Women carrying tea in a tea plantation in Sikkim, India

Tea plantation, Sikkim

The tea estates of Sikkim line the steep-sided valley of the Ranjit River and produce some of the world's finest teas.

Photo by Coen Wubbels

display information about this photo

Sikkim, Darjeeling and Bhutan

Tea Plantations, Hill Stations, and Himalayan Grandeur

Sikkim, Darjeeling and Bhutan route-map

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $7295  
Length: 14 days
Arrive: Delhi, India
Depart: Paro, Bhutan
Lodging: 4 nights deluxe hotels, 5 nights heritage accommodations, 2 nights comfortable hotels, 2 nights lodges
Meals: All meals included except Day 1
Activity: Hiking / Trekking, Cultural Adventures
Trip Level: A mix of easy to moderate walks and hikes, 2-4 hours on some days, altitudes up to 10,000 feet, rugged road travel
2p

Highlights

  • Magnificent views of Kanchenjunga’s snowy summit from Sikkim and Darjeeling
  • Charming Glenburn Tea Estate, Bhutan’s Zhiwa Ling and Taj Tashi hotels
  • Bhutan’s famous cliff hermitage of Taktsang, Darjeeling’s Victorian charm

Recent Photo Blog Posts

Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.

References

We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.

Departure Notes

Once you have signed up on the trip, we send a complete packing list, relevant health information, and required travel documents.

With delightful explorations on foot, market rambles, tea tasting, and wonderful accommodations, our Himalayan journey encompasses three worlds, each with its own culture and history. In secluded Sikkim, once an independent Buddhist kingdom on the main trade route from India to Tibet, you’ll explore the hill station of Gangtok and visit grand Rumtek monastery, home of the Black Hat sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Our warm welcome at a venerable tea estate in Darjeeling includes hikes, riverside picnics, marvelous Kanchenjunga views, and drinks on the veranda or under the stars by firelight. In enchanting Bhutan, the last Himalayan kingdom, experience a thriving Tibetan Buddhist culture and hear the legends of Guru Rinpoche on our hike to his 7th century cliffside retreat, Taktsang, the legendary Tiger’s Nest.

Itinerary at a Glance

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Days 1-3
Delhi, India / Bagdogra / Gangtok, Sikkim (March departure)

Enjoy a scenic drive from Bagdogra through India’s rich alluvial plains and the foothills of the Himalaya to Gangtok, Sikkim, where we explore hilltop Rumtek Monastery, with its sweeping views of the lush valleys below.

Days 4-6
Tea Estate / Darjeeling

From our charming tea estate, nestled on a mountainside and lovingly run for three generations by the same family, sample the finest teas and hike past villages to the banks of the Rangit River for a delightful picnic lunch. In Darjeeling, “Place of the Thunderbolt,” explore Chowrasta Square and view fascinating relics from historic Everest expeditions—including Mallory and Irvine’s 1924 expedition on the North Face.

Days 7-10
Siliguri / Paro, Bhutan / Punakha Valley

Entering the kingdom of Bhutan, visit 17th century Paro Dzong, the spiritual center of the Paro Valley, and hike through pine forests to breathtaking Taktsang, the “Tiger’s Nest.” Heading to the Punakha Valley, you’ll mingle among red-robed monks at Punakha Dzong, walk through rice fields to Chimi Lhakhang, a fertility temple, and witness a local festival in the village of Nezigang.

Days 11-14
Thimphu

In Thimphu, visit the Takin Sanctuary, a wildlife reserve for Bhutan’s national animal, and Simtokha Dzong before departing on Day 14 via Paro.

