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

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Sikkim, Darjeeling and Bhutan

Tea Plantations, Hill Stations, and Himalayan Grandeur

Sikkim, Darjeeling and Bhutan route-map

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $7395  
Length: 16 days
Arrive: Delhi, India
Depart: Paro, Bhutan
Lodging: 5 nights deluxe hotels, 7 nights heritage accommodations, 3 nights simple 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
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Highlights

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

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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, this Himalayan journey encompasses three worlds, each with its own culture and history. In secluded Sikkim, we explore the hill station of Gangtok and majestic Pemayangtse Monastery, high above the River Ranjit in a realm of deep-cut valleys, wild orchids, and cardamom plantations. In Darjeeling, we are welcomed at a venerable tea estate by the third generation of its owners for a proper tea-tasting, riverside hikes, and marvelous Kanchenjunga views. In enchanting Bhutan, the last Himalayan kingdom, we experience a thriving Tibetan Buddhist culture and hear the legends of Guru Rinpoche as we hike to his 7th century cliffside monastery, Taktsang, a fitting finale.

Itinerary at a Glance

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Days 1-5
Delhi / Bagdogra / Gangtok, Sikkim / Tashiding / Pemayangtse

We head through Himalayan foothills to Gangtok, Sikkim’s capital when it was an independent kingdom. In Western Sikkim, with its great tracts of old-growth forest and plunging river valleys, we explore Tashiding Monastery, festooned with a forest of prayer flags, and Pemayangtse Monastery (“Perfect Sublime Lotus”), with a hike at a sacred lake.

Days 6-8
Tea Estate / Darjeeling

From our charming tea estate, nestled on a mountainside across the valley from the Victorian hill station of Darjeeling, we sample the finest teas, take forest walks, and visit Darjeeling’s Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, with its mountaineering memorabilia from historic expeditions.

Days 9-13
Phuntsholing, Bhutan / Thimphu / Punakha Valley

Journeying to Bhutan’s capital, Thimphu, we hike up through rhododendron forests to Wangdi Tse Monastery, then head to the pastoral Punakha Valley, where we mingle among red-robed monks at Punakha Dzong, a true masterpiece of Bhutan’s unique architecture.

Days 14-16
Paro / Taktsang Monastery

Our explorations include an unforgettable hike to Taktsang, a monastic retreat clinging to a sheer cliff face. Depart from Paro on Day 16.

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

Trip Cost

Prices are for 2014
$7395 (12-14 members)
$7695 (9-11 members)
$7995 (6-8 members)
Single supplement: $2175
Forced single supplement: $2175
Internal airfare: $895 (subject to change)
Bhutan Visa Fee (WT acquires visa for you): $40
more on pricing

Extension Costs
Temples of Angkor Extension
   from: $775
Varanasi and Khajuraho Extension
   from: $1295
Burma Extension
   from: $2395
Chiang Mai Extension
   from: $425
Phuket Extension
   from: $795
Bangkok Extension
   from: $595
Taj Mahal and Jaipur Extension
   from: $2495
South India Extension: The Malabar Coast
   from: $2195
Kanha National Park Extension
   from: $2095
Tharu Lodge Extension
   from: $615

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

Minimum fee: None per person
46-90 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost
45 days or less: 100% of trip cost

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 ...
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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 ...
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Elgin Mount Pandim

Elgin Mount Pandim

Days 4 to 5 (2 nights), Pelling, India

The Elgin Mount Padim is a heritage hotel with guest rooms opening to spectacular vistas of the snowy form of Kanchenjunga rising above dense ...
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Glenburn Tea Estate

Glenburn Tea Estate

Days 6 to 8 (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 ...
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Druk Hotel Phuntsholing

Druk Hotel Phuntsholing

Day 9 (1 night), Phuntsholing, Bhutan

This is a simple hotel, recently renovated, with a convenient location at the border between Bhutan and India. Rooms are clean and comfortable.
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Taj Tashi Hotel

Taj Tashi Hotel

Days 10 to 11 (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 ...
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Hotels in the Punakha Valley

Days 12 to 13 (2 nights), Punakha Valley, Bhutan

In Punakha we stay at one of the following properties:

Hotels in Paro

Days 14 to 15 (2 nights), Paro, Bhutan

In Paro we stay at one of the following properties:

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.

