There is no better way to explore Bhutan and its diversity than to embark on the Druk Path Trek that offers a mixture of majestic mountain scenery and architectural diversity into one. If you are short on time and if you want to cross the chain of the mountains which separates Paro and Thimpu, then the Druk Path Trek is perfect for you. The trek takes us past ruined forts, windy ridges, spectacular mountain scenery and architectural delights, to give a clear picture about what Bhutan is made of.

The Druk Path trek traverses a less trodden route, with wonderful, azure blue lakes teeming with spectacular looking fish. Walk past rhododendron forests showcasing their red colors in full bloom in spring. Take part in the Druk Path trek in late autumn and winter, and the views of the perfect looking Himalaya's will set your hearts ablaze with its beauty.

The Druk Path Trek is an excellent choice for first-time trekkers with good physique. Walk to the iconic Tiger’s Nest Monastery or plan your trip around a major festival to witness the delights of cultural diversity in Bhutan. Try archery, or simply explore the happiest country in the world with your own eyes.

Itinerary

  • Day Arrival in Paro (2190m)

    Today you arrive in the beautiful city of Paro via the national carrier, the Druk Air or private airline. After being received by the representative and being transferred to the hotel, the remaining time can be utilized in resting around the premises of the hotel, or in sightseeing around the perfect location of Paro.

    • Lunch & dinner included
    • Overnight at hotel in Paro
  • Day Hike to Taktsang Monastery

    The Taktsang views, known better as the Tiger Nest Monastery, is one of the most beautiful and the most visited locations in Bhutan. The hike to the monastery is totally worthwhile as the views of the massive structure, handing on the side of a cliff, is surely not a picture to be forgotten.

    According to a myth, Guru Rinpoche is said to have flown on the back of a tigress to this place, to meditate in the cave for 3 months. This monastery is considered to be a pilgrimage spot for many Bhutanese, who believe that visiting this place is absolutely essential. The monastic complex contains the Lhakhang monastery which is said to have been created back on 1692. After returning from the monastery, the remaining of the day can be spent in sightseeing around missed locations in Paro.

    • Breakfast, lunch & dinner included
    • Overnight at hotel in Paro
  • Day Trek from Paro to Jele Dzong (3100m)

    This day marks the beginning of the spectacular trekking journey. This day is a short trekking day. The day starts off with a short climb to the Jele Dzong. The trekking trail ascends gradually. The passage to the top rewards us with virwes of the perfect mountain scenery behind us and the clean Paro valley glistening down below. We pass through forests of pine to reach camp. The camp is set to a renovated Jele dzong. We listen to the stories about the dzong and spend our night under the open stars in a camp. Shortly above the dzong is the Jele-la-pass which offers even better views of the mountain vista. A Lhakhang, with a statue of Buddha Sakyamuni, is situated close by and can be visited too. Approximately 4 to 5 hours of walk.

    • Breakfast, lunch & dinner included
    • Overnight at tented camp
  • Day Trek from Jele Dzong to Jangchulakhang (3650m)

    This is another easy day as the walk uphill is a gradual one. The trail takes us past rhododendron forests. On spring, the rhododendrons are in full bloom, causing the entire area to have a reddish glow. We cross through yak grazing areas and might even come across yaks and yak herders in the winter season.  Fine views of Chomolhari will cheer us along the path and other now capped peaks begin to take formation as we move upward gradually. Monal pheasants calling during your passage through their residing areas are a phoenomen that will make you feel close to nature on this day. We camp in Jangchulakhang today. Approximately 3 to 4 hours of walk.

    • Breakfast, lunch & dinner included
    • Overnight at tented camp
  • Day Trek from Jangchulakhang to Jigmelangtsho (3600m)

    This trekking day offers sensational views of the Himalayan vista at a distance. The trail follows the path through a ridge. On a short day, the picturesque views of the snow mountain peaks are surely worth capturing trekking a canvas. The most prominent view if that of the Jichu Drake standing tall at the altitude of 6989m. Forests peak represents the protective deity of Paro.

    After witnessing the view of the perfect picks from the top, the trail descends a little to reach a lake in Jigmelangtsho. The lake is known best for its abundance of great salmon trout. The camp will be set near the lake. Approximately 5 to 6 hours of walk.

