Bhutan - The Chomolhari Trek
The Chomolhari Trek

Trekking in Bhutan amongst the lofty ridges of the Himalayas, breathtaking views abound as we witness a rich Buddhist culture, friendly people, and few other visitors.

Bhutan Trekking Tour Overview

The Kingdom of Bhutan is ancient Asia’s last enclave, hidden in the mighty Himalayas. It is a land that will captivate your senses and one where strangers are still treated as friends. Our 8-day adventure along Bhutan’s premier trekking route leads us into a breathtaking Himalayan valley, to the base of Bhutan’s most sacred mountain, Chomolhari (23,997’). We follow the path of nomadic yak herders, hiking through wild rhododendron forests and alpine meadows carpeted with wildflowers, over trout-filled streams, and into pure Himalayan grandeur. We catch a glimpse of nomadic life as we see locals making butter and cooking over open fires. In the days before and after our trek, our itinerary allows us to acclimate while we visit the cultural centers of Paro and Thimphu with their distinctive architecture, welcoming people, and fascinating sites.

Bhutan Trekking Itinerary at a Glance

Bhutan trekking map, bhutan trek and tour

Days 1-3: Fly to Paro, Bhutan. Acclimatization hikes into the surrounding countryside to temples and monasteries accessible only on foot, including the famous Tiger’s Nest Monastery. Visit Bhutan’s national museum and the Paro Dzong.
Days 3-10: Trek in style as our support team takes care of all the details. Our route leads us through remote villages and climbs from thick forests into the alpine zone and to the base of Bhutan’s most sacred mountain, Chomolhari (23,997’). Explore this magnificent landscape and spend evenings enjoying varied and delicious camp meals, and conversation with your Bhutanese guides under starry skies.
Days 11-12:Emerge from the mountains in the village of Dolem Kencho where transport awaits to return us to Thimpu. Here we have time to visit the city’s rich cultural sites. At a final celebration, we toast our adventures in Bhutan and our trek through this mystical kingdom, before departing on our flight to Bangkok.


Bhutan is an off-the-beaten-path destination, and our trek steps even further into this magical Himalayan kingdom. Our eight-day trekking route allows enough time to immerse yourself in the mountain culture and offers spectacular Himalayan scenery, while not subjecting you to monotonous routes that some other companies offer. Time spent in the mountains, combined with explorations of the cultural centers of Paro and Thimphu, is the perfect adventure through Bhutan and the mighty Himalayas.

The Boundless Journeys Advantage

  • A passion for travel. Simply put, we love to travel, and that is woven into every one of our journeys.
  • Unique, award-winning itineraries. Our flexible, hand-crafted journeys have received accolades from the world’s most revered travel publications.
  • Insider connections. There is simply no substitute for traveling with a knowledgeable insider.
  • Small groups. We tread softly, and our average group size is just 6-8 guests.
  • Flexibility to suit your travel style. We offer both small-group departures and Private Collection trips, so that you can choose which works best for you.
  • Customer service that goes the extra mile. There is no request that is too big – or too small – for our staff to handle.
  • Sustainability. We are committed to traveling responsibly – striving to preserve traditions and cultures around the world, and to protect fragile natural habitats.
Our tours often fill months in advance, and our maximum group size is smaller than most tour operators. It's very quick and easy to reserve a trip. Give us a call at 800-941-8010 or complete the online Reserve a Trip form. We will confirm your reservation with a $500 per person deposit, payable by check or credit card.
If you have any questions about the level of comfort, difficulty, or any activities included in this trip, please call Boundless Journeys at 800-941-8010, or Contact Us by e-mail. Our travel experts look forward to helping you choose the perfect adventure!

Group Size

2-16 guests

Trip Rating (1 Easiest - 5 Most Strenuous)

