Upper Mustang Trek: In the Footsteps of Ancient Kingdom

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Duration

15 nights 16 days

Tour Type

Daily Tour

Group Size

8 people

Languages

English

About this tour

Start your journey on the Upper Mustang Trek, a thrilling adventure that challenges you physically and reveals the amazing beauty of an ancient kingdom.

Moreover, the Upper Mustang Trek is great for people who love hiking, staying fit, enjoying nature, or going on a memorable trip with family and friends. Furthermore, explore the hidden world of the ancient Buddhist kingdom of Mustang, which is similar to a smaller version of Tibet in Nepal.

Additionally, the Upper Mustang Trek isn’t just about seeing beautiful landscapes. It’s an adventure that changes you, helps you learn about different cultures, and allows you to feel a strong connection with nature.

Here are some important highlights and details to keep in mind before embarking on the Upper Mustang Trek…

Mustang Region:

Located in northern Nepal, the Mustang region is rich in ancient tales and breathtaking scenery. Often dubbed the “Forbidden Kingdom” due to its historical isolation, this area boasts a unique cultural heritage preserved over time.

Visitors can witness this culture in the architecture and customs of ancient monasteries like Lo Manthang.

Furthermore, besides its cultural importance, Mustang is also known for its rugged mountains and wide-open spaces, which look amazing against the clear skies. Trekking here is like stepping back in time, exploring old caves, and enjoying the peacefulness.

Upper Mustang:

Upper Mustang, situated in the northern part of Nepal, holds a wealth of ancient secrets within its borders. Referred to as the “Last Forbidden Kingdom,” its isolation has safeguarded its distinct culture, evident in the ancient monasteries and breathtaking landscapes awaiting trekkers.

Moreover, life thrives amidst the barren valleys of Upper Mustang, showcasing how strong its people are. With each step you take, you learn more about its mysterious beauty. It’s like going on a special journey, where you hear old songs mixing with soft sounds, inviting you to explore more.

Lo manthang:

Lo Manthang serves as the capital city of Upper Mustang, and it’s where the Mustang king lives. It used to be part of Tibet a long time ago and still holds traces of its old kingdom days.

Lo covers the northern part of the Mustang district and has a strong Tibetan influence in its culture and language. Meanwhile, the southern part, called Thak, belongs to the Thakali people, who have their language and a mix of Tibetan and Nepalese cultures.

In 2007, something amazing happened: they found twelve caves near the village, decorated with ancient Buddhist paintings. These caves sit high up on cliffs, about 14,000 feet above sea level, adding even more mystery to the area.

Trail, Geography, Flora and Fauna:

The Upper Mustang trek unveils a trail that meanders through desert-like landscapes, deep canyons, and alongside rocky cliffs adorned with ancient Tibetan Buddhist shrines.

Additionally, the geography is marked by its stark, barren beauty, contrasting with the vibrant Tibetan culture that thrives in this harsh environment. Historically, the Mustang region was a trade route between Nepal and Tibet, which contributes to its rich cultural tapestry.

Moreover, the Mustang region is steeped in mythology, including stories of Padmasambhava, the founder of Tibetan Buddhism. While the area is not known for its wildlife, it’s home to rare species like the snow leopard in its higher altitudes and diverse flora adapted to its arid conditions.

Challenges:

The Upper Mustang Trek is considered moderate to challenging, and suitable for those with good physical fitness. Moreover, accessing this remote area requires a special permit, preserving its uniqueness and solitude.

The journey begins with a flight from Pokhara to Jomsom, followed by days of trekking in the thinning air of high altitudes. Consequently, acclimatization becomes key to a successful trek.

Food and Accommodation:

Accommodations along the Upper Mustang Trek vary. You can stay in cozy teahouses with a rustic feel or choose more comfortable lodges with basic amenities. This ensures that everyone can find a place to rest during the trek.

As for food, you’ll enjoy a mix of Nepalese, Tibetan, and continental cuisines. The menus offer a variety of options like dal bhat, momos, thukpa, and more to suit different tastes and diets. Mealtime becomes a fun part of the trekking experience for everyone.

Weather on Upper Mustang Trek:

The best times for the Upper Mustang Trek are in spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November). During these seasons, the weather is great, with clear skies, mild temperatures, and excellent visibility, which makes the trekking experience in the Mustang region even better.

Moreover, in spring, you’ll see the landscape burst with colorful flowers, making the rugged terrain look beautiful. Furthermore, autumn brings cool air and amazing views of the Himalayan peaks, creating a stunning background for your Upper Mustang Trek.

Both seasons are perfect for exploring the ancient kingdom of Mustang and learning about its rich culture.

