An overnight train from Delhi delivers travelers to the tranquil Kumaoni foothills of the Himalayas. With local guides, hikers explore rural Indian villages, terraced rice paddies, and Hindu temples. At night, travelers settle into authentic village houses outfitted with cozy beds and woven mat floors. For a post-hike retreat, tack on three nights at 360o Leti, a lodge at 8,000 feet, surrounded by rhododendron bushes and wild cherry trees. Here Shakti operates four teak-and-slate cottages, each with two walls of windows that frame the Himalayas’ snowy summits. While there, learn to make a traditional dish, such as Parsi curry chicken with apricots, with chef Yeshi. —Kelly Lack
Shakti, (866) 401-3705. From $3,070, for an eight-day trip, including meals, lodging, and three nights at the 360o Leti. This appeared in the July/August 2011 issue.