About Himalayan Loop

Himalayan Loop Is an adventure travel company specializing in inspirational treks, tours and expeditions to the Himalaya. Himalayan Loop Wants You to Travel More. Connecting travelers with inspiring ecotourism initiatives. Promoting change through the power of travel.

With a vision of ‘Excellence in service and building strong bonds’ Himalayan Loop. With the right attitude and effort, we have widened our destinations over the years to provide our customers and clients with the best services. The essence of India is deep-rooted in each one of us and we are proud of the colorful sights and diverse culture that the country has to offer. It is with this innate passion that we provide our travelers with an over whelming experience of ‘Incredible India’.

We offer you with packages that are well researched and also let you customize your travel plans to make sure that you get the best of our services. Our highly committed team of professionals with their experience, knowledge and passion ensure that we go beyond satisfying expectations. This has helped give our customers the best travel experience to ensure that we keep them coming back for more. We now maintain a strong customer base and aim to reach potential customers who are in search of a good holiday experience. This is endorsed by the fact that our existing associates are our ambassadors whose recommendations and referrals have helped us a great deal in becoming one of the most dependable travel agencies in India. Responsible travel was not really understood when Adventure Center opened for business in 1972. Our philosophy has always been rooted in immersing adventure travelers in the countries they visit by exposing them to local people, culture, wildlife and the delicate balance that sustains the environments in which these communities thrive.

Our passion about travel translates to the core essence of creating a “Journey of a Lifetime” by providing the best service. We make sure that our travelers are taken care of from the minute they begin their journey with us. Our local staff and partners are located in various destinations across India and are always ready to go the extra mile to meet our traveler’s needs. Our travelers can be assured of a safe and fulfilling journey. To improve our services we constantly create new travel designs and add more destinations keeping in mind the feedback and suggestions we receive from our customers. We hope to provide you with a wide range of travel options that will help you in planning your trip. So plan your visit with us, as we look forward to giving you the most memorable travel experience.

What Responsible Travel Means To Himalayan Loop

We’ve been traveling responsibly for an awful long time, and we’ve summarized our thoughts on the subject here:

Small Groups – Small groups lessen the environmental and cultural impact that travelers have on places and the people that live in them. When huge tour buses disgorge dozens of tourists in a remote village in India or anywhere else, it has a shocking, negative effect on the people that live there.

Local sourcing – Guess where your money goes when you stay at an international hotel in India .There is some trickle-down to the local economy, but most of it goes overseas. The economic, environmental and cultural effects of a trip are key considerations in responsible adventure travel companies’ itinerary design process. Where possible, we source locally in order to distribute the economic benefits throughout the places we travel.

Putting our hearts into it – When everyone involved with the organization of a trip promotes and adheres to sustainable travel principles, travelers cannot help but embrace them. Tour companies have an obligation to, not only create responsible tours, but also to pass on these values. We hope that you will put them into practice on future trips and pass them on to fellow travelers. Over the years, our trip operators have become increasingly pro-active about ensuring that trips foster positive relations with locals by maximizing the economic benefits for people and minimizing the environmental impact. Himalayan Loop partner companies all put responsible travel values into practice. When you book a trip with us, you can be assured that you’ll be traveling responsibly.

To find out more about how you can have a positive affect on the communities we visit, read the Responsible Travel section in our Information Center.

For Visitors…

The Himalayan Loop has developed two Codes of Conduct, one for visitors to the Himalaya and one for operators in the regions.

  • Respect cultures and traditions – be a considerate guest, understand protocol, offer appropriate gifts when necessary, ask before taking a photo, do not show affection in public, and donations to gompas or shrines are appreciated.
  • Benefit local communities, commercially and socially – share skills and experience, teach when you can, offer a fair pay for services, participate in activities. Do not encourage begging, publicly argue, drink excessively or fight.
  • Adopt new customs – do not wear tight or revealing clothing, do not enter someone’s home unless invited, avoid touching people of the opposite sex, do not use your left hand to eat or pass objects and try to learn as much of the local languages as possible.

