Gelu Sherpa, knowledgeable and humble trek leader and local guide
Guide Gelu Sherpa



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The Dajori La 3795m, our Himalayan spectacular first pass - Jamie

These Upper Mustang colours approaching Dhakmar are reputed to be the blood of a demoness in the tales of the region.
For scale, there is a person in front of the right-most chorten - Jamie

Saving data; use your phone in landscape to see the detailed itinerary and more photos.

Detailed Itinerary

We trek the usual route to Lo Manthang but take an additional day to many itineraries and avoid the four wheel drive track as much as possible.

Our itinerary is well planned with appropriate time for acclimatization to altitude and the multiple rest days can handle unscheduled delays, and there is a variety in the length of trekking days with some half-days to/from villages, giving time to further wander around locally and enjoy. We get to altitude quickly but then stay at the 3800m level for a number days before heading higher.

Although this is the itinerary we plan, we adapt the itinerary to conditions and to the trekkers along with us.

Prior to your arrival in Kathmandu we send out an email with detailed arrival instructions including the visa on arrival procedure, meeting our staff, contact details and changing money etc.

*** This detailed itinerary is a work in progress. ***

Classic Upper Mustang near Luri Gompa

Day 0 - early arrival

Most trekkers have experienced Kathmandu previously however if you have not, then arrive at least a day earlier and we can arrange a city highlights tour and perhaps dinner at Bauddha.

An additional day also aids recovery from long flights and time zone changes, which are particularly brutal if coming from North America.

You will be met at the airport by our staff and escorted to the hote . We book the extra nights hotel nights and you can pay ahead or on arrival.

Day 1 - arrive Kathmandu 1350m

Our staff meet you at the airport, look for a sign with your name on it. We take your passport for the final permit process.

A stormy evening at Bauddha stupa

2 - fly Pokhara 827m

We take a short half hour flight to Pokhara in an ~50 seater propeller aircraft. From the right side of the plane, huge Himalayan mountains rise from the middle hills that are dotted with villages and terraced fields. It is a relief to transition from the appalling Kathmandu traffic to laid back Pokhara, which has a new international airport currently under construction. Touristy lakeside is an area of cafes, souvenir trinkets, trekking gear shops and hotels.

Check out the World Peace Stupa if your legs want some excercise.

3 - fly Jomsom, drive Kagbeni ~2800m

It is an early morning flight to Jomsom then we drive up the massive Kali Gandaki valley with Dhaulagiri and Annapurna, and most visibly the Nilgiri mountains towering behind us. It is said that the Kali Gandaki is the deepest gorge in the world, with these monster 8000 metre peaks soaring no less than five kilometers above us.

Kagbeni looks over the Kali Gandaki River, and is a warren of mud brick alleys, an authentic taste of a Tibetan-style village and of what is to come.

Kagbeni with colourful buckwheat fields and a glimpse of the soaring Niligiri mountains

4 - day trip from Kagbeni

We have a day here just in case, and it is a good acclimatization stop. Any jeep trip is optional and not included, however the guide can negotiate with drivers so that you pay a fair price. Kagbeni and south are in what is classified as Lower Mustang and are part of the popular Annapurna Circuit. Beyond, through the checkpost is Upper Mustang, long restricted by an expensive restricted area permit.

5 - drive-trek Ghiling via Chungtsi Cave Gompa

We wander through Kagbeni (a must!) then meet our jeep for the drive to Samar.

Already at Chhusang there are eye-catching organ pipe cliffs and inaccessible caves dug into the vertical conglomerate rock, this is spectacular Upper Mustang. Then the climb begins, as we leave behind the Kali Gandaki to cross our first pass.

After an early lunch at Samar we pass through a "kani", a protective chorten designed to cleanse evil spirits or thoughts. So don't think badly about the immediate descent then stiff ascent. Luckily, there are rewarding views and it is a pleasure to on a trail far away from the road. Descending again, here is a delightful reward both in the sheer cliffs and the hidden away Chungsi Cave Gompa, also called Ranchung, with its unique inner kora in the cave. Continuing, we climb back to the main trail amid craggy, sheer walls.

