Trails of Ladakh Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailormade Adventures
Destinations:
India
Programmes:
Walking & Trekking
Trip Code:
TGX
Activity Rating - Moderate
Moderate

You are moderately fit and possess a spirit of adventure. Some previous experience is required for most activity based trips.

15 Days Flight Inclusive
14 Days Land only
16 Min age

Trip Overview

Sandwiched between the western Himalaya, the Karakorum and the Tibetan Plateau, lies the high altitude desert of Ladakh, or 'Little Tibet'. Time in the capital Leh gives us the perfect opportunity to acclimatise as well as exploring the town, Leh Palace and some of the most important monasteries in the area. This, fairly gentle trek gives us the chance to enjoy the views and experience village life, in this most remote area of India with its rich culture, where the way of life hasn’t changed for centuries.

At a Glance

  • 6 nights en suite hotels, 3 nights full-service camping, 3 nights homestay and 1 night guesthouse
  • 4 days point-to-point walking; 1 optional day walk
  • Group normally 4 to 16, plus leader and local staff. Min age 16 yrs
  • Altitude maximum 4,082m, average 3,500m
  • Full porterage throughout the trek

Trip Highlights

  • Enjoy a short trek through traditional villages and amidst intriguing multi-coloured landscapes
  • Stay in village homestays to experience Ladakhi hospitality and learn about the traditional way of life
  • See colourful Tibetan Buddhist monasteries along the Indus Valley
  • Chance to journey by jeep to the top of the highest motorable road in the world (optional)
  • Visit Lamayuru with its lunar landscape and Alchi Monastery with 11th century paintings

Is This Trip for You?

This tour has been graded as 'Moderate' (activity level 3) and includes a fairly gentle five day trek (including four days point-to-point walking plus one optional daywalk), reaching a maximum altitude of 4,082m, average 3,500m.

This holiday itself is a mixture of sightseeing and walking; the short trek takes in the best of the contrasting scenery that the Indian Himalaya has to offer. The trails are generally well made and we walk for 4-6 hours each day with frequent stops. We tend to set of early each day to avoid the heat, and usually arrive into camp in time for lunch. The trip should be within the capabilities of those who are active and do some walking. The luggage is transferred by vehicle and there will be a back-up jeep in case you want to spend more time exploring the villages. It can be very hot in Ladakh in the summer so we start walking quite early to avoid the heat of the day.

You may find our Fitness Training Guide a useful reference: https://www.exodus.co.uk/assets/pdf/Exodus_WT_Fitness_Training_Guide.pdf

As this trip spends considerable time at altitude, we ask you to refer to the altitude warning within the Trip Notes. We spend 3 days in Leh (3500m) before the trek to allow you to acclimatise.

Walking distances and hours stated within the itinerary are given as approximates only. Timings stated exclude lunch and photo stops and will vary depending on the pace of your group.

Why Trek with Exodus?

• Over 30 years’ experience of organising treks in Ladakh.
• 'Ask an expert' - talk to Exodus office staff who have done the treks themselves.
• Experienced English-speaking local leaders who are qualified in first aid and trained in recognising and dealing with altitude sickness.
• All staff (leaders, guides and porters) are fully insured and paid a fair wage.
• Carefully planned ascent rates and itineraries with built-in acclimatisation and contingency days.
• Staff carry oxygen and first aid kit.
• Self-assessment AMS cards used to monitor every client at altitude.

Group

There will be an English speaking local leader who, on trek, will be supported by a local guide, assistant guides, cook team, pony men, plus drivers where needed. Our team of Indian leaders have proved very popular with their incredible knowledge, passion and hospitality adding greatly to the experience. There is no better way to experience Indian culture than letting an Indian guide show you around their country.

Adult min age:
16
Min group size:
4
Max group size:
16

Itinerary

TGX Trip Map

Land Only

Start City:
Delhi
End City:
Delhi

Flight Inclusive

Start City:
London
End City:
London

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Delhi.

    The tour starts at the hotel in Delhi today. The group flights usually arrive into Delhi in the morning. Hotel check-in is normally available from 12 noon. The rest of the day is free to relax and recover from the flight or for individual exploration of Delhi. There will be a group briefing at the hotel today.

    Hotel Jaypee Siddharth (or similar)

  • Day 2

    Fly to Leh (3,500m); rest of the day to acclimatise.

