My first visit to Spiti was a bike trip that lasted for a total of 10 days, completing the entire circuit. I was with a friend of mine and we were both on my Royal Enfield 350CC. The combined expense of our trip came out to be around Rs. 18000. Divided into two, it was Rs. 9000 per head which means that our per day expense per person was under Rs. 1000, including everything. Believe it or not, but that was our total cost of trip to Spiti Valley.
Were we trying to cut down the cost in every way possible? Not really. We stayed at decent hotels, did a little shopping, enjoyed good food, and had a great time. We did not have a set budget for Spiti Valley so we were not even thinking about the cost. If we did, I am sure we would easily have reduced it by a few thousand more.
Also read: How to Plan a Trip to Spiti Valley – A Complete Travel Guide
I agree that this was a little while ago but not much has changed in the valley. It still is a place that you can travel to even with a very light budget. Even after considering the annual inflation and price increase over the last few years since the trip I mentioned, if you plan it well, you can still easily manage a budget trip to Spiti Valley. Read on to find out how.
Please note that in this article, I am only talking about the Spiti valley trip budget. If you want to get other details like how to reach the valley, what to see and where to stay, please read How to Plan a Trip to Spiti Valley.
Cost of Trip to Spiti Valley
With the exception of camps at Chandratal, at most of the places en route, accommodation cost will range between Rs. 600 – Rs. 1000. This can further go down to Rs. 500 if you were staying in the remote villages of Spiti. If a budget hotel is not per your taste then increase the price to Rs. 1500 per day and you can stay at a good hotel.
During your entire trip, finding a place to eat where you will not have to pay more than Rs. 100 for a meal for one person is not a big deal at all.
Your main expense however will come out to be of fuel. Since the kilometers you will travel are set and so is the price of the fuel, there is not much that you can do about it. The only way you can cut down this cost is by traveling in a group, to have someone to share this cost with.
A second way would be to not go by your private vehicle and opt for public transport. Please read How to plan a budget trip to Spiti Valley by Bus and Shared Cabs for more details.
The total days of travel, mode of commute, and personal spending habits are what will eventually form the total cost of a trip. With that being said, there can always be an average minimum estimate of how much you will spend while traveling to any place. Let us see how those numbers will look like in the case of Spiti. I will explain this with the help of a comprehensive itinerary.
How to Calculate the Minimum Budget for Spiti Valley
In my opinion, if you truly want to experience the complete Spiti circuit; a minimum of 9 – 10 days must be given to this journey. Any lesser than this and you may have to rush through the journey on certain days. A common and relaxed itinerary for Spiti valley would look something like this.
- Delhi to Shimla / Narkanda – Day 1
- Shimla / Narkanda to Sarahan – Day 2
- Sarahan to Chitkul – Day 3
- Chitkul to Kalpa – Day 3
- Kalpa to Nako – Day 5
- Nako to Pin Valley – Day 6
- Pin Valley to Kaza – Day 7
- Sightseeing in Kaza and its Vicinity – Day 8
- Kaza to Chandratal – Day 9
- Chandratal to Manali – Day 10
- Manali to Delhi – Day 11
The above-mentioned itinerary ensures that you do not travel either too much or too less on any day. At the same time, it covers all the major tourist places en route. For the sake of this article, I assumed that you are starting from Delhi. If not, then only the journey and cost for the first and the last day will change. The rest of the details will still apply.
Not everyone can follow this itinerary and even the cost estimate I give will not be exact. But it should at least give you a fair idea of how much you will end up spending.
The total cost of the trip can be divided into three major parts; travel, accommodation, and meals. The per-head cost will depend on how many people you are traveling with and what is your mode of commute. In this article, I will provide an overall cost that you can divide by the number of people to get an average.
Accommodation Cost of Spiti Valley Trip
Hotel charges while traveling to Spiti valley will really not be that high. On the entire circuit, you will easily be able to find a hotel where you can get a room for a price between Rs. 600 to Rs. 1000.
All of the places I mentioned in the itinerary above have hotels that will easily fit into every kind of budget. The only exception here is the camps at Chandratal where you will have to pay around Rs. 1500 – Rs. 2000 per person, including meals.
