An amazing journey that takes us deep into the Himalayan peaks, crossing rivers, valleys and mountain passes one after the other. This itinerary is with no doubt the best option for a great trek in Bhutan. Spectacular scenery, grazing yaks, small isolated villages with deep-rooted ancient traditions are the hallmark of this great trek.
10 days trek
Highest altitude 5005m
Highest overnight altitude 4220m
Local guide English-speaking
Accommodation and meals in camping during the trek
Transfers in private vehicle
From April to May and from September to mid-November. It can easily snowfall from December to March
The first stages of the Laya Gasa trek are the same as those of the Jomolhari trek, walking through the Paro Chu valley to the village of Lingzhi, always watched over by the great Jomolhari. From Lingzhi, eight more spectacular days of trekking along the line of the Himalayan mountain range, bordering Tibet, with permanently white peaks of around 7000 metres in altitude, await us. But in addition to the high mountain scenery, snow-capped peaks, lakes and rivers, mountain passes, yak pastures and rhododendron, pine, spruce, birch and cedar forests, there is also cultural interest, with small isolated villages of yak herders and the unique village of Laya, where its inhabitants, the Layaps, form a separate culture within Bhutan.
Relatively long days, constant ascents and descents, variable but sometimes steep terrain, and sleeping in camp make it a trek of high but not extreme difficulty, ideal for those who are used to the harshness of the high mountains and who want to experience the great adventure of a camping trek accompanied by mules and yaks. It is, with no doubt, a great experience for mountain lovers.
Most of Bhutan is stunning, virtually untouched natural scenery. Permanent white peaks, yak pastures, occasional isolated and traditional villages, wildlife and unique flora. There are durations and landscapes to suit all tastes, from treks in the remote wilderness of the mountains to hikes that take you closer to a more cultural side, through villages and monasteries. Most of the routes can be done in both directions, so it is also possible to do partial round trips.
Overnight stays for most of the treks are in campsites, and yaks or mules are responsible for carrying your equipment and all the stuff for the trek, so, in a way, the old spirit of the pioneer treks is maintained, bridging distances of course. Bear in mind that there is little chance of charging the batteries of your cameras and other electronic devices, so it is advisable to carry spare batteries and perhaps a small solar charger.
Although we are still talking about a very unspoilt, lonely and wild territory, the rough-roads slowly advance following the valleys that enter the mountains to connect isolated villages, where services are very basic and difficult to reach. This naturally affects the route of the treks, especially during the first and last days, and is reducing the days of some itineraries.
Druk-Yul is what the Druk-pa, the people of the ‘land of the thunder dragon’, call Bhutan. It was one of the most isolated countries in the world until tourism was allowed in the 1970s, but there are still restricted areas of the country. This has preserved its traditions and culture from Western influence, while it has become the main attraction for tourists. And Bhutan has been able to capitalise on this with good tourist organisation and fares not suitable for all budgets.
With a very sparse population of about 700,000, Bhutan became famous for its GNH, the Gross National Happiness Index, as opposed to GDP, a concept they developed in the 1970s and included in the constitution.
Lush forests and high Himalayan peaks to the north define a majestic landscape, barely disturbed by the few existing roads, friendly and peaceful people greet the traveller embarking on the way through the so-called last Shangri-la on earth.
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