Description of Trip Ratings

Adventure travel may involve exotic destinations, varying levels of physical exertion, and activities that may be new to you. We want to make sure that you choose the adventure that's right for you from our many one-of-a-kind trips. Each trip is rated on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being the easiest, and 5 being the most strenuous. A few of our trips have had a "+" added to the number, indicating something that falls in between. Our Trip Ratings may be found on the trip schedule and on our website. Our detailed itineraries provide additional information on what to expect on the trip you are considering (detailed itineraries are available by mail or e-mail; or you can find them on our website: We encourage you to call one of our travel experts with any questions or concerns that you may have. We are happy to assist you in selecting the most appropriate adventure for you.
Our easiest trips are generally hotel-based cultural and nature journeys that offer light activity. Walks and hikes (approximately 2 to 4 hours) are through gentle terrain with little elevation gain or loss. Altitude is not a factor on these tours. Other activities, such as snorkeling or sea kayaking, are optional. Examples: Galapagos Islands Cruise, Tanzania, and Vietnam.
Hotel nights and/or deluxe, safari-style camping. Walking, hiking (approximately 3 to 5 hours), kayaking, or other activities on most days. Trails and paths are through rolling countryside, with occasional steep trails with up to 1,000 feet of elevation gain. Many of our hotel-based walking trips are in this category. Examples: Tuscany & Umbria, Turkey, and Bhutan.
Hotel or inn-based hiking trips, that involve full day hikes (approximately 4 to 6 hours), mostly on unpaved trails and paths through hilly terrain with typical elevation gains and losses of 1,000 to 2,000 feet. There may be occasional steep sections of trail. Examples: Slovenia, Amalfi Coast, Spain.
Full day hikes (approximately 5 to 7 hours) through mountainous terrain with significant elevation gains and losses (2,000 to 3,000 feet). Terrain may be rugged with uneven footpaths. The average altitude is generally no more than 12,000 feet. Vehicle support is limited. These trips may involve some full-service camping or simple accommodations in remote locations. Examples: Tour du Mont Blanc, Peru Trek, Haute Route.
Full-day trekking (approximately 6 to 8 hours) through rugged mountainous terrain with steep climbs and descents and the following present: elevation gains and losses of as much as 4,000 feet, altitude that exceeds 12,000 feet, and rugged uneven footpaths with some exposure. These trips typically offer minimal to no vehicle support and include full-service camping in a remote setting.

Activity Details

Moderate to strenuous hiking, 6-8 hours per day; most hiking is between 8,000 and 15,000 feet with significant daily elevation gains and losses, often 2,000 to 3,000 feet. Two high passes of approximately 15,000-16,000 feet.

Meeting Point

Paro, Bhutan

Departure Point

Paro, Bhutan

Traveling to and From

Most Convenient Airport:
Bangkok International Airport, Bangkok, Thailand (airport code BKK)

Meeting Place and Time:
Your Boundless Journeys guide will meet you at the Paro, Bhutan airport upon the arrival of your flight from Bangkok. Please be sure to be at the Druk Air (national airline of Bhutan) check-in counter at the Bankgok International Airport two hours before your scheduled flight on Day 1 of our trip. The airline tickets for your flight from Bangkok to Bhutan will be purchased for you in advance by Boundless Journeys.

Departure Place and Time:
Paro, Bhutan; in time for the departure of your flight to Bangkok.

What to Expect

Trip Rating
Boundless Journeys’ trips are designed for energetic and flexible individuals who like to be active and have a spirit of adventure and a positive attitude. The Chomolhari Trek is rated 4+, strenuous, on a scale of 1-5 (with 5 being the most strenuous). The difficulty rating of this trek takes into account the distances hiked each day and the fact that on several days trail conditions can be very muddy, with rocky pitches that make progress difficult.
In addition, most hiking is done between 8,000 and 14,000 feet, which adds to the strenuous nature of the hiking. For the most part, you can hike at your own speed; the group will spread out along the trail during the day to cover about 6 to 13 miles per day (4-9 hours of hiking). There are significant elevation gains and losses each day, often 2,000 to 3,000 feet, as our trail contours up and down steep hillsides.

Trip members carry only a daypack for a jacket, water bottle, camera, and whatever else they like to have with them on the trail. Pack animals carry our camping equipment, and a camp cook prepares all meals. On the trek, we use modern Mountain Hardware tents for singles or doubles/twins.

A typical trekking day begins shortly after 6 a.m. with “bed tea” and warm washing water brought to each tent. We are served a light breakfast while the camp crew packs our gear. We begin walking by 7 to 8 a.m., stopping around 11 a.m. for lunch and a good rest. Our afternoon walk begins around 1 p.m., and we arrive at camp by tea time (about 4:30 p.m.). Dinner is served around 6:30 p.m. At each camp we provide a toilet tent (with seat) and the occasional shower tent for when time and water permits.

