Trekking in Bhutan's Hidden Valleys of Sakteng
Day 1: Rendezvous at the group hotel in Delhi. Complimentary airport transfers are provided on this day. KE group package services begin with a tour of the city. Overnight in Delhi.
Day 2: Transfer to the domestic terminal for the onward flight to Gauhati in Assam. We meet our vehicles here and drive (3 hours) across the border at Samdrup Jongkhar. We check in to our hotel.
Day 3: We drive through the wooded Himalayan foothills to the small town of Trashigang below an imposing fortress monastery (dzong). Here we will stay in a basic lodge.
Day 4: We drive for approximately 1.5 hours to Chaling where we meet our crew . We trek for around 7 hours through rich forest and cross the Mendru La ((3354m) to reach our first night's camp beside the river at Damnong Chu (3120m).
Day 5: 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 6: 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 7: 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.
Day 8: A day to look around the village, its gompas and environs. The local people will no doubt be just as interested in us since this place was closed to foreigners until 2009. We spend our second night in the village.
Day 9: 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 10: 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 11: We make the return drive down to Samdrup Jongkhar on the border with Assam and check into a hotel.
Day 12: After a short (3 hour) drive to Guarhati we check in for the flight to Delhi. On arrival we check in our hotel in Delhi and have a celebratory meal. Overnight hotel Delhi.
Day 13: 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.