Trip Type : Small Group Tour
Darjeeling, Sikkim & the Singalila Ridge tour
Darjeeling Gangtok Darjeeling, Sikkim & the Singalila Ridge Trip
Cultural Culture Darjeeling, Sikkim & the Singalila Ridge package

Darjeeling, Sikkim & the Singalila Ridge

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4.6 . Excellent
99%
Travel Style: You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level: Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
16 days
From: $ 2,579 $ 161 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights

  • Classic camping trek through rhododendron forests to the Singalila Ridge 
  • See four of the five highest peaks on Earth: Everest, Kanchenjunga, Lhotse and Makalu
  • Visit Rumtek and Ghoom Monasteries
  • Explore Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim
  • Drive through tea plantations and visit a tea estate
  • Stay in Martam, a traditional Sikkimese village
  • Sightseeing in Darjeeling with a chance to ride the ‘toy train
  • Visit Delhi and Calcutta

Short Description

Tucked away in a corner of the beautiful Indian Himalayan mountains are Sikkim and Darjeeling. In recent years Sikkim has become more accessible for those looking to explore its unique beauty.  Journey from the plains of India to Gantok, the capital of Sikkim and on to the delightful Martam village.  From here we travel through beautiful tea plantations to Darjeeling, with its colonial hill station and UNESCO World Heritage 'toy train'. Trekking up to and along the Singalila ridge, which divides India and Nepal, we move through thick forests of rhododendron and are rewarded with views of the great Himalayan peaks.  Kanchenjunga the third highest peak in the world dominates the horizon, and on a clear day we will see the majesty of Makalu, Lhotse and Everest.   A classic Northern India trek, from tea hills to Himalayan vistas

Stride Take

A trekking tour through India is going to highlight some cultural nuances and unique insights not readily accessible on a city tour. You’ll stay in traditional mountain villages, visit ancient monasteries, while hiking through remote mountainous landscapes.

This is a 16 day trekking tour most well suited to those who are in shape. However beginners to trekking for extended periods will find this tour challenging but manageable. Make sure your shoes are well broken in and you’re prepared for some difficult (but rewarding) days.

You will camp some nights and be in basic hotels on other nights.

Ideal for: Physically fit and active travelers who enjoy camping and are looking for a unique way to see India. - Stride Editor


Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
Trip Type Small Group Tour
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Lodging Level Value - 3 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City Delhi
End City Calcutta

Destinations

India

Cities & Attractions

Darjeeling Gangtok Tibet

Age Requirement

16

No Single Supplement
See more

Trip Includes

  • All breakfasts, 7 lunches and 10 dinners
  • All accommodation 
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
  • Sikkim & trekking permits

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Itinerary

Flight Inclusive

Day 1 Depart London

Flights usually depart London in the evening.

Day 2 Arrive Delhi

The group flight will arrive into Delhi in the morning and we will transfer to our hotel. Those who have made their own flight arrangements will join us at the hotel during the day. You are free today to explore Delhi or rest after your flight; rooms may not be available until noon but it is often earlier than this. Your leader will do a trip briefing today and you will need 10 passport photographs for the various permits and check posts. *Comfortable Hotel - Hotel Jaypee Siddharth *(or similar)

Day 3 Fly to Bagdogra; drive to Gangtok

Transfer to the domestic airport terminal for the flight to Bagdogra. On arrival at Bagdogra, we join our vehicles and drive to Gangtok. The road soon leaves the plains behind and at Sevoke we cross the Teesta River and start to climb into the Doar Hills. At Rangpo we take a break as we enter Sikkim. Border formalities take time and you will need your passport and one photograph. Climbing further, we finally reach Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim set at an elevation of  1,680m. The drive will take about 5 hours (125km). *Standard Hotel*

