8 Day Spiti Homestay Trip – July 2019

Spiti valley is also known as the “Middle Land” is a Trans-Himalayan terrain bordering with Tibet at an average altitude of 4000 meters. Spiti valley is home to some of the oldest monasteries in the Himalayan region like Tabo monastery, Dhankar monastery, Sherkhang monastery, and Kye monastery.

A stronghold of the Buchen Lamas in Pin Valley, Amchis; famous for Tibetan medicine, the fossils of Langza village, highest motor-able villages of Komic and Kibber, passes like Kunzum and scenic lakes like Chandrataal. A 1000-year-old culture, beautiful villages, simple, humble people and an out of the world landscape. Come and explore a civilization frozen in time.

Spiti Homestay Fixed Departures group tours have been planned in such a way that you explore Spiti like a local, live like a local to help give you a deeper understanding of the region. Let us take you through this breathtaking region and help you explore the place the way you would want to.

Duration: 7 Nights & 8 Days

The trip will span across 7 nights and 8 days of adventure, local hospitality, and culture over the high Himalayas and some remote village of Spiti Valley.

Highlights of this Group Spiti Trip

  • A session on Spitian food and food tasting
  • Introduction to Cheesemaking, Rope Making, Liquor Brewing
  • An introduction to Buddhism from a local monk
  • Visit the world’s highest bridge from sea level – Chicham bridge
  • Hike to Dhankar Lake
  • A visit to the meditation caves in Tabo
  • Fossil Excursion at Langza
  • Live in local homestays across the Spiti valley
Route Map for this Shared Group Tour of Spiti Valley
Route Map for this Shared Group Tour of Spiti Valley

Short Itinerary

  • DAY 1: Reach Manali
  • DAY 2: Manali – Rohtang Pass – Batal – Kunzum Pass – Lohsar – Kaza (9-10 hrs)
  • DAY 3: Kaza – Key – Kibber – Kaza (2-3 hrs)
  • DAY 4: Kaza – Tabo – Dhankar (4-5 hrs)
  • DAY 5: Dhankar – Demul – Hikkim – Komic – Langza (5-6 hrs)
  • DAY 6: Langza – Lohsar – Kunzum Pass – Chandrataal (5-6 hrs)
  • DAY 7: Chandrataal – Kunzum Pass – Rohtang Pass – Manali (7-8 hrs)
  • DAY 8: Leave Manali

Complete Itinerary of this Spiti Tour

DAY 1: Reach Manali and rest

Reach Manali in the morning from Delhi/Chandigarh after an overnight journey and check-in to the hotel. You will be free to do whatever you want on this day, but the most important thing is to relax and acclimatize and not overexert.

Once everyone has arrived by afternoon, we will hold a small briefing session along with the guide. This will also be a good time for you to get acquainted with the rest of the group. We suggest you call it an early night as your body needs proper rest for the long journey ahead. We will be leaving very early the next day, proper rest will help you in acclimatizing.

Things to do today: Visit Manu, Hidimba and Vashisht temples. Go for a walk in the national park, relax in the cafes around old Manali, catch up on last minute shopping

Woods in Manali
Woods in Manali

DAY 2: Manali to Kaza via Rohtang and Kunzum Pass

Today we head to Spiti valley which will take around 10 hours (220 km) if everything goes as planned. We leave early in the morning as we have a long way to go and ascend the mighty Rohtang Pass. We shall spend some time on the pass and then head towards Gramphoo.

From Gramphoo you will start noticing a change in terrain with fewer trees, more steep mountains and the start of a barren landscape. From here we head towards Chatru and cross some of the biggest waterfalls. These can be a nightmare for any non-experienced driver, but you’ll begin very experienced hands. The terrain will change drastically from Chatru and all you will see is rocks all over with huge streams overflowing on the road and converging in the ruthless Chandra river.

We shall take regular halts for you to soak in your surroundings, admire the great landscape and breathe the fresh air. We will take a lunch break at Batal at the famous Chandra Dhaba, where you can meet the famous Chacha and Chachi. They have been a saving grace to at least a few hundred who have been stuck in bad weather over the years.

We head to Kunzum Pass and at Kunzum top, we will stop for you to pay our respects to the Kunzum Goddess and as you enter Spiti valley. The jumpy ride on non-existent roads which started from Gramphoo will end in Lohsar. From Lohsar head to Kaza after a small break. It will take another 2 hours of a beautiful journey.

Reach Kaza, check-in and enjoy a cup of tea. We shall have a small briefing session at the dinner table. This tiring day will end with you looking at the gorgeous Spitian skies with a million stars the very prominent milky way.

