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Paro, Thimphu, Punakha 13 Days & 12 Nights

Dagala Thousand Lakes Trek

This is a short trek near Thimphu, passing through picturesque high altitude lakes. The trek is moderate with mostly short trekking days but few steep climbs. This trek also offers one of the most stunning views of chains of Himalayan peaks.

Season: The best months for this trek are April, September and October.

Detail Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Paro

Drukair flight to Paro crosses the Himalaya Mountains, affording spectacular views of the awesome peaks, including the sacred Jumolhari and Jichu Drake peaks in Bhutan. If you arrive via Kathmandu, you can see the Mount Everest and Mount Kanchenjungal. On arrival you will be transferred to your hotel. After lunch, visit the 8th century old Kichu Lhakhang, From there drive to the Drugyal Dzong Ruins (Bhutan Victory Fort), which was built in 1646 to commemorate Bhutan’s victory over Tibetan invaders during the 1600s. On a clear day you can see Mount Jumolhari, Bhutan’s second-highest mountain at 7,329 meters, from the village below the Dzong. In the evening you can explore town and absorb the lifestyle of the people. Overnight hotel in Paro.

Day 2: Hike to Tiger’s Nest

Morning hike to Tiger’s Nest Monastery, which is perched on a rocky ledge with a sheer drop of nearly 3000 ft. and overlooks the Paro Valley. Taktsang or the Tiger’s Nest is one of the most venerated pilgrim sites in the Himalayas. Guru Padmasambhava founded Taktsang Monastery in the eighth century. It is believed that the Guru came to this place on the back of a tigress from Khengpajong in the Kurtoe region and meditated for three months in a cave at Taktsang and converted the Paro valley to Buddhism. The hike to reach the viewpoint to the monastery makes for a nice half-day excursion. Hike back to Paro in the afternoon. Stroll freely in Paro town in the evening. Overnight hotel in Paro.

Day 3: Paro – Thimphu

Drive downstream alongside the Pa Chhu River to its confluence with Wang Chhu (Thimphu River) then up valley to Thimphu, the capital town. Before arriving Thimphu, visit Simtokha Dzong, Kingdom’s oldest Dzong built by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. Afternoon visit Memorial Chorten, built in the memory of Third King of Bhutan. Then visit Tashichho Dzong, Thimphu’s most impressive building situated at the banks of Wang Chhu which, houses the King’s Throne room and it is also the summer residence of the Chief Abbot. Take a stroll through Thimphu market in the evening. Overnight hotel in Thimphu.

Day 4: Thimphu

After breakfast, visit the Art School where centuries old art of Bhutanese painting is taught. The National Library is another interesting place to visit, which houses vast collection of ancient Buddhist texts and manuscripts. Also visit Traditional Medicine Institute where centuries old healing arts are still practiced. Later visit Textile and Folk Heritage Museum. Afternoon visit Handicrafts Emporium. Here exotic weaves in silk, wool, raw silk, cotton, silver jewelry, carpets, thangka paintings, bamboo ware and other traditional crafts of the Kingdom are available. Evening, drive to the broadcast tower for the fascinating view of Thimphu valley. Overnight hotel in Thimphu.

Day 5: Thimphu – Genekha (14 km, 4 hrs)

Drive for 45 min to reach starting point of the trek. The first day walk, over mule path, will end after four hours at the signboard of Genekha School. All through the trail, terraced fields and coniferous vegetation are abundant. Overnight camp at Genekha alongside a stream at 2,800m.

Day 6: Genekha – Gur (15 km, 4 hrs)

Today’s trek which is a true communion with the nature starts with alpine flora and fauna (birds are common). Two hours of gradual uphill walk and rest at huge rock platform, offers a picturesque view of the valley below. After another two hours, the trek ends. Camp at Gur, where flowers are abundant in spring.

Day 7: Gur – Labatama (12 km, 5 hrs)

While trekking across the ridges, one enjoys the beauty of the rugged mountain vegetation. Today’s trek is amidst flowers and wild asparagus (in spring). The meadows freshen the trekkers with poetic sentiments. The first pass symbolized by huge cairn gives a spectacular view of the whole Dagala range, meadows and yak herders camp. Lunch at nearby yak herder’s camp. After lunch, walk across hills and meadows, ending the third day of trek. Camp near Yutsho Lake where golden trouts are in abundance.

Day 8: Labatama Halt

This day is for an excursion to any of three lakes: Relitsho, Hentsho and Jamatsho. The day and place is ideal for trout fishing. Overnight at the camp.

Day 9: Labatama Halt

Excursion to Setsho and nearby lakes. Hike to Setsho Lake is easy and interesting. Afterwards walk over a small ridge and then down to Jagetsho Lake. Whole day trout fishing with packed lunch at lakeside. You can also attempt to climb the Jomo a 5,050 m peak. Lunch at summit with spectacular view around, can be memorable experience. Return to camp by dusk and prepare for the next day.

Day 10: Labatama – Panka (8 km, 4 hrs)

Walk for 20 min upwards and later you will have majestic view of Himalayan peaks during descent. This point is around 4,460m. The mountains peaks include Everest, Kanchenjunga, Jumolhari, Jichu Drake, Tshering Gang, Khangbum, Masang Gang, Tsendegang and Gangche Ta. Here the Himalayan monal peasants are common sight, apart from yaks and horses.

Day 11: Panka – Talekha (8 km, 4 hrs)

This day entails the crossing of several passes, each one more impressive than the other. Search for different verities of Blue Poppy (June-July) and mountain birds. Lunch at the point, where one trail leads to Talekha and other to Wangdiphodrang. After lunch, an hour’s gradual climb brings you to the tip of the last Dagala range from where view of Thimphu is spread in the palm of observer’s hand. An hour’s walk and you are at the last camp, little above Talekha monastery.

Day 12: Talekha – Thimphu – Paro

Passing through alpine and mixed vegetation (bamboo thickets and mixed wild flowers), one reaches Talekha monastery and village and once again Thimphu view is superb. Passing through mixed vegetation and apple orchards, one reaches the main road to Thimphu where your transport will be waiting. Drive to Thimphu for lunch. Evening drive back to Paro. Overnight hotel in Paro.

Day 13: Paro - Depart

After early breakfast, drive to the airport for flight to onward destination.

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