Travelling to Bhutan

On this page you will find all the relevant information on travelling to Bhutan including guidance on flights and custom regulations. 

Best Time to Visit

Located in the eastern part of the Himalayas, Bhutan experiences four distinct climatic seasons – Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn. The central districts of Punakha, Wangdue Phodrang, Mongar, Trashigang and Lhuentse enjoy a semi tropical climate with very cool winters, and warm summers. Thimphu, Paro, Trongsa and Bumthang have pleasant summers, but cold or freezing winters with monsoon rains, mainly from June-August.

Late September sees the arrival of autumn which is convenient season for trekking till November before the winter cold sets in. Winter months of November through February are generally dry with daytime temperatures sometimes falling below zero degrees Celsius. The valleys experience strong winds which affect the temperatures. The southern part of Bhutan is tropical and in general the east of Bhutan is warmer than the west of the country.

Most of the towns in Bhutan are located in river valleys. Travels among these towns involve driving over high passes, along rivers, across valleys and through picturesque villages.


All visitors require a visa before travelling to Bhutan. A non-refundable, one-off visa application fee of US$40 is payable. We will process your Visa on your behalf. Approval for visa will be granted by the Department of Immigration after the receipt of your tour payment. To apply for your visa, we will require

  • A digital copy of a valid passport
  • A recent digital passport photo
  • Valid travel insurance for the duration of your travel

This visa clearance is communicated to all entry points into Bhutan. Your passport is stamped on arrival in Bhutan at your entry point. It is advisable to bring along two recent passport-size photographs (with name and passport number printed clearly on the back) which you may need to provide at the immigration. Once the tour plan is agreed upon, we will send you the visa form requesting for the information required for processing your visa.

Tour Costs and Sustainable Development Fees (SDF) Policy

All visitors to Bhutan are required to pay a Sustainable Development Fee (SDF). The SDF is a daily levy to support and align development activities to values based and nature focused development. The SDF also supports free healthcare and education for the Bhutan in addition to taking development into local communities.

The SDF is US$200 per day per adult. The SDF for children aged between 6 and 12 at the time of travel receive a 50% concessionary discount of 50%. However, the SDF has now been discounted to $100 per day until the end of 2024. For visitors from India, the SDF is BTN1,200.

The tour cost we provide you will include SDF, visa fees and all applicable fees.


Full payment for the entire tour must be made in advance to enable us to process your visa and arrange your travel within Bhutan. Your payment is made into the bank accounts of the Department of Tourism who disburses your payment in Ngultrum (local currency) only after the completion of your visit to Bhutan.

It is also advisable to make payments for your Druk Air tickets as soon as your itinerary is finalised to help us secure seats on your requested dates. Details on payment will be issued once your travel plans are finalized.

Cancellation Policy

The following policy apply for cancellations. This is in line with the guidelines issued by the Department of Tourism.

  • within 30 days of start of programme ~ no charges
  • within 21 days ~ 10% of rate
  • within 14 days ~ 15% of rate
  • within 7 days ~ 30% of rate
  • less than 7 days or without notice ~ 50% of rate
  • after arrival in Bhutan ~ 100 % of rate

However for the airfare the following will apply –

  • 100% refund if cancelled 30 days or more from travel date,
  • 50% between 30 and 10 days from travel date,
  • No refunds if cancelled within last 10 days from travel date but valid for one year from date of issue.

In addition, additional administrative fees apply for cancellations of air fares. However, we strongly recommend you to check the terms and conditions of your carrier.

Entry and Exit

Flying into Paro is the most convenient way to come to Bhutan. Druk Air flies regularly into Bhutan from Bangkok (Thailand), the Indian cities of Kolkata and Delhi and Kathmandu in Nepal. Druk Air also has flights from smaller cities of Bagdogra, Gaya and Guwahati. They fly twice a week from Dhaka (Bangladesh) and Singapore.

Bhutan Airlines also operates regular flights from Bangkok, Thailand, from Delhi, India and Kathmandu, Nepal. Please contact us for detailed flight schedules.

Entry into Bhutan and exit are also possible by road through the towns of Phuentsholing and Samdrupjongkhar in southern Bhutan. Phuentsholing is a convenient entry/exit point if you visit the states of Sikkim, West Bengal and Assam in India. You can also exit from Samdrupjongkhar in the east to the Indian state of Assam. Druk Air also now flies from Paro to Bangkok with a stopover at the Indian city of Guwahati in Assam, about 110 km from Samdrupjongkhar.

Custom Rules

Upon entry into Bhutan, you can import the following items (besides your personal effects), free of duty and taxes, in the quantities specified.

Personal effects for daily use

  • Two litres of liquor, 400 cigarettes and 150 grams of pipe tobacco – requires declaration
  • Instruments or appliances for professional use;
  • Photographic equipment, video cameras and other electronic equipment for personal use – requires declaration

All visitors are required to complete a customs form and hand it over to the customs authorities on arrival. Articles as mentioned in 3 and 4 must be declared on the customs form. If these items are disposed of in Bhutan (sale or gift), they become liable for customs duty. Import of plants, soils etc. is subject to quarantine and these items must be declared on arrival.

The following are prohibited from import into the country:

  • Arms, ammunition, explosives and military equipment;
  • All narcotics and drugs (exempt are medically prescribed drugs);
  • All wildlife products, especially from endangered species;
  • Antiques.

You can export the same articles in the quantities specified as imported. However, the following are prohibited for export –

  • Arms, ammunition, explosives and military equipment;
  • All narcotics and drugs (exempt are medically prescribed drugs);
  • All wildlife products, especially from endangered species;

Visitors are advised to be cautious in purchasing old and used items, especially of religious or cultural significance, as such items may not be exported without a clearance certificate. If you decide to travel with us – be assured that you will be informed of all these and any other additional details applicable

Your Stay in Bhutan

Over the years, many quality hotels have come up in Bhutan. The hotels we use are Department of Tourism approved hotels, which are three star and above.

The hotels are well maintained and have all amenities such as geysers for hot water and ensuite bathrooms are properly maintained. Visitors can be assured of their warmth and comfort of the hotels and the ambience and the hospitality offered by the hotels are good.

The 5 star hotels are mostly located in Thimphu, and in Paro, towns like Punakha, Gangtey and Bumthang also have a variety of hotels that are comfortable. Smaller towns and villages in the interiors also have Department of Tourism approved farmhouses and homestays where you can stay. For trekking, it is usually camping in tents and at some purpose-built cabins sprinkled along some main trekking routes.