Overview

The undisturbed land of the former Lo Kingdom is surrounded by caves, extraordinary rock formations and a desert landscape. This place is truly like no other place on Earth.  It is dry, desolate land, yet full of character.  Some trekkers say they feel as if they have been transported to Mars.  From desert caves to snowy peaks to pockets of a green oasis, this journey is quite surreal. Those who live in the area carry out traditional practices of Tibetan Buddhism and live in a way as if isolated from the forces of modernization.  The Upper Mustang Trek gives us a feeling of peace and joy that fills our hearts and minds.

The Upper Mustang Trek is connected to the Tibetan terrain, just north of the Annapurna massif.  The area, which used to be the caravan route to trade with Tibet, was opened to foreigners in 1992. This ‘off-the-beaten-path’ trek begins from Jomsom, which is considered the headquarters of the Mustang region. Heading north through the upper Kali Gandaki River Valley, we find ourselves in Kagbeni.  Depending on the time of the year, we may find bright green agricultural fields juxtaposed with the brown sands of the desert.  After crossing different villages, we reach to Lo-Manthang, the capital of upper Mustang and a main attraction of the trek.  Within the long stone walls, ancient monasteries and elegant palaces are preserved.  Trekkers will find stupas, mani walls, chhortens, and other monuments to Tibetan Buddhism.  After the exploration in Lo-Monthang, we trek back to Jomsom and fly to Pokhara. Few trekkers experience this otherworldly place, full of extraordinary rock formations, white Himalayan peaks, and a virtually undisturbed cultural heritage.

Locals in Upper Mustang also celebrate various festivals. Tiji festival is a three-day colorful festival celebrated in Lo-Manthang.  The purpose of the festival is to pray that peace on Earth prevails.  The festival is celebrated to mark the victory of Buddha’s incarnation over the demon that had been wreaking havoc in the region during ancient times.  During the festival, Buddhist monks in the monastery perform an entertaining dance ceremony.  The 2018 Tiji festival takes place on the 12th, 13th, and 14th of May.  This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so hopefully, you can make it!

The Upper Mustang Trek is situated in a rain shadow. For this reason, the monsoon season is also a suitable time to trek in the Upper Mustang. Trekkers can enjoy the beauty of Upper Mustang throughout the year, though the best times are during the Spring and Fall, as they provide the clearest skies.  The Upper Mustang Trek requires moderate fitness and acclimatization to avoid acute mountain sickness.Also, it is possible to combine this trek with others in the Annapurna region.  Breeze Adventure arranges the trek with complete management. Please, feel free to contact us for more detailed information. 

Trip Highlights

Trekking through the Kali Gandaki Valley – the deepest gorge in the world

Cultural beauty of local Tibetan Buddhist villages

Religious experience at Muktinath Temple

Tiji Festival in Lo-Manthang

Sacred caves, fascinating rock formations and desert landscape

Massive Himalayan peaks visible throughout the trek

All-year trekking

Outline Itinerary

  • Day 01: Arrive in Kathmandu (1350m).
  • Day 02: Kathmandu sightseeing, including UNESCO sites.
  • Day 03: Drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara (823m).
  • Day 04: Fly to Jomsom and trek to Kagbeni (2858m). – 3-4 Hours trek
  • Day 05: Trek from Kagbeni to Chele (3050m). – 5-6 hrs.
  • Day 06: Trek from Chele to Syanbochen (3475m). – 6-7 Hours
  • Day 07: Trek from Syangbochen to Tsarang (3500m). – 7-8 Hours
  • Day 08: Trek from Tsarang to Lo-Manthang (3730m). – 5-6 Hours
  • Day 09: Explore Lo-Manthang; acclimatization day.
  • Day 10: Trek from Lo-Manthang to Ghiling (3806m). – 7 Hours
  • Day 11: Trek from Ghiling to Samar (3700m). – 5-6 Hours
  • Day 12: Trek from Samar to Chuksang (2980m). – 4-5 Hours
  • Day 13: Trek from Chuksang to Muktinath (3710m). – 6-8 Hours
  • Day 14: Trek from Muktinath to Jomsom (2740m). – 5-6 Hours
  • Day 15: Fly from Jomsom to Pokhara.
  • Day 16: Drive back to Kathmandu.
  • Day 17: Final Departure.

Trip note

 

Accommodation

Upper Mustang Trek includes accommodation in the cost.  This accommodation is included during the set itinerary.  While in Kathmandu, we provide a 2-3 Star hotel for you.  During the trek, our guides will pick the best lodge for you to stay in based on their experience as well as room availability. All the accommodations will be a twin-shared basis. In the mountain, Shower and toilet will be on Sharing basis. During high trekking season, you may have to share a room with a same-sex trekker from another group. 

