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The Best of Sikkim and Bhutan

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18 Days

Unearth the highlights of East India and Bhutan with on this tailor-made tour. In Kolkata, discover British Raj-era buildings and age old traditions while in the hills of Sikkim, delightful views of the Kanchenjunga mountain and verdant tea fields await. Feast on delicious food and tea amid the picturesque mountainside and escape to the magical kingdom of Bhutan, where friendly faces, incredible cultural experiences and beautiful monasteries will take your breath away. This East India and Bhutan tour offers the perfect blend of a serene escape amid the majestic Himalayas and authentic local experiences.

Itinerary Summary
DAY PLACE HIGHLIGHTS HOTEL OPTIONS
1 – 3 Kolkata Victoria Memorial, Howrah Bridge, St.John’s Church, High Court Kenilworth Hotel
3 – 5 Darjeeling Tiger Hill, View of Hill Kanchenjunga Peak, Ghoom Monastery or Yogachoeling Gompa New Elgin Hotel, Mayfair Darjeeling
5 – 7 Pelling View of Kanchenjunga Range, Waterfalls, Khecheopalri or Bissau Lake Elgin Mount Pandim
7 – 8 Gangtok Ridge Park, Kanchendzonga Peak, Flower Show Hall Elgin Nor Khill Hotel, Mayfair Gangtok
8 – 9 Kalimpong Tea Plantation, Flower Nursery, Dr. Graham’s Home, Tea Tour Elgin Silver Oaks
9 – 10 Phuentsholing Zangtho Pelri Lhakhang, Ancient Wooden Monasteries, Unique Culture Tashi Namgay Grand
10 – 12 Thimphu Dzong and Chorten, Handicrafts Emporium, Archery Hotel Kisa, Druk Hotel
12 – 14 Gangtey Phobjikha Valley, Gangtey Monastery, Black Mountain National Park Dewachen
14 – 16 Punakha Punakha Valley, Dzong, Temple of Fertility, Rice Fields Khuru Resort, COMO Uma Punakha
16 – 18 Paro Tiger’s Nest Monastery, Dzong, National Museum, Scenic Valley Treks Tashi Namgay Resort, Nak-sel Boutique Hotel and Spa
18 – 18 Kolkata Victoria Memorial, Howrah Bridge, St.John’s Church, High Court  
Itinerary Details
DAY 1 - 3
International Arrival
Transfer from Airport to Hotel
Kolkata
2 Days

Kolkata was once the epicenter of the British Raj and a major trading post of the East India Company.

Included Activities

Highlights of Kolkata 
Explore Dalhousie Square with landmarks like St.John’s Church, the imposing High Court, the Governor’s House surrounded by vast gardens, General Post Office and Writer’s Building which is the seat of the state government. Visit the iconic Victoria Memorial, on top of which a charming one-winged fairy is perched forever, and St. Paul’s Cathedral that offers an oasis of calm amidst the bustle. Visit Mother Teresa’s House, where many devotees pay respects at this most-revered nun’s tomb. Examine the Indian Museum with its many objet-d’-arts. Embrace Bengali high art at the famous Tagore House where the late Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore composed some of his many great works.

Hotel Options

ROOM

MEALS

STYLE

Executive Room

Breakfast

International

DAY 3 - 5
Transfer from Hotel to Airport
Flight from Kolkata to Bagdogra
Drive from Bagdogra to Darjeeling (93 km, 3.5 hrs)
Darjeeling
2 Days

Darjeeling is known as East India’s Queen of the Hills. Encompassed by verdant tea plantations and perched atop a steep ridge, the town offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

Included Activities

Highlights of Darjeeling 
Allow your spirit to soar as you venture for a morning tour to the 2,500 meter high Tiger Hill, not far from the town center. ​On a clear day at dawn you can view the world’s third highest mountain – Kanchenjunga, and the peaks of Mount Everest and K2.​​ With a quaint toy train ride up the mountain as prayer flags flutter in the breeze, you can visit Yiga Choeling Gompa, known provincially as Ghoom (Ghum) Monastery. Built in the 19th century, the monastery is considered one of the world’s holiest as it was personally blessed by the renowned Tibetan lama, Tomo Geshe Rinpoche. It’s also home to a 15 foot statue of the Maitreya Buddha (a Buddha who will appear in the future). In the afternoon, you can visit the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (HMI), and the local zoo.

