The first thing that one notices about Sikkim is snow-peaked mountains dotted with countless vibrant prayer flags. Located in North East India, Sikkim was once counted among the lesser-visited destinations in India owing to its harsh weather and winding roads. Today the state sees a number of visitors from around the world and is slowly becoming a popular destination for adventure lovers and backpackers.
The gorgeous landscapes that Sikkim promises seem to be replicas of paintings and one can’t help but fall in love with the surreal beauty. Since the state is home to a number of picturesque towns, renowned monasteries and natural retreats, we suggest that the best way to explore it is by booking Sikkim tour packages. Booking Sikkim tour packages is the smartest way to ensure that you see the state’s most popular sightseeing spots without worrying about transport and hotel bookings.
Sikkim was an independent kingdom before it merged with India in 1975. While the state still holds on to its distinct culture with pride, there is an overlapping of traditions and beliefs which are quite interesting to explore. The community is primarily made of Nepalese, Lepchas, Bhutias and Hindus and the peaceful co-existence among locals adds charm to the state’s vibe.
Owing to the state’s geographical make-up, it is slightly tricky to explore Sikkim and that’s why booking Sikkim tour packages solves transport and accommodation issues for most travellers. What stands out for travellers is that it could be the bustling city of Gangtok, the quiet town of Pelling or the scenic village of Darap - wherever you are in Sikkim, it feels like home. Offering an unforgettable trip, Sikkim seems to be far removed from busy, everyday life and one almost forgets the concrete jungle of cities.
Before planning for your Sikkim tour or booking Sikkim tour packages, it’s important to remember that one needs at least seven to ten days to explore the state. If you spend anything less than seven days here, you’ll be missing out on several must-see places in Sikkim. Another thing that one needs to remember is that travelling within Sikkim can be very tiring so plan your itinerary in a manner which gives you ample time to recuperate after a journey. Since the roads are narrow and the weather is unpredictable, travelling can take much longer than expected.
Most Sikkim tour packages begin their itinerary from Sikkim’s capital city – Gangtok. Bustling with energy, this small town is the perfect way to start your Sikkim tour. With the main market functioning as the city’s centre, most hotels and popular restaurants are located here and it’s the best place to organise last-minute hotel and taxi bookings. We do suggest keeping aside at least one day in Gangtok to enjoy warm hospitality, take in the gorgeous sights and to dig into local delicacies including the ever-favourite thukpa.
For those who’d like to spend a couple of days in Gangtok, we recommend including Tsomgo Lake, Tashi view point, Ganesh Tok, Do Drul Chorten and Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim tour packages. Located close to the city, most of these local sightseeing spots offer awe-inspiring views of the mighty Kanchenjunga.
One can then proceed to the beautiful town of Pelling which has gradually become one of the most popular places in Sikkim tour packages. Located close to 130km from Gangtok, the serene town of Pelling offers clear views of the Kanchenjunga range and capturing a sunset here is a life-changing experience. Pelling is also home to Pemayangtse Monastery, which is one of the most popular monasteries in Sikkim and a part of all Sikkim tour packages. If you like keeping busy during your vacations, Pelling offers several activities including village tours, spiritual retreats and mountain biking – all of which can be part of Sikkim tour packages to make the most of your trip.
Lachung is one of Sikkim’s most stunning villages and a huge attraction in Sikkim tour packages. The mesmerising beauty of the village needs to be seen to be believed and travellers often end up spending more time here than intended. En route to ‘Yumthang Valley’ or ‘Zero Point’, Lachung is also considered to be the base for various treks. Located close to 110km from Gangtok, Sikkim tour packages dedicate at least a couple of days to Lachung so that travellers can explore the place at a comfortable pace. Lachung Gompa is the largest Buddhist shrine and is an awe-inspiring experience for spiritual seekers. We suggest heading here during the morning before the tourist rush comes in. One must also visit Lachung Monastery and small handicraft workshops to admire the local craft.
