Day 01: Arrival in Paro
Today at your arrival at the enchanting Paro International airport, you will be met by your local tour representative and then after short introduction you will be transferred to your hotel. After lunch drive to visit Paro Rinpung Dzong “the Fortress on the Heap of Jewels”, an awesome and impressive introductory to the world of dzongs that lies ahead of the Paro town overlooking the valley below. This massive fortress was built during the time of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel in 1646 after the small Hungrel Fort built by Lam Dung Dung who offered the site to Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel. The dzong offers a good view of the surrounding valley and the view of the architecture of the dzong itself is a wonder. After the dzong drive further uphill to visit the Ta Dzong “ the watch tower” located over the ridge overlooking the Rinpung Dzong and the Valley below. Since 1967 the dzong was re-established as the National Museum and holds fascinating collection of arts, relics, religious antiquity and ancient warriors armors. Driving down hill visit Jangsa Dumtse Lhakhang which is possible one of the only ancient temple built in the shape of a chorten(stupa) and is literally chained down to the earth. It was built in 14th century by Tibetan Saint Thong Tong Gyelpo. Drive further north of the Paro town to visit the historical Kichu Lhakhang (temple), this temple is one of the 108 temples built by the Tibetan king Songtsen Gyelpo in the 7th century to pin down the giant ogress that lie across the whole of Himalaya. Returning back spent time in strolling around the enchanting small town of Paro.
Day 02: Hike to the Famous Tiger’s Nest
We suggest you making an early start for your arduous adventure of the day. It is one of the most spectacular Goemba(temple) in all of Bhutan perched on a Cliffside of 3000ft/915m from the valley below and 9700ft/2950m from above sea level. This Goemba is believed that site is the meditation site of Guru Rinpoche who flew on the back of the tigress in the eight century. The site has been recognized as the most sacred and visited by many permanent religious leaders and also visited by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel. It has become an important Buddhist pilgrimage site in the Himalayas, with its stunning vistas and spectacular architecture against a backdrop of sheer giant cliff. The actual building was built in 1692 by the third Desi(regent) Tenzing Rabgyel and was caught fire in 19 April 1998 and in the same year the rebuilding work has been started and finally completed in 2005 to the present structure. Following downhill the same trail to the parking lot, drive further north of Paro valley to visit the enchanting ruined Druk Gyel Dzong “ the victorious fort”. The dzong, with a delightful village nestling at its foot, was built in 1646 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel to commemorate his victory over Tibetan Invasion. The dzong caught fire in 1951 and now it only remains as ruin. Return back to the town and then to your hotel.
Day 03: Guinitsawa Village – Sharna Zampa
After your breakfast in the hotel, you will be driving further 16 Km away from the town to Drukgyel Dzong, make a short visit to the ruined Drukgyel Dzong, though the dzong lies in ruin it has a great historical significant that goes back to 17th century. In this dzong the Bhutanese repelled many Tibetain. The name means the victorious fort. From here the majestic view of Mt. Jomolhari can be visible,towering at 24,00ft/7314m pyramid shape, snow-clad that lies far end of the border of Tibet and it is revered as the abode of goddess Jomo. Drive further north of Drukgyel Dzong to Guinitsawa village where your adventur expedition begins. Your campsite will be somewhere close to Guinitsawa which is on the other side of the river (Paa Chhu).
Day 04: Sharna Zampa – Thangthanka
Today your journey leads you to Soi Thangthanka. As the trail continues you will be, making numerous ascend and descent as you traverse through meadow-laden flowers, juniper and some medicinal plants. The journey takes you through deep forest filled with oak, rhododendron, fir and birch. Heading further, you will gradually descend to a meadow where a camp will be set up. If the weather is appealing this campsite provides you with another best spot for the great view of Mt. Jomolhari.
Day 05: Thangthanka – Jangothang
Today after your breakfast you will be heading to one of the finest and beautiful campsite in the Himalaya the “ Jomolhari Base Camp”. Your journey brings you up the Paa Chu valley leading you through alpine meadow with scanty growth of forest, yak pastures with nomadic herders and their stone houses scattered throughout, Buddhist prayer flags held high in its glory and a remnant of a fortress which lies in ruin was used to fend the valley from Tibetan invasion and a spectacular backdrop of Mt. Jomolhari looming at the valley head.
