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Trans Bhutan Trek - Challenging

Package: Trans Bhutan Trek  - Challenging

Distance 183 Km, Avg 17Km/ Day


In this Trans Bhutan Trail, you will walk the ancient trails of  Haa, Paro, Thimphu & Punakha. To endeavor into this trail, you will require some level of physical fitness.

The trail starts from Haa and ends in Paro. The trail from Haa to Paro used to be used by Haap to travel for generations to trade with Parops. The hard weather in Haa hampered local paddy cultivation. Therefore, they exchanged 20 dirhams of dried meat for 20 dirhams of rice at Paro Tshogdu (market).

The central monastic body has used this route to travel to Punakha for the winter and back to Thimphu in the summer. 

By venturing into this trek, you will also travel along this historic route, used by ancient messengers, warriors, and individuals engaging in barter and paying the Wola (Labor Tax).

Package Details :

Duration : 14 Nights/ 15 Days .

Destination Covered : Thimphu- Haa-Katsho-Paro- Dopshari -Tsalungna-Thimphu- Dochula - Toeb Chandana- Punakha- Lingmukha - Samtengang - Razawo – Pelela- Paro .

Trans Bhutan Trek Map

Day 01: Paro -Haa

Fly into the captivating view of the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan. On landing at the Paro International Airport, you will be welcomed by your private guide with a customary Tashi Khaddar, a white scarf of auspiciousness, and transferred to Haa.

On your way to Thimphu, stop at Chele La Pass, the highest motorable pass situated at 3,988 meters, marked by numerous prayer flags. Indulge your visual senses with some natural beauty and give yourself some time to relax and soak in the atmosphere. We can make a leisurely start. Once at Haa, you can check into your room.

Later visit Lhakhang Karpo & Nagpo and learn the myths linked with these temples.

Overnight: Hotel in Haa

Day 02: Haa- Katsho- Paro

Trek Distance: 17Km

Estimated Time: 8 Hours

Starting Elevation: 2,801 metres (9,190 feet)

Ending Elevation: 2,380 metres (7,809 feet)

Maximum Elevation: 3,790 metres (12,435 feet) 


You will be taken to Katsho after breakfast at your hotel to start your first day of trekking along the historic Trans Bhutan Trail. For centuries, the residents of Haa traveled the same path you will take today to conduct business with the Props in the nearby valley. The severe weather conditions in Haa make it impossible to grow rice. Thus, people would trade 20 dreys (about 30 kilograms or 66 pounds) of shakam (dried beef) for 20 dreys of rice at Paro Tshongdu (market).


The ancient trail meanders between yak pastures, rhododendron, and pine forests as it follows the lovely Haa River and rises subtly out of the Katsho Valley. The Trail crosses the ridge trail connecting Chelela and Sagala at Kaleyla Pass, where it continues to climb. You can see Mount Jomolhari (7,314 meters/23,996 feet), Mount Jichudrakegang (6,794 meters/22,290 feet), and Mount Tsherimgang (6,789 meters/22,273 feet) from Kaleyla, which offers breathtaking views of the Himalayan range to the north. 

Keep an eye out for the sky burial site of Kungkarpo and the cliff-edge Bjungneydra Taktsang (monastery), also known as "The Mini Taktsang," as you go through the Katsho Valley. During this stop, a picnic lunch will be served to you.

The Trail leads into the Paro Valley from Kaleyla after descending through a rhododendron and bamboo forest. It will then travel the final few kilometers to Paro on trails that crisscross through quaint farming communities typical of Bhutan. 

You will have the opportunity to see Kichu Lhakhang when you arrive in the Ngoma village of Paro (temple). It is one of Bhutan's earliest sacred sites and is thought to have been constructed by Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century. One of the most cherished sculptures in the area, the original Jowo Jamba statue, can be found in Kichu Lhakhang. Two orange trees in the monastery courtyard are also reputed to give fruit all year round.

Dinner will be scheduled either at your hotel or at a nearby restaurant by your guide.

Overnight: Hotel in Paro


Day 03: Lamgong - Dopshari



Trek Distance: 16 kilometres (9.94 miles)

Estimated Trek Duration: 6 hours

Starting Elevation: 2,380 metres (7,809 feet)

Ending Elevation: 2,826 metres (9,272 feet)

Maximum Elevation: 2,826 metres (9,272 feet)

Rejoin the Trans Bhutan Trail heading east after breakfast today. 

The Trail crosses the Paro Valley's expansive rice terraces as it slowly ascends from Lamgong Settlement. After contouring around the northern slope, the trail descends into the historic village of Dopshari.

