• Small Group Guided Trips Small Group Guided Trips
4 Days

Weekend to Bhutan Tour

USD $ 900
per person

Activities in this trip includes

Trip Code

TMG-BT004

Trip Grade

Easy

Our "Easy" trips are perfect for beginners and those looking for a relaxed and culturally enriching experience. These journeys typically involve shorter hikes on well-marked trails or city tours with minimal physical exertion. They are designed to focus on cultural immersion and are accessible to most travelers.

Group Size

12 max.

Accommodation
& Meal Info

Comfort

Comfort (3-star): Mid-range accommodations with extra comforts. Ideal for trekkers at lodges/teahouses. Includes daily breakfast in Kathmandu. (AP= Accommodation with all three meals at trekking destination).

Highlights

  • Breathtaking Scenic Landscapes: Immerse yourself in the pristine natural beauty of Bhutan, with its lush valleys, majestic mountains, and serene rivers, creating a visual symphony that will leave you in awe.
  • Ancient Spiritual Treasures: Explore Bhutan’s rich spiritual heritage by visiting ancient temples, monasteries, and magnificent Dzongs (fortresses), each with its own compelling history and cultural significance.
  • Cultural Immersion: Connect with the warm-hearted Bhutanese locals, sharing in their customs, traditions, and stories to gain a deep appreciation of the vibrant and living culture of Bhutan.
  • Archery Matches: Experience the excitement of Bhutan’s national sport by witnessing archery matches, an enthralling spectacle that combines skill, tradition, and the competitive spirit of the Bhutanese people.

Trip overview

In the span of just four days, this immersive tour unveils the captivating treasures of Paro and Thimphu, two distinctive gems nestled in the heart of western Bhutan. Paro, with its pristine beauty, graces you with a stunning valley set at an elevation of 2200 meters. Meanwhile, Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan, awaits you at 2334 meters above sea level, home to approximately 140,000 residents. Notably, it proudly holds the title of being the world’s only capital city without traffic lights. Your journey commences in Paro, a valley of unrivaled beauty that promises to captivate your senses from the moment you arrive. Over the course of this weekend tour, you’ll explore the vibrant heart of Bhutan, Thimphu, and bask in the rich tapestry of experiences it offers. Highlights of your Bhutanese escapade include a visit to the iconic Tiger’s Nest Monastery in Paro, perched dramatically on the edge of a cliff and undoubtedly a highlight of your 4-day journey. In Thimphu, you’ll encounter the towering 51.5-meter statue of Buddha, a symbol of peace and spirituality, and explore the resplendent Tashichho Dzong, also known as the Royal Secretariat.

The itinerary extends further to include enriching visits to the National Museum in Paro, a repository of Bhutanese history and culture, and other charming sites that paint a vivid picture of Bhutan’s unique blend of tradition and modernity.

Your weekend tour is a gateway to Bhutan’s profound spirituality, breathtaking landscapes, and the harmonious coexistence of its ancient heritage with the contemporary world. In just four days, you’ll have the opportunity to connect with the heart of Bhutan, savor its warmth, and create lasting memories. Welcome to a weekend of wonder in the Land of the Thunder Dragon.

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Itinerary

01

DAY

Arrival in Paro and Exploring Thimphu (54km, 1hr)

As you arrive at the welcoming Paro International Airport, our guide and driver will be there to extend a warm Bhutanese greeting. We’ll then embark on a scenic drive to the enchanting capital city of Thimphu. En route, we’ll make a stop at the Tamchog Monastery.

In the afternoon, prepare to be captivated by the Tallest Statue of Buddha, standing tall at 51.5 meters, a symbol of peace and spirituality. Our exploration continues with visits to the serene Changangkha Lhakhang, the unique Takin Preserve Center, and the splendid Sangaygang Viewpoint. We’ll also pay a visit to the tranquil Dupthop Lhakhang (Nunnery) and the resplendent Tashichho Dzong, also known as the Royal Secretariat.

As the day comes to a close, you’ll enjoy a delightful dinner and spend the night at your chosen hotel in Thimphu.

