Last Updated on January 27, 2023 by Alpha Adventure Treks
Bhutan is a land of abundant natural resources, including mountains, rivers, and forests, as well as a wide variety of flora and wildlife. It is located under the shadow of the Himalayas. The nation is committed to upholding its own culture and way of life, therefore Starbucks and McDonald’s haven’t yet arrived. These instances demonstrate how the Bhutanese prefer to monitor outside influences in order to preserve their cultural uniqueness. One of the most extraordinary and extraordinary experiences you can have is a vacation to Bhutan. On the other hand, it’s also regarded as one of the most expensive journeys you can take.
Bhutan’s government has implemented a “High Cost, Low Impact” program to prevent the nation from being overrun by mass tourism. This indicates that they impose a set daily travel fee on visitors. You will be charged a minimum daily travel cost of $200 or $250 per person, unless you are an Indian, Maldivian, or Bangladeshi. Most tourists favor combining a journey to India with a stay in Bhutan for about 4-5 days. Typically, a 5-day trip to Paro, Thimphu, Punakha, and Tiger’s Nest Monastery would run you between US$1250 and US$1500 per person (based on group size). The costs cover meals, lodging, taxes, entrance fees, and private drivers and guides.
What Makes Bhutan Significantly more expensive Than Other South Asian Nations?
Bhutan’s travel expenditures can seem excessive when compared to nearby nations like India and Nepal. One explanation is that the government receives a portion of the daily visitor fees as tax. Your tour fee will contribute around 30% to funding for environmental protection, health care, education, and Bhutanese cultural preservation. Due to its rugged geography, Bhutan is a landlocked nation with little export or industrial development. The government’s tourism tax is essential to the prosperity of the nation. The government is attempting to strike a balance between its needs for cultural preservation and economic development by imposing this levy. In addition to providing high-quality services to visitors while limiting the quantity of tourists, charging a hefty tourist fee is another strategy. A visa fee and other taxes should be added to the daily cost, which is capped at $200 or $250 USD, if less than three persons are visiting the nation.
Cost for Different Travel Seasons and People of Different Nationalities
Depending on the season you visit Bhutan, you’ll also pay a varied sum every day. You can anticipate paying $200 USD per person each day during off-peak seasons like December to February and June to August. Whereas, depending on how many people are traveling as a group, high season months can cost you $250 USD per day per person. The highest cost for a trip to Bhutan is $290 USD for lone travelers. Depending on the specific number of persons traveling together, large groups of people can typically anticipate a minor discount. For individuals traveling from places like India, the Maldives, and Bangladesh, the $200–$250 USD expense per day per person is not necessary. These nations’ citizens might anticipate paying as little as $25 USD per person per day.
Will travelers benefit?
The Tourism Council claims that travelers will also profit from the higher fees. It added that by revising the standards and certificates for hotels and tour operators, travelers’ experiences would be enhanced. Additionally, it stated, tourists will have more freedom in designing and making their own travel arrangements. The minimal daily package fee “had its limitations,” according to the Tourism Council. For instance, tour companies frequently forced travelers to select from pre-packaged itineraries, which was how they managed their travel experience. By doing rid of [it], visitors will be able to work with and pay for the service providers directly that they want. Although they are no longer essential for all excursions, tour guides are still necessary for those who want to trek or venture outside of the cities of Thimphu and Paro.
How do I obtain a Bhutan visa?
A registered tour operator is the best option for securing a tourist visa for Bhutan because they can apply for the visa on your behalf. If you’re traveling on your own, ask your travel agent to arrange for a visa. Please be aware that there is a 40 USD per person visa application charge. Be aware that entering Bhutan by air requires a visa, which you must get. When you arrive at Paro International Airport, you’ll be given a document confirming your visa clearance, which you must provide at immigration.
What Does the Bhutan Tourist Fee Include?
The entry cost for tourists to Bhutan ought to cover accommodations, all meals, a guide, and entrance to attractions. Additionally, whether it is a solo or group tour, you will likely travel by road throughout Bhutan. Most roads were excellent, and driving conditions appeared to be excellent. The cost of your flights to Bhutan is not included and increases significantly. There aren’t any budget options for this route.
Is a trip to Bhutan worthwhile? Reasons Why You Must Immediately Book a Bhutan Tour.
