12 days Jomolhari Loop Trek

jomolhari-loop-trek
The Jomolhari Loop is the shortest of the Jomolhari trekking routes, which are the most popular treks in Bhutan.  With altitude differences of 2500m and nearly 5000m it offers a wide range of landscapes, fauna and flora.  The highlight of this trek is the spectacular view of Mount Jomolhari from Jomolhari Base camp (Jangothang).  Trekkers who want to avoid high passes and high altitude can choose an easier version of the Jomolhari Loop by retracing their steps from Jangothang (see days 1-3), while still having the majestic impressions of Mount Jomolhari.

Day 1: PARO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT - PARO (L/D) 

Upon arrival at Paro International airport, you will be met by your guide. In the afternoon, you will have an opportunity to explore the beautiful town of Paro.

Dinner and overnight at your hotel in Paro.

Day 2: TAKTSANG MONASTERY OR TIGER’S NEST (B/L/D)

After breakfast, we will drive you to the trail head to commence a climb through beautiful pine forest. We will stop for light refreshments at the Taktsang cafeteria before walking on to the famous, Taktsang monastery or Tiger’s Nest. The primary Lhakhang or main temple was built around Guru Rimpoche’s meditation cave in 1684 by the Penlop of Paro, Gyalse Tenzin Rabgay. This incredible monastery clings to the edge of a sheer rock cliff that plunges 900m into the valley below. Legend has it that Guru Padmasambhava, the tantric mystic who brought Buddhism to Bhutan in 747 AD, flew here on the back of a flying tiger, Dorji Drolo from Kurtoe Singye Dzong in the east.

After lunch, we will visit Drugyal Dzong (a ruined fortress), 16km away from Paro. Although it is now in ruins, this dzong has great historical importance for the people of Bhutan. It was a place where the Bhutanese finally defeated the Tibetan invasion. On a clear day one can view sacred Mt. Jhomolhari (mountain of Goddess). We will also visit Ta Dzong (built in 1656 and renovated in 1968), an ancient watchtower, which now houses the National Museum. Below the museum is the Rinpung Dzong (literally meaning “Heap of Jewels”), the centre of civil and religious authority in this valley, built in 1646 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal.

Dinner and overnight at your hotel in Paro.

Day 3: PARO – GUZITSAWA VILLAGE – SHARNA ZAMPA (Distance 40min, 80m descent, camp altitude 2850m) (B/L/D)

The 7 day Jomolhari Loop trek begins today at Gunitsawa Village where you pass the army post. At the army check post your trek permit will be checked and endorsed.  Following the Paro River we pass cultivated fields and tiny picturesque villages. The forests are alive with numerous birds and brightly coloured butterflies.

Dinner and overnight camping at Sharna Zampa. The campsite is on the opposite side of the river, not far from Gunitsawa.

Day 4: SHARNA ZAMPA – THANGTHANGKHA (Distance: 22km, 7-8hrs, 770m ascent, camp altitude 3610m) (B/L/D)

On this long day, the trail continues with lots of small ups and downs following the river through a heavily forested area with a few isolated farmhouses. After going uphill through the river valley, the valley finally narrows gradually to a mere path which descends to a meadow and closes in. You also pass a junction where another path leads north over the Tremola Pass to Tibet. Your camp will be set up in a meadow with a stone shelter. From here, if weather permits you will have the first great view of Mt. Jomolhari.

Dinner and overnight camping at Thangthangkha.

Day 5: THANGTHANGKHA – JANGOTHANG (Distance: 19km, 5-6hrs, 480m ascent, camp altitude 4080m) (B/L/D)

If you did not see Mount Jomolhari the previous evening, you will still have a chance to get a great view early this morning.  This morning the trek continues up the Paro Chhu valley that 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 herders’ homes become a regular feature of the landscape.  Passing the villages of Soe, Takethang and Dangochang is another asset on this day.

After reaching Jangothang, one of the most beautiful campsites of the Himalayas, you will again have a spectacular view of Mount Jomolhari.

Dinner and overnight camping at Jangothang.

Day 6: JANGOTHANG HALT (B/L/D)

The rest day in Jangothang provides plenty of possibilities for day hikes with great views of lakes and snow capped 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.  You can also trek up to Tosoh or hike around the area.  There are good short hiking trails in three directions. Jomolhari and its subsidiary mountain chains lie directly west, Jichu Drake to the north and there are a number of unclimbed peaks to the east.

Dinner and overnight camping at Jangothang.

Day 7: JANGOTHANG – SOI YAKTSA (Distance: 16km, 6-7hrs, 810m ascent, 1090m descent, camp altitude 3800m) (B/L/D) 

The trail leads to a last settlement in the valley and drops to the Paro Chhu.  Passing the lake of Tshophu (4380m) you will climb up steeply to Bhonte La pass at 4890m, the highest point of this trekking route.
Reaching the Dhumzo Chhu River, you trek downstream passing the few houses of Soi Yaktsa (Dhumzo) to arrive at your campsite soon after.

Dinner and overnight camping at Soi Yaktsa.

Day 8: SOI YAKTSA – THOMBU SHONG (Distance: 11km, 4-5hrs, 720m ascent, 340m descent, and camp altitude 4180m) (B/L/D)

The trail climbs 100m over a ridge to drop to another stream. Then after crossing the Takhung La pass at 4,520m you descend to Thombu Shong –  three yak herder huts with your campsite next to them.

Day 9: THOMBU SHONG – GUNITSAWA VILLAGE – THIMPHU (Distance: 13km, 4-5hrs, 200m ascent, 1650m descent) (B/L/D)

You will finally reach Gunitsawa Village where your transport will be waiting to drive you through to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan (Approximately 2 hours).

Dinner and overnight at your hotel in Thimphu

Day 10: THIMPHU – SIGHTSEEING (B/L/D)

After breakfast, we will drive you to Dodeyna to climb through a beautiful forest track to the Tango Monastery which overlooks a forested valley and other Buddhist retreats high in the mountains. Then we visit the National Memorial Choten built in honor of Bhutan’s late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck before visiting the mini zoo at Motithang to see the Takin, Bhutan’s national animal.

In the evening, visit Tashichho Dzong, seat of the national government and the Central Monastic Body which includes the summer residence of the Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot of Bhutan). If you wish we can then visit the Handicrafts Emporium followed by shopping for souvenirs and other items in the shops of Thimphu.

Farewell dinner with traditional dance and overnight at your hotel in Thimphu.

Day 11: A DAY EXCURSION TO DOCHULA PASS – PARO (B/L/D)

Morning drive to town for shopping. Then drive to the Dochula Pass at 3150m for a photo stop and for tea, coffee etc and to enjoy a most spectacular view of the Himalayan snow capped mountains and a great view of Gasa Dzong at a distance.

Lunch at the Dochula Pass.

In the afternoon drive to Paro and on the way visit Simtokha Dzong. This is one of the oldest fortresses in the Kingdom. It was built in 1629 AD by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. It houses the largest monastic school in the country.

Dinner and overnight at your hotel in Paro.

Day 12: PARO – PARO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (B)

In the morning drive to Paro International Airport where your guide will accompany you to bid you farewell.

Cost Information

Peak-Season (Mar, Apr May, Sep, Oct and Nov)
Number of days: 12 days (7 days trekking & 5 days cultural sightseeing)
Price:
US$ 4,185 single per person
US$ 3,780 twin/double per person
US$ 3,500 triple per person

Trekking Dates

Any date on a private basis