Jomolhari Circuit Trek - 13 Days

Overview

Jomolhari Circuit Trek is a trekking package in which you hike daily to Jomolhari and return. This trek happens in Bhutan where spend some days on the trail getting the natural wonders of high altitude trekking and some cultural touring of what the dragon kingdom has on offer.

Bhutan, in which you do this Jomolhari circuit trek, has much to offer while trekking in the open region of the country. In fact, this circuit trek to Jomolhari takes you to this highest mountain which has not been climbed as yet to see it basking in the glory. While on the trek you passed through some of the finest terrains of snow-capped mountain peaks, gaze into valleys with its own unique flora and fauna, by through herding settlements, see old ancient ruins and watch wildlife meant for the region you are in. 

Jomolhari Circuit trek is basically an eight day trekking itinerary, with additional two or three days for sightseeing. The wonders, which you see while taking Jomolhari trek, start from the philosophical foundation of the faith which the Dragon Kingdom of Bhutan follows which sets it apart from the rest of the world. The wonders while on the trek to Jomolhari that you are likely to see, comes primarily from the truth that Bhutan is the only country in the world, that has a negative carbon rating as it has over sixty percent of its landmass covered with forest, making it to not only remove the little pollution it may cause but sequence its neighboring countries as well. The remaining land is used in sustainable agricultural practices. Another reason for getting a unique landscape and terrain for you to not only do this Jomolhari Circuit trek but others like Gangtey Valley Trek Bumdra Trek Druk Path Trek is because of Bhutan’s unique economic measurement, where it uses gross domestic happiness to the contrasting economic measurements of other countries that are gross domestic production. Because of this, it does not do anything in its policy, which is detrimental to the environment, its people and its cultural assets. Thus making Bhutan Trekking or any other Cultural Tours in the country which seems so naturally integrated.

Taking this Jomolhari Circuit Trek has much to offer when it comes to trekking in the Bhutanese Region of the Himalayan region. Your trek starts off with a warm welcome after having landed in Paro, by the crew of your trek. The first part of flying in and out of the Dragon Kingdom of Bhutan gives you some of the best views from the plane. You see the snow-capped peaks of the High Himalayan Mountains to the north with their glaciers fed from them. Then just below you see the wonders of the lush green hills and valleys each with their own rivers coming from the glacial feeds, just to cut gorges in them. It is a wonder that you will be hiking in some part of them. Then comes the trekking part of your itinerary. You are taken through some of the best trails in the land, which gives you insights into the flora and fauna of the vegetation, the birds, and the animal life of the area. You climb and any given time to again to descend, coming to some landmark of either a Dzong, a shrine, or a meadow with flowers. You also loop over some pass to get to the next destination. The climax of the trek is when you get to view Mount Jomolhari from its base camp and to complete the circuit of the Jomolhari trek just to be taken on a guided tour of places that have importance in the Bhutanese culture like the Dzongs (fortresses) now used for various cultural, administrative and religious purposes, the shrines made in dedication of a person’s achievement, the temples dedicated to various aspects of the sect of Buddhism followed in Bhutan and the Monasteries, like the Taktsang Monastery, perched against a cliff 3000 meters above sea level. This and many more things you get to do and see while on this Jomolhari Circuit Trek.

What about boarding and lodging while on Jomolhari Trek?
While you are on the trek to Jomolhari, you will stay in tents at your daily destination which will be arranged by the crew of your trek before you even arrive. The same can be said for food. Breakfast and dinner are prepared by a chef who accompanies you but hardly seen as he arrives one step ahead of you. Lunch is usually packed and carried on the way, in which you eat hot at given places while trekking. In fact, all is carted by horses and donkeys for your food and lodging, you might just have your guide and assistance with you while hiking daily. While on the cultural part of the tour, you will stay at a three-star and above accommodation with all meals in it.

