14 Nights/15 Days
Our most complete itinerary gives the opportunity to experience the cultural intrigue of Ladakh, its wildlife, its stunning vistas and most tranquil lake without having to rush.
From ₹91,500 per guest in Double Tent.
From ₹1,05,000 per guest in Double Cabin.
From ₹1,11,000 per guest in Double Cottage.
From ₹72,500 per guest in Double Tents.
From ₹85,000 per guest in Double Cabins.
From ₹91,000 per guest in Double Cottages.
Day 1 - Acclimatising at Camp
Day 2 - Village and Monastery Tour of the Indus Valley
Day 3 - Camel Sanctuary and Leh in a Day
Day 4 - Sham Valley and the 'Moonland' of Lamayuru
Day 5 - Sham Valley and Pottery Lesson
Day 6 - Hemis National Park Hike
Day 7 - Nubra Valley via Khardung La Pass and Yarab Tso Lake
Day 8 - Nubra Valley Sand Dunes and Diskit Monastery
Day 9 - Frontier Village of Turtuk, Baltistan
Day 10 - Return via Khardung La, or Wari La
Day 11 - Relaxation or Buffer Day
Day 12 - Tso Moriri Lake along the Indus River
Day 13 - Tso Kar Lake via the Taglang La Pass
Day 14 - Rafting Along the Zanskar River
Day 15 - Depart
This itinerary is indicative and its price approximate. We tailor each to our guests' interests and send a final price.
The final amount includes all accommodation at The Indus River Camp and elsewhere, breakfast and dinners every day, as well as lunch on the first and eleventh day, SUV transport to and from each destination with a trusted driver, as well as necessary permits for each guest, rafting tickets from Scorpochey to Sangam, cost of the trek and the pottery lessons.
Guides are available on individual days, at an extra daily cost. Any extra activity or taxi journeys will be charged separately.
We believe in transparency, with no hidden charges. We usually charge 8% commission on all costs for the organisation and preparation of your itinerary. However, here, as the guests will be staying with us for multiple days, we will not charge any commission.
If you would like a price cost breakdown or a stripped-down version of this itinerary, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Day 1 - Acclimatisation
On arrival, you will be collected at the airport and transferred to The Indus River Camp.
After a greeting with your holiday manager, we will show you to your riverside room, where you can relax through the day, acclimatising to the altitude and taking in the Himalayan vista.
In the evening, we will take you on a guided tour of the 40-acre grounds, stopping by the river for sunset, followed by a campfire under the stars. The Milky Way is visible with the naked eye on most days at camp and there's a telescope to gaze at the moon and Jupiter.
Day 2 - The Indus Valley
An early start to witness the sunrise over neighbouring Thiksey monastery. A vast complex, built with earth and stone, climbs up a steep ridge of rock and houses a 12-storey, 16th-century monastery. Participate in the Buddhist morning prayer ceremony, after which you can take a tour of the complex.
Towering on the valley's other side, with views from Leh to Hemis, is the Matho monastery. Witness ongoing restoration work on 14th-century thangka paintings and manuscripts, conducted by a local and international team.
Spend the rest of the day in leisurely fashion at the camp, or drive up to nearby Stok Palace, the magnificent home of the Ladakhi royal family.
Day 3 - Leh In a Day
Take a guided walk from camp through the village of Chuchot, along the streams that meander its mud-brick homes, to the Bactrian double-humped camel sanctuary. These camels were brought to Ladakh via the Silk Route.
Explore Leh through the lanes of the old town and a visit to the wonderful Central Asian Museum that details Ladakh's connection to the Silk Route.
Lunch at Namza - a restaurant with innovative yet traditional Ladakhi food. After, explore the market and suggested shops for local handicrafts, textiles and natural products.
Finish the day at Shanti Stupa that towers over Leh and the Indus Valley, offering the best sunset views, as the colours change with the retiring sun. Return to camp for dinner
Day 4 - Sangam, Sham Valley and Lamayuru
Follow the Indus river downstream until you reach the Sangam point in Nimmu. Here, the Zanskar and Indus Rivers combine, with the distinct colours of each merging into one and heading on to Pakistan.
