Trip difficulty, road and transport
Anyone with regular health condition can sign up for this trip, as this is largely a motor vehicle based tour with some optional hikes. You attain the highest altitude of Youtongla pass (3425m/11234 ft) where you have a brief stop only and as our accommodations are in lower altitude. Altitude sickness is not a concern. There are some steep hiking excursions as well but they can be skipped if you don’t want to. Traveling from one city to another requires 3-6 hours driving; and some parts of the road may be under paved or damaged due to monsoon erosion. Roads are often carved into hills and follow rivers. If you are traveling during monsoon, there can be temporary blockade due to monsoon.
We travel in a Mini Van and Japanese coaster buses, depending on the group size. Drivers are skilled and know the Bhutan roadways. Driver may speak little or no English. The guide and driver are not the same person. Chances of tires going flat or mechanical breakdowns cannot be declined due to weather and road conditions but our drivers are capable of taking the situation under control. We just need your cooperation and flexibility, when something unexpected happens during the tour.
In Bhutan, majority of the hotels are 3 stars (by local standard), which are small properties with 20-30 rooms. They are built in traditional Bhutanese architecture. You will have en suite bathroom with running hot and cold water. The hotels exhibit Bhutanese decor and are generally comfortable. Most of the hotels provide free Wi-Fi and some may charge nominal fee. The lobbies and receptions are cozy. They are staffed with friendly locals. We do not expect our hotel to have a gift shop for "sundry" items. Major Cities like Paro, Thimphu and Punakha have some up market properties, which can be booked on additional cost.
Our tour features 3 meals a day and we expect to eat most meals at our hotel. In Bhutan, meals are usually served in a buffet that includes rice, vegetables, noodles, breads etc. We will arrange some meals out in local restaurants. Caution: traditional Bhutanese food always features chilies and the most popular dish is "ema datse" which is made with large, green hot chilies in a cheese sauce.
Our guides are college educated locals, proficient in English and trained and licensed by local tourism authorities. Most importantly they are friendly and committed to deliver the best services.
International and in-tour airfares
Airfares are not included. You need to buy your return international airfare from your home country to Bangkok (or Kathmandu or Delhi or Kolkatta). Unless you are traveling to India or Nepal first, most popular gateway to Bhutan is Bangkok as there are daily 2 flights from here. We will book your return airfare from Bangkok to Bhutan and invoice you separately. Please, allow a night stay in the gateway city before and after your trip to Bhutan. We are also here to help you book your international airfare on your request.
Passport and Visa
Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the last day of your trip and there must be minimum 2 blank visa pages for the visa sticker, entry and exit seals. We apply the Bhutan visa in advance for you and we will email you the approval 3 to 4 weeks prior the trip. Your passport gets actual visa seal upon arrival at the Paro airport. If you are traveling via Indian cities, you need to obtain Indian visa before your travel begins. If you are traveling via Kathmandu, Nepal, you can obtain Nepal visa upon arrival.
Travel Agent Eligibility
You must be an active and full time travel agent with IATA/CLIA/TRUE Code certified. You are allowed to bring one companion with you who could be your friend or family or a client.
The trip is guaranteed with minimum 4 participants. There will be maximum 16 participants on the trip.
Booking deadline is 30 June 2017 but there is chance that the trip will be full before that. Please, book in time to secure your place.
However, there is chance that the trip will be full before the official deadline or we lose seats on the airplane. There is only one airline flying into Bhutan and they operate with ATR with 48 passengers and A319 with 100 passengers capacity and so get filled up very early in the year. So, please, do not wait until the last moment.
Booking deposit and payment schedule.
When you are sure you are going on this trip, it will be wise to put your reservation in line as early as possible as Bhutan Air reservation is quite a tricky matter. Druk Air and Bhutan Airlines are the only airlines flying into and out of Bhutan and operates with A 319 craft with capacity about 100 passengers and gets filled up quickly. Paro-the only airport of Bhutan is connected with Bangkok, Delhi, Kolkatta and Kathmandu and have limited operations. For flight schedules and more information, please visit Druk Air Website. A deposit of US$ 300 on land plus the cost of internal airfares is requested along with booking application and passport photocopies. Balance payment is due 90 days prior departure. Balance payment by credit card attracts additional 3.5% fee.
Cancellation and refund
Notice of cancellation and refund request must be received in written form. Cancellation fee structure has been listed below:
180 days prior departure: No penalty.
90 days prior departure: US$ 150 (Administrative Fee)
60-89 day's prior departure: US$ 300 or 25% of the land cost whichever is higher.
45 days to 59 days prior departure: US$ 450 or 50% of the land cost whichever is higher.
30 days to 44 days prior departure: US$ 600 or 75% of the land cost whichever is higher.
Less than 30 days: 100%
Airfare cancellation fee will be as per respective airlines policy. Some hotels may ask a non refundable deposit which will be communicated to you accordingly.
While Far & High Adventure Travel does the best to ensure that your trip goes as smoothly as planned, there is always a chance of unforeseen events and conditions such as illness, accident, inclement weather, flight cancellation, missed connection, or loss of baggage etc. which may cause interruption, delay or total cancellation of your trip putting your hard earned travel investment in jeopardy. It’s also possible that you may need medical assistance, emergency evacuation or medical transportation when you get ill or involve in an accident when you are traveling in remote areas. Far & High's trip cost does not cover any of these expenses or losses and so we strongly recommend you that you should protect yourself and your travel investment against those unfavorable conditions.