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Dagala Trek/Trek of the Thousand Lakes

Dagala Trek/Trek of the Thousand Lakes

Day – 1 Arrive Paro International Airport
During the journey to Paro, one will experience breath taking view of Mount Everest, Kanchenjunga and other famous Himalayan peaks, including the sacred Chomolhari and Mount Jichu Drake in Bhutan. On arrival at Paro International Airport, you will be received by representatives of our tour operator, who will escort you to the Hotel where arrangements have been made for two nights.

Evening: relax at the hotel or take a stroll around the hotel compound.

Day – 2 Paro – Sightseeing
Morning: Drive to Drugyel Dzong (a ruined fortress – 16 Kms. away from Paro Town). Although in ruins, this Dzong is of great historical importance. It was here that the Bhutanese finally defeated the invading Tibetans and drove them back. From here, the peak of Chomolhari “Mountain of the Goddess” can be seen on a clear day (Alt. 7,329m/ 24,029ft.). On the way back you visit a typical Bhutanese farmhouse. After lunch, at the hotel, take a leisurely stroll around the compound.

Visit the Rinchen Pong Dzong. This massive fortress is located on a small hill just above the Paro river (Pachu) in the Paro valley. You have to walk about 15 minutes by crossing an ancient wooden bridge with shingle roof built in typical Bhutanese architect. The Dzong houses the district administration office and the District Monk Body. It was built in 1645 AD.

Lunch in the Hotel. After lunch, visit the National Museum (Ta-Dzong). This was actually the Watch Tower of the Paro Rinchen Pong Dzong and was converted into the National Museum in 1965.

Visit Kyichu Lhakhang (monastery). The monastery was built in 659 A.D. by King Songtsen Gampo of Tibet as one of the 108 such monasteries he built in various places to spread Buddhism. It is located between Paro Town and Drugyal Dzong and is considered one of the holiest monasteries in Bhutan as it marks the advent of Buddhism in the country.

Day – 3  Paro – Thimphu
Drive to Thimphu takes about 2 hours with a distance of 65 Km. Check in at Hotel. After some rest visit the following places:

Memorial Chorten (a huge stupa) built in memory of the third King of Bhutan, Majesty who reigned the Kingdom from 1952 – 1972.

The National Library where ancient manuscripts are preserved.

Visit Tashichho Dzong. This is the main secretariat building. This massive structure houses part of the government ministries, office of the King and the Throne Room. It also houses the State Monastic Body and the living quarters of the Chief Abbot and senior monks. Evening: Reception by your hosts with cultural show.

Day – 4 Thimphu – Sightseeing
Visit Simtokha Dzong. This is one of the oldest fortresses in Bhutan. It was built in 1629 A.D. It houses the largest monastic schools in the country.

Visit the wood craft and painting school where traditional art and crafts are still kept alive.

Visit the Handicrafts Emporium where Bhutanese textiles and other arts are displayed and can be purchased.

Lunch and afternoon siesta

Early evening will be left free to stroll around Thimphu valley and its town.

Evening: Relax in Thimphu’s modern health club and beauty parlor, “Sakten Health Club and Salon” where sauna, steam, gymnasium facilities are available as well as full beauty treatment, including hair dressing, skin care (with pure herbal products) and body massage services. For our guests, the Health Club facilities (sauna, steam and gym) are free while beauty services are available for concessional rates.

Day – 5 The Trek Begins from Thimphu to Talekha
The trek starts from Simtokha Dzong where the ponies and camping crew members will be waiting with ponies. The trek trail leads through blue pine and evergreen forests till Talekha village which lies at an altitude of 2925m. The first two hours are difficult climb but the remaining two hours are pleasant walk through all blue pine forests. The Talekha village consists of five houses and a huge temple called Tale-Lhakhang. Overnight at Talekha campsite.

Day – 6 Talekha – Japhuna
The trek leads you through thick forests of blue pine and evergreen oak trees into soft pine and spruce forests for about two and half hours. For lunch halt at a yak camp site. Here the tree line ends. After lunch you cross a pass called Jelezela, Alt. 4000m. From the pass, one can have a breathtaking view of Thimphu valley and its surrounding mountain ridges. After crossing two ridges, you arrive at the second campsite, Japhuna, at Alt. 3800m.

Day – 7 Japhuna – Jaduna
The trail from Japhuna takes you up and down over several ridges for about four hours till you come across a small stream where you will find two trails which will lead you to the same destination. Along the route, there are many small lakes. After another hour and a half climb through rhododendron shrubs, you reach the third campsite which is also a yak camp. Alt. 4100m.

Day – 8 Jaduna – Labatama
There are two trails, one going on the left side of Aum Jomo ( highest peak in the Dagala range ), and the other onto the right side of Aum Jomo over the Jomigue pass and Setso Yumtso lakes. We follow the trail that goes on the right side of Aum Jomo and climb up to the Jomigue pass ( alt. 4460m ) after passing the Dungka Tso lake. From the pass, you can see beautiful views of the high mountains towards the northern Bhutan. After the pass, you descend for about 2 hrs. to reach Labatama yak camp by the side of the Yumtso lake where you camp for the night.

Day – 9 Labatama ( halt )
You can visit several lakes and enjoy a good fishing day in the lakes or go back to Jomigue pass and climb Aum Jomo till the summit (5050m) which will take about 5-6 hrs.

Day – 10 Labatama – Genekha
Today, you leave the lovely pasture of Labana and move out of Dagala range. The trail ascends gradually through beautiful landscape till you reach Pagalaptsa pass ( alt 4170m ), the highest point of the day.

From the pass, you have beautiful views of the Genekha village and a portion of the Paro valley. After the pass, you gradually climb down through thick Rhododendron shrubs and thick oak forest till you reach Genekha. Overnight in camp in Genekha.

Day – 11 Genekha – Paro
A short walk will bring you to the motor road where your transport will be waiting. Drive to Paro which is only 45 Kms and takes a little over an hour.

Overnight in hotel.

Day – 12 Day excursion to Taktsang Monastery.
Drive up to Satsam Chorten ( 10 Kms from Paro town ) and from there walk up to Taktsang Monastery. The name Taktsang means ” Tiger’s Nest “. The Monastery is perched on a rocky ledge with a sheer drop of nearly 4000 ft. and overlooks the Paro river and the valley. It is believed that in the second half of the 8th century, Guru Padma Sambhava, known as the second Buddha in Bhutan, meditated in the spot where the Monastery is situated having alighted there on the back of a flying Tigress. The Monastery itself was built in 1684 AD. Picnic lunch at the Taktsang cafeteria. The round trip hike takes about 4 hrs.

Day – 13 Depart for Paro International Airport
Seen off by your guide.