Preparing for this Trip
We recommend that you get in top physical shape for the trip. It is very important that you realistically assess your physical condition with regard to the demands of this trip. The more well-prepared you are for the activities on this trip, the safer you will be, and the more you will enjoy yourself! Please engage in moderate to challenging aerobic activities (hiking, jogging, or cycling) for at least 1-2 hours 4-5 times a week for 4-6 months before the trip. It is important that you get out on the trail for several months before your trip to get your hiking legs under you, as well as to break in your hiking boots (see more about hiking boots on page 24). If you live in a flat area, try to incorporate some stairs into your workout, or use a treadmill with varying incline capability.  Consult your doctor before undertaking any new fitness programs.

We encourage you to speak with your physician and one of our staff if you have any doubts regarding your physical match with this tour.

Horse/Mule Allergies
As this trek is fully supported by the help of some local 4-legged friends, we need to urge those with any equine-related allergies to take caution when deciding if this trip is right for you. Your gear will be in constant contact with either support horses or trail mules, and in the event that you need emergency assistance, these animals will also be your transportation.

The mountainous areas of Bhutan have pronounced rainy and dry seasons. The dry season lasts from October through May. Days tend to be warm with nighttime temperatures dropping significantly. Please be prepared for extremely vacillating weather in this environment. At any time of year, dressing in layers is a good strategy, so that you can shed or add clothing as the day heats and cools.

At altitudes of 8,000 to 10,000 feet, daytime temperatures range in the 50’s and 60’s with nights dropping to the 40’s. Clouds often form in the afternoons, disappearing at night to reveal starry skies.

At altitudes above 10,000 feet, daytime temperatures can be in the 60’s but as low as the 30’s and 40’s if it is windy. Evening temperatures at these higher altitudes often drop to around 15ºF and sometimes lower. Rain and snow are not uncommon at any time of year making waterproof rain gear a necessity for any trek in Bhutan.

Trail Assistance
Our hikes on the Chomolhari route take us far into the Bhutanese wilderness, in and out of large valleys and up over remote passes; therefore no vehicle assistance is feasible during the trek. If possible for the day’s conditions, one or more of the gear animals with a member of the camp staff will be sent back to join the group after dropping off equipment at the next camp site to see if a hiker needs to take a break and ride for awhile. This option may not be available everyday, and should not be used as a replacement for the proper level of fitness for the Chomolhari Trek.

When to Reserve
It is important to reserve your trip early, as the Bhutanese national airline will only accept reservations with the full payment of the ticket. Therefore we are unable to hold group seats in advance of reservations. Space can only be confirmed upon receipt of your deposit, as well as the payment of $950 for these flights. Please contact our office with any questions regarding these important policies.

Development in Bhutan
Although visiting Bhutan in many ways is like stepping back in time and has been a longtime favorite of Boundless Journeys’ travelers for this reason, it is important to understand that this evolving society is also eager to keep pace in the modern world. While the government is approaching the development of their country with a sensitivity towards preserving the environment and culture, you can still expect to encounter some of the less positive signs of modernization. Some examples include: road construction projects that may hinder driving or cause noise and dust; litter in developed areas; and begging. We ask you to visit Bhutan with an open mind and leave any rigid expectations about the pristine nature of the country behind. It is important to embrace what you see and experience without judgment and recognize that Bhutan, just as any country, is struggling to be a part of this complex and rapidly changing world. We are confident that with this attitude, the Bhutan you experience will be a fascinating and memorable place.

Traveler’s Responsibility
Trip participants have certain responsibilities to both Boundless Journeys and your fellow travelers. This includes understanding the conditions described in the trip itinerary and making sure it is appropriate for your interests and abilities, based on a review of the trip ratings, consultation with Boundless Journeys’ staff, and perhaps your doctor. In addition, trip participants are responsible for preparing for a trip by undertaking the proper fitness training. At the guide’s discretion, a participant may be asked to leave the trip if the guide feels that the person’s further participation may be detrimental to the individual or to other trip participants. If you have any questions about the difficulty level of the trip you have chosen, please contact Boundless Journeys to speak with one of our Destination Managers.

Small group travel affords us the opportunity to seek out the most remote and exotic destinations on the planet. Often we are exploring these locales with just 6-12 guests. The nature of active group travel is such that not all participants have the same ability level or interests. Traveling at a pace that is comfortable for the entire group, with a spirit of flexibility and adventure are all part of this shared experience.

