The Bumthang Owl Trek offers an invigorating experience of the culture and environment of the country. It is a moderate 3-day hiking route which starts from Menchugang and ends in Jakar Dzong. The trail has an abundance of flora and fauna, and the panoramic views of the valleys beneath the hill tops and the Himalayas spread over a broad horizon would be an experience that one shall cherish for a lifetime. This trek could be a substitute for the Bumthang Cultural Trek that has been deteriorated to a great degree by the farm road constructions.
Day 01: Arrival at Paro.
On arrival at the Paro Airport, you will be received by our representative who will then take you to your hotel. Rest of the evening at leisure. Overnight in Hotel.
Day 02: Paro - Paro.
Full day sightseeing in the Paro Valley. After breakfast drive to the Drugyel Dzong or the Fortress of Victory from where the Bhutanese repelled many Tibetan invasions. The Dzong though in ruins holds great historical importance to the Bhutanese. From there, in fine weather, one can view the majestic Mt. Jhumolhari standing at an altitude of 7329m above the sea. Other places of interest include the National Museum, Paro Rinpong Dzong and the local market. Overnight in Hotel.
Day 03: Paro - Thimphu.
Drive to the capital of the country after breakfast. Enroute you will be able to see the Tachogang Monastery. In Thimphu, visit the National memorial Chorten built in the loving memory of the Late King, His Majesty, Jigme Dorji Wangchuk. Also visit the National Library, Painting School ( week days) and the Changangkha Lhakhang. In the evening drive to the Sangay gang viewpoint to see the Thimphu valley in the evening sun. Your guide will be able to take you shopping if you so desire. Overnight in hotel.
Day 04: Thimphu - Trongsa.
The journey to Central Bhutan begins early in the morning with pack lunch on the way. The drive to Trongsa takes about 7 - 8 hours and you will be passing through beautiful forests as well as high passes from where you can have breathtaking views of the Himalayas. Overnight in Hotel.
Day 05: Trongsa - Bumthang.
The drive to Bumthang takes about 2 and half hours. Lunch will be served in the hotel. After lunch at leisure. A walk in the valley is recommended for acclimatisation. Overnight in Hotel.
Day 6: Chamkhar - Dhur Village
Start at Manchugang and visit the biggest village in Bumthang, called Dhur at an elevation of 2900 meters above sea level. The village consists of about 75 households with a recorded population of around 800 people. The single village has three types of inhabitants the Kheps (tax payers) having cattle and farmland, Brokpas (nomads) having Yaks and a third group having either. This village has two different dialects, the usual Bumthang Kha and the Brokke (nomadic dialects). A walk above the village to get the overall view of the village is interesting. Climb down to the river where the traditional water-driven flour mill can be visited. This traditional water driven flour mill used to be a source of livelihood for the people of Dhur village. It has been abandoned after the intake channel was washed away by flashflood. The programme has been rehabilitated as it symbolizes an authentic Bhutanese tradition. Continue the trek uphill through the blue pine forest and reach the camp at Schonath (3450m) in hemlock and juniper forest. The hauling of owls through the night is quite common, hence the name the Owl Trek.
Day 7: Dhur Village - Kitiphu
Trekking through the virgin forest of huge temperate trees like spruce, hemlock, fir, birch and many species of rhododendron makes you breathe the real wilderness of Bhutan. Bamboos are the main undergrowth of this wild forest. During the months of April and May the rhododendrons are in full bloom. In about two hours, you will arrive at the Drangela Pass (3600m). Ascending the Kitiphu ridge brings you to an altitude of 3870m for the night camp. If weather favors you, have a wonderful view of the valley and the panoramic snow caped Himalayan Mountains. The highest mountain of Bhutan Gangkarpunsum (7541m) stands right in front of you when you are on the peak of Kitiphu (4000m).
Day 8: Kitiphu - Jakar
The magnificent sun rise in the morning is a new experience in Bhutan. Climb down to the monasteries of Zambhalha, Chuedak and Tharpaling which brings you to the religious life of monkhood, the historical Buddhist learning centre. Chuedak monastery has 100 Avoloketeshvaras in the form of Chukchizhey (eleven heads) that you will see nowhere else in the country. Afternoon, walk along the ridge of Kikila and finally follow the traditional trek route between Trongsa and Bumthang (the Royal Heritage Trail). The best view of Jakar Dzong will end your three day trek with many interesting and unforgettable memories.
Day 09: Jakar - Jakar.
Bumthang is a land of myth and mysteries. This is probably the holiest of all the valleys in Bhutan. You can begin exploring the valley after a late breakfast. Drive to the Bumthang Jambay Lhakhang, the oldest monastery in the kingdom built by the Tibetan king Songtsen Gambo in the 8th century. Drive to the kurjey Lhakhang and the Tamshing Monastery. Visit the Swiss Diary farm. Evening at leisure. Overnight in hotel.
Day 10:Bumthang - Punakha.
The drive to Punakha, the ancient capital of Bhutan takes about 8 hours. Catch up on the sights missed on the previous trip to Bumthang. Overnight in Hotel.
Day 11: Punakha - Paro.
After breakfast drive to the Paro valley. Enroute visit the Semtokha Dzong, the oldest Dzong in the country built by the Zhabdrung Rinpoche in 1627 ad. which now serves as a school for language and literature. Overnight in Hotel.
Day 12: Final Departure from Paro.
Early morning drive to the Paro International Air port for onward journey.
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