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Bhutan

BHUTAN TOURS

Bhutan tours were only opened to tourists in 1974 and its policy of 'high value low numbers tourism' ensures that relatively few travellers have visited Bhutan since. The country's unique philosophy of promoting 'Gross National Happiness' and entrenched Buddhism, combined with extremely friendly people and beautiful Himalayan scenery makes it a place like no other.

We run regular small group Bhutan tours and treks throughout the year. Several of these Himalayan Kingdom expeditions are timed to fit in with some of Bhutan's famous Tsechus (festivals) and we always try and visit the huge weekend market in the capital Thimphu.

Try our Bhutan tours today

Our team will be delighted to assist you with your travel arrangements for your Bhutan holidays. Although it is possible to enter overland from India, most people will fly into Bhutan with the national airline Druk Air from Delhi, Kathmandu, Bangkok or Singapore.

Druk Air flights do not connect with the international flight system, so at least one night in one of these cities is normally required at either end of your Bhutan tour. We are happy to arrange both your Druk Air flights and accommodation in any of these cities to help you connect your Bhutan tour with your main international flights. Please check the extension options shown on the tour or contact us for details and advice if required.

Knowing when to go on a Bhutan tour is important, we've created a handy guide which tells you when is the best time to go.

More information about Bhutan tours

Do you want to know more about Bhutan and its beauty? Or do you need accurate visa information?

Contact the Bhutan tourism board for more information.

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Group Departure Dates

5 Tours | From $1990 p/p

-10%
Map Map

Duration:

8 Days

Country(ies):

Bhutan

Tour Type:

Small Group

Group size:

Min: 2 | Max: 12

Meals:

B- 7, L - 6, D - 7

Highlights:

Tiger's Nest monastery, Punakha & Paro Dzongs, Phobkikha Valley, Thimphu market, Buddhist culture


   From

$1990(p/p)

$2210

Duration:

9 Days

Country(ies):

Bhutan , Nepal

Tour Type:

Small Group

Group size:

Min: 2 | Max: 12

Meals:

B- 9, L - 4, D - 4

Highlights:

Kathmandu's temples & stupas, Paro Dzong & National Museum, Thimphu tours, Buddha Point, Dochu La Pass, Punakha Dzong, Tiger's Nest monaster...


   From

$2065(p/p)

Duration:

12 Days

Country(ies):

Bhutan , Nepal

Tour Type:

Small Group

Group size:

Min: 2 | Max: 12

Meals:

B- 11, L - 5, D - 6

Highlights:

Kathmandu's temples & stupas, Paro Dzong & National Museum, Thimphu weekend market, Dochu La Pass, Punakha Dzong, Phobjika Valley, Taktshang...


   From

$2950(p/p)

Duration:

13 Days

Country(ies):

Bhutan

Tour Type:

Private

Group size:

Min: 2 | Max: Any

Meals:

B- 12, L - 12, D - 12

Highlights:

Walk up to Taktshang monastery, Druk Path Trek, Thimphu weekend market, Dochu La Pass, Punakha & Wangdue Phodrang Dzongs, Bhutanese food & c...


   From

$3950(p/p)

Duration:

14 Days

Country(ies):

Bhutan

Tour Type:

Private

Group size:

Min: 2 | Max: 8

Meals:

B- 16, L - 16, D - 16

Highlights:

Birdwatching in Bhutan (Himalayan Monal, White bellied heron, Black necked crane, Satyr tragopan and many more), traditional Bhutanese life ...


   From

$6340(p/p)

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Is it safe to visit Bhutan?

Bhutan is a very safe destination to visit and crime is minimal.

What is the official currency of Bhutan?

The ngultrum is the official currency of Bhutan and it is subdivided into 100 chhertum.

When is the best time of the year to visit Bhutan?

October to December is the best time of the year to visit Bhutan, as the air is clear, and the temperature is mild. January and February are much colder and dry. The weather is pleasant in April and in late spring rhododendrons fill the valleys.

What to wear in Bhutan?

The dress code in Bhutan is fairly formal for the locals and visitors. When entering the monastery or temple, you should wear long sleeved tops, trousers or long skirts. It is also a good idea to dress in layers as the temperature can vary during the day.

Is the tap water safe to drink in Bhutan?

The tap water is not safe to drink in Bhutan, so you should stick to bottled mineral water, which is readily available in hotels, restaurants and shops.

How do I plan a trip to Bhutan?

Planning a trip to Bhutan isn’t as hard as it seems if you know more or less what you want to do and see, also how you plan your trip depends on your budget. However, if you book a tour with us at Encounters Travel all the planning is done for you – see what tours we have to offer here.

How much is a meal in Bhutan?

The cost of a meal in Bhutan depends on where and what your cravings are – an average meal in Bhutan can cost around BTN795 per person.

Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner.

Is it safe to travel to Bhutan?

Bhutan is generally a very safe country to travel. It is one of the best travel destinations in the world – it is almost completely devoid of the scams, begging and theft that affects its neighbours. However, there are occasional rabies outbreaks in rural Bhutan, so be wary of big dogs guarding properties, especially if trekking.

Do people in Bhutan speak English?

Surprisingly many people in Bhutan speak English since it's the medium of instruction in the schools.

All government documents and road signs are written in both English and Dzongkha, and the national newspaper, Kuensel, is published in three languages: Dzongkha, English, and Nepali.

Do you need vaccinations to go to Bhutan?

Yes, some vaccines are required for Bhutan. The CDC and WHO recommend the following vaccinations for Bhutan: hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis, rabies, meningitis, polio, measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis), chickenpox, shingles, pneumonia and influenza.

How much would a trip to Bhutan cost?

The cost of a trip to Bhutan varies – how long are you planning on staying, what sites are you planning on seeing and what is your budget. At Encounters Travel we offer Bhutan tours ranging from $2065 per person to $6304 per person.

How many days in Bhutan is enough?

With so much to see and do in Bhutan, an ideal tour of the country would be for the whole thirty days of your visa – we can dream, right? – which might just be enough time to visit around two thirds of the country's amazing sights and attractions. However, to make the most of the best sights and experiences in Bhutan, at least five days is needed.

What is the best month to visit Bhutan?

We recommend October to December as the ideal time to visit Bhutan – the air is clear and fresh with sunny skies.

January and February are colder, but from then until April the climate remains dry and pleasant and in late spring the famous rhododendrons bloom spectacularly, flooding the valleys with colour.

Is Bhutan expensive?

In an effort to protect Bhutan's environment and culture, the government has placed a minimum fee of $200 per person per day for visitors to Bhutan – this makes visiting Bhutan one of the most expensive countries to visit.

TOUR REVIEWS

Excellent from the initial planning to every step along the way on the trip! Worry free in every way! Islam, Hussein and Mahmoud were the greatest! Please check out my review on Trip Advisor! FIve stars from this girl!
Excellent

My experience with Encounters was excellent from start to finish. The Tour Guide, Sheriff, was the most passionate, enthusiastic and professional guide I have ever had on a tour and his love for Egypt really made me enjoy my time so much more.
I was cautious about arriving in Egypt given the current circumstances about the country, but felt safer that I did living in London as soon as I arrived. All of the Encounters staff are very professional.

The trip was excellent and very well run, we have no complaints it was exactly as we expected.The guide was knowledgable and courteous, it ran on time and accommodation was fine.We have no complaints and have now booked again to go to India.
The trip was as above and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, all destinations were as expected and lived up to our expectations.We went with the idea of visiting Turkey and especially Gallipoli which achieved our goals.The historical part of thetrip was very well done and memmorable.