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Optional Extensions

If you would like to continue your adventure, we offer the following extensions:

What the Trip is Like

This trip is Level 2+, Moderate, according to trip rating system. It features vehicle-based sightseeing with day walks, some long drives on rough roads, and hotel/lodge accommodations throughout. The hotels range from deluxe to best-available. Our optional day hikes take place at altitudes of 4,000-7,000 feet. All hiking is with a daypack only, and you always have the option to skip any hike you don’t want to undertake. This trip is appropriate for anyone in good health living an active outdoor lifestyle. Although you carry only a daypack on the walks, we recommend that you make a special effort to be in good physical condition. Daily brisk walking and/or regular hiking (or using a stair-climbing machine at your gym) are excellent preparatory exercises. You should wear sturdy, well-broken-in footwear. Please note: our drives in the Sikkim and Darjeeling region can be rough and jarring as we cross winding, dusty, bumpy roads.

Explanation of Trip Levels

 

Departures & Leaders

2014
Oct 11-26, 2014  *  Devendra Basnet
2015
Mar 19-Apr 1, 2015  Nezigang Festival

Oct 28-Nov 10, 2015  Devendra Basnet
Dec 2-15, 2015  Druk Wangyel Festival

* Departures in 2014 are a different itinerary (16 days), please call for details.

Trip Cost

Prices are for 2015
$7295 (12-14 members)
$7595 (9-11 members)
$7895 (7-8 members)
Single supplement: $1895
Forced single supplement: $1895
Internal airfare: $965 (subject to change)
Bhutan Visa Fee (WT acquires visa for you): $40
more on pricing

Extension Costs
Temples of Angkor Extension
   from: $850
Varanasi and Khajuraho Extension
   from: $1295
Burma Extension
   from: $2595
Chiang Mai Extension
   from: $490
Phuket Extension
   from: $795
Bangkok Extension
   from: $645
Taj Mahal and Jaipur Extension
   from: $2595
South India Extension: The Malabar Coast
   from: $2155
Kanha National Park Extension
   from: $2095
Tharu Lodge Extension
   from: $660

Trip Cost Includes:

  • Expert leadership of a Wilderness Travel Trip Leader
  • All accommodations
  • All meals included except Day 1
  • Government taxes and fees
  • Land transportation, airport transfers for individual arrival and departure

Trip Cost Does Not Include:

International airfare, any meals not specified after each itinerary day in the Full Trip Brochure, airport departure taxes, optional tipping or gratuities to leaders or staff, additional hotel nights that may be necessitated by airline schedule changes or other factors, pre-trip expenses of medical immunizations (if any), travel insurance, or passports and visas; and other expenses of a personal nature (alcoholic beverages, laundry, etc.).

Trip Payment Schedule

At time of reservation: $500
120 days prior to departure: 20%
60 days prior to departure: Balance

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule*

More than 90 days prior to departure: None
46-90 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost
45 days or less: 100% of trip cost

Internal Airfare Payment, Change, and Cancellation Fee Schedule:* Payment for Internal Air will be collected from each trip member approximately three to six months (or even more) prior to departure, depending on flight availability and seasonal ticketing deadlines. Once issued, internal air tickets are subject to a $100 per person fee for any changes or cancellation until 60 days prior to the trip. Within 60 days of the trip, all tickets are non-refundable. The name on your tickets must match your passport exactly, and any name changes are subject to these same fees. We therefore request that you send us a scanned copy of your passport photo page immediately upon reserving your trip. Internal Air payments and cancellation fees are in addition to Trip Cost payments and cancellation fees as noted above.

*Please note that this differs from our regular catalog departures.

Radisson Blu Airport Hotel

Radisson Blu Airport Hotel

Day 1 (1 night), Delhi, India

This stylish business hotel is just a few miles from Delhi’s international airport, with comfortable rooms and all the services you’d ...
Click here for full description and more photos

Mayfair Hotel

Mayfair Hotel

Days 2 to 3 (2 nights), Gangtok, India

Located five miles outside Gangtok amid acres of lush forest, the Mayfair was built in the style of Sikkim’s ancient monasteries. The guest ...
Click here for full description and more photos

Glenburn Tea Estate

Glenburn Tea Estate

Days 4 to 6 (3 nights), Darjeeling, India

A historic 1,600-acre tea plantation nestled on a mountainside across the valley from Darjeeling, Glenburn is set in the Himalayan foothills above ...
Click here for full description and more photos

