Annapurna Circuit trek is one of the...
Upper Mustang trek
USD -2100/16 Night 17 Days
Explore the hidden mustang valley in the northwestern Nepal and traverse across the rocky landscape. The wind and the weather make the Upper Mustang trek a unique experience for all trekkers. The unique customs and lifestyles are something that is very different from the outside world that it is segregated from. Actually, it is this isolation that has enabled Mustang to retain much of its culture.
Mustang is a restricted area that needs a permit to enter and trek. In the land of Mustang, the Buddhist and Tibetan culture is prevalent among the people. Lo Manthang is the capital of Mustang that is walled by all the sides and this city is one of the attractions in the region.
In this uncharted trek to the Upper Mustang, the trekkers will traverse through the diverse landscapes including the thin forest, rocky terrains, and plain terraces. The view of the mighty peaks of Mt. Dhaulagiri (8,167m) as well as Annapurna and Nilgiri mountains serves as a marvelous backdrop to the mesmerizing landscape of hills, rivers, and ethnic villages.
Upper Mustang trek is a good chance to contribute to the marginalized society as the portion of the money that you will spend taking on the Upper Mustang trek will be donated to the community in fulfilling their basic needs. The proceeds will be used to help the people living in the rural areas. Indirectly, you will be helping to make someone’s life a better one.
Located in the foothills of the great Dhaulagiri Massif the forbidden land of Mustang is a hidden gem. From the naturally diverse landscape, the great white mountains to the mixture of Tibetan and Nepalese culture this trek is an amalgamation of nature and culture that provides ecstasy like no others. Mustang has been named ‘The last forbidden kingdom of Nepal’ due to its isolation from the outside world that has helped it to preserve its culture that has remained untouched throughout the time.
Trekkers will have a chance to trek inside the great Kali Gandaki Valley, one of the deepest valley in the world. Initially, the trail goes through deep jungles and move to the valley. Entering the outskirts of the Mustang valley the landscape turns rocky with the beautiful backdrop of the western Himalayas. The epic adventure to the remote trans- Himalayas region is a journey of wonder. There are several passes that we have to cross across the way that shows the view of the surrounding valley and mountains. As we trek to the walled city of Lo Manthang we will walk through the barren rocky landscape with no trees in distance to see which gives us that desert feels in the middle of the great mountains. As a result, Upper Mustang Trek has been called ‘Mountain Desert’ trek.
Despite the huge craze for the trek, the Government of Nepal opened this route for trekking only after 1992, before this the region didn’t allow foreign trekker to travel. We will still need trekking permit to enter this region.
Trekking in this uncharted place needs much more than a curiosity. The diverse landscape, the ups, and downs to and from the valley, the rocky and uneven lands, dry and cold winds push the trekkers to the limit. Although this trek has been rated as moderate in its difficulty, endurance and stamina is something that trekkers are expected to possess. However, if we trek carefully this is not a difficult trek to conquer. The highest altitude is 4,140 which is not much of a challenge and does not cause altitude sickness. Mustang, however, is very windy so we expect you to prepare for that.
Along with the jaw dropping Mustang valley, trekkers can also enjoy the side trip to enjoy the cultural city of Kathmandu as you will visit several holy temples and monasteries along with enjoying the exquisite nightlife of the city. Pokhara is another city that you will visit and the lake city is equally as attractive with several pubs and bars with live music all around.
The appropriate month to travel would be from March to May, which is spring in Nepal. The weather is perfect to trek with neither too hot or too cold weather. The trail is dry and trekkers can enjoy the full view of the mountains with no cloud to obstruct. Autumn (November – December) is the second best time to travel. In these two seasons, we can see many internal and international tourists. After autumn comes winter which is the lest favored time to travel as it becomes too difficult to handle the cold. And although the dry valley of Mustang does not receive any rain, the rainy season does affect the early trekking routes before entering the valley of Mustang.
Along with the pleasure of the chance to travel in this heaven on earth, you will also be contributing indirectly to the poor and marginalized people in the rural part of Nepal. The proceeds from your fund that you expend for this trek will be utilized to provide these marginalized people the basic need that they have been deprived of. It will also be used to build the basic infrastructure to make their life a better one. On one hand, you will enjoy the everlasting beauty of nature, and on the other, promoting the life of people.
Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu
You will arrive in Kathmandu – the capital city of Nepal via Tribhuvan International Airport. After you are transferred to the hotel, the briefing about the trek will be done. Depending on the time of your arrival, you can stroll around the city and enjoy the bustling nightlife in Thamel.
Day 2: Kathmandu sightseeing
Before the actual journey, we will take this day to visit various religious and cultural sites in the valley. This includes the Durbar square- the palace of the kings, Pashupatinath – the holy temple for Hindu pilgrims, Bouddhanath- the largest stupa and Swoyambhunath – the monkey temple. Returning to the hotel we will have a final briefing of the trek. Get packing for the next day.
Day 3: Kathmandu – Pokhara (827m)
Early morning breakfast at the hotel and we drive to Pokhara. This is a long ride but accompanied by the view of the hills and the rivers along the way. We will also stop by various small cities along the way with the view of the mountains and farm terraces in the distance. Reaching Pokhara we will rest our luggage at the hotel and excurse the lake city. Boating and cycling around this clean city is something that we can do. There are numerous pubs in the city that we can go. They often have live music that is perfect for a nice dinner. 8 hours of drive.
Day 4: Pokhara – Kagbeni (1,810m)
After our breakfast in the hotel, we will fly to Jomsom- the apple city of Nepal famous for its delicious apples, apple wines and other delicacies made up of apples. From there we start our trek to Kagbeni – the entrance to Upper Mustang. We will trek alongside the Kali Gandaki valley while enjoying the view of the magnificent mountains like Mt. Dhaulagiri, Mt. Tukuche(6,920m) and the other Himalayas. Reaching Kagbeni we stay for the night. 30 minutes of flight. 4 hours of walk. BLD included.
Day 5: Kagbeni – Chele (3,050m)
Since Kagbeni is our entry to the land, we need to show our permit to proceed further. We start off early and take the route west and reach the Chuksang valley. We will cross the Kali Gandaki river in a wooden bridge. From there we will ascend through the rocky and green hills that lead to drylands. Tangbe is the village we pass and descending along the riverbed we reach the end of the valley. We climb up the trail and reach Chele. 6 hours of walk. BLD included.
Day 6: Chele – Syanboche (3,475m)
Following the trail towards the west we have to cross two passes- Taklam La (3,624m) and Dajori La (3,735m). These shows the view of the enticing Kali Gandaki valley and mountains in the distance. Reaching the village of Samar, we rest for a bit and continue on. After climbing the ridge, we trek through the thin forest and reach the open area. We can see the mountain sheep grazing in the distance. We reach Syanboche which is a rather cold village. 7 hours of walk. BLD included.
Day 7: Syanboche – Ghami (3,520m)
After our breakfast, we climb to the first pass of the day- the Yamda La (3,850m). There are classy Buddhist chorten and prayer flags. Proceeding, we reach the village of Ghelung. We rest for a while and vis the two Gompas in the area. Then we ascend through the barren hills and reach Nyi La (4,010m)– the second pass. We descend down to the third pass – The Ghami La. Here, the village of Ghami is located in the shadow of the Mustang valley. This is the third largest village in Mustang. There are many mani walls and chortens both inside and outside Ghami. We stay for the night. 6 hours of walk. BLD included.
Day 8: Ghami – Tsarang (3,620m)
Descending through a rather slippery trail we reach a long suspension bridge over the Ghami Khola. We ascend to Tsarang La (3,810m) with the view of the desert looking landscape in the horizon with barren land and hills with no trees in miles. There are more red chortens and monasteries as we reach Tsarang which lies above the great Charang Chu canyon. Tsarang is Mustang’s second largest village. 6 hours of walk. BLD included.
Day 9: Tsarang – Lo Manthang (3,730m)
We take breakfast and ascend to Lo La (3,950m). The view of the surrounding valley and the mountains at the distance and the barren and rocky lands makes one of the greatest scenes ever. We can take some great pictures in the windy pass after which we descend down through the path between the rock formation to the capital city of Mustang – the Lo Manthang where we can stroll around the city. 4 hours for the walk. BLD included.
Day 10: Exploration in Lo Manthang
Lo Manthang is the walled city with a several chortens with the prevalent Buddhist culture. The Nilgiri mountains and Annapurna I (8,091m) serves as a great backdrop to the uncharted desert city. Google it, you will be impressed. This is the day we dedicate to explore the city and enjoy the beauty of the walled city with its lifestyle, culture, and religion. We will also stroll around and visit the gompas in the area. Another alternative is hiking up to the Tingkhar- a village located north west of the city. BLD included.
