There are many ways you have to get to Mustang which is geographically divided as Upper Mustang and the Lower Mustang. Whichever medium of travel you choose, all you get is the magnificent views of the surrounding landscapes and lifestyles of the locals.
The Mustang region of Nepal was once an isolated and independent Tibetan kingdom. Now a part of Nepal, it still holds a rugged and mystical reputation. Foreigners had the access of Mustang only since 1992. Ever since it is one of the famous trekking destinations in Nepal.
These different parts of Mustang offer different attractions for the visitor in terms of accessibility and landscape etc.
Lower Mustang is famous among Hindu and Buddhist pilgrims. Thousand of devotees from Nepal and India visit the Muktinath shrine which lies in this region.
While Upper Mustang is famous among foreigners for trekking into the forbidden kingdom of Lo.
Now, allow us to get into details on how you can get to Mustang.
Table of Contents
- How to get to lower Mustang / Muktinath?
- How to get to Lower Mustang /Muktinath by trek?
- Day 1: Drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara
- Day 2: Drive to Nayapul and trek to Tikhedhunga
- Day 3: Trek to Ghorepani
- Day 4: Trek to Tatopani
- Day 5: Trek to Ghasa
- Day 6: Trek to Tukche
- Day 7: Trek to Kagbeni
- Day 8: Trek to Muktinath
- Day 9: Trek to Jomsom
- Day 10: Early morning flight to Pokhara and optional flight or bus back to Kathmandu
- How to get to Upper Mustang?
- Upper Mustang by trek
- Upper Mustang by Jeep
- Upper Mustang by Helicopter
How to get to lower Mustang / Muktinath?
Kathmandu to Pokhara by flight or Bus
There are many flight options to choose from Kathmandu to Pokhara. The flight duration is 25 minutes. It is the fastest and easiest way to reach Pokhara.
There are 2 different types of flight cost – local and foreign. The standard local cost for a one-way ticket is USD 45 (NRS 4500) per person and this cost applies to all Nepali and Indian citizen.
Any other country has to pay the standard one-way cost of USD 125 (NRS 12,500) per person.
On the other hand, there are many tourist buses that go to Pokhara every day. Travel duration is about 6 to 7 hours.
The standard tourist bus costs approx USD 8- 12 (NRS 800-1200) with air conditioner. And Deluxe bus costs USD 15 to 25 (NRS 1500 to 2500) including lunch, wifi, and air conditioner.
Pokhara to Jomsom by flight or bus
You can take either a flight or bus to reach Jomsom. Situated at an altitude of 2800m, Jomsom (also known as Dzongsar or New Fort) is a town and administrative headquarter of Mustang District. It is also the starting point of the trek for all the trekkers.
For a flight, the cost is approx USD 114 (NRS 11,400) and the duration is about 20 to 25 minutes.
If you want to go by bus, you can take the local bus from Pokhara to Beni at a cost less than USD 3 (NRS 300) and the duration is 3 to 4 hours.
And from Beni, you can further take a bus to Ghasa for USD 4 (NRS 400). From Ghasa you have to change the bus and take another one to Jomsom for USD 4 to 5 ( NRS 400 to 500).
Jomsom to Muktinath by bus
Jomsom is about 72 km from Beni and Muktinath is around 21 km which makes it a total of about 93 km of a trip from Beni to Muktinath. This usually takes all day long because of the state of the road and also the occupancy of bus seats.
The cost is approx USD 3 (NRS 300) per person.
How to get to Lower Mustang /Muktinath by trek?
You can also trek to Lower Mustang / Muktinath. The transportation is a much convenient and easier way. It also saves time.
However, trekking through lower Mustang is a unique experience on its own. You will get to enjoy the nature more closely. To trek to lower Mustang you need ACAP (Annapurna Conservation Area Project) and TIMS ( Trekkers Information Management System).
The trekking itinerary is as follows,
Day 1: Drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara
Maximum Elevation: 820 m/ 2,690 ft
Travel hours: 6-7 hrs
You will start your scenic drive after an early morning breakfast by tourist bus along the picturesque Trishuli river. It will take 6-7 hours to reach Pokhara.
Day 2: Drive to Nayapul and trek to Tikhedhunga
Elevation: 1540m/5050 ft
Travel hours: 1.5 hours driver, 3-4 hrs trek
After breakfast, you will take a short drive to Nayapul. This is the starting point of your trek. The route follows a pleasantly through a lush jungle and terraced fields along a rushing river.
You will pass through several rural settlements and gradually reach Tikhedhunga.
Day 3: Trek to Ghorepani
Elevation: 2,860 m/ 9,385 ft
Trekking hours: 6-7 hrs
This day involves a vigorous ascent where you will climb a long, steep series of stone steps on your way to Ghorepani.
After a difficult climb, you will get astonishing views of the snowy peaks including the Annapurnas, Machhapuchhare, and Hiunchuli along the way.
Then you will reach the destination i.e Ghorepani, a spectacular settlement located on a ridgeline.
Day 4: Trek to Tatopani
Elevation: 1,200m / 3,940 ft
Trekking hours: 4 hrs
You will follow a pleasant forest trail through rhododendron forests and villages with terraced farmland. Eventually, you will cross the Kali Gandaki river and arrive at Tatopani.
In Tatopani, you can take a dip in the nearby hot springs and savor the experience.
