Chomolhari- Jomolhari Trek

Duration: 12 Days

Chomolhari or Jhomolhari Trek is Bhutan’s equivalent to Nepal’s Everest Base Camp Trek- it is Bhutan’s most popular high-altitude trek and is worth all the hype. Approximately 40 percent of all trekkers who visit Bhutan cover this trek through one route or another. Our 12-day-long Chomolhari trek starts and ends in Paro. We begin our trek with an acclimatization hike Taktsang Monastery, also known as the Tiger’s Nest.

The following two days follow the Paro Chhu Valley to Jangothang via Shana Zampa. Two more days of walking through alpine meadows with herds of yaks and beautiful Himalayan landscape brings us to Jangothang Base Camp. We acclimatize for a day at the base camp with stunning views of Mt. Chomolhari, 7,326m. Mt. Chomolhari /Jomolhari is the third tallest mountain in Bhutan.

The next highlight of the Chomolhari trek is Nyile La Pass at 4,890m, the highest point of the trek. We cross the pass to arrive at the village of Lingzhi, a quaint and stunning village in the Bhutanese Himalaya. Crossing yet more passes, we make our way towards Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan. We cover a lot of distance and sceneries during the last four days of our trek. The trek ends with a flight from Paro to your respective destination.

The best months to do Chomolhari trek are April and October. In the spring, the trek is favorable from April to early June. July and August bring rain to these muddy terrains making trekking the route quite miserable. September to November is a favorable time slot as well. The high passes close from mid-November and don’t reopen up until April.

Adventure Club Trek has been organizing treks and tours to Bhutan for the past 10 years. Join our Glimpses of Bhutan Tour- 4 Days or Cultural Tour of Bhutan-6 Days for a relaxed sightseeing trip in Bhutan. Or, embark on a 12-day-long  Bhutan Cultural Tour with Three days Bumthang Trek for a more in-depth trip.

Trip Highlights:

  • Acclimatization hike to Tiger’s Nest ( Taktsang Monastery) in Paro
  • Jangothang Base Camp at 4,040 m with up close views of Mt. Chomolhari ( 7,326m).
  • Surreal views of Bhutanese Himalaya with mountains like Jichu Drake (6,989m) and Mt. Chomolhari
  • Crossing the high Himalayan  passes like Nyile La Pass  at 4,890m and Yale La Pass at 4,820m.
  • Camping at alpine meadows, trekking along with herds of yaks and passing through  beautiful Bhutanese countryside.

Outline Itinerary:

  • Day 01: Arrival and Sightseeing in Paro (2,250m/7,382ft)
  • Day 02: Hike to Tiger’s Nest Monastery (3,180m/10,433ft) then return to Paro
  • Day 03: Trek starts: Paro to Shana Zampa(2,850m/9,348ft): 15 km, 5 - 6 hours
  • Day 04: Shana Zampa to Sio Thangthangkha (3,750m/12,300 ft): 20 km, 7 - 8 hours
  • Day 05: Sio Thangthangkha to Jangothang (4,040m/13,250 ft): 19 km, 7 - 8 hours
  • Day 06: Rest day at Jangothang Base Camp
  • Day 07: Jangothang to Lingzhi (4,000m/13,120ft): 18 km, 7 - 8 hours
  • Day 08: Lingshi to Shodu (4,100m/13,450ft): 22km, 8 - 9 hours
  • Day 09: Shodu to Barshong (3,600m/11,810ft): 16 km, 6 - 7 hours
  • Day 10: Barshong to Dolam Kencho (3,600m/11,810ft): 15 km, 5 - 6 hours
  • Day 11: Dolam Kencho to Dodena to Thimphu (2,350m /7,710ft): 8km, 3 - 4 hours: Trek ends
  • Day 12: Final Departure for your onward destination
  • Day 01: Arrival and Sightseeing in Paro (2,250m/7,382ft)

    The air route to Paro offers spectacular views of the Himalayan ranges like Chomolhari (7,326 m) and Jichu Drake (6,662 m). Upon your arrival at Paro, you will be received by our representative from Adventure Club Trek who will take us to our hotel. We start the day after lunch, visiting the National Museum, Ta Dzong which was once a fortified lookout tower. We descend from the museum to Rinpung Dzong which means fortress of the heap of jewels. Our next stop is Kichu Lhakhang, the oldest temple in Bhutan followed by a visit to Drugyel Dzong, the fort built to signify the victory of Bhutan over Tibetan invaders.
    Overnight at hotel. Lunch and Dinner Included

