Laya Gasa Trek
Trekking in Bhutan is like nowhere else in the Himalayas. It’s an untouched natural wonderland. Rated as one of Bhutan’s most spectacular, 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. 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. Please note that groups of two people will also need to pay a two-person supplement.
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 accommodation in handpicked hotels
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. 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, 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 over the Paro Valley are magnificent, with the only sounds the prayer flags blowing in the wind.
Travel across the Chele La Pass to the picturesque village of Haa to acclimatise before starting the Laya Gasa trek. The next day we return to Paro and drive to the start of the 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, have a rest day to acclimatise. 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 route departs from the Jomolhari trek route, and we head to Chebisa, which is 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). Be rewarded with stunning views, including the spectacular Tiger Mountain at the head of the valley. On a clear day, practically all 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, walk to the roadhead at Damji and return 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 without traffic lights! Enjoy a city walk and visit Trashi Chhoe Dzong, 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. 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 Thimphu: Visit Punakha Dzong and return to Thimphu. Driving time: 3 hrs
Altitude: 2,350 m
Thimphu: Thimphu sightseeing.
Altitude: 2,350 m
Depart: Drive to Paro and depart.