Best Time To Visit Bhutan So You Won’t Miss Seasonal Activities

Best Time To Visit Bhutan So You Won’t Miss Seasonal Activities


Updated on 21 Mar 2024
Written by Joni Herison



In the land where the dragon's roar echoes through the misty peaks of the Himalayas, there lies a realm of mystique and timeless allure - Bhutan. This hidden jewel invites the curious and the adventurous to explore its sacred monasteries, untouched landscapes, and vibrant festivals.

Each season unfolds like chapters of an enthralling story, making any time the best time to visit Bhutan. Whether it's the vivid hues of spring, the lush greenery of summer, the golden serenity of autumn, or the crisp winter air, Bhutan's natural beauty captivates year-round.

Bhutan Festival Video


Discover a realm where your joy is the priority. In Bhutan, every season unfolds a new chapter of enchantment, promising that your visit, regardless of its timing, will be a journey of love and discovery. Learn what activities and festivities to expect each season in this comprehensive guide.

Spring


Bhutan Spring

Spring, a season celebrated as nature's reawakening, is a particularly magical time for both locals and tourists. Hence, people often choose Spring as the best time of the year to visit Bhutan. During this season, the valleys come alive with a vibrant palette of blooming flowers, and the mild weather provides a perfect backdrop for both cultural exploration and adventurous treks.

Months March, April, May
Recommended Activities:
Floral Wonders:
  • Late April to May is ideal for nature enthusiasts. The valleys are ablaze with various flowers, including the famous rhododendrons and wildflowers.
  • The Jacaranda trees at Punakha Dzong present a breathtaking sight with their purple bloom in mid-May.
Festivals:
  • Gomkora: Witness this unique festival in Trashigang, renowned for its religious dances and cultural significance.
  • Paro Tshechu (early April): A chance to possibly meet the King of Bhutan, who often attends the festivities. It's a vibrant display of Bhutanese culture with masked dances and traditional music.
Trekking Adventures:
  • Jomolhari Trek & Drukpath Trek: Ideal from mid-April to end-May. These treks offer stunning views of Bhutan's pristine landscapes and challenging trails for adventure seekers.
Cultural Immersion:
  • Visit local markets to experience Bhutan's spring harvest and interact with local artisans.
  • Engage in community-based tourism activities, like farm visits and traditional cooking classes, to gain insights into the Bhutanese way of life.
Wildlife Spotting:
  • Spring is an excellent time for bird watching, especially in the subtropical forests.
Planning Tips:
  • Due to the popularity of the Paro Tshechu and the scenic beauty of spring, it's crucial to book accommodations, guides, and Drukair tickets well in advance, as they tend to get fully booked by January.
  • Be prepared for occasional spring showers; pack accordingly with waterproof gear and layers for varying temperatures.

Note The Paro Tshechu usually takes place in early April. This is the best chance to meet the King of Bhutan as he often makes his way to the festivities between the 3rd and last day.

The ever-popular 5-day Paro Tshechu also means that Paro will be teeming with travellers. Hotels & services may be overwhelmed as the better hotels and guides would have been pre-booked. Drukair tickets would be fully sold out by January.


Testimonials from Druk Asia travellers
So glad we (Min & Karen) booked the trip with DrukAsia who took care of everything. Bhutan is indeed magical and tranquil - one gazes with wonder at the vastness of mountains, boundless sky, the rich culture and traditions. Read More


Koh Karen
Singapore, April 2023
Thank you DrukAsia for fulfilling my bucket list in such a memorable way. The planning and coordination were great to Bhutan - from itinerary, hotel, food. It is an expensive trip but it certainly help to make it worth-while with the coordination. Read More


Corrine
Singapore, March 2023
It was such an amazing and unforgettable experience, with warm hospitality from both our guide (Kinely Tshering) and driver (Namgyel). Undoubtedly the best guide and driver we have had. Caring, attentive, accommodating, and warm.Read More


Yu Ting Tan
Singapore, April 2023

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Summer


Bhutan Summer

Summer in Bhutan is a season of vibrant greenery, with lush forests and flourishing paddy fields creating a stunning tapestry against the backdrop of clear, post-rain skies. Contrary to popular belief, the monsoon in Bhutan is usually characterized by light showers in the late afternoon, making it an excellent time to explore the country with fewer tourists and a more authentic experience.