Hotel Options

ROOM

MEALS

STYLE

Deluxe

Full Board

Heritage

ROOM

MEALS

STYLE

Standard Room

Half Board

International

DAY 5 - 7
Drive from Darjeeling to Pelling (118 km, 4.5 hrs)
Pelling
2 Days

Pelling is made of majestic mountains and swirling clouds. It is a fast-growing yet idyllic town with breathtaking views of the snowcapped Kanchenjunga, thick Alpine forests and an abundance of history and nature.

Included Activities

Highlights of Pelling 
Experience the stunning views of the famous snowcapped Kanchenjunga Mountain Range, with the third highest peak in the world. Head to the marvel of Pemayangtse Monastery, a 17th century Buddhist monastery built by Lhatsun Chenpo, and one of the oldest in Sikkim. This exclusive monastery is solely for ta-tshang, or pure monks, which means those who are celibate, without any physical abnormality and from a direct Tibetan lineage. Head onwards to Rabdentse, the former second capital of the kingdom of Sikkim. The town is now in ruins after being destroyed by an invading Gurkha army, but provides an insight into its palatial past and offers marvellous views.

Hotel Options

ROOM

MEALS

STYLE

Deluxe Room

Breakfast

Heritage

DAY 7 - 8
Drive from Pelling to Gangtok (127 km, 5.5 hrs)
Gangtok
1 Day

Gangtok is a popular Tibetan Buddhist pilgrimage site and capital of the alpine-laden state of Sikkim.

Included Activities

Highlights of Gangtok 
Delve into the major delights near Gangtok, starting with the Three Point View of Ridge Park, which boasts an amazing vantage point. The two storey 1930s White Memorial Hall built in British colonial style, is just a little distance away. Visit the Enchey Monastery and Rumtek Monastery. Enjoy enchanting views of the Kanchendzonga peak from Hanuman Tok, before discovering a wealth of natural beauty at the Flower Show Hall. The significant Do-Drul Chorten (stupa), houses 108 Mani-lhakor (prayer wheels) that are regularly turned by devout monks as they invoke Bodhisattva (Lord Buddha).
(Full Day, Private Activity & Transfer; Fitness Level: Easy)

Hotel Options

ROOM

MEALS

STYLE

Deluxe Room

Full Board

Boutique

ROOM

MEALS

STYLE

Room

Half Board

International

DAY 8 - 9
Drive from Gangtok to Kalimpong (72 km, 1.5 hrs)
Kalimpong
1 Day

Kalimpong: A marking imprint in your memorabilia! The striking peace and serenity that pervades Kalimpong is heightened by the presence of monasteries and churches in harmonious tandem with its bustling bazaars.

Included Activities

Highlights of Kalminpong 
Kalimpong, a small hill station engulfed by mountains in the Mahabharat Range of West Bengal, is situated at an average elevation of 1,250m/4,101ft. As per the Lepchas, Kalimpong means ‘ridge where we play’, and is located just 67km from Siliguri. If you are a flower lover, then a visit to the flower nurseries is a must. Famous as a flower growing hub, see flowers like amaryllis, lilies, anthuriums, roses, gerbera, dahlias, gladiolas, trchids and vacti. Visit Dr Graham’s Home (formerly St. Andrew’s Colonial Homes), founded by Dr. Graham who was a missionary of the Church of Scotland and who settled in Kalimpong. Enjoy a tea tour to Glenburn Tea Estate.

