Day 1: Arrival in India. You will be meet at the airport and transferred to the hotel. Spend the afternoon and evening relaxing in your hotel room or taking in the sights of Delhi. Overnight in the hotel.
Day 2: Delhi - Darjeeling (2134 m), 5 hrs. After breakfast transfer to the airport for the 90 minute flight to Bagdogra. We try to get seatst on the left hand side for great views of the Himalayas. We drive for 3.5 hours up hill to Darjeeling through tea plantations, villages and thick jungle. Overnight in the hotel in Darjeeling, the famous hill station.
Day 3: Darjeeling. The day begins with relaxation, acclimatization and sightseeing. Explore the sights of Darjeeling, including visits to the Mountain Zoo, the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute and Tibetan Refugee Centre. The mountaineering institute gives a fascinating insight into the history of Himalayan exploration and mountaineering. You may also take part in a tea tasting experience and visit the Tibetan Market. Overnight in the hotel.
Day 4: Darjeeling - Pelling (2440 m), 6 hrs. We travel further north surrounded by wonderful scenery with great views of the Khangchendzonga range and cross the river Rangbong Khola. Here we enter Sikkim and complete border formalities. Later we take a break to visit one of the oldest monasteries in Sikkim, Pemayangste, with its amazing “masterpiece”, before continuing on to Pelling. If there is time we may also visit the second capital of Sikkim, Rabdentse with its impressive 17th century ruins. Overnight in the hotel.
Day 5: Pelling - Yoksum (1760 m), 5-6 hrs. Today we drive to Yuksum, the ancient capital of Sikkim. On the way we see millet crops growing on terraces cut into the steep hillside. There are also crops of cardamom, the essential spice of local cuisine We arrive in Yoksum in time for lunch. We then have time to visit Yoksum monastery and the ancient coronation throne of Norbugnang. Overnight in the hotel.
Day 6: Yoksum - Tshoka (3050 m), 6-7 hrs. Today is the first day of trekking. We walk uphill through forests of rhododendron and magnolia carpeted with fern. Sometimes the trail goes downhill, too. There are many different bird species to be seen and perhaps monkeys, too. After lunch the trail drops down to cross the Rathung Chu River We then climb uphill steeply and after about an hour and a half we arrive at the lodge at Bakhim. We continue past Bakhim until we arrive at Tshoka, which has a small Tibetan gompa (monastery) and refugee center. These first two days walking are quite demanding and we recommend you to take your time and not put yourself under pressure. Walking slowly will help you to acclimatise to the increasing altitude. Overnight in the camp.
Day 7: Tshoka - Dzongri (4020 m), 5-6 hrs. The trail climbs steeply through some beautiful rhododendron woods. Even in Autumn these woods are eye-catching with cinnamon coloured peeling bark and large stiff leaves. We stop at a small clearing at Phedang for lunch. In the afternoon we continue to climb steeply until we clear the tree line and reach the top of the ridge past Deorali Dara. Here the pack animals, ponies and yaks have space to wander and graze. Overnight in the camp.
Day 8: Dzongri. Today is the day of relaxation and acclimatisation to the altitude. If you like you can walk up to the ridge line past the streaming prayer flags. Your effort will be rewarded by great views of Khangchendzonga with its outlying peaks. You could even choose to climb to the top of the Dzongri col. Overnight in the camp.
Day 9: Dzongri - Samiti Lake (4100 m), 4-5 hrs. We descend on a clear path through rhododendrons to reach the Prek Chu River. We cross the river and walk for two hours to reach Thangsing. Here we break for lunch. We continue gently up the valley for about another hour We then set up camp below the sacred Samiti Pokhari Lake under the soaring peak of Pandim, 6691 m. Overnight in the camp.
Day 10: Samiti Lake - Goecha La (4940 m) - Thangsing, 7-8 hrs. We take advantage of the more favorable early morning weather and leave in darkness to climb steeply over the small moraine ridge to the Samiti lake. The trail is less steep as we continue uphill to reach the the Zemathang Plateau. Here is the viewpoint complete with prayer flags where we are rewarded with a panorama of the area. From here it is a further two hour walk to the pass. Upon arrival we are rewarded with breathtaking views of Eastern Khanchendzonga and the surrounding mountains and valleys. After some time we head back to camp for lunch and celebrate your achievement. On the way we appreciate the beauty and serenity of the emerald green Samiti Lake, with the mandatory prayer flags. After lunch we pack up and descend to Thangsing at lower altitude. Overnight in the camp.
Day 11: Thangsing - Tshoka (3050 m), 6-7 hrs. In the morning we head downhill to the Prek Chu River. We continue to follow the course of the river for some time, on a delightful narrow path, while the pack animals have to take the longer route via Dzongri. After going through dense rhododendron woods we break for lunch at Phedang. We then walk down to Tsoka. Overnight camp or sleep at village rest house.
Day 12: Tshoka - Yuksom (1760 m), 5-6 hrs. This is our final day of trekking. We retrace our steps down to the Prek Chu river and follow it's course for a while, as it tumbles through narrow gorges down to Yuksom. Its much easier walking being mainly downhill. We celebrate our achievements with all the staff. Overnight in the hotel.
Day 13: Yuksom - Darjeeling, 5-6 hrs. We depart after breakfast by jeep and reach Darjeeling in the early afternoon. Choose to relax or return to the Tibetan market to buy gifts from those at home. Overnight in the hotel.
Day 14: Darjeeling - Delhi, 6 hrs. Drive for three hours back to Bagdogra stopping half way to visit a tea estate. Fly to Delhi. Transfer to the hotel.
Day 15: Departure. After breakfast depart to the international airport for your flight home. End of the service.
Note: Please contact us for sightseeing in Delhi, or a trip to the Taj Mahal at the start or end of this trip. We can also tailor this trip with a rafting expedition or wildlife safari.
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