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Unveiling Extraordinary India Travel Destinations

The Ladakh Tour

14 days / 13 Nights

Ladahk Himalaya Prayerflags on mountaintop

About the Ladakh Tour

High in the Himalayas, Ladakh has been called “Little Tibet”. The people there are Tibetan and there are Buddhist lamaseries and temples to be seen. Of course, Ladakh is much smaller than Tibet. But since it is now difficult for tourists to enter Tibet, Ladakh presents a much simpler alternative. In certain respects, Ladakh can be said to be preferable to Tibet itself, since you will see more of the outlying areas than you would by flying in and out of Lhasa. In addition, the trip to Ladakh, in and of itself, is a thrilling and unforgettable experience.

Ladakh Tour Pricing

All breakfasts and dinners are included. A single supplement for this tour is $825. For example, if two people travel together but each has his or her own room, the cost is an additional $825 per person. 

Included in the Ladakh Tour Price:

Not Included in The Ladakh Tour Price:

Ladakh Tour Itinerary

Ladakh Tour: Day 1
Delhi
Delhi
Red Fort in New Delhi Tour

The tour starts this morning in Delhi at our hotel. After a welcome meeting and lunch, we’ll head off to explore New Delhi and Old Delhi, visiting India Gate before continuing along Rajpath and past Parliament House to Rashtrapati Bhavan (formerly the Viceroy’s Palace). From here, we’ll drive past the imposing Red Fort and visit Jama Masjid mosque, the largest in India and commissioned by Shah Jahan, the builder of the Taj Mahal. We’ll then take an exciting rickshaw ride through the maze of alleyways in Chandni Chowk bazaar—a great chance to see the city at its most lively! This evening, we’ll enjoy a welcome dinner.

  • Overnight at the Claridges or similar luxury hotel
    • Lunch and Dinner
Ladakh Tour: Day 2
Delhi, Kalka, Shimla
Delhi, Kalka, Shimla
american luxury tours Himalayan Queen Toy Train

This morning we will transfer to the Delhi railway station for our journey north to Kalka. On arrival, we board the UNESCO World Heritage Himalayan Queen ‘Toy Train’ for the approximately 5-hour trip to Shimla. The journey is like traveling back in time. The British constructed the railway in 1903 to provide access to Shimla, their summer capital. The train gradually winds its way up the steep and narrow track, through rugged mountains and pine forests.

  • Overnight at the luxurious Oberoi Cecil
    • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner 
Ladakh Tour: Day 3
In Shimla
In Shimla
Buildings Shimla India Ladakh Tour

Often described as Epsom in the Hills, the quaint hill station is a surreal place today, with a mall lined by mock Tudor cottages. There is the Viceroy’s neo-Gothic palace at one end of the mall and Christ Church at the other. Halfway along is the Gaiety Theatre, a charming miniature Drury Lane. We’ll take an orientation walk and discover why today Shimla is a town of contrasts, on the one hand buzzing with modern Indian life while on the other echoing that of its colonial past.

  • Overnight at the luxurious Oberoi Cecil
    • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner 
Ladakh Tour: Day 4
Shimla, McLeod Ganj
Shimla, McLeod Ganj
Ladakh dharamshala American tours

Today we have a scenic full-day drive to Dharamshala and McLeod Ganj. Established in the mid-1850’s as a British garrison, McLeod Ganj sits 4km from Dharamsala and is situated at a height of 1,770m. It is now the seat of the Tibetan government in exile and the residence of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. Known as “Little Lhasa”, Dharamshala is one of the best places to experience Tibetan culture outside of Tibet itself.  Upon arrival, check into the beautiful, Tibetan-style Chonor House Hotel. 

  • Overnight at the Chonor House Hotel
Ladakh Tour: Day 5
In and Around McLeod Ganj
In and Around McLeod Ganj
American tours Ladakh mountain lift

Named after Donald McLeod, Lieutenant-Governor of Punjab, we have the whole day to enjoy this legendary hill station, with the opportunity to take a nice walk in the surrounding area. After ascending through the forest to Dharamkot, we’ll reach Naddi village. Visiting a Buddhist stupa en route as well as some meditation caves where Tibetan Buddhist monks live and meditate for many months during the year. From Naddi village, we’ll enjoy beautiful views of the peaks of Dhauladhar before descending via the Tibetan children’s village back to McLeod Ganj, where there’ll be time to wander through the town’s fascinating Bazaar.  Those preferring not to walk can easily pass their time soaking up the fascinating interplay between Tibetan and Indian cultures. 

  • Overnight at the Chonor House Hotel
Ladakh Tour: Day 6
McLeod Gang, Manali
McLeod Gang, Manali
American tours Ladakh landscape

Leaving the home of the Dalai Lama, we travel on to Manali. En route, we’ll visit Palampur, known as the tea capital of northwest India, and the 13th-Century temple dedicated to Shiva as ‘Vaidyanath, the Lord of Physicians, at Baijnath. We should arrive in Manali by the late afternoon. Upon arrival, you will check into the Banon Resort, another beautiful place.