Royal Sarovar Portico

Royal Sarovar Portico

Day 7 (1 night), Siliguri, India

The Royal Sarovar Portico puts us close to the airport for our flight to Paro, Bhutan. After a long drive, this 4-star hotel offers relaxing ...
Click here for full description and more photos

Zhiwa Ling Hotel

Zhiwa Ling Hotel

Days 8 to 9 (2 nights), Paro, Bhutan

Located on 10 acres in a serene setting in the green Paro Valley, the deluxe Zhiwa Ling is a wonderful example of traditional Bhutanese ...
Click here for full description and more photos

Hotels in the Punakha Valley

Days 10 to 11 (2 nights), Punakha Valley, Bhutan

In Punakha we stay at one of the following properties:

Taj Tashi Hotel

Taj Tashi Hotel

Days 12 to 13 (2 nights), Thimphu, Bhutan

Part of the venerable Taj group of hotels in India, this 66-room hotel has all the conveniences of a luxury hotel, while at the same time reflects ...
Click here for full description and more photos

Extension Accommodations

If you would like to view the accommodations offered with our extensions options:

Note: Listed above are our signature accommodations for this trip. Although it is highly unlikely, we may make substitutions when necessary.

Our Trip Leaders

Here are the Trip Leaders scheduled for this journey (please note that leader assignments are subject to change).

Devendra Basnet

Departure Dates: October 11-26, 2014, October 28-November 10, 2015

Devendra Basnet was born in the foothills of the Himalayas in Darjeeling, India, and makes his home in Kathmandu, Nepal with his wife and two children. A WT Trip Leader since 1987, “DB” leads our cultural and hiking journeys into the Himalayas, across India, and along the ancient silk ...
Click here for a full bio and list of all upcoming trips

Hashmat Singh

Departure Dates: March 19-April 1, 2015, December 2-15, 2015

Hashmat Singh has led over 100 journeys on three continents for us since 1990. He holds a BA in History from Delhi University and is a noted photographer. His book, Trekking in the Himalaya (Roli Books), features photographic essays from Ladakh to Bhutan. Born an army brat, Hashmat traveled ...
Click here for a full bio and list of all upcoming trips

Optional Extensions

If you would like to continue your adventure, we offer the following extensions:

Burma

Burma Extension

Yangon and Bagan

Cultural Adventures
6 days  -  Level 2

Cambodia

angkor wat cambodia temples

Temples of Angkor Extension

Exploring the Glories of a Bygone Khmer Civilization

Cultural Adventures
4 days  -  Level 2

India

Kanha National Park Extension

Gameviewing in one of India’s Great Wildlife Reserves

Wildlife & Natural History
5 days  -  Level 2

South India Extension: The Malabar Coast

Cochin and a Cruise Along the Backwaters of Kerala

Cultural Adventures, Walking
4 days  -  Level 1+

taj mahal agra india cultural tour

Taj Mahal and Jaipur Extension

Romantic Rajasthan, Land of Princes

Cultural Adventures
4 days  -  Level 1

Varanasi and Khajuraho Extension

Holy City Along the Ganges, Magnificent World-Famous Temples

Cultural Adventures
4 days  -  Level 1

Myanmar

Burma Extension

Yangon and Bagan

Cultural Adventures
6 days  -  Level 2

Nepal

Tharu Lodge Extension

Cultural Encounters, Jungle Walks, Elephant Rides

Cultural Adventures, Walking, Wildlife & Natural History, Photography
3 days  -  Level 1

Thailand

wat arun bangkok thailand

Bangkok Extension

Discover the Beautiful Cultural Monuments of Bangkok

Cultural Adventures
3 days  -  Level 1

Chiang Mai Extension

Explore the Wonders of Northern Thailand

Cultural Adventures, Walking, Wildlife & Natural History
3 days  -  Level 2

Phuket Extension

Explore a Jewel Set in the Andaman Sea

Cultural Adventures, Sea Kayaking
4 days  -  Level 2