When Is the Best Time to Travel to Bhutan

Category: Bhutan, Travel Tips & Guides, Family Holidays

Considered to be the last Shangri-La on earth, Bhutan is a dream destination for many travellers. Finding out the best time to visit this fascinating country is not easy as its climate and landscape are so diverse and it has so much to offer at different times of the year. Here's a brief guide on best time to visit Bhutan based on climate, seasons and activities.

when to visit Bhutan

 

Bhutan climate

A landlocked country located in the eastern Himalayas, Bhutan has an extremely diverse climate, which varies with altitude. Its altitude changes from the 590ft in the narrow southern lowland to 23,950ft in the northern Himalayan plateau and it can be divided into three distinctive climatic regions. The southern lowland has a tropical climate, characterized by hot, humid summer and cool winter. In the central valley, it is warm and humid in summer but cold and dry in winter. As it goes north to the slopes of the Himalaya Mountains, it can be freezing cold in winter and cool in summer. Due to its high altitude, the Himalaya peaks are capped with snow all year round.

8-Day Bhutan Sightseeing Hiking Paro - Thimphu - Punakha - Gangtey - Paro
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In addition to altitude, the climate of Bhutan is also influenced by monsoon. The southwest monsoon brings plenty of rain in summer, while in winter, the northeast monsoon carries strong winds through passes of high mountains, which is why Bhutan gained the name Drukyul, meaning the land of the thunder dragon.

 

Bhutan weather by month

Travelling in December - February

December, January, and February are the coldest months of the year in Bhutan, particularly in the northern mountains. Night temperatures in Paro, Thimphu and Bhumthang can fall below 32 degrees Fahrenheit ( 0 degrees Celsius). There will be fewer visitors to the country during this period. But those who brave the harsh weather will be rewarded with clear skies. It is warmer and sunny in the valleys where you will get clear views of stunning Himalayan Mountains. 

Travelling in early March - late April

March marks the beginning of spring, with all flowers in the valley starting to bloom. Dry and pleasant days continue until mid April. This is a popular time to visit, so advance reservation is necessary to get the best hotel room and flights.

Dochula Pass in MayMay still offers fantastic views of the famous 108 stupas in Dochula Pass.

Travelling in mid April - late June

From mid April till late June, heat and humidity increase, with occasional showers and temperatures up to 86 degrees Fahrenheit ( 30 degrees Celsius ). 

Travelling in late June - late September

Due to the southwest monsoon, heavy rain and high humidity are expected from mid April to Late September. 

Travelling in late September - late November

From late September (sometimes early October), the rainy season ends and follows the pleasant, dry bright weather, which will last till Late November. It is usually warm in the daytime, but can be cold in the evening and snowfall is likely in the areas of higher altitudes. October is the most popular month for the international travellers to visit Bhutan, so make sure you plan your trip well in advance to get better value.

Paro in fallThe Paro valley in late September

Average temperature and precipitation for major tourist destinations in Bhutan:

DestinationJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Thimphu

50°F

0"

52°F

1"

59°F

2"

63°F

3”

66°F

6"

70°F

11"

70°F

13"

70°F

10"

68°F

8"

64°F

3"

57°F

1"

52°F

0"

Paro

50°F

0"

52°F

1"

57°F

2"

63°F

3”

66°F

6"

68°F

10"

70°F

12"

68°F

10"

68°F

8"

64°F

3"

57°F

1"

52°F

0"

Punakha

59°F

1"

61°F

1"

68°F

2"

72°F

4”

75°F

10"

77°F

20"

77°F

24"

77°F

17"

75°F

13"

73°F

4"

66°F

1"

61°F

0"

Bumthang

48°F

0"

50°F

0"

55°F

1"

61°F

2”

66°F

4"

70°F

8"

70°F

9"

68°F

7"

66°F

5"

63°F

2"

55°F

0"

50°F

0"

Phobjikha 

 Valley

46°F

0"

48°F

0"

54°F

1"

59°F

2”

63°F

4"

66°F

7"

66°F

9"

66°F

7"

64°F

5"

59°F

2"

54°F

0"

48°F

0"

Jakar

50°F

0"

54°F

0"

57°F

1"

63°F

2”

68°F

5"

70°F

10"

70°F

11"

70°F

9"

68°F

6"

64°F

2"

57°F

0"

52°F

0"

 

High and low season rates

If you are not a citizen of India, Bangladesh and the Maldives, you are required to book a tour through a licensed Bhutanese Tour Operator to visit the country. There are "minimum daily package" rates set by the Bhutanese government for all tours. These rates vary depending on high and low seasons. The minimum daily package rate for high season is $250 and $200 for low season. High season months are March, April, May, September, October, and November. Low season months include January, February, June, July, August, and December.

 

The best time to visit Bhutan

March, April, October, and November are generally the best months to visit when you can expect cool, pleasant weather. For travellers having different interests such as festivals, trekking, black-necked cranes and rhododendron, the ideal time to go may vary.

Best time to see Bhutanese Festivals

Bhutan boasts a number of fascinating festivals that many visitors may want to experience. The Tshechu festivals, featuring religious mask dances, are held in temples, monasteries and dzongs (fortress) across the country. Among them, Thimphu Tshechu (held every autumn) and Paro Tshechu (held every spring) are two most important Tshechu festivals. The Bhutanese are supposed to attend the Tshechu at least once in their lifetime to wash away their sins.

September, October, and November are the best months to see some of the country's most significant Tshechu festivals including Thimphu Tshechu, Wangdue Tshechu, and Jambay Lhakhang Tshechu. 

Paro TshechuParo Tshechu

Best time for trekking

Trekking is a great way to see the beautiful sights of this incredible, less travelled nation. The ideal times to trek in high altitude regions are in March, April, October and November when skies are clear and temperatures are pleasant. If you trek in March and April, you will have an excellent chance to get the lovely views of myriad rhododendrons and may also see wildlife coming out having just woken up from hibernation. For low altitude treks, late November, December, January, February and early March are the best times.

Best time to see black-necked cranes

For visitors interested in the endangered black-necked cranes, it's recommended to visit the Phobjikha Valley between late October and mid-February. These rare birds begin their annual migration from the Tibet plateau to the Phobjikha Valley to spend the winter and stay there till mid-February. Every November, a special festival takes place in Gangtey to celebrate the coming of the cranes aiming to conserve these endangered birds. The festival attracts many tourists. Be sure to plan ahead to be part of it.

Black-necked Crane Visitor CentreBlack-necked Crane Visitor Centre in the Phobjikha Valley

Phobjikha ValleyThe Phobjikha Valley

Best time to see rhododendron

The land of thunder dragon is home to hundreds of species of rhododendron, making it a wonderful place for flower and photography lovers. Mid March to May is the ideal time to view these gorgeous blossoms.

Bhutan actually can be visited all the year round. For those of you who can't wait to visit Bhutan, the best time to go is now! Get a custom trip plan and quote simply by contacting our Bhutan travel specialist. For any inquiries regarding Bhutan travel, let me know at . And don't forget to share this post if you found it useful.

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