Bhutan strongly believes in a sustainable approach towards tourism, in line with the philosophy of Gross National Happiness. This does not mean that there is a limit to tourist visas but rather, tourists have to buy a minimum daily package in order to get a visa to travel Bhutan. Visitors famously pay a minimum tariff of US$250 per person per day during Spring (March, April and May) and Autumn (September, October and November) and US$200 per person per day during Winter (December, January and February) and Summer (June, July and August), making it appear as one of the world’s more expensive destinations. You don’t have to travel in a large group either and you can arrange your own itinerary. What you won’t find is backpacker-style travel in Bhutan. The minimum daily package tariff is not applicable for travelers from India, Bangladesh and Maldives.
If you too believe in Bhutan’s development philosophy of Gross National Happiness and you are happy to buy a minimum daily package to Bhutan. Bhutan is an excellent destination for solo travelers. In fact, if traveling solo is something you like, it is better to travel Bhutan as a solo or a couple (or a group of two), than to travel in a bigger group. You will get a comfortable tour vehicle (a four wheel drive SUV) all for yourself and undivided attention from your travel guide; you cannot travel Bhutan without a guide. Moreover, you do not have travel in a bus or have to depend on other people’s mood on what to do or where to eat? As solo traveler you do not have to share a room as well. The only disadvantage is that it is a little more expensive to travel Bhutan in a group of less than three.
Tourists travelling in a group of two (2) persons or less are subject to a surcharge of US$ 40 per night for solo travelers and US$ 30 per person per night for group of two only. So the minimum daily tariff for a solo traveler will be US$ 290 per day during Spring and Autumn and US$ 240 per day during Winter and Summer.
However, this fee is all-inclusive – accommodation (three star hotels), food, transport, certified local guide and monument and museum fees are all included. You can also choose a hotel of your choice and kind of food you prefer.
Is Bhutan Safe For Solo Female Travelers?
As long as giant penises painted on Bhutanese homes do not destroy you, it is very safe for solo female travelers to explore Bhutan. Even multi day treks through Bhutan’s raw nature and wilderness is safe for solo female travelers. Your guide will make sure that nothing happens to you as long as you stick to the trail and don’t go wandering alone in the wild. You can also choose to opt for a female guide, not just cultural but trekking guide as well.
If you are trekking in Bhutan, you will be accompanied by a trekking crew consisting of a trekking guide, a cook and his assistant, two to three horsemen and several horses.
If you happen to be going out to check out some nightlife, I recommend you take your guide along and also check if the establishment is tourist friendly. Guides and drivers do not indulge in alcohol while on duty and I have met many solo travelers hang out with their guides at bars in Thimphu and Paro. I also know of several small and medium travel company owners who like to take their guest out for a drink or two. Having said that, be mindful of cultural differences