Day 4 Drive to pretty  Martam village visiting the Rumtek Monastery en route

Gangtok is set amongst the hills and on a clear day we can see Kanchenjunga from the hotel. We have the morning for exploration. The Mall Road is the centre of Gangtok and the close by indoor vegetable market makes for an interesting wander. You can either explore Gangtok on your own or your leader will take you to see some of the sights. About an hour’s walk from the hotel on a quiet road there is the small Enchey monastery. Overlooking the whole town, Enchey was founded in 1840 by Lama Drubthob Karpo and was rebuilt in 1908 by the 10th Chogyal (king) of Sikkim. From the monastery you can walk back to town via the Flower Show, a small exhibition of orchids and other local flowers. There is a Handicraft Centre close by which is a government enterprise offering community training in traditional handicrafts such as carpet weaving and wood carving. After lunch we have an hour’s drive to Rumtek monastery. Founded in the mid 1700’s by the 12th Karmapa it fell into ruins. When the 16th Karmapa came from Tibet he rebuilt the monastery as the main seat in exile of the Karmapa sect. It is the largest monastery in Sikkim and contains a Golden Stupa with the remains of the 16th Karmapa. A half hours’ drive brings us to Martam, a scenic Himalayan village located in a quiet corner of East Sikkim. *Standard Hotel*

Day 5 Sightseeing the pretty village of Martam  

We spend today in the pretty village of Martam which was known for producing butter and other dairy products (‘mar’ means butter and ‘tem’ means spread). The population of Martam is about 10,000 made up of the Bhutia and Nepali communities. In the morning we go for a hike around the village. We can visit the interesting Nyingma Institute, which provides education in higher Buddhist studies and philosophy to many monks. The Nyingma sect of Tibetan Buddhism was the first Tibetan Buddhist sect founded in the 8th century. There is also another small monastery and a Krishna Mandir in the village. We return to our hotel for lunch and the afternoon is free.   *Standard Hotel* *Distance covered:* 6 km / 4 miles *Activity (hours):*  4-5 

Day 6 Drive to the famous hill station of Darjeeling

Leaving Sikkim we drive on to Darjeeling. The road winds all the way to the Testa River, where we enter the state of West Bengal. It then weaves back up into the hills to Darjeeling.  We arrive by lunchtime and this afternoon we explore one of the most famous hill stations of the British Raj.  Originally belonging to the Chogyals (Kings) of Sikkim, then annexed by the Gurkhas, the British East India Company gained control of the region in the early 1800's and returned it to Sikkim rule.  Stumbling across Dorje Ling Monastery, situated on a quiet forested ridge, two British soldiers thought it would make a great location for a sanatorium and with the permission of the King of Sikkim a hill station was born. Today Darjeeling is a bustling town but the Mall still retains its Victorian era charm.  Our stay will include a visit to the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute founded by Tenzing Norgay and where many of famous Sherpa climbers trained in mountaineering skills. There are interesting displays and photographs from some of the early Mount Everest climbs.  Today’s drive is 80km and will take approximately 4 hours.  *Standard Hotel* * *

Day 7 Take a toy train ride, travel on to Rimbik the gateway to our trek and follow a short trail to our first campsite 

On a clear day its worth getting up early for the beautiful sunrise views of Kanchenjunga from the roof of our hotel. After breakfast we have a 40 minute ride on the famous Toy Train to Ghoom (Subject to running. See day 13 for another opportunity if not running today) The train chugs its way out of Darjeeling, stopping on the way to take on water and to allow passengers to photograph the famous Batasia Loop.  At Ghoom we meet our cars and drive for around 4 hours to Rimbik, the trailhead of our trek at 2,286m. We have a short (45 minute) gentle uphill walk through magnificent rhododendron forests (a blaze of reds in spring) to our camp at Manedara, where we spend our first night under canvas. As we approach the village we have stunning views of Kabru Dome and Kabru South peaks. *Full-service camp* (sleeping altitude 2,450m)

Day 8 Trek through beautiful forest, descend to Gurdum Khola then up to Gurdum village

Today we start our trek with an easy trail passing small houses and fields. It is about 2hrs gradual walk through beautiful forest to Shepi village. We then descend to the Gurdum Khola, which we cross by bridge and after a steep 1 hour climb to Gurdum village we will arrriv at our camp for the evening.   *Full-service Camping *(sleeping altitude 2,400m)

Day 9 Final ascent through forest to the Singalila Ridge the highest point of our trek

A fairly tough but rewarding day as we finish our ascent to the Singalila Ridge. The trail climbs steeply in places until we emerge at a forest clearing. From here it undulates through rhododendron forest to the ridgetop at Sandakhphu (3,636m), the highest point of our trek. On a clear day the climb is well worth the effort as we are rewarded with a magnificent Himalayan panorama. The views from here are truly amazing – the towering slopes of Kanchenjunga lie ahead and Everest, Lhotse and Makalu now come into view in the distance. After lunch at Sandakhphu it is a gradual walk on a rough jeep track to our camp at Chandu. *Full-Service Camping *(sleeping altitude 3,570m)

