The Druk Path Trek and Paro Festival
Bhutan, Trek & Walk, 12 days - from £2,195 (land only) - from €2,635 (land only) - from $3,620 (land only)
Combine a classic short trek in Bhutan with the Paro Festival
Following the ancient high route from Paro to Thimpu, the classic Druk Path trek combines spectacular views of the Himalaya with the special cultural experience of the Paro Festival
- Bhutan highlights, Paro Festival and an outstanding 5-day trek
- Breathtaking views of the Himalaya including Chomolhari
- High ridges and idyllic lakeside camps
- The spectacular and colourful Paro Festival
- Trekking unspoilt landscapes in the Land of the Thunder Dragon
Following the ancient high-level route between Paro and Thimpu, the Druk Path is an excellent short trek. The first day's walk leads to the ruined Jeli Dzong which sits on a high ridge above the Paro Valley and commands breathtaking views across to Chomolhari. During the succeeding 4 days of trekking, we climb above the tree-line and cross several passes, including the Phume La (4210m). En route, we camp beside clear mountain lakes, visit yak herders encampments and enjoy splendid panoramas of the peaks on the border with Tibet, including Jitchu Drake and Gangkar Puensum. There is also the opportunity to hike up to Taktsang Monastery in the Paro Valley and to visit the impressive Tasichoedzong at Thimpu. An an excursion to the important dzongs at Punakha and Wangdi is an additional feature of most departures. Offering easy trekking within a pristine landscape, this popular holiday provides the chance to experience the unique and fascinating culture of Bhutan.
The Paro Tsechu (Festival):
Religious festivals are taken very seriously by the Bhutanese, who have an unquestioning faith in their religion. However, in addition to gaining a great deal of religious merit from attending a festival, the Bhutanese also derive much enjoyment. They dress in their best clothes and jewellery, make an effort to mix with their friends and acquaintances, eat and drink to excess, and generally have a good time. One of the most important festivals in the Bhutanese calendar is the Paro Tsechu which takes place each spring. We have arranged for our Spring Druk Path trek to coincide with this festival. We will have plenty of opportunity to watch the colourful masked dancers whirling and leaping, and also the equally colourful audience dressed in their finest Khos and Khias. Within the festival ground are many stalls, selling everything from cooking utensils to exotic jewellery and you will also find stalls offering strange and delicious food, and there's even a beer tent.
Is this holiday for you?
Trekking conditions on this short trek are nowhere difficult, since we are following a route which was formerly an important link between Paro and Thimpu and which has been used for generations by pack-animals. The altitude attained on the trip is not extreme and the passes that we cross should not be snow covered at the time of our departures. This route presents a great variety of landscape type; ranging from terraced farmland, through some of the finest mixed forest in the world, to open, alpine pastureland and scenic mountain passes. This is a short trek, at relatively low altitude and it is not very sustained. However it should be noted that trekking at even moderately high altitude is more demanding than the same terrain at sea level.