Changzamtog, Thimphu, Bhutan
Mon - Sun : 09.00 AM - 08.30 PM

Tour Overview

Be prepared you for an amazing scenery that awaits you when you take on this trek. All along the way you will come across stunning views of green hills filled with flowers and beautiful hamlets towered by snowcapped mountains. One of Bhutan’s premium treks, it offers spectacular views of the 7314m tall Jomolhari, Jichu Drakey (6989m) and Tserim Kang (6789m) along with other smaller mountains. Mt. Jomolhari is highly revered by the Bhutanese and Tibetans and lies just on the Tibet-Bhutan border close to the ancient India-Tibet trade route via Tremo-La. It is considered by many to be the most beautiful mountain in the whole length of the Himalaya with its smooth pyramid like shape. In this trek one has high chances of sighting the blue-sheep, marmots, Takins, and a wide variety of birds. During spring, Rhododendrons, azaleas, and a wide variety of wild flowers blossom beautifully as if to welcome you. In the fall, it is like walking through golden fields of paddy, and up in the mountains, undisturbed views stretching miles and miles. You may also come across yak herders coming to the lower valleys with their yak products from high summer pastures.

Day 1: Arrival at Paro
Day 2: Chelela ridge walk
Day 3: Drugyal to Shana (Trek begins)
Day 4: Shana to Thangthangka
Day 5: Thangthangka to Jumolhari Lhakhang
Day 6: Jumolhari Lhakhang to Jangothang
Day 7: Rest day at Jangothang (Jumolhari base camp)
Day 8: Jangothang to Yaktsa
Day 9: Yaktsa to Thombupang
Day 10: Thombupang to Zhakapang
Day 11: Zhakapang to Drugyal (end of trek)
Day 12: Paro to Thimphu
Day 13: Thimphu to Paro
Day 14: Hike to Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest)
Day 15: Departure

Day 1: Arrive at Paro

Check-in at the hotel and refresh and have lunch at the hotel. After lunch visit Kyichu Lhakhang which is considered one of the oldest temples in the country (7th century AD) and is believed to have been built by a Tibtetan king in one night along with 107 other monasteries to subdue an ogress, the other temple built during the same time is in Bumthang.

Day 2: Chelela Ridge Walk
This morning, we will take a drive to Chele La (3750m), the highest motor able pass in the country and hike up along the meadow to Kung Karpo La (4100m). Weather permitting; we will enjoy the breathtaking views of the snowcapped mountains while walking above the tree line along the ridge that divides Paro and Ha valley. The short steep descent from the top will take us to the nunnery of Kila Gompa. Here the nuns, called anims, live a life of contemplation and seclusion, with daily prayer and spiritual practice. The temple itself is surrounded by numerous meditation huts, and many hidden caves lie inside the rocky cliffs. The gompa is surrounded by a lush forest dominated by tall firs. Sparkling mountain streams wind down the slopes, which are covered with a variety of wildflowers and plants.
Kila Gompa is historically significant as a sacred meditation site. Many renowned Buddhist saints have come here to find peace and seclusion. The main temple houses ancient statues of Chenrezig (Avalokiteswara) and Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) among others.
About 30 anims, or nuns, live here, ranging in age from about 20 to 80 years. The community is one of the oldest of seven nunneries in Bhutan, and was initially established in the early 9th century as a meditation site. After being destroyed by fire, the temple was rebuilt and officially established in 1986 as an anim dratshang (religious community of Buddhist nuns).

The walk down from here to the road is lined with small white chortens and it will take us about an hour.

Approximate walking time: 05 hours.

Day 3: Drugyal Dzong (2580m) – Shana (2890m)
Altitude gain – 320m
Distance – 15km
Duration – 5hrs
The starting point of the trek is from Drugyal Dzong in Paro. The trail at the beginning is along a farm road that ends at a bridge about 45 minutes away from the Dzong.
The first day is an easy day with pleasant walk along the sides of Pachhu river and the trail meanders through many small villages with rice and vegetable fields above and sometimes below the trail. After crossing the bridge the trail climbs gradually for another hour through the woods to Zakhapang (2600m), a small cleared area to make space to eat lunch.
After lunch the trek continues through blue pine forests following the river closely. Gunyitsawa army outpost appears not long before the end of the first day’s trek. The camp site at Shana is about 15 minutes walk away from the army outpost.

