Dagala Lakes Trek 10 Day

This trip combines 4 days of excellent trekking with visits to some of Bhutan’s most historic cultural sites and is a great option for visitors looking to get off the beaten track.  The Dagla Lakes Trek is less popular than the better known Chomolahri trek and you may literally have the trail to yourself. The trek takes you past traditional Bhutanese villages on its way to a number of lovely high altitude lakes. The Trek is easy and most trekking days are short but there are some long steep climbs. The highest point is 4300 Meters. The schedule leaves sometime before and after the trek to visit the most important historic and cultural sites around Thimphu, Paro & Punakha. As well as a day hike to the Tiger's Nest one of Bhutan's most picturesque monasteries.

    What's Included?

  • Airport Transfers
  • Bhutan Visa
  • Transportation by private vehicle in Bhutan
  • English speaking guide
  • All meals
  • Accommodation
  • Entrance fees, Trekking permits, All local taxes
  • Services of Guide, Cook & Helper on the Trek
  • Mess Tent, Kitchen and Toilet Tent
  • Ponies to carry supplies
  • Sleeping Pads (Bring your own Sleeping Bag)


*Single Supplement of $345.

Day 1: Arrive at Paro

Altitude: 2320m (Thimphu), Drive Time: 1 hour (58km)

Welcome to Bhutan! Our driver will be waiting for you when you arrive with a Yak Holidays signboard and will drive you to Thimphu (1 hour drive), Bhutan's Capital. After lunch we will take in the local sites which include the Memorial Chorten, Changangkha Monastery, Takin Preserve Centre, Tashichho Dzong and the Sangay Gang view point. Dinner and overnight at hotel in Thimphu.

Day 2: Thimphu to Punakha

Altitude 1310m (Punakha). Drive Time: 3 hours (77km)

After breakfast, drive to Punakha via Dochula pass. If the weather is clear, we will be treated to a spectacular view of the Himalayas. Enroute, we stop to view Chimi Lhakhang, alternatively called the "Temple of Fertility" which was built by Lama Drukpa Kuenley, known popularly as "The Divine Mad Man", in the 15th century. After lunch, visit the impressive Punakha Dzong, a traditional fort built in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. Dinner and overnight at hotel in Punakha.

Day 3: Punakha to Thimphu

Altitude 2320m (Thimphu). Drive Time: 3 hours (77km).

After breakfast, hike to Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten a classic example of gorgeous traditions and architecture. In the afternoon we will drive back to Thimphu and in the evening visit Changlimithang ground to see an archery match followed by a visit to the weekend market. Farmers come from all over the country to sell their farm products in the market. Dinner and overnight at hotel in Thimphu.

Day 4: Thimphu to Gur to Labatamba (Start Trekking)

Altitude 4300m (Utso Lake). Hiking Time 5 hours (12km / 7.2 miles)

After a relaxed breakfast we will drive about 2 hours to Gur from where we will start the trek. The trekking is beautiful and will take you over Pagalabtsa pass (4,250m) enroute to the foot of the broad Labatamba valley at 4300 meters near Utso Lake, where plenty of Golden Trout flourish. We will camp near the lake for the night.

Day 5: Labatamba to Panka

Altitude 4000m (Panka). Hiking Time 7 hours (8 km / 5 miles)

After breakfast at camp we will follow the trail along the western side of the lake to a saddle at 4500 meters, where there are good mountain views. From the pass there is a steep descent to another lake at 4350 meters. A short distance beyond the lake leads to the valley and then to Panka at 4000 meters where we will camp for the night.

Day 6: Panka to Talakha

Altitude 3080m (Talakha). Hiking Time 6 hours (8km / 5 miles)

Today is a good day of hiking and the route leads north crossing a pass at 4000 meters before climbing along the side of the ridge to a crest at 4270 meters offering fantastic views of the Dagala range and Thimphu, far to the North. It is then a long descent through forests to the Goemba and village of Talakha (3080 meters) where we will camp for the night.