Bhutan Accommodations

Overview:  Accommodations in Bhutan are somewhat basic and this itinerary includes the standard hotel options available in Paro, a 4-star hotel in Thimpu, and full-service camping for the trekking portion; hotels have private baths.

Although the hotels in Bhutan cannot be compared to international standards, they are clean, comfortable and offer all of the necessary facilities. We believe that any inconveniences due to these modest accommodations are far outweighed by the unforgettable experience of visiting Bhutan.

Confirming hotels: Due to the unique tourism policy in Bhutan, we are unable to confirm which hotels we will be using until four weeks prior to departure. The above accommodations will most likely be what we can expect, but may alter due to availability.

Nights 1-2:  Janka Resort
Paro, Bhutan

Janka Resort Paro, Bhutan - Boundless Journeys





Nights 3-9:  Chomolhari Trek Camping
Full service camping.

Bhutan Chomolhari Trekking





Nights 10-12:  Hotel Druk
Thimphu, Bhutan

Hotel Druk Thimphu, Bhutan - Boundless Journeys





Bhutan Trekking Detailed Itinerary

Arrival in Paro, Bhutan; explore Paro Valley sites

Walk – easy, 1-2 hours on local paths and dirt roads (please note that walking options may change depending on flight schedules).

Our flight into Bhutan provides spectacular views of the landscape as we approach the airport in the Paro Valley. The valley is a green bowl surrounded by jagged Himalayan mountains and forested hillsides, crossed by beautiful rivers, and dotted with medieval fortresses. The first thing we notice as we disembark in Bhutan is the absence of noise and a feeling of peacefulness that is rare in most other Asian cities. The Paro Valley has kept its bucolic nature and is one of the most scenic valleys in Bhutan. The houses are considered to be among the most beautiful in the country, and Paro is believed to be one of the first valleys to have received the imprint of Buddhism in Bhutan.
We are greeted with a warm Bhutanese reception and transferred to our first hotel where we enjoy a light lunch and afternoon tea. After lunch, we set out on a walk that meanders through the countryside by farms and fields of rice, mustard, buckwheat, eggplant, and, of course, chilies (ubiquitous in Bhutan). Eventually our walk brings us to Kyichu Lhakhang. Kyichu Lhakhang, meaning “twin temples,” is believed to have been built in 659 AD by King Songtsen of Tibet, and marks the introduction of Buddhism to Bhutan. Local legend holds that the temple is one of 108 that were built throughout the Himalayas in one day in an effort to subdue a mighty ogress; it is still believed to hold her left foot in place.
We then make our way by vehicle to the National Museum (closed on government holidays), housed in the round, multi-storied Ta Dzong, built in 1775. The Ta Dzong was once the watchtower for the massive Paro Dzong, built in the 17th century by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. The museum’s collection includes ancient artifacts, weapons, a collection of antique thangkha (painted or embroidered religious pictures), textiles, and stamps.
We then head (either by foot or vehicle, depending on timing) to the valley’s magnificent Rinpung Dzong. If we are fortunate we may have the opportunity to explore within the dzong’s mighty walls. However, if the Administrative Body is in session, we must admire from the outside.
We return to our hotel for an orientation meeting and welcome dinner of Bhutanese cuisine.
Janka Resort, Paro, Bhutan

