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Forbidden Mustang

Fabled Lo Manthang - A trek that can be done during the monsoon summer - The Tibetan side of Nepal behind the Himalaya - "Other Wordly" Mustang landscapes

All meals on trek included

Duration

14 Days

Grade

Challenging

Max Altitude

4200m

Walking Days

10 Days

Accommodation

3 Nts Hotels - 10 Nts Trekking Lodges/Teahouses

Trip Overview

A very, very different part of Nepal and for many years an area where foreigners were not allowed to visit.

Even today the former Kingdom of Mustang remains a restricted area. Indeed, the permit costs and the relentless, inescapable high altude deter many. To the adventurous, intrepid and informed traveller with a good level of fitness and previous experience trekking at high altitude,  such barriers and the opportunity to trek without the crowds are likely to be more of an attraction. Indeed this land 'behind the Himalaya' is culturally and geographically a part of Tibet. The monsoon doesn't really reach Mustang and so the landscape is almost 'Martian'. Arid and barren, with weird wind eroded rock formations and cliffs. There is much beauty too, particularly the pigmented colourations of  the landscape-ochre, brown, grey, red, yellow and dotted with tiny, traditional Tibetan style villages just able to eek a life in this often inhospitable region. The 'jewel' of Mustang for many is the fabled, walled 'city' of Lo Manthang. With the encroachment of a jeep road and the compromising effect that has on the sensation of wild trekking, we have designed this itinerary to avoid it as much as possible and use it only where it is unavoidable. During some of the main Nepal trekking season it's way too cold to trek in Mustang and the winter (November to February) months are to be avoided. However, as the monsoon does not reach most of Mustang, this is a trek that can actually be undertaken during the summer months too. Don't forget our trekking holidays are tailor-made and you may wish to consider more acclimatisation days, rest, contingency days added.  The itinerary is merely a suggested itinerary and is not entirely  'set in stone'. Sleeping bags (4 season) will be required for nights spent in trekking lodges/teahouses. We can arrange sleeping bag  rental if required.

A very, very different part of Nepal and for many years an area where foreigners were not allowed to visit.

  • Even today the former Kingdom of Mustang remains a restricted area. Indeed, the permit costs and the relentless, inescapable high altude deter many. To the adventurous, intrepid and informed traveller with a good level of fitness and previous experience trekking at high altitude,  such barriers and the opportunity to trek without the crowds are likely to be more of an attraction. Indeed this land 'behind the Himalaya' is culturally and geographically a part of Tibet. The monsoon doesn't really reach Mustang and so the landscape is almost 'Martian'. Arid and barren, with weird wind eroded rock formations and cliffs. There is much beauty too, particularly the pigmented colourations of  the landscape-ochre, brown, grey, red, yellow and dotted with tiny, traditional Tibetan style villages just able to eek a life in this often inhospitable region. The 'jewel' of Mustang for many is the fabled, walled 'city' of Lo Manthang. With the encroachment of a jeep road and the compromising effect that has on the sensation of wild trekking, we have designed this itinerary to avoid it as much as possible and use it only where it is unavoidable. During some of the main Nepal trekking season it's way too cold to trek in Mustang and the winter (November to February) months are to be avoided. However, as the monsoon does not reach most of Mustang, this is a trek that can actually be undertaken during the summer months too. Don't forget our trekking holidays are tailor-made and you may wish to consider more acclimatisation days, rest, contingency days added.  The itinerary is merely a suggested itinerary and is not entirely  'set in stone'. Sleeping bags (4 season) will be required for nights spent in trekking lodges/teahouses. We can arrange sleeping bag  rental if required.

Example Itinerary

    • Day 1
      Arrive Kathmandu
    • Day 2
      Fly to Pokhara
    • Day 3
      Fly to Jomsom and walk to Kagbeni
    • Day 4
      Trek to Chukksang
    • Day 5
      Acclimatisation Day
    • Day 6
      Trek to Samar
    • Day 7
      Walk to Geling
    • Day 8
      Trek to Lo Manthang
    • Day 9
      Hike to Yara
    • Day 10
      Walk to Tange
    • Day 11
      A long walk to Chukksang
    • Day 12
      Trek to Jomsom
    • Day 13
      Fly to Kathmandu via Pokhara
    • Day 14
      Depart Nepal
  • DAY
    1

    Arrive Kathmandu

    Arriving at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, you'll be met and receive a private transfer for the short distance into central Kathmandu and to the "KGH" Hotel in the heart of the Thamel district. You'll be given a briefing on your forthcoming adventure, and in the evening can take dinner at your leisure in one of the many choices of cafes & restaurants in Kathmandu, although the open air courtyard cafe of the KGH Hotel is as good as anywhere.

