Hidden Valleys of Ladakh

Hidden Valleys of Ladakh

20 Days



Hidden Valleys of Ladakh

20 Days Starting in Delhi and ending in

Visiting: India, Indian Himalaya

Tour operator:

World Expeditions

Tour code:


Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

4 - 16

Physical rating:


$2592 (USD) The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$136

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Tour Overview

This is an outstanding trek and an ideal introduction to the visually stunning and culturally rich region of Ladakh, high in the Indian Himalaya. We explore this rugged land characterised by exquisite Buddhist monasteries and ancient forts where the snow leopard seeks out the highest ridges at the margins of the season. We have scheduled our trek to coincide with the famous Hemis Festival complete with masked dances and much celebration. Finally we journey to the vast lakes of Rupshu and camp in spectacular terrain on the borderlands of Tibet.


  • Witness the celebrated Hemis festival

  • Cross Zalung Karpo La and witness the jagged ridges of the Zanskar range

  • Wander the shores of the serene waters of Tso Moriri

  • Trek along the well-defined trails in the Markha Valley

  • Explore the wild and remote Tibetan borderlands

  • Visit the ancient monasteries and forts in the upper Indus Valley

  • Experience traditional hospitality in our hotel in Leh


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Day 1 : Arrive Delhi

On arrival in Delhi you will be met by a World Expeditions representative and transferred to your hotel. Should you arrive earlier in the day we are happy to assist with any optional sightseeing. Due to the differing times of arrival of group members and the early morning departure to Leh the following morning the initial briefing will be on ‘a need to know basis’ such as what to pack, ordering a packed breakfast, what time for departure from the hotel, arrangements for leaving gear in Delhi etc. Your World Expeditions kit bag will also be distributed after the briefing. Overnight group hotel.
Note: The main briefing will be on arrival in Leh and sleeping bags, liners, insulated mattress and down jackets will be distributed.
Note: If you are arriving in Delhi on a late night flight, you may like to arrive the day before the trip commences. Please talk to your World Expeditions reservations consultant or travel agent for pretour accommodation options.

Day 2 : Fly To Leh
Meals Included: B, L, D

We take the early flight from Delhi to Leh in the Indus Valley. If the conditions are clear you will be rewarded with grand views across the Great Himalaya and Zanskar ranges before landing at the capital of Ladakh. On our first day in Ladakh we spend time wandering the bazaar and imposing Leh Palace. We have the opportunity to visit the Victory Fort (above the Palace) built in the 17th century to commemorate Ladakh's independence from the invading armies from Baltistan and Kashmir. From the Palace we can also appreciate the alleyways that comprise the old town of Leh, located to the east of the main bazaar.

Day 3 : In Leh, Visit Shey Palace & Thiksey Monastery
Meals Included: B, L, D

We include a sightseeing trip to Shey Palace, before visiting Tikse monastery. Shey Palace originally housed the Ladakh royal family before they moved to Leh in the 17th century. A few km up the Indus valley is the spectacular setting of Tikse monastery perched on the summit of a sugarloaf mountain. On return to Leh we have the opportunity to visit to the Shanti Stupa at Chanspa, as well as visiting the Ladakh Ecological Centre to appreciate how the Ladakhi people have been able to incorporate new technology into their traditional lifestyles.

Day 4 : In Leh Drive To Stok Palace And Gorge Trek
Meals Included: B, L, D

Explore Stok Palace, a 19th-century royal residence-turned-museum just outside Leh. Afterwards, take a walk to the nearby gorge to witness the stunning natural formation carved out by the river over thousands of years, and enjoy the breathtaking views along the way.

Day 5 : In Leh Attend Hemis Monastery Festival
Meals Included: B, L, D

The two-day festival at Hemis commemorates the Indian sage Padmasambhava who introduced Tantric Buddhism to this region of the Himalaya in the 8th century. The festival consists of an elaborate series of masked dances depicting the life of Padmasambhava and the moral victory of knowledge over ignorance etc. Several hundred Ladakhi villagers from throughout the Indus Valley attend the festival. Besides its religious significance it is a time to renew acquaintances, visit the many stands and drink large quantities of butter tea and barley beer. In essence it is more of a medieval fair than a religious festival that reflects much of the contemporary cultural life of Ladakh. On both days we return to Leh for overnight accommodation.

Day 7 : Leh To Rumbak (Drive Approx. 1 Hr, Walk Approx. 3 Hrs)
Meals Included: B, L, D

From Leh we drive to Zinchen (3380m), a small settlement to the south of the Indus Valley. After our packhorses are loaded we head up a spectacular gorge to our campsite (3850m) below the village of Rumbak.

Day 8 : In Rumbak (Day Walks)
Meals Included: B, L, D

A further opportunity to acclimatise. We undertake day walks to Rumbak village and up side valleys leading to the base of the Stok La that afford spectacular views of the Trans Himalaya.

Day 9 : Rumbak To Camp Below Ganda La (Walk Approx. 3 Hrs)
Meals Included: B, L, D

A short day following a trail that winds up past the solitary house at Yurutse to our camp (4350m) at the base of the approach to the Ganda La. From camp there are impressive views of the Stok Kangri. That afternoon we have devised a more challenging walk that heads way above the scree slopes to a magnificent viewpoint affording views back down to the Indus Valley and across to the high peaks that form the Stok Kangri range.

Day 10 : Base Camp To Shogdo Via Ganda La (Walk Approx. 6 Hrs)
Meals Included: B, L, D

Above our camp we gain views of the snow-capped Stok Range. After gradually ascending a series of switchbacks we make the final gradual ascent to the Ganda La (4950m). From the pass there a views south across the endless folds of the Zanskar Range and the snow capped summits of the main Himalaya Range before completing the gradual descent to the village of Shingo (4150m).

Day 11 : Shogdo To Narding (Walk Approx. 4-5 Hrs)
Meals Included: B, L, D

Below Shogdo the trail enters a narrow gorge where willow, poplar and rose bushes provide a natural canopy alongside the river course. The Skui monastery (3435m) marks the confluence of the stream coming from Shogdo and the Markha Valley. We then head up the Markha Valley to Narding (3530m) and a comfortable, grassy campsite.

Day 12 : Narding To Markha (Walk Approx. 3-4 Hrs)
Meals Included: B, L, D

The trail gradually ascends the Markha Valley passing a few small settlements en route to Markha (3770m) the largest village in the valley. That afternoon we visit the derelict fort above the village and the gompa that has recently been renovated by funds from trekkers and Hemis monastery.

Day 13 : Markha To Hangkar (Walk Approx. 3-4 Hrs)
Meals Included: B, L, D
Day 14 : Hangkar To Zalung Karpo La (Walk Approx. 6 Hrs)
Meals Included: B, L, D

From Hanker we divert from the main trail and commence our ascent across yak herders pastures to our camp at the base of the Zalung Karpo La (4650 metres).

Day 15 : Cross The Zalung Karpo La To Tsorka (Walk Approx. 6 - 7 Hrs)
Meals Included: B, L, D

From camp it is a steady and long climb to the top of the Zalung Karpo La (5190 metres). This pass offers impressive views of the peaks and jagged ridges of the Zanskar Range. From the pass it takes about three hours to reach a delightful grassy camp near to the abandoned encampment known as Tsorka (4200 metres).

Day 16 : Trek To Dhat Settlement (Walk Approx. 5Hrs)
Meals Included: B, L, D

From Sorro we trek to the head of a nearby gorge. Anticipate a cold start to the day as this section necessitates two or three river crossings. We then enter a side gorge that we follow for three hours to the settlement of Dat. (4340 metres). During the summer the settlement is practically deserted as most of the villagers are grazing their yaks and goats on remote grazing pastures. The shepherds are known as Chang pa and follow lifestyles similar to their counterparts in nearby western Tibet.

Day 17 : Drive Dhat To Tso Moriri
Meals Included: B, L, D

En route to Tso Moriri we spend time at the smaller salt lake at Tso Kar with an opportunity to view the rare black necked crane, before driving over two high passes and past Chang Pa encampments to reach the vast lake of Tso Moriri. On arrival we head to the nearby village of Kursoc, the headquarters of the Chang pa in this wild and remote region of Rupshu. Later we head to the shores of Tso Moriri where brahmini ducks and a host of birdlife nest close to the lake.

Day 18 : At Tso Moriri, Return To Leh
Meals Included: B, L, D

In the early morning, we ascend the high ridges above Tso Moriri, enjoying panoramic views of snow-capped peaks stretching to the horizon. After breakfast at camp, we embark on a 6-7 hour drive to Leh, with a lunch stop along the way. Overnight stay in Leh.

Day 19 : Fly Leh To Delhi
Meals Included: B

An early morning departure to board the one-hour flight from Leh to Delhi. On arrival in Delhi we will transfer to our hotel and the rest of the day is at leisure.

Day 20 : In Delhi, Trip Concludes
Meals Included: B

The trip concludes today and you will be transferred to the airport for your return flight and onward arrangements.

What's Included

  • Accommodation
    8 nights hotel

  • 19 breakfasts, 17 lunches and 17 dinners

  • 3 hearty meals per day on trek prepared by our cooks

  • expert bilingual guide

  • airport transfers on Day 1 and Day 20

  • group medical kit

  • good quality accommodation in Delhi & Leh

  • private transportation

  • souvenir World Expeditions kit bag

  • all park entrance fees and trekking permits

  • horses to carry all personal and group equipment

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What's Not Included

  • International flights

  • Flights Delhi/Leh/Delhi

  • Lunch & Dinner in Delhi

  • Bottled water, aerated and alcoholic drinks

  • Tips

  • Items of a personal nature such as phone calls, laundry etc.

  • Visa's

  • Airport and departure taxes

  • Travel insurance

What You Carry

In your daypack you will need to carry extra warm clothing (depending on the altitude, location and weather), a rainjacket, water bottle, camera gear, valuables and personal items such as sunscreen, lip-eze etc. Porters and mules carry all group gear and your trek pack.