Day 7: Talakha to Chamgang to Thimphu

Altitude 2640m (Chamgang). Hiking Time 3 hours (6km / 3.6 miles)

Today is the final day of trekking and we hike down the steep trail to Chamgang (2640 meters) from where the vehicle will pick you up and drive you back to Thimphu. We will take lunch in Thimphu and in the afternoon you are free to explore. Dinner and over night in Thimphu.

Day 8: Thimphu to Paro (Altitude 2280 m) (58 km, 1 hr)

Altitude 2280m. Drive Time: 1 hour (58km)

After breakfast we will drive back to Paro where will visit Ta Dzong, an ancient watchtower, which now houses the National Museum. After lunch, drive to the ruins of the Drukgyal Dzong 16 km up the valley built in 1647 by the great Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, father and unifier of medieval Bhutan. Explore the ramparts and on a clear day experience an unforgettable view of Mt. Jhomolhari (7,314 m). In the evening, free to stroll Paro town for shopping and photography. Dinner and overnight in Pao.

Day 9: Paro Sightseeing (Tigers Nest)

Altitude 2280m. Hiking Time: 4 to 6 hours - 4 miles/6.5 km

After an early breakfast we will visit Kichu Lhakang one of the oldest and most beautiful temples of Bhutan. We then drive north of Paro a short distance to begin our hike to the Tigers Nest, probably Bhutan's most famous landmark. The hike up to the monastery goes through a beautiful pine forest and you can catch several glimpses of the Tigers Nest (almost 900m above you). It's a good hike but well worth the effort and we will stop for lunch half way.

The trail takes you directly to this incredible monastery which clings to the edge of a sheer rock cliff that plunges 900 meters into the valley below. The Tiger's Nest was built in 1692 and still functions today despite the daily visits by numerous tourists. Dinner and overnight at the Hotel in Paro.

Day 10: Departure (By Druk Air/Bhutan Airline)

After breakfast, drive to the airport and farewell.

    Exclusions

  • Single Supplement of $345 for solo travelers
  • International air tickets to Bhutan
  • Sleeping Bags (We provide camping gear)
  • Tips
  • Travel Insurance (Suggested)
  • Laundry service
  • Beverages
  • Telephone bills
  • Other extras not specified
Start your adventure here with us!

FAQ

The basics

What is trekking?

Trekking is an adventure! For the uninitiated, this active pursuit involves lengthy, multi-day walks and climbs on village and park trails. The terrain is usually fairly steep, and we will likely encounter snow at higher altitudes (those above 5,500m/18,000ft).

Is trekking for me?

We like to think trekking is for everyone who is physically fit, patient, and loves the outdoors.

Why is a guide necessarily? I've trekked/hiked/camped before - can't I guide myself?

While it is not a legal requirement, we cannot overstate the importance of trekking with a licensed, experienced guide. You'll be traveling through wilderness, remote countryside, and high elevations - from an aspect of pure safety, it is highly dangerous to go it alone. Additionally, very few locals in Himalayan villages speak English. Should you get lost (and, with many paths crossing through many, many villages, this is more a likelihood than a possibility), it would be difficult to communicate directions or obtain food and shelter. Additionally, our guides are experts in Himalayan treks with an average of over 15 years trekking experience. No matter how confident you feel in your skills or knowledge, it is almost certain that we can help enhance your experience.

Who can go?

Are there any age limits for Himalayan trekking?

Nepal law requires that children under age 18 are accompanied by a parent or guardian while trekking. There's no upper limit on our adventures, as long as participants are healthy and willing!

How difficult is trekking?

It depends on the specific trek, and, to some extent, on the preferences of those trekking. We offer all sorts of treks, ranging from easy to difficult.

Is previous trekking experience really necessary?

In theory, no. Anyone with robust cardiovascular capability and good stamina should be able to cope with higher elevations and lower oxygen density. Trekking or hiking experience anywhere in the world is strongly recommended for maximum enjoyment of your Himalayan adventure, however.