Gurudongmar Lake in the northern part of Sikkim is another popular destination in Sikkim tour packages. Considered to be one of the fifteen highest lakes in the world, it is the second-highest lake in Sikkim and the most visited spot in the state. The lake is sacred for three religions and a number of tourists visit for its religious significance.
One needs a pass to visit the lake so if you have booked Sikkim tour packages, ensure that your pass is with you before you set out. Offering crystal clear views of Mount Siniolchu and Kanchenjunga, the lake is said to have healing properties and you’ll see travellers taking back water from the lake. If you’d like to spend at least a couple of hours admiring the azure lake, we suggest staying the night in Lachen. The best time to visit and booking Sikkim tour packages is during the months of November to May when the lake is frozen and it’s a sight unlike any other.
Nathula is another attraction in Sikkim tour packages which shouldn’t be missed. However, we don’t recommend a trip here if you are travelling with elderly or children since the journey is quite tiresome. Said to be one of the highest motorable roads in the world, the pass connects Sikkim and China. Travellers need a permit for Nathula and if you have booked Sikkim tour packages, it will be arranged before you set out.
One of three open trading border posts between the two countries, Nathula is known for its picture-perfect beauty, unusually low temperatures and of course the excitement of visiting a crucial inter-country border. The journey from Gangtok to Nathula is another reason why travellers include the pass in their Sikkim tour packages. Offering scenic views of Sikkim’s landscapes, the journey takes more time than usual since there are several unmissable pit stops in the middle.
If wildlife and natural beauty are what you look for in a vacation then Kanchenjunga National Park should be one of the top destinations in your Sikkim tour packages. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is a high altitude national part which lies in Sikkim and Nepal. A paradise for trekkers and wildlife enthusiasts, the national park promises diverse flora and fauna. If you are lucky, you can spot a variety of rare animals here including the regal snow leopard and the stunning Himalayan tahr, Himalayan blue sheep and Civet.
Planning a trip to Sikkim can be a daunting task since there are a plethora of things to do and numerous places to visit. Travellers often get confused considering that there are a variety of Sikkim tour packages available. But before you start planning and booking, we suggest going through a few Sikkim travel blogs on Tripoto. These travel blogs are personal accounts of backpackers, trekkers and luxury travellers who have explored the state and have had remarkably different journeys which can help you plan. Here’s a sneak peek of what you can expect:
“A hill station town with an elevation of about 9,600 feet, Lachung offers some astonishing views of the snow-clad Himalayas with Lachung and Lachen rivers in its vicinity. Located approximately 125 kms from Gangtok, it is the first night halt for the tourist as it already becomes dark until you arrive here.” - Sanjay Kumar
“Apart from the natural beauty and biodiversity of the small state, Sikkim is known to preserve and protect its cultural heritage. The only Lepcha Reserve area is at Dzongu in North Sikkim. The people of Sikkim have developed an inimitable lifestyle of their own, all guided and influenced by their ancient faith.” - Amrita
“Yumthang Valley and Zero Point. The drivers usually make fool of tourists by showing another point which is around 8 kms before the actual Zero point, they make excuses that the army is not allowing to go further, luckily in my group there was a couple from Kolkata who had already been there so they knew it.” - Alok Singh
Situated in the north-eastern part of India, Sikkim experiences pleasant summers and severe winters. Considering the low temperatures during winter, the best time to visit Sikkim is between May and October. The weather is pleasant and more welcoming than winter.
It’s also the best time to admire the lush greenery Sikkim is known for and to plan for trekking and camping trips. In fact, this is the time when most backpackers and trekkers book Sikkim tour packages to explore the best trekking spots.
At the same time, if you’d like to avoid the peak season, you can book Sikkim tour packages between October and December. Offering travellers a chance to explore a different side of Sikkim, this is when most festivals are taking place including Cherry Tea Festival and Red Panda Winter Festival.
