NOMADIC
ADVENTURES

TREKKING TO CHOMALHARI BASE CAMP 

This is a wonderful trek offering a variety of Bhutanese landscapes and is without doubt one of the most beautiful and unspoiled trekking areas. It can be an be challenging in parts, but unforgettable.

Chomalhari Trek

The Jomolhari (Chomolhari) trek, is one of the most popular treks in Bhutan. Starting at Drukgyel Dzong, this trek passes through fields into deep forested valleys, which gradually lead to high altitude pastures. Ranging in altitudes from 2500m - almost 5000m, the trek covers a wide range of landscapes with the opportunities to see the incredible Mount Jomolhari from Jomolhari Base Camp. 

The Jomolhari trek is perfect for people who want to experience the richness of landscape that Bhutan has to offer. Mt Jomolhari is one of the most beautiful mountains in the world. Standing on the border of China and Bhutan Jomolhari rises to 7314m and is considered to be a sacred mountain and worshiped by both the Bhutanese and Tibetans. The Deity of Jomolhari finds its place next to Lord Budha in a monastery located just below the base camp of this great mountain.  

 The trip starts with a visit to Temple Tiger, one of the most picturesque monasteries there is. The actual trek begins after a drive to Drugkyel Dzong at Shana, in the picturesque Paro Valley. It is filled with rhododendron forests The trek will take you across two high passes the Nyile La (4700m) and the Yale Pass (4950m) before descending to the Thimphu River and the Bhutanese capital of Thimphu. 

Although a shorter walk compared to some in Bhutan it offers a challenge with stunning scenery for those wanting a shorter trek. The trek takes you into remote highlands of the Lingshi, witnessing the lifestyles of the high altitude nomadic dwellers.   

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AT A GLANCE
  • 15 days 
  • Start point is from Paro 
  • Altitude of 4500m 
  • Richness of landscape 
  • One of the most popular treks in Bhutan
  • Old fortresses, villages, monasteries, and terraced fields                         
travel insurance

The cost of a medical evacuation from the mountain is expensive, which is why adequate travel insurance  is required on all climbs booked through us. Adequate, means you must be covered for 1) Trekking or hiking – this may sound strange, but many insurance list that as an exclusion. 
2) Altitude up to 6,000 meters. Most travel insurance providers do not include this under their standard cover and often limit it to 3500m or less. 
3) Sprains strains and physiotherapy – yes, many insurers exclude this; though ironically, this is what you will most likely need cover for. 
4) Personal accident – this is the horrible part of insurance. Yes, you need to be covered in the case of death. We are often told by clients – “if anything happens to me, just leave me there.” It is not that simple. 

https://www.nomadicadventures.co.za/Travel-Insurance.html

Chomalhari Overview

Day-1: Arrive Paro - Thimphu 
Day-2: Paro Sightseeing 
Day-3: Paro - Shana 
Day-4: Shana - Thangthayka 
Day-5: Soi Thangthayka - Jangothang 
Day-6: Jangothang 
Day-7: Jangothang - Lingshi 
Day-8: Lingshi 
Day-9: Lingshi Shodu 
Day-10 : Shodu - Barshong 
Day-11: Barshong - Dolam Kencho 
Day-12: Dolam Kencho - Thimphu.
Day-13: Thimphu - Punakha 
Day-14: Punakha - Paro 
Day-15: Final Departure. 

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JOMOLHARI  TREK   itinerary

Day-1: Arrive Paro - Thimphu

Upon arrival meet with our representative and after lunch transfer to Hotel. Overnight at Hotel in Paro.

Day-2: Paro Sightseeing

Visit Kychu Lhakahang, National Museum and Paro Dzong. Later in the evening assemble the trekking gear. Overnight at Hotel in Paro.                                      

Day-3: Paro - Shana

Drive up to Drukgyel Dzong where the road ends and trek begins, follow the river gently uphill through a agricultural valley and the village. Overnight stop at height of 2,800 m. Dist. 17 km. 5 to 6 hours.      

Day-4: Shana - Thangthayka

Continue uphill through the alpine forest. It narrows and closes in and the winds along the drainage. The trek is mostly through the deep forest. Camp is in a meadow with a stone shelter. Alt. 3750m. Dist. 20 km. 8 to 9 hours.

Day-5: Soi Thangthayka - Jangothang 

Continue up the Pa Chhu (river). Pass a small army post where the valley begins to widen again. Now views of high ridges and snow-capped peaks can be seen all around. Camp beneath a ruined fortress at the base of Mt. Jhomolhari and Mt. Jichu Drake. Alt: 4,040 m, Dist: 19 km, time about  6 1/2 hrs.

Day-6: Jangothang

Trek up to Tsophu for fishing or do any one of the three hiking excursions. Mt. Jhomolhari and its subsidiary are due west, Mt. Jichu Drake is to the north, unclimbed summits and ridges are to the east. 

Day-7: Jangothang - Lingshi

Wide yak pastures are visible both on ways up and down the pass. You may encounter some nomads in their yak tents. You can see the Lingshi Dzong. Tserim Kang and its descending glaciers are at the north end of the valley from the Nyuele la pass alt. 4700m. Camp at alt: 4150 m, dist: 19 km. 7 to 8 hours.

Day-8: Lingshi

On this day, at Lingshi for one-day excursion to Tsokha, the base camp of Jichu Drake. Large herds of blue sheep and musk deer may be seen. Alt: 4,500 m, dist 15 km.  

Day-9: Lingshi - Shodu

The trail ascends up to the Yalila Pass, altitude 4820 m, from the pass, Mt. Jhomolhari, Tserim Gang and Mt. Masagang can be seen on clear days. Then descend. Camp at ht: 3,963 m, 22 km. 9 to 10 hours.      

