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Outdoor Activities in Leh, Ladakh, India – Adventure City Guide

Find out what the best Outdoor Activities in Leh, Ladakh, India are with our latest adventure city guide.

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Outdoor Activities in Leh, Ladakh

Are you looking for an insider’s adventure travel guide for the best outdoor activities in Leh in India?

As part of our Adventure City Guide series, Karen shares with you her expert insider tips on the top adventure and outdoor activities to do in Leh.

Outdoor Activities in Leh, Ladakh

Outdoor Activities in Leh, Ladakh – Photo by Irumge

Outdoor Activities in Leh, Ladakh

Willing to put on your adventure shoes once again? Trying to experience the impossible and still get a kick out of it? The Himalayas offer some of the most stunning landscapes in the world and its deep ranges give adventure lovers a wide plethora of adventure activities to indulge in.

Ladakh, the highest plateau of the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir offers an excellent opportunity for adventure tourism. Bound by mountains on all sides and with scarce human habitation, this is one of the most well preserved Buddhist cultures of the world.

Getting to Leh, Ladakh

Getting there in itself is no less than an adventure. During winter, November to May, the area is completely cut off from the outside world. In summer, June to August, is the ideal time to visit this region.

Leh, one its main cities, has excellent connections with flights from Delhi, as well as cities in Jammu and Kashmir like Srinagar and Jammu. You can even travel by road in jeeps. Once there, transport in the valley is by local buses, taxis or rented motorcycles.

For foreign travellers, making international calls is no big hassle as you get local pre-paid connections and even a few Internet hotspots, if you are lucky. If you’re looking for luxury hotels in India, then this might not be best the spot!

Outdoor Activities in Leh, Ladakh - Trekking

Outdoor Activities in Leh, Ladakh – Trekking – Photo by Vagabond Travels

Trekking in Leh, Ladakh

The breath-taking landscapes are best experienced when on foot. Trekking the Himalayan mountain ranges is a fantasy for all trekkers across the world. But lying above 3000m, Ladakh can give you a hard time on arrival. Do not over exert yourself for the first 24 hours and take lots of water.

Prepare for steep ascents, acclimatise yourself and ensure that you have the proper travel gear.

You can plan short hikes up and down the mountains in, and around Leh, while exploring the nearby villages and monasteries. For seasoned trekkers, long trans-mountain treks involve weeks of walking and camping in the valleys.

For example, the trek from Lamayuru, which houses the oldest monastery, in the Indus Valley to Darcha in Lahoul across Zanskar, could take over 2 weeks. Markha valley is also a popular trekking destination not far from the Ladakhi heartland. This established route traverses the Zanskar range which separates the Indus valley from Zanskar.

When to go trekking

The traditional trekking season extends from the beginning of June until mid-October. However, localized treks within the Indus valley can be arranged for May.

A few popular tour operators like DreamLand Trek and Tour and Overland Escape who offer good packages and local guides. Likely to cost an average of 350 to 500 euros for an 8 day trek tour per person.

Outdoor Activities in Leh, Ladakh

Outdoor Activities in Leh, Ladakh – Photo by Pavan Kundar

Motorbiking in Leh, Ladakh

If you wish to experience the ultimate challenge that entails a road trip, Manali to Leh is one of the best driving routes in the world. It passes through some of the highest mountain passes with spectacular views of snow clad peaks and landscapes.

This expedition could take you about a week as you cross a lot of mountain passes, lakes and monasteries on the way.

However, the Leh to Khardungla Pass is the most exciting one. This is the highest  drivable road in the world, at 5600 m above sea level, and features in the Guiness Book of World Records.

What it costs

There are also a lot of local motor bike tours from Leh that can be arranged. Expect to pay between 850 to 1000 euros for a 10 day motorbike tour per person. The cost will drastically come down if you travel on your own but do take in account the risks involved.

River rafting in Leh, Ladakh

The Indus and her major tributaries are a hotspot for white water rafting enthusiasts.

