How to calculate cost or budget for Spiti Valley trip?

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Spiti Valley is getting very popular among adventurists year by year. Often people ask me about what could be the budget for Spiti Valley trip and I feel a dedicated post around will help all seeking such answers. This article is for you in case you are looking forward to prepare or analyse the budget or cost of your upcoming Spiti Valley trip 😉 … Frankly speak budget of any trip including Spiti Valley, depends a lot upon person to person. The definition of taste and comfort is a matter of personal preference and hence, cost of any trip can be calculated as an estimate on certain assumptions.

Wondering about budget for Spiti Valley trip?

Wondering about budget for Spiti Valley trip?

Spiti Valley is a place where you can get varied stay options depending on your choice for comfort, preference, taste, road conditions, season and not to forget the present circumstances 😛 … The variety of stay options may range from Rs 100 stay at some dhabha tent or shack to Rs 250-400 stay at low cost guest house or a homestay to a Rs 700 – 1500 at medium cost hotels / guest house to Rs 3000 and above for hotels that offer much more comfort, convenience, food etc..

Similar thing applies for food as well and it depends what you want to eat, pizza or dal – rice or roti – dal fry or maggie / veg / non-veg food etc.. Well, with food it also depend upon more importantly where you want to eat and drink 🙂 … So, you can see with so many variables of personal perspective and choices, it is quite hard to estimate the cost or budget for any trip including Spiti Valley. However, still, I will try to sketch a basic average budget analysis for a trip to Spiti Valley based on the choice of accommodation and food which majority of people will be OK.

Cost or Budget for Spiti Valley Trip

Given below is a basic itinerary for Spiti Valley tour ex. Delhi (without any buffer days) covering all major tourist destinations of Spiti & Kinnaur Valley. This is a common Spiti valley trip plan followed widely by many travelers including me :)… We will be analyzing or finding the budget or costing for this Spiti Valley tour as a part of our exercise. You can roughly guess for yourself that for a similar trip or based on your point of interest, what will be the approximate cost or budget for your own Spiti Valley trip.

  • Day 1 | Delhi – Narkanda
  • Day 2 | Narkanda – Rampur – Reckong Peo – Kalpa
  • Day 3 | Kalpa – Nako – Nako Lake – Geyu Mummy – Tabo
  • Day 4 | Tabo – Dhangkar – Dhangkar Lake – Pin Valley
  • Day 5 | Pin Valley – Kaza, do Ki – Kibber – Gette – Tashigang in second half
  • Day 6 | Kaza – Hikkim – Komic – Langza – Kaza
  • Day 7 | Kaza – Kunzum Pass – Chandratal
  • Day 8 | Chandratal – Manali
  • Day 9 | Manali – Delhi

So, you can see for our sample Spiti Valley itinerary we have taken 9 days (without any buffer days). You can add/remove modify it according to your needs and of course the budget outcome will depend a bit on that but I guess that is very much trivial to say 🙂 … Also, consider that while traveling alone the cost of accommodation and transportation is bound to increase. If you are traveling in an evenly balanced group it will surely decrease. As of now, I will also assume that you guys are five in number so that budget can be calculated on twin/triple sharing basis. A group size of five is also ideal to split the taxi cost appropriately as well.  Now, in order to analyze the budget of Spiti Valley trip on the above or any other itinerary, we can categorize it in two major parts as described below in the article.

That aerial view of Dhangkar Monastery and Confluence of Pin - Spiti River

That aerial view of Dhangkar Monastery and Confluence of Pin – Spiti River

Food + Accommodation + Miscellaneous

If you are living in an average budget hotel with decent comfort and are traveling in a group (at least 2 in number) then the average cost per day for food, accommodation and other misc. things like toll, permit fees, entry fees to monasteries etc. comes about Rs 900 – 1200 per day. This trip will need about 9 days at the very least, so roughly you will be spending some Rs 8100 – 10800 per person for food, accommodation and other misc. expenditures. Again, 900 – 1200 figure could be low budget for someone and little high for the others depending upon choice of stay and food or other activities you plan to do.

