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Bumthang Owl Trek

Bumthang Owl Trek

Cultural Tour and three day trek in Bhutan

12

Days

TREK

Bumthang Owl Trek Trip Map, Route Map
Trip highlights

Visit major cultural landmarks sites  enveloping western and central Bhutan (Bumthang). Besides the trek, as many day hikes incorporated so that you can interact with locales, farm house visit -insights into  daily life  at walking pace. Pristine environments, some wild life whilst in trek etc. Also farm house stay in Punakha (Clean and Hygienic)  and deluxe camping that brims with amenities can add zing to your experience.

Bumthang Owl Trek in Bhutan is one of the popular and easy trek. Three day Bumthang Owl Trek offers an invigorating experience of the culture and environment of the country. It is an easy to moderate 3-day hiking starting from Menchugang, north of Jakar and ends at Tharpaling Monastery located on the ridge top above Chumey valley, all in Bumthang district. The trail has an abundance of flora and fauna, and the panoramic views of the valleys beneath the hill tops and the Himalayas spread over a broad horizon will be an experience that one shall cherish for a lifetime. This trek could be a substitute for the Bumthang Cultural Trek that has been deteriorated to a great degree by the farm road constructions.

On this trek you have the opportunity to see village life in Dhur. The virgin temperate forest of blue pine, hemlock, fir, spruce, juniper with under growth of bamboo spices, rhododendrons, birch, maple, chestnut and many others. In spring the rhododendrons flowers are in bloom that beautifies the whole trek route. The valley views and the Himalayan snow capped mountains in the north are quite beautiful. Birds of different spices, among them the big monal pheasants can be sighted around the second camp and Tharpaling area during mornings and evenings. You will also be able to see Monasteries, retreat centers in Tharpaling, Choedak and Zhambala, the area that is highly venerated as pilgrimage site for Bhutanese. Longchen Rabjam, the great philosopher of the Dzogchen, a religious movement of the Nyingmapa school spent almost 10 years here in the 14 century.

Outline Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Paro
Upon arrival in Paro, meet, tour/walk for the remaining day. If you wish, you can visit farm houses – a typical agrarian houses forming a quaint village nearby town and your hotel.  Overnight in hotel.

Day 2: Fly to Jakar, Bumthang
Flight operates only on certain days. Bumthang is considered as spiritual heartland of Bhutan, vindicating,  it is dotted with many religious edifices, attractions and also some scenic short hike. Based on your inclination, tour/walk around for the remaining time in and around Jakar. Overnight in hotel
Note:Due to road extension work in progress from Punakha till Bumthang, in some sections of roads the ride may get bumpy. Considering this, it is best to make useful domestic flight from Paro – Bumthang or other way round rather than travelling both way by road.

Day 3: In Jakar, Bumthang
Depending on your interest, we can incorporate visit to prominent  cultural attractions and mainstay and more hikes that can set tone for your trek  or combination. Overnight in hotel

Day 4:   Begin Trek: Jakar- Menchugang-Dhur-Schonath (3450m/ approx. 6- 7 km/Walk &Visit 2- 3 hours, Trek – 2-3 hours)
Transfer to trail head, trek start from Menchugang. Visit Dhur (2900m) – biggest village in Bumthang. It consists of 75 households with diverse populations based on their local dialects. Above the villages offer a beautiful view overlooking village and far off mountains.   Water driven flourmill is one of the highlights. Continue trek uphill through blue pine forest and reach the campsite at Schonath (3450 m) amidst hemlock and juniper forest. Howling of owl is quite common at night thus derives the name of this trek. Overnight in regular tent camp/Deluxe Camping.

Day 5: Trek to Kitiphu ((3870 m/3 hrs/ 5 -6 km)
Trek through verdant and virgin forest of spruce, hemlock, fir, birch and rhododendron species. Spring spells Technicolor bloom of rhododendron species. After 2 hours, you will reach Drangela pass (3600 m). Descent the pass and climb Kitiphu ridge campsite (3870 m). Climb further uphill for 30 -40 min at Kitiphu ridge summit for panoramic view of valley and mountain peaks – mainly Gangkar Phuensum (7541 m) – highest mountain of Bhutan. Overnight in regular tent camp/ Deluxe Camping.

Day 6: Trek end and drive to Trongsa (trek downhill – 2 hour/trek distance- 3-4 km downhill)

Climb down to the monasteries of Zambhalha, Chuedak and Tharpaling which brings you to the religious life of monk hood.  After visiting the temples, monasteries, meet the vehicle and drive to Chumey valley (30 minutes downhill) and drive over the Yontongla pass to Trongsa (2hrs), where you can spend rest of the day visiting Trongsa Dzong and tower of Trongsa musuem.
From Tharpaling, there is a option to do a 3hr trek along the ridge to Kikila following the ancient trail and later drive for about 2.5hrs to Trongsa. This option is for those who want longer hiking. Overnight hotel in Trongsa.

Day 7: Drive to Punakha
The spectacular road passing many villages, with great views and ever changing vegetation as the road crosses Pelela pass and descends into subtropical Punakha-Wangdue area. Depending on the road condition, you could also take a side trip to Gangtey, Phobjikha valley, which takes additional 2hrs. Overnight hotel in Punakha/ Deluxe camping on river bank/ Typical Farm House Stay.

Day 8: In Punakha & Wangdue
Spend full day for tours, short hikes in Punakha Wangdue valley. You can also choose to stay in typical ancient farm house/deluxe camping on river Bank/ overnight in hotel.

