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15-Day Chomolhari Trek

Chomolhari Trek -- Trip Photo of Bhutan trek  Bhutan map

Overview Itinerary Pricing

Itinerary

Day 1 : Arrive and overnight in Paro

Visiting: Paro

Upon arrival at the airport and after customs procedures your Bhutanese escort will greet you and guide you to your hotel in Paro. You can spend the rest of the evening exploring Paro, immersing yourself in the Bhutanese way of life.

  • Meals: D
  • Standard Lodging: Hotel Olathang or similar

Day 2 : Full day in Paro, hike to Tiger's Nest Monastery

Visiting: Paro

Visit Ta Dzong, the national museum housed in an ancient watchtower, which has superb antiquities on display. You can see a fine collection of thankas, paintings, textiles and artifacts. The museum is located on a headland that overlooks the Paro Valley in all its glory.

Hike to Taktsang viewpoint, a superb vantage point that offers breathtaking views of the surrounding granite cliffs and valley. On a clear day the white dome of the sacred Chomolhari (Mountain of Goddess) can be seen. The Taktsang Monastery, also known as the Tiger's Nest monastery, clings to a sheer cliff. Severely damaged in a fire in 1998, the monastery is currently being restored.

  • Meals: BLD
  • Standard Lodging: Hotel Olathang or similar

Day 3 : Chomolhari Trek

Visiting: Drugyel Dzong, Shana Camp

We will drive about a half hour to Drugyel Dzong at 8,465 ft (2580 m) where our trek begins. The path goes upstream along the Paro Chhu river through villages, rice terraces, and fields of millet. We cross a new Swiss-built suspension bridge at 8,333 ft (2540 m), gradually ascending to 9,350 ft (2850 m) and arrive at Shana Camp. We will camp by the river in a beautiful meadow. This day involves 5 to 6 hours of hiking.

  • Meals: BLD
  • Budget Lodging: Camping

Day 4 : Chomolhari Trek

Visiting: Shana Camp, Soi Thangthangkha

We leave Shana Camp early in the morning and our goal is to reach Soi Thangthangkha. The trail again follows the Pachu River ascending through pine, oak, and spruce forests with lunch served near a wooden bridge. The camp is at an altitude of 12,467 ft (3800 m) near a stone shelter. Depending on the weather you will have the first clear view of Chomolhari looming ahead in the valley. Today involves 8 to 9 hours of hiking.

  • Meals: BLD
  • Budget Lodging: Camping

Day 5 : Chomolhari Trek

Visiting: Soi Thangthangkha to Jangothang

Today we will hike to Jangothang. We will climb slowly to help in our acclimatization process, following the river above tree line with stunning views of the surrounding peaks. Lunch will be served at a yak herder?s camp; we might even try some yak cheese. An easy walk will take us to our next camp, Jangothang, at an altitude of 13,288 ft (4050 m). Again the views of Chomolhari and Jichu Drake (22,638 ft / 6900 m) are superb. Today we will also see the Chomolhari Base Camp at 13,426 ft (4090 m). Both of these mountains remain unclimbed from the Bhutan side. This day involves 4 to 5 hours of hiking.

  • Meals: BLD
  • Budget Lodging: Camping

Day 6 : Chomolhari Trek

Visiting: Jangothang

Today is an acclimatization day. We will spend a second night in Jangothang camp and explore the surrounding areas. You may wish to scramble the ridge to the north of the camp where you will have a great view of Jichu Drake. You can also embark on a fishing expedition to Tshophu, a high altitude lake nearby, visit yak herders, or simply relax and take in the region.

  • Meals: BLD
  • Budget Lodging: Camping

Day 7 : Chomolhari Trek

Visiting: Jangothang to Lingshi

We will leave Jangothang Camp early in the morning to Lingshi. The trail follows the stream for a half hour and crosses a bridge to the other side. Once we climb up the ridge we will see stunning views of Chomolhari, Jichu Drake and Tshrim Khang mountains.

