Bhutan Travel Trekking Guideline

2022-04-13 | Published By: Bold Himalaya

Nestled in the Himalayas, Bhutan is a wonderful kingdom renowned for its stunning landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and unique approach to measuring national progress based on Gross National Happiness. This small isolated nation welcomes travelers to explore its pristine valleys, ancient monasteries, and snow-capped peaks. To visit Bhutan, visitors must book a licensed tour operator who will arrange visas and permits, ensuring sustainable and culturally immersive experiences, During your journey through Bhutan, you'll encounter breathtaking natural beauty, immerse yourself in Bhutanese traditions, and witness the harmonious co-existence of tradition and modernity in this extraordinary Himalayan destination. 

Traveling and Trekking in Bhutan is a unique and rewarding experience, but it comes with specific guidelines and considerations to ensure your safety and respect for the local culture and environment.

How safe is Bhutan for Travel?

Safety is the primary concern when visiting a new place for every traveler and Bhutan is generally considered a safe destination for visitors. It boasts a low crime rate, and its society is built on a strong sense of community and respect for others. However, like any place, it's crucial to exercise some common-sense precaution. Be cautious when trekking in remote areas, as the terrain can be challenging. Health concerns may include altitude sickness in high-altitude regions, so acclimatization is crucial. Bhutan has a well-developed tourism infrastructure and strict regulations, which contribute to its safety. Following local customs, respecting the culture, and sticking to the guidance of your tour operator will ensure a safe and enriching travel experience.

Best Time for Traveling Bhutan

The best time to travel to Bhutan highly depends on your preferences for weather and activities. Bhutan experiences distinct seasons, each offering a unique experience however the ideal time for visiting Bhutan for most travelers is during the Spring (March to May) and Autumn (September to November) when the weather is pleasant, and there are numerous cultural festivals to enjoy. These seasons are perfect for trekking, sightseeing, and witnessing the blooming rhododendrons during the Spring season.

If you prefer cooler weather and are interested in winter activities or want to experience Bhutan in a quieter, more budget-friendly atmosphere, the Winter season (December to February) can also be a good option. The Monsoon season (June to August) is quite avoidable to minimize the chances of heavy rainfall affecting your plans however it is a distinct time for sightseeing activities and experience Bhutan's lush and green landscapes. 

Getting to Bhutan

To get to Bhutan, the primary entry point for international travelers is Paro International Airport. The best way to get to Bhutan is through Tribhuvan International Airport as it offers flights on a daily basis. Other than Kathmandu, Drukair and Bhutan Airlines offer regular flights from various countries, including India, Thailand, and Singapore. Travelers must book their trip through a licensed Bhutanese tour operator who will arrange the necessary visas and permits. 

Visitors can also enter Bhutan by road through the southern border with India, but this route involves a longer journey and additional permits. Ensure you have the required documentation and tour arrangements before traveling to Bhutan. 

Documents required to visit Bhutan

The first thing that travelers need to enter Bhutan is a Tourist Visa however if you're a national from the countries like India, Maldives, and Bangladesh, you won't require a visa. Booking your trip with our agency, we will arrange your visa. Here is the list of travel documents other than the visa required for visiting Bhutan.

A passport with a validity of at least six months

Two recent passport-size photos

Vaccination (covid 19) documents

A detailed travel itinerary provided by your tour operator

Travel Insurance

Entry Permit

Entering Bhutan

Bhutan, the enchanting Himalayan kingdom situated between India and China, beckons travelers with its unique charm and mystique. To embark on a journey to this land of happiness, there are two ways to enter Bhutan:

Firstly, obtaining a visa for Bhutan involves collaborating with a licensed Bhutanese tour operator, who will facilitate the necessary permits and accommodations. The primary entry point from Nepal is by air, with direct flights operating between Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu, and Paro International Airport, Bhutan. Drukair and Bhutan Airlines offer daily flights from various countries such as Delhi, Kolkata, Bodh Gaya, Mumbai, Baghdora, Bangkok, Dhaka, Guwahati, and Singapore.

The flight offers breathtaking views of the Himalayan mountain ranges, including the world's famous  Mt. Everest, and descends into the picturesque Paro Valley. Upon arrival, you'll experience Bhutan's warm hospitality as you step into the land of happiness. 