Outline Trekking Itinerary for Jomolhari Circuit Trek
Day 1: Arrival Paro (2,250m)
Day 2: Drive to Drukgyal Dzong and trek to Shana (2,950m)
Day 3: Trek to Thangthangkha (3,645m)
Day 4: Trek to Base Camp of Jangothang (4,180m)
Day 5: Rest Day at Jangothang (4,180m)
Day 6: Trek to Lingshi (4,010m)
Day 7: Trek to Shodu (4,110m)
Day 8: Trek to Barshong (3,680m)
Day 9: Trek to Dolam Kencho (3,430m)
Day 10: Trek to Dolam Kencho and drive to Thimphu (2,350m)
Day 11: Thimphu –Day excursion to Punakha (1,310m)
Day 12: Thimphu – Paro and Hike to Tiger’s Nest Monastery (3,120m)
Day 13: Depart Bhutan

Trip Highlights

  • Catch panoramic bird’s eye-view of the world’s tallest mountains during flight to/from Paro.
  • Explore the colorful city, Paro.
  • Visit the tiny capital - Thimphu.
  • Witness spectacular view of Mt. Chomolhari, Jichu Drakey, Jomolhari from closer proximity.
  • Explore flora and fauna during the hike.
  • Hike to Taktsang Monastery ‘Tiger’s Nest’ perched in a vertical cliff.
  • Visit Bhutan’s historical, cultural and religious landmarks.

Itinerary

Day 1
Arrival Paro (2,250m)

On the first day, you arrive at the only International Airport in Bhutan aboard its National Carrier and welcomed by the staff of your trek. You will be taken to town for lunch and then to your hotel. You spend the day resting and getting acclimatized. You may explore around town in the evening. You stay the night at the hotel.

Day 2
Drive to Drukgyal Dzong and trek to Shana (2,950m)

Today, you are first driven to Drukgyel Dzong (2,580m) where you begin trekking. It begins with a soft climb following the Pachhu River through beautiful pretty meadows, paddy fields and nice farm houses. In about four hours we reach the army post at Gunitsawa village. We camp on the opposite site of the Army Post for the night.

Day 3
Trek to Thangthangkha (3,645m)

We will start early today as we have a long way to cover. In a short walk, we reach Jigme Dorji Wildlife Sanctuary. This park has a number of endangered species of animals which are Takin, Snow Leopard, Blue Sheep, tigers, red panda and the Himalayan Black Bear. On walking another two kilometres we get to a fork, which has two routes, one to Tibet and the other which turns upwards which is smaller through oak, spruce, birch, alpine yellow trees which we take. After lunch, the trail becomes a bit tricky with loose and wet rocks. After an hour, we cross a bridge and come to a Chorten and keep left. Finally, we reach our destination, where we stay the night at the camp.

Day 4
Trek to Base Camp of Jangothang (4,180m)

Today, we continue up a soft climb along Pa Chu to another army post. Then we get to a valley which widens which ascends to a meadow with herders of Yaks. It is a nice stroll in the valley here. As we approach Mount Chomolhari, we start seeing the other snow-capped peaks in the neighbourhood. We stay the night at a camp here.

Day 5
Rest Day at Jangothang (4,180m

Here we need to acclimatize before going over the high passes. We stay here in Jangothang taking strolls around from where we would get nice views of peaks such as Chomolhari, Jichu Drake, Tsering and other. We might spot some blue sheep as well and the blue poppy flower in the area. We stay the night in camps in the area.

Day 6
Trek to Lingshi (4,010m)

We start our hike to Lingshi which is at a height of 4,010 metres above sea level. On the way we cross our first major pass Nyile La Pass at 4,890 metres. On the way, we spot the snow-capped peak of Tserim Kang (6,780m) Going downhill from the pass, we arrive at our camp site, where we pitch tent for the night.

Day 7
Trek to Shodu (4,110m)

Today, we head for Shodu, but the first half of the trek take us through a treeless valley and then we begin ascending to Yeli La Pass at 4,820 metres from where we see Mount Jumolhari, Tsheringgang and Masaging. We camp in the meadow at Shodu for the night.

Day 8
Trek to Barshong (3,680m)

Today the path winds up and down via the Thimphu Chu River which we cross over six time. We make a final climb for Barshong for an hour where we camp for the night.

Day 9
Trek to Dolam Kencho (3,430m)

Today, we camp at Dolam Kencho which begins with a gentle descend to get to the Thimphu Chhu River while passing through some dense forests of conifer, birch and rhododendron trees. We finally cross the pasture land and camp for the night in the meadows there.

