Jhamsikhel, Lalitpur Kathmandu, Nepal
US Office: 35 Evergreen Lane Middlebury VT 05753
The Bumthang Cultural Trek explores the highlights of the Bumthang valley, the religious heartland of Bhutan, and home to some of its oldest Buddhist temples and monasteries. This gentle three-day trek passes through several villages on its route through Bumthang’s countryside of meadows, blue pine forests and mountains of scrub bamboo. It is perfect for the average trekker who wants to enjoy breathtaking mountainous views, visit remote sacred sites and meet with locals. It is especially recommended for lovers of nature. This trek also features a cultural tour through the beautiful western valleys of Paro, Thimphu and Punakha.
Season: This trek is recommended from April to May and then again from September to November. Please note that this trek is not recommended for December-March due to the cold weather.
Suggested arrival in Bangkok, free day in Bangkok, jetlag recovery
Fly Bangkok to Paro Bhutan. During the flight, you will see breathtaking views of Mount Everest, Kanchenjunga and other famous Himalayan peaks, including the sacred Mount Jhomolhari and Jitchu Drake in Bhutan. On arrival at Paro International Airport, you will be received by our representative. Paro sightseeing: Visit the 7th century Kyichu Monastery and Paro national museum.
In the morning drive to Drugyal Dzong, a ruined fortress outisde of Paro. With clear skies, sacred Mount Jholmohari can be seen, with the other snow peaks of western Bhutan. Visit a typical farmhouse and take an hour's walk to stretch your legs.
Drive along the winding road alongside the Paro Chu (Chu means water or river) to the confluence with the Wang Chu, then follow the Wang Chu to Thimphu, the Capital. After lunch visit the Memorial Chorten (dedicated to the Late Third King of Bhutan), Takins mini zoo (Takin is a rare and unique species and its the national animal of Bhutan), National Library, Traditional Painting School, traditional indigenous hospital, hand-made paper factory and visit to a traditional handicraft gift shop.
The journey to central Bhutan begins today. The drive to Trongsa takes about 7-8 hours from Thimphu. Packed lunch stop at Chendebji Chorten.
Drive for 2 and half hours to Jakar. Bumthang (the "Plain of Ghosts") is a land of myth and mystery and tales of the great Guru Padmasambhava who performed formidable feats and miracles here. Bumthang sightseeing: view of Jakar Dzong ("Castle of the white Bird"), Jambay Lhakhang (the monastery was built in the 7th century by the Tibetan King Songtsen Gambo), and visit Mebar Tso(the 'burning lake' from which Pema Lingpa retrieved sacred religious relics).
A day of walking around the valley, in preparation for trek. Visit the cheese and apple juice factories, and the model dairy farm.
Trek to Nganglhakhang, ~20 Km, 5-6 hrs journey. Camp ~2,900 m. Follow the Chankharchu river, into the ancient region of swans. A very pleasant day on trek.
Trek to Ugyenchholing , ~23 Km, 7-8 hrs journey. Camp ~2,800 m. Climb gradually to Phepela Pass, the trek high point of 3,353 meters. Through the forests, you may catch of Ugyenchholing Palace.
Trek to Jakar, ~10 Km, 3 hrs journey. This is a lovely, easy walk-out, a trout-filled river, the Tang Chu. Then return to Bumthang for day one of the Festival.
Full day at the festival.
Full day at the festival
Drive back to Trongsa. Casual sightseeing in Trongsa town after arrival, time permitting.
Drive to Thiumphu, natural beauty and a picnic lunch en-route.
Drive to Paro in the morning, then fly Paro to Bangkok and on home.