Darjeeling Adventure Activities & Tours

 
 
What to expect 
So you might be thinking it's a joke that even a laid back hill town like Darjeeling can offer exciting adventure activities and sports. You will be surprised to know the big leaps the place is taking to become one of the hubs of adventure sports and tours in the north-eastern India. 
 
The foaming waters of the mountain rivers Teesta and Rangeet attract large number of enthusiasts for white water rafting every year. Sandakphu and Phalut treks are already well established trekking routes in the region and very popular to trekkers from all over the world. 
 
There are operators in Darjeeling who have also introduced several other adventure activities like paragliding where you can fly like a bird and enjoy the panoramic mountain landscapes from the sky, Rock / Sport climbing where you can learn and try out rock climbing, Kayaking along river Teesta, riding the Hot Air Balloon to soak in the views from the sky, motor bike tours, mountain biking and lot more. 
 
And of course there are safaris and adventure tours to mind blowing places like sanctuaries, national parks, peaks of Singalila range and more. Sounds interesting? Then read on... 
 
Paragliding in Darjeeling 
This aerosport is now increasingly getting popular in Darjeeling both with tourists and locals. After all who doesn't want to fly like a bird? And that too watching the lovely mountain landscapes, tiny houses &ámountain villages, Kanchenjunga snow peaks and even the Everest from the sky. Like to experience the paradise? Try paragliding in Darjeeling. It can be done by anyone. If you have never done it before, don't worry, there is something called tandem paragliding where a guide will accompany you and control the whole flight. All you have to do is to enjoy being in paradise. More Info... 
 
 
 
White Water Rafting in Teesta 
If you have a little sense of adventure, then don't miss out on this one. White water rafting is easy to organize with your Darjeeling trip. The rafting on the river Teesta is an amazing experience where the foaming river flows down a valley with forested banks and mountains on both sides. The many birds, fishes, flora &áfauna combined with the rafting excitement can become a memorable experience for life. It can be done by anybody, even novices, all you need is a sense of adventure and fun. Rafting can also be combined with camping on river banks. More Info... 
 
Trekking in Darjeeling 
Who hasn't heard about the famous treks to Sandakphu and Phalut? Both are in Singalilla range and part of Darjeeling district, and offer awesome experience that very few other treks in the world can match. Where else in the world can you see four out of the five highest peaks of the word in one stretch of snow? Where else can you find hundreds of different varieties of orchids and many other flowering plants like rhododendrons, magnolia and spruce in full bloom? It's all here in Darjeeling. All you need to do is to make up your mind just for a soft trek and give yourself few days time in the heaven. More Info... 
 
Jeep Safari to Sandakphu and Phalut 
Well if you can't trek or don't have the time to do so, you can still be in the heavens by taking a jeep safari to Sandakphu and onward to Phalut. You can either take a packaged tour from an operator in Darjeeling (this is the easiest) or organize it yourself by taking a Jeep or Land Rover from Maneybhanjan and complete the round trip in just two days. I have described the experience and all the options of taking this jeep tour in the link above. More Info... 
 
 
 
Jeep Safari to Singalila National Park 
If you love mountain forest, Singalila National Park is the place to go. Located at a high altitude along the way to Sandakphu, the park is a paradise for those who love to see some amazing Himalayan animals like Red Panda, Pangolins, Yellow Throated Martens and lot more. And of course it's home to many magnificent plantations and flowering plants like silver firs, oaks, ferns, rhododendrons, orchids, magnolias, primula etc. And a great bonus is that the park is located close to Tumling from where the view of Kanchenjunga snow peaks are just awesome. More Info... 
 
Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary 
2 1/2 hours drive from Darjeeling this is a sprawling forest area and a sanctuary spanning across some 158 square kms. Regular jeep safaris are available from the Sukna gate. You can see some amazing animals including Royal Bengal Tigers (if lucky), leopards, elephants, barking deer etc in their natural habitats. Apart from wide range of plantations, the sanctuary is also a bird watchers paradise. You can even take elephant rides here through the forests. More Info... 
 
