Bhutan is the hidden Himalayan kingdom located deep in the eastern Himalayas. Nestled between India and China, it is a land frozen in time. Long closed to outside visitors, Bhutan has opened its borders for a limited number of visitors each year. Because the population of Bhutan is so small, the number of visitors is limited by the kingdom in order to preserve its wonderful culture and spirituality.
The Classis Bhutan Tour with Jumolhari Trek is 16 wonderful days. It includes a trek to view the lovely Jumolhari Mountain (elev. 7,314 m/23,996 ft.) We will take a trek to Jangothang for the finest views of this amazing mountain.
The trek is considered strenuous with a maximum elevation of 4,895 meters (16,060 ft.). The actual trek takes six days. The rest of the trip is fabulous sightseeing in this Himalayan kingdom where we will explore ancient monasteries, temples, palaces and other cultural delights.
The Classic Bhutan Tour with Jumolhari Trek is the perfect way to experience the unique spiritual energy of Bhutan. It is 16 incredible days filled within the positive energy of the Land of the Thunder Dragon. Let Asia Buddhist Tours & Treks make the Classic Bhutan Tour with Jumolhari Trek a reality.
Day 1 – Arrival in Kathmandu
Day 2 – Fly to Paro, Bhutan
Day 3 – Paro, trek to Taktsang Monastery (Day Hike)
Day 4 – Trek to Sol Thankgkha
Day 5 – Trek to Jangothang Base Camp
Day 6 – Acclimatization Day
Day 7 – Trek to Tshophu Lake and across Bhonte La Pass to Dhumzo
Day 8 – Trek to Thombu Shong
Day 9 – Trek to Sharna Zampa, drive to Paro
Day 10 – Travel to Thimphu
Day 11 – Travel to Punakha
Day 12 – Travel to Gangteng
Day 13 – Travel to Thimphu
Day 14 – Visit Haa Valley, Travel to Paro
Day 15 – Fly to Kathmandu
Day 16 – Departure
DAY 1 – ARRIVAL IN KATHMANDU
The spiritual journey of a lifetime begins as your plane circles over the airport of the legendary city of Kathmandu, Nepal. The Himalayas have long been known as a spiritual vortex for the earth, and as your plane approaches this magical land, you can feel the power radiating from these sacred mountains.
Deplane, pass through passport control, pick up your luggage and its out the door into the wonderful alpine air of Kathmandu. There as you exit you will see a large sign with your name on it. It’s your guide and friend from Asia Buddhist International Treks & Tours who has come to take you by private car to your 3 Star Quality Hotel to rest and relax from your long trip to the Himalayas. Take time for evening prayers after dinner before going to bed.
DAY 2 – TRAVEL TO PARO
There is something about the fresh mountain air of Kathmandu that invigorates the soul. After breakfast, your guide arrives and takes you back to the airport to fly to Paro, the gateway to Bhutan. It’s a short, but awe-inspiring flight as you look down on the snowcapped peaks. There’s Mt. Everest, Mt. Kanchenjunga (3rd highest peak), Mt. Cho-Oyo (6th highest peak) and other 8000+ meter peaks along the way. You fly over legendary places like Darjeeling and Sikkim before your plane lands at Paro.
Once through immigration, your Bhutanese guide greets you and takes you to your hotel in the city. There will be a tour of Kichu Monastery which dates back to the 8th century. It was constructed to subdue the demon that was harming the Himalayan region. After dinner will be an orientation on Bhutan as well as explaining about the excursion here in the land of the Thunder Dragon.
DAY 3 – HIKE TO TAKTSANG MONASTERY
High above the city, perched on the side of a cliff is the famous Taktsang Monastery. It rises nearly 1000 meters above the Paro Valley floor. Buddhism came to Bhutan through the efforts of Guru Padmasambhava in the 8th century. He was challenged by the demons of the region in his efforts to spread the teachings of Buddhism. He escaped from their grasp and flew on the back of a female tiger to a cave where Taktsang Monastery is located. (The name Taktsang means “Tiger’s Nest”). There are 13 holy places at this monastery as you absorb its unique spirituality. We hike up to Taktsang and take our lunch there. We return to our hotel in the afternoon, and you can enjoy exploring Paro on your own in the evening before bed.
DAY 4 – TREK TO SOI THANGKHA (elev. 3750 m/12,303 ft.)
