Laya Trek

Difficulty Level :

Duration : 19 Days

Maximum Elevation : 5,000 m

The Laya Trek is one of Bhutan's finest Treks, leading through pristine landscapes to the Base Camp of Mt. Jhomolhari, Bhutan's most sacred mountain, over 5 high passes between 3900 and 5000m, via Lingshi to Laya village. This tour combines 14 trekking days and 5 days cultural travel.

  • 14 Trekking Days, 5 Days Cultural Sightseeing
  • 201 km Trekking
  • 5204 m Ascent
  • 7025 m Descent
  • Blue Sheep and Takin
  • Traditional Laya People
  • Gasa Hot Springs
  • Jhomolhari, Jichu Drake, Tserim Gang, Great Tiger Mountain & Masa Gang

Day 1: Arrival in Paro

Paro Town is situated at an altitude of 2280 m. Your guide will receive you at the airport. There is time to freshen up at your hotel before starting your exploration of Paro valley. After lunch you will visit: Paro Dzong, also known as Rinchen Pung or Rinpung Dzong, which means “fortress on a heap of jewels”, is one of the most impressive and well-known Dzongs in Bhutan. Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the first spiritual and temporal ruler of Bhutan, built it in 1644. Today the Dzong houses the monk body and the district government offices. Ta Dzong was built as a watchtower to Paro Dzong. It was renovated in 1968 and converted into the National Museum. The museum houses a collection of antique textiles, art and artefacts from all over Bhutan. Dumtse Lhakhang was built in 1433 by the “Iron Bridge Builder” Dubthob Thangtong Gyalpo. Its three floors represent hell, earth and heaven and the murals inside are said to be some of the finest in Bhutan.

Day 2 - Paro

An early start is necessary today to climb to Taktsang Monastery, known as the ‘Tiger’s Nest’, which is one of the most famous and venerated places of pilgrimage in the country. It is perched on the side of a steep cliff about 900 metres above the floor of Paro valley. This day tour will get you into trekking mood for the next day. After Taktsang you will see Drukgyel Dzong. The Dzong was named ‘Druk’ (Bhutan) ‘Gyel’ (victory) to commemorate the victory of Bhutan over Tibetan invaders in 1644. Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal built Drukgyel Dzong in 1649. Kyichu Lhakhang is one of the oldest and most beautiful monasteries in the country built in the 7th century by the Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo. The story tells that a giant demoness lay across the whole area of Tibet and the Himalayas and was preventing the spreading of Buddhism. To overcome her King Songtsen Gampo decided to build 108 temples in a single day, which would be placed on all the points of her body. Thus it is believed that the Kyichu Lhakhang in Paro is build on the left foot and Jampey Lhakhang in Bumthang is build the left knee of the demoness. There's also a belief that the two orange trees in Kyichu Lhakhang bear fruits throughout the year.

Trekking Days 3 to 16

We will start trekking at Drugyel Dzong at 2580 m and walk along paddy fields, pass through some villages, pine forests and along crystal clear streams and wild rivers, until we reach high pastureland, where we get the first view of the high peaks. After the Jhomolhari Base Camp we will cross 5 passes, the Nyile La (4890 m), Gombu La (4440 m), Jare La (4785 m), Sinche La (5000 m) and the Bale La (3900 m). Around Jhomolhari Base Camp Blue Sheep are seen regularly and the area around Koina is well known for its wild herds of Takin, Bhutan’s national animal. At the end of the trek, we will have a dip in the hot springs of Gasa.

Day 3: Drugyel Dzong / Paro (2580 m) to Shana (2890 m) 5 hrs.

Day 4: Shana to Soi Thangthanka (3575 m) 6-7 hrs.

Day 5: Soi Thangthanka to Jangothang (Jhomolhari Camp) (4044 m) 4-5 hrs.

Day 6: Rest day at Jhomolhari Camp with possible visit to the Tsho Phu lakes.

Day 7: Jangothang to Lingshi (4010 m) via Nyile La (4890 m) 5-6 hrs.

Day 8: Lingshi to Chebisa (3990 m) 3-4 hrs.

Day 9: Chebisa to Shakyapasang (4000 m) via Gombu La (4440 m) 5 hrs.

Day 10: Shakyapasang to Robluthang (4160 m) via Jare La (4785 m) 7-8 hrs.

Day 11: Robluthang to Limithang (4160 m) via Sinche La (5000 m) 6-7 hrs.

Day 12: Limithang to Laya (3800 m) 4 hrs.

Day 13: Rest day in Laya.

Day 14: Laya (3800 m) to Koina (3240 m) 6 hrs.

Day 15: Koina (3240 m) to Gasa Tsachu/Gasa Hot Springs (2220 m) via Bale La (3900 m) 6 hrs.

Day 16: short walk from Gasa to the road head and drive to Thimphu.

Day 17: Thimphu

Today you will explore the capital of Bhutan. You will start the day with a visit to the National Institute for Zorig Chusum, which means the ‘13 traditional arts’ of Bhutan and which is commonly known as the Painting School. The National Memorial Chorten was built in 1974 to honour and in memory of the third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. The National Institute of Traditional Medicine, established in 1978, has a day care facility and clinic where traditional doctors diagnose patients and prescribe appropriate medicines or treatments. The traditional herbal medicines, ointments and medicinal teas consist of plants, minerals and animal parts, are manufactured in the production facility and distributed to regional health-care units within the country. The Royal Textile Academy is worth a visit to experience Bhutan’s living national art of weaving. Techniques and styles of the local costumes and textiles made by man and women across Bhutan are on display. The National Library collection ranges from traditional books and manuscripts, modern books about any kind of topic, an old printing press and wooden blocks for printing books and prayer flags to a the largest published book in the world, entitled “Bhutan”. Changangkha Lhakhang is located in Motithang above Thimphu town. It was established in the 12th century and the central statue is Chenresig in an 11-headed, thousand-armed manifestation.

Day 18: Thimphu

Today you will have a look at Trashi Chhoe Dzong. This magnificent Dzong, located on the north of the city on the west bank of the Wang Chhu River, housed the original National Assembly and now houses the secretariat, the throne room and offices of His Majesty the King of Bhutan. Another highlight is Buddha Point at Kuensel Phodrang. The 169 feet bronze statue of Buddha Dordenma (Vajra Throne) is symbolising indestructibility. This is a wonderful place to end the day with great views of Thimphu valley next to Buddha Dordenma. For the remaining day you can explore Thimphu town, shop some souvenirs and mingle with the people. You will enjoy the evening with a visit and traditional dinner at the Folk Heritage Museum. The museum replicates a traditional farmhouse and is designed and furnished how many rural Bhutanese still live today.

Day 19: Thimphu to Paro

Drive to Paro and departure to your onward destination.