This Sikkim and Darjeeling tour takes you on an extraordinary journey to a mystical wonderland of spectacular natural beauty. The panorama of the snow-capped Himalayas is stunning. The heavy scent of flower-bedecked meadows, the vibrant culture and joyous festivals and the infinite variety of its flora and fauna make a visit to Sikkim both fascinating and challenging.
Sikkim shares its borders with Nepal in the west and Bhutan in the east, and the Tibetan plateau rises on its northern border. Sikkim used to be a Himalayan monarchy and part of the famous Silk Route towards China. In 1975, Sikkim became part of India and opened its borders to the outside world. Now you can discover the incredible beauty and treasures of this unknown land.
Although Sikkim is a small state, it has a lot to offer. It has the steepest rise in altitude over a short distance and covers within its 7,096 square km the entire climatic range; from the tropical to the alpine, bestowing on the land an exceptional natural heritage. Sikkim has two main rivers, the Teesta and the Rangeet, and a lot of picturesque villages, hot springs, and waterfalls.
Darjeeling, once a lovely Victorian town built between the Himalayan foothills, is famous for its tea plantations. The remnants of the original town are still visible around the Chowrasta. The main attractions are the cultural diversity, the beautiful sceneries and a wide variety of trekking options. From Darjeeling, you have an extraordinary view of mighty Mount Everest.
Join us on this 10-day ‘Sikkim and Darjeeling Tour’ and enjoy an incredible journey all the way from Sikkim to Darjeeling.
Day 1: Bagdogra – Gangtok
- Upon arrival, you meet our representative and drive to Gangtok, Sikkim’s capital town.
- You check in at your hotel, refresh and spend the evening as you prefer.
Day 2: Gangtok
- After breakfast, you leave for the Rumtek monastery, which belongs to the Kagyu sect of Buddism. The Rumtek monastery is said to be the replica of Tshurpu monastery in Tibet and was founded as the official seat in exile to His Holiness the Karmapa, head of the Kagyu lineage.
- You return to Gangtok and visit the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, the only museum of its kind in the whole of India. Lunch is served at the hotel.
- After lunch and a brief rest, you visit the Handloom and Handicraft center and the Enchey monastery, one of Sikkim’s oldest monasteries.
- You spend another night in Gangtok.
Day 3: excursion Tshom-Go Lake
- The Tshom-Go Lake is situated at an altitude of 3,780 m ASL in the alpine zone and is considered a sacred lake.
- A couple of hours return journey to Gangtok gives you a chance to admire the hills and valleys in the distance.
- Overnight stay is in Gangtok.
Day 4: Gangtok – Ravangla – Selep
- Today, you start your journey from Gangtok to Singtam, crossing the Teesta River and entering the south of Sikkim. You reach the famous 100% organic Temi Tea Garden, offering you stunning scenic views of the valley and the mountains.
- You have a break at the cafeteria for a sip of tea or coffee and some light snacks. After your break, you continue your journey to Ravangla to see the “Tatha-Gatha Tsal”, or the Buddha Park, home to the beautiful giant statue of Sakyamuni Buddha. The 40-meter high statue is the centerpiece of Tatha-Gatha Tsal. You drive further to Selep.
- Dinner and overnight stay are at a homestay in Selep.
Day 5: Village excursion
- After breakfast, you are going for a walk in the village to see and experience the local people’s well-preserved traditions and culture.
- The next highlight of the day is a visit to the Dorling Monastery and the Bon Monastery. It is a beautiful walk, through villages and forest area, offering an excellent opportunity to spot some rare bird species.
- Overnight stay is in Selep.
Day 6: Selep to Pelling
- In the morning, you drive to the western part of the state of Sikkim, close to the world’s 3rd highest mountain, Mount Khangchendzonga. In Pelling, you get the nearest view accessible by car.
- You check in at the hotel and have lunch. After a rest, you go on a 1-hour hike to the Sanga-Choeling Monastery, located on a hilltop. From the monastery, you have a magnificent view on the villages below and the hills and valleys at a distance.
- You return to your hotel in the late evening.
Day 7: Sightseeing
- Our day starts with a visit to the sacred Khechupalri Lake, located in the middle of a forest and believed to be a wish-fulfilling lake.
