Bhutan, the mystical "Land of the Thunder Dragon," nestled amongst the Eastern Himalayas, whispers tales of ancient monasteries, vibrant festivals, and untouched natural beauty. This tiny kingdom, enveloped by India and China, remains one of the world's most isolated nations, offering a unique tapestry of history, culture, and adventure.
The crown jewel of Bhutan's trekking expeditions is the legendary Snowman Trek, a 23-day, 347-kilometer odyssey through the remote Lunana district. Often hailed as the kingdom's toughest trek, it presents a formidable challenge. Be prepared to conquer high altitudes, unpredictable weather, and breathtakingly rugged terrain. This once-in-a-lifetime journey is reserved for experienced trekkers with exceptional fitness levels.
But the Snowman Trek isn't just about physical endurance. It's a mesmerizing immersion into the heart and soul of Bhutan. Witness ancient monasteries clinging precariously to mountain cliffs, their prayer flags dancing in the crisp air. Encounter nomadic yak herders and local communities living in harmony with their magnificent surroundings. Soak in the breathtaking panoramas of snow-capped peaks, glacial valleys, and emerald meadows teeming with exotic flora and fauna.
While the Snowman Trek steals the show, your Bhutan experience wouldn't be complete without exploring its mesmerizing cultural gems. Delve into the vibrant capital, Thimphu, with its bustling markets and dzongs (Bhutanese fortresses). Bask in the spiritual serenity of Punakha Dzong, a majestic fortress overlooking the Mo Chu River. Unwind in the picturesque Bumthang Valley, dotted with ancient temples and monasteries. And marvel at the iconic Paro Taktsang Monastery, nestled precariously on a cliff face, a true symbol of Bhutan's mystical beauty.
The Snowman Trek isn't just a strenuous physical feat; it's a transformative journey that pushes your limits and rewards you with an unparalleled experience. It's about forging connections with nature, immersing yourself in a vibrant culture, and creating memories that will last a lifetime. So, if you're an adventurous soul seeking a challenge unlike any other, embark on this epic adventure and discover the magic that awaits in the heart of Bhutan.
Upon landing in Paro on a clear day, prepare for a spectacle. Snow-capped giants like Everest, Kanchenjunga, and Bhutan's own Chomolhari rise from the clouds, a breathtaking prelude to your adventure. Our Kandoo team welcomes you and ushers you on a two-hour drive through the Paro Valley, passing the confluence of rivers and, if time allows, the King's Memorial Chorten, a testament to peace and a beacon for circumambulating pilgrims. In the bustling capital, Thimphu, a pre-trek briefing with your Lead Guide equips you for the challenge ahead. As twilight settles, rest assured in your comfortable hotel, anticipation simmering for the legendary Snowman Trek to unfold.
Our day begins delving into the soul of Thimphu, Bhutan's vibrant capital. First, the National Library whispers tales of ancient wisdom through its centuries-old Buddhist texts. Across the way, the Institute for Zorig Chusum showcases the vibrant tapestry of Bhutanese arts and crafts, where students breathe life into 13 traditional skills.
Next, we thread through the city center, exploring the treasures of the Textile Museum and Folk Heritage Museum, where fascinating exhibits unveil the intricate threads of Bhutanese life and culture. (Please note closures on weekends and holidays.)
Our grand finale arrives at the majestic Trashichhoe Dzong, "the fortress of the glorious religion." This architectural marvel houses the Bhutanese government, the King's throne room, and a vibrant monastic presence.
As the afternoon light softens, we embark on a scenic drive to Punakha, traversing the Dochu La Pass (3,088m). Rhododendron and magnolia forests paint the slopes, while breathtaking vistas of the eastern Himalayas and the Lunana trek unfold before us. Prepare to be captivated by the beauty and rhythm of Bhutan, one step at a time.
Sunlight paints Punakha Dzong in gilded hues as we delve into its rich history. This mighty fortress, second only in Bhutan, whispers tales of ancient power and spiritual fervor. Witness the confluence of Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu rivers from its ramparts, the lifeblood of this fertile valley.
After absorbing the Dzong's grandeur, we follow the Mo Chhu's meandering embrace, the road tracing its contours like a faithful companion. Lush rice paddies and quaint villages peek through the green, painting a serene backdrop.