If this does not fit your budget, you can choose to not stay here and go to Batal. The Chadar tent or Dhaba at Batal will offer you a bed to sleep on for the night for as little as Rs. 200 to Rs. 300. Another option is that you only plan a day trip to Chandratal. Start early from Kaza, visit Chandratal, and be on your way to Manali.
Cheap Hotels in Spiti valley
Let us take a look at the rest of the places.
- Shimla: Rs. 600 – Rs. 1000
- Narkanda: Rs. 1500 – Rs. 2500 (depending on the season)
- Sarahan: Rs. 600 – Rs. 1000 (Rs. 300 if you stayed at the Dharamshala provided by Bhimakali Temple)
- Chitkul: Rs. 700 – Rs. 2500 (Depending on your negotiation skills and season)
- Kalpa: Rs. 1500 – Rs. 2500 (depending on the season)
- Nako: Rs. 1000 or above, depending on the season
- Tabo: Rs. 200 to Rs. 1500 (If you stayed at Tabo Monastery, you will only pay 200-300 per person)
- Pin Valley: Rs. 500 – Rs. 2000 (Depending on where you stayed and your negotiation skills)
- Kaza: Rs. 600 – Rs. 1000
- Kibber / Komik / Hikkim / Langza / Chicham & Other Villages: Rs. 600 – Rs. 2500 depending on your own negotiation and the village. Some villages that are on tourist map will charge more and others much less.
- Chandratal: Rs. 1500 – Rs. 2500 (Per person)
- Manali: Rs. 600 – Rs. 1000
So keeping a modest average of about Rs. 800 per night, a 10-day trip will cost you Rs. 8000 – 9000 for accommodation. If you are traveling with a friend or in a group, then the room will be shared by two people and the total accommodation cost per head will come down to Rs. 4000 – Rs. 4500.
This is just an estimate. If you went in off-season or were good at negotiating, this cost can definitely be reduced further. Just opt for staying at places where it will cost you less, take a look through the town and find a hotel that will cost you less.
Also read: Clothes for Spiti Trip – What to Pack?
Meals Cost of Spiti Valley Trip
If you want to keep things under a budget, there are several small Dhabas on the route where you can eat enough and not pay more than Rs. 100 per meal. So an average of about Rs. 300 for meals per day per person will come out to be about Rs. 3000 for the entire trip.
This number however is strictly limited to vegetarian meals at small Dhabas or restaurants. If you eat at the hotels you are staying at. then this number is bound to go up. If you order non-vegetarian, it will again be costly.
Following the above-mentioned itinerary, staying at budget hotels, and eating at cost-effective Dhabas, your total cost will be about Rs. 11000 – Rs.12000 if traveling alone. If traveling with a friend, the cost will come down to Rs. 7000 – Rs. 8000 per person.
Also read: Mobile Network and Data Connectivity in Spiti Valley
Travel Cost of Spiti Valley Trip
This as I mentioned will be your biggest expenditure. You can work around the accommodation and meal charges but how many kilometers you will travel and how much fuel you will use is a set number.
The only way to keep this expense at a bare minimum is to use public transport. If not then travel with a friend or a group that can share the fuel cost. If you were traveling alone, you can post a thread in our Community Forum’s Travel Partner section. A lot of people have posted their travel plans here and were able to find other solo travelers. You can mention your itinerary and date here and someone with a similar plan can join you.
By Bus / Shared Cabs
There is a regular bus service available in Spiti Valley but its frequency is very less. A trip while relying entirely on buses will be very difficult. Hence, you will have to shuffle between both. Board a bus when available; otherwise, look for a shared taxi.
Shared cabs in Spiti are mostly either a Tata Sumo or Bolero. These are available on all routes and run regularly throughout the day.
The total fare of the entire circuit that I mentioned above for 10-11 days will not come our more than Rs. 3000 at most. Your largest expense will be the ticket from Delhi to Shimla and then Manali to Delhi. Other than that, these are just ordinary buses in the valley that locals use. The fare will not be that high for any of the destinations in between.
