This trek follows the old expedition route to the Gangkhar Puensum. The trek is rigorous, but the rewards can be worth the walk. It includes a stop at natural hot springs, a relaxing treatment for body aches. As part of this trek, hikers have the option to go to the Gangkhar Peunsum base camp. All should be in very good physical condition to complete this demanding portion of the route.
Day 1 : Arrive Paro International Airport
During the journey to Paro, one will experience breath-taking views of Mount Everest, Kanchenjunga and other famous Himalayan peaks, including the sacred Jumolhari and Mount Jichu Drake in Bhutan. On arrival at Paro International Airport, you will be received by our representatives escort you to the hotel.
Day 2 : Paro Sightseeing
Drive to Drukgyal Dzong (a ruined fortress – 16 km away from Paro Town). Although in ruins, this Dzong is of great historical importance. It was here that the Bhutanese finally defeated the invading Tibetans and drove them back. From here, the peak of Jumolhari ‘Mountain of the Goddess’ can be seen on a clear day (Alt. 7,329m / 24,029 ft.). On the way back you visit a typical Bhutanese farmhouse. After lunch, at the hotel, take a leisurely stroll around the compound. Overnight in Hotel.
Day 3 : Paro-Thimphu
This morning drive along the winding road along the Paro Chu (Chu means water or river) down stream to the confluence with the Wang Chu then turn upstream and travel along the Wang Chu to Thimphu, the Capital. In the afternoon, visit the Memorial Chorten, dedicated to the late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk. Overnight in Hotel.
Day 4 : Thimphu - Trongsa
The journey to central Bhutan begins today. The drive to Trongsa takes about 7 - 8 hours from Thimphu. Packed lunch will be arranged. Lunch stop at Chendebji Chorten. Overnight at Hotel in Trongsa.
Day 5 : Trongsa - Jakar (Bumthang)
Drive to Jakar, which takes about 2 1/2 hours from Trongsa, is a pleasant drive through scenic forests and countryside. You also cross one of the highest passes named Thrumsingla (Alt. 17,000 ft.) along the East - West Highway on this drive. Bumthang (the Plain of Ghosts) is a land of mysteries and mystics and tales of the great Guru Padmasambhava who performed formidable feats and miracles in historical time in this place still hold sway. A beautiful sighting of Jakar Dzong, ‘Castle of the White Bird’, can be had from View Point. Lunch will be served in Hotel. Afternoon, a hike up to Lame Goenpa, a temple built by the First King of Bhutan for his two nun sisters. Outside Lame Goenpa one can see a workshop for traditional Bhutanese papermaking. Overnight halt in Hotel.
Day 6 : Bumthang – Gorsum (Distance 18 km, about 6-7 hours journey, altitude: 3120m)
After breakfast transport will reach the group to the trek starting point just below Kurjey Lhakhang, the famous holy temple. The trek route follows the Chamkhar Chu, a river known for its wild trout. The trail from Bumthang to Gorsum is gradual climb. Overnight halt in camp.
Day 7 : Gorsum - Lungsum (Distance 12 km, about 5 hours journey, altitude of Lungsum 3160m)
The trail leads through dense forest of Spruce, Hemlock, Cypress, Juniper and Maple. The trail ascends gradually till the campsite. Overnight halt in camp.
Day 8 : Lungsum - Tsochenchen (Distance 15 km, about 6 - 7 hours, altitude 3100m)
The vegetation along the trekking route is similar to that in places crossed the previous day. Near the campsite the vegetation thins out and camp is made above tree line. Halt in camp.
Day 9: Tsochenchen - Dur Tsachu (Distance 17 km, about 7 hours journey, altitude: 3400m)
The trek from Tsochenchen is uphill all the way till Julila Pass is reached which is about 4700m. From the pass, if the day is clear, surrounding mountains can be seen. After crossing the pass, the trail descends till the campsite. Musk deer, herds of blue sheep and Himalayan bear is sometimes seen along the route. Halt in camp.
Day 10 : Halt at Dur Tsachu (Hot Spring)
After a late breakfast relax in the hot spring or hike the surrounding areas. Overnight in camp.
Day 11 : Dur Tsachu - Tsochenchen (Distance – 17 km, about 7 hours journey)
The route from Dur Tsachu is uphill till the Julila Pass followed by descent to Tsochenchen. Overnight halt in camp.
Day 12 : Tsochenchen - Gorsum (Distance - 27 km, about 9 hours journey)
The trek must start early because the distance is longer than usual. The trail leads gradually down hill.
Day 13 : Gorsum - Bumthang
From Gorsum the trail descends gradually till the bridge near Dur village. Here the motor road is reached and transport will pick you up to take you to the Bumthang Tourist Lodge.
Day 14 : Bumthang - Wangdue
The drive to Wangdue takes about 7 hours. Picnic lunch will be arranged along the way. Halt at Wangdue in Lodge.
Day 15 : Wangdue - Thimphu
Visit Punakha Dzong enroute. Punakha used to be the Winter Capital of Bhutan until 1966. It is a place of great historical significance. The mortal remains of Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal is kept in a shrine in the Dzong. Punakha is also the winter residence of the Je Khenpo (Head Abbot) and the Central Monk body. Drive to Thimphu. Halt overnight in Hotel.
Day 16 : Thimphu - Sightseeing
Visit Tashichho Dzong, the main Government Secretariat building, where the government ministries, the Office of His Majesty the King, Throne Room, the offices and living quarters of the monk body and the Chief Abbot are housed. Wander in the town, visit shops and the Handicrafts Emporium, where Bhutanese textiles and other handicrafts are available. Visit the workshop where the handicrafts are made. Visit the painting and woodcrafts schools where traditional painting and other arts are kept alive. Visit the National Library and see the ancient manuscripts preserved there.
Visit the Simtokha Dzong (6 km from Thimphu), the oldest Dzong in Bhutan built by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1629 A.D. Evening stroll in the town.
Day 17 : Thimphu - Paro International Airport
Drive to Paro International Airport. Seen off by representative of Adventure Pilgrims Trekking Pvt. Ltd