    • Breakfast, lunch & dinner included
    • Overnight at tented camp
  • Day Trek from Jigmelangtsho to Phajoding (3500m)

    Today, the forests of rhododendron are dwarf and look like shrubs. We pass two lakes on our way to Phajoding today. The trail is a smooth one unless we cross the two lakes. After this point, the trail ascends gradually. On the top, majestic views of the perfect, snowy and flaky tops of the Mt. Gangkar Punsum (7520m) cheers us on. This mountain is the highest one in Bhutan.

    After witnessing the close-up views of Gangkar Mountain, we continue our walk. The path now is a gradual and straight one after which a steep descend through juniper trees to Phajoding camp. Phajoding camp offers the glistening views of the bowl-shaped valley of Thimpu. We stay overnight in a camp. Approximately 6 to 7 hours of walk.

    • Breakfast, lunch & dinner included
    • Overnight at tented camp
  • Day Trek from Phajoding to Thimpu (2320m)

    This is the easiest and one of the most exciting days of the trekking journey as we reach the capital of Bhutan, Thimpu today. The trek down to Thimpu is a downhill walk through forests made of pine. A leisurely pace will bring you down to Thimpu in about 3 hours.

    In the afternoon, there are several mind-boggling locations in Thimpu to visit. Thimpu is home to the School of Traditional Painting of Arts and Crafts. Students here undergo a six-year course to learn the 13 traditional arts and crafts in Bhutan. Visiting this site is surely set to make your minds wonder about the exquisite art created by the students here.

    Another worthy location to visit is the Takin Preserve, which is home to the national animal of this country, Takin. Takin is found only in Bhutan and is a rare member of the goat family. Takin live on grass and bamboo and are exceptional looking creatures worth visiting. Another location to visit is the Kuensel phodrang. It houses the largest Buddha statue in Bhutan. It is situated on a hillock, which overlooks down to the Thimpu valley.

    Tashiccho dzong, also known as “the fortress of the glorious religion" is the center of the government and religion site.  This fortress was built of 1641 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and was made without nails or architectural plans. Approximately 3 hours of walk.

    • Breakfast, lunch & dinner included
    • Overnight at hotel in Thimpu
  • Day Visit Punakha

    Today, we will visit the city of Punakha by embarking on a drive from Thimpu. We reach Punakha through the Dochula Pass (3088m). Punakha panoramic views of the Himalayan peaks are vividly visible from the Dochula Pass. This pass also showcases the 108 Stupas built by Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck at a distance. While in Dochula Pass, a major attraction worth visiting is the Druk Wangyal Lhakhang temple.

    On the way to Punakha, we also drop off at the Lobesa Village to explore the Devine Madman’s Monastery, known locally as the Chhimi Lhakhang, this temple is known best for its fertility shrine, where it is believed that prayers related to fertility become true.

    After witnessing the beauty of the Lobesa village, we will reach the PunakhaDzong located on the island of the male river (Pho-Chu) and the female river (Mo-Chu). The dzong had been damaged bu catastrophic fires and an earthquake in the past but has been restored to its former glory. The highest standards of intricate woodwork can be viewed in this architecturally rich location.  We will also visit the massive Kuenray. Keunrayis the Coronation Hall of Bhutanese Kings. After witnessing the spectacles of Punkaha, we return back to Thimpu, content and happy.

    • Breakfast, lunch & dinner included
    • Overnight at hotel in Thimpu
  • Day Drive from Thimpu to Paro

    After some sightseeing around Thimpu in the locations we missed out earlier, it is finally time to return back to Paro on a drive. The drive is a beautiful one as we cross mountains scenery and through green grasslands. Approximately 4 to 5 hours of drive.

    • Breakfast, lunch & dinner included
    • Overnight at hotel in Paro
  • Day Sightseeing in Paro

    Paro is home to several sightseeing locations, which can be visited depending upon the time available.

    To explore the lifestyle of a farmer, it is a good idea to visit the Farm House in the Paro valley. Another special location worth visiting is the Paro Rinpung Dzong. A dzong is basically a fortress. The dzong was built in the year 1645 to ward off the Tibetan invaders. The dzong currently works as a school for monks as well as an administrative center. From here, one can walk down the Rimpung Bridge, which is the oldest bridge in Bhutan.

