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Upper Mustang Pony Trek

The region of Upper Mustang is ideal and popular for horse riding trek. Mustang is located in the central Nepal at the top of the Kaligandaki River which culture and traditions resembles much of the Tibetan community. The entire region of Mustang has an isolated and mystical feeling dominated by endless expansion of yellow and gray rolling hills cut through the wind. Mustang Horse riding trek goes around these parts via several passes, beautiful villages often nested in a green irrigated oasis until reaching the spectacular wall city of Lo-Manthang. The city is home to the King of Mustang with several temple and monasteries. People of Mustang are always curious about new arrivals and you can expect children with scary windblown hair and apple red cheeks greeting and gathering around to see you. The horse riding trek begins after a flight from Pokhara to Jomsom on the upper Kaligandaki River between the two giant peaks of Dhaulagiri and Annapurna. Then you will proceed on a horseback to the wonderful landscapes of eroded conglomerate cliffs colored by natural earth pigments of red, yellow, brown and blue. The trail passes through Tibetan monasteries, villages with distant views of the snow-capped mountains and towards Lo-Manthang. Then ultimately end it back again at Jomsom and fly to Pokhara. 

Trip Highlights

  • Great mountain panorama of the world’s highest peaks onboard flight to Kathmandu 
  • Terrific - Kathmandu -Jomsom, Jomsom -Pokhara flights known for mind-blowing sceneries
  • Ride through spectacular terrain along gushing rivers, green countryside, alpine meadows, valleys, glaciers etc.
  • Magnificent panorama of the snow-capped peaks like Nilgiri, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and several others 
  • Explore around the walled city of Lo-Manthang with monasteries dating back to thousand years
  • Discover the pre-historic culture at the mysterious caves & temples
  • Pokhara, the most beautiful lake city of the country
  • Witness the tradition and culture of the ethnic people and their society

Outline Itinerary

Day 01 : Arrive Kathmandu

Day 02 : Kathmandu to Pokhara (6 Hour’s drive)

Day 03 : Pokhara to Jomsom & horse ride to Kagbeni (2800m)

Day 04 : Kagbeni to Muktinath (3760m)

Day 05 : Kagbeni to Chele (3100m)

Day 06 : Chele to Syangbochen (3850m)

Day 07 : Syangbochen to Ghemi (3520m)

Day 08 : Ghemi to Dhakmar (3820m)

Day 09 : Dhakmar to Charang (3560m)

Day 10 : Charang to Lo Monthang (3840m)

Day 11 : In Lo-Manthang (3840m)

Day 12 : Lo Monthang to Ghemi (3520m)

Day 13 : Ghemi to Samar (3,600m)

Day14 : Samar to Chhusang (2980m)

Day 15 : Chhusang to Jomsom (2743m)

Day 16 : Fly to Pokhara from Jomsom

Day 17 : Pokhara to Kathmandu (25 Minutes Flight)

Day 18 : Transfer to the Airport for your onward destination

What is Included

  • Airport pick up/drop off by private vehicle as per the itinerary.
  • Accommodation in Kathmandu/Pokhara including breakfast.
  • Guided Pokhara city tours inclusive of private vehicle and guide.
  • Necessary permit and monuments entrance fees.
  • Transfers by car/van or tourist bus or flight as per the itinerary.
  • Domestic airport departure tax.
  • One pony with Ponyman for the hiking.
  • Special Trekking Permit (US$ 500 Per Person for 10 Days) If you wish to stay more than 10 days in restricted area, you are subjected to extra charge for extra days (US$ 50 per day / per person)
  • Annapurna conservation permit fee
  • TIMS Fee - Trekkers' Information Management System (Please bring 2 passport size photos for permit)
  • Experienced English speaking guide.
  • All government taxes, VAT and office service charge.

What is Not Included

  • Lunch and Dinner in Kathmandu/Pokhara.
  • Extra night accommodation if needed.
  • Nepal entry visa fee (bring accurate USD cash and two passport photographs for faster service)
  • International airfare and travel insurance.
  • Personal expenses (phone calls, internet, laundry, bar bills, battery recharge, hot shower etc.)
  • Any kind of drinks (tea/coffee, hot chocolate, boiled water, bottle water, cola, beer etc.)
  • Tips for guide (Tipping are expected but not mandatory).
     