Safety Tips for Upper Mustang Trek:

Staying safe during the Upper Mustang Trek is super important. Here are some simple things to remember:

First, take it slow and let your body get used to the high altitudes to avoid feeling sick from the altitude. Second, make sure to drink plenty of water and protect your skin from the strong sun.

Third, listen to the guides who know the area well and can help you stay safe. Lastly, be ready for the weather to change suddenly, so bring some extra layers just in case. By following these tips, you can have a fun and safe adventure exploring the upper Mustang region.

Gears and Packing for Upper Mustang Trek:

Before you start your trek, it’s really important to check all your gear. Our team will help you organize everything you need, like the right clothes, shoes, and equipment. You’ll need a good backpack, sleeping bag, warm clothes, a waterproof jacket, sturdy boots, sunglasses, and sunscreen.

Moreover, we’ll give you a detailed list of all the gear you’ll need for the trek, so you’ll be fully prepared for the Himalayan weather. Having all the right gear will make sure you have a great time trekking without any worries.

Electricity and Internet:

Along the Upper Mustang Trek, you might find electricity and internet, but they might not always work well, especially in the remote parts of the journey. So, it’s smart to bring extra batteries or a power bank and not rely too much on the internet to stay connected.

The Upper Mustang Trek isn’t just a walk; it’s a journey into the heart of the Himalayas. It shows you a way of life that’s been around for centuries. It’s tough, it’s inspiring, and it changes the people who go on it.

Upper Mustang trek itinerary:

Set out on an unforgettable 16-day journey through the enchanting landscapes of Upper Mustang Trek. Below is a concise itinerary to guide you through the exploration of the captivating Mustang region:

Day 1: Welcome to Kathmandu (1,400m)
Day 2: Drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara
Day 3: Fly from Pokhara to Jomsom, Trek to Kagbeni (2,847m)
Day 4: Trek from Kagbeni to Chele (3,050m)
Day 5: Trek from Chele to Zhaite (3,730m)
Day 6: Trek from Zhaite to Charang via Dhakmar and Lo Gekar (3,575m)
Day 7: Explore the Ancient City of Lo Manthang (3,820m)
Day 8: Discover Namgyal Gompa and Tingkhar Village in Lo Manthang (3,780m)
Day 9: Explore the Chosar Valley in Lo Manthang (3,780m)
Day 10: Trek from Lo Manthang to Dhakmar via Lo Gekar (3,730m)
Day 11: Trek from Dhakmar to Geling (3,570m)
Day 12: Trek from Geling to Chuksang (2,950m)
Day 13: Trek from Chuksang to Jomsom (2,750m)
Day 14: Fly from Jomsom to Pokhara (853m)
Day 15: Drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu
Day 16: Departure: Fly Back Home”

Highlights

  • Scenic drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara: Witness the beauty of Nepal's countryside, terraced fields, and the Trishuli River along the way.
  • Flight from Pokhara to Jomsom: Enjoy aerial views of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountain ranges during this stunning flight.
  • Trek from Jomsom to Kagbeni: Begin your trek in the Mustang region, exploring the medieval village of Kagbeni at the gateway to Upper Mustang.
  • Ancient villages and landscapes: Traverse through traditional villages like Chele, Zhaite, and Charang, each offering unique insights into local life and culture amidst breathtaking high-desert landscapes.
  • Sacred sites and monasteries: Visit significant cultural and religious sites, including Lo Gekar and the ancient Ghar Gompa, one of the oldest Tibetan Buddhist monasteries.
  • The royal city of Lo Manthang: Explore the walled city of Lo Manthang, a highlight of the trip, with its royal palace, centuries-old monasteries, and rich cultural heritage.
  • Namgyal Gompa and Tingkhar Village: Discover the serene Namgyal Gompa and visit Tingkhar, the last village to the northwest of Lo Manthang, offering a glimpse into local life.
  • Chosar Valley exploration: Experience the stunning Chosar Valley, known for its impressive caves and the ancient monastery, showcasing the region's rich history and adaptability.
  • Panoramic views and natural beauty: Enjoy the dramatic landscapes, from red sandstone cliffs near Dhakmar to the lush greenery as you descend back towards Chuksang and Jomsom.
  • Cultural immersion: Engage with the local communities, experiencing their warm hospitality and learning about their traditions and way of life in one of the most remote regions of the world.
  • Reflection and transformation: The journey through Upper Mustang is not just a physical trek but a journey of self-discovery and reflection, offering a profound connection with nature and the ancient cultures of Nepal.