Day-10 : Shodu - Barshong 

Follow Wang Chhu through the forest of rhododendron and waterfalls, the river then narrows and closed in and the trail winds ascending to the ruins of Barshong Dzong. Camp just below the Dzong. Atl: 3,785 m dist: 13 kms. 6 to 7 hours.  

Day-11: Barshong - Dolam -Kencho

Descend gradually to meet Wang Chhu, passing through forests of Rhododendron, then ascend once again onto pasture land. Camp in meadow. Atl: 3,628 m, dist: 11 km. 5 to 6 hours.     

Day-12: Dolam Kencho - Thimphu. 

Continue uphill through the forest to a small pass. The trial winds up and along the drainage. Wild animals may be seen. At Dodina, meet the transportation for drive to Thimphu. Dist: 14 km. 6 to 7 hours. Overnight at Hotel in Thimphu. 

Day-13: Thimphu - Punakha 

Morning Thimphu sightseeing, visit Memorial Chorten, Painting School, National Library. After lunch drive to Punakha/Wangdi across the Dochula Pass ( Alt: 3050m ) where once can see the beautiful views across the Dochula Pass (Alt: 3050 m) of Eastern Himalayan Range. Overnight at Hotel in Wangdi.

Day-14: Punakha - Paro  

Visit Wangdi Dzong and Punakha Dzong, which is the winter home of Central Monk body (Je-Khenpo). After lunch transfer to Paro. Overnight Hotel     

Day-15: Final Departure. 

Drive to airport for the final departure. 

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Jomalhari and Bhutan Frequently Asked Questions

When is the best time or months to do the Chomalhari trek?

The best to come to Bhutan for trekking is in the spring, from March to May, or the autumn, from September to November. Spring is also when the Rhododendrons are out . Skies are clear and bright, the sun is usually shining, and the temperature is warm, though sometimes a little chilly in the evenings.

Summer, from June to August, is the monsoon season in Bhutan, and while the rain mostly falls at night or in the evenings, there are times when it can rain all day long.

What are the meals like on the trek?

All meals on trek are prepared for by the support team. We can also cater for vegetarian and any other dietary requirements.

How will the altitude affect me on Chomalhari trek?

This is a really difficult one to answer directly - "how will I cope with the altitude". To be honest, this is an ' unknown' factor as no-one can predict how your body will cope at altitude. People who have been to altitude many times in the past without problems, may on one climb suddenly develop problems. There are many factors that play a role. The only way to help combat this, is to take all of the necessary precautions, and walk slowly.                  

Why are treks in Bhutan so expensive compared to Nepal and India?

Bhutan has ‘High Value, Low Impact' tourism policy to preserve its cultural heritages and environment. Thus, with a high rate, it welcomes responsible travelers and few visitors. The policy is built on a daily “visa” fee of US$250 during the high season (which runs March to May and September to November), and US$200 during the low season (all other months). The amount sounds alarming, but is actually a minimum spending requirement that includes meals, three-star (minimum) accommodations in city hotels or countryside resorts, land transport, and guide service for every day spent in the country.

Where can I get climbing Insurance for Chomalhari base camp Trek?

If you are going hiking or climbing or trekking then you need extra cover for your activities. Hiking and Climbing have become popular for many adventure seekers looking to add a climb up Kilimanjaro or a trek to Everest Base Camp, Annapurna or even Island Peak to their list of amazing adventures. But any climb to high altitude carries with it a number of risks and having the correct and good trekking insurance is an absolute must. We recommend two different groups depending on which country you reside in. For further details, click here


How difficult is the hike to the Tiger's Nest Monastery (Takstang)?

The elevation gain is around 530m or 1700 feet  so it is a substantial climb and takes around 5-7 hours in total. However it is  well worth the effort.  By doing this at the start of the tour it helps with acclimatisation.

What are the hotel standards in Bhutan?

Hotels in Bhutan are rated according to a National 5 star rating system. This does not mean all hotels are 5 star, but rather that every classification of accommodation from home stays to guesthouses, have to adhere to a set of government standards. As such, the standard hotels, lodges and guesthouses are usually good, often small and with a great ambiance. All tour operators are required to provide their guests with a minimum of 3 Star accommodations so you can be assured of your comfort. Most hotels provide their guests with television, room service, fitness centers, spas and wi-fi. However the exact services available will vary from hotel to hotel. The more popular tourist destinations like western and central


Bhutan usually have the higher standards of star rated European and Asian properties. There are a few luxury hotels and resorts, but they are rather expensive. If starting in Nepal, we spend two nights in 3-star, Thamel Eco Resort, well situated within the heart of Thamel, or, if it is full, a similar category in Kathmandu. At the end of the tour we return to the same hotel.

What plug points are used in Bhutan?

As a traveler from USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand you will need an adaptor for types C, E, F, D, M, G. 

As a traveler from England you will need an adaptor for types C, E, F, D, M.            

As a traveler from South Africa you will need an adaptor for types C, E, F, G.    

Do I need a visa for Bhutan?

Yes a visa for Bhutan is required for every foreign traveler and has to be processed by a local tour operator, as no foreign embassy abroad grants tourist visas. The visa cost is currently $40 and your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after you leave Bhutan.

Is the water safe to drink?

Tap water is not safe to drink so you would need to buy mineral water which is readily available. Mineral water is readily available throughout the country. While on trek the guides will ensure that the water is boiled.

Is English spoken much in Bhutan?

English is commonly spoken, as it is the medium of instruction in schools. The national and official language of Bhutan is Dzongkha. Road signs and government documents are written in English and Dzongkha, and the national newspaper is printed in English, Nepali and Dzongkha.