To determine the grade of a particular adventure we consider a number of factors. These include the condition of the walking terrain, the altitude, the number of pass crossings and the length of the trek. The Hidden Valleys of Ladakh trek is graded moderate. This is primarily due to the altitude as we commence the trek from 3500 metres. While the stages are not unduly demanding the trail is ill defined in places and both pass crossing – the Ganda La (4920 metres) and the Zalung La (5050 metres) will test your resolve – for even in July they may be under snow. In order to complete a moderate trek we advise that you undertake regular exercise – one hour of swimming, cycling, jogging, three or four times a week and extended periods of exercise during the weekend will accustom you to regular exercise for at least three months prior to your departure. These adventures involve trekking, cycling, rafting or sea kayaking for up to 6 or 7 hours a day at a steady pace. You will need a good level of fitness and be in good health. The majority of our moderately graded treks involve the carrying of a day pack only, though some may involve carrying a full pack. Be prepared for potential variable weather conditions.

Check out our Q&As

  • Who will be my travelling companions on the tour?

    We have offices on three continents which means your travelling companions will be just that – international and wonderfully eclectic. Part of small group travel means that although travellers come from various locations and backgrounds, you will be travelling with like-minded companions who, like you, are keen to share the experience and forge lifelong friendships.

  • What about environmental impact?

    We believe that adventure travel revolves around establishing a strong relationship with the people and environments in which we operate. Our responsible travel policies have been carefully developed to ensure that we minimise the impact of our presence and help to protect the regions we visit while contributing positively to the local community.

  • What should I pack?

    Your pre-departure documents include a detailed packing list with items that you need to bring. While most of the equipment for daily activities is included in your tour cost, some items like helmets and hiking boots are best brought from home. The pre-departure documents also include information on layering and recommended brands for various items to ensure you are fully prepared for your trip.

  • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    Yes. World Expeditions does not require single travellers to pay a surcharge for travelling alone on the vast majority of our trips. Our holidays are primarily on a twin share basis, so if you are joining the group as a solo traveller, we will match you with someone of your own gender. The choice is yours however; if you prefer not to share, we do offer single supplements for private occupancy.

  • Are tips included in my trip price?

    Tips are not included in the tour cost. Tipping is a personal thing, do not worry about how much, or when, to tip. Tipping guidelines are provided for certain destinations in our pre departure information upon booking, however the best advice will be provided by your tour leader.

  • Am I suited to small-group travel?

    We recognise that many of our travellers have not been on a ‘group trip’ before. Yet what our departures provide is both structure and flexibility, allowing you plenty of freedom within the framework of the itinerary. You’ll find that with our maximum group size at 16, you’ll travel in a minimal impact style with a great group of like-minded travellers.

  • Can you advise which vaccinations are recommended?

    While our pre-departure kit provides information on vaccinations, we suggest that you consult your doctor, local government inoculation centre or a travel medical specialist in order to get the most current advice regarding vaccination requirements.

Reviews from Travellers on this Tour

A. Jones(Maclean, NSW)  

Hidden Valleys of Ladakh

24 Aug 2019

Impressed with the high standard of food offered and service given by all the team members!!!

R. Hickey(Eumundi, QLD)  

Hidden Valleys of Ladakh

31 Jul 2017

Dramatic canyon scenery, monastery festivals with trumpets and masks, snow-capped mountains ...the Hidden Valleys of Ladakh trek combines Buddhist culture with wild landscapes. My months of training paid off in this, at times, challenging trek, especially in the rocky river valleys and high passes. Other moments were simply delightful, as we made our way through fields of summer flowers and made passing acquaintance with a baby yak or two. Great guides, excellent food, and the ponies carry all the heavy gear!

M. Smith(Griffith, Australian Capital Territory)  

Hidden Valleys of Ladakh

25 Jul 2017

An excellent trek, led by professional guides, who had our welfare as their priority. They provided realistic challenges, support for those who were not as fit or injured. The trip showcased Ladakh with a variety of experiences - the spectacular Hemis festival, Leh bazaar, the remote valleys and the southern lakes. The camping equipment was excellent and very comfortable. Food was nourishing and delicious. It was a challenging and thoroughly enjoyable trip, shared with a fun-loving group and an engaging local team. Thank you!

M. Smith(Griffith, Australian Capital Territory)  

Hidden Valleys of Ladakh

19 Jul 2017

Thank you to World Expeditions for such a wonderful trek and cultural trip to the fascinating Ladakh region. The care and interest of local staff was exceptional! We are all very sad to leave, having made such valuable friendships. Thank you for offering such a great opportunity to experience such a unique landscape.

Dates & Availability

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Wednesday - Monday

Jun 12, 2024 - Jul 01, 2024
$2604 $2473 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$130 (USD)

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Tuesday - Sunday

Jul 01, 2025 - Jul 20, 2025
$2728 $2592 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$136 (USD)

Book with Confidence

  • Transfer as credit to Future Tours

    World Expeditions allows you to transfer existing payments to a future tour to avoid cancellation fees if you can't travel and inform world expeditions, 70 days before departure.

  • Low Deposit

    World Expeditions requires a minimum deposit of 250 GBP per person or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 70 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of world expeditions charges.

    Up to 70 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 69 days before tour starts: Forfeit 50% of booking price.

    At 35 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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