North East India, Bhutan and Nepal tour

“A 22 day, small group cultural tour of India, Bhutan and Nepal, travelling by train, coach and internal flights, with an expert guide throughout. ”

Highlights

India: Kolkata | Sundarbans | Wildlife watching | Darjeeling | Toy Train | Gangtok | Bhutan: Thimphu | Tashichho Dzong | Punakha Dzong | Tiger's Nest Monastery | Nepal: Kathmandu

Description of North East India, Bhutan and Nepal tour

Take a peek inside the hidden kingdoms of the Himalayas with a culture-packed holiday to North East India, Bhutan and Nepal. This three week, small group guided tour weaves together the wild highlights and most sacred sites of the Himalaya’s eastern edge, taking in tiger-filled mangrove forests, historic towns and monasteries along the way.   

Leaving behind the bustling streets of Kolkata, where our tour begins, we’ll head south to explore India’s wild side. Here, cruising through the waterways of the Sundarbans, one of the largest mangrove jungles in the world, we’ll seek out Bengal tigers, pangolin, leopard cats and crocodiles. We stay in the Sundarban Tiger Camp for two nights, so there are plenty of chances to spot some of the local animal inhabitants, before taking the sleeper train to Darjeeling, a town surrounded by emerald tea plantations, Tibetan monasteries and stunning mountain views. We’ll take a ride to one of the oldest, Ghoom Monastery, on the famous Toy Train, a narrow gauge, steam powered railway, before exploring the dramatic landscape of the former Kingdom of Sikkim.

In Bhutan, we’ll take a tour of the sacred dzongs, towering fortresses, including Punakha Dzong and Tashichho Dzong, the current seat of the Bhutanese government. We also have the opportunity to visit the breathtaking Tiger’s Nest Monastery, Bhutan’s most iconic building, perched among the rocks of a sheer cliff face. From Bhutan we fly to Kathmandu, in Nepal, where our tour ends, but not before a day of sightseeing in this colourful city.  
 

Travel Team

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Date
Price
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19 Mar 2020
£4450
including UK flights
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10 Sep 2020
£4850
including UK flights
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09 Oct 2020
£4310
including UK flights
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30 Oct 2020
£4330
including UK flights
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Vouchers
Accepted
Holiday type
Small group holidays
Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travellers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.
What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Simplicity
Make the most of your holiday time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travellers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your holiday.

Solo travellers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those travelling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travellers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
Mythbuster
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travellers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travellers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
No.
Meet a local guide
No matter how experienced your group leader, they can never make up for the knowledge gained from a lifetime in the destination. That’s why many of our trips work with local guides around the world – who invite you into their homeland with pleasure.

Responsible tourism

North East India, Bhutan and Nepal tour

Carbon reduction

Your holiday will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this holiday and how to reduce them.

Environment

This amazing journey starts in the Kolkata, the original capital city of the British Raj and considered India’s cultural capital today. The nearby Sundarbans are one of the largest mangrove forests on the planet and a Biosphere Reserve.

We travel through the jungles here mainly by small boat, gently cruising through the waterways in a way that doesn’t disturb the wildlife. In India’s north-eastern state of Sikkim, and in nearby Bhutan, we travel in the company of local guides chosen for their excellent indigenous knowledge of the area and training. Their understanding of the country's flora, fauna and local culture will guarantee an accurate insight to traditional Sikkimese and Bhutanese life.

In addition to the above, we are continually looking for ways to improve and are proud to be ‘Responsible in everything we do’. Education is key and so all staff, Tour Leaders and partnering suppliers are trained in responsible and sustainable tourism. At our Head Office, we continually strive towards a sustainable and planet-friendly working environment, including having solar panels installed and a company commitment to reducing our plastic usage. As well as this, we have valuable and longstanding partnerships with UK charities Toilet Twinning and Send a Cow, plus many smaller initiatives and projects around the world. We’re members of UK travel industry bodies Tourism Concern and AITO because we believe it’s important to share our knowledge and experience, as well as learn from other operators.

As a company we support Cool Earth. Protecting rainforest is one of the most effective actions to tackle climate breakdown. CoolEarth work with indigenous communities empowering them to conserve their forest; keeping CO2 locked in.

Community

All travellers to Bhutan contribute (through the cost of their trip) to a compulsory Royalty levy part of which goes into education and health projects. All of the services we use in both Sikkim and Bhutan such as hotels, restaurants, guides and transport are provided by locally owned and operated businesses, thus ensuring the financial impact of our visit is a direct (and much needed) contribution to the economy.

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