    PLEASE NOTE: A special permit is required for this trek. In order for us to obtain permits for you, we have to present hard copies of your passport (scans are not accepted) by 1000hrs to the permit issuing office. The permit office is open Sunday-Thursday, Friday Mornings, closed all day Saturday. The permit office is also closed on Nepal Public Holiday days. Please anticipate that you may require extra days in Kathmandu as a result in order that we can obtain your permit.

    Accommodation: KGH Hotel - Kathmandu
    Included Meals: None

    DAY 1

    Arrive Kathmandu

    Arriving at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, you'll be met and receive a private transfer for the short distance into central Kathmandu and to the "KGH" Hotel in the heart of the Thamel district. You'll be given a briefing on your forthcoming adventure, and in the evening can take dinner at your leisure in one of the many choices of cafes & restaurants in Kathmandu, although the open air courtyard cafe of the KGH Hotel is as good as anywhere.

    PLEASE NOTE: A special permit is required for this trek. In order for us to obtain permits for you, we have to present hard copies of your passport (scans are not accepted) by 1000hrs to the permit issuing office. The permit office is open Sunday-Thursday, Friday Mornings, closed all day Saturday. The permit office is also closed on Nepal Public Holiday days. Please anticipate that you may require extra days in Kathmandu as a result in order that we can obtain your permit.

    Accommodation: KGH Hotel - Kathmandu
    Included Meals: None

    DAY
    2

    Fly to Pokhara

    A private transfer back to the airport for the 25min flight to Pokhara. You're met on arrival and transferred to your hotel. The day is yours to enjoy the sub-tropical climate of Pokhara and the more laid back atmosphere (compared to frenetic Kathmandu), thus affording you the opportunity to relax a little before starting your trek.There are many lake side cafes and bars to chill out in, and lots of choices for eating.

    Accommodation: Hotel Karuna, Pokhara
    Included Meals: Breakfast

    DAY 2

    Fly to Pokhara

    A private transfer back to the airport for the 25min flight to Pokhara. You're met on arrival and transferred to your hotel. The day is yours to enjoy the sub-tropical climate of Pokhara and the more laid back atmosphere (compared to frenetic Kathmandu), thus affording you the opportunity to relax a little before starting your trek.There are many lake side cafes and bars to chill out in, and lots of choices for eating.

    Accommodation: Hotel Karuna, Pokhara
    Included Meals: Breakfast

    DAY
    3

    Fly to Jomsom and walk to Kagbeni

    In the morning you take the 18min flight between Dhaulagiri and Annapurna to Jomsom (2736m). The walk to Kagbeni only takes 3hrs so you can have a brew after landing at one of the teahouses in Jomsom and absorb the fantastic views of the peak of Nilgiri South and look up into the arid Upper Kali Gandaki Valley and notice the contrasts with that of the view down valley where there is greenery. An indication as to where the monsoon reaches and that you are 'between' the Himalaya. It's mostly fairly level walking from Jomsom, with just little uphill and downhill sections as Kagbeni (2810m) is less than 100m above Jomsom. Not too far out of Jomsom if you look back you'll see the immense white pyramid of Dhaulagiri.

    Accommodation: Trekkers Lodge, Kagbeni
    Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    Find out more about Trekking Lodges

    DAY 3

    Fly to Jomsom and walk to Kagbeni

    In the morning you take the 18min flight between Dhaulagiri and Annapurna to Jomsom (2736m). The walk to Kagbeni only takes 3hrs so you can have a brew after landing at one of the teahouses in Jomsom and absorb the fantastic views of the peak of Nilgiri South and look up into the arid Upper Kali Gandaki Valley and notice the contrasts with that of the view down valley where there is greenery. An indication as to where the monsoon reaches and that you are 'between' the Himalaya. It's mostly fairly level walking from Jomsom, with just little uphill and downhill sections as Kagbeni (2810m) is less than 100m above Jomsom. Not too far out of Jomsom if you look back you'll see the immense white pyramid of Dhaulagiri.

