(8 nights 9 days)
This is a truly off-beat trip that focuses on little explored, emerging destinations across the western, southern & northern parts of Sikkim. Pristine breathtakingly beautiful scenery, awe inspiring views of snow covered peaks including Kanchenjunga, and interactions with the warm & hospitable indigenous hill tribes; all combine to give you a unique & matchless holiday experience in the Sikkim Himalayas.
- Day 1: NJP / Bagdogra Kaluk 110 km / 4 hrs Arrive at Bagdogra Airport / New Jalpaiguri Rly Stn. Set off on a picturesque drive to reach the village of Kaluk in West Sikkim. Kaluk-Rinchenpong is the forest and buffer zone area of Varshey Rhododendron sanctuary. The area is gifted with abundant natural resources and is a paradise for the nature lovers, conservationists, botanists, zoologists and environmentalists. Set amidst the lush green valley your resort offers a magnificent frontal view of Kanchenjunga snow peaks. Spend the rest of the day relaxing in the resorts landscape garden with a book or stroll around the resort's own forest area on a bird watching tour.
- Day 2: Kaluk - hikes & village exploration Post breakfast do a pleasant 3.5 km walk through pristine Lepcha villages and forests to Resum - the meeting of three hill tops. From here you get spectacular views of Mt Kanchenjunga. Post lunch go for another beautiful walk of about 4 kms through verdant forests of chestnut and oaks to a Lepcha heritage house – a stunning example of intricate traditional architecture. Also visit the local market at Rinchenpong and the colonial era Dak Bungalow. Be back in your resort for cocktails at the Bamboo Bar with a bonfire and an ethnic cultural performance to boot.
- Day 3: Kaluk Pelling Yuksom 89 km / 4 ½ hrs Leave after an early breakfast on a drive through the stunning Dentam Valley to reach Pelling. After a quick look at the Pemayangtse Gompa we drive to the majestic waterfalls at Rimbi and then take a detour to see the Kecheopalri Lake, also called the “Wish Fulfilling Lake”. Drive back to the main road and carry on to reach Yuksom in the afternoon. Later visit the world heritage coronation site of the first Chogyal where you still see the stone throne and footprint of the Head Lama on a rock. Then do a ½ hr steep hike through the forest negotiating steep slopes to Dubdi (Hermit’s Cell) Gompa - built in 1701 after the consecration ceremony as a place for Lamas seeking recluse.
- Day 4: Yuksom Borong 45 km / 2 ½ hrs Leave after a leisurely breakfast and drive to the beautiful village of Borong in South Sikkim. This little explored region at the foot of Mainam Hills is covered by alpine pastures & densely forested mountainside with hot springs & waterfalls and a backdrop of snow capped Himalayan peaks like Mt. Narsing, Simvo & Siniolchu. The view from the sit-out of the cottage you’d spend the night at is mesmeric at sunrise & sunset.
- Day 5: Borong Full day to simply relax savoring the views & going for some delightful nature walks.
- Day 6: Borong Temi Tea Garden Rumtek (1750 M) 90 km / 4 ½ hrs Leave after breakfast via Ravangla to the exotic Temi Tea Garden, spend some time here enjoying this stunning locale and later drive through typical Sikkimese mountainside dotted alluringly with terraced land & orchards to finally reach Rumtek by late afternoon. Later visit Rumtek Monastery – Sikkim’s largest and 2nd largest in Asia after Lhasa. Overnight in an eco resort.
- Day 7: Rumtek Dzongu 70 km / 3 ½ hrs Leave after breakfast to Dzongu - an official reserve for the Lepcha community in North Sikkim. Kilometers of stunning beautiful wilderness greet you when you enter Dzongu. Numerous waterfalls cascade down every hill, visible here and there amongst the lush green trees. Mighty rivers flow in steep and narrow valleys nurturing all the life here and ultimately adding to the Teesta. Snowy mountain ranges form the backdrop and bird calls add to the pretty painting that the landscape here is. Everything here exudes a deep sense of solitude and calm. This pristine natural beauty is aptly complimented by the warm hospitality during your homestay in a Lepcha household.
- Day 8: Dzongu A full day to enjoy the beauty of this region on short hikes & drives to monasteries, waterfalls and other villages. You could also try crossing the river on cane bridges that the tribals have made at various points – this is very thrilling and certainly not for the faint hearted. Angling in the crystal clear waters of the Ryong Chu or Teesta and later having it cooked Lepcha style is yet another option
- Day 9: Dzongu Bagdogra/NJP 140 km / 6 hrs Leave early morning on a drive to be dropped at to Bagdogra Airport/New Jalpaiguri Rly Station in time to board your flight/train back home.