Upper Mustang Trek
Bordering with Tibet in the North, the greater culture, lifestyle, and tradition of Mustang resembles that of the Tibet. Upper Mustang Trek delves into a historical, cultural, and natural journey to one of the remotest regions in the world. Traversing a desert-like landscape in the northwest of Nepal; the Upper Mustang Trek offers natural ecstasy of arid landscapes and Himalayas. Along the trek you feel with the company of ancient culture engraved into the lives of the inhabitants of the entire region.
The 17-days Upper Mustang Trek commences at Kathmandu. The trip begins with a cultural tour of the Kathmandu city where you’ll get to witness a few of the most popular UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Afterward, you’ll commute to the remote town of Jomsom via Pokhara. The trek commences at Jomsom and moves northward along the Kali Gandaki valley through the quaint Buddhist villages of Kagbeni, Chele, Syanbochen, and Tsarang before entering the ‘walled city’ of Lo Manthang. Lo Manthang was the capital of the Mustang region and the last monarch of Mustang resided in his palace inside Lo Manthang. Although a part of Nepal, the inhabitants adherently follow the Tibetan lifestyle.
After exploring the walled city, you’ll move north towards Niphu and Garphu along with Ghar Gumba (Buddhist Monastery) before making your way back to Jomsom via Dhakmar, Ghiling, Samar, and Kagbeni. The trans-Himalayan flight from Jomsom will bring you back to Pokhara. The trip concedes at Kathmandu. You’ll also get to relish the beautiful sight of Annapurna I (8091m) and Mt. Dhaulagiri (8167m) at their full glory. Upper mustang can be traveled from March to late December, whereas June to September is the best time of the year.
While a number of agencies offer trips in Nepal, we, at Danphe Adventure Treks, differ while providing the services to our clients. Our array of facilities for travelers includes excellent transportation, accommodation, and guides for the trips. Moreover, we also focus on providing a personalized approach to each individual for your ease.
- Visit to Lomanthang, the Capital of Last Forbidden Kingdom of Nepal
- Historic Ghar Gumba, is the oldest monastery in the Mustang region which was built around the 7th century.
- Trek along the Kali Gandaki River, which is the deepest gorge in the world
Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu (1300m)
Upon your arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport, the representative from Danphe Adventure Treks will warmly receive you and escort you to your hotel. You’ll meet your trek guide at the hotel. In the evening, you can choose to go out to explore the vicinity or shop for trek gear and accessories.
Day 02: Kathmandu Sightseeing
On the second day after tour arrival in Nepal, you explore the Kathmandu Valley and its numerous cultural heritages. Some of the sites are even enlisted by UNESCO as world heritage sites. Today, you will be visiting Swayambhunath, Kathmandu Durbar Square, Pashupatinath, and Boudhanath. These sites reflect the mutual respect among the people in the city and also mesmerize you with the abundance of history and culture. Overnight stay at a hotel in Kathmandu.
Day 03: Drive to Pokhara (820m) | 6-7 hrs
Today, you’ll drive from Kathmandu to the touristic city of Pokhara. Pokhara lies 200km west of Kathmandu. A popular tourist getaway, Pokhara serves as the transit to the nearby Annapurna Conservation Area. The drive lasts for around 7 hours and goes along lush forests, hills, gorges, and Trishuli and Kali Gandaki rivers. Overnight stay at a hotel in Pokhara.
Day 04: Fly from Pokhara to Jomsom (2720m), trek to Kagbeni (2810m) Approx. 3 hrs.
After an early morning breakfast, you’ll catch a trans-Himalayan flight from Pokhara to Jomsom. A quick commute to Jomsom takes you to the other side of the massive Annapurna massif. You can relish the beautiful scenery of Kali Gandaki gorge, Annapurna range, and Machhapuchhre peak. After a brief rest at Jomsom, you’ll commence the trek and move northward through the Kali Gandaki towards Kagbeni. Overnight stay at Kagbeni.
Day 05: Trek to Chele (3050m) 6 hrs
You’ll get your permits checked by the local authority at Kagbeni and then move forward through the Kali Gandaki valley. After a decent trek, you’ll reach Tangbe Village which comprises of narrow alleyways, white-washed houses, and vegetation field consisting of barley and buckwheat, and rich apple orchards. Trekking a few more distances, you’ll cross a bridge that leads directly to Chele village. Overnight stay at Chele.
Day 06: Trek to Syanbochen (3800m) 7-8 hrs
The trail here on includes multiple detours however they lie inside the Kali Gandaki valley. You’ll encounter large rock canyons with variant colors en route, and the man-made ‘sky caves’ dating 3000 years or older. These caves are believed to have been used as a burial site by the nomads along with shelter during the time of war and viral diseases. The trail also offers panoramas of Nilgiri (7061m), Annapurna, and Tilicho peaks. Overnight stay at Syanbochen.
Day 07: Trek to Tsarang (3560m) 7 hrs
The trail from Syanbochen leads northward towards the village of Ghami. A brief hike from Ghami opens up a place with large ancient Mani walls that boasts the religious graffiti and Buddhist literature. You may also encounter many Buddhist Chortens en trail before reaching the quaint village of Tsarang. Once at Tsarang, you can choose to explore the ancient monastery and the popular white palace. Overnight stay at Tsarang.