02

DAY

Thimphu to Paro - Cultural Exploration (54km, 1hr)

Our morning begins with visits to the engaging National Postal Museum, the School of 13 Arts and Crafts (Painting School), and the vibrant Craft Bazaar. You’ll also have free time to meander through the town, capturing the essence of Bhutan through photography.

Following lunch, we’ll journey back to Paro. In the afternoon, we’ll explore the rich heritage of Paro, with visits to Ta Dzong, the National Museum of Bhutan, Rinpung Dzong, and a traditional Bhutanese farm house. The evening invites you to explore Paro’s town for shopping and photography.

As the day ends, enjoy a delightful dinner and an overnight stay at your chosen hotel in Paro.

03

DAY

Hiking to Tiger's Nest and Cultural Visits

A morning of adventure awaits as we embark on a scenic hike to the iconic Tiger’s Nest Monastery, also known as Paro Taktsang. The trek, a thrilling ascent, takes approximately two hours, and rewards you with spectacular vistas.

In the afternoon, our journey continues with visits to Drugyel Dzong, the “Fortress of Victory,” and Kichu Lhakhang, one of Bhutan’s oldest and most revered monasteries, dating back to 659 AD.

The evening provides an opportunity to explore Paro town, partake in shopping, and capture the essence of Bhutan through photography. Conclude the day with a delightful dinner and an overnight stay at your chosen hotel.

04

DAY

Departure

As your Bhutanese journey comes to a close, we’ll ensure your departure is as seamless as your arrival. Following breakfast, we’ll drive you to Paro International Airport for your onward journey, bidding you farewell with warm wishes for safe travels and cherished memories.

Trip Includes

Includes

  • All Meals [Breakfast /Lunch/Dinner and Evening Tea].
  • Accommodation [twin / double sharing basis]. Single room supplement is extra.
  • All transportation within the country including airport transfers.
  • Sustainable Development Fee (SDF).
  • Bhutan visa fee.
  • English speaking local guide.
  • Insurance premiums.
  • Bottled water.
  • SIM card.
  • Farm house tour and traditional dress wear.

Excludes

  • Entrance fees for museums and monuments.
  • DrukairBhutan Airlines
  • Payments for service provided on a personal basis.
  • Cost for any services not mentioned in the “Cost Include head”.
  • Cost incurred due to mishaps, strikes, political unrest etc.
  • Personal expenses such as laundry, soft drinks, camera charges, incidentals, portage, bellboy charges tips or any other services.

Making a difference

Leading the way in responsible tourism. We protect the environment, support local communities, and ensure a sustainable Himalayan future.

Planet

Travel Max Guide prioritizes environmental protection through eco-conscious practices to ensure the preservation of the Himalayas for future generations, drawing inspiration from the environmental commitment demonstrated by Western travelers during your trips.

Read More

People

Travel Max Guide combines trekking and community support in the Himalayas. Join our mission, including orphan sponsorships and homestay/volunteer treks, and consider our CHILD SPONSORSHIP PROGRAM for underprivileged children.

Read More

Frequently asked questions.

When is the best time to visit Bhutan? Weather & Festival Guide.

Bhutan is a year-round destination. There are four seasons: summer (June to August), autumn (September to November), winter (December to February) and spring (March to May). But because of the range of altitudes in the country, and the influence of the north Indian monsoons, the climate is incredibly varied.

In the south, the humid, subtropical climate is fairly consistent year-round, with temperatures between 15oC and 30oC. Central Bhutan, with its temperate forests, has a more seasonal climate, with warm summers and cool, dry winters. The northern regions are much colder during winter. Because of the high altitude, mountain peaks are snowy year-round and the lower reaches remain cool in summer.

In summer, the Indian monsoon season runs from late June or July to late September, mostly affecting the southern regions. Most farming activities take place in the summer, when crops thrive in verdant landscapes.

Autumn, from late September or early October to late November, follows the rainy season. It is characterised by bright, sunny days and some early snowfall at higher elevations. It’s the season of feasts and festivals as farmers reap the fruits of their work.

