Duer Hot Springs Trek – 18 Days Tour

Tour Duration: 18 Days, 17 Nights.
Trek Duration: 9 days
Locations: Thimphu, Paro, Punakha, Trongsa, Bumthang,
Type of Tour: Cultural tour/Adventure/Trekking.

Highlight:
visit to the Ta Dzong (National Museum, world’s tallest bronze Buddha statue, Tigers nest hike, Souvenir shopping at Paro and two nights stay in (Capital) Thimphu town. Camping near Jele Dzong. Camping at the beautiful Jigmelang Tsho (lake), spectacular view of Mt. Gangkar Puensum etc
Max.Elevation: 4210m at Labanla pass
Max.Campsite: 3870m at Jimilangtsho or 4110m at Simkota site
Difficulty: Varies from easy to moderate.
Seasons: The best times to embark on the Druk Path Trek are between March-June and September-November

Description:

Duer Hot springs is arguably the most beautiful hot springs in the Himalayas. This is one of the most challenging treks available in Bhutan and route partially overlaps with the trail of the legendary Snowman Trek, the most difficult trek in the world. This grueling nine day journey will take you up to the Duer Hot springs.

The trail has numerous steep ascents and descents and ranges from altitudes between 3000-4700m. However despite the difficulty this trek is well worth the effort as it will take you through some of the most beautiful landscapes in Bhutan. You’ll journey through forests of spruce, hemlock, juniper and maple, through regions populated by herds of Blue Sheep, Musk Deer and even Himalayan Black Bears.

An entire day will be dedicated to resting in the hot springs. The periods between March to April and September to November are the best times to take on this challenging route

Day 1: Arrival at Paro

Upon arrival at Paro International airport, you will be met by your guide from Yelha Bhutan Tours and Travels. After lunch, we will visit Ta Dzong (built in1656 and renovated in 1968), an ancient watchtower, which now houses the National Museum. Below the museum is the Rinpung Dzong (literally meaning “Heap of Jewels”), the centre of civil and religious authority in this valley, built in 1646 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. Dinner and overnight at your hotel in Paro.

Day 2: Hiking to Taktsang Monastery or Tiger’s Nest

After breakfast, we will drive you to the trail head to commence a climb through beautiful pine forest. We will stop for light refreshments at the Taktsang cafeteria before walking on to the famous, Taktsang monastery or Tiger’s Nest. Legend has it that Guru Padmasambhava, the tantric mystic who brought Buddhism to Bhutan in 747 AD, flew here on the back of a flying tiger, Dorji Drolo from Kurtoe Singye Dzong in the east. Later visit Kyichu Lhakhang.Dinner and overnight in Paro.

Day 3: Paro – Thimphu

A drive along the winding road by the Paro Chu (Chu means water or river) downstream to the confluence with the Wang Chu, then turn upstream and travel along the Wang Chu to Thimphu, Bhutan’s scenically located capital city. Lunch will be at your hotel. In the afternoon, you will visit the Memorial Chorten, dedicated to the late Third King of Bhutan, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck.In the evening, visit the Tashichho Dzong, seat of the national government and the Central Monastic Body which includes the summer residence of the Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot of Bhutan). Dinner and overnight at your hotel in Thimphu.

Day 4: Thimphu – Punakha

Today, drive to Punakha via the Dochula Pass (3,140 m). On the way stop to see the spectacular array of chortens, to enjoy the superb view over the snow capped Himalayan Mountains and also to the Gasa Dzong at a distance if the weather is clear. Your journey then continues through varying scenes of greenery all the way to Punakha. Visit Punakha Dzong. This Dzong serves as the winter residence for the Je Khenpo, Chief Abbot of the Central Monastic Body and also the office of the district Administration. Dinner and overnight in Punakha.

Day 5: Punakha – Trongsa

After early breakfast, drive about 7km from Punakha town and crossing the suspension over the Mochu River, take approximately a 30-45 minute walk to the Khamsum Yuelley Namgyel Chorten (Stupa) which is perched on a strategic ridge overlooking the nearby villages under Kabisa geog.  It was built under the sponsorship of Her Majesty the Queen Mother Ashi Tshering Yangden Wangchuck to remove evil forces and promote peace, stability and harmony throughout the world. Then drive to Trongsa via Wangduephodrang and later passing through Pelela pass at 3,300m, the traditional boundary between east and west. Dinner and overnight at your hotel in Trongsa.

Day 6: Trongsa – Bumthang

After breakfast, visit Trongsa Dzong, an ancestral residence of Bhutan’s royal family. Then visit the Ta Dzong, an ancient watch tower built to guard the Trongsa Dzong. After lunch, drive to Bumthang. Dinner and overnight at your hotel in Bumthang.

Day 7: Duer – Gorsum

  • Distance: 18km, 6-7hrs, 380m ascent.
  • Camp altitude 3120m)

The trek route follows the Yoleng Chhu, a river known for its abundance of trout.  The trail from Bumthang to Gorsum is a gradual climb. Dinner and overnight camping at Gorsum.

Day 8: Gorsum – Lungsum

  • Distance: 12km, 5hrs, 40m ascent,.
  • Camp altitude 3160m

The trail leads through a dense forest of Spruce, Hemlock, Cypress, Juniper and Maple. It ascends gradually to the campsite. Dinner and overnight camping at Lungsum.

Day 9: Lungsum – Tsochenchen

  • Distance: 15km, 6-7hrs, 620m ascent.
  • Camp altitude 3780m

The vegetation along the route is similar to places crossed the previous day.  Near the campsite the vegetation thins out and the camp is made above tree line. Dinner and overnight at camping at Tsochenchen.

