• Avisek Jung Thakuri Singh
  • Last Updated on Jun 9, 2024

For those who don’t know, Bhutan has remained isolated for many years and generations until the gates to tourism opened. It was only in 1974 that the country opened its gates, started welcoming tourists, and received 300 visitors in its first year. But by 2019, this number had reached 315,600, as per the official data provided by the country's tourism department.

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What happens when you go to Bhutan with Trekking Planner Nepal?

When travelers select trekking planner Nepal for their Bhutan trip, everything is included in the trip package. All the included items are provided, and the travelers only need to worry about the international flight tickets, except that all the things are taken care of by trekking planner Nepal and our staff. Travelers just need to pay the cost that is mentioned on the website or the cost that is given by trekking planner Nepal representatives.

But if you plan to travel on your own without the help of a Trekking Planner Nepal, these are the terms and conditions that make it very difficult for travelers.

How much do you need to spend in Bhutan?

  • The daily Sustainable Development Fee from September 1, 2023, is US$100 per day, which is the reduced amount. This amount must be paid mandatorily when you are in Bhutan or even not traveling because you are a tourist.
  • Children aged six to 12 years old will have to pay $50 per day as a sustainable development fee, and there's been no fee for children aged four or under till now.
  • Travelers will have to budget for meals, transport, guide fees, entry charges at dzongs (fortress monasteries), museums, and hotels, which can cost anything from $140 per night to nearly $2000 per day, and to top that off, you need accommodation at night, depending on the luxury the travelers choose.
  • Visitors from India, Bangladesh, and the Maldives have different rules. Travelers from India can visit with a special permit, available through the Bhutanese government’s visa portal, paying a daily fee of ₹1200 (about $15).
  • Bangladeshi and Maldivian citizens must apply for a visa with the same special daily fee. No changes have been announced to this system, but they will change in the upcoming months and years.

How do I apply for a Bhutan visa?

Applying for a visa for Bhutan is a little different and more complicated than applying for a visa for most other countries. Visas are not issued by embassies overseas but are stamped into your passport on arrival, on the production of a pre-approval letter confirming travelers will pay the daily tourist fees and the $40 visa processing fee.

The easiest way to obtain this letter is to make arrangements through an approved tour operator like Nepal Trekking Planner and Holiday Tours Nepal; you can also apply online via the government's visa portal, which is very complicated, and sometimes on arrival, the situation gets awkward. (You’ll also need mandatory travel insurance for the duration of your trip.

Tourists need to pay a sustainable development fee per day.

Be aware that you will have to pay the Sustainable Development Fee for every day of your stay at the same time as you apply for your visa. Travelers will feel more comfortable applying through Trekking Planner Nepal or Holiday Tours Nepal rather than making a payment of hundreds or even thousands of dollars via an online form.

Using our agency will also allow you to talk through your itinerary with an experienced local expert. It’s the best way to ensure that you get maximum value from the daily fee (for instance, you don't want to squander $100 backtracking to places you have already visited or don’t want to visit).

Travel costs—for hotels and food, for example—are not covered by the sustainable development fee, when compared to the package of agencies is expensive.

Is visiting Bhutan expensive?

Visiting Bhutan will always be an expensive option, but traveling through the agency will make the trip more affordable. In truth, Bhutan has always been a plan-ahead-and-save-up and travel kind of destination, and now with the lower Sustainable Development Fee fixed until 2027 recently, travelers have a clear target to aim for over the next four years until 2027.

Avisek Jung Thakuri Singh

Avisek Jung Thakuri Singh

There is magic within, there is magic without. Follow me and you'll learn just what life's all about.