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. Regardless of which part you choose, Mustang is an accessible destination for tours or treks or a short visit.
Lower Mustang is famous for the Muktinath temple. Thousands of Hindu and Buddhist pilgrims visit this temple each year. Upper Mustang is famous among national as well as foreign travelers because of the antique culture and the tradition it preserves.
There are various ways to get to Mustang, let us present you with the ways you can get to Mustang in detail to help you decide your best option.
How to get to Lower Mustang/Muktinath?
Kathmandu to Pokhara by flight or bus
One of the easiest and most convenient ways to get to Pokhara from Kathmandu is by flight. Many airlines operate daily flights to Pokhara, which makes it even more accessible. The flight is 25 minutes long and costs $45 per head for Nepalese and Indian citizens and $125 per head for any other nationalities.
But, if you want a more budget-friendly way to travel to Pokhara, there are buses operating daily from Kathmandu to Pokhara. This is not only a budget-friendly way but also a great way to travel with amazing scenery.
The bus ride takes about 6-8 hours to reach Pokhara. It costs around $8-410 for a standard tourist bus with air conditioner. And it costs around $15-$25 for a deluxe bus with wifi and air conditioner which also includes lunch.
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 around 72 km from Baini and Muktinath is around 21 km, which makes it a total of about 93 km trip from Baini to Muktinath. Despite the given km, it takes almost all day to get to Muktinath by bus because of the state of the road. But, you can also hire a jeep to get to Muktinath and share the fare with when in a group.
Kathmandu/Pokhara to Lower Mustang/ Muktinath by Helicopter
The easiest and the most convenient way to get to Lower Mustang or Muktinath is by helicopter. This helicopter ride to Muktinath is spectacular. It offers you panoramic views of the Manaslu Himalayan range and the Annapurna range. You can see deep gorges and enjoy stunning landscape. It definitely on the costlier side but totally worth it.
Lower Mustang/Muktinath: Trek
The Lower Mustang trek is a part of the world-famous Annapurna circuit and Upper Mustang trek. The Major attractions of Lower Mustang trek are beautiful places. Marpha, Jomsom, Kagbeni, Tiri, Jharkot Muktinath and Lupra villages are spectacular. And the Buddhist culture and lifestyle are worth experiencing. The highest point in this trek is Muktinath situated at 3,710 meters above sea level.
Day 1: Travel from Kathmandu to Pokhara
Maximum Elevation: 820 m/ 2,690 ft
Travel hours: 6-7 hrs by bus, 25 minutes by flight
- You can either take a bus to Pokhara and enjoy the view on the ride to Pokhara or take a short flight to Pokhara.
Day 2: Drive to Nayapul and Trek to Tikhedhunga
Elevation: 1540m/5050 ft
Travel hours: 1.5 hours drive, 3-4 hrs trek
- After an hour drive from Pokhara, you will reach Nayapul, which is the starting point of your trek.
- After a short 15-minute walk along the banks of the Modi Khola, you will reach Birethanti (1,015m) a large village with many shops and teahouses.
- From here, the trail continues through the village and follows the north bank of the Burundi Khola.
- The trail escalades gradually up the valley to Hille at 1,495m and after a short climb, we reach Tikhedhunga at 1,570m & spend the night here at a guesthouse at Tikhedhunga.
Day 3: Trek to Ghorepani
Elevation: 2,860 m/ 9,385 ft
Trekking hours: 6- 7 Hrs
- From Tikhedhunga the trail crosses a stream below a suspension bridge near Tikhedhunga.
- You will then ascend a steep stone staircase to a Magar village of Ulleri. Above the village, the trail continues uphill through pastures and cultivated fields.
- The trail then crosses two sparkling streams before making a short, final climb to Nangethanti where you will stop for lunch.From Nangethanti you will climb to Ghorepani.
- On this trail you will see the spectacular panoramic view of Dhaulagiri I (8167m), Nilgiri (6940m), Annapurna I (8091m) and more.
Day 4: Hike up to Poon Hill and Trek to Tatopani
Elevation: 3210m /10529 ft , 1,200m / 3,940 ft
Trekking hours: 7-8 hrs
- You will have an early morning and hike to Poon Hill. From here you will see a superb view of the sunrise and a panoramic view of the Himalaya, including Mt. Dhaulagiri, Fishtail, and others.
- After hiking Poon Hill, you will come back to Ghorepani, eat breakfast, and continue trekking to Tatopani.
- At Tatopani, you can take a dip in the natural hot springs there and relieve your exhaustion.
Day 5: Trek to Ghasa
Elevation: 1,190 m/3,900 ft
Trekking hours: 5-7 hrs
- Walking along the Kali Gandaki riverside with Mt. Dhaulagiri on one side and Annapurna on the other is jaw-dropping.
- You will cross the Bhalu Khola on a high suspension bridge before arriving at Dana after 30 minutes from Dana you will see a very high waterfall: Rupse Chhahara.
- From there you will continue the trek through the steepest and narrowest part of the Kali Gandaki valley.
- You will cross the river again on a 120m long bridge to the east side. You will then reach Ghasa, an ethnic Thakali village.
Day 6: Trek to Tukuche
Elevation: 2,510 m/8,550 ft
Trekking hours: 5hrs
- Tukuche is a scenic village with surrounding orchards. The trail follows the Kali Gandaki River. It passes through a narrow gorge before reaching the Thakali traditional villages.
- You will cross the gorge and river numerous times today via long suspension bridges, which make for great photo opportunities.
- We will pass through a couple of villages (e.g. Lete, Kalopani and Kokkethathi) on the way before we finally reach Tukuche.