  • Overnight at the Banon Resort
Ladakh Tour: Day 7
In and Around Manali
In and Around Manali
landscape nature forest wilderness walking mountain

After a stroll through the town with its beautiful old wooden houses, you will have the opportunity, if you feel up to it, to take a more ambitious walk around the area. Using village paths, we’ll hike through apple orchards and forests, cross rivers, and meet some of the villagers who eke a living out of this mountainous land. Later, we’ll return to Manali in time for dinner in the evening. 

  • Overnight at the Banon Resort
    • Dinner
Ladakh Tour: Day 8
Manali, Jispa
Manali, Jispa
Road to Rohtang Pass from Manali Ladakh guided tour

Today we start our journey along what many consider the most spectacular drive in the entire Himalayas—from Manali to Leh. Traveling over 300 miles through high mountain passes, we’ll travel through lush alpine foothills scattered with juniper, cedar, and deodar pines and see waterfalls crashing beside the road. We climb our way up to the top of the famed Rotang Pass, which is over 13,000 feet high. Mighty peaks will be visible in all directions. Eventually we will reach Jispa, a picturesque village lying beside a river in a beautiful valley. Depending on what time we arrive, there might be time to take a walk around the village and surrounding area. 

  • Overnight at the Hotel Ibex Jispa
Ladakh Tour: Day 9
Jispa, Sarchu
Jispa, Sarchu
Ladakh luxury tour Baralacha Pass

Today we go over the Baralacha Pass, almost 16,000 feet high. From here on, the landscape changes typical of Ladakh. The mountains, forced upwards as the Indian sub-continental plate smashes into Asia, form an extraordinarily varied combination of twisted peaks and sunken troughs, of serrated granite ridges and fluted sandstone gorges, of alluvial plains and sandy steppes, all carrying a multitude of colors that simply defy belief. After reaching Sarchu and checking into our lodging for the night, the Goldrop Camp, there’ll be a chance to head off on a good walk, although for most people at this altitude it is usually best to take it easy.You will not exactly be roughing it, as the word “campsite” might imply. Instead, all the tents at the camp are large, walk-in private lodgings, complete with beds, lights, and en-suite bathrooms.

  • Overnight at the Goldrop Camp, Sarchu
Ladakh Tour: Day 10
Sarchu - Leh
Sarchu - Leh
Tanglang Ladakh luxury tour

Today’s drive is the longest of the trip but arguably the most amazing, as we travel over the Tanglang La, where the rare Ibex are often spotted. The Pass is well over 17,000 feet high, and you may feel a little lightheaded at that altitude. Do not exert yourself at this altitude. We’ll drive through a series of 21 hairpin turns, extraordinary red sandstone gorges, across a high-altitude desert steppe, and along spectacular canyons before finally reaching Leh. Upon arrival, we’ll transfer to our hotel and spend time relaxing and beginning to acclimatize. Known as the ‘Land of High Passes’, Ladakh and its capital, Leh, have been important junctions on the famous Silk Road for centuries. 

  • Overnight at the Hotel Tsokar Retreat
Ladakh Tour: Day 11
In and Around Leh
In and Around Leh
leh palace Ladakh Tour

Today we will visit some spectacular monasteries and explore ancient sites during our first full day in Leh. We’ll stroll around Leh on an orientation walk and see how this fascinating town is still dominated by the ruins of the Leh Palace. This former residence of the royal family of  Ladakh is built along the lines of the Potala Palace in Tibet. From here we visit some of the most spectacular monasteries in the area surrounding Leh. Situated on a hilltop to the south, Shey Monastery was once the summer palace of the royal family and it’s believed that many of the Kings of Leh were born here. The monastery is home to an impressive 80-foot-high seated image of Buddha cast from copper and covered with gold leaf. The Thiksey Monastery,  filled with colorful murals and statues, affords picturesque views of the green Indus Valley from its rooftop.

Located around 15 miles from Leh, the Matho Monastery is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery built around 500 years ago which belongs to the Sakya order. From here we’ll return to Leh in time for dinner. 

  • Overnight at the Hotel Tsokar Retreat
    • Dinner
Ladakh Tour: Day 12
In and Around Leh
In and Around Leh
Stok Palace Ladakh tours

Head out for a full day of sightseeing. We first drive west to visit Alchi. Adorned with murals depicting different forms of Buddha, Alchi Monastery is distinct from other monasteries in Ladakh in that it sits on flat ground rather than a hilltop. We then head south-east to visit various gompas and palaces in the area. One of these is Stok, famous for being the home of the Ladakh royal family. Today, it boasts a palace and museum with costumes, crowns, and thangkas on display. Alternatively, you may choose to rest and relax in Leh, enjoying the local colors or doing some shopping. 

  • Overnight at the Hotel Tsokar Retreat
Ladakh Tour: Day 13
Leh - Delhi
Leh - Delhi
Ladakh Tour Viewofleh

After breakfast, we will transfer to the local airport for one of the most spectacular flights in the world, from Leh over the Himalayas back to India’s capital, Delhi. Depending on our arrival time, there might be a couple of hours free for a last look around before heading out for a farewell dinner. 

  • Overnight at the Claridges Hotel
    • Breakfast and Dinner
Ladakh Tour: Day 14
Tour Ends in Delhi
Tour Ends in Delhi

The tour ends after breakfast at our hotel. Transfer to Delhi Airport in time for your flight home.

  • Breakfast