    A very early start today for the flight to Leh. We sometimes have to leave the hotel at around 2 am and drive to the airport for the very early morning but highly spectacular flight over the Himalaya to Leh. If the weather is good and the flight goes on time we should be in Leh by early morning. The rest of the day is free to relax and acclimatise to the altitude (3,500m). Flying straight to the high altitude of Leh can take your breath away (literally) and so we concentrate on acclimatising for the first few days. In the morning we rest and catch up on some sleep and in the afternoon there will be a gentle orientation walk of Leh and its bazaars.
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Drive to Shey Palace; short walk to Tikse Monastery.

    Today there is a sightseeing tour to two of the major gompas (monasteries) in the area. We first drive to Shey, a former Royal Palace of the Ladakh kings. Inside is a small temple containing a 350 year old copper and gold statue of the Buddha. From Shey we walk across the fields (approx. 2 hours) on a good level trail to Tikse, where we visit the monastery perched on top of a hill - its red and white buildings can be seen for miles. We can explore the temples and courtyards and meet the red robed monks who live here. In one of the temples there is a 15 metre high statue of the Future Buddha. We return to Leh in the afternoon.
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Half day walk to Leh Palace and Sankar Monastery; optional jeep trip to the Khardung La (5,602m).

    Today we will have an acclimatisation walk round the Leh Valley. Set above Leh on the Namgyal Hill, are the ruins of the Old Royal Palace. From here a winding path takes us to the Tsemo Monastery, from where we are rewarded for our efforts by magnificent views of the whole of Leh and its surrounding villages.

    Descending round the back of the palace we walk via Sankar to the recently built Japanese Peace Pagoda. This huge stupa overlooks Leh and we have stunning views of the town and the Stok range of mountains across the valley.

    There is the chance today to make an optional jeep safari to the Khardung Pass; at 5,602m, one of the highest motorable roads in the world. The journey to the top of the pass and back takes roughly 4/5 hours in total and can be booked and paid for locally. Your leader will have details (if you do the jeep safari this will be in the morning and you can do a walk in the afternoon).
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Optional rafting trip on the Indus; transfer to Yangtang.

    Well acclimatised, we leave Leh this morning. There is the chance to do an optional rafting trip on the Indus River for a few hours. The rafting starts in Phey, and after a safety briefing we set off down the river. This is not high-level white water rafting but there are some sections of grade 2 and 3 rapids. This means that a novice rafter will find it exhilarating and not too scary. Just after setting off we float through an impressive gorge to where the Zanskar River flows into the Indus. After about 3 hours the rafting ends at Nimmu, where we dry off, have lunch and rejoin our transport for the 2-3 hour drive to Yangtang. (Those not wanting to raft can have time to explore Nimmu village).

    If we have time, there is the chance to visit Likir Monastery en route. The monastery is well kept and there is an active school for young monks. We camp tonight near Yangtang village (3,683m). Time allowing, we can explore the village and maybe visit the small local school or watch the Ladakhis sowing the barley and potatoes, the staple crops of these hardy mountain people. From the campsite there are wonderful southerly views over the village to the Zanskar Range beyond.
    Full-service Camping

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 6

    Start trek to Ullay (4,023m).

    We leave Yangtang away from the main trail and head north with spectacular rock formations surrounding us. Ladakh is a mountainous desert and the multi-coloured hills are magnificent in any light. During the first couple of hours of today's walk, we will come across some interesting erosional features, including pinnacles with rock boulders precariously balanced upon them. We will get to camp by lunchtime and in the afternoon there is the chance to walk higher up the valley. This area is well known for Ibex and Snow Leopards have been seen in the area.

    Full-service Camping

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 6 km / 4 miles
    Activity (hours):
    3.5-4
  • Day 7

    Cross the Spangpo La (4,082) to Hemis Shupachen; village homestay.

    We head off along an easy trail which climbs to our first pass, the Spangpo La (4,082m) with wonderful views of the hills ahead and down to the village of Hemis Shupachen (3,663m). This tranquil village with a small gompa, green pastures and a clear stream is a lovely place to stay for the night. In the afternoon we can visit the monastery and have a look around the village.

