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COMO_trekking camp

Himalayan Explorer with Druk Path Trek by Como

Himalayan Explorer with Druk Path Trek by Como

$12982 per person
11 Days 10 Nights

The ten-night version of our popular Druk Path adventure is designed for those who seek a challenge. Our experienced guides lead guests through the Paro Valley to Thimphu, and then on to the Punakha Valley. From the gravity-defying Tiger’s Nest Monastery to the Temple of the Divine Madman, the itinerary combines spectacular drives, nature walks and fascinating cultural visits. With four nights at COMO Uma Paro, and three nights at our sister lodge, COMO Uma Punakha, the trip combines the best of both locations.

The overnight adventure includes picnic lunch, dinner and breakfast, ponies for carrying luggage, the services of an experienced Uma guide and cooks, all tentage, kit bags and a first aid kit. Due to the activities and heights reached, this trip has been graded as a moderate to hard adventure. As an indicator of suitability, you should be able to walk up to 20 kilometres across mountainous terrain within six to seven hours.

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  • Departure/Return Location
    Paro, Bhutan
  • Included
    Accommodation
    All Experiences, day-walks and visits
    All meals
    English Speaking Guide
    Permits and Visa
    Private Car and driver
  • Not Included
    Departure Taxes if applicable
    Domestic and International Flight
    Personal expenses such as laundry, telephone bill, alcohol
    Tips for guide and driver
    Travel insurance

