Highlights: This is an excellent choice for those with a tight schedule.A short 4 days trek crossing the chain of mountains which separates two district, Paro & Thimphu or vice versa. This is a classic walk along high, windy ridges, past ruined forts, which long ago guarded against Tibetan invasion. Although the route is sparsely inhabited there are wonderful lakes teeming with fish and the area is famous for its spectacular rhododendron forests which bloom in Spring. The views of the Himalayas can be seen in late autumn and winter.
Arrive Paro by Druk air BAe 146-100 series, the only national carrier. The flight offers you beautiful view of mountains and landscapes. On arrival and after visa formalities you will be received by ITT members. Afternoon / evening time at leisure. Overnight Kichu Resort.
Paro Sightseeing – visit the ruined fortress of Drugyel dzong which still attracts visitors due to the strategic location of the fort. The fort defended the Paro valley from the Tibetan invasion from the north in the early 17th century. On clear weather Mount Chomolhari 7320 meters can be seen towering over the dzong. Proceed through the beautiful valley to the watch tower or locally known as Ta-Dzong. It was housed into the National museum in the 1960s by the third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. The seven floors museum highlights various aspects of Bhutanese culture and history dating back to the 7th century. A short walk downhill to the Rinpung Dzong which serves as the administrative center and school for monks. Walk further down crossing the traditional bridge into Paro Town. Overnight Kichu Resort.
Day hike to Taktsang monastery. Horses can be arranged with an extra payment. The hike which is all the way uphill takes about 2 /3 hours through villages and pine forests. The monastery clings to a huge granite cliff 800 meters from the Paro valley. It is believed that the great saint Padmasambhava came in the 7th century on a flying tigress and meditated in a cave for 3 months. The demons were subdued who were trying to stop the spread of Buddhism and converted the Paro valley into Buddhism. During the end of the 17 century a monastery was built on the spot where the saint meditated and it is a pilgrimage site for every Bhutanese to visit once in their life time. Stroll back to Kichu Resort.
Trek starts to Jele Dzong. Today is rather a short trekking day so you can relax and enjoy the scenic beauty of the Paro vally. The hike is gradually uphill through pine forest. Camp will be next to a Dzong which was renovated recently. There is very interesting stories about the Dzong. Camp at 3100 meters. Walking time 4/5 hours.
Jele dzong to Jangchulakha. Today the trek begins uphill through huge rhododendron trees. You may encounter yak herders during the winter season. Camp at 3650 meters. Walking time 3/4 hours.
Jangchulakha to Jigmelangtsho. The trail follows the ridge and on clear weather you will have perfect view of the mountains. The path descends for sometime and camp will be near the lake at 3600 meters. The lake is filled with giant salmon trouts. Walking time 5/6 hours.
Jigmelangtsho to Phajoding. The trail takes you through dwarf rhododendron shrubs passing two lakes. After passing the second lake ascend gradually. From the top you can enjoy the majestic view of Mt. Gangkar Punsum, 7520 meters, highest mountain in Bhutan. then gradually straight for one and half hour till the steep descend to Phajoding camp at 3500 meters. At night you can see Thimphu city glittering in a bowl shaped valley. Walking time 6/7 hours.
Phajoding to Thimphu. Today is the easiest day of trekking. Three hours all the way down hill through pine forest. Upon reaching Motithang, ITT coach will drive you to your Hotel. If you are not too tired commence sightseeing. Overnight Hotel at 2320 meters.
AM visit the Painting school, National library, Royal goldsmith workshop and Handicraft centers. PM drive 3 hours to Wangduephodrang crossing the Dochula pass 3100 meters. On fine weather you will see the eastern Himalayan ranges including the highest mountain in Bhutan Mt.Gangar Punsum 7520 meters. The drive from the pass is all the way downhill dropping to the lower and warmer valleys of lobesa. Visit the Wangduephodrang Dzong from outside and the market area. Overnight at Wangdi Kichu Resort.
AM drive 45 minutes to Punakha and visit the Punakha Dzong which served as an old capital of Bhutan. This remarkable fortress is built between two rivers and has survived many glacial floods and fire. Every year during the month of February a procession known as the Punakha Serda takes place to commemorate the victory over the Tibetans. Proceed to Thimphu. PM drive back to Paro. Overnight Kichu resort.
Transfer to airport for departure.