Chelela Trekking

chelela-trekkingChelela Trekking is for nature lovers, especially during spring, which is the Rhododendron season. The trail takes you through forests filled with many species of primula and shades of red and orange Rhododendrons. From the pass, you will have panoramic views of the two valleys Paro and Haa, along with the beautiful Himalayan ranges of Bhutan. This trek can be customized to suit your needs.

Trek Facts

Trek: Chelela
Trek starts: Paro
Trek duration: 6 days/11 days including transportation
Grade: Easy
Maximum altitude: 3950m
Minimum altitude: 2250m
Trek ends: Drukgyal Dzong

Trip Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu and a representative of Unique Nepal Adventure Trek will welcome and transfer you to your selected hotel by private vehicle.

Day 2: Fly from Kathmandu to Paro (2250m). This flight into Paro is one of the most spectacular mountain flights to take, as it flies past Everest, Makalu, Kanchenjunga, and many more peaks. The flight takes around an hour and a half. We will then go to our hotel and take refreshments and visit Ta Dzong (National Museum) and visit Paro Rinpung Dzong.

Day 3: After breakfast, we drive to Kyichu Lhakhang. King Songtsän Gampo built the Lhakhang in the 7th century AD. The associated legend is that – this is one of 108 Lhakhang’s built in a single night by the king to tame his kingdom’s borders. Return to stay for lunch, rest, and prepare for the trek up to Taktsang Monastery (the “Tiger’s Nest”).

Drive to the start of the trek. Trek (or horse ride) to Taktsang Monastery (trek time is 2-3 hours depending on weather and fitness level).Taktsang is perched on a precipitous 900-meter cliff. The monastery has been restored at painstaking efforts to former glory after a fire in 1998. The legend is that Guru Padmasambhava flew to this holy place on the back of a tigress to meditate. More recently, one of the most enlightened abbots in modern Bhutan history, Geshe Gendun Rinchen (1926 – 1997) also known as Draphugpa (Of the Caves), was born in a small cave by the path to the monastery. Tea and refreshments will be taken at Taktsang Café for about an hour’s rest to take photos and view the scenery. We will then descend to road point (horses cannot be ridden) and drive back to Paro to prepare for the trek.

Day 4: Paro – Chonana 
Distance 14 km, 4-5 hours, camp altitude 3500m.
Start the trek from Olathang 1.5 km from Paro town. Most of the days walk is a gradual climb through the pine forests. Along the trail, you pass through some beautiful farmhouses built in typical Bhutanese architects. The view of the Paro valley from the trail is also excellent.

Day 5: Chonana – Jebkarpo
Distance 16 km 5-6 hours, camp altitude 3500m.
You trek uphill for most of the day with plenty of rests on the way to the Chelela pass (3700m). The trail takes you through forests filled with primula, rhododendron, and many other species of plants and trees. After crossing the pass, the trail goes along the ridge of Chelela with clear views of the Himalayan mountain ranges.

Day 6: Jebkarpo – Lower Mingula
Distance 15 km, 5-6 hours, camp altitude 3850m.
Today is a day to be up early. Early morning view from the campsite of Jomolhari, Tsherim Gang, and the famous mountain Jichu Drake is absolutely breathtaking. The trail follows the ridge above the Ha valley. The path leads along the ridge offering great mountain scenery and a bird’s eye view of Paro and Haa valley.

Day 7: Lower Mingula – Thong
Distance 16 km, 5-6 hours, camp altitude 3950m.
This day will also offer excellent views of the mountains and valleys, where we sometimes come across a Yak herder’s camp. You can visit one of the camps and enjoy their company. As a tradition, you will be offered butter tea or Chang (local wine).

Day 8: Thong – Drukgyal Dzong 3-4 hours.
The trail descends all the way through pine and rhododendron forests and the trek ends near the ruined fortress of Drukgyal Dzong. The Dzong is a monument to the Shabdrung’s victory against an invasion of allied Tibetan-Mongolian forces in 1649. The name “Drukgyal Dzong” thus translates to “Fortress of Victory”. The Dzong was destroyed in a fire in the 1950s. On clear days, Drukgyal is an excellent place to view the glorious mountain Jomolhari. Then back to Paro and do some sightseeing and shopping for some souvenirs.  Stay overnight at a hotel.

Day 9: Fly back to Kathmandu. Stay overnight at your selected hotel in Kathmandu.

Day 10: Souvenir and sightseeing in Kathmandu.

Day 11: A representative of Unique Nepal Adventure Trek will drop you off at Tribhuvan International Airport by private vehicle.

Price Includes:

  • Airport pick-up and drop off by the private vehicle.
  • Two nights in your selected Kathmandu hotel with breakfast.
  • All meals during the trek (lunch, dinner, breakfast, and tea or coffee).
  • Accommodation in a hotel in Paro.
  • Accommodation in twin shared tents with mattresses.
  • All the necessary equipment for camping.
  • One English speaking government trained license holder and well-informed trekking guide.
  • Dependent on group size, cook, kitchen boy, and extra horses)
  • All expenses for guide and porters – meals, accommodation, salary, equipment, insurance, transportation (bus/flights), etc.
  • First Aid kit bag.
  • Government and local area taxes where applicable. These include Royalty fees and road permit fees.
  • Return transportation from Kathmandu to Paro by flight.
  • Paro to the start of the trek and end of the trek by private vehicle.
  • A Bhutanese visa fee, where the cost is dependent on the time of year you visit. See the link for Bhutan Information for prices.

Price Excludes:

  • Nepalese entry visa fee and departure tax. (See the ‘Visa Information’ link under ‘Trekking Info’ for current fees)
  • Travel insurance.
  • Soft and alcoholic drinks (mineral water, hot water, coke, Fanta, beer, spirits, etc).
  • Snacks (Chocolate, biscuits, etc).
  • Hot water, hot shower, heater charge, battery charge, phone calls, and laundry service.
  • The donation, tips, and personal expenses.
  • Emergency evacuation and medical equipment.
  • In case of natural calamities i.e. political unrest, cancellation of flight due to weather, landslides, etc, the extra charge will be borne by themselves.
  • Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu.
  • Please note that you cannot hire equipment and other personal items in Bhutan such as (sleeping bag, down jacket, hiking boots, etc). You must either bring these items into the country by yourself, or they can be hired from Kathmandu.