 
 
Kayaking (Canoeing) 
There are operators in Darjeeling who offer complete packages for kayaking which is usually done at Rammam River in Singla or at Chota Rangeet river near Singla. The packages include road transfers, food, camping, all equipment and gears, instructions and lessons at all levels. It can also be combined with overnight camping on river bank, cultural programs, tea garden tour etc. More Info... 
 
Camping 
Some of the most popular camping sites are along the Sandakphu/Phalut trek route like at Tonglu. These are called high altitude camping. Camping also takes place at Tiger Hill. It can be combined with rafting &áKayaking as well and such camping usually takes place along the river banks like of Teesta. More Info... 
 
Riverside camping (on Teesta Bank) 
 
Photo: Offroad Adventure 
 
Rafting and Camping 
Packages are offered by operators that combine white water rafting with river bank camping. You will camp in natural surrounding of forests and hear the sounds of the river flowing at night just next to you, and wake up to the chirping of the birds. Cliff Jumping and Body Surfing are also offered along with Camping and Rafting activities. Get Operator Info... 
 
Cliff Jumping by Teesta 
 
Photo: Offroad Adventure 
 
 
Rock Climbing 
Darjeeling has several rock sites where rock or sport climbing takes place. One of the popular places for rock climbing is Tenzing Rock. This is where Tenzing Norgay (the first Everest climber) also practiced rock climbing. Many tourists try it out and get a feel of the time when Tenzing used to come here. Lessons are also offered at all skill levels including to novices. Get Operator Info... 
 
Rock Climbing in Darjeeling 
Rock Climbing in Darjeeling 
Photo: Offroad Adventure 
 
Mountain Bike Tours and Rentals 
Like motor bikes, you can also rent a mountain bike or take part in a guided group tour which can be customized for you or your group. The group size can be between 2 to 12 and the tour duration would be about 9 hours. You get excellent quality mountain bikes in Darjeeling like the Trek, Conandale etc. You can get mountain bike Operator info here... 
 
Mountain biking in Darjeeling 
 
Photo: Ashmita Trek &áTours 
 
Motor Bike Tours and Rentals 
If you want to see Darjeeling and surrounding areas on a motor bike, there are two options. Either you can take a guided organized tour or take a motor bike on rent. You will get motorbikes like Royal Enfield in good condition. There are plenty of amazing terrain to explore in and around Darjeeling including tea gardens, villages, mountain landscapes and sanctuaries. 
 
Take a leisure ride at your own pace, have a map (given by the operator) to chalk out your route through the mountain landscape or just get lost, stop at any place you want and have a cup of tea while chatting with a local ... the opportunities are plenty. Get Operator info here... 
 
 
 
Zorbing 
This is a funny adventure sports meant mostly for the young and children. A huge soft plastic ball is fully blown by pumping air into it. You will then be secured inside the ball and the ball would rolled on the ground. While you will surely enjoy the spin inside, crowd will gather outside to watch the fun and give a hand in rolling the ball. Zorbing requires prior booking. Get Operator Info... 
 
Zorbing at Kurseong, Darjeeling 
 
Photo: Offroad Adventure 
 
Hot Air Balloon 
So what if you are bit scared to paraglide, there is another great way to view Darjeeling and the Himalayan snow peaks from the sky, and it's the magnificent Hot Air Balloon!! You will be sitting in a basket carrier under the canopy of a huge brightly colored parachute and gradually lifted in the air, safely. Don't worry, the parachute will be tied to the ground with ropes and there will be a guide accompanying you. The balloon is filled with hot air from a burner fitted to it. As it rises to 300-ft above the ground, the feeling and the view around is awesome, and will remain as an unforgettable experience. More Info... 
 
 
 
Visitors' Reviews/Comments 
 
Amit Rana (September 2016) 
Hello Raj, áThank you so much for creating and maintaining this site. I am planning to do a 15 days bike trip in Sikkim in November end with my friend. I have been doing research and your site is a life saver. I have gone through almost all the pages. Your personal story is also very motivating. Thank you for the Sandakphu map. I also saw your April 2016 update which states that road till Chitre is now paved. Do you think we can take our bikes till Sandakphu or is it strictly jeep only route? Thanks, 
 
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) September 2016 
Hi, other than trekking, the route is meant for jeeps only. However some have tried with their bikes. Few have succeeded but several have failed. Those who made it, were mostly in bike expedition groups. If your bike breaks down (which is highly probable), there is virtually no service or support along the way. Your call. 
 
