The Jumolhari Round Trek

The Jumolhari Round Trek

The Jumolhari Round Trek is a classic trek offering adventures in the land of Majestic Mountains and tranquil nature. This classic trekking in Bhutan also offers the experience of the unique art, architecture and Culture through the cultural tour.

This classic Bhutan trek shall provide you with opportunities for adventures in the Land of Majestic Mountains and tranquil nature. The Tour extension shall also allow you to experience the unique art, architecture and Culture. The Jumolhari round trek is a classic 8-days Trek. The trek starts from Drukgyel Dzong in Paro and ends at Dodena near Thimphu. The highest point is 4115 meters and the route passes through two high passes. The views of the Mountain Jumolhari (7314 m) are really spectacular from Jangothang. The trek is strenuous.

This trek may be experienced with extensions to Haa or Punakha with the increase in number of nights.

Tour Highlights – The Jumolhari Round Trek

  • Experience the beautiful Lush valleys, dense forests, snowcapped mountains such as Mt. Jumolhari, Mt. Jichu Drake and other beautiful natural landscapes.
  • Walk through thick pine forests, scattered hamlets and alpine meadows that lead to the high pastureland where yak herders graze their animals.
  • Opportunity to explore Paro valley, Thimphu (the capital city of Bhutan without traffic lights) and the Punakha Valley (the old capital of Bhutan)
  • Discover some of the most sacred monasteries and temples in the Himalayas.
  • Opportunity to camp overnight in the base of Jumolhari Mountain.
  • Travel hassle free with your own guide, driver and trekking crew. Travel as per your convenience and visit places as per your interest. We are flexible with the itineraries except for the confirmed overnight destinations. Enjoy a real holiday.
  • Personal attention by the tour operators.
  • A private traditional cultural show and experience of the traditional hotel stone bath.
  • Wonderful day hike to the abode of gods and monks, the world famous, Taktshang Monastery (Tigers’ nest)
  • Visit to the age old Lhakhang (Monasteries/ temples) and dzongs ( Fortress)
  • Opportunity to explore villages, visit to village houses and interact with local people.
  • Opportunity to play archery (the national game of Bhutan) and many more.
  • Value-Added opportunities such as cooking lesson or meditation session with a monk.
  • Choice to experience an overnight in a village house.

Detailed Itinerary – The Jumolhari Round Trek

Day 1. Arrive Paro:

Altitude of Paro – 2280 m.  

On your journey to Paro, the panoramic views of the Himalayas are sensational, including the Everest and other famous Himalayan Peaks. The approach through the Bhutanese foothills and the landing, including a few steep turns to land at the tiny airstrip of Paro becomes more exciting as you enter Bhutan.

On arrival, you will be received with a warm welcome by your Bhutanese tour guide from Neptune Holidays Bhutan with “Tashi khadar”, then Check in Hotel.

After lunch, you may relax or go around the Paro town and valley – A time for yourself. If you have enough time, you can also choose to sightseeing in discussion with your tour guide from Ideal Travel Creations.

A private traditional cultural show in the evening.

Dinner with your Bhutanese Host as you converse in regards to this new place and its cultures.

Overnight in Hotel.

Day 2. Paro

Altitude of Paro -2280 m.

After breakfast, start your day with a hike to the abode of gods and monks, the Taktshang Monastery. It shall be taken care of that the time shall be yours for the hike, no hurries and no worries. Reaching the top shall be worth the climb; the touch of the Himalayan breeze, the views of the valley below and temple on the rocky cliff shall be fascinating and shall let you feel the real freedom of mind and happiness.

Taktshang Monastery: The primary lhakhang was built surrounding Guru Rinpoche’s Meditation cave in the 1684 by Gyaltse Tenzin Rabgay.  This incredible monastery clings to the edge of a sheer Rock cliff that plunges 900 meters into the valley below. Legend has it that Guru Padmasambhava flew here on the back of a tigress which gives its name “Taktshang” meaning Tiger’s nest. It is a two to three hours excursion uphill; however, one feels truly blessed reaching the monastery.

Picnic Lunch among the woods shall be another great experience. After lunch, visit the Kyichhu Lhakhang.

