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Darjeeling Sikkim & Bhutan Tour

Cultural Tour of Darjeeling, Sikkim & Bhutan

12

Days

CULTURE

Darjeeling Sikkim & Bhutan Tour Trip Map, Route Map
Trip highlights
  1. Colonial character in form of Churches and Tea garden in Darjeeling.
  2. Historical and religious attractions in Gangtok (Sikkim)
  3. Quaint and Pristine environ in Bhutan with rich historical legacy in for of Dzong ( erstwhile Fortress converted into Administrative unit) and monasteries.

Explore Sikkim and Bhutan, two of the most isolated Himalayan regions. Centuries-old Buddhist monasteries cling to mountain cliffs and rice paddies stair-step down steep hillsides. Your journey begins with arrival transfer to Darjeeling, where we include a ride on the narrow gauge mountain railway and sunrise over Kangchenjunga from Tiger Hill. Visit the capital of Sikkim, Gangtok and passing on to Rumtek, visit the Karmapa’s Monastery. Travel to Kalimpong, once an important trading post for these parts of the world.

From Kalimpong our road then descends into the plains known as Duars, filled with lush tea garden. Cross into Phuntsholing, Bhutan. Discover Bhutan’s captivating cultural mix, reflected in its beautiful shrines, temples and handicrafts as you travel from south to western Bhutan; in the towns and villages of Paro, Thimphu and Punakha valley. Explore the Dzongs, ancient fortresses that once protected the kingdom.

Outline Itinerary 

Day 1: Arrive in Bagdogra – Darjeeling  
Upon arrival at Bagdogra airport/NJP station meet our representative and transfer to Darjeeling, it takes about 3+ hours, the journey passes through small towns, villages and tea estates. After high tea in the evening take a stroll around Chowrastha Mall and into Bazaar area.
Overnight in Darjeeling.

Day 2: Sightseeing tour in Darjeeling
Before dawn, you have an option to hire/share a cab to visit Tiger hill for sunrise view (extra). After breakfast begin our sightseeing tour. Visit Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park. Snow Leopard Breeding Centre, Tibetan Self-Help Center which boast of high quality Tibetan handicrafts and on the way back we will visit a tea estate. In the afternoon, visit Dali Gompa monastery and rest of the time is free to stroll around the town or take a toy train joy ride until Ghoom(Optional).
Overnight in Darjeeling.

Day 3: Darjeeling – Gangtok
Drive through the tea gardens and descend through sub-tropical Teesta valley and enter Sikkim at Rangpo. After permit formalities, continue drive to Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim. (Total 4-5hr). In Gangtok visit Namgyal Institute of Tibetology a repository of Tibetan works, iconography and religious arts and the nearby Deorali Dodrul Chorten surrounded by 108 prayer wheels. In the evening walk through the iconic MG Marg, a Pedestrian Boulevard lined on both sides with interesting neon lit shops and also visit the Lal Bazaar vegetable and food market. .
Overnight in Gangtok.

Day 4: Gangtok Sightseeing
After breakfast, begin with a short walk to Flower Exhibition Center – wide arrays of orchids, some indigenous plants and flowers  on display. Drive to Enchey monastery affiliated to Nyingmapa order of Tibetan Buddhism and continue further uphill to reach view Points such as Ganesh Tok, Hanuman Tok and Tashi view point which overlooks gorgeous view below. On the way back visit the Directorate of Handloom and Handicraft which houses workshops for carpet weaving, Black strap loom, Bamboo craft, Painting school followed by a museum and handicraft sale emporium. Afternoon is free to rest or pursue your own interests.
Overnight in Gangtok.

