How Much Does it Cost To Visit Bhutan?
UPDATE 2021. So, how much does it cost to visit Bhutan? The visa fee is expensive so it comes down to how many days you want to spend there. But first I’ll lay down the facts and then give you an explanation as to why Bhutan has this tourism pricing structure.
The Royal Government of Bhutan sets minimum selling prices for tour packages to Bhutan. This must be paid in US dollars prior to arrival in Bhutan. As listed on the Tourism Council of Bhutan’s website, the minimum tariffs for a tourist visiting Bhutan are as follows:
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BHUTAN ‘VISA FEES’ EXPLAINED:
The cost of visiting Bhutan is expensive because the Government charges tourists a fee PER DAY. And the fee starts at $200 in a group in low season, rising up to $290 per day for a solo traveler in high season. So when people ask how much it costs to visit Bhutan, it varies. The visa fee, however, INCLUDES EVERYTHING. Hotel, activities, transfers, all meals.
So a simple answer to how much it costs to visit Bhutan is roughly $250USD multiplied by how many days you’ll be there. 4 days would be $1,000USD and so on.
High Season Cost to Visit Bhutan
High season: March, April, May, September, October, and November. The Bhutan trip cost is:
- $250 per person per day for 3 or more person group
- $280 per person per day for 2 person group
- $290 per day for a single individual
Remember, the best time to visit Bhutan is generally Winter.
Low Season Cost to Visit Bhutan
Low season: January, February, June, July, August, and December. The Bhutan trip cost is:
- $200 per person per day for 3 or more in a group
- $230 per person per day for 2 in a group
- $240 per day for a single individual
However, there are discounts available if you qualify. They are as follows:
*As a note, the government’s royalty is $65 daily, which is included in the package.
Potential discount for your Bhutan Trip Cost
- Children 0-5 years old, no charge
- Children 6-12 years old, no royalty charge, 50% discount on the daily rate
- Full-time students under 25 years old, with valid identity cards, 25% discount on the daily rate
- A discount of 50% on the daily rate is given to one person in a group of 11 to 15 people. 100% discount is given to one member in a group exceeding 16 people.
- 50% discount on royalty is provided after the 8th night and 100% discount on royalty is provided after the 14th night.
The Bhutan trip costs generally include includes:
- All internal taxes and charges (including the royalty)
- All Meals
- Internal Transport (not including domestic flights)
- All travel with a licensed, English-speaking Bhutanese Tour Guide
- Camping Equipment and Haulage for Trekking Tours
The Bhutan trip cost generally doesn’t include:
- Airfare and airport tax ($20 Paro airport tax)
- Bhutan visa fees ($40 per person)
- Alcoholic beverages and drinks
- Luxury hotels
- Travel Insurance
- Tips to the guide and drivers
How About Bhutan Money and ATMs?
Just so you know, there are NO ATMs in Bhutan for tourists and credit cards are not accepted (minus some high-end hotels with outrageous fees).
There is a huge amount of tour operators in Bhutan, which all offer very similar packages at the same cost. (Which somehow feels a bit overwhelming?) After some researching, I decided the best Bhutan tour company for my needs was Bhutan Life Exposure.
Why is Bhutan so expensive?
Naturally, the daily tariff is the biggest complaint people have about traveling to Bhutan. Bhutan doesn’t outright pose a limit on the number of tourists, but the country is well aware that the daily fee dissuades many people from coming. Their policy for tourism is “High Value, Low Impact.”
Bhutan strives to engage in eco-friendly, sustainable tourism that will keep its pristine land and unique culture protected, all while offering tourists special insight into their way of life. The government uses the royalty money from the tariff to fund infrastructure, education, health and other programs, meaning that tourists are playing a part in improving the country and the lives of the Bhutanese people.
Remember, never travel without travel insurance! And never overpay for travel insurance!
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