    Accommodation: Trekkers Lodge, Kagbeni
    Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    Find out more about Trekking Lodges

    DAY
    4

    Trek to Chukksang

    At the edge of Kagbeni the police post will check that the necessary permits to enter the restricted Upper Mustang area are all in order. You'll then walk down onto the broad valley floor, and as today is a rather short and straightforward walking day there's no reason to hurry. Looking behind you the Nilgiri Peaks and Dhaulagiri are most impressive and in front of you the very different landscape of Mustang. You soon reach the village of Tengbe and can take a look around this typical Mustang village with its colourful houses often painted in a horizontal striped pattern and with roofs made of timber logs. The village has apple orchards and carefully tended fields of crops that are just about able to grow up here. Moving on you ascend gradually and soon your overnight halt of Chukksang (approx 3020m) comes into view and is easily reached. Walking time approx 4-5hrs.

    Accommodation: Trekkers Lodge/Teahouse, Chukksang
    Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY 4

    Trek to Chukksang

    At the edge of Kagbeni the police post will check that the necessary permits to enter the restricted Upper Mustang area are all in order. You'll then walk down onto the broad valley floor, and as today is a rather short and straightforward walking day there's no reason to hurry. Looking behind you the Nilgiri Peaks and Dhaulagiri are most impressive and in front of you the very different landscape of Mustang. You soon reach the village of Tengbe and can take a look around this typical Mustang village with its colourful houses often painted in a horizontal striped pattern and with roofs made of timber logs. The village has apple orchards and carefully tended fields of crops that are just about able to grow up here. Moving on you ascend gradually and soon your overnight halt of Chukksang (approx 3020m) comes into view and is easily reached. Walking time approx 4-5hrs.

    Accommodation: Trekkers Lodge/Teahouse, Chukksang
    Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY
    5

    Acclimatisation Day

    As Mustang is  part of the Tibetan Plateau and by default is relentless high altitude all the way to Lo Manthang it's essential to have an acclimatisation day as you're now just above 3000m. An acclimatisation isn't exactly a rest day (unless you want to rest). It's a good idea to take a short hike in the area with your guide, but avoiding over exertion in order to let your body adjust to these altitudes. One suggestion would be to visit the nearby Sky Caves.

    Accommodation: Trekkers Lodge/Teahouse, Chukksang
    Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY 5

    Acclimatisation Day

    As Mustang is  part of the Tibetan Plateau and by default is relentless high altitude all the way to Lo Manthang it's essential to have an acclimatisation day as you're now just above 3000m. An acclimatisation isn't exactly a rest day (unless you want to rest). It's a good idea to take a short hike in the area with your guide, but avoiding over exertion in order to let your body adjust to these altitudes. One suggestion would be to visit the nearby Sky Caves.

    Accommodation: Trekkers Lodge/Teahouse, Chukksang
    Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY
    6

    Trek to Samar

    Walking across the virtually dried out river bed of the Kali Gandaki (you may just hear the river flowing beneath) you then ascend gradually to Chele (3100m). Looking back you'll see the summit of distant Annapurna 1. The trail after Chele rises steeply and soon after part of the path has been hewn out of the cliff side above the valley. There's more ascent as you reach around 3600m and then contour the hillside losing a little height to reach Samar (approx. 3400m). A fairly short walking day today of around 4hrs

    Accommodation: Trekkers Lodge/Teahouse, Samar
    Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY 6

    Trek to Samar

    Walking across the virtually dried out river bed of the Kali Gandaki (you may just hear the river flowing beneath) you then ascend gradually to Chele (3100m). Looking back you'll see the summit of distant Annapurna 1. The trail after Chele rises steeply and soon after part of the path has been hewn out of the cliff side above the valley. There's more ascent as you reach around 3600m and then contour the hillside losing a little height to reach Samar (approx. 3400m). A fairly short walking day today of around 4hrs

    Accommodation: Trekkers Lodge/Teahouse, Samar
    Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY
    7

    Walk to Geling

    A longer day heading firstly up to a col and then ascending even higher to cross a 3900m pass. The views of the Mustang mountainscapes are particularly dramatic. Heading down a bit and then around you reach another wonderful viewpoint and will see your overnight halt down below. The descent is straightforward to reach Geling (3570m). Walking time approx. 5-6hrs.

