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Minimum Daily Package Rate

To achieve high value low impact sustainable tourism, all tourists visiting Bhutan are subject to the minimum daily tariff set by the Royal Government of Bhutan.

The Minimum Daily Package rate, Surcharge for FIT or small group and Cancellation Policy shall be as follows:

SeasonMinimum Daily TariffMonths Applicable
Peak SeasonUSD 250 per person per nightMar, Apr, May, Sep, Oct, Nov
Lean SeasonUSD 200 per person per nightJan, Feb, Jun, Jul, Aug, Dec

The Minimum Daily Package rate includes:

  • Sustainable Development Fee;
  • Charges for accommodation on a twin sharing basis;
  • Food and non-alcoholic beverages;
  • Service of Guides;
  • Transport within Bhutan;
  • Trekking Haulage.

The charges for accommodation as mentioned above shall be for a minimum of 3-star accommodations and any additional service or demand for a higher grade of accommodations would contribute to a higher cost on the Minimum Daily Package rate.

Discounts:

Children and Student discount:

  • Children of 5 years of age and below during the time of their visit shall be charged only visa fee and any other charge therein shall be exempted;
  • Children above 5 years of age but below 12 years of age accompanied by elders/ guardians shall be entitled 50% discount on Minimum Daily Package rate including SDF after verifying their age from their passport;
  • Students who are 25 years of age and below shall be entitled to 25% discount on the Minimum Daily Package rate including SDF upon submission of valid student identification document;

Duration discount:

  • A discount of 50% on SDF shall be provided for tourist(s) who spend more than eight nights but less than fifteen nights;
  • There shall be no charge on SDF for tourist(s) who spend more than fourteen nights.

Group size discount:

  • In a group of 11 – 15 tourists, one person is entitled to a discount of 50% on the Minimum Daily Package rate including SDF.
  • For a group of 16 persons and more; one person is entitled to 100% waiver on the Minimum Daily Package rate including SDF.
  • If the group size is bigger than 27 people or more, the group shall not be entitled to one and a half or two separate discounts unless they belong to two separate groups;

A tourist traveling via Phuntsholing shall be exempted from paying SDF for one night halt either during entry or at the time of exit and for those traveling via Gelephu and Samdrup Jongkhar they shall be exempted from paying SDF for one night halt each during entry as well as exit. However, it must be reflected in their itineraries that they shall be lodged in one of the TCB approved hotels.

Surcharge for FIT or small group

Individual travellers up to 2 people visiting Bhutan are subject to a surcharge as follows over and above your minimum daily tariff:

Number of TouristsSurcharge
One travellerUSD 40 per night
Two travellerUSD 30 per person per night

Visa/Entry Permit

With the exception of visitors from India, Bangladesh and Maldives, all other visitors travelling to Bhutan need a visa. 

Indian, Bangladeshis and Maldivian nationals can obtain a permit at the port of entry on producing a valid passport with a minimum of 6 months validity (Indian nationals may also use their Voters Identity Card (VIC)).  

All other tourists must obtain a visa clearance prior the 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.  

Online Regional Permit System

In order to streamline and facilitate smooth visitation by tourists from Bangladesh, India and Maldives, the Department of Immigration, Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs and the Tourism Council of Bhutan have launched the Online Permit System. The system facilitates the online processing of permits for regional tourists through registered Bhutanese tour operators and TCB certified hotels. The facility is offered as an optional channel to process permits for visitors from the region and is applicable for entry from Paro and Phuntsholing. Visitors who use this facility will be able to obtain their permit clearances and route permits ahead of their arrival in Bhutan similar to international tourists. 

Getting to 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. The Northern route was through Tibet, crossing high mountain passes that were inaccessible throughout the winters.   The second entry route from the South came through the plains of Assam and West Bengal. The high, frozen passes in the North and the dense, jungles in the South made it extremely difficult to enter the country.

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.

Today the main roads entering the country are through Phuentsholing in the south, linking Bhutan with the Indian plains of West Bengal, through the border towns of Gelephu, in the central region and Samdrup Jongkhar, in the east, that link with the Indian state of Assam.

All visitors to Bhutan require a visa to enter the country (see visa under the plan tab).  Visa clearance must be obtained before coming to Bhutan and travel must be booked through a Bhutanese tour operator or international partner.  Indian, Bangladeshis and Maldivian nationals can receive a visa on entry and it is not necessary for them to book travel through a tour operator, however it is recommended.  In the case of Indian nationals a passport or voters card are acceptable on entry.

TRAVEL BY AIR
There are flights to destinations that include Bangkok, Delhi, Kolkata, Bagdogra, Bodh Gaya, Dhaka, Kathmandu, Guwahati, Singapore and Mumbai.

Paro is situated at a height of 2,225 m (7300 ft) above sea level and is surrounded by mountains as high as 4,876 m (16,000 ft). At present two carriers operate to Bhutan, Drukair and Bhutan Airlines. And there are domestic airports in Yonphula in eastern Bhutan, Bumthang in central Bhutan, and Gelephu in south-central Bhutan. A second international airport is currently under construction in Gelephu along the southern border to India.

Flying into Bhutan’s Paro International Aiport is typically an exciting experience as the descent into Paro valley brings you closer to the mountain tops than most other flights in the world. The flight between Paro and Kathmandu is one of the most exciting ones as the aircraft passes over four of the five highest mountains in the world. In fine weather, as you soar higher up, you can enjoy the spectacular view of Mt. Everest, Lhotse, Makalu and Kangchenjunga at their best.

Visit www.drukair.com.bt and www.bhutanairlines.bt for more information.

TRAVEL BY LAND
Phuentsholing, Gelephu and Samdrup Jongkhar are the only land border areas open to tourists.

The town of Phuentsholing in south-west is located approximately 170 km east of the Indian national airport at Bagdogra. After crossing Phuentsholing, you begin your journey to Thimphu, the capital city with travel time of about six hours for the 170 km stretch.

Gelephu in south-central Bhutan is another entry point to Bhutan. It is approximately 250 kms from Thimphu and the journey will take you through the sub-tropical areas of Bhutan before entering the alpine zone and then finally into Thimphu. One will have to traverse across three districts and the travel time will be about ten hours.

The district of Samdrup Jongkhar in south-east Bhutan borders the Indian district of Darranga, Assam and is approximately 150 kms away from Guwahati, the capital city of Assam. The journey from Guwahati is about three hours. Tourists entering Bhutan through Samdrup Jongkhar will take you to Trashigang, and from there over the lateral route to Monggar, Bumthang, Trongsa, Wangdue Phodrang and then finally into capital, Thimphu. The distance is about 700 kms and will take you a minimum of three days to reach Thimphu.