Upper Mustang is a remote trekking destination in Nepal. It takes you along some of the most ancient palaces, sky caves, and some majestic landscapes. Assessing the cost of Mustang Trek better makes it easier to plan your trek accordingly.
One of the costs of the Upper Mustang trek is to get inside the premises of the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP). Another cost is the one related to traveling to and from Pokhara.
Trekking gear, lodging, food, hiring a guide, and miscellaneous expenses also come into consideration while trekking to Mustang.
Let us look at all these factors in detail in order to see the cost of the Mustang trek.
1. Length of the Mustang Trek
There are various routes you can take in order to complete the Mustang trek. One of the most popular is the trek to Upper Mustang. This trek is 17 days long.
Some people also decide to embark on the lower regions of Mustang. This is obviously smaller in comparison to Upper Mustang trek.
As the Upper Mustang trek lies in the Annapurna Conservation Area region, you can customize this trek as per your need. If you want to know how you can enjoy the beauty of the Annapurna region whilst going to Mustang, you can let us help you organize your trek well.
If you decide to stay in this trek for a longer time, the cost of this trek will obviously be higher.
2. Food and Accommodation
Almost all types of accommodation during the Upper Mustang trek are the same. You will find basic tea houses or lodges in various villages during this trek.
However, during your stay in Pokhara and Kathmandu, you can choose from a variety of hotels you can stay in. You can stay in either 5-star hotels, 3-star hotels or basic lodges.
Besides this, the cost of the accommodation is also determined by what kind of rooms you choose for yourself. Common rooms cost lower than single, double, or triple bedrooms cost.
You can find accommodations for US$ 10 - US$ 20 per day. Without an advanced booking, you might have to share your rooms with other trekkers in peak seasons. Sublime Trails can help you make reservations for this trek.
As transporting goods to higher regions in this trek is quite difficult, you might find the cost of food and accommodation higher in high altitude regions.
The cost of food during the Upper Mustang trek varies US$ 5 - US$ 20 per meal. Different types of food cost differently. Continental and American food generally cost higher than typical Nepalese food.
3. Cost of Permits
The following is a list of all the permits you will need for your trek to Upper Mustang.
ACAP try permit fee for foreigners: 2,000 NPR (Approx. US $20)
ACAP entry permit fee for SAARC nationals: 200 NPR
TIMS permit: 1,000 NPR (Approx. US $10)
Cost is $500 per person, for 10 days, for the restricted permit cost. You will have to pay an additional $50 per person, per day after the completion of 10 days.
You can obtain these permits in Nepal Tourism Board, Kathmandu. You can also obtain them in Nepal Tourism Board located in Damside, Pokhara.
You can obtain the permits for this trek in ACAP entry permit counter in Besisahar, Lamjung. You can purchase TIMS cards from TAAN Lakeside office in Santi Patan, Pokhara.
4. Transportation Costs
The Upper Mustang trek starts from Jomsom. But in order to reach Jomsom, you need to first head out to Pokhara.
There are 2 ways of getting to Pokhara from Kathmandu. You can either take a bus or a flight. A tourist bus from Kathmandu to Pokhara will cost you anywhere between 700 NRs to 2200 Nrs depending upon the type of the bus you want to travel in.
You also have the option of getting a flight, that is around 25 minutes long. It costs around 3100 NRs which is equivalent to approximately US$ 30.
From Pokhara, you can either take a flight to Jomsom or head out on a bus. The flight from Pokhara to Jomsom is around 20 minutes long. The cost of a flight from Pokhara to Jomsom is US$ 125.
The bus ride from Pokhara to Jomsom is also around 6-7 hours long. It costs NRs. 690 for this bus ride.
You can also take a bus that runs directly from Kathmandu to Jomsom. The bus leaves Kathmandu at 2:30 pm in the evening. The bus will go through via Muglin, Pokhara, Beni, Tatopani, Ghasa, Kalopani, Marpha, and finally to Jomsom. The cost of the bus ride from Kathmandu to Jomsom is NRs. 1900.