From late November until March, the crisp, clear and sunny winter sets in, with frost throughout much of the country and snowfall common above elevations of 3,000 metres. The winter northeast monsoon brings gale-force winds at the highest altitudes through high mountain passes, giving Bhutan the name Drukyul, which means Land of the Thunder Dragon in Dzongkha (Bhutan’s national language).

Bhutan’s generally dry spring starts in early March and lasts until mid-April. It is a botanist’s delight, with nature in full bloom. Summer weather commences in mid-April with occasional showers and continues to late June.

Which power plug is standard in Bhutan?

Three different electrical plugs are used throughout Bhutan: the British plug (three square pins, compatible with type G sockets), the European plug (two round pins, compatible with type C socket) and the Indian plug (three thick round pins, compatible with type D sockets). It’s a good idea to bring adaptors for all three.

Do I need a visa to enter Bhutan?

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.

How do I apply for a visa?

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. Read more about the visa here.

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

How long does it take to issue my visa?

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

How much does the visa cost?

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.

Can I extend my visa while I’m in Bhutan?

Yes, provided the extension is applied for before the original visa or permit expires.

Visitors can extend their stay via the online visa application portal, using the same log-in details that were used to process their original visa.

The fees for processing your extension application, and daily SDF for the duration of your extended stay, will be payable via the same portal.

Is travel insurance mandatory?

Yes. All visitors must have full, valid travel insurance for the duration of their visit. For all visitors except those from India, Bangladesh and the Maldives, it is required to be in place when you make your visa application.

Visitors from India, Bangladesh and the Maldives have the option to purchase domestic travel insurance at their port of entry.

If I want to drive my own car into Bhutan, how much does it cost?

There is a charge of Nu. 4,500 per car, per day. A guide is also mandatory and will be at an additional charge.

If guests want to bring their own car, the cars must meet the requirements of Bhutan’s Roads Safety and Transport Authority, and must also have a valid driver’s license, insurance documentation, pollution control documentation, an entry permit, and a vehicle in reasonable condition. A valid Indian driver’s license is accepted for self-driving within Bhutan. The same fees and rules apply for motorbikes.

In case the vehicle is not owned by the guests travelling to Bhutan, an authorisation letter is required. For more information on this subject please contact our Hosts team.

How do I get to Bhutan?

The country has one international airport located in Paro. Flights operated by Drukair and Bhutan Airlines arrive and depart from destinations including Bangkok, Delhi, Kolkata, Bagdogra, Bodhgaya, Dhaka, Kathmandu, Guwahati and Singapore. Private jets or charters can fly into Bhutan after obtaining the relevant approvals.

There are also domestic airports in Yonphula in eastern Bhutan, Bumthang in central Bhutan, and Gelephu in south-central Bhutan.

What are the current covid-19 regulations in Bhutan?

Although we recommend all visitors stay up to date with vaccinations against covid-19 to help stop the spread of the disease, there are now no covid-19 vaccination requirements for adults or children to enter Bhutan from September 23rd 2022. There is no quarantine requirement either.

No random covid-19 testing will be undertaken at any port of entry into Bhutan, however this may be done if a guest is showing symptoms or asks for a test.

If a guest tests positive for covid-19 during their stay in Bhutan, they will be admitted entry into the country without any quarantine period, however will be required to wear a face mask at all times and maintain other precautionary measures until they test negative again.

There will be no covid-19 protocols to leave Bhutan, unless the country the guest is travelling to requires them.

Can I go hiking or trekking independently, without a tour operator?

All treks must be undertaken with an accredited tour operator or guide. Your tour operator will assist you with all the necessary logistics and safety precautions.

Is it safe to travel in Bhutan?

Bhutan is a very safe place to visit, even if you’re travelling alone. There is very little crime experienced by locals or visitors, although we advise you to take care of yourself and your belongings. In some areas you may encounter stray dogs – please be cautious around them as they are not domesticated. They normally keep their distance, but please stay away from them as much as possible, especially if travelling with children. Please don’t feed or pat these or any other wild animals.

Bhutan’s physical environment presents occasional safety hazards, including flooding and landslides. From June to September the monsoons can affect transport and services. Check with your hotel or tour operator for possible disruptions.

What is the SDF and how is it used?

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 tranquillity and an intimate experience.