Environment

  • Tread softly – stick to trails and recognized camping areas. Avoid creating new tracks, or damaging the environment in any way. Follow the adage: take only photos and leave only footprints.
  • Pack it in, pack it out – avoid taking tins, glass, or plastic containers and bags unless you plan to carry away. Wash away from water sources, and always use local toilet facilities when available. Bury all organic waste at least 30cm below the ground and 50m away from water sources.
  • Conserve natural resources – what few resources there are belong by right to the locals. Always ask permission before using anything along the trail. It is illegal to disturb wildlife, to remove animals or plants, or to buy wildlife products.

Safety

  • Beware of altitude sickness – use the buddy system to watch for symptoms of altitude sickness. Make sure everyone remains fully hydrated by drinking water throughout the day, every day. Stay together along the trail, and communicate frequently with everyone.
  • Be Safe – carry an extensive first-aid kit and know how to use it. Have multiple plans for emergency evacuation and designate decision makers. Leave your itinerary details with someone responsible at home. Beware of yaks and other animals on narrow trails!
  • Be self-reliant – don’t assume you will receive help or assistance. Ensure your group has extensive field-craft and navigation skills. Research thoroughly, is your route appropriate for your party? Do you have the necessary skills, experience, resources and equipment?

For Operator

Any organization using the Himalayan Loop logo must adhere to this Operator Code of Conduct. Please report any misconduct to himalayanloop@gmail.com

1. Field staff must be hired through formal contracts, with clear terms and conditions for insurance, wages, load limits, accident/disability treatment provisions and other facilities. Before hiring porters and other staff, health checkups must be provided.

2. Safety, shelter and general equipment must be provided to field staff and it must be well maintained and similar to that used by clients.

3. Field staff must be provided with full medical and evacuation insurance and cannot be paid off because of illness or injury until they are fully recovered.

4. Carry weight to be limited to 30kg loads below 5000m and 25kg above 5000m, including personal allowance.

5. Food and fuel expenses to be paid in addition to daily wage and to be negotiated at a regional or district level depending on the duration of the trek.

6. Membership of any organization that encourages and supports porters to voice their own needs and concerns is to be permitted.

7. Female empowerment to be encouraged at all times and no child labor is acceptable.

A word of Caution

Consider your safety

All outdoor activities involve an element of risk, which could endanger you and those with you. It is impossible for any guidebook to alert you to every possible danger or hazard, or to anticipate the limitations of your party. The descriptions of trails, passes, routes, geographical features in this guide are therefore not in any way a guarantee that they will be safe for you or your party. When you follow the advice and/or route information in this book you do so at your own risk and assume responsibility for your own safety. Ensuring that you are aware of all relevant factors and exercising good field-craft combined with common sense is the best way to enjoy the mountains. If you feel unsure about your skill level, experience or knowledge base then you should not assume responsibility for yourself or a party.

The political situation in the Himalaya will change and could affect your plans. It is wise to keep abreast of all developments and check government and relevant agency websites for your own safety. You assume the risk of your travels and the responsibility for those with you. Be safe, be prepared, be informed.

DO’S & DONT’S On the Trail

How not to cause offense…

In addition to the Himalayan Loop Code of Conduct there are lots of common sense lessons learned from years of trekking in the hills. Almost anyone who visits the Himalaya returns with a story of another tourist’s inappropriate behavior or dress. To commit the occasional faux pas is inevitable when exploring foreign shores and local people will often make light of your indiscretion. However, taking advantage of traditional hospitality without understanding the implications, overt ostentation, disrespecting ceremonies or customs, and dressing inappropriately are all considerable insults and should be avoided at all costs.

If you are unsure how to behave then follow the lead of a local, and if necessary ask questions. Everyone will understand that you are trying to do the right thing and you’ll be given all the support to participate in local lives to the fullest. This list of Do’s and Don’ts is by no means exhaustive, so please apply liberal amounts of common sense to your day.

Community

1. Respect cultures and traditions:

(a) Consideration be a considerate guest at all times. Himalayan cultures are rich and diverse and can sometimes confuse a visitor but if you are friendly, approachable and consider those around you before yourself, you will always earn the respect of locals.

(b) Photos ask before taking a photo, as many people prefer not to be photographed for personal, cultural or superstitious reasons.