    Another important location is the Kyichu Temple, which was built by the Tibetan King Songsten Gampo, along with 108 other temples in the 7th century. According to myths, a giant demon lay across the whole area of Tibet visit and the 108 temples were created toward her off.  The ruined fortress of the Drugyeldzong is a strategic location worth visiting too.

    Another sightseeing location is the Ta-Dzong which was housed in the National museum on the 1960’s. There are seven floors in the museum, each signifying separate aspects of Bhutanese culture and history. Local handicraft shops, displaying exquisitely carved handicraft, is another added attraction in Paro. All the sightseeing locations are made even more cheerful by the backdrop of the beautiful Mount Chomolhari (7320m) shining down at us.

    • Breakfast, lunch & dinner included
    • Overnight at hotel in Paro
  • Day Depart transfer

    After witnessing all the aspects that make Bhutan so phenomenon, it is finally time to bid goodbye to this less trodden but highly adventurous nation. The Bhutan trek has finally come to an end and it is time to leave the country via the Druk Air or Bhutan Airlines only with the promise to return back for more.

    • Breakfast included

Trip Info

  • Accommodation & meals

    • Four or Five star hotel accommodations on room sharing basis during the trip. 
    • 4 nights in full organise camping.       
    • Full board basis during the trip (Lunch will be served outside hotel during sightseeing in a local tourist restaurant.)

     

  • Inclusions & Exclusions

    Inclusions

    • Sightseeing with an English speaking guide as per the program
    • Entrance fee
    • Bhutan visa fee.
    • First Aid Kit.
    • All Govt. taxes including service charges.

    Exclusions

    • Emergency evacuation fee
    • International airfare
    • Personal Insurance
    • Personal expenses (Alcoholic beverages, bottled drinks, telephone calls, laundry etc)
    • Any services not mentioned in the itinerary

     

  • Transportation

    All transfers will be conducted on a private vehicle.

  • Visa & documentation

    A visa is required to visit Bhutan, and Makalu Travels will organize it. The cost of the necessary visa for Bhutan is US$ 40 and entrance Fee and TDF (Tourism Development Fund) $10. To apply for a visa, you will need a clear copy of your passport. Passport is essential when applying for a visa in Bhutan before your arrival. You should make sure that the copy of the passport is received by us no later than six weeks before departure. The passport copy can be scanned or sent by post. The passport’s copy needs to be very clear and should be in color. Passport should be valid for more than six months while doing a tour. 

    If you are in need of a new passport for the trip, then this should be applied for immediately too. You can send us a copy or scanned document of the new passport. It is mandatory that the information you give us is 100% correct. The copy of the passport that you send us should be the actual one that you will use when traveling to Bhutan. Visa regulations, however, can change without notice. We hence recommend you to check the current regulations before moving forward with the visa procedures.

  • Clothing & Equipment

    Successful trek require proper clothing for ease, comfort & safety. Read along to find the checklist of items which are essential for a typical multi-day trek in Nepal.

     

    Clothing

    • Heavy down jackets  (can be rented in Kathmandu)
    • Lightweight down jackets
    • Hiking boots (well broken in)
    • Woolen socks (a few pairs of different thickness)
    • Slippers
    • Walking sneakers
    • Lightweight trekking pants/trousers
    • Lightweight thermal legging
    • Trekking shorts
    • T-shirts (long sleeve & short sleeve)
    • Under garments
    • Waterproof jacket and trouser/raincoat
    • Sun hat
    • Woolen/fleece hat 
    • Scarf
    • Warm gloves
    • Sweaters
    • Ear warmer

     

    Trekking Gears & Accessories

    • Backpack 
    • Hiking poles
    • Sleeping bag (can be rented in Kathmandu)
    • Sleep liner
    • Sunglasses
    • Water bottles 
    • Head lamp with extra batteries
    • Camera and extra batteries and lenses
    • Waist bag
    • Daypack and cover
    • Dry packs (essential for keeping your valuables dry)
    • Water purification (pump, tablets or steripen)
    • Maps (can be brought in Kathmandu)
    • Reading materials

     

    Personal supplies

    • Sun screen
    • Hand sanitizer
    • Toiletries
    • Wet wipes & tissues
    • Feminine hygeine products
    • Anti-itching cream/powder
    • Medications (don't forget to carry adequate supply of your prescription medicines)
    • Deodrants 
    • Moisturizers 
    • Energy bars
  • Insurance Policy

    We personally don’t recommend or advertise any particular insurance organization but we can help you figure out what kind of insurance company you should make a deal with. We kindly advise our guests that travel insurance is mandatory before any other travel and trek agreements.

