“How to Get to Upper Mustang Nepal?” is the frequent question spinning in the head of many tourists. Upper Mustang is one of the least accessible yet beautiful regions in the far north of Nepal. The Upper region of Mustang became accessible to the foreigners in the year 1992. Upper Mustang was once an independent Tibetan kingdom with its own king. And, due to the lack of accessibility, you can witness the most well-preserved cultures of Nepal over the Upper Mustang. But since the last couple of years, due to the inflow of a tremendous number of tourist, it has become way more accessible.
Flight to Upper Mustang:
Just like Lower Mustang, first, you need to fly to Pokhara, then to Jomsom and take another mode of transportation to upper Mustang. There are no direct flights to Muktinath.
Kathmandu- Pokhara flight:
It’s a beautiful flight that offers the view of many tallest mountain peaks in the world.
The cost for a flight to Pokhara from Kathmandu (one-way) is as follows:
• Nepali or Indian Citizen- NRS 4500 per person
• Foreigner – USD 125 per person.
Pokhara to Jomsom
Once you arrive at Pokhara, the city of lake, you shall take another 20-25 minutes flight to Jomsom. The cost of a one-way ticket from Jomsom to Pokhara is:
• Tourists: USD 100-125 per person.
• Locals: NPR 7000-8000 per person
Helicopter Flight for Upper Mustang
Since the airplane only takes you to the Lower Mustang, the quickest and the easiest way to get to Upper Mustang is through the helicopter tour. It takes only 4.5 hours for the entire trip which includes a 45 minutes stopover at Lo-Manthang.
The cost for the Helicopter tour to Upper Mustang is:
one person: USD 11200 per person
two individuals: USD 5600 per person
three individuals: USD 3950 per person
four individuals: USD 3100 per person
Upper Mustang by Road:
Just like the airplane, the bus to Upper Mustang is only available up to Jomsom.
You get two options for visiting Lower Mustang on public vehicles (buses):
You can get local buses from Kathmandu to Pokhara from New Bus park or Kalanki which cost between US$ 5-6 per person for. It’s not as comfortable as a tourist bus but you will save a few dollars. Yet, the experience to mingle with the locals is quite different. From, Pokhara, you can get a bus to Beni which is a 3-4 hours journey. The bust costs around US$ 3.
Or, you also take a bus from Kathmandu to Beni which leaves twice a day and costs between US$9-14 per person.
From Beni, you should take a bus to Ghasa, which costs around US$ 4. From Ghasa, take the final bus to Jomsom which also this costs the same at US$ 4
Once you reach Jomsom, you can take a bus to Muktinath, which is around 21 km from Jomsom. The cost of this journey is US$ 3 to $4 for one way.
Tips for this Itinerary:
• It’s convenient to choose Kathmandu-Beni route as the costs of accommodations is cheaper in Beni. Also, its easier to get the bus to Jomsom early morning.
• Also, if you have enough time, on the way back, you can take a bus from Jomsom-Pokhara as Pokhara is a great city to relax and sightsee.
It’s definitely an easier option as you can directly get a bus to Jomsom. The bus leaves to Kathmandu from Jomsom, which cost around US$ 20. The other day, you can get a bus to Muktinath to Jomsom and back.
This package is designed for the devotees wishing to visit Muktinath. The bus leaves from Kathmandu at 2:30 in the afternoon and reaches Jomsom at 7-9 in the morning. Further, the bus then leaves Jomsom at around 1:00 PM in the afternoon which reaches to Kathmandu in the morning at around 7-9 am. The overall distance from Kathmandu to Jomsom is 375 kilometers.
Tourist Bus to Upper Mustang:
Kathmandu to Pokhara: Tourist Bus
Tourist buses are way more comfortable than the local buses and safer as well. You can get Deluxe, Super Deluxe or VIP Super Deluxe Bus Ticket from Kathmandu to Pokhara.
The cost of the tourist bus to Pokhara are:
Deluxe Bus: US$ 7
Super Deluxe Bus: US$ 8
Greenline Tourist Bus: US$ 15
VIP Deluxe Bus: US$ 20
VIP Super Deluxe (Air suspension): US $22
Tourist Bus from Kathmandu to Beni:
The option for tourist buses for Kathmandu to Beni is less. The only choices are:
Regular Tourist Bus: US$ 13
Deluxe Bus with Ac: US$ 9
The difference in the costs is due to the availability of different facilities.
Hiring a jeep or Vans to Upper Mustang:
I must say, hiring a Private vehicle- jeeps and vans to Upper Mustang is the most convenient way to travel to this region. As the road to Lo-Manthang has been recently completed, you can get the bus all the way up there. Also, the seats are comfortable, you can have a personalized itinerary and an air-conditioned journey.
The jeep tour to Upper Mustang takes 5 to 10 days, depending on your itinerary. The cost of hiring a Jeep to Upper Mustang can be around US$ 1000-2000.
Trekking to Upper Mustang:
In Nepal, trekking is the best ways to enhance the experience of traveling. You can enjoy the landscape and culture the place has to offer in a particular region. You can either trek to Upper Mustang trek as an individual trek or as part of the Annapurna Circuit trek itself. Trekking to Upper Mustang needs 17 to 20 days. The cost for trekking to Upper Mustang is $1500 to $2000.