Bumthang Cultural Trek

Duration: 12 Days   |   PhotosDownload

The Bumthang cultural trek is one of the thrilling and fascinating treks in Bhutan that takes you through villages and heritage sites in the valley of Bumthang.

The beautiful Bumthang valley is the religious heartland of the nation and home to some of its oldest Buddhist stupas and monasteries. Bumthang Cultural Trek goes through Choekhor and Tang valley, passing and visiting Bumthang’s remote villages, ancient temples and even a manor of Ugencholing. This trek is so named because; the opportunities to visit villages and temples are greater than on most other treks in Bhutan. Though it is relatively easy and a short trek, there is one day of a long climb and descend (about 500m) to Phephe La (3360). However, there is no significant altitude gain as with other treks and your night halts are all below 3100 meters (10,100ft).

Bumthang valley cultural trek passes through several villages on its meandering route through the Bumthang countryside and provides an exceptional opportunity for contact with Bhutanese rural life. The best season for Bumthang valley trek is from March to May and then again from September to November. 

Outline Itinerary

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Day 1:Arrive Paro - (2250m / 7382ft)

The flight to Paro crosses the Himalayan Mountains, affording spectacular views of the awesome peaks, including the sacred Jumolhari and Jichu Drake peaks in Bhutan. On arrival we are greeted by the guide and transfer to the hotel. After lunch, visit the Ta Dzong, once a fortified lookout tower that is now the National Museum. Then walk down the trail to visit the Rinpung Dzong meaning “fortress of the heap of jewels". Next visit Kichu Lhakhang, the oldest temple in the country. From there we are taken to the Drugyal Dzong (Bhutan Victory Fort), which was built in 1646 to commemorate Bhutan's victory over Tibetan invaders during the 1600s. On a clear day we can see Mount Jumolhari, Bhutan's second-highest mountain at 7,314meters. Overnight in Paro.

  • Accommodation:Hotel
  • Meals:BLD
  • Place:Paro
  • Maximum Altitude:2250m
  • Accommodation:Hotel
  • Meals:BLD
  • Place:Thimphu
  • Maximum Altitude:2320m

After breakfast we visit the King's Memorial Chorten (built in memory of the third King of Bhutan who reigned from 1952-1972), the radio tower (for a great view of Thimphu Valley and the Thimphu Dzong), and the zoo, which contains the national animal of Bhutan: the takin. From there we visit the nunnery temple, the National Library (which houses ancient manuscripts), and the School of Arts and Crafts (also known as the painting school). After a relaxing lunch, we visit the National Institute of Traditional Medicine, a traditional paper factory, the majestic Tashichhodzong. In the evening, you can stroll through Thimphu town and observe the life style of the people. Overnight in Thimphu.

  • Accommodation:Hotel
  • Meals:BLD
  • Place:Thimphu
  • Maximum Altitude:2320m

After breakfast this morning, enjoy the scenic drive to Punakha with a stop for tea at Dochu La (3,100 meters), where on a clear day we get spectacular views of the Himalayas. From the pass, drive downhill through the forests of rhododendron, fir and hemlock. Arrive at Punakha after traversing through rice field and along the bank of Punakha River. After lunch, visit Punakha Dzong, which is stunningly situated in between the male and female rivers like an anchored ship. Overnight in Punakha. 

  • Accommodation:Hotel
  • Meals:BLD
  • Place:Punakha
  • Maximum Altitude:1250m

After an early breakfast we drive to Bumthang, the cultural heartland of the country. The route is along a spectacular winding road, crossing 3,300-meter-high Pele La pass, and at certain times of year it's possible to see yaks. We stop in Trongsa for lunch. After lunch visit to Trongsa Dzong, the masterpiece of Bhutanese architecture. Then proceed to Bumthang with lush valleys and hilly forests. Along the way we stop at a yathra (textile weaving) factory, where the yathras are designed with patterns unique to Bumthang, and we can even watch some of the weavers at their looms. Check into hotel on arrival. Overnight in Bumthang.

  • Accommodation:Hotel
  • Meals:BLD
  • Place:Bumthang
  • Maximum Altitude:2850m

The route follows the Chamkhar Chu, a river known for trout. Stop for lunch at Thangbi Lhakhang. From here the trek enters the Ngang Yul (Land of the Swan) at the centre of which lies the Ngang Lhakhang (Swan Temple). In by-gone days, the valley was populated by swans, and hence the name Ngang Yul. Camp at an altitude of 9500 feet. 

  • Accommodation:Tent
  • Meals:BLD
  • Place:Ngang Lhakhang
  • Maximum Altitude:2895m

The trek starts with a gradual climb to Phephe La Pass at an altitude of 3353m/11,000 ft, the highest point of the trek route. The trail passes through beautiful forested areas where many stops can be made to enjoy the natural beauty of the place. Along the way, the Ugyen Choling Palace can be seen. Camp at an altitude of 9300 feet.