Yesterday we got into the spirit of trekking with our day hike to Taktsang Monastery. Today we start our full trek. We are trekking upwards of 690 meters today to reach our camping spot. Treks in Bhutan are camping treks, and Asia Buddhist Tours & Treks has assembled a wonderful staff to assist you to make this a most perfect trek. We pass through incredible forests of pine and rhododendron as we cross rivers to reach our first camp. Our chef prepares a hot meal as we sit around the campfire enjoying our dinner. Above us the stars come out in the Himalayan skies like you’ve never seen before. A beautiful night as you lie down for a great night of sleep. Trekking time is 7 – 8 hours.
DAY 5 – TREK TO JANGOTHANG BASE CAMP (elev. 4040 m/13,255 ft.)
Today is a shorter day as we make our way to higher elevation at Jangothang Base Camp. We cross above the tree line where we are treated to incredible views of the snowcapped peaks of the eastern Himalayas. This is yak country and we see herds of yaks grazing. We stop for lunch at a kharka (summer gazing site) to have a hot lunch. We pass more yak herder’s camps at places like Soe and Takethang. There is some limited farming up here, where the local people can only grow barley, potatoes and turnips. Our campsite will be reached in around 5 – 6 hours where we will spend the night in the high alpine air. Enjoy the evening as the sun goes down in a magnificent sunset over the mountains.
DAY 6 – ACCLIMATIZATION DAY
We have ascended to some really high elevation, and it becomes necessary to allow our bodies to adjust to the thinner mountain air. Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) is a real condition and can be life threatening if not properly dealt with. The best way to deal with the thinner mountain air is to allow your body 24 hours to adjust to the high elevation.
We just don’t sit around today; instead do some short hikes. We climb upwards to see some amazing views of Mt. Jumolhari. We can spot Himalayan blue sheep today along with golden eagles flying overhead. Our maximum elevation today is 4,895 meters (16,060 ft.) as we gape at the natural beauty of the snowcapped peaks that contrast so superbly with the bright blue Himalayan skies.
We return back to our camp for another wonderful night here under the Himalayan night sky.
DAY 7 – TREK TO DHUMZO (elev. 3800 m/12,467 ft.) VIA TSHOPHU LAKE
We return to our high altitude trek as we make our way up and down the hills, across the Paro Chhu (river) and finally reaching the beautiful alpine lake of Tshophu Lake (elev. 4380 m/14,370 ft.) There are two mountain lakes up here which creates twin beauty. We climb upwards to cross Bonte La Pass at 4890 m/16,043 ft.) There are hidden valleys we will explore along the way until we reach our campsite at Dhumza.
DAY 8 - TREK TO THOMBU SHONG (elev. 4180 m/13,714 ft.)
We are crossing more cold, mountain streams today as we make our way up and down the hillsides. We come to a small place called Takhung La (elev. 4,520 m/14,829 ft.) where there area a few small stone huts for the herders. Thombu Shong is our destination where we find a few yak herder’s huts. It has great views of the snowcapped peaks. Trekking time is 4 – 5 hours.
DAY 9 – TREK TO SHARNA ZAMPA, DRIVE TO PARO
It’s our final day of trekking as we make our way downhill to reach Thombu Shong. It takes us around 4 – 5 hours, and we descend quite a distance. Before we can even begin the descent, we have to climb up to Thombu La Pass at 4,380 meters (14,370 ft.) and then drop down to meet our car in Sharna Zampa. We arrive ready for our ride back to our hotel in Paro where we have a good dinner, a hot shower and a good night’s sleep.
DAY 10 – TRAVEL TO THIMPHU
We rise early and take breakfast before our car takes us to Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan. We have to cross over one pass out of the Paro Valley and make our way into the picturesque Thimphu Valley with its lush rivers and modern city. We check into our hotel and then it’s a day of sightseeing. Sites we will see include:
Return to your hotel for dinner and an opportunity to explore on your own before dinner.
DAY 11 – TRAVEL TO PUNAKHA
No trip to Bhutan is complete without a journey to the ancient city of Punakha by way of Dochu-La Pass. This high pass rises to an elevation of 3,088 m/10,130 ft. Here we stop and you can take tea while gazing at the beautiful eastern Himalayas. There are wonderful Buddhist chhortens here along with mani walls (stone wall with Buddhist carvings) and colorful prayer flags that flutter continuously in the Himalaya breeze.
Once we pass Dochu-La Pass, its downhill into the valley to reach Punakha. The ancient city sits at the confluence of the Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu Rivers. The fortress (dzong) was built here in 1637 to protect the region from invaders from Tibet. This place served as the religious and administrative center for Bhutan for many years. We will take a hike to Khamsum Yelley Chhorten which is dedicated to the 5th king of Bhutan. We will spend the night here in Punakha.
