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The Bumthang Owl trek is a moderate 3-day hiking route, which starts from Menchugang and ends in Jakar Dzong.
The trail has an abundance of flora and fauna and the panoramic views of the valleys and the Himalayas spread over a broad horizon is an experience of a lifetime.
This trek could be a substitute for the Bumthang Cultural Trek that has deteriorated because of ongoing farm road constructions to villages.
This trek also combines the cultural tour of the central and western districts of Paro, Thimphu, Punakha, Wangduephodrang, Trongsa and Bumthang.

  • Explore Bumthang, the spiritual heartland of Bhutan.
  • Experience village life in Dhur.
  • Bumthang Owl trek will take you to untouched traditional villages in spectacular Himalayan snow mountains with rich culture and genuine adventure.
  • The trek passes through villages, temperate forests of blue pine, fir, spruce, juniper, hemlock, and rhododendrons. In spring, the rhododendrons are in bloom.
  • Birds of varying species, among them the big Monal pheasant, can be sighted around the second camp and Tharpaling area during mornings and evenings.
  • Get a glimpse of the monastic life in Tharpaling, Zhambala and Choedak monasteries.
  • Visit Phobjikha valley, the most significant wetland in the country and the winter habitat of the endangered Black‐necked cranes.
  • Day hike to “Tiger’s Nest” monastery, one of the most sacred Buddhist pilgrimage sites in the eastern Himalayas.


DAY 1~ ARRIVAL PARO (2280m) & DRIVE TO THIMPHU: 65KM/APPROX 1HR

DAY 2~ PARO ACLIMAZATION HIKE TO TIGER’S NEST “Taktshang”

DAY 3~ THIMPHU (2320m)

DAY 4~ THIMPHU – PUNAKHA(1300m) : 77KM/APPROX 3HR

DAY 5~ PUNAKHA – TRONGSA (2316m): 142KM/APPROX 5HR

DAY 6~ BUMTHANG (2600m-4000m)

DAY 7~ CHAMKHAR – DHUR VILLAGE

DAY 8~ DHUR VILLAGE – KITIPHU

DAY 9~ KITIPHU – JAKAR

DAY 10~ BUMTHANG – PHOBJIKHA(2982m):155KM/APPROX 5 ½ HR

DAY 11~PHOBJIKHA – THIMPHU: 130KM/APPROX 4 ½ HR

DAY 12~ PARO DEPARTURE


DAY 1~ ARRIVAL PARO (Altitude: 2280m)
Paro DzongThe flight into Paro valley is perhaps one of the most spectacular in the world. It takes you over the mighty and sacred Himalayas, offering amazing views of the world’s highest peaks.
As you descend into the terraced rice fields of Paro valley, you will see a landscape that is nothing like anywhere else in the world with traditional structures that blend beautifully into the rugged mountainous terrain. Our representative from Bhutan Bokar Tours & Treks & Treks will be at Paro airport to receive you and drive you to your hotel. In the evening you are free to relax and stroll through the small and unique town of Paro.
Overnight at hotel, Paro. LD

DAY 2~ PARO ACLIMAZATION HIKE TO TIGER’S NEST “Taktshang”
Tigers Nest ParoToday, you will drive through Paro valley to take on the stunning hike to Taktshang Gompa or Tiger’s Nest. Your hike to Taktshang from the road point goes through a well-maintained path, which is uphill and takes around 3-4 hours at an average walking speed. The trail climbs through beautiful pine forests with many trees adorned with Spanish moss.

You will stop for rest and light refreshments at the Taktshang cafeteria. The primary temple was built around Guru Rimpoche’s meditation cave in 1684 by the Penlop of Paro, Gyaltse Tenzin Rabgay. This incredible monastery clings to the edge of a sheer rock cliff that plunges 900 meters into the valley below. Legend has it that Guru Padmasambhava, the tantric mystic who brought Buddhism to Bhutan in 747 AD, flew here on the back of a flying tigress, Dorji Drolo, said to be his consort.

In the afternoon you will drive to the ancient watchtower, locally known as Ta-Dzong, which now serves as a museum.The seven-floor museum highlights various aspects of Bhutanese culture and history dating back to the 7th century. From the museum you will take a short walk downhill to the Rinpung Dzong, the district administrative and religious center. If you wish your dinner at typical Bhutanese farm house you can halt a night in a farm house in Paro. BLD

DAY 3~ THIMPHU (2320m)
Thimphu DzongToday’s exploration of Thimphu begins with a visit to the National Memorial Chorten, a Buddhist Stupa, dedicated to world peace and prosperity. It was built in 1974 in memory of the Third King of Bhutan. You will find Thimphu residents circumambulating the Stupa throughout the day praying for universal harmony and all sentient beings. Your next stop is the National Library that holds thousands of ancient Buddhist texts and scriptures. It also has a small but growing collection of modern books.
You will also visit the National Institute of Zorig Chusum where students train in Bhutan’s thirteen traditional arts and crafts and the Folk Heritage Museum, which will provide insight into a traditional Bhutanese farm house and Bhutan’s fast disappearing rural past.

After lunch, you will visit the 12th century Changangkha Lhakhang, a fortress like temple perched on a ridge above Thimphu. Toward the northern end of Thimphu valley, is a preserve for the Takin, the kingdom’s national animal.
Drive further up from the preserve to Sangaygang for a bird’s eye view of Thimphu city. On the way down visit a nunnery temple and the Tashichhodzong or “the fortress of the glorious religion” which is Bhutan’s seat of government. It is also the summer residence of the Je Khenpo or the Chief Abbot. Overnight stay at hotel, Thimphu. BLD

DAY 4~ THIMPHU – PUNAKHA(1300m) : 77KM/APPROX 3HR
Dochula ChorternToday, the drive to Punakha, the old capital of Bhutan, passes through some of the kingdom’s dramatic river valleys and paddy lands. The first stop will allow you to hike up to Hongtsho Goemba to view the stunning 15th century wall paintings before heading over Dochu La, 3050meters pass, from where snow-capped eastern Himalayan ranges can be seen on a clear day. Once you cross the pass, the road winds down to the warmer valleys of Punakha and Wangdue.

En-route you will stop at Mitsina village and visit Chimi Lhakhang, also known as the temple of fertility and dedicated to Drukpa Kuenley, the 15th century saint, also known as the divine madman, for his outrageous methods of teaching the dharma. It is a 20-minute walk through rice fields to the temple were you get blessed by a wooden phallus. In the afternoon you will visit the majestic Punakha Dzong, which stands at the junction of the two rivers, Pho Chu and Mo Chu. Overnight at hotel, Punakha. BLD

DAY 5~ PUNAKHA – TRONGSA (2316m): 142KM/APPROX 5HR
Trongsa DzongHeading out from the abode of Punakha you will drive about 6 hours to Trongsa passing over Pele La, 3390 meters pass. Trongsa forms the central hub of the kingdom and is historically the place from where attempts at the unifying the country were launched.

In the afternoon you will visit Trongsa Dzong, built in 1648, it was seat of power over central and eastern Bhutan. Both the first and second kings ruled the country from this ancient seat. You will also visit Ta Dzong perched above the Trongsa, which served as a watch tower in days of yore. It has now been restored from ground up and converted into a museum presenting the rich historical and religious heritage of Trongsa Dzong. Overnights at hotel, Trongsa. BLD

DAY 6~ BUMTHANG (2600m-4000m)
Jakar DzongAfter breakfast you will drive to Bumthang going over Yotong La pass, (3425 m). Here you will get the first glimpse of the Black mountains and Himalayan peaks such as Jomolhari. Once over the pass, the journey proceeds through hilly forests into a broad valley. Along the way you will stop at a Yathra textile weaving hand loom centre. The yathra weave are designed with patterns unique to Bumthang. You can even watch some of the weavers at their looms.

Your visit in Bumthang includes Jakar Dzong, the administrative center of the valley, Jambay Lhakhang, one of the oldest monasteries in the Bhutan, dating from the introduction of Buddhism in Bhutan and Kurjey Lhakhang, one of the most sacred places, where Guru Rinpoche left his body imprint on the cave when he was meditating. From there you will hike 30 minutes to Tamshing Lhakhang on the other side of the river opposite the Kurje Lhakhang; Kenchosum Lhakhang; and Mebar Tsho (Lake of Burning Fire). Overnight at hotel, Bumthang. BLD

DAY 7~ CHAMKHAR – DHUR VILLAGE
Village in BhutanThe trek starts from Manchugang and goes through the village of Dhur (2,900m), which is inhabited by the nomadic Kheps and Brokpas. The village has two languages spoken by the villagers and the nomads. The trek continues with an uphill climb through blue pine forests up to the camp site (3,450m) that is set in hemlock and juniper forests. At night you can hear the owls hoot. Overnight at tented camp. BLD

 

DAY 8~ DHUR VILLAGE – KITIPHU

Ura Valley, Bumthang

The second day of the trek is through lush forest with rhododendrons that bloom in April and May. Drangela Pass (3,600m) appears after a few hours of walking. From there the climb to Kitiphu ridge leads to the campsite for the night at an altitude of 3,870m. This location offers panoramic views of the Mount Gangkarpensum (7,541m) and the valleys far below. Overnight at tented camp. BLD

 

DAY 9~ KITIPHU – JAKAR

Tourist on TrekThe trail descends to the monasteries of Zambhalha, Chuedak and Tharpaling. Then the trail goes along the ridge of Kikila following the ancient walking route between Trongsa and Bumthang until a point that offers the best view of Jakar Dzong. This is end point of the trek. From here a vehicle will take you a  hotel for the night. Overnight at tented camp. BLD

 

DAY 10~ BUMTHANG – PHOBJIKHA (2982m):155KM/APPROX 5 ½ HR

Bumthang BhutanToday you drive to the glacier valley of Phobjikha is one of the most important wildlife preserves in the country, because of the large flock of black-necked cranes that roost here in winter. The valley also has a very interesting Nyingmapa monastery that dates back to the 17th century.
On the way you will stop at Chendebji Chorten, patterned on Katmandu’s Swayambhunath stupa, with eyes painted at the four cardinal points. It was built in the 18th century by Lama Shida to cover the remains of an evil spirit that was subdued at this spot.

After lunch you will continue drive to Phobjika valley. You can do short walk leading downhill from mani stone wall just north of Gangtey Goenpa to the Khewa Lhakhang. The trail descends to Semchubara village and keeps straight at the Chortens into the edge of the forest, before descending to a square Chorten and the Lhakhang. From here you can cross over the metal bridge to the community school. Overnight at hotel, Gangtey. BLD

DAY 11~PHOBJIKHA – THIMPHU: 130KM/APPROX 4 ½ HR
In the morning you will visit to Gangtey Monasteries BeforPhobjikhae starting off to Paro, five hour drive from Phobjikha. Visit to reconstruction of Wangdue Dzong, which went up in flames in 2011, and observe Bhutanese artisans work on wood and stone.

You will stop at Dochula for lunch, from there you can enjoy the view of Himalayan ranges and snow peaks. You also visit Druk Wangyel Lhakhang built by the eldest queen mother. Continue drive to Thimphu, capital city of Bhutan. Overnight at hotel, Thimphu. BLD

DAY 12~ PARO DEPARTURE
Drukair flight at paroEarly morning drive to the Paro International Air port for onward journey.