‘Once a trekker – always a trekker’. Trekking is the ultimate experience of a quiet, healthy and active holiday. And Bhutan is the ultimate destination for trekking. Conquering wading mountain passes, crossing crystal clear streams and rivers, and wandering through verdant forests, one can experience all of these in Bhutan.
Trails in Bhutan are quite remote, making the whole experience more enjoyable for you. Together with your guide and crew, you will hike through some of the most breathtaking areas of Bhutan. With large natural parks and wildlife sanctuaries, the land of Bhutan is home to thousands species, and some can only be spotted in the country. You will get a glimpse of blue sheep and Takin – Bhutan’s national animal, abundant birds and colourful rhododendron blooms along the way.
Bhutan is also known as the land of Buddhist culture, with ancient stories and mythology. Visiting the iconic dzongs, majestic monasteries and temples, you will learn to appreciate the rich culture of the country. These sites are also the place of daily worship, thus giving visitors a glimpse into life of the Bhutanese. When stopping at the villages, trekkers can spend their time meeting the village men, wandering around or trying the unique experience of taking a hot stone bath.
Treks in Bhutan cater for various levels of fitness: easy to tough, short to long, from lower to higher altitude. For example, the Druk Path Trek is suitable for beginners and the Snowman Trek is created for experienced trekkers. The ideal time to trek in Bhutan is in spring (March – May) and in autumn (September – November). This is when the view of the Himalayan mountains and the scenic valleys is the most astonishing.
Tour duration – 11 days/ 10 nights.
Trek duration – 7 days
Tour destination – Paro and Thimphu
Tour overview – Jomolhari trek remains as one of the most popular treks for anyone who loves to discover the country’s diverse landscape, flora and fauna. You will walk in unspoiled pine and rhododendron forests, pass scattered hamlets and lovely alpine meadows and reach high pasturelands, home of the yak herders and their animals. The highlight of this journey is the incredible view of the great Mount Jomolhari and Mount Jichu Drake from the campsites. The elevation ranges from 2,500m to nearly 5,000m, so it will require trekkers to have a good physical fitness level.
The best time for this trek is from late March to June and from September to November.
Day 01: Arrival in Paro
Bhutan will welcome you with a marvelous view of the snowcapped Himalayan range from above as your plane approaches Paro airport. Take a deep breath of the clean fresh air once you step outside! Our representative will escort you from the airport to your hotel in Paro.
At 2,280m, Paro is one of the most scenic valleys in Bhutan, a perfect place to start your journey. First we will visit the National Museum of Bhutan (Ta Dzong) to get an insight about the Bhutanese life. The museum used to be a watchtower, standing atop of the hill above Paro Rinpung Dzong and the entire valley. Displayed inside is a massive collection of Bhutanese items, from antique thangkha paintings to textiles and weapons, giving you a nice run through their history and society.
Paro Rinpung Dzong (Fortress of The Heap of Jewels), which is located close to the national museum, is the next stop. This dzong is ranked high in Bhutanese architecture for its spectacular design and is a great location to get the breathtaking pictures of Paro valley. The famous Paro Tsechu festival is also held here and sees thousands of participants every year.
Afterwards, let’s try out your skill with making wooden bowls and cups at the Sangay Handmade Bowl and Cup Factory. The intriguing skills of the wood-turning will be demonstrated by the local artisans.
We will stay overnight at the hotel in Paro.
Day 02: Discover Paro
If you are in Paro, you cannot miss visiting Taktsang Monastery, or commonly known as ‘Tiger’s Nest’, one of the holiest sites in Bhutan. The striking monastery perches on a cliff at an altitude of 3,120m, overlooking the picturesque Paro.
We will start hiking to see the elegant structure in the morning. The walk is 4.5km one way, with an elevation of 600m. There will be multiple stops for refreshments during the hike, which will be about 4-5 hours. The view along the path is also remarkable and it will only get better the further you hike. You will be walking under thousands of prayer flags and look out to see the lush forests and the great mountains.
Later on our way back, we will visit the renowned Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 ancient temples built by the Tibetan King Songsten Gampo in 659. The temple was erected to pin down the left foot of a giant ogress that tried to prevent the establishment of Buddhism in the Himalaya. Kyichu Lhakhang is also famous for its enchanting scene of elderly pilgrims spinning the temple’s prayer wheels.
We will spend another night at the hotel in Paro.
Day 03: Sharna Zampa– Soi Thangthangkha
- Distance: 22km
- Estimated time: 7-8hrs
- Ascent 770m, descent 10m
- Camp altitude: 3610m
In the early morning, we will drive for 2 hours to Shana, the staring point of our scenic trek. From there, the trail will continue with lots of ups and downs, through the river valley and beautiful pine and rhododendron forests. The path will then become narrower and descend to a lovely meadow, where we will set up the camp. If the weather permits, you will have a nice view of Mount Jomolhari from our camp.
Day 04: Soi Thangthangkha – Jangothang
- Distance: 19km
- Estimated time: 5-6hrs
- Ascent 480m
- Camp altitude: 4080m
You can enjoy the view of Mount Jomolhari again in the morning before we get on the trek. The path will run up Paro valley, follow the river, and widen into patches of alpine meadow and scanty growths of woodland. We will pass an army checkpoint after a while. Views of high ridges and beautiful snowcapped mountain peaks can be seen on all sides of the trail. Also, in this area, you will easily see the yaks and their herder’s homes.
