Laya Gasa Trek
Trekking in Bhutan is like nowhere else in the Himalayas, an untouched natural wonderland. Rated as one of Bhutan’s most spectacular treks, the Laya Gasa trek takes you across northern Bhutan’s border with Tibet. Enjoy fabulous views of snow-capped mountains and experience the unique culture of the friendly Layap people in a truly remote corner of the Himalayas.
In October, don't miss the annual Royal Highlander Festival that takes place in Laya, where you'll see the local people showcasing their unique culture over a two day event in the remote countryside.
19 NIGHT TOUR WITH 13 NIGHT TREK
DEPARTS: paro, bhutan
Maximum elevation: 5,005 m
Level of difficulty: Hard
Availability: March - May & September - November
Minimum group size: 2 people
This trip can operate with one less night for US$5,210
* Price based on twin share accommodation. Single room supplement available subject to availability.
Find out approximate trip price in your own currency here
- International airfare to Bhutan. (This can be arranged for you. Please contact us for details).
- Stopover hotel if needed
- Comprehensive travel insurance. Click here for an insurance quote.
- Additional activities e.g. massage, hot stone bath and some spa activities
- Alcoholic or soft drinks
- Tips for trekking porters
- Transport by private mini bus
- All meals, mineral water, tea and coffee
- 6 nights comfortable hotel accommodation
- 13 nights fully serviced camping trek
- Bhutan visa, Bhutan government tourism royalties and local taxes
- English speaking Bhutanese guide
- All entrance fees at monasteries and museums
Your journey begins in the beautiful Paro Valley where we stay in a charming Bhutanese-style boutique hotel located on the edge of a forest. Wake up to breathtaking views of Himalayan peaks in your rustic villa. Visit Paro Dzong, the National Museum and the famous Nyamai Zam Bridge.
The next day, we visit Taktshang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest), Bhutan’s most famous and iconic landmark. A hike up through blue pines passing water-powered prayer wheels, leads you to this ancient monastery clinging miraculously to a sheer cliff. The views are magnificent over the Paro valley and the only sounds to be heard are prayer flags blowing in the wind.
Travel across the Chele La Pass to the picturesque village of Haa to acclimatise before starting our trek. The next day we return to Paro and drive to the start of the Laya Gasa Trek near Gunitsawa where, after a short walk, we camp for the night. The trail then climbs through conifer forests following a river valley. At Jangothang, we have a rest day to acclimatise and do a day hike taking in great views of Jomolhari and Jichu Drake. We might even see native blue sheep! The trail leads to the remote village of Lingzhi via the Nyile La Pass. At Lingzhi, the Laya Gasa path departs from the Chomolhari trek route and we head to Chebisa in a picturesque valley of stone houses and pastures. Blue sheep can be spotted nearby.
Be prepared for one of the hardest days of the trek as we climb to the Sinche La Pass (5,005 m) where we are rewarded with stunning views, including the spectacular Tiger Mountain at the head of the valley. On a clear day, practically all of the mountains on the northern border are visible.
Descend though beautiful forests and enter the village of Laya, home to the indigenous Layap people. The Layaps have their own language, customs and are famous for wearing traditional woven conical hats with a spike at the top. There are approximately 800 inhabitants in this remote village which has a school, hospital, several small shops and a gompa (monastery). The trail then descends down the Mochhu river towards Gasa renowned for its hot springs. From here we walk to the road head at Damji for our transport to Punakha.
Visit Punakha Dzong before driving across the Dochula Pass to Thimpu. Thimpu is one of the world’s smallest capital cities and the only one in the world without traffic lights! Enjoy a city walk and visit Trashi Chhoe Dzong. Visit the Memorial Chorten, Buddha Point, Folk Heritage Museum, National Library and the School of Traditional Arts and Crafts. Depart Thimpu for Paro Airport and your onward flight.
Arrive in Paro, Bhutan: You will be met at the airport by your guide and travel to your hotel just outside Paro. Visit Paro Dzong, the National Museum and the famous Nyamai Zam Bridge.
Altitude: 2,250 m
Paro: Tiger's Nest excursion.
Altitude: 2,250 m
Haa: Drive to the picturesque Haa valley via the Cheli La Pass at 3,810 metres. Hike to Kila Nunnery for an acclimatisation hike.
Altitude: 2,700 m
Haa to Sharna Zampa: Return from Haa to Paro and drive to the start of the trek. Walking time: 4 hrs Altitude: 2,850 m Overnight: Camp
Trek from Sharna Zampa to Thangthangkha Walking time: 7-8 hrs Altitude: 3,610 m Overnight: Camp
Trek from Thangthangkha to Jangothang Walking time: 5-6 hrs Altitude: 4,080 m Overnight: Camp
Jangothang: Rest day with day hike.
Trek from Jangothang to Lingshi Walking time: 6-7 hrs Altitude: 4,010 m Overnight: Camp
Trek from Lingshi to Chebisa Walking time: 5-6 hrs Altitude: 3,800 m Overnight: Camp
Trek from Chebisa to Shomuthang Walking time: 6-7 hrs Altitude: 4,220 m Overnight: Camp
Trek from Shomuthang to Robkuthang Walking time: 6-7 hrs Altitude 4,160 m Overnight: Camp
Trek from Robkuthang to Limithang Walking time: 6-7 hrs Altitude: 4,140 m Overnight: Camp
Trek from Limithang to Laya Walking time: 4-5 hrs Altitude: 3,840 m Overnight: Camp
Laya: Rest day.
Trek from Laya to Koina Walking time: 6-7 hrs Altitude: 3,050 m Overnight: Camp
Trek from Koina to Gasa Walking time: 6-7 hrs Altitude: 2,240 m Overnight: Camp
Gasa to Punakha: Drive to Punakha. Driving time: 4 hrs
Altitude: 1,310 m
Overnight: Wangdue Phodrang
Punakha to Thimpu: Visit Punakha Dzong and return to Thimpu. Driving time: 3 hrs
Altitude: 2,350 m
Thimpu: Thimpu sightseeing.
Altitude: 2,350 m
Depart: Drive to Paro and depart.