Dur Hot Spring Trek - 16 Days

Trip Facts:

Trip Name: Dur Hot Spring Trek
Trip Duration: 16 Days
Max. Altitude: 3,780m/12,400 ft (Tsochenchen)
Best Season: March to May and September to November
Meal: Full board (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
Accommodation: Government approved 3 stars and Above 
Transportation: Private vehicle

Trip Overview:

Dur Hot Spring Trek follows the old expedition route Gangkhar Puensum (mountain) through Bumthang with several hot springs. These hot springs have medicinal values and one can relax and shower in it’s mineral rich waters. The trek passes through forested areas of Cyprus, juniper, spruce, hemlock and maple. On the course of hiking several animals might be encountered such as musk deer, Himalayan beers, herds of blue sheep. Enjoy the natural wonders of Bhutan and the main feature of the trek is the hot springs which is considered the best for healing skin and skin related disease. Besides trek the program offers sightseeing at the prominent cities of Bhutan like the colorful Paro, the tiny capital – Thimphu and the old capital city – Punakha. Dur Hot Spring Trek is ideal for nature enthusiasts teamed up with witnessing the cultural, religious and historical aspect of the Dragon nation.

Trip Highlights:

  • Witness spectacular bird’s eye view of the Himalayas while flying in/out from Paro. 
  • Explore the tiny town of Paro exploding with colors and tradition. 
  • Hot springs with mineral rich waters. 
  • Discover the tiny capital Thimphu. 
  • Punakha Dzong – the most beautiful monastery in Bhutan. 
  • Visit to Wangdue Phodrang Dzong. 
  • Experience Bhutanese culture, tradition and lifestyles

Day to Day Itinerary:

Day 01: Arrival Paro (2,250m) – Thimphu (2,350m) 
Arrive Paro by the Bhutanese National Carrier flying over the world’s highest mountains and finally landing at the lush green Paro valley. A cool and clean fresh air greets the visitor as stepping down from the plane, the first gift of Bhutan. After clearing customs and visa formalities, meet the representatives and the Bhutanese guide, and a short tour brief by the guide then transfer to Paro town for lunch.

Then drive towards Thimphu (the capital of Bhutan) for about 1 & half hours drive. En-route Thimphu, one can do a short hike to Tamchog Monastery, a private temple owned by the descendents of famous Tibetan bridge – builder Thangthong Gaylpo. Later on continue the drive to Thimphu. In Thimphu, visit Buddha point for a stunning view of Thimphu city and Takin Compound- on the way to the viewpoint over Thimphu is the home of Bhutan’s national animal, the Takin. Then continue to Tashi Choe Dzong- the fortress of the glorious religion was initially constructed in 1641 and rebuilt by King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk in the 1960s, Folk Heritage Museum – a 300 year old traditional house converted into a museum, Centenary Farmers Market, the new authentic craft bazaar. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 02: Thimphu – Wangdue – Gangtey (2,900m)
After breakfast, drive towards Gangtey via Wangdue. The road climbs steeply through a forest of pine and cedar, festooned with hanging lichen high up near Dochula pass (3,050 m). This pass often offers panoramic views of the Himalayan mountain ranges in a clear day. After stopping for a tea, descend along a series of hairpin bends to the fertile valley of Wangdue. Short visit to view the Wangdue Phodrang Dzong dramatically located on the spur of a hill at the confluence of the Tsang Chu and Dang Chu rivers. Then a gradual climb goes into the valley of Gangtey (Phobjikha). There is an old monastery of Gangtey Gompa dating back to the 17th century. A few kilometers past the Gompa on the valley floor are the fascinating valley of Phobjikha. The gentle sloping hillsides of Phobjikha are described as “the most beautiful valley in the Himalayas”. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 03: Gangtey – Trongsa – Bumthang (2,800m)
Early start with drive to the central valleys of Bhutan. The drive to Bumthang via Trongsa is about six hours crossing over Pelela Pass (3,300 m) and Yotongla Pass (3,400 m). The road climbs steadily passing through semi-tropical vegetation and then to Pelela Pass(3,300m) with an alpine environment of rhododendrons and dwarf bamboo. This pass is traditionally considered the boundary between west and east Bhutan. If the weather is clear, particularly the peak of Jhomulhari (7314 m) to the west can be spotted. En-route cross Chendebji Chorten built to suppress a demon. After lunch, go out to view the impressive Trongsa Dzong, ancestral home of the ruling dynasty. In olden days the Dzong commanded the passage between east and West Bhutan. Finally drive towards Bumthang valley (described as “one of the most beautiful spot in the Himalayas” across the Yotongla Pass (3,400 m) Overnight at Hotel.

