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Bhutan houses hundreds of sacred monasteries, stupas, religious institutions, prayer flags and prayer wheels. In fact the country’s religion is intricately woven with its every-day cultural practices. Bhutan Cultural Tour with 3 days Chelela Trek helps you get acquainted with the Dragon Kingdom’s unique culture while also exposing you to its beautiful landscape with 3 days of amazing trekking experience. The tour begins in Paro with visits to the town’s landmarks like Kichu Lhakhang temple and the Drugyal Dzong. Next, you will hike to the highly venerated Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) Monastery which will also help with acclimatization. The three days trek begins in Sagala and ends in Chele La pass. Drive to Thimphu and Punakha and visit several significant religious and cultural landmarks. The Bhutan Cultural Tour with 3 Days Chelela Trek finally ends in Paro where it began.
|Day 01 Arrival and sightseeing in Paro||2,250m/7,382ft|
|Day 02 Acclimatization hike to Tiger's Nest Monastery||3,180m/10,434ft||4-5 hrs|
|Day 03 Drive from Paro to Haa, trek to Sagala, trek starts||3,150m/10,335ft||3-4 hrs|
|Day 04 Trek Sagala pass to Ningula||3,850m/12,632ft||6 hrs|
|Day 05 Ningula to Chele La pass, drive to Thimphu, trek ends||3,988m/13,085ft||6 hrs|
|Day 06 Thimphu to Punakha||1,250m/4,101ft|
|Day 07 Punakha to Paro||2,250m/7,382ft|
|Day 08 Final departure||-|
As our flight nears Bhutan we can enjoy amazing views of the Himalayas including the sacred Chomolhari and Jichu Drake peaks. At the airport, we will be greeted by a representative from Himalayan Glacier who will take us to our hotel. After lunch, we visit Rinpung Dzong, meaning ‘fortress of the heap of jewels’. Next, visit Kichu Lhakhang, the oldest temple in the country. From here we will be 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 Chomolhari, Bhutan’s second-highest mountain, at 7,314meters. Overnight in Paro.
After breakfast we hike to Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) Monastery, which is Bhutan’s most famous monastery situated at 3,180 meters. Guru Rinpoche (spiritual master) is said to have flown on the back of a tigress to meditate in a cave where Taktsang Monastery now stands. Lunch will be served in the Cafeteria Restaurant, located about halfway up the mountain. After having explored the monastery, we hike down to the valley floor and return to Paro. Overnight in Paro.
In the morning we drive to Haa valley across Chele La pass at 3810m. We meet our trekking staff and trek through an unpaved motor road for less than an hour. The trail on the right side of the village will take us to a yak herder’s camp. And from the end of this camp, we traverse through two different trails. We take the trail on our right and climb towards our camp which is located just below Saga La pass at 3150 meters. Overnight camping at Sagala pass.
From the camp we start climbing for 30 minutes to reach the Sagala pass (3550m). If the weather is clear we will get excellent view of Mt. Jumolhari and Jitchu Drake Peak. From the pass, we walk on the right side of the trail. After making several ascents and descents, walking through rhododendron tress and meadows, we will finally be on the top of the ridge which provides great views of Haa Valley. We make occasional ascents and descents through Hemlock and Juniper forests until we reach our camp. Overnight camping at Ningula.
We descend for a few minutes on a ridge through meadows which are also yak herder’s camps. We will then climb uphill through the forest of tall rhododendron trees, meadows adorned with stone cairns to Kung Karpo Pass. The view of Haa valley is spectacular as you climb up through these cairns. After hiking on the ridges we reach Kung Karpo. From here we will be walking up and down enjoying great vies of the Paro and Haa valleys and Kila Gompa Nunnery. We walk down along the ridge with the company of dwarf rhododendron plants and colorful Buddhist prayer flags untill we reach Chelela pass at 3990m, which is one of the highest motorable passes in Bhutan. Our car will be waiting for us here and we drive to Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan. In the evening, we can stroll freely in streets of the city and absorb local lifestyle. Overnight in Thimphu.
After breakfast, we set out on a scenic drive to Punakha with a stop at Dochu La pass (3,100m), where on a clear day we can get spectacular views of the Himalayas. From the pass, we drive downhill through rhododendron, fir and hemlock forests. We stop at Lobesa and hike through rice paddies to Chimi Lhakhang temple. This temple is dedicated to Drukpa Kuenley, or the ‘Divine Madman’, who is believed to bless women who seek fertility. Overnight in Punakha.
After breakfast, we visit the Punakha Dzong, which is situated between the male and female rivers like an anchored ship. Next, we drive to Paro via Dochu La pass. There, we visit the new Druk Wangyal Monastery. With elaborate paintings depicting the lineage of the present monarchy and their visionary works, the Druk Wangyal Monastery is the only one of its kind in the country. After the tour of the monastery, we continue our drive with a stop in Thimphu for lunch. Overnight in Paro.
Today we bid farewell to the tiny Himalayan Kingdom and her friendly people. After early breakfast, we drive to the Paro airport. Druk Air generally departs in the early morning to avoid adverse weather conditions. Therefore, after taking breakfast, we will be taken to the airport in the morning for final departure.
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All meals (full board) will be made available on the trip. A variety of meals are available in most hotels the most popular being Indian, Chinese, and the more common continental food. Non-vegetarian dishes are generally available in most parts of Bhutan - pork, beef, chicken, and fish. The best advice is to ask the hotel and restaurant to recommend what is fresh and in season.
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