- Accommodation on double occupancy basis (Deluxe 4 star hotel in Delhi and Agra, A class hotel in Leh and basic guesthouses, home stays or camping in the rest of the places).
- All transfers, assistance and sightseeing as on itinerary.
- Sightseeing admission fees and inner line permits as per itinerary.
- English speaking local guides.
- Rafting gears.
- 3 meals a day while in Ladakh. Breakfast only in Delhi and Agra
Cost Does Not Include:
- India visa.
- International and internal airfare. Estimated internal airfare is separately indicated.
- Lunch and dinner while in Delhi and Agra.
- Camera fees at monuments.
- Expenses of personal nature such as drinks, tipping, laundry, telephones, internet usage, porter use etc.
- Travel Health Insurance (Strongly recommended, contact us if you want any recommendations).
- Extra expenses due to nature and unforeseen events
Trip Difficulty Level
Ladakh is located in the remote area of the Himalayas with varying road conditions and limited facilities. A trip to Ladakh is basically for those who enjoy in the unknown, be ready for the ups and downs of exploratory travel, and is prepared to adjust in any kinds of comfort level, socialize with all kinds of people around and have high spirit of adventure.
Travelers must have a good fitness level, outgoing, willing to start the day early and return to the accommodations late. As this trip involves high altitude, it's obvious that one experiences mild symptoms of altitude sickness that should disappear in a day or two. If you have issues with hearts and lungs, diabetes or high blood pressure, please consult with your physician before you sign up the trip.
There are some long day drives, usually 4-6 hours on this trip. We expect you exhibit highest level of patience in case of obstruction on the road or mechanical breakdown of the vehicle. The terrain mountainous, arid and challenging. The roads at a number of places are narrow, bumpy or dusty and sometime blocked due to landslide or flooding. One needs to be prepared for an unexpected rerouting of the tour in such inclement conditions.
But the landscapes, the local people, culture and architecture and mountain vistas are so beautiful that you will not have chance for complain.
As the terrain of the region is mountainous and challenging and roads are with varying conditions, we provide good vehicles for transportation that can bear with the challenges of these areas. Our vehicles are Toyota Innova Jeeps, Scorpio, Qualis or Tata Sumo Jeeps who have done excellent jobs in these roads. Our vehicles do have roof top luggage carrier; provided with tarpaulin to cover from the rain. Our vehicles carry spare tires and reserve fuel .
Our drivers hail from the local areas and know the geography and updated with the travel conditions. They are cooperative, polite, respectful to the guests and will not upset your mood. They will pace the speed depending on the road conditions, will stop where you want to, will not smoke in the car or play loud music or honk unnecessarily. On the other hand, as a traveler, it’s also your responsibility to take care of your driver. Buying refreshment drinks such as pops or tea, offering cigarettes (if you smoke) or candies and asking if he has eaten or not will help you get along with the driver soon.
The trip features deluxe 4 star hotels in Delhi and Agra. In Leh, our preferred hotel is A class property as rated by the local authority. All rooms are en suite with running hot and cold water. But once out of Leh, accommodations are in basic guest houses or home stays or tented camps some places. We do our best that you get a room with private bathroom but it may not be always possible. We also do not promise hot shower all the time but sponging is available. We may have to share the toilet and showers. The guest houses are run by local families and they provide opportunities to socialize and experience the local life. Some places, we sleep in the fixed tented camping sites, supported by local staffs.
Please, keep in mind that a trip to Ladakh is for an adventure and not for a luxury. You are requested to co-operate and exhibit utmost understanding and patience to the limitations of the facilities and services available here.
||Hotel Kanglachan or Lotus or Grand Willow or similar A class property
||Camp or guest house
||Red Fox or similar mid-range hotel by the airport.
||Sarovar Crystal or similar
Almost every hotel and guest house has a kitchen and they provide basic Indian meals such as lintel, rice, chapatti bread, curried vegetable, non vegetarian item, paneer, curd – sometimes, salad and sweet dish. Except in the cities of Delhi and Agra, please do not expect western style dishes. While you are in Leh, its advisable that you buy some dry foods, candies, energy bars, cookies, instant noodles etc. You will also want to bring supplementary vitamins to maintain calorie level in your body system. You can also buy some dry foods and drinks in the roadside stores and inns.
