Dagala Thousand Lakes Trek

Trip length: 13 Days
Level: Moderate - Hard
Season: February to June & October to December

Day 1: Arrive at Paro Airport

On the flight to Paro International Airport, the guests will experience breath-taking views of Mount Everest, Mount Kanchenjunga and other famous Himalayan mountain ranges, including the sacred Mount Jumolhari and Mount Jichu Drake in Bhutan. On arrival at Paro International Airport, you will be received by Mr. Sonam Peljore, CEO or the representative of Sonam Tshoey Travel together with the Guide and driver who will take you directly to the hotel for a short rest and some refresments.  Depending on the time, the guests can take a stroll around the town and visit some interesting local handicraft shops.  Overnight at a hotel in Paro.


Day 2: Hike to Taktsang (Tiger's Nest) Monastery 

After breakfast, the guests will be driven to Satsam Chorten from where they will hike to Taktsang (Tiger's Nest) Monastery, which is perched on a rocky edge with a sheer drop of nearly 3000 ft.  The Taktsang monastery is one of the sacred monastries in Bhutan where people from all walks of life wishes to visit and pay their respects once in their life time.  It is believed that Guru Padmasambhava in the eighth century came to meditate in this cave on a flying tigress.  The hike to the monastery and back takes nearly about 4 hours with a vegetable lunch at the Cafeteria overlooking the picturesque view of the Monastery.   On return visit other interesting places like Drukgyel Dzong, Kyichu Lhakhang, National Museum and the Rinpung Dzong.  Late afternoon, the guests are free to stroll in Paro town.  Overnight at a hotel in Paro.


Day 3: Paro - Thimphu

After the breakfast, the guests will be driven to Thimphu the capital town of Bhutan. Enroute stop at Tachog Goenpa where Dupthob Thangthong Gyalpo medidated in this monastery.  He was known as the Iron Chain Bridge builder and he had built 7 iron chain bridges in many parts of Bhutan.  One of the bridges is still standing even today in the eastern part of Bhutan.  The government collected the iron chain bridge parts from many parts of the country and built one across the river to this monastery, if the guests wishes can walk on this iron chain bridge.  Before arriving Thimphu, visit Simtokha Dzong, one of the oldest Dzong built by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. Afternoon visit the Memorial Chorten which was built in memory of our beloved Third King of Bhutan. Then visit Tashichho Dzong after 5 p.m., Thimphu’s most impressive building situated at the banks of Wang Chhu which houses the King’s Golden Throne room and the Dzong is also the summer residence of the Chief Abbot and the Central Monk Body. The guests are free in the later part of afternoon to explore the city on their own.   Overnight at a  hotel in Thimphu.


Day 4: Thimphu

After the breakfast, the guests will visit the Zorig Chusum School of Thirteen Traditional Arts and Crafts.  The National Library is another interesting place to visit, which houses vast collection of ancient Buddhist texts and manuscripts. Also visit National Institute of Traditional Medicine where centuries old healing arts are still practiced. Visit also will be arranged to see the Textile and Folk Heritage Museums including the Handicrafts Emporium. The hand crafted and hand woven materials of exotic silk weaving,  wool, raw silk, cotton, silver jewelry, carpets, thangka paintings, bamboo ware and other traditional crafts of the Kingdom are available in the Handicrafts Emporium. Later part of the afternoon, the guests are free on their own to visit the Post Office where they can buy the exotic stamps and First Cover of Bhutan.   In the evening, drive to the BBS tower to see the fascinating view of Thimphu valley. Overnight at a hotel in Thimphu.


Day 5: Thimphu - Genekha

After the breakfast, the guests will be driven to the starting point of the trek near Genekha Community School. The first day trek over mule path, will take through terraced fields and coniferous vegetation.  Picnic lunch will be served during the trek.  Overnight at a camp site near a small stream at an altitude of 2,800m.  Distance 14 km. and walking time about 4 hours.


