Best time to visit Bhutan; A 4-Seasonal Travel Guide 2024

 In Best Time to Visit, Bhutan, Destination, Festivals, Holidays, Places To Visit, religious, temple, Temple, Things to do, Travel

Given our stressful lives, we all need an extra dose of the happy pill. Why not head to the place known for its HQ- happiness quotient? Bhutan. Let’s start by picking the best time to visit Bhutan which would ensure you get the perfect Bhutan tour packages

Before knowing the best time to visit Bhutan, let’s know a bit about the country

Despite being about the size of Switzerland, Bhutan is one of the few countries to have preserved its biodiversity, cultural heritage, and happiness quotient. Bhutan is said to offer something all year round. 

Bhutan or Druk Yul (Land of the Thunder Dragon) is said to be a trekker’s paradise, a land known for some of the world’s famous monasteries and rich cultural heritage. 

Huddled in the heart of the Himalayas, Bhutan is a carbon-negative country, almost 70% of the land is covered with lush green forests, which means, the carbon dioxide absorption is greater than emission. 

Imagine going on a drive, meandering through the ranges of Bhutan, fresh air bursting with aromas of nature, filling your senses- Therapeutic! Isn’t it? 

Being a landlocked country, surrounded by India and China, Bhutan has many faces and flavors, explore some of the best Indian restaurants in Bhutan for authentic Bhutanese cuisine. 

If you want to explore the whole of Bhutan’s beauty, you need at least 10 days to experience the magic of the land of the thunder dragon. 

When is the Best time to visit Bhutan?

bhutan-tour

Knowing which season is the most appropriate is important before planning a trip to any destination. Weather conditions, places to visit, activities, and safety depend on the season.

Needless to say, the best time to visit Bhutan is when you want to experience nature in its full bloom. But when is the best time to visit Bhutan from India? December-February, March-May, June-August, or September-November, or which are the best seasons to visit Bhutan? Let’s find out. 

Winter

mountain-view-from-the-dochula-pass-bhutan

Bhutan is one of the countries which can be visited throughout the year. All the seasons are good for visiting Bhutan, but, it can get extremely cold at higher altitudes. The best seasons to visit Bhutan are autumn and summer. However, December falls at a sweet spot. 

December marks the advent of winter in Bhutan, therefore the temperature remains from 8 to 15 degrees during the daytime and falls lower in the night. The climate is pleasant with no fear of snowfall or slippery pathways. 

Therefore, even winter can be considered as one of the best seasons to visit Bhutan, because of the perfect climatic conditions and many other factors:

Lower costs

Cost plays a vital role when it comes to planning a trip. During the winter season, tourist activity is comparatively less and it automatically affects the costs of hotels, local transport, professional guides, and other activities. 

Less crowded

masked-dancer-bhutan

Not many people consider winter to be the best time to visit Bhutan as they have certain preconceived notions about visiting the place during cold weather, and many people are just not fans of winter. 

As a result, Bhutan is comparatively less crowded during winter, leaving ample room for winter-loving tourists to enjoy their stay. 

Winter can be the best time to visit Bhutan for a honeymoon, for all winter lovers, as the weather is perfect for a romantic getaway, and good accommodations are easily available at reasonable prices. 

Special winter events

Many joyful festivals are celebrated in Bhutan throughout the year. During winter, several special events like the National Day and many winter festivals can be attended. 

Amazing things to do in Bhutan in winter

1. The Annual Black-necked Crane Festival

black-necked-crane-festival-in-bhutan

On the occasion of the Black-necked Crane festival, the locals of Gangteng-Phobji Valley, which is the largest habitat of Black-necked Cranes during winter, celebrate the arrival of Black-necked Cranes. The festival is held every year around 11th November.  

The black-necked cranes are considered sacred heavenly birds. Therefore, this festival holds great importance for the locals and tourists. Winer is the best time to travel in Bhutan for all the chilly weather fans.

Several cultural programs like folk songs, mask dances, and folk dances are performed by the local people, children, and monks. The main attraction of the festival is the regionally choreographed crane dance performed by local school children.

2. The National Day of Bhutan

the-national-day-of-bhutan

The coronation of Druk Gyalpo Ugyen Wangchuck the first king was witnessed, on December 17, 1907, establishing the Wangchuck dynasty, which rules till today. ‘Druk Gyalpo’ meaning “Dragon King” in Dzongkha is the official title given to the Bhutan head of state. 

The National Day of the Kingdom of Bhutan is the most important event in the country. It is celebrated every year with utmost zeal and enthusiasm. The event is attended by the royal family of Bhutan as well as VVIP dignitaries and delegates from all over the world.

The capital city of Thimphu is flooded with locals to attend the national day ceremonies, cultural dances, and public addresses. Witnessing this event is a unique experience for tourists. 

