Bhutan Hiking and Camping Tour is an adventure where culture and religion bond with nature in an exhilarating 7-day trip. The entire tour encircles around the Paro and Haa Valley. Leading through rhododendron and pine-clad forests, the hike takes you to high passes with views of snowcapped mountains and rolling hills. The ancient monasteries and temples built on high hills and cliffs show that Buddhism is ingrained with nature in the Land of Thunder Dragon.
Sightseeing hikes begin on the first and second day, while the third and fourth day starts with a hike and ends in camping. The fifth day begins with a hike and then ends in a long drive. After which day, six takes you on a short tour and ends on the seventh day with a flight back home.
Throughout the hiking and camping tour in Bhutan, you will visit amazing monasteries and temples that depict the culture and beliefs. Some of the monasteries, chortens, and temples that you get to visit are Rinpung, Tiger’s Nest Monastery, Buddha Dordenma, King’s Memorial Chorten, and Tashichho Dzong. Apart from the cultural integration, the package also offers a view of Mt. Jumolhari and Jhichu Drake from the high passes like Chele La pass, Kung Karpo, and Sagala pass. In essence, Bhutan has a lot to offer in terms of natural beauty and cultural integration through day hiking and camping.
|Day 1||Arrival in Paro and sightseeing tour|
|Day 2||Acclimatization and Sightseeing hike to Tiger’s Nest Monastery (11km, 5 to 6 hours, Camp Altitude: 3,180m/10,433ft)|
|Day 3||Drive from Paro to Haa Valley via Chele La pass (63km, 2 to 3 hour) then hike to Sagala (6 Km, 3 to 4 hours, Ascent 450m, Camp altitude: 3,150m/10,334ft)|
|Day 4||Hike to Ningula and Camping (9 Km, 6 hours, 700m Ascent, Camp altitude: 3,850m/12,631ft)|
|Day 5||Hike from Nigula to Chele La (11 Km, 6 hours, 500m Ascent, 360 Descent) and drive to Thimphu (77km, 2 to 3 hours)|
|Day 6||Sightseeing tour in Thimphu|
|Day 7||Drive from Thimphu to Paro for final departure (47 km, 2 hours)|
Bhutan Hiking and Camping Tour offer beauty and variety in the unique landscape of Bhutan. The day hikes are short but take you to the most wonderful architectural and cultural icons. From the cultural tour in Paro to the hike in Haa Valley, this tour package entails all. The camping adventure in the highest pass of the trip, Sagala La pass at 3,150m/10,334ft, offers views of the entire Haa valley and the river flowing below. All in all, the perfect trip girdles around the natural beauty of the valley and mountains.
The trip begins with a visit to the monasteries situated In Paro. The visit to one of the largest monasteries in Bhutan, Rinpung Dzong, offers you a sight of the ancient architecture built in the 15th century by the Drukpa Lineage. On the same day, you visit the Kichu Lakhang monastery located in Lango Gewong. You are offered the opportunity to visit one of the oldest Jowo Temple.
The next day, you will visit the Tiger’s Nest Monastery, which is known to have been visited by the spiritual leader, Guru Rimpoche, flying on a Tiger’s back. Thulo Phuk and Pel Phuk are the main caves of spiritual importance, along with the views of the four major temples. The serene setting on the rocky cliffs gives a spiritual ambiance. After visiting the cultural representation of Bhutan, you will head back to your hotel and prepare for the next day's hike.
The next day’s comprehensive tour takes you from the valley town of Paro to Chele La pass at the elevation of 3,988m through the Bondey-Haa Highway. After the mesmeric views of Mt. Jumolhari, you will begin the hike towards Sagala pass camp. From the camp, you get offered the views of Haa valley on one end and Paro valley on the other end.
On this day, you begin your hike from Sagala Pass camp to Ningula. It is one of the more stimulating days as you get offered the views of Mt. Jumolhari and Jhichu Drake. The views of Haa Valley can be seen through the rhododendron-clad forest. Camping at Ningula is a unique experience with views of majestic mountains, hills, and valleys.
The next day's hike takes you to Chele La pass from Ningula. The hike takes you across the Kung Karpo pass to Haa Valley. Through rhododendron forest and snow-capped mountains, you reach Kung Karpo pass at an elevation of 4,100m. Along the Chele La pass, and you see the prayer flags and the boundless scenery of mountains. From Chele La, a drive takes you to Thimphu.
Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan, is the economic and administrative center. You can opt to visit the King’s Memorial Chorten located in the Doeboom Lam built in 1974 in memory of the Third Druk Gyalpo. You may also go to the nearby paper factory and Tashiccho Dzong for sightseeing. Tashiccho sits on the bank of Wang Chhu and serves as a throne room and office of the King. The ancient artifacts, equipment, and tools in the Folk Heritage Museum and the visit to the huge Buddha Dordenma statue are other tourist attractions worth visiting in Thimphu.
The Bhutan Hiking and Camping Tour concludes after your sightseeing tour in Thimphu. On the next day, you will be driven to the Paro International Airport for a departure flight homewards.
This day marks your arrival in the valley town of Paro, Bhutan. You will experience the thrill of flying close to the hills as your flight begins landing at the Paro International Airport. The mountains on the horizon sit silently facing the valley. Our Bhutanese guide from Third Rock Adventure will greet you and transfer you to your hotel upon your landing.
After having some refreshment, you will begin your day tour today itself. For your first sightseeing tour in Bhutan, you will visit the Rinpung Dzong. The dzong is situated very close to your stay. After crossing a well-known wooden bridge, you will get to the monastery. Rinpung is translated to ‘fortress of the heaps of jewels,’ and indeed it is. The monastery's exterior is colored red and white like any other dzong, but its structure is gigantic. With huge windows and elaborate wooden carvings, it is a sight to sore eyes. Built in the 15th century by the Drukpa Lineage of the Kagyu sect, it currently serves as a religious and administrative body for the government of Bhutan.
Bhutan gets even more exciting as you go to visit Kichu Lhakhang. Kichu monastery is situated in Lango Gewong and houses one of the oldest Buddhist temples in Bhutan, Jowo Temple; and It was built by Songtsen Gampo, a Tibetan Emperor, in the 7th century. The religious belief is that the spiritual leader, Guru Rimpoche, concealed many spiritual treasures here. After the enjoyable trip, you'll head back to your hotel.
Overnight at a hotel in Paro.
Tiger’s Nest Monastery is perhaps the most talked about and the fascinating cultural icon in the Land of Thunder Dragon. After having breakfast, you will head on for a hike to Tiger’s Nest monastery, also known locally as Paro Taktsang. The monastery is situated on the edge of a high cliff just 900m/2,952ft above the valley of Paro. The Tiger’s Nest claims its name from the religious belief that Guru Rimpoche/ Padmasambhava flew on a Tiger’s back and came to these caves to practice meditation for three months. Guru Rimpoche is a spiritual leader of Bhutan who is credited for introducing Vajrayana Buddhism to Bhutan.
There are many areas in the monastery that you can take the time to observe. The two most important caves in the monastery are Thulo Phuk, where Guru Rimpoche landed on a Tiger’s back, and Pel Phuk cave, where he meditated for months. All around the cave, you will find ancient paintings depicting Buddhism and Buddhist deities. There are particularly four major temples and residential shelters that you can visit. You can excurse from one building to the other walking through a rocky stairway. The Paro valley is seen from the balcony of the buildings. The view of that height is phenomenal. You can see the butter lamps being lit by the monks as worship for the Buddhist deities’ idols.
The serenity and peaceful setting take you to a spiritual place. You can even meditate for a while before heading back. After enjoying the day, head back to Paro and relish the streets in the evening.
Overnight stay at a hotel in Paro.
Marked as one of the relatively tough days throughout the hiking tour, you will hike and camp at Sagala pass on this day. After having breakfast early in the morning, you will take an hour's drive to Chele La pass. The views of mountains will get vibrant as you head above. The Chele La pass at the elevation of 3,988m/13,083ft is the highest point that your vehicle can cross a pass. In the winter, you may witness some difficulty due to snow. However, the driver is well trained and accustomed to this route. The pass offers a mesmeric view of the majestic Mt. Jumolhari. From there on, you will continue the second half of your drive to reach the Haa Valley through the Bondey-Haa Highway.