Chris Stoneman (January 2016) 
Hi I'm planning with some friends to cycle from Bagdogra to Kalimpong, Gantock, Darjeeling etc (please excuse my spelling! ) in 2017, we ride Europian road bikes are the roads suitable for these sorts of bike or should we bring mountain bikes? I'd be pleased to read your advice! We are all experienced cyclists with 1000's of miles to our credit! We are traveling from the UK. I lived in U.P. For 3 years 30 years ago so know something of India. 
 
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) January 2016 
Hi, places you mentioned (i.e. Bagdogra, Kalimpong, Gangtok and Darjeeling) are well connected with tarred roads. Although mountain bikes would be preferred, sturdy European road bikes will also do. However if you plan to get into trails or graveled roadways, you need mountain bikes. 
 
Tarun (December 2015) 
Hi, please help. Me and my friends are visiting Darjeeling from 24-26 and then we'll head towards Gangtok. I have done extensive research on everything. Just help me with this one and the most imp. thing. We have decided to spend a day on motorcycles so that we can see Darjeeling in much more liberated way. We are a group of four (all male- 20) , we need two rented motorcycles (Enfield) on 25th december ..is there anyone who lends motorcycles for a day in Darjeeling ? Also suggest me some nearby treks where we can head on our bikes.. I mean we want to start early morning and return by evening of the same day.. I was wondering if we can head towards Tumling (village in Nepal), can we go and come back from there in a single day ? what about weather conditions ? and if Tumbling is not possible then where can we go (place with breathtaking views) in a single day ? 
 
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) December 2015 
The outfitter 'Adventures Unlimited' rents motorbikes. They are located on Zakir Hussain Rd (short walk from the Mall). You should contact them in advance. However in Darjeeling, the operators require minimum 7 days rental (single day rental is not offered). Tumling is not good for bikes, it's a steep gravel road from Manebhanjan and will be very risky. There are many places for day trips. Ask the outfitter, they can guide you. 
 
Nipun Agarwal (December 2015) 
Hi Sir, me and my friends (all of 21years age) are planning to visit Darjeeling for a 3-4 day trip. Please help us. This short period will be enough for the trip? and also that paragliding will be available in January or not? And if we come there this above said period, then what all we should do? Your answers are highly appreciated. 
 
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) December 2015 
Hi, 3/4 days trip is quite okay. Since beginning of this year, the operator has not received the license to operate paragliding in Darjeeling. However you can go down to Kalimpong and do paragliding (2 hours drive from Darjeeling and shared jeeps are available - Rs. 150 per person each way). But note that since demand is low during the winter, it may not always operate. Since you are all young, you should do a day trek (starts from Tonglu which is on the way to famous Sandakphu trekking trail). You should go through an operator like Ashmita Trek &áTours (they give good discounts on Darjeeling Tourism Card). They know the route and ensure that there is not much uphill walk during the day hike. You can also try rafting in Teesta, but either go down to GTA tourism office on Mall road and see if they can arrange that or directly go down to Teesta bazaar ... there is a local operator there. Water would be ice cold around that time. So unless you have wet suites, avoid. Take the ropeway, visit HMI/Zoo and take a toy train joy ride as well. 
 
Sayanto (October 2015) 
Hi Raj, I am a solo traveler travelling Darjeeling over 10th Oct- 12th Oct, 2015. I am looking for any of these 3 activities - Rafting, Paragliding and kayaking. I know I have a very small window and I want to fit in as much as I can. 'Off Road Adventures' informed me that they are not doing anything apart from treks over this time. Can you suggest me some more such orgs who offer these sports? Will look forward to your response. P.S: The amazing level of information you have put up on this site is unparalleled. Highly appreciated. 
 
