Trekking in Bhutan's Hidden Valleys of Sakteng
Bhutan, Trek & Walk, 15 days - from £2,695 (land only) - from €3,775 (land only) - from $4,310 (land only)
Day 1: Rendezvous at the group hotel in Kathmandu. Complimentary airport transfers are provided. KE Land Only package services start with dinner and the overnight stay at the group hotel.
Day 2: We take the spectacular flight eastwards along the chain of the Himalaya to Bhutan's only international airport at Paro. Here we are met by our guide and we transfer approximately 1 hour to the capital, Thimpu where we check into our hotel. The rest of the afternoon is free to look around Thimpu before dinner.
Day 3: Driving on Bhutan's only main road, we leave Thimpu and crossing the Dochu La, with its panoramas of Bhutan's biggest peaks, we descend to the very photogenic Punakha Dzong. We then continue to Wangdi which boasts another impressive dzong. Overnight in a hotel in Wangdi.
Day 4: This morning we continue our journey east, crossing the Chele La to reach Tongsa. We can visit the imposing dzong here before crossing the Yutong La and descending to the district of Bumthang where we check into a simple lodge.
Day 5: Our tour continues with the crossing of another road pass, the Thumsing La (3800m). A long descent through Mongar brings us to Trashigang, a small laid-back town with a central cobbled square. We stay overnight in Trashigang.
Day 6: We drive for approximately 1.5 hours to Chaling where we meet our crew and set off trekking for around 7 hours through rich forest. We cross the Mendru La (3354m) to reach our first night's camp beside the river at Damnong Chu (3120m)
Day 7: We have a 4 - 5 hour trek mostly along the river, with a final short climb to reach Merak village by early afternoon. We set up camp outside the village and the rest of the day is free for exploration.
Day 8: A longish day today, crossing the Nyakchung La, (4150m) and descending through lush green forest to a clearing at Miksa Teng. 6 - 7 hours.
Day 9: An easier day of around 4 - 5 hours trekking as we descend to the river and follow this before a final climb to a pass leading to the Sakteng Valley. We descend to the village and set up camp in the surrounding fields. We aim to reach Sakteng by lunchtime and the afternoon is free for exploration. Overnight in Sakteng
Day 10: Leaving Sakteng our route takes us steadily down valley. There are some ups and downs too before reaching our riverside camp below the village of Jyonkhar. 6 - 7 hours.
Day 11: We begin with a climb and visit to Jyonkhar village, then our trek continues with several ascents and descents to negotiate tributary valleys After 4 - 5 hours we arrive at the road-head at Phongme where our transport will be waiting. We drive via Ranjung to Trashigang where we will stay in a basic lodge.
Day 12: We make the return drive across the Thumsing La (3800m) to Bumthang where we check into a lodge.
Day 13: We take a morning flight across the country to Paro tracing the route of our road tour at the beginning of the holiday. Arriving in Paro we can check into our hotel before exploring the Paro valley with visits to the dzong and the national museum and an optional hike (4 - 5 hours) to visit to the stunning Taktsang Monastery.
Day 14: We fly back to Kathmandu and transfer to the group hotel. Depending on time available there is an optional complimentary guided sightseeing tour of the city. This evening we will enjoy a celebration 'Farewell' dinner. Overnight at the group hotel in Kathmandu
Day 15: KE land only package services end after breakfast and transfer to the airport.
This holiday involves going to high altitude. During the course of your trip you will reach altitudes in excess of 3500 metres. This is not something that you should worry about; the human body is quite capable of adapting to a very wide range of altitudes, but it is important that we follow some simple rules in order to acclimatise successfully. Before coming on this holiday you should read the advice on trekking at high altitude.