- Accommodation in moderate standard hotel on twin sharing.
- 3 meals a day.
- All transfers and sightseeing by private vehicle.
- English speaking local guide.
- Sightseeing admission fees.
- Necessary inner line permits.
Cost Does Not Include
- Expenses of personal nature such as drink, optional tipping, laundry, phone etc.
- Airfares to and out of Bagdogra.
- Extra expenses caused due to nature and unforeseen events.
- Travel Insurance.
Indian Visa and Sikkim Permits
Except Nepalese and Bhutanese nationals, travelers from foreign countries require passport and visa to travel to India. Please, make sure that the remaining validity of your passport is at least 6 months at the time of travel. As India does not grant visa upon arrival, you need to obtain visa in advance. Besides Indian visa, you will require inner line permit (ILP) to enter Sikkim which you can request in advance along with visa application or we can locally obtain it from Sikkim Tourist offices in India. Foreigners are issued a permit for initial period of 15 days duration on the spot without any delay provided photocopies of Passport and Visa details along with two passport photos of applicants are made available then and there. It can be extended for further 30 days of 15 days each. The extension of permits can be obtained from Foreigners Registration Office (FRO), Gangtok and Superintendent of Police of North, South and West Districts. If we are trekking and traveling to remote restricted areas of Sikkim, we will require additional permits that we will take care of for you.
Getting into Sikkim and Darjeeling
From New Delhi, Kolkatta and Guwahati, you can fly into Bagdogra Airport in West Bengal from where both Gangtok and Darjeeling are 4-5 hrs. drive by jeep. If you are traveling from Nepal, you can fly from Kathmandu to Bhadrapur airport in eastern Nepal where we can arrange you pick up and transfer to Gangtok. If you are traveling from Bhutan, we will arrange you pick up (on additional payment) at Phuentsoling-the Bhutanese border town from where Darjeeling or Gangtok is 6-8 hrs. drive. You can also take train from major cities of India to New Jalpaigurhi train station where you will be received and transferred to Gangtok.
Best time for this trip.
Eastern Himalayan areas experiences cold winters between November to February and monsoon affects Darjeeling from the end of May/June to the middle of September. The best season to take this trip is between mid-March through to mid-June and this is also the time when the rhododendron and orchids come in bloom. October and November are also good months for this trip. March to early May is when sunshine is quite abundant.
There are limited choices for accommodation in Darjeeling and Sikkim area. The top end properties in Darjeeling and Sikkim are 3 star equivalent hotels with private bathroom with running hot and cold water. In Darjeeling, our choice of hotels is May Fair or New Elgin and Netuk House or Norkhill in Gangtok. They are locally managed properties, built in local style architecture and staffed with friendly locals. We will pick the best available properties in the rest of the places. In the remote areas, the accommodations are simple, wooden bungalows and run by the families and we do not expect full-fledged services and facilities. In the remote areas, there may be power outage at times and hot water supply may be disrupted.
This trip features 3 meals a day. We will eat our breakfast and dinner at our hotels where as for the day meal, we are provided with cold lunch box. Hotels in the cities offer varieties that include Indian, Nepali and western style dishes but as we travel in the Western and North Sikkim, we may have limited choices. You may want to bring with you some energy bars, dry fruits and vitamin systems to maintain calorie level and keep the body system ticking.
We provide you with SUVs or Jeeps for entire transfers and tours which are in good conditioned and well maintained. Being the mountainous road, the road condition may not be in the best form due to monsoon rain and landslides and mechanical breakdowns and flat tires are unpredictable but our drivers are experienced; prepared for all kinds of challenge. Rerouting of the itinerary due to landslides or road blockade is not an uncommon if you are traveling during summer and early autumn.
You will be accompanied by experienced and knowledgeable English speaking local Guide throughout the tour. Our guides are college graduate, trained and certified by the local government authorities and most importantly, they are flexible and friendly. They will share their knowledge; guide you on the path and show the wonders of the areas that you would never discover on your own. Your guide will carry all the necessary vouchers and permits and deal with the local bureaucracies for you and coordinate with the local office and crews and make sure that your tour goes smoothly without a hitch.
There is no mandatory vaccination required for travel to India and Sikkim. Yet, you may consider vaccination against rabies and Hep A. Please, consult with your physician before you decide to take any vaccinations. We don’t attain any significant altitude in this trip and so we don’t need to worry about any altitude related illness. This trip requires some soft hikes and so some level of physical fitness is desired. Our hotels do maintain highest level of hygiene standard yet; we need to be cautious when we order food. Refrain from eating raw foods like with green salads which might be washed with untreated water. Avoid buying foods with the street vendors and drink only the bottled water and where bottled water is not available, please make sure that the water supplied is properly boiled and medicated.
International and internal travel, pre trip and post trips
Our land service starts from Bagdogra Airport in West Bengal, India or Bhadrapur Airport in Nepal. So, basically you can buy your international airfare to Delhi or Kolkata in India or Kathmandu, Nepal. You need to allow a couple of nights in the gateway city before you fly to Bagdogra or Bhadrapur. We can make the arrangement for accommodations and transfers and in the gateway cities and also take care of the internal airfares. After the trekking, you may add a day trip to Taj Mahal for a day or two or visit the pink city of Jaipur for another two days. If you are starting or finishing your trip in Nepal, you should allow 2-3 days in Kathmandu touring the temples and palaces around and consider 2-3 days jungle safari rides in Chitwan National Park and two days in the beautiful Pokhara Valley.
Note on Itinerary
Although we will do our very best to adhere to the itinerary schedule as listed; it is subject to change for numerous reasons beyond our control.
Booking and Cancellation
When you are sure you are traveling, please don't delay in booking. Timely made booking helps to secure reservation in preferred hotels and flights. A deposit of US$300 is requested along with complete trip application form and passport copies. Balance payment is due 60 days prior to your departure. Depending on the number of applicants, we may set an early payment date. Credit card payment attracts additional fee.
- 90 days prior departure: Administrative fee US$ 150 per person.
- 60-89 day's prior departure: US$ 250 or 25% of the land cost whichever is higher.
- 45 days to 59 days prior departure: US$ 450 or 50% of the land cost whichever is higher.
- 30 days to 44 days prior departure: US$ 600 or 75% of the land cost whichever is higher.
- Less than 30 days: 100%.
Travel Protection Plan
While we plan and do our best to make your trip smooth and seamless, there may be chances of unforeseen events and conditions such as illness, accident, inclement weather, and flight cancellation or missed connection or loss of baggage etc. that may cause interruption or delay or total cancellation of your trip putting your hard earned travel investment in jeopardy. It’s also possible that you may need medical assistance, emergency evacuation or medical transportation when you get ill or involve in an accident when you are traveling in remote areas. Far & High’s Tour cost does not cover any of these expenses or losses and so we strongly recommend you that you should protect yourself and your travel investment against those unfavorable conditions.