Day 1: arrival Paro
The flight to Paro crosses the Himalayan Mountains, affording spectacular views of the awesome peaks, including the sacred Jumolhari and Jichu Drake peaks in Bhutan. On arrival you will be greeted by Gems Bhutan Travels representative and transferred to your hotel. In the afternoon you can visit the Paro Dzong (fortress). It was built in 1646 and now houses government offices and religious institutions. You’ll cross a traditional wooden bridge on the way to the Dzong. Afterward you will visit Kichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest and the most sacred shrine in the country. Overnight hotel in Paro.
Day 2: Paro acclimatization hike to tiger’s nest
After breakfast hike to Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) Monastery, Bhutan’s most famous monastery, which stands at 3100m gives you acclimatization for the next day’s trek. The 8th century Spiritual Master, Guru Rinpoche is said to have flown on the back of a tigress from Singye Dzong in Lhuntse to meditate in a cave where
Taktsang Monastery now stands. It is perched on the edge of a steep cliff, about 900 meters above Paro Valley. Explore the Monastery hike back to Paro. In the evening you can explore Paro Town. Overnight hotel in Paro.
Day 3: paro-shana (17 km, 5-6 hours) trek starts
The trek starts from Drugyal Dzong at 2,580 m with a downhill walk on a wide trail. The trail climbs gently traversing through well-maintained rice terraces and fields of millet. The route later enters an area of apple orchards and forests. Soon the valley widens and you reach the army post of Gunitsawa at 2,810m. This is the last stop before Tibet. At 2,870m, just beyond Shana Zampa, there are several good camping places in meadows surrounded by trees
Day 4: Shana- sio thangkha (20 km, 7-8 hours)
The trail again follows Pa Chhu (Paro River), ascending and descending through pine, oak and spruce forests. Hot lunch will be served after crossing the bridge towards the left side of the river. After lunch follow the river climbing up through rhododendron forests and finally crossing the bridge again, reaching to the campsite at the altitude of 3,750m.
Day 5: Sio thangkha- jangothang (19 km, 7-8 hours)
The path ascends for a while till you reach the army camp. Then follow the river above the tree line enjoying the stunning view of surrounding peaks. Hot lunch will be served inside a yak herder’s camp. A short walk into the valley will take you to the camp at Jangothang at an altitude of 4,040m. From here, the view of Mt. Jhomolhari and Jichu Drake are superb.
Day 6: rest day at jangothang (base camp)
Today is a rest and acclimatization for the next day’s highest climb on this trek. You will hike to explore near by mountains and lakes.
Day 7: Jangothang –lingshi (18 km, 7-8 hours)
The trail follows the stream or half an hour and crosses the bridge to the right side. Start the climb up to the first ridge with a breathtaking view of Jhomolhari, Jichu Drake and Tshering Gang. Then Walk towards the valley, almost flat for a while, until the climb to the Ngye La pass at an altitude of 4,700m. After the pass, it is a gradual descent to the Lingshi camp, enjoying the panoramic view of the peaks and Lingshi Dzong. Camp at an altitude of 4000m.
Day 8: Lingshi- shodu (22 km, 8-9 hours)
The Laya Gasa route leaves the Jhomolhari trek here. The trek route climbs towards a small white Chorten on a ridge above the camp, then turns south up the deep Mo Chhu valley. The trail stays on the west side of the largely treeless valley, climbing steadily a short distance above Mo Chhu. It then crosses the river, and climbs steeply for two hours to Yeli La pass (4,820m). From the pass, on a clear day, you can see Jhomolhari, Gangchen Ta, Tshering Gang and Masang Gang. Descend alongside a stream to a shelter, and then further downstream to a camp at Shodu (4,100m), a meadow with a Chorten.
Day 9: Shodu-barshong (16 km, 6-7 hours)
At this place, one comes back to tree line. The path follows Thimphu River, descending through rhododendron, juniper and other alpine forests. The view of the cliff facing rocks and waterfalls is stunning. Hot lunches will be served by the riverside. After lunch the trail gradually ascends to the ruins of riversides. After lunch the trail gradually ascends to the ruins of Barshong Dzong, reaching the camp at an altitude of 3,600m.
Day 10: Barshong-dolam kencho (15 km, 5-6 hours)
The trail descends gently through a dense forest of rhododendron, birch and conifers, and then drops steeply to meet Thimphu Chhu. It stays on river left, climbing over ridges and descending to side streams. Then traverses steep cliff to Dolam Kencho, a camp among pastureland at 3,600m.
Day 11: Dolam kencho-dodena-thimphu (8 km, 3 hours) trek ends
The trail goes in and out steeply to the river and follows it southward to the road head at Dodena, elevation 2,600m where you will be picked up by Bhutan Travelers transport to drive to Thimphu. Overnight hotel in Thimphu.
Day 12: Thimphu – paro departure
After breakfast, you will drive to Paro airport for onward departure.