Our guides are local , college educated, fluent in English, knows the areas around, culture, people and religion. They know that it’s the trip of your lifetime and they will make every effort to make your trip successful without a hitch! Your guide will share with you his knowledge about the local religion, culture and traditions, arranges your lodging and boarding, and makes sure that you have necessary permits and deals with the bureaucracies. They will show you the wonders of the areas that you will never find yourself on your own. They will deal with the lodge owners, work with the driver for planning the tours of the day, buys sightseeing admission fees, reconfirms your flight if any involved and overall is the manager of your tour. Our guides are friendly, polite and respectful and will share jokes at times and soon you will become friends
Altitude Sickness and Health Concerns
We travel on the high altitude areas of Himalayas and so altitude sickness, which another term is also called Acute Mountain Sickness, is a subject of concern. The effects of altitude begin first when you arrive at Leh which is in the altitude of 11,500 ft. Some of the symptoms, but not limited to, are headache, dizziness or lightheadedness, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, breathlessness etc.
The main reason of the altitude sickness is the lesser amount of oxygen concentration in the higher altitudes. The higher we go, the lower is the oxygen concentration and on the arid trans Himalayan region, the oxygen amount will be up to 40% less than in the regular atmosphere. There is no hard and fast rule to determine who gets altitude sickness and who not but there are certainly some ways we can minimize the chances of getting sick. You need to start training at least a couple of months ahead of the travel date. Please, do jog, walk, cycle, swim or take some aerobics that keeps your body in shape , build stamina and also increases confidence level. If you have cardiac or pulmonary issues, please consult with your physician before you sign up for this trip.
Our itinerary is slow paced with gradual altitude gain and allows additional days in certain places for acclimatization that will minimize the risks of getting sick. At higher altitudes, we do not overly exert ourselves and we take everything easy. We drink plenty of water and take liquid food in meals. Garlic soups are considered helpful in keeping blood circulatory system functioning (!); may be a myth but Sherpa guides of Nepal always recommend garlic soup against altitude sickness.
Besides altitude sickness, the other thing we need to be careful is the stomach disorder. Please, do drink bottled water as long as it’s available and if it’s not, then make sure that the water you are consuming is boiled, filtered and also medicated. You may want to bring along your own water bottle and some water purifying medications prescribed by your physician. Do not buy foods with street vendors and do not consume green salads or lassi drinks which might have been prepared with untreated water.
Summer is the best time to Travel to Ladakh
Since Ladakh is situated in rain shadow trans Himalayan area, the weather remains pleasant and quite comfortable during summers i.e. from May to mid October. This is the best season to visit this area. It seldom rains, and the mercury level does not exceed 30 °C (86 °F) and seldom falls below 15°C (60 °F) throughout the summer but nights can be quite cold. One can always enjoy bright sunshine wandering within lush green valley. There is little or no rain in monsoons. The climate remains dry and refreshing. Travelers need to be prepared with warm cloths to battle the cold. By the end of October, snow starts mounting up high in the passes and roads are blocked and the region becomes isolated with the rest of the world.
Passport, Visa and Permits
You need to have a passport with remaining validity at least 6 months beyond your trip. As India does not grant visa upon arrival, you need to obtain it beforehand from Indian embassies or consulates or the designated outsourcing agencies. In USA, India visa processing has been outsourced to Cox and King Global Services
eTourist Visa: You are also able to apply eTourist Visa online. You need to upload the passport and picture scan online. You will recieve visa approval document in email within 2-3 business days if you have correctly submitted the form.
Besides Indian visa, you may need inner line permits for some areas and we will obtain them locally for you.
International and Internal Travel
You can book your international airfare to New Delhi and return on your own or ask us for help if you need any. All internal airfares as required per itinerary will be booked by us and billed separately. Local airport taxes may or may not be included. Our local managers will advise you if any of the airport taxes are not included in the ticket price.
- Travel documents: passport, visa, travel insurance, air tickets.
- Health requirements arranged. 1 photocopy of above document.
- Money: cash/credit card/ travelers checks, Money pouch.
