The Mustang Valley region lies at the head of the sacred river of the Kali Gandaki. Home to both Tibetan Buddhism and the ancient Bön religions, there are ancient caves filled with amazing religious artwork from centuries past. This region was long closed to the outside world and has only been officially opened in 1992 and considered as a restricted region. It allows a limited number of tourists each year in order to protect and conserve the local Tibetan tradition and the fragile environment. The Mustang trekking trail consists of treeless deserted scenery, vertical rocky paths up and down the hill and beautiful views of Mt. Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, Annapurna, Tukuche peak, Mustang Himal, Tilicho peak, Arniko Chuli and many other peaks.
To explore Mustang region you need a special permit to enter this amazing place, and Dookma helps travellers to get the permit and prepare a custom travel itinerary so to see the wonders of the Mustang Valley region.
Mustang Region Overview:
The Mustang region is recognized as the Forbidden Kingdom of Lo, and tourism was banned. Hundreds of years of isolation from the outside world have meant that the peaceful, traditional Tibetan culture has stayed strong in the northern areas of the Mustang. And although almost 3 decades have passed since the Upper Mustang was opened to tourism, visitors to the region still feel like they're stepping back in time, exploring a world that existed thousands of years ago. Mustang region is the top third best trekking destination in the world.
This is the voyage you'll never want to miss being an adventure lover and nature explorer. This region is rich in traditional Tibetan Buddhist culture that it can often feel more classically Tibetan than the modern Chinese region of Tibet itself.
Most popular trekking routes in the Mustang Region
There are many popular trekking routes in the Mustang region, some of them are mention below:
- Lower Mustang Trek
- Upper Mustang Trek
- Poonhill with Mustang Trek
- Muktinath Tour
Best season for trekking in Mustang Region
The Spring season (March, April, and May) & Autumn (September, October and November) are considered to be the best season for trekking to the Mustang region. The weather gets warm and clear with high visibility of peaks and landscapes which makes this an ideal season for trekking. The Summer season also comes with monsoon in Nepal but the Mustang lies in the rain-shadow area of the Annapurna region, meaning the Mustang regions don’t get rainfall during the monsoon. So travelers can opt-in for this trek if they visit Nepal during the monsoon. Winter (December, January, and February) season comes with freezing cold in this region, and temperature starts to drop below zero especially in the late evenings and night. However, the winter season is not recommended for the Mustang region trekking as most of the villagers migrate to the lower regions. The upper region is covered in snow. But, some lodges and tea houses are still open for business during early December.
Legal Documents or Permits needed for Mustang Region Trek
Trekking to the Mustang region, there are different kinds of costs and permits involved. Foreigners are required to obtain a Restricted Area Permit in addition to an ACAP entry permit to trek in Upper Mustang.
TIMS card was necessary for trekkers in the Mustang region. TIMS Card is still valid for trekkers in other regions of Nepal. TIMS is issued by the Tourism Agency Association of Nepal (TAAN). There are 2 kinds of TIMS cards that are issued- one for an Independent trekker and one for an organized trekker.
TIMS Card for Independent Trekker
- Color- Green
- Cost- Rs 2000 Per Person
- Photos – 2
- Collected by- Self
TIMS Card for Organized Trekker
- Color- Blue
- Cost- Rs 1000 Per Person
- Photos – 1
- Collected by – Local Trekking Agency
You also need an Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) permit.
- ACAP permit cost for SAARC Nationals : Nrs.200 (about US $2)
- ACAP permit cost for Other Nationals: Nrs.2000 (about US $20)
Restricted Area Permit (RAP): $500 per person for 10 days. If longer is required, an additional $50 per day is charged.
Note: Individual trekkers cannot obtain the RAP permit for Upper Mustang themselves. In fact, no one can trek in Upper Mustang alone. Please also note that an individual guide cannot obtain the permit for a trekker. RAP permits must be obtained through a trekking company registered in Nepal.
Mustang Region Trek FAQ
What is the highest altitude of Mustang Trek?
The Upper Mustang Trek doesn't go higher than in 3795.
How many hours a day do we walk?
On average, you have to walk around 6-8 hours per day. Some days can vary from 4-5 hours a day to just 2-3 hours.
What happens if I get sick or get hurt while trekking in Mustang region?
Basically, our guide will take care of this. If it is not too bad we will go down by walking, however in the event of an emergency there usually is access to a telephone line for an evacuation via helicopter.
Will I get the facilities of battery charging & hot shower?
You can bring your charger and charge your batteries during trekking. There is also a facility for hot water, but you may have to pay an extra $1-$2. However, you can find a hot water facility for free at a lower altitude.
I have never done trekking yet. Is the Mustang region trek for me?
Yes, of course, you can do it. Trekking in the mustang region is considered to be moderate. It doesn’t involve technical climbing but it’s good to have some hiking experience.
What is the accommodation & food be like in the Mustang region?
The Mustang region trek is a teahouse trek, which means it equipped with basic necessity and all teahouse rooms are basic and come with shared bathrooms. You will be getting all kinds of freshly cooked food from western, continental Nepali to Indian food in all our tea houses. Three meals a day will be provided.
How much luggage can I take during my Mustang region trek?
The weight limit for your luggage is 9 kg per trekker, Porters will be assigned to carry your luggage, Two people will be assigned with one porter, combined luggage should not exceed more than 18 kgs. Only carry what is essential.
How can I use toilets during the trek?
On the trail, you will find the Toilet in the small villages where there are restaurants and tea houses. Most toilets in this region are squat toilets. And in other options prepare to hide behind big rocks and do your business.
Do I need Insurance?
100% Yes! Injury and altitude sickness and any other calamities may occur during the trek, so it is best to get travel insurance before you go. Better safe than sorry!
What is the average size of the group?
Groups can vary between 6 to 16 travelers, who typically are a mix of individuals, couples, or friends traveling together who have a shared interest in outdoor adventure and nature.
Is someone going to meet me at the airport? Are transfers included?
Definitely, our Airport Representative will come to the airport to pick you up. We will be displaying a placard of Alpine eco trek with your name on it. Airport transfer is included.