Six Ladakhi women with turquoise headresses and silver necklaces

Ladakhi women

Ceremonial dress for women of Ladakh includes turquoise-encrusted headdresses that are passed down from generation to generation and represent the wealth of a family.

Photo by Hashmat Singh

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Journey to Ladakh

The Hidden Nubra Valley and a Spectacular Buddhist Festival

Journey to Ladakh route-map

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $4695  
Length: 12 days
Arrive: Delhi, India
Depart: Delhi, India
Lodging: 6 nights in hotels, 5 nights in guesthouses
Meals: All meals included
Activity: Cultural Adventures
Trip Level: Rugged road travel with light hikes, altitudes of 10,000-18,379 feet


  • Experience Ladakh’s breathtaking landscapes and unique Tibetan culture
  • Explore medieval monasteries of the Indus Valley, atmospheric bazaars of Leh
  • Discover the spectacular world of the Nubra Valley
  • Witness the Lamayuru Sacred Festival (June) or Leh Cultural Festival (September)

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Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.


We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.

Departure Notes

Once you have signed up on the trip, we send a complete packing list, relevant health information, and required travel documents.

Few places in the world are as spectacular as Ladakh, a moonscape of jagged peaks and cloud-swept monasteries high atop the Tibetan Plateau. We’ve crafted a rare cultural adventure to attend traditional festivals, hike to ancient villages, walk the pilgrim kora at magnificent monasteries, cross the highest road in the world, and explore the spellbinding Nubra Valley, a vision from the Silk Road days with its Bactrian camels and sand dunes below snow-dusted mountains. Visiting Nubra’s 14th century Diskit Gompa, we climb to the roof of its 90-foot-high Maitreya Buddha statue at sunset as the slanting rays paint the valley gold—and know we’ve found a lost Himalayan world.

Itinerary at a Glance

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Days 1-4
Delhi / Leh (Lamayuru Festival Departure)

After exploring Delhi’s monuments, we fly to Leh, a former trans-Himalayan trading post sprawled below a ruined Tibetan-style fortress. We roam the lanes of the bazaar and visit the wide Indus Valley’s grand hilltop monasteries.

Days 5-7
Indus Valley / Alchi / Likir / Lamayuru

We visit the thriving Alchi and Likir monasteries to see their rare Buddhist murals and take tea with the monks at cliff-perched Lamayuru, Ladakh’s oldest monastic complex. Overnights are in a charming village, and we return to Leh on Day 7. Our June trip witnesses the Lamayuru Festival, and the August trip attends the Leh Cultural Festival.

Days 8-12
Nubra Valley / Diskit Gompa / Valley of Flowers

Crossing the Khardung La (18,300'), we descend into hidden Nubra (10,000'), with the mighty Karakorum Mountains on one side and craggy Ladakh Range on the other. We explore the valley and visit tranquil villages, including Diskit, with its 14th century gompa and massive Buddha statue. Depart via Delhi on Day 12.

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Optional Extensions

If you would like to continue your adventure, we offer the following extensions:

What the Trip is Like

This trip is Level 3+, Moderate. It is an adventurous overland journey with accommodations ranging from very comfortable hotels to a basic lodge in the Nubra Valley Our activities center on exploring cultural sites. Road travel on some days is long. In general, you should be fit and be able to be on your feet 4 to 6 hours a day on this journey. Our walks and hikes are moderate, suitable for people in good shape who enjoy the mountains. The exploration of the monasteries and day hikes will involve some up and down walking, which at altitudes can feel strenuous. For your own enjoyment, we recommend that you make a special effort to be in good physical condition. Daily brisk walking is an excellent preparatory exercise.

While in Ladakh, we will be at altitudes between 10,000 and 15,000 feet. Individuals vary widely in both their physical response to high altitude. It is not uncommon to experience mild headaches or sleeplessness for a day or two when you first arrive at high altitude. Most people gradually adjust within a few days. Your body can adapt to altitude if given time. We feel this itinerary provides that option, but you must pace yourself to go slowly and drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.

