SEASON AND CLIMATE IN BHUTAN
SEASONS IN BHUTAN & TEMPERATURE
On the same latitude as Miami and Cairo, Bhutan has a climate that varies with altitude. The southern border near India is tropical with a hot, humid climate, while the Himalayan mountains in the north are blanketed with snow almost all year round. Unless you are trekking, most of your time will be spent in the central region between the two.
There are two main seasons for visiting Bhutan, both of which offer the chance to visit festival and to trek. The first is in the Spring (March to May). This is the season for wonderful flowers and birds, the days are warm and the mountain peaks are still visible for much of the time. Daytime temperatures in the main centres you are likely to be visiting are around 17 to 22 degrees Celsius, increasing through the season. It can even get much hotter – up to 28 or 30 degrees, especially in low lying areas such as Punakha or Wangdi.
The other good time is Autumn (September to November), when there is much less rain, the skies are clear and the drying of chillies on the roofs of houses provides a very photogenic sight. In September temperatures will be between 20 and 25 degrees Celsius, with pleasant temperatures at night, reducing by about 5 degrees during October/November when nights will also become cool again. Trekking at altitude you need to be prepared for much lower temperatures than are mentioned here.
Summer (June to August) is the monsoon season which means heavy rains, especially in the south. Mountains disappear behind the clouds and the valleys are shrouded in mist. Landslides are frequent occurrences and can cause communication and transport difficulties. However, we don’t actively discourage travel during this season, because it is still a good time to visit Paro, Thimphu, Punakha and surrounding areas in western Bhutan, as long as you are prepared for rain. Striking sights at this time of year are the electric-green rice paddies against a background of the dark forests. In late summer wild orchids are abundant. Summer temperatures will be from 25 to 30 degrees Celsius, cooler in the evenings.
Winter (December to February) can be very cold, although December to early January can be a pleasant time to visit western Bhutan, with dry, clear days. Temperatures reach an average of 15 degrees Celsius in the valleys (although nights are much colder, sometimes below freezing). Snow is frequent from mid-January to mid-February.
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The climate varies hot subtropical in south to cold alpine slopes in the north. Human settlement is confined mostly to interior river valleys and a swath of southern plains; nomads and other tribes live in the north, raising sheep, cattle and yaks. Bhutan straddle two major bio-geographic realms, the Indo-Malayan realm consisting of the lowland rain forests of South and Southeast Asia and the Pale-arctic realm consisting of conifer forests and alpine meadows of northern Asia and Europe.
Bhutan is located in the southern slopes of the eastern Himalayas, the kingdom is landlocked between the two great Asian civilizations, Tibet (China) to the north and the Indian States of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim & West Bengal in the East, West, & South. The country lies between latitudes 26′ 45’N & 280″ 10’N, and longitudes 88′ 45′E & 92′ 10’E. It has a total area of 38,394 square kilometres.
Bhutan’s physical geography consists mostly of steep and high mountains crisscrossed by a network of swift rivers, which form deep valleys before draining into the Indian plains. The land rises from 200 meters above sea level in the southern foothills to 7000 meters high northern mountains. Within this latitudinal range are found a diverse biodiversity rich enough to be considered as one of ten global environmental ‘hotspots’. About 72.5% of the area is under forests, and it is constitutional mandate to maintain 60% forests cover for all times to come.
FAQ related to visa
Your visa will be taken care by Bhutan Gateway Travel. You are requested to email us a clear valid passport with validity of six months or more prior to your visit to Bhutan.
Once approved, Bhutan Gateway Travel will email you the electronic visa (e-visa) approved by the Department of Immigration. You will print and hand carry a copy of the approved e-visa.
In case of emergency, based on the merit of the case, we will pursue with the relevant authority and get it extended. However, under normal circumstances, it is not possible to get the visa extended.
Three to five government working days.
FAQ related to SDF
The new SDF of US$100 per person per day will become effective from 1 September 2023.
The new SDF shall remain effective for four years until 31 August 2027.
Any guest who already paid the SDF for their upcoming visit to Bhutan is eligible for a refund of the excess SDF amounts paid.
When applying for a visa to enter Bhutan, you will need to pay the SDF. Visas can be applied for at the Department of Tourism’s website.
No, the incentives introduced in June 2023 have been revoked and are no longer applicable. However, the 24-hour SDF waiver for border towns in Bhutan remains valid.