Bhutan has so far only one international airport. The airport at Paro is located at a height of 7,300 ft above sea level and surrounded by mountains and hills as high as 16,000 ft. There are flights to destinations that include Bangkok, Delhi, Kolkata, Bagdogra, Bodh Gaya, Dhaka, Kathmandu, Guwahati, Singapore and Mumbai.
The flight between Paro and Kathmandu is one of the most exciting ones as the aircraft passes over four of the five highest mountains in the world. In fine weather, as you soar higher up, you can enjoy the spectacular view of Mt. Everest, Lhotse, Makalu and Kangchenjunga at their best.
And there are domestic airports at Yonphula in eastern Bhutan, Bumthang in central Bhutan, and Gelephu in south-central Bhutan.
Phuentsholing, Gelephu and Samdrup Jongkhar are the only land border areas open to tourists. The town of Phuentsholing in south-west is located approximately 170 km east of the Indian national airport, Bagdogra. After crossing Phuentsholing, you begin towards Thimphu, the capital city with travel time of about 6 hours. Gelephu is another entry point to Bhutan. It is approximately 250 kms from Thimphu and the journey will take you through the sub-tropical areas of Bhutan before entering the alpine zone and then finally into Thimphu. One will have to traverse across three districts and the travel time will be about ten hours.
The district of Samdrup Jongkhar in south-east Bhutan borders the Indian district of Darranga, Assam and is approximately 150 kms away from Guwahati, the capital city of Assam. The journey from Guwahati is about three hours.
Tourists entering Bhutan through Samdrup Jongkhar will take you to Trashigang, and from there over the lateral route to Mongar, Bumthang, Trongsa, Wangdue Phodrang and then finally into capital, Thimphu.
The distance is about 700 kms and will take you a minimum of three days to reach Thimphu.
Entry points by land
Tourist can book a package holiday to Bhutan either through international and Bhutanese tour operators. Information can be obtained from individual travel agencies. The Royal Government of Bhutan sets a minimum selling prices for packages to Bhutan and this must be paid in US dollars prior to your arrival.
The minimum tariff for tourist visiting in a group of 3 persons or more are as follows:
High Season Tariff – USD 250 per person per night for the months of March, April, May, September, October, and November.
Season Tariff – USD 200 per person per night for the months of January, February, June, July, August, and December.
The minimum price includes:
All internal taxes and charges (including the royalty)
Accommodation in twin sharing basis
Internal Transportation on an SUV or Bus
Camping Equipment and Haulage for Trekking Tours
The rates are applicable per tourist per night halt in Bhutan. On the day of departure, the guest shall be limited to breakfast only and any extra requirements shall be payable on actual basis.
The rates shall apply uniformly irrespective of locations and the type of accommodation provided/asked for.
Individual tourists and smaller groups of less than three persons shall be subject to surcharge, over and above the minimum daily rates applicable, as follows:
Single individual US$ 40 per night.
Group of 2 persons US$ 30 per person per night.
A) 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.
Other than Indian, Bangladeshis and Maldivian nationals, all visitors to Bhutan require a visa; all visas are issued from Thimphu; visas are only issued to tourists booked with a GoXimbo, directly or through our international partners. Applications for tourist visas are submitted by the tour operator. Visa clearance takes at least 10 working days. Air tickets to Bhutan cannot be purchased without visa clearance.
Entry Permits for Regional Tourists (Indian, Bangladesh and Maldives)
The regional Tourists are required to obtained entry permit to entry Bhutan:
a. Regional tourists are allowed to travel by getting an entry permits and don’t required a Visa.
b. Tourists coming by road are required to obtained an entry permits from immigration office at Phuntsholing. Those coming by Air can get the permits at the Paro International Airport. Apart from Phuntsholing, Samdrup Jongkhar is also another entry pf exit point to Bhutan.
c. You can also get an entry permits in advance if the travel arrangement are done by Goximbo. will terminate and revert to GoXimbo and its third party providers or distributors, as applicable.
d. You will need to fill up a form and submit with the supporting documents such as your passport, hotel booking confirmation, Tour plans and 2 passport photographs.
e. The permit process take about an hour.
f. Opening hours for the immigration office in Boarder towns: - Monday till Friday from 9am till 3pm
g. The entry permit obtained at Phuntsholing is applicable for 7 days and allowed to visit Thimphu and Paro.
h. If tourists wants to extend their duration of stays from 7 days or visit places other than Thimphu and Paro, you will need to visit immigration office at Thimphu (Monday to Friday – 9 AM to 4 PM. Closed on Saturdays and Sundays) and fill up extension request form. You can collect the approved extension permit from the same office after an hour. (A copy of original permit and one photograph).
i. You will need to carry the permit all time with you while travelling within Bhutan. Entry permit are required to submit at the last immigration point during the time of exit from Bhutan.
Tour Programmes booked and subsequently cancelled shall be subject to cancellation charges as follows:
Within 30 days of start of programme - no charges
Within 21 days - 10% of rate
Within 14 days - 15% of rate
Within 7 days - 30% of rate
Less than 7 days or without notice - 50% of rate
After arrival in Bhutan - 100%
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.
Weather in Bhutan depends upon the altitude. In the northern parts of the country where mountains rise up to 7,000 m, weather conditions are similar to artic. Southwards, closer to India, the weather is hot and humid in the summer and cool in winter, the monsoon rains are usually heavy, winters can be a good time to visit the lower parts, but then the highest areas are freezing. The best times to visit Bhutan are spring (March-May) and autumn (late September-November) when the weather is warm, dry and sunny but always throw in a couple of warm clothes into you travelling gear when you travel to Bhutan regardless of the season.
1. Spring (March, April and May)
2. Summer (June, July and August)
3. Autumn (September, October and November) and
4. Winter (December, January and February).
However, its weather is difficult to generalize.
Depending on the altitude, the climate varies from semi-tropical to alpine (For every 1,000 m height increase the temperature drops about 7 degree Celsius).
In Southern Bhutan, the climate is tropical in the monsoon season and may range from 15 degree Celsius in winter to 30 degree Celsius in summer.
The east is also warmer than the west.