Day 9: Punakha – Thimphu
Drive to Thimphu (3-4hrs) across spectacular Dochula pass. Option for a scenic hike from Dochula pass to Lungchuzekha and Trashigang. Overnight comfortable hotel in Thimphu

Day 10: Thimphu – Paro
Spend most part of the day for visiting sites in the capital, which has lots of monuments and other attractions that can be covered based on your interests. Then towards late afternoon, drive to Paro (1hr) and try to cover some sights missed on the first day in Bhutan. Overnight hotel in Paro.

Day 11: In Paro (Hike to Taktsang)
Dedicate a full day for hike to famous Tiger’s nest (Taktsang) monastery. As you have trekked, and covered much ground on foot, our guide can also bring you to sites above Takstang that are rarely visited and are as interesting. Overnight hotel in Paro

Day 12: Departure
Transfer to airport for your outbound Journey 

Please note this trip can be also done in reverse order; travelling overland to Bumthang and flying back from there at the end.

Some pertinent links
Deluxe Camping 

Typical Trekking Day 
Camping and Gear provided 
Food on Trek 

  • Group SizePrivate Group

  • MealsAll meals including tea. Food are largely mixture of Local, indian and continental in buffet style.

  • Trip AccommodationWe use best tourist Standard hotels and whenever available, we automatically avail relative upgrade such as Hotel Druk & Tashi Namgay Resort (both 4* deluxe) in Thimphu and Paro respectively. In regards to trek portion there is option to do with Wind Horse's special - deluxe camping/ Lungta deluxe instead of regular camp. Deluxe camping comes with added amenities in addition to safari style tent and bed. To add a new dimension to your experiences, you can also choose to stay for a night in Farm house in Punakha (clean and Hygienic) with the local family.

  • RouteArrive in Paro
    Fly to Bumthang
    Bumthang Owl Trek
    Trongsa to Gangtey to Punakha.
    Punakha to Thimphu
    Thimphu to Paro

  • Trip SeasonsSpring ( March -May) and Fall (Spetember -Nov) are the best time. Even lean season from dec, Jan and Feb are good with bright and warm sun during day time however it can get cold at night so for trekking it can get cold.

  • Best MonthsMarch, April, May, October, November

  • Good MonthsJune, September, December

  • Lean MonthsJanuary, February, July, August

Prices & Dates

For independent travel with your own dates.
Contact us for cost based on travel dates and number of travelers.


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Included

  • Bhutan Royalties, tourists fees, Visa fees and taxes.
  • Accommodations in listed or similar hotels (pleasant hotels 3-4 star type)
  • All meals,including evening tea/coffee etc through-out the tour in Bhutan.
  • All land transfers, sightseeing with entrance fees.
  • Experienced English Speaking Bhutanese Tour Guide.
  • Bottled water in the vehicle and other comp. services.

Not included

  • Flights into and out of Bhutan and Domestic flight.
  • Optional Travel/Medical Insurance
  • Personal expenses such as bars, beverages in the hotel, telephone, laundry, trips, and others
  • Any items that are not listed in included section.

Accommodations

We use best tourist Standard hotels and whenever available, we automatically avail relative upgrade such as Hotel Druk & Tashi Namgay Resort (both 4* deluxe) in Thimphu and Paro respectively. In regards to trek portion there is option to do with Wind Horse’s special – deluxe camping/ Lungta deluxe instead of regular camp. Deluxe camping comes with added amenities with safari style tent and bed. To add a new dimension to your experiences, you can also choose to stay for a night in Farm house in Punakha (clean and Hygienic) with the local family.


Hotels in Thimphu

Hotels in Paro

Hotels in Punakha

Hotels in Trongsa

Hotels in Jakar

  • Mountain Resort

    Mountain lodge is located about one km north of Jakar town, on the way to Kurjey temple, overlooking Wangdicholing. It is one of the oldest hotel in Bumthang, owned and operated by the family. The eldest son was trained in Austria in hotel management...

    Click here for full description and more photos

Hotels in Chumey

Trip Guide/Leader


  • Yonten Phuntsho

    Yonten Phuntsho

  • Namgay

    Namgay

  • Yeshi Penjor

    Yeshi Penjor

  • Dechen Duba

    Dechen Duba

Reviews / Testimonials

  • Jeans & Bryan Enis
    Preston, chevy chase, Maryland, USA
    Mar 2018
    Bumthang Owl trek was the highlight of the trip ( Bumthang Owl trek was the highlight of the trip)
    5 " " TID 8721 (March 4-17) 2015 Guide Duba Hello Anand - Firstly,  we want to tell you how amazing our guide was!  Duba really made our trip.  He was professional, punctual, knowledgeable, kind, and exceptionally friendly.  For example, our guide would always rush to open our door, carry our handbags, and would ask

    Bumthang Owl trek was the highlight of the trip TID 8721 (March 4-17) 2015 Guide Duba Hello Anand - Firstly,  we want to tell you how amazing our guide was!  Duba

  • Amy L.J & Roger T.B
    Woodman Way, Newburyport Massachusetts, USA
    Jun 2018
    We had a lovely trip and hope to return to Bhutan at some point in the future. ( We had a lovely trip and hope to return to Bhutan at some point in the future.)
    5 " " TID 775 Grand Cultural Tour with Bumthang Owl Trek ( June 06-18,2014) Hello Jambay, Sorry for this tardy email. We've been busy catching up after our trip. We'd like to start by saying our visit to Bhutan was a wonderful experience. The countryside and the people were lovely and Windhorse, Yeshi and Tshering

    We had a lovely trip and hope to return to Bhutan at some point in the future. TID 775 Grand Cultural Tour with Bumthang Owl Trek ( June 06-18,2014) Hello Jambay, Sorry for this tardy email. We've been busy