Haa valley is situated in the west of the country and is also known as the hidden Land Rice Valley due to the high production of Rice. You will meet your hiking crew and begin your hike on the unpaved motor road. You keep to the left side of the villages and then take the footpath trail on the right side of the village. After a gradual climb, you will reach the Yak headers camp. These camps show a rural setting of Bhutan. From there on, you will see two trails. The left trail takes you to the summer yak herders camp towards the border of China. You will take the right-side trail, which leads you to the final climb below Sagala pass.
The Sagala pass camp sitting at an elevation of 3,150m/10,334ft gives off a view of Mt. Jumolhari and Paro on one end and Haa valley on the other end. It is one of the finest days on the trip as you get to experience camping on such heights.
Overnight stay at camp in Sagala Pass camp.
This day is one of the most exhilarating hiking days on the tour as you head to Nigula. It will take a 30 minutes hike from your camp to reach the Sagala pass viewpoint at an elevation of 3,350m. You will not just get views of Jumolhari on this day, but Jhichu Drake as well.
From the Sagala pass, you will continue your hike towards the right side of the trail. You will walk through a trail of rhododendron to reach the top of the ridge. From there, you can get amazing views of Haa Valley and the river flowing in between. You will pass through the Hemlock, and Juniper forest through some ascends and descends to reach the Ningula camp. Ningula offers a twist of views of majestic mountains, high progressing hills, and the Haa valley.
Overnight stay at camp in Ningula.
You will head back to Chele La pass via Kung Karpo pass towards Haa Valley and then Thimphu on this day. Beginning your day with a hefty breakfast, you will move downhill for a couple of minutes through a meadow. From the rhododendron-clad forest, you will move uphill. You find stone landmarks on the way to the Kung Karpo Pass. These landmarks represent the sky burials that were once conducted here. The pass is sited at an elevation of 4,100m/13,451ft, the highest point on this hike. Snow-capped mountains and Haa valley will be seen in full glory from this point. You can also see the Kila Goempa Nunnery below, the oldest in Bhutan built in the 9th century. It is a meditation center for nuns who live amidst the calm of nature and indulge in spiritual practices.
You continue your walk downwards to a ridge where the trail is adorned with rhododendron. You will see the prayer flags along the way to Chele La pass and revisit the same scenery, but during the day, Mt. Jumolhari shines on a sunny day. At Chele La, the crew will be waiting to drive you to Thimphu. You will pass through the same road with huge pine trees on the sides. After reaching your hotel in Thimphu, you can take a stroll around the evening market.
Overnight stay at a hotel in Thimphu.
After the exciting hiking and camping tour in the Paro and Haa Valley, you will extend the trip on this day by sightseeing around the capital city of Bhutan, Thimphu. After having a traditional breakfast, you will begin your journey to the tourist attraction, King’s Memorial Chorten. Located in the Doeboom Lam in Thimphu, the Chorten was built in 1974 in memory of the Third Druk Gyalpo. It is known to depict world peace.
You can also visit the Buddha Dordenma statue located in Kuenselphodrang. It is an architectural wonder spanning over 54m/177 ft tall and made of bronze. The statue that was built in the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the fourth king of Bhutan is dedicated to bringing peace and prosperity to the world. The statue also houses one hundred small bronze statues of Buddha. The Folk Heritage Museum is another marvel that is worth the visit. You can find ancient artifacts, equipment, tools, and articles displaying Bhutanese culture and tradition.
To watch the economic activities of Bhutan, you may visit the nearby paper factory. Tashichho Dzong is another option for sightseeing on this day. It is situated on the banks of Wang Chhu and serves as a throne room and office of the king. Since 1968, It has housed the administration of the Bhutanese government. After the feast to your eyes, you can head back to your hotel in the evening. On the way back, you can buy some souvenirs being sold by the Bhutanese locals.
Overnight stay at a hotel in Thimphu.
You will bid farewell to the lovely city of Thimphu and all the places that you visited on your hiking and camping tour in Bhutan. Our representatives from Third Rock Adventures will drop you off at the Paro international airport for your flight back home.
The hiking tours to Tiger’s Nest monastery, Chele La pass, Segala pass, and Nigula, as well as the visits to Rinpung Dzong, King’s Memorial Chorten, Tashichho Dzong, will cross your mind as you head to the plane.
After the wonderful tour to the mystic and naturally abundant country, Bhutan, we hope you will visit again for a similar traveling experience. If you want to go on an inclusive culture and nature-bound tour, you can visit the neighboring countries, Nepal and India, with us.