Included/Excluded

  • All necessary government and local permits and entrance fees.
  • 2-night accommodation in Kathmandu and 1 night in Pokhara, including breakfast.
  • 3 meals a day during the trek.
  • 2 way flight tickets pokhara-jomsom-pokhara
  • Twin-sharing teahouse accommodation, with occasional dormitory stays in the mountains.
  • Tourist bus transportation between Kathmandu and Pokhara.
  • Twin-sharing teahouse accommodation during the treks
  • All your standard meals during the trek (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner), including one hot drink and seasonal fruits.
  • One duffle bag, Sleeping bag, down jacket to be returned after the trek.
  • Strong porters during the trek for carrying luggage (1 porter for every two clients ie: 10kg each )
  • Experienced, first-aid trained, government licensed, English-speaking Travel Makers South Asia's trekking guide.
  • Insurance, food and accommodation for staff.
  • Half day sightseeing in Kathmandu, with a car/van with a certified tour guide.
  • An executive farewell dinner on the last night in Nepal.
  • All administrative expenses and government taxes.
  • Trek completion certificate and map.
  • Insurance for guests.
  • Beverages, meals, and accommodations outside of those specified (available for purchase at teahouses).
  • Tips for guides and porters.
  • Additional costs or delays caused by landslides, weather conditions, itinerary changes due to safety concerns, changes in government policies, strikes, and personal illness.

Itinerary

Time: As per your ticket
Distance: N/A
Altitude: 1,400 meters
Welcome to the heart of Nepal, Kathmandu – a city where the whispers of the past coexist with the hustle of modern life.
Your journey into the extraordinary starts here, at an elevation of 1,400 meters, cradled by the majestic Himalayas.
Upon your arrival, a warm greeting awaits from one of our experienced guides, ensuring a seamless transition from the moment you land to your comfortable accommodation.
This day is yours to relax and immerse yourself in the anticipation of the adventure that lies ahead.

Time: 6-7 hours
Distance: Approximately 200 km
Altitude: 820 meters
Embark on a scenic drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara, a journey that weaves through the heart of Nepal's diverse landscapes.
Over 6-7 hours, you'll witness the terraced fields, rural communities, and the Trishuli River's flowing beauty, culminating in your arrival at Pokhara, the serene lake city.
At 820 meters, Pokhara offers a tranquil ambiance and breathtaking views of the Annapurna range, setting the stage for the trekking experiences to come. Spend your evening exploring the Lakeside area or simply relaxing by Phewa Lake, soaking in the peaceful atmosphere.

Time: 25-minute flight; 3-4 hours trekking
Distance: 8 km
Altitude: 2,847 meters
An early morning flight takes you from Pokhara to Jomsom, a stunning aerial journey over the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges.
Jomsom, at 2,720 meters, serves as the gateway to the Mustang region.
From here, you embark on a 3-4 hour trek to Kagbeni, a medieval village that marks the entry point to Upper Mustang.
As you trek along the Kali Gandaki riverbed, the landscape transitions to arid, high-altitude deserts.
Kagbeni, at 2,847 meters, offers your first glimpse into Mustang's rich cultural heritage, with its narrow alleyways and ancient monasteries awaiting exploration.

Time: 5-6 hours
Distance: 13 km
Altitude: 3,050 meters
Your journey into the heart of Mustang continues as you trek from Kagbeni to Chele.
This 5-6 hour trek spans approximately 13 kilometers, introducing you to the stark, stunning landscapes that characterize the region.
The trail ascends through unspoiled villages and past terraced fields, gradually revealing the vastness and beauty of the Upper Mustang. Chele, at 3,050 meters, serves as a perfect stop to rest and acclimatize, offering a serene night under the stars in the shadow of towering cliffs.

Time: 7-8 hours
Distance: 16 km
Altitude: 3,730 meters
Prepare for a day of significant ascent as you trek from Chele to Zhaite.
This 7-8 hour journey covers around 16 kilometers, taking you through narrow canyons, alongside scenic plateaus, and past ancient chortens that dot the landscape.
The route challenges and rewards in equal measure, with breathtaking panoramic views that unveil the rugged beauty of Mustang.
Zhaite, at 3,730 meters, is a tranquil spot to rejuvenate, offering a peaceful retreat after a day of adventurous trekking.

Time: 5-6 hours
Distance: 14 km
Altitude: 3,575 meters
Today’s trek leads you through some of Mustang's most sacred sites.
From Zhaite, you'll venture towards Charang via Dhakmar and the ancient Ghar Gompa at Lo Gekar.
This 5-6 hour trek spans 14 kilometers, traversing landscapes colored by tales of Padmasambhava and adorned with some of the oldest Tibetan Buddhist murals.
Charang, at 3,575 meters, is a treasure trove of history, with its sprawling monastery and royal palace, inviting you to step back in time.

