Jumolhari Trek

(8 Trekking day / Total 14 days)

Jumolhari trek in Bhutan is the most enchanting adventure trek in the Himalaya. After an acclimatization hike to Tiger’s Nest Monastery, you will start the trek from the ruins of the historic Drugyal Dzong. The first three days of this trek follow the Paro river to the Jangothang base camp, from where you will have a stunning view of 7315m Mount Jumolhari, the second highest unclimbed peak in the world. The trail goes through high pastures where yak herders graze their animals and Lingzhi, the highest settlement in the north with a unique mountain culture. En route you will have startling views of both Mount Jichu Drakey (6989m) and Tshrim Khang (6789m).

Day 1

Arrive Paro.

On arrival at Paro International Airport, you will be warmly received by your tour guide and driver from Druk Tersar Tours & Travels, who will then escort to your hotel in Paro.

Explore Paro town and local sights.

Overnight in Paro.

Day 2:  Tigers Nest (Taktshang)

This hike to Taktshang monastery, in addition to visiting one of Bhutan’s most sacred places with a breathtaking views, will also help in acclimatizing you to the altitude and prepare you physically for the upcoming treks.

After breakfast, drive to the base of the Tiger’s Nest, locally known as Taktshang (tiger’s nest). Taktshang, located 2900-3000 meters above sea level, was built in the 8th century by Guru Rinpoche who, according to legend, flew on a flaming tigress from the eastern part of Bhutan and landed where the Taktshang monastery currently stands. It is believed that he meditated in a cave for three months and spread Buddhism in Paro. 

Halfway through the trek, halt for a 15 minute’s tea/coffee break at the Taktshang cafeteria and another 30-minute walk to the monastery. After visiting the monastery, walk back to the cafeteria for lunch.

Dru-gyal Dzong

After lunch, walk down to the base where the driver will be waiting and then drive north of Paro to visit the Dru-gyal Dzong (Fortress of Victory, “Dzong” means fortress). If the sky is clear you can see the Mt. Jumolhari (7300mts).

Ta-Dzong (National Museum) and Paro Dzong

After Dru-gyel Dzong, drive back to Paro town and visit the Ta-Dzong, which served as a watchtower for the Paro Rinpung Dzong in the olden days but it was converted to the National Museum in 1968. After the National Museum, you will visit the Paro Dzong, which was built in 1645 on a hilltop located near the Pachhu (Paro river). The Dzong has the finest example of traditional Bhutanese architecture and is now used as the District Administration Office and houses the district monk body.  

Overnight in Paro.


Trek Day 1: Shana to Soi Thangthangkha (22 KM / 7-8 HOURS / ALT 3750M)

Early in the morning drive about 2 hours through farm road to Shana, where we will start our trek. The trail follows the Pa-chhu (Paro river), ascending and descending through pine, oak and spruce forests. After 2 hours of continuous hiking and crossing several streams, a hot lunch will be served.

We turn north towards Mount Jomolhari, which can be seen from the top of the valley.  

Porters and cooks will advance ahead and prepare lunch/dinner and set up campsite for the night.

Overnight: Soi Thangthangkha camp at 3680 m and have dinner.


Trek Day 2: Soi Thangthangkha to Jangothang (19KM / 5-6 HOURS / ALT 4040M)

Today we will come across small sparse settlements and herds of yaks. Although today’s is not a long trekking day, a significant height gain will take place as the trail goes above the tree line. The trail continues to follow the river and passes a small army post where the narrow valley begins to widen again. Views of high ridges and snow-capped peaks can be seen on all sides. At this altitude (about 4040 m) it is possible to see yaks and yak herders. Our camp at Jangothang (Land of Ruins) will bring us face to face with the majestic Jumolhari. We will also see ruins of some old settlements, which no one seems to know much about.

Porters and cooks will advance ahead and prepare lunch/dinner and set up campsite for the night.

