Things to keep in mind

Bhutan is unique in lot of senses; not the least of which is how its tourism industry is run. Bhutan isn’t much of a last-minute destination. So here are some things that you might want to consider when planning a trip to Bhutan to help the planning process go along smoothly.

  1. We recommend planning at least 2-3 months ahead of time, and in the case of trips near major festival dates and in the high tourist seasons of spring and autumn, 6-9 months; the earlier, the better. This doesn’t mean that you can’t plan a trip on only a month or two—successful tours have been planned in less—but every day helps! We do our utmost when planning tours, but do note that there are a limited number of hotels, and an even smaller number of flights available, so extra time is always better.

  2. The official visa approval process does not yet allow for credit card transactions. Payments for tours must be wired, and although transactions have gotten faster in the last couple of years, it can take anywhere from 3 days to 2 weeks for payments to clear. We are required to show proof of payment prior to applying for your visa(s), so please keep this in mind when planning.

  3. Please consider the other visas you may need, if you’ll be travelling through India, for example. These visas are your responsibility to acquire prior to your trip. We’ll be happy to explain this during the planning process if you have any questions.

  4. Booking connecting flights to your Drukair or Bhutan Airlines hub of choice are your responsibility. We do not recommend purchasing tickets for connecting flights until your Drukair or Bhutan Airlines seat reservations are secured.

  5. As the crow—or raven—flies, Bhutan isn’t a big country. We’re a small country by just about any standard…but you wouldn’t think it, seated in a car. Being situated in the Himalayas makes for winding roads and a lot of switchbacks. Most settlements and major towns are nestled in the valleys, and distances on a map can be deceiving. If you want to visit central Bhutan, we recommend at least 6-7 nights in the country, and more if you’re interested in eastern Bhutan. A land-based entry or exit via India will also require some extra time.