Bhutan has all four seasons – spring, summer, autumn, and winter. Each season holds distinct characteristics and brings out a dramatic scenic landscape.
The spring season (March, April, and May) comes in form of colorful blooms. The valleys, fields, and mountain tops are covered in a blanket of green and speckled with flowers of every color. Spring is the best time for both cultural and trekking tours. Although the clouds hang low, the wildflowers and pleasant weather makes spring time one of the best season for touring Bhutan. It is also the time when the famous Paro festival takes place.
June, July, and August is the rainy season. The moisture-laden wind from the Bay of Bengal and lowland areas from the southern foothills of the country drop rains on the center valleys. The northern Himalayan mountain chains facing these heavy winds act as a natural shield or the windward side. At this time of the year, although it is a little wet, western Bhutan tour covering Thimphu, Paro, Punakha, and Wangdue is still doable. These places only receive light rainfall and at low intervals which do not hamper the tours.
The autumn months are September, October, and November. The trees shed their leaves painting the hills and mountains a lovely hue to orange, yellow, and red. The autumn months are also an important time for the farmers of Paro, Thimphu, Punakha, and Wangdue, as fall is the harvest time. This is the best time for all high altitude treks and also cultural tours. The skies remain clear offering the most excellent mountain views. The season also holds most of the popular festivals and hence, receives the most number of tourists.
December, January, and February are peak winter months with temperatures going below 0 degree Celsius at night. The high altitude treks remain closed due to snow and the high passes are risky to travel to due to the icy road. However, the weather is perfect for low altitude treks and we have just uncovered a new 3-day Sinchula winter trek. Cultural tours are still carried out and the cloudless skies make up for the cold.
So when to visit Bhutan?
Bhutan is a year-round destination with each season having its own charm, beauty, and experience. However, southern, central and eastern Bhutan has to be avoided during the summer/monsoon months starting from mid-June till August. The last leg of monsoon stretches till mid-September however, trips are still ran as the rainfall is comparatively less. Western Bhutan can be toured all year round. Avoid high altitude treks during the winter months of December, January, and February but low altitude winter treks still operational. Some may argue that the monsoon is not good for treks in Bhutan but as an experienced outfitter, we suggest that if you can manage some rains, it is the best time to see alpine flowers in blossom. You will be overwhelmed by the abundance of wildflowers on trails.
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