  • Day 02: Hike to Tiger’s Nest Monastery (3,180m/10,433ft) then return to Paro

    Today, we visit the most famous landmark in Bhutan, Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest). Located 900 m above the Paro Valley, it takes around 2 hours to hike up and back. The monastery stands above a cave where Guru Rinpoche is said to have flown in a tigress’ back and meditated for three years, three months, three weeks, three days and three hours. After we explore the monastery, we head down and get back to our hotel.
    Overnight at hotel. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

  • Day 03: Trek starts: Paro to Shana Zampa(2,850m/9,348ft): 15 km, 5 - 6 hours

    Time to put on your trekking shoes! Today, we first drive to Drugyal Dzong to start our trek from there. Our destination for the day is Shana Zampa. First, we walk downhill, after which the trail climbs up. Along the way, we pass rice and millet fields. The path then takes us through a forest which eventually opens up to a valley. Before reaching our campsite a little further from Shana Zampa we cross an army post at Gunitsawa.
    Overnight at tented camp. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

  • Day 04: Shana Zampa to Sio Thangthangkha (3,750m/12,300 ft): 20 km, 7 - 8 hours

    We leave Shana Zampa and follow Pa Chu(Paro River) towards Sio Thangthangkha. Today we trek within the Jigme National Park, the largest protected area in Bhutan. The trail climbs up and down several times through pine, spruce, and oak forest. On the final stretch to our destination, we walk through a rhododendron forest and then cross a bridge over Pa Chu.
    Overnight at tented camp. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

  • Day 05: Sio Thangthangkha to Jangothang (4,040m/13,250 ft): 19 km, 7 - 8 hours

    Our trail climbs up towards the base of Mt. Chomolhari. Along the way, we are rewarded with magnificent views of Mt. Jichu Drake(6,794m). As we have crossed the treeline, the vegetation is rhododendrons and juniper bushes. Bhutanese high altitudes are also a habitat for Himalayan blue sheep, so we might spot some on the way to our campsite. Enjoy the breathtaking views of Chomolhari and Jichu Drake peaks from the campsite.
    Overnight at tented camp. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

  • Day 06: Rest day at Jangothang Base Camp

    Today is set aside for acclimatization. As we are at an altitude above 4,000m, acclimatization helps our body to adjust better to the thinning air. It also plays a key role in avoiding Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). A short hike is planned as part of the acclimatization. We climb up a small valley to a viewpoint for close views of Mt Jinchu Drake. We then walk towards Nyile Las Pass, enjoying the dramatic landscape and then head back to our camp.
    Overnight at tented camp. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

  • Day 07: Jangothang to Lingzhi (4,000m/13,120ft): 18 km, 7 - 8 hours

    We cross the Nye La Pass situated at 4,890 m, the highest of our trek. But before we do that we have to climb up a ridge. From the top of the ridge, we get to enjoy the views of Jinchu Drake and Chomolhari peaks. We then walk along a leveled path until the Nyile La Pass starts. It is a steep climb up the pass. After conquering the pass we descend to Lingzhi village. As we near the village we see the Lingzhi Dzong, a fort that was built to keep the invaders from Tibet away, standing out proudly.
    Overnight at tented camp. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

  • Day 08: Lingshi to Shodu (4,100m/13,450ft): 22km, 8 - 9 hours

    We have to cross Yale La Pass (4,820m), a difficult climb, today. The trail starts off with a climb up a ridge and then gradually climbs up towards Mo Chhu valley with Mo Chhu River below. After crossing the river the trail climbs steeply to Yale La Pass. The top of the pass rewards us with spectacular views of mountains like Chomolhari, Jinchu Drake, and Tshrim Gang. Then, we descend to Shodu.
    Overnight at tented camp. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

  • Day 09: Shodu to Barshong (3,600m/11,810ft): 16 km, 6 - 7 hours

    We descend following the Thimphu River through rhododendron, pine and juniper forests. Along the way, we are rewarded with beautiful waterfalls. After 3-4 hours of walking, the path gradually climbs up to the ruins of Barshong Dzong.
    Overnight at tented camp. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