(c) Gift giving the complex patina of Nepali society sometimes calls for gift giving or making a donation; this may be to a monastery or shrine, at a wedding, or at a cultural program. Whenever you are faced with needing to give a gift you should seek the advice of a Nepali to work out what is appropriate. The method of or the formality associated with giving a gift is often as important as the gift itself so make sure you are aware of any protocols.

(d) Affection do not show affection in public.

(e) Bathing showing your genitalia when bathing is offensive. Use a sarong, modesty screen or shower tent and when visiting a hot spring try to behave modestly.

2. Benefit local communities, commercially and socially :

(a) Share skills and experience teach when you can, offer a fair rate of pay for services, participate in activities whenever invited.

(b) Do not publicly argue, drink excessively or fight. Demonstrations of anger are considered an embarrassing loss of face on your behalf.

(c) Begging of all the negative impacts tourists have had in the Himalaya, the encouragement of begging along the trail is probably the most problematic. Handing out candy (referred to as sweets, mitai or bonbons) to children who never clean their teeth is thoughtless and irresponsible. Giving money to small children in return for picked flowers is destructive and illegal in all National Parks. If your conscience struggles with the wealth divide then provide skills through training and education, or donate to one of the major charities based in the major cities. But do not just give away items along the trail and so perpetuate a habit that ultimately only reduces self-esteem and can cause long-term problems. If you aren’t convinced of the negative effects of pandering to cute children then trek away from the main trails and experience the genuine, openhearted joy that children show tourists without the expectation of a ‘reward’.

3. Adopt new customs

(a) Clothing do not wear tight or revealing clothing, especially if you are a woman. There is a firm dress code followed by all Himalayan women and is only not observed by the very poor or for special reasons.

–It is considered offensive to expose your knees, shoulders and chest at all times and especially in any place of worship. Unfortunately for women, this means that wearing detachable leg pants is not very sympathetic to local customs in the Himalaya, and cropped tops of any description should be avoided. Men can wear long shorts but should avoid exposing their chests.

–It is also considered offensive to highlight genitalia, so avoid wearing stretch or very tight clothing around the chest or groin area.

(b) Entering homes it is critical that you wait to be invited into a home. The social systems that operate throughout much of the Himalaya prescribe a rigid hierarchy of which rooms you may or may not be allowed to enter, respect the wishes of the homeowner. The cooking-fire area is often sacred so always check if you can dispose of burnable rubbish before consigning it to the flames.

(c) Greetings In India and Nepal people greet eat other with the traditional, ‘Namaste!’ Sometimes they will shake hands, especially if they are involved in the tourism sector or have retired from the Royal Gurkha Rifles, but in general you should avoid touching people, especially of the opposite gender. In Bhutan, ‘Kozu Zangpo La!’ with palms upturned is a traditional welcome. Wherever you are, a warm greeting or thanks, or taking a little time to play or practice English is always preferable to a short or quick reply. It will both build respect and relieve any stress you may feel from curious locals.

(d) Eating do not use your left hand to eat or pass objects. Traditionally all Himalayan people eat only with the right hand, the left being considered unclean. Therefore pass foodstuffs to another person with your right hand and use your left as little as possible. You should also avoid touching the lip of a vessel to your mouth, just pour the drink into your mouth.

(e) Offering payment and/or gifts it is respectful to use both hands, or with your right hand while touching your left hand to your right elbow.

(f) Language learns some basic phrases and uses them as often as possible.

Environment

1. Tread softly sticks to trails and recognized camping areas. Avoid creating new tracks, or damaging the environment in any way. Follow the adage: take only photos leave only footprints.

2. Pack it in, pack it out avoid taking tins, glass, or plastic containers and bags unless you plan to carry them back to a major city.

  • Cotton rags 1-5 months
  • Paper 2-5 months
  • Orange peel 6 months
  • Wool socks 1 to 5 years
  • Plastic bags 10 to 20 years
  • Leather shoes 25 to 40 years
  • Nylon fabric 30 to 40 years
  • Aluminum cans 80 to 100 years
  • Plastic bottles Forever

How long does it take to degrade? © WorldWise, Inc., Department WS, PO Box 3360, San Rafael, CA 94912-3360

3. Conserve water quality wash away from water sources, and always use local toilet facilities when available. Bury all organic waste at least 30cm below the ground and 50m away from water sources.