How much is the SDF?

The SDF is USD 100 per night for adults from all countries except for India. Children aged between 6 years and who have not yet turned 12 are eligible to pay USD 50 per night. Children who have not yet turned 6 years old do not have to pay any SDF.

The SDF for Indian nationals (showing a valid Indian passport or Voter ID card) is Nu. 1,200 (or the equivalent amount in Indian rupees) per person, per night. Children aged between 6 years and who have not yet turned 12 are eligible to pay Nu./INR 600 per night. Children who have not yet turned 6 years old do not have to pay any SDF.

If I cancel my trip will my SDF be refunded?

Yes, the SDF will be refunded by the Department of Immigration for any cancelled or shortened trips; any bank charges will be deducted from the total refunded. Requests for SDF refunds should be submitted online using the visa portal. The refund will be processed after visitors leave Bhutan.

Where can I exchange currency?

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.

How much cash can I bring into Bhutan?

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

Can I use my credit card and ATM card in Bhutan?

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.

Is there good internet connection and Wi-Fi in Bhutan?

Most hotels have Wi-Fi in Bhutan, but we recommend obtaining a guest SIM card for more convenient access to data and a more reliable internet connection. Mobile data in Bhutan can also be expensive. You can find the B Mobile SIM in mobile stores in larger cities, which you can easily top up using the Bank of Bhutan app goBoB. This app also facilitates other payments within the country.

Where can I get a visitor SIM card?

SIM cards can be purchased from the Paro International Airport’s visitor information centre on arrival, or from branch offices of Bhutan Telecom and TashiCell, or from authorised agents in towns.

Are there any restrictions on dress?

There are no rules about what visitors should wear. However, if you are planning to visit places of religious significance, respectful smart-casual clothing that covers your body from shoulders to knees is appropriate and appreciated.

Do I need a guide to enter monuments and Dzongs in Bhutan, and are they chargeable?

Yes, a guide is required to enter monuments and Dzongs in Bhutan. While some of the monuments and Dzongs have no entry fee, others have a fee on arrival, which can be paid in cash or via the GoBob app.

Are there certain things I can’t take out of Bhutan when I leave?

Keeping important antiques and artefacts in Bhutan is a key part of how we preserve our heritage for future generations. We have a law that sets out which artistic, historic, cultural, religious, social, archaeological and technical objects you may not take with you when you leave. To ensure any items you acquire comply with the law, you will need an Export Permit for Non-Antique Artefacts. Find out more about the permit and how to apply for one here.

Who should I contact in an emergency?

If it is related to your tourism experience, you can phone the Department of Tourism directly on +975 1712 2257 (or 2300 within Bhutan). If you require one of the emergency services, please telephone 110 for fire, 112 for an ambulance or 113 for police.

Can I use a drone for photography while in Bhutan?

A permit, which must be applied for in advance, is required to fly a drone either recreationally or commercially in Bhutan. Please email media@tcb.gov.bt to find out more about the regulations.

If I drive my own car into Bhutan, do I still need a guide?

Yes. A guide is required at all times for all guests who drive their own cars to Bhutan. It is highly recommended to pre-book guides before arriving at the borders. If you need help with arranging a guide, please contact our host services team here.

Are Route Permits required for guests to move around between areas in Bhutan?

Route Permits are no longer required to move around Bhutan. However, anyone on a business visa or for an official purpose is required to have a Route Permit.

Are permits required to enter National Parks in Bhutan?

Yes, permits are required to enter National Parks in Bhutan. However the process can be done online and the permit should be issued quickly. Please visit this link for more information: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScM4k5SPaGI_GnV6NJuQHstp

Are there any fees to enter monuments or other sites in Bhutan?

While most monuments in Bhutan are free, some are chargeable. For the full list of monument fees, please click here for more information. Children below 18 years will have a 50% concession and children aged five years and below will be exempted. Most monuments are open from 9am – 5pm each day. In June 2023 it was announced that foreign visitors can now visit monuments whenever they are open to the general public, without any restrictions.

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your trip!

Tailored to your preferences,
Customized to your schedule,
Designed for your comfort.

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