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Tour Operator

All tourists visiting Bhutan are required to travel through an authorized tour operator on a pre-planned, pre-paid, guided package tour. Independent travel is permitted but at a hefty surcharge. The government stipulates a high minimum all-inclusive entry fee per day. The tour operator is responsible for all logistical arrangements during your stay in Bhutan.

All visas must be processed prior to entering the country. The necessary formalities are taken care of by your tour operator. It is advisable to make an application between 3 and 6 weeks prior to the intended arrival date, depending on the season. Visas are now granted for the applied period (be it for three weeks or more) and not just the two weeks as previously done. The stated period will be stamped into the passport by the immigration officials on arrival in the country.

You may download a visa application form here.

visaform.pdf (65 k)

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Arriving/Departing by Air
Most tourists arrive and depart Bhutan by air. The airline flying to Bhutan is Druk Air, the national flag carrier. They operate a fleet of three A319 Airbus aircraft, running a regular service from Bangkok, Delhi, Kolkota, Mumbai, Dhaka, Katmandu and Singapore. Schedules vary between seasons, and there may also be extra flights during peak tourist periods. Prices are fixed and payable in US$. It is advisable to arrange your bookings through your tour operator. For Druk Air Flight Schedule Click Here.

Arriving/Departing by Land
The only land entry point for tourists is through Phuentsholing, on the southwestern border with India. It is also possible to arrange entry and exit via Samdrup Jongkhar in the east.

Customs officials are very courteous and rarely open a tourist's baggage. On arrival you complete a customs declaration form. The main purpose is to ensure that anything brought into the country is re-exported. It is important that this form is produced on departure. The export of antiques and wildlife products is strictly prohibited.

Taxes & Permits
There is no airport tax on departure from Paro. You can expect to pay no other taxes during your stay. All areas outside Thimphu and Paro valleys require travel permits. It is your tour operator's responsibility to make the necessary arrangements. Tourist entrance to most dzong courtyards is allowed however the inner temples are generally closed to tourists.

Getting Around the Country
The only ways to travel within Bhutan are by road or by foot. There is a basic road network that loosely connects the country. Because of the mountainous terrain, these roads are single-lane and very winding, and travel speeds are relatively slow. Your tour operator is responsible for arranging all necessary vehicles. Most of the country can only be accessed on foot. There is a widespread system of trails, most of which are well used and maintained. The walking in Bhutan's mountainous landscape is generally quite strenuous, particularly when crossing the numerous passes that divide the country from east to west.

Driving Distances, Times, Temperatures, and Seasons

For an overview of driving distances and times, temperatures, and seasons in Bhutan, click here.
(Adobe Acrobat .pdf - 52k)

Please contact us for more detailed information.

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