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 route-map

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $4895  
Length: 12 days
Arrive: Delhi, India
Depart: Delhi, India
Lodging: 6 nights hotels, 5 nights 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 Buddhist culture
  • Explore atmospheric bazaars of Leh and medieval monasteries of the Indus Valley
  • Discover the beautiful Shyok and Nubra Valleys
  • Witness the Lamayuru Festival (June) or Leh Festival (September)

An excellent trip—a fabulous location and an experience you will get nowhere else.Barbara B.—Redmond, WA

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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.

Few places in the world are as spectacular as Ladakh, a moonscape of jagged peaks and cloud-swept monasteries high atop the Tibetan Plateau. On our extraordinary cultural adventure, you’ll hike among serene villages under a cobalt-blue sky, cross the highest road in the world, and experience festivals where Ladakhi women often wear exquisite turquoise headdresses and the air is filled with the sounds of dung-chens (long trumpets) and clashing cymbals. You’ll also explore the spellbinding Shyok and Nubra Valleys, enchanting visions from the Silk Road days. In this realm of Bactrian camels and sand dunes below snow-dusted mountains, we’ll climb to the lookout atop the massive Buddha statue at Diskit Gompa to watch a golden sunset.

Itinerary at a Glance

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

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

In Delhi, we have an unforgettable visit to Gandhi’s last home, then take a spectacular flight across the Himalaya to the historic trading post of Leh (11,500'). Caravans once rested here on the arduous mountain crossing to Yarkand, and we’ll explore the bazaar that still has a distinctly Central Asian ambiance, with its mix of people from different regions—elderly Ladakhi women, farmers from the Nubra Valley, Tibetan and Kashmiri shopkeepers, schoolchildren, and red-robed monks from Zanskar. We’ll also explore the Indus Valley’s striking monasteries, including Hemis and Thikse.

Days 5-7
Indus River Valley / Alchi / Lamayuru

After seeing the treasure trove of rare Buddhist frescoes at ancient Alchi, we head to Tingmosgang, where our guesthouse, set amid apricot and apple trees, grants us an incredible glimpse into traditional Ladakhi village life. We take tea with the monks at cliff-perched Lamayuru, in a setting of rugged cliffs and rock spires, and witness the vibrant Yuru Kab-gya Festival, where elaborate masked dances celebrate the triumph of good over evil.

Days 8-12
Nubra Valley

Crossing the Khardung La (18,300'), for centuries a trade route for spices, pashmina shawls, opium, and saffron, we descend into the once-forbidden Shyok and Nubra Valleys where our hikes lead along the valley floor. You’ll have the chance to ride a Bactrian camel and visit tranquil villages, including Diskit, with its 700-year-old gompa and huge statue of Maitreya Buddha that gazes serenely over the vast valley. Depart on Day 12 via Delhi.

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 26-Jul 7, 2016  Lamayuru Festival

Sep 17-28, 2016  Leh Festival

Trip Cost

Prices are for 2016
$4895 (11-16 members)
$5395 (6-10 members)
Single supplement: $845
Forced single supplement: $645
Internal airfare: $825 (subject to change)
more on pricing

Extension Costs
Dharamsala and Amritsar Extension
   from: $1895
Taj Mahal and Jaipur Extension
   from: $2495
Varanasi and Khajuraho Extension
   from: $1395

Trip Payment Schedule

At time of reservation: $600
90 days prior to departure: Balance

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule

Up to 91 days prior to departure: No charge!
61-90 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost
46-60 days prior to departure: 50% of trip cost
45 days or less: 100% of trip cost

Trip Cost Includes:

  • Expert leadership of a Wilderness Travel Trip Leader and local guides
  • Accommodations as noted
  • All meals included
  • Sightseeing as noted in the itinerary, including entrance fees for museums and sites
  • Land transportation and airport transfers

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.).

Arrival & Departure Information

You are responsible for your own transportation to the arrival and from the departure cities listed below. For more detailed information, including transfers, please download the Detailed Itinerary.

Please do not purchase your tickets until you are confirmed on the trip. Once your tickets have been purchased, please send us a copy of your airline schedule.

2016 Departures

Delhi, India
Date: Day 1

Suggested Arrival Airport:
Delhi, India (airport city code: DEL)
Suggested arrival time: evening
Delhi, India
Date: Day 12

Suggested Airport for Departure:
Delhi, India (airport city code: DEL)
Suggested departure time: after 8:00 pm

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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Rimo Hotel

Rimo Hotel

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

Beautiful nature is all around you at the Rimo, a comfortable small hotel set in one of the nicest villages of the Nubra Valley. Guest rooms are ...
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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, 2016

Devendra Basnet was born in the foothills of the Himalayas in Darjeeling, India, and makes his home in Kathmandu, Nepal with his wife and two children. A WT Trip Leader since 1987, “DB” leads our cultural and hiking journeys into the Himalayas, across India, and along the ancient silk ...
Click here for a full bio and list of all upcoming trips

Hashmat Singh

Departure Dates: June 26-July 7, 2016

Hashmat Singh has led over 150 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