Day 06: Jangothang Halt
After a long continuous 03 days walk, the rest day in Jangothang usually spent time in camp, acclimatizing and drinking in the magnificent view of Mt. Jomolhari. This rest day provides several possibility of half-day walk with breathtaking views of snowcapped mountains like - Mt. Jomolhari (7326m) along with Mt. Jichu Drakey ( 6794m), and also the high altitude lakes. The region here also provide a great chance to spot some of the blue sheep. If you have a fishing license, you can even choose to go for fishing in the high altitude lakes, Tshophu.
Day 07: Jangothang – Lingshi
Today you have a long journey and we recommend you to make an early start. As you head further, just after ten minutes from the campsite the magnificent Mt. Jichu Drakey (6989m) and Mt. Tserim Gang (6789m), appears their presence. As the trail begins rapidly, the final pull begins a gradual ascent to Nyilila Pass (4870m) which usually takes four hours from the base camp till the top of the pass. Enjoy the surrounding while climbing the pass and en-route you might encounter a herds of Blue Sheep grazing around the mountain slope. Once you reached the top of the pass, there you will have a spectacular view of Mt.Jomolhari(7326m), Mt. Jichu Drakey(6989m), Mt. Therim Gang(6789m). From here your journey descent downhill till you reached your campsite opposite of Lingshi Village. As you continue you will pass by some yak herders tent which is made from yak hair. This unique tents were usually pitched along the region by yak herders while traveling towards their pastures along with their herds of yaks for grazing. Reaching the campsite, you will have a wonderful view of Lingshi Dzong on a clear weather along with Mt. Tserim Gang raising its presence at the north end of the valley.
Day 08: Lingshi – Chebisa
As you begins your journey just after few minutes, you will reach a chorten (stupa) and then the Lingshi Dzong, kindly make a short visit to the dzong. This magnificent dzong perched on the top of the hill provides a commanding view of the surrounding green hills with winding river that flows through the valley and magnificent peaks surrounds. The dzong was built in 17th century. After your visit of Lingshi Dzong the trail pass through a small compact village of Lingshi and then reaching a ridge at 4140m, the trail gradually descent downhill to a pleasant settlement of Goyul village at an altitude of 3870m. Crossing the village of Goyul, your trail leads you through small ascent and descent and the route finally reaches to a Chebesa where you will be holding your night camp. Depending upon your interest once reaching the campsite , you have plenty of time to explore the village house of Chebesa and also there is a waterfall behind the village which will give you a new look and worth your visit.
Day 09: Chebesa – Shomuthang
We recommend you to make an early start because from the village of Chebesa through a wide pastureland towards the Gobu-La Pass (4510m) will take you uphill around 3 hours. On this day you will also have an opportunity to spot the Blue Sheep above the trail, Branded Vultures, Himalayan Griffons and also chances of encountering with nomadic people raising their yaks and several yak herders hut en-route. After crossing the pass you will descent down to the valley through rhododendron bushes and a stream at about 4170m. The trail from here again ascent a short uphill through a cedar forest and then descent downhill through deep forest of fir and birch and then finally reaches to the village of Shakshepase (3980m), a large U-shape valley. There are several yak herders camps en-route and climbing from here you will finally reach the campsite at Shomuthang (4200m), in a cluster of brush beside the river. The river below your camp is a tributary of Nochu River.
Day 10: Shomuthang – Robluthang
Today your journey begins by ascending up the valley to Jhari-La Pass (4750m) with a view of Mt. Khang Bum(6539m) and also un-route you will encounter Edelweiss (the national flower of Austria). As your journey further continues, you can catch the first glimpse of Sinche La Pass and on the northern side the view of the giant Mt. Gangchen Ta (6840m). Depending upon the clarity of the weather, you will also have the opportunity to view Mt. Tserim Gang and the tip of Mt. Jomolhari. From here you will descent downhill to Tseri Jathang valley, a campsite by the river. This place is known for the summer residence of the rare Himalayan Takin which is the national animal of Bhutan “Takin”, the animal migrate here in the summer and remain for nearly 4 months. This valley has also been declared as the “Takin Sanctuary”. From here you will climb up a bit through rocky meadows and finally reaches to the campsite at Robluthang.
