Ladakh Indus Valley Odyssey

Spectacular palaces, ancient monasteries and friendly villages
Overview

overview

If you can only visit Ladakh for a short time, but want a full experience of remote villages, spectacular monasteries, dramatic scenery, and unspoiled cultures, this is the right trip. Explore the terrain, cultures, and heritage of Ladakh without extensive hiking. Your guides have led Journeys' clients through these sacred mountains for three decades. You will be welcomed into the homes of their families, relatives, and friends for an inside experience of Buddhist culture.

itinerary

itinerary

  • Day 1: delhi/leh
    Settle in at your modest and comfortable hotel

    Fly from Delhi* to Leh, the capital of Ladakh and situated among the hills on the north side of the Indus Valley. Upon arrival, you will be met by your guide and transferred to your hotel to begin your adaptation to the high altitude. You will have an afternoon orientation with your guide.

    *Most flights from Delhi require an overnight. Ask us for assistance or about an excursion to the Taj Mahal.

    Meals
    None
    Lodging
    Snow Lion Guesthouse or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 2: thiske/shey/hemis/leh
    Explore Thikse Monastery, largest in Ladakh

    Visit Thikse Monastery, the largest gompa in Ladakh, situated atop a craggy hill. Here you will find an important collection of Tibetan books and some excellent artwork. Afterward, visit the palace at Shey, which sits in a strategic position on a ridge overhang out into the Indus Valley. Your drive continues on to Hemis*, where you visit the gompa also known as Chang-Chub-Sam-Ling (or Lone Place of the Compassionate Person). The Hemis Gompa belongs to the Brokpa order and was founded in the early 17th century. It contains well preserved frescoes showing Kashmiri influence, as well as the largest thangka in Ladakh. Return to your guest house in Leh for your overnight.

    *We have timed the departure to include the famous Hemis festival. Please let us know if you are interested in adding an extra day to spend more time at the festival and see the dance performances representing the reincarnation of Buddha. A highlight of the festival is the mask dances known as "chams".

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Snow Lion Guesthouse or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 3: temisgam
    Share tea with local villagers

    Drive to Temisgam (4 hours), one of our favorite villages in Ladakh. You will find your camp set up in a beautiful apricot grove beneath an ancient palace and monastery with a cold rushing stream nearby. Off the main roads and trails, this village is seldom visited by Westerners, and you will have several days to explore the extensive fields and villages. You may even be invited into several houses for tea or local beer called chang. The climb to the monastery and old palace, as well as the nights here at 10,000' elevation, will aid in your acclimatization. The trip continues to become more remarkable for the cultural experience that unfolds. You have the sense that your long journey to Asia, over the Himalayas and onto the Tibetan Plateau, has taken you to a place so beautiful, remote, and pure that the effort has been worth it.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Camping or guesthouse
    Show on a map
  • Day 4: lamayuru
    Explore ancient Lamayuru monastery

    Make the exciting trip to the ancient Lamayuru Monastery and spend time exploring the extensive buildings of this ancient Buddhist sanctuary. This extraordinary gompa is perched on top of a beautifully eroded crag, complete with rock pinnacles and caves above the Indus. Return to Temisgam for your overnight.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Camping or guesthouse
    Show on a map
  • Day 5: hemishakpatchan
    Meet families and friends of your JOURNEYS guides

    After breakfast, drive to Hemishakpatchan via Saspol village. This is the home village of many of our staff and they will certainly invite you to visit their families and homes. There is a very interesting monastery, and participants on Journeys' treks have started a public library at the monastery and built a nunnery as well. We also support other ongoing projects through our Earth Preservation Fund such as the large water-driven prayer wheel restored through the contributions of previous Journeys travelers. There are excellent views of snowy mountains, and wild sheep can usually be seen grazing on a nearby slope. At the homes to your guides, you will have the great experience of visiting some of their relatives. Overnight near the Hemishakpatchan Library.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Camping or guesthouse
    Show on a map
  • Day 6: ridzong/chulican
    Travel back in time to Rodzong monastery

    Drive to Ridzong Monastery, the favorite Buddhist site of many visitors to Ladakh. You go back in time to an era when Buddhist Canons ruled the affairs of men and religious scholarship was the most important task of society. Overnight in Chulican.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Camping or guesthouse
    Show on a map
  • Day 7: alchi/likkir
    Stop at Alchi and its famous monastery

    Today you will drive along the Indus River to the famous monastery at Alchi. This monastery preserves some of the most spectacular Buddhist wall paintings ever created. Also visit Likkir Monastery, where the monks are of Gelukpa order and the kushok is the Dalai Lama's younger brother. Return to Leh for your overnight.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    Snow Lion Guesthouse or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 8: flight back to delhi
    Bid farewell to Ladakh and its people

