented camp. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

  • Day 06: Trek imilang Tsho to Simkota (4,110m/13,480ft): 11 km, 4 hours

    The trail to Simkota starts from the southern end of the lake. We walk up along the rhododendron filled path until we arrive at Jahnye Tsho. Enroute we pass by Phajoding Monastery and Thuijidrag Monastery. Soak in the spectacular view below as we climb higher towards the summit. We also pass a few yak herders camp before reaching Simkota.
    Overnight at tented camp. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

  • Day 07: Trek Simkota - Phajoding to Thimphu (2,350m/7,710ft): 14 km, 5 hours

    Today we begin with a gradual climb to enjoy majestic views of Mt. Gangkar Puensum and other peaks. The trail slowly descends through junipers trees to a community hall near Phajoding. From Phajoding the trek to Thimphu is downhill, passing through a forested area of mostly blue pine. After arriving in Thimphu, we check-in to our hotel and spend the night.
    Overnight at hotel. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

  • Day 08: Thimphu to Punakha (1,250m/4,100ft): 76 km, 2 - 3 hours

    Today after breakfast, we visit Memorial Chorten, built in the honor of third King, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, in 1974. Next, we go to see Bhutan’s national animal, Takin, a rare species of goat family, at Mini Zoo. We also explore the National Library where ancient manuscripts are stored, Sangaygang View Point to catch fantastic views of the entire city and lastly the Kuenselcholing hilltop where the world’s largest statue of Buddha is under construction. After sightseeing, we leave for Punakha. It is around the 3-hour-long scenic drive. We cross the Dochula Pass(3,100m) enjoying the magnificent views of the Himalayas. We further drive past fir, hemlock and rhododendron forest followed by rice field to finally arrive at Punakha. While in Punakha we explore Punakha Dzong, the second largest and second oldest Dzong in Bhutan.
    Overnight at hotel. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

  • Day 09: Punakha to Paro (2,250m/7,382ft): 130 km, 4 hours, Hike to Chimi Lhakhang

    We drive to Paro today. Enroute we stop at Metshina Village from where we go on a short hike to Chimi Lhakhang. It is a fertility temple dedicated to Divine Madman or Lama Drukpa Kuenley. After visiting the temple we continue our journey to Paro again crossing the Dochula Pass. On the way, we again make a stop to visit Druk Wangyal Monastery. Here you can find paintings reflecting the visions and lineage of the present monarchy. We pass through Thimphu to finally arrive at Paro.
    Overnight at hotel. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

  • Day 10: Departure for your next destination

    Today we leave the Land of the Thunder Dragon. A representative from Adventure Club Trek for Bhutan will drop you off at the airport according to your flight schedule.
    Breakfast Included

    Tour Departure Note. This tour can be undertaken round the year for any independent travelers according to their chosen traveling dates as private departures. Should you wish the tour can be easily customized as per your interest. Contact us with your requirements.

    Safety Note: Your safety is of the utmost concern whilst you are traveling with Adventure Club Trek. We will make every effort possible to follow the original itinerary but we reserve the right to change that itinerary if a segment of it becomes a safety issue. Certain mountain regions are remote, natural disasters can happen, weather conditions can decline and there can be illness or an injury. To avoid dangerous situations we may occasionally have to make changes to the itinerary to ensure everyone’s safety. That having been said, Adventure Club Trek will strive to provide you with the best possible trekking experience and to keep your safety our number one priority. We thank you for your understanding.

Cost Includes

  • All arrival and departure transfer in a private tourist vehicle.
  • Full board meals with tea/coffee and snacks - for the duration of your stay.
  • Bhutan visa fees and processing assistance.
  • Drinking water
  • Government-approved A and B category hotels on a twin- shared basis.
  • Tented camp during trekking on a twin- shared basis.
  • Transportation in comfortable private vehicle(s).
  • Experienced English speaking guides and local staff.
  • Trekking equipment like sleeping bags, dining tents, kitchen tents, toilet tents, mattresses, etc.
  • Trekking cooks and trek assistant.
  • Porter services for trekking.
  • All city tour with permits, entrance fees for museums and monuments.
  • All applicable Bhutanese government taxes/royalties and Company services charge.

Cost Excludes

  • Nepal Entry Visa fees - at present $30 for 15 days US$ 50 for 30 days.
  • Airfare for international flights to and from Bhutan
  • Items of a personal nature (personal gear, telephone calls, beverages, internet, laundry)
  • Travel and Medical/Evacuation Insurance
  • Tips and gratitude provided to staff.
  • Any services in Kathmandu/Nepal (hotels, transport, etc)

Bhutan Travel FAQS

1. When is the best time to visit Bhutan?

Every season has its own charm. But, the most popular time to visit Bhutan is autumn and spring seasons which fall on the month from September -November, and March-May respectively. The weather is warmer and skies are clearer on this season and many of the dramatic festivals fall on this period.

