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Dagala Thousand Lakes Trek is an exclusive trek in the unspoiled Land of Dragon, Bhutan, offering many lakes and mountain vistas. This 8-day Dagala Bhutan trek not just offers tranquility amidst the natural landscape but opens up to ancient monasteries and temples, giving light to the Buddhist culture. While there aren't 1000s of lakes in the trek as the name suggests, it has come metaphorically from all the mythical stories of how the place once consisted of thousands of lakes. The high mountain lakes like Utsho Tsho, Relitsho, Setsho, Hentsho, and Jagetsho lakes at Labatama are enough to entice you.  

During most of the seasons on this trek, you will get the mountains, hills, and lakes all to yourself as the trail has very few or no tourists. You reach altitudes above 4,000m/13,123ft and might have to catch your breath once a while as you take a sharp and steep descend and ascends. The entire experience of visiting the pristine nature that the Bhutanese so dearly wish to preserve is a humbling experience.

This trek throws you into the arms of nature and blesses you will sight, unlike any place you have seen. From some of the highest mountain ranges to the Dzongs built late in the 15th and 17th centuries, you get the uncut beauty of Bhutan. No other experience can compare to the feeling of being disconnected from the materialistic and commercial world, then walking through remote locations with the views of the Himalayas in the backdrop. If you love to go on unique treks and, most often unbeaten, virgin track, this is the trek for you.  

Trip Highlights

  • Trek begins from Genekha village and concludes at the Chamgang village.
  • Visit the ancient Rinpung Dzong, the largest Buddhist monastery built in the 15th century at the Drukpa Lineage of the Kagyu school.
  • Marvel at the ancient architecture of Kichu Lakhang, a Buddhist temple in Lango Gewog.
  • Get the most iconic pictures clicked at Tiger's Nest Monastery in Paro, a 17th-century masterpiece and the most famous monastery among tourists and Buddhist pilgrims alike.
  • Genekha village is perhaps best known for producing matsutake and chantarelle mushrooms.
  • Walk through the lush green forest of Juniper, Birch, adorned with rhododendron meadows amidst wildflowers and Himalayan Blue Poppy.
  • Observe the panoramic view of Mt. Kanchenjunga, one of the highest in the world, after a tiring trek to the Paga Labsta pass at 4,250m/13,943ft elevation.
  • Observe the majestic Dagala mountain range as you leave from Panka.
  • Get to camp beside the turquoise Utsho Tsho lake at an elevation of 4,300m and explore the lakes like Relitsho, Setsho, Hentsho, and Jagetsho Lakes at Labatama.
  • Enjoy the panoramic views of the high-standing mountains like Mt. Everest, Mt. Kanchenjunga, Mt. Jumolhari, Mt. Jichu Drake, MT. Tshering Gang, Mt. Tsende Gang, Mt. Gangche Ta, Mt. Khangbum, and Mt. Masang Gang from the Dala Tsho lakeside sit at an altitude of 4,520m/14,829ft.
  • Visit the 15th century built Talakha Goempa at 3,080m/10,104ft on Chamganag from Panka. 

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights
Day 1 Arrival at Paro
Day 2 Hike to Tiger's Nest Monastery hike and transfer to Thimphu – 5 km, 4 to 5 hours
Day 3 Trek from Genekha to Gur (3290m/10,793ft) – 7 km, 5 hours
Day 4 Trek from Gur to Labatama (4,300m/14,107ft) – 12 km, 6 hours
Day 5 Explore and Acclimatization at Labatama
Day 6 Trek from Labatama to Panka (4,000m/13,123ft) – 8km, 5 to 6 hours
Day 7 Trek from Panka to Chamgang and drive to Thimphu – 14km, 8 hours
Day 8 Drive from Thimphu to Paro and Final Departure


Trip Overview

Dagala Thousand Lakes Trek is known best for the views of mesmerizing lakes in Bhutan at a high altitude, as the name suggests. The trek takes you to an off-beat unspoiled track into the remote settings of Bhutan. Lakes, better known as 'tsho' in the local language, are the Dangala tsho trek's biggest highlight. You get to camp near Usho Tsho and visit others like Relitsho, Setsho, Hentsho, and Jagetsho Lakes. The whimsical short trek bombards you with views of some of the highest mountains like Mt. Everest, Mt, Kanchenjunga, Mt. Jichu Drake, MT. Tshering Gang, Mt. Tsende Gang, Mt. Gangche Ta, Mt. Khangbum and Mt. Masang Gang, and more. Perhaps the raw natural beauty of Bhutan is what makes this trek special.

