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17 Days

Laya Gasa

This Laya Gasa trek offers interesting trekking conditions from picturesque farmland and forests to alpine pastureland and high passes. Spectacular campsites, beneath some of Bhutan’s most impressive peaks, are also the features of this trekking route. Various isolated places of cultural interest fen the route further enhance its characteristics.

  • Season: The Laya Gasa trek is generally open from April to mid-June and mid-September to mid-November but April is the best month for trekking on this route.

Explore the Majestic Laya Gasa Trek in Bhutan: A 17-Day Adventure

  • Duration: 17 Days / 16 Nights
  • Ideal Season: March to June & September to November
  • Elevation Peak: Reaching up to 5005 meters
  • Trek Difficulty: Moderate to Hard
  • Longest Hiking Distance: 17 km
  • Maximum Daily Trekking Time: 6-7 hours

Laya Gasa Trek Highlights:

Embark on the Laya Gasa Trek, renowned as one of Bhutan’s most picturesque long-distance treks. This journey, skirting the Tibet-Bhutan border, unveils the untouched beauty of Bhutan’s landscapes. Starting from Drugyel Dzong in Paro, the trek meanders through lush alpine meadows and over high mountain passes, offering breathtaking views of Mount Jumolhari, Jichu Drake, and Tsherim Gang.

Discover the unique culture and traditions of the semi-nomadic village of Laya. Encounter indigenous wildlife, including blue sheep and Takins. The trek descends to Gasa, culminating in a rejuvenating day at the hot springs.

Experience Paro Valley:

Your adventure begins in the serene Paro Valley. Stay in a Bhutanese-style boutique hotel, nestled at the forest’s edge, and wake up to stunning Himalayan views. Explore Paro Dzong, the National Museum, and the iconic Nyamai Zam Bridge.

A must-visit is the Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest), perched on a cliff and offering panoramic views of the valley. The trek starts near Gunitsawa, followed by a journey through conifer forests and along river valleys.

Acclimatization and Scenic Views:

At Jangothang, take a day to acclimatize and explore, with potential sightings of native blue sheep. The trail then leads to Lingzhi and Chebisa, showcasing stone houses and pastoral scenes.

Prepare for a challenging ascent to the Sinche La Pass (5,005 m), rewarded with stunning vistas, including Tiger Mountain. Descend through forests to the village of Laya, home to the indigenous Layap people, known for their unique language, customs, and traditional conical hats.

Concluding the Trek:

The journey continues down the Mochhu River towards Gasa’s hot springs. From there, trek to Damji and return to Punakha. Explore Punakha Dzong, cross the Dochula Pass, and visit Thimpu, Bhutan’s charming capital. The trek concludes with a return to Paro Airport.

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Detailed Program

Flight to Bhutan is one of the most spectacular in entire Himalayas. Whether flying along the Himalayan range from Kathmandu or over the foothills from Kolkata, each flight is a mesmerizing aeronautical feat and offers an exciting descent into the Kingdom.

On arrival at Paro airport, immigration and custom formalities then received by our representative and transfer to the hotel.

The evening takes a stroll around the town’s main street.

Overnight at the hotel in Paro.

Places and attractions:

Accommodation options:

Morning visit to Ta Dzong, built in the 17th century, as a watchtower to defend Paro Dzong and the valley. This fortress was later converted into the National Museum in 1968 and is filled with antique thangkha paintings, textiles, weapons, and Bhutan’s renowned postage stamps. Below the Ta Dzong, is fascinating Rinpung Dzong meaning ‘fortress of the heap of jewels, which has a long and interesting history.

Afternoon visit Kyichu Lhakhang one of the oldest and most sacred shrines of Bhutan.

Overnight at the hotel in Paro.

Places and attractions:

Accommodation options:

The trek starts from Drukgyel Dzong at 2,580m with a short downhill walk on a wide trail. The trail climbs gently traversing through well-maintained rice terraces and fields of millet. The route later enters an area of apple orchards and forests.

Soon the valley widens and you reach the army post of Gunitsawa at 2,810m. This is the last stop before Tibet. At 2,87m, just beyond Sharma Zampa, there are several good camping places in meadows surrounded by trees.

The trail again follows Pa Chhu (Paro river), ascending and descending through pine, oak, and spruce forests. Hot lunch will be served after crossing the bridge towards the left side of the river.

After lunch, follow the river climbing up through rhododendron forests and finally crossing the bridge again, reaching the campsite at the altitude of 3,750m.

