The easiest way for visitors to enter Bhutan is by air on Druk Air & Bhutan airline. Bhutan’s national carrier and the only two airline operating in Bhutan. Both the airlines flies to Paro airport in Bhutan from Bangkok, Delhi, Kolkata, Kathmandu, Singapore and Dhaka. We now have domestic flight as well. So for the clients who are interested to travel by air within the country, Druk air will operate the flight for you all and make your journey more easy and comfortable. For the latest flight schedules, please visit their websites at www.drukair.com.bt & www.bhutanairlines.bt
On clear days the flight into Paro offers spectacular views of the Himalayan Mountain Range, including Mt. Everest (Jhomo Lungma), Mt. Kanchenjunga (Kangchen dzonga), Chomo Lhari, and Kula Gangri. One will also notice the green and dense forest cover as the flight crosses over the international border into Bhutan. The country boasts more than 70% forest cover, which is one of the highest in the world.
Following the exciting flight into Bhutan, Yu-Druk’s licensed guide & driver will meet you at the airport. From the moment you enter Bhutan, you are an honored guest and you will enjoy the traditional hospitality and friendship of the Bhutanese.
Paro Airport, located in the mountains, is subject to the vagaries of mother nature, and weather conditions do sometimes prevent flights from landing and taking off. Druk Air itself has an impeccable safety record, without a single mishap since its inception in 1983. Yu-Druk can book your tickets with Druk Air well in advance, avoiding last-minute rush during peak tourist seasons of Spring and Autumn.
Druk-Air & Bhutan air Tickets and Visas
Druk Air & Bhutan Air e-tickets will be issued in Bhutan and sent to you. To expedite this procedure, it is essential that you send us the passport copy with full detail immediately so that the visa application can be made.
Visas are not issued by Bhutanese embassies abroad. Visas are issued only when you arrive in the country, either at Paro airport or (if by road) at Phuentsholing. You must apply in advance.
You can email us your passport copy with a clear picture of the copy in .jpg format for the e-visa and flight booking.
Double check that the information is correct; if there are discrepancies in any important numbers when you arrive in Bhutan, there are delays and complications in issuing the visa. After the visa clearance is issued by the Department of Immigration, they send a visa confirmation number to Druk Air and your tour operator.
The actual visa endorsement is stamped on your passport when you arrive at Paro International Airport. You will then receive a visa for the period you have arranged to be in Bhutan. We will process visa extensions for you if they become necessary.
In the major towns such as Thimphu, Paro, and Phuentsholing, comfortable hotels await the visitor, while in smaller towns, modest but still comfortable hotels await the visitor. Yu-Druk will ensure that the best available accommodations are arranged for you. More information is available from the Tourism Council of Bhutan, which regulates hotel standards and all travel regulations in Bhutan. Accommodations are included in the daily tariff rates.
We also arrange luxury hotels that range from 250-1,300 or more US dollars per night.
Government regulations require that the tour payment be deposited before the visa can be processed. The easiest way to make this payment is to transfer the money to Bhutan National Bank using the following details. Bank Details
Food and Drink
Traditional Bhutanese food is hot and spicy. For our visitors, however, Chinese, Indian, and Continental fares are also served. The more adventurous can try hot Bhutanese dishes. For visitors on treks, we serve simple but nutritious and tasty dishes. Meals are normally served buffet style in the hotels. Your tour cost includes all meals, accommodation in tourist standard hotels.Your only extra expenses should be imported liquor, laundry, souvenirs and optional tips to the guide and driver.
We use comfortable and safe Toyota vans and cars to transport our guests. The cost of transport is also covered by the daily tariff.
You will be accompanied throughout the time in Bhutan by an English-speaking guide and have a vehicle and driver at your disposal at all times. All of our guides are trained in programs conducted by the Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) and licensed by the Government. Our trekking staff undergoes an additional mountain guide training, including safety and first aid instruction, also offered by TCB. TCB has received assistance from the Austrian Government in the form of trainers and funds to establish the training programs.
The cost of the guides and drivers is covered by your daily tariff and no additional payments have to be made.