Months June, July, August
Recommended Activities:
Cultural Festivities:
  • Nimalung Tshechu (June): A festival full of color, dance, and music, celebrating Bhutanese traditions.
  • Kurjey Tshechu (late June): This festival at one of Bhutan's most sacred sites, the Kurjey Lhakhang, is a spiritual highlight, commemorating Guru Rinpoche.
Nature and Wildlife:
  • Explore the vibrant green valleys and forests, which are especially lush during the summer.
  • Visit the Phobjikha Valley, known for its beautiful landscapes and the endangered black-necked cranes (best seen towards the end of summer).
Adventure Activities:
  • River rafting on the Mo Chhu or Pho Chhu rivers, offering a mix of serene floats and exciting rapids.
  • Trekking in lower altitude areas, like the Bumthang Cultural Trek, which is more accessible during summer.
Culinary Experiences:
  • Enjoy fresh, seasonal produce in local dishes. Summer is a great time to try Bhutanese specialties made with freshly harvested ingredients.
  • Participate in cooking classes to learn how to prepare traditional Bhutanese cuisine.
Photography and Sightseeing:
  • Capture the beauty of Bhutan's landscapes and traditional architecture, especially in the clear morning light after a night's rain.
  • Visit the iconic Tiger's Nest Monastery, which is less crowded during summer.
Planning Tips:
  • Early June is ideal for visiting before the onset of heavier rains.
  • Some remote areas like Gangtey might be less accessible due to muddy conditions; check local travel advisories.
  • Pack waterproof clothing and gear for occasional showers.

Note The summer months in Bhutan offer a unique opportunity to see the country in its most verdant state, with the added benefit of fewer tourists. The mild and manageable monsoon conditions make it a perfect time for cultural immersion, nature exploration, and adventurous activities, all set in the breathtaking scenery of Bhutan.


Testimonials from Druk Asia travellers
Wow, words may not be able to describe the most breathtaking solo cultural immersion journey, organised through Druk Asia! Its indeed magical in the land of the thunder dragon! I was greeted by 2 young gentleman with the biggest smiles, dressed in their traditional ghos waiting at the arrivals. Soon to be the best companions of my incredible journey. Introducing my guide Mr Sonam and driver Mr Chencho. Read More


Allen Wen
Singapore, June 2023
I had the fantastic luck to be one of the first tourist let into Bhutan after Covid. I just finished a 12 day tour and i do not possess the words to relay the beauty and magic of this wonderful country! I had booked a trip 4 treats ago and had to postpone, then Covid and I finally arrived on July 21, 2022. I Was solo on this trip and loved everything about it. I took the cultural trip and my guide and driver were fantastic. Read More


Molly Bogdan Dalton
Mexico, July 2022
Had a wonderful 7d6n trip to Bhutan under Druk Asia. From booking of the trip to the entire trip itself, the process was seamless. Sangay answered my enquires prior the trip promptly, all the paperwork was done smoothly. Our guide Sonam was very knowledgeable and gave good explanation of the places we went. Our driver Dorji was friendly and drove safely.Read More


Tan Yu Quan
Singapore, August 2023

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Fall


Bhutan Fall

When is the best time to visit Bhutan? A lot of locals would say Fall because this is a season of enchanting beauty and cultural vibrancy. The weather is mild, making it an ideal time for exploring the kingdom's majestic landscapes. The number of tourists during this season is also high.

The valleys, are not adorned with fiery maples but instead, transform into a shade of gold as the rice fields ripen for harvest. Fall also marks a period of high spirits and festivity, with several significant tshechus (festivals) taking place.

