Bumthang Owl Trek

Bumthang Owl Trek
Bumthang Owl Trek
Trip Cost
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Destination: Bhutan

Trip Duration: 13 Days

Grade: Moderate

Min Pax:3 to 16 pax in one group.

Transport:NA

Best Season: Mar- Jun Sep- Nov.

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This three day trek around Bumthang offers both fantastic views of an unspoiled natural environment endowed with a diverse array of flora and fauna as well as an opportunity to visit ancient Buddhist temples and monasteries.

The trail takes you though forests of blue pine, birch, maple, spruce, juniper, bamboo and a beautiful, rugged landscape draped in countless varieties of rhododendrons. As you walk along the tranquil ridges and mountains of Bumthang you will be treated to unparalleled views of Mt. Gangkar Puensum, one of the highest unclimbed peak in the world. There is an abundance of avian wildlife in this area and pheasants such as the beautiful Himalayan Tragopan are a common sight around April-May.

One of the best times to undertake this trek is in late spring, between April and early June when the rhododendrons are in full bloom. When trekking through this area in autumn there is a possibility of encountering Himalayan Black bears so caution should be exercised. This is a very nice moderate trek.

Brief Itinerary

Day 01:Arrival in Paro – Thimphu(2300m - 2 hrs).

Day 02:Drive to Punakha(1350m - 4 hrs) .

Day 03:Drive to Phobjikha(2900m - 5hrs).

Day 04:Drive to Jakar(2650m - 4hrs).

Day 05:Jakar sightseeing.

Day 06:Jakar to Dur.

Day 07:Trek to Kitiphu(4000m - 5hrs).

Day 08:Trek to Jakar(2800m - 5hrs).

Day 09:Trek to Trongsa (2200m - 5hrs)

Day 10:Trek to Wangdue (1350m - 5hrs).

Day 11:Drive to Paro (3 ½ Hrs)

Day 12:Paro Sightseeing

Day 13:Departure

What's Includes

    • Government royalty and all the taxes
    • FIT Surcharge for one and two persons
    • Accommodations in 3 to 4 star hotels on twin sharing basis
    • All meals (break, lunch and dinner)
    • Full time English speaking guide
    • Private transportation and sightseeing as per the itinerary
    • Museums and parks fees indicated in the itinerary
    • Bottled drinking water in car

What's not Includes

    • Air  fare
    • Any alcoholic, nonalcoholic beverages and any other personal expenses
    • Tips to guide, driver, trekking staff, hotel service, etc
    • Travel Insurance
    • Single room supplement charge
    • Luxury hotels/resorts are available on supplement cost
    • Specialized guides available on supplement cost 

Detail Itinerary

Day 1Arrival in Paro – Thimphu(2300m - 2 hrs).On arrival, warm welcome by our company representatives and proceed for an hour ride to Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan. After lunch proceed to visit Memorial Chorten (temple) built in memory of the late 3rd King. Visit Changangkha Lhakhang, the oldest temple in the valley offering a nice view of the valley. Also visit the enclosure where Bhutan’s national animal, Takins are kept. Thereafter, drive to visit the largest and newly built statue of Buddha offering magnificent view of entire Thimphu valley. After 5 pm, visit the fortress of Thimphu, Tashichho Dzong which houses the throne of the king. Overnight in Thimphu. Meal: dinner.