If you want to witness the royal family and experience regal splendor then the best time to visit Bhutan is December.

3. Gangtey Monastery

gangtey-monastery-bhutan

Considered as one of the major spiritual institutions of Bhutan, the Gangtey Goenpa Monastery or Gangteng Monastery is situated at an altitude of 3,000 meters in the Gangtey Village. 

A drive to this monastery or a trek on the Gangtey Nature trail in the mild winter season gives captivating scenic views of the enormous Black Mountains and the U-shaped Phobjikha Valley. Being the winter home of the black-necked crane, the Phobjikha Valley is more than just a pilgrimage destination. 

4. Royal Manas National Park

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Famous for its rare endemic wildlife species, and incredible biodiversity this national park is famed as the “conservation showpiece of the kingdom” and “crowned jewel”. The park is home to some of the most unique flora and fauna including golden langurs and Assam hoofed turtle. 

5. Buddha Dordenma

buddha-dordenma-bhutan

One of the largest statues of Shakyamuni Buddha, in the world. Visiting Buddha Dordenma is a purely enchanting experience. This gigantic 51.5 m bronze statue, gilded in gold will add tranquility to your busy life. 

The most fascinating part about this site is, that the huge Buddha statue houses around 100,000 small, 8-inch Buddha idols inside of it.

It is difficult to claim that only one particular season is the best time to visit Bhutan, majorly due to its subtropical climate, which ensures that every season has some precious gems hidden in Bhutan hill station.

Spring

spring-season-in-bhutan

The spring season is indisputably among the best seasons to visit Bhutan. The place is filled with multicolored flowers, the weather is more than perfect, and breathtaking views  If you plan to explore the happy nation during spring, which is the best time to visit Bhutan, then keep certain things in mind:

Costly

Due to the popularity of this season, there is an influx of tourists, and the prices of everything; hotels, flights, local commute, and guides, skyrocket. Pre-book your trip, to avoid overpaying for things.

Tourist Influx

Spring is the best time to visit Bhutan from India. There are high chances, that the place will be crowded with tourists and visitors. Therefore, the trip must be well-planned and pre-booked, to avoid last-minute hassles. For a unique experience, go backpacking in Bhutan. For a memorable experience, this season is the best time to visit Bhutan by road.

Exploring the enchanting Bhutan in spring

1. Bumthang Valley

bumthang-valley-bhutan

Bumthang Valley is revered as a sacred destination in the happy country. Some of the oldest and ancient temples are situated here, and during the spring season, the beauty of this place is enhanced a thousandfold. 

Taste the Red Panda Wheat Beer from the only brewery in Bhutan, set up at Jakar,  the main town in the Bumthang Valley. 

2. Paro Tshechu

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Spring marks the season of the Paro Tshechu or the spring festival of Bhutan.  The town of Paro, looks no less than a canvas painting, during spring, with blossoming flora, lush green meadows, alpine peaks, and a vibrant blue clear sky. 

During the Tschechu, the town looks like a bejeweled princess, fully decked up in the best of her attire. Men, women, children, and monks are dressed in the best of clothes and the town is filled with vibrant music, dances, and songs. 

The celebration is a feast for the eyes and a spiritually exhilarating experience. This is also the best time to visit Paro, Bhutan, as you can witness the mesmerizing Tschechu.

3. Tiger’s Nest Monastery

tiger-nest-monastery

Sitting at a height of 3,120 meters above sea level, this is one of the most sacred spots in Bhutan. Of the Tiger’s Nest fame, Paro Takstang Goemba is a distinguished Buddhist monastery, situated in the city of Paro. 

The best time to visit Paro, Bhutan is in the spring season as the weather is clear and you can easily witness some of the magnificent scenic views. As it is a 5 to 6-hour hike, it can be slightly challenging for beginners, but there is an option to take a snack break at the well-known Takstang Cafeteria. 

If it gets too difficult, one can even hire a horse on the way. But this hike will be worth it! 

4. Rhododendron Festival

rhododendron-festival-bhutan

The Rhododendron festival is a Bhutanese event that marks the love and appreciation of Bhutan’s culture for the Rhododendron species of flowers. It is a one-of-a-kind event, as there is no other nation that celebrates the onset of the rhododendron flowers like Bhutan.

The festival is held at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Lampelri, and the aim of holding such biological festivals is to spread awareness and sensitivity towards the natural environment and biodiversity of the nation. Out of 46, around 40 species are said to be present in the park.

5. Jomolhari Laya Gasa Trek

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During the spring season, one can set out on one of the most difficult treks in Bhutan; The Jomolhari Laya Gasa Trek is not child’s play. It tests your patience and resilience. 

This 20-day hike can be intimidating, but once you set out on this trail, you’ll witness valleys filled with wildflowers, and lush green pathways, and the beautiful scents of the jungle will fill you with joy. 