The moderate short trek begins in Paro's valley town as you enter Bhutan through its only international airport, situated here in Paro. Even as you enter Paro, the country's natural beauty gives off a welcoming vibe with a view of mountain ranges on a clear day. At Paro, you will visit Rinpung Dzong, a Buddhist monastery, and Kichu Lakhang, a Buddhist temple. Both the monuments are noteworthy for their ancient architecture.

Then a hike to the most famous landmark of Bhutan, Tiger's Nest Monastery, sitting on the edge of a high cliff, will familiarize you with the Buddhist beliefs and the legend of Guru Rimpoche, the spiritual master of Bhutan. The 17th-century masterpiece houses four main temples and eight caves and a nearby shrine, prayer wheel, and holy cave temple, Phaphug Lakhang, being the most noteworthy.

Trek starts from the third day early in the morning after a drive to Genekha village, which is popular for producing mushrooms of a particular breed. Trek through picturesque terrace farmlands to the coniferous trees and alpine flora transitions you seamlessly to Gur campsite. The valley along this route looks spectacular.

On the fourth day, the route passes through a high ridge and into a rugged landscape. Despite the harsh land, you can spot wildflowers and asparagus growing along the way. One of the challenging parts is to cross the Paga Labsta pass at an altitude of 4,250m/13,943ft. All the tiredness is washed away when Mt. Kanchenjunga is spotted, and the Dagala mountain range a short descend from there. Entering the Labatama valley is like a blessing as you get offered many yak herder huts, mountains, and most importantly, the turquoise lake Utsho Tsho/Gewa Tsho, famous for its huge number of golden trout fishes.

One cannot get enough of Labatama as it is the main highlight of the trek. Hence, you stay a day more to explore and enjoy. You can view a series of lakes like Relitsho, Setsho, Hentsho, and Jagetsho. These blue/green lakes are known to have a high number of trout fishers. The views of the serene high-altitude mountain lakes make the entire trek exciting. Even as you depart from Labatama next on the trek, you climb to the western front of Dala Tsho lake at an altitude of 4,520m/14,829ft and observe views of mountains unlike ever. Mountains bordering Nepal and China like Mt. Everest and Nepal and India like Mt. Kanchenjunga are seen partly from the viewpoint. Other mountains in Bhutan like Mt. Jichu Drake, Mt. Tsering Gang, Mt. Gangche Ta, Mt. Khangbum, Mt. Masang Gang, and one of the highest Mt. Jumolhari are seen. Following the Doccha Chhu river on the way will lead to Panka.

The next day's trail running from Panka to Chamgang presents you with the national flower of Bhutan, the Himalayan Blue Poppy that can be found adorned in the side of the path. After climbing the Tale La pass at 4,180m/13,713ft, you observe the Dagala mountain range's panoramic views. Through a forest of birch, juniper, spruce, and the enticing rhododendron, the trail takes you to Talakha Goempa, which was built in the 15th century. A drive from Chamgang takes you to the capital city of Bhutan, Thimpu. After enjoying your evening stroll in the streets of Thimphu, you head towards the Paro international airport for your final departure on the next day.

Route Map

Dagala Thousand Lakes Trek Route Map Dagala Thousand Lakes Trek Map

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival at Paro

The flight to Bhutan lands at the Paro International Airport, the only international airport in Bhutan. As you look out the window of your plane, you will see the high-standing mountains on the far horizon with green hills sitting below them. Upon your arrival, you will be greeted by our Bhutanese guide at Third Rock Adventures. After being driven to your hotel for the stay, you will be briefed about the entire trek by your guide. 