Day 2Drive to Punakha(1350m - 4 hrs) .After breakfast, visit the School of Arts and crafts where students learn 13 different arts used predominantly in Bhutan, Folk Heritage Museum and the National Library. Drive to the Zilukha nunnery to meet the nuns and interact with them. Lunch in the town and thereafter, proceed to drive two and a half hour for Punakha crossing Dochula pass (3200 mts). If the weather permits one can enjoy a spectacular snowcap view of the Eastern Himalayan as well as the the highest mountains of Bhutan that stretches almost 180 degrees. Overnight in Punakha.
Meal: breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 3Drive to Phobjikha(2900m - 5hrs).Check out of the hotel and visit the Souvenir Making Center and the Punakha Dzong (fortress) which houses the most elaborated temple in the country. Visit Chimi Lhakhang on foot, the temple of fertility associated with religious art of phallus. En route visit Wangdi town and continue to Phobjikha over the second highest road pass on your trip at 3140m.Visit Gangtey Gompa, the largest and the only monastery of the Nyingmapa sect in western Bhutan. Evening relax in your hotel or take a stroll. Overnight: Phobjikha.
Meal: breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 4Drive to Jakar(2650m - 4hrs). Check out from the hotel and drive to Jakar, the valley of white bird. En-route we will stop at Pelela pass, Chendipji and Trongsa to visit Trongsa Dzong. we will stop at Chumey to explore the yatha factory, place where woolen products are famous in the region. Overnight in Jakar. Meal: breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 5Jakar sightseeing. Visit Jampay Lakhang, the one of the first 2 Buddhist temples built in the country. This is the home of the naked dance that is still performed annually. Visit Kurjey temple, the site where Bhutan’s royals are cremated. Either walk cross the suspension bridge and visit the village of Parar and Tamshing or drive there. End your day with a walk passing by the Swiss farm. Evening stroll in Jakar town and try some local pancake and noodles. Overnight in Jakar.
Meal: breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 6Jakar to Dur.Start at Manchugang and visit the biggest village in Bumthang, called Dhur at an elevation of 2900 meters above sea level. The village consists of about 75 households with a recorded population of around 800 people. The single village has three types of inhabitants the Kheps (tax payers) having cattle and farmland, Brokpas (nomads) having Yaks and a third group having either. This village has two different dialects, the usual Bumthang Kha and the Brokke (nomadic dialects). A walk above the village to get the overall view of the village is interesting. Climb down to the river where the traditional water-driven flour mill can be visited. This traditional water driven flour mill used to be a source of livelihood for the people of Dhur village. It has been abandoned after the intake channel was washed away by flashflood. The programme has been rehabilitated as it symbolizes an authentic Bhutanese tradition. Continue the trek uphill through the blue pine forest and reach the camp at Schonath (3450m) in hemlock and juniper forest. The hauling of owls through the night is quite common, hence the name the Owl Trek.
Meal: breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 7Trek to Kitiphu(4000m - 5hrs). Trekking through the virgin forest of huge temperate trees like spruce, hemlock, fir, birch and many species of rhododendron makes you breathe the real wilderness of Bhutan. Bamboos are the main undergrowth of this wild forest. During the months of April and May the rhododendrons are in full bloom. In about two hours, you will arrive at the Drangela Pass (3600m). Ascending the Kitiphu ridge brings you to an altitude of 3870m for the night camp. If weather favors you, have a wonderful view of the valley and the panoramic snow caped Himalayan Mountains. The highest mountain of Bhutan Gangkarpunsum (7541m) stands right in front of you when you are on the peak of Kitiphu (4000m).
Meal: breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 8Trek to Jakar(2800m - 5hrs).The magnificent sun rise in the morning is a new experience in Bhutan. Climb down to the monasteries of Zambhalha, Chuedak and Tharpaling which brings you to the religious life of monkhood, the historical Buddhist learning centre. Chuedak monastery has 100 Avoloketeshvaras in the form of Chukchizhey (eleven heads) that you will see nowhere else in the country. Afternoon, walk along the ridge of Kikila and finally follow the traditional trek route between Trongsa and Bumthang (the Royal Heritage Trail). The best view of Jakar Dzong will end your three day trek with many interesting and unforgettable memories.
overnight in Camp.
Meal: breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 9Trek to Trongsa (2200m - 5hrs) Checkout from the hotel, drive to Trongsa. En-route visit yathra factory which is farmous in the region. Make an excursion drive to Ugyenchholing and evening back to Trongsa. Overnight in Trongsa.
Meal: breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 10Trek to Wangdue (1350m - 5hrs).Morning visit the majestic Trongsa Dzong (Fortress), the home of the royals and the watch tower which houses a museum now. Continue to Wangdi. Stroll in Wangdi town and view the ruins of Wangdi Dzong (Fortress). Overnight in Wangdue.
Meal: breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 11Drive to Paro (3 ½ Hrs)Return the drive to Paro over the Dochula. In Paro visit the National Museum, the first of its kind which has a collection from natural history to religious paintings. Visit 17 century Paro Dzong (Fortress) on foot and continue walking through the oldest wooden bridge still in use. Evening stroll old Paro town and peep into some local handicrafts stores. One can also venture to try local restaurant for dinner. Overnight in Paro.
Meal: breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 12Paro Sightseeing Visit Kichu Lhakhang, one from the 2 oldest Buddhist temple in the country, historic Drukgyal Dzong (Fortress) and hike to Tiger’s Nest, the most revered temple in the country that literally hangs on a granite cliff overlooking the Paro Valley. Evening at leisure. Overnight in Paro.
Meal: breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 13Departure Transfer to airport for your departure flight. Our tour staff will bid you farewell at the airport.
Meal: breakfast.

