Upper Mustang Trek is one of the popular trekking areas in the Himalayan Region. It has a completely different lifestyle and the most suitable climate. It is considered to be one of the most beautiful treks in Nepal. It is surrounded by the sacred Himalayas and incredible scenic beauty. Upper Mustang Trek is filled with cultural and religious values. Gurung, Thakalis, and Tibetans are the locals residents in Upper Mustang. The people in the neighborhood speak the Tibetan Language.
You will go through a little Buddhist world during the Upper Mustang Trek. Upper Mustang Trek has become a favorite destination for many people in a short period. Moreover, the beautiful and fascinating views of snow-capped Mountains make this place mesmerizing. It is a lifetime experience for the traveler to visit such an amazing place.
But, the Upper Mustang Trek cost is a major reason that pushes your plan behind. And yes, trekking to the Himalayas is quite expensive. There are a lot of expenses that you need to consider, starting from the plane ticket to Nepal. This should be the most expensive part, followed by the permits for the place.
Further, local transportation, guide, trekking equipment, and porter charges are other major expenses. Not to forget tips and souvenir shopping.
In fact, preparation begins with financial planning. Knowing how much the trip costs will make it easy to plan the trek.
Highlights of Upper Mustang Trek
- Experience the wilderness and wonders of the hidden kingdom; Upper Mustang
- Witness panoramic views of the Himalayas
- Explore Kali Gandaki, the deepest gorge and valley of the world.
- Close view of tradition, culture, and remote lifestyle of locals
- Fabulous scenery of contrast of wind-eroded cliffs, colorful gullies, and snow-capped mountains.
- View of dazzling Himalayan peaks like Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, Thorang, Nilgiri, Tukche, and other high peaks.
- Crossing over some of the passes, you will reach the stone-walled town of Lo-Manthang.
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Transportation Cost for Upper Mustang Trek
There are many options available for transportation purposes. Transportation is another factor that adds to the upper mustang trek cost. You can choose local buses, tourist buses, daily flights, and even private jeep between Kathmandu to Pokhara.
The cost of the buses from Kathmandu to Pokhara is USD 8 to USD 30 one way per person. Kathmandu is home to the main immigration office in Nepal. This makes Kathmandu the only place where the restricted permit for Mustang can be issued.
The cost includes extra services that may vary such as wifi, air condition, food, and beverage, etc. You can travel in either a tourist bus or a local bus as both options are available.
The cost of flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara is USD 120 one way per person. The cost might differ according to the season. It might cost more during the peak season.
Pokhara- Jomsom Flight
The cost of flight from Pokhara to Jomsom is USD 111 one way per person. It is highly recommended that you take a flight from Pokhara to Jomsom.
The local buses and local jeeps run in the off-road trails to Jomsom. However, they are not certain to be running all the time and safety could also be an issue especially in the monsoon season.
The cost of bus/jeep from Pokhara to Jomsom and to Kagbeni is roughly USD 30-40 per person.
Permit Cost for Upper Mustang Trek
Mustang Restricted Permit
The cost for this is currently priced at USD 500 per person. Mustang is a special region in Nepal so it is necessary to get the permit. It is not easily accessible to everyone. This is required by the government to preserve the area and limit the number of tourists entering this region in Nepal. Note that this USD 500 per person is only valid for 10 days.
Annapurna Conservation Area Project Permit
You also require to obtain ACAP which is USD 27 (NPR 3,000) per person. As you will have to pass by the Annapurna Region to reach Upper Mustang. This permit is valid with an unlimited number of days but only for one-time entry and exit in the Annapurna region. So if you still wish to continue with Annapurna Base Camp (ABC), Annapurna Circuit, Ghorepani or Poonhill, this is possible. As it is a continuous trek, you are only allowed single entry and exit.
Trekking Information Management System(TIMS) Card
The cost for the TIMS card is USD 10 per person if you wish to trek further with a guide. You have to get an independent TIMS card which is also called the green permit if you choose not to trek with a guide after Mustang. It will cost USD 20 per permit. You have to go Nepal tourist Board by yourself and issue the permit.
Taking this card is not required if your only itinerary is the Upper Mustang. But, if you wish to do other Annapurna treks such as ABC or Poonhill Trek, then the TIMS card is required.
Cost of Guide/Porter for Upper Mustang Trek
Given that Nepal has some trekking trails which don’t require you a guide. But it is necessary for the Mustang region to have one with you.
No matter what other various international travel companies inform you but hiring a professional guide is actually not at all expensive for the Mustang region.
And the per-day cost of this trek is comparatively the same as the other treks.
The guide average cost is USD 25 to 30 per day and this already includes the accommodation, guide’s food, and insurance.
And you can also hire a porter while trekking in the upper mustang.
However, you should be aware of the cost of hiring a porter. It really is not that much different from hiring a guide due to the cost of food and insurance.
You will have to pay the cost of USD 20 to 25 a day to a porter which is inclusive of accommodation, food, and insurance.
The difference in costs isn’t that big a deal. But you should consider your own safety and experience in the area you’re about to head. People who have been there suggested to take a professional guide with you.
A professional guide will also have a valid license received from the government. They have undergone hard training especially in handling emergency situations and ensuring client safety.
But it is completely your decision and you’re under no pressure. It is your choice to be accompanied by a guide or not.
Note: you will not be allowed at entry points if you are not accompanied by either of these two.
Upper Mustang Trek Cost- Accommodation
The cost for a twin sharing room ranges from USD 6 to USD 9 per person. You will have to pay the cost for two people if you want to go for the whole room and wish to sleep on your own.
You will not face any issue for accommodation in the Upper Mustang. The tea houses and homestay have started to spring up in recent years. You will be required to bring your tent in the past but this is no longer the case because of demand from many trekkers.
However, you should be aware that tea houses could be very busy and may not have availability everywhere during the festival season. This is particularly the case during the Tiji Festival. Several locals and foreign trekkers would take part in the festivities here. Your only option is a homestay if your itinerary is around the festival time. If you want to know more about the local people and experience their culture, this is actually a good experience.
Upper Mustang Trek Cost- Food and Drinks
Cost of Food
You have three meals i.e breakfast, lunch, and dinner during the trek. An average meal will cost around USD 5 per person. This makes the per day cost of food on the trail to average around USD 15 to 20 every day. The cost of a meal increases as you ascend to higher altitudes.
You will find the most basic food i.e. Nepali Daal-rice in all the teahouses. This meal is a filling meal that comes with Rice, vegetables, lentil soup, and pickle. You can also have Indian, Tibetan as well as the continental dishes at some hotels and teahouses. Having other varieties of food will cost you more.
Cost of Drinks
You will not have a lot of choices on drinks during upper and lower Mustang treks. Some of the drinks that you can enjoy during your upper and lower mustang trek are as follows:
- Bottled water: USD 0.5 to 4
- A cup of tea: USD 1.5 to 4
- A cup of coffee: USD 2 to 5
- A bottle of beer: USD 2 to 5
- A bottle of soda: USD 0.5 to 4
You shouldn’t miss the local beer available in Upper Mustang if you’re someone who loves tasting beer.
Other Miscellaneous Upper Mustang Trek Cost
Besides all the big costs, there are always costs that do not show. Listed below are some of the miscellaneous costs during the upper and lower Mustang trek. Have a look,
Donations and Tipping
You will be visiting several monasteries and gompas en route. You will also trek to the religious pilgrimage sites like Muktinath temple. You can donate some amount there. Also, your guides and porters also expect some amount as tips. Tipping is not a compulsion, but after their great hospitality, you will want to give them a certain amount for tips.
Charging Electronic Gadgets
When you are trekking in Nepalese Himalayas, you have to pay for everything. To charge your electronic gadgets at the teahouses, you have to pay for it. In general, full charging your phones and electronic gadgets will cost around USD 5.
You might want to buy some souvenirs for your family, friends, and loved ones. You will see small shops and some local vendors selling the pieces of local arts and architecture. You can buy them on your way back.
You want to take a bucket shower, you can. The teahouses will charge you a certain amount (USD 5) for a shower. You can take a hot or cold shower. But since you are going to really high places, it will be cold. And you will want to go for a hot bucket shower.
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Outline Itinerary for Upper Mustang Trek
Day 01: Drive from Pokhara for 5 to 6 hrs or fly to Pokhara
Day 02: Fly Jomsom from Pokhara and Trek to Kagbeni (2,800m)
Day 03: Trek from Kagbeni to Geling (3,570m)
Day 04: Trek from Geling to Tsarang (3,560m)
Day 05: Trek from Tsarang to Lo-Manthang (3,840m)
Day 06: Explore around Lo-Manthang (3,840m)
Day 07: Trek from Manthang to Ghami (3,520m)
Day 08: Trek from Ghami to Samar (3,540m)
Day 09: Trek from Samar to Muktinath (3,600m) and about one hour drive to Jomsom
Day 10: Drive back from Jomsom to Pokhara
Are there any chances of altitude sickness in Upper Mustang Trek?
You will exceed the elevation of 3500m in this trek so you must be aware of it. The possibility of getting altitude sickness starts once you cross the altitude of 2500m.
What are the physical requirements for Upper Mustang Trekking?
Upper Mustang Trekking is suitable for all kinds of people who are fit and no previous adventure experience is required. Some physical activities like swimming, running, and walking are recommended before your Mustang trek. Persons suffering from pre-existing medical flaws must seek medical advice before considering the trek. It is common to experience some discomfort during the trek before being fully acclimatized.
Are ATMs available during the trek?
ATM and credit card facilities can be used in Kathmandu, Pokhara, and Jomsom. Above that, you need cash payments for various services you need.
What is the best season to do the Upper Mustang Trek?
Upper Mustang is a rain shadow area where you can go from august to mid-December and February to May.
How much extra money should I carry per day?
In Kathmandu, you can allocate $ 10-15 for lunch and dinner. It all depends on your spending habits. $15- 20 a day will be enough to buy bottles of water, chocolate and a few drinks in Trekking.
Note: This is an idea on Upper Mustang Trek Cost. This is designed for you to make your trek easy. You can customize your trek according to the places you want to visit. Trekking Guide Team Adventure provides you with a complete plan of your trek and organizes a hassle-free trip.
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