Another way to enter Bhutan is by Traveling overland to Bhutan from Nepal. First, you'll need a local bus from Kathmandu to Kakarbhitta, the closest India and Nepal border for Bhutan. From Kakarbhitta, take a local bus to Siliguri and get on a train that runs on a regular basis from Siliguri to the Bhutanese border, Phuentsholing, Hasimara. Reaching Hasimara, take a local bus to Jaigon from where your tour guide will transfer to the Hotel in Paro or Thimpu on a private car.  

Bhutan Trekking / Travel Guide

Trekking in Bhutan offers an unparalleled adventure amidst pristine Himalayan landscapes and rich cultural experiences. The kingdom boasts a variety of trekking routes suitable for all levels of hikers. Popular treks include Druk Path TrekJomolhari TrekBumthang Owl Trek, Snowman Trek, and Laya Gasa Trek, each revealing breathtaking vistas of snow-capped peaks, dense forests, and remote villages. 

As you traverse the rugged terrain, you'll encounter charming Bhutanese villages, ornate monasteries, and hospitable locals. Bhutan's commitment to preserving its natural environment ensures trekking in pristine wilderness. Be prepared for varying altitudes, from lush valleys to high mountain passes. 

The journey is not only physical but also spiritual as you engage with Bhutan's deep-rooted Buddhism and cultural heritage. Permits and guides are mandatory, emphasizing sustainable tourism. With warm hospitality and unparalleled beauty, Bhutan's trek offers an unforgettable adventure for those seeking a harmonious blend of nature, culture, and exploration. 

Accommodation in Bhutan

While traveling, accommodation is the major factor and Bhutan has a small hospitality industry. However, all towns have hotels and lodges that are registered with the Department of Tourism. There are some international standard hotels in touristy areas such as Paro, Jakar, Punakha, Gangtey, and Thimphu.

While trekking/touring in Bhutan trekkers will get the accommodation at luxurious hotels or five-star hotels of Paro and Bhutan as you are trekking through the company only.

Some accommodations during Bhutan trekking are Damchen Resort of Punakha, Dewachen Hotel of Gangtey Valley, Druk Hotel of Thimphu, Hotel Zhiwaling of Paro, Lechuna Heritage Lodge of Haa Valley, Namgay Heritage Hotel of Thimphu, Olathang Hotel of Paro, Taj Tashi of Thimphu, Ugyenling resort of Jakar, Uma Paro.

Food in Bhutan

All the trekkers in Bhutan can rely entirely on the camp meals offered in the luxurious hotels of Bhutan. Toasts, a choice of eggs, some additional protein, cereals, juice, tea, and coffee are served as breakfast during the Bhutan trek. Sometimes baked beans, bacon, Indian Puri, Oatmeal, and Tibetan bread are also provided. Lunch is often packed consisting of rice or noodles, boiled potatoes, chapattis, Sandwiches, and fruits accompanied by Juice and tea or instant coffee from a large hot water flask. Dinner is a full course comprising soup, 3 to 5 varieties of dishes, followed by desserts and Tea or coffee. The main course dinner includes a rice dish, a potato dish, or frequently both meat and vegetables. Sometimes the cook will prepare Indian bread, momos or dumplings, and other delicious food items.

Transportation in Bhutan

As you know, trekking in Bhutan is only possible through the company. The company will provide only Toyota Brand transportation for your journey in Bhutan when necessary with a 4-wheel drive and Air-conditioned. Some means of transportation while trekking in Bhutan are Hi-Ace buses with comfortable seats and air conditioners, Hyundai Tucson 4 wheel drive, Land cruisers for 2 to 3 people to provide the luxury drive with an extra charge of US dollar 100 per day, Big Buses with 18 to 22 seats are for the group size more than 6 people. If there are more than 18 people company will provide more buses to make your trip comfortable and luxurious.

Water in Bhutan

Tap water in Bhutan is not considered safe for drinking unless it is boiled or purified by purification pills. Bottled mineral water is available in hotels and restaurants. In the hotel, you can ask to boil the water if it doesn’t look clean or you can always ask to serve the boiled water for you. It is also a wise decision to carry water purification tablets along with you while traveling in the remote areas of Bhutan.

