Where is Bhutan?
Bhutan is a small Buddhist Kingdom located on the eastern edge of the Great Himalayas sandwiched between the two most populous countries in the world, India to the South and China (Tibet) to the North. Landlocked in the heart of the Mighty Himalayan Mountains, Bhutan is the only carbon negative country in the world with 70% of its land under forest cover. What is so unusual about Bhutan is not only being carbon negative, but measuring the progress of the nation through Happiness Index known as Gross National Happiness (GNH).
Guided by the development philosophy of GNH, it is carefully charting a course into modern world while rigorously protecting its rich natural environment and preserving its time-honoured traditioin and unique cultural heritage.
Do I need to use a tour operator to book my travel?
It is a government regulation that you must use a license Bhutanese Tour Operator to book your travel to Bhutan or one of their international partners.
Do I need a visa to enter Bhutan?
All International tourists wishing to enter Bhutan require a visa which must be pre-arranged through a license Bhutanese Tour Operator or one of their international partners. Visa clearance must be obtained through your tour operator prior to travel. For Indian passport (or VIC) holders, Bangladeshi nationals and persons from the Maldives may obtain a visa on entry.
How much does the visa cost?
For International tourist visas, a cost of USD $40 applies. This can be paid in advance to you tour operator or travel agent. For Indian passport (or VIC) holders, Bangladeshi nationals and persons from the Maldives, there is no cost incurred.
How do I get to Bhutan?
There are a number of airports where you can fly into Bhutan from (Bangkok, Delhi, Kolkata, Bagdogra, Bodh Gaya, Dhaka, Kathmandu, Guwahati, Singapore and Mumbai.). At present two carriers operate to Bhutan, Drukair and Bhutan Airlines. Also, there are three land border crossings which you can travel into the kingdom overland. All crossings are along the Indian border only - Phuentsholing, Gelephu and Samdrup Jongkhar. All travel arrangements to Bhutan must be made through a local tour operator. A list of tour companies operating in Bhutan is available on this website. Your selected tour operator will make all the necessary arrangements.
What does the $200/$250 per day minimum daily package include?
The $200 per day (low season) and $250 per day (high season) package includes a minimum of 3 star accommodations, costs for food, an experienced guide and transportation (with driver) within the country. Also included in the price is a $65 per day Sustainable Development Fee that goes towards free education, free healthcare and poverty alleviation. All of these services will be arranged by your tour operator.
What currency is used in Bhutan?
Bhutanese currency is known as the Ngultrum. Its value is tied to the Indian Rupee which is also accepted as legal tender. However Indian notes in 500 and 1000 denominations are not acceptable.
Is there a limit on the number of tourists that can enter Bhutan each year?
There is no limit on the number of tourists admitted into the country each year. In order to protect our culture, traditions and natural environment, the government has adopted a strict policy of “High Value, Low Impact Tourism”. This policy is aimed at attracting discerning tourists that will respect the unique culture and values of the Bhutanese people while also providing the visitors with an unforgettable one of a kind experience.