Trekking in Bhutan is both adventure and refreshing with spectacular landscape and breath-taking views of the Himalayas. It’s also a rare and tranquil experience with trekkers having to tread through passes as high as 5,500 m.
Given Bhutan’s rich natural biodiversity, lush meadows, varieties of flowers and birds, the views of high mountain peaks, pristine lakes, lush high valleys, and people in villages and rural settlements living in harmony with nature are other attractions of trekking in Bhutan. The majestic views of the Himalayan peaks and the serene natural environment often leave in trekkers a sense of awe and bewilderment. While there are different trek packages up for grabs, ranging from a simple three-day Druk Path Trek to the 25-day Snowman’s Trek, the Jomolhari Trek II takes trekkers to the base camp of Mount Jomolhari, the country’s most deeply venerated peak.
Jomolhari Trek II is the shorter and milder version of the two trekking routes to the base camp of Mount Jomolhari. However, the second one is popular among most of the trekkers. The trek is especially designed for those wanting to avoid high altitudes. The trek takes trekkers through a diversity of fauna and flora that lie between an altitude of 2,500m and about 5,000m. A major highlight of this trek is the spectacular view of Mount Jomolhari, believed to be the abode of the protective deity, Jomo.
Day 1 Arrival in Paro
Day 2 Tiger’s Nest hike (for acclimatization)
Day 3 Drukgyel Dzong/Shana (trek commences)
Day 4 Shana/Soi Thangthangkha
Day 5 Soi Thangthangkha/Jangothang
Day 6 Day rest at Jangothang
Day 7 Jangothang/Soi Yaktsa
Day 8 Soi Yaktsa/Thombushong
Day 9 Thombushong/Shana
Day 10 Shana/Drukgyal Dzong (trek ends)
Day 11 Paro/Thimphu
Day 12 Thimphu/Paro
Day 13 Exit
Day 1- Arrival in Paro
After arrival at Paro International Airport, our representatives would be there to receive and escort you to the hotel for check in. Afterward, visit Drukgyel Dzong, now in ruins, and Kyichu Lhakhang on the way back whose origin dates back to as early as the 7th century. Take a stroll in town, observing shops that concentrate mostly on selling handicrafts and wood products, or even visit some of the cafes and restaurants in town. After lunch, visit the Paro Rinpung Dzong and Ta Dzong, the National Museum of Bhutan. Overnight halt at the hotel in Paro.
Day 2- Tiger’s Nest hike
Take a hike to Taktshang or the Tiger’s Nest, which is usually an uphill walk of about three hours. This is expected to accustom trekkers to the trails and mountain altitudes of the Himalayas. The Tiger’s Nest, precariously perched on a cliff, also offer a spectacular view of the Upper Paro valley. The hike also includes a visit to the inner sanctum of the temple, considered as one of the most religious and scared sites in the country.
Day 3 - Drukgyel Dzong/Shana
The trek begins from the road point at Drukgyel Dzong (2,580m), usually a gentle climb along the Parochhu. Trekkers can get glimpses of green meadows, paddy fields and traditional Bhutanese farm houses as they trudge on this trail.
After about four hours of hiking comes the army outpost at Gunitsawa village, where our representatives would submit all the mandatory permits for the trek. Continue walking to the other side of the river, not far from Gunitsawa, to the campsite.
Day 4 - Shana/Soi Thangthangkha
The trek from Shana to Soi Thangthangkha would be a long one, involving uphill and downhill hikes intermittently.
After an ascending hike through the river valley is the Jigme Dorji National Park. The valley narrows down to a single path and descends to a meadow. This will be the place where the camp would be set as it’s an ideal spot to see Mount Jomolhari on a clear day.
Day 5 - Soi Thangthangkha/Jangothang
Resume trek early in the morning, across alpine meadow and stunted vegetation, on the uphill trail. Trekkers will also be able to view Mount Jomolhari along the trail. After an army outpost on the way, homes of yak herders and a panoramic view of beautiful snow clad mountain peaks and ridges are other attractions on today’s hike.
The trail will take trekkers through the highland villages of Soe, Takethang and Dangochang, where they would be able to experience the typical lifestyle, culture and traditions of the highlanders. Continue hike till Jangothang, the campsite at the base of the majestic Mount Jhomolhari (the abode of the protective deity Jomo).
Day 6 – Day rest at Jangothang
Instead of continuing the trek, a day rest is scheduled at Jangothang. A short hike from this place offers a befitting opportunity to see lakes and various other mountain peaks like Jomolhari and Jyichu Drakey.
Trekkers could also take up short hike along trails in the three directions - west for Jumolhari and its subsidiary mountain chains, north for Jyichu Drakey, and east for a number of unclimbed peaks. There are also possibilities of sighting blue sheep in Jangothang.
Day 7 - Jangothang/Soi Yaktsa
After the day’s rest and taking short hikes in the vicinity of the base camp, continue trek today, following the trail that passes by Lake Tshophu (4,380m) and then start an ascending climb uphill to Bhonte La pass at 4,890m. This pass is the highest point on this trek. After reaching Dhumzo Chhu, trek along the river and pass a few houses in Dhumzo to reach the campsite.
Day 8 - Soi Yaktsa/Thombushong
After mounting a 100m ridge, continue to descend to a stream. Cross the Takhung La pass at an altitude of 4,520m and descend further to Thombu Shong. Halt for the night here near the yak herders’ settlement.
Day 9 - Thombushong/Shana
After an ascending hike uphill for a while to Thombu La pass (4,380m), follow the descending trail from there till Gunitsawa. Camp for the night at Gunitsawa.
Day 10- Shana/Drukgyel Dzong
The hike today is just the reverse of the first day or beginning of the trek. It’s an easy one, a downhill journey from the terrain into the Drukgyel valley. Trekkers will be able to view the ruins of Drukgyel Dzong from Mitishi Zam. Follow the rough road to the road head near the Dzong, where transportation awaits you to be driven to the hotel.
Day 11 - Paro/Thimphu
Begin journey onward to Thimphu. The drive to Thimphu, about 65 kilometers away from Paro, takes a little more than an hour.
Afterward in Thimphu, take a tour of prominent cultural sites such as the Folk Heritage Museum, Institute of Traditional Arts and Crafts, the 13th century Changangkha Lhakhang, Takin Preserve, the Buddha statue at Kuenselphodrang, and Sangaygang view point. Late in the afternoon, visit Trashichho Dzong, first built in 1771 and later rebuilt by the Third King in 1965.
Day 12 - Thimphu/Paro
Drive toward north of Thimphu and take the gentle uphill hike to Cheri monastery. The hike usually takes about two hours. Cheri monastery was the seat of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal from where Bhutan’s first monastic body was started. Continue walking down till the road head after visiting Cheri monastery. After reaching there, drive further to the road head toward Tango, on the opposite ridge, for lunch by the riverside.
The uphill hike to Tango is a gentle one too and takes about two hours. Tango is the leading Buddhist university in the country. After lunch and a stroll in the city, begin journey onward to Paro.
Day 13- Exit
Your tour executive will escort you to Paro Airport for flight to onward destination.
High Season (March, April, May, September, October & November)
Low Season (June, July, August, December, January & February)