Laya Run/ Highlander Festival Tour

Laya Run/ Highlander Festival Tour - 10 Days | 9 Nights


US$ 3296 / Per Person

Group Size: 2 & above

Laya Run/ Highlander Festival Tour


  • The laya run Flag off from Panjothang, Gasa and ends in Langothang, Laya.
  • This is most popular highland festival takes place in Laya.
  • The Run is challenging but you will come across beautiful scenery and will get fresh air.
  • The Royal Highland Festival brings in all the highlanders from across the country.
  • Showcasing the competition of livestock.
  • The festival celebrates highlander’s unique and beautiful clothing’s, dance, music, handicrafts, food and intangible forms of culture.

The most popular highland festival takes place in Laya, a village located at one of the remote and high altitude regions in Bhutan. Every year in October, both locals and most of the tourists either trek or participate in Laya Run which is yet another challenging and most spectacular running race in the kingdom. Laya is known to many as the roof of the world.

The Royal Highland Festival brings in all the highlanders from across the country. The festive occasion is usually graced by the King of Bhutan.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1(October 19, Thursday): Arrive Paro

During the journey, one will experience breath-taking view of Mount Everest, Kanchenjunga and other famous Himalayan peaks including the sacred Jumolhari and Mount Jichu Drake in Bhutan. On arrival at Paro International Airport, you will be received by your guide and transfer you to the Hotel.  Later in the afternoon you will visit Paro Dzong. It was built in 17th century and now houses government offices and religious institutions. Then you will visit Kichu Lhakhang, the oldest temple in the country built by the Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo in 8th century. In the evening you can stroll in the paro town. Overnight hotel in Paro.

 Day 2(October 20, Friday): Paro

In the morning you will hike to Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) Monastery, which is Bhutan’s most famous monastery situated at 3180 meters. Guru Rinpoche (spiritual master) is said to have flown on the back of a tigress from Singye Dzong in Lhuntse to meditate in a cave where Taktsang Monastery now stands. The Moanstery is perched on the edge of a steep cliff, about 900 meters above Paro Valley. Lunch will be served at the Cafeteria. Explore the monastery and hike back to the valley in the afternoon. Overnight hotel in Paro

 Day 3 (October 21, Saturday): Paro to Punakha – Gasa, 130 km 5 hrs

After breakfast this morning, enjoy a scenic drive to Punakha with a stop for tea at the Dochu La pass (10,170 feet), where on a clear day you can get spectacular views of the Himalayas. From the pass we drive downhill through forests of rhododendron, fir and hemlock. You will arrive in Punakha after traveling through rice field and along the bank of Punakha River. From Punakha you will drive upstream along the Mo Chhu river to Gasa. The drive is through beautiful villages of Punakha located alongside the upper Mo Chhu river valley. Arrive Gasa and overnight in Gasa.

Day 4 (October 22, Sunday): Rest Day in Gasa

Today you will spend a day in Gasa allowing you to get acclimatized in preparation for tomorrow’s epic run. Overnight stay in Gasa.

Day 5 (October 23, Monday): Laya Run Flag off: Panjothang – laya 25 km.

After breakfast, you will set off for the 25 km run to Panjothang making a total elevation gain of 2000m. You will run down a slope towards Koina and then follow the natural hiking path to Laya, with stunning views of valleys, high pastures and the majestic Masangang mountain. Every once in a while you will be running across wooden bridges crossing the Mo Chhu river. On arrival to Laya village you will witness people wearing unique yak wool clothing adorned with colorful beads and conical shaped bamboo hats. You will run past Laya town finally making it to the festival grounds decorated with colorful prayer flags and crowds of Layaps, marking the end of the run. You will partake in the Royal Highland Festival and get acquainted with the cultural festival. Overnight in Farm house.

Day 6 (October 24, Tuesday): Laya (Attend Highlander Festival)

Today you will attend the Highlander Festival. The festival celebrates highlander’s unique and beautiful clothing’s, dance, music, handicrafts, food and intangible forms of culture. The most exciting part of the festival, besides the fun-filled games and sports events, is showcasing the competition of livestock showcasing the colorfully adorned majestic yaks of the region and noble Bhutanese mastiffs. Overnight in Farmhouse.

Day 7 (October 25, Wednesday): Laya-Gasa – Punakha.

Today you will walk back to Koina where you will be transferred back to Gasa. From Gasa you will further drive down along the Mo Chhu river through semi sub-tropical forests to Punakha. Overnight hotel in Punakha.

Day 7 (October 26, Thursday): Punakha – Thimphu

In the morning, visit Punakha Dzong, the former capital of Bhutan, which is stunningly situated in between the male and female rivers like an anchored ship. You will then enjoy the scenic drive to Thimphu. You will stop for lunch at Dochu La Pass (3,100 meters), where on a clear day you can get spectacular views of the Himalayas. On reaching at Dochula, visit the new Druk Wangyal Monastery, which is the only of its kind in the country with elaborate paintings depicting the lineage of the present monarchy and their visionary works. From the pass, drive downhill to Thimphu. Overnight hotel in Thimphu.

Day 9 (October 27, Friday): Thimphu

Morning, you will visit Memorial Chorten (built in memory of the third King of Bhutan who reigned from 1952-1972), Folk Heritage Museum and the world’s tallest Buddha statue at Kuenselphodrang made of bronze measuring 169 ft. Afternoon, you will visit Trashichhodzong and eveving is a free time to relax in the hotel or to stroll in Thimphu City. You can spend time visiting handicraft stores for souvenir shopping. Overnight at a hotel in Thimphu.

Day 10(October 28, Saturday): Thimphu to Paro Departure

Morning, after breakfast, you will drive to Paro for departure to your destination

At a Glance

Tour duration: 10 Days | 9 Nights

Tour type: Laya run with highlander festival

Difficulty level:  Hard

Total distance: 25 km

Event date: 23 – 24 October 2023

Activity type: Cultural tour, Attend festival, Historical sites, Religious sites and Day hike

Places covered: Thimphu, Punakha, Paro, Gasa and Laya

Maximum elevation: 3800m



  • All meals
  • Tea, coffee and snacks
  • Complementary bottled water in car
  • Hotels
  • Transport
  • Guide
  • Government levy
  • Visa fee
  • Permits
  • Sightseeing


On trek includes:

  • Sleeping tents
  • Dining tents
  • Toilet and shower tents
  • Toilet seats
  • Mats
  • Duffle bags
  • Cooking utensils
  • All meals
  • Guide
  • Trek chef assistants
  • Horses


  • Flight tickets
  • Insurance
  • Tips
  • Beverages other than tea and coffee
  • Sleeping bag on trek
  • Laundry
  • Internet bill
  • Phone bill
  • Other bills of personal nature



On trek includes:

  • Sleeping tents
  • Dining tents
  • Toilet and shower tents
  • Toilet seats
  • Mats
  • Duffle bags
  • Cooking utensils
  • All meals
  • Guide
  • Trek chef assistants
  • Horses


  • Accommodation in 3 star hotels (upgrade with supplement) during city tour.
  • Tented campsite accommodation on trek.


Package does not include insurance of any kinds, and that you are required to obtain separate coverage from your home country before your trip begins.

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