Day 10 Trekking along the Singalila Ridge taking in the Himalayan panoramas, including Kanchenjunga, Makalu, Everest and Lhotse

 We are now on the Singalila Ridge, the border between Nepal and India which means at times we are walking in each country. This is a great day to enjoy the views. The trail undulates following the ridge through chestnut, oak and silver fir trees with commanding panoramic views of the Himalaya all day. Dwarf rhododendrons and primulas colour the landscape in spring. Tonight we have a spectacular wild camp at Sabargam. The views from here are sublime and we hope to see a magnificent sunset and sunrise over Kanchenjunga, Everest, Lhotse and Makalu and a whole host of other Himalayan peaks.   *Full-service Camping *(sleeping altitude 3,536m)

Day 11 Trek further along the Singalila Ridge with breathtaking views of Kanchenjunga on a clear day

A full day trekking along an undulating trail to the end of the ridge at Phalut where we descend to Samaden. On a clear day we get breathtaking views of Kanchenjunga as we continue along the ridge. The Everest range is further away but Kanchenjunga rears up over us. Phalut is at 3,600m and just behind the lodge there is a viewpoint where we are surrounded by Himalayan giants. The trail down to Samaden is glorious and takes us through forests of oak, conifers, pine and rhododendrons, an explosion of colour in spring. We camp tonight in the village of Samaden (2,480m), a beautiful spot in a small settlement with excellent views. *Full-service Camping *(sleeping altitude 2,480m)

Day 12 Trek through a collection of small settlements inhabited by different cultures to Rimbik a large Sherpa village

Our final trek winds through a collection of small settlements inhabited by Rais, Sherpas and Tamangs to Ramman, where terraced fields and villages dot the landscape. We descend along a jeep track to Sri khola for lunch after which we cross a suspension bridge and continue for another 2.5 hours along a road, passing through more villages en route to Rimbik (2,286m), a large Sherpa village set amongst the forest landscapes of the Singalila National Park. We stay in a small lodge with great views across the valley. *Basic Hotel* (sleeping altitude 2,286m)* *

Day 13 Drive to Darjeeling visiting a tea estate en route to learn how this popular drink is produced

Today we drive back to Darjeeling  along a road that winds up and down ridges through picturesque landscape. En route we stop to visit a tea estate and learn how this most famous of drinks is grown and processed. We will arrive in Darjeeling mid afternoon and the rest of the day is free to further explore this historic hill station. Our hotel is close to the Mall, which is a great place to wander in the evening. *Standard Hotel* * *

Day 14 Morning to continue exploring Darjeeling then drive to Siliguri where we catch the overnight train to Calcutta

We have the morning to explore further. If we missed the ride on the famous Toy Train and Ghoom monastery, there is time this morning. In the afternoon we set off for the drive to Siliguri (2-3 hrs) where we board the overnight train to Calcutta (Kolkata). Train times in India change regularly, although it usually departs at around 8pm or 9pm. Overnight Sleeper Train *Overnight Sleeper Train*

Day 15 Arrive Calcutta; free time to explore

We arrive in Calcutta (Kolkata) in the early hours of the morning and have the day to explore this fascinating city. Once the capital of British India, Calcutta has had a turbulent past. It was central to the struggle for Indian independence and thousands of Bengalis refugees came here at the start of the 1900’s. It is a city of striking contrasts and the unusual sights, pungent smells and the cacophony of sounds of the country’s second largest city are an experience unique to India. If you would rather not navigate Calcutta alone, your leader can usually arrange a short (1/2hr) guided city tour for you (pay locally). *Standard Hotel*

Day 16 Fly to London

Those on the flight inclusive package will depart for London this morning for the daytime flight back to London; Land Only arrangements will finish after check-out from the hotel.



