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Trek Duration: 6 days, Max. Elevation: 4,890m
Cultural Duration: 5 days
Highest Camp: 4,080m
Best Seasons: April to June, September to November
Start: Shana Zampa (Paro)
Finish: Gunitsawa (Paro)
Jomolhari Trek – Jomolhari Trek II is the shorter one of the two Jomolhari routes-the most popular trek in Bhutan. With altitude differences of 2,500m and nearly 5,000m (lowest and highest point of the route), it offers a wide range of landscape and fauna, and flora. The highlight of this trek is the spectacular view of Mount Jomolhari from Jomolhari Basecamp in Jangothang.
Day 1.Fly to Paro
Welcome to Bhutan. Upon arrival, obtain your Bhutan visa which will be pre-paid, and after clearing Immigration and Customs, you will be meet outside at the exit point by representatives From Bhutan Sky Trails and escort you to explore around and then to your respective hotel.
After settling down and relax visit Ta Dzong (National Museum), which towers above the Paro Dzong, and viewing its well-interpreted collection of historic artifacts makes for a great prologue to the journey yet to come. Next visit Paro Dzong. This massive fortress is located in the Paro valley and is approached by a gently sloping flagstone road and a beautiful wooden bridge roofed with shingles and abutted by two guardhouses. Today, the Dzong is the administrative seat of the district of Paro and it also contains a state monastic community of about 200 monks. The central tower (“Utse”) of the Dzong is one of the most beautiful in Bhutan with its superb woodwork. The Dzong was built in 1646 A.D. Drive to Thimphu in the evening.
Day 2: Paro – Taktsang – Paro
Transfer to Ramthangkha and begin the hike to Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) Monastery. Icon of Bhutan, This monastery clings to a cliff almost 789m above the Paro valley floor. The mountainside viewpoint for this dramatically situated and most sacred site is accessible by a walk of about 5 – 6 hours round trip. Enjoy lunch at the monastery’s cliff-side café.
Make a pilgrimage to Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the most sacred temples in Bhutan and built-in 659 AD by Tibetan Buddhist king Songtsen Gampo.
Day 3: Sharna Zampa- Thangthangkha
After your early Breakfast drive to Shana village and then begin your trek. You will meet all your trekking team at Shana Zampa.
Approx: 22km, 7 – 8 hours, 770m ascent, 10m descent, camp altitude 3,610m.
On this long day, the trail continues with lots of small ups and downs. After going uphill through the river valley, you enter the Jigme Dorji National Park. The valley finally narrows gradually to a mere path that descends to a meadow where a camp will be set up. From here, if weather permits, you will have the first great view of Mount Jomolhari.
Day 4: Thangthangkha – Jangothang
Approx: 19km, 5 – 6 hours, 480m ascent, camp altitude 4,080m.
If you did not see Mount Jomolhari last evening, you will have a great chance to get a great view this early morning. This morning the trek continues up the Paro Chhu valley which widens into patches of alpine meadow and scanty growths of forest. Cross an army outpost along the way and enjoy a spectacular view of high mountain ridges and snow-capped peaks. Yaks and the herder’s homes become a regular feature of the landscape. Passing the villages Soe, Takethang, and Dangochang is another asset on this day. Reaching Jangothang, one of the most beautiful campsites of the Himalayas, you will again have a spectacular view of Mount Jomolhari.
Day 5: Jangothang Halt.
The day in Jangothang provides plenty of possibilities for day hikes with great views of lakes and snowcapped mountains such as Jomolhari and Jichu Drake. There are good chances to spot some blue sheep on the upper slopes of the valley. Jangothang is a perfect environment for your acclimatization. Trek up to Tosoh or hike around the area. There are good short hiking trails in three directions. Jumolhari and its subsidiary mountain chains lie directly west, Jichu Drake to the north, and a number of unclimbed peaks to the east.
Day 6: Jangothang to Dhumzo
Approx: 16km, 6 – 7 hours, 810m ascent, 1,090m descent, camp altitude 3,800m)
The trail leads to the last settlement in the valley and drops to the Paro Chhu. Passing the lake of Tshophu (4,380m) you will climb up steeply to Bhonte La pass at 4,890 m, the highest point of this trek route. Reaching the Dhumzo Chhu river, you trek downstream passing the few houses of Dhumzo to arrive at your camp soon after.
Day 7: Dhumzo to Thombu Shong
Approx: 11km, 4 – 5 hours, 720m ascent, 340m descent, camp altitude 4,180m.
The trail climbs 100m over a ridge to drop to another stream then. After crossing the Takhung La pass (4,520m) you descent to Thombu Shong, three yak herder huts with your campsite next to them.
Day 8: Thombu Shong to Sharna Zampa – Thimphu
Approx: 13km, 4 – 5 hours, 200m ascent, 1,650m descent, camp altitude 2,850m.
Crossing Thombu La pass (4,380m) you will finally reach Gunitsawa and the campsite of your first night of this trek.
Day 9: Thimphu – Thimphu
In Thimphu, you will visit Buddha point where you will see the tallest bronze statue of Buddha Dodenma measuring 169 ft tall. Visit National Memorial Chorten, Changangkha temple (one of the oldest temple in Thimphu), Takin Sanctuary (The national animal), Nunnery, Handicraft Emporium, visit the school of arts and craft where you will see a student working on alive, visit Folk heritage museum, Late afternoon visit Tashichoe Dzong, the summer residence of the chief abbot and the central monastic body when they migrate here from Punakha. It is also the seat of the government and houses the King’s office.
Day10: Thimphu – Punakha
Transfer to Punakha, across Dochula pass at an altitude of 3050 meters, cutting through the majestic Himalayan range. We stop at the Dochula cafeteria for a hot cup of tea/coffee. You will also make a stop by the Druk Wangyel Chorten.
After that continue your drive to Punakha valley. Visit Chimi Lhakhang, a fertility shrine built in the 15th century. A hopeful young couple’s wanting children may be seen making offerings to the shrine and its builder, the notoriously playful and beloved saint Lama Drukpa Kuenley, also known as “the Divine Madman or Mad monk.” Visit the Punakha Dzong, which houses the district administration offices. It is also the winter residence of the central monastic body. The dzong was damaged by fire in 1986 and recently renovated using traditional building techniques.
Day 11: Punakha – Paro
Transfer to Paro drive over the Dochula pass and stopping along the way. On your way to Paro make a visit to Simtokha Dzong built in 1629 and one of the oldest dzong built by Zhabdrung Nawang Namgyel. Witness our national sport archery if they are playing in Thimphu or Paro. You may walk around Thimphu city or Paro town for any last-minute souvenir purchase.
Day 12: Depart.
After breakfast, you will then be transferred to the airport for your flight.