How to make trip to Ladakh in 5 Days?

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Ladakh is one of the top most popular adventure and family travel destination in India, thanks to the Bollywood especially “3 Idiots”. Every year 1000s of people plan their trips to Leh – Ladakh to witness the barren landscape and beauty of this cold desert. As the number of domestic tourists are increasing, so as the urge of traveling to Ladakh in 5 days due to lack of leaves 😉 😉 … Ladakh is well connected by air and many airlines run daily flights to Leh. So, thinking about making a trip to Ladakh in 5 days does not seem unnatural to me especially when you are unaware about the region. What they say “Ignorance is bliss” 😀 😀 …

Planning a trip to Ladakh in 5 days?

Planning a trip to Ladakh in 5 days?

Every year I get 100s of questions where people are seeking for a plan to make a trip to Ladakh in 5 days. In the early days, I used to get frustrated and confused that what exactly a person will do in just 5 days in Ladakh. Overtime I got used to it and today I am going to write an article which should serve as a base for all such queries. I am sure this will help lots of people looking forward to make a trip to Ladakh in just 5 days. So, if you are one of those who are short on time and can spend money on flights to Leh, you can refer the itinerary mentioned below for your Ladakh trip.

Itinerary for a trip to Ladakh in 5 Days

If proper care is not taken to combat Acute Mountain Sickness, flying directly to a high altitude places like Leh (3500+ Mtr) can cause serious health issues sometimes. Hence, one must always be aware of importance of Acclimatization and tips to help acclimatize to some extent before venturing to further high altitude places. When you fly to such high altitude, you must give your body a chance to acclimatize before actually getting started with the excursions. This is the precise reason why road journey to Ladakh is more fun because it allows your body to gradually increase the altitude ad acclimatize to it. But, let’s look at how one can combat most of the AMS issues with very basic tips and can enjoy his/her Leh – Ladakh journey for about 5-6 days.

Day 1 | Delhi – Leh (By Flight) – Rest and Acclimatization
  • Checkin at Hotel. Many hotels provide free pick and drop from Airport. Ask while you book them.
  • Take ample of rest as well as water or anything that keep your body hydrated enough. DO NOT OVER HYDRATE. Take ORS Soluted water or ORS – L tetra packs from home.
  • Do not over exert your body at any cost. Avoid too much up-down on stairs or avoid it in entirety, if possible.
  • After 5-6 Hrs of rest you can visit Leh Palace, Local Leh market, Shankar Gompa.
  • If you feel exerted go back to Hotel, have dinner at Hotel and take rest. Avoid any exertion. Else continue and,
  • Follow the sunset by stroll at Changspa road and have a nice dinner on varied cuisines offered in-around Changspa road.
  • Go back to hotel for overnight stay at Leh.
  • Overnight at Leh.
Day 2 | Leh Local Sightseeing + Acclimatization
  • Hire a taxi from Leh. For the leh – ladakh taxi union rate list 2016 – 17 including the contacts of some reliable taxi drivers within Leh – Ladakh, check the link here. You can get about 12-15% of discount by directly getting in touch with drivers and of course, talking in person rather on phone always help in bargaining more. You can call the local drivers directly to connect with them and check the comprehensive List of Taxi Drivers for Ladakh – Srinagar – Leh – Manali with recommendations/reviews for DoW community members.
  • Take his inputs if you feel reasonable and if required modify the plan accordingly but should suits you best.
  • Ask him to be with you guys starting first day itself, if required and charged reasonable else do it at your own.
  • Again DO NOT over exert and take little steps and slow walks only.
  • If feeling OK then do Local sightseeing. To know the about the places to visit check the link: Travel Guide for Local Sightseeing of Leh Town in Ladakh
  • Do not use stairs at any of these places just to see them as it will exert your body much more.
  • Overnight at Leh.
Day 3 | Leh – Khardung La – Deskit – Hunder
  • Head for Nubra Valley and stay overnight at Hunder / Deskit.
  • On the way enjoy a cup of soup at Highest Motorable Pass (as claimed) Khardung La. DO NOT stay more than 10-12 minutes.
  • Deskit has monasteries with tallest lord Buddha statue and Hunder has sand dunes and bacterian camel safari.
  • About 5-6 Hrs drive, depending upon the breaks you take in between and at Khardung La.
Day 4 | Hunder / Diskit – Sumur – Panamik – Sumur – Khardung La – Leh
  • Sumur has a famous monastery to check out and Panamik has hot water springs.
  • Overnight at Leh.
  • About 7-9 Hrs drive, depending upon the breaks you take in between.
Day 5 | Leh – Chang La – Pangong Tso – Chang La – Leh
  • Make a day trip to Pangong Tso via Chang La Pass. Do not plan to stay overnight at Pangong Tso as you will not be acclimatized and may fall sick. So, make a day trip only.
  • Overnight at Leh.
  • About 10-12 Hrs drive, depending upon the breaks you take in between.
Day 6 | Fly Back OR Rest Day OR Sham Valley Tour
  • Fly back home OR
  • Rest day at Leh to enjoy local culture and some shopping OR
  • Sham Valley include Alchi, Likir, Basgo Palace, Magnetic Hills, Confluence at Nimmu, Gurudwara Pather Sahib OR
  • Overnight at Leh or sweet home.