    Return to Delhi on an early morning flight, where Journeys' services end. Due to unpredictable weather in Leh and frequent flight delays, we recommend two overnights in Delhi before departing on your international flight. We can assist with accommodations and excursions such as a visit to the Taj Mahal near Delhi.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    None
    Show on a map
Price and Date Details

Price and Date Details

Land Cost:
$2,250
Delhi/Leh/Delhi flights add $450 (estimate)
Single Supplement:
$250
The single supplement is applicable if a roommate is not available or if single accommodation is specifically requested. While single accommodation is not available on all trips, we will try and honor this request whenever possible.
Jul 14-21, 2016
Or Privately on Request
Need to Know

Need to Know

Duration:
8 days
The number of days, or duration, in a destination corresponds with the itinerary as published. This is the time period covered by the land cost.
Comfort Level:
●○○○○
(see full descriptions)
Tent camping & guest houses
Activity Level:
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(see full descriptions)
uneven terrain, high altitude
Group Size:
2-12
The stated range indicates minimum required for guaranteed departure and maximum accepted on the scheduled dates. Exceptions can often be made for private departures.
Terms & Conditions: 

Standard

Included in costs: Meals as noted, each night in double occupancy accommodations, land transfers between components, English speaking guides, park or site entry fees, surface transport, equipment other than personal gear, government tax, airport transfer assistance, in-country ticket reconfirmation and check-in assistance (where permitted), complete pre-departure packet, toll-free pre-departure phone assistance.

Not included in costs: Meals not noted as included, gratuities, beverages (except tea or coffee at meals), international or domestic airfare unless specified, airport departure taxes not included with air tickets, visas, itinerary changes after confirmation, any services not included in itinerary, any costs incurred due to canceled or delayed flights, acts of nature or other happenings beyond our control, or other costs as are more fully described in Journeys Terms & Conditions.

Deposit and payment schedule: $500 per person per trip or the applicable amount based on the trip and the proximity of the departure date. Custom trips and private departures require $800 per person deposit. A second deposit of $800 per person is due four months prior to departure, and final payment for land arrangements is due 60 days prior to departure.  Any applicable permit fees required in advance are non-refundable as well.  Airlines require full payment when tickets are issued. The deposit may be made by Visa, Master Card, American Express, or check, and the Reservation Form may be submitted by fax, mail, or via our website. Full payment schedule and cancellation penalties are described in our Terms and Conditions as noted in our Global Expedition Catalog, on our website, and elsewhere. Please request these if you do not have them before advancing a deposit.

Air fares: Journeys can make complete air arrangements applicable to your trip as noted in this itinerary. If you wish to redeem frequent flyer mileage or arrange flights directly with the airline, you may do so on your own at no penalty. If you do, please consult with us on exact arrival and departure dates and times before having your tickets issued to avoid errors.

Insurance: When you make your application, we strongly recommend the purchase of comprehensive travel insurance in case of emergency situations. Please contact us for a recommended policy.

Itinerary Change Fee: There will be a $40 fee for changes once an itinerary has been confirmed and approved. Additional cancellation penalties or change fees may apply as per our terms and conditions. The passenger is responsible for such fees.

Trip Extensions

Trip Extensions

Everest View Mountain Flight

Duration: 1 days

Enjoy the magnificent Himalayas close up. You'll have a bird's-eye view as you fly along the full length of the Nepal Himalayas. This is the best way to see Everest. *This trip is available from Kathmandu, Nepal when booked with conjunction with a Ne... read more

Download Trip Itinerary

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comfort level
Choose accommodations and amenities that fit your personal style
●○○○○ Simple
Our most natural accommodations. Bath facilities often shared, sometimes rustic.
●●○○○ Delightful
Comfortable and especially personal. Small to mid-sized lodges, typically with private bath.
●●●○○ Superior
Lodges and hotels with additional amenities, refined artistry, or extra-special settings.
●●●●○ Deluxe
Exclusive or luxury lodges, hotels, or safari camps with fine dining options.
●●●●● Uncommon
The most indulgent accommodations arranged specially for private trips.
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activity level
Match the trip’s intensity to your ability and motivation.
●○○○○ Gentle
Easy walking, with opportunities for low-key physical activity.
●●○○○ Active
Energetic exploration with optional day hikes, leisurely cycling, or light canoeing.
●●●○○ Vigorous
Day-long active excursions and options for demanding activity in varied environments.
●●●●○ Challenging
Strenuous hiking or other intense activity that may be at high altitude or over rough terrain.
●●●●● Demanding
Multi-day trekking and other activities requiring endurance or strength. Steep trails. No technical expertise necessary.
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