Ladakh in 5 Days – How to Plan Leh Ladakh 5 Days Itinerary

Is a Leh Ladakh 5 days trip possible? It is only if you travel by air. Making a road trip to Ladakh in 5 days is not doable at all. But if you were ready to catch a flight, you will be able to arrive in Ladakh and cover some of the major tourist attractions like Leh, Nubra Valley, Pangong Lake, and Tso Moriri. The disadvantage however is that your sightseeing will still pretty much be limited to these major tourist attractions. If you want to cover some remote areas, you will not be able to do that on a 5 day trip to Leh Ladakh. Those places would have to be left out for another trip at another time. Your final itinerary will depend on several factors like your mode of travel, budget, and personal preferences. But in the post below, I will share a few examples of itineraries that can be followed. You can either pick one of these or amend it to draft your own travel plan. Either way, it will be enough to at least give you an idea and get started. If you want to take a look at a complete travel guide on Ladakh, including details like different ways to reach, where to stay, all sightseeing places, budget planning, and other tips, please read How to Plan a Trip to Leh Ladakh. Quick Navigation How to Plan a Trip to Leh Ladakh in 5 Days? Let us first take a look at some of the important things that you should keep in mind while planning to visit Ladakh in 5 days. Go by Flight The most important thing to remember here is that you will have to reach Leh by flight. There is no possible way at all that you can make this a road trip. You will not be able to travel on Manali to Leh or Srinagar to Leh roads. For now, you will reach Leh by air and spend the next 5 days in local sightseeing. Be Ready for Altitude Sickness The second concern will be altitude sickness. A slow gain in altitude and an ample amount of rest are the best precautions against acute mountain sickness or AMS. A 5 days Ladakh tour will however result in the exact opposite of it. First of all, you will reach Leh by Air which results in a sudden gain in altitude. Then, in order to cover as many places as you can, you will be rushing for the most part of your trip which may trigger the symptoms of altitude sickness. For more details on what AMS is and how you can avoid it, please read How to handle acute mountain sickness in Ladakh. Arrange Permits in Advance A couple of things you can do to make your first day a bit easier is to take care of a few things in advance, before your arrival in Leh town. This will include booking a hotel, a taxi, and arranging the Inner line permits as well. Call a few hotels in Leh and ask them if they can keep the permits arranged for you when you arrive. Several hotels in Leh provide this service in return for an extra charge. If your hotel agrees, then scan and send them your IDs, wire the money, and book your stay. If you did not want to do that, apply for the permit online and print it out. You will however still have to visit the DC office in Leh to get it stamped. This requirement was removed in 2021 due to the COVID situation but may get implemented again in the later years. Arrange Transport The second thing to take care of would be to book a taxi rather than relying on a motorcycle. Suffering from high altitude sickness will just make it more difficult to ride around a motorcycle. Book a taxi in advance, have your driver pick you from the airport, and drop you straight at the hotel. Since your permits too will be already arranged, you can rest all day long and let symptoms of AMS subside. Sightseeing How much sightseeing you can really do on a 5 day trip to Ladakh? Your list of places to visit will strictly be around the most known tourist destinations. Don’t worry, you will still get to witness the beauty that Ladakh is, experience the enchanting culture, get a taste of adventure and have plenty of time to click loads of pictures. The remote regions, however, like Changthang valley, places like Hanle, and both the roads leading to Leh cannot be covered. Cost of the Trip Last but not least is the overall cost of the trip. To be honest, your options to make this a budget trip are next to none unless you got a really cheap deal on flight tickets and are traveling in a group of 5 to 6 people. You cannot rely on public transport of course because of strict timelines and renting motorcycles may become a little stressful. The best way out is to rent a private taxi and their charges are quite steep in Ladakh. Unless you are in a group and the overall cost of the cab can be split between multiple people, you may have to shed quite an amount for your 5 day Ladakh tour. Leh Ladakh Itinerary 5 days With all the above said and done, mentioned below is how you can plan your 5 day Itinerary for Leh Ladakh. I will first post the itinerary that I recommend, followed by a few variations. You can choose either of these travel plans that suit you the most. Arrive in Leh – Day 1 Sham Valley Tour

Ladakh in 5 Days – How to Plan Leh Ladakh 5 Days Itinerary

Is a Leh Ladakh 5 days trip possible? It is only if you travel by air. Making a road trip to Ladakh in 5 days is not doable at all. But if you were ready to catch a flight, you will be able to arrive in Ladakh and cover some of the major tourist attractions like Leh, Nubra Valley, Pangong Lake, and Tso Moriri.

