The Laya Trek
Bhutan, Trek & Walk, 19 days - from £2,995 (land only) - from €3,745 (land only) - from $5,240 (land only)
Day 1: Rendezvous at the group hotel in Kathmandu. Complimentary airport transfers are provided. KE Land Only package services begin with the evening meal.
Day 2: We transfer to the airport and take the short flight to Bhutan's only international airport, at Paro. Here we are met by our Bhutanese guide and we make the 1.5 hour drive to the capital Thimpu. If there is time after checking into our hotel, we can make our way to the Tashichhodzong to watch the opening day of festival.
Day 3: This is the main day of the Thimpu Tsechu with many masked dances in the courtyard of the Tachichhodzong. We have a full day at the festival, watching the dances and participating in the fun. Afterwards we have a second night at our hotel in Thimpu.
Day 4: We make the return drive to Paro and continue beyond the town for 15 minutes to the ruined Drugyel Dzong. Here we transfer to 4X4 vehicles and follow a rough track beside the Paro river for around 2 hours to the road-head at Shana. Now we can stretch our legs with a walk of 2 - 3 hours to our first campsite (3200m)
Day 5: We follow the river through lovely mixed forest on an undulating trail. At a junction of 2 valleys, we turn north towards Chomolhari which is now visible and in a further 30 minutes, we reach our camp at Soi Thangka. (3610m) 3 - 4 hours.
Day 6: We continue our trek towards Chomolhari, passing a small herding camp and entering more open country with grazing yaks. Camp at the meadow of Jangothang (4040m / 13,255ft).
Day 7: A day for exploration above our camp at Jangothang. Even better views of Chomolhari and of Jitchu Drake's dramatic spire can be gained by walking above this camp.
Day 8: Great views during today's long trek, as we cross the prayer-flagged Nyele La and descend on a long pine forested ridge to a riverside camp below Lingshi Dzong.
Day 9: After a morning visit to Lingshi Dzong, we follow a traversing path with views of the Basingthang peaks, then descend via the picturesque village of Gang Yul to Chebisa.
Day 10: The day starts with a long climb to the Gobu La, then a descent to the river and a delightful afternoon's trek through juniper and silver birch woodland to Somothang.
Day 11: An early start for the ascent to the Jhari La (4720m / 15,485ft) for superb views of the 7000 metre peak, Kang Che Da. We then descend to another river and camp at Robluthang.
Day 12: Following a well marked yak herders trail, we climb to the high point of the trek at the Shinge La (4900m / 16,075ft) then drop down once again to the meadow camp at Limithang.
Day 13: A shorter day on an undulating trail through woodland, before a gradual ascent to the village of Laya where we should arrive in time for lunch. The afternoon is free to rest and explore this fascinating village.
Day 14: Starting our walk out through the valley of the Mo Chu, there is a fair amount of up and down, before we climb away from the river to a camp at Chamsa, below the Bale La.
Day 15: An hour's climb takes us to the Bale La, beyond which it is down, down, down into ever-more-luxuriant forest. We visit Gasa Dzong en route to our camp at Gasa hot springs.
Day 16: A short morning's trek through forest and farmland to the roadhead, then we drive via Punakha Dzong and the Dochu La to our hotel in the tiny Bhutanese capital of Thimpu.
Day 17: We make the return drive to Paro where we check into our hotel before heading out for the hike to see the iconic 'Tigers Nest' monastery of Taktsang. Approximately 4 - 5 hours walking. Overnight in Paro.
Day 18: We take the morning flight to Kathmandu and transfer to the group hotel. We have a guided sightseeing tour of the city in the afternoon.
Day 19: KE Land Only package services end with breakfast at the hotel. Complimentary airport transfers are provided.
LAY/02/14 visits the Thimpu Tsechu and has a slightly different itinerary
This holiday involves going to very high altitude. During the course of your trip you will be spending at least one night above 4000 metres and/or trekking to 5000 metres or above. This is not something that you should worry about; the human body is quite capable of adapting to a very wide range of altitudes, but it is important that we follow some simple rules in order to acclimatise successfully. Before coming on this holiday you should read the advice on trekking at high altitude.