This is the most popular, medium grade trek in Bhutan, highlighting a great diversity that the Bhutanese landscape has to offer. It introduces you to a wide range of rugged landscape, flora and fauna with altitude differences of 2,500m and nearly 5,000m that crosses over the two high passes, Nyilila Pass (4,870m) and Yelila Pass (4,820m). The highlight of this trek is the spectacular view of Mt. Jomolhari at 7,314m, (the second highest peak in Bhutan), roaming yaks, blue sheep, and the remotest human settlement region of Lingshi. Also, included is the Bhutan’s most iconic sight Tiger’s Nest Monastery, a highlight of any visit to Bhutan covering the main touristic places such as Paro, Thimphu and Punakha.
Day 1: Arrive Paro
Day 2: Acclimatisation Day [Hike to Tiger’s Nest Monastery]
Day 3: Shana – Soi Thangthangkha [Start of Trek]
Day 4: Soi Thangthangka – Jangothang
Day 5: Rest Day at Jangothang (Jomolhari Base Camp)
Day 6: Jangothang – Lingshi
Day 7: Lingshi – Shodu
Day 8: Shodu – Barshong
Day 9: Barshong – Dolam Kencho
Day 10: Dolam Kencho – Thimphu [End of Trek]
Day 11: Thimphu
Day 12: Moving to Punakha
Day 13: Back to Paro
Day 14: End of Tour
Duration of Trek: 8 Days/7 Nights
Elevation: 2,500m – 5,000m
Best Season: April, May, September, October & November
Flying into Bhutan offers the most spectacular views of the Himalayan ranges, including Mt. Everest (8,848m/29,028ft), Mt. Kanchenjunga (8,586m/28,169ft) and Mt. Gangkar Puensum (7,564m/24,836ft). On arrival we meet you at Paro International Airport after clearing your immigration and customs formalities and transfer to your hotel in Paro for check-in. Paro is home to the famous Taktshang Monstery (also known as Tiger’s Nest), National Museum, Drukair and Bhutan Airlines. Afterwards, we visit the Ta Dzong (ancient watch tower), located about 6-km from Paro town, which now houses the National Museum of Bhutan. Walk down to the Paro Dzong (also known as Rinpung Dzong), which is located across the Pachhu River (about 2-km from Paro International Airport). The dzong was built in 1644 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to safeguard Paro Valley against Tibetan invasion. The evening is at leisure to relax and enjoy, we have allowed some time for this and also to explore a small Paro town and its surroundings. Tonight enjoy a welcome drink and dinner with BGT. Overnight in Paro.
Bhutan’s famous Paro Taktshang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest) is an unforgettable sight. No visit to Bhutan would be complete without a trip to Paro Taktshang (3,120m). It is stunning in its beauty and location. Today is a real highlight as you take a short hike to the Taktshang Monastery, clinging on a rock cliff at 900m above the Paro Valley floor. The monastery is one of the most revered pilgrimage places in Bhutan because Guru Rinpoche (one the founding fathers of Tibetan Buddhism) is believed to have flown to the site on the back of a flying tigress in the 8th century. An 11-km (round-trip) hike starts from the base of the mountain from the road point (Ramthangkha), which is 2-km drive from Paro town. Enjoy your rewarding hike about 4 hours (round-trip) with extra one hour to tour the monastery at a leisurely pace. There is a small teahouse halfway through from where a view of the spectacular monastery to enjoy! Gentle horse/pony rides are permitted till the viewpoint. Afterwards, there will be time to visit the Kyichu Lhakhang en route, one of the oldest and 108 temples built by Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century (so full of history and mythology). Besides a cultural experience, this short hike help acclimatise for our trek ahead on the following morning. Overnight in Paro.
Start the day after breakfast, driving over 2 hours to the start point at Shana. Today is a relatively long day (22-km) about 7-8 hours walking. The trail follows the Pachhu River through a heavily forested area with a fair amount of short ascents and descents, and enters the Jigme Dorji National Park. Picnic lunch served along the trail. If weather permits, you will have the first great view of Mt. Jomolhari. The campsite is in a meadow (3,750m). Overnight in camp.
Distance 19-km with walking time 5-6 hours. It is an interesting day sighting grazing yaks and blue sheep. Cross a small Bhutanese Army outpost along the way. Enjoy stunning views of the high mountain ridges and snow-capped peaks en route. Yaks and its herder’s homes become a regular feature passing through Soe to Takethang and Dangochang villages. Hot lunch served inside a yak herder’s camp. The campsite is beside the river at Jangothang (4,050m) with glorious views of the surrounding mountains, Mt. Jomolhari (7,314m) and Jichu Drake (6,989m). Overnight in camp.
