Bhutan is the last Himalayan kingdom with amazing landscapes. The upper region of Bhutan is covered with mountains of the Himalayan region followed by alpine and subtropical jungles and valleys in the south. The combination of the forests, rivers, glaciers, mountains, etc. define the beauty of Bhutan. But what makes Bhutan special and unique is its cultural values and traditions. Bhutan is known as the last Shangri-la on the earth. It is guaranteed to give you one of the most amazing cultural experiences you can have in your life accompanied by wonderful natural beauty.
As Bhutan lies in the Himalayan region, you can expect to have cold weather conditions here. The high Himalayan region faces some fierce weather conditions during winter. Bhutan is also known as the country of Thunder dragon because of these fierce and dramatic weather in the upper Himalayas. However, you can travel to Bhutan almost at any time of the year. Autumn and Spring are the best seasons to go to Bhutan as the weather will be nice and calm in these seasons. Rhododendron blooms of spring and colourful forests of autumn make these seasons more beautiful. You are also guaranteed to get a clear view of the landscapes almost all the time during these seasons. However, it is possible to trek in summer and winter. In winter, the temperature drops very low in the high altitude reasons however it is bearable in lower reasons. If you can endure the extremely cold weather, winter offers the best view of the landscapes. In summer, there will be heavy rainfalls in lower reasons and views are also obscured most of the time, but to explore the jungles and wildlife, it will be the perfect season to travel to Bhutan.
With proper planning, appropriate gear and realistic expectations, you can travel to Bhutan in any season you prefer.
Bhutan in March and April
Starting from March, spring is one of the most popular times to visit Bhutan. In Bhutan, spring stays for a fairly short time and ends towards mid-April before summer starts. During the month of March and April, you will witness the best landscapes of Bhutan covered in beautiful forests and amazing views of the mountains. Valleys are covered with greenery and diverse colours of flowers while forests bloom with Rhododendron. March and April are among the most popular times to travel as temperatures are pleasant and the valleys are abundant in nature; especially as all the flowers start to bloom. From high places like passes, you will catch some outstanding views of mountains and valleys.
Weather and Temperature in March and April
The main reason for spring to be popular amongst travellers are the pleasant temperatures and calm weather. The temperatures in lower parts places like valleys stay very comfortable with an average daytime temperature of 20°C. During spring, the humidity and possibility of rainfall remain low. The average low temperature during cold nights or in higher places is noted to be about 4°C. Comparatively, March is much colder than April and May because the winter barely marks the end during mid-March. April is the best time to travel even during Spring because of the warm days and low precipitation. During May, the weather is pretty good if you are ready for some unexpected rainfall.
- Though during spring rainfall and humidity are quite low, you may witness some rainfall during the late spring days. To avoid it, you may want to book your trip early.
- If you want to witness the vibrant festival of Bhutan, book your trip in April during which you get to witness the biggest festival in Bhutan named Tsechu celebrated with cultural dresses, masks, drums etc.
- No matter how clear the weather is, there will always be a possibility of light drizzles so take raincoats with you.
- You may need warm clothes if you are planning to trek in high altitude places else you may just pack normal clothes.
- Spring is a popular season for tours in Bhutan, you should book your trip earlier to avoid any hassle.
Bhutan in May, June, July, August
Summer is the longest season in Bhutan that starts to slightly transition during mid-April. The monsoon doesn’t start the right way and early days of summer which still share the green and colourful blossoms of spring in valleys. As the monsoon starts, the visibility will drop due to rainy clouds and bad weather. But, it can get clear on someday, no one can accurately predict the weather of this Himalayan country. When it rains, the trails get wet and muddy. But, the northern valleys encounters less rainfall and some inland valleys remain drier than western and southern parts.
