A non-peak season like January is the perfect time to visit Bhutan. You have the opportunity to avoid the crowds and extra cost.
A tour to Bhutan is an opportunity to explore the spiritual and simple life in the 21st century. You can do this on your own, with friends or with family. You are bound to enjoy your stay regardless.
January in Bhutan is winter. Unlike some countries, the winter in Bhutan is bearable. The cool temperatures between -3 to 12 degrees Celsius are perfect for walks and tours in and around the country.
Bhutan in January is great to explore the mysterious country with beautiful landscapes and people.
Highlights of Bhutan Tour in January
- You will be able to avoid the usual tourists seen in peak months.
- Opportunity to spot the rare and elusive Black-Necked Cranes.
- Crystal clear views of the snowcapped mountains and landscapes
- The daily tariff is lower during this month.
- Tiger’s Nest Monastery (3000m) perched on a vertical cliff
- Thimphu- the capital of Bhutan
- Dochula Pass and the 108 chortens (stupa). Built in the memory of the soldiers killed in the 2003 war against insurgents from India.
- Red Panda Brewery- first established(2006) brewery of Bhutan
- Chimi Lhakhang also known as the temple of Fertility
- Phobjikha Valley- a gorgeous wildlife preserve that is home to exotic wildlife and nature
- Gangtey Valley- home to the Gangtey monastery
Cost of Tour to Bhutan in January
The daily tariff is USD $200 per person. This tariff covers 3-star accommodation, guide, and meals. It also covers entry fees, transport in Bhutan.
If you are traveling solo or in groups of less than 2 then you will have to bear extra surcharge.
Single traveler – USD$40 per night
Group of 2 travelers – USD$30 per person/per night.
Note: $65 of the daily tariff serves as a government tax. This goes to public services like education and healthcare.
The climate of Bhutan in January
January is winter season in Bhutan. You can enjoy clear days and nights. The average temperature range between -3-12 degrees Celsius.
The weather in the higher altitudes is chilly.
You can also enjoy snowfalls. The roads do close temporarily due to heavy snowfall in some places. Be prepared for delays.
Despite the cold, January can be worth it for those who can brave the chill. The clear and crisp weather makes great picturesque panoramas of the Himalayas.
Have an extra day or two for flight delays and roadblocks due to weather conditions in January.
Accommodation in Bhutan in January
You will not have to pre-book your rooms in January. You will find a variety of choices for accommodation. If you are looking for a luxurious stay, you can choose 5-star hotels like Amankora, Uma Paro and Hotel Taj.
If not, then you can choose to opt for the basic hotels and lodges. These provide you with clean and simple rooms. These also provide basic facilities of bathrooms, hot showers. Most hotels do offer rooms with electric heaters. Do not expect central heating. In some, you may find a fireplace.
You can also opt for home stays. Not all houses in Bhutan have hot shower facilities. Yet, these homestays give you a personal and close look into the lifestyles, tradition of the local Bhutanese. They will provide hot water for you if you ask them for it.
Clothing in Bhutan in January
January is mid-winter in Bhutan. The temperatures can drop to negative degrees. Hence, you should pack properly keeping in mind the cold. These should include snow boots, warm fleece jackets, pants, mufflers, warm caps, and mittens.
Bhutan also enjoys snowfall during January. So, it is always advisable to dress in layers. This way you can add on or remove while trekking or touring in Bhutan in January.
Make sure to remove your footwear (shoes, slippers), mittens and caps before entering any religious places. It is a way to be respectful. These can include monasteries, dzongs. If unsure, feel free to ask your guides.
Recommended Bhutan Tours in January
3-5 days Bhutan Tour
This package is great for those who are short on time yet want to discover Bhutan. You will get a look into the unique architecture and the diverse landscape of nature.
From the capital city of Thimphu to the unique Paro, you will have your hands full during this short tour. This short 3 days tour will help you discover the unique charm of Bhutan. In January, the weather is cool making your walks in and around the city a cool and enjoyable one.
During the 3-day tour, you will enjoy the friendly and hospitable nature of the Bhutanese. You will definitely also indulge in the amazing view of snow-capped landscapes. This short tour will definitely pave your way for the next one back.
8-days Bhutan Tour
The 8-days Bhutan Tour is a well-organized package that will take care of your travel to this amazing country. It is a lot more relaxed than the 3-day tour. If you think 8 days are not enough, allow us to arrange a longer stay for you in Bhutan.
You will visit and explore the amazing Tiger’s Nest monastery, the remote Gangtey Gompa Valley. You will also explore places like Thimphu, Paro in this tour. The weather will be clear and crisp in January making for great views from Punakha Dzong, Tiger’s Nest.
You will have the opportunity to discover why Bhutan is such a fascinating country.
Recommended Treks in Bhutan in January
You can also go for trekking in winter. The low altitude treks like Samtengang trek, Gasa Tsachu Trek are great in January. You can enjoy your walk in cool temperatures. You can also enjoy the spectacular views and landscapes in peace.
Samtengang Winter trek
Samtengang trek could be one of the most accessible treks for winter. You get an opportunity to visit attractive villages, farms, temples & monasteries along the trails. The trail is about 54 km and is at an altitude of about 1100-1900 m.
Gasa Tsachu Trek
The Gasa Tsachu Trek gives you an amazing experience of hot springs. The locals visit the hot spring for medical reasons. The locals believe the hot spring have medicinal properties.
You can enjoy the peace and tranquillity of these regions in January.
Treks with high passes are not ideal for winter treks in Bhutan.
Festival in Bhutan in January
Festivals in Bhutan are colorful and rich expressions of its Buddhist culture. Some festivals that take place in January are:
- Lhuentse Tshechu
- Trongsa Tshechu
- Nabji Lhakhang Drup
Tsechus are a rich form of the oral history tradition. Through these, the Bhutanese pass on values, mythology, and spiritual beliefs through dance dramas. Monks in special masked dances usually perform these.
Tsechus are ceremonies held on auspicious days of the month as per the Buddhist calendar. These days can change from year to year. The festivals are often celebrated in honor of Guru Rinpoche. Guru Rinpoche was a Buddhist follower who mastered esoteric Buddhism. He introduced Buddhism to Bhutan in the 18th century.
The festivals are a great way to enjoy the Bhutanese lifestyle and culture first hand. The Bhutanese dress in their finest clothes and splendid, traditional jewelry during these.
Snow in Bhutan in January
Snow is quite rare in most parts of Bhutan. If it does, it happens in this month. When it snows, the King of Bhutan usually declares national holidays. You can see everyone enjoying snowball fights, sculpturing snowmen. You might encounter some snow during your visit to Dochula or Chele-la.
Extra tips for Tours to Bhutan in January
- Don’t light up! Bhutan has banned Tobacco products. There are penalties for smoking in public. Ask your guide where you can smoke.
- Dress in layers in January. The weather changes with the change in altitude and duration of the day.
- Always ask and receive permission before taking photos of people, including children.
- Confirm the dates of the festivals with your tour operator. The dates do change. Bhutan follows the lunar calendar.
- Go in a group of 2 or more. It will reduce your per-head room cost.
- Carry some cash to buy souvenirs, to tip and donate.
- Try the local cuisine. The local dishes like Ema Dashi, soup dumpling are great to warm up your body. You also try local drinks like butter tea and ara (spirit distilled from rice).
January in Bhutan is moderately cold yet bearable. The temperature is perfect for tours and treks in the country.
January in Bhutan is less crowded and financially affordable than most months of the year. You can enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the country at your own pace.
For more queries or questions related to tours and treks to Bhutan, feel free to contact us.