Upper Mustang Trek

  • Trip Duration Trip Duration 15 Days
  • Trip Grade Trip Grade Moderate

About Upper Mustang Trek

Behind the mighty Himalayan range of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri, there has been a mysteriously hidden Kingdom since the time immemorial. It is the Upper Mustang. It is also called ‘Mini Tibet’ of Nepal as it is geologically located on the Tibetan plateau hidden in the rain shadow of the mighty Himalaya of Nepal. As it was a tiny kingdom behind the Himalaya, it is famous by the name of ‘Hidden Kingdom of Lo’ with Lo Manthang as its capital..

With the panoramic Himalayan view of the Dhaulagiri range, Annapur

na range, Mt Neelgiri and many more to its south; bordering with the strong south-western Tibetan culture (combining uniquely rich Buddhist arts, architecture, paintings, murals, lifestyle and so on); and with the harsh-arid Tibetan climate; the Upper Mustang presents itself an exclusively different trekking destination in Nepal.

Our tour to the Upper Mustang will include an unforgettable visit to the 14th century king’s palace of Mustang in Lo Manthang and the uniquely gorgeous Buddhist monasteries. Although, it is rare in the world, it is here we could learn more on the polyandry system of marriage, but still in practice. Interesting, isn’t it? We could also immerse ourselves into the native culture and nature of Mustang during our trek by inter-mingling with its locals, festivals and rituals at its grass root level.

Next great attraction is the Tiji Festival in Lo Manthang. It is the celebration to welcome the spring after undergoing the harsh winter. It is the festivity to rejoice the victory of good over evil. In other words, the Tiji celebration fully revolves around a myth that a deity named Dorje Jono who had to vanquish a demon to save the Kingdom of Mustang from destruction. Generally, the festival takes place in the month of May/June every year. Check with us for the exact dates (date differs every year as it is based on our lunar calendar).

The Upper Mustang until late 1991 was completely forbidden for the foreigners. This is the reason why Mustang remained veiled in the mysteries for centuries for the foreign explorers.

The Upper Mustang Trek starts right from Kagbeni exposing you at the world’s deepest gorge of the Kaligandaki River. The trail we follow to reach Mustang’s capital Lo Manthang, is the age-old trade route among Tibet, Nepal and India. The trek is so beautiful that it is always surprising with the unique scenery featuring treeless barren landscape, challenging high passes, glistening glaciers, several primitive caves and monasteries well decorated with ancient paintings and colorful Tibetan scripts.

The Upper Mustang Trek ultimately gets unforgettable by the wonderful hospitality shared by the locals of Mustang like Thakali, Tibetans and Gurungs on the trails.

March, April and May (spring season) and September, October and November (autumn season) are the best months to travel in Mustang. The most ideal Upper Mustang Trek of 16 days based on teahouse/lodge is the most popular one. If you wish, you are welcome to customize the tour as per your interest, taste, time availability and let us know. We will respond with the very, very best prices for the same with further details.

By the way, please note that although the trek to the Upper Mustang still requires a special permit with a royalty of US$ 500 net per person and 2 persons in minimum for the period of 10 days, the tour can be organized on teahouses/lodges basis. Those days requiring camping equipments and crew are gone.

Surprisingly, the tour can also be undertaken with 4WD jeeps in a shorter period of time, if you have time constrain.

Tibet Kailash Treks has been organizing tours to Mustang since long. Please book the tour with us. You will enjoy the tour with us backed by our expertise with the latest information.

Trip Highlights

  • A real Tibet, but until recently, still a hidden kingdom with a dreamland - rich in culture, traditions, heritage, myths and mysteries with a strong bond of wonderful locals,
  • Mustang is a naturally well protected Tibetan cultural hub hidden behind the Himalaya
  • Stunning view of high Himalaya like Mt Dhaulagiri, Mt Fishtail, Mt Annapurna I-IV, Mt Neelgiri, Mt Tukuche, etc.
  • Numerous caves on the way, long mani walls, Ghami village and Geling village and wellconnected by the beautiful uphill and downhill trails,
  • Lo Manthang – focus of the tour with traditional castle of the Royalty in Tibetan style,
  • Well decorated lovely chortens and monasteries in each village,
  • Beautifully flapping colorful prayer flags on every house, every bridge, every monastery, every chorten and every pass,
  • Picturesque drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara,
  • Scenic mountain flight from Pokhara to Jomsom,


  • 1

    On your arrival at Kathmandu Airport, you will be greeted by our representative. After assistance, transfer to hotel. Rest.

