Adventure awaits in Ladakh with AdventureWomen

AdventureWomen • July 8, 2019

Statue of Maitreya Buddha in Nubra Valley, India

Statue of Maitreya Buddha in Nubra Valley, India

Few places on earth can measure up to the majesty and magnificence of the Himalayan Mountains. Spanning five countries – Nepal, India, Bhutan, China and Pakistan – and featuring the world’s highest peak, Mount Everest, the Himalayas have long been regarded as mecca to adventurers around the globe.

For women especially, this world-famous mountain range may seem like an unattainable goal. But reputable companies like AdventureWomen are making dreams come true by offering safe and well-organized group tours that allow guests to explore with like-minded travellers who share the same adventurous spirit.

On AdventureWomen’s 13-day ‘India: Hiking, Biking, & Rafting Ladakh’ tour, departing July 5-17, 2020, intrepid females will be fully immersed in the local culture of Northern India by visiting monasteries and nunneries, learning about the silk trade and the region’s history, rafting the incredible Zanskar River and, of course, hiking the Himalayan Mountains.

A destination this extraordinary, and a trip this remarkable make for countless unforgettable moments. As is often the case with the Himalayas, life is never quite the same after you go.

Leh, the ancient capital city of Ladakh

Leh, the ancient capital city of Ladakh

The Trip: Lovely Ladakh

Over the course of 13 days, guests will fly from Delhi to Leh, Rumbak, the Nubra Valley and Sham Valley in Northern India’s Ladakh region. Closely resembling Tibet in both history and culture, Ladakh is one of the most sparsely populated regions in the Indian state of Jammu and is renowned the world over for its remote mountain beauty and culture. The mountain ranges in this region were formed over 45 million years ago!

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The largest town in Ladakh is Leh, which sits at an altitude of 3,500 metres. Its Old Town is the perfect place to get lost in, as it’s home to a bustling bazaar, countless souvenir shops and restaurants that sit side by side along an intricate web of laneways.

Eliza Hatch, Director of Guest Experiences at Adventure Women, has been to India twice and says she’s always wanted to return to Ladakh.

“The remoteness, the mountains and the quiet speak to me,” she says. “Both of my prior India trips have been solely culturally focused; this adventure feels different. I can’t wait to bicycle through an area that is culturally protected, meeting and learning from locals, to hike over a 15,420-foot pass and camp in a national park known for snow leopards and blue sheep, to whitewater raft the Indus river, and to soak in the beauty of the mountains surrounding Leh.”

The Itinerary: Places to Go, Things to Do

With an itinerary this exciting, you’re guaranteed more than your fair share of adventure! It all kicks off in Delhi with a welcome dinner, followed by a flight to Leh where the group will visit Shanti Stupa, a Buddhist stupa that affords stunning panoramic views of the surrounding boulder-strewn landscape, and participate in a sunrise prayer ceremony at the Thiksey Monastery. You’ll also explore Leh Palace, former residence of the Ladakhi royals, visit the Central Asian Museum, which chronicles Leh’s role in the Silk Road trade, and take in the view atop the Ladakh Arts & Media Organization.

Shanti Stupa stands atop a steep hilltop in Leh

Shanti Stupa stands atop a steep hilltop in Leh

Next up is the Sham Valley, where you’ll hike to the Rizong Monastery situated within a hidden amphitheatre, and visit the Chulichan Nunnery, featured in the film, ‘In the Shadow of Buddha’. After a visit to Lamayuru, one of Ladakh’s most memorable villages, and the Choskhor Buddhist Temple, known for its original Indo-Tibetan murals and statues, you’ll conquer the mighty Indus River while on a three-hour whitewater rafting trip.

More adventure awaits in the Rumbak Valley, where you’ll embark on a three-hour hike from Zingchen Village. Along the way, you’ll spot blue sheep and, if you’re lucky, a Tibetan Wolf or even a Snow Leopard.

The highlight of the trip, however, will be Stok Kangri, the highest mountain the Stok Range of the Himalayas at a staggering 20,190 feet. It will take approximately six hours to complete this challenging hike, which will take you past small villages and up close to many species of birds. Once at the top, take a moment to take in the views – you deserve it!

Sunrise at Nubra Valley

Sunrise at Nubra Valley

From there, the trip continues to the Nubra Valley, a high altitude cold desert where you’ll drive over one of the highest motorable passes in the world at over 18,000 feet and embark on a full-day cycling trip along the ancient Silk Route to Panamik village. Stretch your legs even further with a hike to Hundar Dok through the stunning Hundar Gorge, during which you’ll pass by shepherds’ huts and enjoy a picnic lunch.

The trip winds down back in Leh with free time to pick up last-minute souvenirs and a farewell dinner complete with a local dance performance. It’s the perfect way to rehash memories with new lifelong friends!

The Accommodations

As diverse as Ladakh is, so are the accommodations on this trip. You’ll enjoy everything from luxe lodging at the Taj Palace in New Delhi, spread out over six acres of lush gardens, to a night under the stars at a Mobile Camp in the countryside.

You’ll also overnight at the family-run Ule Ethnic Resort in the Sham Valley, which offers a barefoot luxury experience that’s unmatched in the region. Known for its riverside villages and trekking routes, the resort is also eco-friendly as it uses micro-hydro plants and solar water heaters.

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What’s Included

You won’t have to worry about a thing while on this trip, giving you more time to enjoy the sights with your fellow female trekkers. All hotel accommodations are included, as are meals as per itinerary, all ground transportation, English-speaking guides, fully-guided sightseeing as per itinerary, bottled water during all drives and meals, gratuities and an AdventureWomen Ambassador. International airfare to/from India, domestic airfare and optional activities are not included.

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Know Before You Go

‘Hiking, Biking, & Rafting Ladakh’ is rated a ‘High Energy’ trip with two Challenging Days. Participants should be in excellent physical condition and be able to hike up to 10 miles in steeper, more rugged terrain. If your fitness level isn’t quite up to par yet, no worries – AdventureWomen has partnered with FitForTrips, a company that designs individualized fitness plans based on travel itineraries. Even better news? AdventureWomen guests receive a 25% discount with the code FITWOMEN.

A trip deposit of US$800, non-refundable and non-transferable, must be made, with final payment due before April 6, 2020.

For more information call 1-800-804-8686 or email info@adventurewomen.com.

Photos courtesy of AdventureWomen

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