Day 5: Rumtek & Kalimpong
Drive for about an hour to Rumtek monastery on the opposite hilltop. This was the main seat of Karma Kagyu lineage in exile. The architecture itself is the replica of original monastery in Tsurphu Tibet. After visiting this famous monastery, drive to Kalimpong (3hr), another hill town with good views, bursting bazaar, and rich history. There are quite a lot to see so we begin with visit to Durpin Dara viewpoint, commanding panoramic view of the whole town, Teesta river below and the backdrop peaks. Favorable climate and conducive soil contributes in growth of horticulture extensively, so we’ll visit some of the Flower nurseries. Remnants of colonial era are still conspicuous in form of medieval Churches, homes and schools such as over century old Dr Grahams Homes campus. After the visit drive to Deolo hill, the highest point in Kalimpong with panoramic view of Kalimpong town and neighboring hills. On the way back stroll through the charming bazaar.
Overnight in Kalimpong.

Day 6: Kalimpong – Chalsa(Dooars)
Descend from the hills into Dooars, flanked by lush green sub-tropical vegetation, and tea gardens – originally planted by British. These lush green areas constitute the floodplains and foothills bordering Bhutan, Darjeeling and plains of Assam. It takes about 3hrs to reach Chalsa, on arrival check in to a resort. In the afternoon, explore the nearby tea gardens, local villages and the small bazaar area. Option is available to visit the nearby National Park and Wild Life Sanctuary. (Entrance fees and safari fee extra).
Overnight in Chalsa.

Day 7: Chalsa-Phuntsholing-Thimphu 
After early breakfast, drive for about 2hrs through the plains and cross the border and enter into Phuentsholing, Bhutan. After completing immigration formalities, drive up the hills to the capital Thimphu, which takes another 5+hrs. En-route stop and visit Rinchending monastery and other villages and towns along the way. Thimphu being the capital has a lot of monuments and attractions – some contemporary and some medieval. Upon arrival, you can choose to rest or relax after long hours of drive or instantly get a feel of pulses of Thimphu by visiting Tashicho Dzong – the main government seat. Evening free to take a stroll around the town.
Overnight in Thimphu.

Day 8: Thimphu-Punakha
Early morning drive across spectacular Dochula pass (3100m) to Punakha valley. The pass separate Thimphu from Punakha valley. Take a brief stop at Dochula to experience the spell binding view of snow clad peaks of the Himalayas. Descend into sub-tropical and agrarian Punakha valley. Once there, visit astounding Punakha Dzong, one of most beautiful Dzong, located at the confluence of the two rivers. Late in afternoon embark on a short hike of 45 mins to visit Khamsum Chorten. The hike is the mixture of paddy field and village trail walk. The view of meandering Punakha River, terraced rice field and village below is simply spectacular.
Overnight in Punakha.

Day 9: Punakha – Thimphu
Visit Chhimi Lhakhang temple dedicated to saint Drukpa Kinley (15c) popularly known for his offbeat antics and jokes, and as protagonist in most of the local folklores. Drive further to Wangdue and visit the remains of its Dzong and continue to Thimphu. Upon arrival in Thimphu, we can begin with a visit to Memorial Chorten, Buddha Statue, Takin Reserve, Zilukha Nunnery, Textile musuem and the weekend market as per your interest and time.
Overnight in Thimphu.

Day 10: Thimphu – Paro
After breakfast visit the remaining sites of attractions if you have missed the previous day and drive to Paro. The drive to Paro takes a little more than an hour. Paro is one of serene and loveliest valley in Bhutan. Upon arrival, cross the archaic wooden cantilever bridge to visit Rinpung Dzong erstwhile fortress converted into office of district administration and monastic body now. Also visit nearby National Museum that houses some of finest specimen of Bhutanese arts. Then we drive short distance to visit some monasteries that define Paro such as Kichu & Dungtse Lhakang. Subsequently, walk into the village and visit a local farmhouse strike in conversation with locales to gain insights into their daily life.
Overnight in Paro

Day 11: Paro (Takstang trek)
Transfer to the trail head and hike to iconic Taktsang Monastery(Tiger’s Nest Monastery) one of the most sacred and pilgrimage sites for Himalayan Buddhist. One can marvel at its architecture and gravity defying location precariously clinging to a vertical granite cliff. There is an option to hire a mule or pony for the uphill part but you should be able to walk downhill. If for some reason, you are unable to visit Takstang, our Guide can arrange other suitable alternatives. Even after Taktsang, we may have time to visit some sights in Paro and to wander around charming township of Paro.
Overnight in Paro.

