Breaking Down the Upper Mustang Trek Cost: Is It Worth Adventure?

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

The Upper Mustang Trek is unquestionably one of the trending treks in Nepal. But, compared to the most popular Everest Base Camp Trek and Annapurna Circuit Trek, the Upper Mustang Trek is more expensive due to its trekking duration and restricted area. The Upper Mustang Trek cost range is subject to change every year based on various factors such as the trek operator, group size, service, route, and accommodations.

With Nepal Holiday Treks, the basic package cost of the Upper Mustang Trek will be between $1900 and $2100 in 2024. When reserving with us, you can easily change the itinerary for this trek to add your personal touch. You can also choose a tour like a helicopter ride back to Pokhara or a Jeep ride to Lomanthang. Your Upper Mustang Trek package’s price may go up if you select your packages.

What factors could influence the cost of the Upper Mustang Trek? How should I plan the cost during the trek? What might be some good tips for reducing costs? Don’t worry, we’ll go over everything about the Upper Mustang Trek Cost and provide a full breakdown of the overall cost.

Upper Mustang Trek
Barren land seen during the trek to Upper Mustang

Overview of Upper Mustang Trek Cost for 2024/25

We are offering you a detailed breakdown of the Upper Mustang Trek Cost. These include all the services like accommodation, transportation, permits, food, guide services, and many more.


Cost Per Person

Airport Pick-up & DropUS$40
Drive Kathmandu to Jomsom by public busUS$75
Drive Kathmandu to Jomsom by private carUS$330
Fly from KTM to JOM to KTMUS$715
KTM to Lomanthang by sharing a helicopterUS$900
Annapurna National Park Entry FeeUS$30.4
Special PermitUS$500 for 10 days
Accommodation + Full meals during the trekUS$415
English speaking guideUS$20 per day
PorterUS$13 per day
Agency/Insurance 13 % Government Tax/VAT & 10 % Service Charge

Is a guide compulsory for doing the Upper Mustang Trek in 2024?

Yes, a guide is compulsory for doing the Upper Mustang Trek. The Government of Nepal has regulations in place requiring you to be escorted by a licensed guide in restricted areas. This policy aims to ensure the safety of trekkers and the preservation of the region’s unique cultural and natural heritage.

You will also need to secure a special permit to enter the Upper Mustang with a minimum of 2 pax. The agency will typically handle all paperwork as part of the service. This includes the Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP) and the Restricted Area Permit (RAP) specific to Upper Mustang.

Yala Peak and Ganjala Pass Trek

Upper Mustang Trek Operators

Choosing between a local or international operator for the Upper Mustang Trek depends on your budget and the level of service. Local operators offer a more budget-friendly and authentic experience. International operators provide comprehensive and convenient packages with higher comfort levels.

Upper Mustang Trek Cost with Local Operators

The average cost of a 14-day Upper Mustang Trek package with a local tour operator – starts from $1900 (all-inclusive)

One of the benefits of choosing a local agency is that your money stays within the community. You may find enticing deals, such as a 14-day trek for as low as $800. However, as you discuss and add more features to your package, the cost gradually increases, often matching the prices we offer.

The average price I was quoted for an all-inclusive package tour (14 days) of Kathmandu-Upper Mustang-Kathmandu started from $1906 (USD) for a mid-range tour. You can see all the include and exclude options by clicking this link.

Some agencies did offer luxury ($2500) and budget ($1900) tours. With the luxury packages, you will stay in luxury accommodations in Kathmandu, Pokhara, Kagbeni, and Chele with more expensive meals. But the rest of your tour will be very similar since the tea houses where you eat and sleep are pretty much the same in the rest of the villages.

Upper Mustang Trek Cost Fees

Upper Mustang Trek Cost with International Operators

The average cost of a 14-day Upper Mustang Trek package tour with an international tour operator – starts from around $2650. The international operators will charge you more because they have to collaborate again with the local agency as this is a restricted area. They are not allowed to issue the restricted area permit, and they need our help to acquire the permit.

Upper Mustang Trek Cost After & Before Arrival In Nepal

There are two ways to make the Upper Mustang trek cost for you. Tourists outside Nepal are better able to figure out the way for the Upper Mustang trek in Nepal.