Day 01 : Arrive Kathmandu

After your arrival at the airport in Kathmandu you will be greeted by one of our representatives who will later transfer you to the hotel. After hotel check in you can decide whether you would like to have a relaxing rest at the hotel or hang around the streets of Kathmandu (If you have leisure time). You will be briefed about our next day’s travel plan by our company representative. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 02 : Kathmandu to Pokhara (6 Hour’s drive)

We are all set to set off to the magical city of Pokhara today. We will either board a flight or drive to Pokhara in a private vehicle. The flight to Pokhara offers a great view of Himalayan range and mystical landscape of Nepal. If we drive to Pokhara we will have a great opportunity to discover the beautiful rivers, green forests, hills and magnificent Himalayas. It will take us approximately five hours to reach Pokhara by a private vehicle. Upon reaching Pokhara our representative will escort you to the hotel where you stay for the night. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 03 : Pokhara to Jomsom & horse ride to Kagbeni (2800m)

Early in the morning, fly to Jomsom from Pokhara over the Kali Gandaki Valley where the valley has been the primary trade route between Tibetan high plains and lowlands of India for centuries. The valley floor is dominated by the walls of the two gigantic world’s highest mountains, Dhaulagiri & Annapurna. Upon landing at small village of Jomsom, hire horses and proceeds towards Kagbeni via Chhanche Lhumba or Ekle Bhatti following the river to Kagbeni. Overnight at Lodge.

Day 04 : Kagbeni to Muktinath (3760m)

Today visit Muktinath which is the significant pilgrimage both of Hindus and Buddhists. A temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu is located here including a Buddhist monastery. After visiting Muktinath, ride back to Kagbeni downwards. You can explore around Kagbeni during the evening. Overnight at Lodge.

Day 05 : Kagbeni to Chele (3100m)

This day, the trail enters Mustang region itself. After finishing the necessary procedures for entering the national park the ride begins going up the valley at times on riverbed or alongside river terraces. Pass along the Tangbe village where you might encounter interested local children. From here, witness great view of Mt. Nilgiri towards the northern skyline. Riding further will reach Chhusang with it’s high cliffs and cave dwellings across the valley. At closer distance from Chhusang, the trail leaves the Kali Gandaki Valley then climbs steeply up to Chele. Overnight at Lodge.

Day 06 : Chele to Syangbochen (3850m)

The trail ascends a long slope to Taklam La pass (3736m) and proceeds to ‘Cliff Road’, a very steep trail cut into the side of the valley wall. Horses function well in these terrains and it’s only our fear which enable us to dismount and walk the steepest sections. The ride passes through some Chortens after the pass and into the treeless dry land and towards Samar. After Samar, a large gorge is encountered then you will have to climb to enter another village. After descending will reach Syangboche. Overnight at Lodge.

Day 07 : Syangbochen to Ghemi (3520m)

First the trail gently climbs to a small pass with great views of surrounding mountains and valleys then descends to Tama Khola and traverse above the Ghiling town with lush barley fields. Another short ascend to Nyi La (4010m) opens up to the views of Mustang and peaks like Niligiri & Annapurna. Passing over the high hills will reach Ghemi La from where downwards is the village of Ghemi. Overnight at Lodge.

Day 08 : Ghemi to Dhakmar (3820m)

The trail crosses a narrow bridge over the Ghemi Khola and climbs a long slope to reach Dhakmar Khola. As it approaches the Dhakmar village, the hills will have terrific coloration and the scene quite impressive. Beautiful pink and orange cliffs stand above green and lush meadows and many ancient caves abound in this region. Climb up to investigate the closet caves to witness how the long lost inhabitants must have lived here. Dhakmar village is small and surrounded by fields beautifully pink in color with it’s buckwheat blooms. This is the photographer’s Mecca with cliffs, fields and village houses in perfect harmony. Overnight at Lodge.

Day 09 : Dhakmar to Charang (3560m)

Today involves crossing the highest pass with a long climb up to the Mui La (4170m) then descend into Lo Gekar and Ghar Gompa or monastery. It’s believed that this site was identified by the Buddhist saint ‘Padmasambhava’ (Guru Rinpoche) and is said to be the first Buddhist monastery in the world. Explore the monastery and feel privileged to enter this anciceint monastery and learn more about Buddhism. After lunch, ride towards Charang. Overnight at Lodge.

Day 10 : Charang to Lo Monthang (3840m)

Early in the morning, visit the old fort where the armory with all the battle regalia of the 5th century King has been kept. Amongst the weapons is a dried up human hand! As the story goes, the builder of the Charang monastery had his hand chopped off by the king after he had completed the job so he wouldn’t build another like it!

