Getting There in Bhutan

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View from Druk Air flying into Bhutan

View from Druk Air flying into Bhutan

stuart

Tours to Bhutan can be arranged through travel agents abroad, or by directly contacting tour operators in Bhutan. If the booking is made through a travel agent abroad, that travel agent will contact a tour operator in Bhutan who will be responsible for making local arrangements (visa, Druk-Air reservation, tour programs etc.).

There are two ways to enter Bhutan: by air at Paro or by road through India at the border town of Phuntsholing. The town is a three-hour drive from the airport at Bagdogra in the Indian state of West Bengal. The Indian hill stations of Darjeeling and Gangtok are seven hours away by road.

Visa Formalities

All applications for tourist visas will be submitted by tour operators in advance to allow one week's time for processing. Three copies of original passport photographs must be submitted.

Visitors must obtain 'Visa Clearance' from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Thimphu, before departing for Bhutan. Visa Clearance is also required for obtaining DrukAir ticket from their local agents.

Actual visa is stamped on arrival at the port of entry on payment of US$20 for a 15 day visa. A 6-month extension of visa can be obtained in Thimphu on payment of Nu. 510 if required.

Daily Tourist Tariff

Peak Season Rates For The Months Of March, April, May, September, October, and November

$200 per person per day for 3 or more in a group

$230 per person per day for 2 in a group

$240 per day for a single individual

Off Season Rates For The Months Of June, July, August, December, January, and February

$165 per person per day for 3 or more in a group

$195 per person per day for 2 in a group

$205 per day for a single individual

The above prices include all hotel accommodations, food, ground transportation, an English speaking guide, trekking equipment(except tents), a cook, and pack animals if necessary. The rates quoted above are set by the Royal Government of Bhutan.

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Druk Air

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View from Druk Air flying into Bhutan
View from Druk Air flying into Bhutan
photo by: stuart

Druk Air, the national flagship airline, is the only such service operating in the country. In the winter of 2004 Druk Air added two new AirBus 319As to its fleet of two British Aerospace BAe 146 jets, technically the aircrafts most suited to Bhutan, fly to and from Paro town. Druk Air flies in from the capital cities of Myanmar, Nepal, and Thailand and from New Delhi and Calcutta in India. Each of these routes offer views of some of the highest mountains in the world such as Mt. Everest, Mt. Kanchenjunga, and Bhutan's revered peaks of Jumolhari and Kulagangri.
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