For seasoned and professional hikers, the best time to visit Bhutan would be when they can finally conquer this trail. 

Summer- Autumn

summer-autumn-bhutan

The summer months of June- July are certainly not the best time to visit Bhutan mainly because monsoon season generally sets in from mid-July in Bhutan, rendering the weather moist and humid. 

The trekking pathways are slippery and can be dangerous. But there are several other things to do and places to explore in Bhutan in June.

On the other hand, the Autumn season is considered the best time to travel in Bhutan. As the weather is moderate, the skies are clear, and several migrating bird species can be witnessed. If you want a calming and serene experience, then autumn is the most suitable time to visit Bhutan. 

Things to consider

Same as the spring season, the autumn season months from September to November also experience the maximum footfalls in Bhutan. Hence, affecting the availability and cost of everything. Even if you wish to take the road less traveled and take a road trip to Bhutan, then autumn is the best time to visit Bhutan by road

Changing colors of Bhutan in Summer-Autumn

1. Thimphu, the capital of the Kingdom

thimphu-the-capital-city

Being the capital, Thimphu plays a vital role in Bhutan tourism. At Thimphu, you can experience a mix of both culture and modernism. The best time to visit Thimphu, Bhutan, is in Spring or Autumn when the weather is pleasant and all the activities are open for tourists. 

Some of the major attractions of Thimphu are Simtokha Dzong, Motithang Takin Reserve, Dochula Pass, Shopping at Weekend Markets, and Simply Bhutan a Living Museum. Even the winter season can be considered the best time to visit Thimphu, Bhutan, as most of the activities can be enjoyed even during winter.

2. Haa Valley

haa-valley-bhutan

Also known as the hidden-land rice valley of Bhutan, Ha Valley is the smallest Dzongkhang or district in Bhutan. Known for its natural trekking and mountain biking trails, the Ha Valley is a hidden paradise. 

While crossing the valley, one can visit some of the major attractions like the Chele-La Pass, Lhakhang Karpo and Lhakhang Nagpo, Gyechu Lakhang/Chundu Lhakang, and much more. 

Autumn is also the best time to visit Bhutan for a honeymoon, and Haa Valley can prove to be the perfect romantic excursion spot. 

3. White Water Rafting 

white-water-rafting

will take you on an adventure of a lifetime! River rafting is a popular adventure sport but the white water rafting in Bhutan is on a whole new level. Making your way through the rapids, your boat will meader through the white river and send down a gush of excitement inside of you. 

Though, rafting can be undertaken, throughout the year, the full doubles if done in autumn which is the best time to visit Bhutan, given the weather conditions. Mo Chuu, Paro Chuu, Pho Chuu, Mangde Chuu, Kuri Chuu, and many other river treks are organized by trained agencies.  

4. Paragliding

paragliding

Given the breathtaking views and a plethora of natural sceneries, paragliding is among the most loved adventure sports in Bhutan. Steering your way through the gigantic mountain peaks of Bhutan, you’ll have an experience of a lifetime.

Witness the exhilarating picturesque sights, spectacular peaks, and crystal-clear rivers meandering through the mountains from up above the sky. 

Autumn is the best time to travel in Bhutan for adventure sports like paragliding in Bhutan as the winds are calm and temperatures moderate. 

Some of the best places for paragliding in Bhutan are Paro, Thimphu, and Punakha. 

5. Mountain Biking

mountain-biking

Cycling through the rough terrains and rocky pathways, mountain biking in Bhutan is a holistic experience. A perfect blend of adventure and traditional sightseeing, you will witness some of the unreal scenes on your way. 

Many monasteries can be visited by mountain biking, adding a cultural charm to the exciting expedition. 

Now you know when is the best time to visit Bhutan, how to plan your trip, and what to keep in mind before finalizing your excursion, then what are you waiting for? We are not getting any younger, go ahead and take that much-awaited trip to the land of happiness; Bhutan, now! 

When is the peak tourist season in Bhutan?

The peak seasons and the best time to travel in Bhutan is, during the Spring and Autumn seasons, when the beauty of Bhutan is at its peak, and adventure activities like trekking, paragliding, and river rafting can be taken up. 

Which months offer the best weather for sightseeing?

The months of March to May and September to November are the best time to visit Bhutan for sightseeing, as the skies are clear and one can witness breathtaking views of the valley from mountain peaks. 

Is winter a good time to visit Bhutan?

The months from December to February are the coldest in Bhutan, they can be inconvenient for many but for adventure seekers, winter lovers, and people who don’t like crowds, winter can be the best time to visit Bhutan. 

Which season is best for trekking in Bhutan?

The best time to visit Bhutan for trekking is during the Spring and Autumn seasons. Winter treks are also safe but in lower altitudes. Monsoon on the other hand is one season that must be avoided for trekking at all costs. 

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