Bhutan, the Kingdom of, a landlocked country located at the eastern end of Himalayas, borders
India. Capital city is Thimphu. The land of the country mainly consists of steep and high
mountains crisscrossed by a network of swift rivers. It is country of Buddhists and their festivals,
usually, celebrate the important events of the life of Buddha. These festivals are very popular with
the tourists besides the scenic beauty, architecture, monasteries, chortens, palaces, religious
faith, culture and heritage. Bhutan Government has set strong tourism policies to ensure high
value and low impact. Under these policies foreign tourists are required to sign up with the tour
operators and pay up front a certain minimum per day cost for lodging, meals and travel within
the country. Paro is the international airport, Trashigang a small domestic airport and a network of
roadways with inherent hairpin turns, sheer drops and weather and elevation condition restraints
well connect the population centers in the country.
Getting around: Autos, taxis, buses and tour vehicles.
Tourist seasons: High tourist season is from September to November, March to May, mid
season June to August and low season December to February.
Weather: Climatological Information Paro, Bhutan, source RNR Agromet, Department of
Tourism. Altitudes and other factors may substantially influence the weather conditions in the
same city, town and neighborhood. Historical data may not be relied on for current conditions.
Visit relevant source for other climate variables.
100mm = 3.9370 inches, 50mm = 1.9685 inches,
25mm = 0.9842 inches, 12.5mm = 0.4921 inches
- Climatological information is based on monthly averages for the 11-year period 1995-2005.
- Mean number of precipitation days = Mean number of days with at least 0.1 mm of precipitation.
- Precipitation includes both rain and snow.
Attention: Please note that the averaging period for climatological information and the
definition of "Mean Number of Precipitation Days" quoted in this web site may be different
for different countries. Hence, care should be taken when city climatologies are compared.
Tour sites and attractions:
Paro, the location of the only international airport of Bhutan, is famed for its fertile valleys, ancient
religious sites, and hard working inhabitants and is known as the rice bowl of Bhutan. Paro has
spectacular views of the Everest, Kanchen Junga and other Himalayan peaks including the
sacred Chomolhari and Jichu Drakey are awesome. The most impressive fortresses of Bhutan,
Paro Dzong, sit atop a scenic knoll. Among the holy sites here are the Takshang Monastery,
Dungtse Lhakhan, Kyichu Lhakhan and Ragoedrak Lhakhang. The Taktshang Monastery or
Tiger’s Nest Monastery sits on a vertiginous rock cliff.
Thimphu, as a capital city is the political and economic center of the country. The traditional
architectural monuments in Thimphu, as in the rest of Bhutan, are of typical Bhutanese
architecture of monasteries, dzongs meaning most striking fortress type of structures, chortens,
gateways, Lhakhangs and other sacred places and royal palaces. There is a Handmade paper
Mill, School of Arts and crafts where students learn thirteen difference arts used predominantly in
Bhutan. The memorial Chorten built in memory of the Third King and the Changangkha
Lhakhand, the oldest temple in the valley are some of the attractions.
Punakha is the administrative center of Punakha Dzongkha, one of the 20 districts of Bhutan
and was the original capital of the country. It is located about 72 kms (44 miles) from Thimphu.
Popularly known as Punakha Dzong, Punthang Dechen Phodrang, the palace of Great Bliss
is the main attraction even though there are other sites around this little town. The Dzong, meaning
the fortress, was built in the sixteenth century and is one of the most beautiful Dzongs with the
amazing central tower with its traditional wooden staircase. Kuenrey at far end of the Dzong is a
temple with a giant statue of Buddha flanked by the Guru and the Zhabdrung with beautifully
painted dragons on the ceiling. Once out the huge door there are Buddhist astrology charges.
Wangdue Phodran is a dzongkhag meaning a district of central Bhutan, which is also the name
of the dzong which dominates the district and the name of the small market town outside the
gates. Just to clarify the word wangdue means unification of the country and Phodrang means
Palace in Dzongkha and this one stands in beautiful hilly tract.
Phobijikha, the valley is the winter home of the endangered black necked crane which visits
Bhutan from October to February. A walk in this beautiful valley visiting the farm houses of the
locals and an easy hike to the Gompa which takes about two hours on Phobjikha Natural Trail
can be a rewarding experience.
Adventure Sports: Bhutan is swiftly developing its reputation as a premier destination for
adventure sports. Set amongst the majestic Himalayas the kingdom is the perfect location for all
manner of exciting activities including Hiking, Trekking, Kayaking, Mountain Biking and Fishing.
Whether it’s rafting down crystal clear, glacier-fed rivers or trekking through lush, virgin forests
Bhutan offers a one of a kind experience for travelers seeking adventure in an unspoiled and
unexplored environment. All the necessary arrangements for adventure activities can be made
through your local tour operator. They will provide you with well trained and experienced guides
to ensure your safety at all times for cycling, kayaking, rafting, rock climbing, trekking and more
Jigme Dorji National Park, spread over an area of 4,349 sq kms (1679 sq miles) is the largest
protected area in Bhutan. The park stretches from warm broad-leaved forests to permanent ice
fields and glaciers on Bhutan’s north-western border. There is rich plant and animal diversity in
this varied topographical gradient from just over 1,000 meters (3281 feet ) to more than 7,000
meters (22966 feet) above sea level. Sacred peaks such as Jomolhari, Tsherimgang and Jichu
Drakey are prominent landmarks in the park. Glaciers and glacial lakes are interspersed in the
mountains here. The alpine region houses numerous flowers such as the national flower blue
poppy, edelweiss, orchids, rhododendrons and more. Animal species like the Snow Leopard,
Takin, Tiger, Black Bear, Blue Sheep and Red Panda inhabit the forests and mountains of the
park. Bhutan’s most popular trekking routes can be found inside from inside this Park.
