Upper Mustang

To trek in Upper Mustang is to trek in an ancient land steeped in a colourful history and lengthy tradition. Upper Mustang has been part of Nepal for around 200 years, yet retains a strong cultural influence of Tibet (China), especially given its proximity to the border of Nepal and Tibet (China).

You will see and experience an immersion within the culture of true mountain people, who were for many years not in regular contact with other parts of Nepal. The highest point reached on this trek is around 4,300m, making it a great choice for many reasons, including the altitudes experienced.

Geographically, Upper Mustang is part of the ‘Tibetan plateau’, extending the trekking season in this area to times of the year when it is not possible to trek in other parts of Nepal (due to monsoonal rains).

Until 1950, Mustang was actually a separate kingdom sitting within the boundaries of Nepal. This area was opened to non-Nepali visitors around 25-30 years ago and access to the area remains restricted.

Special permit fee for Upper Mustang: For trekkers venturing to Upper Mustang further north from Kagbeni, it is necessary to obtain a special trekking permit, payable at a daily rate of $US50 per person (rate quoted is the 2018 rate, but is subject to change). This amount is not included in our stated trip costs due to it fluctuating from time to time). Our itinerary contemplates 10 days in the Upper Mustang area which would make the special permit fee $US500 per person.

Tenting option: where the team is 4+ members, a tent option for the trekking portion of the trip is available at an additional cost of $US500 per person.


Trip Facts

  • Price Starts From: USD 2,500

  • Duration: 19 Days

  • Difficulty Level: Moderate Trekking

  • Type:

  • Activity: Trekking

  • Destination:

Trip Highlights

  • Ancient monasteries, some of the oldest in the Himalayan kingdom
  • Tibetan-Buddhist culture
  • Luri Gompa
  • Unique landscape of the Tibetan plateau
  • Tenchi Festival (at certain times of year)


Internal fixed wing flights as per itinerary, trekking permit fee, 4 nights in Kathmandu hotel equivalent to Hotel Tibet or Radisson (Lazimpat or similar), experienced trekking guides, team transport in Nepal, lodge accommodation on trek, extensive first aid kit, welcome team dinner, all meals outside Kathmandu and Pokhara plus breakfast in Kathmandu and Pokhara, porters to carry personal/group equipment on trek, plus receive a complimentary Expedition Base trekking duffel. (All accommodation is on a twin share basis - single share can be arranged on request at an additional cost).


International flights to and from Kathmandu, lunch and dinners in Kathmandu and Pokhara (allow USD $10-15 per meal), special (restricted area) permit fee of $50 per person per day when in Upper Mustang (up to 10 days = up to $US500 per person), aerated and alcoholic beverages, personal items (e.g. phone calls, internet, laundry), tips, travel insurance (incl. early departure, evacuation / rescue) and personal trekking gear.

Trip Map

Short Itinerary

Day 1:   Arrive Kathmandu (1,350m)
Day 2:   In Kathmandu
Day 3:   Drive to Pokhara (880m) ~5-7 hrs
Day 4:   Fly Pokhara to Jomsom (2,720m), Trek to Kagbeni (2,800m) ~3hrs
Day 5:   Kagbeni - Chele (3,075m) ~6hrs
Day 6:   Trek Chele to Geling (3,560m) ~7hrs
Day 7:   Trek Geling, to Ghami (3,510m) and onward to Dhakmar (3,800m) ~6hrs
Day 8:   Trek Dhakmar to Tsarang (3,595m) ~4hrs
Day 9:   Trek Tsarang to Lo Manthang (3,820m) ~4hrs
Day 10:   Lo Manthang - Dhi (3400m) - Yara (3400m) ~5hrs
Day 11:   Trek Yara, to Luri Gompa, return to Yara (3,400m) ~4hrs
Day 12:   Trek Yara to Tangye (3,240m) ~6hrs
Day 13:   Trek Tangye to Chusang-Tetang (3,000m) ~9-10hrs
Day 14:   Trek Chusang-Tetang to Muktinath (3,760m) ~6hrs
Day 15:   Trek Muktinath to Jomsom (2,720m) ~5hrs
Day 16:   Drive Jomson to Pokhara ~9hrs
Day 17:   Fly Pokhara (880m) to Kathmandu
Day 18:   In Kathmandu
Day 19:   Depart Kathmandu