Land Only

Day 1 Start Delhi

The group flight will arrive into Delhi in the morning and we will transfer to our hotel. Those who have made their own flight arrangements will join us at the hotel during the day. You are free today to explore Delhi or rest after your flight; rooms may not be available until noon but it is often earlier than this. Your leader will do a trip briefing today and you will need passport photographs for the various permits and check posts so please ensure you pack 4 photographs.  *Comfortable Hotel - Hotel Jaypee Siddharth *(or similar)

Day 2 Fly to Bagdogra; drive to Gangtok

Transfer to the domestic airport terminal for the flight to Bagdogra. On arrival at Bagdogra, we join our vehicles and drive to Gangtok. The road soon leaves the plains behind and at Sevoke we cross the Teesta River and start to climb into the Doar Hills. At Rangpo we take a break as we enter Sikkim. Border formalities take time and you will need your passport and one photograph. Climbing further, we finally reach Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim set at an elevation of  1,680m. The drive will take about 5 hours (125km). *Standard Hotel*

Day 3 Drive to pretty  Martam village visiting the Rumtek Monastery en route

Gangtok is set amongst the hills and on a clear day we can see Kanchenjunga from the hotel. We have the morning for exploration. The Mall Road is the centre of Gangtok and the close by indoor vegetable market makes for an interesting wander. You can either explore Gangtok on your own or your leader will take you to see some of the sights. About an hour’s walk from the hotel on a quiet road there is the small Enchey monastery. Overlooking the whole town, Enchey was founded in 1840 by Lama Drubthob Karpo and was rebuilt in 1908 by the 10th Chogyal (king) of Sikkim. From the monastery you can walk back to town via the Flower Show, a small exhibition of orchids and other local flowers. There is a Handicraft Centre close by which is a government enterprise offering community training in traditional handicrafts such as carpet weaving and wood carving. After lunch we have an hour’s drive to Rumtek monastery. Founded in the mid 1700’s by the 12th Karmapa it fell into ruins. When the 16th Karmapa came from Tibet he rebuilt the monastery as the main seat in exile of the Karmapa sect. It is the largest monastery in Sikkim and contains a Golden Stupa with the remains of the 16th Karmapa. A half hours’ drive brings us to Martam, a scenic Himalayan village located in a quiet corner of East Sikkim. *Standard Hotel*

Day 4 Sightseeing the pretty village of Martam  

We spend today in the pretty village of Martam which was known for producing butter and other dairy products (‘mar’ means butter and ‘tem’ means spread). The population of Martam is about 10,000 made up of the Bhutia and Nepali communities. In the morning we go for a hike around the village. We can visit the interesting Nyingma Institute, which provides education in higher Buddhist studies and philosophy to many monks. The Nyingma sect of Tibetan Buddhism was the first Tibetan Buddhist sect founded in the 8th century. There is also another small monastery and a Krishna Mandir in the village. We return to our hotel for lunch and the afternoon is free.   *Standard Hotel* *Distance covered:* 6 km / 4 miles *Activity (hours):*  4-5 

Day 5 Drive to the famous hill station of Darjeeling

Leaving Sikkim we drive on to Darjeeling. The road winds all the way to the Testa River, where we enter the state of West Bengal. It then weaves back up into the hills to Darjeeling.  We arrive by lunchtime and this afternoon we explore one of the most famous hill stations of the British Raj.  Originally belonging to the Chogyals (Kings) of Sikkim, then annexed by the Gurkhas, the British East India Company gained control of the region in the early 1800's and returned it to Sikkim rule.  Stumbling across Dorje Ling Monastery, situated on a quiet forested ridge, two British soldiers thought it would make a great location for a sanatorium and with the permission of the King of Sikkim a hill station was born. Today Darjeeling is a bustling town but the Mall still retains its Victorian era charm.  Our stay will include a visit to the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute founded by Tenzing Norgay and where many of famous Sherpa climbers trained in mountaineering skills. There are interesting displays and photographs from some of the early Mount Everest climbs.  Today’s drive is 80km and will take approximately 4 hours.  *Standard Hotel* * *

Day 6 Take a toy train ride, travel on to Rimbik the gateway to our trek and follow a short trail to our first campsite 

On a clear day its worth getting up early for the beautiful sunrise views of Kanchenjunga from the roof of our hotel. After breakfast we have a 40 minute ride on the famous Toy Train to Ghoom (Subject to running. See day 13 for another opportunity if not running today) The train chugs its way out of Darjeeling, stopping on the way to take on water and to allow passengers to photograph the famous Batasia Loop.  At Ghoom we meet our cars and drive for around 4 hours to Rimbik, the trailhead of our trek at 2,286m. We have a short (45 minute) gentle uphill walk through magnificent rhododendron forests (a blaze of reds in spring) to our camp at Manedara, where we spend our first night under canvas. As we approach the village we have stunning views of Kabru Dome and Kabru South peaks. *Full-service camp* (sleeping altitude 2,450m)

