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[14 days] Ladakh Cultural Tour & Sham “Baby Trek” Sham Valley, Ladakh Region, India

  • Trip Type: Private (Guided)
  • Group Size: Min 4, Max 12
  • Departure Date: Flexible
  • Bookable From: May - September
  • Duration: Extended (10+ days)
  • Physical Rating: Mildly Strenuous

If you’re dreaming about blending a cultural experience with a healthful nature escape, this is the trip for you. Buddhist monasteries, palaces, and the Himalayan mountain range is waiting. 

This combination of the cultural tour and a short trekking holiday provides the opportunity to experience the rich Buddhist culture and traditions of Ladakh. During this 14-day trip, you will visit several towns (Leh, Likir, Beema, Alchi, and more) and valleys (Indus, Nubra) by car, and also participate in a short, 4-day trek in the Sham region of Ladakh. In the towns, you will visit six monasteries and two palaces.

Trekking is a wellness activity involving detoxifying through perspiration, calming of the mind, and eating healthy. As part of this trek, we will prepare healthy and varied food that will help give you strength and nourishment.

The trek will take you through the towns of Yangthang, Rizong, Hemis Shukpachan, and Temisgam. “Ladakh” means the “land of high passes,” and this trek is nicknamed the ‘baby trek’ because you do not surpass 4,000m in altitude, which is rare in this Himalayan region.

Ladakh used to be a trading center along the old Silk Road, and has been disputed land in the past (between India, Pakistan, and China). When the Silk Road ceased operations, camels were left there without caretakers and their population decreased almost to the point of extinction. We will have an opportunity to see these Bactrian double-humped camels by visiting a a breeding farm in the village of Diskit. Tourist interest in visiting these camels has helped save these special animals from extinction.

?️ Seasonal Notes: The best season for this trip is May through September, with July and August being the busiest months. It is not possible to do this trek in the off season as suppliers, transportation, and staff are seasonal.


📋 Itinerary

This itinerary is customizable. Contact Yūgen Earthside for more information.

Day 01: Delhi [India] (arrival day)
Day 02: Leh (elevation: 3,505m)
Day 03: Indus Valley
Day 04: Leh / Likir (elevation: 3,500m) / Yangthang (elevation: 3,600m). Baby trek begins.
Day 05: Yangthang / Rizong / Yangthang
Day 06: Yangthang / Sermangchan La (elevation: 3,750m) / Hemis Shukpachan (elevation: 3,600m)
Day 07: Hemis Shukpachan / Temisgam (elevation: 3,200m). Baby trek ends.
Day 08: Temisgam / Lamayuru / Alchi
Day 09: Alchi / Leh
Day 10: Leh / Khardung La (elevation: 5,600m) / Sumur (Nubra Valley)
Day 11: Sumur / Hunder / Diskit / Sumur
Day 12: Sumur / Leh
Day 13: Leh / Delhi
Day 14: Delhi (departure day)

🌱 Sustainability

? This trek is designed to improve, protect, and preserve the environment of the Himalayan mountain ranges. It honors both nature and culture of the lands and people of the Himalayas.

?️ Our team makes sure that all rubbish produced by us while catering for you are carried out as part of our “Leave No Trace” values. We preach and practice “Take nothing but photographs and leave nothing but footprints,” ethics.

? Our trekking chefs use superfood ingredients to give our trekkers the much-needed nourishment after a rigorous day of hiking. Our wellness meals help to strengthen the immune system.

✈️ We will take short (~80 min) domestic flights between Delhi and Leh. Driving this route would add 2-3 days each way, and with smoke from diesel vehicles this is not necessarily a 'clean' option. You can help offset this flight's carbon impact by visiting the Climate Impact page.

? This type of trekking expedition provides employment opportunities for many locals as all camping gear, equipment, and food need to be carried by porters or pack animals.

? We filter our own water on the trek, reducing the need to boil water using kerosene (unless guests ask for hot water).

  • Clear sustainable travel policy
  • Social / Environmental Impact
  • Tourism Dispersal
  • Behavioral Awareness Education
  • Small Group Travel
  • Adhere to Strict Environmental Standards
  • Conserve Ecosystems/Preserve Biodiversity
  • No Animal-Harming Tourism
  • Focused on Minimizing Waste
  • Responsible Waste Management
  • Use Biodegradable Toilet Bags
  • Provide Local Employment
  • Fair Wages / Fair Trade
  • Supports Local Businesses
  • Tours Benefit Local Community
  • Act Mindfully of Local Health
  • Inclusive & Non-discriminatory Hiring
  • Provide Authentic Experiences

📌 Location

Use the Google map to orient yourself about where in the world this trip is. The location indicates the starting point for this trip.

A specific route map is included in the downloadable detailed itinerary.

🏷️ Pricing

?️ Minimum of 4 travelers required to book.
?️ Prices exclude flights to/from the destination.
?️ See the full list of price inclusions and exclusions in the downloadable detailed itinerary.