The disadvantage however is that your sightseeing will still pretty much be limited to these major tourist attractions. If you want to cover some remote areas, you will not be able to do that on a 5 day trip to Leh Ladakh. Those places would have to be left out for another trip at another time.

Your final itinerary will depend on several factors like your mode of travel, budget, and personal preferences. But in the post below, I will share a few examples of itineraries that can be followed. You can either pick one of these or amend it to draft your own travel plan. Either way, it will be enough to at least give you an idea and get started.

If you want to take a look at a complete travel guide on Ladakh, including details like different ways to reach, where to stay, all sightseeing places, budget planning, and other tips, please read How to Plan a Trip to Leh Ladakh.

Quick Navigation

How to Plan a Trip to Leh Ladakh in 5 Days?

Let us first take a look at some of the important things that you should keep in mind while planning to visit Ladakh in 5 days.

Go by Flight

The most important thing to remember here is that you will have to reach Leh by flight. There is no possible way at all that you can make this a road trip. You will not be able to travel on Manali to Leh or Srinagar to Leh roads. For now, you will reach Leh by air and spend the next 5 days in local sightseeing.

Be Ready for Altitude Sickness

The second concern will be altitude sickness. A slow gain in altitude and an ample amount of rest are the best precautions against acute mountain sickness or AMS. A 5 days Ladakh tour will however result in the exact opposite of it.

First of all, you will reach Leh by Air which results in a sudden gain in altitude. Then, in order to cover as many places as you can, you will be rushing for the most part of your trip which may trigger the symptoms of altitude sickness. For more details on what AMS is and how you can avoid it, please read How to handle acute mountain sickness in Ladakh.

Arrange Permits in Advance

A couple of things you can do to make your first day a bit easier is to take care of a few things in advance, before your arrival in Leh town. This will include booking a hotel, a taxi, and arranging the Inner line permits as well.

Call a few hotels in Leh and ask them if they can keep the permits arranged for you when you arrive. Several hotels in Leh provide this service in return for an extra charge. If your hotel agrees, then scan and send them your IDs, wire the money, and book your stay.

If you did not want to do that, apply for the permit online and print it out. You will however still have to visit the DC office in Leh to get it stamped. This requirement was removed in 2021 due to the COVID situation but may get implemented again in the later years.

Arrange Transport

The second thing to take care of would be to book a taxi rather than relying on a motorcycle. Suffering from high altitude sickness will just make it more difficult to ride around a motorcycle.

Book a taxi in advance, have your driver pick you from the airport, and drop you straight at the hotel. Since your permits too will be already arranged, you can rest all day long and let symptoms of AMS subside.

Sightseeing

How much sightseeing you can really do on a 5 day trip to Ladakh? Your list of places to visit will strictly be around the most known tourist destinations. Don’t worry, you will still get to witness the beauty that Ladakh is, experience the enchanting culture, get a taste of adventure and have plenty of time to click loads of pictures.

The remote regions, however, like Changthang valley, places like Hanle, and both the roads leading to Leh cannot be covered.

Cost of the Trip

Last but not least is the overall cost of the trip. To be honest, your options to make this a budget trip are next to none unless you got a really cheap deal on flight tickets and are traveling in a group of 5 to 6 people. You cannot rely on public transport of course because of strict timelines and renting motorcycles may become a little stressful.

The best way out is to rent a private taxi and their charges are quite steep in Ladakh. Unless you are in a group and the overall cost of the cab can be split between multiple people, you may have to shed quite an amount for your 5 day Ladakh tour.

Ladakh in 5 Days

Leh Ladakh Itinerary 5 days

With all the above said and done, mentioned below is how you can plan your 5 day Itinerary for Leh Ladakh. I will first post the itinerary that I recommend, followed by a few variations. You can choose either of these travel plans that suit you the most.

  • Arrive in Leh – Day 1
  • Sham Valley Tour – Day 2
  • Leh to Nubra Valley – Day 3
  • Nubra Valley to Pangong Tso – Day 4
  • Pangong Tso to Leh – Day 5
  • Fly Out – Day 6

This way, you will spend 5 days in Ladakh and catch a flight home on the morning of Day 6. However, If you were looking for an itinerary where you can fly out of Leh and reach home on Day 5 itself, then please read How to Plan a Trip to Ladakh in 4 Days.

Most of the flights to and out of Leh are early in the morning which really works in your favor while visiting Ladakh in 5 days. It means that you will arrive in Leh early in the morning on Day 1. This will give you an entire day to rest, acclimatize and take care of a few necessary things.

