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BEST TIME TO VISIT BHUTAN

When is the best time to visit Bhutan?

The best time to visit Bhutan depends on what the traveler is looking to experience while in Bhutan. Therefore the answer to the question varies among travelers with different needs, interest and preferences. Based on the past data for tourist arrival to Bhutan, industry pricing trends and annual climatic conditions, we have put together the best traveling period for different types of travelers.

Climate

Bhutan generally has four seasons in a year. Winter months in western and central region generally experiences warm days and cold nights. The temperature seldom drops below 0 degree Celsius and light snowfall is expected. Summer is characterized with frequent rainfall and humid conditions. The most favorable weather conditions are experienced in spring and fall. These periods are ideal for outdoor activities.

Season Months
Winter December – February
Spring March – May
Summer June – August
Autumn September – November

Best Time to Visit during Festival Seasons

The popular mask dance religious festival locally known as Tsechu is celebrated across the country during different times of the year. In the event, monks perform series of religion inspired dances wearing colorful silk robes and exquisitely hand crafted mask depicting pantheon of Buddhist deities. It is believed the sacred dances invoke deities to bless the congregation. The visual aesthetics of the Tsechu event can be encapsulated as the Bhutanese culture. The Tsechus are celebrated in the courtyard of the great fortresses. The event draws locals and many tourists to witness the unique event. The popular Tsechus among tourists are as follows:

Name of the Tshechu Date Place
Punakha Drubchen 21st February – 24th February 2018 Punakha District
Paro Tshechu 27th March – 31st March 2018 Paro District
Thimphu Tshechu 19th September – 21st September 2018 Thimphu District

Note* the dates are subject to change annually however the dates usually fall within the same season or possibly the same month.

Best Time to Visit Bhutan for Special Interest Activities

  1. Bird Watching: Bird watching tours can generally be organized throughout the year however if travelers are interested in specific seasonal birds, your travel plan must be arranged according to the seasonal movement. For instance the popular endangered Black Necked Cranes migrate to Bhutan only during the winter season and fly back by early spring.
  2. Trekking: The perks of being a mountainous country, it offers tourists many trekking options varying in intensity. We have mild treks lasting few days to snowmen treks which are considered the most difficult trek in the world lasting several weeks. Interested trekkers need to know that the most trekking routes are closed during the winter months due to heavy snowfall and during summer due to heavy rainfall. Trekking expeditions are generally recommended during the spring and fall seasons.
  3. Motor Biking Tours: The climatic conditions can greatly affect the motor biking experience in Bhutan. We recommend avoid planning a motor biking trip during the summer and winter months. Bhutan currently has major highway widening project in the central and eastern region. The bad quality road is further worsened by heavy rain in the summer and the winter months are too cold to be riding a bike. Spring and fall season have the best climatic conditions to enjoy bike ride in Bhutan.
  4. River Rafting & Kayaking: River sports are generally closed during the summer months due to the rise in water level and stronger waves making it dangerous.

Best Time to Visit Bhutan for Budget Travel

Bhutan receives maximum influx of tourists during the spring and fall season. This is because many popular festivals fall within this period. Due to rise in demand of hotel rooms, flight tickets and overall increase in incoming tourists, the Government charges a minimum daily tariff of USD 250 per person per night and the room rates and flight ticket rates are also hiked.

However it is possible to visit Bhutan on a budget. While few time-bound activities may be off limit, it is still possible to have the same experience. Visiting Bhutan during the lean season (summer and winter) has the following advantages:

  1. The Government charges a minimum daily tariff of USD 200 per person per night during lean season. A traveler can save USD 50 every night as compared to travelers travelling during the peak season.
  2. Travelers can also enjoy cheaper hotel room rates and flight ticket rates during lean season.
  3. Flight tickets and rooms are easily available as per your desired travel dates during the lean season.
  4. Travelers will not have to experience long queues and receive better services.

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