    Ways of triggering your insurance:

    • There are actually two ways that your insurance fund can be triggered and brought into action. The first type is where you will have to use your own money if any injuries occurs or any medical attention is needed. Then the insurance company will pay you later when you return home and show them the documentation of insurance as proof.
    • Another type is where if any medical attention is needed and your insurance needs to be triggered the insurance company will cover all the cost up front and you won’t have to spend a single penny that is not meant for such incident.

    Personally we recommend you to pick an insurance company who are willing to pay you while you need medical attention in Nepal during the time of evacuation and other medical emergencies and not after you return from Nepal.

     

    Main conditions to look for in an insurance policy:

    General insurance only offers medical evacuation up to 4000m but we will attain maximum height of more than this, so we advise our clients to search for a company that provides medical insurance and evacuation plans up to 6000m. If you are planning to climb any peak along with trekking please make sure your policy also pays for “Climbing” as an option.

    You will need to find a policy where your insurance is activated only for the days that you are trekking. If you suffer from altitude sickness and have to be evacuated in an instant you will have to trigger your insurance. These insurance can cost up to $5000. Although these kinds of evacuations are very rare we still need to be prepared for it. So to make any insurance claim you firstly need to get a medical report from a hospital of Nepal as proof before triggering your insurance claim. You will be charged about $150 as a medical fee by the hospital to get your medical reports and documentations before claiming your travel insurance. Some insurance also cover for minor interference and obstacles like flight cancellations to Lukla or even from Kathmandu to your home.

    As mentioned before, please look for an insurance policy that pays you during the time of emergency while trekking and not after you get back to your country.

    What you need to know:

    We inform you that any kind of medical fees that your insurance does not cover will be your responsibility. So we want you to have a very good and thorough look at the insurance policy before applying for it. We do not take any kind of responsibilities for insurance related payments and fiscal managements but we will help you get required documentations and reports for the insurance.

     

    Examples of insurance companies:

    Bigcattravelinsurance.com, WorldNomads, travelguard.com, Squaremouth.com

     

    Important highlights to remember:

    1. Makalu travels do not hold any kind of insurance related financial management work but we will help you acquire important documentations needed for processing your insurance policies.
    2. Choose an insurance policy where you don’t have to pay your own money while trekking in Nepal while in need of medical attention. In other words look for a policy where your insurance company will cover all the money related process if you need any kind of medical attention.
    3. Choose policy with evacuation plan up to 6000m and with an option “climbing” if you are climbing any peak as well as trekking.
    4. Some companies like WorldNomads have a policy where clients have to pay their own money while trekking if they need any kind of medical attention and you will be payed once you return home. So please make sure you have a very good understanding of what type of insurance policy you are agreeing to.
  • Altitude Sickness & Trekking Piolicies

    For these kinds of emergencies we suggest our guests to add extra days to their schedule. If there is any symptom of altitude sickness our first step is to descend down without wasting time. Our guides have professional certificates and trainings to handle these kinds of situations (WAFA certification). Basic first aid kit is always carried by our guides. Our guides also check your oxygen levels make sure you are hydrated throughout the trek. If you need a rescue operation or emergency health service our guides are completely ready and trained to take care of it by contacting responsible health offices.

    There are two ways things can pan out if you suffer from altitude sickness. You can either continue your trek after some rest or you will not continue your trek at all.