Sikkim is loved by honeymooners and couples who enjoy spending time in nature as well as exploring new places. Giving travellers the option to either plan an action-packed trip or a quiet, laidback vacation, Sikkim tour packages for couples can be customised to a large extent. Another great thing about the state is the picture-perfect hotels which feel like home, especially after a long day of travelling. While your Sikkim tour packages will depend on your preferences, we do recommend including a visit to Gangtok, Pelling, Lachen, Nathula and Yumthang Valley to experience the best of this picturesque state. The best time to book a Sikkim tour package for couples is between May and December.
Most trips with friends are a result of numerous cancelled plans and months of planning. So if Sikkim is on your bucket list, we suggest booking Sikkim tour packages to save yourself the hassle of mapping an itinerary. Instead, you can spend time researching the places that you must visit and the restaurants that shouldn’t be missed. For adventure enthusiasts, we also suggest including a few trekking tours in Sikkim tour packages since the state is home to some of the best trekking routes in India including Yumthang Valley trek, Goechala trek and Varsey trek.
A mix of Nepalese, Tibetan and Indian cuisines, the local cuisine of Sikkim is a treat for food lovers. Using fresh ingredients, the food is simple, healthy and delicious. The most popular snack here is, of course, momos and the world-famous soupy, thukpa. Available in all restaurants and cafes, the momos are perhaps the best in India and have a distinct flavour which ensures you keep coming back for more. Food lovers must all try sinki soup, sael roti and phagshapa.
Since tourism is gradually increasing in Sikkim, there are numerous restaurants which serve a variety of cuisines including Chinese, Italian and Indian. The most popular restaurants are Mama’s Kitchen, Crumbs and Whips and Nimtho.
How much do Sikkim holiday packages cost?
Sikkim can be divided into four regions – north, east, south and west. One can either book Sikkim tour packages to cover all four regions or cover them separately. Depending on your itinerary, Sikkim tour packages can cost anywhere between Rs.15,000 to Rs.70,000.
Which are the best hotels in Sikkim?
Sikkim has some of the most beautiful hotels in India and though the scenery makes a huge difference, the warm hospitality adds charm to all holidays. Some of the best hotels in Sikkim are Elgin Mount Pandim, Elgin Nor-khill, Yarlam, Mayfair Spa Resort and Casino and Pride Terrace Valley Resort.
Which places should I include in my North Sikkim tour?
The best places to include in Sikkim tour packages are Lachung, Yumthang, Mangan, Lachen and Chungthang.
What should I pack for my Sikkim trip?
Since the weather in Sikkim is quite unpredictable, you must pack warm clothes, an umbrella, a raincoat and basic medical supplies.
How much do Sikkim packages from Delhi cost?
Sikkim tour packages from Delhi can cost anywhere Rs.35,000 to Rs.60,000 depending on the inclusions, the number of days and the kind of accommodation you have opted for.
How can one travel within Sikkim?
There are a number of ways to travel within Sikkim but we recommend booking shared taxis or private taxis for your commute. For those who are travelling on a budget, we suggest tying up with other backpackers to cut down costs.
Is there phone connectivity in Sikkim?
In Gangtok and Pelling, phone connectivity is much better than in other parts of the state. If you are travelling to Lachung and Lachen, there might be connectivity in some areas. For those who are going trekking, it’s best to keep someone informed of your whereabouts.
Which are the best places to visit in Sikkim?
The best places to include in Sikkim tour packages are Pelling, Lachung, Lachen, Kanchenjunga National Park, Yuksom, Namchi and Zuluk.
Which is the best time to visit Sikkim?
The best time to book Sikkim tour packages and to plan your Sikkim travel itinerary is between May and October when the weather is pleasant.
What are the permits I require for Sikkim?
Considering the proximity to other countries such as China, foreign nationals require Restricted Area Permit (RAP) to visit any place in Sikkim. This permit is also known as an Inner Line Permit (ILP) and is available in Sikkim House in most metros. Indians require a permit to visit Nathula which can easily be arranged by a registered travel agency.