Trekking in Bhutan

Haa Valley Trek

Haa Valley Trek
  • Total Duration

    14 days
  • Duration in Bhutan

    10 days
  • Trek Starts

    Kathmandu
  • Trek Ends

    Kathmandu

Overview

This is an easy trek, passing through villages in the Haa valley & dense forest on the Paro side. The ascent is on good trails through forest & meadows. The descent is on a steeper trail. The trek ends at the road near Drukgyel Dzong. You could travel from Paro, crossing the Chele La (3780m) down into the Haa valley, and start the trek the same day.

Departures

SPRING - AUTUMN

07 March to 20 March
02 April to 15 April
01 September to 14 September
05 October to 18 October

Itinerary

Day 01: Arrive at Kathmandu (1300m) and Transfer to Hotel
On arrival at Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport, you will be greeted by our staff, who will escort you to the hotel, where our Sherpa guide or the office staff will give you a brief orientation about the hotel, Kathmandu itself, trekking, and the do's and don’ts of the area. They will also review any additional information that you might require while in Nepal, including an overview of the next day's sightseeing tour. In the evening, you will enjoy a complimentary welcome dinner at one of the finest traditional Nepalese restaurants in Kathmandu, with the necessary transfer to and from the hotel by taxi, bus. Overnight in Hotel
Day 02: Full day guided sightseeing tour in the Kathmandu Valley
After your breakfast, you will precede to Kathmandu Durbar Square, where you will tour the ancient palace, the temple of the Kumari, the living goddess of Nepal, Hanuman Dhoka and Kasthamandav Temple with a guide knowledgeable about Nepalese history, architecture, and religion. From there, you will proceed by taxi, bus to the Buddhist site, Swoyambhunath Stupa, also known as the "Monkey Temple" because of its lively troops of resident monkeys. You will then visit Pashupatinath Temple, the holiest shrine for Hindus, situated on the banks of the holy Bagmati River, a popular cremation site. Before returning to the hotel, you will visit Boudhnath Stupa, a Buddhist pilgrimage center and home to many colorful gompas, or monasteries. Once back at the hotel, you will receive a briefing about the trek and have a chance to meet your guides and ask any last minute questions before tomorrow morning's departure. Overnight in Hotel
Day 03: Fly to Paro
You will arrive at Paro by Druk Air flight which will offer you great views of Mt. Everest, Kanchenjunga, Chomolhari, Tsrim gang and Jichu Drake. The moment you step out of the plane you will see the difference. Bhutan welcomes you with cool, clean fresh air. Peace and quietness is just another bonus. One of our representatives will escort you to Hotel. If time prevails visit the National museum & Rinpung Dzong. Overnight in Hotel
Day 04: Sightseeing in Paro
Today you will visit the ruined fortress of Drugyel dzong which still attracts visitors due to the strategic location of the fort. Proceed through the beautiful valley to the watch tower or locally known as Ta-Dzong. It was housed into the National museum in the 1960s by the third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. The seven floors museum highlights various aspects of Bhutanese culture and history dating back to the 7th century. A short walk downhill leads to the Rinpung Dzong which serves as the administrative center and school for monks. Walk further down crossing the traditional bridge into Paro Town. Overnight in Hotel
Day 05: Hike to Taktsang Monastery
Today in order to acclimatize, you will join a hike to Taktsang monastery meaning a tiger's nest lies at an altitude of 3000m which takes about 2/3 hours. The monastery was gutted by fire in 1998 but the remains of the structure still attract visitors. The Royal Government has taken immediate steps to restore and re-construct the old structure. Tea and snacks will be served at the cafeteria where you can gaze at this beautiful monument built during the 17th century. Stroll back to Hotel. You’ll have evening at leisure. Overnight in Hotel
Day 06: Drive to Khadey Gom via Haa Valley
You will drive from Paro to Haa Valley (2712m) to Yatong (2735m). Then you will trek to Khadey Gom (3235m) crossing Yatong Gompa, Talung village. The trail winds around farmlands fenced with piles of stones to protect the fields from deer & wild boars. Overnight in Hotel
Day 07: Trek to Dongney Tsho via Saga La
