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18 Days

Laya Gasa II

The Laya Gasa traverse is a highlander nomad’s route and it 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 trek is generally open from April – mid-June, and mid-September – mid-November but April is the best month for trekking on this route.

18-Day Laya Gasa Trek in Bhutan: A Strenuous Journey to 5,000m

Embark on an 18-day adventurous trek through Bhutan’s Laya Gasa route, starting and ending in Paro. This strenuous journey takes you to a maximum altitude of 16,400 ft, crossing diverse landscapes and cultural landmarks.

Laya Gasa II Trek Overview:

  • Duration: 18 Days
  • Difficulty: Strenuous
  • Highest Point: 5,000 m / 16,400 ft
  • Start/End Point: Paro
  • Route: Paro – Shana – Jangothang – Shakya Pasang – Shinchela Pass – Limithang – Gasa Hot Springs – Punakha – Thimphu – Paro
  • Ideal Season: March to May, September to November
Highlights of the Laya Gasa Trek:
  • Explore the rich culture of Paro and Thimphu, including guided tours.
  • Traverse the challenging Shinchela Pass at an altitude of around 5,000 meters.
  • Relax in the therapeutic Gasa hot springs.
  • Visit Laya, Bhutan’s second-highest settlement.

Scenic and Cultural Richness:

The Laya Gasa Trek, renowned as one of the Himalayas’ most captivating trails, winds through northern Bhutan towards the Tibetan border. Experience a tapestry of terraced fields, sub-tropical forests, high-altitude grasslands, and mountain passes. Discover forests filled with rhododendron, juniper, and blue pine, offering breathtaking views of Himalayan peaks like Jitchu Drake and Jhomolhari.

Villages, Wildlife, and More:

Journey through traditional Bhutanese villages such as Laya and Chebisa, meet nomadic yak-herding tribes, and explore isolated Dzongs. Keep an eye out for Bhutan’s national animal, the Takin, along with blue sheep, musk deer, and possibly even the elusive snow leopard.

Trek Itinerary:

The trek begins in the Paro Valley at Shana, following the Paro River through lush landscapes to the base camp of Jomolhari at Jangothang. The route then leads through Lingshi Valley and Chebisa, near the Shangri La Village, and continues to the Gasa valley, culminating in a rejuvenating experience at the natural hot springs.

Discover Bhutan’s Hidden Gems:

The Laya Gasa Trek is not just a physical journey but a deep dive into the mysteries of Bhutan’s secluded society, where happiness is a measure of wealth. For detailed maps and more information, refer to the Laya Gasa Trek Map and comprehensive guides available.

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Detailed Program

On arrival at Paro airport, Truly Bhutan Host will receive you from the airport and then transfer you to the hotel. Evening, take a stroll around the town’s main street.

Overnight in Paro.

Places and attractions:

Accommodation options:

In the morning, visit Ta Dzong (National Museum). Below the Ta Dzong, is the fascinating Rinpung Dzong meaning “fortress of the heap of jewels”, which has a long and interesting history.

Post lunch; visit Kyichu Lhakhang (temple), one of the oldest and most sacred shrines of Bhutan.

Overnight in Paro.

Places and attractions:

Accommodation options:

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

Soon the valley widens and you reach the army post of Gunitsawa at 2,810 m. This is the last stop before Tibet. At 2,870 m, just beyond Sharma Zampa, there are several good camping places in meadows.

Places and attractions:

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 to reach the campsite at the altitude of 3,750 m.

There will be a gradual climb until 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 4,040 m. From here, the view of Mt. 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 with a breathtaking view of Mount. Chomolhari, Jichu Drake and Tsrim Khang. Then climb to the Nyele la pass at an altitude of 4,700 m. After the pass, descend to the Lingzhi camp, enjoying the panoramic view of the peaks and Lingzhi Dzong. Campsite at an altitude of 4,000 m.

Trek further passed Lingzhi Dzong which was built in the 17th century that 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 3,860 m.

The day begins with a stiff climb to Gobu La (4,450 m) then it is a long descent to a stream at 4,170 m. Later the trail again climbs and then the trail descends on a muddy path into the main Jorethang valley in a deep forest of fir and birch.

Post lunch, the trail traverses high above the valley floor on stream right to Chachim, a yak pasture at 4,260 m.

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

Begin with a climb to Jari La pass at an altitude of 4,700 m then descend 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 4,200 m.

This day is long as well as tough crossing Shinjela (4,900 m), the last and highest pass en route. You may be able to spot Blue Sheep high on the slopes. From Shinjela, 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 4,140 m.

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 3,800 m.

Places and attractions:

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 3,500 m.

Places and attractions:

Walk for about half an hour over flat land till the Bari La (3,900 m). There is a small rock cairn and a few 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 2,200 m.

Places and attractions:

Spend the whole day in a hot spring.

Places and attractions:

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

Drive to Paro for an overnight stay.

Places and attractions:

Accommodation options:

Drive to the airport for the flight to your onward destination. We hope to serve you again with our other exciting tour packages in the future.

  • 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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