Upper Mustang trek leads to the last forbidden kingdom within the country’s territory. It is the gateway to the mysterious world of the old Buddhist kingdom; Lo. Lo Manthang is the ancient capital of Mustang. Upper Mustang was once restricted for the normal travellers until 1992. Because of that, it was completely isolated from the outer world. As of now restricted permits along with TIMS card and ACAP permits are required to explore the Upper Mustang of Nepal.
Mustang is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Nepal. There is no technical climbing required for the Upper Mustang trek. Meanwhile, the difficulty level of the trek is moderate and beginners with normal physical fitness level can easily complete the trek. Meanwhile, the highest altitude of the Upper Mustang Trek is 3,730 meters above sea level. Similarly, the total walking distance of Upper Mustang trek is 2010 kilometres and the trek can be completed in 16 days.
Tiji Festival in Mustang is one of the most unique festivals of Nepal. It is one of the lifetime experiences to visit Upper Mustang of Nepal and witness the Tiji festival in Visit Nepal Year 2020. To reach Lower Mustang of Nepal both the roadways as well as airways are available. But compared with Lower Mustang of Nepal, Upper Mustang is rich in culture, tradition, amazing caves, monasteries and many more. Upper Mustang carries a long history and it is also believed that the kingdom of Lo used to be a part of Ngari area of Tibet.
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- Ancient Tibetan lifestyle, cultures and traditions.
- Fascinating mountains like Nilgiri, Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges.
- Painted mud-brick houses, Caves carved into the cliffs.
- Royal Palace, Buddhists Monasteries, Thugchen Gompa.
- Traverse to villages like Chhuksang Village, Ghame Village, etc.
- Vast and barren valleys, scattered valleys.
Along with the above highlights, you will traverse around the deserted valleys and watch yak caravans, eroded canyons, and extraordinary walled settlements. Arid beauty and harsh, cliff-face landscapes are other attractions. You will also see the nuclear settlement and little sign of cultivation. Moreover, The region reflects stunning vistas and the stubborn way of holding unique Tibetan cultures. Experiencing the ancient cultures of the forbidden kingdom is another memorable side of this trek.
Upper Mustang is one of the most popular trekking trails of Annapurna Region. The highest altitude of the trek is Lo Manthang which is situated at an elevation of 3,730 meters above sea level. Everest region was first explored by the trekkers during the 1950s. Meanwhile, the trek to Upper Mustang was opened for all after 1992. The trekking trails to Upper Mustang was once used as a salt trading route by the locals.
The king still has his home there. Upper Mustang is located in Annapurna region of Nepal. Although the entire region is geographically part of the Tibetan plateau. Hence, the kingdom is influenced by Tibetan Buddhism. Travelling to Upper Mustang is a real privilege. Upper Mustang Trek is a once in a lifetime destination to explore the captivating medieval walled kingdom of Lo Manthang.
Upper Mustang trekking transits across the arid river valley that runs north-south of Annapurna circuit. Trek to Upper Mustang passes through the driest region of Nepal. It certainly offers you a visit to the deserted valley rich in its own ancient cultural heritages and traditions. It provides spectacular mountain scenery. Though trekking to this region has been open since 1992, trekkers must need a special permit to trek this region.
About Upper Mustang Trek
Upper Mustang falls under a restricted area. The travellers must require a special permit to travel to this region. Trekkers should pay a permit fee of US$ 500 (to be arranged through a trekking agency and valid for 10 days). Each additional day costs US$ 50. Meanwhile, ACAP permits which cost US$ 30 must be paid before travelling to Upper Mustang. Similarly, for the TIMS card US$ 10 must be paid to the department of immigration.
With us, your journey to Upper Mustang starts from Kathmandu. Being the capital of Nepal recently Kathmandu holds the only international airport in the nation. Some other international airports are under construction and 40+ domestic airports are in operation. From Kathmandu, you can reach Pokhara by road or by flight. Flight to Pokhara from Kathmandu Takes about 7 hours. Similarly, 25 minutes of scenic flight will take you to the beautiful lake city Pokhara from Kathmandu.