Tour Plan

1
Arrival, Check-in, and Local Sightseeing
Upon arrival at the airport you will be greeted by staff from COMO Uma Paro before embarking on the 10-minute transfer to the property. After you check-in and spend time settling into your new surroundings, we will take you on the first foray into this remarkable Himalayan kingdom, with sightseeing in Paro town and a temple visit. The afternoon trip allows you to acclimatise to the rarefied air at this altitude as well as the chance to get to know your guide. Overnight: COMO Uma Paro
2
Walk to Zurig Dzong, Rinpung Dzong, Ta Dzong, Paro Town, Kyichu Lhakhang and Drukgyel Dzong
Wind through pine forests high above COMO Uma Paro to the pretty grounds of the fortress-like monastery of Zurig Dzong. Traverse across to Ta Dzong, home to Bhutan’s National Museum with magnificent views over Paro, and down to Rinpung Dzong (also known as ‘Fortress on a Heap of Jewels’). The trail then leads across the Paro Chhu river via the traditional covered bridge Nyamai Zam, and then past the main archery ground, Ugyen Pelri Palace, before reaching Paro town. Driving a few kilometres north of Paro, we pay our respects at Kyichu Lhakhang. This is one of the oldest temples in Bhutan, with a magical orange tree that bears fruit all year round. Time permitting, we will drive further up the valley to Drukgyel Dzong, built in 1648 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to control the northern route to Tibet. Duration: 5 to 7 hours Difficulty: Easy to moderate Overnight: COMO Uma Paro
3
Paro Valley – Taktsang Walk
The historical Paro Valley is the focus of today’s activities, culminating in a visit to the Taktsang ‘Tiger’s Nest’ Monastery, which is one of Bhutan’s most important landmarks. According to legend, this cliffside is where Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) landed on the back of a flying tigress, bringing Buddhism to Bhutan from Tibet. The trip starts early in order to avoid the hot sun during the two-hour climb to the Tiger’s Nest viewpoint. We have a steep hike, passing a waterfall and ending among beautiful murals at the monastery’s main entrance. If time allows, there is the chance to head up to visit remote temples. After lunch – either a prepared picnic or from the charming Taktsang cafeteria – you return to COMO Uma Paro, where you can enjoy the steam rooms, gym and swimming pool or a COMO Shambhala treatment. Duration: 6 to 8 hours Difficulty: Moderate to hard Overnight: COMO Uma Paro
4
Trek Day 1: Drive to Damchena, then walk from Damchena (2,880m) to Jangchu Lakha (3,780m)
Our trek begins near Dhangrim chorten, heading up through apple orchards, smallholdings and ancient pine forests to a whaleback ridge. Today’s altitude gain is significant so the pace is slow and steady. We visit Jele Dzong, perched on the ridge, where monks welcome visitors. The dzong was the former residence of Ngawang Chhogyel, cousin of the saint Lama Drukpa Kuenley, known locally as the Divine Madman. The views of Paro town and Mt. Jhomolhari (7,314m) are breathtaking on a clear day. We cross the Jele La pass (3,490m) and descend below the ridgeline to reach a pasture at Jangchu Lakha, with outstanding views of the Himalayan range, where you will camp at 3,780m. Duration of drive: 45 minutes to 1 hour Duration of trek: 7 to 8 hours (16km), guided with picnic Difficulty: Hard (altitude gain: 900m / altitude loss: 0m) Overnight: Camping
5
Trek Day 2: Jangchu Lakha (3,780m) to Jimilang Tsho (3,880m)
After breakfast, the trek continues through dwarf rhododendron trees to a view of Thimphu and Paro valley. From here, you’ll go uphill towards Jangchu Lakhala (4,190m) before a steep descent to camp at Jimilang Tsho Lake (3,880m). The lake is home to a large number of trout, believed to have been introduced by the British in the 20th century. Near the camp there are good mountain views, as well as a glacier stream joining the main lake. Duration of trek: 6 to 7 hours (11km), guided with picnic Difficulty: Hard (altitude gain: 410m / altitude loss: 310m) Overnight: Camping
6
Trek Day 3: Jimilang Tsho (3,880m) to Labana (4,120m)
As today’s trail twists, you’ll enjoy views across the deep valley, spotting the route from day one and across to Jele Dzong, now a tiny white dot in the distance. Crossing a spur, the Simkotra Tsho (4,110m) can be seen below. The trek continues until you reach a yak pasture where you’ll camp overnight, with magnificent views of the eastern Himalayan ranges. Duration of trek: 6 to 7 hours (15km), guided with picnic Difficulty: Hard (altitude gain: 410m / altitude loss: 0m) Overnight: Camping
7
Trek Day 4: Labana (4,120m) to Thimphu (2,400m), then drive to Punakha via Dochu La
The day begins with an ascent to Labana La pass (4,210m), which is adorned with prayer flags and rock pillars given as offerings to the God of Mountains. This is the highest pass in the trek. From here, you can see Thimphu far below. The trail descends to the pilgrimage site at Phajoding (3,870m), then into pine and juniper forest until the road at Motithang on the outskirts of Thimphu. The drive to Punakha winds snake-like up the 3,000m-high mountain pass of Dochu La, offering views of 108 chortens, forests of cluttering prayer flags and, on a clear day, sweeping views of the Himalayan ranges. Duration of trek: 4 to 5 hours (12km) Difficulty: Moderate to hard (altitude gain: 90m / altitude loss: 1,810m) Duration of drive: 2.5 to 3.5 hours (Thimphu to Punakha) Overnight: COMO Uma Punakha
8
Chimmi Lhakhang, Punakha Dzong and Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten
This is a full day of exploration through the lush Punakha Valley, which at 1,200m is low enough for bananas and oranges to grow. The morning starts with a short walk across farmhouses and rice paddies to reach Chimmi Lhakhang, a 15th-century fertility temple dedicated to Drukpa Kuenley, a Tibetan Buddhist saint, perhaps better known as the ‘Divine Madman’. This site has long been a pilgrimage site for couples hoping to start a family. Heading further down the valley, the 300-year-old Punakha Dzong comes into view. Built in the 17th century by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal (who founded the Kingdom of Bhutan), the fortress once housed the country’s government. It is now the winter home of Je Khenpo, the head abbot of Bhutan, along with a retinue of 1,000 monks. After lunch, the tour takes you on a walk through homesteads and farmland to Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten, a shrine recently built by the royal family. Duration: 6 to 7 hours Difficulty: Easy to moderate Overnight: COMO Uma Punakha
9
Chorten Ningpo and Khabasa Village
After breakfast drive to Chorten Ningpo, which dates back to the 17th century. The chorten is a little-known spot with a magnificent statue of Maitreya (the future Buddha) and images of the great lamas of the Drukpa lineage. This magical spot was once a dense forest inhabited by evil spirits. The great oak tree outside the monastery is said to have grown out of the blazing log that the ‘Divine Madman’ threw (the tree’s bark is still black from where it was burnt). In 2005 the monastery began to house orphans from the nearby village. A small Buddhist educational institution was founded where children can study both traditional Buddhist scriptures and texts as well as Western subjects. The hike back to COMO Uma Punakha is around 45 minutes, going past Thodrup Lhakhang. After lunch, there is the option to drive to Talo Nobgang village or try white water rafting (participants must be aged over seven). Alternatively, enjoy a COMO Shambhala wellness therapy. Duration: 3 to 4 hours Difficulty: Easy to moderate Overnight: COMO Uma Punakha
10
Punakha Valley to Paro, Chuzom and Tamchog Lhakhang
Retrace your steps back over the Dochu La pass for another chance to view the Himalayan mountain range. Returning to the Chuzom (the confluence of the rivers Wang Chhu and Paro Chhu), you can glimpse the three nearby shrines, built to ward off evil spirits, each with a different style of architecture: Nepali, Tibetan and Bhutanese. Time-permitting, there will be a visit to Tamchog Lhakhang, a temple built by Thangtong Gyalpo, a pioneering engineer who introduced the construction of suspension bridges into Bhutan and Tibet (several of which are still in use today). The final part of the drive to COMO Uma Paro is through apple orchards and rice paddies. Spend the rest of the day relaxing in the hotel’s calm setting, or try your hand at archery, Bhutan’s national sport. Duration: 3 to 4 hours (126km) Difficulty: Easy Overnight: COMO Uma Paro
11
Depart Bhutan
Your 10-minute transfer to Paro International Airport will be arranged according to your flight schedule.
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