    Village homestay

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 8 km / 5 miles
    Activity (hours):
    4.5
  • Day 8

    Cross the Mebtak La and the Lago La to Ang and on to Temisgam (3,256m); village homestay.

    From camp, we cross the pastures in a northwesterly direction skirting the sides of the fields. After a stop at a chorten, we follow the trail past the mature juniper trees that give the village its name, 'shukpa'. The path climbs easily to our first pass today, the Mebtek La (3,796m) from where we can admire the pink and mauve-coloured mountains ahead. We descend into the next valley and the trail ahead can just be made out as it zig-zags up the mountainside in the distance. The path winds up to the Lago La (3,832m) and from the top there are magnificent views across to the south side of the Indus Valley. The trail descends steeply from the pass to the village of Ang. This area is regarded as the richest in Ladakh and fields of barley, potatoes and fruit orchards provide more than adequate food for these villages.

    From Ang, it is an easy walk (although it can be hot and dusty) along the new jeep track to Temisgam (3,256m). This is the largest, most prosperous village on the trek. Set amongst fertile fields as well as spreading apple and apricot orchards there are some fine examples of large, white-washed Ladakhi homes. As a result of a division of Ladakh in the 14th to 15th centuries, the lower kingdom was controlled from Basgo and Temisgam. Little remains of its glorious past and the castle is in ruins but there are still temples you can visit.

    Village homestay

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 13 km / 8 miles
    Activity (hours):
    5
  • Day 9

    Free day in Temisgam; optional daywalk or monastery visit; village homestay.

    Temisgam is famed for its monastery and is perhaps the most affluent village in the Sham valley for its apricots, apples, nuts and beautiful houses.

    In the morning we visit Temisgam Monastery, a complex of several temples, built in the 15th century AD. Further up the valley is a smaller gompa called Tsekarmo. On our way back we visit the old Royal Palace of Temisgam, situated in the middle of the village. The palace was home to Gyalpo Tagspa Bom, who chose Temisgam as a capital of his kingdom of Ladakh in the 15th century.

    After lunch we explore the village; there is a chance to visit a local school and interact with local people.

    Village homestay

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 10

    Cross the Skinyang La (4,060m) to Skinyang village (3,531m).

     

    Today is a longer day. We begin with a gentle ascent to the base of the Skinyang Pass. We pass the pretty village of Tia and then Charcha as we follow a new jeep track. The trail then begins to climb up a barren hillside to a col at 3,927m. From here a wonderful boulder-strewn landscape greets us. The wild landscape around here is home to Snow Leopards and Blue Sheep. We can see the pass ahead and an easy 45minutes walk brings us to the top of the pass at 4,060m. We now descend into a dry valley which we follow to a set of chortens above the village. The last 30 minutes of the descent is a little steeper as we drop down to Skinyang, a traditional Ladakhi village.

    Please note there is the option today of going all the way to Skinyang by jeep or if it is very hot we can drive to Tia at the base of the pass to avoid the heat.

    Full-service Camping

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 13 km / 8 miles
    Activity (hours):
    6
  • Day 11

    Drive to Lamayuru Monastery set amidst a lunar landscape, continue to Alchi Monastery, one of the oldest in Ladakh with 11th century paintings.

    We say goodbye to our trekking crew this morning and join our transport for the spectacular drive to Lamayuru Monastery, set amidst an amazing lunar landscape. We descend first to Khalatse and then head west on one of the most magnificent parts of the Srinagar to Leh road. The road winds through a fantastic landscape – it was here that 50 million years ago two continents collided to form the Himalaya. Just before Lamayuru we pass a futuristic lunar landscape. Arriving at Lamayuru we have time to explore the monastery and the village surrounding it. We then rejoin our vehicles for the drive eastwards to Alchi where we spend the night.

    Alchi village is set in a side valley hidden from the main road and is an oasis of calm. In summer the villagers are busy in the fields with their crops of barley, wheat and vegetables. The climate here is very mild and apricot trees abound. Alchi Monastery is one of the most important cultural sites in Ladakh. Built in the 11th century, it is a treasure trove of early Buddhist art in the Kashmiri tradition, a style quite different from the Tibetan art found in Ladakh’s other monasteries.
    Basic Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 12

    Visit Basgo Fort, drive to Leh.

