How to plan a trip to Bhutan: In 4 steps

Drukair flight at Paro international Airport
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1. Plan and decide on your itinerary

After having selected your local outfitter to run your trip and decided on when to travel to Bhutan, you must work out with them on what would you like to do and come out with a comprehensive itinerary.

Bhutan is still a virgin destination with ample of experiences. Careful planning and formulation of your day to day programme would make your holiday a worthwhile experience.  You may consider seeing festivals. It’s a role-play like mask dance performance by monks or locals to recapitulate Buddhist teachings and morals. Locals congregate at the giant fortresses or Dzongs where the festivals are being held. All regions have festivals at different time of a year. Association of Bhutanese Tour Operators compile upto date in their website.

Other options to enrich your itinerary is day hikes and walks.  There are beautiful day hikes and walks around your hotel in each locations  – you may either do a day hike or overnight camps. Trekking is another way of enjoying verdant forests and wilderness of Bhutan.  Opportunities for 3 days to 15 days and even as long as 23 days alpine treks is possible.  Low altitudes trek that runs on winter months offer you breath-taking views of lakes, meadows and subtropical forests. Soft adventure such as mountain biking, river rafting and birding tours are common in Bhutan. 

2. Book and confirm your hotels and flights

Hotels and Flight booking is very important part of trip planning. There are limited hotels and flights in Bhutan — so you must decide on what kind of hotels you wish to stay in well in advance to secure them. There are comfortable farmhouses and lodges, 3-star government approved to 4 star and luxury hotels in Bhutan. Currently only two flights operate in Bhutan – they are Druk air and Bhutan Airlines Both flights are owned by locals and they operate to and from various cities like Delhi, Kolkatta, Kathmandu, Singapore, Dhaka and Bangkok. The corporate website of Drukair publishes upto date Flight Schedules from respective destinations.

There is an option to buy tickets either directly online from the website of Drukair or your travel company will book your flights and issue tickets for you. Most agency do not take any cuts from your flight tickets and in fact it is convenient to have your tickets arranged by them because incase of cancellation or refund, the agency would work out with the airline on your behalf to recoup any refunds. Drukair has set up Network of Offices in various countries from where they operate their flights to and from Bhutan.

3. Make trip payment and process your visa

Tourism is regulated by the government and its mandatory to show proof of payment deposit to approve your visa to Bhutan.  Once your payment is received, your operator will process your visa with government and e-Visa clearance will be sent to you in advance. On the strength of this Clearance letter your actual Bhutan visa will be stamped on your passports on arrival at Paro airport in Bhutan. The visa costs US$40 and will have been included in your tour price. 

It’s important to print out a copy of your visa, as you will need it to check in to your flight to Paro. On arrival at Paro airport, or the land border with India, you simply present this visa authorisation and the immigration stamps the visa into your passport. 

Read more on Bhutan visa: Bhutan Visa 

4. Final Preparations

Once you get your flight tickets, hotel confirmation and Visa Approval Letter, you will be provided with the pre-departure information by our operator. Board your flight to the land of Thunder Dragon!


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