Because of the relatively complex logistics of acquiring permits to Nubra Valley and the need for good guiding and safe drivers on precarious Himalayan roads, we recommend working with two outfitters that we have tested in the region. Jonny Bealby at Wild Frontiers (800-454-1080) has been organizing trips to Jammu and Kashmir for a decade. He can combine Srinagar (with stays on a Dal Lake houseboat) and Ladakh in week- to ten-day-long itineraries with a day’s road travel in between (from about $2,900 a person, excluding international flights). Bealby uses the best available accommodations, including the newly opened Chamba Camp Thiksey (from $2,300 for a minimum of three nights), in the Indus Valley. Steppes Travel (855-203-7885) is the other outfitter and is experienced in both winter and summer trips to Ladakh with its knowledge of the area derived from snow leopard treks that were first developed ten years ago by Ladakhi guide David Sonam. In addition to expert-led group departures (from $4,795 a person for ten nights, excluding international flights), Steppes now offers mobile-camping safaris in Nubra Valley led by Sonam (from $2,895 a person for six nights); the fully mobile Kaphila Camp can also be deployed in the Indus or Zanskar regions. For hiking, both Wild Frontiers and Steppes Travel partner with an outfit called Shakti Himalaya, which uses village houses converted into luxury homestays (from $4,500 for a minimum of six nights on a guided trip); both outfitters also use Stok Palace (from $275 a night for two people). For domestic flights from Delhi to Leh, the main providers are Air India, Go Air and, Jet Airways.
Ladakh Travel Guide
© Ken Kochey
The best outfitters for outdoor adventures in Ladakh.