Electricity in Bhutan

Electricity is available in all of the towns that are frequently visited by tourists. You will get good access to electricity while touring/trekking in Bhutan. The voltage supply is 220/240. It is recommended to carry electrical appliances and bring a voltage converter with an adapter kit.

Internet/Network Facilities

All major cities and towns in Bhutan have basic network facilities. Fax, e-mail, and phone are mostly used for communication in Bhutan. You can use cell phones in most cities and rural places by inserting a Bhutanese SIM card into them. Bhutan Post is the standard mail service and is available throughout the country. Major cities and towns have internet facilities. However, broadband and wireless internet services can be found only in some places like internet cafes.

Best time to visit Bhutan

The best time to visit Bhutan largely depends on your preferences and what you want to experience. Bhutan experiences distinct seasons, and each has its unique attractions. However, Spring and autumn are the most recommended times for a balanced experience of good weather, festivals, and outdoor activities. If you prefer fewer crowds and don't mind the cold, winter can also be a delightful time to explore Bhutan's unique charm.

Spring (March to May):

Spring is one of the most popular times to visit Bhutan. The weather is mild, and the landscape comes alive with blooming rhododendrons and other flowers. This is an excellent time for trekking and outdoor activities.

Autumn (September to November):

Autumn is another peak tourist season in Bhutan. The weather is pleasant with clear skies, making it ideal for hiking, trekking, and sightseeing. Festivals, including the famous Thimphu Tshechu, are held during this time.

Summer (June to August):

This season is the least popular for tourism due to the monsoon rains. While the countryside becomes lush and green, heavy rainfalls can disrupt travel plans and road conditions.  

Winter (December to February):

Winter in Bhutan is cold, especially in higher altitudes. Snowfall is common in the mountainous regions, making it a good time for those interested in winter sports or simply enjoying snow-covered landscapes. This season offers fewer tourists, which can be appealing to travelers seeking solitude.

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Best place to visit in Bhutan within a short time

Bhutan has a very special gift from nature. Surrounded by alluring natural beauty and charming old-age Bhutanese architecture and dotted with monasteries, romantic hotspots, natural reserves, and lush green valleys, Bhutan will surely impress you.

Bhutan's unique blend of culture, nature, and spirituality makes it a destination like no other. Here are some of the best places to visit, remember that the journey itself is part of the Bhutanese experience, as you'll encounter warm hospitality, preserved traditions, and a strong sense of happiness throughout your travels.

Paro Taktsang (Tiger's Nest Monastery):

Located on a cliffside, this iconic monastery is one of Bhutan's most famous landmarks.

The trek to Taktsang is a challenging but rewarding experience, offering breathtaking views of the Paro Valley.


The capital city of Bhutan is a blend of tradition and modernity.

Visit the Tashichho Dzong, the National Memorial Chorten, and the Buddha Dordenma statue for cultural insights.

Explore the weekend market, where you can find local handicrafts and fresh produce.

Punakha Dzong:

Often considered the most beautiful dzong in Bhutan, it is situated at the confluence of the Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu rivers.

The dzong's architecture, scenic location, and historical significance make it a must-visit.

Phobjikha Valley:

Known for its pristine landscapes and the annual arrival of black-necked cranes during winter.

You can explore the Gangtey Monastery and take leisurely walks in this tranquil valley.

Bumthang Valley:

Comprising four valleys, Bumthang is the cultural heartland of Bhutan.

Visit the Jakar Dzong, Kurjey Lhakhang, and Tamshing Lhakhang, among other important sites.

Bumthang is also a gateway to some of Bhutan's best trekking routes.

Haa Valley:

This secluded valley offers a glimpse into traditional Bhutanese life.

Explore local villages, visit the Lhakhang Karpo (White Temple) and Lhakhang Nagpo (Black Temple), and enjoy the stunning scenery.

Dochula Pass:

Located on the way from Thimphu to Punakha, this pass offers panoramic views of the Himalayan mountain range.

The pass is adorned with 108 stupas and is a great spot for photography.

Trongsa Dzong:

This strategically located dzong is one of the most impressive in Bhutan.

It has a museum that provides insight into Bhutan's history and royalty.