Self Owned Motorcycle
Following the itinerary that I mentioned above, from Delhi to Kaza via Shimla and back via Manali; the total distance covered would be close to 1800 kilometers.
After the total distance, you will next have to review your motorcycle’s fuel efficiency. In the mountains, you should expect its average to dip down slightly than what you were getting on plain roads. Riding in lower gears, steep ascents would definitely consume more fuel.
Most of the motorcycles these days give a mileage of about 30 – 40 kilometers per liter (most, I know there are some that give more than this). To be on a safer side let us assume that you get an average of 30. So 1800 kilometers, at an average of 30 with Rs. 80 per liter of petrol (price at the time of writing this article) would come to a total of about Rs. 4800 as fuel charges. If you are riding with a pillion, then this cost would be about Rs. 2400 per person.
Self Owned Car
Just like motorcycles, I will assume an average of 10 kilometers per liter which I guess is the minimum for most cars. So 1800 kilometers, an average of 10, Rs. 80 for per liter for petrol or Diesel and the total fuel cost will be about Rs. 14400. Assuming that you are 4 people traveling in the same car, fuel cost per head will be somewhere close to Rs. 3600.
Putting all of the above together, if you went by Bus, the above expenses will add up to about Rs. 14000 if traveled solo by Bus. If you were with a friend, the cost will come down to Rs. 11000 per person.
if you are riding solo on a motorcycle, then your total cost of the trip will be somewhere about Rs. 15000 to Rs. 16000; inclusive of fuel, accommodation, and meals. If riding with a pillion, this cost would come down to about Rs. 11000 per person.
If traveling by car, the total cost would be about Rs. 11000 – 12000 per person for a group of 4 and close to Rs. 15000 – 16000 for 2 people.
Any money you spend in getting your bike or car ready for the trip, or getting it serviced / repaired after the trip will be a further addition.
Also read: How to Calculate Cost of Motorcycle Trip to Spiti Valley
Rented Motorcycles or Self Drive Cars
If you are renting a motorcycle, depending upon which one you choose, the average charge comes out to be close to Rs. 1500 per day. So for 10 days; you will pay about Rs. 15000 as motorcycle rental. Please note that in this case, the itinerary will change too because if you rent a motorcycle from Shimla, you will have to come back to Shimla to hand it over. If you leave it at Manali, then the rental agency will charge you more money for this service. Any such charge will be in addition to this rent.
So adding the accommodation, meals, fuel, and rental; traveling by a rented motorcycle will cost you about Rs. 30000 for a 10-day trip, if riding solo. If you have a pillion to share this cost with you; then the total cost will come down to about Rs. 18000.
I am not really sure about the rates of self-drive rentals so cannot provide an estimate on that but the calculation will be the same. Just add the daily rental of the car with your meal and accommodation charges I mentioned above and you will get the idea.
Also read: A Complete List of Tourist Attractions in Spiti Valley
If you are planning to hire a private taxi then my honest advice would be to reach Shimla or Manali by Volvo. Do not hire a taxi all the way from Delhi because this will just be an additional cost. Do a comfortable night journey in Volvo from Delhi to Shimla and rent a taxi from there. Same way, catch a Volvo from Manali to get back home in Delhi.
A taxi for 10 days of a trip from Shimla to Manali via Spiti will be Rs. 20000 – 30000, depending on your own negotiation skills. Whatever the deal you agreed upon with the travel agency or the driver with, add that cost to accommodation and meal costs I mentioned above.
Please note that there will be several other costs involved like toll charges, snacks, cigarettes, smokes, cold drinks, etc which I will consider as a personal spending habit. This will vary highly for everyone so I have not included in the cost estimates I provided above. You can add it to the estimates depending upon your own expenditure or of the group you are traveling with.
Tourism in Spiti in recent years has increased drastically. What once was a destination for bikers and adventure enthusiasts now gets considered for family vacations as well. The good news however is that it has had minimal impact on the cost factor yet. Considering that you will be traveling for a total of 10-11 days and almost 2000 kilometers, the numbers I gave above are not really that high.