Time: 5-6 hours
Distance: 12 km
Altitude: 3,820 meters
The trek from Charang to Lo Manthang is a journey into the heart of Mustang's ancient kingdom.
This 5-6 hour trek, covering 12 kilometers, takes you across barren landscapes to the walled city of Lo Manthang.
At 3,820 meters, this city is a living museum, boasting centuries-old monasteries, royal palaces, and a labyrinth of narrow streets.
Spend your afternoon exploring the city's rich cultural heritage, immersing yourself in its timeless beauty and the warm hospitality of its people.

Time: Rest day
Distance: N/A
Altitude: 3,780 meters
Embrace a day of rest in Lo Manthang, allowing yourself to fully absorb the serene beauty and spiritual essence of this ancient city.
Visit the nearby Namgyal Gompa, a significant local monastery, and Tingkhar, the last village to the northwest of Lo Manthang.
This day offers a unique opportunity to connect with the local culture and landscape, providing a deeper understanding of the region's heritage.

Time: Rest day
Distance: N/A
Altitude: 3,780 meters
Continue your exploration of Lo Manthang's surroundings with a visit to the Chosar Valley.
This area is renowned for its stunning caves, carved into the cliffsides, and its ancient monasteries.
The day offers a fascinating glimpse into the region's history and the adaptability of its people, who have thrived in this harsh landscape for centuries.
Enjoy another restful night in Lo Manthang, soaking in the tranquil atmosphere and preparing for the journey ahead.

Time: 6-7 hours
Distance: 15 km
Altitude: 3,730 meters
Begin your return journey by trekking from Lo Manthang to Dhakmar, passing through Lo Gekar on the way.
This 6-7 hour trek covers 15 kilometers, offering one last opportunity to visit the ancient Ghar Gompa, one of the oldest Tibetan Buddhist monasteries. The trail back is as stunning as the journey out, with red sandstone cliffs and vast landscapes providing a dramatic backdrop.
Dhakmar, at 3,730 meters, offers a peaceful setting to reflect on the journey thus far.

Time: 4-5 hours
Distance: 10 km
Altitude: 3,570 meters
The trek from Dhakmar to Geling is a 4-5 hour journey, covering 10 kilometers through serene landscapes and past vibrant fields that contrast with the stark mountains.
Geling, at 3,570 meters, invites you to enjoy its historic monasteries and the warm hospitality of the local community.
This day offers a gentler pace, allowing for ample reflection on the transformative nature of your journey through Mustang.

Time: 7-8 hours
Distance: 15 km
Altitude: 2,950 meters
As you trek from Geling to Chuksang, prepare for a 7-8 hour journey spanning 15 kilometers.
This leg of the trek offers a gradual descent through changing landscapes, where the high desert terrain begins to blend with the lush greenery of the lower Mustang.
Chuksang, at 2,950 meters, is a vibrant village where you can experience the confluence of Mustang's natural beauty and its rich cultural tapestry.

Time: 5-6 hours
Distance: 18 km
Altitude: 2,750 meters
Your final trekking day leads from Chuksang back to Jomsom, a 5-6 hour journey covering 18 kilometers.
This last stretch offers a reflective path through the Kali Gandaki Gorge, providing a serene environment to contemplate the journey's impact. Jomsom, at 2,750 meters, welcomes you back with its unique blend of natural beauty and cultural diversity, offering a fitting conclusion to your trek.

Time: 25-minute flight
Distance: N/A
Altitude: 853 meters
Take a morning flight from Jomsom to Pokhara, a brief 25-minute journey that brings you back to the tranquil lakeside city.
This return to Pokhara offers a chance to rest and reflect on your adventure in the Mustang region, with its serene beauty serving as a gentle reintegration to more urban surroundings.

Time: 6-7 hours
Distance: Approximately 200 km
Altitude: 1,400 meters
Your journey back to Kathmandu retraces the scenic route through Nepal's heartland.
This 6-7 hour drive is an opportunity to witness once more the diverse landscapes and vibrant communities that make Nepal unique.
Upon arrival in Kathmandu, spend your remaining time exploring any unseen corners of the city or simply relaxing in preparation for your journey home.

Time: As per your flight schedule
Distance: N/A
Altitude: N/A
On your final day, take a moment to reflect on the incredible journey you've undertaken, from the bustling streets of Kathmandu to the serene heights of Mustang and back.
As you prepare to fly back home, carry with you not just memories but a piece of Nepal's enduring spirit and the transformative experiences that have shaped your adventure.

Durations

16 Days

Languages

English

Tour's Location

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