PRICE

$4000

SCHEDULE

October 6 – October 17, 2019
Thimphu Tshechu

DETAILS

12 days in Bhutan
Trekking Grade: Intermediate

 
 
 
 
 

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OVERVIEW

This Himalayan mountain kingdom lies on the borders of India and Tibet. Serving as a crossroads on the Silk Road trade route for centuries, Bhutan only recently opened its doors to westerners. Buddhism plays a major role in everyday here and has been a mainstay of the culture since the 7th century when Tibetan monks introduced the religion. The does not aspire to a high GDP, rather a higher “Gross National Happiness Index.” Progress here is defined by holistic sustainable development and the importance of non-economic growth.

Bhutan Jomolhari Trek • 12 Days

Our Bhutan adventure begins in Paro and transfers to the historic city of Thimphu where we enjoy a traditional Bhutanese festival. The “Tshechu” are annual religious Buddhist festivals with unique music, dance and dress which offer an exciting and colorful display of traditional culture. We then visit the sacred cliffside temple known as Tigers Nest or “Paro Taktsang” with its wonderful scenic walk along trails passing through traditional villages and magnificent monasteries. We continue our journey to Shana were will spend six days and five nights trekking to Jomolhari Basecamp and return via the Bonte Pass which allows superb views of the Eastern Himalaya. Our trek is fully supported meaning we only carry light packs as porters or yaks carry all our overnight trekking gear. We conclude our adventure exploring the beautiful valley of Paro before heading home.

Trek Highlights

  • 12 days exploration and trekking in Bhutan
  • 6 day trek to Jomolhari Base Camp
  • 6 nights in Paro and Thimphu includes meals
  • Traditional Bhutanese festival
  • Guided tours in Paro, Tigers Nest and Thimphu
  • Comfortable tented camps during the trek
  • Fully supported trek includes meals and porter service
  • Transportation and airport transfers
  • Friendly MG office staff will help prepare you for the adventure

Day to Day Itinerary

Day 1 • Arrive Paro, transfer to Thimphu
Day 2 • Thimphu Festival and Tour
Day 3 • Transfer to Paro
Day 4 • Tour Tigers Nest
Day 5 • Transfer and trek to Shana
Day 6 • Trek Paro River to Thangthangkha
Day 7 • Trek to Jomolhari Basecamp (Jangothang)
Day 8 • Trek to Bonte La • 4890 meters
Day 9 • Trek Takhung La to Thombu Shong
Day 10 • Trek to Gunitsawa and transfer to Paro
Day 11 • Paro Tour
Day 12 • Depart Paro

ITINERARY

Bhutan Jomolhari Trek

Trek begins and ends in Paro, Bhutan

Day 1 • Arrive Paro

Arrive at Paro International Airport, Bhutan (PBH). Mountain Gurus representatives will transfer you to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. Check into the hotel. (D)

Day 2 • Thimphu Festival and Tour

Our tour begins in the historic city of Thimphu with a traditional Bhutanese festival. Corresponding with the lunar Tibetan calendar this festival involves traditional dances based on the lives and works of prominent ninth century saints. This event also attracts many people from distant villages to socialize and sell their wares. (B, L, D)

Day 3 • Transfer to Paro

After breakfast, we explore the colorful streets and markets in Thimphu before returning to Paro in the early afternoon. The historic city of Paro is known for its historical buildings and sacred sites, including the Rinpung Dzong monastery. (B, L, D)

Day 4 • Tour Tigers Nest

Perhaps the most iconic monastery in the Himalaya, we will visit Paro Taktsang (Tigers Nest). This monastery has been a center of Buddhist learning for over 300 years. Uniquely situated on the side of a mountain the area has been a renowned meditation site, made famous by Guru Padmasambhava. (B, L, D)

Day 5 • Transfer and trek to Shana • 3500m

After a hearty breakfast we start our trek in Gunitsawa, a small village bordering Tibet. From here we ascend the gentle trail through forest and orchards to reach Shana / Thombu Thang. Here we will camp for the night. (B, L, D)

