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 2014:
- Punakha Drubchen (Punakha): March 6 to 10
- Punakha Tshechu (Punakha): March 11 to 13
- Paro Tshechu (Paro): April 11 to 15
- Ura Yakchoe (Bumthang): May 10 to 14
- Nimalung Tshechu (Bumthang): June 5 to 7
- Kurjey Tshechu (Bumthang): June 7
- Thimphu Drubchen (Thimphu) September 28 to Oct 2
- Wangdue Tshechu (Wangdue): October 1 to 3
- Thimphu Tshechu (Thimphu): October 3 to 5
- Tangbi Mani (Bumthang): October 7 to 9
- Jambay Lakhang Drup (Bumthang) November 6 to 10
- Prakhar Duchhoed (Bumthang): November 7 to 9
- Black-Necked Crane Festival (Gangtey): November 11
- Nalakhar Tshechu (Bumthang): December 6 to 8
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: