Top 10 Adventure Activities in Bhutan: find the best way to enjoy a Bhutan adventure tour
Lying on the southern edge of the western Himalayas, Bhutan is known as the last Himalayan kingdom and the Land of the Thunder Dragon. An isolated land for centuries, Bhutan has now become a major destination for tourism, and a great place for some of the world’s best adventure sports. With its unique landscape, with high mountains in the north, dense sub-tropical jungles in the south, and plenty of rolling hills and fast-flowing rivers, this beautiful land is an amazing place to explore on foot, by bike, kayaking, or in any number of ways.
White Water Rafting
Two of the most popular spots for white water rafting are the Mo Chhu and Pho Chhu, two of the main rivers in Bhutan. The Mo Chhu has several stretches of Class I and II rapids before joining the Pho Chhu further downstream, in the beautiful setting of the mountains. One of the best stretches of the river is the set of rapids that runs past the Punakha Dzong and around the old capital city and the former royal residence in Punakha. White water rafting has fast become one of the most popular adventure sports in Bhutan, and there are plenty of rivers where you can experience this thrilling sport.
White water rafting is one of the most popular adventure sports in Bhutan.
For anyone without a fear of heights rock climbing is an adventure activity that can be the most exhilarating feeling in the world. As an adventure sport, rock climbing has gained much popularity in Bhutan, and there are now several places that have opened up for this unique activity due to an increased interest in rock climbing in the kingdom. The activity became popular after the Vertical Bhutan Climbing Club was formed in 1998, and the country now has 13 routes for rock climbing across the kingdom, most of which are around Thimphu. All of these routes have now been bolted and made safer for climbers, to allow novices to practice the sport in safety. With varying degrees of difficulty, ranging from 4B to 7B, the climbs range from 12 meters high to around 30 meters high, with the natural formation known as The Nose is the most popular.
Rock climbing is an adventure activity that can be the most exhilarating feeling in the world.
Crossing the Suspension Bridges of Bhutan
While crossing suspension bridges may not sound like an adventurous sport, it is a popular activity in Bhutan, and can really get the blood and adrenaline pumping. Crossing the many suspension bridges in Bhutan is an adventure that is unlike any other, especially since most of these bridges are already hundreds of years old. In Punakha, the Punakha Dzong has suspension bridges that connect it to all the surrounding villages, many of which are several hundred years old. While crossing the bridges, they sway in the winds and with the movement of people across them, making it a little harder than you would expect to cross a bridge to be. Yet the bridges of the Punakha Dzong barely even creak under the weight of the people, despite their age.
Crossing the many suspension bridges in Bhutan is a popular activity in Bhutan.
Kayaking has long been an adventure activity in both rivers and seas, and in Bhutan, there are a great number of amazing rivers where you can go kayaking and experiencing the unique landscapes and culture of the kingdom. One of the most scenic adventure sports in the country, the flow of the rivers is perfect for kayaking alone or with friends. The more popular rivers include the Wang Chhu, Sunkosh, Puna Tsang Chhu, Mangde Chhu, Kuri Chhu, and the Dangme Chhu. These amazing rivers provide huge opportunities for kayaking enthusiasts from around the world to immerse themselves in the stunning landscapes and scenery of this isolated Himalayan kingdom.
Kayaking offers you a chance to experience the unique landscapes of Bhutan.
While this may not be an adventure sport, it is an awesome way to spend the day and does require a lot of patience, as the fish do not exactly jump out of the river into your nets. Both trout and freshwater tuna can be found in many of the rivers across Bhutan, and going out fishing for the day is a fun and relaxing activity that can help people bond. Fly fishing is fast becoming more popular in Bhutan, thanks to the increasing numbers of salmon that have been seeded into the rivers, and a permit for fishing can cost as little as 700 rupees a day. Tour guides also offer instruction on how to cast for those that are new to fishing. An amazing experience, which is often held in areas with outstanding natural views, fishing is a sport that has immense satisfaction at the end, whether you catch a fish or not.
Fishing a big fish, what an amazing experience!
Trekking and Hiking
Trekking and hiking are the mainstays of Bhutan adventure sports, and with so many places to choose from, and a wide range of levels for trekking, there is always something for everyone when trekking in Bhutan. This mountainous country is ideal for high-altitude trekking, and there are a number of amazing treks that are some of the best in the world. From the amazing trek to the peak of Jomolhari and the beauty of the Druk Path trek to the vast Snowman Trek that crosses the north of the country from one end to the other and is only for the most experienced trekkers. The best place to start trekking in Bhutan is around Paro, to the west of Thimphu, and there are a great number of good treks that start in this area, or you can head east to Punakha and Bumthang for more.
To appreciate the magnificent mountain view of Bhutan during your trek.
When Bhutan joined the United Nations, the kingdom chose archery as its national sport, since almost every man in the country knows how to handle a bow. Archery contests have been a major part of most festivals and celebrations for centuries, and this amazing sport is something you should try in Bhutan. Traditionally, the contests were held in the various Dzongkhags (districts) and Gewogs (groups of villages within the districts) of the kingdom, but today national competitions using compound bows are also popular. This is one sport that is not limited to just professional athletes in Bhutan, unlike elsewhere, and all kinds of local men participate in both local and national levels for the competitions.
Archery in Bhutan is a major sports for locals.
With plenty of yet unpaved roads across the kingdom, Bhutan is an ideal place to go mountain biking. With the high mountainous region in the north descending to the rolling foothills below, there are few places that are better for taking an adventurous mountain bike holiday around the world. Set against the beautiful mountains and picturesque valleys of Paro, Punakha, and Bumthang, the mountain bike trails can be done in a day or over the course of up to three weeks, making them ideal for people both with little time and with lots to spare. Many of the trails also have only gradual ascents, but with steep and thrilling descents on the other side of the crest that really gets the adrenaline rushing through your veins. The trails in Bhutan are graded from novice to experienced, and your guides can help you choose the best ones for you.
Bhutan is undoubtedly is a perfect place to have a mountain biking.
In just about every mountainous area around the world, adventure sports have become predominant activities, and in Bhutan, this is also true, especially with the recent addition of paragliding to the long list of sports. The height of the Tibetan plateau, which Bhutan sits on the very edge of, helps with the uniqueness of paragliding in Bhutan, though as yet, this amazing sport can only be done in Kamshet, in the Ura Valley. Paragliding is still done as a paired jump, with an instructor to aid you in landing and steer the parachute, but it is one of the most thrilling experiences to view the landscape from above without using a plane or helicopter.
Paragliding in Bhutan is one of the most thrilling experiences.
For those with a love of animals and a desire to connect with nature, a wildlife safari in Bhutan is the ideal tour for your vacation. The best place for this is at the Royal Manas National Park, which is abundant in its variety of species of both flora and fauna. You can get the chance to spot leopards, Asian elephants, black bears, golden langurs, Bengal tigers, and many other species in their natural habitats. This is an activity that is best done in spring and autumn, due to the nature of the animal’s habits and lifestyles.
Royal Manas National Park of Bhutan
If you are looking for an adventurous vacation, then look no further than Bhutan, where you can indulge in the most exciting activities in the world. From mountain biking and kayaking to rock climbing and paragliding, there are plenty of sports to try out while you are in Bhutan, and for the perfect tour, you can check out our amazing Bhutan adventure tours, including biking tours, rafting and kayaking tours, fishing tours, or adventurous archery tours in this isolated Himalayan kingdom. Unfortunately, there is no bungee jumping in Bhutan, as the sport is not permitted because of some safety concerns of the Bhutanese government. But there are plenty of other things to try out, so come and have a go.