Day 10
Trek to Dolam Kencho and drive to Thimphu (2,350m)

We trek to Dolam Kencho where our trek ends which is a descend for three hours, where a vehicle will be waiting to take us to Thimphu in a thirty minute drive. We check into a hotel where we stay the night.

Day 11
Thimphu –Day excursion to Punakha (1,310m)

Today we drive to Punakha for about three hour via Dochu La Pass where on a clear day, we will get a panoramic view of the Eastern Himalayas. We then descend to the valley floor of Punakha and take a hike to Chimmi Lhakhang, a temple dedicated to the divine madman, Drukpa Kuenley. Later we go to Punakha Dzong which is one of the best in the country. In the evening we drive back to Thimphu. We stay the night in a hotel.

Day 12
Thimphu – Paro and Hike to Tiger’s Nest Monastery (3,120m)

Today, we drive to Paro while on the way at Paro, we stop at the base of Taktsang Monestry and take a two hour hike to it above. This Monastery is perched nearly 3000 metre against a rocky cliff and is very famous one in the country. It is believed that the Guru Rinpoche came here flying on the back of a tigress to meditate for three months. That’s why it is also called the Tiger’s Nest Monastery. Later we pay visits to Kyichu Lhakhang the oldest and most sacred shrine in Bhutan and then to Paro Rigpong Dzong. We then go to our hotel for your night’s stay.

Day 13
Depart Bhutan

Having completed the trip, you will be taken to the airport by the staff of your tour for your outbound flight to your next destination.
At Breakfree Adventures, we hope that we provided you with a fabulous time while on the hike, where we take your security and comfort into consideration of high importance.

Cost

What is Included

  • Airport pick-up and drop-off by private vehicle.
  • 3-star accommodation throughout your Bhutan stay (4 & 5 stars may require an additional premium). Camping while on trek.
  • Bhutan visa fee – including all necessary processing.
  • Route Permit.
  • Camping equipment and haulage for trekking tours.
  • Three meals per day - Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner (only breakfast on last day)
  • A licensed English Speaking Bhutanese trek/tour guide.
  • All land transportation by a private vehicle.
  • Trek & sightseeing as per itinerary.
  • Monuments entrance fees wherever applicable.
  • Bottled drinking water.
  • All internal taxes and charges.
  • A sustainable development fee of $65. (This sustainable development fee goes towards free education, free healthcare, poverty alleviation, along with the building of infrastructure.)

What is Not Included

  • Airfare & Travel Insurance.
  • Expenses of personal nature, Tips & Gratuities.
  • Expenses occurred due to unavoidable events i.e. road wrecks, flight delays etc.
Where is Mount Jomolhari?

Mount Jomolhari is located the border between Yadong County of Tibet, China and the Thimphu district of Bhutan. The mountain is often also known as “the bride of Kangchenjunga” with an elevation of 7,326 m. Two rivers flow from Jomolhari, the Paro Chu (Paro river) which flows from the south side and the Amo Chu which flows from the north side.

What is Jomolhari Circuit Trek?

Jomolhari Circuit Trek is one of the most popular treks in Bhutan. The trek goes over 4000 meters and goes to the base camp of Mt. Jomolhari ‘Jangothang (4,180m). The trek starts at Drukgyel Dzong and ends at Dolam Kencho.

What is the best season for Jomolhari Base Camp Trek?

The best season for Jomolhari Base Camp Trek is March to May and September to November. The trek can be done in winter (Jun-Aug) but be prepared for colder temperatures and snowbound trails.

Is Jomolhari Trek Bhutan a camping trek?

Jomolhari Trek Bhutan is a camping trek since there are no lodges on the trek trials and only organized camping trek is possible with full supporting trek crew with tents and equipment.

Will I get to the base camp of Mount Jomolhari on Jomolhari trek?

Yes, you will get to the base camp of Mount Jomolhari on Jomolhari trek which is also known as Jangothang at an altitude of 4,180m.

Where does Jomolhari circuit trek starts and ends?

Jomolhari circuit trek starts with drive to Drukgyal Dzong from Paro and trek to Shana then it ends at Dolam Kencho and drive to Thimphu.

What is Jomolhari Trek Itinerary?

