This trek takes you to the hidden kingdom of Upper Mustang in Nepal. The region of Upper Mustang is located in the north-central area of Nepal bordering China. Trekking into Upper Mustang is one of the popular treks. Mustang was made open for tourism only two decades ago as the government has kept this slice of Shangri-la closed to foreign visitors.
Thus, the region is also known as ‘the forbidden city’ or ‘Little Tibet’. The trekking trails of Mustang are filled with remote valleys, ancient settlements, deep forest, dry terrains. The prime feature of the trek is the visit to the capital of Mustang, the city of La-Manthang. Lo-Manthang is a walled city located in high altitude deserted terrain with age-old monasteries, caves where Buddhism is practiced by the locals.
Upper Mustang trek is a unique journey like being back in time and trekking in the high altitude deserted land with unparalleled majestic beauty.
Day 01: Arrive in Kathmandu O/N Hotel
After landing at the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu from your designated destinations, you will be received by a representative of the travel company at the arrival gate who will then transfer you to your allotted hotels.
Day 02: Kathmandu Sightseeing and trek preparation O/N Hotel
The Kathmandu sightseeing trip will begin in the morning. After breakfast, you will be taken towards Kathmandu Durbar (Palace) Square, one of the heritage sites where you can view many historical and cultural monuments.
Later, you will visit another heritage site known as Pashupatinath Temple. This is a sacred Hindu Temple of Lord Shiva which is always crowded by Hindu pilgrims. After lunch, we visit the Buddhist pilgrimage Swoyambhunath (famous by the name of Monkey temple among tourists). Likewise, Boudhanath Shrine will be covered by the evening. After concluding the sightseeing, there will be a seminar for you to attend to discuss the upcoming trekking plans.
Day 03: Kathmandu to Pokhara 6-7 hours O/N Hotel
After exploring the historic Kathmandu Valley, on the day, you will board a tourist bus which will take you towards Pokhara, one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. During this 6-7 hours bus ride, you can see Trishuli River along the way. You will reach Pokhara during the early afternoon hours. After lunch, you can wander around the beautiful lake city known for enthralling spectators with its superb mountain views.
Day 04: Pokhara to Jomsom to Kagbeni (2800 m) 20 minutes O/N Lodge
You will have to wake up early as the flight to Jomsom leaves in the morning. The super scenic flight takes around 20 minutes to touchdown in Jomsom. You will have a whale of a time in the flight as you can see the most amazing natural views from the airplane window. The trek to Kagbeni will start after lunch. You will reach Kagbeni before sunset where you will get ample time to stroll around the village.
Day 05: Kagbeni to Chele (3100m) 5-6 hours O/N Lodge
Following some rivers over a series of small ridges, on the day, you will proceed towards Chele. During the trip, you will come across various black, red and white Chortens known as hallmarks of the upper Mustang region. You will reach Chele before sunset.
Day 06: Chele to Geling (3570m) 5-6 hours O/N Lodge
The trek towards Geling will continue in the morning. Hiking on undulated trails you will reach Geling, a small village in the district where the buildings painted in red symbolize monasteries in the region.
Day 07: Geling to Charang (3560m) 5-6 hours O/N Lodge
The trip to Charang is going to be an exciting one. On the way, you will come across different white dzongs and red Gompas. You will reach Charang for an overnight stay.
Day 08: Charang to Lo Manthang (3840m) 5-6 hours O/N Lodge
This is going to be an exciting day as you hike towards the walled city of Lo Manthang after crossing the Marang (Chogo) la (4230m). This is a historical town known for known for thousand years’ old monasteries, caves, arts and architecture of the local tribes. You will have to enter this picturesque city through a gate located in the northeast corner.
Day 09: Explore around Lo-Manthang O/N Lodge
This day is reserved for exploring and sightseeing in Lo-Manthang.
Today, you will visit Gompas, ancient palaces, and few historical monuments. Also, you will visit few caves, and cave temples that typify upper Mustang.
Day 10: Lo-Manthang to Drakmar (3820m) 5-6 hours O/N Lodge
Leaving the historical place behind, on the day, you will head towards Drakmar known for large tracts of terraced fields set against red cliffs. Also, you can also see many cave-dwelling in the area.
Day 11: Drakmar to Shyangmochen (3850m) 5-6 hours O/N Lodge
On the day, you will leave for Shyangmochen which is famous for a colorful chorten on the top of the Shyangmochen La. Form the high elevated village, you can witness a good view of surrounding mountains.
Day 12: Shyangmochen to Chhuksang (2980m) 5-6 hours O/N Lodge
This day’s hiking trails are on the rougher side with scary slips and detours. However, you will proceed carefully towards Chhuksang, a village by the Kali Gandaki River.
Day 13: Chhuksang to Kagbeni 5-6 hours O/N Lodge
The trails get smoother as you walk towards Kagbeni. Passing some forests and rivers you will reach Kagbeni for an overnight shelter.
Day 14: Kagbeni to Jomsom 5-6 hours O/N Lodge
This is the final day of the trek as you prepare yourself to hike to Jomsom following the lower altitude trail in the Annapurna region. Hiking past some dense forest area you will slowly proceed towards Jomsom. On the way, you will also see few monasteries that resemble unique Buddhist culture and tradition. You have completed venturing Upper Mustang as you reach Jomsom. You can stroll in this beautiful place or relax in a lodge.
Day 15: Jomsom to Pokhara 20 minutes O/N Hotel
You have completed your trekking as you wait to board a Pokhara bound flight from Jomsom. You excitement level will proliferate as the plane flies between hills before it reaches to a required elevation. The 20 minutes flight will also give you a bird’s eye view of glorious Pokhara city by the time it prepares to land.
After landing at the Pokhara airport, the company representative will transfer you to your designated hotels. You can make the most of your day by going around the Pokhara city which will glorify you with its water beauties.
Day 16: Pokhara to Kathmandu 6-7 hours O/N Hotel
In the morning, you will have to pack your bags to leave for Kathmandu. For the return trip, you will be offered a choice either to fly or to take the road. Whatever means of transportation you choose, you will be left with some time to go around the streets of the capital city for shopping. The day will give you a last chance to add up to your shopping list.
Day 17: 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. Have a safe flight back home!
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 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:
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. 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.
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 to strenuous 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 are 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.
Trekking Guides and Staff:
For the Upper Mustang Trekking, there will be one Guide and/or porter for luggage carrying (2 trekkers: 1 porter). 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.