Day 1: Arrive Paro
Arrive in Paro by Druk air, the only national carrier. The flight offers you beautiful views of mountain and landscape. On arrival at Paro airport and after immigration and custom formalities, you will be received by our representative and transferred to the hotel.
Next, we will visit the Ta Dzong (watch tower) which houses the National Museum. The museum has an interesting collections of different costumes and thangkas from various parts of Bhutan. After Museum visit, we drive towards the north to see the Drukgyel Dzong. On clear weather, we can see Mt. Jomolhari from the Drukgyal Dzong and the Tiger’s Nest on our way back to Paro. En-route, visit Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the two oldest monasteries built in Bhutan by the King of Tibet, Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century. Evening take a stroll around town’s main street. Overnight at a hotel in Paro.
Day 2: Paro
Paro is a valley of religion and myth. The most famous landmark, the Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest), stands on a granite cliff about 3,000 m above the valley. The hike to Taktsang would take us around two and half hours. To reach a cafeteria, a point from where one can enjoy a great view of the monastery is more than an hour walk from the roadhead uphill. Those interested can walk further 45 minutes uphill to get a closer view of the monastery and return to the cafeteria for lunch. The journey downward to the roadhead would take us less than one and a half hours.
Day 3: Paro to Shana
Starting elevation: 8,200 ft
Ending elevation: 9,400 ft
Distance: 11 miles
Our trail will follow Paro river. It is a gentle trial and we pass through farm houses and open fields. We stop for lunch by the side of chorten. Then, we walk for three hours to reach the army camp. Our campsite is located around twenty minutes from the army camp by the Paro river side.
Day 4: Shana to Thangthangkha
Elevation gain: 2,500 ft
Distance: 12 miles
A part of this trek, will take us through some of the most beautiful natural sceneries. We need to travel about 12 miles today; thus early start is recommended. The route crosses through farms, cliffs, and forests of rhododendrons and primula and the rocky trail makes footing challenging. After crossing a small pass at around 300 ft, we will cross a cantilever bridge from where we take the left hand trail that winds towards the mountain. We camp in a stone shelter located over a meadow in Thangthangkha. On clear weather, we will be able to see the view of Mt. Chomolhari.
Day 5: Thangkhangkha to Jangothang
Elevation gain: 1,600 ft
Distance: 10 miles
We will come across a small army checkpoint. The trail gently slopes and we stop for a hot lunch at a meadow. Now we are above the tree line. Around us, are the beautiful valleys with snow peaks and water falls. Before reaching our camp, we will pass by a small village of Jangothang. Our camp is over an hour’s walk from here and located at the base camp of Mount Chomolhari near a ruined fortress.
Day 6: Jangothang (Chomolari base camp)
Today we will either rest or explore part of the base camp. You can take day hikes in three directions: Chomolhari to the west, Jichu Drake to the north, and virgin mountains to the east.
Day 7 : Jangothang to Lingshi
Distance: 18 km
Time: 7 / 8 hours
The trail follows the stream for half an hour and crosses the bridge to the right side. Start the ascent up to the first ridge with a breathtaking view of Mt. Comolhari, Jichu Drake and Tshrimgang. Then walk towards the valley, which is almost flat for a while, until we make the climb to the Nyelela pass at an altitude of 4,700m. After the pass, it’s a gradual descent to the Lingshi camp. We can enjoy the panoramic view of the peaks and Lingshi Dzong. Camp at an altitude of 4,000m at Yak herder’s grazing ground.
Day 8 : Lingshi to Shodu
Distance: 22 km
Time: 8 / 9 hours
The Laya Gasa route leaves the Comolhari trek here. Our trek route climbs towards a small white chorten located upon a ridge above the camp. From here, we turn towards south up the deep Mo Chhu valley. The trail stays towards the west side of the largely treeless valleys. We make a steady climb of a short distance above Mo Chhu and then cross over the river and climbs steeply for two hours to Yeli la pass (4,820m). From the pass, if the weather is clear, we can see Mt. Chomolhari, Gangchhenta, Tserim Gang, and Masang Gang. Then, we descend alongside a stream to a shelter and move further downstream to our campsite at Shodu (4,100m).
Day 9 : Shodu to Barshong
Distance: 16 km
Time: 6 / 7 hours
We will be now again on the tree line. Our trail will follow Thimphu river and we descend through rhododendron, juniper and other alpine forests. We can see the view of the cliffs facing rocks and waterfall which is spectacular. We will have a hot lunch by the riverside. We then gradually make ascend to the ruin of Barshong Dzong, located at an elevation of 3,600m. We will camp here for the night.
Day 10 : Barshong to Dolam Kencho
Distance: 15 km
Time: 5 / 6 hours
Our trail will descend gently through a dense forest of rhododendrons, birch, and conifers. Then, the trail drops steeply to meet Thimphu Chhu. We stay on the left side of the river and climb over ridges and the descend to the side of the stream and then traversed a steep cliff to reach Dolam Kencho, our campsite for tonight (3,600m).
Day 11 : Dolamkencho to Dodena / Thimphu
Distance: 8 km
Time: 3 hours
The trail winds in and out of Thimphu Chhu and makes a long ascent through a forest of conifers to a pass, located at 3,510m. Then it drops steeply to the river and follows it southward to the road head at Dodena, located at an elevation 2,600m. From here, we will be picked up by our vehicle and then drive to Thimphu. Overnight stay at a hotel.
Day 12 : Thimphu to Paro
Full day of sightseeing in Thimphu valley visiting; Memorial Chorten, Trashichhodzong, Painting School, Traditional Medicine Institute, Handicrafts Emporium. Evening drive to Paro. Overnight at the hotel in Paro.
Day 13 : Paro
After breakfast, drive to the airport for departure.