Usefull Info

  • Short information about Bhutan:
    The Buddhist Kingdom of Bhutan lies along the lofty ridges of the eastern Himalayas, location of Bhutan bordering the Tibetan Autonomous region of China in the North and North-West and the Indian states of Sikkim in the West and South-West, Assam in the south, Arunachal Pradesh in the East and South-East and West Bengal in South and South-West. The country within these borders forms a giant staircase, from a narrow strip of land in the south to some of the highest un-climbed Himalayan peaks on earth. With an area of 46,500 square kilometers, Bhutan is comparable to Switzerland both in its size and topography, being largely mountainous.It was the mighty Himalayas which protected Bhutan from the rest of the world and left the Kingdom blissfully untouched. The Drukpa  Kagyupa sect of Mahayana Buddhism provided the essence of a rich culture and fascinating history. The Bhutanese people protected this sacred heritage and unique identity for centuries by choosing to remain shrouded deeply in a jealously guarded isolation.
     
  • How To Enter Into Bhutan:
    Bhutan is a unique destination and as such it has a few unique rules. All tourists must obtain a visa before arriving in Bhutan. Visas are issued on receipt of full payment of your holiday by the Tourism Council of Bhutan. The money remains with the Tourism Council until your travel in-country is complete before the local tour operate is paid. Bhutan does not restrict tourist numbers any longer and operates an open door policy.
  • By Air:
    Paro International Airport (PBH) is the only entry point to Bhutan by air. It is located in the south west of the country and served only by the country’s flag carrier Druk Air.E-tickets have been in use since April 1st 2008. Drukair operates 2 planes (two airbuses) which flies to Bangkok,Delhi, Katmandu, Bodhgaya, Dhaka, Singapore, Bagdogra & Guwahati.
  • By Land:
    There are three land border crossings located along southern border to India only. Phuntsholing in the west, Gelephu in the central region and Samdrup Jongkhar in the east. No border crossings are open along the Chinese northern border. Road permits are also required; however, these are processed by your local tour operator, along with your visa.
  • Accommodation:
    Bhutan being a very small country and a developing one has very few tourist accommodations which are luxurious but there are a lot of accommodations which offer basic necessities, especially as you travel further east.
    If you are looking for a bit of luxury then we can arrange for you to stay at 5-star establishments i.e. namely Amankora (in Thimphu, Punakha, Paro, Gangtey and Bumthang), Uma Paro and Hotel Taj. These establishments have been developed as a result of Foreign Investment in Bhutan. They offer a variety of privileges which are quite unique from the other establishments, therefore be prepared to pay for these privileges. Also now we have some local hotels which have improved the services and facilities such as Zhiwaling. We can also arrange for cooks to accompany you on treks and camping tours that are skilled in coming up with delicious meals.
  • Language:
    We have many other regional languages and the National Language we speak is called as “Dzongkha”, but English is very common among Bhutanese as well and is spoken fluently by most of us. Therefore it is the second official language and it is a medium through which communication takes place.
  • Food and Refreshment:
    While there are ample restaurants on highways between main towns and the hygiene standards at such places is acceptable, the quality of the food is very low and the choice of dishes limited. In addition, the dining halls offer an environment no better than a bus station waiting room. Therefore, it is generally better to prepare food and refreshment for the journey at the point of departure.
    Bhutanese dishes consist mostly of vegetables, chili, cheese, chicken, beef, pork, yak, rice with “Ema Datse” is the national dish (chili & cheese stew) Momo (cheese or pork dumplings), Hogay (cucumber, tomato, onion, and cheese salad), curries with chicken or pork, Nosha Paa (beef and chili) – these are all popular Bhutanese dishes. Due to the hot flavoring and abundant use of chilies in the cuisine it is spicy. There is little to no seafood but on request you can get buffet style meals with choice of continental, Bhutanese and Indian Cuisine. Our cooks, who accompany the treks and camping tours, are well trained and equipped and can come up with delicious feasts every day. For beverages locals enjoy Yak Butter Tea (tea leaves, water, salt, & yak butter) and Ara (spirit distilled from rice).