Upper Mustang Trek Cost Before Arrival In Nepal

  • International flight cost to travel in Nepal
  • Nepali Visa costs for 30 days, 45 days, 90 Days & more
  • Travel insurance cost for Upper Mustang trek
  • Trekking gear or clothes cost from your country

Upper Mustang Trek Cost After Arrival In Nepal

  • Airport pick up & drop-off (International & Domestic)
  • Accommodations and food costs during your holiday
  • All necessary Upper Mustang trek permits cost
  • Kathmandu sightseeing costs
  • Domestic flights from Kathmandu to Jomson to Kathmandu cost
  • Guide & porter costs for Upper Mustang trek
  • Personal trekking gear costs
  • Tipping Cost to Guide, Porters, restaurant, and Hotel
  • Personal expenses cost

Transportation Costs on Upper Mustang Trek

Regarding transportation, you will find a wide range of options to reach the trekking starting point. You can choose according to your budget and time to reach Jomsom.

Airport pick-up & drop-off by private vehicle cost

We offer car services for airport pickups and drop-offs in Kathmandu. Freelance tourists can reserve a vehicle by filling out our reservation form or emailing us. Our airport transfer service is available 24/7 to suit your needs. The rates mentioned are applicable for pickups and drop-offs within Kathmandu city (within the Ring Road). Additional charges will apply if your hotel is located outside the Ring Road.



Kathmandu International Airport pickup

NRs 1700

 (1-3 pax)

NRs 2500

 (1 -6 pax)

NRs 3000

 (1-12 pax)

Kathmandu International Airport drop

NRs 1700

(1 -3 pax)

NRs 2500

 (1 -6 pax)

NRs 3000

 (1-12 pax)

Transportation between Kathmandu to Trek Starting Point

You can reach the trekking starting point by various means, depending on your budget. If you are low in budget but have lots of time then you can choose a public bus from Kathmandu to Jomson via Pokhara. If you want to spend your time in Pokhara then you have a great option of taking a tourist but to Pokhara and taking a flight from there. If you want a luxury ride then booking the Jeep or Van will be a great option.


If you want more luxury rides then taking a flight to Jomson is another great alternative. There is no direct flight from Kathmandu to Jomsom but you can take another flight from Pokhara. You can also book a helicopter or Jeep direct to Lo-Manthang (Upper Mustang). There is a wide range of transportation options to reach the trekking starting point or Lo Manthang.

Below, you can see the clear table chart for the transportation options to reach Jomson.


Transportation typesDestination

Per person


Public busKTM-JOMUS$ 20


Tourist BusKTM-PKRUS$ 15-18


Public BusPKR-JOMUS$ 10


Domestic FlightKTM-PKRUS$ 200-245


Domestic FlightPKR-JOMUS$ 170-195


Helicopter RideKTM-JOMUS$ 4600


Upper Mustang Helo TourKTM-LomanthangUS$ 6700

The Cost of Accommodation on the Upper Mustang trek

The accommodation cost along the trekking route varies depending on the location and services provided. It typically ranges from US$15-30 per night, with higher altitudes generally commanding higher prices. Several factors contribute to these variations. Firstly, the location of the accommodation plays a significant role. Some areas are popular or offer unique experiences, leading to higher demand and prices.

Secondly, the level of services provided by the accommodation, such as private bathrooms, hot showers, and Wi-Fi. Additionally, the altitude of the accommodation is another crucial factor. Higher altitudes often result in increased prices due to factors like higher demand, transportation challenges, and limited access to resources.

Below, the tablet shows a clear picture of the accommodation price in KTM and during the trek.

Accommodation TypeCost Per Person in KTMCost Per Person in PKRCost during the trek
Luxury HotelUS$150 to US$300US$120 to US$250US$80 to US$100
Standard HotelUS$50 to US$100US$40 to US$80US$15 to US$20
Budget Hotel / TeahouseUS$15 to US$40US$15 to US$30US$10 to US$15

The cost of food on the Upper Mustang Trek

Cost of food in upper mustang trek

You need around $560 on food during the Upper Mustang Trek, which breaks down to NPR 40 per day for two people, or $20 per person per day. With a budget of $10 per meal, you can comfortably spend about $20 daily on food. For more details on our food expenses, see our detailed Upper Mustang Trek cost.

