Gangtey Trek Itinerary
Duration: 8 Nights, 9 Days
Location: Paro, Thimphu, Gangtey
Day 1: Arrive Paro
On arrival in Paro, you will be met by our representative and transferred to your hotel in Paro for two nights. Afterward, visit the Ta Dzong (ancient watch tower) which now houses the National Museum of Bhutan and continue to the Paro Dzong (also known as the Rinpung Dzong), built in 1644 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. The evening is at leisure to relax – so why not stroll in the Paro town?
Day 2: Hike to Paro Taktshang
Today you will take a day hike to Paro Taktshang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest). No visit to Bhutan would be complete without a trip to Taktshang. The monastery is perched on the edge of a steep cliff, about 900m above the Paro valley and takes about a 2-hour climb on a well-maintained trail through beautiful pine forest, trees festooned with Spanish Moss and fluttering prayer flags. Legend has it that Guru Rinpoche flew to Paro Taktshang cliff in the form of Guru Dorji Drolo, mounted on a flaming tigress in the 8th century. Afterward, there may also be time to visit the ruined Drugyal Dzong (fortress), built in 1649 to commemorate the victory over the Tibetan invaders or the Kichu Lhakhang, which is one of the oldest 7th-century temples. Overnight in Paro.
Day 3: Paro – Thimphu
We depart Paro this morning and drive a distance of 65-km for about one hour journey to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. Today we explore a fascinating full day tour to see the best of Thimphu city at an altitude of 2,300m. First stop is at the National Memorial Chorten, built in memory of the third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk. Next, drive up to the Kuensel Phodrang (Buddha Point) offering a panoramic view over the Thimphu valley and the Mini Zoo for Takin (national animal of Bhutan). Afterward, visit the Folk Heritage Museum, a showcase of the Bhutanese artifacts used in rural households and the Painting School to discover a glimpse of novices learning 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan. Continue to the Tashichhodzong, which houses some ministries, the office and throne room of His Majesty the King and the Central Monk Body and then head to the Centenary Farmer’s Market on the banks of the Wangchhu River selling farm produces, local arts and crafts, etc. Overnight in Thimphu.
Day 4: Thimphu – Gangtey via Wangdue Phodrang
After breakfast, today we travel to Gangtey via Wangdue Phodrang for a distance of 135-km for about 5-6 hours journey and en route stop at Dochula pass at an altitude of 3,050m. If weather is clear, you will enjoy a breathtaking view of the snow-capped eastern Himalaya ranges and also a magnificent distant view of the Gasa Dzong from this spot. Continue on the journey to Gangtey in Phobjikha, which is one of the winter roosting grounds of the rare Black-necked Cranes, where they come in hundreds after spending their summer in Tibet and then migrate to the Himalayas of Bhutan to spend their winter – they arrive in the months of September and October and fly back to Tibet between February and March. Along the highway, you’ll photo stops as there are loads of breathtaking views during the journey. Overnight in Gangtey.
Day 5: Gangtey – Gogona [Start of Trek]
Today you will begin the trek distance of 16-km for about 5-6 hours passing through meadows and fields, with a gradual climb to the Tsele La Pass at 3,430m. After crossing the pass takes you through a mixed forest of juniper, bamboo, magnolia, and rhododendron. Further on, the path leads to the Gogona village, well known for its “Gogona Cheese” production. Overnight camp in Gogona.
Day 6: Gogona – Khotokha
Today’s route takes you to the distance of 16-km for about 6-7 hours with a gentle climb to the Shobju La Pass at 3,480m. The descent from the pass leads to a wide valley, surrounded by beautiful mountain ranges, home to the rare Black-necked Cranes. Below the route, one can see Khothokha, a village with about 60 houses. Overnight in camp.
Day 7: Khotokha – Chhuzom – Thimphu [End of Trek]
We take a short climb leading to the Tashi La Pass at an altitude of 2,805m followed by a steep descent to the road head at Chhuzom where your trek ends. A car will be waiting to pick you up and then head to Thimphu for overnight.
Day 8: Hike to Tango Monastery, Thimphu
This morning drive to the end of the road before climbing into the beautiful pine forest, where an incredible Tango Monastery/Tango Buddhist College stands to the farthest north of Thimphu, which is about 14-km away. The Buddhist College is an institution for the higher studies of Buddhist philosophy, metaphysics, poetry, and mathematics. The present-day monastery was built in 1689 (13th century) by Lama Gyalwa Lhanampa and was later renovated in 1977 by Her Majesty the Queen Mother Ashi Kesang Choden Wangchuck. Enjoy the spectacular views of the valleys and mountains from this spot. After lunch drive to Paro for Overnight.
Day 9: Depart Paro
Early morning drive to Paro Airport and our guide will accompany you to bid farewell for your onward flight.