Day 12: Departure
Transfer to the airport in time for your departure flight. Depending on the Druk Air schedule, you can fly to Bangkok, Delhi, Kolkata or Kathmandu.

We can also suggest dates to coincide with local festivals in Bhutan or Sikkim.

  • Group SizeAny number of participants.

  • Trip AccommodationBest tourist standard hotels through-out the trip. Hotels can compared to 3-4star standards.

  • RouteDarjeeling, Gangtok, Kalimpong, Phuntsholing, Thimphu, Punakha, Paro

  • Trip TypeOverland cultural and sightseeing tour

  • Trip SeasonsBest from late Feb-April, Oct-Nov. Next good times are in May, Dec, Jan and February.

  • Best MonthsJanuary, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

Prices & Dates

Cost Information

Cost Per Person:

This trip is priced according to the number participants or members.

• 3-4 Pax $2330 Per Person

• 2 Pax $2550 Per Person

• Single Traveler $3700 (including single room supplement)

• Single room supplement $560

For larger groups, contact us for pricing.
For travels from 01 Dec till 25 Feb and from 1 June till 30 Aug, following discounted price is offered.

• 3-4 Pax $2140 Per Person

• 2 Pax $2160 Per Person

• Single Traveler $3100 (including single room supplement)

• Single room supplement $ 560

• For larger groups, contact us for pricing


Trip Dates:

Private Journeys for independent travel with your own dates.


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Start dateEnd DateRemarksStatus 

Included

  • Accommodations in listed hotels or similar.
  • Only breakfast and dinner in Darjeeling and Sikkim and all meals in Bhutan.
  • All Private transfers by best quality vehicle.
  • All Sightseeing with entrance fees.
  • English speaking local Guide and driver from start till finish.
  • Bhutan visa, taxes and permits

Not included

  • Flights (priced based on the sectors)
  • Indian Visa.
  • Bar/Beverages, Laundry, Telphone, optional tips and other personal expenses.
  • Travel Medical Insurance.

Accommodations


Hotels in Thimphu

Hotels in Paro

Hotels in Punakha

Hotels in Phuentsholing

Hotels in Darjeeling

Hotels in Kalimpong

Hotels in Gangtok

Trip Guide/Leader


Reviews / Testimonials

  • Gerhard H
    Auerspergstrasse, Austria
    Jan 1970
    Your guides and drivers were very professional. ( Your guides and drivers were very professional.)
    5 " " TID 8682 Darjeeling, Sikkim and Bhutan Tour - Extension to West Sikkim. (Nov 23 - Dec 06, 2014) Dear Anand, We arrived 3 hours ago in Vienna, because after finishing your tour we travelled 13 days across West Bengal. Your guides and drivers were very professional. We can recommend these gentlemen

    Your guides and drivers were very professional. TID 8682 Darjeeling, Sikkim and Bhutan Tour - Extension to West Sikkim. (Nov 23 - Dec 06, 2014) Dear Anand, We

  • Jay R & Elise R
    Pola Alto, California, USA
    Sep 2018
    We thought it would be good but it was actually great/fascinating ( We thought it would be good but it was actually great/fascinating)
    5 " " TID 571: Darjeeling Sikkim & Bhutan (Sept. 19-Sept. 30, 2012) We just returned from our trip and are going through our mail. I want to let you know that Bhutan was the highlight of our 14 week trip. We thought it would be good but it was actually great/fascinating. Thanks for

