Detailed Itinerary of the Gasa Laya Trek
Day 1 - Upon arrival at Paro International airport, you will be welcomed by our company representative and the tour guide will receive and escort you to designated Hotels in Paro.
In the afternoon drive to the ruins of the 17th Century Drukgyel Dzong, an historic monument built by the Zhabdrung to commemorate his victory against invading Tibetans in 1644. In fine weather the towering peak of the sacred Mount Jomolhari (7314m) appears as a stunning backdrop. On the return drive to Paro, visit 7th Century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples constructed by the Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo. Overnight at Paro.
Day 2 - After breakfast we will hike to Taktsang, the Tiger's Nest. This magical monastery clings to vertical granite cliff 3000 ft. above paro valley. Legend says that Guru Rinpoche (spiritual master) flew here on the back of a tigress to meditate in the cave. Lunch will be served in the Taktshang cafeteria restaurant. Overnight in paro.
Day 3 - The trek starts from Drukgyel Dzong, the ruined fort, which was once defended this valley from Tibetan invasions. The trail then climbs gently through rice terraces and field of millet. Later on we come to apple orchards and forests. Finally at "Gunitsawa", a military camp, which also junctions as a checked point for the army. Here the permits for the trek have to be produced. We continue upwards to just beyond Sharma Zampa, where there are good camping places. Overnight at campsite.
Day 4 - The trail follows the Pa Chu River through a heavily forested area with a few isolated farmhouses. As we go up the valley becomes narrow, wilder and steeper. After crossing a bridge to the left bank of the river, we stop for lunch. Then continue along the river, climbing upwards through Rhododendron forest, and again we have to cross river to reach our campsite. Overnight at campsite.
Day 5 - The path ascends for a while until we reach the 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. A short walk from here into the valley takes us to our campsite at Jangothang (4,040m). From here, the views of Jhomolhari and Jichu Drake are superb. Overnight at campsite.
Day 6 - The trail follows a stream before crossing over to the right bank. We now start our climb up to the first ridge with views of Chomolhari, Jichu Drake and Tserimgang. The trail then crosses a valley until climbing up to Nyili La pass. We descend gradually to our campsite at Lingshi.
Day 7 - Your trail proceed ahead passing Lingshi Dzong built in the 17th century, perched on its hilltop, enjoying exhilarating views of green hills, the winding river, and magnificent peaks. After an hour form Lingshi, the trail reaches a cairn and prayer flags on a ridge and then makes a long descent to the pleasant settlement of Gayul. After leaving this village making a short ascent and descent, the route leads to Chebisa Village. Overnight at campsite.
Day 8 - Today's trail begins with a stiff climb of nearly four hours up a ridge to Gombu-La (4,500m) and then descends through rhododendrons bushes to a stream at about 4,170m. The trail further climbs over a small ridge through a cedar forest and then to the village of Shakshepasa. Overnight at campsite.
Day 9 - The trek starts with a climb to Jari-la pass (4,700m) then descending to Tasharijathang valley, the summer grazing ground of the rare Himalayan Takin. Camp is at Tsheri Jathang valley which has been declared a special Takin sanctuary.
Day 10 - Today's trail start with a long climb up to Shinje-La Pass (4,900m), the last and the highest pass on the trek which is about 5 hours walk from camp. After crossing the pass we descend to Limithang (4,140), a lovely campsite in a big meadow.
Day 11 - In the morning we walk to a superb view of Gangchenta peak infront of our camp. The walk to laya is extremely pleasant with wonderful mountain scenery and passing through forests filled with moss and singing birds. We set up a camp on arrival at laya village, the second highest settlement in the country at an altitude of 3,800m.
Day 12 - Spend the day relaxing visiting Laya Village or going on short hikes above the camp.
Day 13 - We descend from Laya to the army camp at the side of the Mo Chu river, and the walk alongside the river till reaching a bridge. Also the route offers interesting view of Masang Gang Peak. Camp at Koina.
Day 14 - The day starts with a major ascent to Bele-La Pass, its downhill all the way to Gasa Tshachu. After taking lunch, you will be visiting the gasa village and gasa Dzong, built in 17th century and then descend to Gasa Tshachu (hot spring), where we set up our camp.
Day 15 - This morning enjoy a hot bath and try some of the local beer for a few hours and then you will hike to the roadside where Bhutan Tour and Treks vehicle will be waiting to collect us. Overnight at Punakha.
Day 16 - Visit Punakha Dzong built in 1637 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel, "the unifier of Bhutan" to serve as the religious and administrative center of the region. It is placed strategically at the junction of the Pho chu and Mo chu rivers. Damaged over the centuries by four catastrophic fires and an earthquake, the Dzong has been fully restored in recent years by the present monarch and displays some of the best works of Bhutanese arts and crafts. After lunch, enjoy a walk to Chimi Lhakhang, the temple of fertility, blessed by the Divine Mad Man in the 1500s. The walk to the temple will take about 45 minutes one way through rice paddy fields.
Day 17 - The drive to Thimphu - world's smallest capital through Dochu-La Pass. Enjoy panoramic view of Black Mountain range at Dochu La, Visit Druk Wangyel Lhakhang. After lunch, enjoy the afternoon at leisure. Overnight at Thimphu.
Day 18 - Enjoy thimphu sightseeing in the morning. Late afternoon you will drive to paro for Overnight, where Bhutan Tour and Treks will organize a Cultural Evening to entertain guests by a Cultural Dance Troupe followed by a Farewell Dinner.
Day 19 - The guests will be Seen Off by a Representative of our company and the Tour Guide at the Exit Gate. Wish Bon Voyage!!!