Day 11: Robluthang – Limithang
Today you will have to climb one of the highest pass on this trek (Sinche La Pass 5005m). This pass is one of the final and high mountain pass and takes around five hours. Crossing the pass, you will gradually descent downhill and as to the far site of the pass you will have a glimpse of impressive terminal moraine and glacier lakes at the foot of the valley. Below this moraine you will pass through rough, rocky trail into a glacial valley, you will reach eventually to Kongo Chhu (stream) and from here a short climb takes you through rhododendron trail and cedar forest interspersed small meadow and soon reach to Limithang campsite with a towering peak Mt. GangchenTa (6840m)over the campsite though it lies quite a distance away from your campsite. The campsite of Limithang is at 2140m, and is one of the lovely with wide meadow.
Day 12: Limithang – Laya
A lovely and pleasant walk, you will trek all the way downhill through narrow and winding river valley. This extremely pleasant walk takes you through densely forested region with moss an singing birds, you will also have a spectacular view of – Mt. Gangchen Ta(6840m) and Mt. Masagang (7165m). Finally you will reach Laya, the village of Laya is one of the second highest village / settlement in the country at an altitude of 3,800m. Your campsite is just below the school.
Day 13: Laya Halt
Today, either you will rest in the camp or you will go around visiting the village houses on short hike.
Day 14: Laya – Rhoduphu
From Laya we descend to an army camp and continue following the river till the turn off point to Rhoduphu. After lunch the climb continues through rhododendron bushes till you reach the camp at Roduphu just next to the Rodhu chhu.
Day 15: Rhodophu – Narethang
In the morning we follow the river for about half an hour and then you will have a steady climb to a high open valley at 4,600m and then further up to Tsomo La (4,900m). Tsomo La offers a superb view of Lunana, Mount Jomolhari and Jichu Drakey and the Tibetan border. The route then crosses a flat, barren plateau at about 5,000m. The campsite at Narethang is towards by the peak of Gangla Karchung(6,395m).
Day 16: Narethang – Tarina
As you climb from the camp for about an hour to Gangla Karchung La (5,120m) you will have a breathtaking view of the whole range of mountains including Jekangphu Gang (7,100m), Tsenda Kang and Teri Gang(7,300m) can be seen. The pass desends along a large moraine. Again one has great view; a massive great glacier descend from Teri Gang to a deep turquoiselake at its foot. From here you will have a very long descent through thick rhododendron to the campsite at Tarina.
Day 17: Tarina – Woche
Your walk leads downhill through conifer forests following the upper ridges of the Pho-Chhu and impressive waterfalls. The trail then climbs over a ridge and drops to Woche, a settlement of a few houses, the first village in the Lunana region.
Day 18: Woche - Lhedi
The trial leads you through juniper, fir and rhododendron bushes. As you climb up to Keche La pass (4,650m) you can have the great view of surrounding mountains again. After the pass, descent towards the river side, walking through the village with a stunning view of Table mountain and others. Follow up through the river till the campsite at Lhedi village.
Day 19: Lhedi - Thanza
Table Mountain (7,100m) will be great view if the weather is clear. Pass the small village of Chozo (4,090m) which has a dzong still in use. From Thanza you will also have a great view of the Table Mountain which forms a 3,000m high wall of snow and ice behind the village.
Day 20: Rest Day At Thanza
In Thanza walk around and experience some village life or climb up the ridge for fascinating views of lakes and mountains. But as it takes time to arrange new yaks (the yaks from Laya will not go further than Thanza) you might have to spend one day at Thanza anyway.