Jigme Dorji National Park:

Bhutan's largest national park offers diverse flora and fauna.

It's an excellent place for wildlife enthusiasts and trekkers.

Rinpung Dzong (Paro Dzong):

This fortress monastery in Paro is not only historically significant but also a beautiful architectural site.

It hosts the Paro Tsechu, one of Bhutan's most colorful festivals.

Chhimi Lhakhang:

Also known as the Fertility Temple, it's a pilgrimage site and a symbol of fertility.

It's known for its phallic symbols and the blessing of couples seeking children.

Chele La Pass:

This high mountain pass offers stunning views and is a great spot for photography and short hikes.

Things to do in Bhutan

Bhutan attracts people from around the world with its natural beauty and clean environment. A rare place on this planet Earth where one hardly sees any sign of commercialization, Bhutan is a perfect place to visit. Whether you're interested in history, outdoor adventures, or simply soaking in the serene atmosphere, there's something for everyone in the Land of the Thunder Dragon. Here are some of the activities you must do during your trip to Bhutan.

Visit Paro Taktsang (Tiger's Nest Monastery):

Hike to the iconic Tiger's Nest Monastery, perched on the edge of a cliff. It's Bhutan's most famous landmark and offers breathtaking views of the Paro Valley.

Explore Thimphu:

Bhutan's capital city has several attractions, including the Tashichho Dzong, the National Memorial Chorten, and the Folk Heritage Museum.

Punakha Dzong:

Explore the majestic Punakha Dzong, a beautiful fortress at the confluence of two rivers.

It's one of Bhutan's most picturesque dzongs.

Buddha Dordenma Statue:

Visit the giant Buddha Dordenma statue in Thimphu, one of the largest sitting Buddha statues in the world.

Dochula Pass:

Enjoy panoramic views of the Himalayas from Dochula Pass, where 108 chortens (stupas) adorn the landscape.

Gangtey Valley:

Explore the beautiful Gangtey Valley and visit Gangtey Monastery. This area is known for its stunning landscapes and the annual arrival of black-necked cranes.

Bumthang Valley:

Discover the cultural heart of Bhutan in Bumthang Valley, home to many ancient temples and monasteries, including Jakar Dzong and Jambay Lhakhang.

Participate in Traditional Festivals:

If your visit coincides with one of Bhutan's colorful festivals (Tsechus), don't miss the opportunity to witness traditional dances, masked performances, and vibrant costumes.

Hike the Bhutanese Countryside:

Bhutan offers numerous trekking opportunities, from the short and scenic Druk Path Trek to the challenging Snowman Trek. Explore diverse landscapes, remote villages, and pristine nature.

Experience Bhutanese Cuisine:

Try traditional Bhutanese dishes like ema datshi (chili cheese), momo (dumplings), and red rice. Bhutanese cuisine often features spicy flavors. Hot Springs:

Relax in Bhutan's natural hot springs.

The Gasa and Punakha regions are known for their hot spring baths.


Archery is the national sport of Bhutan. If you get the chance, watch a local archery competition or even try your hand at it.

Bhutanese Textiles:

Bhutan is renowned for its intricate textiles.

Visit local weaving centers to see the craftsmanship and purchase handmade souvenirs.

Attend a Meditation Retreat:

Bhutan's serene environment makes it an excellent place for meditation and spiritual retreats.

Many monasteries offer meditation programs.


Bhutan is a paradise for birdwatchers with over 700 bird species. Phobjikha Valley is a prime spot for birdwatching.

Experience Bhutanese Hospitality:

Stay in traditional Bhutanese guesthouses or farm stays to experience the warm hospitality of the locals and immerse yourself in their way of life.

Support Local Crafts:

Bhutan has a thriving arts and crafts scene. Purchase locally made handicrafts, paintings, and woodwork to support local artisans.

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Reason to travel to Bhutan

1. The world’s only Carbon Negative Country

Carbon dioxide is one of the greenhouse gases which are produced by human activities that adversely affect climate change. When a country produces more carbon dioxide than it can absorb; it is accelerating global warming. Bhutan emerged as a carbon-negative country by producing 1.5 million tons of carbon and absorbing 6 million tons of carbon. Hence you can breathe clean and fresh air, unlike any country in the world.