Encounters Travel did such a superb job in organizing this tour. I had never heard of them before going on the Maldives Magic tour, however now I will recommend them to friends/family and use them for my future planned trips.
Our tour is what made the trip that much more memorable. Rather than being plopped at a westernized resort, we were able to get a taste of how the locals live, eat and entertain themselves. We stayed in quaint guesthouses on the islands amongst the locals, ate authentic Maldivian cuisine (one day even with a Maldivian family who made us breakfast), and viewed a traditional dance/singing performance which was absolutely delightful. This was a trip of a lifetime that I will never forget.

When a single women in her 50's, traveling from the US to Egypt, stumbles across a website offering a tour, and then they make her feel totaling comfortable about every step of the process, you know you've hit a homerun!

ratings

Bhutan Country Guide

Bhutan Country Guide Flag

Factfile


Time: GMT+6
Dial Code: +975
Area: 38,394 km2
Elevation: The lowest point in Bhutan is Drangme Chhu, 97m (318 ft.) | The highest point in Bhutan is Gangkhar Puensum, 7,570m (24,836 ft.)
Population: 817,054 (2018)
Capital: Thimphu
Governemnt: Constitutional monarchy
Language: Dzongkha

Bhutan, officially the Kingdom of Bhutan, is a landlocked country in South Asia. Situated in the Eastern Himalayas, Bhutan is bordered by Tibet Autonomous Region of China in the north, the Sikkim state of India and the Chumbi Valley of Tibet in the west, the Arunachal Pradesh state of India in the east, and the states of Assam and West Bengal in the south.

The country is geopolitically in South Asia and is the region's second least populous nation after the Maldives. Thimphu is the capital of Bhutan and the largest city, while Phuntsholing is its financial centre.

Bhutan has never been colonised and has remained independent for centuries. The distinct national identity of the Bhutanese state is based on Buddhism. The National Assembly of Bhutan is a part of the bicameral parliament of the Bhutanese democracy.

The dramatic landscape of Bhutan includes verdant subtropical plains in the south and sub-alpine Himalayan mountains in the north. The highest mountain in Bhutan is Gangkhar Puensum - one of the highest unclimbed mountains in the world.

Bhutan maintains diplomatic relations with 52 countries and the European Union. The government is a parliamentary democracy and the head of state is the king of Bhutan. Bhutan is also known for inventing the concept of Gross National Happiness.

The climate in Bhutan is influenced by elevation and the country experiences five distinct seasons: summer, monsoon, autumn, winter and spring. There is diverse wildlife in Bhutan with rare species such as the golden langur.

Highlights

  • Phobkikha Valley - an expansive U-shaped glacial valley where the black-necked crane resides.
  • Thimphu market - a farmer's weekend market selling organic vegetables, fruits, spices and herbs.
  • Dochula Pass - a mountain pass in the Himalayas on the road from Thimpu to Punakha.
  • Kyichu Lhakhang - a significant Himalayan Buddhist temple part of a network of 12 other temples.
  • National Museum of Bhutan - a historic cultural museum in Paro displaying over 3,000 works of Bhutanese art.
  • Druk Path trek - one of the finest short treks following an ancient trading route over high mountain passes.
  • Archery ground in Paro - this archery ground is still used for traditional archery today.
  • Trashi Chho Dzong - an elaborate Buddhist monastery and fortress on the northern edge of Thimphu

Tips

  • Bring a hat, sunglasses, sun cream and lip balm for the strong Himalayan sun.
  • Time your visit during a festival as these colourful spectacles are worth witnessing.
  • You can haggle in most shops, but don't expect more than a 10% discount.
  • You don't have to tip in restaurants and hotels, but you should tip your guide.
  • Before taking photographs inside monasteries or at religious sites, ask for permission.
  • The roads in Bhutan are winding so bring medication if you are prone to motion sickness.
  • Tuesdays are considered the national 'dry day' as the sale of alcohol is prohibited.
  • Many of the locals are fluent in English as that is the medium of education.

VIDEO FEATURE

Our video features aim to bring our adventure tours to life in a way that no photo can, giving you a great taste of the destination.

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