Jomolhari Trek Itinerary is drive to Drukgyal Dzong from Paro and trek to Shana (2,950m), Thangthangkha (3,645m), Base Camp of Jangothang (4,180m), Lingshi (4,010m), Shodu (4,110m), Barshong (3,680m), Dolam Kencho (3,430m), and drive to Thimphu (2,350m).

What is the difficulty level of Jomolhari Trek, Bhutan?

The difficulty level of Jomolhari Trek, Bhutan is from moderate to hard graded hike. The trek requires a high level of physical fitness. You can prepare yourself before the trek by walking, jogging, and climbing stairs up and down will be beneficial since you need to ascent and descent during the trek.

How are the accommodations on Bhutan Jomolhari Trek?

The accommodations on Bhutan Jomolhari Trek in locations like Paro, Thimphu and Punakha are at hotels, usually 3-star accommodations. During the trek, it will be in tents since it’s a camping trek and no lodges are available on the trek trails.

Who will guide Jomolhari loop trek?

Jomolhari loop trek will be guided by one of our experienced trek guide who knows the area better where you will be trekking. There will be other supporting staff like cook and other helpers.

Trip Information

Bhutan Visa Information:
The citizen of Bangladesh, Maldives and India do not require VISA to enter Bhutan. People from other countries except from Bangladesh, Maldives and India need a VISA permit while traveling to Bhutan. The VISA processing for Bhutan requires a readable color copy of passport via email that has at least six month of validity from the date of exit from Bhutan. The file Scan Copy should be forwarded to via email in JPEG or PDF format. The passport number and picture of the applicant should be visible in the e-document.

The application should be processed at least 10 days prior to the date of entry to Bhutan. The tourism council of Bhutan then issues a VISA clearance letter and fax or email it to the local travel agent. Please note that the VISA service is not offered in Bhutan, travelers have to buy full service package from the local tour operator. Travelers traveling by air are required to produce a printed VISA clearance copy at the time of check-in for Druk Air flight. People traveling by land to enter Bhutan via Phuentshoking or Samdrup Jonkhar are required to produce a VISA clearance letter at the immigration center. The actual VISA is stamped in your passport on your arrival in Bhutan.

Flights to Bhutan:
There are several cities that have direct flights to Bhutan. There are two airlines Druk air and Bhutan airlines running the flights to Bhutan. Druk air is the national carrier of Bhutan. With its fleet of Airbuses A319-115 and ATR 42 the airlines fly from different Asian countries to the Paro international airport, Paro (PBH); which is only the international airport in Bhutan. There are daily direct flights from Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu to Paro International Airport.

The flights from Indian cities to Paro International Airport with the airport name and their codes are listed below:
Bagdogra Airport, Bagdogra (IXB)
Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi (DEL)
Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport, Kolkata (CCU)
Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai (BOM)

Likewise, there flights from other countries with the codes are as follows:
Suvarnabhumi Airport, Thailand (BKK)
Shahjalal International Airport, Bangladesh (DAC)
Singapore Changi Airport, Singapore (SIN)

Note: The flight schedule and timings are subject to change. If you want to know more about the flight schedules and tour to Bhutan please feel free to contact us. We can also help to find you the cheapest fares available.

Best time to visit Bhutan:
The Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan lies in south Asia between China and India. Climate and weather vary according to the altitude, season and place of visit. Bhutan is open all year around for the visitors but it is better to make the travel arrangements as per your preference and nature of visit.

The ideal time to visit Bhutan is spring (March-May) and Autumn/fall (September-November). These are considered to be the best time to visit Bhutan to get the maximum adventure and trouble free experience. Summer and winter also have their own specialties that could draw the attention of tourists during these seasons. During the spring the weather mostly remains clear and climate is fantastic. It is also the best time to visit for the nature lovers to experience the mystifying beauty of nature. Varieties of flowers and plants bloom in this season that makes your adventure an exotic one. The route opens for Jomolhari and Druk Path treks from mid-April to May.

Summer (June-August) in the other hand could get tricky at times due to the early arrival of monsoon. The month of June would be great for traveling if the monsoon is pushed further. Usually monsoon is in full swing by early July. Travelers who would strive to get some trekking experience on muddy trail while witnessing swollen rivers, green forests and flourishing paddy field could choose late summer to plan their adventure. The view of open clear blue sky after the rain is something that strikes you with its mystifying beauty.

