Calcutta, Sundarbans & Sikkim
This 16 - day tour in West Bengal, Sikkim and Assam offers some outstanding experiences which will live long in your memory.
The tour begins in India's second largest city - Calcutta, which despite its reputation for squalor and poverty is actually the most diverse and cultured of India's mega cities. The Sunderbans region will be a chance to take in a tiger safari or some bird watching. From the lush tea-clad hills around Darjeeling to the mighty rivers, valleys and mountai....
ns of the eastern Himalaya and through into mysterious Assam and Kaziranga National Park (famous for its rhinoceros population), the scenery alone is worth the trip. But add to this the people and the culture of the region, who have traditions and religious practices quite unlike those in other parts of India, and you have the recipe for a truly magical journey.
Day 1 - Arrive Calcutta
Arrive at Calcutta, where you will be met on arrival and transferred to your hotel in the city. Afternoon to explore the main sights of ‘old’ Calcutta, which are predominately located around Sudder Street, in particular the Victoria Memorial, museums, Park Street cemetery and the bustling New market area. Overnight in Calcutta.
Day 2 - Calcutta
Main sightseeing day in Calcutta visiting the many and varied highlights of India’s most diverse and cultured city. Slowly freeing itself from the effects of years of negative press, Calcutta is finally gaining recognition for its architecture, culture and the more positive aspects of its history. Overnight Calcutta.
Day 3 - Calcutta - Sunderbans
Reach the Sunderbans region in a few hours’ drive. You will be taken on a boat trip into the mangrove forests, a scenic ambience around to relax and enjoy the nature’s beauty. Overnight in Sunderbans.
Day 4 - Sunderbans - Calcutta
The day will be with a visit to Project Tiger, boat safari and bird watching after which you will drive back to Calcutta. Overnight in Calcutta.
Day 5 - Calcutta - Bagdogra - Darjeeling
Transfer to Calcutta airport for a morning flight to Bagdogra. Post lunch in a nearby hotel, depart Bagdogra and in a few hours drive, you can reach Darjeeling. Overnight in Darjeeling
Day 6 - Darjeeling
Full day around Darjeeling - sightseeing tour of the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, the zoological gardens (sadly the only place you are remotely likely to see a snow leopard), and visit a tea estate. In the afternoon, while away some time wandering the streets and sipping tea at one of the many tea shops. Overnight in Darjeeling.
Day 7 - Darjeeling - Rumtek
Arise early (around 5am depending on the time of year) for sunrise viewing from Tiger Hill. Return to the hotel and after breakfast, proceed to Rumtek in Sikkim. Overnight in Rumtek.
Day 8 - Rumtek - Gangtok
Day of sightseeing around Rumtek visiting the monasteries in the valley, followed by afternoon in Gangtok. Return to Rumtek, Overnight in Rumtek.
Day 9 - Tsongo Lake Excursion
Day excursion to Tsongo Lake - this is the closest place where the foreigners are allowed to the Tibetan border. The drive is spectacular through dizzying mountain scenery. Once you reach the lake at a height of nearly 4000 metres, you can ride a yak around the lake’s edge and soak up in the clear, crisp mountain air and the serenity of the setting. Return to Rumtek.
Day 10 - Rumtek - Kalimpong
Drive to Kalimpong and relax, the perfect place to relax and do very little for a while. Overnight in Kalimpong.
Day 11 - Kalimpong
Day in and around Kalimpong, known for its horticulture and spectacular views, as well as sightseeing and visits to Dr Grahams Childrens’ Home, operational since 1910, and a small factory making paper by traditional methods. Overnight in Kalimpong.
Day 12 - Kalimpong - Bagdogra - Guwahati - Kaziranga
Drive to Bagdogra and after lunch flight to Guwahati, and proceed to Kaziranga National Park (5 hour drive).
Day 13 & 14 - Kaziranga
Morning and evening safaris by elephant and/or jeep in the park in search of tigers and the magnificent Indian one-horned rhinoceros, and overnight in Kaziranga
Day 15 - Kaziranga - Guwahati - Calcutta
After a final morning safari, return drive to Guwahati and fly to Calcutta. You will be met on arrival and transferred into the city. Overnight in Calcutta.
Day 16 - Calcutta Depart
Departure from Calcutta by international flight