Day 4: Shana (2890m) – Thangthangka (3580m)
Altitude gain – 690m
Distance – 16km
Duration – 8hrs
This is the longest of all the trekking days taking about 8 hours to reach the campsite. The trail continues to follow the river gradually ascending through a mixed forest of blue pine and oak and, later in the afternoon, tall rhododendron trees, birch, fir and maple. Though the trail is rocky and bumpy, it is not strenuous but in rainy conditions it can be quite muddy and add to the difficulty. There are several simple wooden bridges to cross and sometimes the river reaches right up to the trail. The lunch break comes after about 4 hours of walking through an ever-narrowing valley: Shing Karp or Thombuzam are popular stopping places at around 3305m.
Several tails lead in other directions, such as the trail to Tremo-la, which was the old salt-trading route to Tibet. Not long before reaching the campsite the trail leads you up a ridge with a chorten. Beyond, in the distance, at the end of the valley the Jumolhari mountain comes into view. Finally, after 8 hours you reach the campsite.
The campsite is located in a spacious clearing and directly faces Mount. Jomolhari. The view of the early morning sun striking the tip of Jumolhari is breathtaking. Mount. Jomolhari, at 7314m is among the highest mountains in the world.

Day 5: Thangthangka (3580m) – Jomolhari Lhakhang …m)
Altitude gain – –
Distance – 8km
Duration – 5hrs
The third day is relatively easy, about half-an-hour away from the campsite is another army outpost where your guide will register your entry permits issued by the army headquarters at Lungtenphu, Thimphu. Another half-an-hour to 45minutes walk away from the outpost you will come across an open space with a chorten (stupa) standing in the middle of the clearing, on the slopes of the hill are a couple of yak herder camps.
If you go straight ahead, that’s the way to Jomolhari base camp. There is another almost invisible trail that goes up the hill which takes almost an hour to climb, once you reach the top of the hill you enter a valley that looks like it has been shaped by a glacier. There is a small stream that flows through the middle of the valley. The trail leads you to the end of the valley and at the foot of Mount Jomolhari which takes about 2 hours to walk and right at the slope of Mount. Jomolhari is a small temple dedicated to the goddess of Jumolhari, Aum Jomo. There is a small cave like opening beside the temple; it is believed that Aum Jomo meditated here before gaining enlightment.

Day 6: Jomolhari Lhakhang – Jangothang (Base camp) – 4000m
Altitude gain – –
Distance – 8km
Duration – 4 – 5 hrs
Fourth day is a short and easy one so it is possible to set off a little later and progress at a leisurely pace. You have to trace your tracks back to the way you came from, down the long and narrow valley and then down the slopes of the hill till you are back at the clearing with the chorten in the middle.
The Pachu river is again to the right and the trail passes through some very small villages made up of two or three houses each: these are called Jomphu, Tegithang and, a little further on, Dotabithang. By now, at an altitude of 3860m, the path has reached above the tree line.
It is possible to reach Jangothang, the Jumolhari base camp, just in time for lunch. A small community hall has been built out os stone and wood to provide protection from the elements. The cooking can be done inside and all the trekking gear can be stored here.
The altitude at the base camp is 4000m and is a beautiful place to spend the night. The imposing, rounded bulk of the Jumolhari mountain fills the view to the Northeast and in the evening profile of the ruined Jangothang Dzong ruins, populated by huge ravens creates a mystical atmosphere.

Day 7: Jangothang – Halt
Today is a day to rest and acclimatize to the altitude. The body also needs time to adjust to the falling temperatures, especially during the night.
There is an opportunity to explore the valley and enjoy wonderful views of the mountains. A one-hour trek a little further up the valley to the right of the campsite takes you to a point from where you can view the majestic, cone shaped Mt. Jichu Drakey piercing the clear blue sky. Jichu Drakey cannot fail to remind you of the Matterhorn from this perspective. It is a sight to behold!! Many rank this as the most beautiful mountain in Bhutan. An hour’s leisurely trek will take you to the twin lakes of Tshophu.

