The fundamental question asked is: How much does the Upper Mustang Trek Cost? The trek’s price ranges from USD 1600 to USD 3500 per person, depending on the services and itinerary.
Booking with Local agency is cheaper If you book full board package, the price covers several services and facilities like accommodation, transportation, meals , and many more.
The trekking cost depends on when you begin and how you get there. It might cost you a little less if you book the packages in a group. So, plan a holiday with your friends.
Also, if you want to spend your time in luxury, you can select the Private Upper Mustang trek, but it is pretty expensive.
1, Permit Cost
Upper Mustang trek falls under restricted areas, so it has some special rules and costs for permits. You will need to arrange a restricted area permit, ACAP Permit. The individual trekkers are not allowed and the permit issue only through of Napless Government registered Company.
Restricted Area Permit Cost
The price of a Restricted Area permit is USD 500 per person for ten days. If you spend additional time in this area after that, you will need to pay USD 50 per person each day.
The cost is high to preserve and limit the number of trekkers visiting the area. Also, you will need at least two or more trekkers, excluding a guide and porter, to apply for this permit.
Annapurna Conservation Area Permit Cost
Along with the special permit, you will also need to obtain ACAP as some part of the trek lies in the Annapurna Conservation Area. This permit costs is USD 30 (NPR 3000) per person.
The permit is valid for one-time use only but comes with unlimited days. You are allowed single entry and exit, and it is non-transferable.
2, Accommodation and Food Cost
You do not need to worry about accommodation as there are several tea houses and home stays on this trek. But be informed that it will be busy and packed during festive and peak seasons.
On average, the cost for a twin-sharing room ranges from USD 6 to USD 9 per person. So, if you wish to sleep alone, then you will need to pay the price of two people.
Similarly, the cost of food is more expensive as Upper Mustang lies in a remote area. So, It roughly ranges from about USD 10 to USD 15 per meal on a daily basis.
For drinks, you can find both alcoholic and nonalcoholic ones. The price for tea costs about 1.5 to 3 USD, coffee for 2 to 4 USD, a bottle of beer- 2 to 5 USD, and water for around 0.5 to 4 USD.
3, Transportation Cost
To get to Upper Mustang, you can travel slow and cheap or fast and expensive. The choice of transportation to reach Upper Mustang depends on your time and budget.
You can make the whole travel duration into an adventure in itself or travel quicker if you are on a tighter timescale. The trip begins from Kathmandu then to Pokhara and further to Jomsom.
Transportation Cost from Kathmandu to Pokhara
There are several options to reach Pokhara from Kathmandu such as public or tourist buses, daily flights, and private jeep or car.
You can find daily flights available to Pokhara from Kathmandu. But keep in mind that it can be delayed during monsoon and winter due to bad weather. The flight duration is about 15 to 20 min, so you can leave early and chill by the lakeside. The total flight costs about USD 121.
There are many public and tourist buses traveling to Pokhara each day. If you are on a budget then, public transportation is a great choice. But if you want to travel in comfort and luxury, we recommend the tourist bus.
The travel duration on the bus takes about 7 to 8 hours, so catch the first one to reach faster. The cost for public buses range around USD 8 to 9 per person, while the tourist bus costs about USD 15 to 25/ each person.
Private Car or Jeep
If you are traveling in small numbers or groups, you also have the option of hiring a private car or jeep. Car is a great travel method if 2 to 4 people are traveling, while jeeps are great if there are 6 to 7 people.
The travel time is similar to a bus, but you get to start the drive and stop at various points according to your desire. The cost for a car ranges about USD 100, while the price is about USD 120 for a jeep.
Transportation Cost from Pokhara to Jomsom
There are three transportation options to reach Jomsom, i.e., through flight, local bus, or jeep. Flights are much faster and safer but costlier compared to the other two.
Roadways are more adventurous but they don’t run and are unsafe during bad weather especially in Monsoon.
The flights from Pokhara to Jomsom are available for early mornings only. It is because the winds are strong during the afternoon making it hard to fly the planes. The flight duration is about 20 min and costs about USD 125 each way.
Local Bus Cost
The road leading to Jomsom is rough and off-trail, so you need to travel by local bus. The local driver has years of experience driving in these trails, new or normal road drivers can’t drive in these routes. The drive takes about 8 to 10 hours and costs about USD 15.
If you hate crowded vehicles, then you can hire a private jeep to reach Jomsom. They are much faster compared to the bus. It takes about 6 to 7 hours to drive to Jomsom and the price ranges about USD 30 to 40 per person.
While traveling with Adventure Great Himalaya, you will drive to Pokhara via tourist bus, then fly to Jomsom to begin the trek. Similarly, after reaching Jomsom, you fly back to Pokhara and you can either fly or drive back to Kathmandu.
4, Hiring Guide and Porter Cost
Some of the trekking trails in Nepal do not require guides or porters. But it does not apply to the Upper Mustang trek, as it is compulsory to hire a guide or porter. You can choose between them or select both to bring along in the trek.
Trekkers need to hire guides that are organized by the Nepal registered travel agent. Bringing a guide along can add enjoyment and safety trip, as they are more knowledgeable and experienced. You are expected to pay USD 25 to 40 per day for the guide.
Hiring a Porter is best option to make your trip lighter and comfortable , he will carry your trekking gears. So bringing Porters are a great choice if you like to walk freely without carrying weight.
But you should know that most of them might not speak in english. However, they are helpful and always have a smiling face, If you are hiring a porter, you should know they can carry between 15 to 20 kg weight only. they charge you up to USD 20 to 25 per day.
5, Insurance Cost
Insurance is a must when traveling to high places or Himalayan regions. You can not predict anything during the trek, so make insurance that covers all the necessary specs.
They should be able to provide emergency rescues and evacuation. Also, they need to cover your medical expenses. The insurance can cost a minimum of up to USD 5000.
The Upper Mustang trek cost is not as expensive as you think, but the price of a permit scares most trekkers. However, the lack of contact from the rest of the country has made it possible to retain their rich ethical heritage. The serenity and remoteness of the area are worth all the price.