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Jomolhari Circuit Trek - 13 Days

Jomolhari Circuit Trek

Trip Facts:

Trip Name: Jomolhari Circuit Trek
Trip Id: TIB1420
Trip Duration: 13 Days
Max. Altitude: 4,180m/13,714 ft (Jangothang)
Best Season: March to May and September to November
Meal: Full board (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
Accommodation: Government approved 3 stars and Above
Transportation: Private car, van or bus (Depends on group size)
Trip Type: Private Tour

Trip Overview:

Jomolhari Circuit Trek is one of the popular treks in Bhutan with the maximum elevation going to over 4,180 meters above sea level. The trek starts from Drukgyel Dzong and ending at Dolam Kencho. In fact, Jomolhari Trekking can be done through two different routes – the main Jomolhari Trek and Jomolhari Trek II. The main Jomolhari Trek has a total length of about 140 kilometers, which is covered in 9 days and call Jomolhari Trek or Jamolhari Circuit Trek while the second route is shorter having a length of 120 km approximately and it is 8 days trekking. Jomolhari Trek II follows a shorter route, the trek gets diverted before Sharna Zampa and passes through Thombu La, Thombu Shong, Dhumso, Bhonte La and then it meets again with the main Jomolhari Trek near Jangothang at an altitude of 4080 meters. Both of these routes are popular among tourists with maximum opting for these routes. Firstly, the trek passes through the Paro Chu Valley crossing passes, crests and Jigme Dorji National Park etc. The main goal is to reach Jangothang to witness Mt. Jomolhari, Jichu Drakey from a closer proximity. Besides trek, there are other opportunities to discover Paro, Thimphu and Punakha; especially the hike to the famous Taktsang Monastery ‘Tiger’s Nest’ perched in a vertical cliff. Overall, Jomolhari Circuit Trek is ideal for adventure enthusiast and nature lover plus exploring Bhutan’s age-old monasteries, temples and shrines.

Trip Highlights:

  • Witness bird’s eye-view of the world’s tallest mountains onboard flight to/from Paro
  • Explore the colorful Paro and the tiny capital – Thimphu
  • Unforgettable view of Mt. Chomolhari, Jichu Drakey, Jomolhari
  • Abundant flora and fauna
  • Hike to Taktsang Monastery ‘Tiger’s Nest’
  • Discover Bhutan’s historical, cultural and religious landmarks

Day to Day Itinerary:

Day 01: Arrival Paro (2,250m)
Flying in to the country’s only airport, in the beautiful Paro valley, the clear mountain air, forested ridges, imposing monasteries and welcoming Bhutanese people in their striking national dress, provides a breath-taking first impression. After clearing the customs and visa formalities met by the representatives and transfer to Paro. In the evening, stroll along Paro downtown for acclimatization and orientation or there is an option of exploring different sites in Paro which the guide will organize depending upon time available. Overnight at Hotel. (Lunch/Dinner included)

Day 02: Drive to Drukgyal Dzong & trek to Shana (2,950m) 
Drive up to Drukgyel Dzong (2,580m) where the road ends and the trek begin. With a gradual climb the trail follows the Pachhu (Paro River) passing beautiful meadows, paddy fields and impressive farm houses. After about 4 hours it arrives at the army post at Gunitsawa village. At the army check point the trek permit will be checked and endorsed. Today’s campsite is by the small outpost for park warden. Overnight in Camp. (Walking Duration: 5-6 hrs)(Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)

Day 03: Trek to Thangthangkha (3,645m) 
Due to long distance to cover today the trek starts a bit early. Most of the campsite is designated by government depending on area and access to water. Mainly to protect from deforestation and disturbance to wild animals. The short walk from the camp will arrive at the Jigme Dorji Wildlife Sanctuary, the largest protected area in the country. The park is home to several endangered species including the takin, snow leopard, blue sheep, tiger, red panda, and the Himalayan black bear. More than 300 species of birds have been cataloged within the park. After about 2 hours, the trail gets to a fork where the path which is not supposed to follow or the ancient trade route to Tibet is much wider and definitely more inviting. Turn right and follow the smaller trail through oak, spruce, birch, alpine yellows trees. After lunch the trail becomes bit tricky with wet and loose rock for some section. After an hour hike the path comes across a bridge and chorten (Stupa) not to turn toward chorten. Keep left! Overnight in Camp. (Walking Duration: 7-8 hrs)(Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)

Day 04: Trek to Base Camp/Jangothang (4,180m) 
The trail continues with gentle climb along Pa chu to another army post. The valley finally widen up gradually to a mere path which ascends to a meadow where same yak herders have their winter home. It is regarded as one of the most beautiful stroll. When the campsite is approached Mt. Chomolhari can be spotted including its neighboring snowcapped peaks. Overnight in Camp. (Walking Duration: 4-5 hrs)(Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)

Day 05: Rest Day at Jangothang (4,180m)
Jangothang has a perfect environment for the acclimatization before going over the high passes. Relax or hike in the spectacular surroundings. From here a line of great peaks on the horizon can be seen; Chomolhari, Jichu Drake, Tsering Kang and many more. There are herds of blue sheep in the area. In the summer, the ethereal Himalayan blue poppy can be seen in this area. Today just rest in camp or go for a day hike in this beautiful place. If yak herders are in the vicinity, perhaps visit inside one of the big black smoky yak-hair tents. Chomolhari is a mountain sacred to a female deity (Jomo); lhari means snow peak. An Indo-Bhutanese team reached the summit in 1970, but now the high peaks may no longer be climbed.(Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)

