Tailor-Made Holiday

Bhutan Family Adventure Holiday

Kids roam free in Bhutan - camping, pony riding, rafting through Bhutan

11 days

from £4,295pp

Many might think that we are mad for recommending Bhutan as a family destination. Yes there are challenges – altitude and long journeys notwithstanding - but you dismiss it at your peril and ignore the opportunity for your children to discover that deep impulse to inquire that comes from being immersed in living cultures very different to one’s own.

  • Witness the ancient practise of prayer flag hoisting and learn age old customs
  • Children can take part in the lighting of yak butter lamps, for long life
  • Saddle up on ponies so the kids don’t miss out on Tigers Nest Monastery
  • Watch an achery tourament at the National Ground in Paro and revel in the impromptu song and dance on hitting a bullseye
  • Make individual postage stamps to include a personalised photo
  • Toasting marshmallows at the woodland camp and sleep under the stars
  • Hike a short way up to the temple at Nyexengorg and then raft scenic Mo Chu

 

Although Bhutan is incredibly different to countries in the west there's no overwhelming daily culture shock to contend with. However, electricity and plumbing can be eratic and teenagers in particular may be surprised by lack of fashion and make-up choices, internet connection  and tobacco . Parents will probably take all of these things as positive reasons to visit.

Bhutan offers privileged experiences for energetic families, with an abundance of activities. We can arrange for soccer matches at monasteries and lessons in the national sport of archery.  This is backcountry Asia with child-friendly activities, safe drivers and exceptional hotels .Added to this, nearly all Bhutanese speak English from a very young age.  

As road journeys can be slow and winding, unless your children are good travelers we recommend confining your trip to Western Bhutan where there is still plenty to see and do.

Simple lodges can be found throughout Western Bhutan but at times fall short when catering specifically for family needs.  The exceptional understanding and attention to detail that goes into shaping an experiential stay at the boutique lodges will undeniably define your family holiday. If the budget fits, we suggest you stay in at least one of these magical hotels during your trip. Taj, Aman and COMO are all reassuringly present in Bhutan.

Along with this some high end camping experiences at Bumdra Monastery and Punakha Valley, Bhutan is truly capable of offering a spectacular experience, amongst comfortable surroundings. It has come a long way in a decade.

The COMO hotels  have crafted a menu that will be wolfed down by your younger ones, and offer a  two bedroomed villas to ensure you have the perfect balance when it comes to sleeping arrangements, after all this is a holiday! 

The best time to visit Bhutan coincides with our Spring and Autumn school holidays, particularly for trekking. The monsoon brings rain between June and September and this is the main time to avoid Bhutan.

A number of festivals coincide with the UK school holidays, such as Paro Tsechu in April and Thimphu Tsechu in autumn, although there are smaller celebrations throughout Bhutan almost every month.

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

  Click here to see what is included/excluded

what is included

  • All accommodation
  • Internal flights
  • International flights as detailed
  • Sightseeing with private guide as per the itinerary
  • Transfers as detailed

what is excluded

  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visas

PLEASE NOTE THE COST SHOWN INCLUDES INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS DEPARTING FROM THE UK, BASED ON AN APPROXIMATE AIR FARE. PLEASE ASK YOUR TRAVEL EXPERT FOR AN ACCURATE INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT QUOTE. INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS DEPARTING FROM THE UK ARE ATOL PROTECTED.

Itinerary at a glance

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Day 1

Fly London to Delhi


Delhi may be one of the world's largest metropolises, but architectural wonders - new and old - fill the city, hidden beneath Delhi's urban sprawl. Mughal treasures, including the Red Fort and Jama Masjid, are complemented by more recent additions to Delhi's architectural heritage, such as the stunning Lotus and Akshardham Temples. Meanwhile, contemporary Delhi thrives in Connaught Place, which - with its colonially-designed buildings, - is the most westernised part of the centre. Globalisation is in evidence, with brand names splashed across every storefront.

Day 2

Day at leisure in Delhi


You will be staying at JW Marriott Hotel Aerocity, Bed & Breakfast

Day 3

Fly Delhi to Paro


Bordered by forested mountain peaks, Paro Valley is the entry point for all travel to Bhutan. The small town of Paro, which was established in the 1980s, sits at an elevation of 2,250 metres and consists of just one main street.

One of the most beautiful arrival points for any country, this quiet town consists of just a handful of colourful buildings and captures the essence of provincial Bhutanese life. The surrounding valley is a mix of small villages, historic buildings, monuments and wonderfully terraced fields.

Drive from Paro to Thimphu


A journey of approximately 30 minutes.


Little over half a century old, Bhutan's young capital was barely more than a small village before its meteoric rise to prominence in 1961. Chosen by the King to be the new face of a reformed Bhutan, and to replace the ancient capital of Punakha, the city is still developing at a rapid pace.

Despite its relatively large size by Bhutanese standards, the city retains a friendly feel and relaxed small town vibe. Little shops and colourful marketplaces fill the city, squeezed between growing signs of modernity and constant reminders of Bhutan's steadfastly traditional way of life.


Half Day Visit to the National Memorial Chorten, Folk Museums and Emporium
Explore Thimphu and visit a number of its fascinating sites. These include the eye-catching National Memorial Chorten, the apprentice-packed School of Traditional Arts and the fascinating Traditional Medicine Institute.

The latter of these is famous for its use of mummified caterpillars, which sell for up to £15,000 per kilogram in China. Known as 'Himalayan Viagra', these magical bugs are renowned for their powerful restorative properties.