    Accommodation: Trekkers Lodge/Teahouse, Geling
    Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY 7

    Walk to Geling

    A longer day heading firstly up to a col and then ascending even higher to cross a 3900m pass. The views of the Mustang mountainscapes are particularly dramatic. Heading down a bit and then around you reach another wonderful viewpoint and will see your overnight halt down below. The descent is straightforward to reach Geling (3570m). Walking time approx. 5-6hrs.

    Accommodation: Trekkers Lodge/Teahouse, Geling
    Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY
    8

    Trek to Lo Manthang

    A tough day, as Mustang does not give up its prize of Lo Manthang easily. There are passes as high as 4000m to cross and much of interest along the way and stops can be made at dramatic view points and interesting places along the way too. Reaching the Sungda Chorten you enter the 'Kingdom of Lo' and eventually the fabled walled 'city' of Lo Manthang (approx. 3800m). Hardly a city with around 180 homes. Walking time around 8hrs. One option is to add more time in Lo Manthang. As Lo Manthang is tiny, it can easily be "discovered" in a day. As the trekking doesn't ease, an additional rest day in Lo Manthang may be a good idea too. Further afield you could visit the Chossar Caves, or even the Kora La, the border with Tibet in a locally chartered jeep.

    Accommodation: Trekkers Lodge,/Teahouse Lo Manthang
    Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY 8

    Trek to Lo Manthang

    A tough day, as Mustang does not give up its prize of Lo Manthang easily. There are passes as high as 4000m to cross and much of interest along the way and stops can be made at dramatic view points and interesting places along the way too. Reaching the Sungda Chorten you enter the 'Kingdom of Lo' and eventually the fabled walled 'city' of Lo Manthang (approx. 3800m). Hardly a city with around 180 homes. Walking time around 8hrs. One option is to add more time in Lo Manthang. As Lo Manthang is tiny, it can easily be "discovered" in a day. As the trekking doesn't ease, an additional rest day in Lo Manthang may be a good idea too. Further afield you could visit the Chossar Caves, or even the Kora La, the border with Tibet in a locally chartered jeep.

    Accommodation: Trekkers Lodge,/Teahouse Lo Manthang
    Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY
    9

    Hike to Yara

    A gradual walk that rises steadily & gains some 300m in height to reach the Dhi La (4100m). Great views of the Kali Gandaki and Himalayan peaks on the far horizon. It's then steeply down the dusty trail to the valley floor and walking beyond the village of Dhi a final climb brings you to Yara (3760m). Walking time 5-6hrs.

    Accommodation: Trekkers Lodge/Teahouse, Yara
    Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY 9

    Hike to Yara

    A gradual walk that rises steadily & gains some 300m in height to reach the Dhi La (4100m). Great views of the Kali Gandaki and Himalayan peaks on the far horizon. It's then steeply down the dusty trail to the valley floor and walking beyond the village of Dhi a final climb brings you to Yara (3760m). Walking time 5-6hrs.

    Accommodation: Trekkers Lodge/Teahouse, Yara
    Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY
    10

    Walk to Tange

    A steady rise to a col followed by a descent into the Dechyang Khola Valley. You then ascend onto the broad Sertang Danda ridge and traverse the slopes and then up to a 3850m pass. Below is Tange (3370m), and you walk down to this tiny village. There are one or two times today where small rivers will need to be forded. Wet boots is not a good idea, so we suggest you have some sandals with you in order to ford these. Walking time is around 6hrs.

    Accommodation: Trekkers Lodge/Teahouse, Tange
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY 10

    Walk to Tange

    A steady rise to a col followed by a descent into the Dechyang Khola Valley. You then ascend onto the broad Sertang Danda ridge and traverse the slopes and then up to a 3850m pass. Below is Tange (3370m), and you walk down to this tiny village. There are one or two times today where small rivers will need to be forded. Wet boots is not a good idea, so we suggest you have some sandals with you in order to ford these. Walking time is around 6hrs.

    Accommodation: Trekkers Lodge/Teahouse, Tange
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY
    11

    A long walk to Chukksang

    Quite probably the hardest and longest day of walking. Crossing the Tange Khola (there's a bridge for this one) there follows a long, hard and rather steep slog to the Lelo La (4200m). Efforts may be rewarded with fine views over the Mustang landscape and to Dhaulagiri. Just below the pass are the springs at Pha and remaining at around 4000m the trail then contours the mountain side and at times can be difficult to follow before a long, steep downhill to Chukksang. Walking time 9-10hrs. As this is a custom and private trek, this day can be split into two days as an additional option.

