Days: 15 / Difficulty: 2 of 5 (Moderate)
Jomolhari Trek with a Culture Tour of Paro and Thimphu.
Beginning from Paro valley, your trek starts with gentle ascent through Bhutan’s undisturbed forest of rhododendrons and pines. Passing through the villages with lush fields of rice, wheat, barley and crossing over the tree lines you arrive in the regions sparsely inhabited by the migrant yak herders. The trail continues through enchanting valley flanked with snowcapped peaks to the base of Mount Chomolhari and its spike shaped companion, Jichu Drake.
You spend one entire day exploring the vicinity or just relaxing and enjoying the wonders of nature. You resume your trek to the Thimphu valley by crossing two major passes through the remote wilderness with abundant of wildlife, including, blue sheep, Takin and variety of birds, perhaps under the surveillance of the elusive snow leopard. There will be ample of opportunities to interact with the friendly people of Bhutan and learn their philosophy of “GROSS NATIONAL HAPINESS”. After the trek, you have a day to see Bhutan’s tiny Capital city with no traffic light.
Itinerary for Jomolhari Trek with sightseeing in Paro and Thimphu.
DAY 1: Arrival in Kathmandu and meet our staff/crew at the airport and transfer to Hotel.
Welcome drink and briefing about Bhutan trip, equipment check and relax in Hotel.
DAY 2: Arrive at Paro International Airport from Kathmandu.
Paro is situated in a beautiful valley at 2280 metres and is a fitting introduction to this charming kingdom. Your guide will meet you and take you to your hotel. There should be time for a quick stroll around Paro town before lunch.
In the afternoon you can visit the impressive Paro Rinpung Dzong, one of the finest examples of Bhutanese architecture. You can also visit the National Museum. This was previously housed in the Ta Dzong (watch tower) built on top of the hill above Rinpung Dzong to defend Rinpung Dzong and the Paro valley during times of war, in an unusual circular construction resembling a conch shell. Unfortunately, an earthquake in September 2011 damaged the Ta Dzong and the contents of the museum were moved to a neighbouring building. You can still see a magnificent collection of Bhutanese artefacts — costumes, religious paintings, arms, textiles and a fascinating collection of Bhutan stamps. The National Museum is due to reopen in the Ta Dzong in 2015.Overnight in Paro.
DAY 3: Take a day walk to the ‘Tiger's Nest’,
‘Tiger's Nest’, is the sacred Taktshang monastery which clings to the rock face 900 metres above the valley floor. Guru Rinpoche is said to have flown to the site riding on a tigress. He subsequently meditated here for three months. It is one of Bhutan’s most holy sites and draws pilgrims not only from Bhutan but also from neighboring Buddhist countries. You can have lunch at the Taktshang cafeteria from where you get a spectacular view of the monastery.
In the afternoon you can also visit the 7th century Kyichu Lhakhang, a temple of historical significance and one of the most sacred shrines in Bhutan. Overnight in Paro
DAY 4: JOMOLHARI TREK DAY 1.
Paro to Shana. Drive to the end of the motor road at Drukgyel Dzong to begin the trek. While you wait for the horses to load up you will have time to take a look at the ruined Dzong. Known as the fortress of victory, it was constructed to commemorate the victory over Tibetan invaders in 1644 and destroyed by a butter lamp fire in 1951. Today’s trail follows the river uphill through a narrow agricultural valley as far as the border army camp at about 2800 m. There is now a feeder road as far as the army check post at Gunitsawa about half an hour before camp. (17 km). Overnight in camp.
DAY 5: TREK DAY 2. Shana to Soi Thangthangkha.
The path from Shana ascends through the river valley with pine and rhododendron forests. On the way, there is a fantastic view of Mount Jomolhari. We will camp in a meadow with a stone shelter at an altitude of about 3860 m. (19 km, 6 to 7 hours).Overnight in camp
DAY 6: TREK DAY 3. Soi Thangthangkha to Jangothang.
The trail continues to follow the river and passes a small army post where the valley begins to widen again. Views of high ridges and snow-capped peaks can be seen on all sides. At this altitude (about 4040 m) it is possible to see yaks and yak herders. Camp is beneath a ruined fortress at the base of Mount Jomolhari. (19 km, 6 hours) overnight in camp.
DAY 7: TREK DAY 4. Rest day at Jomolhari base camp.
An opportunity to explore the glacier, do some washing in the stream (icy cold!) or just take it easy. If you feel like going further afield the guide will discuss the options with you overnight in camp.
DAY 8: TREK DAY 5. Jangothang to Lingshi.
The trail climbs gradually and then more steeply to Nyeli La (4850 m). On the way you will be rewarded when you stop for breath with tremendous views toward Jomolhari and Jitchu Drake. If the weather is clear, Lingshi Dzong can be clearly seen as we descend into the Lingshi basin, and Tserim Kang with its glaciers can be seen to the north. Follow the ridge for a long way until you drop through the forests to our camp just outside Lingshi village beside a stone shelter at 3915 metres. (19 km, 7 to 8 hours) overnight in camp
DAY 9: TREK DAY 6. Rest day at Lingshi.