    If you want to continue the trek even after the altitude sickness you will firstly have to descend down to lower altitude and rest for few days until our next group comes along so that we can add you to that group and you can continue the trek with them. The few extra days that you take for resting, the financial cost will be your responsibility. We do not assure any financial help but we will provide you with manual assistance as a porter and an assistance guide will take care of you while you are resting here in the tea house. You will have to pay additional amount for extra days while trekking if you go off schedule and trekking routine. If there are no other traveling groups coming up your way and you still decide to trek then you will have to pay separately for your own guide and porter.

    If you have altitude sickness & unable to trek and need immediate evacuation service our guides will make the necessary arrangements.

  • Cancellation & Changes

    There are two ways to deal with modification in travel plans. First is you can cancel the trip completely and second is you can postpone the date. But for any of these change to take effect we need to be informed 6 weeks before your booked trip date before cancelling or postponing the trip.

    Important note: In case of natural disasters and national political issues our hands are tied so we cannot undertake any kind of activities which we will take full responsibility of and make sure our clients get the flexibility of making decisions to either postpone or cancel the trip they initially advocated for. There will be no extra fees or cost for rescheduling but if you decide to cancel the trip volunterily our cancellation fees apply which is listed and described below.

     

    Cancellation fees rules:

    These are our specific rules for trip cancellations and refund fees involved:

    1. If we are informed by our clients at least 43 days before the travel date then the full deposit amount will be refunded after deducting 4% bank surcharge on total deposit amount.
    2. If we are informed by our clients 6 weeks before the travel date then we can refund complete deposit by just deducting $195 per person.
    3. If cancellation is done between 4 and 6 weeks of travel date then we can refund your deposit after deducting $395 per person. This is because we will have to pay to the hotels, guides and other personals involved to make this trip possible to recover their financial plans.
    4. If we are not informed between 4 and 6 weeks of travel date there will be no refund as there are many other workers and organizations that needs to be paid by us for planning your trip. Losing you as a customer means losing their employment opportunity which will harm involved worker’s financial status.

    So, we request our respectful guests to inform us about any kind of modification plans (postpone or cancellations) at least before 43 days of travel date. This will help us to refund your designated deposit and also maintain financial status of every worker and organization involved.

  • Payments & Deposits

    Makalu Travels offers easy & reliable online payment through credit/debit card, & Paypal. All online payments are processed through the our highly secured online payment partner Authorize.net Please kinldy be informed that all online payments are subject to additional 4% bank surcharge & processing fee. 

    If you would like to avoid the 4% transaction fee then you also have an option to deposit the money into Makalu Travels' bank account in Wells Fargo Bank, USA. The bank details will be provided on request. You will receive a notice from us after a successful deposit or any kind of financial transaction. We will make sure that your transfer amount has arrived to us before sending you any type of confirmation invoice or notification.

  • Rentals & Extra Costs

    Our package includes most of all the major expenses that you will have to bear while your time in Nepal. While you are in Kathmandu your breakfast is included but while trekking all your meals are included so you don’t have to pay. But there are certain circumstances where you will have to make extra payments personally. They are listed below:

    • Renting trekking equipment (if necessary, not mandatory)
    • Thick down jacket = $15
    • Sleeping bag = $20
    • Hot Showers only while trekking = $4 to $6
    • Nepal visa
    • Donations (not mandatory)
    • Extra hotel nights (depends on weather, flight cancellations and vacation extension)
    • Wi-Fi only while trekking = $3 to $5 an hour
    • Charging electrical devices only while trekking = $1 to $3 an hour
    • Foods and drinks other than included in the package
    • Personal shopping
    • Drinking water while trekking (about $3 per bottle)
    • Tips for the porters and guides which is 10% of the price of your trek (not mandatory but highly suggested)
    • Helicopter ride if case of sudden injuries or altitude sickness

    The thing to keep in mind is that the higher you go more expensive it gets. So you will have to pay for hot showers, Wi-Fi, charging devices as they rely on solar power because luxury of power lines and gas cylinders are difficult to find up in the mountains. You can also take helicopter from Kathmandu to Lukla if flight cancellations occur. Flight cancellations are normal occurring as the weather can be unpredictable sometimes in the Himalayas.

    So for this we suggest you to carry about 300-400 USD extra for your safety. Although insurance money will cover certain aspects while travelling it never hurts to carry extra for your own well-being.