I hope the information above related to the cost of trip to Spiti valley was helpful. 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 glad to answer.
I’M reading ur blog since we planned for spiti.. this year ,oct 12th we start our journey for our dream destination from Chandigarh.. ur blog is perfect with full complete guidance. full research done. bt there are few problems for our accommodation ..we searched for various place bt there rent is high ..can u tell some of budget hoemstays or dhabas in kaza,tabo,sangla,kalpa ..
thanks again …
At this time, the rent is high pretty much everywhere Pritam Bhai. It will be hard to find a hotel anywhere under Rs. 1500-2000 per day. You can try the HPPWD guest houses.
Thanks for this amazing itinery.
We are planning a trip to Spiti in April end in a group of 3. The group travel agency is charging 18000 per head. As per their itinery, we’ll be taking Manali – Rohtang pass -Spiti route.
Including travel form Delhi to manali. Is it okay?
Also will there be snow in Spiti at that time?
We are planning our spiti valley trip in june 2nd week.
Your blogs are very informative and are very helpful.
We are planning for the spiti circuit mentioned in your blog.
Will it be too hectic for a 9 day itinerary?
Also, we are travelling from Pune and our overall budget is around 20K per person, But the quotes given by travel agents are way too beyond this, nearly 18k per person excluding flights.
We dont have any local contacts there, So it is difficult to book on our own. Can you suggest some contacts for travel and stay
Hi Gayatri – Try talking to Binny Thakur @ 9816300804. He is a local driver there and can help. If the price sounds right, you can book him.
We travelling from delhi to kaza(by Hyundai creta) via shimla between 4th jan to 14 th jan, We are well equipped by snow camping standards, Please give us some information on the sites where we can do camping between the journey.
hello sir is visiting spiti possible during last week of May?? Can you suggest a one week itinerary at manali ideal for may. We are visiting for first time
Take a look at this post please. Should answer all your questions.
Your website is really fantastic. Absolutely helpful.
Although after reading the page about travelling in October, I’m a little worried.
I’m planning a trip with around 5-6 friends to Spiti from 18th to 24th October. We really cant make it any other time of the year.
Would the passes be open and any possibility that the Manali-Spiti route can be taken?
Also, we are not very experienced drivers and want to hire a taxi from Chandigarh.
Your help will be immensely appreciated.
Hard to predict right now, depends on the weather whether or not the road will remain closed. Even if it does however, traveling on Manali to Leh rotue that late in October is not considered safe.
I am planning for a 9 day trip to Spiti in the second week of September. Our itinerary is same as the one you have suggested for a 9 day trip in Spiti the only difference is that we will be starting from Chandigarh. We have contacted a travel agent from Shimla to arrange the trip. For our group of 5 travel agent is quoting a rate 19900 per head(including travel from Chandigarh till Manali,accommodation expenses and breakfast and dinner). Is the cost a little bit higher?If yes is there any other agent who can give us a cheaper quote?
Hi Deepak – It is definitely way too high. I must ask, why don’t you travel on your own?
We are coming from Kerala and don’t have much contacts available there.That’s why we thought of connecting with a local vendor for the travel.What should be rate that I should negotiate with the agents?Or if there is any local contacts that you are familiar with who can help us with this travel,can you please share?
Talk to Binny Thakur @ 9816300804 and see if he can offer you something better. If that didn’t work, then talk to Jamaica at 9418200183. A better option would be to ask them how much would they charge just for the taxi and driving you around. Accommodation you should find upon arrival yourself. Just reach the destination and negotiate an on the spot deal at a hotel.
I am planning a trip to Spiti valley. But I am confused between a tour package and self-basis travel. I have 8 days to explore. I am coming from Delhi and I want to start my journey from Shimla and ends at Manali. The places in my list to explore is kinnaur , Chitkul, Reckong peo, Kaza ,Langza and chandratal etc. Please suggest are these places will cover in 8 days and how I make a plan to execute this trip so that I can explore each major places in this trip.
Waiting for your response sir
Please take a look at this post, should answer your question.
