The Ultimate Bhutan Adventure Guide
(Thimphu, Bhutan) – Rich in flora, fauna, and cultural history, Bhutan is an incredible country filled with ancient monasteries, fortresses, and incredible mountain vistas. Located between India and China, Bhutan is a kingdom that has strict tourist tariffs in place, in order to preserve pristine Himalayan landscapes and unique historic architecture.
Best Times To Go Trekking in Bhutan
Because of this, Bhutan is one of the world’s best trekking destinations. Luxury resorts and knowledgeable tour groups make it easy to curate the perfect travel experience in Bhutan. Travelers can easily combine trekking adventures with rich cultural experiences and see a part of the world that’s practically untouched by western influence.
Given its geographic location, Bhutan has four distinct seasons during the year. This means that depending on what time of the year you decide to take your vacation, certain regions, activities, and trekking adventures will be more optimal. Bhutan is known for its colorful festivals, which occur in various regions all year round. The best time to visit Bhutan may vary depending on what kind of adventures you are looking to have, and what kind of experience best suits your travel style.
The Best Time of Year To Go Trekking in Bhutan
Many travelers who are hoping to spend time trekking through the Himalayas in Bhutan decide to visit from mid-October through November. October in Bhutan generally promises clear skies and mild weather, making this an excellent time of year to be outdoors.
The Jhomolhari Trek
For a moderate trek with amazing views and manageable elevations, many travelers opt for the Jhomolhari trek. This trek winds through gorgeous farmlands, rural villages, and crystal clear glacial lakes, and offers potential views of rare animals like the snow leopard.
The Druk Path Trek
The Druk Path trek is shorter, and therefore perfect for travelers hoping to combine a trek with sightseeing in some of Bhutan’s unique cities and villages. The Druk Path trek winds from Paro through Thimphu—two of Bhutan’s most popular cities. For this reason, it’s a perfect combination of spectacular nature and a glimpse into Bhutanese life and culture. On this trek, travelers can expect to hike through gorgeous rhododendron fields, yak pastures, alpine lakes, and snow-capped peaks.
The Snowman Trek
The snowman trek is one of the more difficult treks, seeing less than 100 trekkers each year. Part of the difficulty in this particular experience is that the trek usually takes three weeks to complete. The safest and most optimal time to complete this trek is either in October or March, depending on whether you are visiting in the fall or the spring. The snowman trek begins outside of Paro and winds through glacial lakes and rivers, steep peaks, and spectacular fields and valleys. This hike offers the ultimate glimpse into the wild environment of the Himalayas, and for this reason, it is more strenuous than most other treks.
Top Sights and Adventures in Bhutan
You may be hoping to plan your trip so that you spend part of the time sightseeing and part of the time trekking. If you aren’t thrilled by the idea of spending weeks with a backpack on, hiking through the Himalayas, don’t worry – there’s still plenty for you to do in Bhutan. Many of Bhutan’s cities, including Paro and Thimphu, have seasonal festivals to celebrate their rich Buddhist heritage. You may want to plan your adventure so that you land in certain cities while they are celebrating one of these amazing and colorful festivals.
For example, Thimphu Tsechu is one such festival that occurs every fall in the city of Thimphu. It celebrates the Guru Rinpoche, who introduced Buddhism to Bhutan. The city of Paro celebrates a similar festival, called Paro Tsechu, every spring. Visiting a Bhutanese city during a festival is a great way to get a glimpse into the cultural heritage of this ancient country.
As you explore Bhutan’s various cities and towns, be sure to make time to visit some of the oldest monasteries in the world while you’re there. Taktsang Palphug Monastery, otherwise known as Paro Taktsang, is a historic monastery located outside of the city of Paro. Clinging to stone cliffs 3,120 meters above sea level, Paro Taktsang resides on an unforgettable precipice that many say feels like the end of the earth. Bright green valleys and majestic mountain tops give this monastery an otherworldly feel that will leave you with a sense of amazement and humility at the grandness of the world we live in.
Organizing Your Trip to Bhutan
No matter what kind of adventure you’re hoping to have in Bhutan, the right amount of planning will ensure that you have the adventure of your dreams. Because of Bhutan’s fierce cultural preservation laws, however, booking your trip will be a little more complicated than booking a trip to other countries in Asia and around the world.
For starters, all visitors must pay a $200 travel tariff per day when visiting Bhutan. Because you must book your trip through a registered travel agency, this fee will ensure that your trip is all-inclusive. The travel tariff generally includes transportation, lodging, and other logistical fees. This helps to ensure that you have a flawless trip to Bhutan, and also helps to protect the ancient heritage and spectacular landscapes in Bhutan.
Before you book your trip, think about how you’d like to spend your time in Bhutan. Chances are, you’ll be able to spend some time trekking and some time exploring Bhutan’s amazing cities and all of their magical secrets. Whenever you plan your travel, you are sure to enjoy your adventure!
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