- Later on, you travel to Yuksum, Sikkim’s first capital. Here you can see the stone throne where the first king of Sikkim was coronated in 1641-42 A.D. Yuksum is the departure point for the famous Dzongri-Goechala trek.
- You return to your hotel in the late afternoon. The rest of the day is free for leisure.
Day 8: Pelling-Darjeeling
- Today is your last day in Sikkim, as you travel to Darjeeling. You drive along the Rangeet River until you reach the border town of Melli.
- From Melli, you drive along the Teesta River through beautiful tea gardens until you reach India’s highest and oldest railway station at an altitude of approximately 2,200 m ASL. This still-running station was built in 1890 and is declared UNESCO world heritage.
- By the end of the day, you reach the hotel where you can check in, refresh and relax.
Day 9: SIGHTSEEING
- The Tiger Hill, located at about 2600 meters, is a place from where we can have a magnificent sunrise view over the Mount Everest, Mount Khanchendzonga and Mount Makalu, the giants of the Himalaya. As we witness the incredible view from the hilltop of Darjeeling, you will understand why this is called “the Queen of the Hills “. We spend most of the morning here mesmerizing the view and slowly head back to the town to visit the Dali Gumpa (Gelug sect monastery). The breakfast is served at the hotel, and we take an hour rest. The rest of the day we visit the Padma-Jha Naidu Zoological Garden and the famous HMI(Himalayan Mountaineering Institute) founded by Lt.Tenzing Norgay (first man to summit Mt.Everest with Sir E.Hillary). The museum at HMI is a place where you can learn many things about the Himalaya, the mountaineering skills, and techniques. In the afternoon, you are free to stroll around the famous Chow-rasta(Mall) to collect some souvenirs’ from the hills.
Day 10: BAGDOGRA
- Today we drive back to Bagdogra, where we say goodbye, as this is the end of an incredible trip.
- Accommodation on a twin/triple Sharing Basis.
- Meal Plan CP (Bed and Breakfast only) or MAP (Bed, Breakfast, and dinner only) Basis as described at the costing sheet.
- No charges fo children below the age of 5. Children between 5 and 10 years old get 50% discount.
- Transport: Vehicles are only used for transport as described in the itinerary (point to point basis).
- All sightseeing and excursions, as mentioned in the itinerary
- Parking fees at the attractions.
- Our Luxury Vehicles (Innova/Xylo/Scorpio or similar) will only transport a maximum of 6 passengers.
- One professional English speaking guide. Provided from the pickup at the airport till the end of the tour at Bagdogra airport.
- All taxes and services taxes.
- Insurance. We firmly advise taking a travel insurance. Nature can be unpredictive in this mountainous area.
- Airport tax & Porter
- Flight ticket / Train ticket.
- Personal Expenses such as laundry, telephone calls tips & gratuity.
- Mineral water, soft & alcoholic drinks, etc
- Additional adventurous activities like rafting, rock climbing, paragliding, etc
- Additional sightseeing or extra usage of the vehicle, other than mentioned in the itinerary.
- Entrance Fees & Camera charges.
- Any cost arising due to natural calamities like landslides, road blockage, political disturbances (strikes), etc. (extra costs will be charged to the client and has to be paid on the spot).
- Charges for Room Heater
- Anything not specified in the inclusive list.
What to bring:
If you have any question about this tour, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Things not to do
Avoid taking pictures of people without permission. Always ask for permission.
Visa and entry formalities
Besides a visa for India, foreigners must obtain an Inner Line Permit (ILP) to visit Sikkim (free permit). The 30 days permit, is issued on the spot when you provide photocopies of your passport and visa along with two passport photos. The permission can be extended for another 30 days. The ILP permit is issued at the border, and our guides will do it for you.
Best time to visit
Sikkim has two main seasons:
- From the end of February till the end of May
- From the end of September till the end of December
Rainy season is June, July, August and half of September. It is better to avoid these months.
For trekking, the best period is November till May. To see the beautiful flowers at the Yumthang valley (which is called the valley of flowers) and the rhododendron sanctuary, March till May is the best time for a visit.
Looking forward meeting you on our Sikkim and Darjeeling tour.