Trip Facts

Trip Duration 16 Days
Trip Difficulty Moderate
Maximum Altitude 3,810 m/12,500 ft.
Best Season To Visit March-May, June-September, October-November
Average Group Size 2-15 pax

Trip Highlights

  • Trek through a stark desert landscape with spires and cliffs
  • Lying in the rain shadow, a great trek to escape the summer monsoon
  • Tibetan Cultures, Monasteries, Food, Lifestyle.

Trip Overview

The Upper Mustang trek is the ultimate gateway to the mysterious world of the ancient Buddhist kingdom of Mustang, also called Lo.  Upper Mustang was a restricted for foreigners and tourists until 1992 and hence named as Forbidden Kingdom. Upper Mustang, without a second thought, is the beautiful trekking trail up in the Trans-Himalayan Region of Nepal. It is an entirely different land that nurtures you with extreme pleasure, and perks beyond imagination.

This trek passes through one of the arid regions of Nepal and offers beautiful mountain scenery. The incredibly red oxide and silver hues of the lofty cliffs and the endless variety of gray rolling hills of the Mustang will surely imprint in your memory long after you return home. The region is rich in ancient ruins, gompas, old fortresses primeval cave complexes, and amusing legends of history that can leave one speechless.  In addition, you can witness the Tibetan culture that preserves authenticity.  Panoramic vistas of Nilgiri, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, and others, are also part of this thrilling trip!


The trail of trekking in Mustang follows upstream through the quaint villages; Chhusang, Chele, Syanbochen, Ghami, Dhakmar, Charang with the incredible landscape, and monastery. The trail leads through numerous passes; the highest in the Nyi La (3,990 m) and settless in green havens. Finally, you reach the marvelous walled capital of Lo Manthang. Within Lo Manthang itself a visit to Namgyal Gompa and Tingkhar, the last main village in the northwest of the area, as well as the King’s palace, brings a further cultural understanding of the area.

If you are planning to do Upper Mustang trek, we advise you to do it during mid of May. Around mid of May, you will get a chance to observe a fascinating annual festival called- Tiji. All the residents of Lo Manthang celebrate the Tiji festival for three days annually. It involves Tibetan rituals that celebrate the legend of a son who had to save the Mustang kingdom from destruction. It will be a unique opportunity to witness the vibrant color, attire, dancing, and ritual. Furthermore, it is a beautiful moment, for people to exhibit all of those to us.

Note: below trekking hours, altitudes and distances are approximate, and absolutely for the general idea only.

Trip Itinerary

Day 01: Arrive at Kathmandu airport

Altitude above sea level: 1,302 m

Driving Time: Approx. 30 minutes, depending on traffic

Accommodation: Hotel Manaslu or similar

Upon arrival at Tribhuvan International airport, our representative will be awaiting you to cordially welcome you with great hospitality. The representative will be displaying the “Nepal Sanctuary Treks” placard outside the airport terminal.

You will be then escorted and transferred to the hotel in our private vehicle. Further, you will be given a brief description of the activities that will take place during the upcoming trip and a preliminary briefing on hygiene and safety by our representative.

Day 02: Local Market Tour and Explore Cultural Heritage Sites

Altitude above sea level: 1,302 m

Tour Duration:  8 hrs. Approx.

Accommodation: Hotel Manaslu or similar

9:00 AM: After breakfast, you start a guided cultural tour around Kathmandu Valley. Experience the numerous colors, sounds, and tastes of authentic Kathmandu and its surroundings. Our experienced tour guides will tell you all you need to know and answer all your curiosities regarding those sites.

Local Market Tour

Take a short drive to Ason. Then, start wandering Ason and Indrachowk marketplaces to get a glimpse of traditional Nepalese life. Witness the bustle of the market, see how locals purchase the products, and haggle for a bargain. Whilst walking around, enjoy the lively and vibrant atmosphere this local market has to offer. Observe firsthand the local produce people from Nepal actually purchase. You will also take in the sights and smells of the market. Your friendly tour guide will explain in full detail all the products and procedures you will see. There are lots of photo opportunities to capture with your camera.

Kathmandu Durbar Square

Next, head towards Kathmandu Durbar Square, also called Hanuman Dhoka Durbar. This ancient site used to be the residence of the Nepali royal family and administrators. It incorporates an architecturally extraordinary complex of ancient palaces, temples, courtyards, and shrines dating from the 15th to the 18th century.