The best stretch is between Spituk and Saspol. The waters get a little nasty after Saspol and you need to be a pro to indulge in this section.

One of the easiest stretches lies upward of Spituk upto Karu where basic training can be taken. Zanskar on the other hand is quite difficult to scale and needs better organisation and participants need to be trained rafters.

What it costs

A day trip costs around 50-100 euros per person. There are also package tours available from 4 to 11 days costing between 300 to 900 euros.

Outdoor Activities in Leh, Ladakh - Thiksey Monastery

Outdoor Activities in Leh, Ladakh – Thiksey Monastery – Photo by Shah Basharat

Wildlife spotting in Leh, Ladakh

This isn’t really an adventure activity, but something you can do along the way.

Ladakhi wildlife is very exciting and interesting to spot. Some of the most exotic birds and mammals can be seen here. Including raptors like the black necked Crane, the brown headed Gull, the Tibetan Snowcock and the Golden Eagle.

Snow leopards treks can be arranged and cost between 600 to 800 euros for a week for one person.

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Samira Gawron

    April 5, 2013 at 4:26 PM

    If you want to combine your love of camping with your need for relaxation, try base camping. Base or car camping is a great way to enjoy some of the joys of camping without having to carry all your equipment with you. All you have to do is pack up your camping gear, find a scenic campsite, and enjoy the comforts of a home-away-from-home.”

  2. flipnomad

    April 7, 2013 at 11:43 AM

    i was in ladakh last year and i really enjoyed it a lot… thinking of going back and explore the towns around Leh…

  3. Barney Mccaman

    April 8, 2013 at 9:44 PM

    There is a lot of fun that can be had while camping. You might discover something new about yourself, get a little closer to nature or just feel free from the everyday stress you have to deal with. You can hike and roast marshmallows over an open fire. There are lots of things you can do, and lots of things to do before your next camping trip. Here are some helpful tips to assist you to have that great experience.

  4. Ayesha

    May 5, 2014 at 2:50 PM

    Awesome Blog!

  5. Rana Singh

    December 19, 2014 at 6:50 PM

    Have been to Ladakh, such an mesmerizing beauty of nature.
    Wish i could go again and visit Stupas in Leh which i missed.
    Thanx for sharing.

  6. Alina Jack

    May 28, 2016 at 12:19 AM

    I visited Ladakh 3 years ago and it was a wonderful and memorable trip. You didn’t mention about Butter Tea anywhere. It was little sour and salty but tasty. Watching the monks debate was an awesome experience and little funny too. Thanks for sharing information and making me remember about my Tibet Tour.

  7. Vishal

    April 5, 2017 at 11:28 PM

    Thanks for sharing nice informative blog about ladakh travel guive.

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Adventure Travel

Summer Events to check out in Surfers Paradise

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The weather is already heating up on the Gold Coast and everyone is getting ready for some hot days on the beach. Christmas is just around the corner and with it all the big summer events and festivals that happen at this time of year. Surfers Paradise is at the centre of it all and makes a great base for exploring the Gold Coast and attending the events on the Gold Coast’s summer schedule. There is plenty of places to stay in Surfers Paradise, so book yourself a room and check out some of these fantastic summer events.

Australian PGA Championship

Pacific Pines Resort is one of the premier golf courses in Australia. The country’s biggest golf tournament will make its way here from the 30th of November until the 3rd of December, where the best golfers from Australia and overseas will compete for the title. This is a must attend event for golfers, and there will be plenty of food and entertainment on offer across the four days.

Beachfront Markets

The foreshore in Surfers Paradise comes alive every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday night, with over 100 market stalls filling up the esplanade. The iconic Beachfront Markets will continue throughout the summer and provides the perfect opportunity to get out and about on those warm summer nights, browse the stalls for some unique buys, and then head out on the town for dinner.

Christmas in Surfers Paradise

Experience Christmas in true Aussie style by attending the popular Christmas in Surfers Paradise event that fills up Cavill Mall from the 13th – 24th of December. The entire mall is transformed into a festive wonderland, Surfers style. Even Santa himself will be wearing boardies and travelling in a surf boat sleigh. The kids will love getting to visit Santa in the mall, and the whole event ends with the popular Carols on the Beach on the 23rd of December. Where else in the world can you experience Christmas Carols on the beach on a hot summer’s night?