Day 7 Trek through beautiful forest, descend to Gurdum Khola then up to Gurdum village

Today we start our trek with an easy trail passing small houses and fields. It is about 2hrs gradual walk through beautiful forest to Shepi village. We then descend to the Gurdum Khola, which we cross by bridge and after a steep 1 hour climb to Gurdum village we will arrriv at our camp for the evening.   *Full-service Camping *(sleeping altitude 2,400m)

Day 8 Final ascent through forest to the Singalila Ridge the highest point of our trek

A fairly tough but rewarding day as we finish our ascent to the Singalila Ridge. The trail climbs steeply in places until we emerge at a forest clearing. From here it undulates through rhododendron forest to the ridgetop at Sandakhphu (3,636m), the highest point of our trek. On a clear day the climb is well worth the effort as we are rewarded with a magnificent Himalayan panorama. The views from here are truly amazing – the towering slopes of Kanchenjunga lie ahead and Everest, Lhotse and Makalu now come into view in the distance. After lunch at Sandakhphu it is a gradual walk on a rough jeep track to our camp at Chandu. *Full-Service Camping *(sleeping altitude 3,570m)

Day 9 Trekking along the Singalila Ridge taking in the Himalayan panoramas, including Kanchenjunga, Makalu, Everest and Lhotse

 We are now on the Singalila Ridge, the border between Nepal and India which means at times we are walking in each country. This is a great day to enjoy the views. The trail undulates following the ridge through chestnut, oak and silver fir trees with commanding panoramic views of the Himalaya all day. Dwarf rhododendrons and primulas colour the landscape in spring. Tonight we have a spectacular wild camp at Sabargam. The views from here are sublime and we hope to see a magnificent sunset and sunrise over Kanchenjunga, Everest, Lhotse and Makalu and a whole host of other Himalayan peaks.   *Full-service Camping *(sleeping altitude 3,536m)

Day 10 Trek further along the Singalila Ridge with breathtaking views of Kanchenjunga on a clear day

A full day trekking along an undulating trail to the end of the ridge at Phalut where we descend to Samaden. On a clear day we get breathtaking views of Kanchenjunga as we continue along the ridge. The Everest range is further away but Kanchenjunga rears up over us. Phalut is at 3,600m and just behind the lodge there is a viewpoint where we are surrounded by Himalayan giants. The trail down to Samaden is glorious and takes us through forests of oak, conifers, pine and rhododendrons, an explosion of colour in spring. We camp tonight in the village of Samaden (2,480m), a beautiful spot in a small settlement with excellent views. *Full-service Camping *(sleeping altitude 2,480m)

Day 11 Trek through a collection of small settlements inhabited by different cultures to Rimbik a large Sherpa village

Our final trek winds through a collection of small settlements inhabited by Rais, Sherpas and Tamangs to Ramman, where terraced fields and villages dot the landscape. We descend along a jeep track to Sri khola for lunch after which we cross a suspension bridge and continue for another 2.5 hours along a road, passing through more villages en route to Rimbik (2,286m), a large Sherpa village set amongst the forest landscapes of the Singalila National Park. We stay in a small lodge with great views across the valley. *Basic Hotel* (sleeping altitude 2,286m)* *

Day 12 Drive to Darjeeling visiting a tea estate en route to learn how this popular drink is produced

Today we drive back to Darjeeling  along a road that winds up and down ridges through picturesque landscape. En route we stop to visit a tea estate and learn how this most famous of drinks is grown and processed. We will arrive in Darjeeling mid afternoon and the rest of the day is free to further explore this historic hill station. Our hotel is close to the Mall, which is a great place to wander in the evening. *Standard Hotel* * *

Day 13 Morning to continue exploring Darjeeling then drive to Siliguri where we catch the overnight train to Calcutta

We have the morning to explore further. If we missed the ride on the famous Toy Train and Ghoom monastery, there is time this morning. In the afternoon we set off for the drive to Siliguri (2-3 hrs) where we board the overnight train to Calcutta (Kolkata). Train times in India change regularly, although it usually departs at around 8pm or 9pm. Overnight Sleeper Train *Overnight Sleeper Train*

Day 14 Arrive Calcutta; free time to explore

We arrive in Calcutta (Kolkata) in the early hours of the morning and have the day to explore this fascinating city. Once the capital of British India, Calcutta has had a turbulent past. It was central to the struggle for Indian independence and thousands of Bengalis refugees came here at the start of the 1900’s. It is a city of striking contrasts and the unusual sights, pungent smells and the cacophony of sounds of the country’s second largest city are an experience unique to India. If you would rather not navigate Calcutta alone, your leader can usually arrange a short (1/2hr) guided city tour for you (pay locally). *Standard Hotel*

Day 15 End Calcutta

Those on the flight inclusive package will depart for London this morning for the daytime flight back to London; Land Only arrangements will finish after check-out from the hotel.