    We drive back towards Leh and en route stop at Basgo Fort. Now mostly in ruins it is spectacularly situated in the wind blown rocks. We spend some time here exploring the ruins and temples. We then follow the main road back into Leh arriving by lunchtime. The rest of the afternoon is free in Leh for last minute sightseeing or shopping.
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 13

    Fly to Delhi.

    We fly from Leh to Delhi. The rest of the day is free for individual sightseeing in Delhi. You may want to visit the colourful bazaars and the Red Fort in the heart of Old Delhi or visit some of the Mogul monuments dotted around this ancient city.

    Hotel Jaypee Siddharth (or similar)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 14

    End Delhi.

    It is time to say our farewells this morning as the tour ends after breakfast. Those travelling on the group flights will be transferred to Delhi Airport for your daytime flight back to London.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
Altitude charts
TGX Altitude Chart

Please note: it is possible that the order of the itinerary listed above will be changed to ensure the best possible conditions for each activity during the trip. All listed activities and services will be included. Your leader will inform you of any changes locally after assessing conditions.

All ascents, descents and distances listed above have been measured by our local partners or tour leaders. Please note that different GPS measuring devices can give differing results dependent on the barometric pressures at the time. Measurements stated throughout these trips notes are given to help you understand the types of terrain and distances you will encounter.

Extend Your Trip

Golden Triangle extension

A visit to the incredible Taj Mahal and other great Moghul cities close to Delhi is an excellent way to begin or end a visit to Northern India. The five-day Golden Triangle extension can be booked before or after your main itinerary. The Taj Mahal in Agra was built by the Moghul Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died in 1631, and is one of the most beautiful sights on earth. Close by is the imposing Red Fort of Akbar with its beautiful courtyards and palaces and let's not forget the deserted royal city of Fatehpur Sikri. The extension also visits the Pink City of Jaipur, capital of Rajasthan, which is one of the most attractive and colourful cities in India.

Accommodation

Hotels, Camping & Homestays

You will spend 6 nights en suite hotels, 3 nights full-service camping, 3 nights homestay and 1 night guesthouse.  

In Delhi, we usually stay at the Hotel Jaypee Siddharth, a locally-rated 5-star hotel with a swimming pool and spa. It is very comfortable and is conveniently located very close to the metro, for ease of getting around the city. In Leh we stay in a simple hotel and all rooms have en suite bathrooms. 

We spend three nights of the trek in village homestays. These are authentic local Ladakhi houses. There are comfortable mattresses on the floor with blankets but you will need to bring a sleeping bag. There will be a basic local toilet and dining room. Food will be cooked by our own cooks and eaten in the dining room of one of the homestays where there will be a heater. Single rooms are not generally available in the homestays and occasionally there may be 3 or 4 guests to a room. If you want more privacy at night, we carry a few tents with us and it is possible to sleep in a tent. Ask your leader on arrival in Leh if you would like this option.

Three nights on the trek are full-service camping meaning that our camp staff will erect and dismantle the tents for you, cook, and do all of the camp chores for you. You need only carry your daypack. Most of the camping on this trek is wild camping. We stay in two-person tents which have enough room inside for your kitbags. Sleeping mats and bags are not provided – please see the packing section. We also have a dining tent complete with table and folding chairs, and at least one toilet tent (usually two) for use during the evenings. No running water is available whilst camping. You will be camping close to a river or stream and the camp staff will provide bowls of warm water (to wash with) whilst trekking.

We can arrange additional nights' accommodation in Delhi prior to, or after your trip, should you wish - please enquire at the time of booking.

Single rooms and tents can be requested for a supplement (subject to availability) - please enquire at the time of booking.

Single supplement from £320.00

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

All breakfasts, 7 lunches and 7 dinners are included.

Whilst camping, the staff will bring a hot drink (usually tea) to your tent each morning. When you reach camp in the afternoon tea and biscuits will be served. At breakfast, dinner and in the afternoons, there is a choice of hot drinks. Breakfasts typically include cereal, toast and jam, eggs and porridge. Lunch on trek is usually served as a picnic en route (except on shorter days when it is in camp). Lunch and dinner typically include soup to start, followed by a variety of hot dishes (both local and western) such as potatoes/chips, vegetables, curry, pasta, rice, dhal and paneer (cottage cheese). At dinner time a dessert such as tinned fruit and custard, fritters or cake is also be served. 