Royal Manas National Park, Bhutan’s Crown Jewel, the Manas National Park represents the
largest example of tropical and sub-tropical ecosystems in Bhutan.This park offers thousands of
animal and plant species, many of which are globally endangered, it is not only the most diverse
protected area in the Kingdom but also noted as one of the world’s biologically outstanding parks.
Lying in south central Bhutan Manas is connected at the southern border with India’s Manas
Tiger Reserve, a World Heritage Site. To the north it borders the Jigme Singye Wangchuck
National Park. Royal Manas was designated a wildlife sanctuary in 1966 making it Bhutan’s
oldest protected area. The area was upgraded to a National Park in 1993. There are wide climate
variations in Royal Manas. The May-September monsoons bring up to 5,000mm of rain. Rainfall
is negligible in winter and the climate is extremely pleasant from November till March.
Manas is also extremely rich in wildlife species, including the highly endangered Royal Bengal
tiger, Asian elephant, greater one-horned rhinoceros, clouded leopard, Himalayan black bear,
gangetic dolphin and pangolin. Found virtually nowhere else in the world is the especially rare
golden langur, a primate of extraordinary grace and beauty with its long, silky blond fur.
More than 365 species of birds have been officially recorded in Royal Manas National Park with
an additional 200 believed to be in residence. Species found here include the globally threatened
rufous-necked hornbill, Pallas fishing eagle, great white-bellied heron, spotted wren-babbler,
blue-headed rock thrush and emerald cuckoo. Many of the park’s more than 900 types of plants
have commercial, medicinal, traditional and religious significance. WWF and Bhutan’s Nature
Conservation Division jointly developed a five-year conservation management plan which
includes training and equipping park staff, improving park infrastructure, and supporting biological
and socio-economic surveys and park monitoring programs.
TrumshingLa National Park, situated at the very heart of the country and covering 768 sq km
(296 sq miles) of pristine forests ranging from alpine to subtropical broadleaf combined with
dramatic mountains are home to snow leopards, tigers, red pandas and rare plants. With its
elevation ranging from less than 1,000 meters (3281 feet) to more than 4,000 meters (13124
feet), and temperatures between 70 to 82 degrees F, the park has some of the most diverse
climatic variations and habitats in the world. The park made news in 2000 when a WWF
supported survey team captured a camera-trap image of a tiger at 3,000 meters (9846 feet), the
first photographic evidence that the magnificent creatures exist at such high altitudes. Besides
that, the park has 341 species of birds making it truly a birdwatcher’s paradise. Tourism helps to
sustain the lives of the communities within the park, with an effective management plan in place
the park is set to remain in pristine condition for generations to come.
Bumdeling Wildlife Sanctuary is located in north western part of Bhutan covering an area of
1,545 sq kms (597 sq miles) with 420 sq kms (162 sq miles) of buffer zone encompassing parts
of Trashiyangtse, Lhuntshe, and Mongar district. It shares international borders with the Tibetan
region of China in the north and India in the north east. The sanctuary is home to around 100
species of mammals, including globally endangered species such as snow leopard, Royal Bengal
tiger and red panda. About 150 black necked cranes spend their winter in Bumdeling every year
from mid-November to early March. Bumdeling Wildlife Sanctuary is also a paradise for butterflies
and as of now 130 species have been recorded and another 120 are expected to inhabit this
area. Besides natural beauty and diversity many significant religious and cultural places can be
found inside the sanctuary, such as Rigsum Gompa, the mystic Singye Dzong and
Dechenphodrang Lhaghang, may be the most scenic monastery in the country.
Philsoo Wildlife Sanctury,a relatively small protected-area is located near the Southern border
to India, approximately 50 km (31 miles) from Phuntsholing. It encompasses 278 sq kms (107
sq miles) and ranges from 200 to1600 meters (656 to 5249 feet) in altitude. It is home to rare and
exotic animals such as Elephants, Tigers, Gaurs, Spotted Deer, Axis Deer, Hornbills and Golden
Langurs. This park is Bhutan’s only natural Sal Forest.
Khaling Wildlife Sanctury, spread over an area of 273 sq kms (105 sq miles), is the smallest
protected area in the kingdom. Despite its relatively small total area this sanctuary’s altitude
ranges from 400 to 2200 meters (1312 to 7218 feet) and is inhabited by exotic animals like
Elephants, Guars, Pygmy Hogs and Hispid Hares. As it is located on the country’s southern
border the Khaling Wildlife Sanctuary adjoins a neighboring Indian wildlife sanctuary.
Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary, located in the easternmost part of the Kingdom, is spread in an
area of 650 sq kms (251 sq miles) and is Bhutan’s newest protected area. It presents a wide
diversity of Himalayan terrestrial ecosystems, namely alpine meadow, temperate forest, and
warm broadleaf forest. The Sanctuary is home to people of isolated nomadic tribes. It is
characterized by thick carpets of rhododendrons, and in its habitat are snow leopards, red
pandas, Himalayan black bear, barking deer, Himalayan red fox, the hoary-bellied Himalayan
squirrel and even the mythical Yeti (or the “Abominable Snowman”). Bird species include the
Assamese macaw, blood pheasant, grey backed shrike, grey headed woodpecker, common
hoopoe, rufous vented tit and dark breasted rose finch. Plant life includes Bhutan’s national
flower, the blue poppy, rhododendrons, primulas and gentiana. There are also many plants
with medicinal values such as cordyceps.
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