Later, visit the Handicrafts Emporium, which is a government-run enterprise that displays a wide range of beautifully hand-woven textiles and craft products.


You will be staying at Druk Hotel Thimphu, Full board

Day 4

Full Day Exploration of Thimphu Valley
Spend the day exploring Thimphu Valley and seeing many of its sights. Highlights include the lively Etho Metho Primary School, the apprentice-packed School of Traditional Arts, the fascinating Traditional Medicine Institute and the Takins of the Mini Zoo.
Also have the opportunity to visit the magnificent Tashichho Dzong, a vast Buddhist monastery and fortress that sits on the northern edge of the city. Built in the 17th century, this impressive structure overlooks the Raidak River. All sightseeing is optional and the day can be tailored around your interests. Please discuss with your guide.


You will be staying at Druk Hotel Thimphu, Full board

Day 5

Drive from Thimphu to Punakha via Dochu-la Pass


Half Day Visit to Nalanda Buddhist Institute
Visit Nalanda Buddhist Institute, also known locally as Daley Goenpa or Dalida. This Buddhist monastic school is located in western Punakha and the monks that study here benefit from English classes twice a day, six days a week.

Meet the senior English group and help them with their conversation practice. Get the chance to learn about their country and culture.

Bhutan's ancient capital for more than 300 years, the town of Punakha lies in a lush valley at the confluence of the Pho and Mo Rivers. Still scattered with treasures from its regal past, the town is best known for the commanding Punakha Dzong. This magnificent building is often said to be Bhutan's finest structure.

A pleasant town that makes the most of its scenic locale, Punakha is renowned for its fertile land. The surrounding valley sits at a lower altitude than most of Bhutan and produces an abundance of rice, oranges and bananas.


You will be staying at Meri Puensum Resort, Full board

Day 6

Half a Day of Kayaking or Rafting
Hike up through fields of rice, along the banks of the Mo Chhu, to the impressive Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten. From here, take to the water in rafts or kayaks.

The Mo Chu River flows at a leisurely pace down the valley, passing by the stunning Punakha Dzong, whereas the white-water of the Pho Chu River offers an adrenalin buzz for the more adventurous. Have the chance to tackle its rapids, whilst rushing through pristine forests and lush farmland.


Half Day Visit to Punakha Dzong
Visit Punakha's most famous sight, its eponymous dzong. Meaning the 'palace of great happiness', this is one of the country's most majestic structures and the second oldest dzong in Bhutan. Located on the confluence of Punakha's two rivers, the current building dates back almost 400 years and has been extended during the subsequent centuries. Standing six storeys tall and topped with a brass roof, the Punakha Dzong has survived a number of fires and a severe earthquake. Inside, the relics of a number of Drukpa Buddhist leaders are housed, including those of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal.


You will be staying at Meri Puensum Resort, Full board

Day 7

Transfer to the Punakha Valley for deluxe camping b y the river or forest.


You will be staying at EthoMetho Deluxe Camp, Full board

Day 8

Drive from Punakha to Paro


The journey will take approximately four to five hours.


Half Day Visit to the National Museum and Paro Dzong
Said to be built in the shape of a conch shell, Paro's National Museum is housed in a renovated 17th century watchtower. Inside, explore the various galleries, which house a wide range of religious and historic artefacts, including impressive hand-made 'thangkas' and colourful festival masks.

Afterwards, head to Paro Dzong. Also known as the Rinpung Dzong, which means 'Fortress on a Heap of Jewels', this imposing structure is one of Bhutan's most striking dzongs. Built in the 16th century, it successfully defended the valley against several Tibetan invasions.


Watch an Archery Demonstration


Evening Cooking Demonstration


You will be staying at Uma Paro, Half board

Day 9

Full day excursion to Taktsang
A full day excursion to the famous Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) up to the view point with lunch at Taktsang cafeteria. Legend says that Guru Padmasambhava came flying on the back of a tigress and landed on the spot where Taktsang Monastery stands today, to meditate and subdue a demoness. Virtually clinging to the cliff, it is a place of pilgrimage and every Bhutanese tries to visit it at least once in their lifetime. Later return to Paro with time for shopping or a stroll around the town.
N.B. The original monastery was largely burnt down in April 1998 but has been wonderfully restored.


You will be staying at Uma Paro, Half board

Day 10

Fly Paro to Delhi


You will be staying at JW Marriott Hotel Aerocity, Bed & Breakfast

Day 11

Fly Delhi to London

Accommodation

Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.

Uma Paro

Uma Paro

Uma Paro offers 5-star comfort and a unique style in the wildly beautiful Himalayan region of Bhutan....

View Accommodation

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Destination Experts

Our experts have unrivalled firsthand knowledge of Bhutan

Charlotte Lawton, Sales Consultant

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Joe Parkes, Travel Expert

"It was extremely helpful to work in conjunction with Joe and his much more up to date knowledge of India and arrive at an itinerary which we were happy with. We enjoyed the whole trip and probably what made it special for us was the fact that all the arrangements worked so well and we really didn’t have to worry about anything at all. Even when we decided to make a small change it was dealt with efficiently and promptly. We can't think of anything that would have made our trip more enjoyable."

"The service from start to finish has been excellent. Joe was very quick to respond to any queries and put together an excellent itinerary at short notice."

"A pleasure to deal with Joe. Efficient, helpful, knowledgeable and fun!"

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For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

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