Trip Facts:

Trip Highlights: Trekking/cultural tours
Trip duration: 20 Days/19 Nights
On trek duration: 14 days
Highest Camp: 4,220m
Physical grade: medium to hard
Best time: April to June & Mid September to Mid Nov
Start: Drukgyel Dzong,Paro
Finish: Tashitang , Punakha

Brief Itinerary

Day 1 Arrival Paro

You local escort will receive you at the Paro airport and take you to the Hotel. After freshening up, you will be taken for a tour of Paro town including the ruins of Drukgyel dzong and Kycihu Lhakang. 

Day 2 Tiger Nest hike

You will be taken for a hike to Taktshang or Tiger’s nest, an uphill walk of about three hours. This hike is basically done to accustom trekkers to the mountain altitude of the Himalaya. The Tiger nest, precariously perched on a cliff, will also offer a spectacular view of the Paro valley besides visiting the inner sanctum of one of the most religious sites of the country. 

Day 3 Drgyal Dzong/Shana: 

Distance: 17km
Time: Four to five hours
Ascent: 360m
Descent: 80m
Camp altitude: 2,850m
The trek begins from the Drukgyel Dzong (2,580m) road point. It is a gentle climb along the Parochhu. The trail passes through green meadows, paddy fields and traditional Bhutanese farm houses. After about four hours trekking, you will reach the army outpost at Gunitsawa village where your guide will provide permits. You will have to walk to the other side of the river, not far from Gunitsawa, to the campsite.  

Day 4 Shana/Soi Thangthangkha 

Distance: 22km
Time: seven to eight hours
Ascent: 770m
Descent: 10m
Camp altitude: 3,610m
This is a long trek that involves walking uphill and downhill at short intervals. After climbing uphill through the river valley, you will enter the Jigme Dorji National Park. The valley narrows down to a single path that descends to a meadow. The camp will be set up here. This is a right spot for the camp as you will be able to see Mount Jomolhari on a clear day.  

Day 5 Soi Thangthangkha/Jangothang

Distance: 19km
Time: five to six hours
Ascent: 480m
Camp altitude: 4,080m
You resume the trek early in the morning. The trail continues uphill across alpine meadow and stunted vegetation. Along the trail, you will be able to view Mount Jomolhari. You will come across an army outpost on the way, yak herders homes, and will enjoy the view of beautiful snow clad mountain peaks and ridges. The trail passes through the highland villages of Soe, Takethang and Dangochang. Here you will be able to experience the typical lifestyle and culture of highlanders. You will continue till Jangothang, the campsite at the base of the majestic Mount Jhomolhari, the abode of the protective deity Jomo. 

Day 6 Rest day at Jangothang 

A day will be spent at Jangothang. Short hikes offer the opportunity to see lakes and various other mountain peaks like Mount Jomolhari and Jyichu Drakey. There are also possibilities of sighting blue sheep. There are good short hiking trails in three directions. Jumolhari and it’s subsidiary mountain chains lie directly west, Jyichu Drakey to the north and a number of unclimbed peaks to the east. 

Day 7 Jangothang/Lingshi

Distance: 18km
Time: six to seven hours
Ascent: 840m ascent
Descent: 870m descent
Camp altitude: 4,010m
After the day’s halt, you will resume the trek. The trail from the camp ascends through a steep ridge for about half an hour. After that it is a gradual downhill walk to the Nyilila pass at 4,870m. From here, you will be able to view Mount Jomolhari, Mount Jyichu Drakey and Tsherimgang, all above 7,000m. Along the trail, you may also sight herds of blue sheep grazing on the slopes. The downhill trek will take you to Lingshi basin. Along this trail you will also come across yak, yak herders and their homes. You will also see Lingshi dzong on a clear day. You will halt at the campsite before you reach Lingshi dzong. 

Day 8 Lingshi/Chebisa 

Distance: 10km
Time: five to six hours
Ascent: 280m
Descent: 410m
Camp altitude: 3,880m
It is going to be an easy day of walking. So relax. Shortly after reaching the Chorten below Lingshi dzong, you have the choice of staying on the main trail or taking the diversion that leads to the Lingshi Dzong (4,220m), which sits right atop a ridge. Lingshi dzong offers a serene view of the valley. As you conitue the trek, you will pass through the villages of Lingshi and Goyul. The campsite at Chebisa at the backdrop of the village and beautiful waterfall, you can get time to visit the village and interact with the communities. 

