- Cultural and Historical Tours
- Trekking and Hiking
Three meals per day
from 6200 USD
Laya Gasa Trek offers the great variety of trekking conditions, from picturesque farmland and forests to alpine pastureland and high passes. Spectacular campsites, beneath some of Bhutan’s most impressive peaks, of which the most notable are Mount Chomolhari and Mount Jichu Drake, are also the features of this trekking route. Numerous isolated Dzongs and scattered settlements, including the outlandish village of Laya, provide a great deal of cultural interest en route. Wildlife such as the blue sheep, marmots, musk deer and the national animal, the Takin, can be seen. One should also not rule out the possibility of the rare sighting of a snow leopard, great Himalayan bear or even the yeti.
During the flight, one will experience breathtaking views of Mount Everest, Kanchenjunga (if flying from Kathmandu or Delhi) and other famous Himalayan peaks, including the sacred Chomolhari and Mount Jitchu Drake in Bhutan. On arrival at Paro International Airport, meet our representative and escorted to the hotel. After lunch visit Ta Dzong, an ancient watchtower built to defend Rinpung Dzong during inter-valley wars which now house the nation’s heritage, Bhutan’s National Museum. Then walk down the trail to visit Rinpung Dzong, the massive fortress is located on a small hill just above the Paro river (Pachu). The Dzong houses the district administration office and the District Monk body. It was built in 1645 A.D. Back to hotel. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
In the morning hike to Taktsang Monastery. Taktsang meaning “Tiger’s Nest”, is built around a cave in which Guru Rimpoche (also known as Guru Padmasambhava) meditated. The eighth century monastery is perched on a rock overlooking a sheer drop and clings seemingly impossible to a cliff of rock at 2,950 m above the sea level.
After lunch visit Drukgyal Dzong, the ruined fortress, which was once, defended this valley from Tibetan invasions. After then proceed towards Kyichu Lhakhang (Monastery). One of the oldest monasteries in Bhutan was built in 659 A.D by King Songtsen Gampo of Tibet as one of the 108 such monasteries he built in across the Himalayas to spread Buddhism. Evening is free. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
Drive up to Drukgyel Dzong (2580m) where the motorable road ends, and the trek begins. With up and down following the Paro River, beautiful landscapes and tiny picturesque villages reach the army checkpoint at Gunitsawa village. At the checkpoint, trek permit will be checked and endorsed. The campsite is on the opposite side of the river, 1km above the military camp.
On this long day, the trail continues with lots of gentle climbs up and down. After going uphill through the river valley, we enter the Jigme Dorji National Park. The valley finally narrows gradually to a mere path which descends to a meadow where a camp will be set up. From here, if the weather permits, the first great view of Mount Jomolhari can be seen. Overnight at camp.
If Mount Jomolhari was not seen last evening, today early morning there is great chance to get a great view. This morning the trek continues up the Paro Chhu valley, which widens into patches of alpine meadow with scanty forest growths. Cross an army outpost along the way and enjoy a spectacular view of high mountain ridges and snow-capped peaks. Yaks and the herders’ 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, from where again have a spectacular view of Mount Jomolhari. Overnight at camp
The day in Jangothang provides plenty of possibilities for day hikes with great views on 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 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 in the west, Jichu Drake to the north and a number of unclimbed peaks to the east.
After 15 minutes from the camp, the trail climbs rapidly for about half an hour and then becomes a gradual ascend to the Nyilila pass at 4870m. While on the climb enjoy the surrounding. We might see herds of blue sheep grazing on the slopes of the mountains. From the pass we will have spectacular views of Mt. Jomolhari, Jichu Drake and Tsherimgang, all of them rising above 7000m. On the way down to the camp, we will pass by some of the yak herders’ tent, made from yak wool, where the herders take shelter while on the move to various pastures for their yaks. As we come down into the Lingshi basin, we get a wonderful view of Lingshi Dzong on a clear day. Tserimgang and its glaciers rise up at the north end of the valley. Overnight at camp.
Proceed ahead passing Lingshi Dzong built in the 17th century, perched on the hilltop with a commanding view of the green hills, the winding river and magnificent peaks. After an hour from Lingshi, the trail reaches a cairn and prayer flags on a ridge at 4,140m and then makes a long descent to the pleasant settlement of Gayul. Leaving this village, after making a short ascent and descent, the route leads to the spectacular Chebisa valley.