Bhutan is a distinctive travel location that hasn’t yet become widely popular. The tiny Kingdom of Bhutan is located in the high Himalayas, wedged between China and India. It is one of the least visited countries in the world with fewer than 30,000 tourists per year. Bhutan travel is a unique experience, and the nation is deserving of a slot right at the top of your travel bucket list. However, the area is shrouded in mystery, and there are few tools available to help an avid traveler organize a trip. Is a trip to Bhutan worthwhile? Without a doubt, and we can support that claim with our arguments.
- Paro Taktsang – The Tiger’s Nest:
This is the standard representation of Bhutan that you see on all of the postcards and tourism material, perched at a height of about 4,200 meters on the edge of a cliff. The walk is difficult because of the steep ascent to high heights, but it is completely worthwhile when you reach the summit. The monastery is a place of pilgrimage for Bhutanese people, many of whom make the annual trek here numerous times. Having been constructed in the 16th century after Guru Rinpoche flew there on the back of a flying tigress in an effort to drive away bad spirits, it is also, predictably, the most significant monastery in Bhutan.
- The People:
The people of Bhutan are friendly, open, and curious about visitors. The country and its people are extraordinarily tranquil overall, which is perhaps influenced in part by the fact that Buddhism plays a significant role in local culture. Bhutanese people hold that all sentient beings are created equally and that they may have once been our friends or relatives. They treat everyone with respect and compassion as a result.
- Masked Festivals:
If you can, schedule your Bhutan visit to coincide with one of the country’s popular masked dancing festivals, known as “tsechu.” Although (on the surface) the dances and the traditional music are amazing to witness, the significance of these events goes much deeper. Since the 16th century, these masked dances have been performed in Bhutan. The routines serve specific reasons, such as slaying evil spirits or getting ready for battle.
- Unique Nature:
Bhutan is composed of miles and miles of mountain ranges, rolling hills, and lush, dense forests because of its location in the Himalayas. In actuality, there are forests covering approximately 70% of the nation; this is due in part to government policies that seek to preserve Bhutan’s natural environment. Bhutan is the only nation in the world that is carbon negative, which means that its citizens offset more CO2 than they produce. You may appreciate being outside while on your Bhutan vacation because the air is much fresher and crisper there and there are a seemingly endless number of hiking routes to walk.
- Happiest Place on the Earth:
Bhutan is frequently described as the last Shangri-La or as the happiest nation on earth. It is clear that the country is run by a government that genuinely cares about its citizens, despite the fact that it is quite impoverished and still has issues. Bhutan is the only nation in the world that prioritizes Gross National Happiness over GDP when measuring output. The Bhutanese are entitled to free healthcare and free education as a result of this government policy. The government also gives building locations and tourist attractions around its cities that would amuse the locals top priority.
- It’s as far from the beaten path as you can go:
Bhutan is the ideal destination for you if you prefer to travel to places without swarms of tourists at every temple or museum or having to deal with touts trying to sell you trash every time you leave your hotel. You’ll frequently find that you have the entire temple, fortress, or museum to yourself because Bhutan is one of the least visited countries in the world. There aren’t any tourist restaurants, so you’ll never feel like you’re getting ripped off or eating subpar food there!
- Incredible Foods:
Speaking of food, the wonderful flavor and spiciness of Bhutanese cuisine make it a true highlight. However, you shouldn’t worry because it’s likely that the hotels and restaurants you visit while on your Bhutan tour would arrange for you to eat a milder version of the regional cuisine (so be sure to make a specific request if you want to try them the Bhutanese way). Hearty stews and beef curries make up a large portion of the Bhutanese cuisine. The national delicacy of Bhutan, ema datshi, which consists of melted yak cheese garnished with chopped chilies, should not be missed. When you’re finished, sip some hot suja, or Bhutanese butter tea.
- Finally, the price is more affordable than you might expect:
There is no denying that traveling to Bhutan is expensive. The nation charges a minimum daily fee of $200 per person, per day to visit the nation and focuses on “minimal impact, high-value tourism.” This rises to $250 per person per day during the busiest months, and single travelers must pay an additional $40 daily surcharge. Ouch! However, it’s crucial to put those expenditures into context before you begin feverishly crossing Bhutan off your trip wish list. Not all travelers can access Bhutan.
Bhutan is not a cheap backpacking destination, however the costs listed above do include everything, including lodging (in 3–4 star hotels), three meals per day, a private tour guide and driver, entrance fees, and bottled water. With all of that taken into account, you are still getting a really excellent deal, and I just so happen to think that for a once in a lifetime chance, it is definitely worth it. You won’t have any further expenses to pay for when you arrive in Bhutan (unless you want to buy souvenirs).