This trip opens up a different part of Nepal, where foreigners were forbidden for many years, and Mustang remains restricted. It’s for intrepid travellers with good fitness and previous experience at high altitude, to experience Tibetan culture and small villages. See unique rock formations and arid cliffs, as well as the legendary walled Lo Manthang. As Mustang isn’t affected by monsoons, this adventure is possible year-round.

Key information

Destinations Destinations Lo Manthang, Upper Mustang, Kathmandu
Activity Activity Culture, Active, Trekking
Physical Level Physical Level Strenuous
Season Season January - December

Suggested itinerary

Arrive Kathmandu and fly to Pokhara

Arrive Kathmandu and fly to Pokhara

Day 1–2 in Pokhara

Arrive at Tribhuvan International Airport, where you’ll be met and receive a private transfer to the Hotel. Get a briefing and enjoy dinner in the city. A special permit ($500 USD) is required for this trek, so it’s required to present hard copies of your passport by 10:00hrs to the permit issuing office. The office is open Sunday-Thursday, Friday Mornings, closed Saturday/public holidays. This requires extra days in Kathmandu.

the next day, take a private transfer back to the airport for the 25min flight to Pokhara. You're met on arrival and transferred to your hotel. Enjoy the day in the sub-tropical climate, your opportunity to relax before the trek. There are many lakeside cafes and bars, as well as several options for food.

Fly to Jomsom and Walk to Kagbeni

Fly to Jomsom and Walk to Kagbeni

Day 3 in Kagbeni

Take 18min flight to Jomsom (2736m). The Kagbeni walk only takes 3hrs so you can stop at one of the teahouses to enjoy views of the peak of Nilgiri South and the Upper Kali Gandaki Valley. It's mostly fairly level walking, with a few uphill and downhill sections. Outside Jomsom if you look back you'll see the white pyramid of Dhaulagiri.

Trek to Chhusang and acclimatise

Trek to Chhusang and acclimatise

Day 4–5 in Chhusang

At the edge of Kagbeni the police post checks permits to enter the restricted Upper Mustang area. You'll walk to the valley floor, with the Nilgiri Peaks behind you and distinct Mustang landscape ahead. You reach Tengbe with its typical colourful houses and timber log roofs. Next, you’ll ascend gradually and Chhusang village (approx 3020m) comes into view. Walking time 4-5hrs.

As Mustang is part of the Tibetan Plateau and is relentless high altitude all the way, it's a good idea to have an acclimatisation day at just above 3000m. It’s not exactly a rest day, unless you choose that. You can take a short hike in the area, but avoid over-exertion. One suggestion is to visit the nearby Sky Caves.

Walk to Ghilin

Walk to Ghilin

Day 6 in Ghilin

A longer day heading firstly up to a col and then ascending even higher to cross a 3900m pass. The views of the Mustang mountainscapes are particularly dramatic. Heading down a bit and then around you reach another great viewpoint and will see your overnight stop down below. The descent is straightforward to reach Ghilin (3570m). Walking time approx. 5-6hrs.

Hike to Lo Manthang

Hike to Lo Manthang

Day 7 in Lo Manthang

Today there are passes as high as 4000m and stops can be made along the way at dramatic viewpoints. You’ll enter the 'Kingdom of Lo' and the fabled walled 'city' of Lo Manthang (approx. 3800m). Walking time around 8hrs. One option is to add more time in Lo Manthang, though it can be explored in a day, or visit the Chossar Caves or the border with Tibet in a chartered jeep.

Hike to Yara

Hike to Yara

Day 8 in Yara

This is a walk that rises steadily and gains some 300m in height to reach the Dhi La (4100m), with great views of the Kali Gandaki and Himalayan peaks on the horizon. It's then a steep descent down to the valley floor and walking beyond the village of Dhi, with a final climb to Yara (3760m). Walking time 5-6hrs

Walk to Tange

Walk to Tange

Day 9 in Tange

Today is a steady rise to a col followed by a descent into the Dechyang Khola Valley. You then ascend onto the broad Sertang Danda ridge and traverse the slopes, up to a 3850m pass. Below is Tange (3370m), and you walk down to the village. Sandals are suggested to ford a few small rivers. Walking time around 6hrs.

A Long Walk to Chhusang

A Long Walk to Chhusang

Day 10 in Chhusang

This is the hardest and longest day of walking. Crossing the Tange Khola (there's a bridge) there’s a long, steep trek to the Lelo La (4200m), with views over the Mustang landscape and Dhaulagiri. Below the pass are the springs at Phaand, the trail then follows the mountain side before a long, steep downhill to Chukksang. Walking time 9-10hrs. As it’s a custom/private trek, this can be split into two days.

Fly to Kathmandu via Pokhara and depart

Fly to Kathmandu via Pokhara and depart

Day 11–12 in Pokhara

After the short flight back to Pokhara you’re in transit until it's time to fly back to Kathmandu. A private transfer will take you to the KGH Hotel. However, you may wish to consider some additional contingency days for any delays/cancellations that can occur for internal flights, or any difficulties that may arise.

A private transfer will take you to the airport for your return international flight.

Where to stay

Many treks feature accommodation in trekking lodges, historically called "teahouses" in Nepal. About 85% of people who go trekking in Nepal are undertaking a teahouse trek. These are usually independent, family owned affairs. They are usually very small, simple and basic.

The teahouses are often remote and isolated, with absolutely everything carried in and carried out, or sourced locally.

Usually all meals are included on your trek. Although meals provided by the teahouses will vary, it is always plentiful in quantity.

Teahouse

Chisapani Teahouse lodge

Teahouses are Nepal's traditional trekking accommodation. They're usually family-owned and basic but they provide welcome shelter from the elements and a warm meal!

Simple

Hotel Karuna

A friendly, family run hotel located close to the "Lakeside Strip" of Pokhara. A very pleasant, relaxed place to stay.

Simple

Thasang Comfort Lodge

A fairly new comfort lodge, dramatically perched high above the Kali Gandaki Valley with sensational views, and comfy rooms (proper beds, bathroom, electricity etc).

Simple

Annapurna Comfort Lodge

Set in the heart of Kagbeni on a narrow cobbled street with real Mustang locals for neighbours, this place is basic but cosy and comfortable and beats the usual 'teahouses' hands down.

Classic

KGH Hotel

The original Kathmandu Guest House, updated as a comfortable hotel to 3* standard. It's slap bang in the middle of Thamel and surrounded by excellent dining options.

Book this itinerary

This route booked with one of our specialist tour operators would cost from $2,215pp. Pricing varies by accommodation class, and can be tailored to suit your budget.

Pricing is typically inclusive of hotels, transfers, meals, and all guided excursions and activities.

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