How to reach Bhutan?
The Kingdom of Bhutan remained largely cut off from the rest of the world up until the early 1960’s. Entering the country was difficult as it was only accessible by foot from two main entry points, one in the North and another from the South.
However, carefully planned economic development has made the country much more accessible and there are now a network roads entering and traversing the country, as well as one international and multiple domestic airports.
- Druk Air, the Royal Bhutan Airlines operates regular fights to/from Paro to Delhi, Kolkotta, Kathmandu and Bangkok.
- Bhutan Airline, operates regular fights to/from Paro to Kolkotta, Kathmandu and Bangkok.
- Phuentsholing, Gelephu, and Samdrup Jongkhar are the ONLY entry point to Bhutan overland.
Do we need a VISA?
With the exception of visitors from India, Bangladesh and Maldives, all other visitors to Bhutan need a visa.
Indian, Bangladeshis and Maldivian nationals can obtain a visa at the port of entry on producing a valid passport with a minimum of 6 month validity (Indian nationals may also use their Voters Identity Card (VIC)).
All other tourists must obtain a visa clearance prior to travel to Bhutan. Visas are processed through an online system by your licensed Bhutanese tour operator, directly or through a foreign travel agent.
You are required to send the photo-page of your passport to your tour operator who will then apply for your visa. The visa will be processed by the Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) once the full payment of your holiday (including a USD $40 visa fee) has been wire transferred and received in the TCB bank account. Once received the visa clearance will be processed within 72 working hours.
At your point of entry you will be required to show your visa clearance letter, the visa will then be stamped into your passport.
Tourist Tariff Rates
The $200 per day (low season) and $250 per day (high season) package includes :
- A minimum of 3 star accommodation (4&5 star may require an additional premium).
- All meals
- A licensed Bhutanese tour guide for the extent of your stay
- All internal transport (excluding internal flights)
- Camping equipment and haulage for trekking tours
It also includes:
- All internal taxes and charges
- A sustainable development fee of $65. This sustainable development fee goes towards free education, free healthcare, poverty alleviation, along with the building of infrastructure.
The minimum daily package for tourists travelling in a group of 3 persons or more is as follows:
- USD $200 per person per night for the months of January, February, June, July, August, and December.
- USD $250 per person per night for the months of March, April, May, September, October, and November.
Tourists travelling in a group of two (2) persons or less shall be subject to a surcharge, in addition to the minimum daily package rates.
- Single individual – US$ 40 per night
- Group of 2 persons only – US$ 30 per person per night
The 10% agency commission payable to agents abroad shall not be deductible from the surcharge. The surcharge will not be applicable to representatives of foreign travel agents on business study or promotional visit duly approved and cleared by the tourism council of Bhutan.
There shall be no charge other than visa fee of US$ 40 for children below the age of 5 years.
Children between the ages of 5-12 years shall be given 50% discount on minimum daily package rate.
Full time students below the age of 25 years, holding valid identity cards from their academic institutions, shall be given 25% discount on minimum daily package rate.
Please Note: Children below 5 years will not be eligible for GROUP SIZE DISCOUNTS, DURATION DISCOUNTS and SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT FEE FREE ZONE DISCOUNT and All Children and Students will not be eligible for DURATION DISCOUNTS
Prior to your trip to Bhutan you will be asked to wire the full payment for your holiday to Bhutan Instant Travel. Your entire tour payment must be sent to Bhutan Instant Travel by Bank transfer 60 days in advance.
Along with the tour payment US$ 40 (one time visa fee) also have to be wired to the Bhutan National Bank.
For high/peak seasons (March, April, May, Sept, Oct, Nov) it is advisable to remit payment for Airline Ticket Booking 3 months in advance. This will help us in getting your seats confirmed.
Beneficiary Bank Bhutan National Bank Limited, Thimphu, Bhutan
Account No. 00000000000000 (USD A/C)
Please email the bank wire receipt copy to the local Bhutanese tour operator.
Refund & Cancellation
If you want to cancel your trip, your payment made will be refunded after deducting the bank charges and other service charges. But the visitors have to let us know immediately as and when they decide to cancel their tour. Tour Programs booked and subsequently cancelled shall be subject to cancellation charges:
- Within 60 days of the start of the tour programe: Free
- Within 30 days: 15% of the rate
- Within 14 days: 30% of the rate
- Within 7 days: 50% of the rate
- Less than 7 days or cancellation without notice: 100% of the rate
DELAYED ARRIVAL / DEPARTURE
There is no charge for delays in arrival and departure because of weather conditions disrupting flights or road blocks. The tourist must however bear the cost of food, accommodation, transportation, and other services required. It is highly recommended that you purchase travel insurance prior to travel. You can WRITE to us for any queries.
A wide variety of accommodation is available ranging from luxurious 5-star hotels to cozy little hotels and homestays in traditional Bhutanese homes and settings. Visitors can be assured of their warmth and comfort of the hotels. Similarly, the ambience and hospitality offered by the hotels are incredible.
The types of accommodations can be divided into:
Additionally visitors embarking on long treks will be provided with tents and whatever other camping equipment is deemed necessary. Regardless of where they stay, visitors can be assured of their comfort and traditional Bhutanese hospitality.
The climate in Bhutan is extremely varied. This variation in the climatic conditions and average temperature can be attributed to two main factors, the vast differences in altitude present in the country and the influence of the north Indian monsoons.
October to December is the ideal time to visit Bhutan as the air is clear and fresh with sunny skies.
January and February are colder, but from then until April the climate remains dry and pleasant and in late spring the famous rhododendrons bloom spectacularly, flooding the valleys with colour.
Heat and humidity increase from May, and from June to September the monsoon rains cover the mountains.
The most distinctive characteristic of Bhutanese cuisine is its spiciness. Chillis are an essential part of nearly every dish and are considered so important that most Bhutanese people would not enjoy a meal that was not spicy.
Rice forms the main body of most Bhutanese meals. It is accompanied by one or two side dishes consisting of meat or vegetables.
Pork, beef and chicken are the meats that are eaten most often. Vegetables commonly eaten include Spinach, pumpkins, turnips, radishes, tomatoes, river weed, onions and green beans.
Grains such as rice, buckwheat and barley are also cultivated in various regions of the country depending on the local climate.