Whilst in the homestays, food will be cooked by our own cooks and eaten together in the dining room of one of the homestays.

Please note that although some meals will include meat, it is not as readily available whilst on trek.

Drinking Water

Staying hydrated is important when undertaking any physical activity but particularly so at altitude where it is generally recommended to drink at least 3-4 litres per person per day.

We strongly encourage you not to buy bottled water as this contributes to the growing problem of plastic pollution in Ladakh. In Leh there is a shop called Dzomsa which sells safe drinking water. Your leader will show you where this is on your first day in Leh.

During the trek the cooks will collect and boil drinking water from the mountain streams and fill up your water bottles for you, but you may need to collect water during the day and may wish to use your own water purification treatment as well.

We also suggest that you may like to bring a reusable bottle with a wide opening (Nalgene or similar) with you and use a SteriPEN to treat any non-boiled water. A SteriPEN is a handheld UV water purifier – small, lightweight and battery powered so easy to pack for a trek. It’s quick to use, far more effective than purification tablets, and the water is ready immediately. It’s fine to use a SteriPEN on non-boiled water so long as it isn’t cloudy or full of sediment (which is uncommon in these regions).

SteriPENs are widely stocked on Amazon, outdoor shops and other online retailers; look for the latest models but avoid USB charging ones. Using a SteriPEN means you won’t leave behind a single plastic bottle – and you can keep it for future trips.

Transportation

Depending on the time of day, for transfers in Delhi we either use taxis or a private bus (during busy times such as morning rush hour taxis are preferable to negotiate the busy narrow streets). In and around Leh and for the drive to Yangtang and to and from Alchi we use a private minibus, jeeps or taxis. For the trek section, there will be a support vehicle - usually a 4WD or jeep. For the flights to and from Leh we use one of the airlines operating within India.

Weather & Seasonality

Weather Information

The weather chart for Leh shows average temperatures only. Please refer to the paragraph below for further details of the temperature range. Generally the weather is good in Ladakh during the summer time, with warm to very hot sunny days (up to 30ºC/35ºC +) with cooler nights depending on the altitude. There is, however, the possibility of rain, and you should be prepared for this. The sun is very strong at these altitudes and some of the days on trek can be extremely hot so we often start walking quite early to avoid the heat in summer. Please bring plenty of lightweight clothes for the trek and plenty of sun protection.

Ladakh, though technically part of the Tibetan plateau and classified as a high altitude desert, can and does occasionally experience the effects of the Indian monsoon. Although the departures are timed to coincide when the weather is normally good, you should remember that in any mountain area the weather is never wholly predictable and you should be prepared and equipped to deal with any differences in weather beyond the conditions described above.

Delhi in the summer it is very hot and humid.

Weather Charts

Leh

Joining Instructions

Travelling flight inclusive from London: 15 days

The group flight from London is an overnight flight departing the day before Day 1 of the itinerary.

Flights from London

We normally use the scheduled services of Jet Airways or Virgin Atlantic (depending on availability). As flight timings and schedules change regularly we recommend you call one of our specialist sales staff or your agent to confirm up‐to‐date timings. Please note timings may change at a later date and cannot be confirmed until approximately two weeks before departure.

Internal flights during the trip are with a local airline.

Travelling land only: 14 days starting and ending in Delhi

Your trip normally starts at our hotel in Delhi in the morning of Day 1 of the itinerary. Details of how to reach the start point are provided in the Final Joining Instructions ‐ sent approximately two weeks before departure.

Leh Flight Delays

Leh Airport can sometimes experience adverse weather conditions and fog which can occasionally cause flights to be delayed or cancelled. If booking your own flights we advise you to book your international flight home from Delhi departing no sooner than mid‐ afternoon/evening on the last day of the itinerary. Please also be aware that should you miss your international flight as a result of delays from Leh, your insurance may not cover you for any additional expenses incurred.

As advice about luggage allowances for both hand and hold luggage is subject to change, we suggest you check the airline's website for the latest information prior to your departure. The usual, standard check-in baggage weight allowance is 20kg.

Regional Flights

The Flight Inclusive price is based on a London departure, but we are happy to tailor this to your local or regional airport. Please ask about flights from local or regional airports.

