This is perhaps the most classic of Bhutan’s small treks. Following an ancient route between Paro and Thimphu, it has spectacular views, nature, Buddhist monasteries, Himalayan peaks, all in a very affordable and interesting route from Paro itself to the gates of Thimphu. A good and affordable experience for anyone who likes to enjoy the mountains and culture.
6 days trek
Highest altitude 4235m
Highest overnight altitude 4100m
Local guide English-speaking
Accommodation and meals in camping during the trek
Transfers in private vehicle
From February to May and from September to December. It can easily snowfall from December to February
The Druk Path Trek, which means something like “the Bhutanese path”, is one of the most affordable and classic treks in the country. Low in difficulty and not too long, the itinerary follows an ancient mule route from Paro to Thimphu, Bhutan’s two most important “cities”. This small trek has everything, old monasteries, shepherds’ huts, wide landscapes, sacred lakes… in a route that goes over 3000 metres of altitude and crosses the Labana-La pass at 4235 metres and is a good sample of the experience of making a trek for those who do not have days or desire (or budget) for longer and more important treks in the Himalayan mountains.
Most of Bhutan is stunning, virtually untouched natural scenery. Permanent white peaks, yak pastures, occasional isolated and traditional villages, wildlife and unique flora. There are durations and landscapes to suit all tastes, from treks in the remote wilderness of the mountains to hikes that take you closer to a more cultural side, through villages and monasteries. Most of the routes can be done in both directions, so it is also possible to do partial round trips.
Overnight stays for most of the treks are in campsites, and yaks or mules are responsible for carrying your equipment and all the stuff for the trek, so, in a way, the old spirit of the pioneer treks is maintained, bridging distances of course. Bear in mind that there is little chance of charging the batteries of your cameras and other electronic devices, so it is advisable to carry spare batteries and perhaps a small solar charger.
Although we are still talking about a very unspoilt, lonely and wild territory, the rough-roads slowly advance following the valleys that enter the mountains to connect isolated villages, where services are very basic and difficult to reach. This naturally affects the route of the treks, especially during the first and last days, and is reducing the days of some itineraries.
Druk-Yul is what the Druk-pa, the people of the ‘land of the thunder dragon’, call Bhutan. It was one of the most isolated countries in the world until tourism was allowed in the 1970s, but there are still restricted areas of the country. This has preserved its traditions and culture from Western influence, while it has become the main attraction for tourists. And Bhutan has been able to capitalise on this with good tourist organisation and fares not suitable for all budgets.
With a very sparse population of about 700,000, Bhutan became famous for its GNH, the Gross National Happiness Index, as opposed to GDP, a concept they developed in the 1970s and included in the constitution.
Lush forests and high Himalayan peaks to the north define a majestic landscape, barely disturbed by the few existing roads, friendly and peaceful people greet the traveller embarking on the way through the so-called last Shangri-la on earth.
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