5. Guides and Porters
It is a compulsion for you to hire a guide while trekking to Upper Mustang. Upper Mustang is one of the restricted area treks in Nepal, so you can’t trek to Upper Mustang on your own.
Upper Mustang is a moderate trek in Nepal. This means that you will have to trek a few uphills and downhills during your trek. The total length of the trip is 17 days. So you might feel quite exhausted while trekking to the Mustang region. So you should also consider hiring a porter.
In order to hire a guide to Upper Mustang, you will have to pay a charge of US $ 30 -US$ 40 per day. So you can hire a porter which will cost you US$ 20 - US$ 30 per day.
You can also hire a guide cum porter, who will act as a guide as well as a porter. A guide cum porter costs somewhere around the same as a guide.
6. Trekking Gear
The following is a list of the most frequently used clothing during the trek to Upper Mustang.
A Base layer of clothing (for the higher altitude of the Annapurna region).
An insulation layer (to wear on top of the base layer)
The outermost layer (this layer of clothing will protect you from the wind and cold)
underwear, trekking trousers and shorts, trekking shirts, Waterproof Shell jacket, and trousers.
A hat, a beanie, and a neck gaiter
Sturdy, comfortable hiking boots
Trekking shoes and sandals
Hiking socks, thermal socks, and gaiters
A large spacious and compartmentalized backpack of 50 - 65 liters
A daypack (if a porter carries your backpack)
A rain cover.
Sleeping bags, trekking poles, sunglasses and moisturizers
Water bottle, pee funnel, basic first aid kit, toiletries, and towels.
Camera, books, and chargers (to pass your free time easily).
mosquito repellents and ointments
You can visit this page for a detailed guide to the packing list for trekking to Poon Hill.
You can arrange for your trekking gear in a variety of ways. In case you have all this gear, you will save some money as you won’t have to shop.
In case you don’t have the trekking equipment, there are two different ways to get it. Either you can buy all of these equipment brand new or you can rent them in a trekking shop in Thamel, Kathmandu or in Pokhara.
7. Travel Insurance
The trek to Mustang takes you to an altitude of more than 3800 meters. Whenever you trek in an altitude of more than 3000 meters, there are chances of altitude sickness.
Besides, you will also have to prepare for the likelihood of flight cancellation, baggage theft, evacuation from helicopters etc. So we highly recommend you to get a travel insurance before coming to Upper Mustang trek.
You can choose either of the following trusted names in the field of Travel Insurance to get travel insurance for your Mustang trek.
Typically, 30-day travel insurance costs US$ 150. Make sure that you read the policies of your travel insurance to know the types of expenses covered in your insurance.
Don’t forget to include the costs of evacuation in your travel insurance. Helicopter evacuation during your treks might cost you more than US $ 4000 in case you don’t have travel insurance.
The following is a list of some miscellaneous expenses you might encounter during your trek to Poon Hill.
Upper Mustang trek is an all season trek in Nepal. The conditions are really dry almost all throughout the year.So you can see a lot of trekkers to Upper Mustang at all seasons.
The trek to Mustang is one of the remote parts in Nepal. So the remote houses in this area are not furnished well with electricity. So lodge owners might charge you US $ 2 - US $ 5.
Despite paying for charging, you might have to wait in a queue to charge your devices if the number of trekkers is large. It is indispensable for you to carry a charger or a power bank while trekking to Upper Mustang.
In off seasons, you might get to charge your devices for free.
You might want to pay some gratitude to your guides/porters during your trek to Upper Mustang. There is no fixed rate of tips for guides and porters. The same is true for all the waiters you might meet while eating in restaurants or lodges during your trip.
You might also have to pay for connecting your devices to WiFi during the trek to Upper Mustang. The price of WiFi increases as you trek to the high altitude regions. The cost of connecting to a WiFi is around US $ 2 - US $ 5 per device in the Mustang region.
These are all the various things where you might have to spend your money in while trekking to Upper Mustang. Make sure that you manage your expenses while during your trek. You can also contact us in case you want to customize your trip to Upper Mustang well. We, at Sublime Trails, offer you some excellent value for your trip.