10 Days

Owl Trek

Bhutan is a landlocked country rich in natural environment, flora and fauna, and their extremely intact spiritual and cultural legacy. Bhutanese people are friendly and welcome you to their traditional and well protected land of mountain slopes and fortresses.

The owl trek takes you on a short yet a diverse journey with opportunities to visit ancient Buddhist temples and monasteries through dense forests and night camps from where you can hear the hooting of owls.

Skeleton Itinerary

 


 

Detailed Itinerary

 

Day 1: Arrive in Paro

Fly to Paro, the great snow-capped peaks of the inner Himalayas rise up to the heavens and can be seen during clear weather. As the plane approaches Bhutan, if you look down, farmhouses as dots on the hillsides can be seen. As the aircraft enters the Paro valley, you will see Paro Dzong on the hillside overlooking the Paro Chu (river), with Ta Dzong, formerly a watchtower and now the National Museum, above it.

Overnight at Hotel [-/L/D]

Day 2: Fly to Bumthang

Flight Duration: 30 minutes approx.

Today we will fly to Bumthang where our representative will receive and transfer you to the hotel.
After lunch walk through the town and up to the Tamshing monastery where about 200 monks reside.  Visit Jambay & Kurjey Lhakhangs, the oldest monasteries in the kingdom.  All the Kings of Bhutan are cremated at Kurjey Lhakhang.  Visit the Mebartsho (Burning Lake), a short walk from the roadside, one of the many sacred Buddhist pilgrimage sites.

Overnight at Hotel [B/L/D]

Day 3: Start Owl Trek

Start at Menchugang and visit the biggest village in Bumthang, called Dhur, at an elevation of 2900 meters above sea level. Descend down to the river where the traditional water-driven flour mill can be visited. This traditional flour mill used to be a source of livelihood for the people of Dhur village. The mill process has since been rehabilitated as it symbolizes an authentic Bhutanese tradition. Continue to trek uphill through the blue pine forest and reach the camp at Schonath (3450m) in hemlock and juniper forests. The hooting of owls through the night is quite common, hence the name the Owl Trek.

Overnight at Camp [B/L/D]

Day 4: Owl Trek

Trekking through the virgin forest of huge temperate trees like spruce, hemlock, fir, birch and many species of rhododendron introduces you to the real wilderness of Bhutan. Bamboo is the main undergrowth of this wild forest and during the months of April and May the rhododendrons are in full bloom. After 2 hours trekking you will arrive at the Drange La pass (3600m). Ascending the Kitiphu ridge brings you to an altitude of 3870m for the night camp.

Overnight at Camp [B/L/D]

Day 5: Trek Ends, drive to Bumthang

The magnificent sunrise in the morning is a new experience in Bhutan. Climb down to the monasteries of Zambhalha, Chuedak and Tharpaling which brings you into the religious life of monkhood at these historical Buddhist learning centres.
This afternoon, trek along the ridge of Kiki La and finally follow the traditional trek route between Trongsa and Bumthang (the Royal Heritage Trail). The superb view of Jakar Dzong will end your three day trek with many unforgettable memories.

Overnight at Hotel [B/L/D]

Day 6: Drive back to Gangtey

Distance: 188kms/ 116 miles
Drive Time: 5-6 hours approx.
Altitude: 3,000 m / 9,842 ft

Upon arrival you will be transferred to the hotel. Rest of the day will be at leisure.

Overnight at Hotel [B/L/D]

Day 7: Drive to Punakha

Distance: 78kms/ 48 miles
Drive Time: 3 hours approx.
Altitude: 1,300 m / 4,265 ft

After breakfast drive to Punakha.
In Punakha, visit Punakha Dzong. The majestic Punakha Dzong is also known as ‘the palace of great happiness or bliss’ and is the second largest dzong in Bhutan.

Chimi Lhakhang, flanked with hundreds of prayer flags sits on a round hillock near Punakha. The monastery, built in 1499 is dedicated to Lama Drukpa Kinley, also known as ‘the Divine Madman’ or the ‘Mad Saint”.

Later we drive 12 km north of Punakha and hike to Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten which is a fine example of Bhutanese architecture and artistic traditions. Built out on a beautiful ridge above the Punakha valley, this 4-storey temple has been dedicated for the wellbeing of the kingdom, its people and all sentient beings. An hour’s hike to the Chorten, through a moderately inclined trail surrounded by pine trees, this site offers beautiful view of the Punakha valley.

Overnight at Hotel [B/L/D]

Day 8: Drive to Paro

Distance: 143kms/ 88 miles
Drive Time: 4.5 – 5 hours approx.
Altitude: 2,250 m / 7,382 ft

Today we will drive back to Paro and visit national museum and Paro Dzong.
The national museum of Bhutan is a unique circular building also known as Ta-dzong which is an ancient watchtower above the Paro Dzong.

Paro Dzong, also known as Ringpung Dzong means ‘Fortress on a heap of jewels’. This impressive dzong is the finest example of Bhutanese architecture and is one of the most popular and well known dzongs in Bhutan.

Overnight at Hotel [B/L/D]

Day 9: In Paro

Hike Duration: 4.5 hours approx. (round trip)

Today we will hike to Taktsang monastery and later visit Kyichu Lakhang.

Taktsang Monastery: Perched on the side of a vertical cliff at 3000 m altitude north of Paro, the beautiful Taktsang monastery also known as the ‘Tiger’s Nest’ is the most famous and an unofficial symbol of Bhutan.

Kyichu Lhakhang: Located close to the Paro airport, the Kyichu Lhakhang is an important Himalayan Buddhist Temple. Built in the 7th century, this is one of Bhutan’s oldest religious sites in Bhutan.

Overnight at Hotel [B/L/D]

Day 10: Final Departure

After your breakfast at the hotel, transfer to the airport for you onward flight.

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