upper mustang trek
This Trek is your golden ticket to explore Mustang, an ancient Buddhist kingdom tucked away in the rain shadow of the Dhaulagiri massif. Mustang, also called Lo, is culturally and geographically identical to Tibet as it was previously part of the Tibetan empire. Trek through the rugged land and admire the fascinating geology of the region. Catch sight of the medieval capital of Upper Mustang, Lo Manthang, from the Lo La pass at 3,950 m. The highlight of this trek remains the visit to this previously forbidden capital where you can learn of the rich Tibetan way of life. Visit the royal palace, a few charming monasteries, and Chortens here.
As soon as you land in Kathmandu you will be taken to your hotel. After a short trek brief and distribution of equipment, you will have the day at your leisure. You can explore Kathmandu city and bask in the chaos and beauty of the city. After a welcome dinner as an introductory phase, you can rest before you start off the trek the next day. Overnight at hotel in Kathmandu.
Today we will take you for sightseeing in Kathmandu. You will visit some incredible UNESCO World Heritage Sites such as the Boudhanath stupa, Pashupatinath and Swqyambhunath stupa. The Boudhanath is a massive Buddhist Tibetan stupa situated at the heart of Kathmandu. You will find monks, and laymen circumambulating this temple. This practice is known as “Kora”. The Pashupatinath temple is an aesthetically marvelous Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. It hosts Hindu crematorium rituals on the banks of the river. The Swayambhunath Stupa is another Buddhist stupa commonly known as the monkey temple because of an abundance of monkeys found there. In the afternoon you can explore the Durbar Squares of Patan and Bhaktapur on foot, on cycles or a trishaw. These squares represent the epitome of art, architecture, and culture in Nepal. You will see in Durbar square, intricately carved buildings and monuments and ancient royal palaces showcasing the Newari architecture. Enjoy this beautiful and enchanting city which is chaotic but also harmonious. There are excellent bookshops, markets, and handicraft shops to do some souvenir shopping. Overnight at a hotel.
6 hours, 610 m
After visiting some UNESCO listed world heritage sites in Kathmandu like the Boudanath stupa and Pashupatinath we will commence our drive to Pokhara. The drive is very enjoyable with great scenery on the journey. Pokhara is the second-largest city in Nepal. Overnight at a hotel in Pokhara.
3-4 hours, 85 m ascent, Camp alt. 2858 m
You will take a short flight from Pokhara to Jomsom (2725 m) with breathtaking views of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri. You will also see the world’s deepest gorge, the Kali Gandhi gorge flowing from the Tibetan Plateau. You will then land enjoy a tea break and then start on your walk to Kagbeni, also known as the gateway to Upper Mustang. You will lunch here in Kagbeni and then explore this ancient village. Overnight in Kagbeni.
5-6 hours, 192 m ascent, Camp alt. 3050 m
After completing the permit formalities you will enter the restricted area of the Upper Mustang. The land is arid and barren with green villages in the middle. The trail is wide and extended and Kagbeni and Nilgiri mountains standing behind you. The Kali Gandaki river which is 8 million years of age, gives you an insight into the ancient history of this region. The surrounding is dramatic with canyons and hills eroded by the wind over time. You will make a lunch stop at Tangbe or Chhusang which are old villages. As you continue on you will finally reach Chele, a serene settlement where you will spend tonight.
6-7 hours, 574 m ascent 149 descent, Camp alt. 3475 m
You will climb to Taklam La pass at an altitude of 3,624 m. The surging trail towards Syangboche climbs and then descends through canyons is glorious. As you continue on the trail you will notice caves which date back more than 3000 years that were once used as shelter by humans, burial chambers and later as retreat caves for lamas. You will stop for lunch at Bhena, a jeer station with fabulous views. After lunch, you will climb up to the pass and then descend to Syangboche which is a small village deep in the valley. Overnight at Syangboche.
