Choosing When to Visit Bhutan
Being located deep in the Himalayas, Bhutan’s weather constantly is changing. You have probably read that you should pack layers when going to Bhutan. You should. You will wear that t-shirt, long-sleeved shirt and winter coat, sometimes all on the same day. The vast change in attitude throughout the country makes it difficult to plan for just one temperature range. Here are our recommendations for choice when you travel to Bhutan.
Spring in Bhutan: Months: March/April/May
From March to May, Bhutan’s abundant flora is on full display and the weather is fantastic, mild with occasional mountain views. Though there is some rainfall, particularly as you get into May, temperatures top out around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. It is a great time for hiking, rafting and kayaking and to make things even better, spring brings many festivals! One of the most popular times to visit!
Summer in Bhutan: Months: June/July/August
If you are looking to miss the crowds and do not mind a bit of rain, summers are for you. Afternoon showers generally occur each day during the green season, with July and August receiving as much as 14 inches per month. If you want to escape the crowds, capture some great deals, see the country at its most lush green, this is the time to travel to Bhutan. However, summer can be an unsafe time to trek, especially along the southwest border. Some trails are open, but you’ll need good boots and prepare yourself for muddy conditions.
Fall in Bhutan: Months: September/October/November
Fall in Bhutan boasts the largest festivals, pleasant temperatures, and world-class mountain vistas. It is arguably the best time for trekking in Bhutan because of the clear skies and warm sun, even though the nights are cold. During this time, you will also find some of the largest Bhutanese festivals, including the Thimphu Tshechu. If you are lucky, on a clear day at the top of the Dochu La Pass, you will have a stunning panoramic view of the Himalayan Mountains. Fall is also the best time to catch a glimpse of the Black Neck Crane in the Phobjikha Valley.
Winter in Bhutan: Months: December/January/February
Winter tends to be Bhutan’s off-season when it comes to tourism, so if you’re not a big fan of crowds, it’s the perfect time to visit the country. Sure, at nighttime it gets cold, but during the daytime, it can be pleasant! And the snow sitting on top and around the temples adds to the beauty of the place and the hot springs are incredibly appealing (a must try). During the winter months, heavy snow in the Himalayas makes high altitude hiking unsafe, but there are some hikes at lower elevations which are ideal this time of year.
So, when is the best time to visit Bhutan?
The answer is ANYTIME is the best time to visit Bhutan. If you prefer quiet places, then you should consider the wintertime. If you love festivals and vibrancy, you should target spring or fall. If you want to see Bhutan when it is at its greenest, you’ll need to visit during the summer months. Temperatures should not play a primary role in choosing when to go to Bhutan, just pack in layers and you will be fine anytime of the year and plan to enjoy yourself, rain or shine. Remember you are on holiday!