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) October 2015 
You can check with 'Adventures Unlimited' - they also do Rafting and Kayaking. 
 
Arti Sharma (July 2014) 
Hi Raj, 3 cheers for such a great website. I am glued on this site for almost 02 days now and might be a regular visitor. Information is so detailed and it is certainly helping me preparing my itinerary for a visit in October. Just a question, i see there is a zoo to see Red panda but are there any national park nearby where we can see Red panda and more wildlife in nature setting. We may also opt for a walking tour mentioned as one of activity as we like to walk and explore and what a better way to do with an experienced guide who knows the history and can share interesting stories.I will write about the guide little closer to month, i just finished issuing my flights. 
 
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) July 2014 
You can visit Singalila National Park ... it's a áhigh altitude national park accessible from Manebhanjan by trek or jeep. 
 
Renu (Adventure itinerary in Darjeeling) October 2013 
Hello sir, The website is beautifully written and has everything that anyone who wishes to visit Darjeeling needs to know and be prepared. However, i am in need of help in planning an itinerary for my trip. Around 6 - 7 of us (family and friends, all adults) are planning to visit Darjeeling between December 7th - 13th 2013. I have extensively browsed through your website and have mentally made a list of places we want to see and things we want to do. Basically we are concentrating on undertaking adventurous tasks and some beautiful scenery sight seeing. From your list we are interested in doing white water rafting, paragliding, trekking, kayaking, hot air balloon, mountain biking, Darjeeling rope way and jeep safari to Sandakphu and Phalut. We want to visit Gangtok for a day too. How should I plan my itinerary in order to cover all these things smoothly? Also is there any guest house or a cottage kind of setting so all 7 of us can stay together and even cook maybe.. Awaiting your response. Thank you. 
 
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) October 2013 
Hi, There are too many activities on your platter. You will need to drop a few. For ropeway, take a local taxi and visit singamari (the cable car base station), take the ride and comeback. Will require half a day. Hot air balloon is seasonal and requires a minimum group size of 15. White water rafting in Teesta would require one full day from Darjeeling. You can not plan a Sandakphu trek in such a short time, but if you are taking a jeep safari, then you can do some 4kms leisure trek (between Meghma to Tumling) along the route and ask the Jeep to wait at Tumling. You should ideally stay overnight at Tumling (Shikhar Lodge is a good place) and then continue the Safari next day through Singalila National Park to Sandakphu. On your return, you should not go back to Darjeeling, rather head back for NJP/Bagdogra. So the safari should be the last leg of your tour. If you plan Gangtok, you will need two full days (and an overnight stay) to reach, do local sightseeing and then return. 
 
I'm leaving it to you how you want to arrange the activities. For paragliding and hot air balloon the best operator is Offroad Adventures, for Mountain biking (I think you should drop this one for want of time), rafting, kayaking áget in touch with Adventures Unlimited, for trekking and Jeep Safari contact Ashmita Treks &áTours. You will find their contact info under Operators
 
There is no proper homestay or self catering type of units in Darjeeling for a group stay. Even all guest houses are fully serviced. I have discussed all the good ones in my site. Good luck! 
 
Parin Shah (September 2013) 
Dear Raj, First of all, I must admit your website is a great help for those planning a visit to Darjeeling. It must have really taken you, years of experience and great efforts in developing it. Congratulations and keep up the good work! 
 
We are a group of friends. We'll be visiting Darjeeling in December for 2-3 days. I stumbled upon the idea of exploring the various points of Darjeeling town on bicycle. I wanted to know if its possible to hire good cycles (suitable for hilly roads) and whether it is a feasible idea to cover distances on cycle or just walking around would be ideal? Thanks in advance. Regards, 
 
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) September 2013 
Hi, Darjeeling is in a mountain terrain and in several places the gradient is steep. So if all of you are used to mountain biking and physically fit, then you can go for it. Otherwise it can really get tiring. You will get good quality mountain bikes in Darjeeling from operators like Adventures Unlimited. Check out Darjeeling Operators for contact info. Planning on sightseeing on foot will limit you only to few nearby tourist places. There are several great tourist attractions that are not in hiking distance. Regards,