Preparation

What type of insurance should I have? Where can I obtain a policy?

Travel insurance is mandatory and obtaining it for the days you are trekking is your responsibility. Please email us your proof of insurance before arriving for the trek. You can check out more details on insurance requirements at our terms of service page.

What's the best time of year to book a trek in Nepal?

The best times for trekking the Himalayas are February to May, and then September to December. Unless you are trekking in rain shadow areas such as the Upper Mustang, trekking during monsoon season is going to be a very wet event. Winter isn't the optimal trekking season either, as very cold temperatures and heavy snowfall may impede crossings of high passes (treks that maintain lower elevations are accessible year-round).

Are any permits required for trekking?

Again, it depends on your specific trek. Some trekking areas require a special permit for trekking, while as others require only permits to enter conservation or national parks. Most require a Trekking Information Management System (TIMS) card. We handle all permits for you, so you have one less thing to worry about!

About the trek

How long do treks last?

Most of our Himalayan treks range from two to four weeks.

How long do we spend walking each day?

Trekkers generally walk four to six hours a day. That's between five and fifteen kilometers depending on trail conditions and the state of the weather.

Room and board

What kinds of accommodations will we utilize?

Unless you signed up for a camping trip specifically, most treks include lodge or guest house accommodation. A small minority of trekking areas may not have lodges available, and accommodation in these places will involve sleeping in tents.

What is teahouse trekking?

Teahouse trekking is a type of accommodation unique to mountain treks, in which lodging and meals are set up at local teahouses or lodges on a full-board basis.

What is camping trekking?

Camping trekking involves sleeping in tents. We provide you with full board on these treks, with meals being prepared by professional trekking cooks in a mobile camp equipped with a kitchen and adequate support staff.

Where will our drinking water come from?

We provide all the meals on the trek, but don't provide water. The best option is to treat the local water either with chlorine/iodine tablets or to use a steri pen. The tea houses will give you good quality free water and you can also get along the trail but you will need to treat it. If you are using the tablets make sure they dissolve completely (about 30 mins). On most treks you can buy mineral water along the trail. A liter of mineral water at lower elevation tea houses costs around $1 USD but at higher elevations can cost up to $4 so the cost can add up.

Where do we eat our meals?

The most frequently-traveled Himalayan circuits feature lodges and guesthouses. Continental menus are generally available, along with soups and dishes of noodles or rice. Other routes will include more limited choices. On the most remote routes, only traditional dal bhat, curry, or instant noodle soups will be available.

Health and safety

What physical criteria will ensure I'm fit enough to trek?

Good overall fitness, flexibility, and healthy will ensure you trek safely and comfortably. Those with acute or chronic health conditions impacting their stamina, range of motion, coordination, or balance may have difficulty completing the trek. If you are in doubt about your own physical readiness, consult a physician well in advance of booking your trip! General hiking experience and comfort with the idea of multi-day hiking will also ensure you are 100% ready to trek!

How will we deal with altitude acclimation?

At higher altitudes - the kind we experience frequently on our treks- your cardiac and pulmonary systems are affected by lower oxygen density. Our bodies must adjust to the mountain elevation gradually, or we can become ill. Physical symptoms can range from general breathing difficulties all the way to acute mountain sickness (altitude sickness, soroche, or "the bends"). To avoid altitude-related maladies, we pace our treks appropriately and incorporate acclimatization days throughout the itinerary. There are points throughout many treks during which trekkers may choose to either tackle additional hikes/day trips or rest and relax as their bodies demand.

What do I need to know about sun protection?

It may seem counter-intuitive, but your skin is in more danger of sun damage on the mountains than while at the beach! The sun's intensity increases dramatically as we rise in altitude, and fresh snow reflects exponentially more UV rays than does the sand. You will need to protect your skin with clothing and sunblock. A sunblock specifically for mountain conditions is recommended. If you wear prescription eyeglasses its recommend that you get your prescription fitted to sunglasses.