Most teahouses offer meals such as dal bhat (rice and lentils), noodles, soups, and a variety of snacks. The cost of meals can range from $5 to $15 USD per meal, depending on the location and menu. It is recommended to bring some extra snacks and bottled water, as prices may be higher at higher altitudes. Regarding the meals and drinks, it always depends on each traveler. However, If you have US$20 to US$30 per day then it will be great.

Price of Breakfast Options Available during the trek

Breakfast usually consists of bread, pancakes, porridge, and eggs. Prices range from $2 to $5.

Food Items

Approximate Price (USD)

Tibetan Bread with Jam/Honey

$3 – $4

Pancakes (Plain)

$3 – $4
Pancakes (with Fruit)

$4 – $5


$3 – $4

Eggs (Boiled/Fried)

$2 – $3

Omelette (Plain)

$3 – $4

$4 – $5

Price of Lunch/Dinner Options Available during the trek

Dal Bhat is a staple meal and includes unlimited refills of rice and lentils, making it a popular choice among trekkers. Prices for main meals range from $4 to $8.

Food Items

Approximate Price (USD)

Dal Bhat (Rice and Lentils)

$5 – $7
Thukpa (Noodle Soup)

$4 – $5

Fried Rice

$5 – $6
Chow Mein (Fried Noodles)

$5 – $6

Momos (Dumplings)

$5 – $6

$6 – $8


$5 – $6


$5 – $6

Sherpa Stew

$4 – $5

Tibetan Bread with Cheese

$3 – $4

Price of Snacks Options Available during the trek

Packaged snacks like biscuits and chocolates are available but can be relatively expensive due to transportation costs.

Food ItemsApproximate Price (USD)


$2 – $3

$2 – $4

Protein Bars (24 Bars Pack)

$12 – $14

Drink Options Available during the trek

Tea and coffee are common, with prices varying based on location. Bottled water and soft drinks are available but can be pricey, especially in more remote areas. It’s advisable to bring water purification tablets to save costs.

Beer and other alcoholic drinks are available but are relatively expensive and may not always be available in every teahouse.

Drink Items

Approximate Price (USD)
Tea (Black/Green)

$1 – $2

Herbal Tea

$2 – $3

$2 – $3

Hot Chocolate

$3 – $4
Soft Drinks

$2 – $3

Bottled Water

$1 – $3

$4 – $6

Upper Mustang Trekking Permit Cost

You will need an Annapurna National Park Entry Fee and a Special Restricted Area Permit which costs US$538. After 10 days you will need to pay an additional charge daily but the national park permit does not have any time limit.

Annapurna Conservation Area Entry Fee

If you plan on entering any protected areas in Nepal, you’ll need to have a park entry permit. You can purchase this permit either at the Tourist Service Center in Bhrikutimandap, Kathmandu or directly at the entry points of the protected areas. You can find more details about payment options and fees in the table below, provided by the relevant department.

Conservation AreasNepaliSAARCForeignersChild discount
ACAPNRs. 100 per person per entryNRs. 1,000 per person per entryNRs. 3,000 per person per entryBelow 10 yrs free

Restricted Area Permit Fee

You can explore most parts of the country as it is open to foreign visitors. However, there are certain regions classified as restricted areas where foreign nationals need special permission to visit. Many areas near the Tibetan border were off-limits to foreigners until October 1991, but they have since been opened up with some conditions.

To visit these restricted areas, such as Upper Mustang, Manaslu, and Tsum Valley, foreign nationals must obtain a Restricted Area Permit (RAP). These permits are additional to regular visas and can only be acquired from the Department of Immigration in Kathmandu through an authorized trekking agency.


Permit Fee

  1. Lomanthang Rural Municipality (All areas of ward no. 1-5)
  2. Lo-Ghekar Damodarkunda Rural Municipality (All areas of ward no. 1-5)
  3. Baragung Muktichetra Rural Municipality (All areas of ward no. 3 and Satang Village of ward no.5)
USD 500 per person  (for the first 10 days)


USD 50 per person per day  (after 10 days)

Cost of Trekking Equipment

Make sure to bring the right equipment and belongings with you during the trek. This will help make your trek safer and more enjoyable. Below is a list of essential trekking gear along with their approximate prices. These items are crucial for ensuring comfort, safety, and preparedness during your adventure.


