Do I need a guide or a route permit to travel around Bhutan?

A local guide will help you see the best that the country has to offer and will ensure your safety when exploring unfamiliar terrain and altitude. It is mandatory to be accompanied by a guide for any journey or any trek beyond Thimphu and Paro. Guides are also mandatory for visitors who enter Bhutan via our land borders and plan to travel beyond the border towns.

Guests no longer require a Route permit to travel around the country, so long as they are accompanied by a guide certified by the Department of Tourism. Please contact our hosts for the Department of Tourism’s list of approved tourism services.

While guides aren’t necessary for all experiences, such as dining out and shopping, we strongly recommend that guides accompany visitors for experiences such as visiting temples and local places of interest. It is mandatory to have a guide when visiting monuments such as dzongs, for instance.

If you are following an itinerary or taking part in a trip organised by your hotel, you will not need to book a guide as one will be arranged by the hotel.

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