Day 6: Genekha - Gur (15 km, 4 hrs)

After the breakfast, slowly start the trek through the natural forests of alpine flora and fauna and sighting birds of many varieties are common.   About two hours of gradual uphill trek and a rest at huge rock platform, offers a picturesque view of the valley below. Picnic lunch will be served during the trek.  In spring, one will enjoy the beauty of the natural flowers grown along this route which makes trekking even more attractive for the guests.   Camp site at an an altitute of 3,100m  Distance 15 km. and walking time 4.30 hours. 


Day 7: Gur - Labatama

After breakfast, slowly start trekking across the ridges enjoying the beauty of the rugged snow capped mountains and its vegetation. The trek today (during spring) will be through full bloom wild flowers and today’s trek is amidst flowers and wild asparagus which is eaten in Bhutan as a delicacy. The beauty and tranquility of these open meadows freshen the trekkers with life and energy. The first pass symbolized by huge cairn provides a spectacular view of the whole Dagala range, meadows and the camp sites of the yak herders.  Picnic lunch will be served at a nearby yak herder’s camp. After lunch, continue with the trek across hills and meadows, ending the third day of enjoyable trek. Camp site at an altitude of 2980m near Yutsho Lake where golden trouts are in abundance.  Distance 12 km. and walking time about 3-4 hours.


Day 8: Labatama Halt

While it will be sort of a rest day, the guests will be taken for an excursion to any of the three lakes: Relitsho, Hentsho and Jamatsho. The guests can enjoy and make short walks around the valley as well while all other arrangements will be available at any time for the guests.  The lakes are ideal for trout fishing however, being Buddhist, we are not supposed to kill the living beings. Overnight at the camp site at an altitude of 2980m.


Day 9: Labatama Halt

The guests will also proceed for an excursion to Setsho and nearby lakes. A short hike to Setsho Lake is easy and extremely interesting. The hike can continue over a small ridge which will lead the guests towards the  Jagetsho Lake.  You can also attempt to climb the Jomo peak of 5,050 m.  Picnic lunch will be served at the summit with spectacular view around which can be a memorable experience for our guests. Return to the camp by dusk and rest to be prepared  for the next day's trek.


Day 10: Labatama - Panka
 
After the breakfast, slowly start trekking upwards which will allow the guests at a later stage to witness the majestic view of the Himalayan peaks during the descend. This point is around 4,460m. The mountains peaks include Everest, Kanchenjunga, Jumolhari, Jichu Drake, Tsherim Gang, Gangbum, Masang Gang, Tsendegang and Gangche Ta. Here in this area, the Himalayan monal peasants are common sight, apart from yaks grazing in the bamboo shrubs and meadows.  Himalayan monal peasant is an endangered species and anyone found trapping and killing this pheasant will be imprisoned for a minimum of 3 years as per the government rules.  Camp site at an altitude of 3,5040m.  Distance 8 km. and walking time about 4 hours. 

Day 11: Panka - Talekha

After the breakfast, slowly start trekking as the day entails the crossing of several passes, each one more impressive and magnificent than the other. Occassional encounter with different varieties of mountain birds and the national flower of Bhutan the Blue Poppy (in full bloom during the months of June-July).   Picnic lunch will be served at location where one trail leads to Talekha and the other to Wangduephodrang. After lunch, an hour’s gradual climb brings the guests to the edge of the last Dagala range from where panoramic view of Thimphu is visible.  The guests will finally reach the last camp site which is a little distance above Talekha monastery at an altitude of 2,700m.  Distance 8 km. and walking time about 3-4 hours.


Day 12: Talekha - Thimphu - Paro

With a good rest and a hot breakfast, the guests will trek through alpine and mixed vegetation (bamboo shrubs and mixed wild flowers), the guests will reach Talekha monastery.  The trail from this will pass  through mixed vegetation and apple orchards.  Once the guests reaches the main road to Thimphu, the car will be waiting for the guests to be driven to Thimphu for lunch.  After lunch and a short rest, the guests will proceed for an overnight at a hotel in Paro.


Day 13: Paro - Depart

Depending on the Druk Air flight timing, the guests will be escorted to the Paro International Airport where they will be seen off by our Representative.