What are the best months to visit Bhutan?
Bhutan is a year-round destination for cultural touring & hiking.
If you are prepared to travel outside of the peak season periods (APR-MAY and mid SEP-NOV) there are fewer tourist visitors; you will save money & you will enjoy a far more rewarding experience. Bhutan, like many countries in the world, is experiencing some climate change. Broadly speaking Summers (mid-June-late-September) are warm, humid and wetter and Winters (Dec-early March) cooler and dry. Winter nights are cold however the days are often clear, sunny and surprisingly mild in the valleys. The western valleys only average 2 snow falls per annum. The wettest period is August/early September. Bhutan’s climate guide.
How far in advance should we book our trip to Bhutan?
During peak tourist travel months, Mar/Apr/May & Sep/Oct/Nov, we recommend booking at least 6-9 months ahead. For regular season travel, Jun/Jul/Aug & Dec/Jan/Feb, we suggest booking 3-6 months in advance. Book Now!
Is independent travel possible to Bhutan?
Yes. Most of our travellers to Bhutan travel on private tours; as a couple or small group of friends and choose their own preferred dates and duration of travel. All tourist visitors must book a pre-paid and pre-arranged tour which includes services of a guide and driver to be granted a visa.
Bhutan prohibits independent backpacker style visitors to maintain its strict cultural and ecological values. However please be aware you can enjoy a high degree of flexibility during each day to hike, visit markets & villages and interact with locals as you wish as long as you stay in your pre-allocated accommodation at night.
How do we arrange flights to/from Paro, Bhutan?
Bhutan & Beyond will book and ticket your air flights to/from Paro. These are operated by two Bhutanese airlines being Drukair-Royal Bhutan Airlines and Bhutan Airlines. Please refer to the web link below for further details. Bhutan & Beyond must book & manage your Paro flights and notify you when flight timing changes occur, which can be at very late notice, and these two airlines do not automatically update travellers. Another advantage is you do not have to adhere to any instant purchase airfare regulations for these flights and we can hold air seats secured for approx 2 weeks prior to ticketing (if booking more than 6 weeks prior to travel). Getting to Bhutan.
How do we obtain our Bhutan visa?
Bhutan & Beyond will pre-arrange your Bhutan visa and this is included in your tour cost. All we require to begin the visa process is a scanned copy of your passport photo page. Passports must be valid 6 months longer than your journey and the visa is generally issued between 14-20 days prior to arrival. We will email the visa to you as soon as it is received.
For information on how to obtain Nepal or India Visa please click here.
What are the cancellation charges & do I need travel insurance?
Comprehensive travel insurance is mandatory to visit Bhutan and should be purchased no later than the day you pay your tour deposit for your protection. Failure to purchase adequate cancellation insurance by the time your deposit is paid could result in serious financial loss should you be forced to cancel your journey.
The Drukair/Bhutan Airlines air flight component, and initial land tour deposit, are both totally non-refundable after your deposit is paid. Your Bhutan land tour arrangements are subject to the cancellation fees below.
Deposit date until 60 days prior to arrival in Bhutan – Loss of deposit
60 days or less prior to arrival in Bhutan – No Refund Permitted
When do the festivals in Bhutan take place?
Festivals in Bhutan have reputations for being raucous, joyous affairs. The most popular for tourists are those held in Thimphu & Paro and those seeking a more intimate Bhutan experience should consider avoiding these major festivals as they mark the busiest time of the year for the tourism industry. Festivals in Bhutan or the 2019 festival calendar.
What is the average road travel speed in Bhutan?
Most of your travel through Bhutan will be by the one road that traverses the centre of the Kingdom. The road has been upgraded over the last 5 years and, as at DEC18, is finally in good shape between western & central Bhutan with just some further upgrading going in in the eastern part of the country. Most journey times by road have been reduced and the road has less bends than before. All good news for tourist visitors! Bhutan road travel times:
Why is it so expensive to visit Bhutan?
Sure Bhutan is more expensive than 3 star India or Nepal however lets put this into perspective! Because the Bhutanese Government has imposed an ‘all inclusive’ nightly tariff structure, for all tourist visitors, Bhutan tours can ‘appear’ to be expensive. In our 16 years experience with Bhutan we regularly receive comments from returning visitors on how great the ‘value for money’ genuinely is. Considering every visitor has access to a private guide, driver, private vehicle and a land package including all meals, accommodation, sightseeing, entry fees, transfers, taxes, Govt Royalties & visa fees it is indeed excellent value for money. And….Bhutan is such a privilege to visit!
Is their internet available?
Most of the standard tourist class hotels do have WiFi….plus have a small business centre where you can use the hotel PCs . Generally speaking WiFi is free but use at the 3* properties is sometimes limited to the lobby area of the hotels. All of the luxury resorts & lodges offer a wireless internet facility however not necessarily in guest rooms.
Some more remote valleys, like Phobjikha, have intermittent power and internet supply so please factor in for some inconsistency as you travel.
Purchasing a local SIM card for your smart phone or iPad will give you WiFi most of the way through the Kingdom for those who need more connectivity and a sim card are call credits on the Bhutanese network are quite inexpensive.
Booking Terms & Conditions – essential reading