    Evening, our representative with a Sherpa will organize a briefing program in the hotel on the trek to make you well prepared for the trek. Questions and queries are most welcome that time. Overnight at hotel.

  • 2

    After breakfast, we will be taken you for sightseeing around the Kathmandu Valley. First, we visit Pashupatinath Temple Complex (400 BC), the holiest Hindu shrine in Nepal.

    Pashupatinath Temple Complex https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pashupatinath_Temple (UNESCO World Heritage Site) is located about 5 km to the north-east of the Kathmandu city on the bank of holy Bagmati River where on its ghat the Hindu and Buddhist dead bodies are cremated with ceremonies. It is in a pagoda style with golden roof. The literal meaning of Pashupatinath is the Lord of all animals.
    It is the holiest temple complex for the Hindus in Nepal with more than 520 temples. It covers a huge area of about 265 hectares of land. There are different beliefs and stories behind its origin.
    Then, we visit Boudhanath Temple Complex (5th century largest stupa in Asia) not very far from Pashupatinath Temple.

    Boudhnath Stupa is the biggest stupa in Asia with high status of UNESCO World Heritage site. It is believed that the stupa was built during the Lichhabi era in the 5th century. In the early 50’s, the Tibetans who fled away from Tibet preferred to live here around the stupa reminding their Jokhang Temple of Lhasa where they could make kora (circumambulation) every morning and evening. The kora is a memorable sight at the Boudhnath worth enjoying every day. As a result, there is a strong settlement of Tibetans with more than 50 beautifully decorated Buddhist monasteries around.
    In the afternoon, scenic drive to Bhaktapur. It is just 13 km east of Kathmandu nicely located on a plateau.

    Bhaktapur – a typical Newar township located about 13 km east of the Kathmandu city. There is a good road connection. It is about 30 min drive. Your visit to the town will take you back in time to the medieval era. Every nook and corner is so beautiful with the traditional housing with intricate timeless woodcarvings. The lovely site of new mothers giving mustard oil massage to their new born babies in the hot sun in the open air is an unforgettable moment. Even the culture specialists find Bhaktapur so interesting and so cultural beyond their words. The more you see, the longer you will wish to spend here. It is a special place to visit. Make sure you will not miss this place when you are on tour in Nepal.

    Later afternoon, drive back to hotel and overnight.

  • 3
    Day 03: DRIVE KATHMANDU - POKHARA (850 m) 6-7HRS

    Today, our actual adventure begins. Early morning, our guide will pick us up at our hotel and take us to the tourist bus station. We catch a tourist bus and drive to Pokhara through the winding, but highly scenic road mostly along the Trishuli River, Marshyangdi River and Seti River. The off and on sights of the tourists enjoying rafting on the Trishuli River during the drive keep on alluring us. The bus stops at two spots. The first one is for breakfast and the second for lunch. After checking in to the hotel at Pokhara at the lakeside (tourist centre), free time is there for exploring the lake (Phewa Lake) nearby and dinner. Overnight at hotel in Pokhara.

  • 4

    After early morning breakfast, our guide will transfer us to the Pokhara airport and fly to Jomsom (the headquarter of Mustang District)(aprox. 30 min). At Jomsom, we meet our trekking crew and allocate luggage for the porters over tea in a restaurant. Then, we start our trek towards Kagbeni. After about a 4 hour walk, we arrive at Kagbeni, the gateway to the Upper Mustang, where there is a post to check our special permit for the Upper Mustang. Kagbeni is one of overnight spots in the ancient salt trade trail between Nepal, Indian and Tibet. After we get checked-in to the lodge, we are free either to rest or explore Kagbeni village featuring beautiful sites with the Buddhist monasteries and Hindu monuments. Overnight at lodge in Kagbeni.

  • 5
    Day 05: TREK KAGBENI - CHELE (3,050 m): Aprox. 6 HRS

    After breakfast, we follow a trail through a narrow stone-paved path and enter the restricted area of Mustang. We continue our walk to the east bank of Kaligandaki River. Our walk goes through the beautiful villages of Tangbe (3,060 m) & Chhusang (2,980 m). Chusang is surrounded by massive red, orange and silver gray cliffs dotted with caves. It is dwelled by active farmers. From Chhusang, after about 45 minute walk, we finally reach Chele (3,050 m) enjoying the inexplicable charm of the wonderful landscapes of Mustang. To the back trail from Chele, we can enjoy a nice view of the deep valley made by the Kaligandaki River mesmerized by the mighty presence of the Mt Tilicho and Mt Nilgiri. Overnight at Chele in a lodge.

