Punakha Winter Trek - 07 Days

Trip Facts:

Trip Name: Punakha Winter Trek
Trip Duration: 07 Days
Max. Altitude: 3,400m/11,154.86feet (Dopshing Pang)
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:

Punakha Winter trek is the easy and short treks in Bhutan. The trekking trails are mostly gradual with not much difficulty to hike. It’s the best short trek exploring the natural beauty of Bhutan and witnessing the local lifestyles. Punakha Winter trek follows the age-old trail from Thimphu to Punakha crossing over several villages, lush forests and rice fields. With great view of Phajoding Monastery, trekkers get to camp near Chorten Ningpo, the ancient Chorten in connection with the Bhutan’s favorite patron saint, also popularly known as ‘the divine madman’ – Drukpa Kuenley. Punakha Winter trek is done in lower altitude and due to the warm climate of the area, it can be done all through the winter. Though the best months are March to May and September to November. Besides, this tour also takes you to the ever popular hike to the Taktsang Monastery ‘Tiger’s Nest’ which is perched in a vertical cliff located outskirts of Paro town.

Trip Highlights:

  • Witness spectacular bird’s eye view of the Himalayas while flying in/out from Paro. 
  • Explore Paro exploding with colors and tradition. 
  • Short & easy trek from Thimphu to Punakha
  • Guided city tour of the tiny capital Thimphu. 
  • Visit Taktsang Monastery ‘Tiger’s Nest’- one of the most famous monasteries in Bhutan. 
  • Visit Punakha Dzong – the most beautiful monastery in Bhutan. 
  • Experience Bhutanese culture, tradition and lifestyles.

Day to Day Itinerary:

Day 01: Arrive Paro (2,250m) & transfer to Thimphu (2,350m)
Arrive Paro by Bhutan’s national carrier, Druk Air, and it’s a scenic flight as the plane touch down the lush green Paro Valley flying past the world’s highest mountains. Steeping down from the plane, cool, clean and fresh air welcomes the visitor, the first gift of Bhutan. After clearing the customs and visa formalities met by the representatives and transfer to Paro for lunch. Afterwards drive to Thimphu (1 & half hrs) following Pa Chhu downstream. In Thimphu, drive on to the Buddha Terrance for a stunning view of the valley and take a drive to visit Takin Preserve to see Takin, Bhutan’s national animal - a strange looking beast which some say resembles a beestung moose!

Take a view of the majestic Tashichoe Dzong, the seat of the government before circumventing the Memorial Chorten – a monument erected in memory of Bhutan’s third king H.M. Jigme Dorji Wangchuk. Visit Centenary Farmers Market, the new authentic craft bazaar, National Institute of Traditional Medicine that still dispenses traditional herbal medicines to the locals, the Folk Heritage Museum – a 300 year old traditional house converted into a museum. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 02: Thimphu – Chamina – Dopshing Pang (3,400m) 7-8 hrs 
Early in the morning after breakfast drive to the northern valley to Dechencholing palace alongside Thimphu chhu ‘river’ crossing over the bridge after the army camp. The trail follows the unsealed road just above Chamina village. The hike starts from this point; in a clear weather one can observe Phajoding Monastery locate just above Thimphu. After 2 km of hiking will you will notice Thinleygang village, Talo Monastery and the motor highway to the ancient capital of Bhutan, Punakha. The hike then is more or less downhill until reaching the campsite. Overnight Camp.

Day 03: Dopshing Pang – Chorten Ningpo (2,700m) 8 hrs 
The trek towards Chorten Ningpo is rather a gradual walk and passing through thick forests, villages and rice fields. The trek ends at Chorten Ningpo which is linked to Durpa Kuenley, better known as  the ‘divine madman’. Overnight Camp.

Day 04: Chorten Ningpo – Punakha (1,310m) 
After breakfast drive to Punakha. Visit Punakha Dzong, one of the impressive Dzongs in Bhutan, located between two great rivers Pho Chu (Male River) and Mo Chu (Female River). This dzong serves as the winter residence for the Je Khenpo, Chief Abbot of the Central Monastic Body and also the office of the district Administration.

After lunch drive 7 km approx from Punakha and cross the suspension bridge over the Mo chu river then walk for about 30-45 minutes to Khamsum Yuelley Namgyel Chorten. The Chorten is perched on a strategic ridge overlooking nearby village under Kabisa geog. Her Majesty the Queen Mother ‘Ashi Tshering Yangden Wangchuck’ has built this Chorten to throw away evil powers and restore peace, stability and harmony in the world. Afterwards back to Punakha. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 05: Punakha – Paro (2,250m)
Drive to visit a stunning hill-top nunnery - Sangchen Dorji Lhundrup Chholing. Have a chat with the nuns and enjoy the charm of the surrounds! The main temple is dedicated to the bodhisattva of compassion (Avaloketeshvara) and next to the temple is a beautiful Stupa and there are slate carvings of religious figures. Re-crossing Dochula and stopping at Thimphu for lunch. Arrive Paro in the afternoon and check hotel. Overnigh at Hotel.

Day 06: Paro – Hike to Taktsang Monastery ‘Tiger’s Nest’ (3,120m)
Early in the morning, drive towards the base camp of Taktsang for the hike up to the Taktsang Monastery ‘Tiger’s Nest’. It’s about 2 hours hike up the cafeteria. From this point, enjoy the spectacular view of the monastery, where Guru Padmasambhava landed on the back of a tigress in the 8th century. The hike then further continues with steps all the way down to a water fall and further up into the interior of the monastery which takes about 1 & half hour. Afterwards, hike back to the bottom is by the same trail and to the road point and drive towards Drukgyal Dzong, the ruined fort. This fort once defeated this valley from the Tibetan invasions during the 17th century. Also visit the local farm house at Drukgyal to witness daily life of the Bhutanese people. Later on, drive to Kyichu Lhakhang one of the oldest and most sacred shrines in Bhutan. PM: Stroll around the main shopping district in Paro. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 07: 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.

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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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