How much does it cost to travel Bhutan?
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At times, it may seem absurd to ask how much it would cost to come to Bhutan, for it would totally depend on the kind of service you want. However, the set minimum tariff to visit Bhutan is
250USD per person per day from March – May, and September – November (peak season)
200USD per person per day from December – February, and June – August (off season)
If you are traveling solo, add an extra $40 per day to the cost of traveling in Bhutan. If you are traveling on a private tour with only two people, you’ll pay another $30 per person, per day. There are some discounts available, primarily for students and children ages from 5 -12. At times, the seasons you choose to travel in will also factor into your cost.
Hotel accommodations would greatly influence your price too. There is a great variety of hotels to choose from in Bhutan – from simple farmhouse and family run lodges to five star luxury hotels. If you choose a three star hotel accommodation, Korean SUVs, English speaking guide, three meals be it self catering or buffet hotel meals, tea and coffee, and sightseeing it would cost US $200-250 per night. However five star or luxury hotel may cost from US $500 to even as high as US $1000 per night. Aman Kora and Six Senses may cost you even higher. Given here are some links to luxury hotels in Bhutan:
What’s included in the Bhutan tourism fee?
It is totally understandable that $200-$250 a day may seem excessive, especially if you’re hoping for a budget holiday. All that money per day, and I still have to pay for hotels, food, etc?
Wrong! In fact, your daily fee covers everything, and it will depend on what you want and other subsidiary services you use.
The daily fee for Bhutan should include:
- Licensed Bhutanese guide from an official Bhutanese tour operator
- Driver and transportation. Usually, this means a comfortable and new 4×4, or a medium-sized tour bus.
- Accommodation. Hotels are all at least 3-stars, clean, and often spacious with impeccable service. Homestays and camping can also be requested (should expect to pay several hundred dollars more if you want to stay at 4/5 star hotels & resorts)
- Entrance fees to tourist sights
- Food and most non-alcoholic drinks.
- Trekking gear. Sleeping Bags not included
- All taxes within the country.
Basically, the Bhutan tourist fee covers all of your necessary expenses within Bhutan. The only common costs not covered by this fee are:
- Flight to/from Bhutan
- Internal flights
- Tips for guides and drivers (expected at around 10% of the tour cost)
- Subsidiary services you use like rafting, mountain biking, hot stone bath and other special interests trips.
Once you have paid your tour company, you could travel Bhutan without single penny… though your guide and driver will deserve a tip by the end of your trip!
Where does the Bhutan tourist fee money go?
The money you are paying isn’t only covering your personal costs. $65 of your daily fee is actually designated as a royalty fee; this money helps Bhutan’s infrastructure, paying for the country’s education, health care, repairs, and more. By paying your daily fee, you are also contributing to keeping the country happy, healthy, and clean.
Is Bhutan really worth your money?
The bastion of the last Mahayana Buddhist kingdom, Bhutan is at the threshold of ancient culture and transition to modernism. Purposely planned slow development is gaining its rapid pace and urban youths and dwellers are exposed and inclined to modern technology – cell phones, TVs and internet are the main source of changes.
However there are so much Bhutan can offer to the world. Most of our regions are unexplored. Rich and pristine forests with abundance of birds and animal lives make Bhutan a paradise for nature lovers. In Bhutan, you will never have to worry about sharing trekking trails. Far from the overcrowded routes of Nepal, even the most popular of Bhutan’s paths are delightfully quiet. The country’s 72% forest coverage means you’ll never go too long without a bit of greenery up above. Even better, Bhutan’s nature is pristine and clean—something no other South Asian country can claim! Therefore Bhutan’s cost to travel is well worth it.
Zealously guarded national identity, rich tradition and culture, unique dress codes and language make Bhutan a unique country in Asia. Towering Dzongs (fortresses), farmhouses and wooden bridges are the epitome of rich ancient art and architecture. Buddhist principles of compassion, non violence, law of Karma and peaceful co-existence forms the basis of our action and thinking. Gross National Happiness, a concept that advocates happiness rather than material wealth is a foundation stone for plan and policies. Travel to Bhutan to partake in a community driven by happiness instead of materialism.
Bhutanese people are friendly and tradition-bound people. They want to speak with you out of curiosity or interest, not because they are scheming to sell you something. And meeting local people is all too easy when you have an affable local tour guide by your side for some of the day. Bhutan’s Travel cost may seem excessive but when you look at the degree of quality of service and the experience one receives from traveling in Bhutan, it is worth it!
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