Food

Nepal has a wide variety of food and it is easy to cater to your needs.  If you are a vegetarian/vegan, gluten or lactose free, we are able to work around that if you let us know ahead of time.  During your time in the hotel in Kathmandu, your breakfast is included.  Lunch and dinner must be covered on your own.  On the trek, breakfast, lunch, and dinner are provided.  For teahouse treks, we can order typical Nepali food, continental, Italian, Tibetan and Indian at teahouses.  While camping, we will prepare the meals for you.  After our trek, we will have a celebration/pre-departure traditional Nepali meal in Thamel. 

Guide & Porters

A government-licensed guide will lead the trek.  All our guides have tremendous experience on the trails and are passionate about the trekking industry.  Our guides and porters are dedicated to making your experience of trekking in Nepal a memorable one.  If there is any worry during your trek, our guides will address it.  Your safety is our number one priority.  For groups of more than six people, there will be two guides. For teahouse treks, there will be one porter for every two trekkers.

Acclimatization/Fitness/Experience

As many of our treks lead us high into the Himalayas, it is necessary to let our bodies sufficiently get used to the altitude.  Our treks have acclimatization days built into the itinerary at Lo Manthang.  It is best to take it slow to prevent altitude sickness.  The level of fitness necessary for our treks varies depending on the trek.  On average, expect to walk an average of 5-6 hours per day while on the trial.  Generally, the treks can be done with an average level of fitness.  More important than fitness or experience is one’s personal determination and positive attitude toward finishing and enjoying the trek. 

Travel Insurance

We strongly recommend having travel insurance before going on a trek.  We do our best to take care of you, but something can happen that is out of our control.  In case of medical emergency, leading to a helicopter evacuation, it is best to have insurance.  You are unable to obtain medical insurance in Nepal and must do so in your home country.  Be sure that your insurance covers accidents abroad and high in the mountains. 

Best Time to Travel

The peak seasons for traveling in Nepal are during the Spring (March to May) and the Autumn (September to November).  These times provide the best scenery and clearest skies, but of course, they are a little more crowded than the off-season.  It is possible to trek during the Winter (December to February), but you will face cold temperatures.  It is also possible to trek during the monsoon season (June to August), though the views will likely be covered by clouds and there is a high chance of rainfall.

Note:

Please be assured that Breeze Adventure manage our treks to the highest standards. Your safety and satisfaction are our priority. We will support you to the best of our abilities with any issues that may arise. From time to time flights to and from Jomsom may be delayed due to weather conditions. It is often worthwhile to include a day or two extra in your schedule to be used in the event of a delay, or if you require a little extra time during the trek. We will work with you to ensure you get the most from your trek and visit Nepal.