A gradual hike for about 1hr through meadows & coniferous forest is followed by the 2hrs climb to the Saga pass. On a clear day there is a fantastic view on both sides of the pass. The view towards Paro includes sacred Mount Jhomolhari & below in the valley the Drukgyel Dzong & the sacred Taktsang monastery. Looking to the west the peaks of Haa forming the border with Tibet can be seen. From the pass it is all downhill. A good 2hr downhill hike through mixed conifer forests & rhododendrons will bring you to the camp in an open meadow at Dongney Tsho, surrounded with tall firs. To the left is the black Choshola mountaing: a holy place from which a lake escaped. Overnight in Hotel
Day 08: Trek to Drukgyel Dzong
The first part of today's hike is steeply downhill for about 1.5hr until you reach the Genchu Zam. The hike is through thick vegetation, & laughing thrushes, magpies, nutcrackers & pheasants are often seen. There is a beautiful small village comprised of about eight households and a temple on the left side of the trail. Chodeypu, set picturesquely at the base of the mountain Laump Bjara (Foggy Mountain, inhabitated by mountain goats). Another 1hr from this village will take you to Balakha Chhu where the ancient Haa Planters' Trail ends. Meet the vehicle & drive 5 hours to Wangdiphodrung. Overnight in Hotel
Day 09: Day Excursion to the Gangtey Gompa Valley
The only Nyingmapa monastery in western Bhutan is located here. This beautiful valley is also home to the rare Black Necked Cranes migrating from the Tibetan plateau to escape the harsh winter. Currently there are 200 to 300 cranes residing in this valley and the Royal Society for Protection of Nature (RSPN) is taking every measure to ensure the safety of the Cranes. While the cranes reside in the winter valley for 4/5 months the village folks are not allowed to make loud noises or fish in the river that runs through the valley. Explore the fascinating glacier valley and return to the hotel. Overnight in Hotel
Day 10: Drive to Thimpu via Lobesa and Punakha
Drive to Lobesa and take a short walk through farm houses and fields to Chimme Lhakhang. This monastery was built in the 15 century and dedicated to the famous Lam Drukpa Kunley or divine mad man. He is one of the most famous saints in Bhutan and his temple is visited mostly by childless couples. Then drive 3 hours to Thimphu visiting Punakha Dzong which served as an old capital of Bhutan. This remarkable fortress is built between two rivers and has survived many glacial floods and fire. Every year during the month of February a procession known as the Punakha Serda takes place to commemorate the victory over the Tibetans. Overnight in Hotel
Day 11: Sightseeing in Thimpu and drive to Paro
Today you will visit the Indigenous hospital where traditional old art of healing is still practiced, Art & Craft School, National library, Royal goldsmith workshop and Handicraft centers. In the afternoon you will be visiting the Memorial chorten built in the memory of the late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, 15 century Changangkha monastery, Motithang mini zoo to see the rare "Takin" national animal of Bhutan and drive further up for a good view of the Thimphu valley. Visit the new Drupthob nunnery temple and drive back to Paro. Overnight in Hotel
Day 12: Fly back to Kathmandu
Today you will be transferred to the airport in Paro for your flight back to Kathmandu. You will be received upon arrival at Kathmandu airport by our representative and transfer to the hotel. Rest of the day will be at leisure. Overnight in Hotel
Day 13: Sightseeing tour to Bhaktapur
Today after your breakfast, you will drive to Bhaktapur also known as city of devotees for sightseeing tour. You will have lunch in the restaurant in Bhaktapur and later drive back to Kathmandu. Afternoon time will be free for last moment's shopping. Overnight in Hotel
Day 14: Final Departure
Today keep in mind your international flight time, so make sure to keep your confirmed air ticket and your passport handy. Our staff will take you to the airport for your final departure from our amazing country, Nepal.

Useful Information

Tea House Trekking

On the more popular treks in Nepal, particularly in the Everest, Langtang and the entire Annapurna regions, enterprising villagers have built teahouse lodges, similar to European style alpine lodges offering simple but comfortable accommodation and food. We offer a selection of single/twin sharing rooms in the best available lodges run to a high level of service. We also supply a four season sleeping bag and cotton liner free of charge on our teahouse treks. Hire of other key items if needed can be arranged in advance. During the trek you’ll have 3 meals a day, with a mixture of European and Asian style dishes and large portions. Soft drinks, sweets, mineral water and alcohol are not included.

