A brief guide to booking your trip to Bhutan and obtaining a Tourist Visa

Tour Booking Guide

The Royal Government of Bhutan Regulation

It is a Royal Government of Bhutan regulation that you must use a licensed Local Bhutanese Tour Operator to book your travel to Bhutan or through one of their international partners. Unlike in other countries, there is no way that you can visit Bhutan on your own or through your travel agent.

A comprehensive list of TCB registered tour operators can be found at http://www.tourism.gov.bt/directory/tour-operator


New SDF Offer from 31st May 2023 to 31st December 2024

Government announces three new SDF incentives to encourage long-stay visits
The incentives are available for full US dollar SDF-paying tourists, and for stays in Bhutan between June 01, 2023 and December 31, 2024
(Thimphu, Bhutan, May 31, 2023): The Cabinet has today announced three different SDF incentives for US dollar SDF-paying tourists that are designed to encourage longer stays and greater exploration of all 20 dzongkhags. The incentives come into effect for bookings made from June 01, 2023 onwards, and are valid for stays in Bhutan between June 01, 2023 until December 31, 2024. This notification is in reference to the approval granted by the 7th Special Session of the Lhengye Zhungtshog (LZ), which was held on May 30, 2023.
Depending on their planned itinerary, visitors can choose any of the following options with effect from June 01, 2023:
4 + 4:  Pay the SDF of USD 200 per night, per person, for the first four nights, and receive up to four additional nights without the daily levy.
7 + 7: Pay the SDF of USD 200 per night, per person, for the first seven nights, and receive up to seven additional nights without the daily levy.
12 + 18:  Pay the SDF USD 200 per night per person, for the first twelve nights, and receive up to eighteen additional nights without the daily levy.
As per the Tourism Levy Act of Bhutan 2022, the SDF is exempt for children of 5 years and below; and there is a concessionary levy rate of 50% for children between the ages of 6-12 years. Anyone aged 12 and above pay the full SDF rate. The same long-stay SDF incentives outlined above can be applied to US dollar SDF-paying children.
All incentives ‘reset’ after the timeframe ends. An online tool to help calculate the total SDF payable per person is available to view on the Department of Immigration’s website at: https://visit.doi.gov.bt/ and also on the Department of Tourism’s website: https://bhutan.travel/faqs
“These SDF incentives are designed to encourage longer stays in the country,” said H.E. Dr. Lotay Tshering, the Honourable Prime Minister of Bhutan. “In forming these options, we have listened to the feedback of the industry, to the recommendations of ABTO and other stakeholders, while also balancing the original vision behind the revisions to our tourism strategy in the first place, to ensure that we focus on high value, low volume tourism,” he added.
The Government has also confirmed that the SDF will only be applicable to those guests who visit Bhutan on a tourist visa. Other visitor types who fall under the ‘non-tourist’ category will be as per the regulations issued by the Department of Immigration, details of which are available to view on this link.
Furthermore, visitors will also soon be given another opportunity to meaningfully contribute to Bhutan’s progress. Each visitor will be offered the chance to plant a tree towards Bhutan’s goal of one million new trees, helping to maintain the kingdom’s carbon-negative status and exceptional forest cover. Tree saplings will be provided to guests who wish to plant them during their stay in Bhutan.
“These exclusive incentives are an opportunity for our friends from around the world to experience more, travel further and stay longer – and by doing so, to actively participate in progress and preservation that benefits our citizens and the wider world,” said Dorji Dhradhul, Director General of Bhutan’s Department of Tourism. “We hope that with these incentives, together with the recent revision of the monument fees, the 24-hour SDF waiver for border towns, and other measures, Bhutan will be a more accessible destination for a wider range of guests.”
These incentives come into effect for applications submitted from June 01, 2023 onwards, and is valid for stays in Bhutan between June 01, 2023 until December 31, 2024. Guests staying in Bhutan from January 01, 2025 onwards will not be eligible for any SDF incentive unless otherwise communicated.
The SDF incentives are only applicable for US Dollar SDF paying tourists.
Each different SDF option will reset at the end of the designated time period. For instance, after four days, option one will ‘reset’ where the guest pays USD 200 per day again from day five onwards.
The SDF incentives cannot be combined with the 24 hour SDF waiver for border towns.
The SDF incentives may be retracted or extended at any time.
Q1. Does this offer represent a lowering of the SDF?
No. Bhutan’s SDF is fixed at USD 200 per person, per day, and these incentives should not be communicated or sold as being an SDF of USD 100 per person, per day.
Q2. What will my total payable SDF be if I wish to stay 3, 5, 7, 11, 17 or 30 nights?
An online tool to help calculate the total SDF payable per person is available online at the Department of Tourism’s website: https://bhutan.travel/faqs
Q3. If my guest takes the 4+4 SDF incentive (or any other incentive) and then spends a night in the border town, can they only pay for three nights SDF and still get four nights free?
No. This incentive is not combinable with the SDF waiver for border towns. So, if guests wish to visit the border towns before or after receiving the SDF incentive, the guests will need to apply for another visa to do so.
Q4. Can guests who have made future bookings to Bhutan take advantage of the new SDF incentives?
Yes, guests who have already booked their trips to Bhutan can take advantage of the new SDF incentives. They will need to cancel their existing visa application and re-apply. Please note that guests will forfeit their original visa fee (USD 40) and will be required to pay the USD 40 visa fee again when they process their new visa application. The SDF that they have already paid can be used when applying again.
Q5. How can I find more information about the terms and conditions of the new SDF incentives?

VISA Requirements

Except for visitors from India,  all other visitors to Bhutan need a visa.
Indian nationals can obtain an entry permit at the port of entry on producing a valid passport with a minimum of 6-month validity (Indian nationals may also use their Voters Identity Card (VIC)).

All other tourists must obtain a visa clearance before traveling to Bhutan.  Visas are processed through an online system by our tour managers at Aaron Ace Bhutan Tours & Treks.

You are required to send the photo-page of your passport and scan copy of your passport size photograph to our tour manager who will then apply for your visa.  The visa will be processed by the Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) once the full payment of your holiday (including a USD 40 onetime visa fee) has been wire transferred and received in the TCB bank account.  Once received the visa clearance letter will be processed within 72 working hours.

Note: You need to wire transfer the full payment to Tourism  Council of Bhutan’s Bank Account, not in our Bank Account. We will receive the payments from TCB only after your tours in Bhutan is completed satisfactorily. That way, your payments are completely secure, safe and satisfactory guaranteed.

Minimum Daily Package

The Royal Government of Bhutan sets minimum selling prices for packages to Bhutan. These must be paid in US dollars prior to arrival in Bhutan. It is not in our hand to reduce the Minimum Daily Package Price and we Aaron Ace Bhutan Tours & Treks do not recommend planning your trip with a Tour Operator offering below the Government set prices. It is against the Rules and Regulation Acts of the Kingdom of Bhutan.

Following are the details on a minimum daily package which is according to the Royal Government of Bhutan.

The minimum daily package covers the following services.

  • A minimum of 3-star accommodation (4 & 5 stars may require an additional premium)
  • All meals
  • A licensed Bhutanese English Speaking tour guide for the extent of your stay
  • All internal transport (excluding internal flights)
  • Camping equipment and haulage for trekking tours

It also includes:

  • All internal taxes and charges
  • A sustainable development fee of $200. This sustainable development fee goes towards free education, free healthcare, poverty alleviation, along with the building of infrastructure.

High Season Tariff (March, April, May, September, October, and November)

  • US$ 385 per night for an individual traveler including the sustainable development fee of US$ 200 per night.

Low Season Tariff (January, February, June, July, August, and December)

  • US$ 370 per night for an individual traveler including the sustainable development fee of USD 200 per night

Further, there is a one-time payment of $40 visa fee.

These rates are applicable per tourist per night halt in Bhutan.

On the day of departure, the Aaron Ace Bhutan Tours & Treks obligation shall be limited to providing breakfast only, and any extra requirements shall be payable on a usage basis.

We do not cover health and travel insurance.

Is there any discount available?

There shall be no charge for children up to the age of 5 years. However, those between the ages of 6-12 years accompanied by elders/ guardians shall be given a 50% discount on daily rates.

What if I need to cancel my trip?

An administration fee of $100 would be applicable for all canceled Tour Programs. Tour programs booked and subsequently canceled shall be subject to cancellation charges as follows:

Within 01 month – 50%
Within 10 days of tour start date – 100% No refund.

Choosing the Package and Itinerary Planning

We would recommend you choosing our pre-planned package, as it is the best way to travel with your family and friends because all the details are pre-planned for you. This is especially important if you are not keen on researching destinations yourself.

But as promised, all the tours that we provide are fully customizable according to your requirements and interest.

You can take some time to create a complete itinerary following some research on the destination you are visiting. Pay special attention to special festivals, weather, and political climate when you are working on the itinerary. Make sure all the activities are something worth trying and give you and your fellow travelers a new dimension of the places visited. We always keep updated with the events and tourism industry news through our Blogs.

To browse our tours, CLICK HERE

Discuss with our Tour Manager at aaronacebhutan@gmail.com and get support through 24/7 Live Chat, so that you choose the best package and have your itinerary planned perfectly.

After finalizing the package, our Tour Manager will send you the final itinerary along with the total cost in your email. The amount will be calculated based on the itinerary and minimum daily package set up by the Royal Government of Bhutan.

Now you need to wire transfer the full tour payment calculated by our tour manager and as well as USD 40 (one-time visa fee) to the Bhutan National Bank in the name of Tourism Council of Bhutan. (Details will be sent in email)

Please email the bank wire receipt copy and scanned copy of your passports to us.

We will then process your Visa Clearance Letter online through Tashael Account (Tourism Council of Bhutan’s Online Visa system) which is only accessible to a registered travel agent, and we are one of them.

Once the Visa Clearance Letter is approved by TCB, we will forward the letter to your email.

At your point of entry, you will be required to show your visa clearance letter; the visa will then be stamped into your passport.

Our Tour’s Starting/ Entry Points

  • Paro International Airports
  • Phuntsholing, India-Bhutan Border town in the SouthWest.
  • Gelephu, India-Bhutan Border town in SouthCenter.
  • Samdrup Jongkhar, India-Bhutan Border town in SouthEast

How do I enter Bhutan?

By Air

Drukair and Bhutan Airlines operate flights to and from Bhutan. Sector covered are Bangkok, Kathmandu, Singapore, Dhaka, and India (Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi, Gauhati, Bagdogra). No international flights fly to Bhutan.

By Road
You can enter and exit from Phuntsholing, which is 3.5- 4 hours drive from Bagdogra International Airport, West Bengal, India and Samdrup Jongkhar, in the south-east, three hours drive from Guwahati, Assam, India.

We do provide services like Flight Ticketing for any flights from any country and pick and drop from nearby Indian International Airports in Guwahati and Siliguri. Charges will be applied accordingly.

Please feel free to contact us through our 24/7 Live Chat or use the form below if you have any questions and queries. We are always there for you.

Tashi Delek!

Looking Forward To See On Board


  • Aaron Ace Bhutan Tours & Treks
    Olokha, Thimphu-Babesa Highway,
    Thimphu, 11001, Bhutan
  • +975 1734 3188
  • aaronacebhutan@gmail.com
  • Mon-Sat 8:00 am – 6:00 pm
    We are closed on Sundays & public holidays

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