  • Accommodation:Tent
  • Meals:BLD
  • Place:Ugyen Choling
  • Maximum Altitude:2895m

The trail follows the Tang Chu, another trout-filled river. On the bank of the river is the Tang Rimpoche's Lhakhang. The trek will pass the Mebar Tsho (Flaming Lake). From Pangshing, the group will be picked up by transport and driven to Jakar. Overnight in Bumthang.

  • Accommodation:Hotel
  • Meals:BLD
  • Place:Bumthang.

Today's sightseeing in Bumthang includes Jakar Dzong, the administrative center of the valley; Jambay Lhakhang, one of the oldest monasteries in Bhutan, dating from the introduction of Buddhism in Bhutan; and Kurjey Lhakhang, one of the most sacred places, because Guru Rinpoche, a great 8th century spiritual master left his body imprint on the cave when he was meditating. Then visit Tamshing Monastery, which is founded by the great treasure discoverer. You can spend the evening strolling through Bumthang town. Overnight in Bumthang.

  • Accommodation:Hotel
  • Meals:BLD
  • Place:Bumthang.

Begin the day at the Bumthang market, and then drive to Wangdue. Along the way visit the typical Bhutanese town of Wangdue with its dramatic Dzong perched on a ridge at the bend of a river. The nearby villages are known for their slate and stone carvings. Overnight in Wangdue.

  • Accommodation:Hotel
  • Meals:BLD
  • Place:Wangdue
  • Maximum Altitude:1240m

This morning we return to Paro via Dochula Pass. On the way, we visit Chimi Lhakhang, which is a fertility temple dedicated to Divine Madman or Lama Drukpa Kuenley. If you wish, receive the blessing from the Lama’s wooden phallus! We stop for lunch at Dochula pass. Here we visit the new Druk Wangyal Monastery, which is the only of its kind in the country with elaborate paintings depicting the lineage of the present monarchy and their visionary works. Continue drive to Paro. Evening free time to explore Paro town. Overnight in Paro.

  • Accommodation:Hotel
  • Meals:BLD
  • Place:Paro

Drive to airport for departure. Today we bid farewell to the tiny Himalayan Kingdom and her friendly people. Druk Air generally departs in the early morning to avoid adverse weather conditions. Therefore, after taking breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport in the morning depending on the flight schedule and your destination. Alpine Eco Trek will bid you farewell. 

    Inclusion

    • Airport pick up and transfer to the hotel.
    • Three-night accommodation in Paro on BB basis (3-star category hotel) on twin sharing as mentioned in the itinerary
    • An experienced, helpful and friendly Government license holder trekking Guide.
    • Domestic airport pick up and drop by private car/van/ Minibus / Bus 
    • Required Trekking porter /sherpa (two people will get one trekking sherpa/ porter)
    • Three-time meal during the trekking Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
    • Bhutan visa fee
    • Bhutan travel permit 
    • Trekking permit as mentioned in the itinerary
    • All entrance and permit fees for visits to monuments and museums
    • Porter and pack animal services for trekking
    • Tents and Kitchen utensils for trekking
    • Company services and all required Bhutanese government taxes/royalties
    • All program as mentioned in the itinerary
    • Overland transportation
    • Insurance for  staff ( Trekking guide,  Driver and porters)
    • Guide and porter fares and taxes.
    • Government Tax and office service charge.
    • Airport drop
    • International flight ticket
    • High-risk medical insurance
    • Alcoholic beverage and telephone calls
    • Soft drinks such as cola, mineral water
    • Emergency rescue evacuation if needed
    • Purely personal nature expenses
    • Tipping /Tips(Tipping is Expected). 
    Request a Private Date

    Useful Information

    Cost Information 

    The trip cost will vary depending on the number of the persons in your group, trip duration and standard of services required. Please contact us or send us a quick inquiry with your details to obtain a quote.

    Clothing & Equipment 

    During the day a light shirt or jumper and lightweight pants will be suitable, but a warm fleece or down jacket is recommended for the evenings. Sleeping bags for the trip also highly recommended. A comprehensive list of equipment will be provided by Alpine Eco Trek once you book your trip. 

    Guide and Staffs arrangements

    Throughout your time in Bhutan, you will be accompanied by an experienced English speaking Bhutanese guide who will not only act as an interpreter but will also provide valuable insights into the Bhutanese way of life. All our Bhutan trekking trips are run in cooperation with our Bhutanese counterpart, so you can be assured that authentic local touch. 

    Insurance 

    Before joining a tour, we recommend you to take a travel insurance which should cover cancellation, medical expenses, and emergency repatriation.

    Ram Kumar Adhikari
    Talk to Leader
    Mr. Ram Kumar Adhikari

    +977 98510 36 844 (Call/Whatsapp/Viber/skype)