Drive to Basgo to see the ancient fort that was the site of a 3-year siege by a Mongol/Tibetan Army. Press on to nearby Alchi to view the village's exquisite, well-preserved 11th-century murals. Eat traditional Ladakhi cuisine at Alchi Kitchen, one of the best-rated restaurants in Ladakh. The chocolate and apricot momos are a must.
We then proceed along the road that flanks the winding Indus River, as the scenery shifts into the other-worldly rock formations of the 'Moonland' of Lamayuru. It's then a short drive into the village of Tinsmosang, in the heart of Sham Valley. Settle down for the evening in a comfortable, recommended property.
Day 5 - Sham Valley and Pottery Lesson
Track through the rolling hills and rural hamlets of the Sham Valley, dotted with barley fields, apricot and walnut orchards. One of the most fertile and culturally intriguing parts of Ladakh deserves a closer look, with a tour through Hemis Sukapachan, Uley, Yanthang, Rizong and out to Likir. Keep an eye out for a variety of wildlife.
The village of Likir is tucked beneath steep, snow-capped mountains. A 25 foot Maitreya Buddha statue guards over the village and its monastery. In the village is the last potter of Ladakh to use ancient Ladakhi ceramic techniques. He conducts lessons from his home, for those curious.
In the village of Phyang, visit the Ice Stupa, designed to irrigate dry land through the summer, for which Ladakhi innovator Sonam Wangchuk won the Rolex Enterprise award.
Please Note: If you are interested in doing this as a trek (or any other trek), let us know and we will incorporate it into the itinerary.
Day 6 - Hike into Hemis National Park
The Hemis National Park occupies a vast area to the west of the Indus River, dominated by the pyramidic peak of Stok Kangri (6,150 metres above sea level). It is famous for the high-density population of snow leopards, but they are camouflaged and shy in the summer. It's home to many mountain animals, such as Ibex, Blue Sheep and Mountain Weasels.
By trekking along the Zingchen river to the village of Rumbak, you are granted a view into the Hemis National Park without having to commit to a 5-7 day trek. It's a gradual ascent, with around 2-3 hours walking, until you reach Rumbak where you can stop at a remote Ladakhi home for a taste of rural hospitality.
From there, it's a leisurely walk downhill back to an awaiting car in Zingchen to return you to camp for the afternoon.
Day 7 - Khardung La, into Nubra Valley
The Khardung La pass stands 5,360 above sea level, opening a path to Nubra Valley. From Leh, it's a quick and steep ascent, winding up narrow roads with views across the parallel peaks of the Zanskar and Karakoram ranges.
As we descend into Nubra, the valley splits into two. One fork follows the Nubra river to the Siachen Glacier and the other to the frontier village of Turtuk, along the Shyok river.
We take the latter, past the sand dunes of Sumur, nestling in a garden property below the revered Samstaling monastery, where the Dalai Lama conducts annual teaching. In the afternoon, a short drive takes to Yarab Tso (literal meaning 'Secret Lake'), that reveals itself above a jagged charcoal rock that protrudes from the centre of the sand dunes.
Optional - As of 2020, the Siachen Glacier is now open for tourism. An overnight trip will be available to add on to any itinerary. The accommodation will be basic, but very few civilians have had the opportunity to visit one of the largest glaciers in the world.
Day 8 - Nubra and Shyok Valley
After breakfast, we navigate the valley that straddles the Shyok river - a flat basin of sand, water and greenery, enveloped by the Karakoram range. We start with a visit to the Diskit monastery beside a 30-metre tall Maitreya Buddha statue, whose imposing height provides views across both the Nubra and Shyoke valleys.
We continue on to the sand dunes of Hunder, to settle into a property whose rooms are arranged around an impressive organic vegetable garden.
From Hunder, a 1-hour hike uphill is available that takes you through a natural garden up to a stupa with stunning views of the valley (from where the photo was taken).