Overnight:  Jangothang camp at 3900 m


Trek Day 3: Rest day at Jangothang (acclimatization and exploration)

Jangothang base is a flat grassy area with an old ruined fortress on a hillock in the foreground, beneath the colossal Mount Jumolhari (7314m) and its neighbour Jichu Drakey (6989m). It is possible to walk to Tsophu (sacred lakes) or to hike in various directions, either towards Mount Jomolhari and its subsidiary to the west, or Jichu Drakey to the north and unclaimed summits and ridges to the east. You are likely to spot rare blue sheep, Himalayan rhubarb, griffon vultures, golden eagles and the remarkable blue poppy.

Overnight:  Jangothang camp at 3900 m


 Trek Day 4: Jangothang to Lingshi (18 KM / 6-7 HOURS / ALT 4010M)

Jangothang to Lingshi is about 6 to 7 hour trek through wide yak pastures and 2 high passes, as we trek into isolation. The trail follows the stream for half an hour and crosses the bridge to the right side. Start the climb up to the first ridge with a breathtaking view of Jumolhari (7314m), Jichu Drakey (6989m) and Tshering Gang (6789m). If the weather is clear, there is an excellent view of Lingshi Dzong as we descend into the Lingshi basin. Tserim Kang and its descending glaciers can be seen at the north end of the valley. 

Porters and cooks will advance ahead and prepare lunch/dinner and set up campsite for the night.

We camp in a stone shelter at 3915 m. 


Trek Day 5: Lingshi to Shodu (22KM / 8 HOURS / ALT 4100M)

Lingshi to Shodu trek is approximately an 8 hour journey. The trail ascends to the Yali La Pass (4820 m), from where Mount Jomolhari, Tserim Gang and Masa Gang can be seen on a clear day. From the pass, on a clear day, you can see Jumolhari, Gangchen Ta, Tshering Gang and Masang Gang. 

Porters and cooks will advance ahead and prepare lunch/dinner and set up campsite for the night.

We descend to our campsite in Shod which is situated at about 3815 m.


Trek Day 6: Shodu to Barshong (16KM / 5-6 HOURS / ALT 3700M)

The path follows the Thimphu Chhu (river) through forests with rhododendrons and waterfalls, before climbing to the ruins of Barshong Dzong.  Continue to follow the Thimphu Chu downhill for a couple of hours through dense rhododendron forest.

At this place, one comes back to tree line with stunning views of rocky cliffs and waterfalls. Hot lunches will be served by the riverside.

Watch for Langurs (Monkeys) along the way.

Porters and cooks will advance ahead and prepare lunch/dinner and set up campsite for the night.

Our camp will be in Barshong at 3800m


Trek Day 7: Barshong to Dolam Kencho (15KM / 5-6 HOURS / ALT 3600M)

The trail descends gently through a dense forest of rhododendron, birch and conifers, and then drops steeply to meet Thimphu Chhu. It stays on left of the river, climbing over ridges and descending to side streams, then traverses through a steep cliff to Dolam Kencho. 

Porters and cooks will advance ahead and prepare lunch/dinner and set up campsite for the night.

Camp among pastureland in Dolam Kencho at 3,600m.

DAY 10

Trek Day 8: Dolam Kencho to Dodena and Thimphu (8KM / 4-5 HOURS) 

The trail goes in and out steeply to the river and follows it southward to the road head at Dodena, elevation 2,600m where you will be picked up by a Druk Tersar vehicle to drive to Thimphu.

Lunch at hotel in Thimphu.

Weekend Market

Located below the main town, next to the Wangchhu River, Thimphu’s weekend market is by far the largest domestic market for the farmers in Bhutan. Farmers come from all over the country to sell their farm products in the market. With its wide assortment of fresh, organic produce, the Farmer’s Market has become a favourite spot for tourists and a recreational hub for people from all walks of life.

Dinner and overnight: Hotel in Thimphu

DAY 11 Thimphu

Takin zoo

After breakfast, we drive up to the “Thimphu mini zoo”. Fenced between 8 acres of land, this area provides a sanctuary for an animal with a head like goat and a body similar to a cow.  This strange animal, called the “Takin”, is believed to be a creation of the Divine Mad Monk (Lam Drukpa Kuenlay of Chimi Lhakhang) in the 16th century. The Takin is the National Animal of Bhutan.