Cheli La Pass to Kila Gompa

Hike - moderate, 2-3 hours on hiking trails and dirt roads with 1,300’ elevation loss (highest elevation: 12,500’).
The day’s adventure starts early as we set out on a road that climbs almost 5,000’ above the valley floor to Cheli La (12,500’). Towards the end of our scenic hour and a half journey, we emerge from the blue pine and rhododendron forest into windswept highlands favored by yaks. Here, we’ll enjoy a view filled with Himalayan wildflowers: fields of azaleas, edelweiss, and even the famous blue poppy at certain times of the year. If the weather is clear, we’ll enjoy tantalizing glimpses of some of Bhutan’s highest peaks. Upon reaching the pass, western Bhutan appears before us, with its unspoiled Haa valley, the mountains of Sikkim to the west, Mt. Chomolhari and Tibet to the north, and the patchwork fields of the Paro Valley to the east. 
Leaving the prayer flag-swathed col and our vehicle behind, we strike off along the ridge, passing through meadows, before re-entering forests of larch, spruce, hemlock, fir and rhododendron. After a little under two hours, we see the Kila Gompa, seemingly suspended in rock crags. Home to approximately 30 nuns, this place has served as a retreat for meditation since the 9th century. Kila means “spiritual dagger,” and a visit to the temple is often thought to tame the negative emotions of anger, ignorance, and greed. 
Following our visit and picnic lunch, we head downhill on a dirt road that winds through conifers and rhododendrons, catching occasional glimpses back to Cheli La. After about 45 minutes, we arrive at our private vehicle to return to Paro. Along the way, if time allows, we’ll break our journey with a short walking detour to Dzongdrakha Gompa and its fine stupa (a dome-shaped Buddhist monument). This rocky aerie is the site of the annual local Paro dromoche (masked dances), the precursor to the grander Paro Tsechu, or festival. Here, we may also have the opportunity to see some local residents: grey langur monkeys.
Returning sometime during the mid to late afternoon, there will be time to relax or explore the Paro market before dinner.
Janka Resort, Paro

DAYS 3-10
Chomolhari Trek

This superb 8-day trek begins in Paro and leads us into northern Bhutan, to a land of yak herders and to the base of Mt. Chomolhari (23,977’), the most holy mountain in Bhutan. From there, our trek brings us to the remote Lingshi Dzong which once guarded the frontier with Tibet. This trek offers fabulous views of Himalayan peaks including Chomolhari, Jichu Drake, and Tserimgang. We encounter many yak herders and their camps, but few villages along our remote route.

Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) Monastery - Shana

Hike – moderate, 4-5 hours (4.5 miles) on hiking trails with 1,650’ elevation gain (highest elevation: 10,171’).

This morning we enjoy a hike to the famous cliffside hermitage called Taktsang - “Tiger’s Nest” - a monastic retreat built into a sheer cliff face high above the Paro Valley.  Our hike begins on the valley floor and is a steady uphill climb on a wide hiking trail that switchbacks through pine forests, with glimpses of Tiger’s Nest along the way. We pass water-powered prayer wheels and mani stones (sacred stone walls with Buddhist prayers etched into them), as well as a shrine where a high lama was supposedly born - all reminders that this is not just a hike, but a spiritual pilgrimage for many.

As we near the monastery, we stop by a small teahouse for snacks and tea and take in our first up-close view of Taktsang. From here our hiking trail levels out for a short while, before we begin climbing down steps and cross a bridge, eventually leading us to this most impressive sacred site.

Legend has it that the Tibetan Buddhist saint, Padmasambhava, flew across the Himalayas on the back of a tiger and landed here, bringing Buddhism to Bhutan. Entry into the monastery feels like stepping back in time and we have the chance to visit several shrines that comprise the temple complex. During our exploration, our guide brings Tiger’s Nest to life with the tales of Buddhism that make this one of the most famous pilgrimage sites in all of Bhutan.

After a trailside picnic lunch, we return to the valley floor, where our vehicle and driver meets us for our drive to Shana, where we begin our trek. We pass the Drukgyel Dzong (8,514’) en route and drive through countryside dotted with rice terraces, fields of millet, and orchards. As the valley widens, we reach the army post of Gunitsawa (9,273’) - the last stop before Tibet. We continue on to Sharma Zampa (9,471’), where we make our first camp in meadows surrounded by trees.
Full-service camping, Chomolhari Trek

DAY 4  
Shana – Soi Thangthangkha
Trek - moderate to strenuous, 7-8 hours (12 miles) on hiking trails with 2,900’ elevation gain.
Today our trail follows the Pa Chu (Paro River), ascending and descending through pine, oak, and spruce forests. After crossing a bridge to the left bank of the river, we stop for a hot lunch. Then we continue along the water, climbing upwards through rhododendron forests, and crossing the river once more before reaching our campsite (12,375’).
Full-service camping, Chomolhari Trek

DAY 5  
Soi Thangthangkha – Jangothang
Trek - moderate to strenuous, 7-8 hours (12 miles) on hiking trails with 1000’ of elevation gain.

On the third day of our trek, our path ascends to an army camp. We then follow the river above the tree line, enjoying stunning views of the surrounding peaks. Hot lunch is served at a yak herder’s camp, and a short walk from here into the valley takes us to our campsite at Jangothang (13,332’). Our campsite tonight offers fantastic views of Chomolhari and Jichu Drake.
Full-service camping, Chomolhari Trek

DAY 6 
Acclimatize at Jangothang - day hike

Day hike from base camp; rest and acclimate.

