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Upper Mustang Trekking

Upper Mustang Trekking

The Upper Mustang Trekking, a famous trekking destination which is located in the north-central region of Nepal bordering China. Only two decade ago, Mustang was completely off-limits to tourists as the government zealously kept this slice of Shangri-la closed to all foreigners. At the time, the region was also called with names like, “The Forbidden City” or “Little Tibet.”. The routes in the trek are all inclusive of natural beauties which traverse through remote valleys, ancient villages, scenic trails, forests, etc.  The preeminent feature of the tour is visit to the marvelous Lo Manthang, the capital of Mustang known which can be embarked by walking on high altitude deserted trails. The historical place is well known for thousand years’ old monasteries, caves, arts and architecture of the local tribes and scenic beauty all along.

The delightful Upper Mustang Trekking starts with a Trans-Himalayan flight to the mountain airstrip of Jomsom with a gradual ascent towards Kagbeni, leading up to Lo Manthang, the premium destination of the trip in Mustang district.  In between the quest,   trekkers can explore hundreds of year old monasteries, caves complimented by scenic landscapes along with many cultural and historical places.  The routes on the trek pass through Kali Gandaki, the deepest valley in the world. Finally, the trip gets concluded in Jomsom. The routes on the trek are suited for adventure avid trekkers with where they can witness the Upper Mustang valley in during their stay in the magical country.  With these amazing features, Upper Mustang Trekking is the dream of every trekking fonder who want to explore the great Himalayas while hiking on scenic trails.

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Trip Highlights

  • Witness magnificent views of the world’s highest peaks on the cards while flying across Nepal’s sky, and excitement level proliferates as the plane cuts through different hills to land on the Kathmandu Valley
  • Enjoy sightseeing tour to various historical/natural/cultural heritage sites  along with  Nepal’s oldest Buddhist Monasteries
  • Catch terrific - Kathmandu -Jomsom, Jomsom -Pokhara flights known for mind-blowing sceneries
  • Pass through gushing rivers, green countryside, alpine meadows, valleys, glaciers etc.
  • Enjoy view of spectacular mountains on the trekking way along with Nilgiri, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and several other majestic peaks
  • Visit Lo-Manthang, a historical place well known for thousand years’ old monasteries
  • Unveil pre-historic culture by viewing mysterious caves, cave temples
  • Explore Pokhara, the most beautiful lake city of the country, also known for providing superb mountain views
  • Witness variety of floras and faunas 
  • Get along with ethnic people and their culture

Outline Itinerary

Day 01 : Arrive in Kathmandu

Day 02 : Kathmandu Sightseeing and trek preparation

Day 03 : Kathmandu to Pokhara 6-7 hours bus ride

Day 04 : Pokhara to Jomsom (flight- 35 min) to Kagbeni (2800 m) 4-5 hrs walk

Day 05 : Kagbeni to Chele (3100m) 5-6 hrs walk

Day 06 : Chele to Geling (3570m) 5-6 hrs walk

Day 07 : Geling to Tsarang (3560m) 5-6 hrs walk

Day 08 : Tsarang to Lo Manthang (3840m) 5-6 hrs walk

Day 09 : Explore around Lo-Manthang

Day 10 : Lo-Manthang to Drakmar (3820m) 5-6 hrs walk

Day 11 : Drakmar to Shyangmochen (3850m) 5-6 hrs walk

Day 12 : Shyangmochen to Chhuksang (2980m) 5-6 hrs walk

Day 13 : Chhuksang to Kagbeni 5-6 hrs walk

Day 14 : Kagbeni to Jomsom 5-6 hrs walk

Day 15 : Jomsom to Pokhara (20 min flight)

Day 16 : Pokhara to Kathmandu 6-7 hours bus ride

Day 17 : Transfer to the Airport for your onward destination

What is Included

  • All airport transfers by private car
  • Three nights’ accommodation with breakfast at a 3-star category hotel in Kathmandu
  • Two nights’ accommodation with breakfast at a 3-star category hotel in Pokhara
  • Kathmandu city tours, including of all entry fees, tour guide and private vehicle
  • Full board meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) during the trek
  • Best available twin sharing lodge to lodge accommodation during the trek
  • Ground transportations from Kathmandu – Pokhara – Kathmandu transfers by tourist bus
  • Round trip flight fare from Pokhara – Jomsom – Pokhara
  • Highly experienced, helpful and friendly Government licensed guide, porter (1 porter for 2 people) and their food, accommodation, transportation, salary, equipment, and accidental insurance for all staff
  • Duffle bag, down jacket and sleeping bag during the trek
  • First aid medical kit
  • 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)
  • Government taxes & service charge
  • Breakfree Adventures T - shirt, trekking map and trip achievement certificate