A 20 minutes flight from Pokhara will take you to Jomsom. After a 30 minutes drive from Jomsom, you will reach Kagbeni. The trek generally starts from Kagbeni. From Kagbeni you will start the trek the very next day and take about 5 days to reach the capital of Mustang Lo Manthang. Situated at an elevation of 3,730 meters above sea level, Lo Manthang is the ancient capital of the Jomsom.
You will have an extra day to explore Lo Manthang. During the day you get to witness sky caves, ancient cave paintings, cultural practices and many more. From Lo Manthang it takes 3 trekking days to reach Kagbeni. From Kagbeni you can trek to Jomsom. The trek distance is short and during the rest of the day, you can explore the lower Mustang. Meanwhile, Marpha Village and Dumba Lake are must-see places to visit during your stay at Jomsom.
Best Time to Travel Upper Mustang
Upper Mustang is cold in winter, windy and dusty throughout the year. As the region falls under the rain shadow, it does not bear rainfall. So, trekking in Upper Mustang is also suitable during monsoon season. During the monsoon season of the year, amazing views of the landscapes, green fields, apple orchards and many more can be seen. Rainfall only lasts for a few hours meanwhile in the evening the clouds may cover the sky.
However, Summer, Monsoon and Autumn are the best time to trek the upper Mustang. Mid-September, October November and Early- December is one of the best months of the year for the Upper Mustang trek. Mustang is situated at low altitude compared with other trekking trails without any high passes. Because of that, the snowfall does not hamper the trekking trails. Similarly February, March and April are the second-best seasons for Upper Mustang trek. During these months of the year, the sky is clear.
If our trip itinerary doesn’t suit your holiday schedule or you wish to modify the itinerary or combine it with any travel plans, then please let us know and we’ll be happy to create a tailor-made itinerary, designed especially for you. Also whether you are a student group/family group /corporate team please inquire with us. We offer you a variety of packages to Upper Mustang.
Your Arrival Time (?) Our office representative will meet and greet you at Kathmandu Airport and transfer to your hotel in Kathmandu. At 06:00 PM: In the evening we will meet for a coffee and will brief you the details of your trek program.
*Optionally you can add one additional night stay in Kathmandu to cover cultural sightseeing in Kathmandu as well for your trek preparation shopping.
Kathmandu Full Day Sightseeing: You will visit for a full day sightseeing in Kathmandu of Kathmandu and Patan Durbar Square, Boudhanath and Swayambhunath.
Drive to Pokhara
At 06:30 AM: Have your breakfast at the hotel and be ready for your drive to beautiful lake city Pokhara. Pokhara is about 200 KM far from Kathmandu, it takes Approx. 6-7 hours of driving to reach there.
At 03:00 PM: First check-in at your hotel. You will get a few hours to buy your required things for the trek if needed. If not, you can explore the lakeside area and take a rest. You will keep your extra baggage at the hotel in Pokhara.
Fly to Jomsom, Trek to Kagbeni
At 06:30 AM: Today is the first day of our trek and we start by flying to the beautiful Jomsom town from Pokhara in the early morning. Jomsom lies at the lap of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountains so the flights take place in the morning because the day is windy. After reaching Jomsom we will start our trek from Jomsom towards the Kagbeni village. We will follow the bank of Kaligandaki river, pass by the apple and potato farms. Overnight at Kagbeni teahouse.
Trek to Chele
At 07:30 AM: Kagbeni is the starting point of the restricted area. After checking our permits we will start our Upper Mustang trek. We will follow the upstream of windy Kaligandaki river reaching the Tangbe village. We will pass by the barley and buckwheat fields, and apple farms in between beautiful villages. Finally reaching Chele we will stop for the night here.
Trek to Syanbochen
At 07:30 AM: After breakfast, we will start our trek. Today’s trek is comparatively hard one among other days. We will cross the two beautiful pass, Dajori La pass (3,735) and Taklam La pass (3,624m). The magnificent views of Tilicho, Yakawa Kang and Damodar Danda and Ramchung cave is seen from the trail. We will descend to reach Samar village before we further start the steep descend to reach Syanbochen. Overnight at teahouse.
Trek to Ghami
At 07:30 AM: Today we will be trekking towards the biggest village in the Lo region. After breakfast, we will start our trek ascending Yamada La pass (3,850m) through the teahouse, chorten and beautiful villages. Then we will trek through the poplar forest, barley field to reach Nyi Pass (4,010m) from where we will descend down towards the beautiful Ghami village. Overnight at Ghami village.
