For all international travelers, Bhutan is currently implementing a 5-day quarantine for all incoming travelers. The good news is that according to the latest policy, Bhutan will fully open on September 23, 2022. At that time, all tourists can enter Bhutan once fully vaccinated.
What’s the Current Situation in Bhutan?
A total of 21 people have died from COVID-19 in Bhutan since the start of the pandemic. Bhutan has maintained a strict zero-covid policy, managing to keep the number of infections low. That changed until March 2022, with a less dangerous variant of the omicron. Therefore, Bhutan has decided to gradually ease travel restrictions. The government is planning to revise quarantine protocols. After international travel is fully opened, travelers will still need to receive full-dose vaccines and PCR test strips within 72 hours before arriving in Bhutan.
Is It Possible to Travel to Bhutan Now?
Currently, you can travel to Bhutan with a visa/permit, yet you will be required to undergo a mandatory 5 days 6 nights quarantine in a hotel. But this only applies to arriving in Bhutan by air, the land borders remain closed. Soon, the 5-day quarantine will be lifted from September 2022. However, the full vaccination and the PCR negative report are still required.
Bhutan travel visa/permit must be processed through a licensed tour operator.
Are Flights to Bhutan Open?
Direct flights to Bhutan from Kathmandu(Nepal), Bangkok(Thailand), Singapore, Delhi(India), and other cities are about to resume. There are only two airlines that fly direct to Bhutan, the state-run “Druk Air” and the privately-owned “Bhutan Airlines”. Bhutan’s only international airport, known as Paro International Airport, is only connected to certain cities in South Asia. If you’re planning to fly to Paro, Bhutan, you need to make a layover in these places. >>Map of Bhutan
What are the Current Travel Restrictions in the Transit Countries?
Please note that the following transit policies are subject to change at any time with updated policies. For up-to-date info refer to Drukair Travel Advisory or each country’s authorities.
India: Reinstate tourist visas. Quarantine is lifted. Some international travelers require a PCR test or vaccination certificate to enter India.
Nepal: Visa on arrival is being issued and quarantine is lifted. All you need is a vaccination certificate or a PCR test to enter Nepal.
Singapore: Most countries can transit through Singapore, but entry is restricted.
Thailand: Currently, vaccinated people can travel to Thailand without quarantine.
Bangladesh: Vaccinated travelers from most countries may transit through Bangladesh, but entry is restricted.
How to Enter Bhutan?
Bhutan can be accessed by air or land. Most travelers choose to fly to Bhutan and land at Paro International Airport in Paro, which is the only international airport in Bhutan and is about 7 kilometers from downtown.
Alternatively, travelers also can enter Bhutan by land via the port of entry at Jaigaon-Phuentsholing. Indian border town Jaigaon can be reached by land from Bagdogra Airport or by flight from New Delhi. Another land entry into Bhutan is Sandrubjonka in the country’s southeastern region, which borders the Indian state of Assam.
What’s the Procedure to Apply for a Bhutan Visa?
All international tourists, except citizens of Bangladesh, Maldives, and India, require a visa to enter Bhutan. Visitors from other countries can apply for a Bhutan visa by booking a Bhutan tour through a licensed travel agency. The application requires a copy of your passport (JPEG or PDF) and proof of full payment. Your travel agent will then apply for a visa on your behalf and send you a visa letter. Once you submit a copy of your visa letter at Paro International Airport, the visa will be stamped on your passport. The visa application process for arrival in Bhutan by land is the same as the visa application process for air arrival. The Bhutan visa fee is USD 40 per person.
What if Travelers Get Effected during Their Journey?
Bhutan has proven capable of an appropriate epidemiological response, tracing all primary and secondary contacts of infected individuals, isolating them, testing them repeatedly, and providing first-class intensive care. Therefore, in terms of the healthcare profession, Bhutan is relatively more efficient than its neighbors in controlling 2019-CoV cases. So if travelers test positive, they will be managed at the isolation facility and treated as per the SOP laid down in the guidelines. All expenses related to the treatment and isolation facility have to be borne by the travelers themselves.
However, in the event of a massive outbreak, Bhutan would face limited resources, especially intensive care beds.
Best Time to Visit Bhutan
Spring and autumn are the best time in Bhutan. Located between the Indian Ocean and the Himalayas, Bhutan has a mild climate with less extreme weather. Bhutan’s spring and autumn are milder than its rainy summers and cold winters. The natural scenery of Bhutan is more beautiful in spring and autumn, and tourists can truly experience the life of Bhutan. And Bhutanese traditional festivals are mostly in spring and autumn. The Tshechu Festival in Thimphu and Paro is the largest festival in this country.
Bhutan Travel Costs
The price of a Bhutan tour depends on the travel time (low or high seasons) and the number of travelers.
In Bhutan, the minimum daily price for 3 people or more is USD 200 p.p. per night during January, February, June, July, August and December; the minimum daily price for 3 people or more is USD 250 p.p per night during March, April, May, September, October and November. Besides, there’s a new cost Sustainable Development Fee(SDF) of USD65 per person per night.
Minimum daily price includes:
• All accommodations (3-star hotels)
• Food (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
• Sightseeing, transportation, guided tours and entrance fees
Minimum daily price excludes:
• Airfare to Bhutan and travel insurance
• Extra personal costs, guides and drivers tip
• Expenses incurred due to unavoidable events, road wrecks, flight delays, etc.
Recommended Bhutan Tour Packages
If you want the shortest tour then 4 Days Essence Of Bhutan is good to visit Paro town then go for the popular hike to Taktsang Monastery ‘Tiger’s Nest’. For exploring three major places in Bhutan one can choose the 8 Days In-depth Explore of Bhutan which covers Paro, Thimphu – the capital of Bhutan, and Punakha – the old capital. In addition, Druk Path Trek is the most popular customized trekking route in Bhutan.