The Laya Gasa Trek with cultural tour is a perfect package that blends Bhutan’s nature and culture. It takes you through diverse terrains and mountains with many high elevated regions. It is an extended version of the Chomolhari Trek that showers you with diverse natural beauty in their own pristine attire. The adventure of crossing the high altitude passes, crossing the ebullient rivers, walking through the lush forests and warm farmlands- nothing is more heart whelming than the wonders of natural environments and soul-cleansing sceneries. The 20 days Laya Gasa Trek is not easy but not tough either. It is a trek of moderate level of difficulty that requires a bit of endurance for long walks in the high altitude regions.
As you walk along the trail, you will traverse through various ups and downs. You pass through the forests of oak, fir, rhododendron, fern, and mosses to emerge into waterfalls and rivers that are stunningly beautiful. The sparsely populated valleys, hills and mountain villages lets you find peace within the heart. The peaceful environments of the place are uplifting and provide a very aesthetically pleasing scene. The glacier lakes and hot water springs formed from the mountain water are alluring and you can enjoy hot water bath at the natural hot spring of Gasa. It is believed to be an ailment for pains and weaknesses in body. The unique ways and lifestyle of people along the way is enlightening and fascinating. The dressing style of women in Laya – women with long hair in black skirts made up of yak and sheep’s wool with uniquely pointed bamboo hats are very fascinating to witness.
Laya Gasa Trek with Cultural Tour is an opportunity to visit many architecturally rich monasteries and Dzongs of Bhutan built in dramatic and sophisticated locations. It is also an opportunity to encounter the rare flora and faunas found only in Himalayan regions. Walking along the isolated pastures and encountering blue sheep, musk deer, Takins or marmots on the way would be an everlasting memory. The Himalayan region of Bhutan is a home to some rare animals like Snow Leopards, Himalayan Bears and the Yeti.
Join Escape Himalaya to make your journey to Bhutan more exciting and auspicious. Trekking to Laya Gasa is open from April – June and September – November. However, the best season to visit Bhutan is April. Join us in the amazing adventure of wonderful sites and destinations!
You can also choose other alternative packages for Bhutan Tours with our package of the Druk Path Trek that incorporates a bit of trekking with cultural tours in Bhutan. Other packages in Bhutan include our Nepal Bhutan Darjeeling Tour that takes you to three destinations in one go!
- All ground transportation by private vehicle including airport transfers
- Assistance in acquiring Bhutan visa and visa fee
- Accommodation at a 3-star category hotel in Paro and Thimpu, approved by Bhutanese Government
- Single room surcharge when travelling 2 people in a group
- Full board meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) during the trek and tours
- Tented accommodation during the trek,
- Govt. trained guide and necessary no. of porters with their meals, salary and insurance
- Mineral water will be supplied during the tour and boiled water during the trek
- All entry/permit fees during the tour/trekking
- All applicable government taxes and tourist service charges
- Our office expenses and service charge
- Meals not specified in the 'Meal Inclusions' in the itinerary”
- International flights
- Accommodation in Kathmandu
- Nepal entry and re-entry visa fee
- Personal shopping, internet/Phone bill, and laundry
- Pony service and porters
- Tips for tour guide and driver (Tipping is appreciated but it is not mandatory)
Day 01 Arrive in Paro
Upon arrival in Paro, you will be greeted by our representative and will be transferred to your hotel. After lunch in the restaurant, you can visit the Paro Dzong. It was built in 1646 and now houses government offices and religious institutions, as do all the Dzongs (forts) currently. You'll cross a traditional wooden bridge on the way to the Dzong. Afterwards, you will visit Kichu Lhakhang, the oldest temple in the country. From there you will be taken to the Drugyal Dzong (Bhutan Victory Fort), which was built in 1646 to commemorate Bhutan’s victory over Tibetan invaders during the 1600s. On a clear day, you can see Mount Jumolhari, Bhutan’s second-highest mountain at 7,329 meters, from the village below the Dzong. In the evening you can stroll through the Paro market and town. Overnight at hotel, breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
Day 02 Paro Acclimatization Hike
After breakfast, you will have a full day excursion to Taktsang or the “Tiger’s Nest” perched precariously on the cliff 900m above the floor of the Paro valley. It is the most famous monastery in Bhutan. It is said that Guru Rinpoche flew to the site of the monastery on the back of a tigress and meditated here for three months. Lunch would be served in the Cafeteria. Return to Paro in the evening. Overnight at hotel, breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
Day 03 Paro to Shana (Start of the Trek), Duration: 5-6 hours
You will drive up to the road end at Drugyal Dzong where the trek begins. Following the river gently uphill through a narrowing valley of paddy fields, you will find plenty of traditional farm houses along the way. The camp site is just beyond an army outpost at 2800 meters. Overnight at tented camp, breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
Day 04 Shana to Soi Thangthangkha, Distance: 4-5 hours
Continuing uphill through the river valley which narrows and closes in after some distance, we will be walking on the trail that winds up and down along the drainage. Most of the trail actually is downhill after the initial climb. The camp site is located in a meadow with stone shelter. Approx. - 3400 meters, distance 15 km. Overnight stay at tented camp, breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
Day 05 Soi Thangthangkha to Jangothang (4040 meters), Duration: 5-6 hours
