Booking the Bhutan Tour / Trekking:
Any enthusiastic traveler intending to visit and travel to Bhutan must and can only travel on an all inclusive packaged tour, for which there is a fixed tariff set by the Tourism Council of Bhutan. This tariff or fee actually includes just about everything needed for you as a traveler , and that includes your accommodation, all meals and transportation within the country for your entire course of stay. Plus a tour guide and driver, sightseeing and entrance fees at all places.
- Tours must always be booked through a licensed Bhutanese Tour Operator or a Travel Agent and the entire arrangement will be made by the same travel agent. Customization, personalization and flexibility are always assured.
- Clients traveling at peak seasons and festivals do need to book their tours at least 2 ½ months in advance. Because of the high altitude, the airlines that operate and land in Bhutan are smaller with lesser seat capacity and rather not like the massive ones that you may be familiar with.
Bhutan Visa formalities and procedures:
Indians, Bangladeshis and Maldivians have the exemption to travel to Bhutan with just a permit, which can be availed from the immigration department at the port of entry, while all other nationals visiting Bhutan need visas.
All other tourists must obtain a visa clearance prior to their travel to Bhutan. The visas are processed by your Bhutanese tour operator, directly or through a foreign travel agent.
All that is required is for you to send the photo page of your passport to your tour operator who will then apply for your visa. Please don’t forget to bring the same passport of which you sent the photo page. The visa will be processed in the Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) once the full payment of your holiday (including a USD $40 visa fee) has been transferred and received in the TCB bank account. Once the payment has been made through, the visa clearance will be processed within 72 working hours. It may seem complicated on the face of it but it actually works out very nice and smooth. A visa clearance letter is then issued but the actual visa is stamped on your passport when you land in Bhutan. So you actually need to bring in the “visa clearance letter” which will be emailed to you by the Tour Operator when you travel to Bhutan.
Minimum Daily Package (Bhutan Tour Cost)
The minimum daily package includes
- A minimum of 3 star accommodation (4 & 5 star may require an additional premium).
- All meals.
- A licensed Bhutanese tour guide and driver for the entire extent of your stay.
- All internal transport (excluding internal flights).
- Camping equipments and haulage for trekking tours.
- All internal taxes and charges.
- A sustainable tourism Royalty of $65. This Royalty goes to the government towards free education, free healthcare, poverty alleviation, and infrastructure development.
The minimum daily Bhutan tour cost package for tourists travelling in a group of 3 persons or more is as follows:
- USD $200 per person per night for the months of January, February, June, July, August & December.
- USD $250 per person per night for the months of March, April, May, September, October & November.
These rates are applicable per tourist per night.
On your day of departure, the obligation of the tour operator will be limited to providing breakfast and drop off at the airport but any extra requirements will be payable on the basis of usage.
Individual tourists and smaller groups of less than three persons shall be subject to surcharge, over and above the minimum daily Bhutan tour cost is applicable as follows:
Single Person: US$ 40 per night
Group of 2 persons: US$ 30 per person per night
The 10% agency commission payable to agents abroad shall not be deductible from the surcharge.
The surcharge will not be applicable to representatives of foreign travel agents on business study or promotional visits approved and cleared by the Tourism Council of Bhutan
- There shall be no charge for CHILDREN up to the age of 5 years. However, those between the ages of 6-12 years accompanied by elders/ guardians shall be given 50% discount on daily rates and 100% discount on Royalty.
- Full time STUDENTS below the age of 25 years holding valid identity cards from their academic institutions shall be given a 25% discount on daily rates.
- A discount of 50% on daily rates shall be given to one person in a group of 11 to 15 people. 100% discount shall be given to one member in a group exceeding 16 persons.
- 50% discount on Royalty shall be provided after the 8th night and 100% discount on Royalty shall be provided after the 14th night.
Detailed information of flights, tours and treks, festivals, places of interest, hotels, etc can be obtained from the Tour operator. We at Yak Holidays International are more than happy to cooperate.
Bhutan Tour Cancellation Policy:
- Within 16 – 30 days of start of programme – 50% of rate
- Within 15 days – 100% of rate
- After arrival in Bhutan- 100% of rate
Delayed Arrival & Departure:
There is no charge for delays in arrival and departure because of weather conditions disrupting flights or road blocks. The tourist must however bear the cost of food, accommodation, transportation, and other services required.
Note: INR (Indian Rupees) denominations of 500 and 1,000 are not accepted in Bhutan.
(Information courtesy: Tourism Council of Bhutan)