Enjoy a cooking demonstration and a typical Bhutanese lunch at a nearby farm in Dopshari. 

You will also have the chance to play a fast game of traditional "khuru" and try your hand at archery, Bhutan's national sport, following lunch (darts).


From where you may take in breathtaking views of the Paro Valley, make one final foray into the Trail to ascend to Upper Dopshari.

You'll be picked up at Upper Dopshari and driven back to Paro. Visit the "watchtower" along the way, Ta Dzong.

Overnight: Hotel in Paro

Day 04: Dopsari-Tsalungna 

Trek Distance: 14.2 kilometres (8.82 miles)

Estimated Trek Duration: 6 hours

Starting Elevation: 2,826 metres (9,272 feet)

Ending Elevation: 2,774 metres (9,101 feet)

Maximum Elevation: 3,546 metres (11,634 feet)

Rejoin the Trans Bhutan Trail and continue east toward Tsalungna after breakfast today. The journey from Upper Dopshari to the start of the hike takes place through community forestry initiatives, tiny farming communities, deep forests, and magnificent waterways. On your way, you can come to the ideal location to raise some lungdar (prayer flags).

You might want to take the brief diversion to visit Jela Dzong following a picnic lunch at Jelila (fortress). Its primary relics are the sculptures of Du Sum Sangye, which were erected on the spot where Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel is supposed to have encountered the benevolent deity Pal Yeshey Goenpo during his trip to Paro (Buddha of the Past, Present, and the Future). The Buddha is said to have formerly faced north before turning magically to face southwest toward Paro.

 From Jelila, the Trail slowly descends into the Tsalunang Valley, traveling through rhododendron and blue pine forests. Those who enjoy birding should look out for some of Bhutan's stunning species in this area.

 At the camp, an organic, regionally-based dinner will be served.

 Overnight at Campsite


Day 05:Tsalungna-Thimphu

Trek Distance: 19.2 kilometres (11.93 miles)

Estimated Trek Duration: 8 hours

Starting Elevation: 2,774 metres (9,101 feet)

Ending Elevation: 2,659 metres (8,724 feet)

Maximum Elevation: 3,915 metres (12,844 feet)

Continue your journey eastward toward Bhutan's capital city after breakfast at camp.

 Additionally, it lacks traffic lights, making it the sole capital city in the entire globe. The city offers a distinctive fusion of contemporary life with Bhutanese tradition.

 The Trans Bhutan Trail ascends from Tsalunang through fir, blue pine, and dwarf rhododendron forests as well as yak pastures before reaching the pass at Pumola, which is the Trail's highest point at 3,915 meters (12,844 ft) above sea level. Punakha herders used to bring their cattle here during the summer to avoid the heat of the lower-lying Punakha valley.

 Rejoin the Trail as it meanders through gorgeous meadows after taking in a picnic lunch and great mountain views at Puma. The lengthy ridge that follows offers breathtaking views of the Thimphu Valley. You can see your trip for the following days in the distance beyond Thimphu. You will reach Buddha Point around the end of the day, where the Buddha Dordenma, Thimphu's most recognizable monument, is located. Before going out to supper with your guide at one of the many fantastic restaurants in the capital, check into your hotel.

 Overnight: Hotel in Thimphu

Day 06: Thimphu-Dochula

Trek Distance: 26.2 kilometres (16.28 miles)

Estimated Trek Duration: 9 hours

Starting Elevation: 2,659 metres (8,724 feet)

Ending Elevation: 3,114 metres (10,217 feet)

Maximum Elevation: 3,174 metres (10,414 feet)


After having breakfast at your hotel, head back to Buddha Dordenma to rejoin the Trans Bhutan Trail. The portion of the Trail you will now travel to would have been a busy highway connecting Thimphu with Punakha and, beyond it, built the east before the National Highway. You will follow the ancient east-west highway through the town of Babesa after crossing the river on the motorway bridge until you arrive at Simtokha Dzong (fortress). You will proceed down along the Debsi Valley from here. 

The Trail ascends steadily from Simtokha as it passes through orchards, strawberry farms, and market gardens. The Trail then splits off at Hongtsho and travels through a thick forest and across meadows.

You'll enjoy stopping for a picnic lunch in a beautiful location on the way. The Dochula Pass, which is 3,100 meters (10,200 ft) above sea level, will eventually be reached by the Trail. You might also join the locals in honoring the gods by hanging bright prayer flags. In Bhutan, burning incense as an offering is typical in mountain passes, among the most revered locations.