  • 6
    Day 06: TREK CHELE – GELING (3,440 m): 6 – 7 HRS

    After breakfast, we take a slow walk for about an hour and half and cross the Dajori La (pass of 3,735 m) from where the view of the valley is captivating. After another 30 minute walk, we arrive at Samar, a small charming village. We continue our walk through the Samar village and descend to a stream. From here, we continue uphill walk towards the Bhena La (3,838 m) and Yamda La (3, 860 m). This is from here the view of the Upper Mustang with coffee-colored hills nearby begins to get distinct. We continue our walk through the juniper trees and passing by some lovely chortens (small stupas), we enter into a small settlement called Shyangmochen (3,800 m), where we enjoy a short rest in the local tea shops. Today’s final leg of the walk reaches Geling after passing by lovely prayer walls (mani walls) and chortens. Geling boasts for 2 beautiful gompas dating back to the 15th century. Do spare some time to visit the gompas. Overnight at Geling at a lodge.

  • 7
    Day 07: TREK GELING - TSARANG (3,560 m): 6-7 HRS

    After breakfast, we take a steep uphill trail passing by 2 gompas and cross a pass of 4,025 m from where we can enjoy a majestic view of the Annapurna Range by looking back towards the valley we came through. Then, our trail goes downhill to Ghemi (3,520 m), a small village with few tea houses. We further follow a trail getting down to a stream and cross a suspension bridge. The scenery around is magnificent. With a little rest, we further follow an uphill trail to the upper valley where we can see the longest mani wall in Mustang region and further walk along the mani walls takes us to a pass of Tsarang La (3,870 m). From here, we walk down to Tsarang. It used to be the old capital of Mustang. Overnight at Guest house in Tsarang.

  • 8
    Day 08: TREK TSARANG – LO MANTHANG (3,730 m): 4 HRS

    After breakfast, first we visit explore Tsarang village with a visit to Red Gompa of Tsarang with lovely chortens . Then, we take an uphill trail to the valley and circumambulate a chorten that demarcates the regions of Tsarang and Lo Manthang. We continue ascent on a windy trail that takes us to the pass of Lo La (3,950 m) from where we can enjoy the first glance of Lo Manthang. Lo Manthang is a city with a wall all around like a fort. Its entrance lies in the north-eastern corner of the city from where we enter the uniquely beautiful city. Overnight at a lodge in Lo Manthang.

  • 9

    Today is our exploration day of the Mustang. Mustang is proud to have 4 major monasteries worth visiting. They are Jampa Lhakhang, the oldest and built in the early 15th century, popularly known as the ‘God’s house’. Thubchen Gompa, a huge monastery with red assembly hall which was built in the late 15th century. It is located to the southwest of Jampa Lakhang. Chodey Gompa is presently the main city gompa and the Choprang Gompa is the last, but not least. It is famous by the name of ‘New Gompa’. Overnight at Guest house in Lo Manthang.

  • 10

    Today is our return day. Generally, on the high altitude area like the Mustang (Tibetan plateau), it gets so windy from the mid-day. So, it is wise to start our trek as early as possible. We try to avoid repetition of the route as far as possible. So, from Lo Manthang we head towards south-western route. We pass by the irrigated farmland and reach Lo Gekar. Then, our steep trail takes us to the highest pass of 4,000 m en route from Kagbeni to Lo Manthang. From here, we could enjoy the last glimpse of Lo Manthang. Now, our walk goes downhill and takes us to Ghar Gompa, generally believed to be wish fulfilling temple. The gompa is famous for the ancient paintings and artifacts. After the visit to the Gompa, we head to Drakmar through the scenic landscape. Overnight at teahouse in Drakmar.

  • 11
    Day 11: TREK DRAKMAR - GHILING (3,806 m): 5-6 HRS

    After early breakfast, we continue our walk following a trail which passes by several wonderfully built caves. We also pass by long mani walls and chortens along the trail which takes us to the beautiful village of Ghami (3,520 m). From Ghami, we start climbing the Ghilling Hill and after crossing the hilltop, our downhill walk will take us to Ghiling village. We can explore the village in the evening by mixing up with locals. Overnight in teahouse in Ghiling.

