Making arrangements for a trip to Bhutan is a little different from traveling to other countries as the government does not allow for independent (self-guided) travel. In order to get a visa to Bhutan, your trip must be prepaid, including the Drukair tickets, through a Bhutanese-licensed travel agency. The exact timing of your trip will depend on the availability of flights. Visitors may travel singly or in groups of any size. The fee normally ranges between $200 and $250 per day per person. For trekking, we usually have to charge higher because of the extra cost.
Exceptions to this tariff are listed later in this section. Because of limited air flights, the farther in advance you make your plans the better. During festivals, lodging can also be scarce.
All foreign nationals, with the exception of Indian and Bangladesh nationals, visiting Bhutan must travel through all-inclusive package tours for which a fixed price is set by the Royal Government.
We suggest you the following 3 steps to have the most efficient arrangements.
Read through the trip suggestions on our web site. Email us with a preferred trip or an outline of what you would like to see and do, perhaps combining more than one idea. Also, let us know a time-frame in which you would like to travel, your level of fitness if you are interested in hiking, and which city you will be arriving from (Bangkok, Calcutta, Delhi or Kathmandu). It is also possible to enter Bhutan by land from India in the southwest (see Traveling by Land). We will respond with a suggested itinerary, the dates flights available, and the cost of the trip.
When you select a final trip itinerary and travel dates, e-mail us and send payment in full, including the cost of the Druk Air tickets (see Trip Payment). You must send a scanned copy of the front page of your passport.
Officially, it may take up to four weeks to process the visa applications, but generally it is just a few days. Visa clearances will not be issued by the government until payment has been received. The visa will be sent to you in the form of a PDF document which you need to print and carry with you when checking into the Drukair flight.
Visas and the Druk Air reservations will be obtained by Bhutan Peak Adventure. We then reconfirm the arrangements within the country for your guide, lodging, meals and transportation. Trip details and itinerary will be sent to you by e-mail. Druk Air uses e-tickets and a copy of the receipt will be sent via e-mail.
Be sure to allow for some time flexibility (we suggest 24 or 48 hours) for your onward flight in Bangkok, Calcutta, Delhi, or Kathmandu. Flights in and out of Paro airport in Bhutan are daylight restricted, weather dependent, and are often delayed. If you are late arriving in Bhutan, we will accommodate your schedule accordingly. When leaving, it is useful to have flexible ticket on your other airline to make rescheduling easier if necessary. To be prepared for interrupted travel you may want to carry essential personal items in your carry-on luggage.
There is a luggage limit in Druk Air of 20 kg (44 lbs) for economy and 30 kg (60 lbs) for business class. It is possible to pay for excess baggage, but there is a chance that it may be left for another flight. The cabin luggage compartments are small, so it is a good idea to limit your carry-on baggage.
Traveling by Land
You are required by the Bhutanese government to use Druk Air for one leg of your trip either into or out of the country. There is only one entry/exit point for those arriving or departing by car or bus, Phuntsholing in the southwest corner of Bhutan on the Indian border. Phuntsholing is served by Bagdogra Airport in Siliguri, India about a three to four hour taxi ride from the border. Let us know if you plan a one-way trip by land and we will assist you.