2. Iconic Tiger’s Nest Monastery

The iconic Tiger’s Nest Monastery or Taktsang Monastery is a must-visit destination in Bhutan. It is the sacred site for the Bhutanese where Guru Rinpoche is credited for spreading Buddhism in Bhutan and meditating here. As per legend, Guru Rinpoche flew on a tigress back to meditate in caves here. It is the holiest place in Bhutan for Buddhist pilgrims.

3. Unique Festivals, Tshechus

The festival of Bhutan reflects their devotion to their religion. Tseshu is a religious festival held on the 10th day of a lunar month corresponding to the birthday of the Buddhist leader Guru Padmasambhava or Guru Rinpoche. Those who see Tsechus are believed to receive blessings and also their sins are washed away. People in Bhutan grandly celebrate touches by dancing and doing other several modes of entertainment bringing communities together.

4. The Highest Unclimbed mountains

Mountains are considered sacred in Bhutan and it is believed that gods and spirits dwell here. Bhutan prohibited climbing mountains higher than 6000 meters since 1994. Bhutan used to welcome mountain climbers before 1994, during that time many climbers attempted to reach the top of Gangkhar Puensum with an altitude of 7,570 meters (24,836 ft.) but remained unsuccessful. Gangkhar Puensum is the highest unclimbed mountain in the world.

5. Trekker’s Paradise

The best way to enjoy the vibrant hills of Bhutan is through trekking. You will realize the healing power of nature after passing through the lush green forest, breathing in the fresh air, and devouring the sight of hills and picturesque mountains while trekking and losing yourself in nature.

6. Religion Beliefs:

Buddhism and Hinduism Buddhism is a religion followed by around 300 million people in the world. More than two-thirds of Bhutanese people follow Buddhism and the rest of the others follow Hinduism. Hinduism is the second most dominating religion in Bhutan after Buddhism.

7. Landscapes and Biodiversity

While you are trekking through Bhutan, you will find steep and high mountains crisscrossing by the network of sifting rivers. The extraordinary geographical diversity and the diverse climate conditions play an important role in contributing to Bhutan’s outstanding range of biodiversity and ecosystems, which are worth seeing during trekking in Bhutan.

8. Feeling Royal

Bhutan made the transition from absolute monarchy to constitutional monarchy and held its first general election in 2008. The current king of Bhutan is Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, who wed Jetsun Pema on 13 October 2011. Spotting or meeting the king of Bhutan is not as difficult as you think.

Best Bhutan tour package including these place

The best Bhutan Places for Bhutan Trip :
1) Thimpu

Thimphu is the capital city of Bhutan situated in the west-central part of the country. It lies in the Himalayas mountains on the Raidak River at about 7,000 feet (2,000 meters) above sea level.

The city is known for its Buddhist sites. The massive Tashichho Dzong is a fortified monastery and government palace with gold-leaf roofs. The Memorial Chorten, a whitewashed structure with a gold spire, is a revered Buddhist shrine dedicated to Bhutan’s third king.

2) Paro

The gateway to Bhutan, all the international flights land in the scenic valley town 50 km from Thimphu. It is home to the prominent Bhutanese landmark and Taktsang monastery.

The valley starts where the rivers Paro Chhu and wang Chhu meet carpeted by green paddy fields, the valley is one of the most scenic places in Bhutan. Tiger’s Nest perched 900 meters above the Paro Valley is the major tourist attraction of this place.

3) Bumthang

Bumthang is a religious storehouse of the country with many ancient monasteries and temples marking its landscapes, located in central Bhutan. The area comprises four valleys namely Choekhor, Ura, Tang, and Chumey. Jambey Lakhang is the oldest temple in this place whereas Jakar Dzong is a town in Bumthang in the valley of Chamkhar that buzzes with people and is ready to fascinate with its handicraft stores.

4) Trashigang

Trashigang is called the eastern gem which is the largest district in Bhutan and skirts the borders of the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. It was once a trading center for the Tibetans. Apart from being the largest district it also has the longest river in the country, Dangme Chhu flowing through it, and also the houses to Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary. The sanctuary falls into the protected areas of Bhutan and covers most of the eastern part of the districts.