If booking regional flights other than with Exodus, you must allow a minimum connecting time (in addition to the international check-in time) of 1 hour at Gatwick, and 1.5 hours at Heathrow; this is longer than the official minimum, but baggage handling is known to be subject to delays.

Free Transfers

Exodus offers FREE airport arrival and departure transfers on any flight for this trip, for both Land Only and Flight Inclusive clients, so no matter which flight you choose to arrive on you will be met and transferred to your hotel. All those taking advantage of the free airport transfers must provide full flight details for both arrival and departure in advance; unless specified otherwise, the transfer will be to the Exodus start (or pre-tour) hotel; transfers to other hotels in the same city may attract an extra charge; transfers may be shared with other Exodus customers on the same flight, or on a flight with similar arrival times.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Transfers Details

The cost of a taxi is likely to be about £10 (approx. US$15) should you decide to make your way independently.

Location start:
Delhi
Location end:
Delhi

What to Take

Essential Equipment

There is a weight limit of 15kg checked baggage plus 7kg hand luggage on the flights to/from Leh. You will be restricted to 12 kgs of luggage whilst on trek for porterage. There are left luggage facilities in Delhi and Leh.

3 season sleeping bag (liner optional)
Warm jacket
Lightweight waterproof walking boots (worn in)
Waterproof jacket and trousers
Trekking sandals for rafting, any river crossings, sightseeing and evenings
Warm hat
Gloves
Several pairs of walking socks (not too thick and preferably with wicking properties)
Comfortable wear/tracksuit
Mid layer (fleece)
T-shirts/shirts/base layers
Light weight trousers
Shorts or skirt for women
Sunhat, sunglasses, sunscreen and lip salve with sun protection
Daypack
Head torch
Water bottle
Plastic bags (bin liners) to line daypack and for packing clothing in the kitbag
Small towel for trek
Toilet paper
Small personal first aid kit
Swimwear (if going rafting)

Please note that many Indians are still traditional in the way they dress. Out of respect for the country we ask you to dress conservatively – no sleeveless tops. Although shorts are acceptable they should be modest and reach to just above the knee and for women a skirt or trousers are preferable.

We believe in reducing our negative environmental impacts wherever possible, this goes for when you need to spend a penny in the great outdoors! If no facilities are available there may come a time when you need to go to the loo behind a tree/bush/rock. To avoid leaving toilet paper behind we recommend taking biodegradable dog poo/sandwich bags with you. Once you have done your business you can pop the used toilet roll in here and take it off the mountain or trail at the end of the day and dispose of it when there are appropriate facilities available.

Donations to Ranbirpura Primary School

Exodus supports underprivileged children at Ranbirpura Primary School, near Tikse in Ladakh. Although the basic education is looked after by the government, some of the facilities are limited. If you have any extra room in your luggage the school and the children would appreciate any of the following items: children’s books for 5-15 year olds, notebooks, pens, crayons, painting books, school bags, girls and boys socks or underwear, warm hats and gloves, toothpaste & brushes, lightweight board games. These items can be handed over to your leader on arrival to your hotel in Delhi, and your leader will carry it to Leh (our local partner will pay for any excess baggage charge on the Leh flight associated with this).

Duvet jackets and sleeping bags are available for hire from Trek Hire UK. Trek Hire UK can also provide a range of trekking essentials and accessories, from rucksacks to trekking poles. Please note that supplies are limited, and it is advisable to reserve any equipment as early as possible. For trips to Kilimanjaro, Nepal and Peru, certain items such as duvet jackets, sleeping bags and thick mattresses (mattresses not available in Nepal) can be hired through our local agents. For Kilimanjaro and Nepal trips these must be pre-booked through the Exodus office to ensure availability. For trips to Peru there is no need to pre-book these as they can be arranged locally through your tour leader in Cuzco. Please call for details.

Optional Equipment

Water purification
Trekking pole(s)
Hand washing gel
Biodegradable soap/shampoo
Umbrella (for sun/rain)

Foam mattress will be provided for the camping.

 

Equipment Hire

1

Internal Flights Weight Limit

Internal flights to Leh are subject to a weight limit of 15kg checked luggage plus 7kg hand luggage. On the flight back from Leh to Delhi, no hand luggage is allowed but you will have 22kg checked baggage allowance.

We recommend you wear your walking boots on the flight to Leh to help with the weight allowance.