Additional Points:

  • For accommodation, check the nice, preferred list of accommodation options in entire Leh – Ladakh (Leh, Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri) including moderate and cheap budget hotels as well in the series of articles starting on the link here.
  • Any doubts related to budget of the trip?? Don’t worry, check: How to calculate cost or budget for Leh – Ladakh trip
Beautiful colors of Stok Kangri range in Ladakh

Beautiful colors of Stok Kangri range in Ladakh

Conclusion

I hope this plan or itinerary for Leh – Ladakh in 5 days when traveling by air will be useful for travelers planning their journey, at least for the first time. I will look forward for any queries or doubts or valuable suggestions and inputs you have for making such a trip. I would also love to discuss about your customized plan as well below in the comments section of the article.

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26 Comments

  1. DERA DEEPAK JI
    I HV CHANGED PLANS AND AM PLANNING TO LAND AT SRINAGAR ON 28TH MAY AND FLY BK ON 5TH JUNE. WILL THE ROAD SRINAGAR – LEH BE OPEN BY THEN?

  2. Hi I m planning a tour from 2 may from shrinagar to leh plz let me know high way will open or not
    TIA

    • Nikhil, Srinagar – Leh Highway may not open by that time of the year and even if it opens, considering the present unrest in Kashmir it does not make sense to travel up there.

  3. Smitha Kodihalli on

    Dheeraj,

    we are planning leh on 23rd may 2017 driving from srinagar , are we cutting it too close to the zorilla pass opening, We were told by the local travel agent that groups have been booked from may 5th onwards. please advice. we are 8 of us .

  4. vaishnav chavan on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    i am planning trip to leh ladakh as per this itinerary,

    day 1:
    fly to leh from delhi
    rest on day 1

    day 2:
    site seeing around leh such as magnetic hill, indus valley and return
    stay at leh

    day 3:
    early morning to Hemis, Thicksey and Shey on the go towards Pangong Tso
    stay at pangong tso

    day 4:
    pangong tso to nubra travel
    stay at nubra or hunder or diskit

    day 5:
    drive back to leh via khardungla
    stay at leh

    day 6:
    fly back to delhi

    my question to you is, is it suitable to drive from pnagong tso to nubra directly and how much time it will take by car to drive, and is there any place to stay in midway from pangong tso to nubra ?

    thanks in advance

    • Please follow the itinerary suggested in the article above where Nubra Valley is suggested before as body is not acclimatized for a night sleep at such a high altitude of Pangong Tso. Even if you want to take direct route, make sure you do Pangong tso after Nubra Valley. Regarding Nubra Valley to Pangong Tso route, in order to take Nubra Valley to Pangong Tso via Shyok village, you need not need any permits. However, with such a small distance it appears tempting to be done BUT just to analyze the difficulty I will strongly suggest that you read:Trip Report | Nubra – Shyok Village – Pangong Tso Route and this: href=”http://devilonwheels.com/india/road-status-conditions/topic4099-30.html#p34768″ title=”Direct Route 2016 Updates – Pangong Tso – Deskit”>Direct Route 2016 Updates – Pangong Tso – Deskit . The report is from couple of year back in June & in July/August, most likely the route is washed away. Similar, reports are there from last year as well. So better confirm first, analyze the high risk involved and then only attempt it or better avoid it unless very much sure.
      Next possible way is to attempt Wari La route, which is also a bit desolated but doable enough. If your driver agrees to travel on this route then take the Wari La route to Pangong Tso. Remember that any help required on both these routes will be HARD to find in miles of distance. If you have couple of vehicles then only take this route otherwise best is to avoid it.

  5. Aniruddha on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    Any recommendations on which tour agents are the best? We have almost finalized a “Ladakh tours and travels” person but I am not able to find anything about them on the internet.

    Their package says they have a head office in Sankar Labrangh complex and a branch office in chandigarh.

    Please advice!