Overnight at hotel in Dochula


Day 07: Dochula - Toeb Chandana

Trek Distance: 13.5 kilometres (8.39 miles)

Estimated Trek Duration: 9 hours

Elevation Gain: 50 metres (164 feet)

Starting Elevation: 3,114 metres (10,217 feet)

Ending Elevation: 1,560 metres (5,118 feet)

Maximum Elevation: 3,114 metres (10,217 feet)


Enjoy the morning sunrise at  Dochula Pass & enjoy the panoramic views of the Himalayan range to the north. 

After breakfast, head down into the adjacent valley and join a section of the Trail known as the ‘Divine Madman Trail’. You are now following in the footsteps of the Divine Madman himself, Drukpa Kuenley, when he came to Bhutan from Tibet in the 16th century to fulfill his destiny of suppressing evil energies. 

You will have a picnic lunch at the village of Thinleygang before you rejoin the Trans Bhutan Trail for a relaxing afternoon walk in the direction of Toeb Chandana. Then, proceed east towards that location. 

Visit the Toeb Chandana Lhakhang, sometimes called the Chandana Lhakhang and meaning "where the arrow landed," when you arrive. 

According to legend, an arrow shot by Drukpa Kuenley from Tibet to ascertain his course landed in Toeb Chandana. 

 The actual temple was constructed in the 15th century to fend off the bad energies of a demon, and it later functioned as Ngawang Chogyal's place of worship. The two hills at either end of the temple are considered Ngawang Chogyal's knees since they resemble knees.

Overnight at Campsite

Day 08:  Toeb Chandana-Punakha

Trek Distance: 13.5 kilometres (8.39 miles)

Estimated Trek Duration: 5 hours

Starting Elevation: 1,560 metres (5,118 feet)

Ending Elevation: 1,225 metres (4,019 feet)

Maximum Elevation: 1,778 metres (5,834 feet)


After breakfast this morning, bid farewell to Toeb Chandana as you commence the ascent towards Sew Drangsa. In recent years, the central monastic body occasionally uses this route to reach its winter residence in Punakha and to return to Thimphu in the summer. At Sew Drangsa, you will find a clearing marked with prayer flags, which is where the monks stop for lunch en route, as you will do today. From here, the trail descends towards Punakha Dzong (fortress), offering spectacular views of the Punakha Valley on the way.

In the afternoon, there will be time for some sightseeing around the charming town of Punakha. Visit Punakha Dzong & Optionally, you may wish to enjoy a gentle rafting expedition down the Mochhu River.

Overnight: Hotel/ Homestay in Punakha

Day 09: Punakha-Lingmukha

Trek Distance: 13.5 kilometres (8.39 miles)

Estimated Trek Duration: 5 hours

Starting Elevation: 1,560 metres (5,118 feet)

Ending Elevation: 1,225 metres (4,019 feet)

Maximum Elevation: 1,778 metres (5,834 feet)



Once you've finished eating breakfast at your hotel, rejoin the Trail and move east toward Lingmukha. The walk begins by meandering through rice fields before beginning a moderate ascent culminating in a Chorten (stupa), the hike's highest point. Picnic here and take in the beautiful views of the lowlands to the north.

The Trail enters the picturesque Lingmukha valley after lunch, and hikers will follow the feeder road for the final hour or so of today's climb. The vast rice fields beneath ridges on either side have earned the valley the nickname "the golden bowl," or Lingmup Sher gi Zhom. 

You will go to the Lingmukha Lhakhang (temple), which was established by Terton Dorjee Lingpa, a famous treasure hunter. According to oral tradition, Dorjee Lingpa travelled to Lingmukha in the fourteenth century, constructed the Lhakhang, and resided there with his followers. It is reported that the Great Master found numerous ters (treasures) in the village.

After visiting the temple, return to your campground to use the hot showers and soothing stone baths there. At the camp, an organic, regionally-based dinner will be served.

Overnight at Campsite

Day 10: Lingmukha – Samtengang 

Rejoin the Trail and continue east toward Samtengang after breakfast at camp. Natives of Lingmukha and residents of the nearby valley of Phangyul would have frequently used this portion of the Trail in the past. The residents of the two villages firmly believe they are blood cousins who share the same cultural origins, even though they are divided by a sharp hill. The Trail begins deep within the Lingmukha Valley and ascends rapidly through thick forest until it reaches a rest area constructed at a pass. You will quickly descend from the pass while taking in the expansive vistas of the Shar Valleys.

The Chan-do, a small, disc-shaped stone, is claimed to have been thrown by the Divine Madman, Lam Drukpa Kuenley, from Sha Kuenzangling on the opposite side of the valley and is said to have landed where the Chungse Azhe Gyalzom Lhakhang (temple) is now located. 