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1

Arrive Kathmandu (1,350m)

An Expedition Base representative will collect you from Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan Airport and
transfer you to your hotel. It’s then a free day to recover from your international flight or take in a
spot of sightseeing or visit Thamel, the main tourist area (for shopping and restaurants) in
Kathmandu. If time after your arrival, we will do your gear check today. Otherwise, we will do it

Day 2

In Kathmandu

This is a free day for you to explore Kathmandu. Home to 5 World Heritage sites, Kathmandu is a
stunning landscape of handcrafted wooden palaces (Durbar or palace squares of Kathmandu,
Lalitpur and Bhaktapur) and glorious Buddhist stupas (Swayambu and Boudhanath). Later in the
day, at a time advised by your guide, there will be a team briefing, remaining gear checks and
welcome team dinner.

Day 3

Drive to Pokhara (880m) ~5-7 hrs

By tourist bus or private team vehicle, we will travel to Nepal’s second biggest city, Pokhara.
Pokhara located on Lake Phewa surrounded by the sacred Machhapuchhare (6,997m), and
Himalayan giants of Annapurna III (7,555m) and Annapurna IV (7,525m). Once we reach Pokhara,
the remainder of the day is yours to enjoy at leisure.

Day 4

Fly Pokhara to Jomsom (2,720m), Trek to Kagbeni (2,800m) ~3hrs

We take a short flight (approx. 20 min) from Pokhara to the village of Jomsom (2,720m). From
there we will trek along the Kali Gandaki (river), which sits at the foot of the Nilgiris (7,061m).
Arrival in Kagbeni (2800m), beautiful fortified village of Tibetan architecture.

Day 5

Kagbeni - Chele (3,075m) ~6hrs

We trek up the Kali Gandaki (river) through arid landscapes to Thangbe, a large fortified village with
painted chörtens, dominated by its old fort in ruins. We continue trekking up this great desert
valley surrounded by huge cliffs eroded over time by the wind and pierced by caves. We pass the
village of Chusang (2,980m) and then continue to follow the river. We have a final, steady climb
that leads us to the village of Chele (3,075m).

Day 6

Trek Chele to Geling (3,560m) ~7hrs

We have an early start leaving behind the Kali Gandaki (river) and head up through a deep canyon
to Chele La (pass) (3,600m) with a beautiful view of the village of Gyakar (3,562m), dominated by
its ‘Sphinx rock’. We then descend slowly to the village of Samar (3,600m), then climb to the Bhena
La (pass) (3,830m) before arriving at the village of Bhena, which presents us with a beautiful view
of the Damodhar Himal. We then climb to Yamda La (3,870m) before descending to the village of
Syangmochen (3,800m). Then, we begin a long descent to the village of Geling, dominated by a
fort, a palace and two ancient monasteries.

Day 7

Trek Geling, to Ghami (3,510m) and onward to Dhakmar (3,800m) ~6hrs

We continue up the valley to the village of Chunkar (3,750m) and its beautiful stupa. We then start
a steep climb to firstly, Nya La (pass) (3,990m) then, Ghami La (3,770m), before reaching Ghami
(3,510m), a beautiful village in a lush, green, oasis. We then trek along a huge mani wall before
heading up another desert valley overlooked by beautiful, eroded cliffs. We will pass several
stupas before reaching the village of Dhakmar (3800m), our home for the night.

Day 8

Trek Dhakmar to Tsarang (3,595m) ~4hrs

First, we trek up to Mui La (4,170m) and then we down to one of the oldest Tibetan monasteries of
Nepal – ‘Ghar Gompa’, of the ‘Ningma’ sect. This monastery was founded at the same time as that
of Samye, the oldest monastery in Tibet. After admiring the statues and frescoes we start a long
descent through the villages of Lo Gekar (a monastery of the eleventh century) and Marang to
finally arrive in Tsarang amid fields of mustard, barley or buckwheat.