As the sun begins its descent, we arrive at Gasa Tshachu, a village where whispers of healing mingle with the scent of pine. Here, beneath the starry canvas, we seek solace in the embrace of natural hot springs, reputed to soothe body and soul. Prepare for a night in cozy tents, lulled by the symphony of wind and water, ready to embrace Gasa's restorative touch.
This morning we start our trek climbing up through thick sub-tropical forest to the village of Chamsa.
Bidding farewell to Chamsa, we descend to the Mo Chhu, its icy whispers painting the air. Crossing the bridge, we savor a rustic lunch by the gurgling waters, fueled for the gradual climb ahead. As the trail rises, an army camp marks a transition point, before the first glimpses of Laya tease the horizon.
Laya, a village whispered in the clouds, welcomes us with open arms. Its people, adorned in vibrant native dress, radiate warmth and genuine smiles. Cameras click, capturing their essence, memories born from these authentic encounters. Tonight, as stars ignite the velvet sky, we pitch our tents in this land of friendly faces and breathtaking vistas, Laya's magic settling around us like a comforting cloak.
Bidding farewell to Laya's charm, we retrace our steps past the army camp, once again embracing the Mo Chhu's gurgling song. Lunch fuels our next ascent, a climb shrouded in a fragrant cloud of rhododendrons. Finally, we emerge into a hanging valley, a verdant canvas dotted with grazing yaks. Tonight, by the river's gentle murmur, we pitch our tents under a sky ablaze with stars, the whisper of adventure clinging to the rhododendron-kissed air.
Dawn paints the rhododendrons with rose-gold as we set out for a day of purposeful steps - an acclimatization trek in Rhodophu. Each breath becomes a conscious choice, lungs adapting to the thinner air, a prelude to tomorrow's mountain passes. This day is a mindful dance: a balance between pushing boundaries and embracing rest, preparing mind and body for the symphony of summits above 5,000 meters that await. Tonight, stars will be our companions as we snuggle into our tents, fueled by anticipation and the quiet hum of preparation.
Today, lungs sing with alpine air as we ascend towards Tsimola La Pass, a 4,700-meter sentinel guarding the Himalayas. With each step, the panorama unfolds - Lunana's verdant tapestry unfurling beneath us, while Chomolhari and Jichu Drake pierce the sky like celestial spears. At the summit, breathless awe washes over us, a reward for our resolute climb.
But the journey continues. We push onwards, legs burning with purpose, until Narethang, nestled at 4,900 meters, welcomes us into its rugged embrace. Tonight, as stars glimmer like fallen diamonds on the black velvet sky, we rest, dreams echoing with the whisper of tomorrow's climb - Ganglakarchung La Pass, the 5,100-meter crown jewel awaiting our intrepid steps.
Leaving Narethang's embrace, we tread on ground etched by the wind, anticipation simmering. Then, the climb begins, a symphony of boots against stone, each step a note toward the crescendo - Ganglakarchung La Pass, 5,100 meters whispering in the clouds.
As we ascend, the panorama spills over the horizon, a feast for the soul. Mountains, titans cloaked in snow, rise above 7,000 meters - Masagang and Tsendegang, their names echoing off the peaks. Each bend unveils a new masterpiece, a canvas begging to be captured. Prepare your cameras, for this, they say, is Bhutan's crown jewel of viewpoints.
Finally, the summit yields, its icy breath greeting us, the reward for our relentless climb. But our journey isn't over. With hearts full of the sky's vastness, we begin our descent, a long, welcome melody towards the Tarina valley. Every step down is a sigh of release, a return to the embrace of lower altitudes, where dreams paint the valley floor and anticipation for tomorrow's adventures simmers anew.
The path descends through coniferous forests, following the upper reaches of the Pho Chhu river. The trail then climbs over a ridge and drops to Woche at 3,800m, the first village of Lunana.
Whispers of Juniper, Echoes of Peaks: Woche to Lhedi
Morning awakens us amidst the emerald symphony of Woche's forests. Juniper and fir weave a fragrant canopy overhead, sunlight dappling the path as we embark. Each step unveils a new story - gnarled roots like serpents, birdsong echoing through the stillness.
Then, the rhododendrons ignite the landscape - a vibrant inferno painted with pinks and reds. Their sweet perfume mingles with the crisp mountain air, fueling our steps as we ascend towards Keche La Pass, 4,480 meters kissing the clouds.
