Himalayan Unique Travels

Bhutan Unique Travels

legendary twin villages

Merak Sakteng Trek

Detail about the package

Tour Itinerary

Merak Sakteng Trek was opened only in 2012 after three decades of inception of tourism in Bhutan and so far very few trekking groups have visited this remote region in Eastern Bhutan.

The trek passes through the twin village of Merak and Sakteng lying above 3000m from the sea level. The trek which passes through Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary is also home to endangered snow leopard and red panda, Himalayan bear, Himalayan red fox and indeed legendary yeti. The people living in Merak Sakteng area are semi-nomadic yak herders with a unique and fascinating culture in the world. They speak a different dialect, have their own deities and wear a unique style of dress. They wear headgear made of yak-hair with five tentacles designed to draw away the rain.

  • Difficulty level – easy to moderate
  • Highest altitude – 4150m
  • Avg. Walking distance – 15km
  • Best season – March to May and September to November

Trail Map

The fight to Paro crosses the Himalayan Mountains, affording spectacular views of the awesome peaks, including the sacred jumolhari and jichu Drake in Bhutan  On arrival in Paro  Airport, you will be received by our guide and transfer to restaurant for lunch . After lunch, you will visit the Rinpung Dzong, the 15th century massive fortress which now serves as administrative and monastic center of the valley. From the Dzong, you can walk down to the road head crossing a traditional wooden bridge. After that you will be taken to Kichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest and the most sacred temple built in 7th century . In the evening, you can stroll in Paro town.

Today, you will hike to Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) Monastery, Bhutan’s most famous monastery, which located at face of the cliff( 3100m) offering the best view of Paro valley. According to the legend, it is believed that Guru Rimpoche, the 8th century Spiritual Master, flew to this location on the back of a tigress to meditate. Lunch will be served at Cafeteria Restaurant halfway up on the mountain. Explore the monastery and hike back to Paro. Drive to Thimphu, capital of Bhutan. Overnight in hotel

After breakafast, sightseeing in Thimphu includes King’s Memorial stupa  (which was built in  honor of late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck), School of Arts and Crafts (also known as the painting school), Nunnery temple, Jungshi Handmade Paper Factory, Buddha Point, and Motithang Takin Preserve. In the evening, visit the Tashi Chhoedzong, the seat of the national government, you can stroll through Thimphu city and absorb the life style of the people. Overnight in the hotel.

Today you can enjoy beautiful drive to Punakha. En route we will stop at Dochula pass (3150 meters) where on a clear day you can get spectacular views of the Himalayas.In the clear sky, we will see all the  Himalayan ranges including the highest peak of Bhutan Gangkar Puensum(7560m) above sea level. From the pass, drive downhill through the forest of rhododendron,fir,and hemlock. After lunch, you can take short walk through rice fields to Chimi Lhakhang( temple of fertility). Continue drive to Punakha. On arrival, visit Punakha Dzong, former capital and the most beautiful Dzong in Bhutan. Overnight in hotel

Today we will drive to remote Gangtey with short stopr in Wangdue to get a glimpse of Wangdue Phodrang Dzong that dramatically sits on the ridge. We will continue our drive through dense forests of oak and rhododendrons till Lawala pass(3250m). The pass offers exotic views of the Himalayan Mountains. Drive downhill for some time and get the stunning views of Gangtey Goenpa and Phobjikha Valley. Visit Gangtey Goenpa, the only Nyingmapa monastery in western Bhutan. Later in the afternoon, you can hike amazing Phobjikha valley and crane centre which has detail information. The Black Necked Cranes, which migrate from the Tibet to this valley in winter.

After breakfast, you will drive to Bumthang. The route is along a spectacular winding road, passing Pele La pass (3400m). Lunch will be served at Trongsa. After lunch, visit Trongsa Dzong, the masterpiece of Bhutanese architecture. You will then proceed to Bumthang, which is often described as the spiritual heartland of the kingdom. We will stop at Chummey Yathra (textile weaving) factory, where the yathras are designed with different patterns. Overnight in hotel.

After breakfast, sightseeing in Bumthang includes Jakar Dzong  located on a ridge built in 15th century. Kurjey Lhakhang where body imprints of Guru Rinpoche in 8th century remains preserved on the rock. Jambay Lhakhang which was built by Tibetan king Songtshen Gempo in 7th century and then short hike to Tamshing Lhakhang built in 15th century by the Buddhist saint Pema Lingpa. In the afternoon, you can walk around in Bumthang town and interact with locals.

