These are the first informations you need to start planning your trip to the Kingdom of Bhutan.
For the rest, get in touch !
Everything we do is tailor-made, tell us what you like and how you would like to travel and we will plan an itinerary totally around you.
When to go?
March, April & May are among the most popular times to travel as temperatures are pleasant and the valleys are abundant in nature; especially as all the flowers start to bloom. Early April witnesses the Paro Tshechu, one of the most popular festival in Bhutan. Temperatures increase in May, bringing humidity as well as cloud over the mountains. The rhododendrons should also still be in bloom – ideal for photographers and nature lovers.
June to August (and sometimes into September) is monsoon season in Bhutan. However, fewer visitors and lower prices can make it a perfectly viable time to visit. Although showers can occur at night without spoiling daytime explorations, conditions aren’t ideal for trekking. Sightseeing is still possible – just be prepared with a raincoat! Views are best in the mornings following night-time downpours.
September, October & November are ideal for hiking, seeing festivals (particularly the popular Thimphu Tshechu) and enjoying stunning views and pleasant temperatures. Expect it to be around 25°C in the sun, but there will be cooler temperatures in the evenings and at higher altitudes. Black-necked cranes migrate from the Tibetan Plateau to the protected Phobjikha Valley each year. They remain in the region from late October to early February. In Gangtey, a special festival is held every November to celebrate the arrival of the birds.
From December to February Bhutan is at its coldest; especially in the mountains, but lower prices and clear skies reward those who brave the low temperatures. The valleys are warmer and sunny with clear views of the incredible Himalayas. Due to colder temperatures, visitor numbers will be lower.
How to get there
By Air: There are two airlines that fly into Paro which has a short runway and can only handle smaller Airbus 319s. The main flag carrier Druk Airways and Tashi Air.
Direct flights to and from our international airport in Paro connect you to Bangladesh (Dhaka), India (Bagdora, Gauhati, Kolkata and New Delhi), Nepal (Kathmandu), Singapore, and Thailand (Bangkok).
By Land: There are four official entry points by road from India: Samtse and Phuentsholing (in western Bhutan), Gelephu (in central Bhutan), and Samdrup Jongkhar (in eastern Bhutan).. Phuentsholing is located approximately 170 km from the Indian national airport of Bagdogra. Gelephu in south-central Bhutan is another entry point to Bhutan. It is approximately 250 kms from Thimphu. 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.
Sustainable Development Fee & Visa
All visitors require a visa before travelling to Bhutan. As part of the visa application process, you will be required to pay the Sustainable Development Fee (SDF) of US$200 per day and a one-off visa fee of US$40.
The SDF is the Sustainable Development Fee, a daily levy paid by visitors to support Bhutan’s development. Since the kingdom first opened its doors in 1974, guests have played a critical role in the country’s growth. The fee enables Bhutan to protect and preserve our kingdom and its priceless assets. It also helps ensure that tourists visit in sustainable numbers offering guests of bhutan a tranquil and an intimate experience.
The SDF is collected by the national exchequer and funds are allocated to various projects that enhance facilities, services and infrastructure for Bhutanese nationals and visitors, as well as funding free healthcare and education.
For all visitors, the SDF is US$200 per person, per night. Children aged 6 to 12 at the time of travel receive a 50% concessionary discount on their SDF. Those aged 5 or younger are exempt.
Travelling in Bhutan
The most convenient way to travel in Bhutan is to let us arrange your travel ! We can also provide you with only a vehicle and a driver, should you want to organise the rest of your trip by yourself. It is not possible to hire a self-drive vehicle in Bhutan. You can also book a local driver or transport service provider using the Druk Ride app. Your hotel may also be able to provide or arrange transport for you.
Four airports connect the country’s western, central, southern and eastern regions. Although airlines always aim to provide the highest service, Bhutan’s unique landscape occasionally makes for unreliable departure dates. Yonphula airport – located in the eastern part of Bhutan – is given to unpredictable weather in the summer months due to its altitude and micro-climate. Flights are thus sporadically delayed or cancelled. Other domestic airports are located in Bumthang and Gelephu, and there is the international airport in Paro.