Day 8: Jangothang – Yaktsa (3730m)
Altitude gain/loss – 270m
Distance – 16km
Duration – 7hrs
The day’s hike is the most difficult on this shorter version of the trek. It starts by having to make a continuous one-hour climb to the twin lakes of Tshophu located at an altitude of 4310m. these two beautiful lakes are surrounded on both sides by rocky cliffs and they reflect the two peaks of Jumolhari to the left and the beautiful Juchu Drakey to the right. The sight is breath-taking. From this point on you can expect to see the black yak hair tents belonging to the nomadic yak herders that live in this area.
Following the left side of the lakes, the steep climb continues, taking the trekker up to the top of the ridge. Ruddy Shelducks and Common Mergansers are sure to be sighted swimming and wading along the shores of the lakes in which huge trouts are said to be abundant. This is also the territory of Blue Sheep with massive horns who graze in large groups of 70 or more. Many sightings of the elusive Snow Leopard have been reported from this area.
Almost four hours of steady climbing brings you to the top of Bontey-La at an altitude of 4760m. This is the highest point on this trek route and the view is breath-taking. One more hour of downhill trek brings you to Laptsa, a good point to stop for lunch. From here the trek is downhill all the way with beautiful mountain scenery to enjoy.
Seven hours after the trek began you will arrive at the campsite which is located just beyond the delightful village of Soi Yaktsa at an altitude of 3730m. the ladies from the village come in the evening to sell local handicraft items, milk, dried yak’s meat and a variety of vegetables.

Day 9: Yaktsa – Thombu-pang (4070m)
Altitude gain – 340m
Distance – 11km
Duration – 6hrs
The route today is through nice wooded area. For a while, only a gentle ascent is made through alpine meadows. Once the climb to the Thombu-La begins, the climb begins to be more strenuous. The pass is reached about 5 hours later. The altitude here is 4410m. lunch is often taken just before reaching the top of the pass, at an altitude of 4240m, where there is a cosy yak-herder’s camp to provide shelter from the cold outside.
One hour downhill from the Thombu-La is the campsite at Thombu-pang (4070m). the campsite is situated in a beautiful valley where you will se two yak-herder’s dwellings built out of stone, with a wooden shingle roof. You can still see the Thombu-La peak to the rear of your camp.
Yaks graze in this valley that stretches endlessly into the mountains beyond the campsite. The Jho Drakey mountain is located to the left and can be seen if you trek up the mountain ridge to the left and right side of the campsite.

Day 10: Thombu-pang – Zhakapang (2600m)
Altitude gain/loss – 1470m
Distance – 12km
Duration – 7hrs
Other than a short 45 minute climb at the beginning, the day’s trek is downhill all the way. The trail follows a ridge affording great views of the valleys on either side and a wonderful view of Jho Drakey. A steep descent of 2-3 hours then follows.
The trek route reaches full circle at the army outpost of Gunyitsawa. It is reached after about 7 hours of walking. At 2800m, the day’s walk sees a dramatic drop of 1270m.
Trekkers can camp at the same campsite as the first night in Shana or continue a little further downstream. A short two-hour walk brings you to another possible campsite called Zhakapang, at an altitude of 2600m. Trekking as far as here would make the final day’s walk a short one.

Day 11: Zhakapang – Drugyal Dzong, Paro (2500m)
Altitude gain/loss – 100m
Distance – 10km
Duration – 2-3hrs
On the final day you will trace your footsteps back from Zhakapang along the Pachu river to Drugyal Dzong

Day 12: Paro –Thimphu
After breakfast, drive to Thimphu in the morning, it is about an hour long drive. Visit the Folk Heritage Museum which is a complex maintained in the medieval style to show the Bhutanese way of living. Go to the hotel to check-in and have lunch.
After lunch, visit the Takin Conservation Centre and later, Tashichhoe Dzong. Go back to the hotel and maybe walk around town in the evening.