Today, at the base camp of Chomolhari, we take advantage of some of the most spectacular views we will encounter on the trek, and spend the day exploring our surroundings. We can sleep in and enjoy a leisurely morning at our camp and then embark on an excursion to find even better views of the mountains or perhaps visit Tshophu, a high-altitude lake. There is a chance we will spot some grazing yaks, and perhaps blue sheep, which effortlessly navigate the rugged terrain. After a second night at Jangothang, our lungs should be ready for our ascent of Nyele-la pass the following day.
Full-service camping, Chomolhari Trek
DAY 7  
Jangothang – Lingshi
Trek - strenuous, 7-8 hours (11 miles) on hiking trails with  2,100’  elevation gain and 2300’ elevation loss.
This morning we follow a stream for half an hour before crossing a bridge to the right bank, where we climb up to a high ridge, enjoying breathtaking views of Chomolhari, Jichu Drake, and Tserimgang. The trail then takes us across a fairly level valley floor until the climb up to Nyele-la pass (15,510’). We descend gradually from the pass to our campsite at Lingshi (13,200’), taking in panoramic views of the mountain peaks and Lingshi Dzong as we walk.
Full-service camping, Chomolhari Trek
Lingshi – Shodu
Trek - strenuous, 8-9 hours (13 miles) on hiking trails with 2,700’ elevation gain and 2,300’ elevation loss.
This morning our trail climbs up towards a small white chorten on a ridge, then turns south into the deep Mo Chu Valley. The trail stays on the west side of this largely treeless valley, climbing steadily for a short distance above the Mo Chu, before crossing the river and climbing steeply for two hours to Yeli-la (15,906’). On a clear day you can see Chomolhari, Gangchenta, Tserimgang, and Masagang from this pass. We then descend along a stream, passing a rock shelter in the cliff face, and continue on downstream to Shodu (13,530’), where we camp in a wide meadow.
Full-service camping, Chomolhari Trek
DAY 9  
Shodu – Barshong
Trek - moderate, 6-7 hours (10 miles) on hiking trails with 1,700’ elevation loss and 500’ elevation gain.
We are now back at the tree line, and our path follows the course of the Thimphu Chu, descending through rhododendron, juniper, and mixed alpine forests. There are stunning views of rocky cliff faces and waterfalls along the way. We stop by the riverside for a warm meal before gradually climbing to the ruins of Barshong Dzong (11,880’). We complete our day relaxing at our nearby camp for the night.
Full-service camping, Chomolhari Trek
DAY 10
Barshong – Dolam Kencho
Trek - moderate, 5-6 hours (10 miles) on hiking trails with 1,400’ elevation loss.

Today our trail descends gently through a dense forest of rhododendron, birch, and conifers, and then drops steeply to meet the Thimphu Chu. The trail runs along the left bank of the river, climbing over ridges and descending into gullies where side streams join the larger river. The final stage of the trail climbs around a cliff face high above the Thimphu Chu, entering pasture land and reaching Dolam Kencho where we meet our transportation to bring us back to Thimpu.

This evening before dinner, we will enjoy a Bhutanese cultural teaching delivered by an expert from Thimpu.
Hotel Druk, Thimpu

DAY 11
Cheri Goemba and the Choki School of Arts

Hike – easy to moderate, about 2 hours (3 miles) on local paths and hiking trails with 1,300’ elevation gain and 1,300’ elevation loss (highest elevation: 9,186’); additional optional hiking available.
Thimphu brings us to the outskirts of Jigme Dorji Wildlife Sanctuary, the largest protected area in the country. The park is home to several endangered species, including: the takin, snow leopard, blue sheep, tiger, red panda, and the Himalayan black bear. More than 300 species of birds have been catalogued within the park.

Our walk begins in the small village of Dodena. The trail starts by crossing a covered bridge over the Wang Chu, and climbs steadily on switchback trails to Cheri Goemba, a small monastery perched on a hill with a view of the Thimphu Valley. Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal built this monastery in 1620, and this is where the first community of monks in Bhutan was established. The monastery is considered very sacred, as it contains the ashes of Tempi Nima, the father of the first Shabdrung of Bhutan, and beautiful frescoes of Buddhist saints.