  • Hotel & Room Bookings

    The hotel we will accommodate you to is Hotel Le Himalaya pre and post trek in Kathmandu. We will book the hotel rooms for you as per your request with a good pricing than that of online booking. We will transfer all your luggage while being transferred from one accommodation center to another. In Kathmandu we will have a very standard hotel but while trekking we won’t have such luxury so we will have to spend our nights in tea houses. These tea houses are fairly of good standard, you can’t be too picky in the Himalayas! You can contact us if there is any specific query you have about the accommodation structure.

     

    In Kathmandu

    Rooms are very spacious and have private bathrooms and toilets. You will not have to compromise even a bit while your stay at Kathmandu. Hotel Le HImalaya is where you will be before and after the trek as we will have pre booked everything for our respected guests. In case of extending your vacation in Nepal we can help you book rooms for extra nights but we will need to be pre informed. If it is a peak season it will be difficult to manage room in same hotel but we will make an utmost effort to accommodate you in the hotel of same caliber.

     

    While trekking

    We have very less accommodation facilities and options while we are trekking. Bathrooms and toilets are common and shared. Usually there are at least two bed rooms in one room. But if any of our clients wants a private room it can be negotiated with the tea house owner. This management for private room can only be done if the rooms are empty in tea houses and the owners agree with it. It is impossible if you are trekking during peak seasons.

     

    Note: Our guests will not have to pay for the nights that they don’t spend in a hotel room in Kathmandu. We can always come to an agreement if there are certain flight delays or cancellations. During these kind of situations we will accommodate our guests fitting best to their requirements.

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Frequently asked questions about this trip

What kind of trip is right for me?

Physical strength is absolutely essential for every trip. If you feel that your physical strength is insufficient for physically demanding trips, you can very well choose to embark on some easy trekking endeavors. The kind of trip suitable for you depends only on your physical fitness level. Apart from that, if intermingling with people of different cultural and religious backgrounds in the glory of high, ice-covered glistening peaks is your cup of tea, then the Everest region is the best for you.

The Advantages of Booking with Makalu Travels

Access to Local Expertize

We take pride in our carefully selected well-trained, experienced tour guides and leaders who have an insider access that is certain to enhance your experience.Their knowledge of meticulous details of all the local places without exaggeration is what will make a world of difference to your travel experience.

Quality Assured

Each of our trips are monitored and regulated by our office in USA because we want to maintain the highest standards of service at all times. At our destination, you will always be hosted with seamless service, the best of hospitality with clean hygienic rooms and tasty and healthy variety of foods.

No Middleman to
Meddle In

With the help of our extended network of travel partners, we directly connect with the local service providers giving you a cost advantage rightaway. We assure you that you will only have to pay for the services you take with no middleman squeezing in your bill.

Guaranteed Departure Dates

If you have signed up and made a payment for our fixed departure packages, the tour departure is automatically guaranteed. When you book our fixed departure trips, you can be assured that the tour will surely operate on the day it is scheduled and will not be cancelled.

Your Safety,
Our priority

It goes without saying that your safety is our topmost priority. The difference in climate, altitudes and geography can cause a certain level of distress for some, which is why our tour guides and leaders are trained and well-equipped for first aid services throughout the trip. Our super tour guides and leaders will ensure your safety at all times.

Transperency and
Honesty

Makalu Travels maintains a strong ethics of business. We therefore assure you there are no hidden charges applied in our packages. Unless you opt for additional activities other than those mentioned in the pre-booked itinerary, even in cases of unforeseen circumstances, the extra costs would be ours to bear.

24/7 Service and
Support

Round the clock support, operations and monitoring. Our services are available round the clock, 7 days a week. If you have any queries regarding the destination, itinerary, safety or duration among others, you can call us or send us an email any time. We are a travel agency that never sleeps.

Secure Online
Payment Options

With Makalu Travels your online payments are secure and simplified with the best transaction & data security methods applied . We offer you flexible and transaction fee free options to pay for your trip. We accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover and Paypal with no additional transacation fee.

Partnerships & Clientele

  • IATA
  • ASTA
  • NTB
  • TripAdvisor
  • TourConnect
  • Viator
  • Safari Deal
  • BrainModes
  • Charite
  • ANMA