If you book this trip, we provide an Exodus kitbag to pack your luggage in whilst on trek. If you book via an agent, it is at the agent’s discretion and you should speak directly to them to arrange delivery. Please note that if you book less than three weeks before the departure date we cannot guarantee that your kitbag will arrive before your trip starts, so if this is the case please contact us on [email protected] to let us know. For full T&Cs see www.exodus.co.uk/kitbags.

Practical Information

Passport

India

All nationalities require a full passport that must be valid for 6 months beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information below is primarily for UK passport holders, and other nationalities should check with their travel agent or the relevant embassies. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.

Visa

India 

Visas are required if you are British and for most other nationalities. Visa information changes regularly for India; for the latest information on applying for a visa please follow this link: http://www.exodus.co.uk/assets/travelink/India-visa-information.pdf

If your trip visits Ladakh, in the very north of India, or Sikkim in the north east, do not mention this on your Indian visa application. This can sometimes slow down or even cause the embassy to reject your visa.

If your flight arrives into Delhi Airport and you have an e-visa, please follow the overhead signs to the e-visa booth at the back of the immigration hall. You will need to fill out an additional form at the booth. Please make sure that you have the details of your start hotel ready. These details can be found on your Final Joining Instructions.

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

Vaccination

India

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A. The risk of malaria is slight but you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice. Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Some of our India trips spend time at altitude. In regions over approx. 2000m, there is low to no risk of mosquito-borne diseases. For trips going to altitudes of over 3000m there is a risk of being affected by Acute Mountain Sickness. Our itineraries are designed to enable everyone to acclimatise to these altitudes, but you should be aware that it is still possible for you to be affected. Please see the TRIP NOTES for further information.

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

The above information can change at short notice; as we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Altitude warning

This trip includes one or more nights over 3500m above sea level, where there is a genuine risk of being affected by Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). If left untreated AMS can be life-threatening. We expect most clients to experience some mild symptoms of altitude sickness, such as headaches and shortness of breath while walking or sleeplessness. Our leaders are trained to identify symptoms of severe AMS and if a client requires extra care, arrangements such as rapid descent will be made immediately.

On some days this trip climbs faster than commonly published ascent rate recommendations. Based upon an assessment by our external safety and medical advisors and our risk assessment process, we consider the ascent rate is acceptable due to the additional safety measures that are in place for our customers. All our trips operating at high altitude meet our internal altitude safety standards that minimise the risk of serious incidents occurring whilst travelling at altitude.

A number of medical conditions or medications can reduce your body's ability to acclimatise. This may affect your performance and make you more susceptible to AMS. If you are worried about any pre-existing conditions, such as heart conditions, or your overall physical ability, you must seek medical advice prior to booking. The drug Diamox (also known as acetazolamide and normally only available on prescription) has been shown to aid acclimatisation in some individuals, and therefore may reduce the risk of AMS. Clients considering using Diamox should speak to their doctor about the drug, its side-effects and a prescription. Please note that while we endeavour to assist all our clients in achieving their goals, there may be times when your leader decides to delay or stop your ascent based on your overall condition, or the onset of AMS.

If you are not taking out Exodus Travel Insurance, make sure that your policy covers you up to the maximum altitude on this trip (if trekking in the Himalaya your policy should also cover the use of a helicopter for emergency medical evacuation).

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

Local Time

India's Timezone:
Asia/Kolkata IST (GMT +05:30)

Electricity

India's Electricity:

230/240 volts AC, 50 Hz.

There are recharging facilities at all the hotels in Delhi and Leh. In Leh the electricity supply is not 100% reliable but it is usually only off for short periods of time. Whilst on trek there are no charging facilities and you will need to bring spare batteries, a solar charger, or power bank if you wish to recharge anything.

Money

India's Currency

The national currency of India is the Indian Rupee (INR), with an exchange rate at the time of publication of approximately 85 to the UK£ and 65 to the US$.

Exchange rates are correct at the time of publication.

It is illegal to import or export rupees. Do not accept torn or (very) dirty Indian banknotes from banks or in change as they will almost certainly not be accepted as legal tender in India. Please ask for low denomination notes of 100 and 500 Rupees as the new 2000 Rupee notes can be difficult to use out of Delhi. You can change money back from Rupees into Pounds or Dollars at Delhi airport (before going through security), but you must produce an exchange receipt showing that you changed money in India.

