Join us on the Upper Mustang Trek and unlock the door to a truly extraordinary adventure. Book your trek today and let the magic of Mustang captivate your senses.
- Explore the hidden Buddhist world of the Kingdom of Mustang, known as Lo, in this remote trans-Himalayan mountain area.
- Immerse yourself in the distinct Tibetan culture, both in its people and landscape.
- Visit historical sites like the palace of the past Kings of Lo and experience the unique rituals and dances in Lo Manthang.
- Witness the Tibetan influence on the everyday activities and culture of the locals, reflected in the Gompas, chortens, prayer flags, and caves.
- Enjoy breathtaking views of Nilgiri, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, and other majestic mountain ranges.
- Step back in time and explore the history of Lo Manthang by visiting the palace of the King.
- Experience the freedom of walking in the rain shadow area, where you can enjoy the trek without worrying about rain.
- Immerse yourself in the spiritual atmosphere while walking through Gompas, chortens, flapping prayer flags, and ancient caves.
- Witness the Tibetan influence on the daily life and culture of the locals, who live closely resembling Tibetan traditions.
- Marvel at the panoramic views of Nilgiri, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, and other majestic mountain chains.
- Breathe in the spirituality of the Tibetan-like people and monks with their colorful prayer flags.
Table of Contents
Upper Mustang Trek Outline Itinerary:
Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu
- Arrive at the International Airport of Nepal and transfer to the hotel via private vehicle from Pristine Nepal Trek.
Day 2: Kathmandu Heritage Sightseeing and Trek Preparation
- Sightseeing in the most popular heritage sites of Kathmandu.
- Trek Preparation and Managing Prermit for the trekkers’
Day 3: Drive to Pokhara on Delux Tourist Bus
- Trekking start with an interesting ride to Pokhara and then transfer to the hotel.
Day 4: Arrival in Jomsom (2,720m) and trek to Kagbeni
- Arrive at Jomsom, the heart of the Annapurna Mountain Range, where your Upper Mustang adventure begins.
- Begin your trek with a visit to Kagbeni, the gateway to Upper Mustang, situated in the rain shadow of the Dhaulagiri massif.
Day 5: Trek to TSELE (Chele)
- The morning walk includes an uphill trail into a canyon with high red eroded cliffs, followed by a scenic route along the upper Kali Gandaki River, leading to an overnight stay at the moderate-sized Chele village.
Day 6: Trek to Gelling
- Reach the ridge top of Yamda La pass, standing at an elevation of 3,860 meters, which offers a grand vista of the Mustang area and majestic views of Mt. Dhaulagiri.
Day 7: Trek to Tsarang (Charang) or trek to Dhakmar 3,810m
- Trek continues towards Ghami village, crossing the Ghaymi Khola (stream) and following a captivating line of Mani walls (holy prayer stones)
- Reaching the highest point of the trip at Marang La (also known as Chogo La) at 4,230 meters and then descending to the fortified city of Lo-Manthang.
Day 8: Trek to Lo-Manthang
- The short day walk to Lo-Manthang, the main destination of the trip, which is a walled city and a large village that was once a forbidden kingdom.
Day 9: Sightseeing to Chhoser
- The overnight stay in Lo Manthang, allows time to explore this captivating village with its old Tibetan-style houses enclosed within a high wall, providing a glimpse into its rich cultural heritage.
- Visiting the historical and cultural center, which serves as the main attraction of Lo Manthang. The center includes the four main monasteries: Namgyal Gompa, Champa Lakhang (God House), Red Thubchen Gompa, and Chyodi Gompa, as well as the impressive Entrance Hall.
Day 10: Trek to Tsarang (Charang)
- Opportunity to explore the fascinating village of Lo-Manthang, with its old Tibetan-style houses, ancient monasteries, and the chance to visit the interior of the protected old palace.
Day 11: Trek to Syngbochen
- Scenic morning walk from Tsarang village, passing through a long series of Mani Walls, crossing a bridge over Ghami Khola, and reaching the picturesque Ghami village
Day 12: Trek to Chhusang
- The captivating walk is the breathtaking views from Yamda La, followed by a downhill journey through Bena and Samar villages
Day 13: Trek to Kagbeni 2,830m or Trek to Muktinath
- Morning walk back along the same trail to Kagbeni village, offering a pleasant and enjoyable experience after exploring the fascinating Upper Mustang region, before concluding the trek at Jomsom
Day 14: Trek to Jomsom
- Reach Jomsom, where you can rest and celebrate the completion of your Upper Mustang trek.