Walking up along the Pachu (Paro river), we will pass a small army outpost where the valley begins to widen again. You can now clearly view the high ridges and the snowcapped mountains all around and also see the yaks and the yak herders’ winter settlement. Camp beneath a ruined fortress at the base of the Chomolhari Mountain. Distance 19 km. Overnight stay at tented camp, breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
Day 06 Jangothang to Lingshi (4150 meters), Duration: 5-6 hours
Walk will walk up toward the pass through a wide pasture land. Depending on the season when you are there, you might find some yak herders in their camping tents along the way. As you come down after the pass to the Lingshi basin, you will see some beautiful views of the Lingshi Dzong and the valley and also Tserim Kang (mountain) and its descending glaciers at the northern end of the valley. Camp in a stone shelter with a built- in fire pit or in the tent. Distance: 19 km. Overnight stay at the tented camp, breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
Day 07 Lingshi to Chebisa (3850 meters), Duration: 3-4 hours
Today is the shortest walking day and you can really take it easy. On reaching the camp site at Chebisa, you can visit the village houses if you feel up to it. Distance 12 km. Overnight stay at tented camp, breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
Day 08 Chebisa to Shomuthang (3850 meters), Duration: 3-4 hours
Today is the shortest walking day and you can really take it easy. On reaching the camp site at Shomuthang, you can visit the village houses if you feel up to it. The scenery at Shomuthang is very pretty. Distance 12 km. Overnight stay at tented camp, breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
Day 09 Shomuthang to Robluthang, Duration: 6-7 hours
As the walk is little strenuous, it is advisable to start early. After crossing the Jarela Pass (4600m), you come down to Tsarijathang valley where you can normally see herds of Takins. Camp at Tsarijathang (4390 meters). Distance: 15 km. Overnight stay at tented camp, breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
Day 10 Robluthang to Lemithang, Duration: 6-7 hours
After crossing the Shingela Pass (4900m), you come down and follow the valley. Lemithang is under the Laya District and you will see people dressed in typical Laya costume with conical bamboo hats. Camp at Lemithang (4140 meters). Distance: 19 km. If you have time, it would be advisable to spend a day here exploring the valley and meeting the people who have a unique culture and way of life. Overnight at tented camp, breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
Day 11 Lemithang to Laya, Duration: 3-4 hours
Today, you will walk all the way downhill along a narrow winding river valley. The trail leads you to the west side of the Laya village. Camp site is on a high flat bench above the Laya village (3850m). Distance: 10 km. Overnight stay at tented camp, breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
Day 12 Acclimatization at Laya
You will halt in Laya for rest and to explore the Laya village. It is for acclimatization purposes. Overnight at tented camp, breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
Day 13 Laya to Koena (3800 meters), Duration: 6-7 hours
The trail winds up and down along the river valley avoiding natural obstacles and affording breathtaking views of the crashing river, feeder streams and water falls. Distance: 19 km. Overnight stay at tented camp, breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
Day 14 Koena to Gasa, Duration: 6-7 hours
You will cross the Babela pass (3740m), after which the trail is all the way downhill to the camp site which is close to Gasa Dzong (2900 meters). Distance: 17 km. Overnight stay at the tented camp, breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
Day 15 Gasa to Gasa Tsachu (hot spring)
After a late breakfast, we will trek to Gasa Tsachu. After lunch, you can relax in the hot spring as well. The Gasa Tsachu is one of the most popular hot springs in Bhutan. Overnight at tented camp, breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
Day 16 Gasa Tsachu to Geon Damji (2280 meters), Duration: 6-7 hours
After a short climb, the trail winds through rolling hills and passes through pine and oak forests, beautiful villages and wheat fields. You will also see a beautiful view of the Gasa Dzong glued to the valley wall, seeming to float in space. Distance: 21 km. Overnight stay at the tented camp, breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
Day 17 Geon Damji to Tashithang (1700 meters), Duration: 6-7 hours
The trail descends from the high agricultural benches above the Mochu (“Chu” means river) into a lush semi-tropical gorge filled with banana trees, creepers and various tropical vegetation. You will also see monkeys and few other animals occasionally. Camp at Tashithang. Distance: 17 km. Overnight stay at the tented camp, breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
Day 18 Tashithang to Khuruthang (The end of the trek), Duration: 3 hours
After a short walk to the motor road, we will drive down to the Punakha valley. We shall stop at Punakha and visit the Punakha Dzong. Punakha was the former capital of Bhutan. The Dzong lies between two rivers known as Phochu and Mochu which means “Male River” and “Female River” respectively. It was built by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the founder of Bhutan in 1637 A.D. and is one of the most important and historical Dzongs in Bhutan. Lunch in Punakha. After lunch, we will then drive to Thimphu that lies at a distance of 77 km. Overnight stay at the tented camp, breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
Day 19 Thimphu (in the morning) to Paro (in the afternoon), Duration: 2 hours
We will have a lovely drive to Dechenchlioling that lies at a distance of 6 km from Thimphu town to view the Queen Mother's Palace from the outside. You can take pictures of the Palace and of the Dechenchholing Monastery from the outside only. We will then drive back to Thimphu and take a leisurely stroll in the market. After lunch, we will then drive to Paro. It is 65 km away. Overnight stay at the hotel, breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
Day 20 Depart from Paro
In the morning, our escort will bid you farewell at the Paro airport.