Upper Mustang Heli Trek

Duration: 13 DAYS

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Trip Overview

  • Trip Code: NHT2599

  • Destination: Nepal

  • Trip Grade: Moderate

  • Max Elevation: 3730 Meters

  • Total Duration: 13 days

  • Best Time: March to May and Sept to Dec.

  • Group Size: Min. 2 Person

The Upper Mustang Heli Tour is a comfortable blend of trekking and a helicopter ride taking place in one of the most isolated regions of Nepal- Upper Mustang. One of the last places on Earth that still has the practice of Tibetan Buddhism in its most unsullied forms, Upper Mustang is a place of many hidden treasures. Presenting one of the most distinguished trekking destinations in all of Nepal, Upper Mustang presents corroded hills and amazing rock formations in the amethyst landscape as opposed to the verdant trekking locations that other regions are famed for. Lying at the rain-shadow zone of the Dhaulagiri and the Annapurna Mountain ranges, the brown of the landscape makes a beautiful contrast to the white glowing ridges of the Himalayas while trekking. The Upper Mustang Heli Trek presents a fascinating combination of trekking and a helicopter ride that presents a whole new perspective of the region as seen from an aerial view.

The many monasteries of the region are treasure houses of many old artifacts and the practice of the Tibetan Buddhist religion by the people there is a great way to experience something that is literally captured in a time-wrap. Trekking in Upper Mustang is like going back in time because of how little to change has occurred in the practice of the religion that started hundreds of years ago. Start the trek with a drive to the lakeside city of Pokhara from Kathmandu and then follow the trekking trail that goes through many ethnic villages of Upper Mustang like Kagbeni, Chuksang, Samar, Geling, Ghami, Tsarang and Lo Manthang. The presence of many monasteries, chortens and gumbas along the way provide a very religious nuance to the whole region and the villages are brimming with the presentation of the people’s unique and exotic culture. Upper Mustang Heli Trek provides one of the best and most comfortable trekking journeys in the country that combines both the trekking aspect of the journey with a thrilling helicopter ride above the oxidized red cliffs of Mustang’s terrain.

The prayer flags, the gumbas and the temples that line the trekking trail at various spots will be your constant companions while trekking and the people going about their day at the remote isolated region in their traditional attire is sure to be one of the most amazing experiences of a lifetime. Lying close to the Tibetan plateau, Upper Mustang is a great place to experience the ancient Tibetan culture right in Nepal without having to visit Tibet because of how similar the culture of the two places are. The mesmerizing brown landscape of Mustang that resembles the deeper crevasses of the Grand Canyon presents one of the most unique terrains in the world, the rock formations of the place is something that looks like it is from another planet. Furthermore, the cliffs also contain mysterious caves that were dug out thousands of years ago and contained many forgotten Buddhist artifacts of past times. The rich cultural presence of the region is something that truly captures Nepal’s multicultural aspect as there isn’t any place in Earth that is quite like Mustang. The Upper Mustang Heli Trek is a brilliant journey that presents the best aspects of the region with the added thrill of a beautiful and gorgeous helicopter ride over the sandy dunes and rocky cliffs of Mustang.

Itinerary Expand all

Day 01 - Arrive at Tribhuwan International Airport, Kathmandu

You may arrive at the airport at any time. Upon your arrival, you will be greeted by one of Nepal Hiking Team’s representatives who will help you get transferred to your hotel. You may check into your hotel and relax. Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 02 - Fly to Pokhara and Transfer to hotel

A 30 minutes scenic flight to Pokhara. Upon our arrival in Pokhara, we will be rewarded with magnificent views of the Himalayas including Dhaulagiri, Manaslu, Machhapuchhre, the five peaks of Annapurna and many others. The drive to Pokhara also offers many amazing sights of the landscapes like pasturelands and terrace farms and rivers. At Pokhara after arrival, we will check into the hotel and in the evening, you can also enjoy a pristine boat ride on the Phewa Lake and stroll in the city’s quaint streets. Overnight stay at a hotel in Pokhara.