Your stay at Paro can be made special by visiting the nearby landmarks famous to the valley. In the afternoon, you can visit the Rinpung Dzong. It is a large Buddhist monastery that was once a fortress to the Drukpa Lineage of the Kagyu school, built in the 15th century. Rinpung has been inducted into Bhutan's Tentative List for UNESCO inclusion. From there, you will pass a traditional wooden bridge and towards Kichu Lhakhang.

Kichu Lakhang is a beautiful Buddhist temple in Lango Gewog with ancient architecture. After the interesting tour, you will take a stroll in the street of Paro, which is filled with ancient architectural buildings on the side.

Overnight stay at a hotel in Paro.

Day 2: Hike to Tiger's Nest Monastery hike and transfer to Thimphu – 5 km, 4 to 5 hours

Tiger's Nest Monastery, Bhutan Tiger's Nest Monastery, Bhutan

After having breakfast, you will prepare for one of the most exciting sightseeing hikes in Bhutan. The Tiger's Nest Monastery, known locally as Paro Taktsang or Taktsang Palphug Monastery, is one of the thirteen caves where Guru Rimpoche meditated and practiced Vajrayana. Guru Rimpoche is a legendary tantric who, as per myth, flew on the back of a Tigress and identified this place for meditation for about three months. Guru Rimpoche is perhaps the most followed spiritual leader in Bhutan.

Tiger's Nest in Paro was built in the 17th century by Gyalse Tenzin Rabgye and has become a pilgrimage for Buddhist pilgrims. There are four main temples and eight caves. The ambiance of the monastery is amplified by the lush trees on the sides of the cliff. There is a nearby shrine and a prayer wheel, and further above it is Phaphug Lakhang, a holy cave temple. After returning from the wonderful tour, you will take a drive towards Thimphu.

Stay overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.

Day 3: Trek from Genekha to Gur (3290m/10,793ft) – 7 km, 5 hours

Today is the first day of your trek which will start early in the morning after taking a drive from your hotel to Genekha Village which takes about 45 minutes. Genekha village is perhaps best known for producing matsutake and chantarelle mushrooms. 

You begin your trek with a short descends to the river. The trail runs through terraced fields and coniferous trees and other alpine flora. From there on, you will start with a climb after crossing the river. You will keep up the walk until you reach a rock platform. You will instantly spot a spectacular view of the valley. Two hours from there you will reach Gur (3290m). Gur is a wide area of yak pastures. After a short walk you reach your campsite amidst an abundance of wildflowers.

Stay overnight at camp in Gur. 

Day 4: Trek from Gur to Labatama (4,300m/14,107ft) – 12 km, 6 hours

Today you will begin the trek by following a trail across the high ridges. Amidst the rough and rugged landscape, you can observe the vegetation unique to Bhutan. In the spring, the best season for Dagala Thousand Lakes Trek, the wildflowers and asparagus along the way can be spotted. The rhododendron-adorned meadows are a feast to the sore eyes. A huge milestone marks the first mountain pass you cross. The Paga Labsta pass is situated at an altitude of 4,250m/13,943ft. Views of Mt. Kanchenjunga are seen from the pass. 

Amplifying the experience, you will start to descend from the pass and see the entire Dagala mountain range. Along the way, you will pass by meadows and the yak herders camps. You will descend to the Labatama valley and then climb gradually. After passing through some yak herder huts, you will arrive at Utsho Tsho Lake. Utsho Tsho is also known as 'Gewa Tsho,' which translates to Turquoise Lake in English. The lake sits at an elevation of 4300m/14,107ft and is famous for the abundance of Golden Trout fishes. You are lucky enough to have your campsite just beside the lake. 

Stay overnight at camp in Labatama. 

Day 5: Explore and Acclimatization at Labatama

Labatama Bhutan Campsite at Labatama Bhutan Photo: olgatakespiccies/Flickr

The main essence of the Dagala Thousand Lakes Trek is the lakes found in Labatama. Dagala Thousand Lakes trek itinerary segregates this day to explore the nearby lakes and acclimatize against the change in altitude. On this day, you will visit a series of nearby lakes like Relitsho, Setsho, Hentsho, and Jagetsho Lakes and can engage in some trout fishing as well. These lakes are known best to have a high population of Trout fishes. Enjoy the serenity of the lakes that sit nestled between high green hills. 

