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What is the best time to visit Bhutan?

Bhutan is best visited during Spring from March to May and Autumn from September – November. Due to its location, Bhutan is prone to varying climatic and altitude differences. It has distinct seasons namely, spring, summer, rainfall, autumn and winter. In spring, which falls from March-May, the weather is beautiful and pleasant. The flowers are in full bloom, and the scenery of the land is brilliant. The country also hosts various festivals during the spring such as the Paro and Punakha Tshechu. Autumn, on the other hand, is from September – November which also boasts of affable and genial weather. Summers are from June to August where temperatures reach 24-25 degree Celsius. From July onwards the southwest monsoons set in offsetting the heat but one has to carry a raincoat if out on a sightseeing. Similarly the winter months of December – February witness the spell of the northeast monsoons. Snowfall is expected in late January and early February when the temperatures drop to the lowest.

Bhutan in Peak Season (March to May and September to November)

Bhutan hence has two peak seasons. March to May, during Spring and September to November during fall, Bhutan sees a maximum rise in its tourist activities and industry. Tickets are hard to find if one plans a last minute holiday to Bhutan during its peak season. Hotels and resorts are booked to the hilt, and the nation is buzzing with numerous festivals. The Bhutan government has set a ‘Minimum Daily Package’ rate for tours which differ in price according to seasons. For Indians travelling to Bhutan, the minimum daily package of 3 individuals is USD 250 per person per night during the peak season (March, April, May, September, October, and November). The package includes a 3-star accommodation, all meals, a licensed Bhutanese tour guide, all internal transports including air travel within the country and camping equipment and haulage for trekkers.

Bhutan also has two offseasons, namely from June-August and December- February. During the summers the monsoons often play havoc for tourists, and during the winters the temperatures are too low accompanied by snowfall. Most festivals also take place during the peak seasons; however, visiting Bhutan during the offseason has its advantages. For one the crowd is much less and so are the tariffs and ticket prices. The Minimum Daily Package for January, February, June, July, August and December is USD 200. Plus, there is also still plenty to do and see in Bhutan during the summer and winter months, such as catching sight of the beautiful Black-Necked cranes in winter.

Considered as the peak season, March to May is Bhutan’s brilliant spring season. The weather is pleasant and agreeable with temperatures hovering around 16 degrees in the valleys. The mountain regions remain cold usually at 3 degrees or lower, but the sky is clear and is the best time to catch views of the stunning and mighty Himalayas. The climate is also dry and less humid, making trekking and exploring towns on foot an adventurous endeavour. The spring heralds a beautiful bloom of flowers across the slopes and valleys, and the Jacaranda flower especially colours the surrounding with fragrant splendour. The summer may begin to be felt in late May, with a slight rise in temperature and humidity, but the rhododendrons and jacarandas are still very much in bloom.

Activities in Bhutan in Spring
Trekking expeditions are best carried out in the peak season. The walks on the mountains or overnight stays in the petite teahouses can make your trip memorable. Some popular treks undertaken during spring include the Jomolhari Trek and the Drukpath Trek sometime during mid-April to mid-May. But the peak season means flight tickets are usually sold out and the best hotels and resort may get filled up quickly. So planning well ahead for a holiday in Bhutan during the peak season is advisable.

Events and Festivals of Bhutan in Spring
  • The Paro Festival is the most significant festival of spring. Celebrated at Rinpung Dzong the festival usually takes place in April.
  • The Gomkora Festival in Trashigang is a three-day festival celebrated in March or April. 
  • Ura Yakchoe is held in May in Bumthang's Ura Valley. It is best known for its Ura Yakchoe dance performed during the festival.

The southwest monsoon season begins from June and continues up to August and sometimes early September. The temperatures vary from 24-25 degrees in the valleys. The wet conditions are not the best for trekking, but sightseeing is possible, only one has to be armed with raincoats and umbrellas. This is the offseason; thus the rates are lower and the crowds comparatively much lesser. The most significant advantage is catching sight of the splendour of the mountains and valleys during rainfall. The lush green beauty of the paddy fields is ethereal and watching the rain fall down the majestic mountains is quite a sight to behold.