Day 03 - Fly to Jomsom (2713m/8898ft) and trek to Kagbeni (2810m/9216ft), Duration: 3-4 hours trek

Today, we will take an early morning flight to Jomsom- a village famous for its apples, strong winds and its amazing landscape. We will begin our trek from Jomsom on an open trail alongside a beautiful valley. Passing through the Eklebhatti village before reaching Kagbeni, we can enjoy the amazing terrains and admire the many natural features of the landscape. Kagbeni is ideally located at the bank of two rivers and the village is beautiful with flat roofed houses. It also has ruins of an old fortress. Overnight stay at a guesthouse in Kagbeni, breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Day 04 - Kagbeni to Chhuksang (2900m/9512ft), Duration: 4-5 hours

The trekking trail begins alongside the east bank of the Kali Gandaki Valley. Walking on both high valley trails, we will follow the path that run alongside the Kali Gandaki River. Next, the path opens up on a wide land where a number of mules can be seen carrying goods. The valley tends to narrow down as we walk through ancient caves towards Tangbe Village. As we continue towards Chuksang, we can admire the well-kept narrow alleys, the whitewashed houses, buck wheat and barley fields and apple orchards of the gorgeous Tangbe Village. Chuksang is only around 2 hours walk from Tangbe. Overnight stay in a guesthouse at Chuksang, breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Day 05 - Chhuksang to Samar (3150m/10332ft), Duration: 3-4 hours

Crossing a suspension bridge, we will follow the trail that goes along the banks of the Kali Gandaki River and ascend on a steep trail to the Chele Village. On the way, we can get good views of the Nilgiri and the Tilicho peaks. From Chele, we will climb on a steep path and continue ascending alongside a steep canyon towards the Darori La Pass, which lies at 3735 meters. From the top, it is a gradual descent all the way to the small and picturesque village of Samar. The village is beautiful with ancient poplar trees surrounding it. Overnight stay in a guesthouse at Samar, Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Day 06 - Samar to Geling (3510m/11513ft), Duration: 5-6 hours

Climbing on a ridge above the village, we will descend into a large ravine following the trekking trail today. We will walk on a trail filled with juniper trees before crossing a stream. The trail then ascends steeply towards the Bhena La Pass at 3838 meters. Descending from the pass for a while before ascending again towards the Yamda La Pass at 3860 meters, we get our first view of Upper Mustang from the top of the Pass. We will then descend from the pass and continue walking towards a big stupa, passing cairns before descending to the village of Geling- a beautiful village with far-reaching fields of barley. Overnight stay in a guesthouse at Geling, Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Day 07 - Geling to Ghami (3490m/11447ft), Duration: 5-6 hours

We will ascend gently through barley fields and pass the Tama Gaon (village) and a chorten on the way to our next location. Climbing on a steep trail towards the Nyi La Pass at 4,010 meters, we can get excellent views of the Annapurna range from the top of the Pass. We will then descend and walk on a trail that leads us to Ghami. The village is a large dotting of whitewashed houses and barren fields sheltered by overhanging cliffs. Overnight stay at a guesthouse at Ghami, Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Day 08 - Ghami to Tsarang (3620m/11873ft), Duration: 5-6 hours Trek

Our trek today begins with a descent through a rough and slippery trail. Crossing a suspension bridge over the Ghami Khola, we will begin ascending down towards Tsarang. The pathway is beautiful with Mani walls along the trail. Next, we will cross the Tsarang La Pass at 3870 meters and reach the Tsarang village. The village lies atop the Charang Chu canyon with a huge fortress and a red gompa towards its east. Overnight stay in a guesthouse at Tsarang, Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Day 09 - Tsarang to Lo-Manthang (3730m/12234ft), Duration: 3-4 hours