Day 10: Tsochenchen – Duer Tsachu

  • Distance: 18km, 8-9hrs, 1340m ascent, 1530m descent.
  • Camp altitude 3590m

The trek from Tsochenchen is uphill all the way until Juli La pass (4,700m). If the day is clear, you will have a great view of the surrounding mountains from the pass.  After crossing the pass, the trail descends to a lake at 4,220m, and then climbs again to Gokthong La pass (4,640m).  From here the path is steep descent until the campsite.  Musk Deer, herds of blue sheep and Himalayan bears are sometimes seen along the route.

Day 11: Duer Tsachu

As the highlight of the trek, today will be spent resting at the Duer Tsachu.  After a late breakfast, relax in the rejuvenating hot springs or take a leisurely hike around surrounding areas.

Day 12:  Duer Tsachu – Tsochenchen

  • Distance: 18km, 8-9hrs, 1530m ascent, 1340m descent,.
  • Camp altitude 3780m.

Return by the same route taken on the day four.  The journey will be even tougher than before as there is slightly more climbing than descending.

Day 13: Tsochenchen – Lungsum

  • Distance: 15km, 5hrs, 620m ascent.
  • Camp altitude 3160m.

Return by the route taken on day three.  Dinner and overnight camping at Lungsum.

Day 14: Lungsum – Gorsum

  • Distance: 12km, 4hrs, 40m descent,
  • Camp altitude 3120m.

The trail descends gradually from the campsite.  It leads through dense forest of Spruce, Hemlock, Cypress, Juniper and Maple.

Day 15: Gorsum – Duer Village

  • Distance: 18 km, 6hrs, 380m descent.

From Gorsum the trail descends gradually until the bridge near Duer village, where you reach the road head.  From here, drive through to Bumthang. Dinner and overnight at your hotel in Bumthang.

Day 16: Bumthang – Thimphu

After early breakfast, drive to Thimphu. Dinner and overnight at your hotel in Thimphu.

Day 17: Thimphu- Sightseeing – Paro

After breakfast, we will drive to Dodeyna to climb through a beautiful forest track to the Tango Monastery which overlooks a forested valley and other Buddhist retreats high in the mountains. Then we will visit the mini zoo at Motithang to see the Takin, Bhutan’s national animal. If you wish we can then visit the Handicrafts Emporium followed by shopping for souvenirs and other items in the shops of Thimphu. In the evening, we will drive through to Paro. Farewell dinner with traditional dance and overnight at your hotel in Paro.

Day 18: Paro – Paro International Airport

In the morning drive to Paro International Airport where your guide from Yelha Bhutan Tours and Travels will bid you farewell as you embark on your onward journey.

Tour Cost including Bhutan Visa Fees (Not including Bhutan air fare)

High Season: March, April, May, September, October & November
Single traveler: US$ 5,745 for a single person
2 person: US$ 5,405 per person
3 plus person: US$ 4,385 per person

Low Season: January, February, June, July, August & December
Single traveler: US$ 5,345 per person
2 person: US$ 5,005 per person
3 plus person: US$ 3,895 per person

Tour Discounts:

  • No charge for children under 5 years. 50% discount for children in age group 6-12 years and accompanied by their guardians:
  • 25% discount on daily rates to full time students below the age of 25 years with valid identity cards
    50% discount on daily rates to one person in a group of 11 to 15 people.
  • 100% discount to one member in a group exceeding 26 persons.

Please Note: The rate may go higher depending upon the nature of services desired beyond specified details above.

Air Fare

  • Bangkok-Paro-Bangkok = US$ 660
  • Singapore-Paro-Singapore = USD$ 860
  • Delhi –Paro-Delhi = USD$700
  • Kolkata-Paro-Kolkata= USD$410
  • Kathmandu-Paro-Kathmandu = USD$410

(Note airfares are subjected to change as per the notice by Druk Air and Bhutan Airlines)

Airfare Discount

  • Infant under the 2 years pay 10% of airfare plus relevant taxes.
  • A child’s between 2-11 years inclusive of 67% of the quoted fare.
  • Full time Students under the age of 25 years with identity cards may receive discount up to 25%.

Included

  • Deluxe rooms on twin sharing basis.
  • Meals (Breakfast; Lunch; Dinner, Tea/Coffee with snacks as and when required)
  • Accommodation in the best 3-4 star Resorts/hotels in Bhutan.
  • Brand new Bus, SUVs’ (not exceeding 4-5 years)
  • 1 complimentary Bhutan air ticket if group exceeds 17 Pax
  • Tea, coffee and snacks during the long drive and tour.
  • Complimentary 1 Hour cultural program and farewell dinner for 8 plus pax.
  • All Trekking Equipments (2 men sleeping tents, Kitchen Tents, Dining tents, Toilet Tents, Cooking Utensils etc.
  • Trekking Guide and trekking cook along with supporting staffs
  • Medical Facilities on free of cost (consulting doctors & medicine)
  • Mineral water on long trips both on trek and cultural tours
  • Museum fees and other special entry fees.
  • A sustainable tourism Royalty of $65. This Royalty goes towards free education, free healthcare, poverty alleviation, along with the building of infrastructure.

Excluded

  • Airfare
  • Laundry/Drinks / Telephone calls and any personal expenses.
  • Travel Insurance (Recommended but not available in Bhutan)
  • Excess baggage charges.
  • Single room supplement USD$40 per night.
  • Tips and Gratuities