Example could be, if you dine at a dhabha tent then the cost of meal would come out to be around Rs 50 – 70 only per person and the same meal if you take at your hotel then you might pay Rs 150 – Rs 200 per person or may be more 🙂 … Vegetarian or Non-Vegetarian also matters with respect to food pricing, so take that too into account. Same thing applies for the miscellaneous activities and here I have considered only which are unavoidable such as toll, permit charges, entry fees, snacks etc. If you are going for paragliding in Manali, rafting, mountain biking, shopping, etc.. then that will surely be something additional for you.

Hence, if you are going with the budget hotels having decent comfort, eating decent quality food and including only mandatory miscellaneous charges then you may need to shell out Rs 8100 – 10800 per person for the above Spiti Valley itinerary of 9 days. For stay options in Kinnaur and Spiti, check the link: Some Good Options of Stays in Spiti Valley / Kinnaur Valley.

Ki Monastery, as seen from road to Chandratal from Kaza

Ki Monastery, as seen from road to Chandratal from Kaza

Mode of Transportation

On a trip to Spiti Valley, the major cost comes out to be for taxis or transportation or fuel depending upon your mode of transport. Using public transport inside Spiti Valley is a challenge as frequency of such shared vehicles or buses is very poor and based on their schedules you may require more days to complete the above trip 🙂 … So, in Spiti Valley, travellers mostly commute either by private hired taxis or by finding travels partners and sharing the cost with them or riding rented bikes from Manali or ultimately self-drive on their personal bikes or cars. All these options will present you different costing of the trip. Let’s look each one of them below to get an idea of the total cost for a Spiti Valley trip.

Self-Drive Private Vehicle – Bike and Car

You will be traveling about 1600-1700 KMs for above Spiti Valley trip. So, if your bike gives mileage of about 25 KMPL on an average in hills + plains then you are looking for about Rs 4800 – 5000 for fuel roughly. Similarly, you can calculate if you are driving the car. Just keep in mind that in hills your car will give much lesser mileage than in plains. So, calculate accordingly and divide them among the people traveling in car to calculate per person cost. Most people prefer to ride to Spiti Valley without a pillion on a bike, so cost is calculated singularly.

Finally, taking food + accommodation into account, traveling to Ladakh by self-drive mode of transport, you are looking at about ((Rs 8100 – 10800) + (Rs 4800 – 5000) = (Rs 12900 – 15800)) as the total budget for Spiti Valley trip by bike. In case you are traveling by your own car with 4 people in the car, well you are looking about Rs 3000 approximately per person for the fuel. So, you are looking at about ((Rs 8100 – 10800) + (Rs 3000) = (Rs 11100 – 13800)) as the total budget for Spiti Valley trip by car.

Self-Drive or Self Ride But Rented Bike or Car

Here, cost of fuel would be same as for a self-drive private vehicle calculated above but you will be adding the cost of bike/car rent as well. Usually, you get a decent bike in good condition at around Rs 1000 – 1200 per day depending on the make and model of the bike you rent. So, the cost of rent only comes out to be around Rs 9000 – 10800. Adding the fuel cost as calculated above, the cost here becomes approximately about Rs 21900 – 26600. Please note that bike ride is not twin sharing for bike and fuel. Depending upon the deal you are getting for self drive cars from Delhi, you can yourself add up that cost. Some car rentals also provide fuel within the rent too, so do that maths accordingly.

If you are interested to know more details or tips on how to hire the bikes in Manali / Leh, kindly check the link here.

Self drive to Spiti Valley?

Self drive to Spiti Valley?

Privately Hired Taxi for Spiti Valley trip

Here I will assume that you have used public transport such as HPTDC or HRTC Volvo to reach Shimla and then used same for Manali Delhi. We can take the cost of Volvo to be Rs 2200 per person. Now, you are left with Shimla to Kaza to Manali for about 7 days. The rates of the taxis for Kinnaur & Spiti Valley trips are about Rs 3200 – 3500 per day depending upon the number of days you plan to travel, more the days, less the price. So, for 7 days of Spiti Valley tour, you are looking at Rs 4500 – 4900 per person for taxi considering 5 people are traveling in your group. So, total commute expenses in this means comes out to be Rs 6700 – 7100 per person.

