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Explore and Volunteer in The Himalayan Region of Spiti

Experience local Himalayan life on this adventure through India’s magical Spiti region. Be part of conserving it. 8 days.

Experience local life in the remote Himalayan region of Spiti. Staying with local people in their homes, you will be fully immersed in village life with the opportunity to lend a much-appreciated hand with tasks like herding mountain sheep or building greenhouses. Along the way, you’ll also explore the surrounding area, on foot and by jeep, visiting temples, monasteries and villages

Your hassle-free adventure includes:

  • 7 nights accommodation
  • 5 days guided travel
  • 10 meals
  • 1 day trek
  • Transfers to and from Manali
  • Monastery fees
  • Lifestraw water purifier

Perfect for: Warm-hearted adventurers looking for a little bit more from their Himalayan experience. You need to be fit and healthy to undertake the trek on day 6. No previous experience is required.

Adventures for Good Your local hosts are an award-winning social enterprise with a passion for conservation, community and culture in Spiti. See all of our ‘Adventures for Good’ here.

Need To Know

Not included in your adventure: - Flights - Transport to Manali - Insurance - Meals except where specified

You need to be fit and healthy to undertake the hike on day 6. No previous experience is required.

Yes absolutely. It’s a great way to meet likeminded people.

Your local host recommends:

  • Long sleeve shirts (To protect from the sun)
  • Caps, scarves and sunglasses (For sun protection)
  • Sun cream with a high SPF
  • Light jacket
  • Warm jumper
  • Thermals
  • Hiking boots
  • Technical sandals

Being a desert region the climate is usually very dry. June to October are the optimal months for travel with warm daytime temperatures and cool evenings. Being at altitude the sun can be powerful even when it does not feel that warm so make sure you bring adequate sun protection. Temperatures can drop below freezing.

Make sure you come prepared for both hot and cool weather.

The food is traditional Spiti and Indian cuisine

Please let your local hosts know of any dietary requirement once you have booked.

You are free to book any flights that fit with the start and end points to the trip.

Your local hosts are a social enterprise collaboration between locals in the Spiti region and a group of dedicated professionals.

Your local hosts aim is to create sustainable development and encourage community in the Spiti region. One of the ways they achieve this is by generating income from sustainable tourism, such as this adventure.

Location

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During this adventure, you will be journeying through the arid desert region of Spiti. Spiti is one of India’s least populated regions. The dramatic mountain landscape has been used as a cinematic backdrop by a number of Indian filmmakers over the years and it’s easy to see why.

Spiti is an important area for Buddhists and there are many ancient monasteries dotted about the region. Many of the monasteries are built into steep hillsides and above precipitous cliffs. Contemplating the skill and hardship that building in these perilous locations only increases the appreciation of their dramatic beauty.

You will pass through quaint mountain villages nestled among the hills. Among them is Demul, where the whitewashed stone houses are surrounded by terraced agriculture. That the local people have forged a successful life from these harsh surroundings is a testament to the human spirit and a joy to experience.

You will be travelling through the Trans-Himalayan Desert land of the snow leopard. These elusive creatures often evade dedicated biologists for months at a time, you do stand a good chance of seeing the impressive curved horns of a Himalayan Blue Sheep though.

Start point? The start point for the trip is Manali where your local host will meet you at the Government Bus Stand.

End point? The trip ends in Manali where your local host will drop you at the Government Bus Stand.

Getting there and away?

By Air: The closest airport to Manali is Bhunter about an hour away. The next closest is Chandigarh about 9 hours taxi away.

By Bus: There are regular buses from Dehli to Manali. These can be booked at www.hptdc.in, www.htchp.com and www.redbus.in

What to Expect

Day 1: Arrive and Drive

Your adventure begins at the Government Bus Stand in Manali where you will find your transfer. On the first day, it’s a 10 to 12-hour drive to Kaza taking in some spectacular mountain scenery along the way.

Day 2: NGO’s and Monasteries

The day begins with a visit to your local host’s headquarters to find out more about their work in the Spiti region. From there you will visit an old folks home that your hosts support, taking part in a dance exercise class is a great laugh and will brighten the residents’ day. After that, it’s on to Kee monastery to spend some time with the monks and spend the night.

Day 3: Driving, Monasteries and a Fort

Today’s journey will head back through Kaza and on to the region’s capital, Dhankhar. Here the monastery and fort perched precariously among the steep hills and cliffs is an architectural marvel. From there you will head to the ancient monastery at Tabo with an optional trek to the meditation caves. The day ends with a drive to Demul.

Day 4&5: Volunteering in Demul

The whitewashed stone houses of Demul nestle amongst terraced fields set against a dramatic mountain backdrop, it is a lovely place to spend time. For the next two days, you will immerse yourself in village life and lend a hand wherever it is required from herding cattle to laying bricks. Able bodies are in short supply and your help will make a big difference. If time allows there is an optional trek to a viewpoint at 5000m

Day 6: Trekking, Villages and Pottery

Today there is a five-hour trek through the high alpine meadows to the village of Komic. Here, you will visit the monastery before hopping back in your jeep to be driven to Hikkim to find Asia’s highest post office. Next stop is Langza where your local hosts work with the few remaining potters in the area, formerly a mainstay of the region.

Day 7: Driving and Nunnery

It’s a short two-hour drive today. Along the way, you’ll visit an archaeological site before reaching Pangmo nunnery. Here you will spend time with the nun’s and learn more about life in Spiti. You can join the nuns for evening prayers or simply enjoy their company over numerous cups of tea.

Day 8: Drive and Depart

Your last day will be spent travelling back to Manali. The ten-hour drive is a great chance to sit back, enjoy the scenery and reflect on all the great sights you’ve seen over the last seven days. Your trip ends back at the Government Bus Stand where your local hosts will drop you off.

Note: This itinerary and the duration of the activities are subject to change due to group abilities and preferences, and weather conditions and forecasts.

Accommodation

Throughout your adventure, you will stay in different types of accommodation. In guesthouses, you will be staying in clean comfortable en-suite rooms. Accommodation is based on twin rooms sharing.

Homestays are when you stay with a local family. Houses are basic but you will sleep in a clean and comfortable room. Local homes are equipped with squat composting toilets which are the most eco-friendly option in the region.

If squatting is problematic for you do let your local hosts know in advance and they can provide a seat. While staying in the homestays there is a limited amount of hot water available and baths/showers can be a challenging affair! It is all part of the adventurous experience though.

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Dates & Prices

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Accommodation · Guide · Local Transport · Meals As Described · Happiness Guaranteed · 100% Financial Protection · No Single Supplements

Please note: Flights are NOT included and must be purchased separately.

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