How to Travel to Bhutan from USA?
- by Rachel
- Last Updated: 2023-10-21
Traveling from the U.S. to Bhutan is easy now. What you need to do is to fly from the U.S. to Bangkok in Thailand or Singapore, and then take your Bhutan visa and transfer to Bhutan by flights of Royal Bhutan Airlines or Druk Air. Another choice is that since Bhutan is close to Nepal and India, you can also fly to Kathmandu in Nepal or New Delhi/Kolkata in India first then transfer to Bhutan by flight or land. As a well-experienced Tibet travel agency running Himalayan tours for more than 15 years, we provide you with various travel routes from the United States to Bhutan. The following is a guide on how to travel from the United States to Paro, Bhutan.
How to Go to Bhutan from the United States?
Here are multiple ways for US citizens to get to Bhutan from the US.
Option I Fly to Bangkok/Kathmandu/Delhi First and Then Fly to Paro
No matter which city you are in the United States, such as Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Boston, San Diego, or Chicago, you can fly to Kathmandu in Nepal, or New Delhi in India, or Bangkok in Thailand, and then fly to Bhutan (round-trip flights from/to Kathmandu/New Delhi/Bangkok to/from Bhutan are available per day).
1. Flights from Kathmandu(KTM) to Paro(PBH)
There are daily flights from Kathmandu to Paro. The Royal Bhutan Airlines/Druk Air flights depart from Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu and arrive at Paro Airport in Bhutan, with a flight duration of about 1 hour. The full ticket price for a one-way economy class including tax is USD 253.1 per person. Here's the flight schedule from KTM to PBH.
|Departure → Arrival
|Bhutan Airlines 772
|8:35 am → 9:50 am
|USD 253.1 (Economy)
2. Flights from New Delhi(DEL) to Paro(PBH)
There are one or two daily flights from New Delhi to Paro. The Royal Bhutan Airlines/Druk Air flights depart from Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi and arrive at Paro Airport in Bhutan, with an average flight time of 2 hours 10 minutes. The full ticket price for a one-way economy class including tax is USD 338 per person. Here's the flight schedule from DEL to PBH.
|Departure → Arrival
|Druk Air 201
|12:10 pm → 3:00 pm
|USD 338 (Economy)
|Bhutan Airlines 774
|1:20 pm → 4:00 pm
|USD 338 (Economy)
3. Flights from Bangkok(BKK) to Paro(PBH)
There is a daily flight from Bangkok to Paro. The Druk Air flight departs from Suvarnabhumi Airport(BKK) in Bangkok and arrives at Paro Airport in Bhutan. The flight time is about 3 hours and 15 minutes. The full ticket price for the one-way economy class including tax is USD 539.3 per person. Here's the flight schedule from BKK to PBH.
|Departure → Arrival
|Druk Air 151
|1:40 pm → 3:55 pm
|USD 539.3 (Economy)
Option II. You can Fly to Singapore and Then Fly to Bhutan
There are two flights per week from Singapore to Paro. The Royal Bhutan Airlines flight departs from Singapore Changi International Airport and arrives at Paro Airport in Bhutan. The flight time is about 6 hours. The full ticket price for a one-way economy class including tax is USD 438.3 per person. Here's the flight schedule from SIN to PBH.
|Departure → Arrival
|12:55 pm → 5:55 pm
|USD 438.3 (Economy)
Option Ⅲ. Fly to India/Nepal and then Travel to Bhutan by Land
Obviously, there is no way to get to Bhutan from the United States by land all the way. Therefore, you need to take a flight to India/Nepal, and then travel overland to Phuentsholing, which is the main border crossing point into Bhutan.
1. Fly to India and then Travel Overland to Bhutan
If you want to travel to Bhutan by land, the easiest way is to go to India first. There are two land ports in Bhutan, one is Phuntsholing in the southwest, bordering West Bengal State in India. The famous cities in West Bengal are Kolkata and Darjeeling, from which you can take a car to the border town Jaigon, an Indian border town with Phuntsholing, Bhutan. However, please contact a Bhutan travel agency to get your Bhutan e-Visa clearance in advance. Otherwise, the Jaigon border guard in India will not release the departure stamp.