ATM Availability

ATM machines are available in Delhi. There are a few ATM machines in Leh but they are not reliable and always have long queues and we do not recommend using them. You can pay with credit cards in bigger shops all over India.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

You are advised to bring most of your money in cash as you may have difficulty changing travellers cheques outside Delhi. It makes no difference whether you bring Sterling or US Dollars. You should change your money on arrival at Delhi either at the hotel or airport (please note that the hotel often gives a better rate than the airport). It is possible to change cash in Ladakh but it is often difficult and time-consuming. You will need approximately £100-£150 for meals, entry fees and tipping for the whole trip.

Apart from the extra food you should allow approximately £3 (US$5) a day for drinks and incidentals, more if you want cold drinks or beers, as these are comparatively expensive in India. Most monasteries in Ladakh charge a small entrance fee that goes towards the upkeep of the building. These may add up to about £5 (US$8) in total. Whilst on trek there is not much to spend your money on, but in Leh, Alchi and Delhi there is a wealth of souvenirs, trinkets etc.

Optional Excursions

The half-day trip to the Khardung La costs about INR1,650 (£20 / US$25) per person with 4 people sharing a jeep. Please note that holders of Chinese, Korean or Taiwanese passports will not be issued with an Inner Line Permit, which is needed for the jeep trip to the Khardung La.

The optional rafting trip costs around £25 per person (approx. US$40 or INR2,250).

Tipping

Tipping is of course entirely at your discretion, but it is customary in India. Tipping can be an awkward affair especially when you are not familiar with the country. Your leader will help with tipping and will provide a list of suggested tips. This will include tips for drivers, hotel porters and other hotel staff, local sightseeing guides, and if trekking or biking will include camp staff such as guide, assistants, cooks and ponymen.

Sometimes your leader will collect a kitty during the trip and sometimes they will collect the tips towards the end of the trip (occasionally for very small groups the leader may need to collect a little more than the suggested amount). We suggest you allow Rs4,500 (approx. £55 / $70) for this trip. Please try to tip in local currency.

Tipping of the leader is not included in the above and is at your discretion. However, we suggest around Rs1000-2000 (approx. £15-25 /US $20-30) per person for the leader.

Based on the above distributions, you should allow approximately GB£70-75/US$90-100 per person in total for all tips for the tour duration. Please try to give all tips in local currency.

Responsible Tourism

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Exodus has worked with our local partner in India for over 30 years. Our partner employs local staff and leaders throughout and Exodus provides regular training and support.

There are many community support projects in Ladakh that Exodus has set up or supported over the years. These include helping to rebuild houses and schools and providing materials to build a flood barrier following devastating flooding in 2007 and setting up a flood relief appeal following mudslides in 2010. Since 2011 Exodus has worked alongside other organisations to provide the Markha Valley communities with safe drinking water and we have funded several UV water filters. Locals can now sell drinking water to trekkers. The long-term goal is to ban single-use plastic water bottles in the Markha Valley entirely.

Exodus works with various local women’s groups in Ladakh, running felting workshops so that they can create handicrafts to sell to trekkers at the Eco Cafés in Hankar and in Skiu that we have opened. In Leh, Exodus supports a Donkey Sanctuary, which provides a home for old, ill or mistreated donkeys. We are also helping to raise money to build a Buddhist temple for the villagers of Ranbirpura.

If you would like more details on any of these projects please e-mail Valerie Parkinson (Asia Base Manager - [email protected]) or ask your leader during the holiday.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

 

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 16 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.

On all trips

In booking this trip you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.

In an emergency, please contact our 24 hour out of hours service on +44 (0) 844 326 7041.

Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.

TRAVEL AWARE –STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD

 

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

Please note, although this trip doesn’t visit any FCO no-go areas, it does visit a region close to an area where the advice is not to travel. If joining this trip, or if planning any additional travel pre or post tour in the area, you should ensure you visit their website to familiarise yourself with the advice. Any independent travel to these areas is entirely at your own risk and is likely not to be covered by your insurance.

How to Book

1. Check availability

Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.

2. Secure your place

You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.

3. Complete your booking and payment

When you're ready to book, go to www.exodus.co.uk for online booking, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque. Book with confidence: Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582 issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA ‐ The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.