Day 15: Drive back to Pokhara by bus
- The scenic bus ride begins in the morning, following the Kali Gandaki River through picturesque towns and villages such as Marpha, Tukuche, Kalopani, Lete, Ghasa, Tatopani, Beni, and Nayapul
Day 16: Drive back to Kathmandu
- After a pleasant six-hour ride, you will reach Kathmandu and be transferred to your hotel.
- The afternoon is free for you to enjoy leisure time, engage in individual activities, and shop for souvenirs.
Day 17: International Departure
- Final Departure from Nepal and taking the wonderful memories with you.
Accommodation and Meals in Upper Mustang Trek
- Stay in teahouses along the trek route, offering basic twin rooms or dormitories.
- Shared toilets and bathrooms are available, and some teahouses provide hot showers for a small fee.
- Bring your own sleeping bag for added comfort, as the rooms do not have heating. (Sleeping Bag can be rented)
- Enjoy a variety of meals at the teahouses, including traditional Nepali dishes like dal bhat (rice, curry, lentils) and thukpa (Tibetan noodles).
- Breakfast options include spicy Nepali omelets, porridge, toast, Tibetan bread, and hot beverages.
- Dinner offers a range of soups, momos (Tibetan-style dumplings), pasta, fried rice, and local specialties.
- Vegetarian meals are also available during the trek.
Cultural and Natural Attractions:
Upper Mustang is a treasure trove of cultural and natural attractions that will leave you in awe. The influence of Tibetan culture is palpable in every facet of daily life, from the language spoken to the vibrant festivals celebrated.
Witness the locals adorned in traditional attire and catch glimpses of their Tibetan-like lifestyle, providing a fascinating insight into a culture preserved through the ages.
Nature lovers will find solace in the breathtaking mountain views that surround Upper Mustang. Marvel at the majestic peaks of Nilgiri, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, and others, as they paint a mesmerizing backdrop against the clear blue sky. Every step of the trek reveals a new vista, each more awe-inspiring than the last.
In this hidden Buddhist kingdom, prepare to be enthralled by the amalgamation of cultural heritage and natural beauty. Upper Mustang Trek offers an unforgettable adventure that invites you to delve into a realm untouched by time, where spiritual awakening and breathtaking landscapes converge.
Cost and the Booking Process for the Upper Mustang Trek
You can book your trek and other trips via the Pristine Nepal Treks website booking form or an inquiry form. The Upper Mustang Trek package includes transportation, accommodation, meals, permits, and the services of an experienced guide. The cost for this trek is based on the number of trekkers in a group.
To book your trek, simply visit our website and fill out the booking form with your preferred dates and group size. Our team will then get in touch with you to confirm your booking and provide you with further details.
Upper Mustang Trek Difficulty Level and Weather
- The Upper Mustang trek is considered challenging due to the high altitude (3,000m to 3,800m) and dry atmosphere.
- Visitors with a good fitness level and prior hiking experience can enjoy this trek with proper acclimatization.
Challenging nature of the trek due to altitude and dry atmosphere
Embarking on the Upper Mustang Trek comes with its share of challenges, primarily due to the high altitude and arid environment.
As you ascend to higher elevations, the thin air and decreased oxygen levels can test your physical endurance. The dry atmosphere may also lead to dehydration, requiring you to stay well-hydrated throughout the trek.
It is essential to be prepared for these challenges and maintain a cautious approach to ensure a safe and enjoyable journey.
Ups and downs, high passes, and steep descents
The trek through Upper Mustang presents a varied terrain that includes both uphill and downhill sections, high mountain passes, and steep descents.
Be prepared for a mix of challenging climbs and exhilarating descents, as you navigate through rugged trails and rocky paths. The undulating landscape adds an element of thrill to the trek, but it also demands a good level of physical fitness, endurance, and agility.
Suitable trekking seasons and weather conditions
To make the most of your Upper Mustang Trek, it is crucial to choose the right season when the weather conditions are favorable.
The recommended trekking seasons are spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November). During these periods, the weather is generally stable, with clear skies, moderate temperatures, and minimal chances of precipitation.
However, it is always wise to be prepared for sudden weather changes in the mountains and pack accordingly.
Importance of good fitness level and preparation
Given the challenging nature of the trek, maintaining a good level of physical fitness is essential. Engaging in regular exercise and cardio workouts prior to the trek can significantly enhance your stamina and endurance.
It is also advisable to embark on shorter hikes or treks as part of your preparation to familiarize yourself with the demands of the trail. Adequate preparation will ensure that you can fully enjoy the trek without being overly exhausted.
