Laya Gasa Trek is quite possibly the most beautiful and unspoiled long-distance treks in Bhutan. The trekking route runs alongside Bhutan’s border with Tibet offering stunning Himalayan landscape views. Our 19-day-long Laya Gasa Trek takes you to Bhutan’s pristine, remote and isolated high Himalaya. This trek also introduces you to the Layap community in northwest Bhutan. Laya in the Gasa district is home to the Layap ( Dzongkha) community. They are an indigenous group of people residing in Laya, just below the Tsendagang mountain. While on the journey, we might cross paths with Bhutan’s national animal Takin, Himalayan blue sheep, and spot the exotic Himalayan Blue Poppy, Bhutan’s national flower.

Laya Gasa Trek begins from in Paro with an acclimatization hike to Taktsang Palphug Monastery ( Tiger’s Nest), the world-famous sacred Buddhist site- a temple complex in the cliffside in Upper Paro Valley.  As we move to higher altitudes we acclimatize once again, in Jangothang at 4,040m on the sixth day of our trek. We continue on through beautiful alpine meadows with stunning views of Mt. Jomolhari, Tsherimgang and Jichu Drake accompanying us. We also cross high mountain passes. We follow the Jhomolhari trekking route till Lingzhi then gradually drop northwest towards Laya. The northern highlands of Laya and Gasa have unique cultures and traditions.

The regions house semi-nomadic tribes of indigenous communities like the Layap and are home to Himalayan animals like blue sheep and Takins. We relax at the natural hot springs in Gasa. Gradually, we move downwards to Thimpu then to Paro and take a flight to our respective destination from there.  Adventure Club Trek has been organizing trips to Bhutan, Tibet, and Nepal since 2008. Our Laya-Gasa Trek itinerary comes with acclimatization period, experienced and well-trained guide, and an overall well-managed schedule, which is customizable, at an affordable price.  We also offer shorter treks in Bhutan like our Jhomolhari Trek-12 Days, Cultural Tour of Bhutan-6 Days,  and Druk Path Trekking-10 Days. Find all our Bhutan Treks and Tours Here. 

Trip Highlights:

  • Trekking in remote Bhutanese Himalaya
  • Trekking the trails of indigenous Layap people, Bhutan’s national animal Taking and rare blue poppy flower
  • Crossing high passes like Balela Pass at 3,740m
  • Shingela Pass at 5,010m, Jarela Pass(4,750m), Gogu Las Pass(4,500m), Shakepass at 3,980m
  • Amazing views of Mt. Drake, Mt. Jomolhari, Mt. Tserim Kang, and Mt. Gangchen Ta Peak among others.
  • Sightseeing in Paro, visiting Tiger’s Nest, Drugyal Dzong, and Rinpung Dzong among other historical sites.
  • Sightseeing in Thimpu, visiting Tashichho Dzong, a fortress, and monastery, craft bazaar for local art, National Library and Memorial chorten of Bhutan’s third King, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck.

Outline Itinerary:

  • Day 01: Arrival and sightseeing in Paro (2,250m/7,382ft)
  • Day 02: Paro -Acclimatization: Hike to Tiger's Nest Monastery (3,180m)
  • Day 03: Paro to Shana(2800m) : 17km, 5-6 hours trek
  • Day 04: Trek Shana to Soi Thangthangkha(3400m):15km, 4-5 hours
  • Day 05: Trek Soi Thangthangkha to Jangothang(4,040m): 19km, 5-6 hours
  • Day 06: Jangothang Acclimatization
  • Day 07: Trek Jangothang to Lingzhi(4,150m): 19km, 5-6 hours
  • Day 08: Trek Lingzhi to Chebisa(3,850m): 12km, 3-4 hours
  • Day 09: Trek Chebisa to Shomuthang(4,130m): 17km, 6-7 hours
  • Day 10: Trek Shomuthang to Robluthang(4,160m): 15km, 5-6 hours
  • Day 11: Trek Robluthang to Lemithang(4,140m): 19km, 7-8 hours
  • Day 12: Trek Lemithang to Laya(3,850m): 10km, 3-4 hours
  • Day 13: Trek Laya to Koena(3,800m): 19km, 6-7 hours
  • Day 14: Trek Koena to Gasa Tsachu(2900m): 19km, 6-7 hours
  • Day 15: Trek Gasa Tsachu to Geon Damji(2,280m): 21km, 7-8 hours
  • Day 16: Trek Geon Damji to Tashithang(1,700m): 17km, 6-7 hours
  • Day 17: Tashithang to Thimphu via Punakha
  • Day 18: Thimphu (sightseeing) and drive to Paro (2,250m/7,382ft)
  • Day 19: Departure to your onward destination
  • Day 01: Arrival and sightseeing in Paro (2,250m/7,382ft)