You will have your lunch by the lakeside while enjoying the views as well as the amazing myths about the lakes that your trekking guide will share. The chill of the wind will freshen you up, and all the tiredness from the trek will blow away as your eyes feast upon the wonderous lakes. You will return to your campsite just before dusk and prepare for the next day's trek. 

Stay overnight at camp in Labatama. 

Day 6: Trek from Labatama to Panka (4,000m/13,123ft) – 8km, 5 to 6 hours

On this day, you will be offered the next major highlight of the trek – the high-standing surrounding mountains. Today the trek begins after breakfast with a climb along the western side of Dala Tsho lake, which sits at an altitude of 4520m/14,829ft. From this altitude, the views seen will mesmerize you and leave you wishing for more travel time in Bhutan. A handful number of peaks can be seen in this area. Mt. Everest situated in Nepal, is also seen, perhaps the best panoramic view. Parts of Mt. Kanchenjunga, situated partly in Sikkim and partly in Nepal, comes to view. Other mountains in Bhutan like Mt. Jumolhari, Mt. Jichu Drake, Mt. Tshering Gang, Mt. Tsende Gang, Mt. Gangche Ta, Mt. Khangbum, and Mt. Masang Gang are visible. 

You can climb up to an altitude of 4,720m/15,485ft for a better view of these mountains. From there, you will take a descend and eventually pass through some Yak herder huts towards Doccha Chhu river. During the winter season, the locals will have left their huts to avoid the harsh cold weather. You will stay high up on the slope while following the river until you reach Panka (4000m/13,123ft). Mind to it that there are a few ascends and descends on the way. Upon reaching your campsite, you will rest and stay there for the night. 

Stay overnight at camp in Panka. 

Day 7: Trek from Panka to Chamgang and drive to Thimphu – 14km, 8 hours

Today will be the last day of the trek as you head from Panka to Chamgang. Along the way, you will be crossing many passes, and the views of each of these passes are worth the pain in your muscles.

You will come across a different variety of Blue poppy, the Himalayan Blue poppy being the national flower of Bhutan. This species of flower named Meconopsis survives even in the most extreme freezing weather conditions. 

You will have lunch at the point where the trail branches out and leads to two destinations; Talakha and Wangduephodrang. You will then continue your trek by taking a climb into the last pass of the trek, Tale La, at an elevation of 4,180m/13,713ft. The views of the Dagala range and the modern city of Thimphu can be seen. After taking in the spectacular views, you will lead through a forest of birch, juniper, spruce, and rhododendron to Talakha Goempa. It is situated at an altitude of 3080m/10,104ft and was built in the 15th century. It is a unique ancient structure made between green highlands. From there on, you will walk through an apple orchard and into the village of Chamgang. You will be driven to Thimphu from here and transferred to your hotel. 

After having some refreshment, you can stroll around the streets of Thimphu, which are adorned with modern and ancient buildings. You can buy some souvenirs to take back home and also promote their local products. You can also opt to enjoy the evening with some newfound friends you have made in Bhutan throughout the trek.

Overnight stay at a hotel in Thimphu. 

Day 8: Drive from Thimphu to Paro and Final Departure

Early in the morning, you will pack up your belonging after gathering some amazing memories of this trek and bid farewell to Thimphu. Our coordinates will drive you to Paro International Airport. At the airport, our Bhutanese guide at Third Rock Adventures will bid you a farewell. As you board the plane, your memory will be flooded by the views of the lakes at Labatama, the snowcapped peaks, even the tough terrain adorned with wildflowers, and the architectural beauty of Dzongs. 

After the wonderful Dagala Thousand Lakes trek with us, we hope that you will remember us for any other adventures in Bhutan and surrounding countries, Nepal and India, for a similar experience. 