2. Do I need a visa for Bhutan? How can I obtain a visa for Bhutan?

Bhutan Visa is essential for every foreigner who is planning to enter Bhutan. The visa has to be processed by local tour operators, such as our company Adventure Club Trek. No foreign mission or embassy abroad grants a tourist visa. For the visa, a passport is required which must be valid for at least 6 months after you leave Bhutan. The Druk Air allows boarding only if it has got your visa clearance from the Bhutan Government.

3. What documents will you provide that I have to take with me to Bhutan?

Visa confirmation letter: We will organize your visa for Bhutan prior to the start of your trip. For the visa procedure, you have to send us two passport size color photographs and a color copy of your passport.

Itinerary: Please take a copy of your tour itinerary with you.

4. How to enter Bhutan?

There are a number of airports where you can fly into Bhutan from.  At present two carriers operate to Bhutan, Drukair and Bhutan Airlines.

By Air the Entry Points are:

Bangkok to Paro.

Dhaka to Paro.

Katmandu to Paro.

Kolkata to Paro.

Delhi to Paro.

Singapore to Paro.

By Land, the Entry Points are:

Also, there are three land border crossings in which you can travel into the kingdom overland.  All crossings are along the Indian border only - Phuentsholing, Gelephu and Samdrup Jongkhar.

Bagdogra to Phuntsholing.

Bagdogra to Gelephu.

Guwahati to Samdrup Jongkhar.

Note: Exit can also be done through the same Entry Points.

5. Can I have a private tour?

Sure. We can arrange a private tour. We also organize private tours as per the demand. We have been flexible as per the wish of our customer and will be in the coming days also.

6. How much does the visa cost?

The visa fee for foreign travelers is US$ 40. The fee can be paid in advance to your tour operator or travel agent. For Indian Passport (or VIC) holders, Bangladeshi nationals and people from the Maldives, there is no cost incurred.

7. Is it safe to drink tap water in Bhutan?

Tap water is not considered safe for drinking and also ice cubes should be avoided. Mineral water is easily available throughout the country (but make sure that seal is not broken). At the same time, it is better to go with a trusted brand rather than picking the local brands.

8. Do I have to worry about altitude sickness in Bhutan?

The altitude in Bhutan is higher than many people are habituated to. Although many people might not have any problem adjusting, altitude sickness may be a problem for a few ones. If visitors do some simple preparations before leaving for Bhutan, most of the symptoms of altitude sickness can be avoided. Being healthy and in good shape, before you arrive in Bhutan will help greatly. It is also recommended that you talk to your local doctor about AMS and medicines in case of an emergency.

9. Can I use my credit cards in Bhutan?

Credit cards are not accepted in Bhutan generally. But, there is some handicraft shop that accepts credit cards while purchasing goods.

10. Are there ATM s counter in Bhutan?

ATM facility has recently been opened in Bhutan, but it is available for the local people only for the time being.

11. What’s the food like in Bhutan?

The most unique feature of Bhutanese cuisine is its sharp taste. Chillis are an important ingredient of nearly every plate and are considered so essential that most Bhutanese people would not enjoy a meal that was not spicy. Rice forms the main body of most Bhutanese meals. It comes with one or two side dishes consisting of meat or vegetables. Beef, Pork, and Chicken are the meats that are taken most frequently. A wide range of western and Indian cuisine is also accessible in many of the restaurants across the country.

12. What are the accommodations like?

Hotels in Bhutan are approved and classified by the government as grade A, B, and C. These government approved hotels are equivalent to 3-4 star hotels located throughout the globe. Western Bhutan (Thimpu, Paro, Wangdue and Punakha)has the best hotels but as you head to eastern and central regions, the quality decreases a little bit. All the hotels/lodges/guest houses in western Bhutan have pretty good electrical heating systems. While the hotels in the central and eastern part of Bhutan have wood-stoves for heating.

13. What is the electricity supply in Bhutan and what plugs are used?

240 volts AC – Flat round 2-pin plugs are most common and a universal adapter is an important travel item. Power cuts are quite frequent in central and eastern Bhutan while western Bhutan has a stable power supply.

14. Are there internet facilities for foreign travelers?

Bhutan's main and only Internet Service Provider (ISP) is Druknet, owned by Bhutan Telecom. It provides a dial-up service, at a reasonable cost. There are several internet cafes and communication centers in the Thimphu and other various parts of the country. Tourists only need to find a place they are most comfortable with to use the facilities to keep in touch with home. E-mail and Internet services are also offered by hotels.

15. Can we smoke in Bhutan?

The sale of tobacco products is banned throughout the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan. However, smoking in Bhutan is not banned but acting without an import receipt issued by the Department of Revenue and Customs is banned. Therefore, if you wish to smoke in Bhutan you can carry cigarettes up to 200 pieces with you but duty has to be paid for them and also can smoke only on private zones like room or residence. It is recommended to smoke only on claimed zone otherwise it will be considered a crime if you smoke on prohibited areas like public places and offices and may even have to go jail for 3months also.

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Trip Facts

  • Trip Code ACTE-70
  • Trip Duration 10 Days
  • Destination Bhutan
  • Trip Difficulty Easy
  • Trip Style Hotel and Tented camp
  • Accomodation Standard hotels and camps
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