Trek to Tasrang
At 07:30 AM: Today we will descend down first to cross the Ghami Khola. After crossing the River we will start our uphill climb to reach the Tasrang-La pass (3870m). We will pass through the beautiful mani walls to reach the Tasrang village. Tasrang village lies at the top of Charang Chu canyon with a huge fortress and a red gompa towards its east. Overnight at Tasrang tea house.
Trek to Lo Manthang
At 07:30 AM: After breakfast, we descend down to the canyon and cross the river before we start our climb towards Lo pass (3950m). Beautiful Lo Manthang village is seen from the top of the pass. From the top, we will then descend down towards the beautiful walled village. The magnificent view of the Himalayas including Nilgiri, Tilicho and Annapurna I, Bhrikuti Peak and Damodar Kunda can be seen. Overnight at Lo Manthang tea house.
Lo Manthang Exploration
At 07:30 AM: Today we will explore the surrounding area of Lo Manthang. We will visit three gompas; Jhampa, Thupchen and Chhoeda. We will explore the ancient sky caves, ancient cave paintings, discover and experience the natural beauty, cultural practices. Overnight at Lo Manthang.
Trek to Ghami
At 07:30 AM: After breakfast, we will descend down the same trail as we came to Lomangthang. The trail is up and down crossing the rivers and climbing the passes. Beautiful Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountains are around us throughout the trail. Overnight at Ghami.
Trek to Samar
At 07:30 AM: We will further follow the Kaligandaki river going back towards the Samar village. Overnight at Samar teahouse.
Trek to Kagbeni
At 07:30 AM: We will further follow the Kaligandaki river going back towards the Kagbeni village. The restricted area ends here. We will check out after reaching Kagbeni checkpost. Overnight at Kagbeni.
Trek to Jomsom
At 07:30 AM: Today is the last day of our trek. The trail is almost flat and easy going. Jomsom is the last point of the trek. Jomsom has good facilities for hotels and restaurants. Overnight at Jomsom hotel.
Fly to Pokhara, Rest Day
At 06:30 AM: Today we will take an early morning flight to Pokhara. The tiny aircraft passes through a gorge between Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountains making the flight itself an amazing. Free day at Pokhara. Overnight at Pokhara Hotel.
Drive to Kathmandu
At 6:45 AM: On this day you are returning to Kathmandu by drive. You will get shopping time in Kathmandu and we will have a farewell Nepali dinner together.
You will be free until your flight time; we will drop you at Kathmandu airport 3 hours before your flight.
Get all required travel guides, tips and informations about Upper Mustang trek.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where is Upper Mustang located?
Upper Mustang is located 400km north west from Kathmandu in the Mustang district of Nepal. Upper Mustang is the upper part of Mustang district, which is bordered with Tibet.
- All arrival and departure at Kathmandu airport as mentioned.
- Flight transfer (Pokhara/Jomsom/Pokhara) as mentioned in the itinerary.
- SIC transfer from Kathmandu to Pokhara and back. (Subject to change on private with additional cost.)
- 2-star hotel accommodation in Kathmandu/Pokhara as per the trek itinerary.
- Daily breakfast throughout the trip.
- Lunch and Dinner from trek start day to trek end day.
- All necessary paper works. (Restricted Area Permit, National Park Entry Permit, ACAP permit and TIMS Card)
- English speaking licensed trek guide.
- Porter during the trek. (Can carry 20KG Baggage of 2 person)
- Lodge or Tea house accommodation during the trek.
- One local SIM card (returnable) during your stay.
- All government and local taxes.
- Guide and Porter’s salary, food and accommodation during the trek.
- Arrangement of emergency helicopter service which will be paid by your traveller’s insurance company.
- Sleeping bag, duffle bags and trekking route maps – if necessary.
- Farewell Nepali dinner on your last night.
- Personal expenses.
- Kathmandu sightseeing entrance fee.
- Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu.
- Nepal visa cost. (You will require 2 passport size photos and 30 USD)
- International flight ticket.
- Travel health insurance. (Recommended)
- Tips for the guide, porter and driver.
- Sweet things like dessert/chocolate.
- All alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
- Hot shower/batteries charge/heater during the trek.
- Any other expenses which are not mentioned in including section.