On Day 6, you can take a flight out early in the morning again and be home in a couple of hours. Below is a detailed explanation of the itinerary mentioned above.

Also read: What clothes should you pack for Ladakh Trip

Day 1: Arrive in Leh

The first task of the day would be to find a hotel first and check-in which is not really a big deal. No matter what your budget is, you will easily find a hotel in Leh. Read  Good Budget Hotels in Leh for a list of some recommended places you can stay at.

The second task would be to get an Inner Line Permit if you already did not arrange for it. For this, you will have to visit the DC office, fill out the paperwork, pay the related charges and get the permit stamped.

Please note that the permit is absolutely mandatory. Without it, you will not be allowed to travel to places like Nubra Valley or Pangong Tso. Once you have the permit, make several photocopies of it that you will have to submit at the check posts.

The third thing that you will need to take care of is to arrange your mode of travel for the next two days. You can either hire a private taxi or rent a motorcycle after you land in Leh. In case you hired a taxi, then I recommend that you book it in advance and have the driver pick you from the airport itself.

In the case of a motorcycle, it is best that you first reach Leh, check out a few motorcycles to ensure they are working in the best possible condition before you rent one. Please read Leh Ladakh Motorcycle Rental Rates to know how much it will cost you.

After taking care of this, you can either chose to rest in the hotel or do some local sightseeing in the town. Leh Palace, Shanti Stupa, local market, and monasteries are some of the places you can visit.

shanti stupa

Day 2: Leh to Lamayuru to Leh

The plan for today is to take a drive on the Srinagar Leh highway and return to Leh by evening. Do not plan Nubra Valley or Pangong Tso for this day as it is just your second day in Ladakh.

AMS can still hurt so it is best to not go towards a high altitude pass on Day 2; which you will have to cross in order to reach Nubra and Pangong both.

For the second day, ask your driver to pick you from the airport early in the morning and start driving towards Lamayuru. On the way, you will see Gurudwara Patthar Sahib, Indus – Zanskar Confluence, and Magnetic hill; apart from the natural beauty of Srinagar Leh road.

Go as far as you are able to until noon and then start your return journey.

Day 3: Leh to Nubra Valley

By now, your body would already have acclimatized to high altitude and symptoms of AMS subsided. On this day, you will cross your first high altitude pass, Khardung La, and reach the enchanting Nubra Valley.

An early start from Leh is highly recommended as it would give you ample time for sightseeing on the way. Khardung La is merely 30 odd kilometers from Leh and it shouldn’t take you more than a couple of hours to get there. At the top of the pass, there is an Army canteen where they serve tea and some refreshments.

Have a cup of tea, click a few pictures, see the snow-capped peaks around and be on your way. Road conditions are mostly OK except for around the top of the pass, between South and North Pullu.

From Khardung top, you will descend down towards Nubra valley while crossing the village of Khardung on the way. You can either chose to stay at Diskit, Panamik, Sumur, Hunder, or Turtuk. Of all these, I will recommend that you stay at Diskit because the choice of hotels and guest houses here is the widest.

For a list of hotels in Nubra Valley and their contact numbers, you can read Recommended Hotels and Guest Houses in Nubra Valley.

Depending on your breaks and speed, you should reach Diskit well in time for some sightseeing as well. Diskit Monastery, the Buddha statue, Hunder sand dunes, and Bactrian camels are some of the most famous tourist attractions in Nubra valley and can easily be covered in 2-3 hours.

ladakh in 5 days

Day 4: Nubra Valley to Pangong Tso

The plan for today is to visit Pangong Tso, the lake that has over time become the very symbol of Ladakh. You will not have to come back to Leh and will take the direct road connecting Nubra to Pangong.

There are two connecting routes, one via Shyok village and the other via Wari La. Of the two, I will recommend that you take the Shyok road because it is the shortest of the two. Traveling via Shyok road will see you at the banks of Pangong within 5-6 hours whereas the road across Wari La will easily take you about 10-11 hours.

There is not really much to see on this road except for the natural beauty. You will be traveling right next to the Shyok river and the journey will be quite scenic.

Once at the lake, you can choose to stay at either the campsites or guest houses available. For a list of accommodation choices at the lake and their contact information, please read Hotels, Guest Houses, and Camp Sites at Pangong Tso.

Day 5: Pangong Tso to Leh

On the last day of your trip, you will cross the second high altitude pass of your journey, Chang La, and will return to Leh. Overall it will be about 8 hours of journey depending upon your breaks and speed. On the way, you can also visit  Thiksey Monastery which will be on your way from Karu to Leh.