    Accommodation: Trekkers Lodge/Teahouse, Chukksang
    Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY 11

    A long walk to Chukksang

    Quite probably the hardest and longest day of walking. Crossing the Tange Khola (there's a bridge for this one) there follows a long, hard and rather steep slog to the Lelo La (4200m). Efforts may be rewarded with fine views over the Mustang landscape and to Dhaulagiri. Just below the pass are the springs at Pha and remaining at around 4000m the trail then contours the mountain side and at times can be difficult to follow before a long, steep downhill to Chukksang. Walking time 9-10hrs. As this is a custom and private trek, this day can be split into two days as an additional option.

    Accommodation: Trekkers Lodge/Teahouse, Chukksang
    Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY
    12

    Trek to Jomsom

    Although you will be losing height very gradually today there remains sections of ascent and descent (but not particularly sustained). Walking to Jharkot you can visit the monastery and old fortress here before continuing across the valley floor to Kagbeni and the final couple of hours to Jomsom. Walking time approx. 6hrs.

    Accommodation: Trekkers Lodge, Jomsom
    Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY 12

    Trek to Jomsom

    Although you will be losing height very gradually today there remains sections of ascent and descent (but not particularly sustained). Walking to Jharkot you can visit the monastery and old fortress here before continuing across the valley floor to Kagbeni and the final couple of hours to Jomsom. Walking time approx. 6hrs.

    Accommodation: Trekkers Lodge, Jomsom
    Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY
    13

    Fly to Kathmandu via Pokhara

    After the short but exciting, early morning flight back to Pokhara (and warmth!) you're effectively in transit until it's time for the 25 minute flight back to Kathmandu. A private transfer will take you from the airport back to the KGH Hotel. However, you may wish to consider some additional contingency for this trek, whether it be for any delays/cancellations that can and do occur for internal flights, or any difficulties that may arise on the trek.

    Accommodation: KGH Hotel, Kathmandu
    Included Meals: Breakfast

    DAY 13

    Fly to Kathmandu via Pokhara

    After the short but exciting, early morning flight back to Pokhara (and warmth!) you're effectively in transit until it's time for the 25 minute flight back to Kathmandu. A private transfer will take you from the airport back to the KGH Hotel. However, you may wish to consider some additional contingency for this trek, whether it be for any delays/cancellations that can and do occur for internal flights, or any difficulties that may arise on the trek.

    Accommodation: KGH Hotel, Kathmandu
    Included Meals: Breakfast

    DAY
    14

    Depart Nepal

    A private transfer will take you to the airport for your return international flight.

    Included Meals: Breakfast

    Of course there's no reason to depart today, your Nepal holiday can be readily tailor-made

    DAY 14

    Depart Nepal

    A private transfer will take you to the airport for your return international flight.

    Included Meals: Breakfast

    Of course there's no reason to depart today, your Nepal holiday can be readily tailor-made

    IMPORTANT

    This is an EXAMPLE ITINERARY and can be customised for you accordingly.

    Please consider whether you want your customisable, private trip itinerary to also include CONTINGENCY.

    See our ABOUT CONTINGENCY Information

    Please CONTACT US to discuss CONTINGENCY and ADDITIONAL ACCLIMATISATION, as well as other CUSTOMISATION POSSIBILITES for your PRIVATE CUSTOM TREK

Price Guide

Price based on a private party of 4 persons, twin share rooms, low season.
  • £ GBP 1723
  • $ US 2235
  • € EUR 1975

IMPORTANT INFO ABOUT OUR PRICE GUIDES

What's included

The price shown is for guideline purposes only. The price is inclusive of all accommodation described in the detailed itinerary, all airport and land transfers, private overland travel, internal flights as indicated in the itinerary, meals as indicated in the itinerary (all meals on trek), porterage on trek, permits & National Park fees & Snow Cat Travel Trekking Guide. All guides are english-speaking, professionals and fully licensed.

NB Entry into Mustang (beyond Kagbeni) requires an additional Mustang restricted area permit - the cost (circa $500 per person) is included in the land only trip price. Permits are issued in Kathmandu on a 2 person minimum basis. Solo travellers may be issued a permit providing the minimum 2 person cost is met.

Don't Forget

We can customise
all our trips.

extend. shorten. upgrade

Don't Forget

We can customise
all our trips to Nepal.

extend. shorten. upgrade

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