At the summit, the world expands. A tapestry of mountains unfurls beneath us, Table Mountain rising like a regal stone giant, peaks piercing the sapphire sky. We soak in the panorama, a silent reverence for nature's majesty.
But the journey beckons us onward. Descending along a gurgling river, a tributary of the mighty Pho Chhu, we follow its song towards Lhedi. With each bend, new vistas unfold, a mesmerizing dance of light and shadow against the towering peaks.
Finally, Lhedi welcomes us - a humble village nestled in the folds of the mountains. Tonight, under a sky studded with stars, we pitch our tents, lulled by the river's whispered tales, memories of juniper whispers and echoing peaks painting our dreams.
From Lhedi, the river remains our silent companion, its gurgling melody guiding us up to Choejong, Lunana's bustling tapestry. In this largest village, the scent of wood smoke mingles with laughter, lunch a warm respite before we delve into the village temple's quiet prayer flags. Our path then unfolds, sun-dappled and serene, until the gurgling river sings a new tune - "cross me," it whispers. We answer on a swing of the suspension bridge, and Thanza, Lunana's second-born heartbeat, welcomes us into its verdant embrace. Tonight, as stars bathe the mountains in silver, tents become our haven, lulled by the river's gentle serenade and the promise of Lunana's unfolding tales.
In Thanza, time softens, stretching like the rays of sunlight filtering through leaves. Leisure becomes a warm blanket, embracing us with the freedom to simply be. Lost in the pages of a book, hands busy with laundry's rhythmic dance, or feet finding solace in the village's gentle embrace, each moment whispers its own melody. For the adventurous soul, the ridge beckons, a stairway to panoramas etched in cloud, another brushstroke in Lunana's awe-inspiring canvas. In Thanza, rest and adventure weave a tapestry of rejuvenation, preparing us for tomorrow's symphony of mountain trails.
Bidding farewell to Thanza's gentle embrace, we ascend the sun-kissed ridge. Below, Table Mountain stands sentinel, casting its shadow over the verdant valley, a farewell glimpse we etch in memory. Crossing the ridge, we plunge into a secret valley, a stream whispering its tales among wildflowers and moss-carpeted rocks. Lunch nourishes us by a gurgling songbird, before the challenge unfolds - an upward climb over rolling hills, each crest revealing a new masterpiece of snow-capped giants. Finally, as the sun paints the sky in fiery hues, Tshorim welcomes us, a haven nestled amidst nature's grandeur. Tonight, dreams dance with mountain echoes, the symphony of the trail echoing in our souls.
Today's dawn ignites Tshorim Lake, a mirror reflecting the majesty of the Guphola ranges. We whisper along its turquoise edge, soaking in the panorama before the final ascent - Gupho La Pass, 5,230 meters beckoning like a celestial gateway. The climb is brief, but the reward immense. As we crest the pass, Gangkar Puensum explodes into view, a snow-crowned titan piercing the heavens.
Two paths whisper possibilities. Will we heed the call of the leftward ridge, a pyramid peak promising an even closer brush with the king of mountains? Or will we descend directly to Base Camp, 4,970 meters nestled by the Sha Chhu river, its gurgling melody promising sweet dreams at the foot of greatness? Whatever our choice, tonight, under a sky dusted with constellations, we pitch our tents, lulled by the wind's whispered tales of snow and stone, forever bound to the magic of Gangkar Puensum.
The trek continues to follow the Sha Chhu river, descending gradually to Geshe Woma where we camp for the night.
Two and a half hours melt away as we follow the Sha Chhu's gurgling song, its melody guiding us deeper into Bhutan's rugged heart. Then, the call of Saka La pierces the air, a challenge carved against the sapphire sky. Lunch by a yak herder's camp fuels our steps, each bend revealing a new canvas of snow-capped giants. At the 4,800-meter summit, breath catches in our throats - glaciers shimmer, valleys unfurl, and the very spirit of the Himalayas dances before us. But the journey beckons. Down we descend, past turquoise lakes that mirror the heavens, until another ascent whispers: Warathang La Pass, 4,590 meters of breathtaking panoramas waiting to be embraced. Finally, weary legs find solace in Warathang's embrace, tents becoming our haven under a sky ablaze with stars, the echoes of mountain passes singing us to sleep.
