Trip Name: Samtengang Winter Trek
Trip Id: TIB1414
Trip Duration: 10 Days
Max. Altitude: 2,350m/7,710ft (Thimphu)
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 car, van or bus (Depends on group size)
Trip Type: Private Tour
Samtengang Winter Trek is a short and easy trek combining the cultural essence of the local tradition and exploring the natural world. As the name suggest the trek is best enjoyed during the winter season when the skies are clear and un-obscured Himalayan views can be witnessed. The additional features of the program are visits to monasteries, temples and dzongs. The program starts after scenic flight over the Himalayas to the lush green valley of Paro followed by culturally rich Paro and Thimphu sightseeing. After visiting Punakha Dzong passing through beautiful rhododendron forest reaches the trek start-in-point. The hike starts the next day crossing green forests enjoying the nature, communicating with the locals, heading towards Samtengang and to eventually arrive at Wangdue across paddy fields, farm houses and local villages. Samtengang trek requires average level of fitness and for those enthusiasts who are up for trekking, jungle walks and exploring new culture and tradition in the land where Himalayas meet the skies.
Day to Day Itinerary:
Day 01: Arrival Paro (2,250m)
Arrive Paro by the Bhutanese National Carrier flying over the world’s highest mountains and finally landing at the lush green Paro valley. A cool and clean fresh air greets the visitor as stepping down from the plane, the first gift of Bhutan. After clearing customs and visa formalities, meet the representatives and the Bhutanese guide, and a short tour brief by the guide then transfer to Paro town. Today is rest at Paro for better acclimatizing (rest at the hotel) or Paro town can also be explored during the evening. Overnight at Hotel.(Lunch/Dinner included)
Day 02: Paro – Thimphu (2,350m)
After breakfast, drive towards Thimphu (the capital of Bhutan) which is about 1 & half hours drive. En-route Thimphu, one can do a short hike to Tamchog Monastery, a private temple owned by the descendents of famous Tibetan bridge – builder Thangthong Gaylpo. Later on continue the drive to Thimphu and visit Buddha point for a stunning view of Thimphu city and Takin Compound: One the way to the Viewpoint over Thimphu is the home of Bhutan’s national animal, the Takin, a strange looking beast which some say resembles a beestung moose. The Bhutanese have their own story to narrate about how the Takin was created by the Master Drukpa Kuenley (the divine madman).
In Thimphu visit Tashi Choe Dzong: The fortress of the glorious religion was initially constructed in 1641 and rebuilt by King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk in the 1960s. Visit the Folk Heritage Museum – a 300 year old traditional house converted into a museum. (Both open Mon-Fri). Brush shoulders with the everyday Bhutanese grocery shopping for local produce at the Centenary Farmers Market (Open Fri – Sun). Also see the new authentic craft bazaar (Close on Tue) of 80 stalls showcasing works by artisans from rural areas will showcase. Overnight at Hotel.(Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)
Day 03: Thimphu – Punakha (1,310m)
After breakfast, drive for about 3 hours to Punakha. Climb up the mountain road to Dochula La at 3140m. On clear weather, the pass commands a wonderful panorama of the Eastern Himalayas. From the pass, descend through varied forest and finally emerging into the highly cultivated valley of Punakha. Take a short hike through beautiful rice fields to Chimmi Lhakhang, a temple dedicated to Drukpa Kuenley, who as a favorite saint of the Bhutanese people is known affectionately as “the Divine Madman”. The temple is on a hillside in the middle of rice fields and has become a pilgrimage site for childless couples. Enjoy some tea and snacks at the end of hike while overlooking the fields. Afterwards, visit Punakha Dzong. Located at the confluence of the Pho-chu (male-river) and Mo-chu (female-river), the Punakha Dzong is arguably the most impressive dzong in the country. Overnight at Hotel.(Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)
Day 04: Khuruthang – Limukha (1,980m)
Drive to Punakha Dzong (1250m) and the trek starts from here. It is a gradual climb through chir pine forest and paddy fields, this route is also used to go to the village of Shegana. Overnight at Camp. (Walking Duration: 4 hrs)(Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)
Day 05: Trek to Chungsakha (1,550m)
Today the trail goes through Rhododendron and oak forested area. En-route pass via famous Drukpa Kuenley’s temple. Overnight camp. (Walking time 5 hrs)(Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)
Day 06: Trek to Samtengang (650m)
This day the trail goes through the villages of Sha, under Wagdue District. Overnight camp. (walking time 5 hrs)(Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)
Day 07: Trek to Chuzomsa / Wangdue (1,310m)
The trail is downhill and the trek ends at Chumzomsa. From here it is a 20 minute drive to Wangdue. Afternoon at leisure or explore Wangdue town or Rinchengang village. Overnight at Hotel. (Walking time 5 hrs)(Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)
Day 08: Wangdue – Haa Valley (3050m) – Paro (2250m)
After breakfast, drive over the Chelela pass (3899 m). From the pass, good view of the Himalayan Ranges and the valley beyond can be spotted. Then continue the drive towards Haa. Haa is made up of five counties and was closed to outside world until 2002. There is a military camp by the Indian Army. In Haa valley, visit Wangchucklo Dzong dating back to 1915 and Lhakhang Nakpo (Black temple) is said to have been built by pigeon emanation of King Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century and Lhakhang Karpo (white temple). After the visit drive to Paro. Overnight at Hotel (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)
Day 09: Paro – Hike to Taktsang Monastery ‘Tiger’s Nest’ (3,120m)
After breakfast drive towards the base camp of Taktsang for the hike up to the Taktsang Monastery-Tiger’s Nest. It’s about two 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 8th century. Then visit the Taktsang Monastery and hike back to the road point then drive to Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest and most sacred shrines in Bhutan. Afterwards, back to hotel. Overnight at Hotel (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)
Day 10: Paro depart
After breakfast, drive to the Paro airport in time to catch the onward flight. Bid farewell to the remote and legendary Dragon Kingdom disappears again behind its guardian mountains.(Breakfast only included)
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• Airport pick-up and drop-off by private vehicle.
• 3-star accommodation (4 & 5 stars may require an additional premium).
• Bhutan visa fee – including all necessary processing
• Route Permit
• Three meals per day during your stay in Bhutan
• A licensed Bhutanese tour guide
• All land transportation by private vehicle
• Camping equipment and haulage for trekking tours
• Sightseeing as per itinerary
• Monuments entrance fees where applicable
• Drinking water
• All internal taxes and charges
• A sustainable development fee of $65. (This sustainable development fee goes towards free education, free healthcare, poverty alleviation, along with the building of infrastructure.)
• Airfare & Travel Insurance
• Expenses of personal nature, Tips to guides and drivers
• Expenses occurred due to unavoidable events i.e. road wrecks, flight delays etc.
• On the day of departure, the ‘local agents’ host obligation shall be limited to providing breakfast only and any extra requirements shall be payable on a usage basis.
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.