Upper Mustang trek

In the rain shadow of the mighty Annapurna and Dhaulagiri range rests a beautiful mysterious village

  • Best season
    FEB TO MAY

    SEP TO NOV

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    $3600 ?



  • Cost based
    on twin-room
  • 17
    Days
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In the rain shadow of the mighty Annapurna and Dhaulagiri range rests a beautiful mysterious village – The Upper Mustang. Very popular as the Former Kingdom of Lo, this mystic valley is also known to many as the ‘Mini Tibet of Nepal’ and equally famous as ‘The Forbidden Himalayan Kingdom of Nepal’. Lo used to be part of the Tibetan empire and is therefore closely tied to Tibet in culture, language and geography. The regions isolation from the outside world has further contributed to a highly preserved Tibetan culture and unspoiled nature.

The trail follows the ancient salt caravan route through which the people of Mustang traded Tibetan salt for grain from the lowlands. The goal of the Upper Mustang trek is the capital of Upper Mustang, Lo Manthang. From the pass Lo La (3950 m) you can see the walled medieval capital in the distance, the white-washed 6-meter tall wall sticking out in sharp contrast to the barren landscape.

Entering Lo Manthang through the town gate is like stepping into a different world. A world of narrow alley ways, hidden chortens, long walls of beautiful prayer wheels and herds of farming animals sauntering in from the fields in the afternoon to adjourn to their sheds inside the city.
Points of interest in Lo Manthang are the royal palace, a few beautiful monasteries like the Thugchen Gompa built in the 15th century. Or visit the amchi museum and amchi school. An amchi is a traditional Tibetan doctor. There are 2 amchis living in Lo Mangtang, which are also the official doctors of the king. They founded a school to preserve this ancient wisdom. For an excursion outside the city you can hire Tibetan ponies for a ride to Chhoser where you can visit a small monastery and a century old cave dwelling situated high in the rocks.

Itinerary

Day 1: Kathmandu

Upon your arrival the Tribhuvan International airport (TIA) in Kathmandu, you will be greeted by a representative from Nepal Wanders who will take you to our hotel. In the evening, there will be a welcome dinner in a traditional Nepali cuisine restaurant where you will be able to enjoy authentic Nepali meal with a brief cultural program. Overnight at hotel in Kathmandu

Day 2: Kathmandu

This is a day to explore Kathmandu where we organise guided sightseeing to the Buddhist and Hindu sights in Kathmandu, to Kathmandu’s Durbar Square, Swayambunath – the Buddhist monkey temple and Pashupatinath – a sacred Hindu temple complex on the banks of the Bagmati River. Three major towns are located in the valley, Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur, each having a great artistic and architectural tradition. Kathmandu is the capital and the largest city in the country. Patan, the second largest is separated from Kathmandu by a river. Bhaktapur, the third largest, is towards the eastern end of the valley and its relative isolation is reflected in its slower pace and more distinctly mediaeval atmosphere. In the Kathmandu Valley the landscape is dramatically sculpted by the contours of the paddy fields. The towns and villages are alive with the colours of farm produce, ranging from pyramids of golden grain to the vivid reds of chilli peppers laid out on mats to dry in the sun. In the streets and towns there is a constant bustle of activity, especially in the bazaars and markets where the farmers sell their vegetables and fruit. You should get back to the hotel after your sightseeing tour around midafternoon and the rest of the day is free for you to explore the city further and pack bags ready for the start of the trek the following morning. You can leave a bag at the hotel with items you will not need on the trek. Overnight at hotel in Kathmandu

Day 3: Drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara. 7 hours drive

We have breakfast then leave for Pokhara, also known as The Lake City owing to the large number of lakes in the city. Upon our arrival in Pokhara, we are rewarded with magnificent views of the Himalayas including Dhaulagiri (8,167m/26,794ft), Manaslu (8,156m/26,759ft), Machhapuchhre (6,993m/22,943ft), the five peaks of Annapurna and others. We then check-in to our hotel and take a rest. We enjoy boating in the Fewa Lake and stroll in the city’s quaint streets. Overnight in Pokhara.

Day 4: Flight Pokhara – Jomsom (2720 m), trek to Kagbeni (2810 m) 3 hrs

Early morning we are flying Northwest from Pokhara toward the great portal between the snow covered peaks of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri. You will enjoy the well-raised massifs of more than 8000 meters, and the deepest gorge on this planet.
On arrival to Jomsom you will meet the rest of the trekking staff. From Kathmandu you will have a guide with you. We start to trek towards Kagbeni, the main gate to Upper Mustang. Overnight at Kagbeni.