Months September, October, November
Recommended Activities:
Festivals Galore:
  • Thimphu Tshechu (late September or early October): Experience the grandeur of Bhutan's cultural heritage in its capital city, with traditional dances and religious performances.
  • Wangdue Phodrang Tshechu: Coinciding with Thimphu's festivities, offering an opportunity to witness two major festivals in one trip.
  • Jambay Lhakhang Drup (October): A unique and mystical festival in Bumthang, famous for its "Mewang" (fire ceremony) and the "Tercham" (a dance of the treasure discoverer).
Nature and Photography:
  • Capture the golden hues of the harvest season in Bhutan's terraced rice fields.
  • Visit the stunning Phobjikha Valley, known as the Switzerland of Asia, for its breathtaking landscapes and wildlife.
Wildlife and Conservation:
  • Black-Necked Crane Festival: Stay with a local family in Phobjikha Valley and participate in the festival celebrating these majestic birds, contributing to conservation efforts.
Cultural Immersion:
  • Engage in community activities, such as rice harvesting, to experience local life.
  • Explore the vibrant local markets for seasonal produce and handicrafts.
Trekking and Outdoor Activities:
  • Ideal weather for trekking in the Himalayas, with clear skies and moderate temperatures.
  • Visit iconic landmarks like the Tiger's Nest Monastery, enjoying the less crowded trails.
Planning Tips:
  • Early booking is crucial, as popular hotels and guides get fully booked due to the influx of travelers for the tshechus.
  • Be prepared for varied temperatures; layering is key.
  • Embrace the festivities, but also be mindful of the crowds, especially at popular tshechus.

Note Fall in Bhutan is a time of celebration, natural beauty, and cultural immersion. The season offers a perfect blend of pleasant weather, agricultural bounty, and spiritual enrichment through its numerous festivals. Whether you're trekking through golden valleys or participating in ancient tshechus, autumn in Bhutan promises a journey filled with wonder and discovery.


Testimonials from Druk Asia travellers
We just finished our trip a couple days ago and I wanted to let you and Druk Asia know that the tour exceeded our expectations and we greatly enjoyed our time in Bhutan! I was very impressed with our guide, Kinley, and our driver, Tashi.Read More


Jo Lee
Singapore, October 2022
I had an absolutely wonderful time. Ugyen was an excellent, knowledgeable and thoughtful guide and very reassuring on the scary parts of the hike. Surdeep was absolutely fantastic - while his driving was also excellent, he was so much more than a driver, being extremely kind and helpful. I feel I have gained two new friends. Read More


Rosemary Hawes
Republic of Korea, September 2023
I had a wonderful time in Bhutan all thanks to an excellent tour guide, Passang and driver, Namgay. We had not only the fun but also learned a lot of things about Bhutan. Passang is a very good English speaker and well detailed knowledgeable history. He’s quite impressed and answered all our questions. I highly recommend Passang if my friends visit Bhutan in future.Read More


Michiko Yang
Japan, September 2023

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Winter


Bhutan Winter

To avoid the crowd and catch the Black-Necked Cranes, winter would be the time to go. To catch Himalayan blue sky without paying the additional tariff, consider visiting Bhutan in December. The temperature will not be too cold yet as the lowest temperature usually takes places near the end of January. In January or February, Paro and Thimphu may experience a one-day snow.

Months December, January, February
Recommended Activities:
Wildlife Watching:
  • Visit the Phobjikha Valley to witness the majestic Black-Necked Cranes, which migrate here in the winter months.
Festivals:
  • Punakha Dromche & Tshechu (February): A week-long celebration in the ancient capital, featuring religious dances and processions in the stunning Punakha Dzong.
  • Trongsa Tshechu: A more intimate festival at Trongsa Dzong, known for its elaborate costumes and traditional performances.
Photography and Sightseeing:
  • Capture the breathtaking Himalayan landscape under the clear winter sky.
  • Explore Paro and Thimphu, which may be blanketed in a beautiful layer of snow in January or February.
Cultural Experiences:
  • Visit local monasteries and dzongs to observe monks engaged in their winter rituals.
  • Participate in community-led winter activities, like traditional hot stone baths, which are particularly enjoyable in the colder months.
Trekking and Outdoor Activities:
  • Engage in lower altitude treks and nature walks, which are more accessible and less strenuous during winter.
Planning Tips:
  • December is ideal for those who prefer milder winter conditions.
  • Be prepared for cold weather, especially in January and February, with appropriate clothing and gear.
  • Keep in mind that heavy snowfall may affect travel to central and eastern Bhutan.