Day 06: Trek to Lingshi (4,010m) 
Starting at Jangothang (4180m) and camp at Lingshi (4010m) Today the first major pass at 4890m (Nyile-la ) is encountered. Also spot snow peak views of Tserim Kang (6789m) Camp near a stream in a meadow. Overnight in Camp. (Walking Duration: 5-6 hrs)(Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)

Day 07: Trek to Shodu (4,110m) 
Starting at Lingshi (4010m) and camp at Shodu (4110m). The first half of the trek is mostly through treeless valley until the trail starts ascending to Yeli-la pass at 4820 m, from here Mt. Jumolhari, Mt. Tsherimgang and Mt. Masagang can be seen on clear days. Camp in a meadow. Overnight in Camp. (Walking Duration: 7-8 hrs)(Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)

Day 08: Trek to Barshong (3,680m) 
Starting at Shodu (4110m) and camp at Barshong (3680 m). Today’s trial winds up & down following the Thimphu Chhu and crossing it six times. A final climb for about an hour walk will bring to Barshong. Camp just below the ruins of a small Dzong. Overnight in Camp. (Walking Duration: 5-6 hrs)(Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)

Day 09: Trek to Dolam Kencho (3,430m) 
Starting at Barshong (3680m) and camp at Dolam Kencho (3430m). The trial descends gently down to meet Thimphu Chhu through the dense forest of Rhododendron, birch, conifer trees and across the pasture land. Camp in a meadow. Overnight in Camp. (Walking Duration: 6-7 hrs)(Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)

Day 10: Trek to Dolam Kencho & drive to Thimphu (2,350m)
Starting at Dolam Kencho (3430m) and end of trek at Dodina (2600m). Today is an easy 3 hour descends till Dodina where the vehicle will be awating for the drive to Thimphu which is about 30 minutes. Overnigh at Hotel.(Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)

Day 11: Thimphu –Day excursion to Punakha (1,310m)
After early breakfast, drive about 3 hours to Punakha. Climb up the mountain road to Dochu La at 3140m. On clear weather, the pass commands a wonderful panorama of the Eastern Himalayas. From the pass, the road descends through varied forest and finally emerging into the highly cultivated valley of Punakha. Take a short hike through beautiful rice fields to Chimmi Lhakhang, a temple dedicated to Drukpa Kuenley, who as a favorite saint of the Bhutanese people is known affectionately as “the Divine Madman”. The temple is on a hillside in the middle of rice fields and has become a pilgrimage site for childless couples. Enjoy some tea and snacks at the end of hike while overlooking the fields.

In the afternoon, Punakha Dzong located at the confluence of the Pho-chu (male-river) and Mo-chu (female-river). Punakha Dzong is arguably the most impressive dzong in the country. Later in the evening drive back to Thimphu. Overnigh at Hotel.(Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)

Day 12: Thimphu – Paro & Hike to Tiger’s Nest Monastery (3,120m)
After breakfast drive towards Paro and further drive to the base camp of Taktsang for the hike up to the Taktsang Monastery-Tiger’s Nest. It’s about two hours hike up the cafeteria. From this point, enjoy the spectacular view of the monastery, where Guru Padmasambhava landed on the back of a tigress in 8th century. (The hike demands a certain level of fitness and a pony ride to the monastery can be arranged at additional cost) Then visit the Taktsang Monastery and hike back to the road point then drive to Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest and most sacred shrines in Bhutan and Paro Ringpong Dzong. Afterwards, back to hotel. Overnight at Hotel.(Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner included)

Day 13: Paro Depart
After breakfast, drive to the Paro airport in time to catch the onward flight. Bid farewell to the remote and legendary Dragon Kingdom disappears again behind its guardian mountains.(Breakfast only included)

Cost Details:

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Cost Includes:
• Airport pick-up and drop-off by private vehicle.
• 3-star accommodation (4 & 5 stars may require an additional premium).
• Bhutan visa fee – including all necessary processing
• Route Permit
• Three meals per day during your stay in Bhutan
• A licensed Bhutanese tour guide
• All land transportation by private vehicle
• Camping equipment and haulage for trekking tours
• Sightseeing as per itinerary
• Monuments entrance fees where applicable
• Drinking water
• All internal taxes and charges
• A sustainable development fee of $65. (This sustainable development fee goes towards free education, free healthcare, poverty alleviation, along with the building of infrastructure.)

Cost Excludes:
• Airfare & Travel Insurance
• Expenses of personal nature, Tips to guides and drivers
• Expenses occurred due to unavoidable events i.e. road wrecks, flight delays etc.

Note: 
• On the day of departure, the ‘local agents’ host obligation shall be limited to providing breakfast only and any extra requirements shall be payable on a usage basis.

Our entire Bhutan tours are private journeys and tailor made programs suited for any independent travelers according to their chosen traveling dates. Should you wish, the tour can be easily customized as per your interest and activities you wish to get involve in or spend more time in your places of interest. Contact us to customize this tour as per your requirements. This tour can be undertaken round the year.

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