Kyichhu Lhakhang: This temple is one of the oldest Buddhist temples in Bhutan. The Tibetan King, Songtsen Gompo miraculously built 108 temples to consecrate the entire region of Himalaya in the 7th century. Kyichhu Lhakhang is considered to be one of them.

Then we have a special program for you to feel the pure Bhutanese hospitality.  Drive to a village house. You shall be served with the local Bhutanese alcohol (Arra) and shall have the opportunity to understand and experience the life in a village in Bhutan. Right from the daily household chores to other works in the field. Also relax in traditional hot stone bath.

Hot stone bath: The traditional Bhutanese hot stone bath, known as Dotsho in local language has been practiced in Bhutan for centuries as a medicinal soak. Many Bhutanese believe that the bath helps in curing joint pains, helps in relaxing and other medical problems. River stones are heated and then put in water to heat the water; sometime medicinal herbs are added to the water before it is ready for the soak.

You may choose to have your dinner with the family. (If interested you could also choose to have a traditional Bhutanese dish cooking lessons here) You can also have the option to spend overnight in the village house, however this will have to be confirmed during the confirmation of your tour to Bhutan.

Dinner and overnight in village house or hotel.

Day 3. Paro – Shana – Thangthangka (Start of Trek)

Paro – Shana
Driving distance – 20 km approx, Driving time: 2 – 2.5 hrs due to dirt road, Altitude of Shana – 2,820 m

Initially the trek used to start from Drukgyel Dzong and Shana used to be the first night Camp Site. However recently a farm road has been constructed till Shana whereby the trek now starts from Shana and Thangthangka is the first camp site.

After early morning, breakfast drive towards Drukgyel Dzong. After this follow the rough road that follows the Paro River. The dirt road passes cultivated fields and tiny picturesque villages. The forests are alive with numerous birds and brightly colored butterflies till you reach Shana

Shana – Thangthangka
Altitude of Campsite – 3610 m | Distance – 21 Km | Time – 7 to 8 hrs.

While in Shana your trekking team will be waiting for you. Start your trek from Shana

The trail follows the river through a heavily forested area with a few isolated farmhouses. It narrows and closes in and the trail winds up and down along the drainage. We pass a junction enroute, where another path leads north over the Tremo La to Tibet.

Camp is in a meadow with a stone shelter.

Day 4. Thangthangka – Jangothang

Altitude of Campsite – 4115 m | Distance – 15 Km | Time – 5 to 6 hours.

The route passes a small army post in the morning, then the trail slowly leaves the forest line and gradually climbs into a beautiful valley, passing Tegethang, a winter home for yak herdsmen. Lots of yaks will be seen today before we arrive at the Jhomolhari base camp (4,115 m). High mountains overlook the camp. The ruins of an old fortress used to guard Bhutan against Tibetan invasions is visible nearby.

Overnight in Camp.

Day 5: Jangothang (Halt)

A rest day. A chance to walk up to the Jhomolhari glacier or to the Tsho Phhu lakes on the opposite direction.

Day 6. Jangothang – Lingshi

Altitude of Campsite – 4000 m | Distance – 19 Km | Time – 7 to 8 hr. 

The trail follows the stream for half an hour and crosses the bridge to the right side. Start the climb up to the first ridge with a breathtaking view of Jumolhari, Jichu Drakey and Tsrim Gang. Then walk towards the valley, almost flat for a while, until the climb to the Nyeley la pass at an altitude of 4,700 meters. After the pass it’s a gradual descent to the Lingshi camp, enjoying the panorama view of the peaks and Lingshi Dzong.

Overnight in Camp.

Day 7. Lingshi – Shodu

Altitude of Campsite – 4000 m | Distance – 22 Km | Time – 7 to 8 hr.

The trail today climbs to Yalila Pass (4820 m), from where on a clear day, impressive views of Mount Jumolhari, Tserim Gang and Masagang can be seen.

Overnight in Camp.

Day 8. Shodu – Barshong

Altitude of campsite – 3700 m | Distance – 13 km | Time – 4 to 5 hrs. 

This is the place where one comes back to the tree line. The path follows the Thimphu River, descending through rhododendron, juniper and other alpine forest. The view of the cliff facing rocks and waterfalls are stunning. Hot lunch will be served by the riverside. After lunch the trail gradually ascends to the ruins of the Barshong Dzong, reaching the camp.