- First aid kit including rehydration salts, Sunscreen, lip balm and sunglasses due to harsh sunlight and exposure to high altitudes.
- Wide brim hat or umbrella.
- Antibacterial hand gel, when water is scarce.
- Day pack to carry your personal needs during the day.
- Trekking boots and warm socks. (Just incase if you have to walk).
- Alarm clock and torch/flashlight.
- Lightweight travel towel.
- Refillable water bottle, for filling from thermos.
- Iodine based water purification tablets.
- Ear plugs can be useful if you are a light sleeper.
- Inner sheet/sleeping sheet are recommended due to the basic nature of some of our accommodation.
- Please bring your own sleeping bag.
- Warm clothes. It is recommended to bring thermal under wear, and either a down or a fleece jacket.
- A wind proof jacket.
- A pair of gloves.
- A scarf or face mask for dust, Sarong for covering up when washing / showering.
- Underwears: 7-8 pairs are enough.
- For Women, tampons or sanitary napkins
Pack as lightly as possible.The domestic airlines will allow a piece of checked in baggage with maximum weight 20 kg/44 lb in checked in baggage Your luggage will go into the vehicle or on the roof rack but in the event of landslides and if we need to walk, then you will need to carry it. Sometime, we can locally hire porters but it may not possible all the time. Rucksack or duffel bags would be handy during such situations.Avoid Suitcases.Keep your bags locked. The smaller your bag is the better, for when it comes to traveling on trains or buses usually only smaller bags will fit into the storage areas.
It is very important that you kindly dress up keeping in mind the respect for the locale culture. Skimpy, tight or revealing cloths are frowned upon. As a general guideline full shirts and full length skirts or knee covered skirts are recommended at all times. At some places or the religious buildings shorts are not allowed as it will restrict your entry into buildings. Admission to some religious places such as Bhima Kali Temple at Sarahan or Kamru Fort in Sangla may be declined without a head cover but a piece of cloth can be borrowed in the temple. You are required to cover your head before entering every Sikh Temple. You may cover it with a handkerchief or a piece of cloth provided by the temple. Muslim mosques do not allow admission with shorts but they rent out wrappers at a nominal fee. Leather shoes are also not allowed in some shrines and temples but plastic slippers are fine.
During our trip there will be many opportunities for you to meet and talk with locals. You are allowed to take pictures but it is also suggested that we ask for permission before we venture into with our cameras. Children are very keen on having their picture taken and show them on the screen. Some temples and monasteries do not allow photography inside or if they do, they might charge some fee.
Note on Itinerary
Although we will do our very best to adhere to the itinerary schedule as listed; it is subject to change for numerous reasons beyond our control.
When you are sure you are traveling, please don't delay in booking. The internal flights are the key factor in determining whether your trip can be realized or not. A deposit of US$300 on land is requested along with complete trip application form and passport copies.
Balance payment is due 90 days prior to your departure. If airfares needs to be purchased before that, we will request the second part payment to cover that. Balance payment by credit card attracts additional 3.5% fee.
- 180 days prior departure: No penalty
- 90 days prior departure: Administrative fee US$ 150 per person.
- 60-89 day's prior departure: US$ 250 or 25% of the land cost whichever is higher.
- 45 days to 59 days prior departure: US$ 450 or 50% of the land cost whichever is higher.
- 30 days to 44 days prior departure: US$ 600 or 75% of the land cost whichever is higher
- Less than 30 days: 100%
Travel Protection Plan
While we plan and do our best to make your trip smooth and seamless, there may be chances of unforeseen events and conditions such as illness, accident, inclement weather, and flight cancellation or missed connection or loss of baggage etc. that may cause interruption or delay or total cancellation of your trip putting your hard earned travel investment in jeopardy. It’s also possible that you may need medical assistance, emergency evacuation or medical transportation when you get ill or involve in an accident when you are traveling in remote areas. Highland Asia’s Tour cost does not cover any of these expenses or losses and so we strongly recommend you that you should protect yourself and your travel investment against those unfavorable conditions.
We recommend Travel Guard for the protection of your travel investment. Click here to get an instant quote and purchase the policy online or ask us for help.