Day 04: In Bumthang- Sightseeing (2,800m)
In the morning visit Kurje Lhakhang, one of the most sacred places in the kingdom as Bhutan’s “patron saint”, Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) meditated here. From Kurje monastery, a tarmac road heads south along the right bank of the river to Jambey Lhakhang. This temple, erected by the Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century, is one of the two oldest in Bhutan (the other being Kyichu Lhakhang in Paro). After lunch, hike to Tamshing Lhakhang, founded in 1501 by Pema Lingpa. It contains interesting and ancient Buddhist wall paintings. Later, visit Jakar Dzong, “the castle of the white bird”, and then take a stroll through Bumthang’s market area before returning to the hotel. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 05: Bumthang- Gorsum (3,120m) 
After breakfast drive to Kurjey Lhakhang, from here it is 8 km drive on unpaved road. The trek starts at Dur Zam alongside the Chamkhar River famous for trout’s and is very gradual throughout. Overnight in Camp. (Walking Duration: 6-7 hrs)

Day 06: Trek to Lungsum (3,160m) 
Today the route passes through dense forest of cyprus, juniper, spruce, hemlock and maples. This trail is muddy and climbs gradually till the camp site. Overnight in Camp. (Walking Duration: 5 hrs)

Day 07: Trek to Tsochenchen (3780m) 
Today trek along more or less through similar vegetation till the camp site which is above tree line. Overnight in Camp. (Walking Duration: 6-7 hrs)

Day 08: Trek to Dur Tsachhu (3,590m) 
The trek is all the way up until reaching at Julila pass at 4700m. On clear days surrounding mountains can be viewed. After crossing the pass the trail descends up till camp. Musk deer, herds of blue sheep and Himalayan bear may be seen en-route. Overnight in Camp. (Walking Duration: 6-7 hrs)

Day 09: Rest day at Dur Tsachu 
Today is the rest day in the Tsachhu (hotspring) Overnight in Camp.

Day 10: Trek to Tsochenchen (3,100m) 
The trekking trail from Dur Tsachu is uphill till Julila. After crossing the pass the trail descends till the campsite. Overnight at Camp. (Walking Duration: 7 hrs)

Day 11: Trek to Lungsum- Gorsum (3,120m) 
Today is a bit more hours of walking covering up two days of walk so it starts early. The trail goes through Tsochenchen-Lungsum-Gorsum. Overnight at Camp. (Walking Duration: 9 hrs)

Day 12: Trek to Bumthang (2,800m) 
Last day of the trek starts at Gorsum and ends at Dur Zam, from here drive towards Bumthang. From Gorsum the trial descends downhill till crossing the Dur Village brige then follows the new motor road till meeting up with the drive-back vehicle back to Bumthang. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 13: Bumthang - Wangdue (1,240m) 
Begin the day with Bumthang market tour then drive to Wangdue which is about 6 hours drive. With its diverse climate and rich natural resources Wangdue is home to many rare and exotic animals like Red Panda, Tiger and Leopard. Villages in Wangdue are also known for their slate and stone. Overnight in Wangdue.

Day 14: Wangdue – Punakha (1,310m)
After early breakfast, drive towards Punakha for about 45 minutes En-route take a short hike through beautiful rice fields to Chimmi Lhakhang, a temple dedicated to Drukpa Kuenley, who as a favorite saint of the Bhutanese people is known affectionately as "the Divine Madman". And Punakha Dzong located at the confluence of the Pho-chu (male-river) and Mo-chu (female-river), the Punakha Dzong is arguably the most impressive dzong in the country. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 15: Punakha - Paro (2,250m)
After breakfast, trace the route back to Paro which is about 4 and half hours drive. After lunch visit Ta Dzong. Ta Dzong, once a watchtower, built to defend Rinpung Dzong during inter-valley wars of the 17th century. It was inaugurated as Bhutan’s National Museum in 1968. Afterwards visit Rinpung Dzong. Rinpung Dzong built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the first spiritual and temporal ruler of Bhutan; the Dzong continues its age-old function as the seat of the district administration, district court and the monastic body. The southern approach to the Dzong has a traditional roofed cantilever bridge called Nemi Zam.

Day 16: Paro Depart
After breakfast, transfer to the airport to catch the onward flight. Bid farewell to the remote and legendary Dragon Kingdom disappearing again behind its guardian mountains.

Cost Details:

The tour cost depends upon the category of hotels used and as per the group-size. Normally we use government approved 3 star and above hotels. Please contact us for the trip pricing. 

Our entire Bhutan tours are private journeys and tailor made programs suited for any independent travelers according to their chosen traveling dates. Should you wish, the tour can be easily customized as per your interest and activities you wish to get involve in or spend more time in your places of interest. Contact us to customize this tour as per your requirements. This tour can be undertaken round the year.

Normally during the monsoon seasons (Jun, Jul & Aug), the road condition in between Thimphu to Bumthang will be muddy road and bumpy ride. Other than Land-cruisers it’s not an easy journey but still with cruisers will be a bumpy ride. Another option will be flying into Bumthang and drive back or vice-versa. But in other seasons, such is not the case.

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    Bhutan tour review Bhutan is a very beautiful country in the Himalayas and worth visiting with Family. People of Bhutan are very kind and happy people and tourist friendly nature.Climate is pleasant during April-May. Temples and monasteries are very beautiful and historical. Flora and fauna are great. Green and white (Snowclad) hills and clean rivers are really very attractive.  Only a co Read More

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