Overnight in camp

Day 9. Barshong – Dolamkencho

Distance – 12 km | Trek time – 4 to 5 hr | Altitude of campsite – 3628 m. 

The path descends through alpine forest and we once again join Thimphu River for a while. After lunch climb up to Dolamkencho camp at the altitude of 3628 meters.

Day 10. Dolamkencho – Dodena – Thimphu

Distance: 14 km | Time: 5 to 6 hr.

The path descends through bamboo forests all the way to Dolamkencho, finally joining Thimphu River again. Arrive at Dodena where you will be picked up for the drive to Thimphu (15 km).

Check in Hotel.  In the evening free time to relax.

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 11. Thimphu

Altitude of Thimphu – 2350 m.

After a leisure breakfast, your sightseeing for the day includes;

Sangaygang view point (2685 meters): You can have a very good view of whole Thimphu valley from this place. Walking through the hundreds of colorful prayer flags that dot the hill could be another good experience.

Takin Preserve Centre: Takin, the national animal of Bhutan can be seen here. This particular animal is found only in the Himalayan region.

Changangkha Monastery: This monastery is built on a hill overlooking the Thimphu valley. It was built in 15th Century by Lama Phajo Drugom Zhipo. Many parents of Thimphu take their new born babies to this monastery to be blessed by a high lama.

Folk Heritage Museum: Founded by Her Majesty the Queen Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck the museum is one of a kind that portrays the lifestyle of a family in the Thimphu valley in the olden days. This is a three storied, 19th century traditional house giving an insight to the Bhutanese lifestyle, and artifacts from the rural households. The museum contains typical Bhutanese household objects, tools and equipment.

A typical Bhutanese lunch at Folk Heritage Museum Restaurant. Tasting the local “Arra” (Bhutanese Local alcohol) is a great experience. 

After lunch sightseeing includes;

The Institute for Zorig Chusum: Zorig Chusum means the thirteen traditional arts and crafts. Students are taught the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan in this institute.

The Institute of Traditional medicine: Medicines are prepared according to the Tradition practices in this institute. People are also treated here in traditional ways.

Kuenselphodrang: A place for refreshing with a huge statue of Buddha. The area also gives a very good view of the Thimphu Valley from the west. The place also consists for biking trail and has a picnic spot.

National Memorial Chhorten: This Chhorten was built in the honor of the Third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, also known as “The Father of Modern Bhutan”. This Chhorten was built in 1974 in a typical Tibetan style. This Chhorten is also a center of worship for the people living in Thimphu and contains many religious paintings and tantric statues. Lighting Butter lamps and circumambulating the chhorten can be a great experience and a good way to earn merits as per Buddhist beliefs.

In the evening, visit the Tashichhodzong.

Tashichhodzong: The Dzong is the seat of the national government and the Central Monastic Body, including the summer residence of the Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot of Bhutan) at present. A Doom (Blue Stone) Dzong was built on the hill above Thimphu in 1216 the lama Gyalwa Lhanangpa. A few years later Lama Phajo Drugom Shigpo, who brought the Drukpa Kagyu lineage to Bhutan, took over Dohon Dzong. Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal (The one who unified the country) acquired the Dzong in 1641 from the descendants of lama Phajo and renamed it as Tashichhodzong.

In the evening, you could choose to visit a local resident in Thimphu and spend time with the family.

Overnight in hotel.

Day 12. Departure

After breakfast, drive to airport and farewell.

Important Notes

The comfort, convenience and interest of the travelers is very important to us. We are flexible with the itinerary. Sightseeing can be done as per the convenience and interests of the guests. If it is of interest to the guest, they may choose to visit places that may not be in the itinerary, except for the change of overnight destination.

We reserve the right to change the itinerary or hotels anytime as may be required to, in case of unforeseen contingencies (natural/man made) or unavailability of hotels.

Some of the sites to be visited may be closed on government holidays or during breaks. In such cases we shall do other sightseeing in its place.

This itinerary can be tailor made for any duration or within any destination and can be combined with any kind of activities such as trekking, rafting, walking tour, cycling , etc.

It is advisable to book tours in Bhutan at least 6 months prior to the travel date because of limited Bhutan tourism infrastructures and inventories.