Day 11: Lo Manthang – Drakmar (3,730m)
We have two alternatives to choose from. We can either return the way we came or use an alternative route. Since new route brings about new scenery we chose the latter one. Initially, we ascend through the pastures and reach above the hill from where we can see the Lo Manthang for the last time. Then we again descend through the rocky hill and reach Gyakar village. The village also has Buddhist religion followed by the people with the prayer flags and rock paintings all around. Since it lies just in the shadow of the hill, the view is great on all sides. Continuing through the rocky trails we reach the village of Drakmar. 7 hours of walk. BLD included.
Day 12: Drakmar – Ghiling (3,806m)
In the land of Mustang, strong winds are common so we tread early. We have an easy walk through the rocky terrain, however, the strong winds bring about dust and small rocks that may make it difficult to travel. We gradually ascend up the rocky landscape and make it there from where we can see the dry brown hills and the view of Mt. Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri mountains in the distance. The trees become visible as we move to Ghiling along with the red chortens and wall paintings. 6 hours of walk. BLD included.
Day 13: Ghiling – Chhuksang (3,050m¬)
Breakfast in Ghiling and we descend through the rocky lands. The trail is dry with hustling winds as we traverse across the uneven lands. We pass few small villages until we reach Chhuksand located on the shadow of the great hill. This is a beautiful village with greenery and artistic rocks and houses. There are Buddhist chortens in the village as well. 5 hours of walk. BLD included.
Day 14: Chhuksang – Jomsom (2,700m)
Initially, we trek through an open rocky wasteland with uneven lands. After that, it’s a long descent down towards the end of the Mustang valley. Now, we are in the Annapurna circuit region. After reaching Kagbeni we stop for a nice rest and enjoy the cool breeze with the view of the mountains in the distance. Then we walk to Jomsom where we stay for the night. 7 hours of walk. BLD included.
Day 15: Jomsom – Pokhara
After our breakfast in Jomsom, we take a short flight to Pokhara. The plane takes us between the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountains and finally to the Lake City. We will have the entire day to spend. There are many activities that we can partake in. There are three major lakes in Pokhara that we can visit – Begnas, Rupa, and Fewa each with their unique beauty. We can ride up to an old stupa – Peace Pagoda that rests atop the hill from where we can view the entire city and the restful Fewa lake. 30 minutes of flight Breakfast included.
Day 16: Pokhara – Kathmandu
We drive back to Kathmandu through Prithvi Highway. Along the way, we will stop by various towns for toilet breaks as well as lunch. In this long journey, there is a high probability that you will have a nice long nap on the bus. Or, you can enjoy the beautiful hills and waters, that never gets old. We reach Kathmandu and stroll around the city and have some souvenir shopping to take back home. Since this is the last day, you can enjoy it with the nightlife in Thamel, the extravagant pub and the live music at various bars. 8 hours of drive
Day 17: Departure
Depending on the time of arrival of your flight, you will be escorted to the Tribhuvan International Airport. You will reach few hours before the departure where you might have to wait as you reminisced about the wonderful two weeks you had.
-Flight Fair (Guest and Guide)
-Airport pickup and Drop.
-Budget Hotel Accommodation on bed breakfast plan
-All ground transportations as per itinerary
-3 meals per day during the trek (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner) and one cup of tea with per meal
-Accommodation on Tea-house during the trekking
-An experienced English Speaking Guide
-Necessary Porter 1: 2 (one porter for two Guests), the porter will Carry 15-20KG/
-All applicable taxes as per the government rules and regulations
-(TIMS) Trekker’s information Management System
-First Aid medical kit, Oxymeter to check pulse, heart rate and oxygen saturation at higher altitude
-General equipment for Porter during the adventure trip
-Guide and porter salary and insurance during the trek
-All organizational requirements
– Nepal visa fee
-Your International flights
-Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu and Pokhara.
– Mountain rescue service if required
-Personal expenses (phone, laundry, water, bar drinks, battery recharge, extra porters, hot shower etc.)
-Trip cancellation cost accident or Health, Loss Theft or Damage and personal effects
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