Tourism Council of Bhutan and Tariffs
Tourism Council of Bhutan regulates all tourism related activities in Bhutan. The existing travel agencies are registered with them, and they also fix the daily tariff rates. Thirty-five percent of the daily tariff goes directly to the national treasury. These funds are used by the government for the socioeconomic development of Bhutan, and hospitals, schools, and roads are built and maintained with the income. The Department of Tourism has released a travel information website at www.tourism.gov.bt detailing their role and the regulations by which we and all other travel agencies are governed.
Peak Seasons and Sample Itineraries
The peak seasons when most visitors come to Bhutan are during the month of March, April, May, September, October, November. There are many festivals during these periods, and visitors come to take advantage both of the pleasant climate and the festivals. However, Bhutan has limited tourism infrastructure and during peak seasons facilities are packed. For more private visits, off-peak seasons are recommended. For a list of he latest festivals and suggested itineraries.
The normal rate for travel in Bhutan is US$250 per day. The following surcharges are applied for small groups:
Two people travelling together – US$30 per night per person
One person travelling alone – US$40 per night per person
Contact us via email if you have any questions regarding the tariff.
The daily rate may sound high at first, but remember that this includes your accommodation, all food, guide, and transportation within Bhutan.
What to Bring
The following list will cover your needs for a vehicle-based cultural tour. Since you will be travelling in Yu-Druk’s private vehicles, there is less concern about bulk and weight than if you were transferring your own luggage on and off various forms of public transport. There is a 20 kg (44 lb) weight limit (30 kg or 66 lb in business class) on Druk Air. You should hold yourself to this allowance. Even if you pay for excess baggage, it still travels standby and may be offloaded. As with all travel, the less you carry, the easier it is to move about and the less there is to misplace.
Casual clothes are fine, but you would also do well to have a set of dress-up clothes (jacket and tie for men, dresses for women) for festivals or in the likely event that you are invited to a Bhutanese home or social function. Thimphu and other towns in Bhutan have a small-town atmosphere, and you might easily find yourself in the company of a high government official. If you have scheduled your trip around a festival, you definitely should carry a set of dressy clothing. Bhutanese people dress quite formally, and dirty jeans don’t fit in on such occasions.
Even in the summer, it can be cool in Paro and Thimphu, and it’s downright cold in winter. Days can be quite warm, especially in the lower regions such as Punakha and Phuentsholing, and you could start off driving in the cold of dawn and be uncomfortably warm by mid-morning. Use a layering system, starting with thermal underwear and adding a shirt, pile jacket and windbreaker or parka as necessary. If you are not trekking, you will need:
- Underwear (including thermals for cold weather)
- Swimming costume (for the hotel swimming pool in Punakha)
- Cotton trousers
- Cotton skirt for women
- Pile jacket or sweater – even in summer
- Down jacket – in winter; not needed in summer
- T shirts or short sleeved (not sleeveless) cotton shirts * sneakers or walking shoes and socks
- Sandals or flip flops
- Rain jacket – Gore-Tex if you can afford it, otherwise a poncho or nylon jacket
- Dress-up clothes for festivals
- Sun hat
All hotels provide sheets, blankets or quilt, and a pillow. Unless you are trekking, you won’t need to carry bedding or a sleeping bag. Most hotels also provide some sort of heating in winter, either an electric heater or a wood stove. The heating, plus the pile of blankets on your bed, should keep you warm.
You will be outside a lot, and much of this time is at altitudes above 2,500 m (7,800 ft); so there is plenty of sun and wind. Bring a supply of sun cream and some lip protection, such as Blistex; these items are not available in Bhutan.
There are several things that you should carry to make a trip to Bhutan more comfortable. All of the following items are essential:Pack a folding umbrella; especially if traveling during the monsoons. Rain is possible any time, and is almost certain from June through August.Be sure to carry ear plugs (and spares) to reduce the noise from the barking dogs at night. The Bhutanese are Buddhists and do not euthanize stray dogs.
There are occasional electric outages throughout the country; so you should always keep a torch (flashlight) beside your bed.
Carry a pair of sunglasses (as protection from high altitude glare). A Swiss army knife has many uses, such as cutting cheese and opening bottles. Bring a small clock with an alarm to help you wake up, because not all hotel rooms have telephones.
If you are on a cultural tour, it’s OK to bring a hard suitcase, though a soft bag is more versatile and easier to pack into the luggage space of a vehicle. You will also want a small rucksack or waist pack to carry your camera, water bottle and other essentials in the vehicle and when you are walking around town or visiting monuments.