On today’s early part of the trek, there is the possibility of spotting blue sheep, branded vultures and Himalayan griffons.
The route later crosses Gombu la pass (4,500m) and then descends through rhododendrons bushes to a stream at about 4,170m. The trail further climbs over a small ridge through a cedar forest then into the main Jholethang Chhu valley in a deep forest of fir and birch and then to the village of Shakshepasa (3,980m).
There are several yak herders huts enroute. The camp is at Shomuthang (4,200m) in a clusterof brush beside a stream.
The trek starts with a climb up to the Jhari La pass at an altitude of 4,700m. Then descend to Tsheri Jathang valley, the summer residence of the rare Himalayan Takin (national animal of Bhutan). From here we may have to cross the stream as the foot bridge is often washed away. After crossing the stream towards the left, the trail climbs to reach Robluthang
It is a long climb up to Sinche La pass (5,000 m). The view of the mountains from the path is spectacular. After the pass the trail descends to Limithang, and is sometimes quite narrow so we may have to cross a stream again and get feet wet! The last part of the trek is very interesting with a view of Mt. Gangchey Ta peak.
In the morning, wake up early to have a superb view of Gangchey Ta peak. The walk to Laya is very pleasant with incredible views. Trail will pass through dense forests, filled with moss and singing birds. Arrive at Laya village, the second highest settlement in the country, at an altitude of 3,840m.
A free day to explore Laya village and environs. Our guide will take us to a local house where traditional Bhutanese hospitality is extended and a cup of tea and Chang (local drink) is always offered. The people in this village are culturally very interesting, especially the women who wear conical bamboo hats decorated with turquoise and silver ornaments. In the evening there is opportunity to see some dancing and singing performed by local villagers around a campfire and to “sample” the local alcohol of Ara & Chang.
The trail winds up and down along the river valley, through beautiful forests with great views of waterfalls, swift streams, a wonderful variety of birds, and perhaps the musk deer. The campsite at Koena, is not very good as it is usually quite muddy, but it’s about the only flat ground around.
After ascending to the Bari La pass (3,850 m), the trail descends until you reach the lovely village of Gasa with a beautiful old Dzong. There are a few shops (first beer in weeks is available here) and a soccer and archery field. Continue down the trail for another hour or so to Gasa Tsachhu (Hot Springs), a wonderful place to lounge after a long trek.
The trail winds through the rolling hills and passes through the pine and oak forests, villages and wheat fields. There is chance to see a beautiful view of the Gasa Dzong glued to the valley wall seeming to float in space. The road continues to be extended up this valley so it is only a hike of about 3/4 hours before reach the road where vehicle will be waiting. Drive to Punakha. Overnight at hotel.
Morning visit Punakha dzong, the winter residence of the Je Khempo (chief abbot). Punakha Dzong is the most Magnificent and Largest Dzong in Bhutan located beautifully in between the two largest rivers Pho Chu (Male River) and Mo Chu (Female River), it is an outstanding structure with intense artwork; and Wangduephordang Dzong, built in 1638. It is believed to be built on the back of the giant Elephants back and is considered one of the most important Dzongs of the 17th century as it controlled west - East and to the South. Then drive back to Thimphu. Stop at Thimphu for last minute shopping and head for Paro. Over night at hotel.
After breakfast free till departure time. Transfer to the airport for onward journey.
- Necessary airport, hotel and airport transfers
- Bhutan Visa Fee
- Hotel Accommodation on twin sharing basis in city and camping during trekking
- Three meals per day during your stay in Bhutan.
- Kathmandu-Paro-Kathmandu airfare
- Airport tax
- Entrance fees and permit
- Overland transportation within Bhutan
- Sightseeing as per itinerary
- English speaking local guide
- Trekking and Tour arrangement (fully organized trek with tents, thermal pads, blow pillow, hot-water bag, pack animals to carry luggage and additional riding pony for emergency, basic medical kit, support staff, trekking guide, cook and assistants, horseman)
- Drinking water
- Government royalty, tax and Fees
- Service Charge
- Travel Insurance
- Expenses of a personal nature
- Personal trekking gears such as the sleeping bag, clothing, shoes etc.
- Excess baggage
- Tips to guides and drivers
- Expenses occurred due to unavoidable Events i.e. road wrecks, flight delays etc.
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