What is Not Included

  • Any meals other than breakfast in Kathmandu and Pokhara.
  • Travel insurance
  • International airfare
  • Any kind of alcoholic drinks, hot water, hot shower, cold drinks, laundry, phone call, and internet.
  • Items of a personal nature.
  • Personal trekking equipments
  • Tips for trekking staff and driver (Tipping is appreciated but it is not mandatory)
  • Nepal entry visa fee: you can obtain a visa easily upon your arrival at Tribhuwan International Airport in Kathmandu. (a multiple-entry tourist visa good for 30 days can be obtained by paying US $ 40 or equivalent foreign currency. Similarly, multiple-entry tourist visas for 90 days can be obtained by paying US $ 100. Please bring 2 copies of passport-size photos.)

Day 01 : Arrive in Kathmandu

Within your arrival at international airport you are received by one of our representatives, who then drop off you to your allotted hotels. After reaching hotel you may either sit or relax at hotel or hangout around the city. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 02 : Kathmandu Sightseeing and trek preparation

On the second day of Upper Mustang Trekking carry out the sightseeing program around the beautiful capital city Kathmandu. The city houses the four UNESCO world heritage sites within its premises which include Pashupatinath Temple, Boudhanath Stupa, Swambhunath Stupa and Kathmandu Durbar Square. All these places reflex the art, culture, history and tradition of the Kathmandu City. Later at the evening drive back to Hotel. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 03 : Kathmandu to Pokhara 6-7 hours bus ride

After exploring the historic Kathmandu City, today you drive towards the city of lakes, Pokhara. The 6-7 hours drive offers the natural panorama of beautiful rivers, hills, various landscapes and small villages. After reaching Pokhara get transferred to your respective hotels. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 04 : Pokhara to Jomsom (flight- 35 min) to Kagbeni (2800 m) 4-5 hrs walk

Upper Mustang Trekking (Trek Day 01): Wake up early in the morning and board the 35 minutes flight towards the Jomsom. The flight offers the spectacular panorama of Himalayan ranges and various landscapes. After reaching Jomsom start your first trek towards the Kagbeni after breakfast for about 4-5 hours.  Overnight at Lodge.

Day 05 : Kagbeni to Chele (3100m) 5-6 hrs walk

Upper Mustang Trekking (Trek Day 02): The trail follows some rivers over a series of small ridges and proceeds towards Chele. During the trek you cross across various black, red and white Chortens known as hall-marks of the Upper Mustang region. After the continuous walk for about 5-6 hours you reach Chele before sunset. Overnight at Lodge.

Day 06 : Chele to Geling (3570m) 5-6 hrs walk

Upper Mustang Trekking (Trek Day 03): Continue your trek towards Geling, a small village in the district where the buildings painted in red symbolizes monasteries. Hike for about 5-6 hours on the undulated trails and reach Geling before sunset. Overnight at Lodge.

Day 07 : Geling to Tsarang (3560m) 5-6 hrs walk

Upper Mustang Trekking (Trek Day 04): Encountering different white Dzongs and red Gompas, trek for about 5-6 hours and reach Tsarang. Tsarang is located in the remote and inaccessible region of Upper Mustang, in the valley of the Kali Gandaki River. Overnight at Lodge.

Day 08 : Tsarang to Lo Manthang (3840m) 5-6 hrs walk

Upper Mustang Trekking (Trek Day 05): Today you walk for about 6 hours towards the walled city of Lo Manthang. The trail crosses the Marang (Chogo) La and reaches the beautiful walled city through a gate located in north east corner. Lo Manthang is known for thousand year’s old monasteries, caves, arts and architecture of the local tribes. Overnight at Lodge.

Day 09 : Explore around Lo-Manthang

This day is reserved for exploring and sightseeing in Lo-Manthang. Pay visit to Gompas, ancient palaces and few historical monuments along with some caves and cave temples that typify Upper Mustang. Overnight at Lodge.

Day 10 : Lo-Manthang to Drakmar (3820m) 5-6 hrs walk

Upper Mustang Trekking (Trek Day 06): Leaving the historical place behind, today you head towards Drakmar known for large tracts of terraced fields set against red cliffs. Also witness the beautiful cave-dwelling in the area. Overnight at Lodge.