New Year’s Carnival

Surfers Paradise is one of the best places to celebrate the New Year in the country. The New Year’s Carnival happens on the foreshore of Surfers Paradise across five days from the 27th of December until the 1st of January. It will be one big celebration with lots of rides and fun filled activities, music and more. On New Year’s Eve, you can enjoy massive fireworks displays over the water, with three different displays lighting up the skies above the Gold Coast. There will even be an earlier fireworks display for the little ones. This is definitely the place to be to bring in the New Year.

Magic Millions Carnival

One of the first big events to check out in 2018 will be the extravagant Magic Millions Carnival. On from the 7th until the 13th of January, the Magic Millions Carnival is the premier event of the summer horse racing season. This is a $10 Million horse race and it is sure to be a huge event, with all the glitz and glamour and socialising that goes with it. On the 9th of January, head to the Surfers Paradise Foreshore for the Barrier Draw, where you can watch the horses on the sand and enjoy food and beverages from the stalls. The big race day will be held on the 13th of January.

Burleigh Pro

Surfing is huge on the Gold Coast and one of the best surf spots is at Burleigh Heads. The Burleigh Pro has grown to become one of the biggest surfing competitions in Australia and will see some of the world’s top surfers compete for the title. Local surfers and visitors should definitely attend this one. The Burleigh Pro will be held from the 25th – 28th of January.

Sand Safari

One of the more unique and interesting events to check out this summer will be the 2018 Sand Safari. This arts festival focuses on Australia’s talented sand sculptors, who will compete in the Australian Sand Sculpting Championships. These sand artists carve out incredible, often life sized sculptures entirely of sand, and you will often be truly awed by what they are able to create. The main sculpture competition takes place on the beach along the Surfers Paradise foreshore, however this is a big event from the 2nd to the 25th of February, and you will be able to find special sand sculpture exhibits all over Surfers Paradise.

Summer of Surf

The Summer of Surf is a massive event which will see the country’s best Ironmen and Ironwomen compete in a gruelling six discipline event across six rounds, including the highlighted IronMan and IronWoman competitions. These athletes are the epitome of endurance, and the competition will hit Surfers Paradise for round five of the competition on the 3rd and 4th of February.

The Village Markets

Burleigh Heads is one of the most picturesque and laid back places on the Gold Coast and well worth heading to for a few hours. A good time to visit is during the twice monthly Village Markets which have become an integral part of the Burleigh atmosphere. This popular and laid back market has a beachy, artsy feel to it, and you will find all kinds of unique buys here from the many stalls on offer. Street food stalls are also a big thing here so you can sample some delicious delicacies while browsing the stalls. Finish the day by relaxing on the beach, or sit down for a drink at the Burleigh Surf Club.

Whether you’re looking for a destination for a family holiday or just wanting a quick getaway to unwind this summer, Surfers Paradise is a great choice. With so much happening from cultural night markets to world class sporting events, you are sure to find something of interest in this iconic Gold Coast location.

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Adventure Travel

Top 5 Adventure Activities for a Vacation to Las Vegas

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Mention a vacation to Las Vegas and one of the first things people think about is the hotels and gambling.  And while these are major attractions to the city, they aren’t the only things you can do in and around Las Vegas.  Here are five ideas for fans of adventure holidays.

Helicopter trips

One of the best ways to see Las Vegas from the air is from one of the helicopter trips on offer around the area.  These offer a unique view of the city and its startling hotels.  It is also a great way to see more of the surrounding area – the Grand Canyon, the red sandstones at the Valley of Fire State Park and even the Hoover Dam.  Helicopter trips are great fun and often come with extras such as rafting tours along the floor of the Grand Canyon or exploring the area on an ATV.

Hiking

Las Vegas may be a largely desert area and pretty flat, but it is surrounded by mountains and that makes for great hiking opportunities.  Mount Charleston is just to the west of the city and has some great locations to hike including Mary Jane Falls for beginners or Mummy Mountain for more experienced hikers.  Look out for Raintree, the 3,000 year old Bristlecone Pine that is believed to be the oldest living thing in the state.  If you want to upgrade the experience, look out for the rock climbing schools around the city that offer climbing for all levels.

Kayaking

As well as kayaking as part of a helicopter tour, you can go for a more comprehensive kayaking experience in a number of spots around the city.  The Colorado River is one where you can visit spots like Emerald Cove that really lives up to its name.  Lake Mead is another ideal kayaking spot and somewhere you can also try stand up paddle boarding.  There are lots of little islands to explore around the lake, but the winds can be testing so don’t forget your safety gear.

Biking

Hire a bike when on vacation in Las Vegas and you get the chance to see some of the best of the area.  The Red Rock Canyon Loop is a 20-mile loop that includes the famous Joshua trees as well as the red rocks that give the area its name.  A lot of the loop is quite flat.  There are also some good routes around Lake Mead including more challenging ones that use the landscape carved out by lava when there was volcanic activity.

Snowboarding

Being in the desert, Las Vegas isn’t a place you would associate with snowboarding.  But for a few months of the year, the Lee Canyon near Mount Charleston becomes a snowboarding heaven.  It offers something for beginners and also some challenging areas for more experienced snowboarders including some good trails above the lift drop off point.  There is even a lodge that offers hot chocolate and other drinks to warm up between runs.

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Adventure Travel

Top 5 Unusual Luxury Cruise Destinations

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If you love the outdoors and wildlife or are an adventure holiday fan, a cruise may not seem like the ideal holiday for you.  But there are a few cruise destinations around the world that offer both luxury and something different.  Here are five ideas to inspire you to book yourself a luxury cruise for your next vacation.

Australia and New Zealand

Tours around Australia and New Zealand offer the chance to see some amazing scenery, wildlife and also visit some of the top spots around these two Southern Hemisphere countries.  Visit cities such as Sydney and Melbourne in Australia and Dunedin and Auckland in New Zealand as well locations such as the famous Bondi Beach and the island of Tasmania.  For northern areas, April to September is a good time to travel while March to August is best for the more southern locations.  Head to New Zealand in December to March for the driest months.

Japan

The ancient cities of Japan are just part of the attraction of taking a cruise around this country.  Top spots to visit include the capital Tokyo, with its brilliant blend of historic buildings and cutting-edge technology that sums up much of Japan.  Other locations to look to visit include Kagoshima on the southern edge of Kyushu with its palms trees and beautiful sea views.  Hakodate is another popular spot where you can visit the Mount Hakodate Observatory looking out over the sea.

Galapagos

For wildlife fans, the fascinating islands of the Galapagos are one of the dream cruises available.  Here you can see species of animal not found anywhere else in the world including giant tortoises, penguins and hilarious looking blue-footed boobies (a type of bird).  Each island has its own species so there is plenty to see.  December to May are the best times to visit when the seas are calmest and the animals most active.

Central and South America

While many people have experienced a Caribbean cruise, there is also plenty to see and do on the mainland of Central American and down into South America.  You can even find large cruise ships that can travel a distance up the Amazon River, being that it is so wide and deep.  Look for expeditions that allow you to visit Mayan ruins in Mexico or go kayaking in sea caves.  And there is the rich wildlife of the area to enjoy – monkeys, parrots and big cats to name just a few.  You can even find a cruise that takes you through the famous Panama Canal and across to the Pacific coast.

Antarctica

Antarctica might not be somewhere you associated with a cruise, but it is becoming a popular destination for people who want to go somewhere different.  There are places like the Falkland Islands and South Georgia as well as parts of Antarctica itself.  The wildlife is a big draw for people with elephant seals, fur seals and an amazing amount of bird life – who can resist penguins?  It is also a good chance to see historic locations associated with polar exploration.

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Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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