Backpacking in Ladakh - Indian Himalayas - 2016 - Costs

In general costs are very low - combined with the relatively low cost of the flights then three weeks trekking in Ladakh is an inexpensive option. The costs mount up where the locals are geared up for tourists - for example our taxi ride back from the Markha valley trek cost us about £1.20 for a 30+km, 30 minute ride, compare this with the other taxi costs and they look to be inflated by 6-10 times.

Because of our long stay in Delhi airport at the end of the trek we booked into the Marriott for the day at a cost of about £180 plus additional costs for food and drink at premium prices - I haven't included any of this in the costings as it was most definitely a treat.

Total cost for the holiday (each) was around the £1100 mark by the time you added in all the extra spends.

Getting there and back... minimum cost £681 excluding subsistence

We had some choices here - though the entry point into India was always going to be Delhi International Airport. Once in Delhi we could stay overnight and get ground transport to the Capital of Ladakh - Leh, though a bus takes 3 days and is pretty unpleasant by all accounts.

Another option was to stay overnight in Delhi and take an internal flight after getting some rest - or perhaps sightseeing a bit of Delhi before heading for Leh. We decided on the quickest option - wait in the airport for a pre-booked internal flight and get to Leh at the earliest opportunity - we would have to spend a few days acclimatising in Leh so to add further days before the trek in Delhi or on a bus wasn't desirable.

Costs for travel to and from broke down as:

Delhi flights: £487 per person

Internal Leh flights: £140.00 per person

eTourist Visa: £48 ($60 USD)

Transport from Airport to Hotel, and the return: £8 each

While there... £325 for accommodation, subsistence and transport

We booked a mid priced hotel in Leh (Hotel Reenam) which was basic but clean and tidy. We had pre-booked two nights before leaving the UK at a cost of £40 per person/room per night. In the end we stayed a further three nights, 2 between treks and one at the end.

We ate in a local restaurant each night we stayed in Leh and spent an average of £4 per person for a full meal and drinks, very cheap. Five nights plus a few lunches came to around £25. Other lunches in the hotel (breakfast was included in the room rate) came to about £30.

We paid £4 each to get to Spitok for the start of the Markha Valley trek and just £1.20 each at the end to get back to Leh, both by taxi. Getting to and from the Lamayuru trek was a different proposition and the price increased at the end. The cost per person ended up at 4250 rupees, about £40, that was for a 2 hour journey to Lamayuru and getting picked up on time with a 90 minute journey back to the hotel.

We took dried meals with us for part of the trekking but bought quite a bit of food in a Leh supermarket, the cost was minimal at around £20-30 for both treks in total.

On the treks... Estimate £25 for campsite fees, park fees and one homestay.

Costs actually on the treks were minimal, mainly campsite fees which tended to be 150 rupees each per night, which is less than £2. In addition we paid 120 rupees for pour park permit on the Markha Valley Trek, and 1000 rupees (about £12) for the homestay.

Other than this we bought tea, noodles and other drinks at tea tents along the way.