Things to do today: Stop at Rohtang Pass, breakfast at Marhi/Chatru, lunch at Batal and meet the famous Chacha and Chachi, stop at Kunzum top, stop in Lohsar for chai

Key Monastery
Key Monastery

DAY 3: Kaza to Key to Kibber and back to Kaza

Start the day easy over a nice breakfast. We will head out to spend our afternoon next to the river where we shall serve you lunch picnic style and you can spend time relaxing and soaking in the Spitian sun.

After lunch, we shall head to Kye monastery, the center of learning in Spiti valley. The monastery is set on a small hill from where you get a complete view of the valley. Have a cup of tea at the monastery and spend some time on the roof from where you can click pictures and videos.

Next, we shall head to Khibber village, which used to be the highest motorable village in the world before Komic took that place. The mountains around Khibber are home to the rare Snow Leopard and Siberian Ibex. If you are lucky you can get a sighting.

A little ahead of Khibber is the famous Chicham bridge, said to be the world’s highest bridge from sea level at 4037m (13,244ft). It’s one of the most spectacular bridges in the world. The bridge is situated above a deep gorge. Before this bridge, the villagers of Chicham used a dangerous ropeway to cross this section. We head back to Kaza after your visit to Chicham, where we will have a small talk on Buddhism conducted by one of the monks at the monastery.

Things to do today: Visit Kaza market in the morning, riverside picnic lunch in Kaza, visit Key monastery, Visit Khibber village and Chicham bridge, talk on Buddhism from a local monk from Kaza monastery.

Dhankar Monastery
Dhankar Monastery

DAY 4: Kaza to Dhankar via Tabo

After a relaxed breakfast in the morning, we will head to 1000-year-old Tabo Monastery, a UNESCO heritage site, also known as the “Ajanta of the Himalayas”. Paintings and murals on the walls of the main sanctum make it a masterpiece and worth visiting. You can visit the nearby meditation caves that the monks have been using for centuries. This is an optional hike for those interested. We shall then have lunch at a local homestay where we will take you through the different types of Spitian food :).

After lunch, we will head to Dhankar where you will visit the Monastery, and for those up to it, hike to the nearby Lake which is a steep 45 min walk one way. Dhankar village used to be the seat of the Spitian King in ancient times.

Dhankar monastery claimed to be 1000 years old, is on the cliff of a mountain over-looking the confluence of Pin and Spiti rivers. Due to the loose soil that is prevalent in cold deserts, Dhankar monastery is an endangered site and being on the edge it becomes one of the most beautiful monuments in this valley. There can be no better setting for a monument than Dhankar Monastery.

Spend some time at the lake if you end up doing the hike and head to your homestay in Dhankar. You can spend the evening with your host family, helping them in the kitchen to prepare the evening’s meal.

Things to do today: Visit Tabo monastery in the morning, an optional hike to the meditation caves in Tabo, local lunch experience at a homestay in Tabo, visit Dhankar monastery and an optional hike to Dhankar Lake.

Group at Hikkim Post Office on Shared Group Tour
Group at Hikkim Post Office on Shared Group Tour

DAY 5: Dhankar to Langza via Demul, Komic and Hikkim

Today will be an interesting day, as you will be visiting a couple of villages, learning a bit about life at a high altitude. We head out to Demul in the morning after breakfast, where you will be able to meet and interact with the locals.

From Demul we will head to Komic, which is one of the highest motor-able villages in the world. Komic has a beautiful monastery for you to explore. You can sit near the monastery and enjoy the spectacular view of snow-capped peaks around over a cup of tea and chat with the monks.

The monastery in Komic is functional in winters when temperatures dip down to -30 degrees and roads get blocked. It will be very interesting to understand the life and survival of such happy souls at this altitude. The next stop is Hikkim which has the world’s highest post office. Not to forget your loved ones, you can send out postcards from the post office. 🙂 You will be amazed at the quantum of postcards leaving the post office daily and will love meeting the postmaster who is a unique personality.

Our last stop for the day Langza is also famous for its fossils. In the evening, you can go on a small fossil excursion around the village. Millions of years ago, Spiti lay submerged under the Tethys sea. Fossils of sea life can easily be found scattered close to the village. Once you have found your fossil, we urge you to leave it behind in the village where it belongs so as to disturb the ecology of the area as little as possible. With the valley being cut off from the rest of the world for almost six months, living in Spiti is often harsh and most of the product is made locally.

At the end of your day, you will learn a little about how local cheese, liquor, and yak rope are made. And if you are lucky even get to try out an activity. Life in Spiti might be difficult but as you would have experienced by now, the other side is that you will never come across such warm and hospitable people.
Things to do today:

Things to do today: Visit the village of Demul and Komic, visit Komic monastery, send out postcards from the highest post office in the world in Hikkim, go fossil hunting in Langza, introduction to Cheese, Liquor and Rope making by the guide.

