A stunning 5-night guided walking and cultural tour through the foothills of the Eastern Himalayas, staying in local villages.
DAY ONE BAGDOGRA - DARJEELING – SANDYANG LEE (127 KM DRIVE)
On arrival into Bagdogra today you will be met and driven to the Rinchenpong area where the Shakti Village walks are located.
At an altitude of 6400ft, Rinchenpong is a pretty un-spoilt Himalayan town. Sangdhyang Lee House, which also offers fantastic views of the Kanchenjunga massif. Sandyang Lee is a modern structure belonging to a local politician. We chose this particular house because there are only a few old structures around (in a region that bears the full brunt of the monsoon between June and September), but also because it has a stunning location, is very comfortable (with three en-suite bedrooms) and first and foremost has a wonderfully welcoming and interactive family.
In the early evening, you will be given an introductory briefing of your tour by your Shakti guide. This will be followed by drinks and snacks around the fire and under the stars and then a delicious dinner.
Overnight: Shakti Village House at Sandyang Lee
DAY TWO SANGDYANG LEE (11.6 KM HIKE)
After breakfast your guide will present you with an option of walking down to the Yangsum village nearby. This gradual walk of around 4 - 5 hours will give you a glimpse of the local lifestyle practiced here and an interesting rendezvous at the typical mountain village market in Rinchenpong. After this visit a local school (carol academy). The walk can be shortened depending on how you are feeling.
Then you enter the village of Hatti Dunga, where you will be served a delicious picnic lunch. After lunch cross an old traditional Lepcha house which is 150 years old. You will then return to the house for a leisure evening and an in house dinner prepared by the Shakti chef.
Overnight: Sangdyang Lee Village House
DAY THREE SANGDYANG LEE – HEE (15 KM HIKE)
For those who wish to, rise up early this morning and walk to Rinchenpong Monastery where you can participate in the early morning prayers. After the prayers you will walk back to Sandyang Lee for breakfast.
After breakfast, walk uphill (268 stairs) and come across a family monastery which is around 200 years old. You can enjoy the 360 degree view of the stunning mountains on a clear day. Then you will follow the trail down via Rinchenpong monastery again along a ridge with stunning mountain views continuing through the charming village of Bhasmay. You will then arrive at Kaluk village which is a small Himalayan town where we begin to climb uphill for approximately half an hour. You will reach the highest hillock in the area, where you will be walking along the ridge while the mountains run parallel to you. Then you enter the village of Jowbari, where you will be served a delicious picnic lunch.
As you continue you will reach Bermiok monastery and then Dunga Dara and then continue to the charming village of Hee -your next village house.
Overnight: Shakti Village House at Hee
DAY FOUR HEE-RADHU KHANDU (10 KM HIKE)
This morning if the weather is clear, your guide will wake you at dawn to view over Pemayangste Hill and to the great Himalayan range. The sight of the sun rising with Kanchenjunga in the background is truly unforgettable. Enjoy the stunning view with a cup of hot tea.
After breakfast you will start your walk with a gentle climb uphill walking through the Red Panda wildlife sanctuary till your trail reaches a stream. Following the stream you will reach a path which is one of the oldest trade routes ever established in this part of the mountains. After walking along this path for two hours you will reach your village house Radhu Khandu.
The house at Radhu Kandu is a charming traditional Sikkimese house with two bedrooms and outside toilets and showers (built by Shakti), the family are fantastic (the owner being a particular character), the location is sublime and there is nothing better than having tea in the sit out room which has 270° views of the area.
Overnight: Shakti Village House at Radhu Khandu
DAY FIVE RADHU KHANDU (12 KM HIKE)
This day’s walk begins after breakfast and if possible the owner of the house will accompany you through the laid back village of Khandu. Carrying on further through the cardamom fields, you will then take a tea break at one of the local houses owned by a retired school teacher whose life long experiences become a point of great conversation. Later you will follow a path which leads to the beautiful 150 years old monastery and follow a path to the rhododendron ridge for a delicious picnic lunch.
Later walk back to your village house and have a special last evening with your Shakti team!
Overnight: Shakti Village House at Radhu Khandu
DAY SIX RADHU KHANDU - BAGDOGRA
After breakfast, you will walk back down to the road head (around twenty minutes). From here you will be driven for about 5 hours to Bagdogra Airport for your flight out.
Accommodation in village houses for 5 nights on a fully inclusive basis with all meals and beverages, an accompanying English speaking guide, a private chef with support staff, transfers between Bagdogra, Kalimpong, Darjeeling and village houses and a car and driver at disposal.
Government Tax included