Bhutan FAQ

1)      What is the best time of the year to Trek in Bhutan?

The best times to trek in Bhutan are in the month of April and in October. The weather is very unpredictable and the chance for a completely blue sky is very rare. Never the less, you can do the low altitude treks and other routes for other season as well.

2)      How fit do I have to be to do a trek in Bhutan?

Trekking in Bhutan requires you to be physical fir. It is not necessary for you to be in great shape. Any normal person without disability can do the trek with relative ease. A trekker gains approximately 500 meters in height in a day. For strenuous treks like Snow Man Trek, Jumolhari or Laya-Gasa Trek, you need to be mentally prepared besides being physical fit.

3)      What is a typical group size? Will I fit in?

There has to be at least two of you to embark of any of the trekking expedition in Bhutan.

4)      Do I need any special equipment?

No, you do not need any special equipment. All the necessary equipment for the trek is provided by the trekking company itself. Except you need to bring your personal belongings.

5)      What gear do I need to bring?

The following would be the things you should bring if you feel like it:

  • Strong comfortable trekking boots: water-resistant for the rainy periods, June to August.
  • Sunscreen cream.
  • Flash light.
  • Rain coat (especially for rainy periods; June to August)
  • Head gear/hat/cap; sun and rain protection.
  • Water pills – for extra precautions in purifying stream; (boiled water is provided at all times during the trek.
  • Aspirin – incase of altitude sickness.
  • Lots of socks.
  • Warm Clothes.
  • Personal: Strong normal clothing (according to season). Preferably cotton for summer, woolen clothing for the evenings and winter. Strong comfortable trekking boots: water resistant for the rainy periods – June to August.

6)      Is it safe to trek in Bhutan?

Yes, it is absolutely safe as your security and personal protection is taken care of by the trekking agency which is licensed by the Government of Bhutan. No, personal trekking or visit to the country is allowed without a package being booked by one. So once you have paid for your package, you are a protected person within the country from any bodily harm. You have a local with you at all times.

7)      Do I need travel insurance?

It is requested that you get yourself insured for trekking in Bhutan. The insurance should cover medical treatment, theft and rescue – Helicopter Rescue Operation:

There are no helicopters available in Bhutan. As such immediate rescue by helicopter is not possible as there will be so many formalities involved to bring a helicopter from India. While you are trekking in Bhutan and if you happen to fall sick the guide will relay the message to us and we will act appropriately.

8)      Do I need a visa to visit Bhutan?

Except for Indians, Bangladeshis and Maldivians, all other nationalities require a visa to enter Bhutan.

All visas are issued from Thimphu, and visas are only issued to tourists booked with a licensed local tour operator directly or through a foreign travel agent. Visas are issued only when you arrive in the country, either at Paro Airport or (if by road) at Phuentsholing, Gelephu or Samdrup Jongkhar.

To enable us to process your visa on time on your behalf, and get the visa clearance for you, your visa application must reach us at least 60 days before the date of your travel. The immigration department will then issue a visa authorization letter to enable you to board the Druk Air flight to Bhutan. The actual visa will be stamped on your passport when you arrive at the four entry points.

The visa fee is USD 40.

9)      How will my booking be processed?

For your booking to be processed, we will require a non-refundable deposit of $300 which can be made by bank transfer or online payment. The balance of payment should be made a week before your arrival. Booking should be made sixty days in advance for your visa to be approved by the immigration authorities of Bhutan.

10)   Besides the deposit, what other information do I need to forward?

The following information is needed to process your trekking package and visa to the country:

  • Full name as it appears on the passport
  • Passport number, expiry date and place of issue.
  • Nationality
  • Date of birth
  • Occupation
  • Emergency contact name and phone number
  • Passport photo copy
  • Details regarding any medical or dietary requirements
  • Your arrival details (time, date, flight no and airlines)

The above information can be sent electronically via email attachment

11)   How far do I trek each day?

You will typically walk 4 to 9 miles (5 to 8 hours) every day. Some days may be rest days for impromptu exploration. In high and steep areas, you may move more slowly. You will carry only a light pack. All the rest are carried by donkeys, mules and yaks.

12)   What is altitude sickness?

Altitude sickness, often known as Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) is a particularly important medical consideration while trekking in Bhutan. Altitude sickness means the effect of altitude on those who ascend too rapidly to elevations above 3000 meters. The initial symptoms of AMS are as follows:

  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Insomnia/ sleeplessness
  • Persistent headaches
  • Dizziness, light headedness, confusion
  • Disorientation, drunken gait
  • Weakness, fatigue, lassitude, heavy legs, slight swelling of hands and face.
  • Breathlessness and breathing irregularly
  • Reduced urine output

These symptoms are to be taken very seriously. In case of the appearance of any of the above symptoms, any further ascent should be reconsidered, otherwise more serious problems can occur which can cause death, sometimes within a few hours. The only cure for Altitude Sickness is to descend to lower elevation immediately. Acclimatization by ascending to no more than 300 to 500 meters per day above 3000 meters and the proper rest are the best methods for the prevention of AMS.

13)   What are normal meals like on treks?

You will have three meals each day plus snacks. Breakfast usually include a choice of toast, eggs, hot cereal and hot beverages. Lunch may be prepared hot or served as a picnic always with a choice of beverages. Dinner is a major meal with 5-5 main course usually including salad and/or soup, several vegetable dishes and a meat dish. There will be a fruit dessert and hot beverages. We gladly cater for vegetarians. We combine elements of Western and Asian cuisines.

14)   What are the camps like while trekking?

In a typical camping trek, each pair of trekkers will sleep in a spacious mountain tent, which is durable from rain, flies and fully insect netted. The tent is fitted with foam mattresses.

15)   What is your Kathmandu Contact address in case my family needs to contact me in case of emergency?

Please have them contact at any of the following numbers: