Getting into Bhutan

Accessibility

Air

Bhutan’s National Air Carrier, Druk Air, operates flight from Delhi, Kolkata (twice a week), Kathmandu (twice a week), Bangkok (thrice a week), Dhaka (once a week). For detailed information about airline, schedule and tariff, please refer to its website : www.drukair.com.bt

Surface

Entry / Exit to Bhutan is also possible through Phuentsholing, the southern Bhutan frontier town. Bagdogra airport, in the state of West Bengal (India)  is the nearest airport about 5 hours drive from Phuentsholing. Also Bagdogra (and its main town Siliguri) is the convenient point for visiting West Bengal region of Darjeeling, Kalimpong, state of Sikkim.

Badrapur (about 5 hours drive from Phuentsholing) and Birat Nagar (about 7 hours drive from Phuentsholing) are two other airports in Nepal, connected with regular flights from Kathmandu.

VISA Information

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. 

Customs and Immigration

Visitors are required to fill up the Custom Form and hand over to concerned authorities on arrival. Following articles are exempted from duty :-

a) Personal affects and articles for day to day use by the visitor

b) 2 litres of alcohol, 400 cigarettes, 150 gms of pipe tobacco

c) Instruments, apparatus or appliances for professional use

d) Photogrphic equipment, video cameras and other electronic goods for personal use .

The articles mentioned under c). & d). must be declared in Custom Form. If such items disposed off in Bhutan by sale of gift, they are liable for custom duty.

Import and Export of following goods are strictly prohibited :-

a) Arms, ammunitions, explosives and military stores

b) All narcotics and drugs except medically prescribed drugs

c) Wildlife products, especially those of endangered species

d) Antiques

Also visitors are advised to be cautious in purchasing old and used items. Custom authorities will not allow any old / used items to be taken out of the country if they have not been certified as non-antiques. Imports of plants, soils etc. are subject to quarantine regulations. These items must be cleared on arrival.

Tariff Information

Tourist tariff is set by Tourism Council of Bhutan, Royal Government of Bhutan and it is valid for all inclusive packages.

Minimum Daily Package

The minimum daily package covers the following services.

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 tourism Royalty of $65. This Royalty 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.

These rates are applicable per tourist per night halt in Bhutan.

On the day of departure, the ‘local agents’ host obligation shall be limited to providing breakfast only and any extra requirements shall be payable on usage basis.The list of hotels and lodges approved to provide accommodations all listed on this website. If you accommodation is not listed on this website then it is not licensed cater for international tourists.

The Royal Government of Bhutan sets minimum selling prices for packages to Bhutan. These must be paid in US dollars prior to arrival in Bhutan.

Cancellation

Tour programs booked and subsequently cancelled shall be subject to cancellation charges as follows :

(a) Within 30 days of the start of the tour programme: Free

(b) Within 21 days: 10% of the rate

(c) Within 14 days:15% of the rate

(d) Within 7 days: 30% of the rate

(e) Less than 7 days or cancellation without notice: 50%of the rate

(f) After arrival in Bhutan: 100%

Delayed Arrivals

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.

Surcharges

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.

These are as follows:

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 TCB.

Mode of Payment

Prior to your trip to Bhutan you will be asked to wire the full payment for your holiday to the Tourism Council of Bhutan.

You must wire the tour payment calculated by your tour operator as well as USD 40 (one time visa fee) to the Bhutan National Bank through one of their certified international partners with the Bhutanese tour operator specified as the ultimate beneficiary. 

Please email the bank wire receipt copy to the local Bhutanese tour operator.