10 days Gangtey Nature Trek

gangtey-nature-trek

Although the trek is possible throughout the winter, the best time for the Gangtey Nature Trek is between March-May and September-November. It is a short and relatively easy trek with several beautiful villages and monasteries en route.

The trail winds through forests of juniper, bamboo, magnolia and rhododendrons and over small streams of cold, clear mountain water. This trek is an excellent choice for those visitors not accustomed to trekking in the mountains as it offers beautiful views of the country with mostly gentle, forested slopes.

Day 1: PARO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT - PARO (L/D)

Upon arrival at Paro International airport, you will be met by your guide from Bhutan-Bhutan Travel. In the afternoon, you will have an opportunity to explore the beautiful town of Paro.

Dinner and overnight at your hotel in Paro.

Day 2: TAKTSANG MONASTERY OR TIGER’S NEST (B/L/D)

After breakfast, we will drive you to the trail head to commence a climb through beautiful pine forest. We will stop for light refreshments at the Taktsang cafeteria before walking on to the famous, Taktsang monastery or Tiger’s Nest. The primary Lhakhang or main temple was built around Guru Rimpoche’s meditation cave in 1684 by the Penlop of Paro, Gyalse Tenzin Rabgay. This incredible monastery clings to the edge of a sheer rock cliff that plunges 900m into the valley below. Legend has it that Guru Padmasambhava, the tantric mystic who brought Buddhism to Bhutan in 747 AD, flew here on the back of a flying tiger, Dorji Drolo from Kurtoe Singye Dzong in the east.

After lunch, we will visit Drugyal Dzong (a ruined fortress), 16km away from Paro. Although it is now in ruins, this dzong has great historical importance for the people of Bhutan. It was a place where the Bhutanese finally defeated the Tibetan invasion. On a clear day one can view sacred Mt. Jhomolhari (mountain of Goddess). We will also visit Ta Dzong (built in 1656 and renovated in 1968), an ancient watchtower, which now houses the National Museum. Below the museum is the Rinpung Dzong (literally meaning “Heap of Jewels”), the centre of civil and religious authority in this valley, built in 1646 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal.

Dinner and overnight at your hotel in Paro.

Day 3: PARO – THIMPHU (B/L/D)

A drive along the winding road by the Paro Chu (Chu means water or river) downstream to the confluence with the Wang Chu, then turn upstream and travel along the Wang Chu to Thimphu, Bhutan’s scenically located capital city. Lunch will be served at your hotel. In the afternoon, you will visit the Memorial Chorten, dedicated to the late Third King of Bhutan, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck.

In the evening, visit the Tashichho Dzong, seat of the national government and the Central Monastic Body which includes the summer residence of the Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot of Bhutan).

Dinner and overnight at your hotel in Thimphu.

Day 4: THIMPHU – PUNAKHA (B/L/D)

Today, drive to Punakha via the Dochula Pass (3150m). On the way stop to see the spectacular array of chortens, to enjoy the superb view over the snow capped Himalayan mountains and also to the Gasa Dzong at a distance if the weather is clear.

Your journey then continues through varying scenes of greenery all the way to Punakha. Visit Punakha Dzong. The impressive Punakha Dzong lies between two great rivers. The names of the rivers are Pho Chu (Male River) and Mo Chu (Female River). This Dzong serves as the winter residence for the Je Khenpo, Chief Abbot of the Central Monastic Body and also the office of the district Administration.

Dinner and overnight at your hotel in Punakha.

Day 5: PUNAKHA – GANGTEY (B/L/D)

After early breakfast, drive about 7km from Punakha town and after crossing the suspension bridge over the Mochu River, it wil take approximately a 30-45 minute to walk to the Khamsum Yuelley Namgyel Chorten (Stupa) which is perched on a strategic ridge overlooking the nearby villages under Kabisa geog. It was built under the sponsorship of Her Majesty the Queen Mother Ashi Tshering Yangden Wangchuck to remove evil forces and promote peace, stability and harmony throughout the world. As the first of its kind in the world to have been constructed, the details and the architectural designs were drawn from scriptures as visualized by Dudjom Lingpa.   Then drive to Gangtey.

After lunch, visit the Gangtey monastery. It is an important monastery of the Nyingmapa school of Buddhism, the main seat of the Pema Lingpa tradition.

Dinner and overnight at your hotel in Phobjikha.

Day 6: PHOBJIKHA – ZASA (Distance: 15km, 6-7hrs, 610m ascent, 410m descent, camp altitude 3130m) (B/L/D)

The three day trek starts near the village of Tabiting. The trail winds through meadows and fields and the climb takes you through a mixed forest of juniper, bamboo, magnolia and rhododendron to Tsele La (3430m). From here you descend into the Juge Kangkha Chhu valley. Further on, the path leads to Gogona, well known for its “Gogona Cheese” production. The campsite is a bit further on besides a small stream in a yak pasture called Zasa.

Dinner and overnight camping at Zasa.

Day 7: ZASA – CHORTEN KARPO (Distance: 16km, 5-7hrs, 450m ascent, 860m descent, camp altitude 3330m) (B/L/D)

A gentle climb leads to Shobe La pass (3480m). The descent from the pass leads to a wide valley, surrounded by beautiful mountain ranges. Below the route one can see Khotokha, a village with about 60 houses. You finally reach the campsite by climbing gently up till you see four chortens in a forest of blue pines.

Dinner and overnight camping by the lake at Chorten Karpo.

Day 8: CHORTEN KARPO – TIKKE ZAMPA (Distance: 12km, 4-5hrs, 120m ascent, 1340m descent) – THIMPHU (B/L/D)

From the camp you climb till you reach a forest road. From here it’s an easy walk up to a little ridge at 2800m. The walk down back into the valley leads you through Bhutan’s best bird watching areas. Drive through to Thimphu.

Farewell dinner with traditional dance and overnight at your hotel in Thimphu.

Day 9: THIMPHU – SIGHTSEEING – PARO (B/L/D)

After breakfast, we will drive to Dodeyna to climb through a beautiful forest track to the Tango Monastery which overlooks a forested valley and other Buddhist retreats high in the mountains. Then we will visit the mini zoo at Motithang to see the Takin, Bhutan’s national animal. If you wish we can then visit the Handicrafts Emporium followed by shopping for souvenirs and other items in the shops of Thimphu. In the evening, we will drive through to Paro.

Dinner and overnight at your hotel in Paro.

Day 10: PARO – PARO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (B)

In the morning drive to Paro International Airport where your guide will accompany you to bid you farewell.

Cost Information

Peak-Season (Mar, Apr May, Sep, Oct and Nov)
Number of days: 10 days (3 days trekking & 7 days cultural sightseeing)
Price:
US$ 3,300 single per person
US$ 2,900 twin/double per person
US$ 2,640 triple per person

Trekking Dates

Any date on a private basis