Availability

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Price From $ 2,579
Price Per Day: $ 161 per day
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Checking price
Start DateFinish DateDouble StandardDeparture GuaranteedAvailability 
Oct-13-2019Oct-27-2019$ 2,799Yes1 spots left Reserve
Oct-27-2019Nov-10-2019$ 2,649Yes6 spots left Reserve
Nov-03-2019Nov-17-2019$ 2,579No8 spots left Reserve
Apr-05-2020Apr-19-2020$ 2,749No8 spots left Reserve
Oct-11-2020Oct-25-2020$ 2,749No8 spots left Reserve
Oct-25-2020Nov-08-2020$ 2,749No8 spots left Reserve
Nov-01-2020Nov-15-2020$ 2,749No8 spots left Reserve

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13,051 Exodus Travels Travel Reviews & Ratings

99%
4.6 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 9,189
Great 3,171
Average 528
Disappointing 113
Terrible 50
Value
4.6
Guide
4.6
Activities
4.6
Lodging
4.6
Transportation
4.6
Meals
4.6

Darjeeling, Sikkim & the Singalila Ridge

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Darjeeling , Sikkim & the Singalila Ridge

4.0
Details
Value4.0
Guide4.0
Activities4.0
Lodging4.0
Transportation4.0
Meals4.0
This trip is wonderfully varied with each day having something different to
the last. The accommodation throughout is very comfortable especially if you
love an adventure. There are highlights such as heritage and eco hotels and
lodges , and full service camping with roomy tents . In March and the
beginning of April the weather included sunny days in the cities of Delhi and
Calcutta , contrasting with cold fresh nights on camp , with a hail shower .
The hotel in Delhi has a pool and relaxation facilities , and for anyone
arriving earlier , there is time for city tours to see the sights . The
drives from the plains to the Himalayan hill stations revealed beautiful
rivers , terraced tea plantations and habitations on high and steep slopes .
We visited colorful Buddhist temples and the Unesco World Heritage site of
the Toy Train at Darjeeling .
Being woken at 0500 and being lead by Rajeev our leader , to the top of the
ridge near the Kalijar campsite to see the sunrise lighting up Kachenjunga ,
the 3rd highest mountain in the World , and seeing the whole range of the
Himalayan snow capped mountains in front of us , which included Mount Everest
in the distance . Rajeev was tremendous in pointing out and naming each
individual summit . The team took the trouble to ensure we even had cups of
tea and had lots of time to savour the amazing view and take photographs.


Rajeev was excellent in leading our group which had walkers with varied
experience , and walking pace . He gave detailed information about the region
, farming methods , his country and the mountain ranges , and answered our
many questions . He is a very capable leader .


Come prepared to try out different food , and with fitness preparation for
walking to summits on fairly steep slopes. Bring a camera too !


I think the highlights wee often the optional parts of the trip like walking
to the summit of Singalila , and seeing the Everest range on a clear day so
make the most of these . The 16 Zoe's , a cross between a Yak and a cow ,
were the fantastic animals that carried our camping gear for us , and the
team of herdsman and cooks provided an amazing service during our camping
trek .


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Sikkim and Singalina Ridge

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
I'd never been trekking before, and in many ways I wasn't looking forward to
this holiday much, but I absolutely loved it, especially the trekking. What
really surprised me was the quality of the support from the pony men, guides,
and especially the cook, or cooks. The quality of the food was very
impressive even when it was being carried about a campsite in a hail storm. I
would recommend this trip to everyone.
When he second in charge leapt down a nearly perpendicular slope to retrieve
my daysack which had fallen down and then snagged about fifteen feet below
the edge.


I don't think Chouspel could have done a better job. He was constantly
helpful and pleasant despite one or two awkward customers and the huge
responsibilities lying on his shoulders. Top guy.


