Tour Companies To Choose From When You Finally Decide To Go To Bhutan

Tour Companies To Choose From When You Finally Decide To Go To Bhutan
| 4 min read

The impression that Bhutan is a mysterious, unreachable bastion of a lost world isn’t actually far from the truth, even today when they’ve opened their doors to tourism. To plan your trip to Bhutan is to understand that their brand of tourism is a highly regulated activity. Unlike the rest of the world who welcome outside economy, Bhutan’s tourism industry adheres to the belief of high value and low impact. They let outsiders in only after paying for a visa and a regulated daily tourist tariff of 200 USD in low season and 250 USD in high season.

So, what does this mean? This means that it is just as expensive to go to Bhutan than it is to go to Europe, at least for Asian travelers. But in a sense, a substantial percentage is actually for a good cause - and that is to preserve the balance between cultural preservation and globalization. The daily tariff or the minimum daily package, other than covering your hotel, meals and tour guide, will also cover a royalty of 65 USD. The royalty will cover the government’s poverty alleviation programs, as well as free healthcare and free education for its citizens.

As you’ll notice, Bhutan is not the type of place for do-it-yourself travel. You’ll have to pass through a tour operator or company that has been accredited by Bhutan’s Tourism Council. If you’re finally ready to take that trip to Bhutan, here are a couple of companies from the Council’s accredited list curated based on the type of experience you want:

For those who want lu-lu-luxury

1. Amulet Bhutan Tours

“At Amulet we believe that on our Bhutan Tours, the journey and level of service is ultimately as important as the destination,” so says the introduction on their website. This tour company specializes in luxury tours and treks. Their trek itineraries are as short as 4 days or can be up to 14 days. They only use quality luxury vehicles with trained chauffeurs and the exclusive use of luxury hotels and resorts, such as the Uma resort in Paro and Punakha and the Taj Tashi. You’ll also get to try Bhutanese cuisine at superior restaurants with the most experienced of personal guides.

Amulet Bhutan Tours

Address: Room # 10, Rabten Khangzang, Changedaphu, Thimphu-11001

Contact: +975 1711 8777

Website: Amulet Bhutan Tours

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For those who want adventure

2. Bhutan Travel Adventures

This company promises “an adventure before it changes.” By that, they must mean that they promise their guests the rustic, rugged part of Bhutan. This tour company has tours that cover the whole of Bhutan - from its Western and Central to its Eastern side. They also offer biking and private day trips to the Tiger’s Nest Monastery, Punakha Dzong, Cherry Monastery, Kungkarpo and Bumdra. What they most specialize in though are their trekking tours, which balance just the right amount of ruggedness and comfort from Bhutan’s snowy peaks to its river valleys. They will take you to meet the nomadic and semi-nomadic tribes.

Trekking in Bhutan is not easy in itself. Because of the altitude changes, your body will be adjusting throughout the trek. That’s why this tour outfit has made it just a bit comfortable for their guests. Trekkers are accompanied by a chef, a skilled guide and pack animals that will carry your items for you. There are several trails to choose from such as the Druk Path, Jumolhari, Yaksa, Merak, and Sakten.

Bhutan Travel Adventures

Address: Druk Tshering Jong Building, Room No. OF3, 3rd floor Chang Lam Road, Thimphu : Kingdom of Bhutan.

Contact: Phone 00975 2 336696 |Fax 00975 2 336687

Website: Bhutan Travel Adventures

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For those who want to join a festival or tshechu

3. Bhutan Travel Bureau

Dance of the Lord of Death (Paro, Bhutan)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Jean-Marie Hullot used under CC BY-SA 2.0

This tour company has spent over 25 years taking people through the culture of Bhutan. The Travel Bureau specializes in cultural and festival tours, taking you to some of the biggest tshechus or religious celebrations in Bhutan. A tshechu is a big celebration drawing thousands of people with music, dances, drama and sacred rituals. Every place has their own tshechu, however as they follow the Tibetan calendar, they don’t really have a fixed date or month every year.

This is where Bhutan Travel Bureau can come in. The Bureau has a full range of services from ticketing down to customizing your tours. Their festival tours vary from as short as 7 days to as long as 14 days. The Thimpu Festival is one of the most popular festivals in Bhutan and is also one of the most popular tours for Bhutan Travel Bureau. Not only will you immerse in the tshechu, you will also supplement your trip by understanding the Buddhist culture by visiting some of their most sacred monasteries and temples.

Bhutan Travel Bureau

Address: Thimpu, Bhutan

Contact: +975 2 321 749

Website: Bhutan Travel Bureau

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For those who thrive on art and architecture

4. Bhutan Tharchen Tours and Adventures

Taktshang edit
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Douglas J. McLaug... used under CC BY 2.5

Different strokes for different folks, so they say. For those who are particularly interested in Bhutan’s unique art and architecture, you’ll find that there’s a tour company that curates the dzongs, monasteries, temples, chortens, palaces and houses in Bhutan based on their architectural significance. What may be true to all these architectures is that they are made by wood and craftsmen who are experts in wood joinery, which means they only use wood to strengthen the structure, instead of nails or iron bars.

At the same time, Bhutan also preserves and practices thirteen arts and crafts known as zorig chusum. The thirteen crafts are painting, paper making, weaving, sculpting, carpentry, woodcarving, embroidery, calligraphy, casting, goldsmithing, bamboo or cane weaving, masonry and blacksmithing. You’ll see that in all of these, the Bhutanese harness their spiritual Buddhist belief and apply it to their craft through a statue, an ornament, a painting, or embroidery. This is part of the special tour category of this company.

Bhutan Tharchen Tours and Adventures

Address: Main Town, Opposite to Thimphu Thromde

Contact: 17854908 / 17789900

Website: Bhutan Tharchen Tours and Adventures

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Going to the land of the thunder dragon

Once you’ve chosen a tour operator, he will calculate just how much you’ll be spending on the tour package you’ve chosen plus any customization added along the way. There is a one-time Visa Fee of 40 USD included in the calculation. Whether you’re interested in adventure, luxury, festival and culture, or art and architecture, you can be sure that the Land of the Thunder Dragon will not disappoint.

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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Johanna Michelle Lim is a brand strategist, creative director, and travel writer based in Cebu City, Philippines. She swims in jellyfish-infested oceans, treks through mountains, rides rickety...Read more

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