When is the Best Time to Visit Bhutan?
The answer is, “it depends”. Bhutan is a superlatively vibrant country with a diverse landscape, incredibly colorful traditions, amazing Himalayan vistas and some of the most remarkable hiking in the world. As a team of native-born trip leaders and guides, we have been sharing Bhutan with wide range of travelers for a long time, curating and guiding our journeys with a deep love and passion for the kingdom. The Bhutan Himalaya is truly a spectacular destination all year and each of its four distinct seasons has something for the discerning traveler.
Bhutan's spring goes from March to May, and the kingdom's natural beauty bursts forth during this time of year. The Himalayan mists that can make an ordinary scene magical abounds during this time, with occasional mountain views enlivened by bright splashes of color from the famous rhododendron blooms, magnolia, and other flowering plants and trees. The weather is generally mild, with temperatures topping out around 70 degrees Fahrenheit, and although rain-clouds can never be ruled out, this is a wonderful time for both trekking (with opportunities to spot the fabled blue poppy, if you're lucky) and the colorful masked dance festivals of western Bhutan.
Summer is Bhutan's wet “green season,” when the fields are lush with grain and the forests are emerald with dense foliage. The heaviest rains occur mainly in July and August — mostly in the late afternoon, evening or overnight — turning the countryside verdant (and so the name.) If you are looking for a quiet, uncrowded time of year, when you feel you have the entire country to yourself, summer can be a magical time! Even though it's considered the wet season, it's not uncommon to have long spells without rain and the breaks in the weather can result in some truly spectacular scenery! We work with various lodges across the country to create some unforgettable experiences during this time of year.
Fall, which is end September through November, is Bhutan's golden harvest season. During this time of year you can experience some of Bhutan's most colorful festivals in central Bhutan, clear views of the Himalayan peaks and mostly dry weather. The days are usually clear and the night skies often filled with stars. Highs can be in the 70s Fahrenheit and October and November, in particular, are wonderful times to embark on one of our classic Himalayan treks.
From mid-December through February, Bhutan's crisp, clear winters offer some of the best Himalayan views of the entire year and a chance to see the kingdom's rare and beautiful Black Necked Cranes. The mornings sparkle with the cold, getting surprisingly sunnier as it warms throughout the day with temperatures dropping off again by late afternoon and early evening. All the lodges we use have traditional and modern forms of heating to turn the coldest parts of each day into cozy gatherings. A winter visit to Bhutan is another opportunity to have a quiet experience in Bhutan and we may even have a vibrant year-end mask dance festival to help you cap your year in traditional color and style!