The prominent sites of Kathmandu Durbar Square are Kumari Ghar or the house of the living goddess.  Kasthamandap is a huge rest house that is said to have been built with the wood from a single tree and is the source of which Kathmandu valley got its name. Other sites around Kathmandu Square are the ferocious Kal Bhairab – the red monkey God- Hanuman, hundreds of erotic carvings, temples, and statues dedicated to different deities.


Swayambhunath (monkey temple), is the magnificent ancient religious architecture and center of faith of Hinduism and Buddhism. Its lofty white dome and dazzling golden spire are visible from far and wide. Swayambhunath is the ideal place to observe the religious harmony in Nepal. In the shadows of the imposing structure and besides the integrated architecture can be found the daily surge of devotees faithfully offering their prayers to the gods. Upon arriving at the top, you can hear the Buddhist song “Om Mani Padme Hum” resounds everywhere. The candles and the aromatic fragrance of incense that burns constantly create a serene vibe and enormous prayer wheels which encircle the stupa.

PM: Boudhanath

Thereafter, take a short drive towards Boudhanath.  From the moment you step into the sanctuary, you’ll immediately feel the spiritual energy that comes from the place. Boudhanath is one of the biggest stupa in Nepal built in the 5th century and listed on the world heritage list by UNESCO in 1979. The surrounding area is a central spiritual hub of Tibetan life and culture in Nepal. Observe a beautiful dome-shaped structure stupa surrounded by brilliant colorful prayer flags. It is believed that prayer flags convey mantras and prayers into the universe while fluttering in the wind. The Stupa is said to entomb the remains of Kassapa Buddha.

Witness monks draped in maroon robes rolling the prayer wheels, burning incense, and flickering butter candles. Moreover, it’s fascinating to see the people feeding grains and maize to hundreds of pigeons around stupa areas. The devotees turn the prayer wheels & chant, which is humbling to see such dedication to their beliefs.

Delight in the serenity as you hear the Buddhist mantra ‘Om Mani Padme Hum’ being chanted by devotees, alongside the echo of music streaming out from the nearby shops.


Moving on, visit Pashupatinath temple, a Hindu shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva located on the bank of the Bagmati River. The word Pashupati means “the king of animals” and the temple is famous for its monkeys. You will be visiting the Pashupatinath area to indulge in a spiritual journey.

Pashupatinath is more than just a religious destination. It is a combination of religion, art, and culture. The temple, spread across 246 hectares of land, abounds in temples and monuments. Hundreds of rituals are performed here every day. Witness people performing the religious ritual and funeral pyres burning at open-air cremation. Also, see elaborately dressed holy men meditating outside the temple and pilgrims placing offerings at the shrines. After touring around prominent sites, you will be transferred safely back to your hotel.

Day 03: Flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara

Altitude above sea level: (895 m) Pokhara

Flight duration: 25 mins approx.

Accommodation: Mount Kailash Resort or similar

Meal: Breakfast

This morning, you’ll be taken to the domestic airport, then will fly to Pokhara.  If it’s a clear day, then you will be able to see amazing views of Annapurna. After landing in Pokhara you will be escorted to the hotel. You have the rest of the afternoon free to explore the city.

Day 04: Flight Pokhara-Jomsom- Drive Kagbeni- Hike to Tiri village

Altitude above sea level: (2,800 m)

Flight duration: 25 minutes approx.

Driving duration: 30 minutes approx. (Jomsom-Kagbeni)

Accommodation: Teahouse Lodge

Meal: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Start your day with a satisfying breakfast at your Pokhara hotel before beginning an unforgettable journey to Jomsom. Prepare your travel essentials and make your way to the

Pokhara Airport for a short domestic flight. Admire the breathtaking aerial vistas of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountain ranges during the flight.

Upon arrival in Jomsom, you take a drive to Kagbeni. After check-in at lodge and freshen up, we will explore the charming and picturesque village of Tiri. We hike to a scenic viewpoint offering breathtaking vistas of the adorable village below.

Tiri is home to the Sandup Choeding Monastery, adding to the village’s allure. This ancient monastery, standing for 860 years, is situated on the site of a heart-shaped rock. Originally, the oldest Gompa in the vicinity suffered destruction from a fire, but the monks and nuns diligently reconstructed it, preserving its historical significance.

Day 05: Trek Kagbeni to Chele

Altitude above sea level: (3,050 m) Chele

Hiking duration: 5–6 hrs. Approx.

Accommodation: Tea House Lodge 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

After having a hearty breakfast, you set off to enter Upper Mustang! The trail takes along the Kali Gandaki River, where the wind will challenge as it whistles up the valley gorge. You hiked up the ridge of Kagbeni which offers an impressive view of mountains and landscapes.

