Day 1: Arrive Paro International Airport.
During the journey to Paro, one will experience breath taking view of Mount Everest, Kanchenjunga and other famous Himalayan peaks, including the sacred Chomolhari and Mount Jichu Drake in Bhutan.
On arrival at Paro International Airport, your visa is processed and you are then received by a representative of Tours and Treks. Drive to your hotel, check-in and enjoy Bhutanese lunch. After lunch we drive to Drugyel Dzong, a ruined fortress on the outskirts of Paro village. 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 Chomolhari "Mountain of the Goddess" can be seen on a clear day 24,029 ft. On the way back you visit a typical Bhutanese farmhouse. Our evening is spent in quaint Paro town, strolling through the village after dinner at a cozy restaurant. Overnight at hotel.
Day 2: Breakfast is followed by a visit to the Rinchen Pong Dzong. This massive fortress is located on a small hill just above the Paro River (Pachu) in the Paro valley. You have to walk about 15 minutes by crossing an ancient wooden bridge with shingle roof built in typical Bhutanese architect. The Dzong houses the district administration office and the District Monk Body. It was built in 1645 AD. Lunch in the Hotel. After lunch, visit the National Museum (Ta-Dzong). This was actually the Watchtower of the Paro Rinchen Pong Dzong and was converted into the National Museum in 1965. Visit Kyichu Lhakhang (monastery). The monastery was built in 659 A.D. by King Songtsen Gampo of Tibet as one of the 108 such monasteries he built in various places to spread Buddhism. It is located between Paro Town and Drugyal Dzong and is considered one of the holiest monasteries in Bhutan as it marks the advent of Buddhism in the country. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
Day 3: Drive from Paro to Thimphu, about 2 hours. Thimphu is the capitol of Bhutan. Check in at Hotel. Refresh with lunch and admire Bhutanese art throughout your hotel. A visit to the bank and post office to exchange money and an opportunity to purchase collector Bhutanese stamps, exquisite! Drive to Memorial Chorten (a huge stupa) built in memory of the third King of Bhutan, who reigned the Kingdom from 1952 - 1972. Visit the National Library where ancient manuscripts are preserved, Shichho Dzong. This is the main secretariat building. This massive structure houses part of the government ministries, office of the King and the Throne Room. It also houses the State Monastic Body and the living quarters of the Chief Abbot and senior monks. Tonight we enjoy dinner at the home of Soenam, your Bhutanese host.
Day 4: Drive from Thimphu to Talekha. The trek starts from Simtokha Dzong where the ponies, camp gear and our cook will be waiting. Pack up the horses. Your trek includes the finest of high altitude tents and warm sleeping bags. You only have to carry a small pack for your daily needs. Water of course is provided. The trek trail leads through blue pine and evergreen forests to Talekha village which lies at an altitude of 6,000 ft. The first two hours are difficult climb but the remaining two hours are pleasant walk through all blue pine forests. Bhutan is the least deforested country in the world, with 70% virgin blue pine forest. The Talekha village consists of five houses and a huge temple called Tale-Lhakhang. Overnight at Talekha campsite.
Day 5: Talekha to Japhuna. The trek leads you through thick forests of blue pine and evergreen oak trees into soft pine and spruce forests for about two and one-half hours. For lunch we halt at a yak camp site. Here the tree line ends.
After lunch you cross a pass called Jelezela, Altitude at 13,000 ft. From the pass, one can enjoy a breathtaking view of Thimphu valley and its surrounding mountain ridges. After crossing two ridges, you arrive at the second campsite, Japhuna.
Day 6: Japhuna to Jaduna. The trail from Japhuna takes you up and down over several ridges for about four hours till you come across a small stream where you will find two trails which will lead you to the same destination. Along the route, there are many small lakes. After another hour and a half climb through rhododendron shrubs, you reach the third campsite which is also a yak camp. Altitude 13, 200 ft.
Day 7: Jaduna to Labatama. There are two trails, one going on the left side of Aum Jomo ( highest peak in the Dagala range ), and the other onto the right side of Aum Jomo over the Jomigue pass and Setso Yumtso lakes. We follow the trail that goes on the right side of Aum Jomo and climb up to the Jomigue pass after passing the Dungka Tso lake. From the pass, you can see beautiful views of the high mountains towards the northern Bhutan. After the pass, you descend for about 2 hours to reach Labatama yak camp by the side of the Yumtso lake, where you camp for the night.
Day 8: Labatama ( halt ). You can visit several lakes and enjoy a good fishing day in the lakes or go back to Jomigue pass and climb Aum Jomo to the summit, at 16,500 ft. This trek will take about 5-6 hrs. Overnight and relax at campfire. Bhutanese song, gourmet food, and local brew - ARA anyone!
Day 9: Labatama to Genekha: Today, you leave the lovely pasture of Labana and move out of Dagala range. The trail ascends gradually through beautiful landscape until you reach Pagalaptsa pass at 13,600 ft. This is the highest point of the day. From the pass, you have beautiful views of the Genekha village and a portion of the Paro valley. After the pass, you gradually climb down through thick Rhododendron shrubs and thick oak forest till you reach Genekha. Overnight camp in Genekha.
Day 10: Genekha to Paro. A short walk will bring you to the motor road where your transport will be waiting. Drive about one hour to Paro. Enjoy hot stone bath at local farmhouse and sumptous dinner at hotel. Refresh yourself.
Day 11: Today you may take a day excursion to Taktsang Monstery. Horses can be provided, up to Taktsang Monastery. The name Taktsang means " Tiger's Nest ". The Monastery is perched on a rocky ledge with a sheer drop of nearly 4,000 ft. and overlooks the Paro river and the valley. It is believed that in the second half of the 8th century, Guru Padma Sambhava, known as the second Buddha in Bhutan, meditated in the spot where the Monastery is situated having alighted there on the back of a flying Tigress. The Monastery itself was built in 1684 AD. Picnic lunch at the Taktsang cafeteria. The round trip hike takes about 4 hrs. Farewell dinner and overnight hotel.
Day 12: Breakfast and depart for Paro International Airport.
We hope you have enjoyed your DAGALA THOUSAND LAKES TREK.