What happens if I get sick or injured while trekking?

We take all possible precautions to proactively ensure the safety and wellness of our trekkers, but rest assured that our guides are trained and experienced in dealing with emergencies. Each guide is trained in first aid. In the case of altitude sickness, you will immediately be taken to a lower altitude. If necessary, your guide will utilize your travel insurance information to call a rescue helicopter, and you will be flown to Kathmandu or Pokhara for medical attention.

Are solo female travelers safe on Himalayan treks?

We ensure the travel safety of all our trekking guests, both male and female. Nepal, on the whole, is both very safe and welcoming of foreign visitors. We have longstanding, strong relationships with the lodges we frequent, and know them to be safe and reliable. In addition our guides are consistently mindful of all guests' whereabouts while trekking. We travel in small groups, all the better to easily maintain continual contact.

Practical matters

What should I pack?

Your specific trek and the time of year during which you depart will greatly impact your packing list. A recommended outline of clothing and equipment is listed with each trek. In general, a down jacket, a warm fleece jacket, thermal underwear, trekking pants and shorts, and sturdy boots are recommended to wear, and a thermal sleeping bag, backpack, and camera are recommended for your kit. If you take any medication, this should obviously be a packing priority. Utilize common sense - you don't want to end up short-handed on the mountain, but overpacking is undesirable. It's worth noting that just about anything you need in the way of trekking clothing and/or equipment can be purchased or rented in Kathmandu when you first arrive.

What sort of footwear is recommended?

Comfortable, sturdy trekking shoes or boots are a must. Ideally your footwear will have Gore-Tex or similar lining, along with thick soles. This will ensure that your feet stay warm and dry, and that you are comfortable walking on rocky paths. Wool socks are recommended instead of cotton, and these too should be thick and warm.

How much can a porter carry?

Porters' ability to carry baggage depends to some extent on the trekking route and altitude in question, but the average trekking porter carries between 15 and 25kg. A camping porter carries up to 40kg. One porter is typically assigned per every two travelers.

Should I tip my guide? How about my porter?

While not mandatory, tipping is customary and always appreciated in Nepal and on our treks. Your guides and porters will tremendously appreciate a small gratuity at the end of your trek, as these little extras go a long way towards helping their families. Tipping is a great way to show your appreciation for the team's hard work and devoted attention to your happiness.

How much money should I bring along?

Our treks are all-inclusive. We cover accommodation, food, park fees, permits, and many other costs, as a means of making your adventure as stress-free and convenient as possible.. Travelers generally bring a small amount of pocket money to cover bottled water, snacks, or tea beyond your included meals, souvenirs, tips, or donations to monasteries along the route (if you are inclined to give one). Trekkers find that around $20 a day is reasonable for these extras.

What communication options exist while trekking?

It varies. Mobile coverage is expanding around the world rapidly, and the Himalayas are no different… did you know that 3G coverage is available all over Mount Everest? There is no guarantee of uninterrupted coverage, however. Most trekking routes feature local VHF phones, but on the more remote trails, a satellite phone is the only option.

Do you have any extra charges for solo travelers?

We generally don't charge solo travelers any extra fees. Solo travelers can expect their own hotel room in Kathmandu but will need to share a room with other group members during the trek. If availability allows we will arrange private rooms on the trek as well upon request. If you are going solo and not joining one of our group treks you will be charged an extra $15 a day for a porter.

Can I get a refund if I don't finish the trek?

Its sometimes the case that trekkers finish ahead of schedule or they end up stopping the trek early for health or personal reasons. If this is the case please understand that we can not offer any refunds for unused days on the trek. Please understand that our costs are the same as we have an obligation to pay our guides and porters for the time they have committed.

What is your cancellation policy? How about other terms and conditions?

Check out this link, or contact us for more information. We love hearing from you!