Fully Provisioned Camping Style Trekking

This type of trek is staffed by a full Sherpa crew including a Sirdar (head man), cook and assistants. Porters, yaks, horses or mules carry your main baggage. It is the Sherpa crew’s job to perform all the camp work, from setting up to providing freshly made meals,to leaving the site clean on departure. We provide twin share dome or a frame sleeping tents, a kitchen tent, mess tent and toilet tent. We also provide tables, chairs or stools,lanterns/candles, thin sleeping mattresses and all crockery and cutlery as well as a fully equipped kitchen set up. The Sherpa crew will cook, wash up, and provide hot water for washing and tea and coffee at night and for your wake up call. Food is a mixture of Asian and Western dishes, with lots of choice, freshly prepared. As with teahouse trekking you can expect 3 main meals each day. Soft drinks, sweets, mineral water and alcohol are not included. A few of our teahouse treks involve crossing high passes and necessitate camping for a couple of nights. We provide full camping services for these nights including providing four season sleeping bags.

Small Group Travel

Most of our trips, treks and tours are organized on a small group basis, usually with a maximum of 16 persons in a group. On family holidays the maximum number is 20 to allow a number of families to join a group. By keeping numbers small we are able to offer a friendly, personal and high quality service.

Tailor Made Private Charter Adventures

We offer a very competitive complete tailor made service and are happy to design private charter programs for individuals and for groups as well as to tailor any of our packages to more closely meet your requirements. We have a wealth of experience in helping many clients in designing and planning individual adventures, ranging from romantic breaks to personal challenges, fundraising programs,student programs to extreme adventure expeditions, from low budget to no expense spared. We don’t charge a fortune to tailor make a trip for you and we have plenty of ideas, suggestions and experience we’re happy to share. We’ll work closely with you to design your adventure. Our advertised brochure prices will give you an idea of what you can expect to pay but we’ll provide individual quotes based upon your itinerary, requirements,budget and number of people traveling. Let us take care of the research and arrangements for your flights, accommodation,guides,transport,permits,peak fees,equipment requirements,food and all ground handling service for treks, expeditions or tours, using our local knowledge, expertise and contacts. And you can get on with enjoying yourself.

Group and Club Organizers

If you are organizing a trip for a group or a club we will offer one free* additional place for every 10 bookings made. You can use this for your own travel, use it to reduce the overall cost of the trip for everyone or perhaps offer it as a fantastic prize for your group members or for a charity. Contact us for more details and for conditions (*permit fees, national park entry fees, airfares and departure taxes not included).

Grading System

In Nepal, the trails often zigzag with plenty of ascents and descents and it is better to think in terms of hours spent walking rather than miles covered. A typical day’s walking is from five to seven hours with a number of ascents and descents. This includes a one hour lunch stop, a comfortable pace of walking and time to enjoy your surroundings. We use four grades for our treks, intended to give you a general sense of what to expect and to help you choose which adventure will suit you best. Factors such as weather conditions, altitude, fitness level, experience, interests and how you feel on a particular day all contribute to how easy or strenuous you find a trip. If you’re unsure of whether a trek is suitable for you just contact us before making your booking.

Equipment Checklist

A pair of light hiking boots
A pair of sandals
2 pairs of woolen socks and 2 pair of hiking socks
1 medium poly pro shirt
1 pile jacket
1 down jacket
1 woolen hat
A pair of sunglasses
A pair of glove shells with liner or ski gloves (opt.)
A pair of woolen gloves
One Trekking pack 3000 cubic inches capacity
One Sunscreen lotion SPF 10 to 30 and One Sunscreen stick SPF 10 to 30
Two Reading books (Optional)
One Walkman (Opt) and Music tapes (Opt) iPods Digi Camera and its Charger
A one liter water bottle
A pair of trekking poles
One flash light with 4 sets of batteries one -5 to -20 sleeping bag
Two T-shirts and one long sleeve T/city shirt
Two Trekking baggy pants

Toiletry Items

Towel, pre-moistened novelettes, wash cloth, lip balm, and any additional personal items such as toothbrush, comb, etc.

Miscellaneous Items

Photo equipment with plenty of films and spare batteries, reading/writing materials, postcards of hometown and/or photos of home and family to share with Nepalese people, safety pins, sewing kit, zip lock bags for small items.

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