Day 9

Trek Tsarang to Lo Manthang (3,820m) ~4hrs

Today, we walk in the great valley of Tholung to Lo La (3,945m). Then, we have a short descent to
Lo Manthang (3,820m), with afternoon to explore this fortified city. We will visit the main sites and

Day 10

Lo Manthang - Dhi (3400m) - Yara (3400m) ~5hrs

We start the day trekking along arid ridges but then making a steep descent down to the Kali
Gandaki river, before crossing a narrow ravine. We soon arrive at the village of Dhi (3,400m), a
village of beautiful ruined forts. After lunch, we cross the river Kali Gandaki (river) then trek
through a gorge overlooked by huge and spectacular cliffs, appearing as a series of organ pipes
pierced by a ‘troglodyte’ (cave dwellers) city of many levels. We then trek to the village of Yara
(3,400m) where we will stay for the night.

Day 11

Trek Yara, to Luri Gompa, return to Yara (3,400m) ~4hrs

We depart for a walk up to Luri Gompa, a monastery dug into fairy chimneys, returning to Yara for a
restful, relaxing afternoon.

Day 12

Trek Yara to Tangye (3,240m) ~6hrs

We start the morning with a long to a pass at 3,700m followed by steep descent to the river, Dhe
Khola, which we will cross. At this location, the landscapes are always desert-like. We trek over a

second pass at 3,900m, then we have a gentle descent, transitioning to a more steep descent
before we reach the hidden village of Tangye.

Day 13

Trek Tangye to Chusang-Tetang (3,000m) ~9-10hrs

Whilst this day will be our longest trekking day of the trip, most will also consider it the most
beautiful. We begin the day with a long climb to a pass at 4,100m with expansive views of
Mustang, Annapurna 1 (8,091m) and Dhaulagiri (8,167m). Then we have a short descent to Pa Ha
for lunch. After lunch we descend to the villages of Chusang-Tetang, where the houses are as high
as fortresses.

Day 14

Trek Chusang-Tetang to Muktinath (3,760m) ~6hrs

We start with a long ascent through the gorge of a river to Gyu La (4,050m), then we descend
through the village of Chyongur to Muktinath, where Hindu and Buddhists shrines sit together
including the temple-pagoda of Vishnu and a sacred spring beside which burns a flame of natural
gas. We have spectacular views of Dhaulagiri (8,167m), Nilgiri (7,061m) and Tilicho Peak

Day 15

Trek Muktinath to Jomsom (2,720m) ~5hrs

As we sense our trekking journey is coming to a close, we have a long, gentle, descent back to the
place where we started our trekking journey many days ago. We will pass through the villages of
Jharkot (3,560m) and Ekle Bhatti (2,740m) and then reach Jomsom (2,720m).

Day 16

Drive Jomson to Pokhara ~9hrs

We have a steady day of driving back to Pokhara where we take the chance to take in and reflect
on the amazing trip we have had, and catch as much of the views of this area before we have to bid
it farewell. It seems like the end of our trekking journey has come much too soon. Once we arrive
in Pokhara there is time for some final sightseeing of this lakeside city, and a spot of shopping in
the local shops.

Day 17

Fly Pokhara (880m) to Kathmandu

We leave for the airport early in the morning for our flight back to Kathmandu. The remainder of
the day is yours to enjoy at leisure.

Day 18

In Kathmandu

Your last day to take in some sightseeing, shop, relax and prepare for departure. If you didn’t make
it to Bhaktapur or the other durbar squares in Patan/Kathmandu, maybe add to your adventures for
today. This day also serves as a contingency day in the event an internal flight is delayed for any

Day 19

Depart Kathmandu

Goodbye Kathmandu and Nepal... until next time. See you again soon! We will be sad to see you

Expedition Base Pvt. Ltd.

Bansbari-3, Kathmandu, Nepal, Tel: +977 01 4371291