Further, you have to go steep up and follow a gentle ascent to reach Tangbe village. This charming town is a labyrinth of narrow cobbled lanes amid whitewashed houses, buckwheat fields, and apple trees. From there, hike to Chhusang village before you cross the dropping Kali Gandaki. The village of Chhusang sits in an awe-inspiring dramatic location, jutting out into the Kali Gandaki Gorge and framed by those eye-catching cliffs.

From Chhusang the trail follows the river, crossing a steel bridge that sits under some magnificent ancient cave homes. You can witness a line of ‘windows’ carved out of the cliff face above. From the river bed, it’s a short, steep hike to the village of Chele which offers a great outlook over the valley.


Day 06: Trek Chele to Syanbochen

Altitude above sea level: (3,475 m) Syanbochen 

Hiking duration: 6-7 hrs. Approx.

Accommodation: Tea House Lodge 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

After breakfast, you leave Chele behind and head towards Syanbochen. The trek from today onwards will level up and be more challenging. Today the hiking becomes a bit tougher as you cross the Taklam La pass (3,624 m) and the Darjori La pass (3,735 m). However, there are breathtaking mountain views, a copper-red canyon, and interesting caves along the way to keep your minds off our hard-working legs.

You will take a gradual downhill to some chortens on a ridge, and after hiking downhill further, you will arrive at the charming village of Samar.

Day 07: Trek Syanbochen to Charang via Ghami

Altitude above sea level: (3,500 m) Charang

Hiking duration:  7-8 hrs. Approx.

Accommodation: Tea House Lodge

Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

After a hearty breakfast, you leave Syangbochen behind and head towards Charang.

From Syangbochen, take a steady climb uphill until you reach until we reach a pass at, 3,770 m. Then take a descending trail, to reach the village of Gheling. This is one of the larger villages in the region and home to an imposing 15th-century monastery. The village is nestled at the bottom of a rocky mountain, surrounded by cultivated fields.

From Gheling, you take an ascent, passing through fields to the center of the valley. Thereafter, ascend a rugged terrain across the head of the valley to the Nyi La pass (3,840 m). From there, take a descending track for half an hour until you reach a trail junction.  The right trail is a route to Charang while the left one takes to Ghami. It is a village of clustered whitewashed mud and stone houses canopied by an overhanging cliff. You can see a nice prayer wall and vibrant chortens in the center, alongside taps where locals fill their water.

From Ghami, you continue trekking further to Charang. This village is the second-largest settlement in Upper Mustang, after Lo Manthang. It was once the capital, and the King’s Palace still stands tall, overlooking the surrounding fields and houses. There is an interesting 16th-century monastery, a central red building surrounded by striped walls, one of the most impressive in the entire Upper Mustang.

Day 08: Trek Charang to Lo Manthang

Altitude above sea level: (3,770 m) Lo Manthang

Hiking duration: 4-5 hrs. Approx.

Accommodation: Tea House Lodge

Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

After having a hearty breakfast, you trek to the walled capital of the Kingdom of Lo.  Descending into a canyon, you cross a river and ascend to the Lo La pass (3,950 m). From the pass, you get a glimpse of the historic and picturesque village of Lo Manthang. Further, take a gradual descent from the pass all the way to   Lo – Manthang, where you will get to see the walls. This walled village is the traditional home to the King of Lo and consists of around 150 households and residences for lama gurus.

On reaching the walled city of Lo, you will have the chance to explore the ancient monasteries of the region and the periphery of the King’s majestic palace, where the King and Queen of Lo- Manthang reside. Also, the views of the surrounding mountains such as  Nilgiri, Tilicho, Annapurna I, and Bhrikuti Peak are simply breathtaking.

Day 09: Explore Lo Manthang

Today is a rest and acclimatization day, and you can spend the day exploring the monasteries. There are four main monasteries within the medieval walls of Lo Manthang: the red Jampa Lhakhang (built-in 1387) with its impressive 50-foot tall clay statue of ‘Jamba’ (or Future Buddha); a 15th-century Thubchen Gompa; Chhoede Gompa (where the Khempo resides); and Choprang Gompa.

Alternatively, you can explore the mystical town of Lo-Manthang, starting with a 2-hour visit to the Namgyal Gompa. This beautiful Gompa is perched on a hilltop, which is of high social, religious as well as legal significance as it serves as a local courthouse. Then, visit the village of Tingkhar, northwest of Lomanthang with its 40 households. You will also visit Champa Lhakang where you have an opportunity to admire a large Buddha statue and intricate Mandalas painted on the walls.

