Duer Hot Spring Trekking

duer-hot-spring-trekkingDuer Hot Spring Trekking is one of the most challenging treks available in Bhutan and the route partially overlaps with the trail of the legendary Snowman trek, the most difficult trek in the world. This grueling nine day journey will take you up to the Duer hot springs, arguably the most beautiful hot springs in the Himalayas.

Duer Hot Spring Trekking The trail has numerous steep ascents and descents and ranges from altitudes between 3000-4700m. However, despite the difficulty of this trek, it is well worth the effort, as it will take you through some of the most beautiful landscapes in Bhutan. You will journey through forests of spruce, hemlock, juniper and maple, through regions populated by herds of Blue Sheep, Musk Deer and even Himalayan Black Bears.

An entire day will be dedicated to resting at the hot springs. The periods between March to April and September to November are the best times to take on this challenging route.

This trek also takes in a visit to the awe inspiring Taktsang Monastery (Tigers Nest) and to visit two other Dzongs in Paro on arrival. We can customise this trek to suit your needs.

Trek Facts

Trek: Duer Hot Springs
Trek starts: Duer Village
Trek duration: 10 days/17 days including transportation
Grade: Strenuous
Maximum altitude: 4700m
Minimum altitude: 2250m
Trek ends: Duer Village

Trip Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu and a representative of Unique Nepal Adventure Trek will welcome and transfer you to your selected hotel by private vehicle.

Day 2: Fly from Kathmandu to Paro (2250m). This flight into Paro is one of the most spectacular mountain flights to take, as it flies past Everest, Makalu, Kanchenjunga and many more peaks. The flight takes around an hour and a half. We will then go to our hotel and take refreshment and visit Ta Dzong (National Museum) and Paro Rinpung Dzong.

Day 3: After breakfast, we drive to Kyichu Lhakhang. King Songtsän Gampo built the Lhakhang in the 7th century AD. The associated legend is that – this is one of 108 Lhakhang’s built in a single night by the king to tame his kingdom’s borders. The next stop is the ancient ruins of Drukgyal Dzong (30 minutes). The Dzong is a monument to the Shabdrung’s victory against an invasion of allied Tibetan-Mongolian forces in 1649. The name “Drukgyal Dzong” thus translates to “Fortress of Victory”. The Dzong was destroyed in a fire in the 1950s. On clear days, Drukgyal is an excellent place to view the glorious mountain Jomolhari. Return to stay for lunch, rest and prepare for the trek up to Taktsang Monastery (the “Tiger’s Nest”).

Drive to the start of the trek. Trek (or horse ride) to Taktsang Monastery (trek time is 2-3 hours depending on weather and fitness level).Taktsang is perched on a precipitous 900 meter cliff. The monastery has been restored at painstaking efforts to former glory after a fire in 1998. The legend is that Guru Padmasambhava flew to this holy place on the back of tigress to meditate. More recently, one of the most enlightened abbots in modern Bhutan history, Geshe Gendun Rinchen (1926 – 1997) also known as Draphugpa (Of the Caves), was born in a small cave by the path to the monastery. Tea and refreshments will be taken at Taktsang Café for about an hour’s rest to take photos and view the scenery. We will then descend to the road point (horses cannot be ridden) and drive back to Paro to prepare for the trek.

Day 4: Fly from Paro to Jakar. There may be time to do some sightseeing. Stay overnight at a hotel.

Day 5: Duer – Gorsum
Distance 18 km, 6-7 hours, 380m ascent, camp altitude 3120m.
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 6: Gorsum – Lungsum
Distance 12 km, 5 hours, 40m ascent, camp altitude 3160m.
The trail leads through a dense forest of Spruce, Hemlock, Cypress, Juniper and Maple. It ascends gradually to the campsite.

Day 7: Lungsum – Tshochenchen

Distance 15 km, 6-7 hours, 620m ascent camp altitude 3780m.
The vegetation along the 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 8: Tshochenchen – Duer Tsachu

Distance 18 km, 8-9 hours, 1340m ascent, 1530m descent, camp altitude 3590m.
The trek from Tshochenchen is uphill all the way until Juli La (4700m). 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 4220m and then climbs again to Gokthong La (4640m). From here the path is a steep descent until the campsite. Musk deer, herds of blue sheep and Himalayan bears are sometimes seen along the route.

Day 9: Duer Tsachu – Rest day
As the highlight of the trek, today will be spent resting at the Duer Tsachu. After a late breakfast, relax in the rejuvenating hot springs or take a leisurely walk around surrounding areas.

Day 10: Duer Tsachu – Tshochenchen
Distance 18km, 8-9 hours, 1530m ascent, 1340m descent, camp altitude 3780m.
Return by the same route taken on day eight. The journey will be even tougher than before as there is slightly more climbing than descending.

Day 11: Tshochenchen – Lungsum
Distance 15 km, 5 hours, 620m descent, camp altitude 3160m.
Return by the route taken on day seven.

Day 12: Lungsum – Gorsum
Distance 12 km, 4 hours, 40m descent, camp altitude 3120m.
The trail descends gradually from the campsite. It leads through dense forest of Spruce, Hemlock, Cypress, Juniper and Maple.

Day 13: Gorsum – Duer Village
Distance 18km, 6 hours, 380m descent
From Gorsum the trail descends gradually until the bridge near Duer village, where you reach the road head. Stay overnight at a hotel.

Day 14: Fly from Jakar to Paro and do some sightseeing and shopping for some souvenirs. Stay overnight at a hotel.

Day 15: Fly back to Kathmandu. Stay overnight at your selected hotel in Kathmandu.

Day 16: Souvenir and sightseeing in Kathmandu.

Day 17: A representative ofUnique Nepal Adventure Trek will drop you off at Tribhuvan International Airport by private vehicle.

Price Includes:

  • Airport pick-up and drop off by private vehicle.
  • Two nights in your selected Kathmandu hotel with breakfast.
  • All meals during the trek (lunch, dinner, breakfast and tea or coffee).
  • Accommodation in a hotel in Paro and Jakar.
  • Accommodation in twin shared tents with mattress.
  • All necessary equipment for camping.
  • One English speaking government trained license holder and well informed trekking guide.
  • Dependent on group size, cook, kitchen boy and extra horses)
  • All expenses for guide and porters – meals, accommodation, salary, equipment, insurance, transportation (bus/flights) etc.
  • First Aid kit bag.
  • Government and local area taxes where applicable. These include Royalty fees and road permit fees.
  • Return transportation from Kathmandu to Paro by flight.
  • Return transportation from Paro to Jakar by flight.
  • Return transportation from Jakar to the start and end of trek by private vehicle.
  • A Bhutanese visa fee, where the cost is dependent on the time of year you visit. See the link for Bhutan Information for prices.

Price Excludes:

  • Nepalese entry visa fee and departure tax. (See the ‘Visa Information’ link under ‘Trekking Info’ for current fees)
  • Travel insurance.
  • Soft and alcoholic drinks (mineral water, hot water, coke, fanta, beer, spirits, etc).
  • Snacks (Chocolate, biscuits etc).
  • Hot water, hot shower, heater charge, battery charge, phone calls and laundry service.
  • Donation, tips and personal expenses.
  • Emergency evacuation and medical equipment.
  • In case of natural calamities i.e. political unrest, cancellation of flight due to weather, landslides, etc, the extra charge will be borne by themselves.
  • Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu.
  • Please note that you cannot hire equipment and other personal items in Bhutan such as (sleeping bag, down jacket, hiking boots, etc). You must either bring these items into the country by yourself, or they can be hired from Kathmandu.