4. Conserve natural resources what few resources there are belong by right to the locals. Always ask permission before using anything along the trail. It is illegal to disturb wildlife, remove animals or plants, or buy wildlife products.

Safety

1. Beware of altitude sickness use the buddy system to watch for symptoms of altitude sickness. Make sure everyone remains fully hydrated by drinking water throughout the day, everyday. Stay together along the trail, and communicate frequently with everyone.

2. Be safe carry an extensive first-aid kit and know how to use it. Have multiple plans for emergency evacuation and designated decision makers. Leave your itinerary details with someone responsible at home.

3. Be self-reliant don’t assume you will receive help or assistance. Ensure your group has extensive field-craft and navigation skills. Research thoroughly, is your route appropriate for your party? Do you have the necessary skills, experience, resources and equipment?

4. Remain hydrated drinking between two and four liters of water per day will help prevent altitude sickness and improve your body’s recovery time.

5. Don’t rush there are no prizes for coming first on the trail and rushing will probably over-stress your body and may increase your chances of suffering from altitude sickness. Frequent stops to drink water and rest often become photo opportunities and a chance to chat with locals.

6. Trekking poles that more people aren’t impaled by absent-minded trekkers swinging their poles is amazing. Be aware of the pole tips, especially when crossing bridges or negotiating narrow or steep trails.

7. Beware of yaks many porter age animals you meet along the trail are yaks or hybrids of yaks and cattle, and all of them can be dangerous. Every season at least one tourist will die because they got too close to the large horns or were knocked from a bridge. If you see any pack animals (even donkeys cause accidents) coming along the trail you should scramble up the hillside of the trail and wait until they pass.

8. iPod use rather than listening to the noise of life along the trail some people prefer to plug in to an iPod. Doing so puts you at greater risk from animals and rock fall.

9. Common courtesy the trail is often busy, especially at steep or difficult sections. A common courtesy is to give way to people walking up-hill, or to those who are obviously struggling or carrying a very large load.

A Stylish Adventure

We know that a great travel experience doesn’t begin and end on the trail. Perhaps you’ve heard the phrase “it’s the little things that make the biggest difference.” At Himalayan Loop, we take that philosophy to heart. It is the driving force in every plan we make and in every country lane, village, or wilderness we explore. We start with our love and appreciation of the world’s most breathtaking and interesting destinations. We interject the elements of adventure and activity that stimulate our souls and enliven our minds. Whether you are looking for a challenging physical expedition or enjoy a balanced approach combining active and leisurely exploration, Himalayan Loop has a trip to match your sense of adventure. The common thread is that each journey offers the opportunity for Active Adventures, Cultural Encounters, and Authentic Experiences.

Our Brand Promise

To provide an exceptional and personal adventure travel experience with inspired itineraries, breathtaking locations, and expert leaders that uncovers hidden gems at each destination. An authentic regional experience with top-notch accommodations and excellent cuisine that safely challenges the adventurer in all of us.

Accommodations

When it comes to a memorable experience, we know it’s not just where you travel, but how you travel that makes all the difference. For that reason we seek out the very best locally run hotels and inns, and We may even sleep under the stars. From rustic mountain refuges to luxurious seaside inns, the Himalayan Loop team has discovered the most charming and well-located accommodations and most spectacular camping sites that are the perfect complement to days spent exploring.

Cuisine

Experiencing the local cuisine is an important part of the adventure, which is why the fare on our tours reflects the best flavors of each region. Your cultural experience is enhanced by enjoying traditional foods with unique histories. When staying in hotels, country inns, or lodges, you will dine in intimate settings on fine local dish, or a secret family recipe passed down through the generations.

Travelling With Friends

A Himalayan Loop traveler is energetic, active, and has a spirit of adventure. They may be friends, couples, singles, or families with a common curiosity about the world and a desire to experience life’s greatest adventures. They range in age reminding us all that we are never too young or too old to dream, explore, and discover.

Small Group Personolize Yorr Experience

Although the camaraderie of a group of like-minded travelers often enhances the journey, there can be too much of a good thing! That is why we generally limit our groups to just 16 guests, with 8 to 10 guests being the average. Keeping our groups small allows us to travel softly, having less impact on our surroundings.