If the monsoons are late to arrive, June can be quite a pleasant month to visit. Also, it has been noted, that rainfall usually falls in the afternoons and evenings and hence can keep the mornings free for sightseeing. Contrary to belief the country is not overcast all the time with stormy clouds. The humidity is mild, and showers can happen once in two or three days. The mountains maybe surrounded by thunder clouds, but the rain in the valley is manageable. Even if the storms make it impossible to go outside, there are plenty of indoor spas and resorts to keep you relaxed and enjoyed.

Events and Festivals in Bhutan in Rainy Season
  • The Kurjey Tshechu takes place in the Kurjey Lhakhang in the Bumthang's Chokhor valley.
  • The Nimalung Tshechu is celebrated in Nimalung Monastery located in Bhumthang which falls in June or July.
  • The Haa festival is another vibrant summer festival that celebrates the traditions and nomadic lifestyle of the Bhutanese people.

The fall is once again the peak season of the country with tourist flocking in large numbers to enjoy the cold, mild climate of the valley and watch the lower Himalayas begin to turn into white slopes at the onset of winter. The rainy season is done with the weather is dry and bright once again. The temperatures average at about 25 degrees in September and can fall to 10 degrees by the end of November in the valley areas. The mountains, however, are cold throughout and temperatures may drop to negative by the end of November. This is the time of no rain, and the mild chillness in the air makes it an excellent time for trekking and hiking. The green landscape turns into a golden hue, with the harvesting of the paddy fields adding a dramatically subdued aura into the beauty of the terrain. The peak season ensures more tourists and more festivals to look forward to. It has been estimated that maximum travellers around more than 75% visit Bhutan during October; hence it’s essential to plan beforehand.

Events and Festivals of Bhutan in Autumn
  • The Thimphu Tshechu is one of the biggest in Bhutan. Held in the Tashichho Dzong in the capital city of the country this three-day festival is the highlight of the fall season and falls from September to October.
  • The Wangdue Tshechu is famous for the Dance of the Ox or Raksha Mangcham which is held for 2 days in September or October.
  • Tamzhing Phala Choetpa is a three-day festival celebrated at the Tamzhing Lhakhang in Bhumtang, held in October.
  • Jomolhari Mountain Festival started in 2013 but since then is held every year. It is an effort in the direction of conservation of snow leopards and takes place for two days in October.
  • Jambay Lhakhang Tshechcu is held in November in the Jambay Lhakhang in Bhumtang.
  • Black Necked crane festival takes place in Gangtey Gompa in November to welcome the arrival of these splendid creatures.

December, January and February are the coldest months of Bhutan. Temperatures can reach 0 degrees in Paro, Bhumthang and Thimphu. The mountains are frigid and have a constant snow cover. However, early December is when the winters are just setting in and may not be a wrong time to visit since the country is less crowded by tourists. December is also when the valleys can be slightly bright and sunny, and the skies are beautifully clear. For those who enjoy the chilly weather December is an excellent time to visit Bhutan, mainly because of the offseason. The temperatures usually touch the lowest at the end of January and early February. It is also only in January or February that Paro and Thimphu may experience mild snowfall. But in case of heavy snow, some roads of eastern and central Bhutan may be blocked or impassable. The harsh and cold climates are a deterrent for most travellers, yet it is during the winters that the magnificent black-necked cranes are seen migrating in the Phbojikha Valley. The valleys do not witness the subzero temperatures, and the weather is relatively dry. It is also the best time to enjoy the snow falls if one is up to it.

Events and Festivals in Bhutan in Winter
  • The Punakha Dromche and Tshechu is a more than a week-long celebration that takes place in Punakha in February. The weather in Punakha is not too harsh making it a great escape from the chilly winters of other places in the country. The festival incorporates re-acting the war against the Tibetans in the 17th century.
  • The Trongsa Tshechu is a three-day festival, celebrated in Trongsa Dzong. The Trongsa Dzong is built on a ridge and has more than 30 temples. The Trongsa Tshechu is one of the oldest tshechus in Bhutan. A tshechu is celebrated on the 10th day of the Bhutanese month, and it is believed that this tradition began with the Trongsa Tshechu.
  • The Nomad Festival in Bhumthang falls in February. The festival is where herders from the Himalayas come together to celebrate their unique traditions and cultures.

Monthly Weather in Bhutan


Month Avg. Minimum (°C) Avg. Maximum (°C)
January -6 19
February -2 23
March 2 23
April 6 26
May 9 27
June 10 29
July 11 29
August 12 31
September 10 28
October 5 28
November -0 24
December -3 22

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