5) Zhemgang

The rich bio-diverse area is replete with a thick forest that protects 22 endangered species of animals. Zhemgang is one of the few religious places where the Bon religion is still practiced and Bon priests locally known as the Bonpo are highly revered. The folk of Zhemgang are known for their keen interest in music and art and their mastery of bamboo carving. One can visit Tharpa Choeling and Buli Lakhang temples and the Royal Manas National Park is said to be the oldest in the country. Above mentioned five places are considered as best tour packages in Bhutan with their natural beauty and diverse features. The places are so beautiful and peaceful that make the Bhutan trip the best indeed.

Places to visit in Thimphu

Thimphu is the capital city of Bhutan where mountains speak peaceful music with nature. A small city yet a lot many beautiful places to see in Thimphu Bhutan makes it a top pick for travelers.

It is a magical country with a Buddhist culture. Not only that, taking down the roads in Bhutan you can enjoy both Western and traditional Bhutanese culture. Trashi Chloe is a historical place where you can explore the ancient culture of the Bhutanese people.

Moving further, the beautiful architecture of buildings, colorful walls, paintings, and clean and crowded markets will make a great experience for a lifetime.

Beautiful places to visit in Thimphu

Tashichho Dzong, National Memorial Chorten, Changangkha Lakhang, National Folk Heritage Museum, Dechen Phodrang monastery, Motithang Takin Preserve, Clock Tower Square, Simply Bhutan, National Library, Semtokha Dzong, Royal Botanical garden, Gangtey monastery, Choki Traditional art school, National Institute for Zorig Chusum, Buddha Dordenma, Zilukha Anim Dratshang, Jungshi Handmade paper factory, Handicrafts market, Deer Park, Weekend market, Ludrong Memorial Garden, Xiangyang, and Tango Goemba.

Bhutan Travel Trekking FAQ

What is Bhutan famous for tourists?

Bhutan is a colorful Buddhist nation that is known for its serene natural landscapes and spirituality. There are many monasteries in Bhutan and people are friendly and loving.

Bhutan is famous for tourism with its natural biodiversity of green lush forests and the Himalayas range. Unclimbed mountains, Buddhist pilgrims, unique culture, and being the only country in the world that is carbon-negative make Bhutan famous for tourists.

How many days are enough in Bhutan?

Bhutan is one of the most beautiful countries in South Asia. From higher peaks over 7000 meters, dense forests, and Ancient Buddhist monasteries make a tour to Bhutan Amazing. However, to make the most of the best sights and experiences in Bhutan takes at least 5 days.

Is Bhutan safe to travel?

Even petty crime is uncommon in Bhutan. The country has no traffic lights, there are traffic wardens instead and locals love it. The production and sale of tobacco are illegal in Bhutan as are hunting and fishing. Bhutan is a peace-loving country that follows the wisdom of the Buddha two-thirds of the people. The locals are kind and friendly, giving great hospitality. To travel in Bhutan one must hire a guide. Therefore, Bhutan is very safe to travel.

How much will it cost to travel to Bhutan?

The cost to visit Bhutan depends on the duration and kind of hotel you are staying in. Traveling in Bhutan can cost you anywhere between US$ 3500 to US$ 12,500.

Can I visit Bhutan by myself?

According to Bhutanese law, solo travel is not allowed in Bhutan. You have to find a tour operator approved by the Tourism Council of Bhutan means that you need to hire one of the 235 officially endorsed Bhutanese tour operators to guide you in your travels in Bhutan.

What are the popular trekking tours in Bhutan?

The popular trekking tours in Bhutan are: Jomolhari trek, Snowman trek, Bumthang Owl trek, Laya Gasa trek, Sakteng wildlife Sanctuary, Gangtey monastery, Bumthang Cultural trek, Jomolhari Laya Gasa trek, Duer Hot springs trek, Salt trek route, Dochula Pass, Jangothang, Sinchula trek, Bumdra trek, Jomolhari Loop trek and Gangar Puensum trek.

What documents are needed for Bhutan travel?

There are not many documents needed to travel to Bhutan. Visa Application form, Passport photo, Health Document (Negative covid 19 PCR test result), Vaccination document (covid 19 vaccination proof), and original passport are required to travel to Bhutan.

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