Detail Itinerary

  • Day 01: Arrive in Kathmandu (1350m).
    Welcome to Nepal! A representative from Breeze Adventure will welcome you our hotel. We will prepare you with information and gear for your trek. Overnight at hotel.
  • Day 02: Kathmandu sightseeing, including UNESCO sites.
    Have breakfast and start sightseeing around Kathmandu in a private vehicle. We will see several UNESCO World Heritage Sites. We will learn about each site’s historical, religious, and cultural significance. Overnight at hotel.
  • Day 03: Drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara (823m).
    We drive about a 6-7 hrs along the Prithvi Highway to the gorgeous lakeside city of Pokhara. The scenery along with drive, full of by terraced hilly rice fields and valleys builds excitement within us for the upcoming trek. Pokhara is a relaxing town, a nice contrast to Kathmandu’s busy-ness. Overnight at hotel.
  • Day 04: Fly to Jomsom and trek to Kagbeni (2858m). – 3-4 Hours trek
    The exhilerating 20-minute flight brings us to Jomsom - the district headquarters of the Mustang region, linking Nepal to Tibet via an ancient salt trade route. The flightprovidesawesome views of Dhaulagiri and Annapurna ranges. Moving along the Kali Gandaki River, we get panoramic views of Nilgiri, Dhaulagiri, Dhampus and Tukuche. Then, we descend to Kagbeni, an ethnically Tibetan village located at the confluence of two rivers. Overnight at guest house.
  • Day 05: Trek from Kagbeni to Chele (3050m). – 5-6 hrs.
    The trail proceeds further along the eastern edge of Kaligandaki River and climbs uphill towards Tangbe Village. Weaving throug the alleys between houses and fields of apples and wheat, we will arrive at Chuksang village. A little later, we cross the Kali Gandaki River on a steel bridge before we climb a hill to the village of Chele, located on a ridge above the gorge. Overnight at guest house.
  • Day 06: Trek from Chele to Syanbochen (3475m). – 6-7 Hours
    Our trail leads through the hilly and arid landscape before heading down asmall hill. Then, we climb the Taklam La Pass (3624m), enjoying a panoramic view of Tilicho Peak and Damodar Danda. Soon, the route spirals downward as we pass chhortens to Samar Village. Here, the trail drops further to a large ravine. Another 3 hours of walking brings us Ramchung Cave, which we explore for some time. We arrive to Syanbochen shortly thereafter. Overnight at guest house.
  • Day 07: Trek from Syangbochen to Tsarang (3500m). – 7-8 Hours
    After breakfast, we proceed through Tibetan styled houses and Buddhist monuments all the way to Yamda La. Takeyour time and appreciate the scenic beauties that the trail offers. Move slowly through the fields of barley to climb the Nyi Pass (4010m). The steep descent from Nyi Pass will take us to Ghami, nestled in the rugged mountains. We cross the Ghami River and soon reach Tsarang village (3540m) at the top of Tsarang Chu Canyon. The village is mostly inhabited by Lhobas - the natives of the area. Overnight at guest house.
  • Day 08: Trek from Tsarang to Lo-Manthang (3730m). – 5-6 Hours
    After a gentle descent from Tsarang, we cross the Tsarang-Chu and climb uphill on the rocky path with views of Nilgiri, Tilicho, Annapurna I and Bhrikiuti Peaks throughout. Later, we move up and then down the hill to another plateau to reach Lo-Manthang. Overnight at guest house.
  • Day 09: Explore Lo-Manthang; acclimatization day.
    Today we take a well-deserved rest and exploration day. This allows us to be re-energized for the trail ahead. We explore around the historical village of Lo-Manthang which includes visit into the western valley of Tingkhar, where the summer palace of the Raja exists. The place offers majestic views of Kimling, Phuwa and the Namgyal Gompa, which we visit later. Overnight in guest house.
  • Day 10: Trek from Lo-Manthang to Ghiling (3806m). – 7 Hours
    Today we begin our descent back to Jomsom. We take a slightly different route this time to keep things fresh. On the way, we stop at Drakmar and visit the Ghar Gompa, which is supposedly 1200 years old. The wind starts to pick up in the afternoon, so it is best to start early in the morning. We have lunch and continue until we reach Ghiling. Overnight in guest house.
  • Day 11: Trek from Ghiling to Samar (3700m). – 5-6 Hours
    After breakfast, we begin our hike to Samar. Today’s trail is not too difficult, just lots of mild ups and downs. There is plenty to see, so try and look up and around at the beautiful scenery. Before you know it, we’ll arrive to Samar. Overnight in guest house.
  • Day 12: Trek from Samar to Chuksang (2980m). – 4-5 Hours
    Our trail today leads south, joining up again with the Kali Gandaki River. You’ll find some people selling shaligram along the way, which is worth a purchase. Keep descending and soon enough we arrive at Chuksang for the night. Overnight at guesthouse.
  • Day 13: Trek from Chuksang to Muktinath (3710m). – 6-8 Hours
    Today is a most memorable day on our trek. We reach Muktinath, a village with a spiritual essence high in the hills. Immediately surrounding us is the unique, desolate landscape of the Mustang region which is enveloped by a distant wall of snowy peaks. We stop at Muktinath Temple, a sacred place that people from all over India and Nepal come to visit. Overnight at guest house.
  • Day 14: Trek from Muktinath to Jomsom (2740m). – 5-6 Hours
    A full day of descending along the Kali Gandaki River, brings us back to Jomsom. We trek through several charming villages before reaching Jomsom. If we have time and interest, we can go to Marpha for some apples, apple pie, or even apple brandy and head back to Jomsom. It’s not too far of a walk and well worth it! Experience the hospitality of Thakali and other ethnic groups there. Overnight at guest house in Jomsom.
  • Day 15: Fly from Jomsom to Pokhara.
    The 20-minute flight from the Jomsom Airport through the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountains brings us to Pokhara. Have your camera handy for this gorgeous flight. There will be enough time to spare check out the laidback, beautiful city of Pokhara. Overnight in a hotel.
  • Day 16: Drive back to Kathmandu.
    After breakfast, we take a drive back to Kathmandu along the Prithvi Highway. Take in any scenery you may have missed along the way. After 6-7 hrs, we reach to Kathmandu and transfer you to the hotel. Take a rest and spend your day freely. Celebratory dinner in Kathmandu in the evening. Overnight at hotel.
  • Day 17: Final Departure.
    Transfer to Tribhuvan Airport. Thank you for choosing Breeze Adventure as your trekking guide! We look forward to your next adventure with us.

Cost Details

Cost Includes

Upper Mustang Permit

ACAP Permit

Transportation to and from Tribhuvan Airport.

Three nights in a 2-3 star hotel in Kathmandu, breakfast included.

All transportation for the trek.

Local guest house accommodation in the mountain.

Government-authorized experienced guide and porters

Insurance, food, accommodation, and wage for guides and porters

Hygienic meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) during the trek.

All equipment (sleeping bag, warm layers, etc.)

First Aid Kit

Maps

Service charge and government taxes

Post-trek celebration dinner in Kathmandu

Cost Excludes:

International airfare

Meals in Kathmandu (besides breakfast)

Your personal expenses, shopping, etc.

Shower and electronic charging fees at guest houses during the trek

Alcoholic drinks, chocolates, tea and coffee

Tips for guide and porter

Extra accommodation and meals outside of itinerary

Costs from unexpected occurrences (i.e. cancellations, weather problems, damages of property, illness, etc.)