Weather and Temperature in May, June, July, August
During the months of May, June, July and August, the temperature remains hot and the season slowly transitions into Autumn during mid-September. When the monsoon is late, even the month of June stays dry only with minimum rainfall. This time is great for those who want to travel within a safe window within summer avoiding high traffic. Monsoon with its heavy rainfall starts sometime during June with few drizzles during earlier months as well.
Humidity is high during summer with warm days and colder nights. The average daytime temperature is about 20 -25 °C during the day and 15-18 °C at night.
- Carry all the things needed to keep you and your belongings waterproof, raincoats, zip locks, rain cover etc.
- Bring hats to give you shade in hot sunny days and good shoes to provide you proper grip in slippery paths.
- Also, don't forget mosquito repellents, first aid kits and other essential things.
- Carry moisture-flicking shirts which help to keep you dry during hot summer days
- To avoid heavy monsoon rain and maximum temperature, early summer days are better for travelling in Bhutan
Bhutan in September, October and November
As the monsoon ends in late July, autumn starts. Autumn days are crisp, sunny and clear making it the best time to travel to Bhutan. The autumn days offer some of the best views of the landscapes. The colourful fallen leaves in the jungles make Bhutan more mesmerizing during this season. This time of the year is great for cultural exploration as well as you get to participate in many festivals such as Thimphu festival, Thangbi Mani festival etc. Many festivals are celebrated in the different towns of Bhutan. The weather is great for trekking to higher reasons as well.
Weather and Temperature in September, October, November
The weather is nice and pleasant most of the time during the Autumn months. The temperature in the higher reasons gets low but still bearable. Only mornings and evenings are a bit windy but the days are warm and sunny. The day time temperature gets about 25°C in hot days and at night it gets as low as 4°C. The humidity is low and hence the possibility of the rainfall is also low. The days start to get shorter at the end of November as the weather becomes colder. The wind speed is average during autumn. Overall, Autumn offers very nice and pleasant weather and is consistent throughout the season.
- If you want to trek to the high Himalayas, it is the best season to go for it as the weather is not extreme and the temperature is bearable.
- As it is the peak season to travel Bhutan, you might expect it to be more crowded than other seasons, but there will not bring you any inconvenience due to Bhutan’s ‘quality over quantity’ tourism policy.
- In the early autumn, there might still be occasional rainfalls, so do not forget to pack a waterproof outer layer and a raincoat.
- It is better to prebook the packages to avoid the rushes while you visit Bhutan.
- In late autumn, the weather might be colder, so pack warm clothes while travelling.
Bhutan in December, January, February
December, January and February are the coldest months in Bhutan. But if you are travelling in the valleys, the low temperature will not affect you that much. The mornings and evenings are cold but the days are usually warm and sunny. The major advantage of travelling in Bhutan in winter is you will be rewarded with the amazing view of the landscapes. Snowfall will make the mountains look more beautiful. If you travel to Gangty valley you will get o observed endangered black-necked cranes migrated from Tibet. It makes the trip to Bhutan more special.
Weather and Temperatures in December, January, February
December marks the beginning of the winter season and it lasts up to the end of February. The temperature drops significantly in the higher altitude regions. The temperature drops to the freezing point and below that up to -6°C in the higher mountains. But in the lower valleys, it will get as low as 4-degree celsius. So the weather conditions are mild in the lower regions, The humidity is low during winter so there are low chances of rainfall. In early January mornings and evenings starts to get windy and cold and it increases up to the middle of February. There might be episodes of snowfall and billiards in the higher regions in late December and January. The days are usually sunny during winter.
- If you are planning to trek to high altitude reasons, pack warm clothes preparing for the worst weather conditions such as snowfalls and billiards.
- Wearing clothes is key as the mornings and evenings are extremely cold and windy and the temperature gradually increases during the day time.
- Wear shoes with good grips as the trail might become slippery due to snowfall.
- You need to know that in places such as mountain passes, the real temperature of the atmosphere and the ‘feel like temperature’ might be different. You might feel colder than the recorded temperature in some areas due to humidity and strength of the wind.