Samtengang Winter Trek
Day 1: Arrive Paro
During the journey to Paro, one will experience breath-taking view of Mount Everest, Kanchenjunga and other famous Himalayan peaks, including the sacred Jumolhari and Mount Jichu Drake in Bhutan.
On arrival at Paro airport, you will be met by our representative, and transferred to the hotel in Paro. Afternoon free for sightseeing or leisure. Overnight at the hotel in Paro.
Day 2: Paro
Begin this day with a short drive to the ruined fortress of Drugyel dzong which still attracts visitors due to the strategic location of the fort. From this fort Bhutanese repelled several invasions by Tibetan armies. Nearby visit traditional Bhutanese Farm House which offers good insight into lifestyle of local people. Then take an excursion to Taktsang Monastery, the spot where Guru Rinpoche arrived on the back of a tigress and meditated. The temple is perched on a sheer rock face. The excursion to monastery’s view point takes about 5 hours for round trip. While return to Paro town visit enroute Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest and most sacred shrines of the Kingdom. In the evening visit local market and overnight at the hotel in Paro.
Day 3: Paro – Thimphu
Drive to Thimphu. En-route visit Simtokha Dzong, one of the oldest fortresses in Bhutan built in 1629 A.D. Thimphu sightseeing includes visit to The Largest and Tallest Statue of Buddha in the world, Buddha Point; Changangkha Lhakhang, one of the oldest temple; the traditional Hand Made Paper Mill; Zilukha nunnery to meet the nuns and interact with them.
Evening toll around local town. Dinner and overnight at hotel in Thimphu.
Day 4: Thimphu – Punakha
After early breakfast, drive to Bhutan’s former capital Punakha, stopping briefly en route at Dochu-la pass (3,088m) to enjoy a panoramic view (weather permitting) of snow-capped, eastern Himalayan peaks.
After lunch visit Punakha Dzong, the most beautiful in Bhutan. Built in 1637 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the Dzong is located at the confluence of two rivers, the Pho-Chu & Mo-Chu. We then drive to Nyzergang to visit the Khamsum Yuelly Namgyal Temple. Overnight at the hotel in Punakha.
Day 5: Punakha – Limukha, 14kms, 5-6 hrs
Drive to Punakha Dzong. The trek begins with a gradual climb up through chirpine forest to Limukha, visiting Dompala village en route. Camp overnight near Limukha village at about 1,800m.
Day 6: Limukha – Chungsakha 14km, 5-6 hours
The path leads through rhododendron and oak forests to Chhungsakha. En route visit a famous temple used as a winter residence by Lama Drukpa Kuenley in the 15th century. Camp overnight near Chungsakha village.
Day 7: Chungsakha – Samtengang, 13km, 5 hours
The trail now takes you through the village of Sha, Wangdue District. Camp at Samtengang at lakeside.
Day 8: Samtengang – Wangduephodrang, 6km, 3 hours (if taking the shortcut) 15km, 5-6 hours (if taking the longer route), drive to Thimphu
The trail is down hill and the trek ends at Chumzomsa. From here it is a 20 minute drive to Wangdue. After lunch, visit Wangdue Dzong and the local market before driving back to Thimphu. Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.
Day 9: Thimphu – Paro
After breakfast visit Trashichhodzong, the beautiful medieval fortress/monastery which houses most of the Government’s office and King’s Throne room. Then visit National Library which holds a vast collection of ancient Buddhist texts and manuscripts. After that visit Painting School, famous for traditional thangkha paintings. Also visit to Traditional Medicine Institute is worthwhile where centuries old healing arts still practiced. Later visit, Textile and Folk Heritage Museum, a fascinating testimony of the Bhutanese material culture and living traditions.
After that, visit the Handicrafts Emporium and local shops for souvenirs ranging from Bhutan’s fine traditional arts, textiles, thangkha paintings, masks, ceramics, slate and woodcarvings, jewelers to other interesting items made from local materials. Then drive to Memorial Chorten, the stupa built in the memory of Bhutan’s Third King who is popularly regarded as Father of modern Bhutan. In the evening drive to Paro. Overnight at the hotel in Paro.
Day 10: Depart Paro
After breakfast in the hotel, drive to Paro airport for flight to onward destination.
The best time for Samtengang Winter Trek is March to April and October to November, but as the name suggests, it is possible throughout the whole winter. This is a short trek passing through some villages of Punakha valley.
Total cost includes:
- Standard Hotel (3 star hotel) twin sharing accommodations; camping on treks
- Full Board – All meals at local restaurants/ standard hotels/on treks (buffet system)
- All internal Transport/ Transfers in luxury vehicle
- Camping Equipment, Ponies & Assistants for treks
- Airport Transfers
- Services of Licensed English Speaking Guide
- Entrances fees to museums, monuments and cultural sites
- Evening tea/ coffee with snacks
- Mineral water in car while traveling as complementary
- All internal taxes and charges
- Government royalty (US$65 per night per person)
- FIT Surcharge of US$ 40 per night per person for single person and US$ 30 per night per person for 2 pax
- Bhutan Visa fee: US$ 40 per person (one time only)
- Tourism Development Fee: US$ 10 per person (one time only)
- Bank Transfer Charge
But Total cost does not include:
- Travel Insurance
- Laundry bill, phone bill, bar bill and other bills of personal nature
- Single room supplement (If number of pax in odd number): For, peak season = US$ 30/ per single room per night and for, other season = US$25/ per single room per night
- Single tent supplement US$ 30 per tent per night
- Use of Sleeping bag US$ 15 per night per person.
- Air Fare for both Drukair/ Bhutan Airline and International flight [Please note that the cost of any domestic airfare for the guide must be paid by the clients/agents].
- Luxury star hotels and resorts available at an additional cost
- Luxury camping/trekking can be arranged at an additional cost
- Specialized guides (Foreign Language, Photography, Bird Watching, Buddhism, Flora and Fauna) available at an additional cost.
- Extra expenses due to the unavoidable circumstance beyond our control.
Note: Night stay in tents during treks (no lodges) includes trek chef, assistant, horses/mules, tents with mattresses, all meals.
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