Beat the heat this summer with an adventure trek on one of the top 3 trekking routes in Bhutan. Replete with the most stunning natural beauty, Bhutan is on every traveller’s bucket list. The country is famously called “the last Shangrila”, inspired from James Hilton’s 1933 novel Lost Horizon. The country is like a Buddhist fortress, shrouded in mystery and wonder for those outside of it. An innate sense of happiness and a cultural richness also distinguish this Himalayan nation from all its neighbors.
Trekking in the Himalayas isn’t for the faint-hearted or the lazy. But it is such an intensely rewarding experience that millions of travelers head to these mountains every year. Bhutan has a relatively pristine trekking scene. But the enormous glaciers, sparkling mountain lakes and an abundance of endangered species have made it a hot travel destination. The best time to undertake a trek in Bhutan is either Spring or Autumn. Choose from our hand-picked list of top 3 trekking routes in Bhutan to get the most out of your trip to this tiny paradise.
Chomolhari, or Jomolhari, is a Himalayan peak rising up to a height of 7326 m. Its majesty and grandeur are much talked about in Bhutan and outside it. Chomolhari is considered the birthplace of the Bhutanese Goddess Chomo. It also has a rich culture and is famous for its traditional dances. On the Chomolhari trek, you will get to witness its imposing beauty from extremely close. You might just feel like reaching out to touch it! One of the top 3 trekking routes in Bhutan, this trek takes you on a tour of the more developed Western Bhutan. Here you can experience the best and most popular cultural sites of Bhutan.
The trek kicks off with a customary visit to the Tiger’s Nest monastery in Paro valley. Over the next few days you trek upstream along the Paro Chu river to Shana and thereon to Thangthangkha. From there on you will walk through terraced gardens to Jangothang and come face to face with the majestic Chomolhari. Jangothang is the ‘Land of Ruins’ and the remains of civilizations past can be witnessed here. The route then takes you eastwards through the Bongtey La (4820 m) to Yaksa. The next day you trek up to Thombu La (4550 m) and observe herds of Yaks grazing down below in the valley. From here on you descend via Gunitsawa to Paro. Another 2-3 days may be taken to explore the national capital Thimphu and nearby Punakha by car.
Our program for Chomolhari Trek: http://www.shantitravel.com/en/bhutan-travel/chomolhari-trek-598/
Laya Lingshi Trek
The Laya Lingshi trek is longer than Chomolhari trek, letting you explore Bhutan at length. It takes you on a journey to discover Bhutan’s customs and traditions, its natural bounty and its inherent Buddhist way of life. Laya Lingshi is considered one of the top trekking routes in Bhutan for travellers coming from all over the world.
The first couple of days are spent exploring the exceptional cultural sites in Paro. You will visit the National Museum, Rinpung dzong, the Tiger’s Nest monastery, Ta dzong and the local villages. From Paro, you trek to Drukgyel dzong, where you meet the yak herdsmen. Next you climb up through the Paro Chu valley, crossing rice and potato fields, to spend the night in a camp at Sharna Zampa. From Shana you trek on a path that constantly rises and drops to reach Thangthangkha. The next day’s trek takes you higher up the mountains to Jangothang, from where you get magnificent views of the Chomolhari. From Jangothang to Lingzhi, you can see the entire range separating Bhutan and Tibet. Take a day to visit the Lingzhi dzong, spot musk deer and bharals, and walk to the Jichu Drakye base camp. On the long trek from Lingzhi to Shodu, you cross the Yeli La (4930 m) and discover a small lake. Over the next two days you trek through temperate forests to the Barshong and Dolam Kencho campsites. The last leg of the trek takes you through a bamboo forest to Dodina, from where you are transferred to Thimphu. Discover Thimphu and Punakha at your leisure. Head back home and recount stories of your experiences on one of the top 3 trekking routes in Bhutan.
Our program for Laya Lingshi Trek: http://www.shantitravel.com/en/bhutan-travel/trek-to-the-land-of-the-thunder-dragon/
Druk Path Trek
The Druk Path trek is perhaps the most well known trekking route in Bhutan. It can be undertaken by almost anyone. And it is the perfect way to experience both the religious as well as natural heritage of Bhutan.
In addition to the customary two days spent discovering Paro, the Druk Path trek also takes you to visit the Ha dzong in Ha Chu Valley. From Ha to Kali La (3100 m) you pass through lovely pines, rhododendrons and cedars as well as herds of the best yaks in Bhutan. A climb through dense forests takes you up to Ngoba. From here you keep descending each day, from Kiychu to Jele Dzong to Jangchulhakha. Then on to the pristine Jimilang Tso lake where you spend the night. The next day takes you to Lake Jane Tso and Semtoka campsite. You also visit the beautiful Phajoding monastery (3100 m) before ending the trek at Motithang and driving down to Thimphu. The entire trek from Ha to Thimphu takes six days. It is easy to complete and also affords some fantastic views of the Bhutanese Himalayas and scenery. It is indeed one of the 3 topmost trekking routes in all of Bhutan.
Our program for classic Druk Path Trek: http://www.shantitravel.com/en/bhutan-travel/west-bhutan/
It is well known that trekking in Bhutan is not an easy experience. The higher reaches have no places to stay or eat. So all the camping equipment and food supplies need to be carried along on the trek. The climate is also harsh. But the breathtakingly beautiful scenery and the warmth and hospitality of the locals more than make up for the difficulties faced. It is, after all, the people you meet and the memories you create that you’ll always remember in life. Embark on one or more of these top 3 trekking routes in Bhutan and you will surely come back for more.