How Much Does A Trip To Ladakh Cost

India is home to a number of exotic travel destinations, hence making tourism an important industry in the country. If one has to choose a place in India that awakens the daring wildlife adventurer in anyone, Ladakh is arguably the finest site for trekkers and cross country riders. Sitting in the Himalayas, Ladakh countryside shares a very close proximity with Tibet – an administrative region in China that is often a subject of numerous troublesome political discourses.

Just this year (2017), Ladakh has been the site of a very tense territorial clash between China and India – an incident that almost caused a full-fledged war. Fortunately, one ill-fated incident is not enough to deter free-spirited people around the world from the allure of India’s highest inhabited desert (up to 7,000 meters above sea level).

In fact, from 2008 to 2016 the number of visitors in Ladakh have spiked from 70,000 to 220,000 – nearly more than twice the statistical headcount. Not bad for a region where conflicts are often a subject of acclaimed romanticized Bollywood war films. But apart from its bizarre geographic appeal and a culture that generally leans more towards mysticism; an inspiring aspect of Ladakh’s tourism can be seen through the dedication of local communities to achieve economic and environmental progress. It pays to know that one contributes greatly to the betterment of society just by taking a very long day off.

Best Time to Visit

In most cases, travelers consider the balance between local climate and social events as the basis for choosing the best time to visit a foreign land. But when it comes to making the most out of the Ladakh trip cost, weather conditions singlehandedly pose a major influence in choosing the date. This is made apparent by the fact that, like most of the remote destinations around the world, the socio-economic environment of Ladakh is relatively at the mercy of its climate.

According to Holidify and Trip Savvy, the three summer months are the best times to visit Ladakh. Tourist discounts proliferate during April and May since this crucial period marks the re-opening of many local businesses that closed down during winter. Snow starts reappearing in June, but the weather is generally milder than the initial monsoon month of July.

So for the purpose of featuring precise and quantifiable information, this article considers the following upcoming dates for a decent 2-week holiday:

  • April 1 to 15, 2018
  • May 1 to 15, 2018
  • June 1 to 15, 2018

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Flight Costs via PriceLine

So, how much does a trip to Ladakh cost? One can easily say that the price of this overseas plane trip is overturned by the number of hours it would take to complete the journey. Flights to India from the United States usually take more than a day or two. One should always take note of this fact especially when it comes to booking reservations at temporary residences.

From New Delhi, the next plane journey is bound for Leh, the capital city of the Indian Jammu and Kashmir State and the closest modern civilization to the offbeat Ladakh. Hence, the term Leh-Ladakh is widely used in many travel sources. Here is a table of costs for the cheapest plane ride in America’s well-known low-cost ticket airports:

Round Trip FlightsApril 1 to 15, 2018May 1 to 15, 2018June 1 to 15, 2018
from New York
---
April: Air India
May: Air India
June: Air India
$941.31
---
outbound: 30h 25m
return: 30h 5m
$910.86
---
outbound: 30h 25m
return: 30h 5m
$972.81
---
outbound: 30h 25m
return: 30h 5m
from Los Angeles
---
April: China Southern Airlines / Jet Airways
May: China Southern Airlines / Jet Airways
June: China Southern Airlines / Jet Airways
$892.44
---
outbound: 53h 35m
return: 24h 30m
$1,076.26
---
outbound: 42h 45m
return: 38h 35m
$1,306.06
---
outbound: 45h 40m
return: 42h 5m
from Chicago
---
April: Qatar Airways / Vistara
May: China Southern / Air India
June: Qatar Airways / Jet Airways / Vistara
$959.80
---
outbound: 26h 30m
return: 63h 45m
$931.86
---
outbound: 30h 20m
return: 31h 0m
$1,238.29
---
outbound: 48h 50m
return: 63h 45m
from Washington DC
---
April: Qatar Airways / Vistara
May: United Airlines / Air India
June: Virgin Atlantic / Jet Airways
$1,063.84
---
outbound: 49h 45m
return: 63h 20m
$991.00
---
outbound: 52h 35m
return: 29h 45m
$1,082.70
---
outbound: 50h 40m
return: 41h 40m

Best Accommodations

A huge portion of the overall Ladakh trip cost often goes to the cost of temporary shelter. This fact is made glaringly obvious given that exposure in this part of the world is more dangerous than in any ordinary urban setting. However, this necessity does not have to cost more than $500. Here are 10 available accommodations for the first weeks of April, May, and June by Booking.com:

Property name12-night stayInclusions
Hostelavie Leh• $122 (April date)
• $224 (May & June dates)
• Breakfast
• Free parking
Gakhil Guest House• $150 (April & May dates)
• $225 (June date)
• Breakfast
• Free parking
• Free WIFI
• Airport shuttle
Mikza Home• $187 (June date)• Breakfast
• Family rooms
• No smoking rooms
Yangphel Guest House• $225 (April, May & June dates)• Breakfast
• Free parking
• Free WIFI
Gangs-Shun Homestay• $229 (April, May & June dates)• Breakfast
• Free parking
• Free WIFI
• Airport shuttle
• Nearby restaurant
Zeejid Palace• $281 (April, May & June dates)• Breakfast
• Free parking
• Free WIFI
• Pets allowed
Mandalchan House• $304 (April date)
• $309 (May & June dates)
• Breakfast
• Free parking
• Free WIFI
• Family rooms
Almighty Guest House• $374 (April, May & June dates)• Breakfast
• Free WIFI
• Airport shuttle
• Family rooms
Taka Residency• $374 (April date)
• $468 (May & June dates)
• Breakfast
• Room service
• Free parking
• Free WIFI
• Nearby restaurant
Heschuk Guest House• $457 (April, May & June dates)• Breakfast
• Room service
• Free parking
• Free WIFI
• Airport shuttle
• Family rooms

Smart Consumer Guide

Several travelers claimed that traveling around Ladakh is relatively expensive. However, it is crucial to understand that most proponents of such claim are either very well-versed about India’s tourist geography or Indians themselves. One should consider the currency exchange between US dollars and Indian rupees for a more objective gauge.

There are two types of travelers: the backpacker and the tourist. The former fits the description of an independent, itinerant traveler that only requires minimum accommodations (e.g. tents and camp lodges). The latter often fits the profile of a souvenir shopper that requires comfortable lodgings, a dedicated transportation, and a tour guide. According to Eardex, the daily backpacker’s budget in Leh-Ladakh is only around $14 while a tourist spends an average of $32 per day.

Safety Travel Tips

When it comes to the question ‘how much does a trip to Ladakh cost,’ future visitors must not only limit their understanding strictly in terms of monetary value. As mentioned earlier, Leh-Ladakh is one of the highest regions on the planet. The dangers of altitude sickness, insufficient acclimatization, and any emergency cases resulting from loss of control in an unfamiliar terrain could take more than just the traveler’s budget (especially without insurance) – it could also take away the best memories one could have made.

Safety and security take precedence when it comes to traveling in and around Ladakh outdoors. One should take note of (and never forget) these certain items when making a detailed inventory of the things to bring around the off-beat path.

  • Food & drink: chocolates, candies, dried fruits, chewing gum, and ample water supply
  • Personal gear: thermal wear, windbreaker, raincoat, sun goggles, lip balm, and woolen gloves
  • First aid meds: Diamox tablets (altitude sickness), Avomine (motion sickness), Digene (indigestion or acidity), Ayurvedic rubs (stomach pains or flatulence), and Paracetamol (mild fever)
  • Security documents: original passport, Indian visa, and special travel permits

In terms of acclimatization, it normally takes 2 days at most for the body to get used to the sudden drop in the oxygen levels. While the natural adaptation takes its course, one should take a serious note about avoiding alcohol consumption. Drinking plenty of water and consuming light-weight high-calorie diet can keep any trekker safe on the trail.

In terms of security checks, foreign travelers are strictly advised to make several copies of their special travel permits. They are deposited at every key stop along road trips, especially with organized tours that take several days to complete. These permits are available at the Collector’s Office in Leh one week after a single application. With these documents, travelers are granted entry into the more exotic Inner Line areas of Nubra Valley, Pangong Lake, Lake Moriri, and the Dha-Hanu Valley.

Shopping in Leh-Ladakh

For a certain place that seemed too remote from modern civilization, Leh-Ladakh is surprisingly a decent destination for traveling shoppers. This elevated part of Northern India capitalizes on its secular and religious culture – and it is a feature made obvious in its popular local wares.

Luxurious textile and clothing like Kashmiri (wool) suits and Pashmina shawls are the faces of Ladakh’s globally competitive fashion. Considering its proximity with Tibet, this region is also teeming with Tibetan Buddhist artworks, artifacts, and accessories. Ladakh also has the best locally-produced apricots (and apricot products).

It is important to understand that despite Leh-Ladakh’s relative geographic inconvenience, this place actively attracts international tourists from distant parts of the world. One may be surprised to find a number of foreign restaurants in conjunction with local Ladakhi bistros. Commerce has been the main avenue for championing progress among the impoverished local communities. For a more detailed reference of shopping venues, check out the table below:

Shopping VenueOpening ScheduleDetails
Book Worm10:00 AM to 9:00 PM (Mon to Sat)
12:00 PM to 9:00 PM (Sun)
Buys and sells secondhand volumes in English and German
Dzomsa8:30 AM to 9:30 PMSells the following:
• Water bottle refill ($0.11 per liter)
• Eco-friendly laundry ($1.48 per kg)
• Buckthorn juices ($1.24 per liter)
• Fresh apricot
• Secondhand books
• Assorted local products
Indus Wine Shop10:00 AM to 1:00 PM
3:00 PM to 9:30 PM
Sells the following:
• Beer ($1.63)
• Wine ($13.22)
Jigamat Couture8:30 AM to 7:30 PM (Mon to Sat)
3:30 PM to 7:30 PM (Sun)
Sells the following:
• Waistcoat ($186.62)
• Jacket ($497.66)
• Cape ($808.70)
• Woolen clutch bag ($186.62)
Ladakh Bookshop9:00 AM to 9:00 PMIncludes the following features:
• Local publication service
• Sells 2013 edition of Ladakh Trekking Maps ($23.33)
• Sells postcards ($0.31)
Ladakh Ecological Development Group (LEDeG)9:30 AM to 6:00 PM (Mon to Sat)Sells locally produced crafts and clothes
Lehling Bookshop & Cafe9:00 AM to 10:00 PMIncludes the following additions:
• Coffee shop area (with espresso)
• Free WIFI access
Moti Market8:00 AM to 9:30 PMSells the following:
• Everyday supplies
• Traditional handicrafts
• Colorful local artifacts
• Accessories, woolen products and shawls
Tibetan Refugee Market10:00 AM to 9:00 PM (May to Sep)Sells the following:
• Religious artifacts and paraphernalia
• Traditional handicrafts and ornaments
• Local clothes, shoes and jewelry
Venture Ladakh9:00 AM to 9:00 PM (Jun to Sep)Sells mountaineering outfit and rents climbing gear

Packaged Trips

One of the most cost-effective strategies for reducing the overall vacation budget in Ladakh is to book for organized trips. Not only does it remove the hassles of formulating an extensive and detailed travel plan, it also allows travelers to feel more secure with the unfamiliar terrain. Licensed organized tour providers are practically well-connected with the local authorities.

At Leh Ladakh India, one can book organized tours at a relatively affordable cost. Based on the table below, the highest Ladakh vacation package price is less than $600. Check out the following packaged trips with transparent quotations:

Packaged TripCost & DurationDestinationsPayment Inclusions
Glimpses of Ladakh• $143.53
• 3 Nights / 4 Days
• Leh
• Indus Valley
• Kardung La
• Breakfast and dinner
• Accommodation fees
• Airport shuttle in Leh
• Exclusive sightseeing & excursions via SUV or 4x4
• Wildlife fee in Pangong Lake and Nubra Valley
• Inner Line special travel permits
Discover Ladakh• $273.17
• 7 Nights / 8 Days
• Leh
• Lower Indus Valley
• Nubra Valley
• Pangong Lake
• Delhi
• Breakfast and dinner
• Accommodation fees
• Airport shuttle in Leh
• Exclusive sightseeing & excursions via SUV or 4x4
• Wildlife fee in Pangong Lake and Nubra Valley
• Inner Line special travel permits
Journey to Ladakh• $282.43
• 6 Nights / 7 Days
• Leh
• Nubra Valley
• Pagong Lake
• Breakfast and dinner
• Accommodation fees
• Airport shuttle in Leh
• Exclusive sightseeing & excursions via SUV or 4x4
• Wildlife fee in Pangong Lake and Nubra Valley
• Inner Line special travel permits
Splendour of Ladakh• $293.23
• 6 Nights / 7 Days
• Leh
• Ulleytokpo
• Nubra Valley
• Pangong Lake
• Breakfast and dinner
• Accommodation fees
• Airport shuttle in Leh
• Exclusive sightseeing & excursions via SUV or 4x4
• Wildlife fee in Pangong Lake and Nubra Valley
• Inner Line special travel permits
Essence of Kashmir and Ladakh• $478.43
• 9 Nights / 10 Days
• Leh
• Srinagar
• Pahalgam
• Sonamarg
• Kargil
• Indus Valley
• Khardung La
• Pangong Lake
• Breakfast and dinner
• Accommodation fees (houseboat & hotel)
• Airport shuttle in Srinagar and Leh
• Inner Line special travel permits
• Entrance and wildlife fees
• Exclusive sightseeing & excursions via SUV
• One hour boat (shikara) ride
Ladakh Bike Trip 2018• $563.32
• 9 Nights / 10 Days
• Leh
• Manali
• Juspa
• Sarchu
• Khardung La
• Pangong Lake
• Breakfast and dinner
• Accommodation fees
• 350cc bikes
• Luggage racks and bungee cords
• First aid kit, oxygen, and helmet
• Tour guides

Travel Guide

New travelers might not know what to expect when visiting one of India’s highest geographic areas, but one must not have to be completely ignorant about it. While it pays to collect relevant information on the internet, it pays to supplement one’s knowledge from sources that communicate on a more personal level.

Details and experiences shared by the author of Ladhak: The Essential Guide: Including Kashmir & Manali (2014) makes a fine marginal addition to the overall Ladakh vacation package price. One can gain helpful insights about several destinations featured in the list of packaged road trips in the table earlier.

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