Gangtey Trek – 8 Days

Trip Overview

The Gangtey trek takes in the most varied and beautiful sections of an ancient high-level mule trail which winds its way through the mountains between Bhutan’s two regions of Punakha and Thimphu. Combined with opportunities to experience the fascinating culture and sights of the Thunder Dragon Kingdom, it makes the perfect holiday within this unique Himalayan land.

Before stepping out on the main trekking trail, you stretch your legs with a walk up to Bhutan’s most famous cultural attraction: the soaring Taktsang Monastery, also known as the Tiger’s Nest. Perched, seemingly miraculously,on the side of a sheer cliff-face, and decorated with brightly coloured prayer flags, the striking gold, red and white temple represents the unique culture, architecture and spirituality of Bhutan. If you travel on selected departures, you will also have the chance to attend one of Bhutan’s most significant and vibrant festivals, a highlight of any visit.

Your fully supported, your trek in the Himalayas, starts in Thimphu and follows a tremendously varied route through virgin forest, open yak pastures and along glorious high ridges. There is much cultural interest along the way as you visit sacred mountain lakes, traditional settlements and monasteries. En route you enjoy tremendous, panoramic views of snow-clad Himalayan peaks, and each night you camp in picturesque locations where you will enjoy the attentive services of your friendly, efficient trekking crew.

Your trek ends in the lush Punakha Valley where magnificent Punakha Dzong provides a fitting finale to your time in the Thunder Dragon Kingdom.

Brief Itinerary

  • Day 01 : Welcome to Bhutan
  • Day 02 : Visit Tiger's Nest
  • Day 03 : Thimphu
  • Day 04 : Trek to Gogona (3200m)
  • Day 05 : Trek - Cross Shobula Pass 
  • Day 06 : Trek to Tikke Zampa & Transfer to Punakha
  • Day 07 : Tour  Punakha & Paro 
  • Day 08 : Depart Bhutan
Detailed Itinerary

Upon arrival at Paro International airport, you will be met by your guide. In the afternoon, you will have an opportunity to explore the beautiful town of Paro.
Hotel: Kichu Paro or Similar
Meals: Dinner 

After breakfast hike to Taktsang Monastery. The trail is broad and the walk of approximately 1.5 to 2 hours uphill takes you high above the Paro valley. The view of Taktsang Monastery built on a sheer cliff face 900 metres above the valley floor is a spectacular sight. The Monastery is also an important pilgrim site for the Buddhists. The great Guru Rimpoche is said to have flown here on the back of a tigress when he brought the teachings of the Buddhist Dharma to Bhutan in the 8th Century. Nearby there is a teahouse where you can stop for refreshments before returning to Paro for lunch.
In the afternoon drive to the ruins of the 17th Century Drukgyel Dzong, an historic monument built by the Shabdrung to commemorate his victory against invading Tibetans in 1644. In fine weather the towering peak of the sacred Mount Jomolhari (7314m) appears as a stunning backdrop. On the return drive to Paro, visit 7th Century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples constructed by the Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo. Kyichu is built in a manner similar to the Jokhang in Lhasa. Inside there is a great golden image of Buddha Shakyamuni. 
Hotel: Kichu Paro or Similar
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner 

This morning, take a 2 hour drive to Thimpu and visit the Painting school, National library, Royal goldsmith workshop and Handicraft centers. PM drive 3 hours to Wangduephodrang crossing the Dochula pass 3100 meters. On fine weather you will see the eastern Himalayan ranges including the highest mountain in Bhutan Mt.Gangar Punsum 7520 meters. The drive from the pass is all the way downhill dropping to the lower and warmer valleys of lobesa. Visit the market area. 
Hotel: City Hotel or Similar
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner 

This morning, drive to the Gangtey Gompa valley. The only Nyingmapa monastery in western Bhutan is located here. This beautiful valley is also home to the rare Black Necked Cranes migrating from the Tibetan plateau to escape the harsh winter. Currently there are 200 to 300 cranes residing in this valley and the Royal Society for Protection of Nature (RSPN) is taking every measures to ensure the safety of the Cranes. While the cranes reside in the winter valley for 4/5 months the village folks are not allowed to make loud noises or fish in the river that runs through the valley. The trekking staff will be waiting for your arrival and start hike to Gogona. A moderate trail winds through meadows and fields then ascends to the Tselela pass. You will be walking through forest of juniper, bamboo, magnolia and  rhododendron. The people of Gogona are nomads and have their own dialect. Camp at 3200 meters. Walking time 5/6 hours.
Camping in Tents 
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner 

A gentle climb leads to Shobjula pass at 3700 meters with views of the wide open valley. Then descend  gradually to camp at 3100 meters. Walking time 5/6 hours.
Camping in Tents 
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner 

A short steep climb along a well known path takes you to Tashi La (2800m). This is the upper terminus of the cable car" that transports wood down to Chhuzomsa. The walk down is through a beautiful forest, with undergrowth changing from rhododendrons and magnolia to ferns and dward bamboo. This stretch of trail is the finest bird watching area in Bhutan. The trail eventually meets near Tikke Zampa at 1500m. Here, transfer to Punakkha. 
Hotel: Kichu Wangdi or Similar
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner 

This morning, drive 45 minutes to Punakha and visit the Punakha Dzong which served as the old capital of Bhutan. This remarkable fortress is built between two rivers and has survived many glacial floods and fire. Every year during the month of February a procession known as the Punakha Serda takes place to commemorate the victory over the Tibetans. In the afternoon, drive back to Paro. Overnight Kichu Resort. 
Hotel: Kichu Paro or Similar
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner 

After breakfast, transfer to airport for departure flight. 
Meals: Breakfast