Information about trekking in Upper Mustang.

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The Upper Mustang trek is a highly sought-after trekking destination in the Nepal Himalaya, offering a unique opportunity to explore the ancient Buddhist kingdom of Mustang. This trek allows visitors to witness the last forbidden kingdom of Nepal, with its vibrant stratified rocky formations that resemble a barren desert, surrounded by snow-capped mountains of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Himalayan ranges. The journey to Upper Mustang is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience, surpassing all expectations. Consequently, thousands of tourists flock to Mustang to discover its nomadic lands, the world’s oldest Gompa, and the trans-Himalayan zone of Nepal. Since its opening to tourists in 1992, the Upper Mustang trek has been classified as a restricted/controlled trekking destination in Nepal. To embark on this trek, a special permit is required, which can be obtained through registered local Nepal trekking companies. It is important to note that a minimum of two participants is necessary to obtain the special Mustang trek permit, in accordance with the rules and regulations set by the Department of Immigration Nepal. The cost of the Upper Mustang trekking permit is USD 500 per person for the first 10 days, with an additional USD 50 for each extended day. Traditionally, the Upper Mustang trek takes approximately 10-14 days from Jomsom. However, it is now possible to embark on a jeep drive tour of Upper Mustang, which can be completed within one week from either Kathmandu or Pokhara. Travelers planning to visit the Upper Mustang region should familiarize themselves with essential trekking information beforehand.

The trekking route in Upper Mustang.

There are three distinct routes that can be taken to embark on the Upper Mustang trek. These include flying from Pokhara to Jomsom, taking the Kathmandu Mustang overland trip, or trekking through the Kali Gandaki valley via the Pokhara Ghorepani Poon Hill route before reaching Mustang valley. The duration of the Mustang trek is contingent upon the chosen route.

Map of the Upper Mustang trek.

The Upper Mustang trekking map can be obtained in Thamel, Kathmandu, and is also offered by Himalaya Journey Trekking. This map is highly recommended for trekkers who desire to explore the Mustang region. The entire route to Mustang region is well-marked, ensuring that trekkers can easily navigate to their desired destinations without any concerns. However, it is advisable to hire a trekking guide, although it is not obligatory.

What is the level of difficulty for trekking in Upper Mustang?

The Upper Mustang trek is graded as moderate in terms of difficulty level, and can be accomplished even without prior trekking experience. However, it is imperative to possess good physical fitness. The highest elevation point of this trek is 3667 meters above sea level. This trek is neither as comfortable as the easy treks nor as challenging as the strenuous level trekking in Nepal Himalayas. In essence, the Mustang region trekking is suitable for all age groups of travelers, ranging from kids to senior citizens.

What is the best season for trekking to Upper Mustang?

The Mustang trekking destination is renowned as a rain shadow trekking zone in Nepal. It stands as the sole trekking destination in Nepal that can be undertaken during the months of May, June, July, and August. However, we offer the upper Mustang trek package throughout the year, tailored to the preferences and availability of the travelers.

What is the arrangements for accommodation and meals throughout the duration of the Upper Mustang trip?

The Upper Mustang trekking destination currently offers satisfactory hotel accommodations, which have been available since 2004. Previously, camping or tented trekking was the norm, but now there are comfortable tea houses and lodges with attached bathrooms and shared toilets. These establishments provide a range of meal options, including Nepalese, Chinese, Indian, continental, American, and European cuisine, all expertly prepared by Nepalese cooks and chefs.

Is it necessary to employ a trekking guide and porters from Nepal for this particular trek?

Yes, it is mandatory to hire a Nepal trekking guide when applying for the Upper Mustang treks permit, whereas hiring a porter is optional. We highly recommend engaging a professional trekking guide to assist with navigating the trekking route, providing insights into the local culture, history, and people of Mustang, as well as explaining the surrounding mountains.

What are the costs and services requirements for the Upper Mustang trek?

The cost of the Upper Mustang trek is determined by the chosen route and is contingent upon the group size, which must consist of a minimum of two individuals and a maximum of 40 people. The estimated cost for a group of two, commencing and concluding the trek in Jomsom, is USD 1850, inclusive of the necessary permit. It is worth noting that the Mustang package trip is comparatively more expensive than other popular trekking destinations such as the Annapurna circuit trekking, Everest base camp trekking, and Langtang trekking. This is primarily due to the requirement of a trek permit costing 500 Dollars per person.

Are any individuals and foreign companies allowed to operate trekking activities in Upper Mustang?

Trekking in the Upper Mustang region is strictly limited to government registered local Nepal trekking agencies. Both individuals and foreign travel companies are prohibited from operating treks in this area. Engaging in trekking activities with foreign tour operators or freelance Nepalese is considered fully illegal.

How can one identify the most reputable local trekking companies in Nepal for Upper Mustang treks?

Finding local Nepal trekking companies for upper mustang treks can be challenging due to the overwhelming number of Nepal trekking agencies listed online. However, it is crucial for travelers to consider certain factors before booking their trip with any local Nepal travel agency. These factors include verifying the agency’s legal documents, assessing their company reputation, evaluating their guest service, and reading reviews on their homepage. Ultimately, the choice of travel company is up to the individual, but it is important to choose the right one for an exclusive and secure journey.

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