Day 9 Chebisa/Shomuthang

Distance: 17km
Time: six to seven hours
Ascent: 890m
Descent: 540m
Camp altitude: 4,220m
The trail goes through a wide pastureland towards Gobu La pass at 4,410m. After crossing the pass, you will descend to the valley, from where you will again climb a little after which the trail descends to Shakshepasa (3,980m) where a helipad has been built. You will again climb till the campsite at Shomuthang located above a river, a tributary of the Nochu river. 

Day 10 Shomuthang/Robluthang 

Distance 18km
Time; six to seven hours
Ascent: 700m
Descent: 760m
Camp altitude: 4,160m
You will start early as the going is quite tough along this trail. You will climb up the valley and almost after two hours, you will reach Jhari La at 4,750m.  From here, you will be able to see Sinche La, the pass you will have to cross the day after. You will also see Mount Gangchhenta (6,840 m) also known ,  the Great Tiger Mountain.  On a clear day, you will also be able to see Tserimgang and the peak of Mount Jumolhari. You will walk down to Tsheri Jathang. This valley is the summer habitat of Takin and rightly declared as the Takin sanctuary. From here you will climb uphill to reach the campsite at Robluthang. 

Day 11 Robluthang/Lmithang

Distance: 19km
Time: six to seven hours
Ascent: 850m
Descent: 870m
Camp altitude: 4,140m
After crossing Sinche La (5,005m) – the highest pass on the route, you will head towards Laya.  On the way you will come across Laya women clad in their traditional attire weaving. From here you can catch the view of a glacial lake at the foot of the valley and a terminal moraine.  The descent will continue, and after crossing Kango Chhu reach Limithang campsite. From the camp, the peak of Gangchhenta is visible. 

Day 12 Lemithang/Laya 

Distance 10km,
Time: four to five hours
Ascent:  60m
Descent: 340m
Camp altitude 3,840m
The trail continues to descend, along a narrow river valley and leads to a dense forest. The trail continues on the west side of Laya village from where you can view Gangchhenta and Masagang. The campsite is below the school in Laya. 

Day 13 Rest day at Laya 

You will take the day off and rest in Laya. You will engage in short hikes, visitng the community school and meeting layaps. The interaction would enrich your understanding and knowledge of these people’s lifestyle, culture and traditions. 

Day 14 Laya/Chamsa 

Distance 19km
Time: six to seven hours
Ascent: 260m
Descent: 1,070m
Camp altitude 3,050m
After a day’s rest, you will resume the trek along a trail that winds up and down along the river valley of Mo Chhu. Eventually, you will reach Kohi Lapcha at 3.300 m. after that, the trail steeply descends to the large stream of Koina Chhu. Here you will camp for the night.

Day 15 Chamsa/Gasa 

Distance 14km
Time:  six to seven hours
Ascent: 740m
Descent: 1,500m
Camp altitude at Gasa Tsachu 2,240m
After climbing through the Laya Gasa Trek reaching the Bari La (3,740m), the trail descends all the way to Gasa village where there is some semblance of modern civilization. You will further descend to the Gasa tshachu or hot springs for the night. Here you can dip in the hot springs and relax your tired sinews. 

Day 16 Gasa/Damji/Punakha 

From Gasa, as road has reached the small town, you can decide either to take the car or walk downhill. You can walk till Damji from where the car will drive you to Punakha where you will spend the night. 

Day 17 Punakha/Thimphu 

In Punakha, you will taken for a cultural sightseeing of the historic Pungthang Dewa Chenpoi Phodrang or ‘the palace of great happiness’. After which you will be driven to Thimphu. En route there will be a stopover at Dochula where you can view the great Himalayan mountain range. After lunch, you will spend the time strolling around Thimphu. A visit to the Centennial Farmer’s Market could be interesting. 

Day 18 Thimphu sightseeing

You will be taken for a tour of some of the important monuments in Thimphu that include the Memorial Chorten, folk heritage museum, national library, painting school and the Tashichhodzong. 

Day 19 Thimphu/Paro

After visiting souvenir shops in Thimphu, you will be driven to paro. 

Day 20 Exit

Your tour guide will see you off at the airport.