    We thought it would be good but it was actually great/fascinating TID 571: Darjeeling Sikkim & Bhutan (Sept. 19-Sept. 30, 2012) We just returned from our trip and are going through our

  • Stephen and Eva Freeman
    Beachood, Ohio, USA
    Jan 1970
    I would like to thank you and your team at Windhorse Travel for putting it together to meet our needs, and for the wonderful tour that you executed for us. ( I would like to thank you and your team at Windhorse Travel for putting it together to meet our needs, and for the wonderful tour that you executed for us.)
    5 " " Stephen Freeman x 03 - 09 Mar/01 Apr, 2011 Dear Sonam, Now that we have returned home after our trip to Bhutan and India following our memorable week touring in Sikhim and Darjeeling with you, I would like to thank you and your team at Windhorse Travel for putting it together

    I would like to thank you and your team at Windhorse Travel for putting it together to meet our needs, and for the wonderful tour that you executed for us. Stephen Freeman x 03 - 09 Mar/01 Apr, 2011 Dear Sonam, Now that we have returned home after our trip to

  • Steve, Eve & Katherine F
    Ohio, USA
    Jan 1970
    I want to thank the tour guides in each location who are all outstanding individuals who have left lasting memories of the lands we visited ( I want to thank the tour guides in each location who are all outstanding individuals who have left lasting memories of the lands we visited)
    5 " " Stephen Freeman Family 09 March - 01 April, 2011 Dear Ugen, Now that we have returned home after a memorable 3 weeks in Sikhim, Bhutan and India I would like to thank you and your entire team at Windhorse Tours for putting it together to meet our needs, and for the

    I want to thank the tour guides in each location who are all outstanding individuals who have left lasting memories of the lands we visited Stephen Freeman Family 09 March - 01 April, 2011 Dear Ugen, Now that we have returned home after a memorable 3

  • Haig B
    Beverly Hills, CA,
    Jan 1970
    Overall, however, we had an enjoyable and informative time. ( Overall, however, we had an enjoyable and informative time.)
    5 " " Sikkim Bhutan Custom Trip Mar 21- April 03, 2010 Our guide in Sikkim and Darjeeling was also very good. We gained a lot of information about the country. The driver was very adept at handling the car in a difficult driving situation. He was very patient and a safe driver. The

    Overall, however, we had an enjoyable and informative time. Sikkim Bhutan Custom Trip Mar 21- April 03, 2010 Our guide in Sikkim and Darjeeling was also very good. We gained

  • Tegan & Gillian E
    St Day,Truro Conwall, UK
    Jan 1970
    It truly was a trip of a life time in every aspects and was of top quality ( It truly was a trip of a life time in every aspects and was of top quality)
    5 " " TID 155 India and Bhutan Tour (25 Sep -17Oct. 2008) Hi Ugen, Thank you for everything you have done to organise our trip, it truly was a trip of a life time in every aspects and was of top quality, and i am missing bhutan already. I will be traveling with

    It truly was a trip of a life time in every aspects and was of top quality TID 155 India and Bhutan Tour (25 Sep -17Oct. 2008) Hi Ugen, Thank you for everything you have done to organise


  • Woodbridge Ontario, Cananda
    Oct 2007

    Marg and Ken S We would like to thank you for organizing a very interesting and trouble-free trip. All the guides and drivers were

  • Elaine Jounakos
    Forest Hills, New York, USA
    Jan 1970
    My recent visit to Darjeeling and Bhutan a wonderful one. ( My recent visit to Darjeeling and Bhutan a wonderful one.)
    5 " " August 2004 Ku zu zangpo la ! I am not sure if you received my earlier email, therefore I am re-sending. In business, too often people are quick to criticize and omit to give credit when due. I would like to extend my sincere appreciation and thanks to you and everyone involved in

    My recent visit to Darjeeling and Bhutan a wonderful one. August 2004 Ku zu zangpo la ! I am not sure if you received my earlier email, therefore I am re-sending. In