Climate conditions in Bhutan vary with changes in altitude, and the seasons are a product of the annual monsoons. A dry season generally occurs between March and mid April, followed by wetter weather and monsoon rains, which last from late June through late September. The heaviest rainfall occurs in the country's southwest, along with thick fog and humidity. From late September to late November, the autumn season arrives with bright, sunny days and pleasant temperatures. Frost covers much of the country from December to March, with snow fall common above 3,000 meters.
It is advisable to have a valid travel insurance policy from your host country to cover the costs of emergency medical treatment or evacuation. Travelers should keep their policy number and insurance company contact details with them while trekking. Trekking without insurance is possible, though participants who choose to do so will have to submit a written statement to Outdoor Expeditions stating their intention to do so.
Fitness for Trekking
Options for sightseeing, trekking or tour combinations in Bhutan can provide a variety of physical challenges, from moderate sightseeing to high altitude camping-style trekking. The key is to be prepared for the trip you intend to undertake. Consult with Outdoor Expeditions before your departure if you're concerned about physical preparedness for your intended trip. All of our itineraries are designed to provide maximum enjoyment by allowing proper time to acclimatize at higher elevations and adequate rest. While we recommend preparing for your journey with an appropriate fitness routine, we won't fail to mention the importance of a positive attitude and willingness to challenge yourself both physically and mentally. It is wise to see your physician for a complete checkup before arriving in Bhutan.
Equipment and Clothing
Equipment needed for your trek will vary greatly depending on seasonal factors, trekking route and means of accommodations (tea-house or camping). The most important things to consider are staying warm and dry. We recommend using a layered clothing approach, starting with a moisture-wicking insulating layer, followed by warming layers, and an outer shell to protect from wind, sun and rain. Don't forget quality trekking boots, socks and adequate head covering, as well as basic essentials like sunblock, sunglasses, torchlight, water bottles and personal care items. Outdoor Expeditions can provide you with a detailed equipment list upon booking your trip.
While Bhutanese immigrations do not require any vaccinations for entrance, concerned travelers should consider being immunized for Rabies, Meningitis, Typhoid, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Tetanus, Yellow Fever, Japanese Encephilitis, Polio, Tuberculosis, and Cholera.
The national Bhutanese currency is the ngultrum, which is pegged to the Indian rupee. Foreign currency and traveler's checks can be exchanged at the airport in Paro and some of the larger hotels and banks in Paro and Thimpu. Though credit cards are accepted by certain vendors, do not expect a credit card to be much use, as most business will only accept cash. The availability of ATM machines should not be relied upon. Bring enough cash to sustain yourself throughout your trip.
Bhutan is considered an extremely safe travel destination, with virtually no political unrest, petty crimes or common disturbances such as street begging. The greatest dangers you will likely encounter in Bhutan are stray dogs or sunburn.