Again, taking food + accommodation into account, traveling by privately hired taxi for Spiti Valley and reaching Leh in public/shared transport, you are looking at about ((Rs 8100 – 10800) + (Rs 6700 – 7100) = (Rs 14800 – 17900)) as the total cost for the entire Spiti Valley trip.

You can get connected directly to some drivers in Spiti Valley or Kinnaur Valley at the link: List of Taxi Drivers for Spiti Valley & Kinnaur Valley. These drivers can come and pick you up from Manali / Shimla / Delhi / Chandigarh too, of course with a price of pickup as well. Otherwise, taxis in general are also available on the spot from Shimla or Manali from respective taxi stands.

Taxi on the way to  Hikkim - Komic - Langza circuit

Taxi on the way to Hikkim – Komic – Langza circuit

Shared Taxis or Public Transport or Travel Partners (in group)

In case, you plan to travel to Spiti Valley by public transport, you can read the article How to make a budget trip to Spiti Valley by public transport?. It covers in detail, how you can make a trip to Spiti Valley in public transport and also project the cost of it.

Conclusion

I hope the above article helps you calculate your budget for Spiti Valley trip. I understand that it takes one base itinerary into account but I am sure it will also help you in your own itinerary as well. In case, you still have any doubts, feel free to post your questions in comments section of this article. I will look forward to know your own perspective/tips on cost analysis for Spiti Valley trip as well. Kindly share your valuable thoughts/feedback/inputs etc here which will help many other fellow travelers. In case, you know your friend or family person who is making a trip to Spiti Valley, please fee free to share this article with them as well.

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18 Comments

  1. hey dheeraj,

    do you have any idea of cab charges from kaza to key monastery or any bus services in morning from kaza to key

  2. Hi Dheeraj,
    I am planning to visit Spiti Valley and have custom made an itinerary for the same.
    Day 1. Rampur to Kalpa ( short sfays at Sangla and Chitkul )
    Day 2. Kalpa to Tabo. ( Avoiding Nako lake as I have been there and it was a big disappointment. )
    Day 3. Tabo to Kaza. ( Kibber and Ki Gompha )
    Day 4. Local off beat places near Kaza as mentioned in your other articles.
    Day 5. Kaza to Batal. ( Chandratal included, planning to spend the night in Batal itself. )
    Day 6. Batal to Manali.
    Now I had some apprehensions regarding few things –
    1. Can I do Dhankar, Kibber, Ki Gompha in a single day ? Where should I stay, Ki Gompha or Kaza ?
    2. Is Pin Valley a must visit ?
    3. Can I include Lahaul in this itinerary too ? Can I rather go to Sarchu, Keylong, Baralachaa and Suraj Tal in 2 days before going back to Manali ?

    Looking forward to your reply.
    Thanks in advance. 🙂

    • Hi Kartik,

      1. Yes, you should be easily able to do Dhangkar, Ki, Kibber and come back down to stay at Kaza. Stay at Kaza as it will provide more comfortable stays.
      2. Hmm, depends. If you dont have time, skip it for next time. Pin Valley has a beauty of its own.
      3. I am not sure which month you are planning the trip. But, in general, you will need 3 days for a comfortable trip. Battal to Keylong, Keylong – Baralacha La – Sarchu, may be back to Jispa. Then Jispa to Manali.

  3. Prashanth T P on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    We are planning to go on our honeymoon trip to Kinnaur and Spiti valley this June (2017). I have read most of your blogs on the travel itineraries/suggestions to these places. Appreciate your efforts and a big thank you! 🙂

    Below is my custom made travel itinerary. Can you suggest me if this is doable or any change is needed.

