Nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas in northeast India, Sikkim revels in its abundance of beautiful nature, with a plethora of scenic lakes, waterfalls, and lush green valleys. Apart from adventurous treks through mountain passes and around pristine lakes, a vacation in Sikkim usually involves visitng Hindu temples and Tibetan Buddhist monasteries. Rafting, kayaking, mountain biking, and mountaineering feature prominently on tourist agendas, with a visit to a hot spa providing the perfect way to relax after an exhausting day. Yak safaris and high ropeways provide interesting ways to see high-altitude cities and the surrounding nature, which includes the state’s natural symbols: the noble orchid and the red panda. Bordering Tibet and sandwiched between Nepal and Bhutan, Sikkim is known for its diverse blend of cultures. Sikkim is in India. 

1. Tsomgo Lake

Key Attractions:

  • Migratory ducks like the Brahmini
  • The beautiful flowers such as Primulas, Blue and Yellow Poppies, and Irish
  • Yaks and ponies ride

Precautions: Start early to avoid late night travel; and roads are not properly laid out

How to reach: A cab ride from Gangtok will take 2 hours for you to reach almost all Sikkim tourist places

Best time to visit: Jan to Mar – for snow; April to May – for Rhododendrons and Orchids; and Oct to Dec.

2. Nathula Pass

Key Attractions:

  • Yak safari
  • Border Gates of India and China
  • A beautifully built war memorial
  • Exhibition Centre of the Indian Army
  • Mt Chomolhari

Precautions: Oxygen levels are low; and there could be traffic jams due to adverse weather conditions

How to reach:
Road – 4 to 5 hours by bus from the east of Gangtok (54 km)
Train – Nearest railhead is Siliguri, 165 km away, and takes 4.5 hours by taxi.
Flight – Nearest airport is Pakyong airport.

When to visit Nathula: May and October; Opens for Indians only from Wednesday to Sunday

3. Lachung, Lachen and Yumthang Valley

Key Attractions:

  • The picturesque journey from Lachen to Gurudongmar lake
  • Gurudongmar Lake which is often frozen in winters
  • The colorful rhododendron bloom
  • Lachung Gompa where the largest Buddhist shrine is located
  • Lachung Monastery, Handicraft and Lachung Village
  • Mt Pandim, Mt Kabru, Mt Simvo, Mt Jopuno, Mt Khangchendzonga and Mt Siniolchu enroute Gangtok Rhododendron Sanctuary
  • Sub-zero temperature and 360 degree snowcapped highlands at Yumesamdong / Zero-point

Precaution: Low oxygen levels

How to reach: Take a taxi from the nearest railhead in New Jalpaiguri (Siliguri). The nearest airport is Pakyong airport.

When to visit: March–June is pleasant; and December–January for snowfall

4. Namchi

Key Attractions:

  • Khangchendzonga range
  • Sherdup Choeling Monastery
  • The beautiful tea gardens
  • Rock Garden
  • Namchi Mahotsav in October

How to reach: Take a cab for 77 km from the Jalpaiguri metro station

Precaution: Roads are not properly laid out

Best time to Visit: March–June and October–November

5. Teesta River

Key Attractions :

River rafting and kayaking during the summers

Bird spotting

Lush green fauna and flower beds on the banks

Sangam of river teesta with it tributary the Rangeet River

Dikchu bridge on way to Lachung

Precautions: River can get a little rough and ice pieces are often found

How to reach: Take a cab for 33 km from Darjeeling railway station

Best time to visit: April–May; and November

6. Gangtok

Key Attractions:

  • Paragliding in the valley
  • Jhakri Falls and Kyongnosla Water Falls
  • Yak ride
  • Lively nightlife
  • Snowcapped ranges of Mt Kachendzonga
  • Bird eye view from the ropeway
  • Enchey Monastery

How to reach: Take a cab for 148 km from New Jalpaiguri railway station. The nearest airport is Pakyong airport.

Best time to Visit: October to June