Day 11 : Drakmar to Shyangmochen (3850m) 5-6 hrs walk

Upper Mustang Trekking (Trek Day 07): Today you trek towards the Shyangmochen for about 6 hours. Shyangmochen is famous for a colorful chorten on the top of the Shyangmochen La. It offers some spectacular panorama of Himalayan ranges. Overnight at Lodge.

Day 12 : Shyangmochen to Chhuksang (2980m) 5-6 hrs walk

Upper Mustang Trekking (Trek Day 08): Today’s trail goes on the rougher side with scary slips and detours. So you carefully hike towards the trail for about 6 hours and reach Chhuksang, a village by the Kali Gandaki River. Overnight at Lodge.

Day 13 : Chhuksang to Kagbeni 5-6 hrs walk

Upper Mustang Trekking (Trek Day 09): The trails get smoother as you walk towards Kagbeni. Passing some forest and rivers you reach Kagbeni for an overnight shelter. Overnight at Lodge.

Day 14 : Kagbeni to Jomsom 5-6 hrs walk

Upper Mustang Trekking (Trek Day 10): Today is the final day of the trek. You hike towards the Jomsom following the lower altitude trail in the Annapurna Region. The trail past some dense forest area and slowly proceeds towards Jomsom and the trail also offer the monasteries which resembles unique Buddhist culture and tradition. Overnight at Lodge.
You have completed venturing the upper Mustang as you reach Jomsom.  You can go around this beautiful place or relax in a lodge. This place is happening all day long with scores of tourists from all around the globe. O/N at Lodge

Day 15 : Jomsom to Pokhara (20 min flight)

Today you board a domestic flight of about 20 minutes from Jomsom to Pokhara. The super scenic flight offers a bird’s eye view of glorious Pokhara city. After landing at airport get transferred to your respective Hotel. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 16 : Pokhara to Kathmandu 6-7 hours bus ride

Early in the morning carry out short sightseeing program in Pokhara, and then drive towards Kathmandu on a tourist bus for about 7 hours. The 7 hours ride entertains you with the spectacular sight of beautiful hills, landscapes, rivers and villages. After reaching Kathmandu check in at Hotel. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 17 : Transfer to the Airport for your onward destination

Your Upper Mustang Trekking terminates today. One of our representative escorts you to the international airport three hours before your flight schedule. We hope you had a lovely time with us. Have a safe flight back home.

We will provide you with comprehensive information on the every trek and tour we arrange. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you require more information or have any questions, we are more than happy to assist you in anyway.

When to go:
February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October & November are the best seasons for the Upper Mustang Trekking. The weather is sunny and warm offering outstanding views but the nights are cold and can fall to freezing in higher elevations. Trekking in summer/monsoon (June, July) is also good for Upper Mustang Trekking. The trekking routes are crowded during spring and autumn but during monsoon and winter the routes are not packed and you could enjoy rather best of nature.

Travel Insurance:
Travel insurance is highly recommended and is in fact compulsory should you be going trekking, rafting, paragliding etc. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for personal injury, medical expenses, repatriation expenses, helicopter rescue, loss of luggage, etc. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. Please check with your insurance company that adventure activities and trekking above 3000m are covered in your policy, as some companies do not cover such things. You must carry proof of insurance (e.g. your insurance certificate) with you on the holiday; if you cannot provide this at the start of the holiday, you will be required to take out a suitable policy at that time.

Meals and Accommodation:
In Kathmandu, we normally use 3 stars hotel with breakfast but can upgrade upon request. During the Upper Mustang Trekking, we provide the best available guest house which is called Tea house(lodge). Tea Houses are more like hotels, with hot showers, western food, and private rooms (twin sharing). Some guesthouses are basic with shared washing and toilet facilities. If you are travelling in a group, you will share a room with someone else of the same gender from your group. If you prefer a single room, you may indicate your preference on request and pay a supplement. Keep in mind that there are several places which do not allow single accommodations during peak season, but we will try our best to accommodate your preferences if possible. In this arrangement overnight halts with dinner and breakfast will be in Tea-houses (Lodges) and lunches in local restaurants en-route. Furthermore as you will be staying in locally owned lodges you will be benefiting and interacting with the local community. It will give you a true feel for the Nepalese people and their lives.

We provide quality food in sufficient quantities (breakfast, lunch and dinner) from guesthouses chosen from a menu. While Upper Mustang Trekking, your guide will help with menu selection and ensure that you get the best value meals possible. Although the food is usually plentiful and delicious, you should be aware that the menu is not normally extensive due to the extreme locations. Most teahouses offer a variety of rice and noodle dishes, as well as soup and seasonal vegetables. A variety of cereals, bread and egg dishes are generally available for breakfast. There will also be plenty of snacks available such as biscuits, chocolate and soft drinks and in some areas you will find fresh fruit in season. You can buy bottled mineral water from local lodges and shops en route or you can also ask your guide to fill your water bottle with boiled water and treat with water purification pills.

Fitness and Experience Required:
Our 17 days Upper Mustang Trekking is moderate trek suitable for passionate walkers who have ability to walk at least 5-7 hours a day with a light day pack. Walking in higher altitude is physically demanding than walking in the lower altitudes; however, if you are in excellent health with average physical fitness and have positive attitude, self confidence and strong determination, you can accomplish the 17 days Upper Mustang Trekking successfully. Exercising and jogging regularly for some weeks prior of the trip is good idea to enhance your strength and stability. Past hiking experience would be an asset but no technical skill is required for this trip. Participants with pre-existing medical conditions such as heart, lung, and blood disease should inform us before booking the trek.

The Trekking Group:
For the Upper Mustang Trekking, there will be one Guide, assistant Guide (8 trekkers: 1 assistant guide) and porters for luggage carrying (2 trekkers: 1 porter). This arrangement ensures that should any body in the group is sick, the trip can still go ahead as planned. We can run the Upper Mustang Trekking for group of any size, but generally have a maximum of sixteen people, as weve found this to be the optimum size for a successful trip. However, if youd like to make a group booking for more than twelve people together, we can arrange this too.

Trekking Guides and Staff:
The most significant thing that makes your Upper Mustang Trekking successful, enjoyable and memorable is the expert, experienced, courteous and helpful trek and Guide and the crew members who have ability of operating your days in the mountain smoothly. Your trip will be led by the best and most professional Guide. All of our Trekking Guides are carefully selected on the basis of their appropriate experience, Guiding skills and personal aptitude. With an objective of sustaining local communities Breakfree Adventures employs staffs who have plenty of knowledgeable about culture, flora and fauna, geography, and history of Nepal. Trekking Guide of Breakfree Adventures are also trained with following trainings to make them educated on potential medical issues during their trek, biodiversity and environmental issues, English language, etc:

  • Intensive Wilderness First Aid - KEEP (Kathmandu Environmental Educational Project)
  • Trekking Guide Training - Nepal Governments Ministry of Tourism & Civil Aviation department of Hotel Management and Tourism Training Centre of Nepal
  • Eco Trekking Workshop and Adventure Meet TAAN (Trekking Agents Association of Nepal)
  • English Language - KEEP(Kathmandu environment education project)
  • Conservation and Biodiversity TAAN
  • Rock, Ice Climbing and Mountaineering (Climbing leaders) Nepal Mountaineering Association

Our Trekking Guides obviously speak English sufficient enough to communicate but please consider this is not our mother language. The guides and porters know the routes and locality like the back of their hand, they practice the local culture themselves and they are extremely passionate about their country and its cultural aspects.

Climate and Weather:
The climate of Nepal is as varied as its geography. The low-lying Terai has a sub-tropical monsoonal climate. The Himalayan foothills, where most of our treks take place, are best in the cool dry season from September to May. The traditional trekking season in Nepal is late September to December, with October and November generally recognized as having the best weather. Spring is also a popular time of year with warmer weather and the advantage of seeing spring flowers and rhododendrons in bloom. The visibility is good and days are pleasantly warm, although nights can be cold, and snow is possible above 3,000 meters.

Himalayan weather can be unpredictable where nights are generally cooler and days warmer. It’s a bit colder during the winter season (Jan to Feb) but days can be quite warm and lovely if the sun is shining. You can expect a bit of snow in the months of January/February and December. Expect the unexpected! The temperature could be as high as 20 deg C to -15 deg C low.

Safety and Security:
Security and safety are a high priority of our company however there are risks associated with adventure travel that you should consider before booking. Our trip operators constantly monitor their areas of operation and will cancel or re-route a trip if they feel a destination is unsafe. The decision to travel to a particular country or region is a personnel one.

