Looking for a short trek in Bhutan? This Sagala Trek usually called as Chelela Trek combines an in-depth appreciation of the country’s cultural attractions with a moderate to strenuous three-day trek along a mountain ridge between the Paro and Haa Valleys of western Bhutan. This Bhutan trek itinerary offers scenic panoramic vistas of sacred Jomolhari (24,000') and other Himalayan peaks plus views of the valleys themselves.
In addition to the trek, you’ll witness Bhutan’s rich Buddhist culture, meet its humble people who have not rejected their spiritual heritage for modern ways, and enjoy a colorful kaleidoscope of golden mustard fields, rooftops spread with drying bright red chilies, neat whitewashed homes tucked away on terraced rice and buckwheat patches, and high passes marked by masses of fluttering prayer flags.
Duration : 7 Nights/ 8 Days .
Destination Covered : Paro – Thimphu - Haa Valley -Sagala Trek .
Fly to Paro, Bhutan on Druk Air, the national airline of Bhutan. If you get a seat on the left side of the plane and the weather cooperates, you might have spectacular views of the high peaks of the eastern Himalaya, including Cho Oyu, Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, and Kanchenjunga—five of the highest peaks in the world—and peaks in Bhutan such as Jhomolhari, Jichu Drakye, and Tsering Kang. After visa formalities at the Paro airport, your guide will meet you and drive you to Thimphu with sightseeing along the way. Thimphu is the capital of Bhutan set at 7,725 feet along the Wang Chhu.
On the way stop at Tamchu and take an invigorating walk to Tachog Lhakhang situated across Paro River; and devour yourself in the medieval setup and breeze of the place before continuing to Thimphu.
The remainder of the day is free to rest and relax.
Overnight: Hotel in Thimphu
After breakfast drive to the north end of Thimphu to Dodena (8,600') and hike an hour up a steep hill to visit Cheri Monastery or Goemba, founded in 1620 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and established with an original staff of 30 monks. Nowadays the monastery serves as the main meditation center of the country and has more than 70 monks undergoing their three-year, three-month retreat. Inside is a silver Chorten holding the ashes of Zhabdrung’s father. On your return, you’ll visit Tango Goemba (another steep one-hour climb); founded in the 12th century (the present building was constructed in the 15th century). It is now a Buddhist institute for higher learning.
Time permitting; you’ll visit Tashichho Dzong, the seat of the royal government and central monastic body, upon your return from the hike.
Drive time: 1 Hour
Hiking Time: 4 hours
Overnight: Hotel in Thimphu
Morning drive about 2 hours to the trailhead in Paro where we start our four-six hours’ hike up to Taktsang Monastery perched on a cliff 2,700 feet above the floor of the Paro Valley. The hike follows a steep switchback trail through the forest.
After lunch at the tea house below the monastery, we descend to the valley floor. Drive back to Paro.
Visit the ancient Kichu Lhakhang and learn about the legends connected to the construction of the temple in the 7th century.
Overnight: Hotel in Paro
Drive about three hours to a campsite in the Haa Valley, lying along the western border of Bhutan and closed to all visitors until five years ago.
Today you have the option of staying in a traditional Bhutanese homestay with a local family where you can engage in their activities like cooking Bhutanese dish, preparing butter tea, milking cow or relax by taking a traditional herbal hot stone bath or stay in a hotel to relax on your own.
Drive Duration: 112Kms/4hours
Overnight: Hotel in Haa or Homestay
You‘ll begin your trek by walking gradually uphill through a blue pine forest and farmland. As you climb it gets a little steeper and you walk along streams past rhododendron, juniper, spruce, and birch trees. Lunch in a grassy meadow at about 11,200', and then continue to a camp at 11,800', about 45 minutes below Saga La (pass). Weather permitting; you can take an afternoon hike up to Saga La for views of sacred Jhomolhari (24,000') and several other peaks. You’ll also have panoramic views of the Haa Valley. (4½-5 hours hiking.)
In the morning, you hike once again up to Saga La and then follow the ridge up and down to 13,200' (you may be able to catch a glimpse of Taktsang Monastery from here). Continue steeply through dwarf rhododendron to 13,700' and down through narrow grazing paths. Camp at Ningula in rhododendron forest from where you have beautiful view of the peaks of Jhomolhari and JichuDrakye.
Hiking Time: 5-6 hours
Overnight at Camp
Climb steeply back up to the ridge and cross the Kale La at 12,900', with its views of Paro and the Haa Valley. Weather permitting; you’ll have a terrific view of the Paro Dzong and surrounding peaks including Kanchenjunga (28,208'), the third highest peak in the world.
Continue climbing up to Kung Karpo at 13,500', with views of the mountains and both valleys again (weather permitting). Descend and traverse toward the Chele La (13,080'). Along the way, you pass a place where Mahayana Buddhists offer their newborn child to God; the Bhutanese do not participate in cremation and believe that if they offer their child to God after their death, they will be born again very soon. All day today, you will have clear views of the mountains and the Paro and Haa Valleys (weather permitting). Once at the Chele La, you meet our vehicle and drive two hours to Paro.
Hiking time: 6-7 hours hiking
Driving time: 2-hour drive
Overnight: Hotel in Paro
5.0 / 2 Reviews
I came to know about Bhutan Inbound through one of my friends who have just recently come from Bhutan. I wanted to do a short trek while in Bhutan whereby I could be close to mountains,not touristic and at the same time where I could get an opportunity to meet the authentic Bhutanese local.
Mr. Thinley with whom I was corresponding all the while suggested me with Sagala Trek, an olden walking trail. The trek came out more than what I expected . Met villagers on the trek, got a glimpse of Jumolhari mountain, could see rare wild birds ; all in one it was a wonderful experience.
I would also like to thank my guide Mr.Sangay fwho has a great hand in making this tour a wonderful experience
Great time with Rinchen and Phurba
We did the tour for 6 nights 7 days and had a great time travelling around with Rinchen (our driver) and Phurba (our guide). They were both knowledgeable and helpful always and made sure that everything was perfect. They called ahead to all the places we went, and made sure all the activities we wanted to see we could see. When there was a flight hiccup they also went above and beyond to try and resolve it. We also met with the tour operators and they were super nice, and very very responsive in setting up the perfect tour for us. Highly recommend.