Hotel Options

ROOM

MEALS

STYLE

Deluxe Room

Breakfast

Heritage

DAY 9 - 10
Drive from Kalimpong to Phuentsholing (175 Kms, 6 hrs)
Phuentsholing
1 Day

Sheer entrancement! A fascinating frontier town where different ethnic groups mingle prominently, this is a thriving commercial center, situated directly at the base of Himalayan foothills with stunning mountain views, immense scenic beauty, unique culture and lifestyles and ancient wooden monasteries.

Included Activities

Highlights of Phuentsholing 
Visit the many ancient monasteries that line the quaint town. See Zangtho Pelri Lhakhang, a small temple representing the heaven of Guru Rinpoche. Explore Kharbandi Goemba, a beautiful monastery containing paintings on the life of Buddha, statues of Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and Guru Rinpoche. Browse the intriguing markets and pick up some unusual local handicrafts and fabrics to take home.

Hotel Options

ROOM

MEALS

STYLE

Standard Room

Full Board

Resort

DAY 10 - 12
Drive from Phuentsholing to Thimpu (176 km, 6 hrs)
Thimphu
2 Days

Hidden realm of wonders! The only world capital without traffic lights, Thimphu is a regal yet bustling town amid glorious hills and home to the revered Bhutanese Royal family.

Included Activities

Giving Back to the Community 
Experience the joy of playing a meaningful part in the life of the youth of Bhutan. Visit ‘Simply Bhutan’, which is a living museum and studio run by the local NGO, Youth Development Fund (YDF). The proceeds from your activities and souvenir shopping at this cultural center will go to the development of youth in the area. Get yourself photographed in local Bhutanese costumes and pamper your taste buds with local tea and other delectable nibbles. Marvel at the display of the traditional arts and crafts that helps to differentiate Bhutan. The highlight of your visit will be a religious ceremony (puja) at the local shrine. The funds generated through ‘Simply Bhutan’ are utilized for the many youth development programmes aimed at making the lives of vulnerable and disadvantages youth better. Give back a little to the community!

Hotel Options

ROOM

MEALS

STYLE

Hotel Kisa Dlx Executive

Full Board

Guest house

ROOM

MEALS

STYLE

Druk Hotel- Deluxe

Full Board

Heritage

DAY 12 -14
Drive from Thimpu to Gangtey (150 kms, 5 hrs)
Gangtey
2 Days

Indellible impressions of surprising beauty! One of the most beautiful spots in Bhutan, surprises the unsuspecting visitor with its wide flat valley sans any trees, after a hard climb through dense forests, augmented by an impression of vast space – an extremely rare experience where most of the valley’s are tightly enclosed.

Included Activities

Bhutanese Cooking Class in Gangtey 
Take up this unique opportunity of learning how to cook delicious Bhutanese cuisine. Participate in this special cooking session held at local restaurant, where a team of master chefs demonstrate the art of cooking up a storm. Watch them prepare local Bhutanese delicacies, while you try out your own culinary skills as well. Have fun cooking local Bhutanese delicacies like the delectable and fiery ‘Emma Datshi’ made with chilies and local Bhutanese cheese, which also is the national dish of Bhutan!

Hotel Options

ROOM

MEALS

STYLE

Dewachen Deluxe

Full Board

Heritage

DAY 14 -16
Drive from Gangtey to Punakha (70 km, 4 hrs)
Punakha
2 Days

An erstwhile capital, it now makes for a magical stay with splendid views of the distant, heavenly Himalayas at Dorchula Pass with a soothing climate and relaxing ambiance.

Included Activities

Highlights of Punakha 
Take a tranquil, beautiful hike to Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten, built to remove negative forces and promote peace, stability and harmony in the changing world. Dominating upper Punakha Valley, the chorten affords commanding views of Mo Chhu and the mountainous peaks of Gasa. Visit Punakha Dzong, strategically built at the confluence of Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu rivers. Damaged by four catastrophic fires and an earthquake, the dzong has been fully restored by the present king. In the afternoon, visit Chimi Lakhang, situated on a hillock and dedicated to Lama Drukpa Kuenley (the Divine Madman). Also known as the temple of fertility, barren couples wishing to have children pray here as it is believed they are usually blessed with a child soon after. Walk across rice fields to the tiny settlement of Pana, meaning field. Visit Limbukha, famous for Bhutan’s infamous medicinal red rice.

