The Sikkim villages tour offers you the opportunity to discover the unique culture, traditions, and lifestyle of this remote mountainous region. Landlocked between China, Bhutan and Nepal, Sikkim is the perfect retreat for those want to escape a hectic western lifestyle.
On this tour, you spend the night in homestays, enabling you to experience the authentic local way of life. You also visit amazing monasteries and charming village markets. We promise you an amazing adventure and many spectacular views!
Day 1: Bagdogra – Chakung Chumbung
Upon arrival, you meet our representative, and after a brief introduction, you drive to Chakung Chumbung, a typical ethnic village mostly inhabited by the Rai community. This community is one of the ethnic groups of the Nepali community in Sikkim.
You spend the night in a homestay.
Day 2: Village excursion
Today you explore Chakung Chumbung and experience their lifestyle, culture, and traditions. You can also admire mesmerizing views of Mount Khangchendzonga and the valleys of Darjeeling from the Durbin Dara hilltop. Below you can see the Rangeet River and the town of Jorethang. Durbin Dara hilltop is also a take-off point for paragliders during the Maghey Mela festival, held at Jorethang every January.
You return to Chakung Chumbung and spend the night in the homestay.
Day 3: Chakung Chumbung – Kaluk/Richenpong
After a late breakfast, you drive to your next destination, Kaluk/Rinchenpong. Kaluk/Rinchenpong is a rather large settlement compared to Chakung Chumbung and offers one of the best views of Mount Khangchendzonga and its adjacent peaks. You can stroll around town and visit the Gurung monastery and the nearby Rabindranath Tagore Smriti ban.
The rest of the day is free for leisure. You spend the night in a homestay.
Day 4: Excursion
Today you go on an early 40-minute hike to the Resum monastery for a magnificent sunrise view over the mountains. The yellowish-orange colored sky gives you a warm welcome as the sun slowly rises over mighty Khangchendzonga. The mountain always changes color when the sun climbs from behind. This magnificent view is something you will remember for the rest of your life.
After spending some time at the monastery, you return to the homestay for a typical breakfast.
Next, you hike through a rich oak forest to the top from where you can admire the beautiful landscapes downhill and the mountain ranges straight ahead. This place, “Rami-dham”, is a traditional place for worship.
Return hike passing the villages to your homestay.
Day 5: Kaluk/Richenpong – Martam
Today you hike through the village of Jau-bari, an authentic Gurung community village, and through the scenic and beautiful Maney Dara. The rich forest and the cardamom plantation is something wonderful to see and experience. You get to enjoy views of the Himalayan mountains until you reach Martam.
Overnight stay in a typical homestay.
Day 6: Utturay
After breakfast, you drive to the last settlement before the international border of India and Nepal; Utturay. On the way, you stop at the Alpine cheese factory (once the Indo-Swiss Venture) operated by the Amul India and producing a world-class Gouda cheese. Another 20 to 25-minute drive takes you to the famous Singshore bridge, Asia’s 2nd highest gorge bridge. After another 30 to 40-minute drive up the hill, you reach Uttaray.
Check-in at the homestay, where a traditional lunch is served.
After a rest, you go on a village walk to visit the monastery and Mang-Khim on the hilltop.
Day 7: Darap
Today you visit Darap, a village on the opposite hillside. To get there, you cross the river and pass the beautiful 50-meter high Changey waterfalls. Another 40 minutes from here, past the small hamlet of Pelling, you reach the oldest and most important monastery belonging to the Buddhist Nyingma sect, the Pemayangtse monastery. This famous monastery was built in the year 1705 A.D. and offers beautiful wall paintings and a large collection of old and rare Tibetan antique pieces. At the monastery, you can also see the beautiful Lt. Ven.Dungzin Rimpoche, the “Zandok-Palri” or the celestial palace of Guru Rimpoche or Guru Padmashambhav.
After a 10-minute drive and a 30-minute walk along an exciting jungle trail, you reach the hilltop. Here, you can see the Rabdentse palace ruins, the 2nd capital of the Sikkim kingdom, shifted from Yuksum in the 1670 A.D. From the hilltop, you have a magnificent view over the valleys and the mountains.
Return to the homestay in Darap.
Day 8: Darap – Yuksum
The holy Khechupalri Lake is situated in the middle of the jungle and worshiped by both Hindu and Buddhist people. Therefore, it is one of Sikkim’s pilgrimage sites. It is also believed to be a wish-fulfilling lake.
After spending some time at the lake, you drive to Yuksum, with a stop at the Khangchendzonga waterfalls. Another 30-minute drive takes you to Yuksum, Sikkim’s 1st capital.
The rest of the day is free for leisure; you can stroll around the small market area with some shops and restaurants.
Day 9: excursion
Yuksum used to be the capital of the Sikkim kingdom and is now a famous hub for the adventure lovers. They see Yuksum as the perfect departure point for the Dzongri-Goechala trekking. You start your day with a 1-hour drive to the Tashiding monastery, famous for the Bumchu festival. At this festival, holy water in an ancient metal vase is distributed amongst a large number of pilgrims and devotees. On your way back, you stop at the pretty Phamrong waterfall.
After lunch, you drive to the oldest monastery in Sikkim, Dubdi, located high on top of a hill. On the way back to Yuksum, you visit the Norbu-Ghang coronation throne, the place where the first Sikkim king was coronated. The actual place where the coronation took place, is marked with the original stone throne and a footprint on a rock. The footprint is said to belong to one of the three first monks in Yuksum.
You also visit Karthok Lake, a small but beautiful lake in Yuksum.
Day 10: Bagdogra
Today you drive back to Bagdogra, where we say goodbye as this is the end of your tour.
Accommodation on a twin/triple sharing basis
Meal plan CP (bed and breakfast) or MAP (bed, breakfast and dinner)
No charges for children below the age of 5. Children between 5 and 10 years old get 50% discount.
Transport: our luxury vehicles (Innova, Xylo, Scorpio or similar) only transport a maximum of 6 passengers.
All sightseeing and excursions, as mentioned in the itinerary
Professional English speaking guide
All taxes and services taxes
Insurance: we strongly advise taking a travel insurance. Nature can be unpredictable in this mountainous area.
Airport tax and porter
Flight and train ticket
Personal expenses such as laundry, tips, and telephone calls
Mineral water, soft and alcoholic drinks
Additional adventurous activities like rafting, rock climbing, and paragliding
Additional sightseeing or extra usage of the vehicle, other than mentioned in the itinerary
Entrance fees and camera charges
Any cost arising due to natural calamities like landslides, road blockage, political disturbances (strikes), etcetera (extra costs will be charged to the client and have to be paid on the spot).
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about this tour.
Visa and entry formalities
Apart from a visa for India, foreigners must obtain an Inner Line Permit (ILP – free permit) to visit Sikkim. This 30-day 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 your guides will do it for you.
From the end of September until the end of December
The rainy season is in June, July, August and half of September. It is better to avoid these months.
The best period for trekking is from November until May. To see the beautiful flowers at the Yumthang valley, the valley of flowers, and the rhododendron sanctuary, you best plan your visit between March and May.
We've just returned from this beautiful Sikkim villages tour and can honestly say w.o.w. - what an amazing part of India, it's a true paradise, such spectacular views! Spending the night in local homestays is an unique opportunity to learn more about Sikkim and its people (who are very friendly by the way).
Overall it was a great trip, one I'll recommend to other people who are thinking about visiting this part of India.