After our visit to the monastery, we descend on the same route, keeping our eyes open for the goral (wild goat) that are often spotted on the cliffs nearby. Back at the village of Dodena, we drive to Cabesa, home of the Choki School of Arts (closed on weekends and holidays). The Choki School is private and provides free, skills-related education in the traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan to Bhutanese children who are unable to complete their formal education. After visiting the school, we return to Thimphu.

If time allows this afternoon, you may explore Thimpu on your own before we gather for a farewell dinner and celebrate our journey through the Himalayas.
Hotel Druk, Thimphu

DAY 12
Departure from Paro

We are transferred to the airport for an early morning departure from Paro. From here we say farewell before our journey home, or continue on to other exciting destinations.

Please note that this is a typical itinerary, and actual activities may vary to take advantage of weather conditions, local events, and to allow serendipity to play a hand in your experience. We try to plan our trips at a time that offers the most favorable weather conditions. However, if poor weather conditions persist at the time of your departure, such as snow on the high passes, we reserve the right to change the itinerary described here and offer an alternative to the trek. This may be a decision that is made once you are already in Bhutan or after setting out for the trek. Accommodations are as outlined in the itinerary, although we reserve the right to change these should the need arise.

Trip Length

12 Days

Trip Dates

Upcoming Trips:

  • Apr 25–May 06, 2016
  • Oct 17–28, 2016

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2016 Land Cost

$4,995 per person

Single Supplement

*First two reserved on each departure: $115; Additional singles: $615

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Single Supplements:

Accommodations (hotels, tents, cruise cabins) are based on double occupancy. A single supplement is paid by participants who specifically request single accommodations, subject to availability. If you reserve at least 120 days prior to departure, you may be eligible for a reduced or free single supplement.* This is generally limited to the first one or two solo travelers to reserve, and the reduction is outlined in the pricing for each trip. Please note, free or reduced single supplements are not combinable with other offers or promotions.

If you are traveling alone and wish to share accommodations, we will try to match you with a roommate of the same gender. If you reserve at least 120 days ahead and a roommate is not available, you will only be charged a “forced” single supplement in the amount of 50% of the standard single supplement* (unless otherwise noted in the detailed itinerary). Single accommodations are limited so you are encouraged to reserve early!

*This does not apply to cruises in the Galapagos Islands. Please see these trip pages for more details.

Internal Airfare

$695 (Bangkok-Paro, round-trip; subject to change)

View Internal Airfare Description

Bangkok, Thailand-Paro, Bhutan (RT)

What's Included

  • All accommodations
  • All meals
  • All transportation during the tour
  • Expert local guides
  • All activities as noted in the itinerary
  • Bhutanese visa fees and departure taxes

It is compulsory that all participants have the necessary insurance to cover emergency evacuation and all associasted medical and hospitalization expenses. Boundless Journeys also strongly recommends that you purchase comprehensive trip cancellation insurance in addition. Boundless Journeys reserves the right to deny participation to any guest who chooses to not purchase the required insurance for this journey.

Please complete the following information to request a reservation. A trip deposit of $500 per person is required to confirm your reservation (payable by check or major credit card). Once we receive your request we will contact you within one business day to confirm availability and answer any questions you may have.

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About our guides
With a Boundless Journeys guide, your experience is that of friend and local adventurer. We believe strongly in working with local guides, experts in the areas to which we travel, and they hold the keys to unlocking the hidden delights of your chosen destination. Although you will never know they are at work – the mark of a truly great leader – our guides make magical things happen and add a dimension to your trip that you could not experience on your own.

Over the years we have forged bonds with some of the best guides in the world, and we typically work with a small team of guides in each region. You will be informed of the guide for your trip one month prior to your departure.

Featured Guides

Dawa Tashi: Dawa has led a variety of Boundless Journeys tours, from treks in the mountains to festival celebrations in the valleys. His local knowledge and amicable personality make him a real treasure to have on the trail. Whether hiking at high altitude or exploring local towns in the lowlands, Dawa ensures that our guests come away with an outstanding experience, providing them with a deep appreciation of his country and culture.

Kinley Tshering: Kinley (or Kelly, as he is known among his Bhutanese coworkers) joined our local staff of guides after completing extensive training in 2006, and has led many tours for Boundless Journeys, becoming a favorite among our guests. Very friendly and down to earth, Kinley is extremely knowledgeable and always determined to make your trip special.