 After breakfast journey starts to eastern Bhutan. Eastern Bhutan is different from the west as it is less developed.   The route slowly descends into Ura Valley, a stunning village. We will continue our drive through the Thrumshingla National park, stop at Thrumshingla pass 3750m – the second highest driving point in Bhutan.  On clear weather, we can see amazing view of Gangkhar Phuensum (7540m) and other Himalayan peaks. We will descend to Sengkhor village and will have lunch here.  Then continue our drive and see Namling waterfall. We will arrive at Mongar. Overnight at a hotel in Mongar.

After breakfast, you will drive to Trashigang. From here, the road ascends for a while to Kori La pass( 2400m) . As you descend from the pass you will cross a small town. Then continue your drive  till Dangme Chhu river bridge from where you ascend till Trashigang . Overnight at a hotel in Trashigang. Overnight in Tashigang.

8Km | 6 hours | 1554m Ascent | 230m Descent | Camp altitude 3124m

Morning, you will drive to Chaling passing through Radhi village. Your trekking staff and pack animals will be waiting here for you. The trail starts with gradual climb towards Shaktimi meadow. Here you can see yaks and sheep grazing with yak herders’ huts dotted on the hills side. Continue climbing to reach Mendula Pass,( 3354m). From this pass, your will descend through rhododendron forests till Donmong Chu at 3124m.

10Km | 4 hours | 36m Ascent | Camp altitude 3520m

Today the trek from Domong Chu to Merak most of the times follows the river bends. The final stretch has gentle ascend before you reach Gangu village. After another 50 minutes walk from this village, you will arrive at Merak located at an altitude of 3520m. The campsite is just before the village has spectacular views of nearby mountains and village. Explore the village and meet with the local people.

14Km | 6 hours | 633m Ascent | 1074m Descent | Camp altitude 3079m

The trail is quite hard today crossing the highest Nachungla pass at 4153m,  from the campsite climb gradually to the first pass at 3900m from where you can make last glimpse of Merak valley. Continue the trek in the forest of juniper and rhododendron  and finally to the Nachungla pass. From the pass you will descend to Miksateng at 3079m.

14Km | 5 hours | 81m Ascent | 310 Descent | Camp altitude 2950m

The trail descends to the river, cross it and then follows the riverbank for few hours. Then climb gradually to a hill marked by small Chorten  overlooking the Sakten valley. Here you can spot Red Panda among the trees, if we are fortunate.  The trail descents from the ridge and finally camp at the Sakten village at 2950m.

You will visit Sakteng village and explore the lifestyle and unique culture of this ethnic group.

17Km | 7 hours | 74m Ascent | 1291m Descent | Camp altitude 1733m

Today our trek will be a longer and so we will start early from the camp. Leaving Sakten, start with short climb to the small hill towards the west end of the village. Then descend down to the river and walk alongside it through the broad leaf forests. We camp in a beautiful meadow near the river by Joenkhar Teng village (1733m). Joenkhar Teng is situated on the hillside and its population comprises of Brokpa and Sharchopa with a community school and an outreach clinic. Overnight in camp.

The last day of the trek begins with short climb through the Joenkhar Teng. Cross few of suspension bridges and short climbs to reach Phongmay. Meet your transport and drive to Trashigang. En route you can visit Radhi and Tsangkhar Villages, which are renowned for “bura” gho and kira, a textile made from raw silk. Little further is Rangjung and you can visit the Ranjung Monastery, founded by the HH Garab Rimpoche. Check into hotel on arrival. Overnight hotel in Trashigang.

Morning, drive from Trashigang to Yonphula, which will take an hour uphill climb through the beautiful villages and farmland then finally to the airport. The airport is at the elevation of  2750m.  From the airport if the weather is clear, you can catch Mount Jumolhari in the distance. The 35-minute flight offers spectacular views of the northern Himalayan ranges of Bhutan and beautiful valleys. Arrives at Paro Airport then check in hotel, after lunch visit archery playing ground, where local plays match traditionally and mingle with them. Later in the evening walk in the Paro town. Overnight in Paro.

Drive to Paro Airport for your flight. Our representative will bid you farewell.

Other Details

Inclusion & Exclusion

Trekking in Bhutan

Whether you are looking for a day hike or a gruelling 31 day adventure, Bhutan has it all. Pristine mountain lakes, imposing glaciers and some of the world’s most endangered species await you in the mountainous amphitheatre of the Himalayas. Let us give you a selection of some of the country’s finest treks.