Considerations for altitude sickness and Acclimatization
As you venture into higher altitudes during the Upper Mustang Trek, altitude sickness becomes a concern. It is crucial to be aware of the symptoms of altitude sickness, such as headache, nausea, dizziness, and shortness of breath.
Proper acclimatization is key to mitigating the risks associated with altitude. This involves gradually ascending to higher altitudes, allowing your body time to adjust and adapt to changing conditions.
Adequate rest, hydration, and following the guidance of experienced guides can help minimize the impact of altitude sickness and ensure a safe trekking experience.
Safety and Acclimatization on the Upper Mustang Trek
At Pristine Nepal Trek, your safety is our top priority. We ensure that our guides are experienced and knowledgeable about the trekking routes and potential risks. They are trained to recognize the symptoms of altitude sickness and take necessary precautions to ensure your well-being.
During the Upper Mustang Trek, we follow a gradual ascent to allow your body to acclimatize to the high altitude. The first two trekking days are done at relatively lower altitudes, giving your body time to adjust. Our guides are also equipped with necessary medications and first aid kits to handle any emergencies.
It is important to listen to your body and inform your guide if you experience any discomfort or symptoms of altitude sickness. Staying hydrated, maintaining a steady pace, and following your guide’s instructions will help minimize the risk of altitude-related problems.
Packing List for the Upper Mustang Trek
To ensure a comfortable and enjoyable trek, it is essential to pack appropriately. Here’s a suggested packing list for the Upper Mustang Trek:
- Clothing: Layered clothing for varying temperatures, including a lightweight down jacket, thermal base layers, trekking pants, T-shirts, fleece jackets, waterproof and windproof outer shell, and comfortable trekking socks.
- Footwear: Sturdy trekking boots with ankle support, comfortable hiking sandals or shoes for lower altitudes, and warm socks.
- Headgear: Sun hat, beanie or warm hat, sunglasses with UV protection, and a buff or scarf to protect your face from dust.
- Equipment: A comfortable backpack, trekking poles for stability, a good quality sleeping bag suitable for cold temperatures, a water bottle or hydration bladder, and a headlamp with spare batteries.
- Personal Items: Toiletries, sunscreen with high SPF, lip balm, personal medication, insect repellent, hand sanitizer, wet wipes, and a quick-drying towel.
- Miscellaneous: Camera with extra batteries and memory cards, a power bank for charging electronic devices, a pocket knife, a whistle, and a trekking map or guidebook.
Please note that this is a general packing list, and you can customize it based on your personal preferences and requirements.
Upper Mustang Trekking Permits and Regulations
Restricted Area Permit (RAP) requirement and cost
To undertake the Upper Mustang Trek, obtaining a Restricted Area Permit (RAP) is mandatory. The RAP is a special permit issued by the Government of Nepal to regulate access to the Upper Mustang, which is considered a restricted area.
The permit is designed to preserve the cultural and natural heritage of the region. As of the current regulations, the cost of the RAP for Upper Mustang is USD 500 per person for the first ten days, and an additional USD 50 per person for each subsequent day.
Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) permit
In addition to the RAP, trekkers are also required to obtain the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) permit.
The ACAP permit is issued by the National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC) and aims to support conservation efforts and sustainable tourism within the Annapurna region. The ACAP permit fee is NPR 3,000 (approximately USD 30) per person.
Minimum number of trekkers and authorized trekking companies
As part of the regulations for the Upper Mustang Trek, a minimum number of trekkers is required to enter the region. Previously, a minimum of two trekkers was required, but the specific requirements may be subject to change, and it is advisable to confirm the current regulations before planning your trek.
Furthermore, the trekking permits for Upper Mustang can only be obtained through authorized trekking companies or registered trekking agencies like us.
Pristine Nepal Treks arrange the necessary permits and take responsibility for organizing the logistics of the trek, including guides, porters, accommodations, and other support services.
It is important to choose a reputable and authorized trekking company to ensure compliance with the regulations and a safe and well-organized trekking experience.
Typical Day on the Trek
Arrival at Jomsom Airport and Entry into the Lower Mustang District:
Your journey begins with a scenic flight from Pokhara to Jomsom Airport, nestled in the heart of the Lower Mustang district.
As the plane touches down, you’ll feel a sense of excitement and anticipation for the adventure that lies ahead. Jomsom serves as the gateway to the Upper Mustang region, and from here, you officially enter the trekking trail.
Early Start, Breakfast at Teahouse, and Daily Adventure:
Each day on the trek starts with an early rise to make the most of the daylight hours and the enchanting beauty of the Mustang region.
