Overview The Samtengang Winter Trek is a breathtaking adventure in Bhutan that offers a unique and mesmerizing experience amidst the snow-covered landscapes of the Himalayas. Spanning approximately 77 kilometers, this trek takes you through picturesque valleys, charming villages, and dense forests, showcasing the natural beauty of Bhutan in all its glory. The journey begins in Punakha, the former capital of Bhutan, where you'll visit the magnificent Punakha Dzong before embarking on the trek. As you venture into the wilderness, you'll be greeted by pristine snowscapes and panoramic views of snow-capped peaks that seem to touch the heavens. The trail winds…
The Samtengang Winter Trek is a breathtaking adventure in Bhutan that offers a unique and mesmerizing experience amidst the snow-covered landscapes of the Himalayas. Spanning approximately 77 kilometers, this trek takes you through picturesque valleys, charming villages, and dense forests, showcasing the natural beauty of Bhutan in all its glory.
The journey begins in Punakha, the former capital of Bhutan, where you’ll visit the magnificent Punakha Dzong before embarking on the trek. As you venture into the wilderness, you’ll be greeted by pristine snowscapes and panoramic views of snow-capped peaks that seem to touch the heavens.
The trail winds through remote villages like Limukha, Chungsakha, and Samtengang, allowing you to immerse yourself in the local culture and interact with friendly villagers. You’ll have the opportunity to witness the traditional way of life in Bhutan, as well as visit ancient monasteries and temples that dot the landscape.
One of the highlights of the trek is the overnight stay at the Tashila Pass, which stands at an altitude of 2,850 meters. Here, you can marvel at the starry night sky and wake up to a breathtaking sunrise over the mountains, creating a truly magical experience.
The trek is moderately challenging, with some steep ascents and descents, but the rewards are immeasurable. Each day brings new vistas, from frozen rivers to pristine forests, and encounters with the rich biodiversity of the region, including rare bird species and wildlife such as the elusive red panda.
The Samtengang Winter Trek is not only a physical adventure but also a spiritual journey. The tranquil surroundings and serene atmosphere provide ample opportunities for self-reflection and a deep connection with nature. It is a chance to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and find solace in the beauty of the Bhutanese Himalayas.
In conclusion, the Samtengang Winter Trek offers an unforgettable experience for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike. With its stunning landscapes, cultural encounters, and moments of tranquility, this trek is an opportunity to create memories that will last a lifetime.
Arrive Paro by the Bhutanese National Carrier flying over the world’s highest mountains and finally landing at the lush green Paro valley. A cool and clean fresh air greets the visitor as stepping down from the plane, the first gift of Bhutan. After clearing customs and visa formalities, meet the representatives and the Bhutanese guide, and a short tour brief by the guide then transfer to Paro town. Today is rest at Paro for better acclimatizing (rest at the hotel) or Paro town can also be explored during the evening. Overnight at Hotel.(Lunch/Dinner included)
After breakfast, drive towards Thimphu (the capital of Bhutan) which is about 1 & half hours drive. En-route Thimphu, one can do a short hike to Tamchog Monastery, a private temple owned by the descendents of famous Tibetan bridge – builder Thangthong Gaylpo. Later on continue the drive to Thimphu and visit Buddha point for a stunning view of Thimphu city and Takin Compound: One the way to the Viewpoint over Thimphu is the home of Bhutan’s national animal, the Takin, a strange looking beast which some say resembles a beestung moose. The Bhutanese have their own story to narrate about how the Takin was created by the Master Drukpa Kuenley (the divine madman).