    As your flight nears Bhutan, you can enjoy amazing views of the Himalayas including the sacred Chomolhari and Jichu Drake peaks. At the airport, you will be greeted by a representative from Adventure Club who will take you to your hotel in Paro for a good night's sleep. Today, we will visit Rinpung Dzong which was built in 1646 and now houses the district Monastic Body and government administrative offices of Paro Dzongkhag. We will also visit Kichu Lhakhang, the oldest temple in the country and Drugyal Dzong, built-in 1646 to commemorate Bhutan's victory over Tibetan invaders during the 1600s
    Overnight at hotel. Lunch and Dinner Included

  • Day 02: Paro -Acclimatization: Hike to Tiger's Nest Monastery (3,180m)

    Today, we hike up to Taktsang Palphung Monastery popularly known as Tiger’s Nest, one of the famous landmarks of Bhutan. According to myths, Guru Rinpoche flew to the cave on a tigress’ back where the monastery stands and meditated there for three years, three months, three weeks, three days and three hours. Located 900m above Paro Valley, trekking to the monastery takes around 3 hours to the top and back. We have lunch at the Cafeteria Restaurant, located midway to the top.
    Overnight at hotel. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

  • Day 03: Paro to Shana(2800m) : 17km, 5-6 hours trek

    Our trek starts today. First, we drive till Drugyel Dzong, the starting point of our trek. The trail starts with a gradual climb alongside a river. As we climb higher the valley narrows down. The sight of traditional farmhouses is common on this route. We walk past an army camp to finally arrive at Shana.
    Overnight at tented camp. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

  • Day 04: Trek Shana to Soi Thangthangkha(3400m):15km, 4-5 hours

    Continue uphill through the river valley which narrows and closes in after some distance. The trail then winds up and down along the drainage. Most of the trail actually is downhill after the initial climb. The campsite is located in a meadow with a stone shelter.
    Overnight at tented camp. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

  • Day 05: Trek Soi Thangthangkha to Jangothang(4,040m): 19km, 5-6 hours

    After breakfast, we climb uphill following the Paro river. After we walk pass an army post, the valley gradually widens opening up to magnificent views of high ridges and surrounding mountains. We can enjoy the beautiful views of Mt. Drake and Jomolhari from our campsite.
    Overnight at tented camp. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

  • Day 06: Jangothang Acclimatization

    Today is set aside for acclimatization. It helps our body to adjust to the thinning air at high altitudes and prevent Altitude Mountain Sickness (AMS). It also helps us to enjoy our trek to the fullest, making it a good experience. We climb up a ridge to catch a glimpse of Jichu Drake. We can go further up to get a fantastic view of Mt. Jomolhari. Blue sheep, golden eagle, griffon vultures, and blue poppy can be seen here.
    Overnight at tented camp. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

  • Day 07: Trek Jangothang to Lingzhi(4,150m): 19km, 5-6 hours

    After half an hour of leaving our camp, we come across a bridge. We cross the bridge over a small stream after which the trail climbs up towards a ridge rewarding us with spectacular views of Mt. Jomolhari, Tsheringang, and Jichu Drake. The trail then climbs up the Ngye La Pass. It is an easy downhill trail from the pass towards Lingzhi. The trek is pleasant as we are rewarded with magnificent views of Lingzhi Dzong with Mt. Tserim Kang on the backdrop.
    Overnight at tented camp. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

  • Day 08: Trek Lingzhi to Chebisa(3,850m): 12km, 3-4 hours

    Today’s trek is relatively easier and shorter. But before we start our trek to the next destination, that is, Chebisa, we explore Lingzhi Dzong. Located on a hilltop, the fort was built as a defense against the Mongol and Tibetan invaders. We also enjoy the fantastic landscape of the green hills and mountains.
    We then start our journey to Chebisa, a small village with a beautiful waterfall. On the way, we pass by a few villages and yak herders’ camps.
    Overnight at tented camp. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

