Tucked beneath the eastern Himalayas and landlocked between China and India, Bhutan harbours some of the cleanest air, highest mountains, and one of the best-preserved cultures on the planet. In Bhutan adventure travel experiences are around each bend. Epic scenery more than makes up for the lack of variety: outdoor activities in Bhutan are somewhat limited as the province is landlocked.... +Tucked beneath the eastern Himalayas and landlocked between China and India, Bhutan harbours some of the cleanest air, highest mountains, and one of the best-preserved cultures on the planet. In Bhutan adventure travel experiences are around each bend. Epic scenery more than makes up for the lack of variety: outdoor activities in Bhutan are somewhat limited as the province is landlocked.
Twice the size of Wales, Bhutan is divided into 20 districts. The quiet capital city of Thimpu is where many Bhutan adventure travel holidays begin, it’s found in the west, a region of ornately decorated houses set among jagged mountains and cascading rice paddies.
Much of Bhutan’s population live in the temperate central highlands, which encompass breathtaking Bumthang Valley. While northern Himalayan districts receive year-round snow and outdoor activities in Bhutan are centred on mountaineering and trekking, at a lower altitude, eastern Bhutan is a warmer region, famous for its textile weavers and ancient, spiritual culture.
From sub-tropical plains in the south to 7000m peaks in the north, Bhutan packs in a diverse range of topography and is home to Gangkhar Puensum (7,541m), the world’s highest unclimbed mountain.
Over 70 per cent of the country is forested, with efficient conservation programmes sustaining a contrasting range of exotic animals, from royal Bengal tigers and clouded leopards to black-throated parrot bills and boreal owls.
You’ll need to prepare well for Bhutan adventure travel journeys as climates vary massively between regions and altitudes, and weather in the mountains is extremely hard to predict. As a general rule, winter months (December-February) are cold and warm summers (June-August) receive afternoon and evening monsoons.
Outdoor activities in Bhutan are easiest in spring and autumn which are the mildest and driest months, with maximum temperatures in many areas above 20C, although nights are much colder and can still fall below zero in mountain areas.
From arrival at Paro airport, wander round the local markets and then hike up to Takhshang Dzong, Bhutan’s most iconic site. Start your Bhutan adventure travel here before you pick a trek through the mountains towards Thimpu, taking in the awe inspiring views of the Himalayas, before arriving in Thimpu in time for one of the many Buddhist festivals held throughout the year.
With more time, continue east towards Bumthang, choosing either hiking or cycling routes to explore this breathtaking valley, the sacred heart of the country.
Rafting and kayaking along the country’s many rivers, or chus are becoming popular outdoor activities in Bhutan, or try your hand at archery - it’s the national sport and something of an obsession amongst the Bhutanese. With an astonishing assortment of endemic and endangered wildlife, Bhutan also offers fantastic opportunities for safaris and bird watching.
Interestingly, the cost of Bhutan adventure travel is hard to quantify as the country supports an ideal of Gross National Happiness, valuing wellbeing and nature over economic gains; tourists are restricted to enter via approved tour groups only. -