After waking up at your teahouse accommodation, you’ll indulge in a hearty breakfast, fueling yourself for the day’s adventure. The teahouses offer a warm and welcoming atmosphere, providing you with a comfortable resting place during your trek.
Scenic Landscape, Gompas, Mani Walls, and Prayer Flags:
As you set off on your daily trek, you’ll be greeted by the breathtaking landscape of the Mustang region. The trail winds its way through picturesque valleys, arid desert-like terrain, and awe-inspiring cliffs.
Along the way, you’ll encounter ancient gompas (monasteries), adorned with colorful prayer flags fluttering in the wind. The trail is also embellished with intricately carved mani walls, inscribed with Buddhist mantras, adding a spiritual touch to your journey.
Cave Exploration, Lo Manthang Palace, and Cultural Experiences:
The Upper Mustang region is known for its fascinating caves, some of which date back thousands of years. Exploring these mystical caves is a captivating experience that offers a glimpse into the region’s ancient history and culture.
Another highlight of the trek is the majestic Lo Manthang Palace, a significant cultural and historical site. Here, you can immerse yourself in the rich Tibetan-influenced culture, interact with the locals, and witness their traditional way of life.
Lunch on the Trail, Packed Lunch if Necessary, and Dinner at Teahouse:
During the trek, you’ll take a break for a well-d /served lunch amidst the tranquil surroundings. Depending on the day’s itinerary, lunch may be enjoyed at a teahouse along the trail or as a packed lunch to be savored at a scenic spot.
In the evenings, you’ll return to the teahouse, where a delicious dinner awaits. The teahouse menus offer a variety of local and international cuisines, ensuring you have a satisfying meal to replenish your energy.
Importance of Ordering Breakfast in Advance:
In order to streamline your trekking experience and avoid delays in the morning, it is advisable to order your breakfast in advance at the teahouse. This helps the teahouse staff to prepare your meal promptly, ensuring you have a timely start to your day’s adventure.
Responsible Travel and Environmental Considerations
Pristine Nepal Treks promotes responsible and sustainable travel practices. We encourage trekkers to minimize their impact on the environment and respect the local culture and customs. Here are some guidelines to follow during the Upper Mustang Trek:
- Waste Management: Carry a reusable water bottle and avoid single-use plastic. Dispose of waste properly and follow the principles of “Leave No Trace.”
- Respect for Culture: Observe and respect the local customs, traditions, and religious sites. Ask for permission before taking photographs of locals.
- Support Local Economy: Purchase locally made handicrafts and support local businesses, teahouses, and restaurants.
- Conservation: Follow the guidelines provided by the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) to help preserve the natural environment and wildlife.
- Trekking Etiquette: Be mindful of other trekkers and locals on the trail. Yield to uphill trekkers, avoid loud noises, and keep the trails clean.
- Water and Energy Conservation: Use water and energy sparingly in teahouses and lodges. Turn off lights and heating when not in use.
- Cultural Sensitivity: Dress modestly and appropriately, especially when visiting monasteries or religious sites. Remove your shoes before entering temples and religious buildings.
- Wildlife Protection: Do not disturb or feed wildlife during the trek. Keep a safe distance and refrain from littering.
The Upper Mustang Trek offers a unique and awe-inspiring adventure through a remote and culturally rich part of Nepal. With its stunning landscapes, ancient caves, monasteries, and the warm hospitality of the local people, this trek is a truly unforgettable experience.
Pristine Nepal Treks is here to make your Upper Mustang Trek a safe and memorable journey. Our experienced guides, well-organized logistics, and commitment to responsible travel ensure that you can focus on immersing yourself in the beauty of this remarkable region.
So, lace up your boots, pack your bags, and get ready to embark on an incredible trekking adventure in Upper Mustang. Book your trek with Magical Nepal today and let us help you create memories that will last a lifetime.
A unique and very different from the rest of the treks in Nepal, Upper Mustang Treks walk you through desert-like landscapes, deep canyons, beautiful waterfalls, eroded cliffs, and mountain valleys. Being one of the highly restricted regions Upper Mustang opened for travelers in 1992 and requires a special permit which costs USD 500 for 10 days.
Upper Mustang, known as the “Last Forbidden Kingdom” you will wander around the mysterious old Buddhist Kingdom of Mustang, also called Lo. You will walk on the historical Trans-Himalayan Salt Caravan Route of Nepal and Tibet. Also, on this trek, you will experience the traditional lifestyle of Tibetan people and their unique culture. Hence, this trek gives you the best trekking experience.