You will enjoy a cooked meal served in a neighborhood restaurant close by in the small settlement of Chungseykha.

After lunch, the Trail ascends to Samtengang, where your campsite is set up for the night, passing via little farming communities perched on Rocky Mountains. Take a nice shower and unwind in a hot stone bath while camping. We'll serve a supper made using organic, nearby-sourced ingredients.

Overnight at Campsite


Day 11: Samtengang – Razawo 

You might want to visit the adjacent Lhakhang Thangkha Temple after breakfast at the camp. One of Kunkhyen Longchen Rabjam's eight lings, or places for meditation and teaching, is supposed to be this temple.

The Trail begins with an elevation as you leave Samtengang and then flattens out before ending the day with a drop toward Razawo. After that, set off on a portion of the Trail with tremendous historical significance and was originally traveled by the renowned messenger Garp Lunghi Khorlo and the renowned Chamberlin Pemi Tshewang Tashi. Additionally, it is remote without any populated areas, allowing you to spend the entire day in harmony with nature. 

Visit the Chorten (stupa) in Razawo, one of the oldest in Bhutan and is believed to have been constructed during Buddha Kashyapa.

After seeing the chorten, return to your campground, where you may unwind with a hot shower and a hot stone bath. We'll serve a supper made using organic, nearby-sourced ingredients.


Day 12: Razawo – Pelela 

Leave the camp after breakfast to begin your final day on the Trans Bhutan Trail. After leaving Razawo, the Trail briefly follows the river. 

From this point on, the day's remaining distance entails a steady ascent toward the Pelela Pass. Before turning into an open meadow and oak and walnut forests, the Trail will initially follow a farm road. On the way, pause for a picnic lunch.

You may visit the Rida Goenpa if there is time (temple). The major treasure of the temple is a bronze statue of Sangay Tsepadme, the Buddha of Longevity, facing Pelela.

According to legend, a young monk who was the son of an infertile local couple who had been granted a child by a tesmpa (Buddhist practitioner) in appreciation for their kindness constructed this monument.


The Pelela Pass, one of Bhutan's highest at 3,402 meters (11,162 feet) above sea level, is regarded as the border between the west and center of Bhutan. It is only a short ascent from the temple to Pelela Pass through a lovely rhododendron woodland. At the roadside, local artisans frequently offer excellent yak-hair goods for sale.

At your campsite close to Pelela, you may take advantage of a hot shower and a stone bath. We'll serve a dinner made using organic, nearby-sourced foodstuffs.


Day 13 : Pelela-Paro

This morning, after breakfast at camp, you will be transferred by vehicle back to Paro. On arrival, check into your hotel and enjoy the remainder of the day relaxing or soaking up the atmosphere in Paro.

In the afternoon, you may be able to join your guide to watch an archery match or practice at Paro’s archery ground.

Enjoy dinner with your guide at a local restaurant.

Overnight at hotel in Paro

Day 14: Tiger Nest Hike

Hike up to Tiger’s Nest - one of Bhutan’s most revered pilgrim sites. Be rewarded with the overwhelming sight of the monastery perched on a cliff at 3,120 meters above sea level and 900 meters above Paro valley. Tiger’s Nest or Taktsang acquires its name from the legend of its foundation, when in the 8th Century Guru Rinpoche, widely revered as the second Buddha, arrived from Tibet flying across the mountains on the back of a tigress and meditated here for three months. He blessed and preached tantric Buddhism in Bhutan.

After the hike, we will stop at the ancient Kichu Lhakhang dating back to the 7th century.

In the evening you can try a traditional hot stone bath to relax your muscles from the hike and try your skills on local game archery.

We will also be having a Farmhouse dinner tonight

Overnight: Hotel in Paro

Day 15: Departure

Read Customer Reviews

5.0 / 1 Reviews


I have come to Bhutan for cultural tour and that also in the month of July when there was a quarantine requirement. During the quarantine night, I read that one of the best thing to do in Bhutan is trans Bhutan trail. 

I called Mr. Thinley, my tour organizer  through Whats App and asked him if we could do the portion of it & if it could be added with our Bhutan Cultural Tour package.   He was very willing to adjust a section of trans Bhutan trail in Paro. It is like walking through village routes. Had a farmhouse lunch , played traditional Bhutanese games and did some stone bath. It was indeed a rich , Bhutan cultural experience.

I would like to thank Mr Thinley for being flexible and giving us a better Bhutan experience. Thank you.