Later we will pass the villages of Soe, Takethang and Dangochang, which is another asset of the day. Jangothang is one of the most stunning campsites of the Himalayas, which will offer you the spectacular view of Mount Jomolhari from another angle.
Day 05: Rest day at Jangothang
The rest day provides a great opportunity to explore the pristine landscape of Jangothang. On the upper slopes of this valley, you may see some blue sheep, it is common to encounter the animals on the treks in Bhutan. Jangothang is a perfect place for your acclimatization. It is also possible to walk to Tsophu (sacred lakes) or hike around the area. You can hike in the direction towards Mount Jomolhari and its subsidiary to the west, or to Mount Jichu Drake to the north. Furthermore, there are a number of unclimbed summits and ridges to the east if you are interested.
Day 06: : Jangothang – Lingshi
- Distance: 17km
- Estimated time: 6-7hrs
- Ascent 810m, descent 1,090m
- Camp altitude: 4,010m
The trail today will gradually ascend towards Nyili La pass at 4,680m. From here, you will have an astonishing view of Mount Jomolhari and Mount Jichu Drakey side by side with Mount Tshering Gong on the other side of the pass. We will trek downhill from the pass until we reach the campsite at Shodu.
Day 07: Lingshi – Shodu
- Distance: 22km
- Estimated time: 8-9hrs
- Ascent 940m, descent 920m
- Camp altitude: 4,080m
The route will lead us up to Yali La pass at 4,820m, from where Mount Jomolhari, Mount Tserim Gang, and Mount Masas Gang can be seen from this site on a clear day. We will trek downhill from the pass until we reach the campsite at Shodu.
Day 08: Shodu – Domshisa
- Distance: 16km
- Estimated time: 5-6hrs
- Ascent 250m, descent 670m
- Camp altitude 3,710m
The trail will follow Thimphu Chhu river through dense forests of rhododendron, passing picturesque waterfalls. We will gradually climb up to the ruins of Barshong Dzong. After that, the path will descend for a few hours, leading us through rhododendron forests before emerging into pastureland at Domshisa, where the campsite will be.
Day 09: Domshisa to Dolam Kencho and drive to Thimphu
- Distance: 16km
- Estimated time: 5-6hrs
We will continue to follow Thimphu Chhu river, walking through forests of rhododendron, birch, conifer, maples, and mountain meadow in about an hour. After trekking up for 45 minutes and over small pass, our trail will go downhill until we get to Dolam Kencho, a car will wait there to take us to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan.
We will stay overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.
Day 10: Thimphu to Paro
In the morning, we will visit the National Memorial Chorten. This site was erected as a dedication to world peace and prosperity and also a memorial to Bhutan’s Third King, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. Once we are here, you will catch the sight of locals circumambulating, reading mantras in murmur and spinning their prayer wheels at the chorten throughout the day.
After lunchbreak, we will head to the National Insitute for Zorig Chusum, or ‘The Arts and Craft School’-‘The Painting School’. The school is famous for teaching courses about Bhutan’s traditional arts, and the art demonstration here is any photographer’s dream. It is a captivating to see the young students practicing the skills of painting, wood-carving, clay arts and other arts with great focus and discipline.
The next destination is Buddha Point (Buddha Dordenma Statue), a giant 51.5m statue of Shakyamuni Buddha. The figure is located on top of a hill overlooking Thimphu, so you can also enjoy the incredible view of the beautiful town from here. Inside the structure, there are 125,000 smaller Buddha statues, all cast in bronze and gilded.
From the giant statue, we will go and explore Tashichho Dzong (The Fortress of The Glorious Religion), an iconic construction of Thimphu. This place has been the seat of Bhutan government since 1952 until now. The remarkable dzong stand next to the bank of Wang Chhu river, surrounded with green lawns and lovely gardens. The dances of the annual Thimphu Tshechu take place in the large open-air courtyard on the north side of the site.
Eventually, we will drive back to Paro and stay there overnight. The evening can be spent exploring vibrant local pubs or strolling through bustling streets of Paro at night.
Day 11: Depart Paro
After the breakfast at the hotel, your guide will accompany you to the airport for flight to your onward destination. Tashi Delek (goodbye and good luck) and hope to see you again!
- Group of 3, 4, and 5 people: US$ 2,820 per person.
OFF PEAK SEASON
- Group of 3, 4, and 5 people: US$ 2,320 per person.
- If you are planning to travel Bhutan with a group of 6 people and more, please feel free to contact us to get the cost for your group.
|The cost includes||The cost excludes|
|Bhutan visa fee (US$ 40 per person).||Laundry/beverages/telephone calls and any personal expenses.|
|3 star categories hotel twin sharing room or double sharing room.||Travel insurance.|
|Accommodation in the best 3 star hotels in Bhutan.||Airfares.|
|All meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) in day.||Airport taxes if any.|
|Bottled water, tea, and coffee on the trip.||Excess baggage charge.|
|A sustainable development fee of US$65 per night.||Tips to guides and drivers.|
|Museum fees and other special entry fees.||Services not mentioned.|
|Internal transportation with experienced driver throughout the trip.|
|Gho or Kira (traditional and national dress of Bhutan) for your use during your stay in Bhutan.|
|Bhutanese sim cards.|
|Archery and dart.|
|Experienced guide, cook, and support staff for trekking tour.|
|Essential equipment for trekking tour: kitchen tent; dining tent; toilet tent with toilet pot and toilet paper; sleeping tent with full carpet, foam mattress with bed sheet and foam pillow, one small blanket.|