Visiting Bhutan? You have found my personal notes and travel tips, such as the best time to visit Bhutan and miscellaneous facts which I obtain from a variety of sources such as first hand observations, personal conversations, magazines, newspapers, websites, books and so forth.
Best Time to Visit Bhutan
Short Answer: March, April, September and November are the best times to visit Bhutan. (October is a great month to visit, and many would say the greatest, but read on…)
Longer Answer: The short answer should probably just read Spring & Autumn, as that is the common reply. However, I think it’s good to parse into the details.
January and February experience cold nights and travel can become hindered depending on your destination due to the weather although snow should be cleared quickly. Days are nice and the skies should be clear and generally dry.
As you get through March and into April, the temperatures are rising and the flowers blooming. Clarity of skies will not generally be as optimal as in the autumn period, but tourist numbers are less and everything is in bloom. Anytime from March into May is a great time to visit.
By June, the monsoon season starts. This continues through August. If you want to be in Bhutan at the lowest tourism point, July is a good bet. Otherwise, this isn’t a good period for hiking, etc. However, depending on the area you are in, you can be treated to great photographic opportunities after storms have rolled through. Additionally, flowers are blooming in the high elevation.
By September, the skies have cleared and the weather is great through mid-December (obviously cooling as you get closer to winter). Anytime in the September to mid-December timeframe is a great time to visit Bhutan.
The reason I didn’t list October as the best time to visit Bhutan is more based on my revulsion to months jammed with tourists. I don’t like to be in countries when there are tourists everywhere and in Bhutan, October is that month. If you visit in October, everything should be great (weather, festivals, etc.) but be prepared for it being high season. October traditionally has the clearest skies.
November through mid-December are a great time to visit Bhutan, just pack some warmer clothes for trekking.
Miscellaneous Travel Tips for Bhutan
Bhutan has a unique way of doing things for visitors. Excluding having a Bhutanese friend invite you, you are required to pay somewhere between $200-$300USD/day you want to visit. This tourist fee includes your lodging, transportation, guide and food. That does not include flights, alcohol, tips, etc. You also need to pay for a visa, which you can apply for after paying your tourist fees in full.
Bhutan is a poor country and they’ve created a system where tourists are supporting the infrastructure, etc. through this tourist fee mechanism.
You can find out specifics at http://www.tourism.gov.bt/plan/minimum-daily-package