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May 17, 2024

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May 10, 2024

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International Travel


Learn About Your Destination


Kingdom of Bhutan
Exercise normal precautions in Bhutan.

 Reissued with updates to health information.

Exercise normal precautions in Bhutan.

Read the country information page for additional information on travel to Bhutan.

If you decide to travel to Bhutan:


Embassy Messages


No current Alerts.

Quick Facts


 Six months from date of arrival 


One page required for entry stamp






USD 10,000


USD 10,000

Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy New Delhi

Shantipath, Chanakyapuri
New Delhi - 110021
Telephone: +(91) (11) 2419-8000
Emergency Telephone: +(91) (11) 2419-8000
Fax: +(91) (11) 2419-8407

Destination Description

See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Bhutan for information on U.S.- Bhutan relations.

Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

The Government of Bhutan may require travelers to show a COVID-19 negative certificate to enter the country. Please visit the Government of Bhutan website for more information.

The Department of Tourism sets a 100 USD per person, per night fee for sustainable development. It is non-negotiable and applies to all visitors to Bhutan. Children aged 6 to 12 pay a discounted fee of 50 USD per person, per night. Children under age 6 do not have to pay the fee.

  • Your passport must be valid for at least six months following the date of your arrival to Bhutan.
  • All visitors, including those on U.S. government business, must get a Bhutanese visa to enter and leave Bhutan. It may take up to 5 days to process a correctly filed visa application, and you cannot buy airplane tickets to Bhutan without visa clearance.
  • You may apply for the visa on the Bhutanese Department of Immigration website. The visa fee is 40 USD. 
  • Bhutan no longer requires visitors to book travel to or within Bhutan through an accredited tour operator. But the Department of Tourism still recommends them for their expert knowledge and customer service. More information, including a list of authorized tour operators in Bhutan, can be found through this link on the official Bhutan travel website.

For the latest entry and exit rules, please contact the Bhutan Mission to the United Nations (Consulate General). It is at 343 East 43rd Street, New York, NY 10017. You can call at (212) 682-2268, or fax at (212) 661-0551. 

Dual Citizens: See our page on dual nationality for info on dual citizens traveling to Bhutan.

HIV/AIDS: Bhutan has entry restrictions for visitors and foreign residents with HIV/AIDS. For stays longer than two weeks, applicants must present the results of an HIV/AIDS test completed within the six months prior to their visit. Bhutanese officials can also administer the test upon arrival. Travelers should verify this information with the Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Bhutan to the United Nations

Customs: For information related to customs regulations, please read our Customs Information page.

Information about the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our website. 

Find information on dual nationality, prevention of international child abduction and customs regulations on our websites.

Safety and Security

Crime: There is relatively little crime in Bhutan. Take reasonable precautions when visiting major towns. This is especially true when going out at night.

  • Petty crime, like pick-pocketing and purse snatching, is occasionally reported. 
  • Burglaries, theft, robbery, stolen vehicles, and assault related to skin color, ethnic origin, and religion have increased in recent years.
  • Police report an increase in the number of arrests related to drug/alcohol abuse and marijuana. 
  • Police report an increase in the number of reported rape cases.
  • Tobacco sale is unlawful. Foreigners caught selling tobacco to Bhutanese can be charged with smuggling. Authorities will seize the tobacco and treat it as contraband.

Victims of Crime: U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault are encouraged to contact the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, India, for assistance.
Report crimes to the local police at 113 and contact the U.S. Embassy at +(91) (11) 2419-8000. Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crime.
See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

We can:

  • Help you find appropriate medical care
  • Assist you in reporting a crime to the police
  • Contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • Provide general information regarding the victim’s role during the local investigation and once it is complete
  • Provide a list of local attorneys
  • Provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
  • Provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States. Also, provide limited medical support for cases of destitution.
  • Help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
  • Replace a stolen or lost passport

Domestic Violence: If you are a U.S. citizen victim of domestic violence in Bhutan, you are encouraged to contact the Embassy in New Delhi, India for help.