Day 7: Trek to Kagbeni
Elevation: 2,900 m/9,500 ft
Trekking hours: 5 hrs
- It will be an easy trek today, where you will first see the village of Khobang, which has narrow alleyways and tunnels connecting houses.
- The trail then continues to Marpha, which is famous for apples. You will continue your trek for another 2 hours before reaching the final destination at Jomsom.
Day 8: Trek to Muktinath
Elevation: 3,855 m/12,635ft
Trekking hours: 4 hrs
- Today you will do the 1000 meter ascend to Muktinath. Then, You will first cross Khingar (3400m) and then Jharkot (3500m), which is an impressive fortress-like village.
- You will then trek to Ranipauwa, the first part of Muktinath where you will spend the night.
- You can then explore the area and see the eternal flame burning from the natural gas next to the holy spring and visit the Muktinath temple.
Day 9: Trek to Jomsom
Elevation: 2,720 m/8,915 ft
Trekking hours: 4 hrs
- Today the trek takes you down the valley, pass Ekle Bhatti village and walk along the Kali Gandaki River to reach Jomsom.
Day 10: Departure Day
- Early morning flight to Kathmandu/Pokhara or bus back to Pokhara/Kathmandu.
How to get to Upper Mustang?
In terms of flights, Upper Mustang is not as accessible as Lower Mustang. The nearest airport to Upper Mustang is Jomsom. Hereon, you will have to find other modes of transportation to Upper Mustang.
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.
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
A helicopter ride is the quickest way to get to the forbidden Kingdom of Mustang, Lo Manthang. The helicopter flight starts from Kathmandu – Pokhara – Jomsom – the walled city of Lo Manthang in upper Mustang. It takes a total of about 5 hours including the 45 minutes stop at Lo Manthang for you to do a quick tour of Lo Manthang.
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
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.
Day 1: Drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara (827m/2689ft): 5-6 hours
- After breakfast, you will leave for Pokhara via a tourist bus. It takes about 6-7 hours to reach Pokhara.
- Enjoy views of Mt. Dhaulagiri (8,167m/26,794ft), Manaslu (8,156m/26,759ft), Machhapuchhre (6,993m/22,943ft), the five peaks of Annapurna and others while in Pokhara.
Day 2: Fly to Jomsom (2,700m/8898ft) and trek to Kagbeni (2,810m/9,216ft): 3-4 hours trek
- Today you will take an early morning flight to Jomsom since the flights only operate before noon.
- From Jomsom, you will follow the famous Kali Gandaki River upstream, partly walking in the riverbed itself, to Kagbeni.
Day 3: Kagbeni to Chele (3,050m/10,004ft): 5-6 hours
- After getting your permits checked, you will begin your trek on a trail alongside the Kali Gandaki River.
- You will cross some villages before reaching the Chele village.
Day 04: Chele to Syanbochen (3,475m/11,398ft): 6-7 hours
- Your trek from today will get a little difficult as compared to the days before. You will be crossing two passes i.e. Taklam La pass (3,624m) and Dajori La pass (3,735) before reaching Syanboche.
Day 5: Syanbochen to Ghami (3,520m/11,546ft): 5-6 hours
- The trek ascends to the Yamda La pass at 3,850m, then trek through poplar forests and barley fields.
- We reach Nyi Pass at 4,010m. From here, you will descend to Ghami which is one of the biggest villages in the Lo region.
Day 6: Ghami to Tsarang (3,620m/11,873ft): 5-6 hours
- Your trek today begins with a descent through a rough and often slippery trail.
- You will then cross a suspension bridge over the Ghami Khola and begin ascending.
- Next, you will cross the Tsarang La Pass at 3870m and reach Tsarang village.
Day 7: Tsarang to Lo-Manthang (3,730m/12,234ft): 3-4 hours
- The trek begins by descending to a canyon and crossing a river before beginning the uphill trek to Lo La pass which at 3950m.
- From the top of the pass, you can see the beautiful Lo Manthang village. From the pass, you will descend to Lo Manthang, the forbidden kingdom of Mustang.
Day 8: Explore Lo Manthang/ Acclimatization
- Today is for you to explore the beautiful lo Manthang.
Day 9: Lo-Mangthang to Drakmar (3810 m/12,500ft): 6-7 hours
- On your way back you will follow a different path. The trail passes through Gyakar village which houses a century old Ghar Gompa with beautiful rock paintings.
- A local legend says anyone who makes a wish at the Gompa will have their wish fulfilled.
- After exploring the gompa you will continue your trek to Drakmar.
Day 10: Drakmar to Ghiling (3,806m/12,484ft): 5-6 hours
- We start our trek early to avoid strong wind and descend for the most part of the trek today.
- Our trail passes through a dry plateau and fields before reaching Ghiling.
Day 11: Ghiling to Chhuksang (3050m/10,004ft): 5-6 hours
- This is the same trail as before while going up to Lo Manthang.
- On the way to Chhuksang, we can enjoy great views of the Himalayas and small villages we pass en route.
Day 12: Chhuksang to Jomsom (2,700/8,856ft): 6-7 hours
- The last day of the trek and a long one. After trekking for a while, you will come to the end of Mustang trekking trails and join the trails of the Annapurna Circuit.
- We’ll stop for lunch at Kagbeni. After lunch, you will continue your trek to Jomsom.
Day 13: Fly back to Pokhara
- After days of trekking, you finally return to Pokhara by flight.
Day 14: Drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu
- After breakfast, you say goodbye to the beautiful northern skyline of Pokhara and drive towards Kathmandu.
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.