Responsible Travel
Breakfree Adventures is a leading trekking and travel agency with dedicated travel Professionals who are well trained to give you the best of what Nepal has to offer. Our professional team follows a social philosophy that accepts responsibility for the local people and the environment in which we work. We respect the natural environment and the culture of our country, and we help travellers from around the world discover the natural beauty and cultural treasures of Nepal. We know that responsible travel tries to minimize the impact of tourism on the environment and maximize employment and income-generating opportunities for local communities. The whole of Nepal, including those living in remote rural areas that have very few other opportunities for development, benefits from sustainable tourism.

Breakfree Adventures is passionate about preserving the environment. As responsible tour guides in Nepal, we strive to maintain a symbiotic relationship with the local communities through which we travel. While trekking to different destinations, we choose environmentally- friendly lodges that respect the needs of their staff members. We take care of our staff as well as our valued clients. During our treks and other trips, we follow a zero garbage policy (“pack in, pack out”) and leave nothing behind in the campsites. We always welcome your feedback and comments regarding responsible travel, so please send an e-mail to let us know what you think.

What do we mean by trekking?
Trekking is an enjoyable and accessible adventure.  In an area like the Annapurna Region this activity will blow your mind.  It generally involves days on foot and multi-day walks through parks and wilderness areas.  The Annapurna region mainly consists of teahouse treks.  The terrain can often be steep, and we will likely encounter cold weather and possibly snow at higher altitudes above 3 700m.

Is trekking an activity for me?
If you love spending time in the outdoors and going to magnificent places offering spectacular views, then trekking is most certainly for you.  It fills the gap between luxury travel and tented tours at a price that makes sense to most people.

Do I need prior trekking experience before setting out here?
No previous trekking experience is needed but it will certainly help.  Anyone with decent fitness and good stamina should be able to cope with the trekking days and higher elevations.  Hiking experience anywhere in the world is recommended for maximum enjoyment, but certainly not needed.

What permits are required for my trek?
This will depend on your specific trek but all regions have some form of permit system.  Some trekking areas require a special permit for the trekking activity and other areas may only require permits to enter conservation areas or national parks.  Often it is a combination of both.  Nearly all trekking areas require a Trekking Information Management System TIMS card.  As part of your package we obtain all permits on your behalf.

What is the average walking time per day?
On average you will walk about 5 to 8 hours daily.  Distances vary and will depend on trail conditions, weather conditions and the fitness of the group.

What is meant by teahouse trekking?
Teahouse trekking refers to the type of accommodation that is so unique to these mountain treks.  Lodging and meals are mostly at teahouses operated by local people and on a full-board basis.

Where do we get our drinking water from?
Bottled water is available in many places on the more established trekking routes but this will be for your own account. Most villages have a clean and reliable water source and we will utilise locally purified water mostly.  The teahouses can supply you with boiled water at a small fee.  You are encouraged to carry your own purification tablets or drops for your own peace of mind.

How much can a porter carry?
This will often depend on the trekking route and maximum altitude gain.  On average for trekking in the Annapurna Region every porter carries between 15 and 30kg.  A camping porter carries up to 40kg.  For our packages we normally assign one porter for every two travellers.  What this means to you is that on the trek you will be allowed 15kg luggage. This is strictly enforced to ensure the wellbeing of our porter crew. 

Should I tip my guides and porters?
Yes please do!  This is not mandatory but widely accepted as for anywhere else in the world.  Tipping is customary and always appreciated in Nepal and on our treks.  

Important Note

If the above itinerary does not meet your needs, we can design individualized travel plans based on your preferences.

Trip Facts

Destination: Nepal

Duration: 17 Day(s)

Trip Grade: Moderate

Activities: Cultural Sightseeing & Trekking

Best Season: February to November

Max Altitude: 4230m

Daily walking: 5 - 7 hours each day

Transportation: Tourist bus, Private vehicle & Flights

Meals: Breakfast in Kathmandu, Full board on trek

Accommodation: Hotel/Resort in Kathmandu, Lodge/Guest house during the trek

Trip Type: Lodge to Lodge Trek

Starts/Ends: Jomsom

Group Size: Minimum 2 People

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What Our Clients Say?

Your organisation was excellent!!!

Namaste! Dear Bharat, It is time that I wrote to thank you for everything you did to ensure the success of my trek, I realise now that a 25 day trek was a huge undertaking but it was one of the best experiences of my…

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