PARO VALLEY ARRIVAL (D)
Welcome in Bhutan! Upon your arrival in Paro, visit first the oldest temple of the country, the Kyichu Temple, which was built in the 7th century. Continue then with a visit of the Paro fortress, which was built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the first spiritual and temporal ruler of Bhutan, the Dzong houses the monastic body of Paro, the office of the Dzongda (district administrative head) and Thrimpon (judge) of Paro district. After dinner, your guide will brief you shortly about the trek.
PARO – GUNITSAWA VILLAGE – SHARNA ZAMPA (B, L, D)
This trek begins at Gunitsawa Village were you pass the army post. At the army check post your trek permit (provided by us) will be checked and endorsed. The campsite is on the opposite side of the river, not far from Gunitsawa.
Duration: 40min, Altitude: 80m descent, Camp Altitude: 2,850m
Overnight: Sharna Zampa
SHARA ZAMPA – THANGTHANGKHA (B, L, D)
On this long day, the trail continues with lots of small ups and downs. After going uphill through the river valley, the valley finally narrows gradually to a mere path which descends to a meadow where a camp will be set up. From here, if weather permits, you will have the first great view of Mount Jhumolhari.
Distance: 22 km, Duration: 7-8 hours, Altitude: 770m ascent/ 10m descent, Camp Altitude: 3,610m
THANGTHANGKHA – JANGOTHANG (B, L, D)
If you did not see Mount Jhumolhari the previous evening, you still have a chance to get a great view early this morning. The trek continues up the Paro Chhu (river) valley which widens into patches of alpine meadow and scanty growths of forest. You cross an army checkpoint along the way and enjoy a spectacular view of high mountain ridges and snow-capped peaks. In this area yaks and their herder’s homes become a regular feature of the landscape. Passing the villages Soe, Takethang and Dangochang is another asset on this day. After reaching Jangothang, one of the most beautiful campsites of the Himalayas, you have again a spectacular view of Mount Jhumolhari.
Distance 19 km, Duration: 5-6 hours, Altitude: 480m ascent, Camp Altitude 4,080m
JANGOTHANG HALT (B, L, D)
The rest day in Jangothang provides plenty of possibilities for day hikes with great views of lakes and snow capped mountains such as Jhumolhari and Jichu Drake. There are good chances to spot some blue sheep on the upper slopes of the valley. Jangothang is a perfect environment for your acclimatization. You can also trek up to Tosoh or hike around the area. There are good short hiking trails in three directions. Jhumolhari and its subsidiary mountain chains lie directly west, Jichu Drake to the north and there are a number of unclimbed peaks to the east.
JANGOTHANG – LINGSHI (B, L, D)
The trail leads to a last settlement in the valley and drops to the Paro Chhu. Passing the lake of Tshophu where you climb up steeply to Bhonte La pass, the highest point of this trek route. Reaching the Dhumzo Chhu river, you trek downstream passing the few houses of Soi Yaktsa (Dhumzo) to arrive at your camp soon after.
Distance: 16km, Duration: 6-7 hours, Altitude: 810m ascent/ 1,090m descent, Camp Altitude: 3,800m
LINGSHI – SHODU (B, L, D)
The trail climbs up to the Yelila pass at an altitude of 4,930m. From the pass, on a clear day you get an excellent view of Jumolhari, Tserimgang and Masanggang. The trek from the pass to the campsite at Shodu is a steep downhill.
Distance: 22km, Duration: 8-9hours, Altitude: 940m ascent/ 920m descent, Camp Altitude: 4,080m
SHODU – BARSHONG (B, L, D)
The trail follows the Thimphu Chhu through rhododendron forests, past beautiful waterfalls along the way. The valley narrows till the path takes to the slopes and gradually ascends to the ruins of Barshong Dzong.
Distance: 16km, Duration: 5-6hours, Altitude: 250m ascent/ 670m descent, Camp Altitude: 3,710m
BARSHONG – DOLAM KENCHO (B, L, D)
The trail descends down to the Thimphu Chhu (river) valley, through dense forests of rhododendron, birch, conifer, maples and bamboos and then ascends to pasture lands. The camp is in a meadow.
Distance: 15km, Duration: 4-6hours, Altitude: 290m ascent/ 640m descent, Camp Altitude: 3,320m
Overnight: Dolam Kencho
DOLAM KENCHO – DODENA – THIMPHU (B, L, D)
The trail continues through forested areas winding up and down and through a small pass. Langurs (monkeys) can be seen along the way. In Dodena, you exit the Jigme Dorji National Park and reach the road head next to an impressive cantilever bridge. The trek finishes at the beautiful Cherri Monastery. Your vehicle awaits you at the end of the trail which brings an end to this wonderful adventure.
Distance: 8km, Duration: 3-4hours, Altitude: 500m ascent/ 930m descent.
THIMPHU: CITYTOUR (B, L, D)
Today is your last day and you will visit the Big Buddha Statue, the Memorial Temple, see the national animal – Takin and visit the Thimphu Fortress (Tashichhodzong). The largest Buddha Statue of Bhutan is just outside of the city centre and offers a great view over the Valley. The elegant Memorial Temple was built in 1974 in the memory of Bhutan's third King, His Late Majesty, King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. Afterwards, walk around the Mini Takin Zoo to see the national animal of Bhutan. Tashichhodzong Fortress or Dzong, also know as "fortress of the glorious religion", was initially built in 1641. Visit this huge and magnificent architecture in Thimphu as well. The Dzong houses, main secretariat building which houses the throne room of His Majesty, the King of Bhutan. You have time to explore the town and end the day with a farewell dinner.
THIMPHU DEPARTURE (B)
After breakfast, depart to Paro, where you can catch your flight back home or onward flight.