A final mountain whispers farewell - Uli La Pass, 4,400 meters etched against the dawn. With hearts full of memories, we ascend, lungs singing with crisp mountain air. Below, dense forests of rhododendron, juniper, and conifers unfold, a verdant carpet leading towards a gurgling melody - the river. Crossing a bridge, we follow its song until, nestled amidst the emerald embrace, Dur Tshachu emerges. Legend whispers of Guru Padsambhava bathing here in the 8th century, his spirit woven into the steam. Tonight, as we soak in these mystical hot springs, stars twinkling like celestial blessings, we too become part of the legend, forever bound to the magic of the Snowman Trek.
Leaving Dur Tshachu's mystical touch behind, we embark on a long, steady climb, Lunana's mountains rising like silent guardians under a sapphire sky. Gokthong La Pass, 4,650 meters, looms first, a gateway to a realm of emerald pastures dotted with yaks and yak herders' camps. Deep blue lakes, glistening at 4,220 meters, paint the valley floor, whispering tales of serenity. Then, with resolute breaths, we conquer Jule La Pass, 4,700 meters, the final summit crowning our journey. Below, Tshochenchen beckons, its promise of rest cradled in the valley's embrace. Tonight, under a star-studded canopy, we pitch our tents, the echoes of mountain passes lulling us to sleep, the Snowman Trek forever etched in our hearts, a symphony of challenges and wonders complete.
We trek downhill from Tshochenchen, following the Yoleng Chhu river through thick forests of cypress, spruce, juniper, maple and hemlock. A short climb brings us to our campsite at Gorsum.
Bidding farewell to our trusty yaks, we swap saddles for pack ponies, the final note in this epic symphony. Dawn paints the path gold as we follow the Chamkhar Chhu's gurgling song, its melody guiding us downwards. Gentle descents unfold, a welcome reprieve from the mountain challenges, each bend revealing new vistas painted in shades of green and blue. Finally, as afternoon light softens, we reach Dur, the trek's final chord resonating in our hearts. Here, comfort awaits, a vehicle ready to usher us towards Bumthang, the promise of warm hearths and starry skies drawing us onward. Tonight, amidst the gentle embrace of our lodge, we raise a toast to the Snowman Trek, its echoes forever woven into the fabric of our souls.
Bumthang Valley, Bhutan's cultural crucible, beckons us today. Hills whisper tales of Guru Padsambhava, his presence echoing in monasteries that dot the emerald tapestry. Here, Pema Linga, an ancestral thread woven into the monarchy's tapestry, once walked. With open hearts, we tread their paths, exploring the majestic Jakar Dzong, Kurje Lhakhang's sacred cloisters, Jambey Lhakhang's vibrant chants, and Tamshing Lhakhang's timeless wisdom. As twilight paints the valley in hues of gold, we return to our lodge, memories like precious jewels sparkling in our souls, the magic of Bumthang forever etched in our hearts.
Today we fly from Bumthang to Paro. We will have free time today to rest and relax at our hotel.
Our Paro adventure takes a breathtaking turn today as we embark on a pilgrimage to Taktshang Lhakhang, the fabled Tiger's Nest Monastery. Perched precariously at 3,100 meters, this cliffside wonder isn't just a monument of architectural brilliance; it's a tapestry woven with legends and profound spiritual significance. Breathe in the air that Guru Rinpoche, an 8th-century Buddhist master, is said to have graced, leaving his imprint on this hallowed ground. Witnessing this Bhutanese jewel, reborn after a devastating fire, will be a moment etched in memory.
After basking in Taktshang's ethereal aura, we rewind time at the 7th-century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the Himalayas' oldest spiritual treasures. Standing guard since the advent of Buddhism in Bhutan, its walls whisper tales of kings and the unwavering devotion of a nation. Drukgyel Dzong, a fortress echoing with tales of bravery and resilience, awaits next. Though scarred by fire and time, its majestic ruins speak volumes of Bhutan's glorious past. As we stand beneath the watchful gaze of Chomolhari, 'the Bride of Kangchenjunga,' dreams of restoration and renewed grandeur paint the horizon. With hearts full of inspiration and memories, we return to Paro, ready for tomorrow's adventures.
We will collect you from your hotel and transfer you to Paro Airport for your flight to Kathmandu.
500 US $ Deposit: Secure your spot with a minimum deposit. Remaining Payment: Pay anytime before the trip starts.
You can cancel anytime. Get a full refund up to 40 days before your trip. 50% refund up to 25 days before. 25% refund up to 15 days before. No refund after 15 days or after the trip starts.