DAY 12 – TRAVEL TO GANGTEY
Yesterday was an invigorating day here in Punakha, and as we rise, we find it is time for a new journey. Today we cross over the pass to reach our next destination which is Gangtey. It’s a day of passing through pastoral scenes as we go journey through small villages and past picturesque farms. The scenery varies between sub-tropical vegetation to high alpine shrubbery at Pelela Pass (elev. 11,000 ft.) and finally we enter the Phobjikha Valley. This valley is famous for being the winter home of the Black Necked Cranes that come from Tibet in November, departing in mid-March. Gangtey Gompa features a school for Buddhist monks that follow the Nyingmapa sect that is found in Bhutan. We spend the night here in Gangtey, enjoying a fine meal before going to bed.
DAY 13 – TRAVEL BACK TO THIMPHU
We return to the capital city today. We stop today at Chimi Lhakhang which sits like a beacon on a high hill in the valley. Dedicated to La Dhukpa Kuenley, he was known as
“The Divine Madman” as he challenged the status quo of Buddhist practices in his time centuries ago. Today his temple is known as the Temple of Fertility” as couples who are unable to have children come to pray before the giant phallus. Childless couples travel from afar to make their poojas before this sacred phallus.
We return to Thimphu to visit the Royal Botanical Gardens which are beautiful any time of year. These gardens feature the unique flora of Bhutan. In the evening, enjoy dinner at our hotel.
DAY 14 – TRAVEL TO PARO VIA HAA VALLEY
The beautiful Haa Valley is the westernmost valley in Bhutan. It taks us 3 ½ hours to reach this magnificent place. We see Chuzom at the confluence of two rivers where there are three unique shrines that we built to ward off the presence of evil. The shrines reflect Nepali, Tibetan and Bhutanese architecture. We pass Dobje Dzong, an ancient prison that is now a monastery. We enjoy the valley, passing over Chele La Pass (elev. 3,988 m/13,084 ft.) which on clear days offers us panoramic views of the region around us as well as Mt. Jhomolhari, the second highest peak in Bhutan (elev. 7,314 m/23,406 ft.)
This is our last night in Bhutan as we return to our hotel in Paro for our final meal in the land of the Thunder Dragon.
DAY 15 – FLY BACK TO KATHMANDU
Rise from a good night’s sleep, eat a hearty breakfast and then its off to the airport to fly back to Kathmandu. It’s a short, but very scenic flight as you skim over the tops of the mighty Himalayas to reach Nepal’s capital city. Once you’ve landed, travel to your hotel where you can relax and enjoy a free day to do whatever you want. Explore the city, read a book at the hotel’s roof garden or do some shopping in Thamel, it’s your day. In the evening, enjoy a farewell dinner. Following dinner, retire to your hotel room as you prepare for your final night in the Himalayas.
DAY 16 – DEPARTURE
After breakfast, it’s off to the airport for your departure to your next location. These 16 days have been truly wonderful as the incredible spirituality of the Himalayas has touched you in body, mind and soul. Your introduction into the spirituality of the Himalayas is only the beginning. Why not deepen your spirituality as you learn more about Buddhism here in Nepal? Asia Buddhist Tours & Treks has a number of tours with lamas and masters of Mahayana Buddhism that can become your spiritual guide on the path to enlightenment. They have decades of experience and study and can teach you about tantric dance, meditation as well as Buddhist philosophy. Some of the tours include very sacred places in the Himalayas where you feel the energy radiating from the ground. So ask your friend and guide from Asia Buddhist Tours & Treks for a deepening spiritual experience through Buddhism.
|2 Nights Accommodations in deluxe hotel in Kathmandu||Minimum of 3 Star Accommodations in Bhutan on twin sharing basis|
|A licensed Bhutanese guide for your time in Bhutan||SUV car with driver|
|All Three Meals with Evening Tea||Farewell Dinner in Kathmandu|
|Museum Fees||Road Permit/Special Permits/Taxes|
|Trekking Equipment except sleeping bag||Trekking chef and staff|
|Drinks (alcoholic, soft drinks and mineral water)||Personal items (i.e. phone calls, laundry, shopping, spa, etc.)|
|Any other services not noted above||Sleeping bag on trek|
|Luxury hotel (4 & 5 star quality available at an extra cost.)||Language guide (other than English)|
No Departure Date with Pricing Available as of Yet.
No Map Available as of Now