Bhutan, “The Land of the Thunder Dragon,” is a remote, mountainous country with a population of only about 750,000. It's become famous for using a Gross National Happiness index as a way to measure economic success instead of Gross National Product. In recent years, it has transitioned from a kingdom to a democratic constitutional monarchy.
We're Experts! Red Lantern Journeys can arrange tours throughout Bhutan. In addition to the iconic sights and treks, we know the best hotels, experiences, and off-the-beaten-path locations for your trip to Bhutan!
Our Personal Picks
- A traditional archery tournament
- Thimphu’s bustling weekend market
- Chimi Lhakhang, the namesake temple of Drukpa Kinley
- The dancers of Bhutan’s many colorful autumn festivals
- The game of “kuru,” or, Bhutanese darts
- Cheri Goemba, the first monastery established in Bhutan
When to Travel
The best months to visit Bhutan are March through May and September through November. However, December through February is also a good time, especially in western Bhutan where daytime temperatures are comfortable.. For treks to elevations over 12,000 feet, April through early June and late September through early November are the best months.
Both US and Canadian citizens must have a visa to enter Bhutan, which must be arranged through a tour operator like Red Lantern Journeys and must be shown when you check in to your Druk Air flight into Bhutan.
Festival Dates for 2013:
- Punakha Tshechu (Punakha): February 20 to 22
- Paro Tshechu (Paro): March 23 to 27
- Ura Yakchoe (Bumthang): April 21 to 25
- Nimalung Tshechu (Bumthang): June 16-18
- Kurjey Tshechu (Bumthang): June 18
- Haa Valley Summer Festival (Haa Valley): July 6 to 8
- Thimphu Drubchen (Thimpu) September 9 to 13
- Tangbi Mani (Bumthang) September 18 to 20
- Jambay Lakhang Drup (Bumthang) October 18 to 20
- Black-Necked Crane Festival (Gangtey): November 11
- Nalakhar Tshechu (Bumthang) November 17 to 19
Privately-Guided Cultural Tours
Bhutan cultural tours offer an excellent insight into the unique way of life, religion, and government that uses a Gross National Happiness Index to measure its success rather than a Gross National Product. Check out our sample itineraries:
We can also extend your trip in India , Nepal or Thailand. Please contact us for more information.
Trekking in Bhutan gives you an opportunity to experience a culture and landscape that has remained relatively untouched by outside human influence. Note, these are not fixed-departure-date treks. We can arrange them for any date for your group. Check out our sample treks: