Upper Mustang Trek

Group Size: Min 2 to Max 8                    Maximum Altitude: 3,810 m/12,500ft                        Trip Grade: Moderate

Total duration: 18 days                           Start from: Kathmandu                                                 End at: Kathmandu


Upper Mustang Trek or the Trek to the Forbidden Palace of Lo Manthang is one of the worlds most exclusive trekking trail in the restricted area of Nepal, opened for tourists only in 1992. Mustang, formerly the Kingdom of Lo is a remote and most isolated region of the Himalayas of which the central part the capital, Lo Manthang is surrounded by high stone walls. The capital of Lo Manthang was founded in 1380 AD by Ame Pal who built these high walls.  After Prithvi Narayan Shah unified Nepal in 1769 to have only one ruler ruling Nepal, Lo became a dependency but kept its hereditary rulers. This arrangement continued as long as Nepal remained a kingdom, until republican government began in 2008 and Jigme Dorje Palbar Bista ( 1933–2016) lost his title of King of Lo.

The area is a barren landscape and rugged trails known as Caravan Route that was used by the people as a Salt trade route with Tibet. Cave like settlements and houses made of mud bricks give this area an antique and attractive look. People in the area follow strange social system of Polyandry since generations and still continues.

After a sightseeing day in Kathmandu, Upper Mustang Trek starts with a drive to Pokhara from where we fly to Jomsom, famous for its apples and from here we enter the restricted area to Kagbeni and onwards to Upper Mustang Salt trail. The stunning views of Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri and the 15th century Thugchen Monastery, mani walls, chhortens and the deepest Kali Gandaki Gorge and the well preserved mysterious culture, traditions and lifestyle of the people living in this region makes this trail worth visiting.

 

Trip Highlights:

  • Trip of a lifetime in restricted area of Nepal with unique culture and lifestylle
  • Visit to mysterious caves and beautiful old Gompas
  • 11 days guided trek to the forbidden kingdom and restricted area of Lo Manthang 
  • Walk on the ancient Salt trade route to Tibet 
  • Strange culture, traditions and lifestyle of people 
  • Kali Gandaki, the deepest gorge in the world, the cave like settlements and the Tibetan Buddhism atmosphere   
  • Rainshadow and restricted area trek
  • Highest Altitude in this trek is at Drakmar (3,810 m/12,500ft)
  • 1 rest day at Lo Manthang (3,730 meters) to rest, explore and let your body get used to altitude

Trip Cost Includes:

  •  All airport pick ups and drops in tourist cars and Pokhara Kathmandu Pokhara by tourist bus.
  •  Pokhara-Jomsom-Pokhara Flight with airport departure taxes
  •  Upper Mustang Restricted Area Permit Fee
  •  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner during trek
  •  Twin sharing accommodation in Kathmandu  (3 Nights)
  •  Twin sharing accommodation in Pokhara  (2 Nights)
  •  Lodges and guesthouses during the trekking days (11 Nights)
  •  An English speaking knowledgeable trekking guide
  •  An English Speaking Tour Guide for Kathmandu sightseeing
  •  Food, accommodation, salary, insurance, equipment and medicine for staff.
  •  All paper work permits and restricted area special permits for trekking
  •  Medical Kit will be carried by Trekking Guide
  •  Welcome and Farewell Dinner with Nepalese Cultural Dance
  •  All Government and Local Taxes   

Trip Cost Excludes:

  •  Personal expenses (visitor photography,phone,beverages,battery recharge,bottle water,shower,excess baggage etc) 
  •  Tips for trekking staff and drivers (Tipping is expected)
  •  Any cost or services not mentioned in inclusion

Day 1: Arrive Kathmandu (1300 meters)

On arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport, a representative from our office will greet you at the airport and escort you to your hotel. You’ll have rest of the day at leisure. 

Overnight: in Kathmandu

Included Meals: Welcome Dinner

 

Day 2:  Kathmandu Sightseeing and trek preparation

Kathmandu’s Durbar Square: is one of three royal palace squares in the Kathmandu Valley. This site was the royal residence until the 19th century where important ceremonies, such as the coronation of the Nepalese monarch use to take place. 

Swoyambhunath Temple: This Buddhist Stupa, said to be 2000 years old is a perfect architecture of gilded spire and white washed dome located under thousands of fluttering prayer flags. From the spire, four faces of Buddha stare out across the valley in the cardinal directions. The entire structure is symbolic. 

Pashupatinath Temple: Pashupatinath, a pagoda style Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is considered to be the powerhouse of Hindu spiritual power in religious terms. Situated amidst a lush green natural setting on the bank of the sacred Bagmati River, the temple is 6 kms from Kathmandu city and just a few hundred meters from the end of the runway at Tribhuwan International Airport. 

BoudhnathStupa: Listed in the UNESCO World Heritage list, this enormous stupa where thousands of pilgrims gather daily to make a ritual circumnavigation of the dome, beneath the watchful eyes of the Buddha, which gaze out from the gilded central tower. This is one of the few places in the world where Tibetan Buddhist culture is accessible and unfetered, and the lanes around the stupa are crammed with monasteries and the surrounding is a paraphernalia

Overnight: in Kathmandu

Included Meals: Breakfast

 

Day 3: Drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara (827m/2689ft): 5-6 hours

After a warm breakfast in the hotel we will drive along the Trishuli River to Pokhara, the city of Lakes

Overnight: in Pokhara.

Included Meals: Breakfast

 

Day 4: Fly to Jomsom (2,700m/8898ft) and trek to Kagbeni (2,810m/9,216ft): 3-4 hours trek

To shorten the trekking days from Pokhara to Jomsom we take an early morning domestic flight from Pokhara to Jomsom Airport. Jomsom is famous for its apples. Walking along a beautiful valley we pass through Eaklebatti Village which is located at the bank of two rivers. You can see the ruins of an old fortress here.

Overnight:  in Kagbeni.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 5: Kagbeni to Chele (3,050m/10,004ft): 5-6 hours

At Kagbeni our trekking permits are checked and from here we start trekking alongside Kali Gadaki River. We reach the Tangbe Village that has its narrow alleyways, white-washed houses, barley and buckwheat fields, and apple orchards. Continuing our walk through another village we cross a river and a short walk over a ridge takes us to Chele.

Overnight:   in Chele

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 6: Chele to Syanbochen (3,475m/11,398ft): 6-7 hours

After breakfast we start on a difficult trek of today as we will be passing through two high passes of Taklam La pass (3,624m) and Dajori La pass (3,735). On our way, we enjoy great views of Tilicho, Yakawa Kang and Damodar Danda and pass by Ramchung Cave. After the passes, we descend on an easier trail to reach Samar Village. Walk from this village leads us to a ridge and we descend and continue trek upto Syanboche for overnight stay. 

Overnight:   in Syanboche

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 7: Syanbochen to Dhakmar (3820 m) 6 hrs

Today we climb the ridge to Syangboche La Pass. Above Ghiling iVillage s an old red gompa and ancient meditation caves in the cliffs. We walk past several Chortens and then ascend to Nyi La pass. Descending the valley we pass the most spectacular longest Mani wall in the region.  Finally we arrive Dhakmar village which has dramatic red canyon wall and many ancient caves.

Overnight in : Dhakmar.

Included Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

 

Day 8: Dhakmar to Lo-Manthang (3,730m/12,234ft) VIA GHAR GUMBA 5 hrs

Passing through the green pasture land and climbing up through the canyon to the ridge, we reach Gyakar Village that has one of the oldest Gompas in Nepal, the Ghar Gumba (Lo Gekar), with rock paintings. Belonging to the Nyingma tradition it is connected to Samye Gompa in Tibet and has a strong connection to Guru Rinpoche.  We spend sometime before we continue to the walled city of Lo Manthang.  which has around 180 houses amongst narrow streets and some of the most incredible Tibetan Buddhist gompas.

Overnight:   in Lo Manthang

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 9: Lo Manthang to Garpu (3900 m) by pony return to Lo Manthang

Today is the acclimatization day in Lomanthang. We take a pony to Garpu, where we visit the monastery and the meditation caves called Sky Caves. which is an amazing cave complex filled with relics, paintings, and archaeologically significant items.

Overnight:   in Lo Manthang

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 10:  Lo Manthang to Chrang (3560 m) 4-5 hrs

We walk to Lo La Pass from where we get a last view of Lo Manthang City. From the pass is an easy walk to the village of Chrang.The village is dominated by the crumbling five stories Tsirang Dzong, a Tibetan style fortified palace and the ochre-coloured Tsarang Gompa belonging to the Sakya tradition of Tibetan Buddhism.

Overnight:   in Chrang

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day11: Chrang to Yara (3610 m) 5-6 hrs

We walk along rocky river bed and do a final ascent to Yara Village which has fantastically sculpted canyons.

Overnight:   in Yara

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 12: Trek to Yara, visit Luri Gumba and Tashi Kabum

Walking through a cliff side trail we reach Tashi Kabum cave complex which is a newly discovered group of 6 caves that has beautiful Buddhist paintings and a beautifully painted Chorten. The access to this site is quite difficult and dangerous, those less adventurous may opt to miss this visit. From here we continue to Luri Gumba and its network of Tibetan Buddhist caves. The main Luri Gumba is located near the riverbed, with the upper prayer rooms and Kabum Stupa on a trail above. 

Overnight:   in Yara

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 13: Yara to Ghiling (3570 m)

Today we will cross Kali Gadaki river several times for which keeping the sandals ready will be comfortable. We reach Tsarang La Pass. The descent from the pass takes us to a dramatic set of Chortens and the longest mani wall in Mustang, further to Ghemi Village and finally descend to Ghiling..

Overnight:   in Ghiling

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 14: Ghiling to  Samar (3605 m) via chungsi caves

Along the way to the caves, see the nests of Himalayan Griffins high up in the cliff faces. The Chungsi cave is one of Guru Rinpoche's meditation caves and up a series of rock steps, you can see many Tibetan Buddhist sculptures, Chortens and other relics. Leaving the cave it’s a spectacular walk to the village of Samar.

Overnight:   in Samar

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 15: Samar to Chhuksang (2950 m), drive to Jomsom

Today is an easy walk with couple of hours of trekking to reach Chhuksang. From here we will be picked up by our vehicle, heading to Jomsom by road.

Overnight:   in Jomsom

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 16: Fly back to Pokhara

We take an early morning flight to Pokhara. The airplane passes through a gorge between Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountains making the flight itself an amazing experience. You will have the rest of the day on your own.

Overnight:   in Pokhara

Included Meals: Breakfast

 

Day 17: Drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu

After breakfast, we drive to Kathmandu. We spend our last evening in Kathmandu in a farewell dinner together sharing photos recalling the excitements of trip and exchanging emails in one of the traditional Nepalese restaurant.

Overnight: Hotel in Kathmandu

Included Meals: Farewell Dinner

 

Day 18:  Airport Transfer
Today after breakfast you are in leisure on your own. You will be escorted to airport for your flight home at your flight time.

Included Meals : Breakfast

 

IS THIS NOT WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR ? DESIGN YOUR OWN TRIP

You can design your own trip exactly how you like it according to your requirements, travel dates and budget.

Please email us or call us at +977 9841414582 and we will happily organize your trip on the date appropriate for you.

 

Best Months for Upper Mustang Trek

 March, April, May, June, July August September, October, November is considered the best months for this trek. Visitng Mustang during Tiji Monsoon Festival in May is highly recommended.

 

Maximum Altitude in this trek: 3,810 m/12,500ft at Drakmar

 

Tiji Festival Dates in 2020: 19th May, 20th May, 21st May 

 

Disclaimer

Your safety is our most important concern while traveling with Eve Holidays. Please note that adventure travel goes to the remote part of the mountain where weather conditions, health condition of team member, unexpected natural disasters and delay or cancellation of flights can affect the itinerary. Every effort will be made to keep to the itinerary but your leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns, without any pre consultation with clients. So please be prepared to be flexible if required.

In case the trip has to be cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances, you are free to choose an alternative trip such as a trek in the Everest, Langtang, or any other region, or sightseeing tours, equivalent to the same price (If trip price is more it will cost you the difference between the two trips ). If you are not interested in the alternative trip, please note that there will be no refund. So, please make sure you have an adequate travel insurance.

 

Nepal Tourist Visa & Visa Fee

You can obtain a visa easily upon your arrival at International Airport in Kathmandu. Please bring 2 copies of passport size photos with accurate USD for visa fee.

15 days - US $ 30.00 for 15 days single/multiple entry.
30 days - US $ 50.00 for 30 days single/multiple entry.
90 days - US $ 125.00 for 90 days single/multiple entry.
 
For more information please visit Department of Immigration of Nepal

 

Weather

Weather in the mountains is difficult to predict.   March, April, May, June, July August September, October, November is considered the best months for this trek. December January February is impossible to trek due to heavy snowfall and extreme cold temperatures. Visitng Mustang during Tilji Monsoon Festival is highly recommended.


Experience Required

Anyone who is fit and healthy and have a habit of walking for few of hours a day can do this trek. However walking in higher altitudes is more physically demanding than walking in lower altitudes. Exercising and jogging regularly for some weeks prior to the trip is a good idea to enhance your stamina. Participants with pre-existing medical conditions such as heart, lungs and blood diseases are required to consult their doctor before taking the trip. It is also advised that you inform Eve Holidays about the medical condition before booking the trek.

 

Acclimatization

All of Eve Holidays trekking itineraries are planned keeping in mind the risk of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). Going up at higher altitude too fast causes a medical condition called AMS which is serious enough to kill if neglected. We are well aware that it is essential to allow you sufficient time for acclimatization to minimize the risk. However it is important to remember that some people are more vulnerable than others.

 

Packing  List

It is recommended that you carry a light 35-50L rucksack with your personal belongings that you may need handy such as camera, hat, glasses, gloves, sun creams, first-aid kit, toothpaste/brush, soap/ towel, and other personal items.

To keep yourself hydrated at high altitude, always remember to carry water container with at least 1 litre of water in your backpack.  Around base camp you will need your down jacket. Here is the guideline of Equipment and Packing List


Trekking Guides

All our trekking guides are highly experienced, well trained and Government Licensed guides. As we focus on employing single women with the aim of helping them make a living for themselves and their children, we usually provide female trekking guides. But we provide male as well if you prefer male guide.


Accommodation

We use standard rooms in hotels/guesthouses in Kathmandu. Along the trekking routes, you stay in teahouses that generally provide basic clean facilities with a mattress and a quilt or blanket. Accommodation are on twin sharing basis. The accommodation in lodges in trekking routes can be single and double rooms, or a dormitory. The toilets in tea houses provide essential and basic facilities and are always outside the room. Single supplement will be provided on request and will cost an additional. Although single rooms are readily available in Kathmandu and the trekking regions at lower elevation, it might be difficult to find them at higher elevations. Hotels in Kathmandu can be upgraded to 4 star and 5 star in an additional cost. 


Meals

While on trekking, usually, each day dinner and breakfast will be at a lodge where you will stay and lunch will be on the way. We make it sure that the food is hygienic and at the same time suits your palate. Foods cooked in lodges and guesthouses on the way are pasta, tuna bakes, noodles, potatoes, eggs, daal bhat (rice and lentils), bread, soup, fresh vegetables (variety depends on the season) and even some desserts like apple pies, pancakes, and some interesting attempts at custard. You will find a lot of garlic on the menu because it assists with acclimatization. In many larger villages you may find some meat items on the menu. You can always find hot chocolate, tea, and hot lemon drinks, as well as soft drinks, and treats like chocolate and crisps.


Means of Transportation

We use tourist buses and private tourist vehicles for the trip. Pokhara to Jomsom and Jomsom to Pokhara will be in domestic flight.

 

Communication while trekking

There are telephones in some villages along the trekking routes from which you can make international calls. Our guides will have their local mobile phones, in case you want to make international calls or want to provide your number to your family for the call back to you. Any international calls made you can pay to the guide


Insurance Coverage

One MUST have travel insurance policy to join any of Eve Holidays trips. You must be insured for comprehensive expenses that might incur due to medical issues or accidents (this includes air ambulance, helicopter rescue, and treatment costs and theft and loss) and also trip cancellation. We don't arrange or sell insurance.

 

Departure Dates

The trekking will be arranged for you according to your needs. So, please contact us for your required departure date.  Best Months: March to May & September to November. You can have a look at our fixed departure dates to see if that suits your plans.

 

Contact Us for Enquiries and Bookings

Information required for this trip is provided here. If you want to consult any aspect of the trip, please feel free to email us or give us a call at +977 9841414582.

On the recommendation of one of my friend I did this trek with Eve Holidays. The trek was a very different experience than the other popular trekking trails of Nepal and I am glad I chose this trek this time. I am thankful to Maina and her team of Eve Holidays for this great experience. Their arrangements was perfect and my guide was the best one who knew the region well. 

Jose Karason