Spend a leisurely evening amongst nature and a sky untroubled by light pollution.
Day 9 - Turtuk of Baltistan
In the morning, we leave the expanse of Nubra Valley into the narrow stretch of the Shyok river, to explore the frontier village of Turtuk.
The majority of Turtuk sits 20 metres above a river on a plateau. Its houses are fed water by a system of mini canals, dams and levers originating from a waterfall. They have converted a dry plateau into a green space with three harvests a year with apricots, mulberries, buckwheat, barley and vegetables.
The culture is unique in Ladakh. It is in Baltistan and was part of Pakistan before joining India in the 70s. Until 2010, the village was shut to outsiders, helping to preserve the culture. The majority of the town's economy comes from the Indian army - donkeys with goods are sent zig-zagging up mountain paths to border army posts. The Silk Road once passed here and this region was central to the Great Game, the espionage war between Russia and England to map out Central Asia during the 19th century.
We then return in the Hunder in the early evening.
Day 10- Khardung La, Wari La
We can return to camp by Khardung La, or the alternative Wari La route. The road offers different scenery to Khardung La, with open plains and a more off-road feel, with less congestion and the only company the wild asses, yaks and sheep grazing at high altitude. The pass is as high as Khardung La, at 5,300 metres above sea level.
You can even opt to drive back via the brackish Pangong Lake that stretches 134km from India into China. This would mean 10+ hours of driving and is only possible when the river level is low. We generally don't recommend guests staying at Pangong Lake, as the administration has removed almost all of the accommodation options.
Day 11 - Buffer/Relaxation Day
After the Nubra tour, it's good to take some time to enjoy an unhurried and leisurely day at camp. Explore the grounds and sit out by the river with a book from our well-stocked library.
The most frequent problem we see in itineraries is that they involve rushing from place to place, without any time to unwind. The terrain of Ladakh is challenging - driving over poor quality roads in high altitude for days on end. At the time of organising, having a blank day can seem like a waste but you will thank yourself for giving some time to enjoy amongst nature.
If on the day you're after more culture or adventure, we can arrange all manner of activities last minute: rafting, bicycling, motorbiking, birdwatching and cultural tours, amongst others. Check out our activities page.
Day 12 - Tso Moriri Lake and the Tibetan Plateau
Begin with a drive to Tsomiriri Lake, winding through Ladakhi villages, barley fields, nomadic camps, hot springs, purple mountains and areas rich with wildlife.
Herodotus spoke of gold-digging ants 'in size somewhat less than dogs, but bigger than foxes'. The myth is believed to stem from the Himalayan Marmots, the species so visible along the road to Tso Miriri.
Yaks graze in high altitude meadows and pashmina goats are shepherded along streams by the itinerant nomadic community, who sell the animals' winter fur as Pashmina wool.
Settle down at a camp to watch the sunset change the lake and mountains' colour.
Day 13 - Tso Kar Lake and the Taglang La Pass
The early riser is rewarded with a feast of colour as the sun rises behind the lake. After breakfast, we drive back to Leh via the fluctuating Tso Kar lake, encircled by large salt deposits. Black-necked Cranes, Tibetan Wild Asses are regularly spotted by the lake and occasionally even a Tibetan Wolf.
Of the many passes of Ladakh, Taglang La stands out for the highest grazing land and for an abundance of flowers not far from its highest point. It's a 7-hour drive back to camp, but with an ever-changing scenery.
Spend the evening in our grounds, with a hearty supper before bed.
Day 14 - Rafting along the Zanskar
The Zanzkar river carves a steep valley through multicolour flagstone rock from the Zanskar Valley until the confluence with the Indus river at Nimmu. In a raft, you drift and peddle through the centre of this scenery.
Rafting is available in different grades from 1 to 4. The higher grades, in season, satisfy the more adventurous, whilst the shortest raft from Tsogti to Nimmu is perfectly suitable for children.
Whichever grade you choose, the scenery is equally remarkable.
Day 15 - Depart
We will say farewell and take you to catch your morning flight, with a healthy breakfast to see you off.