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

Tour Overview

It lasts 27 days and only a few hundred foreigners have ever successfully completed it. Unlike most of the popular Himalayan treks, such Nepal’s Annapurna circuit, there isn’t just one high pass to get over, but eleven. you ascend several thousand feet, descend, ascend. Again and again, eleven times. Most of the passes are over 16,000 feet, with the highest at 17,600 feet. Then there is the weather, which is notoriously unpredictable and has led to a Snowman failure of nearly 50%. The location of the trek, following the spine of the Himalayas between Bhutan and Tibet is one of the most inaccessible countries in the world.
After the Chinese invasion of Tibet, the Bhutanese – Tibetan border closed and the Snowman became an escape route for refugees fleeing persecution at the hands of the Chinese. Bhutan, culturally and religiously tied to Tibet, and sympathetic to its plight, maintains no diplomatic relations with China, and has adopted a strict closed border policy unlikely to change anytime soon.

Day 1: Arrival at Paro
Day 2: Chelela ridge walk
Day 3: Hike to Taktsang (Tiger’s nest)
Day 4: Drugyal to Shana (Trek begins)
Day 5: Shana to Thangthangka
Day 6: Thangthangka to Jangothang
Day 7: Rest at Jangothang (Jumolhari base camp)
Day 8: Jangothang to Lingshi
Day 9: Lingshi to Chebisa
Day 10: Chebisa to Shakaypasa
Day 11: Shakaypasa to Tsheriyngangu
Day 12: Tsheringyangu to Lingmithang
Day 13: Lingimithang to Laya
Day 14: Rest day at laya
Day 15: Laya to Rodophu
Day 16: Rodophu to Narithang
Day 17: Narithang to Tarina
Day 18: Tarina to Wochey
Day 19: Wochey to Lhedi
Day 20: Lhedi to Thanza
Day 21: Rest day at Thanza
Day 22: Thanza to Tshorim
Day 23: Tsorim to Sarim (Gangkar Puensum base camp)
Day 24: Sarim to Menchu gang
Day 25: Menchu gang to Uruthang
Day 26: Uruthang to Dur Tsha-chu
Day 27: Rest day at Dur Tsha-chu
Day 28: Dur Tsha-chu to Tshochen chen
Day 29: Tshochen chen to Gorsum
Day 30: Gorsum to Jakar (End of trek)
Day 31: Bumthang sightseeing
Day 32: Bumthang to Punakha
Day 33: Punakha to Thimphu
Day 34: Thimphu sightseeing and drive to Paro
Day 35: Departure

Districts you will cover: Paro, Gasa, Thimphu and Punakha. Trongsa, Bumthang

Day 01: Arrival at Paro
Check-in at the hotel after arrival for some refreshments and then go visit the Ta Dzong, a watch tower and a National Museum. After the visit, walk down the path to visit Paro Rinpung Dzong, a massive17th century structure dominating the Paro valley. Walk further down and cross the traditional cantilever bridge.

Day 02:Chele La Ridge Hike
This morning, we will take a drive to Chele La (3810m), 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 03: Hike to Tiger’s Nest
Today, we hike up to the famous cliff-hermitage called Taktsang, the “Tiger’s Nest”, where Guru Rinpochhe (Padmasambhava) came on a flying tigress. The trail to the monastery climbs through beautiful pine forest and an occasional grove of fluttering prayer flags.

After visiting what is known as one of the most venerated pilgrimage sites in the country, we will go off the beaten track further up to the temples that are on the hill tops above Tiger’s Nest. It’s so peaceful there and you can really communicate with nature as you enjoy the views from the top be it that of mountains or the valley. No wonder that some monks have chosen this place to meditate for the rest of their lives
Coming back, we follow a different path that takes us through the pristine thick forest of oaks and rhododendrons festooned with Spanish mosses.

Days 2 & 3 are moderate exercises for your body to acclimatize to the altitude and the climate of the locality.

Day 04: Drugyal Dzong to Shana
Distance: 15km Walking time: 6hrs
Sleeping altitude: 2900m
The trail starts from Drugyal Dzong. We will be met at this historic site by our trekking crew for the start of our trek. Follow the Paro Chu upstream through the village of Tshento on a dirt road for about an hour. We will have lunch in a friend’s house on the trail. Just before reaching our camp, we will have to pass through an army check post, where your guide will produce your trekking permit.

Day 05: Shana to Thangthangka
Distance: 21km Walking time: 8hrs
Sleeping altitude: 3800.
The trail from Shana to Thangthangkha is a very rocky series of small ups and downs along the Paro Chu and can be very muddy if it rains. About 2 ½ hours into the trek, you will come at a junction where a trail branches to go to Tibet.

Day 06: Thangthangka to Jangothang
Distance: 16km Walking time: 6hrs
Sleeping altitude: 4100m
Today you will come across small sparse settlements, and herds of yaks. You will also be crossing the tree line (4000m). Our camp at Jangothang, Jumolhari’s base camp will bring us face to face with the majestic Jumolhari. Jangothang means the land of ruins; you will see ruins of some old settlements, which no one seems to know much about.