Today you’ll take a rest in Jagothang. Your Guide will have some options for you to consider. Why not explore the surrounding areas like Tshophu Lake? There are good short hiking trails in three directions: Jomolhari and its subsidiary mountain chains lay directly west, Jichu Drake to the north and a number of unclimbed peaks to the east. Overnight in camp.
Distance 19-km with walking time 6-7 hours. The trail follows a stream for half an hour and crosses the bridge on the right side onto Lingshi. Take in a classic ascent and descent (4 hours) over Nyilila Pass (4,870m), and enjoy the spectacular views of Mt. Jomolhari, Jichu Drake and Tsherimgang. From here you come across herds of blue sheep en route. The trek continues through vast yak pastures and can see the yak herder’s tent made from yak wool. As you reach the Lingshi basin, you will see the Lingshi Dzong, perched atop a hill with commanding views of the valley on clear days. Camp in the stone shelter or tent (4,100m).
Distance 22-km with walking time 8-9 hours. Start early today, as the trail is quite long and difficult route, crossing over Yelila Pass (4,820m). On clear days, you can see Jomolhari, Gangchengta, Tserimgang and Masanggang. The blue sheep, musk deer and deer can be spotted. Our campsite is in a meadow near a chorten (stupa) at 4,080m. Overnight in camp.
Distance 16-km with walking time 5-6 hours. Today our trail follows the course of the Thimphuchhu River through rhododendron forests, juniper and mixed alpine forests. There are beautiful views of the cliff facing rocks and waterfalls. Here there are numerous meditation caves. Break for a hot lunch by the riverside. Finally, climb gradually to the ruins of Barshong Dzong. Campsite is near the dzong (3,710m). Overnight in camp.
Distance 15-km with walking time 5-6 hours. A nice, easy day takes you to downhill to the Thimphuchhu River through dense forests of rhododendron, birch, conifer, maples and bamboos. Then you ascend to pasture lands and continue up and down crossing several tributaries of the river until you down to Dolam Kencho. Campsite is in a meadow (3,320m). Overnight in camp.
Distance 8-km with walking time 3-4 hours. The final leg of the trek winds its way through the river valley with many ascents and descents. Finally, it crosses open bamboo forests reaching a rough road (Dolam Kencho) via the Jigme Dorji National Park next to the impressive cantilever bridge, where you meet your transport and drive to Thimphu (2,300m). Overnight in Thimphu.
Today we explore the best attractions of Thimphu city at 2,300m, home to approximately 138,736 inhabitants. Thimphu is a small city but has many attractive places. Our morning begins with a visit to the National Memorial Chorten (Stupa), built in 1974 in honour of The Third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk (1928-1972). This stupa is a prominent monument for Bhutanese daily worship in the city with its golden spires and bells. Another must see place to tick off on your list is Kuenselphodrang (the largest 169ft Buddha Dordenma statue in the world), built in 2006 and sits atop a hill, overlooking the southern entrance to Thimphu city. Our next stop is at the National Institute for Zorig Chusum, established in 1971 where students are taught the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan. We also visit the Folk Heritage Museum nearby in the heart of the capital city, Thimphu. It is more than 150 years old and showcases the Bhutanese rural life in the olden days through exhibits, demonstrations, educational programs and documentation. Continue onto the Tashichhodzong, first constructed in 1216 AD and re-built in 1641 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal (founder of Bhutan), which now houses some ministries, the office and throne room of His Majesty the King and the Central Monk Body. Overnight in Thimphu This afternoon ends with a tour to the Centenary Farmers Market (Thimphu’s weekend market), a platform for Bhutanese farmers to sell farm produces, local arts and crafts, etc. Use your free time to relax or explore the great atmospheric Thimphu town. Overnight in Thimphu.