I’m Ashvin here.
Lucky enough to find such a perfectly detailed blog about spiti trip 🙂
Amazing details and perfect one for the peeps who’s planning for spiti travel.
We a group of 6 peoples planning for a spiti ride. (July 16-24)
We ll be renting Bikes from Bhuntar and start from bhuntar itself.
Bhuntar – Rampur – Sangla – chitkul – kalpa – nako – tabo – kaza – Spiti – Chandratal – manali – bhuntar.
This is our route. .
we are a group of low budget travelers, we planned this for 8days.
would be very happy if you can help out with your valuable advices.
Looking forward to your suggestions to complete it within our budget. (10k per person)
I am planning for a trip to Spiti valley mid Sep (14 sep – 23 sep). This is the itinerary I’ve come up with.
Day 1: Delhi to Shimla bus at night.
Day 2: Shimla local
Day 3: Shimla to Chitkul
Day 4: Chitkul local. Move to kalpa.
Day 5: Kalpa – Nako – Nako Lake – Geyu Mummy – Tabo
Day 6: Tabo – Dhangkar – Dhangkar Lake – Pin Valley – Mud. Stay at Tara Guest House
Day 7: Pin Valley – Kaza, do Ki – Kibber – Gette – Tashigang in second half
Day 8: Kaza – Hikkim – Komic – Langza – Kaza
Day 9: Kaza – Kunzum Pass – Chandratal
Day 10: Chandratal to Manali. Volvo to Delhi
Day 11: Delhi
Please provide your suggestions for the above.
Also, how is the time(Sep mid) to travel to Spiti?
And as we are 2 friends, which is the best mode of transport?
Hi Rahul – Your itinerary looks good and September as a time to travel is good too. Best mode of travel would be to rent motorcycles and move around. Can you do that? At least for local sightseeing around Kaza I will recommend it.
No we do not want to travel by bike. What are the options in that case?
And I’ve decided to do it between 22Sep-2Oct. Will it be fine?
First of all your blogs, they are so helpful honestly !
The way you write is conveniently understandable.
Secondly I needed your opinion on this one I am travelling from Mumbai to visit spiti this June will it be possible for me to do it with a low budget of 18k ?
Thanks for the contacts also.
Thank you for your kind words.
18k is doable provided that you are not including your travel cost from Mumbai. How are you arriving? By train or flight?
I will arrive by flight. I’ll be in spiti for 5 days only though and one of those days I’ll surely stay at jamaica’s !
And yeah that was inclusive of flight charges.
Any suggestions ?
Thank you 😀
It will depend on how cheap you can book the flights for. But excluding the flights, a 9 day trip to Spiti by public transport will still cost about Rs. 13000. Accommodation at an average will come around Rs. 700 to Rs. 800 per day and then about Rs. 300 to Rs. 400 for meals. Then the commuting cost and other expense.
Thanks man ! This was helpful 😀
You are welcome !!!
Thanks for this detailed itenary !
Could you please suggest any agent/person for renting a taxi / car for enjoying the spiti tour?
Hi Tanabi – Please talk to Jamaica at 9418200183. He is a local from Kaza. In case you are not able to reach him because of connectivity problem, leave a message on Watsapp and he will call you back.
A million thanks to you for this exhaustive and wonderful blog. The information shared by you has really helped me in narrowing down to the essentials for travelling to Spiti Valley.
I will be doing a trip from Kolkata to Spiti Valley in July 2018 with my wife. I am entering from Manali side due to limitation on number of days. I have come up below itinerary for the trip.
A request to share your valuable insights and suggestions on the plan. I would specifically like to have information on the below points:
1. Is the itinerary too compacted for the number of days I have in hand?
2. What is the approximate cost of hiring a vehicle from Manali to Manali for the trip. OR What is the cost per day for a vehicle.
From one of your posts I have seen that average cost of provate taxi is 3000/day. That was in 2013. Will be very helpful if you can share some contacts of drivers from whom I can get the present rates.
Day 1 >> KOLKATA – DELHI – MANALI / SOLANG
Flight from Kolkata to Delhi.