Day 08: Trek to Lo Manthang (3800m) 4-5 hrs
Few hours of hiking north of Tsarang lies the famous ‘walled city’ of Lo Manthang. Lo Manthang, once the capital of Mustang, is surrounded by a wall that protects the city from the dust from the winds which are frequent in the region. The city consists of three popular Buddhist monasteries namely; Jampa Gompa, Thubchen Gompa, and Chodey Gompa. You’ll find many places to see inside the city, along with the 14th-century royal palace of the former King of Mustang. The city also hosts the annual Tiji festival which brings in flocks of tourists and locals.
Day 09: Explore Niphu, Garphu, and villages in the north of Lo Manthang
Today, you’ll walk outside the walled city and explore the Niphu and Garphu monasteries of Mustang along with the northern sparse villages. Niphu and Garphu monasteries are the cave monasteries built on the cliff of an overhanging rock. You’ll also get to witness the 2500 years old Sky Cave that has more than 44 compartments and a Mandala Cave. Overnight stay at Lo Manthang.
Day 10: Trek to Dhakmar (3820m) via Ghar Gumba (Lo Gekar Monastery) 6 hrs
You’ll retrace your path and trek back to Jomsom. However, instead of taking the usual route you’ll take a detour and head to the village of Dhakmar via Ghar Gumba monastery. Dhakmar is the highest point of the trek that goes through the Ghar Gumba or lo Gekar monastery. Ghar Gumba is the oldest monastery in the Mustang region which was built around the 7th century by the incarnated Saint Padmasambhava before heading towards Tibet. After the exploration of Ghar Gumba, you head to Dhakmar. Overnight stay at Dhakmar.
Day 11: Trek to Ghiling (3570m) 6 hrs.
You’ll start descending from Dhakmar. A short downhill hike offers a sight of the scenic snow-capped peaks in the distance. The trail is gentle at first and then it goes steeply down to a spectacularly eroded gully towards the village of Ghiling. It is popular for the traditional mud houses and roofs made of twigs and straw. Overnight stay at Ghiling.
Day 12: Trek to Samar (3550m) 6 hrs.
The descent from Ghiling towards Samar is fairly easy. The trek starts with a brief ascent towards Chungsi Cave containing the stalagmites formed in the shape of Chortens. Here on, it’s a descent along the Syanbochen village. The descent passes through a stream, juniper trees, and large gorges towards the Samar village. Overnight stay at Samar.
Day 13: Trek to Kagbeni (2810m) 6-7 hrs.
Today, you’ll retrace your path and reach the Kagbeni village from Samar. It may take a great deal of time to reach Kagbeni as you make your way through the deep valley alongside the Kali Gandaki River. You may encounter numerous rock canyons on the trail. Although the length of the trail is longer, the trek is fairly easy. Overnight stay at Kagbeni.
Day 14: Trek to Jomsom (2720m) 3 hrs.
Today, you’ll make your way back to Jomsom from Kagbeni. The trail leads along the Gandaki valley with Annapurna I in-front of you and Dhaulagiri just right behind. The short trek spans no more than 10km. Once at Jomsom, you can explore the windy city and relish the local apple alcoholic beverage ‘Marpha’. The trek concludes at Jomsom. Overnight stay at Jomsom.
Day 15: Fly Jomsom to Pokhara (820m) 25-30 mins
The flight to Pokhara leaves early morning. Once you reach Pokhara, you can indulge in fun-filled activities such as cycling, boating in Phewa Lake, or explore the popular tourist sites around Pokhara namely Davis Fall, Mahendra Cave, and Peace Pagoda. Pokhara also offers a great choice of restaurants and pubs to celebrate the success of your trek. Overnight stay at a hotel in Pokhara.
Day 16: Drive back to Kathmandu (1300m) and Farewell Dinner
Today, you bid adieu to Pokhara and drive back to Kathmandu. The drive may last around 6 hours which will take you through the serpentine roads along the Trishuli River. Once in Kathmandu, our representative will receive you and bring you to the hotel. In the evening, we’ll take you out in one of the finest diners around Kathmandu for a farewell dinner. Overnight stay at a hotel in Kathmandu.
Day 17: Transfer to Airport for final departure:
- Airport Pickups and drops in a private vehicle.
- Hotel in Kathmandu and with breakfast as per the Itinerary.
- Cultural tour at Kathmandu with Guide in private vehicle.
- All meals (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner) during the trek.
- All Ground and Air Transportation during the Trek.
- An experienced, English speaking, and friendly guide and Porter (1 Porter 2 trekkers).
- Salary for the staff including their food, drinks, accommodation, and transportation.
- All necessary paper works, Conservation entry permits, and TIMS card.
- An arrangement for emergency helicopter service which will be paid by your travel insurance.
- Sleeping bag, down jacket and trekking map, if necessary,( to be returned after the trek)
- All government taxes, vat, and local taxes.