Another land port is Samdrup Jongkhar in the southeast, bordering Assam State in India, which abounds in black tea. This is also the gateway to eastern Bhutan. Usually tourists can fly to Guwahati, the capital of Assam, and then travel overland for 3 hours to Samdrup Jongkhar.
2. Fly to Nepal and then Travel Overland to Bhutan
Alternatively, you can travel from the US to Nepal then go overland to Bhutan. There are no direct flights from the United States to Nepal, and most connecting flights are via Qatar, Abu Dhabi, or Istanbul. After your arrival in Kathmandu, you have multiple choices of border crossing points into India. So please ensure you have an Indian Tourist Visa prior to your visit to Bhutan by land through Nepal. Among all the border crossing points to India, the town of Kakarbhitta in eastern Nepal is the easiest and most popular. Through this crossing, you will enter the town of Panitanki in West Bengal, where you can take a direct train to Hasimala, close to the Bhutan border town of Phuentsholing.
Bhutan Visa & Permit Application for Americans
Whether you are going to Bhutan by plane or by land from India to Bhutan, you must apply for a Bhutan visa/permit in advance. In addition, a U.S. passport within the validity period is also a necessary document.
To obtain a Bhutan visa, you must pre-book a tour through a travel agency because you cannot apply for it on your own. After booking Bhutan tours, your travel agency will use your color-scanned passport copy to apply for a Bhutan e-Visa clearance on behalf of you. The visa fee is US$40 per person. Bhutan e-Visa clearance can only be generated once you have made the full amount of the proposed trip including the Visa Fee. Before you travel to Bhutan, your travel agency will email you a copy of Bhutan e-Visa clearance and forward the same copy of Bhutan e-Visa clearance to Bhutan’s airlines - Druk Air, and Bhutan Airlines. And you must print a Bhutan e-Visa clearance before checking in at the Druk Air/Bhutan Airlines counter. Once you arrive at Paro International Airport or any land border, you will also need to show the Bhutan e-Visa clearance and your passport, so that the customs officers will process and stamp on your passport. Obtaining a visa stamp usually takes less than an hour, but during peak seasons, it may take longer.
Travel Cost from America to Bhutan
The Bhutanese government stipulates that for a group of three or more travelers, the minimum travel cost is USD 250 per person per night during the peak season (March to May and September to November) and USD 200 per person per night during the off-season(June to August and December to February). In particular, if you're a solo traveler, you have to pay an additional tax of USD 40 per person per night on the above basis. Two people need to pay an additional tax of USD 30 per person per night on the above basis.
However, Children under 3 are free. Children aged 3-5 only need to pay USD 20 visa fee and USD 30 per night. Children from 5 to 12 years old can enjoy a half-price of USD 100. Students under the age of 25 can get 25% off the daily fee with their student ID. For groups of 11 to 15 people, one person can enjoy half price, and for groups of 16+, one person can get free of charge.
The daily fee includes all accommodation, food (minus the alcohol), ground transportation(driver), entrance fees, private guide, trekking equipment if necessary, surcharge and internal taxes.
Viewing from the implementation over the past few decades, this high-cost policy has effectively maintained the natural and cultural environment of Bhutan.
Recommended Bhutan Travel Packages for USA Citizens
Since most of Bhutan's tourist highlights are concentrated in the west and central, the best recommended Bhutan travel packages for US citizens are 8 Days 7 Nights travel plan. Travelers can be able to explore the most iconic tourist attractions in Bhutan as well as Bumthang (Jakar), which is the most beautiful place in Bhutan. Actually, all tours to Bhutan from the USA depend upon how long you are planning for your vacation. If your time is limited, you may consider the 6 Dyas 5 Nights travel package, which will take you to discover Bhutan's history and enjoy the natural landscape. And of course, the Himalayas are also the most fascinating scenery for trekking in this mountain country.
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