In Thimphu visit Tashi Choe Dzong: The fortress of the glorious religion was initially constructed in 1641 and rebuilt by King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk in the 1960s. Visit the Folk Heritage Museum – a 300 year old traditional house converted into a museum. (Both open Mon-Fri). Brush shoulders with the everyday Bhutanese grocery shopping for local produce at the Centenary Farmers Market (Open Fri – Sun). Also see the new authentic craft bazaar (Close on Tue) of 80 stalls showcasing works by artisans from rural areas will showcase. Overnight at Hotel.(Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)
After breakfast, drive for about 3 hours to Punakha. Climb up the mountain road to Dochula La at 3140m. On clear weather, the pass commands a wonderful panorama of the Eastern Himalayas. From the pass, descend through varied forest and finally emerging into the highly cultivated valley of Punakha. Take a short hike through beautiful rice fields to Chimmi Lhakhang, a temple dedicated to Drukpa Kuenley, who as a favorite saint of the Bhutanese people is known affectionately as “the Divine Madman”. The temple is on a hillside in the middle of rice fields and has become a pilgrimage site for childless couples. Enjoy some tea and snacks at the end of hike while overlooking the fields. Afterwards, visit Punakha Dzong. Located at the confluence of the Pho-chu (male-river) and Mo-chu (female-river), the Punakha Dzong is arguably the most impressive dzong in the country. Overnight at Hotel.(Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)
Drive to Punakha Dzong (1250m) and the trek starts from here. It is a gradual climb through chir pine forest and paddy fields, this route is also used to go to the village of Shegana. Overnight at Camp. (Walking Duration: 4 hrs)(Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)
Today the trail goes through Rhododendron and oak forested area. En-route pass via famous Drukpa Kuenley’s temple. Overnight camp. (Walking time 5 hrs)(Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)
This day the trail goes through the villages of Sha, under Wagdue District. Overnight camp. (walking time 5 hrs)(Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)
The trail is downhill and the trek ends at Chumzomsa. From here it is a 20 minute drive to Wangdue. Afternoon at leisure or explore Wangdue town or Rinchengang village. Overnight at Hotel. (Walking time 5 hrs)(Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)
After breakfast, drive over the Chelela pass (3899 m). From the pass, good view of the Himalayan Ranges and the valley beyond can be spotted. Then continue the drive towards Haa. Haa is made up of five counties and was closed to outside world until 2002. There is a military camp by the Indian Army. In Haa valley, visit Wangchucklo Dzong dating back to 1915 and Lhakhang Nakpo (Black temple) is said to have been built by pigeon emanation of King Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century and Lhakhang Karpo (white temple). After the visit drive to Paro. Overnight at Hotel (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)
After breakfast drive towards the base camp of Taktsang for the hike up to the Taktsang Monastery-Tiger’s Nest. It’s about two hours hike up the cafeteria. From this point, enjoy the spectacular view of the monastery, where Guru Padmasambhava landed on the back of a tigress in 8th century. Then visit the Taktsang Monastery and hike back to the road point then drive to Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest and most sacred shrines in Bhutan. Afterwards, back to hotel. Overnight at Hotel (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)
After breakfast, drive to the Paro airport in time to catch the onward flight. Bid farewell to the remote and legendary Dragon Kingdom disappears again behind its guardian mountains.(Breakfast only included)
Airport pick-up and drop-off by private vehicle.
• 3-star accommodation (4 & 5 stars may require an additional premium).
• Bhutan visa fee – including all necessary processing
• Route Permit
• Three meals per day during your stay in Bhutan
• A licensed Bhutanese tour guide
• All land transportation by private vehicle
• Camping equipment and haulage for trekking tours
• Sightseeing as per itinerary
• Monuments entrance fees where applicable
• Drinking water
• All internal taxes and charges
• A sustainable development fee of $65. (This sustainable development fee goes towards free education, free healthcare, poverty alleviation, along with the building of infrastructure.)
Airfare & Travel Insurance
• Expenses of personal nature, Tips to guides and drivers
• Expenses occurred due to unavoidable events i.e. road wrecks, flight delays etc.
The Samtengang Winter Trek is a scenic and relatively easy trek that takes you through the picturesque landscapes of the Punakha and Wangdue Phodrang districts in Bhutan. This trek offers a unique opportunity to experience the beauty of Bhutan’s winter season while trekking through enchanting forests, charming villages, and serene valleys. Here’s an overview of the Samtengang Winter Trek.