Fall (September-November) is another favorable and crowded season after spring. The weather gets mild despite cold mornings and evenings. Tourists from all around the world thong to Bhutan during this season to witness Black-Necked-Crane festival. The month of October has its own significance and the valley turn into a shade of gold as the farmers prepare to harvest their rice crops during this month.

Winter season (December to February) is not that crowded with tourists in comparison to other seasons. Planning your adventure during the winter could be a better idea if you want to avoid the hustle-bustle of the peak season. During the winter Bhutan may see some snow fall. The temperature level goes down (even below freezing point) during some winter days.

VACCINATION FOR BHUTAN:
No vaccinations are presently required However, the following vaccinations are recommended:
Hepatitis A: Hepatitis A is a virus that infects the liver. The disease is distinctly unpleasant, with profound nausea, loss of appetite, and weakness.
Tetanus: Tetanus bacteria can infect small wounds and cause a fatal infection.
Typhoid Fever: Typhoid fever is caused by infection with Salmonella typhi bacteria, passed in human feces and acquired by eating contaminated food or water.

WEATHER IN BHUTAN:
Bhutan lies in South Asia between China and India in the Himalayas, weather in Bhutan depends upon the altitude. In the northern parts of the country where mountains rise up to 7,000m, weather conditions are similar to arctic. Southwards, closer to India, the weather is hot and humid in the summer and cool in winter. The monsoon rains are usually heavy. Winters can be a good time to visit the lower parts, but then the highest areas are freezing.

The best times to visit Bhutan are spring (March-May) and autumn (late September – November) when the weather is warm, dry and sunny but always throw in a couple of warm clothes into your travelling gear when you travel to Bhutan regardless of the season.

WHAT TO WEAR AND BRING:
Layering Clothing
Bring your clothes according to the season and region of your travel. Based on your activity and the weather, you can make quick adjustments, by putting on more clothing if it is cold or taking off layers as it warms up. In the summer time, days can be quite warm, especially in the lowlands of Punakha and Phuentsholing, light cotton clothing is recommended for day time. But in most of the tourist and trekking areas, light woolen clothes for evenings and heavy woollens / down jackets for winter are necessary. A waterproof windbreaker is important for trekking and outdoor activities.
Comfortable and Sturdy shoes.
You have a lot of opportunity to walk around in Bhutan, you will be glad you wore sturdy shoes that keep your feet comfortable. Good shoes will let you explore the rural and allow you to have a long day walk. Bring sandals or slip ons to take off easily when entering temples.
Long pants / skirts
Wear particularly conservative clothing in the towns, women should wear long pants or long skirts, men should wear long pants and shorts are not appropriate for anyone. In the dzongs and temples, the legs and arms must be covered, and even threequarter-length capri pants are not acceptable for women.
Rain gear
Be prepared for occasional shower. A folding umbrella is a good idea to bring with.
Hat, Sunglass, Sunscreen & lip protection.
The sun can be scorching in Bhutan. Be sure to apply sunscreen in the morning and throughout your day.

Other requirements:
A quality sleeping bag.
Waterproof gators.
A headlamp torch and a normal torch. (Including spare batteries.)
Binoculars and Camera.
Small day pack.
Water bottle
Towel
Small medical kit that includes aspirin, motion sickness tablets, diamox.(The guide carries a larger Medical kit but please bring own travel medications)
Antiseptic hand gel for disinfecting hands without water.
Mini-flashlight

DIFFERENT CURRENCY ACCEPTED BY BHUTAN BANK:
Credit cards are accepted only in major international hotels and high-end shops in Bhutan.

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Jomolhari Circuit Trek

Trip Facts

  • Bhutan
  • 12 Nights/13 Days
  • Spring (March-May) & Autumn/fall (September-November)
  • Private vehicle
  • Base Camp/Jangothang (4,180m)
  • Moderate
  • Paro
  • Thimphu
  • 5 - 7 hours each day
  • Sightseeing/Hiking tour
  • Taktsang Monastery, Mt. Chomolhari, Paro Ringpng Dzong, Buddha's Point-Thimphu, Dochula pass, Punakha dzong
  • Government approved 3 stars and Above/Tent during camping

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