Then by the mid-morning, proceed towards Lo-Manthang. The horses will have a good sweat going on after a long haul out from the river valley. The trail at this point is virtually a road and we enjoy a solid canter. Finally the trail reaches at it’s top and looking down is a large and open valley with green fields and isolated villages. The largest village is the high walled Lo-Manthang, our ultimate destination and home to the King of Mustang. The city of Lo-Manthang has a medieval environment with houses, monasteries, shops inside the 5 km high walls, and centre is the king’s palace.  Overnight at Lodge.

Day 11 : In Lo-Manthang (3840m)

After breakfast, climb on to our horses and proceed towards the gentle slopes of the very green meadows high above the town. After 1 & half hour arrive at some large yak-wool tents surrounded by hundreds of yaks. The tent inhabitants would have just finished milking the yaks and are about to make the coveted yak butter. Afterwards, return back to Lo-Manthang. Overnight at Lodge.

Day 12 : Lo Monthang to Ghemi (3520m)

Time to leave Lo-Manthang, retrace the route to Charang for lunch then explore the new territory over the Charang La back to Ghemi. The horses will walk down the hill to the world’s longest Mani Wall opposite Ghemi. It’s a wonderful photographic opportunity here with the changing light and backdrop of the Dhakmar cliffs and long before, cross the river into Ghemi again. Overnight at Lodge.

Day 13 : Ghemi to Samar (3,600m)

Ride towards Syangboche for lunch and drop down into the Syangboche Khola with it’s steep and narrow gorge. Right turn will reach the Bhena la, an ancient cave perched on the hillside and apparently the place where Guru Rinpoche ‘Padmasambhava’ meditated to achieve enlightenment. At present, here lives a monk and he will graciously show us around the cave and explain about the history of the cave and all the statutes. A huge stalagmite stands inside the cave which looks unnatural in the setting of the conglomerate rock of the cave. Then ride down descending into the valley again and go for a big climb out of the valley to come out of the Bhena La. After a short descend will reach Samar for the night. Overnight at Lodge.

Day14 : Samar to Chhusang (2980m)

The trial descends to the Kali Gandaki Valley and towards Chhusang for a late lunch. We can wander around the riverbed in the afternoon looking for ‘Saligrams’- black rocks when split reveal nautilus fossils inside. After all it will be a pleasant afternoon stroll before retiring for the evening. Overnight at Lodge.

Day 15 : Chhusang to Jomsom (2743m)

Today head towards Jomsom en-route completing the formalities at the Annapurna Conservation Committee Office and arriving at Ekle Bhatti for lunch. We will be asked to fill up a questionnaire about our experiences in the restricted region of Mustang and share our adventure. Now the horses sense that they are back home so we quickly cover the route down to Jomsom. Overnight at Lodge.

Day 16 : Fly to Pokhara from Jomsom

Early in the morning, fly the scenic air-route the beautiful lakeside town of Pokhara. The rest of the time is free to explore Pokhara. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 17 : Pokhara to Kathmandu (25 Minutes Flight)

After a brisk sightseeing in Pokhara during morning hours, you will have to pack your bags to leave for Kathmandu. For the return trip, you will be fly back to Kathmandu. The day will give you the last chance to add up to your shopping list. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 18 : Transfer to the Airport for your onward destination

As per your flight timings, you will be escorted by one of the representatives of Breakfree Adventures to the international terminal at the Tribhuvan International Airport approximately three hours before your flight schedule from your hotel in Kathmandu. A day to bid farewell to the glorious country situated in the South Asia. While waiting for your flight, you can make plans to venture other destinations of the majestic country in near future.

We hope you had a lovely time with us. Breakfree Adventures would be obliged to be your travel partner during your next adventure in Nepal. Have a safe flight back home!

Important Note

If you want to customize the above itinerary or wish to spend more time in your places of interest, it can be easily customized as per your desire.

Trip Facts

Destination: Nepal

Duration: 18 Day(s)

Trip Grade: Moderate

Activities: Sightseeing, Horse riding

Best Season: March to November

Transportation: Private vehicles, Tourist Bus & Flights

Accommodation: Hotel/resort in Kathmandu & Pokhara, Lodges in trek

Meals: Breakfast in Kathmandu & Pokhara, Fulboard in trek

Trip Type: Pony Trek

Group size: Minimum 2 Person

Starts/Ends: Jomsom

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