We will visit the red gompa and a fortress in the morning before beginning our trek towards Lo-Manthang. Our trail drops down to the Tsarang Khola and we will cross a bridge over the river. Next, we will climb up towards the Lo La pass at 3950 meters. From the top of the pass, we can get good views of northern Mustang and of Lo-Manthang. Descending to Lo Manthang- which is an ancient walled capital of Mustang, we can enjoy the rocky dunes that dot the landscape. The town has only one entrance so we will have to circumambulate the wall to the gate on the north east corner. Overnight stay in a guesthouse at Lo Manthang, Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Day 10 - Explore Lo Manthang

Lo Manthang is a walled town of the remote Upper Mustang region of Nepal. We will spend the day touring three major Gompas of the town- the Jhampa, the Thupchen and the Chhoeda. All of these Gompas have undergone expert restoration over the last two decades. Overnight stay at a guesthouse in Lo Manthang, Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Day 11 - Helicopter ride over Lo Manthang/ Mustang to Pokhara

Having explored the exquisite region of Upper Mustang, we will enjoy a helicopter tour on our return trip to Pokhara. The helicopter tour, which begins from Lo Manthang, is one of the major attractions of this entire trip. From the helicopter, we can get remarkable views of the unique landscape of Upper Mustang. As we get near Pokhara, we can also see sights of the mighty Himalayas and serene lakes that the city consists of. We can spend the rest of the day boating in the serene waters of the Phewa Lake, resting and discovering the quaint streets of Pokhara. Overnight stay in a hotel in Pokhara.

Day 12 - Fly to Kathmandu

After breakfast, we will say goodbye to the beautiful northern skyline of Pokhara and fly to Pokhara. After reaching Kathmandu, we can take rest or do some souvenir shopping. Overnight stay at a hotel in Kathmandu.

Day 13 - Farewell

Approximately three hours before your flight, you will be dropped off at the airport by one of Nepal Hiking Team’s representatives, from where you will depart.  

Cost Includes

  • All ground transportation by private vehicle including airport pickup and drop off.
  • Two nights’ accommodation with breakfast at a 5-star hotel in Kathmandu.
  • Two night accommodation with breakfast at a 5-star hotel in Pokhara.
  • Round trip airfare from Kathmandu to Pokhara and Pokhara to Kathmandu.
  • Airfare from Pokhara to Jomsom.
  • Private Charger Helicopter Ride from Lo - Manthang to Pokhara.
  • Full board meals with tea/coffee (breakfast, lunch, dinner) during the trek
  • Best available twin sharing lodge to lodge accommodation during the trek
  • An experienced English-speaking (trekking guide), porter to carry luggage (2 trekkers: 1 porter) including their salary, insurance, equipment, flight, food and lodging
  • Down jacket, four seasonal sleeping bag, Nepal Hiking Team duffel bag, t-shirt, and trekking map (down jacket and sleeping bag are to be returned after trip completion)
  • All necessary paper work and permits (ACAP, Special trekking permit), please bring 3 passport size photos for permit
  • A comprehensive medical kit
  • All government and local taxes

Cost Excludes

  • Meals not specified in the 'Meal Inclusions' in the itinerary'
  • Travel insurance
  • International airfare
  • Nepal entry visa: you can obtain a visa easily upon your arrival at Tribhuwan International Airport in Kathmandu. (a multiple-entry tourist visa good for 30 days can be obtained by paying US $ 40 or equivalent foreign currency. Similarly, multiple-entry tourist visas for 90 days can be obtained by paying US $ 100. Please bring 2 copies of passport-size photos.)
  • Cold drinks, water, snacks and other personal expenses
  • Hot shower during the trek
  • Personal trekking equipments
  • Tips and gratuities for trekking staff and drivers

Cost & Dates

Group tours are unavailable for this trip, however, you can opt for the private trip. The private trips are available on any date of your choice at any time of the year. Let us know about your preferred travel dates and we shall organize it as per your convenience. Get in touch with your query now.

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