Take a Bhutan hiking holiday and discover a land of sweeping Himalayan landscapes, stunning traditional architecture and a populace who believe the concept of “gross national happiness” is more important than that of gross national product. The Mt Jomolhari trek is the most popular trek in Bhutan offering a varied range of landscape, flora and fauna and panoramic views of the stunning landscape including Mt Jomolhari which stands at 7314 metres. Bhutan is a unique country trying to balance their desire to maintain a lifestyle, environment and culture which dates back to ancient times with the slow encroachment of the modern world.
Fly to Kathmandu.
Land Kathmandu and transfer to the centrally located guesthouse. Enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure to explore this bustling city.
Return to the airport and fly to Paro, Bhutan. On a clear day the panoramic views of the Himalaya, including Everest, are sensational. Upon arrival meet the guide and transfer to the hotel. The remainder of today is free to stroll the streets of this small town set in a picturesque valley. (B/L/D)
Today will be spent exploring the valley. Visit Rinpung Dzong which sits high above the small town and houses the district government offices and the monastic body. Above Rinpung Dzong sits conch shaped Ta Dzong which houses the country’s national museum, home to over 3000 artefacts. After lunch drive to Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest in the country. If time allows visit a local Bhutanese farmhouse to get an idea of traditional Bhutanese life. (B/L/D)
Today will be spent hiking to the famous Tiger's Nest, or Taktsang Monastery. Here the legendary Guru Padmasambhava is believed to have flown from Tibet on the back of a tiger to defeat the demons who were opposing the spread of Buddhism in Bhutan. The walk is long, and can be steep in places, but the views of the surrounding Paro valley are truly stunning. After lunch at the cafeteria, return to Paro. (B/L/D)
This morning drive up to Drugyal Dzong where the road ends and the journey on foot begins. Commence the trek by following the river gently uphill through a narrowing valley of paddy fields. The walk will take you past traditional farmhouses, woodland alive with birdlife and butterflies, picturesque villages and cultivated farmland. End the day at the tented camp site which is just beyond an army outpost. (B/L/D)
Continue uphill through the river valley passing a few isolated farmhouses along the trail which narrows and closes in. Most of the trail today is downhill after the initial morning climb. The camp site is located in a meadow with a stone shelter. (B/L/D)
Commence the walk today along the Pachu (Paro river), passing a small army outpost where the valley begins to widen again. You can now clearly view the high ridges and snow capped mountains as well as many yaks and the yak herders winter homes at Tegethang. Enjoy lunch in one of the herders huts before continuing to Jomolhari base camp which is overlooked by an old fortress once used to guard against Tibetan invaders. (B/L/D)
Today is a rest day to allow you to explore the area. There is the opportunity to hike towards Mt Jomolhari glacier or the nearby lakes. (B/L/D)
Today is one of the most spectacular days of the hike offering panoramic views of Mt Jomolhari, Jichu Drake and Tserim Kang. Walk up towards the pass through wide pasture land and depending on the season you might find yak herders in their tents along the way. As you come down after the pass to the Lingshi basin, you will see beautiful views of Lingshi Dzong, the valley and also Tserim Kang with its descending glaciers at the north end of the valley. Camp in a stone shelter with a built-in fire pit or in the tent. (B/L/D)
Today the path follows the stream up the valley opposite the Dzong, gradually ascending for about four hours until the stiff climb at the Yalila Pass which, at 4820 metres is the highest point on the trek. After the pass it is a long and gradual descent down to Shodu camp and home for the night. (B/L/D)
The hike continues to follow the Thimphu Chhu (river), descending through rhododendron, juniper and alpine forests—the view of the cliff facing rocks and waterfall is stunning. A hot lunch will be served by the riverside. After lunch the trail gradually ascends to the ruins of Barshong Dzong and the camp for the night. (B/L/D)
The route today descends through alpine forests and once again joins the Thimphu river for a while. After lunch climb up to Dalamkencho camp for the final night under canvas. (B/L/D)
The path descends through bamboo forests all the way to Dalamkencho, finally joining the Thimphu river again. Arrive at Dodena where you will be collected and transferred to Thimphu and a return to hotels. (B/L/D)
Today enjoy a full day of sightseeing in Thimphu valley. Visit the Memorial Chorten which sits in the middle of the city and is popular with locals and visitors alike. Continue to the National Library and Tashichho Dzong which has been the seat of government since 1952 and boasts well kept lawns and beautiful gardens. If time allows there is also the chance to visit the folk heritage and textile museums, the handicrafts emporium and the fascinating thangkha painting school for the chance to purchase one of the intricate hand painted thangkhas. This evening drive to Paro. (B/L/D)
This morning return to the airport and take the flight back to Kathmandu. Land and transfer to the hotel. Enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure to explore the city. (B)
Return to the airport for the flight back to the UK. (B)