Tourism: Tourism is not well regulated. Safety inspections for equipment and facilities are rare. Hazardous areas and activities are not always marked with proper signs. Staff may lack training or certification from the host government or recognized experts. In the event of an injury, appropriate medical treatment is typically available only in/near major cities. First responders can't usually access areas outside of major cities. They also can't provide urgent medical care.  

U.S. citizens are encouraged to buy medical evacuation insurance. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage

Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. You may face expulsion, arrest, or imprisonment if you violate local laws, even unknowingly. Penalties for having, using, or selling illegal drugs in Bhutan are severe. They include long jail sentences and heavy fines, or death. You may be taken in for questioning if you do not have your passport with you or if you take pictures of certain buildings. People starting a business or practicing a regulated profession should seek information from local authorities. They should do this before practicing or operating.

Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the United States, regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to tell the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, India, right away. See our webpage for further information.

Faith-Based Travelers: See the following webpages for details:

LGBTQI+ Travelers: The constitution provides for equal protection and application of rights but neither the constitution nor legislation explicitly protects individuals from discrimination based on their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or sex characteristics. Members of the LGBTQI+ community reported instances of discrimination and social stigma based on sexual orientation. See our LGBTQI+ Travel Information page and section 6 of our Human Rights report for further details.

Travelers with Disabilities: The law in Bhutan does not specifically prohibit discrimination against persons with disabilities. Social acceptance of persons with disabilities in public is not as prevalent as in the United States. Expect accessibility to be limited in public transportation, lodging, communication/information, and general infrastructure.

Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers: If you are a woman traveling abroad, please see our travel tips for Women Travelers.

Currency Issues: Visitors are advised to carry cash. Although credit cards are becoming more widely accepted in Bhutan, many hotels and shops often experience system outages and cannot accept credit cards.

Indian rupees are usually accepted for purchases in Bhutan, although most shopkeepers and businesses may not accept Indian rupees in denominations above 100. A limited number of ATMs are available in Bhutan’s main cities.

Customs: Bhutanese customs authorities enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation into or export from Bhutan of items such as firearms, ammunition, explosives and military supplies; narcotics and drugs (except medically prescribed drugs); tobacco products; wildlife products, especially those of endangered species; and antiques.

It is advisable to contact the Bhutan Mission to the United Nations (Consulate General), 343 East 43rd Street, New York, NY 10017, telephone (212) 682-2268, fax (212) 661-0551, for specific information regarding customs requirements. Please see our Customs Information page.


The Government of Bhutan may require travelers entering the country to produce a COVID-19 negative certificate. Please visit the Government of Bhutan website for more information.

For emergency services in Bhutan, dial 113.

Ambulance services are not present throughout the country or are unreliable in most areas except the capital city, Thimphu.

Injured or seriously ill travelers may prefer to take a taxi or private vehicle to the nearest major hospital rather than wait for an ambulance.

We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare/Medicaid does not apply overseas. Most hospitals and doctors overseas do not accept U.S. health insurance.

Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage. Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more information on type of insurance you should consider before you travel overseas.

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.

Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription. Check with the Bhutan Ministry of Health to ensure the medication is legal in Bhutan.

Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Government of Bhutan recommends that visitors obtain tetanus, typhoid, and hepatitis A inoculations before traveling to Bhutan. Hepatitis B, Japanese Encephalitis, and rabies vaccines are recommended for prolonged stays for people at risk. The influenza vaccine is also recommended.

Further health information:

The Royal Insurance Corporation of Bhutan has initiated a travel and medical plan solely for visitors to Bhutan. When booking your trip, you should get detailed information about the insurance plan from your travel agents in Bhutan.

Air Quality: Visit AirNow Department of State for information on air quality at U.S. Embassies and Consulates.

The U.S. Embassy does not maintain a list of doctors and hospitals in Bhutan. We do not endorse or recommend any specific medical provider or clinic.

