Best time to visit Bhutan

Temperature & rainfall

Bhutan's weather varies dramatically depending on the elevation. It rains all year, but monsoon season (June-Aug) is really wet and probably best avoided. Spring (MarchĖMay) can be wet, but the birds are in song and the wildflowers are out, which makes for incredible hiking, as does autumn (SeptĖNov) with less rainfall and clear skies. Winter (Dec-Feb) is a photographer's dream with thick blankets of snow, but road closures are common and temperatures can drop below zero at night.

When to visit Bhutan & when not to

A month by month guide

The summer months – June, July and August – are monsoon season in Bhutan; a time of very heavy rain when, over three months, half a metre of rain falls in Thimphu, up to a metre falls in the eastern hills, and the mountains become obscured by thick cloud.

A consideration that may help you brave the weather or not is Bhutan’s calendar of tshechus and events: there are none, or very few tshechus held during January, February, June, July and August.

If you are planning a last-minute vacation, be aware that the peak months of September, October and November are the busiest, and flights may be booked up far in advance – to see Bhutan in glorious autumnal colours, it’s best to book early.

March and April are a wonderful time to see Bhutan in bloom. Temperatures are pleasant and the valleys are bursting with nature.

Although May brings higher humidity, this attracts fewer visitors, so prices as well as crowd numbers are lower. The rhododendrons are still in bloom too, making this a picture-perfect time for photographers and nature lovers.

December is a cold month in Bhutan, but the skies are blissfully crisp and clear and the valleys are sunny with far-reaching views across the Himalayas – well worth it for those who can brave the chill.

Best time to visit Bhutan

responsible travel recommends

Rajat Kumar from our supplier, ExplorIndya shares his advice on when is best to visit Bhutan and why: ďMy favourite time in Bhutan is the period between September and the first week of December. Three reasons: firstly, the weather then is some of the best during the year - as it gets through November it starts to get cold, but not cold enough, leaving a traveler with bright sunny days, but with a comfortable nip in the air.
Secondly, itís the period where some of the most interesting and unique tsechus take place across parts of Bhutan, such as the understated, but brilliant Prakar tshechu; and thirdly,
itís the season when the black necked cranes start to come in to nest in the valleys of the Black Mountains in Bhutan from Tibet and itís a wonderful sight to experience close-up.Ē

Festivals & events in Bhutan

Our cultural pick from the Bhutan calendar

Did you know about...?

Jomolhari Mountain Festival
New doesnít equal bad in Bhutan, as demonstrated by the Jomolhari Mountain Festival, a two-day event that started in October 2013, but has since been declared an annual celebration. Itís a community-based initiative for the conservation of snow leopards that takes place over two days, each packed with snow-leopard themed songs and dances, traditional sports, horse and yak trekking and local handicraft stalls, all washed down with local food and drinks.
Written by Polly Humphris
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Photo credits: [Page banner: Jonathan Choe] [Tshechu: Anja Disseldorp]
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