After breakfast, we travel (71-km) about 3 hours to Punakha, once the winter capital of Bhutan until 1955. It is situated in western Bhutan with a warm and temperate climate, bordered by Gasa to the north, Thimphu to the west and Wangdue Phodrang to the east and south, and also a popular tourist destination. Stop off at Druk Wangyal Chortens (108 Stupas) before crossing over Dochula Pass (3,050m). On a clear day, you can enjoy panoramic views of the snow-capped Himalayan peaks, including Bhutan’s highest mountain (Mt. Gangkar Puensum at 7,564m). Continue our scenic journey (52-km) to Punakha and Wangdue Phodrang Valley. Arriving in Punakha (1,350m), visit the fertility Chimi Lhakhang (temple) en route, nestled on a round hillock near a village called Sopsokha, built in 1499 by Saint Drukpa Kunley (known as the Divine Madman). The temple is about 10-km from Punakha Dzong and takes 20-minutes walk through agriculture fields. Legend has it that the childless couples wishing to have a baby from across Bhutan and occasionally from overseas are blessed with a child after visiting this mysterious temple. We also visit the Punakha Dzong, which is strategically located at the confluence of the Phochhu (male) and Mochhu (female) Rivers. Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal (founder of Bhutan) built the dzong in 1637. Jacaranda trees beautifully cover the dzong with the purple bloom of flowers in the spring. Overnight in Punakha.
Wake early today and drive (7-km) about 30-minutes to the parking by the Mochhu River before climbing up the majestic Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten. The Queen Mother Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuk built this 100ft tall temple in 1994, located on a strategic ridge overlooking terraced fields and countryside of Punakha Valley. From the parking, cross a suspension bridge over the Mochhu River and walk up through paddy fields to the base of the hill before climbing a moderately inclined trail surrounded by pine trees. It takes about 45-minutes to hike up to the top. Then continue onto the Punakha Dzong, strategically located at the confluence of the Phochhu (male) and Mochhu (female) Rivers. Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal (founder of Bhutan) built the dzong in 1637. Jacaranda trees beautifully cover the dzong with the purple bloom of flowers in the spring. In the afternoon, our return journey (122-km) about 4 hours takes us to Paro, pausing en route at Dochula Pass (3,050m) and soak up the panoramic views of the snow-capped Himalayan peaks, including Bhutan’s highest mountain (Mt. Gangkar Puensum at 7,564m). Continue to Paro via Thimphu and Chhuzom (30-km) where the Pachhu and Wangchhu Rivers join. Chhuzom (confluence) is a major road junction connecting Haa (82-km) to the southwest, Phuentsholing (141-km) to the south and Paro (24-km) to the southeast. Overnight in Paro.
Your tour ends this morning after breakfast. We transfer you to Paro International Airport for your onward journey. Our guide and driver from Bhutan Green Travel will see you off. Tashi Delek (Goodbye and Good Luck!)
Peak Season – Land Only (Prices in USD Per Person)
|Start Date Thursdays||1 person||2 people||3-10 people||11-15 people||16-20 people|
|24 Sep 2020||$4870||$4370||$3690||$3350||3290|
|08 Oct 2020||$4870||$4370||$3690||$3350||3290|
|15 Oct 2020||$4870||$4370||$3690||$3350||3290|
|05 Nov 2020||$4870||$4370||$3690||$3350||3290|
|12 Nov 2020||$4870||$4370||$3690||$3350||3290|
|15 Apr 2021||$4870||$4370||$3690||$3350||3290|
|06 May 2021||$4870||$4370||$3690||$3350||3290|
|13 May 2021||$4870||$4370||$3690||$3350||3290|
Our Pricing Policy
Prices are quoted and payable only in (US dollars). All prices published on our websites, brochures and marketing materials are set as low as possible. The guide prices may vary at any time subject to government actions, changes in exchange rates, increase in transportation costs or fuel prices before we have accepted your booking. However, we guarantee our prices who have already signed up for your tour.
- Pickups and drops from airports and hotels
- Comfortable transport (private vehicle) throughout your trip
- Licensed English-speaking guide & driver
- Best accommodation in 3 star hotels with private bathrooms based on 2 adults sharing a twin/double bed (single supplements apply)
- Comfortable farmhouse/home stay/heritage house can also be arranged
- Camping facilities and haulage for trekking tours
- All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and bottled water daily
- All sightseeing & hiking (entrance fees to museums and other attractions)
- Baggage handling at all hotels and camps
- All applicable internal taxes and service fees
- Bhutan visa fees
- International and domestic flights
- Travel insurance
- Other personal expenses such as alcoholic drinks & beverages, laundry, telephone calls, etc.
- Discretionary tips for guides and drivers (see FAQs)
- Upgrade to luxury properties (4 star and 5 star hotels)
- Single room/tent supplement from $50 per night
- Optional activities & additional services