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: $4695  
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
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Highlights

  • Experience Ladakh’s breathtaking landscapes and unique Tibetan Buddhist culture
  • Explore atmospheric bazaars of Leh and medieval monasteries of the Indus Valley
  • Discover the austerely beautiful Shyok and Nubra Valleys
  • Witness the Lamayuru Festival (June) or Leh 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.

References

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. On our extraordinary cultural adventure, you’ll experience festivals where Ladakhi women wear exquisite turquoise headdresses, hike among serene villages under a cobalt-blue sky, cross the highest road in the world, and 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, then head out to the striking monasteries of 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, pashminas, and saffron, we descend into the once-forbidden Shyok and Nubra Valleys where our hikes lead across flower-filled meadows. 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

2015
Jun 9-20, 2015  Lamayuru Festival

Sep 17-28, 2015  Leh Festival

*Please note change of dates since publication of 2014 catalog

Trip Cost

Prices are for 2015
$4695 (13-16 members)
$4895 (9-12 members)
$5095 (6-8 members)
Single supplement: $795
Forced single supplement: $595
Internal airfare: $815 (subject to change)
more on pricing

Extension Costs
Dharamsala and Amritsar Extension
   from: $1795
Taj Mahal and Jaipur Extension
   from: $2595
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% of trip cost
60 days prior to departure: Balance

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule

More than 90 days prior to departure: No charge!
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 ...
Click here for full description and more photos

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.

Hashmat Singh

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 extensively as his father was posted in various remote regions of India. His first big Himalayan trek was at age 12, with his school group, and during college, he headed into the Himalaya to take mountaineering courses. “Big mountains of the world, whether they are in the Himalaya, Alps, or the Andes, hold a special fascination for me, as do the people living amongst them, holding on to their ancient cultures in a world where everything is rapidly changing.” A passionate traveler, Hashmat has been instrumental in designing new adventures for us throughout Asia. The profession of Trip Leader combines several of his interests—hiking, exploring the mountains, photography, and meeting new people. Hashmat lives in Delhi with his wife and two children.

Upcoming Trips:

Royal Rajasthan, October 25-November 6, 2014
Treasures of South India, January 6-19, 2015
The Arc of the Sacred Symposium: Ancient Cities and Monuments of the Deccan Plateau, January 25-February 7, 2015
Hidden Rajasthan and the Holi Festival, February 21-March 11, 2015
Sikkim, Darjeeling and Bhutan, March 19-April 1, 2015
Himalayan Mountain Kingdoms, April 13-27, 2015
Journey to Ladakh, June 9-20, 2015
Tour du Mont Blanc, July 5-12, 2015
Hiking the Haute Route, July 14-25, 2015
Great Alpine Traverse, July 28-August 11, 2015
Kanchenjunga!, October 11-November 8, 2015
Royal Rajasthan, November 13-23, 2015
Sikkim, Darjeeling and Bhutan, December 2-15, 2015

Recent Photo Blog Posts

Client Testimonials:


