Sikkim - Trekking beneath Kangchenjunga
India & Nepal, Trek & Walk, 21 days - from £1,695 (land only) - from €2,120 (land only) - from $2,965 (land only)
Day 1: Rendezvous at the group hotel in Delhi. Airport transfers are provided for all clients arriving on Day 1. KE Land Only package services begin with lunch. In the afternoon, a city sightseeing tour is provided. Alternatively, you may choose to take it easy at the hotel, which is close to the airport.
Day 2: After breakfast, we transfer to the domestic terminal of Delhi Airport for the onward flight to Bagdogra, with potential views of the Himalaya from the left side of the plane. From Bagdogra, we then drive for 4 hours to Darjeeling (2500m) where we check in at our hotel.
Day 3: We have a sightseeing tour of Darjeeling, to include Ghoom Monastery, the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute and the Tibetan Refugee Centre. After lunch at the hotel, we can relax in the grounds of the hotel or take a walk into the nearby and colourful bazaar streets. We spend a second night at our Darjeeling Hotel.
Day 4: After an early breakfast, we set off by jeep for the 6 to 8-hour drive to Pelling (2250m), stopping off for lunch near Jorethang. Arriving at Pelling in the late afternoon, we check in at our family-run hotel. We can either visit Pemayangtse Monastery this evening or in the morning.
Day 5: After breakfast we make the short drive through tea plantations to the roadhead at Uttarey. Here, we meet our trekking crew and have lunch, prepared by our cook. We then set off on our first afternoon of trekking through rhododendron forest to the first camp of the trip in a clearing at Chitre (2680m). 3 to 4 hours walking. 800 metres of ascent.
Day 6: It is just a short walk to Chiwabhanjang (3130m) and our camp. From here, we make an excursion southwards (3 hours round trip) along the ridge to the viewpoint at 3680 metres known as Singalila Top. Great views of Himalayan peaks. Overnight at Chiwabhanjang. 6 hours walking. 1000 metres of ascent.
Day 7: Heading north on the ridge, we trek through rhododendron forest with alternate views into Sikkim and into Nepal. From the first high point Everest is visible in clear conditions. This is a longer day of walking which takes us to our camp at Dhor (3720m). Great sunset views here. 7 to 8 hours walking.
Day 8: An early start to see the sunrise, then back to camp for breakfast. Today's walk offers superb trekking along the ridge to our camp at Paharay Megu (3850m) one of a series of high grazing areas. We arrive in camp mid afternoon. 5 to 6 hours walking.
Day 9: Trekking now through an alpine world, with scattered rhododendron woodland, we follow the west side of the ridge to our camp at the sacred lake of Lam Pokhri (4320m). This is a scheduled shorter day, as we approach the Danphebir Pass. Overnight at Lam Pokhri. 4 hours walking.
Day 10: A day for exploration. Above our lakeside camp, we can make a 3-hour excursion to a high ridge for views of Kangchenjunga, the Kabru peaks and Pandim. We spend a second night beside Lam Pokhri.
Day 11: Today, we cross the Kagla Pass (4460m) and then contour around to the Damphebir Pass (4500m) where, in clear conditions, the views extend again to distant Everest. Descending to Gomothang, we take lunch by the river, followed by a short afternoon walk to our camp at Yangseb (4100m). 7 hours walking.
Day 12: A pleasant day of trekking, on a good path through pine forest, which crosses a succession of low ridges including the Kokling Pass (4260m). Continuing, we have views of Kabru and Pandim, en route to our camping place at Panding (4275m). 5 to 6 hours walking.
Day 13: We have 2 further passes at around 4500 metres to cross today, en route to the camp at Bikbari (4120m) which is located below the Rathong Glacier. A reasonably long day with 6 to 7 hours of walking.
Day 14: This is a relatively easy day, but there is the option to make a pre-dawn wake-up for the sunrise views. Then, after breakfast, we hike up to the Ginge La (4340m) below the peak of Kabru. Descending, we reach our camp close to the shepherds' huts at Dzongri. A nearby prayer-flagged viewpoint is great for both sunset and sunrise views.
Day 15: An early start for the hike up to the Dzongri look-out for views of Kangchenjunga. Then, after breakfast at camp, we follow the main trail towards the Goecha La, heading up the valley of the Prek Chu via Thangsing to Lamuney, where we camp. 5 hours walking.
Day 16: After another early start, this is usually the longest day of the trek, as we ascend via Samity Lake and traverse scree and moraine to reach the spectacular Goecha La (4940m). Great views of Kangchenjunga, before we make our return trek to a camp at Thangshing (3930m). 8 to 9 hours walking for those who tick the furthest viewpoint.
Day 17: Heading downhill now, we descend the valley on a trail which avoids climbing up to Dzongri and follows the Prek Chu to the abandoned Tibetan refugees settlement of Tsokha (3000m) where we camp. 7 hours walking.
Day 18: Our final day of trekking takes us through the lush forest of the Rathong Valley and down to the roadhead at Yuksom, where we check in at a basic hotel. 6 hours walking.
Day 19: Today, we make an early start for the 5-hour drive to the town of Kalimpong, stopping off en route for lunch. After checking in at our hotel, there is the option to do some exploring in the streets of this thriving bazaar town. Overnight at our Kalimpong hotel.
Day 20: Today, we drive back to Bagdogra Airport and take a late afternoon flight to Delhi, arriving in the evening. Dinner and overnight at our airport-accessible hotel.
Day 21: KE Land Only package services end after breakfast. Airport transfers are provided for all flights on this day.
This holiday involves going to very high altitude. During the course of your trip you will be spending at least one night above 4000 metres and/or trekking to 5000 metres or above. This is not something that you should worry about; the human body is quite capable of adapting to a very wide range of altitudes, but it is important that we follow some simple rules in order to acclimatise successfully. Before coming on this holiday you should read the advice on trekking at high altitude.