If you happen to chance upon Ecosphere’s (spitiecosphere.com) Facebook page, you’ll most likely see photos of happy groups of people renovating stupas or learning how to make mandalas from a monk. Enjoyable activities all, and when this is in stark, gorgeous Spiti, then it has the makings of a holiday of a lifetime. Ecosphere is a social enterprise which seeks to harness responsible travel to local communities in Spiti to address conservation and livelihoods. You can spend as much time as you want (most of the long-stay volunteer programmes range from a fortnight to a month) helping out with a wide array of work, like garbage disposal, construction of drainage systems, cattle herding, collecting medicinal plants, working in a monastery or a nunnery, greenhouse building and much else. Ecosphere will arrange for your accommodation and food from `550 per day plus taxes (on-field accommodation and food excluded) and provide you with ample opportunities to get to know Spiti really well, from its culture to its people. Since its inception in 2000, the organisation has been leading the field when it comes to true eco-travel and no-frills volunteerism, as well as treks, jeep tours and other adventure activities. This is a unique and enriching way to have a holiday.