While planning my first trip to Mustang Nepal from Kathmandu, I learned that there are a few different ways to get to Mustang from Kathmandu. I wanted to know what the easiest and the cheapest route to Mustang was, so I decided to do some research and write a helpful post on how to get from Kathmandu to Mustang.

Most people opt to drive a jeep from Kathmandu to Upper Mustang. The scenic drive takes about 18 hours during the dry seasons and 24 hours during the rainy season, with stops along the way in Pokhara, Jomsom and Ghami. Alternatively, travelers can take flights from Kathmandu to Pokhara and a second flight from Pokhara to Jomsom which would allow them to reach from Kathmandu to Mustang in 6 hours. 

Most people just pick a package to Mustang from Kathmandu, however, there is a lot more to choosing the best route to Lo Manthang in Mustang. Your decision will differ based on the time you have, your budget as well as how much you like a scenic driving experience. 

Detailed options, price and time of how you can get to Mustang from Kathmandu 

  1. From Kathmandu to Mustang by driving. 

Day 1: Kathmandu to Pokhara by road. 

The road from Kathmandu to Pokhara is a beautiful drive and is something that absolutely has to be done at least once in your life.

Traveling from Kathmandu to Pokhara is an incredibly scenic trip and probably one of the best drives in the world. The route itself is about 250km long and you can easily do it in 6 to 8 hours. However, most people take an overnight bus or a night bus so they can enjoy the views of the mountains and the sunrise over the mountains which is spectacular!

Day 2: Pokhara to Jomsom by jeep.

It takes 6 to 8 hours to reach Jomsom during the dry season but can take up to 12 hours during the rainy season. 

Pokhara to Jomsom is one of the most exciting and adventurous travel destinations in Nepal. For many, Pokhara is a gateway to Nepal and the rest of the Himalayas with Annapurna and Dhaulagiri being often visited by travelers who come here. However, Pokhara to Jomsom is no less exciting than the famous Annapurna Circuit.

Once you reach Beni, the road will become much rougher, unpaved and not all vehicles can pass. The road is filled with adventure and excitement. Driving on this road requires extreme concentration because of the narrow roads, difficulty for vehicles from opposite sides to pass, and regular maintenance of the roads in the hilly region being obstructed due to landslides.

You can also opto to stay the night in Kagbeni instead of Jomsom which is located another half hour north of Jomsom.

Day 3:  Jomsom to Mustang – Lo Manthang by jeep. 

It takes 5 hours to reach Lo Manthang in Upper Mustang from Jomsom on a 4 wheel drive. The road is rough, narrow and curvy, but the scenery is spectacular. First 50 km is the uphill road to the village of Ghami. Tough but manageable climb up and more spectacular views of the Himalaya. The village has a few shops and cafes but limited guesthouses. From Lomanthang, it’s an 45 minute drive over dirt tracks to Lo Manthang, which is almost entirely Tibetan. You will see a large monastery, surrounded by houses with prayer flags fluttering from the roofs – this is one of the holiest sites in all of Mustang, and you have arrived!

It is also highly recommended to stay the night in Ghami and leave for Lo=manthang the next day. The hotel “Hotel Royal Mustang” is a wonderful place to stay with next to none hospitality and good rooms and amenities. 

From Kathmandu to Mustang including Flights.

From Kathmandu, you can take a flight to Pokhara. From Pokhara, you may take a flight to Jomsom. Each flight takes approximately 30 mins. Once in Jomsom, you will find many jeep operators who will drive you to Upper Mustang. 

 From Kathmandu to Mustang including Trekking 

Jomsom to lo-manthang trekking is one of the most thrilling mountaineering adventure in Annapurna region. It is an adventurous hike for those who want to tread a path less trodden. The trek will allow you to visit the villages and settlements that are seldom visited by tourists. Trekking from Jomsom to Lo-Manthang offers spectacular views of Mt. Dhaulagiri, Annapurna I and II, Nilgiri, Gangapurna, Pokhara valley and many more. Trekkers can catch a glimpse of the mighty Thorong La Pass (5416m), which is the second highest pass in Nepal.

The trailhead of this trekking route starts at Jomsom, just across the Kali-Gandaki River from Pokhara. From here you’ll have to climb up through the jungle to gain height before you reach the banks of the Kali Gandaki River again at Kagbeni. After crossing this bridge you’ll leave behind all signs of civilization and be entering into an area that is still very remote and unspoilt by tourism. 

Details of the 10 day itinerary including trekking from Jomsom to Mustang and Back. 

Day 1: Kathmandu to Pokhara

Day 2: Pokhara to Jomsom

Day 3: Jomsom to Kagbeni (3 to 4 hours)

Day 4: Kagbeni to Chaile (6 to 7 hours)

Day 5: Chaile to Ghami (8 to 9 hours)

Day 6: Ghami to Tsarang (4 to 5 hours)

Day 7: Tsarang to Lo Manthang (4 to 5 hours)

Day 8: Lo Manthang 

Day 9: Lo Manthang to Jomsom (drive – 5 hours)

Day 10: Jomsom to Pokhara to Kathmandu (By air)

From Kathmandu to Mustang and Trekking to return

Details of the 2-week itinerary including trekking from Jomsom to Mustang and Back.

You can travel from Kathmandu to Jomsom by air or road as mentioned in the options mentioned in the first and second method above. 

From Jomsom, after you have successfully reached Upper Mustang, instead of driving from Lo Manthang to Jomsom in a 5 hour drive, you can further fill your trekking and adventurous passion by trekking to return from Lo Manthang via the east route. 

From Lo Mnthang, you can trek to Chusang, and from Chusang you can take a 2 hour drive to Jomsom. In this process, you will be staying at Yara, Tange and Chusang. You can view the details of the method to reach Mustang from Kathmandu, and your return trek below. 

Day 1: Kathmandu to Pokhara

Day 2: Pokhara to Jomsom

Day 3: Jomsom to Kagbeni (3 to 4 hours)

Day 4: Kagbeni to Chaile (6 to 7 hours)

Day 5: Chaile to Ghami (8 to 9 hours)

Day 6: Ghami to Tsarang (4 to 5 hours)

Day 7: Tsarang to Lo Manthang (4 to 5 hours)

Day 8: Lo Manthang 

Day 9: Lo Manthang to Yara (6 to 7 hours)

Day 10: Yara to Luri cave monastery and back to Yara (6 to 7 hours)

Day 11: Yara to Tange (7 to 8 hours)

Day 12: Tange to Chusang (12 hours)

Day 13: Chusang to Jomsom (drive-2 hours)

Day 14: Jomsom to Pokhara to Kathmandu (By air)

The landscape of Mustang is a mix of rugged Himalayan and sub-tropical terrain. The natural vegetation in the region is a unique combination of alpine and subtropical trees, bushes and flowers.

In Mustang, you can observe several endangered or threatened animal species such as the snow leopard, the red panda, the musk deer, and many species of birds including the rare black-necked crane.

The cultural heritage is also outstanding with its monasteries and stupas still intact from a time when this region was an independent kingdom. The enchanting landscapes, the ancient culture combined with a friendly people makes Upper Mustang one of the most attractive destinations for trekking in Nepal.

You can make the journey from Kathmandu to Mustang in one of 2 seasons. Check out this article for the best time to visit Mustang in detail before making plans to visit this amazing destination.