  • Tour Guides:
    Our tour guides have good knowledge of the history and culture of Bhutan and are very hospitable in nature. They are certified by the Tourism Authority of Bhutan. The most common mode of communication is English but we can also provide guides who can speak French and Japanese.
  • Climate:
    Although geographically quite small, Bhutan’s weather varies from north to south and valley to valley, mainly depending upon the elevation. In the North of Bhutan on the borders with Tibet it is perennially covered with snow. In the western, central and eastern Bhutan (Ha, Paro, Thimphu, Wandue, Trongsa, Bumthang, Trashi Yangtse, Lhuntse) you will mostly experience European-like weather. Winter lasts here from November to March. Punakha is an exception as it is in a lower valley and summer is hot and winter is pleasant. Southern Bhutan bordering with India is hot and humid with a sub-tropical climate. While the monsoon affects northern Indian it does not command the same influence in Bhutan. Summer months tend to be wetter with isolated showers predominately in the evenings only. Winter is by far the driest period while spring and autumn tend to be pleasant.
    There are four distinct seasons similar in their divisions to those of Western Europe. Temperatures in the far south range from 15°C in winter (December to February) to 30°C in summer (June to August). In Thimphu the range is from -2.5°C in January to 25°C in August and with a rainfall of 100mm. In the high mountain regions the average temperature is 0°C in winter and may reach 10°C in summer, with an average of 350mm of rain. Precipitation varies significantly with the elevation. The average rainfall varies from region to region.
  • Currency:
    For Checking exchange rate , Please click here : Bank of Bhutan.
  • Clothing:
    Due to the varying temperature and climatic conditions it is advisable to dress warmly, layered clothing is better than one or two thick garments in order to keep warm. Clothing should preferably be made from natural materials in order for the body to be comfortable.As Bhutan is in its developing stage people think differently therefore it would be advisable for you to avoid walking around in skimpy or tight fitting clothes. For visits to monasteries, dzongs and other religious institutions dress modestly and respectfully, and refrain from smoking while on the premises. Hats, caps, shoes etc. should be removed before entering the premises.
    You need to pack clothes as per season, sunglasses/spare glasses, pair of casual shoes, knife, hat, umbrella, camera, films and accessories (including spare camera batteries), insect repellent, hand cream, small sewing kit & safety pins, torch or flash light with spare batteries, mirror, scissors, sun cream, lip salve, soluble aspirin, antiseptic cream, anti-histamine cream, anti-diarrhea pills, a preparation for the relief of sunburn, and any medication you take regularly, or might need to take for a periodically recurring condition, such as asthma.
  • Visa
    -Visa is needed for Traveling to Bhutan and it is processed in Thimphu through a local tour operator such as Bhutan Travel Gate. Foreign missions or embassies abroad will not grant tourist visa.
    -Passport details should be forwarded to the Travel agent at least 1 month prior to date of travel for visa processing.
    -The visa is stamped only on arrival in Bhutan with the support of visa clearance, which will be sent to you in advance.
    -Those Travelers, entering Bhutan via Druk Air, visa clearance number is forwarded to the concerned overseas Druk Air Stations and without this clearance number the passengers are not allowed to board the flight.
    -Travelers entering the country by surface through Phuentsholing and Samdrup Jongkhar (The border town in the Southern Bhutan), visa clearance number is forwarded to the Local Authority and the actual visa is stamped on arrival. Two copies of passport size photographs are required on arrival.
    -Visa fee is USD 40 per person one time and which should be paid along with the Tour payment. 
    For Details , Please find this link Bhutan Tourism Board.