Day 5:Kagbeni (2810 m) – Chele (3050 m) 6 hrs

The trail leads up towards the east bank of the Kaligandaki climbing over many ridges as it heads north and reaches Tangbe village. The town is a labyrinth of narrow alleys amongst white washed houses, fields of buckwheat, barley, wheat and apple orchards. The Nilgiri peak, dominates the southern skyline of Kagbeni, all the way by different shapes. Beyond Tangbe we reach Chhusang village in about 1/2 hr, then we trek and cross the river which continues north climbing up to a huge red chunk of conglomerate that has fallen from the cliff above, forming a tunnel that the Kaligandaki follows. The trek now leaves the Kali Gandaki valley and climbs steeply up a rocky gully to Chele. From here the culture changes from the Manangi culture to the Tibetan culture of Lo. Overnight in Chele.

Day 6: Chele (3050 m) – Syangboche (3800 m) 7 hrs

Our trek from today will be a little hard compared to what we experienced before. Our walk today involves crossing two passes, Taklam La pass (3,624m) and Dajori La pass (3,735). On our way, we enjoy great views of Tilicho, Yakawa Kang and Damodar Danda and pass by Ramchung Cave. We descend further and reach Samar Village. From here we walk on a trail above the village and reach a ridge. Next, we descend on a steep trail to a stream and continue our trek to Syanboche. Overnight in Syanboche.

Day 7: Syangboche (3800 m) – Ghami (3520 m) 3 hrs

We ascend to the Yamda La pass at 3,850m. On the way, we pass by a few teahouses, chortens and beautiful villages. We trek through poplar forests and barley fields and reach Nyi Pass at 4,010m. From here, we descend to Ghami which is one of the biggest villages in the Lo region. The village is beautiful with fields surrounding the entire village. Overnight in Ghami.

Day 8: Ghami (3520 m) – Tsarang (3560 m) 3 hrs

Our trek today begins with a descent through a rough and often slippery trail. We then cross a suspension bridge over the Ghami Khola and begin ascending. The pathway is beautiful with mani walls along the trail. Next, we cross the Tsarang La Pass at 3870m and reach Tsarang village. The village lies atop the Charang Chu canyon with a huge fortress and a red gompa towards its east. Overnight in Tsarang.

Day 9: Tsarang (3560 m) – Lo Mangtang (3800 m) 4 hrs

We begin our trek by descending to a canyon and cross a river before beginning our uphill trek to Lo La pass which at 3950m. From the top of the pass we can admire the beautiful Lo Manthang village. From the pass we descend to Lo Manthang which is a beautiful walled village. From here the views of the Himalayas including Nilgiri, Tilicho and Annapurna I, Bhrikuti Peak as well as Damodar Kunda (pond) is quite good. Overnight in Lo-Manthang.

Day 10: Lo Manthang (3800 m) – Acclamatization day.

Lo Manthang is a walled town of the remote Upper Mustang region of Nepal. We spend the day touring three major gompas of the town namely Jhampa, Thupchen and Chhoeda. All of these gompas have undergone expert restoration over the last two decades. We can also trek to Tingkhar which is a beautiful village located north-west of Lo-Mangthang. Overnight in Lo Manthang.

Day 11: Lo Mangtang (3800 m) – Drakmar (3820 m) 6 hrs

We trek on a different route when returning from Lo-Manthang. Our trail passes through Gyakar village which houses a century old Ghar Gompa with beautiful rock paintings. According to a local legend, anyone who makes a wish at the Gompa will have it fulfilled. We explore the Gompa and continue our trek to Drakmar for an overnight stay.

Day 12: Drakmar (3820 m) – Ghiling (3570 m) 6 hrs

We start our trek early to avoid strong winds and descend for the most part of the trek. Our trail passes through a dry plateau and fields before reaching Ghiling. The walk can be relatively difficult as we are most likely to experience strong winds on our face. Ghiling is mostly dry, but we still get good views of Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri mountains. We can tour the village around the evening. Overnight in Ghiling.

Day 13: Ghiling (3570 m) – Chhuksang (3660 m) 5-6 hrs

We begin our trek after breakfast. We walk on the same trail as before going up to Lo Manthang. On the way to Chhuksang we can enjoy great views of the Himalayas and small villages we pass en route. Overnight in Chhuksang.

Day 14: Chhuksang (3660 m) – Jomsom (2720 m) 6-7 hrs

Today is the last day of our trek and it is a long one. After trekking for a while, we come to an end of our Mustang trails and join the trails of the Annapurna circuit. We stop for lunch at Kagbeni. After lunch, we continue our trek to Jomsom for an overnight stay.

Day 15: Fly back to Pokhara

We take an early morning flight to Pokhara. The airplane passes through a gorge between Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountains making the flight itself an amazing experience. After arriving in Pokhara, we can spend the rest of the day in leisure. Overnight in Pokhara.

Day 16: Drive back to Kathmandu from Pokhara

After breakfast, we say goodbye to the beautiful northern skyline of Pokhara and drive towards Kathmandu. This will be a journey along river banks with wonderful views of terraced hills and the rural Nepalese lifestyle. After reaching Kathmandu, we take a rest or do some souvenir shopping. To celebrate the successful completion of our journey, we will have a farewell dinner in the evening. Overnight in Kathmandu.

Day 17: Farewell Nepal

Our representative will pick you up at the hotel and transfer you to international airport for onward journey.

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