    • If you are looking for competitive and customized Ladakh tour and packages, you can connect with info@offbeatescapes.com as most of the readers in the past couple of years have had very good feedback about them and especially their transparent policies along with being there with you all the time in need. So, we trust them the most. You can refer my name or DoW to Gaurav, the guy who runs it. He knows us very well and should be able to offer some special rates being a DoW Member. You can just refer him the DoW Community Member Username in such a case or screenshot of this reply here.

  6. Hi.. i am planning for ladakh trip starting on 4th june 2017 for a week.. i am planning for road trip from srinagar on 4th june morning, so that i will reach by 5th evening , then please suggest what places can be covered in 4 days in ladakh, after that we want to come back through manali road starting on 10th june. Please tell the approximate rate of car for sightseeing in and around ladakh for 4 days ? And also the current price of car rates for both road trips..

    • Supriya, in just 4 days in Ladakh you can do one day rest and acclimatization, next make 2 day trip to Nubra Valley and 1 day trip to Pangong Tso.

      As per the taxi union rates of year 2016-17 (http://devilonwheels.com/leh-ladakh-taxi-rates-2016-17/) following is the break up
      Srinagar – Leh in 2 days = 18400
      Leh Local sightseeing = 2500-3000
      Leh – Nubra Valley 2 Day = 10566
      Leh – Pangong Tso 2 Day = 10301
      Leh – Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – Sarchu – Manali 2-3 days = 29056
      Leh – Manali 2 Days = 21588
      Leh – Pangong Tso 1 Day = 8653
      Leh – Nubra Valley 1 Day = 8053
      You can usually get about 10-15% discount on these taxi rates after getting in touch with the driver directly.

      • Supriya kushwaha on

        Thanku so much for quick reply☺..

        And also tell whether we can get hotels below 1500 rs in leh, nubra , pangong and places for night halt during road trips…

        If possible please share the hotel contact numbers in and around the mentioned range.

        • Supriya kushwaha on

          Also tell whether the leh-manali highway will clear by 9th june for sure? If not pls tell the dates after which it ll be surely open.
          What will be the temperature of ladakh in june?
          Whether we will be able to see snow in month of june at any place?

        • Manali – Leh HIghway should be open by that time of the year. Road conditions will not be so goodd though as the roads would have just opened. June will be cool in most parts of Ladakh with cold nights at high altitude places and Manali – Leh especially Sarchu will be quite cold in dusk and dawn.

      • Supriya kushwaha on

        And also tell whether we can get hotels below 1500 rs in leh, nubra , pangong and places for night halt during road trips…

        If possible please share the hotel contact numbers in and around the mentioned range

        • You can check the nice, preferred list of accommodation options in entire Leh – Ladakh (Leh, Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri) including moderate (cheap budget hotels as well) in the series of articles starting on the link here

          You can easily get hotels within that range.

  7. Dinesh Bhagat on

    Hey dhiraj ji. thanks for your valuable information as sought by your of leh & ladadakh. I have planned to visit Pangong TSO lake & want to avail the benefits by going through JKSTC bus from Leh to Pangong. Will JKSTC bus will take upto Pangong Lake or it will depart to neary by village. How far is Pangong TSO lake from JKSTC bus stand to Pangong TSO.

    • Dinesh, the bus will go to Lukung the first village of PAngong Tso and I thin it goes to Spangmik as well though I am not 100% sure on it. Lukung village is just located near the Lake from where you can walk to the shores of the lake easily

  8. Hi Dheeraj. I’m planning Leh tour in 1st wk of July is their any difficulty in getting rented bikes or we have to prebook ? Any no. Or site

  9. Hi

    Thank you for your useful article. I have some questions about my trip in August.
    I am planning to travel on the 12-19 August 2017
    12 New Delhi
    13 New Delhi
    14 New Delhi – Leh
    15 Leh
    16 Leh – Nubra
    17 Nubra – Pangong
    18 Pangong – Leh
    19 Leh – New Delhi

    Questions
    1. Many people told me that it will be impossible to travel from Nubra to Leh. Will you suggest me to come back to Leh before leaving to Pangong.
    2. What month should I visit if I would like to travel straight from Nubra to Pangong?
    3. If I have to choose to stay overnight what would you suggest Nubra or Pangong?

    Thank you very much for your help.

    • Hello Fay

      1. I think you meant Nubra to Pangong tso. Well, it is completely possible to travel from Nubra to Pangong Tso via either Wari La route or via Agham – Shyok route. The latter one starts to get close in the month you are traveling due to water level rise in Shyok river though Wari La remains open. Both routes are desolated so in case you have company then only go with it.

      2. September will be the best month.

      3. You won’t need to make a choice.

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