Day 21: Thanza – Dangey
From Thanza, the trail climbs up and you will have excellent views of Thanza, Toencha and Choso village and the surrounding mountains. After a few hours you will reach a Yak meadow with some Yak herder’s hut. A great chance to spot some Blue Sheep on the hill above. A trial junction near the campsite will give you the choice between the rout up to Gangkar Punsum base camp, and further on the Bumthang or to Sephu(Trongsa)
Day 22: Dangey – Tshochena
Having chosen the route to Sephu, the trail crosses the creek and after a long climb, you will reach Jaze La (5,150m) with spectacular panoramic mountain views . The path then descends between snow covered peaks and a couple of small lakes to the campsite near the shore of Tshochena lake.
Day 23: Tshochena – Jichu Dramo
As you follow the bank of the blue green lake before arriving at a ridge at 5,100m, where there is another spectacular view in all directions. After going up and down over small hills to reach a glacial lake, the route descends first before climbing again up the next pass, the Loju La(5,140m) . Finally after crossing a small saddle (5,100m) you will enter a wide glacier valley from where the trail descends gradually to the campsite at Jichu Dramo
Day 24: Jichu Dramo – Chukarpo
Reaching Rinchen Zoe La (5,320m) you will have a spectacular mountain scenery with Gangkhar Puensum amongst the impressive mountains. Rinchen Zoe Peak( 5,650m) towers above the pass the west. Descending from the pass, you will encounter several lakes. As you continue the vegetation begins to thicken again and after a couple of hours you reach the campsite at Chukarpo.
Day 25: Chukarpo – Thampe Tsho
The descent continues along the river till you reach the yak herder huts at Gala Pang Chhu (4010m). From here the trail climbs steeply towards Thampe Tsho, a beautiful clear turquoise lake, with the campsite next to it.
Day 26: Thampe Tsho – Maurothang
Thampe La (4,600m) will be the last pass for you in this trek and on the way you will have a good chance to spot some blue sheep. Then the path descends to the sacred lake Om Thso. Passing a waterfall you will reach another, small lake 100m below to descend steeply to the Nikka Chu. The path finally leads through mixed forest to large clearing on the banks of the river with a few Yaks herders hut, Maurothang.
Day 27: Maurothang – Sephu - Punakha
The last day of this extraordinary trek your porters will have to change from yaks to horses as the yaks will not be willing to go further down. The path follows the Nikka Chhu to reach a large grassy area overlooking the road and the village and the Sephu. You finally reach at the road side at Nikka chu bridge at Sephu where you will find several stores ( mainly selling bamboo products) and small restaurant. Punakha lies at an elevation of 4430ft/1315m.
Day 28: Punakha – Thimphu – Paro
Today your drive takes you to Paro via Thimphu(7700ft/2350m). In the morning visit the Punakha Dzong saddled at the confluence of Pho Chhu(river) and Mo Chhu (river). This massive building was built in 1637 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel. After the dzong drive to the tiny village of Lobesa to visit the Chemi Lhakhang (No Dogs Temple) which is about 30-40 minutes’ walk though the cultivated fields to the hilltop temple. The temple dated back to 1499 and was built by lam Ngawang Chogyel in honor of his brother Lama Drukpa Kuenley(divine madman). After the temple your drive takes you through Dochu La Pass (10150ft/3100m)which provides you with a refreshing overview of your trek. The pass is unlike that of many pass in Bhutan and the magnificent view of the Himalayan snow-capped mountain peaks can be seen on a clear day like Mt. Masa Gang(235012ft/7165m), Mt. Thsneden Gang(23288ft/7100m), Mt. Teri Gang(23944ft/7300m), Mt. Jejegangphu Gang, Mt. Khangphu Gang, Table Mountain “Mt. Zongaphu Gang(all above 23288ft/7100m), Mt Gangkar Puensum(24735ft/7541m). The pass also provides 108 Chortens(stupas) called “Druk Wangyel Chorten”. It was built in 2003 by Her Queen Mother Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuk in honor of the fourth king of Bhutan and its people for their victory in the war fought in the southern region of Bhutan in 2003. Reaching Thimphu, visit the National Memorial Chorten(stupa) which serves as the gathering place for both young and old. It was built in 1974 by the late Queem Mother in memory of her son the third king of Bhutan. Visit National Institute of Painting School and them the National Library which is a major scriptural repository that function as to preserve and promote the rich cultural and religious heritage. Drive to Paro
Day 29: Depart to your onward destination