A splendid opportunity to explore the village and also spend some time at the local school where the children will be excited to see you — many of them yak herders’ children who are sent to board while their parents are up at higher altitudes with the yaks — but you will also see plenty of yaks here! You will get a good feel for the way of life in these remote mountain villages. Lingshi Dzong, which sits proudly on a ridge above the village, was unfortunately badly damaged in the 2011 earthquake and is under renovation so it is not possible to visit currently.Overnight in camp
DAY 10: TREK DAY 7. Lingshi to Shodu. Today’s walk is tough.
The trail ascends to the Yali La Pass (4820 m), the highest point of the trek, from where Mount Jomolhari, Tserim Gang and Masa Gang can be seen on a clear day. After the pass it is a long descent to the campsite which is situated at about 3815 m. (22 km, 8-9 hours) overnight in camp.
DAY 11: TREK DAY 8. Shodu to Barshong.
The path follows the Thimphu Chu (river) through forests of rhododendrons, juniper and pine. The view of the cliff facing rocks and water falls are stunning. The trail gradually ascends after 3 or 4 hours to the ruins of Barshong Dzong. The camp is a stone shelter just below the ruined fortress. (Altitude 3685 m, 16 km, 5-6 hours) overnight in camp
DAY 12: TREK DAY 9.Barshong to Dolam Kencho and back to Thimphu.
We continue to follow the Thimphu Chu through dense rhododendron forest before emerging into pastureland. We climb to a mountain meadow at about 3428 m and over a small pass. A vehicle will be waiting to collect us at Dodena for the drive to Thimphu. (23 km, 8 hours)Overnight in Thimphu
DAY 13: Thimphu sightseeing.
We will visit the weekly market, the revered Memorial Chorten, the National Library and the School of Traditional Arts. You could visit Changangkha temple, perched on the hilltop overlooking the town. Devotees flock throughout the day to circumambulate and turn the prayer wheels. The temple also contains beautiful wall paintings and hundreds of religious scriptures written in gold. In the afternoon you can take in more of the sights and culture of the capital, with the option of a trip to Simtokha Dzong (one of the oldest fortresses in Bhutan, dating from 1629 AD). If you prefer to stay closer to town you could drive up to the Radio Tower (offering splendid views of the city from a hilltop festooned with prayer flags), visit the Takin Reserve showcasing the unique national animal, the Takin, browse the striking collection of intricate textiles at the National Textile Museum or visit the Folk Heritage Museum. If you would like to view or buy Bhutanese handicrafts you may like to visit the new market opposite Taj Tashi hotel which has an array of stalls run by local handicraft shops selling purely home made articles with no imports. Tell your guide what takes your interest. In the evening take the short drive along the Paro and Thimphu valleys to Paro.Overnight in Paro
DAY 14: Bhutan to Kathmandu.
Early in the morning your guide will accompany you to the airport to see you off onto your flight and wish you Tashi Delek (goodbye and good luck) then you arrive in Kathmandu International Airport (TIA) Our airport representative will greet you back to take you the Hotel or according to your flight schedule you can fly to Your next destination (optional)
Day 15: Final Departure.
After breakfast depending on your schedule transfer to International Airport for the final Departure.
Our Trek Package Cost includes;
* Airport/Hotel/Airport pick up and transfer by private car/van.
* 2 nights accommodation in twin bed sharing basis with breakfast at standard hotel in Kathmandu.
* Guide - guide throughout the tour from arrival to departure.
* Sightseeing - all sightseeing and entrance fees including any festival visits.
* Transport - meet on arrival, airport transfers on arrival and departure and all overland transport within Bhutan.
* Accommodation - accommodation in standard hotels.
* Food - full board throughout the trip in Bhutan
* Office Service charge.
* All Government Tax.
Our Trek Package Cost doesn't include;
* Any meals in Kathmandu other than breakfast.
* Travel insurance (if you want us to arrange your travel insurance, we would greatly be happy to assist).
* International air fare to and from Nepal and to and from Bhutan.
* Nepal Tourist Visa fee.
* Visa Fee and Fees for Tourism development Fund (USD 50)
* Items and expenses of personal nature.
* Any kind of alcoholic drinks, cold drinks, laundry, phone call, internet.
* Personal Trekking Equipments like sleeping bags, jackets (can all be hired in KTM)
* Emergency Evacuation (Helicopter Rescue).
* Any costs which arise due to a change of the itinerary, because of landslides, political disturbance, and strikes etc.
* Any other costs whatsoever, that is not mentioned in the cost included.
* Tips for guide, porters, driver...
Tipping is expected but it is not mandatory.
Customize Your Trek: This is a general itinerary, which can always individually be “tailormade”. The trek package can be redesigned or redeveloped as per your taste, For more information please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: In case of emergency during the trip, Helicopter will be arranged by Swiss Family Treks & Expedition (P) Ltd. The charges must be paid by the clients themselves.