Be aware, this is a surprisingly strenuous trek day, one that beats up the legs more than any other day on this trek, perhaps.

Harvest time (seasonal reference: taken 26 September, 2010)

6 - drive-trek Dhakmar via Nyi La 4010m & Ghami La 3765m

This is cheeky, we drive up and over the Nyi La 4010m and then as close as the road goes to the Ghami La where we start walking, and in a short time are at the top of this pass. It is well worth checking out the broad panorama just above the pass for fantastic views too. We descend to Ghami where we have lunch.

Leaving, the mood changes to forbidding fluted red rock canyons and we pass the longest mani wall in Mustang that has quite s story to it, being the blood and entrails of a demoness eventually slayed here.

The gorgeous colours and formations with cut buckwheat drying in the terraced fields - Jamie

7 - trek Charang 3560m via Lo Gekar

We trek the most spectacular Mui La 4170m route to the ancient gompa of Lo Gekar where we lunch then drop along the valley to Charang. Although not particularly long, the legs may feel tired tonight.

A feature of Upper Mustang are the strikingly set huge chortens, here on the outskirts of Chunggar

8 - trek Lo Manthang 3800m via Manga La 4230m

We cover a longer but easy distance, to the heart of Upper Mustang, the town of Lo Manthang. For the people of Lo, this is the largest village of the region, and the old seat of the kingdom, and once a major trade station for Tibetan (and Mustangi) salt, and wool. While the trade has shrivelled, tourism has stepped in. But all that is about to change again as Nepal is breaking up into federal states, and each will want direct trading links. The people of Lo will again become traders with Tibet, once the road is upgraded.

Weaving a pangden, a kidney warmer and sign of marriage - Jamie

9-10-11 - Lo Manthang 3800m

In addition to exploring the impressive gompas in the walled city, there are so many other of other options for day trips that we stay three full days here.

People often take a jeep or horses up valley to Chosar, the caves and gompa there. We will discuss the many options while there.

A gompa protector - Jamie

12 - drive Yara 3650m via Luri Gompa

We drive to Yara and then trek to the Tashi Kabum cave, with its chorten, ornate wall paintings and old manuscripts. Further up the valley is another must visit. Luri is a unique cave gompa, set amid the incredible crumbled terrain. Both really give an insight to the dedication of the faith and also of how people used to live, when everybody lived in caves, perhaps 500 years or more ago.

Climbing up to Luri Cave Gompa


13 - trek Tangye 3240m via ~4000m pass

Now that we are more trekking fit, we cover some distance today with a normal day but a steady pace, and the landscape entertains.

New Dhi; some of Dhi has relocated here, due to water issues

14 - trek Chhusang 2980m via Cha Cho La 4200m

There's nowhere to stay between Tangye and Tetang, so it is a longer but satisfying day. Walking steadily will get us there, no problem. It is also perhaps the most scenic day of landscapes of this immensely beautiful trek, and that is really saying something.

Leaving the village of Tangye

15 - drive Jomsom 2720m

We can jeep down to Jomsom or if you still have energy it might be possible to trek over the Gyu La to Muktinath and then jeep from there to Jomsom.

16 - fly Jomsom-Pokhara-Kathmandu

We take a morning flight by small plane to Pokhara and then in teh afternoon take a larger plane to Kathmandu.

17 - Kathmandu buffer day

Sightseeing and shopping; this is a spare day in case the Jomsom-Pokhara flight is cancelled meaning we drive to Pokhara on day 16 then this day fly/drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu.

For the Sept 2023 trek, today is the Indra Jatra festival, a real bonus.

Day 18 - trip ends

We provide the transfer to the airport. Farewell until next time!

Namaste and Tashi Delek!