Trip Reviews

Travel experiences of our clients who recently returned from their trips.
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Pete Butler
flagsUnited States of America
Oct 14, 2019
Amazing Experience
Dagala Thousand Lakes Trek proved to be the best adventure for me in Bhutan. Perfect itinerary at an affordable cost. I did not just explore mesmerizing lakes in Bhutan, but also some of the prominent places in Bhutan like Tiger nest monastery, Talakha Goempa, and many more. The stunning views of mountains like Mt. Everest, Mt. Kanchenjunga, Mt. Jumolhari, is the main highlight of the trek. SUPERB and amazing experience. Third Rock did a great job, highly recommended
Derrick Park
flagsUnited States of America
Oct 06, 2019
Lifetime Experience!
My best friend and I went to Bhutan to explore the unspoiled Land of Dragon, Bhutan. We explored the largest Buddhist monastery Rinpung Dzong, Tiger's Nest Monastery and Talakha Goempa. My night in Thimpu was the most memorable. We embraced the view of Mountains like Everest, Kanchenjunga, Masang Gang and others as well.. This trek is power-packed with many features. Thanks TRA for this trip and unparallel service.
Ray Pratt
flagsUnited States of America
Oct 06, 2019
Well-Organized Trek
No words to explain my adventure in Bhutan. Absolute perfect management and smooth operation. Guide was super-great. He knows all the details of the trek, all task done at time and swiftly. He let us enjoy locally. We felt like at home-country. Exciting journey to Tiger's Nest Monastery, Talakha Goempa, Rinpung Dzong and others. Glad we choose this trek. I highly recommend Third Rock for their incomparable service and outstanding team. They rocked our trip! And we have some of the best memories. Great Job TRA! Can't wait to see you soon.
Darcy McClure
flagsUnited States of America
Oct 05, 2019
Dagala Thousand Lakes Trek
Would like to wrap up this review in two words- Wonderful Experience. Thanks Third Rock for this opportunity and I am highly grateful to you for your great service. Never had I ever experienced the way you treated me! Highly appreciated for everything. You earned a loyal fan! Hope for the same service in the near future.
Austin Beavis
flagsUnited States of America
Oct 05, 2019
Beautiful Trip
Headed to Bhutan for a unique trek.Dagala Thousand Lakes Trek as the name is unique. Third Rock suggested me this trek as their unique and exclusive trek, and I couldn't resist. Planned and prepared I headed to Bhutan to explore Genekha village, Tiger's Nest Monastery in Paro, and majestic Dagala. I absolutely loved the itinerary. My guide was friendly and helpful. I embraced the view of Mt. Everest, Mt. Kanchenjunga, Mt. Jumolhari, Mt. Jichu Drake, and other as well. Overall the trek was great, and I enjoyed every single day. All thanks to Third Rock.
Marco Daza
flagsSpain
Sep 23, 2019
Bhutan trip was wonderful
We went to Bhutan for a trip of 8 days with Third Rock Adventures and everything was just perfect. The trip included hikes and that was awesome. Natural beauty and the trail filled with new experience made us excited every time. Paro and Thimphu were among the best social settlements I have ever seen from the prospective of human and nature balance. Dagala Thousand Lakes at Labatama was the main attraction of this trip which encouraged me to book with this company and it was a right choice infact. The beauty of this place was just incredible. Loved the trip.
George Davidson
flagsUnited Kingdom
Sep 11, 2019
Pleasant trip to Bhutan with Family
I took my family on a tour in Bhutan organized by Third Rock Adventures and this was really a nice experience for us. The friendly and welcoming nature of all the Third Rock staff made us more comfortable traveling with them. Everything from the transfer, accommodation and meals were organized carefully to meet our family's requirements. Our guide Pemba and the helpers were extremely helpful throughout the trip. I appreciate their hard efforts in keeping our family satisfied with the services. We enjoyed the environmental ambiance of Labatama and the lakes there. We would highly recommend this trip to anyone who loves nature. We will come back for other trips with this company.
Valentin Fedorov
flagsRussian Federation
Sep 06, 2019
Trekking in Bhutan
Landed on Paro, the team of Third Rock Adventures were there to receive us. Me and my girlfriend then started to enjoy the tour. The guide and driver were very friendly to us who helped in almost everything. The hotels was really nice, we would like to thank Third Rock for all the arrangements. The hikes were really challenging for us as we were not used to with the hiking so much, but the natural beauty always inspired our journey. The Tiger's nest, Genekha village , Paga Labsta pass and Dagala Thousand Lakes at Labatama were the most iconic part of our trip. Highly recommended services and the itinerary. Thanks to all.

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