Explanation of Trip Levels


Departures & Leaders

Jun 19-30, 2014  Lamayuru Festival

Sep 17-28, 2014  Leh Festival*

*Please note change of dates since publication of 2014 catalog

Trip Cost

Prices are for 2014
$4695 (13-16 members)
$4895 (9-12 members)
$5095 (6-8 members)
Single supplement: $795
Forced single supplement: $595
Internal airfare: $590 (subject to change)
more on pricing

Extension Costs
Dharamsala and Amritsar Extension
   from: $1435
Taj Mahal and Jaipur Extension
   from: $2495
Varanasi and Khajuraho Extension
   from: $1295

Trip Cost Includes:

  • Expert leadership of a Wilderness Travel Trip Leader and local guides
  • Accommodations as noted
  • All meals included
  • Sightseeing as noted
  • All land transportation, airport transfers for passengers arriving Day 1 and departing Day 12

Trip Cost Does Not Include:

International airfare; airport departure taxes; any meals not specified after each itinerary day; optional tipping or gratuities to leaders or staff; hotels en route to/from Delhi; any additional hotel nights that may be necessitated by international airline schedule changes or other factors; pre-trip expenses of medical immunizations, visa fees, travel insurance; and other expenses of a personal nature (alcoholic beverages, laundry, etc.).

Trip Payment Schedule

At time of reservation: $500
120 days prior to departure: 20%
60 days prior to departure: Balance

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule

Minimum fee: None per person
46-90 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost
45 days or less: 100% of trip cost

Claridges Hotel Delhi

Claridges Hotel Delhi

Days 1 to 2 (2 nights), Delhi, India

Set on three acres right in the heart of New Delhi, this hotel has been a landmark since the 1950s and it’s just a five-minute walk from the ...
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Omasila Hotel

Omasila Hotel

Days 3 to 4 (2 nights),
Day 7 (1 night),
Day 11 (1 night), Leh, India

The Omasilla has one of the best locations in Leh, just a 10-minute walk to the restaurants and  main market of Leh. Guest rooms are simple but ...
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Namra Hotel

Namra Hotel

Days 5 to 6 (2 nights), Tingmosgang, India

With a tranquil setting surrounded by apple and apricot orchards in rural Ladakh, just a few miles from Lamayuru Monastery, the Namra provides ...
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Yarab Tso Hotel

Yarab Tso Hotel

Days 8 to 10 (3 nights), Sumer, India

The Yarab Tso is a charming family-run lodge in a serene section of the Nubra Valley. The rooms, though basic, are comfortable and have private ...
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Radisson Blu Airport Hotel

Radisson Blu Airport Hotel (Day Room)

Day 12, Delhi, India

This stylish business hotel is just a few miles from Delhi’s international airport, with comfortable rooms and all the services you’d ...
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Extension Accommodations

If you would like to view the accommodations offered with our extensions options:

Note: Listed above are our signature accommodations for this trip. Although it is highly unlikely, we may make substitutions when necessary.

Our Trip Leaders

Here are the Trip Leaders scheduled for this journey (please note that leader assignments are subject to change).

Devendra Basnet

Departure Dates: September 17-28, 2014

Devendra Basnet was born in the foothills of the Himalayas in Darjeeling, India, and makes his home in Kathmandu, Nepal. He studied Zoology in college in India and began his guiding career as a naturalist guide in Nepal’s wildlife-rich Royal Chitwan National Park. His zoology background has ...
Click here for a full bio and list of all upcoming trips

Hashmat Singh

Departure Dates: June 19-30, 2014

Hashmat Singh has led over 100 journeys on three continents for us since 1990. He holds a BA in History from Delhi University and is a noted photographer. His book, Trekking in the Himalaya (Roli Books), features photographic essays from Ladakh to Bhutan. Born an army brat, Hashmat traveled ...
Click here for a full bio and list of all upcoming trips

Optional Extensions

If you would like to continue your adventure, we offer the following extensions:


Dharamsala and Amritsar Extension

The Dalai Lama's Mountain Abode & the Sikhs' Golden Temple

Cultural Adventures, Walking
5 days  -  Level 1+

taj mahal agra india cultural tour

Taj Mahal and Jaipur Extension

Romantic Rajasthan, Land of Princes

Cultural Adventures
4 days  -  Level 1

Varanasi and Khajuraho Extension

Holy City Along the Ganges, Magnificent World-Famous Temples

Cultural Adventures
4 days  -  Level 1