This is my fifth trip with Hashmat. He is affable and unflappable. Lisa C., Seattle WA Hashmat was terrific. He is so knowledgeable and proud of his country. He made India come alive for all of us. We loved his enthusiasm and encouragement. Barbara C., Toronto, Canada This is our second trip with Hashmat–he’s a great leader. Betty R., Lexington MA
Royal Rajasthan
This is my fourth WT trip and second with Hashmat. He is the best! Matthew H., Ukiah CA
Treasures of South India
Again, Wilderness Travel exceeded my expectations! Hashmat and Ang Tsering took extra care to locate beautiful, quiet, set-apart campsites off the main trail. Amy S., Denver CO
Ultimate Evereset
We couldn’t have asked for a better trip leader than Hashmat Singh. This trip raised our standards to a new high! Ann and Fred S., Wyoming OH
Royal Rajasthan
Hashmat is simply the best! Mary C. Farnsworth, Fort Mills SC
Royal Rajasthan
I can’t tell you how comfortable I feel traveling with Hashmat. The experiences he provided for us were unforgettable. Melinda M., Berkeley CA
Treasures of South India
As always Hashmat organized a rich and full trip experience. Not only was he, as usual, an incredibly well organized and knowledgeable leader, but added to our experience by keeping away from the usual tourist crowds and arranging special events to entertain, relax, and teach us. He remains an ideal leader who deserves his superb reputation. Michel and Deborah W.
Hidden Rajasthan
Hashmat Singh is without question the best leader, hiker, and friend any WT client could hope to have. His enthusiasm and curiosity is contagious. Stephanie B., Cambridge, MA Hashmat Singh’s knowledge, experience, and professionalism are of the highest order. Philip and Sally M., Wersham, Wrexham Hashmat Singh is a remarkably effective leader. I think I have joined the Hashmat Fan Club. John N., Monarch Beach, CA Hashmat is always on task, behind the scenes as well as during events. Nancy W., Prescott AZ
Himalayan Mountain Kingdoms Photo Expedition
What can I say? He’s the best! Fulton W., Prescott AZ
Himalayan Mountain Kingdoms Photo Expedition
I understand why Hashmat has a committed group of fans who will follow him anywhere, who choose trips according to his leadership. He is knowledgeable, passionate, wonderful. Andrea L., Brooklyn NY
Annapurna Adventure
Hashmat is simply the best. Knowledge, communication, attention to detail, adding special experiences, and he’s a really fun person to be with. William N., Long Beach CA
Treasures of South India
I cannot imagine a better guide...always helpful and knowledgeable about the history and culture of the trip! Craig K., Sewickley, PA
Royal Rajasthan - Pushkar Fair
Hashmat is an inspiring trip leader, extremely knowledgeable, both in terms of cultural and historical aspects and the area traveled, and very supportive of staff and trekkers. It was a real privilege to trek with him and I hope I have the opportunity to do so again. Henry P., Boston, MA
Around Manaslu
Hashmat is truly one of your 'stars!' Jeff P., Paradise Valley, AZ
Hidden Kingdom of Mustang
Hash is a terrific guide in every way, the consummate professional, concerned with individual's needs. His passion for India is palpable and contagious, and his leadership is an integral part of what makes this trip so special. Kristin E., Morristown, NJ
Royal Rajasthan - Nagaur Fair
Wow—best trip leader I've ever encountered! Always personable, informative, organized yet spontaneous, thorough, pro-active. A real treasure. Elizabeth L., Santa Barbara, CA
Royal Rajasthan - Nagaur Fair
Eleven trips with Hashmat so far. What more is there to say? Jack H., Cockeysville, MD
Hiking the Haute Route
Once again Hashmat knocked one out of the park! So many wonderful sights and new experiences all brought to life with his brilliant leadership. Can hardly wait to travel with him again. Peter F., Cambria, CA
Sikkim, Darjeeling and Bhutan
This man is an amazing treasure! He made the trip so memorable, and made us crave more. Abbe L., Melbourne Beach, FL
Royal Rajasthan - Nagaur Fair
Hashmat was simply the very best. He has great knowledge, knows how to share it to the group, interacts with us on a personal basis, is considerate of our needs, and has personality second to none. Mark L., Melbourne Beach, FL
Royal Rajasthan - Nagaur Fair
Hashmat always brings all his heart to his trips, teaching history, culture, the sense of India. Debra B., Jackson, WY
Expedition to Hampi and Ajanta
Hashmat is a treasure. He knows the country, loves it, makes everyone around him enthusiastic and comfortable, and gets along with an incredible variety of personalities. Lisa T., Hamden, CT
Treasures of South India
I get why so many people go on journey after journey with Hashmat. He is knowledgeable, professional, and always knows just what to do. Mary M., Superstition Mtn, AZ
Sikkim, Darjeeling and Bhutan
Twelve trips with Hashmat so far. Need I say more? Jack H., Cockeysville, MD
Sikkim, Darjeeling and Bhutan
One could not ask for a better guide than Hashmat: knowledgable, kind, funny, resourceful. Priscilla H., Cockeysville, MD
Sikkim, Darjeeling and Bhutan
My fifth trip with Hashmat, all of which have been outstanding. His knowledge and experience are unsurpassed, and he is a great trip companion. I'm looking forward to the next trip! Marilyn H., Barnstable, MA
Snow Leopard Trek to Shey Gompa
Hashmat is a great trip leader—there are very few individuals who are as knowledgeable about culture and natural history of the region. Henry P., Boston, MA
Snow Leopard Trek to Shey Gompa
Just a consummate professional. Would rate him at the top of his field. Incredible enthusiasm, energy and knowledge. Most importantly, the man cares about his people and clients. Karen W., Greenwich, CT
Ladakh: The Tso Moriri Trek
Hashmat is an incredibly talented leader and it's no wonder clients follow wherever he goes. We are now Hashmat groupies! Ann & Jon S., Orlando, FL
Royal Rajasthan - Pushkar Fair
Cannot say enough about what an excellent leader Hashmat is. That a number of our group had been with him on several other trips is a testament to his guiding prowess. Ed F., Annapolis, MD
Tribal India
Hashmat is an exceptional leader. His love and knowledge of Indian history, culture, religions, current events, etc. gave me a deeper appreciation of the country. His warmth, high spirits and wit made the journey all the more delightful. Sandi H., New York, NY
Royal Rajasthan - Nagaur Fair
Hashmat is a wonderfully knowledgeable and enthusiastic leader. James S., Washington, DC
Royal Rajasthan - Nagaur Fair
Hashmat remains one of your "superstars." His helpfulness and knowledge are unsurpassed and I'd recommend him as a guide to anyone. Jeff P., Paradise Valley, AZ
Treasures of South India
Hashmat is the best trip leader we have had on our 10 trips with WT. He knows culture, religions, food, nature—you name it. He is simply outstanding. Tom A., Urbana, IL
Treasures of South India

Optional Extensions

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

India

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