Spring and autumn are the best time to visit Bhutan. Having said so, summer and winter have their own draws and attractions.
Spring is the favourite time to visit Bhutan. Nature lovers who are keen on local flora should consider visiting Bhutan end of April or in May. Flowers would be in full bloom then.
Month – March, April & May
Recommends – Jomolhari Trek & Drukpath Trek from mid-April till end May
Festival – Gomkora, Festival in Trashigang
Attraction – The Jacaranda ivy blossoms at Punakha Dzong in Thimphu in mid-May beautify the landscape of Himalayas.
Usually, Paro Tshechu takes place towards end of March and early April. This is the best festival in Bhutan, King of Bhutan often makes his way to the festival between the 3rd and last day of festival.
The ever-popular 5 days Paro Tshechu will be thronging with the travellers. Bhutan flight inbound tickets would be fully sold out by January itself.
Fall is another high and crowded season for Bhutan. The mild weather in autumn makes it a perfect time to visit Bhutan. Thimphu Festival usually takes places at the end of September or early October.
Months – September, October & November
Recommends – Black-Necked Crane Festival. Stay with a local villager in the beautiful valley of Phobjikha and witnesses the one day Black-Necked Crane Festival and do your part to help nature conservation!
October – see the valleys turn into a shade of gold as rice farmers prepare to harvest their paddy.
In late-September, the Thimphu Tshechu is a grand affair in the capital of Bhutan. Thimphu tshechu also occurs about the same time as Wangdi tshechu and the chance to attend two festivals on one trip is always very tempting. Another crowded festival calendar, this time in central Bhutan is the Jakar, Jambay Lhakhang Drup & Prakar Tshechu. Trongsa of travellers pays homage to the Switzerland of Asia at this time to attend the mysterious Jambay festivities that was fabled for its bonfire dance of 20 masked and naked dancers.
If you would like to attend this festival, do be prepared to stay in some less comfortable hotels too.
If you like to avoid the higher tariff and the cold of winter, consider visiting Bhutan early June. If the monsoon is late, the whole of June will be great for traveling. Monsoon will be in its earliest in July. Some outlying district such as Gangtey can be given a miss as the country road can be swollen with mud. Summer often offers vibrant green foresting and flourishing paddy fields against a backdrop of the clear blue sky after the rain.
Months – June, July & August
Recommends – Nimalung Tshechu in June. Kurjey Festival in late June celebrates very important holy sites of Guru Rinpoche.
The summer season started attract higher level of tourists as many have the conception that Bhutan is looking more green and beautiful.
To avoid the crowd and catch the Black-Necked Cranes, winter would be the time to go. To catch Himalayan blue sky without paying the additional tariff, consider visiting Bhutan in December. The temperature will not be too cold yet as lowest temperature usually takes places near the end of January. In January or February, Paro and Thimphu may experience a one-day snow.
Months – December, January & February
Recommends – Punakha Dromche. It is a weeklong celebration of the founding of Bhutan in the 1600s. The festivities take place around the ancient capital and most beautiful dzong in Bhutan. The mild weather of lower Punakha also makes this town a great winter escape for the Bhutanese.
Trongsa Tshechu – It is an intimate affair with only a small handful of attending travellers. This festival has some of the most elaborate festival costume for the dancing lamas.
Expect snowfall in mid-January till towards the end of February. Extreme weather and heavy snowfall may render the roads to central and eastern Bhutan.
International Arrival by Month
About 30% of international tourists arrive in the month of October. We would highly recommend travelers to book at least three months in advance if you are considering of traveling in the month of October. Travelers who would like to avoid the crowd but enjoy the best weather may want to consider the month of May and November. If you would like to save as much as possible with the lowest possible price, consider traveling in June or December. You would enjoy the low season price while still having favorable weather.