Note Winter in Bhutan is a time of quiet splendor, offering unique opportunities to witness the kingdom's natural beauty and cultural richness in a tranquil setting. Whether you're observing rare wildlife, participating in vibrant tshechus, or simply enjoying the pristine environment, winter in Bhutan presents a different, yet equally enchanting, facet of this Himalayan paradise.


Testimonials from Druk Asia travellers
Highly recommend DrukAsia for travel to Bhutan. Excellent organization and knowledgeable ground staff, flexible itineraries, and reasonable prices. Memorable vacation made possible because of DrukAsia. Read More


Nimmi Mital
India, February 2023
Bhutan is the most enchanting, ethereal, and exciting country my partner and I have ever travelled to! Entering Bhutan was like being transported to a classic period drama, infused with sophisticated modern technology. In particular, our experience was made truly magical and mesmerising by the tour guide (Sonam lhendup B) and driver (Karpola) Druk Asia assigned us with.Read More


Kristina Kim
Australia, February 2023
It's even hard to put into words the beauty and quality of the experience one can live in Bhutan. This is a sacred, special, protected place. Soul Trips service was extremely organized and of very high quality. The attentiveness and the care that goes into every detail of the trip is mesmerizing... the hotels were all excellent, the food was hyper abundant, the treatment was full of love and reverence. My guide Tepe and my driver Ugyen were very professional, practical and attentive.Read More


Paulo Henrique Curi Dias
Singapore, January 2024

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How Many International Arrivals To Bhutan Are There Per Month?

Based on Bhutan tourism records, the best time to visit is in October. It attracts around 20 percent of international tourists to Bhutan, making it a peak travel month. To secure your desired itinerary and accommodations, we strongly advise booking at least three months in advance if you plan to visit during this bustling period.

For travelers seeking a balance between pleasant weather and fewer crowds, May and November are excellent choices. These shoulder months offer an enjoyable experience without the peak-season hustle and bustle.

If budget-conscious travel is your goal, consider exploring Bhutan in June or December. Despite being the low season, you can still revel in favorable weather conditions while benefiting from cost-effective options and lower prices. It's a fantastic way to make the most of your Bhutanese adventure without breaking the bank.

International Arrival

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Frequently Asked Questions About The Best Time To Visit Bhutan

Are there any off-peak seasons in Bhutan with fewer tourists?

The off-peak seasons in Bhutan are during the summer and winter months. These periods see fewer tourists, which can be appealing for those looking for a more tranquil experience or lower travel costs.

How does the altitude affect the best time to visit Bhutan?

Bhutan's high altitude means weather can be quite variable and can change quickly, especially in the mountains. It's advisable to be prepared for sudden weather changes, regardless of the season.

Is it necessary to book my trip to Bhutan well in advance?

Yes, it's highly recommended to book your trip well in advance, especially if you plan to visit during the peak seasons of spring and autumn. This ensures you have the best choice of accommodations and guided tours.

What kind of clothing should I pack for a trip to Bhutan?

Packing depends on the season. For spring and autumn, bring layers that include both light and warm clothing. For winter, heavy woolens are essential, and for summer, light clothes with rain protection are advisable. Don't forget comfortable walking or hiking shoes.

Are there any health considerations I should be aware of before traveling to Bhutan?

Due to the high altitude, visitors may experience altitude sickness. It's important to acclimatize properly and stay hydrated. Also, consult with a healthcare provider for any vaccinations or health precautions before traveling.



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