Homestays Overview

Especially if you’re allergic against 5-star-hotels we offer an impressive and unforgettable alternative: Homestay Trekking! You’ll stay together with local people in remote villages, while trekking through rugged habitat of the endangered snow leopard.

This allows you to enjoy the rhythm of life in hamlets where farming and livestock herding has been the way of life for Centuries.

So far these homestays are offered along trekking routes in Sham and Hemis National park.

We would be very delighted about your interest in this special way of trekking - please contact us for details!

Background Information

Following some background information, don't hesitate to ask for more!

In 1999, local people in Ladakh, India expressed an interest in generating income from increasing numbers of visitors that passed through their villages, and wanted to offer a tourism experience that would benefit visitors, hosts and the local environment.

So Himalayan Homestays was started in Ladakh in 2002 by the Snow Leopard Conservancy, The Mountain Institute, local tour operators and villagers living in important snow leopard areas.

The first Homestays were established in Hemis National Park, “snow leopard capital of India,” in 2002 and later on more villagers joined from Sham, another important snow leopard area.

Also in 2002, colleagues at the Ecotourism and Conservation Society of Sikkim started developing Himalayan Homestays in Sikkim with the Lepcha community of Dzongu.

In stark contrast to Ladakh, Sikkim in north east India is a mountain area with very high rainfall. Not surprisingly Sikkim is very green and lush and recognized globally as a “biodiversity hotspot.”

Whether in Ladakh, Sikkim or other mountain areas - the interests are the same: to give the visitor a truly memorable experience, and to generate benefits and opportunities for local communities while protecting their rich natural and cultural heritage for future generations.

Homestays generate additional income for local people – helping offset unavoidable income losses from livestock depredation by snow leopards and other predators.

With income from tourism that highlights wildlife viewing, local people have a reason to conserve predators which may threaten their herds, especially since poaching and retributive killing of snow leopards are the major threats across the Himalaya to this rare and beautiful cat.