A Chandratal Parikrama
A Chandratal Parikrama

DAY 6: Langza to Chandrataal

After breakfast with your host family, we head towards Chandrataal Lake early in the morning. This is one location where you will find difficult to stop clicking photographs. The lake is a landscape photographer’s dream come true, changing its appearance almost with every passing hour, each shot as stunning as the last one.

Tonight we camp in style; excellent dome tents set up to protect you from the cold and biting night winds. If you are lucky and the communal fireplace is burning, you can warm up and meet other travelers over dinner

Things to do today: Stop in Lohsar for an early lunch, an optional hike to Chandrataal lake from the campsite, parikrama at Chandrataal Lake, camping experience near Chandrataal Lake

DAY 7: Chandrataal to Manali via Rohtang pass

We leave early this morning to Manali after an early breakfast. We will take a small break at Batal to say goodbye to Chacha and Chachi at Chandra Dhaba. The aim is to try and reach Rohtang pass by early afternoon and spend some time at the pass. Head to Manali and relax. We will have a small get together in the evening over dinner. Stay in Manali for the night.

Things to do today: Stop in Chatru for Lunch, stop at Rohtang Pass for pictures, evening dinner with the entire group

Having fun in clicking photos in Spiti Valley
Having fun in clicking photos in Spiti Valley

DAY 8: Trip ends

Trip ends this afternoon as you head back to take your bus back to Delhi or respective places and take some of the memories back of an isolated civilization and a trans-Himalayan terrain.

Inclusions of Spiti Group Tour

  • All Transport in a Tempo Traveller from Day 2 to Day 7
  • Local Spitian guide on all days
  • Stay in Manali on a twin sharing basis on Day 1 and 7, Camping near Chandrataal Lake on Day 6 and Homestays on Day 2,3,4 and 5.
  • 3 meals on each day (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) from Day 2 to Day 7
  • All activities mentioned in the plan
  • All entry fees to monasteries in Spiti (if any)

Exclusions of Spiti Group Tour

  • Snacks and beverages (except the ones with meals)
  • Any kind of insurance
  • GST
  • Cost of any emergency
  • Bus ticket costs
  • Camera Fees

Important Things to Note

Please take a note of below important things about this shared group tour to Spiti Valley.

Minimum Requirements

The trip runs if we have a minimum of 4 confirmed participants. In the event that we don’t get the requisite numbers, we can run with less than 4 participants if participants are willing to pay extra. We will revise the costing according to the no. of participants.

Alternatively, in the event the trip gets canceled, we will reimburse the amount paid to the participants minus any minimal bank charges that may have been cut.

Room Sharing

All stays in guesthouses will be on a twin sharing basis except for homestays where it will be as per the layout of the homestay i.e 2,3 or 4 people in one room basis the size of the room.

Rooms are divided amongst same-sex participants which are most comfortable for solo travelers and friends. Only if there is a couple amongst the group will they get to stay together.

Type of Participants

Our groups usually have participants between the ages of 20- 40 and we have a healthy 50-50 male to female ratio in the group, with friends, couples and solo travelers alike.

Homestays

You shall stay in a homestay for a night where you shall be sharing some space with a local family. It will be a wonderful experience to see the life of people at this altitude and how content they are. Stay and food will be very basic and your host will serve you local cuisine.

Dry Toilets

Since there is a lack of water in cold deserts and carrying water is not easy at such high altitudes- the concept of dry toilets have been prevalent in Spiti since the beginning. In your homestay, you will either get a common bathroom which you will be sharing with your host family or a dry toilet. We can also provide a stool if some people have difficulty squatting but there shall be an extra charge for the same.

Bathing and Hot Water in a Homestay

Since we shall be around 4000 meters, getting hot water for everyone in a homestay will not be possible. Hot water for drinking shall not be an issue but for bathing, it will not be possible.

Cancellation Policy

In case you need to cancel your plans for the trip due to avoidable/unavoidable reasons, please do notify us in writing regarding the same. The cancellation charges levied will be as follows:

  • 60 – 46 days prior to the date of departure: 10% of the tour cost
  • 45 – 16 days prior to the date of departure: 20% of the tour cost
  • 15 – 8 days prior to the date of departure: 25% of the tour cost
  • 7 – 4 days prior to the date of departure: 50% of the tour cost
  • Less than 72 hours prior to the date of departure: No refund

How to book this 8 Day Homestay Trip to Spiti Valley in July?

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