Devendra Basnet

Devendra Basnet was born in the foothills of the Himalayas in Darjeeling, India, and makes his home in Kathmandu, Nepal. He studied Zoology in college in India and began his guiding career as a naturalist guide in Nepal’s wildlife-rich Royal Chitwan National Park. His zoology background has also qualified him to guide ornithology tours as well as several expeditions into the Himalayas to collect and verify high-altitude butterflies for the British Natural History Museum. For Wilderness Travel, he has guided throughout the Himalayas as well as in Rajasthan, southern India, Central Asia, and China’s Silk Road. “I love working with people and I also love working in beautiful surroundings, so guiding is a natural for me. I especially love being in the high Himalayas, from Tibet to Bhutan to India, and in areas rich in nature and wildlife. I want my trip members to appreciate how fast everything is changing (for better or worse) in these regions, and help them take back wonderful memories of the wild places and rich cultures we visit.” Devendra speaks English, Nepali, Hindi, as well as some Tibetan and Bengali and is learning Chinese.

Upcoming Trips:

Magical Tibet, August 23-September 7, 2014
Journey to Ladakh, September 17-28, 2014
Sikkim, Darjeeling and Bhutan, October 11-26, 2014
Treasures of South India, January 26-February 8, 2015

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Client Testimonials:


Devendra did a terrific job well beyond what I was expecting and in many ways throughout the trip. Nancy D., Ultimate Everest D.B. is one of the best trip leaders we’ve ever had with WT. Bill M., Magical Tibet D.B. is an excellent guide, very knowledgeable, but more importantly, in his continual care and concern for the group’s health and safety. Ann C., Magical Tibet Extremely well organized, thoughtful, and detail oriented. We all learned to trust his judgement and were never disappointed. Andrea N., Magical Tibet D.B. did a wonderful job, very attentive to the needs of individuals. He’s good humored, even tempered and very competent. Terry W., Magical Tibet Devendra Basnet is a joy to travel with. He’s thoughtful, humorous, very knowledgeable about the history, sites, and wildlife. He takes time out to let you meet the people and interact so that you have an appreciation of local life. Peter W., Cincinnati, OH Devendra Basnet was marvelous and he has a fabulous sense of humor. Carolyn M., Portland OR
Royal Rajasthan
Devendra knows the territory and the profession. He kept a close eye on us all, in a quiet way, and his ‘lecture’ on Buddhism one day on the bus demonstrated his teaching skills. Tom M., Hanover NH
Royal Rajasthan
Devendra (DB) is a top notch trip leader, knowledable, articulate, and experienced. He is a guide we could trust to make the right decisions to keep us safe and comfortable. We would travel with him again. Barb R., Mifflinburg, PA
Annapurna Adventure
I have been on many adventure travel trips and D.B. is best of the best. David H., Makawao, HI
Himalayan Mountain Kingdoms
Devendra was amazing. He worked so hard to make this trip perfect for all of us. Always calm, informative, and helpful. Cathy S., Truckee, CA
Himalayan Mountain Kingdoms
Devendra is an outstanding trip leader—extremely conscientious, always considerate of trip members' needs and well being, well organized, and a wealth of information about the places we visited. He is also a genuinely nice person, with a good sense of humor and fun to be with. Jack S., Evergreen, CO
Magical Tibet
Devendra was incredible! I would travel with him again in a heartbeat. Rachel B., Clifton, VA
Magical Tibet
Devendra did a fantastic job! His knowledge of the area and of the area's wildlife was nearly encyclopedic. Paul W., San Diego, CA
Sikkim, Darjeeling and Bhutan

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