- Nepal entry visa fee. (You may easily issue the visa upon your arrival at Tribhuwan international airport (Kathmandu). You will require 2 passport size photos & 25 USD.
- International airfare.
- Your travel insurance (compulsory).
- Meals in Kathmandu
- Entry fees for cultural tours.
- Personal expenses (alcoholic, non-alcoholic drinks bar bills, battery charge, extra porter, boiled water shower, etc.).
- Tips for guide, porter and driver
List of Equipments required for Upper Mustang Trek:
- One Warm winter hat/beanie
- One Sun hat
- 1 Headband/buff
- 1 Sunglasses with UV protection
- One Headlamp/ Torch with extra batteries
- Two pairs of Fleece sweaters- one light and one heavier
- Two pairs of quick-drying long-sleeved base layer shirts
- Three pairs of Short sleeve trekking shirts
- One pair of Wind/rainproof Jacket v 1 Down Jacket
- One pair of trekking shorts
- A pair of trekking trousers
- One pair of lightweight thermal bottoms (seasonal)
- Two pairs of trekking pants with Ziff off bottoms
- One pair of fleece or woolen trousers
- One pair of waterproof pants, breathable fabric
- One pair of lightweight warm gloves
- A pair of poly-liner glove
- One pair of trekking boots
- A pair of sandals/ trainers (for wearing around the lodges)
- One pair of down booties (great for keeping feet warm)
- Two pair of thin lightweight inner socks
- Two pair of warm woolen or poly socks
- Gaiters (only in winter)
- One Sleeping Bag
- 12 1 Sleeping bag liner (optional)
- 1 pair of trekking poles
- Water purification tablets/Steripen/Drops
- 1 quick drying towel
What are the visa requirements?
Currently, all the foreign nationalities (except Indians) require a visa to enter Nepal. Visas are obtainable from embassies abroad or on arrival at Kathmandu’s Airport. If getting the visa at the airport be prepared for long queues. You will also need to provide one passport photo and the $50 USD fee for 30 days.
What are the physical requirements for Upper Mustang Trek?
How old do I need to be?
There is no age restriction for doing this trip, but if you are under 16 it will better to trek with your parents. You must be health-conscious during the trek.
What is included?
- Guides and Porters
- Transportation (including airport transfers)
- Permits & national park fees
- Sightseeing tour in Kathmandu
- All meal during the trek
- Seasonal fruits
- International flights to Kathmandu
- Food – (while you are in City)
- Showers on Trek
- Visa fees (typically $50 USD)
- Personal travel/rescue insurance
What is the accommodation like?
You will stay in the Hotel while you are in the city of Kathmandu, which is like a 3-star category. The hotel has access to showers and intermittent internet.
But while you are in trekking Tea House/lodges are the place where you spend the night during the trek, which is very basic. The room is pretty small with twin sharing and a common washroom. Some places have squat style toilets, whilst others have a western style. Shower does not always offer warm water and most teahouses will charge you for use of a hot shower.
Which meals are included?
Meals will be served as per the menu of the teahouse/lodges. Where you can find a variety of dishes like Indian, Nepalese, Tibetan, Continental, etc, to choose. Tea, coffee, bakery items, snacks, bars eggs, etc can also be found easily.
What currency should I take?
The currency used in Nepal is Nepalese Rupees (NPR). You are unable to get NPR outside of Nepal and therefore you will need to exchange money in Kathmandu. The easiest currency to exchange is USD and Euro. You can also withdraw NPR from the ATM but check with your bank about the relevant charges to do this.
Is there any Bank or ATM facility during Upper Mustang Trek?
What kind of problems can arise at a higher altitude during Upper Mustang Trek?
Do I need insurance before the Upper Mustang Trek?
What should I pack?
- Travel insurance details
- 2 passport photos
- Cash USD
- Credit/Debit Card
One Warm winter hat/beanie.
One Sun hat
1 Sunglasses with UV protection.
One Headlamp/ Torch with extra batteries.
2 pairs of Fleece sweaters- one light and one heavier
2 pairs of quick-drying long-sleeved base layer shirts
3 pairs of Short sleeve trekking shirts
1 pair of Wind/rainproof Jacket v 1 Down Jacket
One pair of trekking shorts
A pair of trekking trousers
One pair of lightweight thermal bottoms (seasonal)
Two pairs of trekking pants with Ziff off bottoms
One pair of fleece or woolen trousers
Two pair of waterproof pants, breathable fabric
A pair of lightweight warm gloves
A pair of poly-liner glove
One pair of trekking boots
A pair of sandals/ trainers (for wearing around the lodges)
One pair of down booties (great for keeping feet warm)
Two pair of thin lightweight inner socks
Two pair of warm woolen or poly socks
Gaiters (only in winter)
One Sleeping Bag
One Sleeping bag liner (optional)
A pair of trekking poles
Water purification tablets/Steripen/Drops
One quick-drying towel
What is the best time of year for Upper Mustang Trek?
Upper mustang can be traveled from March to late December, whereas June to September is the best time of the year.
However trekking in winter season to chance to see snowfall with magnificent views of mountain, and in monsoon time you will see waterfalls.
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