  • 12
    Day 12: TREK CHHUKSANG - JOMSOM (2,700 m): 6-7 HRS

    After early breakfast, we take an easy and flat trail to Jomsom. The trail passes by small villages of Tangbe, Kagbeni and Eklebhatti. It is in Tangbe where we say bye, bye to the lovely chortens painted with black, white and red colors which add extra attractions to the Upper Mustang. Our walk gets more enjoyable as and when we see the wonderfully built caves on the west bank of the Kaligandki River. Kaagbeni is a nice place for our lunch. Then, we follow the trail along Kaligandaki River which will finally take us to Jomsom. The amazing view of Nilgiri, Tukuche, and Dhaulagiri will leave an unforgettable impression on our mind for a long time. It is a long day today. So, to have a nice rest is the best option in Jomsom with good relaxation in one of the good teahouse’s restaurants. Overnight at teahouse in Jomsom.

  • 13
    Day 13: FLY JOMSOM - POKHARA (850 m): 30 min

    We will take a flight to Pokhara earliest possible. It is a scenic flight of 25-30 minutes which flies through the dune between the mighty Mt Dhaulagiri and Mt Annapurna. Upon arrival at Pokhara, we will be transferred to our hotel. Pokhara is beautiful city with many options to rest and enjoy. One of the best activitiy is the boating in the Phewa lake with the magnificent view of the Mt fishtail and its reflection into the Lake. Shopping, eating, strolling around or simply enjoying internet cafes and bakeries are also the best options. Overnight at hotel in Pokhara.

  • 14
    Day 14: DRIVE POKHARA – KATHMANDU (1,300 m): 6-7 HRS

    Next morning, our guide will take us to the tourist bus stand and drive to Kathmandu via Prithvi Highway. It takes 6-7 hours. However, driving by tourist bus is the most economic and enjoyable trip as most people prefer tourist bus. Upon reaching, Kathmandu, our guide will take us to our hotel. Evening, our guide will take us to the local Nepali restaurants where we will enjoy a nice farewell dinner. Overnight at hotel in Kathmandu.

    Note: there is an option of flying back to Kathmandu from Pokhara. It takes just 20 minutes. Please let us know. We will arrange with an extra cost.

  • 15

    Today is our last day in Kathmandu. As per our flight schedule, our guide/escort from our company will take us to the airport and help connect our flight back home. This is where we say final bye to our guide/escort.
    Note: If we wish to extend our stay in Nepal with extra activities, our Company will assist us to finalise our itinerary with the activities like jungle safari in Chitwan National Park, River Rafting in Trishuli River, etc.

Cost Includes

  • Airport pick up and transfer by private vehicle as per the itinerary.
  • Accommodation in Kathmandu at 3-4 star hotel with breakfast only on twin sharing room basis.
  • Welcome and farewell dinners in a typical Nepali restaurant in Kathmandu over typically Nepali traditional dance & music
  • Two way flight tickets (Pokhara/Jomsom and Jomsom/Pokhara)
  • Two way drive (Kathmandu/Pokhara and Pokhara/Kathmandu) by tourist bus (Flight or private vehicle is optional with an extra cost)
  • Kathmandu city tours inclusive of vehicle transfer, entrance fees & professional English speaking tour guide.
  • Surface transportation to and from Pokhara by tourist bus or private car.
  • Accommodation during the trek at guest houses/lodges on twin sharing basis.
  • All meals (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) with Tea & coffee during the trek.
  • Highly experienced Government licensed trekking guide and necessary porters during the trek and their transportation, food, accommodation, salary, equipments and insurance.
  • Upper Mustang special permit & its processing service charge (US$ 500 per person)
  • Trekker's Information Management System (TIMS) fee.
  • Annapurna Conservation Area Entrance Permit fee.
  • First Aid medical kit
  • Duffle Bag
  • Down jacket and sleeping bags (if required)
  • Trekking route map
  • All Government & local taxes
  • Service charges.

Cost Excludes:

  • Any meals other than breakfast in the hotels in Kathmandu and Pokhara.
  • International airfares
  • Nepal entry visa fee US$ 30 (duration 60 days from date of issue)- you may easily issue the visa upon your arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport – Kathmandu, Nepal
  • Rescue & travel insurance, trip cancellation costs, accident or health emergency, evacuation cost, loss, theft or damage to baggage and personal effects. We strongly advise you to bring personal travel insurance from your home country.
  • Items of personal nature.
  • Any kind of alcoholic drinks, hot water, hot shower, cold drinks, laundry, phone call, and internet.
  • Tips & Gratuities (not mandatory)
  • Any items of services not mentioned above.