Take the waterproof trousers.


Both the guides were the key to a successful trip. But the cooking was
exceptional!


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On top of the world

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
A fantastic trip which left our group under India's spell and eager to return
for more. This was despite disappointing weather. We experienced mega thunder
storms, gales, a hail storm and far more than our fair share of mist and fog.
The toilet tent blew down one night in a gale. It could have been a
disaster, yet all of our group managed to leave with entirely positive
impressions. This was down to a) One day of clear bright sunshine when all
the mountains appeared as if by magic; b) a fantastic sense of camaraderie
between group members, the guides, cooks and pony men, c) delicious food, d)
friendly local people and a great introduction to the culture; e) lovely
characterful hotels that felt palatial after sleeping in a cold, damp tent
for a week.

A lot of people seem to think a trip to India is as good as a crash diet -
but not if you go on this trip! Anyone would have thought that the delicious,
varied, piping hot and beautifully presented meals had been prepared in a
plush kitchen rather than a windswept tent in the middle of nowhere! They
even managed a perfectly iced birthday cake baked over a camping stove at
3500m.

Exodus seems to have chosen the accommodation particularly well on this trip.
The Himalayan Hotel in Kalimpong was a firm favourite, but the Netuk House in
Gangtok was also gorgeous and the Sherpa Lodge in Rimbik at the end of the
trek (described as basic in the trip notes) is a delightful place in flower
filled gardens with comfy rooms with pretty quilts on the beds, en-suite
bathrooms and real toilets. The Hilton could not have felt finer.

The walking is not too difficult and the paths are good with plenty of
interesting flowers and bird life even if you can't see the mountains. The
altitude is not too bad. It's a good combination of feeling that you've done
something without feeling too stretched and exhausted.
The day the fog cleared and the mountains appeared. We saw Kanchenjunga and
Makalu, Lhotse and Everest. Our campsite above Sandakphu was spectacular. At
sunset, the clouds sank far below and a panorama of pink-tinged snow-capped
mountains appeared all round. Team awestruck!

We also loved our unscheduled visit to the beautiful village of Siri Khola
when bad weather higher up forced us to head down. We ended up camping in one
of the pony men's garden and visiting the cook's home. Everyone felt this was
one of the highlights of the trip.


Rajeev is a rising star. He had to cope with some difficult climactic
conditions and a lot of questions. He was very helpful towards a slightly
slower walker in the group, thus ensuring that we all kept together and safe.

The local guides were excellent too and Rajeev had a good relationship with
them and with team of cooks and pony men, showing respect and sensitivity to
them at all times.


Be prepared to expect the unexpected and adapt. The hardships make the good
times even better. Nights were long and cold in the tent so a good sleeping
bag and lots of layers are essential. Filling a metal bottle with boiled
water at night keeps you warm and provides you with safe frost-free drinking
water the next day. Take plenty of hand sanitiser. A pack of cards is good
for after dinner entertainment for in the mess tent as is a good repertoire
of anecdotes and a sense of humour.


None of our group much liked Gangtok, though the hotel there was lovely and
Rumtek monastery interesting. Gangtok was quite car-clogged, concrete covered
and westernised. On the other hand, we loved Kalimpong. There's a colourful
food market, interesting local shops, temples and monasteries, and it's a
laid-back friendly sort of place with none of the hassle some people
sometimes associate with India.

To sum up: this trip was great value for money, perfect for people who like a
good mixture of adventure and comfort and I feel as if I have made a load of
really good friends.


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Freezing but worth it

4.0
Details
Value4.0
Guide4.0
Activities4.0
Lodging4.0
Transportation4.0
Meals4.0
Having completed the Annapurna circuit two years ago I was looking for more Himalayan trekking but somewhere different. The views of Kanchenjunga in the sunrise and sunset are breathtaking and (weather permitting) you see Everest too! An excellent trip with a good mix between trekking and cultural exploration
Waking up at dawn, in a frost covered tent, before getting to see the sun rise on the mountains.

Sonam was brilliant fun to be with. He took good acre of all of us and made sure that any backmarkers on the trek part were supported. He was kind and engaging and had a wicked sense of humour. He also brought the best cook ever to cook for us on the trek.

This trek is less strenuous than Annapurna but it's still at altitude and the fitter you are the more you will enjoy it. It got really cold in the tents and the ground was harder than you think! I'd suggest getting the thickest, warmest inflatable mattress you can afford and making sure you pack good quality merino and a really decent sleeping bag.