  • Day 10: Barshong to Dolam Kencho (3,600m/11,810ft): 15 km, 5 - 6 hours

    The trail climbs down through rhododendron, conifer and birch forests. Then, it climbs further down towards Thimphu River. We climb a few ridges and climb a steep cliff to reach Dolam Kencho.
    Overnight at tented camp. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

  • Day 11: Dolam Kencho to Dodena to Thimphu (2,350m /7,710ft): 8km, 3 - 4 hours: Trek ends

    We ascend and descend through forests and small passes to finally arrive at Dodena. Here we board a private vehicle that will take us to Thimphu. As there are no planned activities after we reach the capital city, you are free to take a stroll around the city.
    Overnight at hotel. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

  • Day 12: Final Departure for your onward destination

    Our 12-day-long Chomolhari Trek ends today. A representative from Adventure Club Trek for Bhutan will arrange for your drive to Paro and drop off at the Paro airport according to your flight schedule.
    Breakfast Included

    Tour Departure Note. This tour can be undertaken round the year for any independent travelers according to their chosen traveling dates as private departures. Should you wish the tour can be easily customized as per your interest. Contact us with your requirements.

    Safety Note: Your safety is of the utmost concern whilst you are traveling with Adventure Club Trek. We will make every effort possible to follow the original itinerary but we reserve the right to change that itinerary if a segment of it becomes a safety issue. Certain mountain regions are remote, natural disasters can happen, weather conditions can decline and there can be illness or an injury. To avoid dangerous situations we may occasionally have to make changes to the itinerary to ensure everyone’s safety. That having been said, Adventure Club Trek will strive to provide you with the best possible trekking experience and to keep your safety our number one priority. We thank you for your understanding.

Cost Includes

  • All arrival and departure transfer in a private tourist vehicle.
  • Full board meals with tea/coffee and snacks - for the duration of your stay.
  • Bhutan visa fees and processing assistance.
  • Drinking water
  • Government-approved A and B category hotels on a twin- shared basis.
  • Tented camp during trekking on a twin- shared basis.
  • Transportation in comfortable private vehicle(s).
  • Experienced English speaking guides and local staff.
  • Trekking equipment like sleeping bags, dining tents, kitchen tents, toilet tents, mattresses, etc.
  • Trekking cooks and trek assistant.
  • Porter services for trekking.
  • All city tour with permits, entrance fees for museums and monuments.
  • All applicable Bhutanese government taxes/royalties and Company services charge.

Cost Excludes

  • Nepal Entry Visa fees - at present $30 for 15 days US$ 50 for 30 days.
  • Airfare for international flights to and from Bhutan
  • Items of a personal nature (personal gear, telephone calls, beverages, internet, laundry)
  • Travel and Medical/Evacuation Insurance
  • Tips and gratitude provided to staff.
  • Any services in Kathmandu/Nepal (hotels, transport, etc)

Bhutan Travel FAQS

1. When is the best time to visit Bhutan?

Every season has its own charm. But, the most popular time to visit Bhutan is autumn and spring seasons which fall on the month from September -November, and March-May respectively. The weather is warmer and skies are clearer on this season and many of the dramatic festivals fall on this period.

2. Do I need a visa for Bhutan? How can I obtain a visa for Bhutan?

Bhutan Visa is essential for every foreigner who is planning to enter Bhutan. The visa has to be processed by local tour operators, such as our company Adventure Club Trek. No foreign mission or embassy abroad grants a tourist visa. For the visa, a passport is required which must be valid for at least 6 months after you leave Bhutan. The Druk Air allows boarding only if it has got your visa clearance from the Bhutan Government.

3. What documents will you provide that I have to take with me to Bhutan?

Visa confirmation letter: We will organize your visa for Bhutan prior to the start of your trip. For the visa procedure, you have to send us two passport size color photographs and a color copy of your passport.

Itinerary: Please take a copy of your tour itinerary with you.

4. How to enter Bhutan?

There are a number of airports where you can fly into Bhutan from.  At present two carriers operate to Bhutan, Drukair and Bhutan Airlines.

By Air the Entry Points are:

Bangkok to Paro.

Dhaka to Paro.

Katmandu to Paro.

Kolkata to Paro.

Delhi to Paro.

Singapore to Paro.

By Land, the Entry Points are:

Also, there are three land border crossings in which you can travel into the kingdom overland.  All crossings are along the Indian border only - Phuentsholing, Gelephu and Samdrup Jongkhar.

Bagdogra to Phuntsholing.

Bagdogra to Gelephu.

Guwahati to Samdrup Jongkhar.

Note: Exit can also be done through the same Entry Points.

5. Can I have a private tour?

Sure. We can arrange a private tour. We also organize private tours as per the demand. We have been flexible as per the wish of our customer and will be in the coming days also.

6. How much does the visa cost?

The visa fee for foreign travelers is US$ 40. The fee can be paid in advance to your tour operator or travel agent. For Indian Passport (or VIC) holders, Bangladeshi nationals and people from the Maldives, there is no cost incurred.

7. Is it safe to drink tap water in Bhutan?

Tap water is not considered safe for drinking and also ice cubes should be avoided. Mineral water is easily available throughout the country (but make sure that seal is not broken). At the same time, it is better to go with a trusted brand rather than picking the local brands.

8. Do I have to worry about altitude sickness in Bhutan?

The altitude in Bhutan is higher than many people are habituated to. Although many people might not have any problem adjusting, altitude sickness may be a problem for a few ones. If visitors do some simple preparations before leaving for Bhutan, most of the symptoms of altitude sickness can be avoided. Being healthy and in good shape, before you arrive in Bhutan will help greatly. It is also recommended that you talk to your local doctor about AMS and medicines in case of an emergency.

9. Can I use my credit cards in Bhutan?

Credit cards are not accepted in Bhutan generally. But, there is some handicraft shop that accepts credit cards while purchasing goods.

10. Are there ATM s counter in Bhutan?

ATM facility has recently been opened in Bhutan, but it is available for the local people only for the time being.

11. What’s the food like in Bhutan?

The most unique feature of Bhutanese cuisine is its sharp taste. Chillis are an important ingredient of nearly every plate and are considered so essential that most Bhutanese people would not enjoy a meal that was not spicy. Rice forms the main body of most Bhutanese meals. It comes with one or two side dishes consisting of meat or vegetables. Beef, Pork, and Chicken are the meats that are taken most frequently. A wide range of western and Indian cuisine is also accessible in many of the restaurants across the country.

12. What are the accommodations like?

Hotels in Bhutan are approved and classified by the government as grade A, B, and C. These government approved hotels are equivalent to 3-4 star hotels located throughout the globe. Western Bhutan (Thimpu, Paro, Wangdue and Punakha)has the best hotels but as you head to eastern and central regions, the quality decreases a little bit. All the hotels/lodges/guest houses in western Bhutan have pretty good electrical heating systems. While the hotels in the central and eastern part of Bhutan have wood-stoves for heating.

13. What is the electricity supply in Bhutan and what plugs are used?

240 volts AC – Flat round 2-pin plugs are most common and a universal adapter is an important travel item. Power cuts are quite frequent in central and eastern Bhutan while western Bhutan has a stable power supply.

14. Are there internet facilities for foreign travelers?

Bhutan's main and only Internet Service Provider (ISP) is Druknet, owned by Bhutan Telecom. It provides a dial-up service, at a reasonable cost. There are several internet cafes and communication centers in the Thimphu and other various parts of the country. Tourists only need to find a place they are most comfortable with to use the facilities to keep in touch with home. E-mail and Internet services are also offered by hotels.

15. Can we smoke in Bhutan?

The sale of tobacco products is banned throughout the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan. However, smoking in Bhutan is not banned but acting without an import receipt issued by the Department of Revenue and Customs is banned. Therefore, if you wish to smoke in Bhutan you can carry cigarettes up to 200 pieces with you but duty has to be paid for them and also can smoke only on private zones like room or residence. It is recommended to smoke only on claimed zone otherwise it will be considered a crime if you smoke on prohibited areas like public places and offices and may even have to go jail for 3months also.

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Trip Facts

  • Trip Code ACTE-90
  • Trip Duration 12 Days
  • Destination Bhutan
  • Trip Difficulty Moderate
  • Trip Style Hotel and Tented camp
  • Accomodation Standard hotels and camps
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