|Arrival by plane to Paro or crossing border from India in Phuntsholing/Jaigon and drive to Paro. Visit of National museum of Bhutan and Paro dzong, castle where Bernardo Bertolucci’s Little Buddha film was shot. Sightseeing subject to the arrival time.
|Paro – Gunitsawa
|Morning visit of Kyichu lhakhang, the temple built in 8th century by Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo. Climb to Taktsang gompa (Tiger's Nest), most venerated and holy place in Bhutan overlooking valley from the steep cliff. ➜ After lunch drive to Drukyel dzong. This used to be a place where the trek started before. See ruins of the old dzong (castle) and continue further to military camp of Gunitsawa on the new built road. ➜ Possibility to make detour to Lhadi Gompa just before military camp. First night camping just above military camp at the elevation of 2890 m.
|Gunitsawa – Thangthangkha
|Distance 16 km, 7-8 hours, ➚ 770 m, ➘ 10 m, camp altitude 3610 m. ➜ On this long day there is a lot of up and downs, mostly through the forest along the Paro chhu river. Finally, you will reach to large chorten on the junction, where you will need take trail to the left. ➜ After about half hour, you will reach to Thangthangtha campsite. The place is equipped with dilapidated toilets, kitchen house, and caretaker's dwelling. If weather permits, you might glimpse the first great view of Jomolhari, best photographed right from the toilets. Camp is cold, and it gets dark early.
|Thangthangkha – Jangothang
|10 km, 5-6 hours, ➚ 480 m, camp altitude 4,080 m. ➜ If you did not see Jomolhari peak in the evening, you still have a chance to get a great view this morning. ➜ The trek continues up the Paro chhu valley which widens into patches of alpine meadow and scanty growths of forest. You will 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 can enjoy most spectacular view of Jomolhari over the ruins of ancient temple or fortress.
|This is the rest day in order to get proper acclimatization for high altitude. ➜ The best way to spend it is to climb in the direction of Jomolhari and Jichu Drake peaks for a spectacular viewpoint, around 800 meters higher. ➜ The hike takes a bit more than half a day and will help you to adjust to the thin air.
|Jangothang – Chore (Dhumzo)
|16 km, 6-7 hours, ➚ 810 m, ➘ 1090 m, crossing Bonte-la (4890 m), camp altitude 3,800 m. ➜ Start steep climb of 300 m in a short distance. After strenuous climb, you will be rewarded with flat or mildly ascending path around beautiful lakes. The views of Jomolhari and Jiychu Drake are breathtaking. ➜ Continue ascent to Bonte-la pass. It's quite likely, that there will be some mild snow here. ➜ After crossing the pass with prayer flags, it will take about 3-4 hours descending through steep gully to Soi Yaksa valley.
|Chore (Dhumzo) – Thombu shong
|11 km, 4-5 hours, ➚ 720 m, ➘ 340 m, camping at 4120 m. ➜ Climb through the rhododendron forest and along the ruins of the old castle monastery Sey Dzong to Tagulung-la pass (4,540 m). From the summit, you can have a spectacular view of the Jomolhari, Jichu Drake, and even Kanchenjunga and Makalu peaks in great distance to the west. ➜ After some walk you descend to the Thombu valley, the last camp of the trek.
|Thombu shong – Gunitsawa, drive to Paro
|15 km, 5-6 hours, ➚ 150 m, ➘ 1380 m. ➜ Short and steep climb through rhododendron bushes to the summit of Thombu la pass (4270 m) and continue on the ridge with great views of surrounding and distant mountains. ➜ Shortly after you start descending steeply for about 2-3 hours until you reach the military camp of Gunitsawa, where the whole trek started. From here you'll drive to Paro for hotel accommodation.
|Paro – Thimphu
|Morning drive to Thimphu with a stop at Tachog lhakhang to see the bridge reconstructed with old chains smithed by ancient saint and bridge builder Thangton Gampo. ➜ Drive to Buddha Dordenma, the gigantic statue of Buddha overlooking the valley and walk to the striking city viewpoint. ➜ Walk in Norzin lam street and see the traffic police signaling in junctions. Thimphu is the only capital in the world without traffic lights. ➜ Finish the walk at the handicraft market where many interesting Bhutanese souvenirs can be seen and bought for a reasonable price. ➜ Continue with a visit to the Folk Heritage Museum with the exhibition on traditional village life in Bhutan (closed on Sunday, alternatively visit Simply Bhutan museum). ➜ Visit Tashicho dzong, the castle, which serves as the seat of the king and government. ➜ Or instead, we can spend the afternoon with a drive to the north of Thimphu valley and do a rewarding hike to Cheri monastery, a school for higher Buddhist education.
|Thimphu – Paro, departure
|Early morning drive to Paro and departure by flight or drive to the land border in Phuntsholing.
Tour variants, extensions and combinations:
- Combine with Phobjika cultural sightseeing (+4 days): This trek is nicely combined with cultural sightseeing programs like the Phobjika tour. This will result in total 14 days during which you will visit Paro, Thimphu, Wangdue, Punakha and pristine Phobjika valley. See details of this program.
- Continue to Lingzhi and finish in Thimphu (+2 days): The second and longer variant of Jomolhari trek will take you from Jangothang to Lingzhi valley over the Niyle-la pass (4,870 m). This scarcely populated village with centuries old castle-monastery is definitely worth of visit. Another day, you'll cross 4,930 m high Yeli-la pass with rewarding views and in 2 days you'll reach to Bhutan's capital Thimphu. See Jomolhari Lingshi program.