Bhutan Tour Guide - Leki Puntsok - Boundless JourneysLeki Phuntsho: Leki is a well-educated local guide who has lived his whole life in Bhutan and who currently resides just outside of Thimphu. He completed his extensive Guide Training from the Tourism Council of Bhutan in 2006, and enjoys trekking when not leading guests on cultural tours of his homeland. With his infectious love and passion for the country, Leki carries the adventurous spirit of a true Bhutanese guide. Very friendly and down to earth, Leki is always determined to make your trip special.

What other guests have said about our guides in Bhutan:

“It is truly impossible for me to express in words my gratitude and appreciation for the professionalism, dedication, and hard work of your team in Bhutan. Dawa was so accommodating and flexible throughout the entire tour. He certainly went out of his way to make sure the experience in Bhutan was both memorable and enjoyable for everyone in the group.” – S.G., East Rochester, NY

“Dawa was excellent, especially on the walks and hikes; very helpful. He was also extremely knowledgeable about Buddhism. We were very fortunate to have Dawa!” – S. M., Cambridge, MA

“Kinley Tshering was the most amazing guide. I have traveled to many places around the globe and been around a lot of guides. Kinley is truly outstanding. His patience, knowledge and good humor made every day special for us. He never tired to explain details to us or find a cup of tea. He is full of life and his love for his country showed greatly.” – G.M., Baltimore, MA

“Kinley was amazing in his knowledge and command of English in order to pass along information. If someone mentioned one thing or asked a question about something, he incorporated that into the next day’s activity or found it for us. For example, we had read about how incense is made and about momos in the DrukAir magazine on the flight over. We mentioned those things to Kinley and sure enough he found a small incense manufacturer for us to visit and made sure we had plenty of momos!” – G. M., Greenwich, CT

Ask a Question about our Private Collection Trips

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Picture Yourself Here:

Challenging 8-day trek to a spectacular base camp below Chomalhari, the snowcapped “Divine Mountain”

Visits to the cultural centers of Paro and Thimphu

Hike to the famous Tiger's Nest monastery

Full-service camping with top quality equipment, leaving you to carry only your daypack

Upcoming Trips:

  • Apr 25–May 06, 2016
  • Oct 17–28, 2016

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It is important to reserve your trip early, as the Bhutanese national airline has a new ticketing policy and will only accept reservations with the full payment of the ticket. Therefore we are unable to hold group seats in advance of reservations.

What others have said...

Sangay was such a pleasure to have on our trek - friendly, knowledgeable, open, and upbeat! He was amazing, sharing stories of his culture and the promise of things to come.

- K. Liebhold, Engelwood, NJ

Latest Blog Posts About Bhutan

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When you’re not making your own adventure travel memories, a great travel book is often the best way to bridge the gap. Immersive and beautifully written, these 10 books will whisk you away to far off places—all from the comfort of your own home.

5 Adventure Travel Destinations that will Change Your Life

Choosing an adventure travel destination can be daunting. The top destinations for adventure travel offer not only opportunities for physical challenge, but also elements that speak to our humanity: an immersion in nature, and the chance to disconnect from the frenetic pace of modern life and reconnect with our inner spirit.

Gear Guide: Hiking Boots, Trail Shoes, or Trail Sandals?

Ever hear that an extra pound on your feet is equivalent to five pounds on your back? Whether or not that oft-quoted piece of backcountry wisdom is right, one thing is definitely true: Hiking requires less effort in lightweight footwear.

What’s Going on Around the Globe This Winter

Mark your calendars! There are great things going on this winter at Boundless Journeys’ destinations around the globe. VIETNAM: Tet Nguyen Dan (Vietnamese New Year) Date: January 30 – February 3 Vietnam’s largest national festival is dedicated to the veneration of ancestors, positive thinking, and the ushering in of another year.

Five “Crown Jewel” Wildlife Sightings

Wildlife viewing is a cornerstone of the Boundless Journeys experience and just one of the many reasons to get off the tourist track and out into the wilderness on a naturalist-led walk or hike. Whether or not animals are the primary focus of your trip (if you’re on safari, for example) most of our guests […]

Read More from the Boundless Journeys Blog »


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Stowe, VT 05672 USA
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