The Jomolhari trek is Bhutan’s premier trekking route; 8/9 days, remote and high.
Reputed to be the last traditional Himalayan Buddhist Kingdom, Bhutan is a facinating country well worth exploring. There can be few better ways of experiencing Bhutan than combining the country’s Premier trek (the Jomolhari) with some added sightseeing. Traditionally dressed locals, isolated vertical fluttering prayer flags, archery and roaming yaks are all normal sights on this 17 day trip.
We recommend you access Bhutan from Kathmandu as the 55 min direct flight goes straight past Mt Everest! Access to Bhutan from other cities are available.
Having arrived and explored some of Paro, you depart on trek the following morning. Early farmland soon gives way to 3 days of trekking through lush, raw forest whilst following the clear cold glacial Paro river. Having ascended above the tree line and acclimatised at Jangothang (4000m) for a day (besides the river and in the shadow of the sacred mountain, Jomolhari), you head over the first of the two high 4800m+ Passes in successive days. This is wonderful isolated part of Bhutan, roaming yak and blue sheep are common here. The remaining trek days are primarily descending down to Dodina and a short road transfer to Thimphu.
Thimphu is an excellent place to spend relaxing post trek and just exploring the town at a leisurely pace. The huge Dzong, Library, paper factory, Nunnery, numerous craft shops, the Takin Reserve (the Takin is Bhutan’s National animal) and the Radio Tower (great views down onto Thimphu) plus just strolling around the streets and markets are just some of the possibilities.
We then drive back to Paro to catch on the sights there, not least the iconic Tigers Nest. A great trip encompassing one of Bhutan’s most challenging treks with a few days sightseeing.
- Two high alpine passes to cross in remote terrain
- Lightly trekked route
- Experience Bhutan’s unique culture
- Fly straight past Mt Everest from Kathmandu
Clothing and Equipment – No specialist equipment is required. Please refer to our Kit List webpage.
This itinerary uses Kathmandu as the access point into Paro, Bhutan. It is possible to adjust this, OR you can choose Land Only.
For Land Only, we meet you on arrival at the airport in Bhutan; you organise your own flights.
Day 1. Depart UK, fly to Kathmandu
Day 2. Arrive Kathmandu (Nepal), Transfer to hotel
On arrival in Kathmandu, you will be collected from the airport and transferred to your hotel for an overnight stay at the comfortable Manang Hotel (3*).
Day 3. Fly Kathmandu to Paro, transfer to hotel
We will transfer you to the airport for your flight to Paro, Bhutan. This amazing 1hr flight goes straight by Mt Everest (try to sit on the left side). On arrival in Bhutan, you will be met by your Guide and driver at the airport. Transfer to your hotel in Paro and potentially sightsee some of Paro, which will include the imposing Rinpung Dzong. Your Guide will brief you on the coming days. Overnight Paro, BLD
Day 4. Begin Trekking – Shana (2800m)
Drive for 1hr to the ruin of Drukgyel Dzong, meet your trek crew and get underway. The trek today is straight into rural farmland before camping amongst the trees close to an Army post. Overall ascent is about 380m. About 6 hrs, BLD
Day 5. Shana – Thangthangka (3600m)
It is a long day primarily through forest with a fair amount of short ascents/descents. It follows the Paro Chu (River) for most of the way and has an ascent of about 800m. The camp site is in a deep valley so expect it to be quite cold when the sun can’t be seen. About 8hrs, BLD
Day 6. Thangthangka – Jangothang (4000m)
A great day as you clear the forest environment and into open land with an altitude gain of 1400m. It is an interesting day as many grazing yak and blue sheep should be seen. You will also pass a Bhutanese Army post. The campsite is beside the river with glorious views of the surrounding mountains that still tower above you. About 6 hrs, BLD
Day 7. Jangothang (acclimatisation)
A good day to rest and enjoy the scenery but you will also be encouraged to get up high to allow your body to acclimatise. Your Guide will have some options for you to consider. About 6 hrs, BLD
Day 8. Jangothang – Lingzhi (4020m), via the Nyile La (4870m)
Assuming that you feel fine and acclimatised, you will push on to Lingzhi over the Nyile La. It is a classic ascent and descent day taking approx 4 hrs to reach the Pass, moving quickly off of it (due to traditional high and cold winds!) and descend down to a warmer and less windy place. Needless to say that you will experience some spectacular views. About 7 hrs, BLD
Day 9. Lingzhi – Shodu (4080m), via the Yeli La (4930m)
After yesterday, today is a tough day with a similar ascent and crossing the second of the two passes; the Yeli La. It is about 4 hrs to reach the Pass but today has a few ups and downs as opposed to a straight ascent. About 9 hrs, BLD
Day 10. Shodu – Barshong (3710m)
For those who have struggled with the altitude, it will be nice to descend into easier territory and also gain the forest terrain back. It is primarily descending although there is still some work to be done. You will re-join the river. About 6 hrs, BLD
Day 11. Barshong – Dolam Kencho (3300m)
A nice easy day through forests (blooming rhododendrons in spring; beautiful) down to Dolam Kencho. About 6 hrs, BLD
Day 12. Dolam Kencho – Dodina (2650m)
An easy 3 – 4 hrs down through forests and onto the road head to meet your transport back to Thimphu. Note that you could feasibly combine some of the latter days and shorten this trek by a day (all to do with campsites). Then it’s back to your hotel in Thimphu for a good clean up! You will have time to enjoy Thimphu in the evening. 3-4 hrs, BLD
Day 13. Drive to Paro, trek to Tigers Nest
Drive back to Paro for lunch before trekking up to the iconic ‘Tiger’s Nest’ (locally known as Taktshang). Make sure that you are adequately prepared footwear wise as it is a stiff 90 mins – 2hrs up and quite steep in places. The Monastery is perched 900 metres above the valley floor and Guru Rinpoche is said to have flown to the site riding on a tigress. He meditated here for three months. A ‘must see’, overnight Paro. BLD
13 Sep. Fly Paro to Kathmandu, overnight
Your Guide and driver will escort you to the airport for your flight to Kathmandu. On arrival, you will transfer to your hotel for the night. B
Note, that you can elect to remove this overnight stop and connect to a flight straight back to London in the evening but please read the information in the box (bottom left).
14 Sep. Depart Kathmandu for London
You will be transferred to the airport for your day flight back to london, arriving same day. B