Another option can be a trek to Chhosar also known as the Jhong Caves or even Sky Caves. This is a multi-story cave built into the side of cliffs. Researchers are still confused as to who built these caves and why. It is assumed they were used as burial chambers, hiding places, places of meditation, and later, monasteries.

Day 10: Trek Lo Manthang to Drakmar

Altitude above sea level: (3,810 m) Drakmar

Hiking duration: 6-7 hrs. Approx.

Accommodation: Tea House Lodge

Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

After having a hearty breakfast, you will start trekking eastwards to a pass, from where you cross a ridge leading to a large valley. There are ample fascinating things to witness on the way! Gyakar Village is home to the century-old Ghar Gompa which has magnificent rock paintings. Here you must make a wish, as is tradition. After exploring the gompa, and making your wish, you drop along a steep path to Drakmar.  The spectacularly set village of Dhakmar, nestled under the huge red cliffs.

Day 11: Trek Drakmar to Ghelling

Altitude above sea level: (3,806 m) Ghelling

Hiking duration: 4-5 hrs. Approx.

Accommodation: Tea House Lodge

Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

After breakfast, you trek early to avoid strong winds. The trail descent to Ghemi then crosses on the same route to Nyi La back to Ghelling. Although a challenging and tiring day because of the wind, you get a commanding view of Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri to compensate.

Day 12: Trek Ghelling to Chhuksang

Altitude above sea level: (3,050 m) Chhuksang

Hiking duration: 5-6 hrs. Approx.

Accommodation: Tea House Lodge

Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

After a hearty breakfast, you start with a return along the trail towards Lo Manthang, to the small village of Chhuksang. The views of the majestic mountain are breathtaking from this altitude, with the mountains seeming to loom above you as you hike. The trail heads through several small villages, before reaching Chhuksang . The rest of the day is yours to explore the village.

Day 13: Trek Chhuksang to Jomsom

Altitude above sea level: (2,800 m) Jomsom

Hiking duration: 6-7 hrs. Approx.

Accommodation: Tea House Lodge

Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

Today you’ll start your journey back to Jomsom. This section of the trek joins the well-known Annapurna Circuit route. On the way, you will savor the commanding views of the  Nilgiri Himal. From Chhuksang, it will take you about 4 hours to reach Kagbeni. At Kagbeni, you will have lunch and continue your trek to Jomsom.

Day 14: Flight Jomsom –Pokhara- Kathmandu

Flight Duration: Jomsom-Pokhara (25 minutes), Pokhara-Kathmandu (25-30 minutes)

Accommodation: *** Hotel Manaslu or similar

Meals: Breakfast

After having an early breakfast, walk up to the airport nearby the hotel in Jomsom. Take a last glimpse of the breathtaking Himalayas. You will take a short flight to Pokhara and onto Kathmandu. After check-in at the hotel, spend your afternoon at leisure. You can spend the day resting or catch up on some last-minute shopping or shop for some locally made handicrafts and souvenirs.

Day 15: Buffer Day

Accommodation: *** Hotel Manaslu or similar

Meals: Breakfast

It’s also a spare day in case of bad weather in Jomsom if we cannot fly on the scheduled date and time.

Day 16: Final Departure

Meal: Breakfast

It is time to fly back home, keeping all the terrific experiences of Nepal in mind. The representative from Nepal Sanctuary Treks will transfer you to TIA airport, where you should check-in 3 hours prior to your scheduled flight.

Price Included

What's Included

  • Airport transfers,
  • Internal flight Kathmandu-Pokhara-Jomsom- Pokhara-Kathmandu
  • 3 nights *** hotel in Kathmandu with breakfast,
  • 1 night ***hotel in Pokhara with breakfast
  • Guided Kathmandu sightseeing tour with entrance fees
  • Tea house lodge during the trek on full board
  • Restricted Area Permits, ACAP and TIMS
  • English-speaking guide
  • Staff insurance on the trek,
  • Trek guide & porter/s
  • Duffel bag
  • Map

What's not Included

  • Lunch and Dinner in Kathmandu, Pokhara (approx. US$ 20 per day)
  • Beverages
  • Personal equipment,
  • Personal bills,
  • International airfare
  • Excess baggage beyond 15 kilos including day pack Visa fee: US$ 30 for 15 days and US$ 50 for 30 days multiple entries
  • Insurance (for cancellation, accident, health, emergency evacuation and loss, theft of or damage to baggage and personal effects),
  • Liability Insurance
  • Tips

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Upper Mustang Trek