Day 07: Jangothang halt
Acclimatization and rest day. A good optional hike is to climb to the Tshophu Lake at 4300m, which is about an hour and half from Jangothang.

Day 08: Jangothang to Lingshi
Distance: 17km Walking time: 7hrs
Sleeping altitude: 4040m
Heading uphill from Jangothang we cross the first of the many passes. 4 hours of uphill climbing will take us over the very windy Nyele La pass at 4890m. Slope with loose pebbles makes it a little tricky to go down the pass on the other side. Lingshi dzong will soon be visible in a distance.

Day 09: Lingshi to Chebisa
Distance: 12km Walking time: 4hrs
Sleeping altitude: 3880m
Since today’s hike will not be as long, we can afford to wander around a bit. We will start off by visiting the Lingshi dzong, built on a commanding hill by the Shabdrung in the 1600s. About 3 hours into our trek is the dramatic village of Gangyul, surrounded by a natural amphitheatre of cliffs. Our camp is in windy Chebisa, a small village with 2 storey stone houses

Day 10: Chebisa to Shakaypasa
Distance: 16km Walking time: 6hrs
Sleeping altitude: 4000m
Two hours of climbing from Chebisa will get us over the Goku La pass at 4350m. From the pass we descend into a rhododendron filled valley, and continue past some yak herder camps to Shakaypasa.

Day 11: Shakaypasa to Tsheringyangu
Distance: 17km Walking time: 7hrs
Sleeping altitude: 4050m
An early morning start will get us on the way to Jari La pass at 4747m. From the pass, its all the way downhill into the picturesque valley of Tsharijatha where herds of takin (the national animal of Bhutan) are normally seen in the summers. From here a small climb will take us to our camp at Tsheringyangu.

Day 12: Tsheringyangu to Lingmithang
Distance: 18km Walking time: 7hrs
Sleeping altitude: 4160m
Snow Leopard country. Being highly elusive animals, it is very rare to spot one but their paw marks can be seen occasionally. Starting early, a strenuous hike will get us over the Sinchey La (5015m), the highest pass on our trek. Descending to Limithang we’ll see the snow covered peak of Gangchenta (6840m) and the glacially carved Gangchenta valley. Gangchenta means Great Tiger Mountain.

Day 13: Lingmithang to Laya
Distance: 10km Walking time: 5hrs
Since we are nearing Laya, we will come across Layaps going to tend to their yaks. We will be entering Laya from the west, through narrow cobble stone paths between houses, to camp in the wheat field that belongs to a friend.

Day 14: Laya Halt/ Explore Laya
One can go up to the village of Laya at 3800 m or just laze around at camp. This day will help us acclimatize before crossing the tree line.

Day 15: Laya to Rodophu
Distance: 21km Walking time: 8 hrs
Sleeping altitude: 4,285 m
Following the river downstream for a while and heading east will lead us to Rodophu. Certain sections of the trail are washed away by frequent landslide making us negotiate the trail over huge boulders. Rodophu is a small, narrow and rocky valley used by the people of Laya when they migrate with their Yaks.

Day 16: Rodophu to Narithang
Distance: 16km Walking time: 6 hrs
Sleeping altitude: 4800m
Climbing out of the Rodophu valley, we will be out in the open. There is no vegetation except sparse short grass. Keep your eyes on the look out for Blue sheep. This is also snow leopard territory. At our camp, we come face to face with the Ganglakarchung, the sight overwhelming.

Day 17: Narithang to Tarina
Distance: 18km Walking time: 7 hrs
Sleeping altitude: 4100m
From our camp, the climb up to the Karchula pass (5,215 m) is long and hard. From the pass, the view is spectacular with the Tarina lakes in the north east flanked by Masagang, Tsendagang and Terigang. It is steep downhill from the pass, so if you have bad knees, be careful and remember to go slow. Our camp is in the valley on the banks of the Tarina stream.

Day 18: Tarina to Wochey
Distance: 12Km Walking time: 6 hrs
Sleeping altitude: 4160m
The day is much easier as the path follows the river down stream along the valley. A climb of about 400 m uphill after lunch will take us to the village of Wochey.

Day 19: Wochey to Lhedi
Distance: 18km Walking time: 7 hrs
Sleeping altitude: 3,730m
The trek starts through juniper and fir forests and then through rhododendron gushes. We climb up to Kechey la pass (4,661 m) where one can have a great view of the mountains. From the pass, we climb down to the village of Tega made up of 2 houses. Walking along the sandy riverside, we can see stunning views of Table Mountain. Follow the river, the main tributary of Pho Chu, until Lhedi village, where we will camp in from of the community school.

