Jhamsikhel, Lalitpur Kathmandu, Nepal
US Office: 35 Evergreen Lane Middlebury VT 05753
This trek is particularly famous for its hot springs which are said to be the most beautiful natural springs in the Himalayas. Dur Tshachu is located in the Wangchuck Centennial Park & seven hot springs are in this region. The average temperature of the hot springs varies from 38 to 52 degrees celsius.
The Dur Hot Springs Trek – trails lead you through forests of cyprus, juniper, spruce, hemlock and maple, the route also offers opportunity to view interesting fauna such as Snow leopard, Bhutan Takin, Musk deer, Blue sheep, Tibetian wolf and Himalayan black bear.
Fly Kathmandu to Paro Bhutan. During the flight, you will see breathtaking views of Mount Everest, Kanchenjunga and other famous Himalayan peaks, including the sacred Mount Jhomolhari and Jitchu Drake in Bhutan. On arrival at Paro International Airport, you will be received by your guide. Paro sightseeing: Drive to Drugyal Dzong (a ruined fortress ~16 km away from Paro town). The dzong(castle fortress) was built in 1647 although in ruins, holds great historical significance. It was from this fortress that the Bhutanese repelled many Tibetan invasions. The name means "The Victorious Bhutanese." This spot unfolds a magnificent vista of Mount Jhomolhari, 24000 feet / 7330 meters. Visit the 7th-century Kyichu Monastery, a typical Bhutanese farmhouse and Paro national museum on the way back.
Warm-up day, and stretch your legs after travel. Drive to Chelela Pass (one of the highest motorable pass in the Kingdom / about 3900 meters altitude above sea-level) and take a day hike along Chelela ridge.
Drive along the winding road alongside the Paro Chu (the Chu means water or river) to the confluence with the Wang Chu, then follow the Wang Chu to Thimphu, the Capital. After lunch visit the Memorial Chorten (dedicated to the Late Third King of Bhutan), Takins mini zoo (Takin is a rare and unique species and its the national animal of Bhutan), Thimphu view-point, Zilukha Nunnery, National Library, Traditional Painting School, traditional indigenous hospital, hand-made paper factory and visit to a traditional handicraft gift shop.
The journey to central Bhutan begins today. The drive to Trongsa takes about 7-8 hours from Thimphu. Packed lunch stop at Chendebji Chorten.
Drive for 2 and half hours to Jakar. Bumthang (the "Plain of Ghosts") is a land of myth and mystery and tales of the great Guru Padmasambhava who performed formidable feats and miracles here. Bumthang sightseeing: view of Jakar Dzong ("Castle of the White Bird"), Jambay Lhakhang (the monastery was built in the 7th century by the Tibetan King Songtsen Gambo), and visit Mebar Tso(the 'burning lake' from which Pema Lingpa retrieved sacred religious relics). Evening fire ceremony at Jambay Lhakhang, as the festival starts.
Bumthang to Gorsum, ~18 Km, 6-7 hrs journey. Camp ~3120 m. After breakfast transport will reach the group to the starting point of the trek just below Kurjey Lhakhang. The trek route follows the Chamkar Chu, a river rich in trout. The trail from Bumthang to Gorsum is a gradual climb.
Gorsum to Lungsum. ~12 Km, 5 hours journey. Camp ~ 3160 m.) The trail ascends gradually through the dense forest of spruce, hemlock, Cypress, Juniper, and Maple.
Lungsum to Tsochenchen, ~15 Km, 6-7 hours journey. Camp ~3100 m. The vegetation remains the same until the campsite, which is above tree level.
Tsochenchen to Dur Tsachhu, ~17 Km, 7 hours journey. Camp ~ 3400 m. The trek from Tshochenchen is uphill all the way till the Julila Pass at about 4700 m. From the pass, if the day is clear, surrounding mountains can be seen. After crossing the pass, the trail descends till the campsite. Musk deer, herds of blue sheep and the Himalayan bear is sometimes seen along the route.
Rest day at Dur Tsachhu (Hot Spring). After a late breakfast, relax in the hot spring or hike around the surrounding areas.
Dur Tsachhu to Tsochenchen, ~17 Km, 7 hours journey. The route from Dur Tsachu ascends till the Julia Pass and drops down till Tsochenchen.
Tshchenchen to Gorsum, ~27 Km, 9 hours journey. An early start is a must because the distance is longer than usual. The trail leads gradually downhill.
Gorsum to Bumthang. From Gorsum the trail descends gradually till the bridge near Dur village. From here transport will pick you up and take you to Bumthang.
The drive from Bumthang to Wangdi takes about 7 hours. Picnic lunch will be arranged along the way.
Drive from Wangdi to Paro. Visit Punakha Dzong en route. Punakha used to be the winter Capital of Bhutan until 1966. It is a place of great historical significance. The mortal remains of Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal are preserved in a shrine here. Punakha is also the winter residence of the (Head Abbot) and the Central Monk body.
Day trip to Taktsang, the Tiger's Nest Monastery. The monastery is perched on a rocky ledge with a sheer drop of nearly 4,000 feet. In the 8th century, Guru Padmasambhava flew here on a tiger's back to found the monastery.
Visit Paro week-end market and excursion with short day trek to Dzongdakha Monastery.
Depart Paro for Kathmandu, and connect to homebound flights.