Duer Hot Springs are said to be the most beautiful natural hot springs in the Himalayas. The Duer Hot Spring Trek is a demanding nine day trek along the same route as the finishing of the Snowman Trek. Some long days and steep and long ascents (e.g. the day before reaching the hotsprings) ranks it among the more demanding treks in Bhutan. A mule trail is being built from Trongsa up to Duer Hot Springs. As soon as this new route is ready the trek will be a stunningly beautiful round trip, Bumthang – Duer Hot Springs – Trongsa.
Day 1: Arrive Paro by Druk Air
Your flight into Paro will be a befitting introduction to the natural beauty of our country. On a clear day, magnificent views of the world’s highest peak, give way to lush green Paro valley as you land. On arrival, your representative will receive and escort you to the hotel where arrangements have been mad. Overnight halt at hotel.
Day 2: Paro Sightseeing
Visit National Museum (one of the best mesuems of Asia), Ripung Dzong (fortress of the “heap of jewels”), and Kichu Lhakhan (one of the oldest temple of Bhutan built in 659 AD by a Tibetan King). Drive to Drugyel Dzong (a ruined fortress – 16 Kms. away from Paro Town). On a clear day you can get a view of the Mt. Jhomolhari(Alt 7329m). On the way back visit a typical Bhutanese farm house and take a leisurely stroll around the town. Overnight at hotel.
Day 3: Paro – Thimphu (Capital of Bhutan). (65km/ 2hours)
Drive to Timphu (65km/ 2hours) following the river Pachu downstream to its confluence and then up the river Wangchu to Thimphu. Lunch will be served at the hotel. In evening, the Memorial Chorten, dedicated to the late third King of Bhutan. Overnight at hotel.
Day 4: Thimphu – Trongsa. (205km/ 8 hours)
After breakfast, drive to Trongsa across Dochula Pass (3140m) and Pelela Pass (3300m). Lunch at Wangdue town and overnight in Trongsa.
Day 5: Trongsa – Bumthang. (68km/ 3 hours)
In the morning visit Trongsa Dzong and the Watch tower (present day a museum). Drive through Trongsa town to the broad and beautiful valley of Bumthang. After lunch in Bumthang visit Jambay Lhakhang, Tamshing Lhakhang and Kurjey Monastery. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 6: Duer – Gorsum
(Distance 18 km, six to seven hours, 380m ascent, camp altitude 3,120m). 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.
Day 7: Gorsum – Lungsum
(Distance 12 km, five hours, 40m ascent, camp altitude 3,160m). The trail leads through a dense forest of Spruce, Hemlock, Cypress, Juniper and Maple. The trail ascends gradually to the campsite.
Day 8: Lungsum – Tsochenchen
(Distance 15 km, -six to seven hours, 620 m ascent camp altitude 3,780m). The vegetation along the trekking route is similar to places crossed the previous day. Near the campsite the vegetation thins out and the camp is made above tree line.
Day 9: Tsochenchen – Duer Tsachu
(Distance 18 km, eight to nine hours, 1,340m ascent, 1,530m descent, camp altitude 3,590m). The trek from Tsochenchen is uphill all the way till Juli La (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, then climbs again to Gokthong La (4,640m). From here it is a steep way down till the campsite. Musk deer, herds of blue sheep and Himalayan bear is sometimes seen along the route.
Day 10: Halt at Duer Tsachu.
After a late breakfast, relax in the hot spring or hike the surrounding areas.
Day 11: Duer Tsachu – Tsochenchen
(Distance 18km, eight to nine hours, 1,530m ascent, 1,340m descent, camp altitude 3,780m). Return on the route taken on day 4. The day is even tougher than on the way up as there is slightly more climbing than descending.
Day 12: Tsochenchen – Lungsum
(Distance 15 km, five hours, 620 m descent, camp altitude 3,160m). Return on the route taken on day 3.
Day 13: Lungsum – Gorsum
(Distance 12 km, four hours, 40m descent, camp altitude 3,120m). The trail descends gradually from the campsite. The trail leads through dense forest of Spruce, Hemlock, Cypress, Juniper and Maple.
Day 14: Gorsum – Duer Village
(Distance 18km, six hours, 380m descent). From Gorsum the trail descends gradually till the bridge near Duer village, where you reach the road ahead.
Day 15: Bumthang – Wangdue
Drive to Wangdue takes about 7 hours. Picnic lunch will be arranged along the way. Halt at Wangdue.
Day 16: Wangdue – Thimphu
Visit Punakha Dzong enroute. Punakha is the formar capital of Bhutan. It is a place of great historical importance. The mortal remains of Shabdrung (a Saint who unified Bhutan in 17th century) is still preserved in the shrine of the Dzong. On the way stop for a tea and snack on Dochula Pass and drive to Thimphu. Overnight halt at hotel.
Day 17: Thimphu Sightseeing
Visit the National Library where ancient texts and manuscripts are preserved; The Indigenious Hospital where traditional medicines are still practiced; Woodcraft and Painting school where traditional art and crafts are still kept alive; Handicrafts Emporium where Bhutanese textiles are displayed and can be purchased; Tashichho Dzong, the main secretariat building, the office of the King and Throne room and also the house of the State Monastic Body; Simtokha Dzong, one of the oldest fortress of Bhutan built in 1629 and it houses the largest monastic schools in the country. Drive to Paro for overnight halt.
Day 18: Departure
In morning, your guide will bid you farewell at the Airport.
Duration: Eighteen days, Max. Elevation: 4,700m
Highest Camp: 3,400m
Standard: Medium to hard, Best Seasons: March to April & September to November