Land at the Leh Airport and take an airport transfer to a pre-arranged hotel in the city. You can spend the rest of the day at leisure. If you do venture outside your hotel, make sure to wear enough warm clothes since winters in Leh paint the city with layers of thick snow. Overnight in a hotel at Leh.
Spend the day at Leh acclimatizing to the city's high altitude. You'll spend much of the day visiting some of the local attractions around town like the Shey Palace and the Thikse Monastery, both of which are epicentres of Buddhist influence and worship. In the evening, you'll visit a hospital in Leh to undergo a routine medical checkup. This is intended only to ensure proper health before beginning the Chadar trek. Overnight in a hotel in Leh. The 17th century Leh Palace in the thick of winter.
Board a vehicle and travel to the start point of the Chadar trek at Shingrak Yongma. The scenic drive will take you outside the city and into the Ladakhi mountains. At Shingrak Yongma, you'll get your first views of the frozen Zanskar River. A quick briefing from the trek leader later, you'll begin walking over the frozen river. You'll slip and fall a few times before finding your footing over the unique terrain. Head towards your destination for the night, located just a short distance away. Overnight in tents at Shringrak Gongma. Walk over the frozen sheet of ice on the Zanskar River.
Begin a long trek alongside the turquoise blue river towards the campsites of Dib Gongma. En route, you'll pass through the Tsomo Paldar campsite and trek across a flowing waterfall, the only one that doesn't freeze even in sub-zero temperatures. By the end of the day, you'll perfect your walking technique by spending hours over the rugged rock formations and sprawling ice blankets. Overnight in tents at Dib Gongma. Spectacular views of the Zanskar valley with tall mountains on either side.
Resume trekking early in the morning on your way to Nyerak Pulu. En route, you'll stop to see the famous Nyerak frozen waterfall and pass the bridge over the river that connects the villages of Nyerak and Lingshed. The Nyerak village is the first hint of civilization since Leh. Overnight in tents at Nyerak Pulu. Follow the lead of your trek leader and head for the day's destination.
While most travellers to the frozen Zanskar turn back from Nyerak, you'll continue trekking deeper into the Zanskar valley. With spectacular views of the rocky mountain terrain, you'll trek to Tsarak Do, the coldest campsite alongside the Zanskar River. However, instead of camping here, you'll board vehicles that'll drive you to the village of Zangla. Overnight in a home-stay at Zangla. Looking out over the frozen landscape of Ladakh.
Spend the day on day trips around Zangla. You'll begin with a drive to the nearby town of Padum to visit the local marketplace and shop for souvenirs and gits. You'll also visit the Karsha Monastery, a massive house of worship offering spectacular views of the alpine topography. Travel back to Zangla by nightfall. Overnight in a home-stay at Zangla. Visit the Karsha Monastery on a day trip from Zangla.
Drive back from Zangla to the frozen river. You'll disembark from the vehicle at Tsarak Do and begin the return trek to the familiar campsite of Nyerak Pulu. Views of towering mountains painted brown and grey will dominate the horizon. Overnight in tents at Nyerak Pulu. Hike up the mountains to view points along the way.
Trek back over the frozen river from Nyerak to Tsomo Paldar. Since you'll be quite adept at pacing your walk over the frozen sheet of ice, you'll trek faster and cover more ground on the return trek. The ice underneath your shoes often breaks and reforms again, presenting a whole another terrain on your way back. Overnight in tents at Tsomo Paldar. Make your way across the slippery surfaces of the Chadar.
Conclude the iconic Chadar trek by returning to Shingrak Gongma. You'll bid goodbye to the frozen river and the Zanskar valley, and board vehicles to travel to Leh. You'll sleep in a comfortable bed after almost a week of sleeping bags and mattresses. Overnight in a hotel at Leh. Navigating narrow and tricky sections along the trail.
This day serves as a buffer day, to be used just in case the you're forced to extend the trip due to bad weather conditions or any other unforeseen situations. Otherwise, you can spend the day in Leh at leisure. Visit the local Tibetan marketplace or explore the narrow and enchanting lanes of the city. Overnight in a hotel at Leh.
Check-out of the hotel and take an airport transfer to Leh Airport. Your trip ends here.