Day 6: Fly Back Home

You will take a flight back home on Day 6, bringing an end to your 5 days trip to Leh Ladakh.

Pangong Lake

Leh Ladakh in 5 Days

If you would like to look at some other travel plans, mentioned below are a few other 5 day Ladakh itineraries that can also be followed.

  • Arrive in Leh – Day 1
  • Leh to Nubra Valley – Day 2
  • Nubra Valley to Pangong Tso – Day 3
  • Pangong Tso to Tso Moriri – Day 4
  • Tso Moriri to Leh – Day 5

Following this itinerary, the journey until Pangong Tso will remain the same, as I explained with Itinerary 1. You will however skip the day-long trip on Srinagar Leh highway though and head straight to Nubra Valley on Day 2.

From there, you will then go to Pangong Tso on Day 3 via Shyok road. On the 4th day of the trip, you will head to Karzok, the village located on the banks of Tso Moriri lake via Chushul.

The advantage of this itinerary is that you will be able to cover Moriri as well. The downside however is that the journey from Pangong to Moriri may very well take up to 10-11 hours. So you must start from Pangong by the first light of the day.

For a list of items that you should pack for the trip, please read Ladakh Checklist – Things to Carry for Ladakh Trip.

Itinerary 3

A third version and probably the least recommended is as below.

  • Arrive in Leh – Day 1
  • Rest in Leh – Day 2
  • Leh to Lamayuru to Leh (Sham Valley Tour) – Day 3
  • Day-long trip from Leh to Nubra Valley to Leh – Day 4
  • Leh to Pangong Tso to Leh – Day 5

Following this plan, you will reach Leh on Day 1, rest there on Day 2 and take the drive towards Sham Valley (Srinagar Leh highway) on Day 3.

On Day 4, start by 6 AM from Leh and reach Diskit in Nubra Valley by noon. Have lunch there and return to Leh by evening.

The same way, on Day 5, start by the first light of the day and reach Pangong before noon. Spend some time at the lake and return to Leh by evening.

The only advantage this itinerary holds is that this gives you plenty of time and rest to adjust yourself to high altitude; as you spend two days in Leh itself. You may want to consider following this travel plan if,

  1. Traveling with children
  2. You have your parents or other elders accompanying you
  3. You continue to suffer from AMS on Day 3 as well and not feeling at all

Another advantage this itinerary holds is that it avoids spending nights at either Nubra Valley or Pangong. This is why I mentioned that if you continue to suffer from AMS as point 3 above.

Staying in Leh only for the night will ensure that you can seek medical assistance at night if not feeling well. Pangong Tso is another place where most people suffer from AMS so it will be a good thing to avoid staying there in all three situations I mentioned above.

diskit monastery

Itinerary 4

Mentioned below are a few other versions of a  5 day itinerary to Ladakh.

  • Arrival in Leh – Day 1
  • Leh to Kargil – Day 2
  • Kargil to Leh via Batalik – Day 3
  • Leh to Diskit to Leh – Day 4
  • Fly Out – Day 5

Itinerary 5

  • Arrival in Leh – Day 1
  • Leh to Kargil – Day 2
  • Kargil to Leh via Batalik – Day 3
  • Leh to Pangong to Leh – Day 4
  • Fly Out – Day 5

Itinerary 6

If Zanskar was on your mind then plan like this.

  • Arrival in Leh – Day 1
  • Leh to Kargil – Day 2
  • Kargil to Padum – Day 3
  • Padum to Kargil to Leh – Day 4 (About 18 hours of non-stop journey including night travel so start early)
  • Fly Out – Day 5

Itinerary 7

If you wanted to cover Srinagar Leh Highway then plan in the manner below. Fly into Leh City and fly out of Srinagar.

  • Arrival in Leh – Day 1
  • Leh to Pangong to Leh – Day 2
  • Kargil to Diskit to Leh – Day 3
  • Leh to Srinagar – Day 4 (Take the noon Bus from Leh at 2 PM. It will run non-stop and bring you to Srinagar early morning on Day 5)
  • Fly Out of Srinagar – Day 5

If you are traveling with kids or infants, please read How to Plan a Trip to Ladakh with Children or Infants.

camel safari in nubra valley

Ladakh in 5 Days – Conclusion

I would still advise adding a couple of days to your trip if at all possible to make the journey more enjoyable. However, if you cannot, then you can plan your visit to Ladakh in 5 days in the above manner.

I hope the information above on visiting Ladakh in 5 days was of help. If you have any further questions, please feel free to ask in the comments section below or at our Community Forum, and I will be happy to answer.