How to get a visa for Bhutan
It’s decided, you want to come to Bhutan! Next step? Tell us, and we will take care of everything for you. It’s as easy as that.
To visit Bhutan, you’ll need a visa before your travel, unless you’re from India, Bangladesh, or the Maldives. To apply for the visa, you’ll need a passport, which is valid for at least six more months at the time of application.
Bhutan’s tourism policy requires visitors to pay a daily Sustainable Development Fee (SDF) and an additional 40 USD one-time visa application fee. This part of the payment must be done in advance for the visa to be approved.
Great news if you are planning your Bhutan trip this year- the government is offering special promotional SDF rates until the end of December 2023. So if Bhutan has been on your bucket list, this is the year to visit!
If your Bhutan stay is longer than 4 days, you get an extra 4 SDF-free days to spend in Bhutan. If your stay is longer than 11 days, you get 7 SDF-free days. And if you stay in Bhutan for more than 20 days, you get an additional 18 SDF-free days in Bhutan. The promotion is especially great if you are planning a trekking adventure like the Snowman Trek.
Our tour package prices are inclusive of the SDF and visa fee, and reflect the government discounts.
You can apply for the visa and process the payments for yourself and anyone accompanying you on your own, but if you sign up with a tour agency, they will do it for you.
What to pack for your Bhutan Trip
If you are travelling to Bhutan with a travel agent, rest assured that you’ll not be stranded here wanting something you can’t find here! We recommend travelling light– yes, some places you might go to, like high mountain treks, are among the most isolated places in the world, but we are resourceful!
Here are some things you definitely should bring:
- Your Travel Documents : Passport with visa, Health Insurance, Credit Cards, Cash
- Warm clothes: Depending on where in Bhutan you mean to travel, you will need anything between serious winter trekking gear to light jackets. Even the warmest parts of Bhutan may be somewhat chilly in the early mornings and evenings, so you should bring a light jacket at the minimum.
- Essential medicines: If you are taking any medication, make sure to bring an adequate supply. You may not find the exact same brands you use. Bhutan does have robust healthcare and emergency services, and an excellent track record of caring for sick travellers, but being prepared will save you a lot of inconvenience.
- Grooming and Hygiene Products: If you are not committed to a specific brand of shampoo or toothpaste, you’ll find whatever you need in Thimphu or the bigger towns. But if you cannot do without that unscented, pH balanced body lotion made of Scottish Sea Kelp, or the only sunscreen that you are not allergic to, you should bring that along.
- A good book: Sadly, there are not many bookstores outside of Thimphu, the capital. If you are not going to be in Thimphu, a good book might be essential- Bhutan will put you in a contemplative mood which lends itself well to reading. However, it’s always a great idea to match your reading with your travel, and you can definitely find suitable books in the Thimphu Bookstores.
- Electronics: With easy e-payment services, a lot of stunning places to see, and so many thoughts and experiences to process, you’ll want your phone, camera, and laptop!
Finally, once you’ve planned your trip, ask us and we will tell you exactly what you need based on your itinerary!