Day 20: Lhedi to Thanza
Distance: 16km Walking time: 6 hrs
Sleeping altitude: 4145 m
The trek continues following the river, rising gradually to Choezo village. The valley was washed away by the glacial flood of 1994, forming dramatic landscape. A bridge will finally take us to Thanza at 4,000 m on of the remotest human settlements on the face of earth.

Day 21: Thanza Halt
One can walk around or climb up the ridge to see the view of the lakes and mountains.

Day 22: Thanza to Tshorim
Distance: 20km Walking time: 7 hrs
Sleeping altitude: 5304 m
The trek starts with a climb up to the ridge with great view of the Table Mountain and Thanza below.

Day 23: Tshorim to Sarim (Gangar Puensum base camp)
Distance: 17km Walking time: 6 hrs
Pass to cross: Gophula pass, 5467m
Sleeping altitude: 5050m
We start the day with a short climb to the Tshorim lakes. Walk on the side of the lake enjoying the panoramic views of the Gophula range. The last climb to Gophula pass (5,467 m) is very short. After crossing the pass, the trail descends down to our camp, on the banks of the Sha Chu 4,970 m.

Day 24: Sarim to Geshey Woma/ Menchu Gang
Distance: 18km Walking time: 7 hrs
Sleeping altitude: 4,400 m
Time to leave the beautiful mountains, but the trek is far from over. The trail follows the Sha Chu and descends gradually to Geshey Woma.

Day 25: Geshey Woma – Uruthang
Distance: 20km Walking time: 8 hrs
Sleeping altitude: 4,345m
Continues following the Sha Chu for about 3 hours until. A long climb will take us over the steep Shakala pass at 4982 m. From the pass we have to climb down to the lakes and trek over another pass, the Waruthang pass at 4590 m before reaching our camp.

Day 26: Uruthang to Dur Tsachu
Distance: 11km Walking time: 7 hrs
Sleeping altitude: 3470m
A short climb will take us over the Juelela pass at 4,685m. After the pass the trail winds down to the riverside through dense rhododendron, juniper and conifer forest. Our camp is at the Dur Tsachu hot spring, where the great tantric master Guru Padmasambava is supposed to have bathed in the 8th century.

Day 27: Dur Tsachu Halt
A day to relax your muscles and joints with a dip in the Hot Spring.

Day 28: Dur Tsachu to Tshochenchen
Distance: 20km Walking time: 8 hrs
Sleeping altitude: of 3,200 m
Today we cross our last pass of the trek. It is a long and steep climb with great views of the mountains in Lunana. We will be passing turquoise lakes and yak herders tents before arriving at our camp.

Day 29: Tshochenchen to Lungsum/ Ghorsum
Distance: 11km Walking time: 5 hrs.
Sleeping altitude: 3180m
Today walk is much easier descending down. We change from yak to horses and mules because the yaks do not like the warm valleys below.

Day 30: Ghorsum to Jakar (End of Trek)
Distance: 9km Walking time: 4 hrs.
Sleeping altitude: 2700 m
Today is the last day of our trek. It’s an easy and short walk. We will be met by our bus at Tokto Zam and driven to our hotel in Jakar
Overnight: Jakar | Altitude: 2650m

Day 31: Bumthang Sightseeing
Visit Jampa Lhakhang in the morning after breakfast, it is one of the oldest temples dating back to the 7thAD. Drive further and visit Kurjey Lhakhang, where there is a cave where Guru Padmasambhhava meditated and left his body imprint on the rock. Walk across the river along a suspension bridge and visit Tamshing monastery, the seat of the most famous treasure finder in the country, Terton Pema Lingpa (1450-1521). Go back to the hotel for lunch. If you are still feeling up for it then you can drive to Mebartsho, the burning lake about 10km away from Chamkhar town.

Day 32: Bumthang to Punakha
Drive to Thimphu via Yotung-la and Pele-La passes. Lunch will be at Chendebji cafeteria. It is a long drive taking about 6-7 hours to reach Punakha.

Day 33: Punakha to Thimphu
In the morning after breakfast, visit Punakha Dzong considered to be one of the most beautiful dzongs in the country.
After that, drive towards Thimphu over Dochu La Pass (3050m). The pass is marked by 108 chortens (Stupa) which are Buddhist reliquaries, memorials to the teachings of the Buddha. Lunch will be at Dochula cafeteria, from where you can enjoy the pristine views of the greater Himalayan range. Drive down to Thimphu and rest.

Day 34: Thimphu sightseeing – Drive to Paro
Visit the School of 13 Arts and Crafts in the morning. Then go to the Takin Conservation Center, Takin is the national animal of Bhutan. After that, have lunch at a restaurant in town and rest for a while.
After lunch we will start our drive to Paro where you can rest after checking in at the hotel.

Day 35: Departure
After breakfast in the hotel, drive to the airport in time to catch up your onward flight. Your escort will bid you farewell and soon the remote and legendary Dragon Kingdom disappears again behind its guardian mountains.

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.