Zorig-chu-sum (Arts and crafts School)

We then visit the Zorig-Chu-sum (thirteen different traditional arts) Center, where young Bhutanese learn to master various Bhutanese arts and crafts like painting, sculpture, wood work, silversmith and so on. We can watch the artisans while they create beautiful traditional art.

Lunch in hotel

Kuensel Phodrang or Bhuddha Point

After a short tea/coffee break, drive up to “Kuensel Phodrang” to see the statue of the largest sitting Buddha in the world. The statue is 51.5 meters tall and is made of bronze and gilded in gold. 125,000 smaller Buddha statues have been placed within the Buddha statue, 100,000 8 inch tall and 25,000 12 inch tall statues respectively. The hill, where the statue is located, also provides a bird-eyes view of the capital city.

National Memorial Chorten

National Memorial Chorten is known as the most visible religious landmark in Bhutan. It was built in 1974 by Her Majesty the late Queen Mother in memory of her loving son, the third King of Bhutan (His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck). The third King of Bhutan is also known as the “Father of Modern Bhutan”. It was his wish to erect a monument symbolising world peace and prosperity but after his unfortunate and untimely death in 1972, the late Queen Mother Ashi Phuntsho Choden Wangchuck resolved to fullfill his wishes. This chorten has a unique architecture and contains very finely detailed traditional sculptures and paintings.

National Textile Museum.

The changing exhibitions at the museum will introduce you to the major weaving techniques that the weavers employ to make these beautiful fabrics. It also gives you a chance to see the various styles of dressing of the men and women from different parts of Bhutan. The museums exhibits follow 6 major themes :

1.Wrap Pattern Weaves
2. Weft Pattern Weaves
3. Role of Textile in Buddhism
4. Historical achievements in textile

5. Textiles made from different indigenous fibres
6. The royal textile collection.

Dinner and overnight: Hotel in Thimphu

DAY 12 Thimphu to Punakha (77 Km/ 3 Hrs)

After an early breakfast, we drive towards the old winter capital, Punakha, via Dochula Pass. Stop over for tea/coffee at Dochula Pass (3,100 m). On a clear day the pass offers visitors a spectacular view of the majestic eastern Himalayan ranges. A cup of hot coffee or tea to warm up at the pass while taking pictures among the fantastic views and the 108 stupas has almost become part of tradition for people travelling through Dochula.

We then proceed a little further to a small village, where we stop for lunch in a farm house. Your welcoming local hosts will serve traditional food and drinks.

Chimmi Lhakhang

After lunch, continue to Punakha, and then start the hike to Chimmi Lhakhang (also known as the Temple of the Divine Madman). This temple is also known as the temple of fertility. The hike will last around 30-40 mins.

Punakha Dzong

Also known as the palace of great happiness. Built in-between Pho – Chu (male river) and the Mo-chu (female river). The Dzong was built in 1637 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. It was here that the dual system of government was introduced in the 17th century and in 1907, enthroned the first King of Bhutan, Gongsar Ugyen Wangchuck. The palace is the second oldest and second largest dzong in Bhutan.

Dinner and overnight: Hotel in Punakha

DAY 13 Punakha to Paro (145 Km/ 5 Hrs.)

On the drive back from Punakha to Paro, we pass by Dochula again where we stop over for lunch. After that we head off to Paro.

Kichu Lhakhang

After checking in to the hotel, we visit one of the oldest and holiest monasteries in Bhutan called Kichu Lhakhang (Lhakhang means Monastery), built by King Songtsen Gampo of Tibet in 659 A.D. It is one of 108 such temples built to spread Buddhism in this region. 

Dungstse Lhakhang

Dungtse Lhakhang was built in 1421 by Thangtong Gyelpo, aka Chakzampa the Iron Chain Maker, to subdue the ogress on the top of whose head the lhakhang is said to be built. It is believed that while the consecration was being performed ,the central tower moved, attempting to fly to Tibet. Thus to stop it from its flight the central tower was chained down.

This temple is unique in Bhutan as its paintings show the progressive stages of Tantric Buddhist philosophy as well as the most important deities and figures of the Drukpa Kagyupa School.

Evening walk and explore Paro Town.

Overnight: Hotel in Paro

DAY 14

Departure form Paro international Airport