Health facilities in general:

  • Health facilities are in populated areas in Bhutan such as Thimphu and Paro. But health care in rural areas is below U.S. standards or unavailable. Medical care is not up to Western standards throughout the country. For serious conditions, hospital facilities in Bhutan should only be used for stabilization prior to transfer to an evacuation site such as Singapore or Bangkok.
  • U.S. citizens in need of urgent medical care should try to get to the Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital in the capital city, Thimphu. For emergency services in Thimphu, dial 113 for police or 112 for ambulance.
  • Public medical clinics lack basic resources and supplies.
  • Hospitals and doctors often need payment “up front” before service or admission. Credit card payment is not always available. Most hospitals and medical professionals need cash payment.
  • Travelers should make efforts to get complete information on billing, pricing, and proposed medical procedures before agreeing to any medical care.
  • Be aware that some hotels or resorts have exclusive agreements with medical providers. These agreements may limit your choices in seeking emergency care.
  • Medical staff may speak little or no English.
  • Generally, only a few staff are available overnight in non-emergency wards of public hospitals. Consider hiring a private nurse. Or, have family spend the night with the patient. This is especially important for a minor child.
  • Patients pay all the costs for going to a hospital or moving between them.
  • Even in big cities, there is a limited availability of psychological and psychiatric services. Hospital care of this type is only available through the government.


  • Exercise caution when purchasing medication overseas. Pharmaceuticals, both over the counter and requiring prescription in the United States, are often available for sale with little controls. Counterfeit medication is common. It may not work. It may be the wrong strength. Or, it may have dangerous ingredients. Consult with a medical professional and buy medication from reputable establishments.
  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Food and Drug Administration are responsible for rules governing the transport of medication back to the United States. Medication purchased abroad must meet their requirements to be legally brought back into the United States. Medication should be for personal use and must be approved for usage in the United States. Please visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Food and Drug Administration websites for more information.

Water Quality: In many areas, tap water is not potable. Bottled water and drinks are generally safe. But many restaurants and hotels serve tap water unless you ask for bottled water. Be aware that ice for drinks may be made using tap water.

Altitude: Many parts of Bhutan are at high altitude. Visitors planning to trek in Bhutan should pay special attention to the risk of altitude illness. Altitude sickness is a risk above 8,000 feet. Travelers to that height should ask a health care provider 4 to 6 weeks before their trip.

Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information about Travel to High Altitudes.

Adventure Travel:

  • Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information about adventure travel.
  • We strongly encourage you to make sure your medical insurance covers evacuations. They can be very expensive.
  • Treks in Bhutan can take visitors days or weeks away from the nearest medical facility. Limited helicopter evacuation from remote areas in Bhutan is available at the U.S. citizen’s expense.

General Health Language

  • All travelers should use the CDC-recommended mosquito repellents, even on short stays. Also, sleep under nets with insecticide. 
  • Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information about Resources for Travelers about specific issues in Bhutan.

Travel and Transportation

Roads outside cities are in poor condition. Emergency services are generally unavailable. The terrain is mountainous. Roads have steep drop-offs and blind curves.

During heavy rains, falling rocks and landslides can block roads.
Please refer to the Tourism Council for Bhutan, Bhutan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs and our road safety page for more information.

Aviation Safety Oversight:

  • No Bhutanese carriers offer commercial air service from Bhutan to the United States. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed Bhutan's Civil Aviation Authority. They have not assessed it for compliance with the safety standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). You can find further information on the FAA’s Safety Assessment Page.
  • Flights into and out of Paro Airport are restricted to daylight hours. They depend on the weather.
  • Weather can delay or cancel flights. This is especially true in the monsoon season from May to September.
  • Passengers should allow at least 24 hours for connecting flights to and from Paro Airport. They should use non-restricted air tickets. That way, the airline can rebook them on the first available flight if they miss a connection.
  • Passengers transiting through India will need a transit visa if they intend to leave the airport or spend a night in India.

For additional travel information

International Parental Child Abduction

For additional IPCA-related information, please see the International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act (ICAPRA) report.

Last Updated: May 20, 2024

Travel Advisory Levels

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy New Delhi
Shantipath, Chanakyapuri
New Delhi - 110021
+(91) (11) 2419-8000
+(91) (11) 2419-8000
+(91) (11) 2419-8407

Bhutan Map