  • Day 09: Trek Chebisa to Shomuthang(4,130m): 17km, 6-7 hours

    The trail starts off with a steep climb to reach the Gogu Las Pass (4,500m) which the hardest part of today's trek. If lucky, we may catch a glimpse of blue sheep on our way to the top. We then descend through the path filled with rhododendron bushes. We overcome many uphill and downhill climbs through beautiful rhododendron forests. We pass by Shakepass at 3,980m after which the trail climbs steeply towards Shomuthang, our campsite.
    Overnight at tented camp. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

  • Day 10: Trek Shomuthang to Robluthang(4,160m): 15km, 5-6 hours

    Today we conquer Jarela Pass(4,750m). You are advised to maintain a steady pace while climbing the pass and also often take deep breathing rests to avoid Altitude Mountain Sickness(AMS). After crossing the pass the trail heads down towards Tasharijathang Valley. It is the summer habitat of Takin, Bhutan’s national animal. Then we cross a stream and on the other side is the path towards Robluthang. It is an uphill climb until we reach our destination.
    Overnight at tented camp. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

  • Day 11: Trek Robluthang to Lemithang(4,140m): 19km, 7-8 hours

    We overcome another high pass today, Shingela Pass at 5,010m. It is a challenging task but the views of the Himalaya make it a pleasant one. We descend to Lemithang and cross a few streams along the way. The final stretch to our destination is the highlight of today as it rewards with a great view of Mt. Gangchen Ta Peak.
    Overnight at tented camp. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

  • Day 12: Trek Lemithang to Laya(3,850m): 10km, 3-4 hours

    Enjoy your breakfast with Mt. Ganchen Ta peak in the backdrop. Our destination for the day is Laya, the highest settlement in Bhutan. It is home to the indigenous Layap people.

  • Day 13: Trek Laya to Koena(3,800m): 19km, 6-7 hours

    We trek downhill from Laya until we reach Mo Chhu(Mother River). Following the river, we come across a bridge. Upon crossing the bridge, the trail opens up to many ascends and descends through fir and juniper forest to finally arrive at Koena.
    Overnight at tented camp. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

  • Day 14: Trek Koena to Gasa Tsachu(2900m): 19km, 6-7 hours

    The trail to Gasa Tasachu starts off easy on a leveled path. Then, it climbs up towards Balela Pass at 3,740m. After crossing the pass we head down towards Gasa village and then descend further to Gasa Tshachu. We also visit the famous hot spring and relax there for a while.
    Overnight at tented camp. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

  • Day 15: Trek Gasa Tsachu to Geon Damji(2,280m): 21km, 7-8 hours

    Our destination for the day is Geon Damji. It is an uphill climb after Gasa Tsachu. The trail also passes through pine and oak forests. We then walk past a few villages and wheat fields to arrive at Geon Damji. Along the way, we get to see the fantastic views of Gasa Dzong.
    Overnight at tented camp. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

  • Day 16: Trek Geon Damji to Tashithang(1,700m): 17km, 6-7 hours

    Today we descend to Tashithang. It is a pleasant walk through natural agriculture benches just above Mochu, then the path opens up to a gorge filled with banana trees, and many other tropical vegetations. This area is the habitat of monkeys and other different animals.
    Overnight at tented camp. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

  • Day 17: Tashithang to Thimphu via Punakha

    Our trek comes to an end today. We walk for a short distance till Khuruthang, a small town 4km to the south of Punakha. Then, ee board a vehicle that takes us to Punakha. While at Punakha we visit the Punakha Dzong located at the confluence of rivers Mo Chu and Pho Chu . It is the second-largest and second oldest Dzong in Bhutan. In the late afternoon, we again board a private vehicle to Thimphu which takes around 2 and a half hours.
    Overnight at hotel. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

  • Day 18: Thimphu (sightseeing) and drive to Paro (2,250m/7,382ft)

    Today we go on a sightseeing tour around Thimphu. We visit Memorial Chorten built in the honor of third King, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, in 1974. Next, we explore the National Library where ancient manuscripts are stored. Also, we stroll around the Craft Bazaar where local artists have their art on display. Another attraction of Thimphu is Tashichho Dzong, a fortress, and monastery which serves as the seat of Dharma Raja (head of Bhutan’s civil government) after sightseeing, drive to Paro.
    Overnight at hotel. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

  • Day 19: Departure to your onward destination

    Today concludes our Laya Gasa Trekking. A representative from Adventure Club Trek for Bhutan will drop you off at the 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-84
  • Trip Duration 19 Days
  • Destination Bhutan
  • Trip Difficulty Moderate to Challenging
  • Trip Style Hotel and Tented camp
  • Accomodation Standard hotels and camps
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