Sunyata Travel


Planning Your Trip

Visitors of all nationalities, except those from India, require a visa before entering Bhutan. For all visitors, except those from Bangladesh and the Maldives, this visa must be applied for and approved in advance of travel. Visitors from Bangladesh and the Maldives also require a visa, but this can be applied for and approved either in advance of travel or upon arrival in Bhutan.

Visitors from India are able to apply for a permit but are required to hold an Indian passport or an Indian voter ID card. For Indian nationals under the age of 18, a passport or a birth certificate can be used to enter and they must be accompanied by a legal guardian.

Nationals from Switzerland and Thailand holding diplomatic or government-official passports are eligible for a visa at their port of entry.

You can apply online for a visa by completing this application form, or if you’re travelling with a tour operator, they may apply on your behalf. 

Visitors from Bangladesh and the Maldives requiring a visa can apply either online before travelling or in person upon arrival in Bhutan.

There is a one-off fee of US$40 for the processing of your application. This is payable at the same time as your Sustainable Development Fee (SDF), as part of the process of submitting your visa application.

A correctly input visa application can take up to five days to process.

Sustainable Development Fee (SDF)

The Sustainable Development Fee (SDF) is a daily levy paid by visitors to support Bhutan’s development. Since the kingdom first opened its doors in 1974, guests have played a critical role in our country’s growth.

The SDF is collected by the national exchequer and funds are allocated to various projects that create long-term, sustainable opportunities for the Bhutanese people, through free healthcare, education and training, upskilling the tourism and hospitality industry, improved infrastructure, environmental preservation and conservation, cultural preservation programmes and initiatives that support local businesses and economies. The SDF is also a vital means of maintaining the exceptional forest cover and carbon-neutrality for which our small nation is world-renowned and globally critical. The SDF also helps us to ensure that we can continue to offer guests tranquility and an intimate experience.

For all visitors except those from India, the SDF is USD 100 per person, per night. For guests from India (who have an Indian passport or Indian voter ID card), the SDF is 1,200 ngultrum, or the equivalent amount in Indian rupees, per person, per night.

Children who have not yet turned six are exempt from paying any SDF. Children aged between 6 and who have not yet turned 12 at the time of travel receive a 50% concessionary discount on their SDF. Children aged 12 and above pay the full SDF rate. The same long-stay SDF incentives can be applied to US dollar SDF-paying children.

There are various duration-based SDF incentives in place for US Dollar -SDF paying guests to encourage long-stay visitors to Bhutan.

Day visitors to the Bhutanese towns bordering India are also exempt from paying the SDF until they reach a point designated by the Bhutanese government.

During Your Trip

Yes – Bhutan’s Department of Tourism has a dedicated visitor centre at Paro International Airport. Others may be found at the four border entry points.

You can change your local currency for ngultrum upon arrival at Paro International Airport or at banks, larger hotels and authorised currency exchange businesses in Thimphu.

You may bring cash equivalent to US$10,000 into the country.

ATM and banks accept Visa and Mastercard. International credit cards are widely used in urban areas of Bhutan. However this service may not be available in other parts of the country. Visitors can download the digital wallet app goBoB launched by the Bank of Bhutan, which can be used with a local SIM card and is widely accepted throughout the country. Another option is the MyPay digtal wallet app launched by Bhutan National Bank. Both apps can be connected to international credit cards and used widely.

Cash in US dollars and Indian rupees is also widely accepted. We advise bringing some cash in either of these currencies, or in Bhutanese ngultrum.


Bhutan has four distinct seasons, and the best time to visit largely depends on your preferences. Spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) offer pleasant weather and clear skies, making them popular for trekking and sightseeing. Summer (June to August) is the monsoon season, characterized by lush greenery, but there may be occasional rainfall. Winter (December to February) can be cold, especially in higher altitudes, but it is a great time to experience Bhutan’s festivals.


The only international airport in Bhutan is the Paro International Airport (PBH). Flights to Bhutan are limited and subject to availability, and most international travelers enter through India, Thailand, Nepal, or Singapore. Please contact our team for assistance in booking your flights to Bhutan.

Policies on Cancellations and Bookings

Our cancellation policy varies depending on the type of package and the time of cancellation. Generally, cancellations made well in advance are subject to lower penalties. However, certain non-refundable fees may apply due to the strict travel regulations in Bhutan. We highly recommend reviewing our specific terms and conditions for cancellations and bookings, which will be provided during the booking process.

Accommodation and Transportation Options

Bhutan offers a range of accommodations, from luxurious hotels and resorts to cozy guesthouses and homestays. The choice depends on your preferences and budget.

Bhutan’s road network is well-developed, and you can explore the country by private or shared taxis as well as hired buses. For longer distances between cities, domestic flights are available.

Travel Insurance/Vaccinations

Yes, travel insurance is mandatory for all visitors to Bhutan. It should cover medical emergencies, trip cancellations, evacuations, and other unforeseen events. Please make sure to obtain suitable travel insurance before your departure.

It is recommended to be up to date on routine vaccinations before traveling to Bhutan. Depending on your travel plans and medical history, certain additional vaccinations or preventive medications might be advised. Consult your healthcare provider or a travel clinic for personalized advice.

Safety and Security

Yes, Bhutan is considered one of the safest countries to visit in the world. The crime rate is low, and the locals are known for their friendly and welcoming nature.

Bhutan is generally a safe destination in terms of health risks. However, travelers should be cautious of altitude-related illnesses in higher regions. It is advisable to acclimatize gradually and drink plenty of fluids.

Remember, for any further inquiries or assistance, don’t hesitate to contact our dedicated team of travel experts. We are here to ensure your Bhutan adventure is memorable and worry-free!