    15-Jun-17 :: Bangalore to Chandigarh, Bus travel to Shimla
    16-Jun-17 :: Take cab to Sarahan
    17-Jun-17 :: Travel to Sangla
    18-Jun-17 :: Site seeing around Sangla Valley
    19-Jun-17 :: Travel to Chitkul, spend the day
    20-Jun-17 :: Travel to Kalpa
    21-Jun-17 :: Sight seeing around Kalpa
    22-Jun-17 :: Travel to Nako
    23-Jun-17 :: Travel to Kaza
    24-Jun-17 :: Sight seeing around Kaza
    25-Jun-17 :: Travel to Manali (Is this doable?)
    26-Jun-17 :: Visit Kullu, Night bus to Chandigarh
    27-Jun-17 :: Flight from Chandigarh to Bangalore

    I read in news that we have to take daily pass to cross Rohtang from Manali? Is it applicable if we are travelling from opposite direction as well?

    We are planning to book taxi from Shimla for the trip. What would be better option – booking through travel agency or contacting the driver directly?

    How safe it is for a couple to travel around these places. Is there additional safety precautions to be taken?

    Any suggestions/links to better plan the trip would be appreciated.

    Thank you!
    Prashanth

    • Congrats Prashanth for your marriage 🙂

      Chitkul and Nako are raw places with basic home stay kind of facilities available. Not sure if you are assuming something here. The plan is doable but then the last part will then becomes quite hectic, so be prepared mentally for it as you plan to have eased itinerary before. Kaza – Manali is doable but long drive, rest I feel it seems OK. On 26th rest in Manali, there is nothing in Kullu.

      • Prashanth T P on

        Thanks for the wishes and valuable inputs 🙂

        We are planning to stay in Swiss tents (Kinner Camps) in Sangla and Nako. We are not expecting much, just hoping it to be a comfortable option in that terrain.

        I spoke with few drivers from the DoW drivers list. They sound reliable, most of them are asking 4,000/day for Innova including all charges (rent+fuel+taxes+toll+driver’s expenses). Is that a nominal charge for the month of June?

        Thanks again!
        Prashanth

        • Prasanth, try few more options. Up to last year, it was more or less 3200-3500 per day. So, check few more and try to bargain that number.

  4. Pavan shukla on

    Dear Deeraj,

    Can I visit spiti leh laddakh by my hatchback tiago from Delhi. I want to know if it is wise decision to visit such place by hatchback family.

  5. We are group of 6 persons planning to travel spiti in 2nd week of July our iternary is
    Day-1 Delhi to Narkanda/Rampur
    Day-2 Narkanda/Rampur to sangla to Kapla
    Day-3 Kalpa-reckong peo-nako-tabo
    Day-4 tabo-dhankar-pin valley(mud)-kaza
    Day-5 kaza-komic-hikim-langza-tashigang
    Day-6 tashigang-gette-ki-kibber
    Day-7 ki-chincham-batal-chandratal
    Day-8 chandratal-manali
    Day-9 manali-delhi

    Suggest change if any…

    Thanks…

  6. We are group of 6 persons planning spirit valley trip in 2nd week of July our iternary is
    Day-1 Delhi to Narkanda/Rampur
    Day-2 Narkanda/Rampur to sangla to Kapla
    Day-3 Kalpa-reckong peo-nako-tabo
    Day-4 tabo-dhankar-pin valley(mud)-kaza
    Day-5 kaza-komic-hikim-langza-tashigang
    Day-6 tashigang-gette-ki-kibber
    Day-7 ki-chincham-batal-chandratal
    Day-8 chandratal-manali
    Day-9 manali-delhi

    Please suggest changes if any…

    Thanks….

  7. Shweta Upadhya on

    Hi, this is Shweta here. Read your ‘budget trip to Spiti’ article.
    I’m an amature photographer and like travelling.
    I’m planning a trip this month end to Spiti. Need more info. Can you please reply to me on my email ID where I can connect with you and get the details.

    Thanks,
    Shweta.

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