Day 13: Thimphu – Paro
After breakfast, visit the School of 13 Arts and Crafts, National Textile Museum and the Bhutanese Paper factory before having lunch at a restaurant in town. After lunch, go to Kuensel Phodrang to see the magnificent statue of Buddha (the tallest statue of “sitting Buddha” in the world) and a bird’s eye view of Thimphu. While going back, visit the Memorial Chorten (built in 1974 in honor of the 3rd king).
Drive to Paro

Day 14: Tiger’s Nest Hike
Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) Monastery the most famous and sacred site among all the places in Bhutan. The present structure is said to be built in the 15th century but was destroyed by fire in 1998 and has been restored.
The walk is about 2 hours till the top through wide pathways which was built during the restoration works. One hour into the climb there is a tea point from where you get a very good view of the monastery, they also serve lunch here. From there it’s about another 45 minutes climb to the 2nd view point and the highest point in the hike. From there you have to climb down about 700 steps and climb up 200 more until you reach the monastery’s gate.

Day 15: Departure

What should I bring with me?

· Good walking shoes
· Sunglasses
· Sunscreen (highest possible)
· Woolen cap
· Prescription medications/ first aid (only basic first aid is/ can be provided)
· Sturdy and ‘broken-in’ trekking boots
· Rain gear
· Torch (flashlight)
· Insect Repellent
· Gaiters
· Gloves
· T-shirts
· Comfortable walking pants
· Down jacket
· Day bag (to carry your requirements while walking)
· Energy chocolate bars
· Water bottle
· Memory card and batteries for camera and flashlight
· Toiletries

Maximum recommended load for trekking is 25kgs (55 lbs), or 1/5th of body weight.

What will be the weather like in Bhutan?
Days are normally warm, nights can be quite chilly. In winter, the temperature is below freezing point. Monsoon shower in summer can be expected with heavy rains in July and August.

Preventing Altitude Sickness

· Avoid alcohol, sleeping pills or other narcotics, they may decrease ventilation, intensify hypoxemia and make symptoms worse.
· Drink plenty of fluids.
· Avoid heavy exercise at high altitudes. Mild exercise is okay.
· Diamox (acetazolamide) 125 mg. tablets taken twice a day is F.D.A. approved for prevention and treatment of A.M.S. Although it originally was released as a diuretic (water pill), it also helps you breath deeper and faster. This allows you to get more oxygen. Diamox is especially helpful with the sleeping problems and other symptoms of A.M.S.
· Home oxygen will relieve symptoms. Home oxygen is safe, cheap and easy to use. It can be used at night when symptoms are worse and off and on during the day as symptoms dictate.
· If nothing else works, you can return to lower altitude. Going down to lower altitudes will always help relieve the symptoms of AMS, it is also one of the best ways to overcome the sickness.

Acute mountain sickness is caused by lack of Oxygen when traveling to higher elevations. This usually occurs in individuals exposed to an altitude of over 7000 ft (2100 m) who have not had a chance to acclimate to the altitude before engaging in physical activities. Mountaineers, trekkers, skiers and mountain travelers are at the greatest risk. While individual tolerance varies, symptoms usually appear within several hours, with those in weaker physical conditions being more susceptible. Headache, fatigue, nausea, shortness of breath and poor appetite are the initial symptoms. Inability to sleep is also frequently reported. In more severe cases, thinking and judgment may become impaired. An uncommon but potentially fatal complication called high altitude pulmonary edema, caused by fluid build-up in the lungs can also occur in rare cases.

The symptoms of acute mountain sickness can be prevented or minimized by gradually ascending (less than 500 meters/day) over several days to give your body a chance to acclimate to the higher altitude. Taking the prescription medication Diamox (acetazolamide) 250 mg three times a day has been shown to speed up the acclimatization process and can be taken shortly before and during the ascent. Do not take this medication if you are allergic to sulfa drugs. This medication is a mild diuretic and may work by changing the body’s acid-base balance and stimulating breathing. Dexamethasone 8 mg once a day has also been shown to be effective. However, this steroid medication may have more adverse effects. Once symptoms occur, they usually improve over several days without treatment. However, if they become severe, they can be relieved with the administration of oxygen or descent to a lower altitude.


A soft but strong duffel bag luggage is best suited on treks as it will be loaded on horse backs. A small back pack (day bag) to carry your essential things on the way like rain gear, wind stopper, camera, batteries, water bottle, candies etc.