Hotel Options

ROOM

MEALS

STYLE

Standard Room

Full Board

Resort

ROOM

MEALS

STYLE

Valley View Deluxe Room (Double)

Full Board

Resort

DAY 16 -18
Drive from Punakha to Paro (125 km, 4.5 hr)
Paro
2 Days

Gateway to the Kingdom’s treasures! Known as the ‘Land of the Thunder Dragon,’ the charming town of Paro is home to Mt. Chumolhari and some of the oldest monasteries and temples in the region.

Included Activities

Highlights of Paro 
Throw yourself into the city’s cultural gems! Begin at Rinpung Dzong, a 17th century Buddhist monastery and fortress built by Tibetan Buddhist lama Ngawang Namgyal. Visit the National Museum, housed in a former watchtower over several floors and brimming with Bhutanese relics, and the ruins of Drukgyel Dzong, and enjoy scenic valley treks that boast views of Mount Chomolhari and Kyichu Lhakhang, a 7th century sacred shrine. Discover the spectacular cliffside Taktshang Lhakhang Monastery, otherwise known as Tiger’s Nest, where it is believed Guru Rinpoche arrived on the back of a tigress. Stay in Paro more than three nights and you can also visit Kila Goemba, home of Buddhist nuns, Lhakhang Karpo (White Temple), Lhakhang Nagpo (Black Temple) and Rig Sum Goenpa (three giant hills) in Haa Valley.

Hotel Options

ROOM

MEALS

STYLE

Standard Room

Full Board

Boutique

ROOM

MEALS

STYLE

Nak-sel Boutique-Deluxe Room

Full Board

Boutique

DAY 18 -18
Transfer from Hotel to Airport
Flight from Paro to Kolkota
Kolkata
0 Days

Kolkata was once the epicenter of the British Raj and a major trading post of the East India Company.

International Departure
Map
Photos

Price & Inclusions

Prices are in USD and exclude international flights. This trip price is based on low season rates for accommodation and other applicable services, and may change depending on availability, currency fluctuations and number of people traveling together. For high season prices, please contact us with your exact travel dates and preferences.

Price Includes

  • Accommodation in one double room for 18 days / 17 nights.
  • Meals as indicated
  • Economy flights for all sectors :
    • Kolkata – Bagdogra
    • Paro – Kolkata
  • All activities as listed :
    • Kolkata: Highlights of Kolkata
    • Kolkata: Day Trip to Diamond Harbor
    • Darjeeling: Highlights of Darjeeling
    • Pelling: Highlights of Pelling
    • Gangtok: Highlights of Gangtok
    • Kalimpong: Highlights of Kalminpong
    • Phuentsholing: Highlights of Phuentsholing
    • The Best of Sikkim and Bhutan: 2 Hr Giving Back to the Community
    • The Best of Sikkim and Bhutan: 2 Hr Dinner and Dance at the Taj
    • The Best of Sikkim and Bhutan: Highlights of Thimphu
    • The Best of Sikkim and Bhutan: 2 Hr Bhutanese Cooking Class in Gangtey
    • Gangtey: Highlights of Gangtey
    • Punakha: Highlights of Punakha
    • Paro: Highlights of Paro
    • The Best of Sikkim and Bhutan: 1 Hr Farm House Visit
  • All airport and hotel transfers
  • A high-quality air conditioned vehicle with unlimited mileage and a trusted chauffeur throughout your trip, apart from during your stay at a beach/backwater resort or houseboat if applicable.
  • All activities described in the itinerary, including entrance fees wherever applicable, accompanied by our tour guide
  • Your Trip Coordinator: a 24/7 point of contact, supporting you during your trip
  • Welcome kit including all important documents and information regarding your itinerary
  • Insolvency insurance
  • Fees and taxes
  • English speaking accompanying guide in Bhutan
  • All government and royalty taxes in Bhutan
  • Organization and fees for your visa to Bhutan