We then walk through the wide open valley and may come across herds of blue sheep or even a snow leopard! The climb up to the Nyele La Pass at 15,420 ft (4700 m) is not too difficult but it can be windy. Our hiking will be slow due to thin air but the views are breathtaking. After the pass there is a gradual descent through the valley with beautiful views all around. Close to reaching the camp you will see the Lingshi Dzong perched on top of a hill with a commanding view of the valley. We will camp at 13,452 ft (4100 m) near a stone shelter. Today you can expect 7 to 8 hours of hiking.

  • Meals: BLD
  • Budget Lodging: Camping

Day 8 : Chomolhari Trek

Visiting: Lingshi to Shodu

We have a long day ahead of us with a goal of reaching Shodu, ascending over 3,000 ft (914 m). Beginning opposite the Dzong, we climb gradually through the valley until we reach the steep trail that will take us to the Yale La pass at 16,175 ft (4930 m). This is the highest point of our trek! The panoramic view of Chomolhari, Jichu Drake and Tshrim Gang from here is spectacular. A long descent brings us to our next campsite at Shodu, 13,386 ft (4080 m). Plan on 8 to 9 hours of hiking.

  • Meals: BLD
  • Budget Lodging: Camping

Day 9 : Chomolhari Trek

Visiting: Shodu to Barshong

Today our goal is Barshong at 12,172 ft (3710 m). Our trail follows the Thimchu River, winding through rhododendron, juniper, and pine forests. There are stunning views of many waterfalls along the way. The trail gradually ascends to the ruins of Barshong Dzong where we will camp for the night. This will take 5 to 6 hours of hiking.

  • Meals: BLD
  • Budget Lodging: Camping

Day 10 : Chomolhari Trek

Visiting: Barshong to Thimphu

From the Barshong ruins we hike out to our vehicles then take a short drive to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan where hot showers are waiting for us at our hotel.

  • Meals: BLD
  • Budget Lodging: Camping

Day 11 : Tour of Thimphu

Visiting: Thimphu

Sightseeing in Thimphu includes a visit to the National Library which holds a vast collection of ancient Buddhist manuscripts, the School of Thanka Paintings, and the traditional Medicine Institute where centuries old healing arts are still practiced. Then visit the Handicrafts Emporium to see the exquisite artistry of traditional crafts and textile then take a stroll through the streets for a little shopping. After lunch, visit the memorial Chorten to His Late Majesty (King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk), who reigned from 1952-1972. Later take a 15 minute drive to Dechenchohhling to witness the gold and silversmiths at work. Finally, visit the Tashichho Dzong (fortress of the Glorious Region) built in 1641 and reconstructed in 1961 using traditional methods without the use of any nails, plans, or paper.

  • Meals: BLD
  • Standard Lodging: Pedling Hotel or similar

Day 12 : Drive to Punakha for a Tour

Visiting: Punakha

Punakha Dzong is Bhutan's second oldest and is arguably the country's most attractive. As the capital of Bhutan until 1955, Punakha is located at the confluence of the Mo Chhu and Po Chhu rivers. The Punakha dzong is one of the most beautiful landmarks in the Himalayan kingdom.

Construction of the dzong began in 1637 and was completed the following year. It is more properly called the Pungthang Dechen Phodrang or the Palace of Great Happiness.

  • Meals: BLD
  • Standard Lodging: Dragon Nest Resort or similar

Day 13 : Tour of Punakha, Drive to Paro

Visiting: Punakha, Paro

Visit Wangdiphodrang Dzong, built in 1638 and located on the headland 13km from Punakha.

Drive back to Paro where you can spend the rest of the evening walking around Paro Town. Explore the area and you may decide to do some shopping to remember your adventure.

  • Meals: BLD
  • Standard Lodging: Hotel Olathang or similar

Day 14 : Sightseeing Tour of Paro

Visiting: Paro

Drive to Drugyal Dzong, a ruined fortress 16 km from Paro town. Tour Drukgyal Dzong with massive ruins that offer insight into the unique construction of Bhutan's famous dzongs. This Dzong is also of great historical importance as it was a critical point when the Bhutanese repelled Tibetan invaders. This gave the fortress it's name, translating to "victorious Bhutanese". Here you will have a magnificent panorama of Mount Chomolhari.

  • Meals: BLD
  • Standard Lodging: Hotel Olathang or similar

Day 15 : Departure

Visiting: Paro

Transfer to airport for departure flight.

  • Meals: B

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