  • Deposit per person

    Refundable (see Cancellation Policy)

    $ 500
  • Private trek

    Price per person; excl. flights

    $ 3450

ℹ️ Other Info

? If you're ready to book this trip, or if you still have some questions, contact us to let us know!

? Book with confidence: To reserve your spot on a tour, a $500 deposit will be required. However, you can book with complete peace of mind as this deposit will be 100% refundable until 3 months prior to the trip start date.

Cancellation will take effect only after the receipt of a written confirmation and cancellation fees will apply as follows:

  • More than 90 days before departure – fully refundable
  • More than 60 days before departure we'll refund you the tour cost minus the deposit
  • Between 60-30 days before departure - we'll refund you 50% of tour cost
  • Within 30 days of departure date - no refund is possible

We will not be responsible for / compensate if:

  • The tour is canceled due to natural calamities or political unrest.
  • You choose to leave the tour/trek after it has started, be it of your own will or due to ill health or medical emergency. A cover letter will be provided to help facilitate your claim through your insurance company.

If minimum numbers to operate a tour are not reached, we reserve the right to cancel the trip and advise you of this no later than 28 days before departure. We will refund all payments made to us but will not be liable for any claims made by you or for additional costs incurred by you.

? This trip has a variable start date, so you can plan a departure date for when it is safe to travel.

⚕️ Be sure you have traveler's insurance.

? If you choose to travel before a vaccine is widely available, be sure to get a negative test result prior to arriving. You should also have both a mask and hand sanitizer with you at all times.

Special precautions:

We take our trekkers away from the crowds of the popular trekking areas to provide a “high value, low impact” experience to the people and environment we bring you to. This form of sustainable tourism is no longer a luxury but an absolute necessity, especially in the wake of COVID.

Socially Distant:

We have handpicked areas that are off the beaten path, where a small number of other trekkers might appear on the trekking trail. Our trekkers will be experiencing authentic Himalayan cultures with Social Distancing. On our fully supported Mobile Glamping treks, our clients will be secluded from other trekkers (if there are any) by our support crew. We will have our own campsites, dining tent, kitchen tent where your meals are prepared hygienically, and social distancing can be easily maintained.  This experience provides a “Private Social Bubble.” This mode of trekking will avoid over-tourism and, at the same time, allow for social distancing from mass tourism.

Extra Sanitation Measures:

Our team provides hand sanitizer before each meal and with increased frequency throughout the trek.  we are the first and only company that uses biodegradable toilet bag for our camping treks.

Wellness on the Trail:

Our usage of superfood on our wellness adventure has always helped our clients to boost their immune system during and after the trek. The trekking team prepares a variety of healthy and nourishing meals, and purchases fresh organic food along the trail.

? Q: What does the Physical Rating of "Mildly Strenuous" mean?
A: It means that the majority of the trek only requires a moderate level of fitness, but there is one day when we go over Kangla Pass (elevation: 5,320m) that can be quite challenging. You should be fit and healthy to participate in this trek.

? Q: What about weather and safety?
A: We prioritize safety of our guests above all else. If there is too much snow, or otherwise dangerous weather conditions, we may not go over the highest pass but instead trek back our the way we came in.

? Q: Am I too young or old?
A: Most of our clients, from 3 years old to some in their 70s, have done and completed their treks with almost no exercise or training.

? Q: Do you offer hotel/airport pick-up?
A: We offer hotel and airport pick-up. As you continue with your booking, there will be an option to input flight details or hotel name.

? Q: Do I need a visa?
A: All foreign nationals who want to enter India need to possess a valid international travel document such as a passport with a valid visa that is obtained from an Indian Mission or Post abroad. All visa applicants are requested to apply for the Indian visa online by filling the online application form.

The duly signed hard copy of the completed application form is to be submitted at the concerned Indian Visa Application Center (IVAC) or directly to the Indian Mission or Post. The instructions to fill the form and appointment scheduling can be seen at the Instructions for Regular Visa Application. The applicant is required to bring the referral number and the required documents on the scheduled date of the interview.

The status of the visa application can be checked on the link for Visa Enquiry. The applicants are also requested to visit the website of the Indian Mission for detailed information about the Indian visa.

? Q: What should I bring on a trek?
A: Being correctly equipped is one of the keys to a successful trek. For information to help you select the best type of clothing and equipment for your trip. Contact Yūgen Earthside to be provided with our Clothing & Equipment Guide.

⌛ Duration: 14 days, departing on Fridays. Contact Yūgen Earthside to ask about your preferred start date.
⛰️ Altitude (max):
trekking: 3,750m; driving: 5,600m
? Meals:
Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch
? Transportation: Private vehicle, domestic flight
⛺ Accommodation: Camping, Lodge
?️‍? We extend allyship and a safe travel experience for our friends who are LGBTQ+, people of color, minorities, or from other ethnic/tribal communities.