Bus from Delhi for Manali.
Day 2 >> MANALI / SOLANG VALLEY
Spend the day in Manali / Solang, local sightseeing trips and arrangement of permits for Rothang.
Overnight in Manali / (preferably Solang) for acclimatization.
Day 3 >> MANALI / SOLANG – KAZA
Route – Manali / Solang Valley > Rohtang Pass > Kunzum Pass > Kaza.
Head early morning to Kaza via Rohtang Pass.
Drive to Kunzum Pass for entering Spiti Valley.
Drive through Batal – Chattru – Gramphu.
About 10 – 11 hrs drive on this day.
Overnight stay in Kaza.
Day 4 >> KAZA
Route – Kaza > Dhangkar > Tabo > Kaza
Explore Tabo – Monastery and old caves of monks.
Travel back the 47 KMs to Kaza from Tabo via Dhangkar villages.
Visit Dhangkar Monastery and leave after early lunch.
Enjoy the magnificent vistas all day and come back to Kaza for night sleep
About 4 – 5 hrs of drive in the day
Overnight at Kaza
Day 5 >> KAZA – PIN VALLEY
Route – Pin Valley > Kaza > Ki > Kibber > Gette > Tashigong > Kaza.
Visit Ki Monastery, Kibber, Gette, Tashigong, Mud
About 8-9 hrs drive in the day.
Overnight at Kaza.
Day 6 >> KAZA – CHANDRATAL
Kaza > Kunzum Pass > Batal > Chandratal Lake
About 6 – 7 hrs of drive in the day.
Overnight at Chandratal Camps.
Day 7 >> CHANDRATAL – MANALI
Chandratal > Batal > Rothang Pass > Manali
Distance to be covered is 130 KMS. 7-8 hrs drive.
Overnight stay at Manali.
Day 8 >> MANALI – DELHI
Spend the day in Manali.
Bus from Manali for Delhi.
Day 9 >> DELHI – KOLKATA
Hi Rajib – Your itinerary looks OK except for 1st day of the travel. That seems a bit hectic all the way till Manali. What time is your flight landing in Delhi?
Contact Jamaica in Kaza @ 9418200183. Give my reference and he will be able to help you get a reliable driver at reasonable rates.
Thank you very much for your help with the contacts.
We will arrive in Delhi at around 11 am. I’m planning to get the bus for Manali in the evening the same day. In the meantime I’ll be getting around old Delhi. 🙂
Thank you again.
You are welcome brother !!!
Actually starting trip on 15-16 June 2018.Sorry for that July thing
I have a huge Solo trip lined up from 15 or 16 July at Delhi.I want to cover Dalhousie ckt,lahaul spiti ,leh (imp places in and around,eg lakes and monasteries) ,kargil-padum ,srinagar ckt . Please tell me how to go about seeing the security weather and no of days i may ve 25-30 days .I really want to cover as much as possible in this trip. Public Transport ll be preffered but I am fine if you can help me pair with some solo or other travellers or even fine if package tours are available on a whole and cheap priced. I went through most of your articles and yes travelling solo is not that easy . I especially want lahaul spiti leh to be covered in detail.I can start from Shimla or Dalhousie side or Srinagar side whichever you feel is safe bet.
First of all I want to thank you for this amazing blog, I found it today and have been binge reading a lot of posts.
I have a question, I am planning a Delhi-Manali-Chandratal-Spiti-Manali-Delhi trip at the end of May, Is it possible to do this in 7 days using bus from Manali to Chandratal to Spiti and navigate around spiti valley village through walking?
Thank you for your kind words Mr. Chaudhary. The bus service on the route you mentioned starts only after June so no, you will not be able to do this trip in May.
But isn’t the road opening early this year?
It is just an estimate, not guaranteed.
Sir, can we hire a taxi from Manali in 3000 per day? say xylo or innova? Any references will help me immensely. Btw. thank you for this valuable website write ups..
Mangesh Bhai Please contact Jamaica at 93186 46559 and he should be able to assist you for taxi in Manali.