The path ascends for a while till you reach the army camp. Then follow the river above the tree line enjoying the stunning view of the surrounding peaks. Hot lunch will be served inside a yak herder’s camp.

A short walk into the valley will take you to the camp at Jangothang at an altitude of 4,040m. From here, the view of Mount. Chomolhari and Jichu Drake is superb.

The trail follows the stream for half an hour and crosses the bridge to the right side. Start the ascent unto the first ridge with a breathtaking view of Mount. Chomolhari, Jichu Drake and Tsrim Khang. Then walk towards the valley, almost flat for a while, until the climb to the Nyele la pass at an altitude of 4,700m. After the pass, it’s a gradual descent to the Lingzhi camp, enjoying the panoramic view of the peaks and Lingzhi Dzong.

Campsite at an altitude of 4,000m.

Proceed further passing Lingzhi Dzong, perched on a hilltop with a commanding view of green hills, winding roads, and magnificent peaks. The actual name of Lingzhi Dzong is Yugyel Dzong. Built in the 17th century it played a role in controlling travel over Lingzhi La (pass) between Tibet and Bhutan. Today’s walk is easy and pleasant through villages and yak herders’ camps.

Camp by the side of a stream at 3,860m.

The day begins with a stiff climb to Gogo La (4,450m) then it is a long descent to a stream at 4,170m. Later the trail again climbs over a small ridge through a cedar forest. It is a long climb over the ridge, and then the trail descends on a muddy path into the main Jorethang valley in a deep forest of fir and birch.  Afternoon, the trail traverses high above the valley floor on stream right to Chachim, a yak pasture at 4,260m.

The camp at 4,250m is in a cluster of brush beside a stream at the bottom of the valley.

The trek begins with a climb to Jari La pass at an altitude of 4,700m then descends to Tasharijathang valley, the summer residence of the rare Himalayan Takin (Bhutan’s National animal).

Later after crossing the stream, the trail ascends till you reach Robluthang camp at an altitude of 4,200m.

This day is long as well as tough crossing Singchen la (4,900m), the last and highest pass en route. You may be able to spot Blue Sheep high on the slopes. From Singchen la, the descent is on a rough, rocky trail that follows moraine into another glacial valley. The last part of the trek is very interesting with a fascinating view of Mt. Gangchey Ta.

Campsite in a meadow at 4,140m.

The walk to Laya is very pleasant with wonderful views. You will pass through a damp forest, filled with moss and singing birds. Arrive at Laya village, the second highest settlement in the country at an altitude of 3,800m.

Descend to army camp and join the Mo Chhu river. Follow the river till you cross the bridge. After the bridge, it is up and down several times through juniper and fir forests until you reach the camp at Chamsa at an altitude of 3,500m.

Walk for about half an hour over flat land till the Bari La (3,900m). There is a small rock cairn and little prayer flags at the pass. The route starts down again, sometimes steeply, through a bamboo forest to a stream. Later it is downhill to Gasa Tsachu.

Afternoon visit Gasa village and Dzong built in the 17th century. Then descend to Gasa Tsachu (hot spring) for camp at an altitude of 2,200m.

A full day of sightseeing in Thimphu, visit to Memorial Chorten, Trashichhoedzong, National Library, Arts & Crafts School, Textile and Folk Heritage Museum, and Handicrafts Emporium.

Evening drive to Paro for overnight stay.

Places and attractions:

Accommodation options:

After breakfast transfer to Paro International Airport for the flight to the onward destination.

  • Inclusion
  • Exclusion
  • Insurance
  • Airport pick-up and drop-off by private vehicle.
  • 3-star accommodation (4 & 5 stars may require an additional premium update).
  • Bhutan visa fee – including all necessary processing
  • Route Permit
  • Three meals per day during your stay in Bhutan
  • A licensed Bhutanese tour guide
  • All land transportation by private vehicle
  • Camping equipment and haulage for trekking tours
  • Sightseeing as per itinerary
  • Monuments entrance fees where applicable
  • Drinking water
  • All internal taxes and charges
  • A sustainable development fee of $200. (This sustainable development fee goes towards free education, free healthcare, and poverty alleviation, along with the building of infrastructure.)
  • Airfare & Travel Insurance
  • Expenses of personal nature, Tips to guides and drivers
  • Expenses occurred due to unavoidable events i.e. road wrecks, flight delays etc.

Package does not include insurance of any kinds, and that you are required to obtain separate coverage from your home country before your trip begins.

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