Day 6 • Trek Paro River to Thangthangkha • 3750m

Walking along the Paro River we will follow a meandering trail, gaining 250m over the course of 6 hours to Thangthangkha. (B, L, D)

Day 7 • Trek to Jomolhari Basecamp (Jangothang) • 4040m

We will start the day early, as this will be the longest and most strenuous day of the trek. Our day will conclude at the base of Mount Jhomolhari also known as “the bride of Kangchenjunga,” which is an 8000m peak located on the border of India and Nepal. (B, L, D)

Day 8 • Trek to Bonte La • 4890 meters

We will descend to Tshophu Lake, famous for its native ruddy shelducks. These ducks mate for life and have been a symbol for partnership in this region for centuries. After crossing over Bonte La Pass at 4890m we will arrive at our campsite for the evening. (B, L, D

Day 9 • Trek Takhung La to Thombu Shong • 4180m

Today is characterized by a short trek over Takhung La pass and descending the village of Thombu Shong where we will see seasonal Yak herders in the green fields. (B, L, D)

Day 10 • Trek to Gunitsawa and transfer to Paro

This is our last day in the mountain side of Bhutan. We will descend back to Gunitsawa and transfer to Paro. (B, L, D)

Day 11 • Paro Tour

We will return to Paro to explore the city more, including a hike above town. This will also be a day to visit local markets and wander the old city. (B, L, D)

Day 12 • Depart Paro

After a Bhutanese breakfast we will be transported to the airport for flights home. (B)

Itinerary Notes
Mountain Gurus makes every effort to uphold the scheduled itinerary, although our guides are given discretion to adapt the itinerary for reasons beyond our control or due to the needs of the group. Meal schedule: (B) Breakfast (L) Lunch (D) Dinner

DETAILS

Price

$4000

Deposit and Payments

$1000.00 deposit includes reservation fee, due with application.
Balance due 120 days prior to departure

Price Includes

  • Scheduled land transportation in Bhutan
  • Hotels in Paro and Thimphu
  • Guided sightseeing tours and festival
  • Lodges or tented accommodations during the trek
  • Scheduled meals during the trek
  • Professional English-speaking guide
  • Porter service
  • Baggage transport (limited to 20kg – 44lbs)
  • All group equipment for the trek

Price Does Not Include

  • International airfare and meals during travel
  • Visa fees
  • Non-scheduled airport transfers
  • Non-scheduled meals
  • Personal gear
  • Trip cancellation insurance (highly recommended)
  • Single room supplement (hotels only) $600
  • Medical and evacuation coverage
  • Helicopter flights due to delays
  • Early departure fees
  • Excess baggage fees
  • Tips and gratuities

GEAR LIST

A complete clothing and equipment list specific to your trip will be sent to you in the PreClimb information upon reservation.

Head and Face

  • Warm Hat: Wool/ synthetic, one that covers the ears.
  • Buff or Neck Gaitor
  • Sun Hat or Baseball Cap
  • Sunglasses: Essential eye protection at altitude.
  • Sunscreen: SPF 30+
  • Lip Balm: SPF 30+
  • LED Headlamp: Bring one extra set of batteries.

Upper Body

  • Baselayer Tops: Three synthetic shirts are best for trekking. Three cotton shirts for lodges.
  • Mid-layer Top: This is a synthetic or fleece top.
  • Softshell Jacket: This breathable but wind-and-weather resistant jacket. Hoods are highly recommended.
  • Hardshell Jacket: GORE-TEX© or a fully waterproof shell. Hoods are highly recommended.
  • Light Insulated Jacket: Light synthetic insulated jacket
  • Insulated Jacket: 700+ fill down.

Handwear

  • Lightweight Gloves: One pair (WINDSTOPPER© is recommended)

Lower Body

  • Baselayer Bottom: One pair. Synthetic, no cotton
  • Trekking Pants: One pair. Synthetic, stretchy, non-insulated
  • Hardshell Pants: Bring a good pair of rain/wind pants.
  • Insulated Pants: One pair of synthetic insulated pants with full side zips.