Day 5: Trek to Ghasa
Elevation: 1,190 m/3,900 ft
Trekking hours: 5 hrs
The route heads north as you follow upriver in the Kali Gandaki Valley. You will pass through scenic farmland with rural villages surrounded by terraced fields.
You will hike up the world’s deepest gorge, with Dhaulagiri, world’s seventh highest peak on one side, and Annapurna I, the tenth highest on the other.
You will then ascend to the peaceful village of Ghasa, mainly populated by Thakali people of this region.
Day 6: Trek to Tukche
Elevation: 2,510 m/8,550 ft
Trekking hours: 5hrs
Today you will continue your journey up the Kali Gandaki. You will pass through peaceful forests to the large settlements of Lete and Kalapani.
As you continue the journey north, the territory becomes noticeably drier and the lush vegetation and forests give way to the more desert-like terrain.
The culture, too, begins to change from the lowland Hindu style practices to a Buddhist lifestyle.
Tukche is a scenic village with surrounding orchards and a monastery.
Day 7: Trek to Kagbeni
Elevation: 2,900 m/9,500 ft
Trekking hours: 5 hrs
Today’s trek will take you through the scenic village of Marpha. Jomsom is the next town and district headquarters of Mustang. The route then follows a pleasantly up the arid valley of the Kali Gandaki River to the fort of Kagbeni.
Day 8: Trek to Muktinath
Elevation: 3,855 m/12,635ft
Trekking hours: 4 hrs
The trek will make an exciting journey up the valley in the direction of the legendary Thorung La pass. You will make a scenic climb up the Jhong River valley with marvelous scenery along the way.
The trail passes ancient villages on the way to Muktinath.
Day 9: Trek to Jomsom
Elevation: 2,720 m/8,915 ft
Trekking hours: 4 hrs
The journey heads down the valley and gradually rejoins the bottom of Kali Gandaki River and the trail takes you back to Jomsom.
Day 10: Early morning flight to Pokhara and optional flight or bus back to Kathmandu
How to get to Upper Mustang?
There are various option to get to Upper Mustang from Kathmandu.
- Upper mustang by Trek
- Upper mustang by Jeep
- Upper Mustang by helicopter tour
Upper Mustang by trek
Upper Mustang Trekking is an incredible journey to the mysterious land of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri area. It is also known as the hidden kingdom of Nepal.
Since Upper Mustang is a restricted region you will need a restricted area permit. It costs $500 for 10 days. You will have to pay additional 50$ for each extra day. Besides that, you need ACAP (Annapurna Conservation Area Project) as well.
You will need a guide to trek in this region. Allow us to arrange the permits and trek arrangements for you.
Upper Mustang trek itinerary outline
Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu
Day 2: Ride a bus to Pokhara
Day 3: Fly to Jomsom (30 minutes) and trek to Kagbeni (2858m)
Day 4: Chele, 5 hrs(3050m)
Day 5: Ghaemi via the Nyi La Pass, 5hrs(3950m)
Day 6: Charang, 5 hrs(3540m)
Day 7 & 9 Destination: Lo-Manthang, 7 hrs (3700m)
Day 10: Charang, 5 hrs(3500m)
Day 11: Tange, 6hrs(3370m)
Day 12: Tentang, 7hrs(2940m)
Day 13: Muktinath, 6hrs(3800m)
Day 14: Jomsom, 3hrs(2720m)
Day 15: Pokhara (25 to 30 min flight)
Day 17: Fly to Kathmandu.
Upper Mustang by Jeep
Upper Mustang Jeep Tour is an easy way to discover the restricted region loaded with the cultural mysteries in Annapurna area of Nepal.
There are many ways to explore around the Upper Mustang and Lo Manthang.
To those who have limited time and are keen to witness the aura in this Hidden Kingdom of Lo, there is jeep tour to Upper Mustang.
Upper Mustang Jeep Itinerary
Day 1: Drive Pokhara – Beni – Tatopani, 5-6 hrs(2600m)
Day 2: Drive from Tatopani to Kagbeni, 5-6hrs(2900m)
Day 3: After official formalities of Special permit we drive to Ghami Village,6hrs
Day 4: Drive to Lo-Manthang on the way you will visit Luri Gompa, 3-4hrs
Day 5: Exploration day in Lo-Manthang.
Day 6: Second Exploration Day.
Day 7: Drive back to Chuksung Village, 6 Hrs
Day 8: Drive from Chhuksang to Kalopani, 4hrs.
Day 9: Drive from Kalopani to Pokhara, 5-6hrs
The cost of a Jeep tour varies depending on where you decide to hire the Jeep from. Hence contact us for cost information.
Upper Mustang by Helicopter
The quickest way to get to Mustang is by helicopter. It takes 4.5 hours with 45 min stopover at Lo-Manthang.
May, June, August, and September are the best months to take a Helicopter tour.
The costs are as follows
1 person: USD 11200 p/pax
2 person: USD 5600 p/pax
3 person: USD 3950 p/pax
4 person: USD 3100 p/pax
Mustang is a beautiful destination where you will get to experience the way of life of the mountain people.
There are many ways to get to Mustang. You can choose the one that best suits your time and budget. No matter how you decide to go, the journey to Mustang will amaze you and will leave you feeling content.
For further question and queries, please feel free to contact us. We are here to guide and assist you with the best of our knowledge.