Bring earplugs if coming at Diwali. They like their fireworks loud.

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Superb from start to finish

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
This was truly a wonderful 2 weeks. From Delhi to Calcutta, the ridge, the people and those others on the trek made this a trip to remember.
The views of the Himalayas, walking along the ridge between India and Nepal and the great food we had to eat

Sonam was superb, full of knowledge and always smiling. A great character that made us laugh but lead the group well.

In autumn (mid October) it was very cold on the mountain (at night). Be ready for it. Otherwise no issues, even on the train. Make sure you get up early for the best views of the mountains (although evenings were also great). Relax, forget the world and enjoy!
When it says dont take photos, dont take photos (army check points on trek)

Even with the weak STG, it was still cheap there.

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Sikkim and Singalina Ridge

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
I'd never been trekking before, and in many ways I wasn't looking forward to this holiday much, but I absolutely loved it, especially the trekking. What really surprised me was the quality of the support from the pony men, guides, and especially the cook, or cooks. The quality of the food was very impressive even when it was being carried about a campsite in a hail storm. I would recommend this trip to everyone.
When he second in charge leapt down a nearly perpendicular slope to retrieve my daysack which had fallen down and then snagged about fifteen feet below the edge.

I don't think Chouspel could have done a better job. He was constantly helpful and pleasant despite one or two awkward customers and the huge responsibilities lying on his shoulders. Top guy.

Take the waterproof trousers.

Both the guides were the key to a successful trip. But the cooking was exceptional!

Read more

Details

Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Group Size:

Small Group - 24 max

Maximum Number of People in Group: 16

Accomodations

7 nights hotels, all en suite, 1 night lodge, 1 night sleeper train, 5 nights full-service camping
6 days point-to-point walking
Full porterage throughout the trek
Altitude maximum 3660m, average 3300m

Age Notes

Min. Age: 16

Additional Information:

  • 7 nights hotels (all en suite), 1 night basic hotel/guest house, 1 night sleeper train and 5 nights full-service camping
  • 6 days point-to-point walking with full porterage, plus 1 day walk
  • Group normally 4 to 16, plus leader and staff. Min age 16 yrs
  • Altitude maximum 3660m, average 3,300m
  • Between 4 and 6 hours walking per day on average

Trip ID#:

exodus-TBS

Trip Excludes

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations

Meals Included:

Dinner: All breakfasts, 7 lunches and 10 dinners are included. You should allow around INR5000 (approx. £60/US$75) for the additional meals and drinks. Mineral water, soft and alcoholic drinks are not included and are widely available. Soft drinks are generally cheap, but beers can approach Western prices. Whilst camping we have a cook and assistants who will prepare simple but plentiful nutritious food. Breakfasts will be porridge, cereals, eggs and toast with plenty of tea, coffee or hot chocolate. Lunches will usually be a picnic lunch with soup, various kinds of local breads, cheese, eggs, tinned fish and meat and fruit where available. There will be afternoon tea and biscuits on arrival at camp followed later by dinner which is usually soup, a pasta, rice or potato based main course with fresh vegetables, followed by dessert, tea, coffee or hot chocolate. You will be provided with safe boiled drinking water whilst on trek. *Drinking Water* Staying hydrated is important when undertaking any physical activity. We strongly encourage you not to buy bottled water as this contributes to the growing problem of plastic pollution in India  During the trek the cooks will collect and boil drinking water from the mountain streams and fill up your water bottles for you, but you may need to collect water during the day and may wish to use your own water purification treatment as well. We also suggest that you may like to bring a reusable bottle with a wide opening (Nalgene or similar) with you and use a SteriPEN to treat any non-boiled water. A SteriPEN is a handheld UV water purifier – small, lightweight and battery powered so easy to pack for a trek. It’s quick to use, far more effective than purification tablets, and the water is ready immediately. It’s fine to use a SteriPEN on non-boiled water so long as it isn’t cloudy or full of sediment (which is uncommon in these regions). SteriPENs are widely stocked on Amazon, outdoor shops and other online retailers; look for the latest models but avoid USB charging ones. Models which take lithium batteries are best as they last longer, especially in cold conditions. Using a SteriPEN means you won’t leave behind a single plastic bottle – and you can keep it for future trips.

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