Footwear

  • Trekking Socks: Six pair synthetic medium weight
  • Hiking Boots or Trekking Shoes: One pair medium weight hiking boots/shoes large enough to be comfortable with sock.
  • Sport Sandals or Camp Shoes: These are to wear in camps or lodges.

Sleeping

  • Sleeping Bag: Bring a warm bag (rated to 20ᵒ fahrenheit).

Packing and Backpack

  • Backpack: One 30L pack with good support, adequate to carry personal.
  • Duffel: One large duffel for transporting gear via porters
  • Liner Bags: One large plastic contractor bags.

Trekking Gear

  • Trekking Poles: Adjustable and collapsible.

Hydration

  • Water Bottle: Two, 1L wide-mouth plastic bottles. NALGENE©

Personal Health and First Aid

  • Snacks and drinks
  • Small personal first-aid kit and medications
  • Toilet paper, blue bag or wag bag
  • Earplugs

TRAVEL & FITNESS

Travel

Program Location:
Begins and ends in Paro, Bhutan

Visa/Entry Information:
Your passport must be valid for at least six months following the date of your arrival to Bhutan. You need a Bhutanese visa to enter and exit Bhutan. All visas are approved in the capital, Thimphu, and are only issued to tourists who have booked travel with a local licensed tour operator, either directly or through a foreign travel agent. Applications for tourist visas are submitted by the local tour operator. All visitors must obtain visa clearance from Thimphu before travelling to Bhutan. Visa clearance takes at least 7 days to process and airplane tickets to Bhutan cannot be purchased without visa clearance. At your point of entry into Bhutan, immigration authorities will stamp a visa into your passport upon payment of $40 USD. You will also need to provide two passport photos. Tourist visas are usually granted for the scheduled travel period.

Health & Immunizations:
Immunizations are not required for entry into Bhutan

Flight Travel Information:
Paro International Airport (PBH), Bhutan

International Departures:
Itineraries reflect the date and time you will need to arrive in country for a program. Mountain Gurus programs begin and end in the countries destination city. When booking your flight, you will need to account for travel time and crossing the international dateline if needed. It is easiest to give your booking agent the day and time you will need to arrive.

Meals and Food:
All meals are provided as per meal schedule. See itinerary.

Gear:
A complete clothing and equipment list specific to your program will be sent to you in the pre-departure packet upon reservation. For your safety and comfort, it is extremely important that you adhere strictly to the equipment list.

Bhutan Explorer Fitness & Training

Trekking Grade: Intermediate

The trek requires 5-7 hours hiking per day carrying a 20 lbs. pack, utilizing porter and yak support for personal gear.

Prior to the expedition we recommend running, hiking local peaks, backpacking and trekking to gain strength and stamina for the climb.

Here’s a suggested progression of treks before attempting the Bhutan Explorer.

  • Mount Fuji, Morocco High Atlas, Mustang Explorer, Everest Base Camp Trek
  • Northwest Climb (Mount Baker), optional

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the physical requirements needed for this trek?

This trek requires 6-8 hours of hiking per day with a small day pack. Elevation gains of 2000-3000 feet per day. Strong hiking skills and excellent physical conditioning are required.

Who will be guiding?

Our Bhutan treks are led by local guides with extensive experience leading our trekking teams. They will be accompanied by assistant local Bhutanese guides and porters.

What is the Bhutan trekking seasons?

The best time to trek is in the pre-monsoon Spring season, March-April-May and the post-monsoon Fall season, September-October-November. Bhutan experiences the monsoon (heavy rains and snow) from June to September. Winter is very cold in the high mountains (December-February).

How much will my pack weigh?

During the trek you will only carry the gear you’ll use for each day. Porters will carry all your extra clothing items and overnight gear. At no point will you carry camping gear or equipment for overnight. Daypacks should not weigh more than 15-20 lbs. for your comfort.

Travel requirements in Bhutan

The Royal Government of Bhutan sets minimum daily tariffs while travelling in Bhutan. All tourists (group or individual) must travel on a planned, prepaid, guided tour or custom designed travel itinerary. Foreigners cannot travel independently in the kingdom. The arrangements must be made through an officially approved tour operator, either directly or through an overseas agent.