5-6 hours, 545 m ascent 500 m descent, Camp alt. 3520 m
Today you will walk to a small pass at 3850 m, called Yamda La pass, where you will get to see outstanding views of mountains, valleys, and canyons. After a small descent, you will climb again to another pass, Nyi La at 4020 m. As you walk you will be surrounded by gorges on all sides with Nilgiri, Tilicho and Annapurna in the south. You will have the afternoon to explore Ghami, an antique village with monastery, chortens and mani walls. Overnight stay in this ancient village.
4-5 hours, Camp alt. 3575 m
Today you will end up in the “Land of Chortens”. After leaving Ghame, you will come across an ancient mani wall, the longest in Mustang. It is a short trek there and is a historical area as it holds legends of Padmasambhava, the Indian saint (750-810 AD). He is the founder of Tibetan Buddhism. After a few hours walk, you will get to a big village, Tsarang. You can visit the antique monastery here and also the White palace, their most renowned heritage. You will also have some leisure time to explore this intriguing village on your own. Overnight in Tsarang.
5-6 hours, 275 m ascent 150 m descent, Camp alt. 3700 m
After a while of walking, you will come across an ancient Chorten perched in the middle of the road. Slowly and steadily, after crossing several ruins of forts on the hills, you will get to the pass Lo, 3850 m from where you can see the Lo Manthang valley, the capital city of Mustang. This walled city of Lo has only one entrance and the King still resides in his palace in this city. After lunch, you will get the chance to explore this legendary and mystical city. Overnight at Lo Manthang.
Camp alt. 3700 m
Lo Manthang holds around 150 houses and contains some of the finest Tibetan Buddhist gompas of Nepal. On your exploratory journey today you will come across the 14th-century palace in the center of the city along with the four ancient monasteries that remain the symbols of this city. After you will go on a day excursion to Chhosar. You will visit Nyphu cave monastery built into the side of a cliff. You will also get to see the Jhong sky cave which is 2500 years old. It has 44 compartments and shares stories of historical human settlements in the region. After a while, you can spend the day at your leisure, either by visiting the monasteries or the summer palace in Lo Manthang. Overnight at Lo Manthang.
6-7 hours, 625 m ascent 515 m descent, Camp alt. 3810 m
Today you will walk a different terrain in the southwest. Despite a few steep sections of the trail downhill, you will have mesmerizing views of landscapes and mountains. The trail climbs to an altitude of 4000 m, another small pass, offering views of Lo Manthang valley below. After you will make another ascent to Chogo La pass (4325 m), the highest point of the trek. The trail then descends, bringing you to Ghar Gompa monastery built in the 7th century by the incarnation of Padmasambhava. It is known as the world’s oldest Tibetan monastery. You will then make a stop for lunch, and you will get a once in a lifetime opportunity to dine in the 7th center monastery. The walk to Dhakmar, a land of red cliffs, differs from your previous ones as you walk high above the canyons and hills. Overnight in Dhakmar.
4-5 hours, 335 m descent, Camp alt. 3475 m
You will retrace your steps back to the village of Syangboche. Overnight in Syangboche.
5-6 hours, 425 m descent, Camp alt. 3050 m
Once again you will retrace your steps to the south. You will pay a visit to the Chungsi Cave monastery, one of the biggest attractions in Mustang. It is built right on the side of a canyon wall Padmasambhava meditated in this exact cave around the 7th century with a vision to introduce Buddhism in Tibet. You will then make a stop at Samar village for lunch and enjoy the poplar grove of this enchanting village. Then you will follow the trail downhill to Chhusang, another pretty village, ancient ad filled with apple orchards. Overnight at Chhusang village.
4 hours, 192 m descent, Camp alt. 2810 m
You will once again descend down towards the start of the restricted area of Mustang towards Kagbeni. Overnight stay in Kagbeni.
3 hours, Camp alt. 2720 m
Today you will trek past Mustangi villages and enjoy some juicy apples and also get to witness the traditional back-loom weaving practiced by locals here. Overnight at Jomsom.
Today you will hop on the domestic flight back to Pokhara, ending your Upper Mustang trek full circle. Enjoy the same views and absorb as much of it as you can. Overnight at a hotel in Pokhara.
You will drive back to Kathmandu today from Pokhara, or you can opt for a flight back to the capital city with an additional cost.
Depart from Kathmandu International airport to your destination.