UseApproximate Price (USD)

Clothing and Footwear

Down Jacket

Keeps you warm during cold nights and mornings$50 – $80
Warm Fleece SetProvides additional insulation and can be layered

$20 – $40

Hiking Shirt

Lightweight and breathable for day hikes$15 – $20
Hiking ShortsUseful for warmer daytime temperatures

$20 – $25

Trekking Pants

Durable and comfortable for long trekking days$30 – $50
Trekking SocksMoisture-wicking and cushioned to prevent blisters

$2 – $6 per pair

Thermal Set

Base layer for additional warmth$10 – $30
Warm HatEssential for cold mornings and evenings

$4 – $10

Windproof Gloves

Protects hands from cold winds and maintains warmth$10 – $20 per pair

Sleeping and Carrying Gear

Sleeping Bag

Rated for low temperatures to ensure a warm night’s sleep$60 – $90
Daypack (25L to 35L)For carrying daily essentials such as water, snacks, and camera

$30 – $50

Backpack (55L to 65L)

Larger pack for carrying main gear, clothing, and sleeping bag$50 – $80

Accessories and Miscellaneous

Trekking Stick

Provides stability and reduces strain on knees during descents$10 – $60
SunglassesProtects eyes from intense sunlight and UV rays at high altitudes

$5 – $20


For navigating in the dark or during early morning starts$15 – $50
Water BottleEssential for staying hydrated; consider a reusable bottle

$5 – $20

Additional Items

Water Purification TabletsEnsures you have access to safe drinking water

$10 – $20

First Aid Kit

Basic medical supplies for treating minor injuries and illnesses$20 – $30
Sunscreen and Lip BalmProtects skin and lips from sunburn and chapping

$10 – $20

Map and Guidebook

Helps with navigation and provides valuable information about the region$15 – $30
Personal Hygiene ItemsIncludes biodegradable soap, toothbrush, and toothpaste

$10 – $20

Tips for Reducing Costs in Equipment


Rent Equipment: Some items like sleeping bags and down jackets can be rented from trekking shops in Kathmandu or Pokhara, which can reduce overall expenses.

Shop Locally: Purchasing gear in Nepal can be more affordable than buying internationally.

Layering System: Focus on a layering system for clothing, which allows flexibility to adjust to changing temperatures and conditions.

By carefully selecting your gear and planning your budget, you can ensure a well-prepared and enjoyable trekking experience in the stunning Upper Mustang region.

Miscellaneous Expenses

This includes expenses for hot showers, charging electronic devices, Wi-Fi, and extra services like laundry. Budget around $15 to $25 USD per day for these miscellaneous expenses.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is crucial for trekking in remote areas like the Upper Mustang. Ensure your policy covers high-altitude trekking, medical emergencies, evacuation, trip cancellation, and lost or stolen items.

Approximate Cost: $100 – $200 for a comprehensive 15-20 day policy

Nepal Visa Costs

Tourists can obtain a visa on arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu or at land border crossings.

  • 15 days: $30
  • 30 days: $50
  • 90 days: $125

Mobile Recharge Cost

Staying connected in remote regions can be challenging. SIM cards from providers like Ncell or Nepal Telecom are available with various data packages.

  • SIM Card: $1 – $3
  • Data Packages: $10 – $30 for 5-10GB


Tipping is a customary practice to show appreciation for the services provided by guides and porters.

  • Guide: $10 – $15 per day
  • Porter: $5 – $10 per day


Purchasing local handicrafts and souvenirs can be a delightful way to remember your trip and support the local economy.

  • Handicrafts (e.g., Thangka paintings, prayer flags): $10 – $50
  • Clothing (e.g., pashmina shawls, yak wool items): $20 – $100

Tips for Saving the Upper Mustang Trek Cost

Cost of Living for Digital Nomads in Kathmandu

Planning a trek to the Upper Mustang can be an incredible adventure, but it can also be expensive. Here are some detailed tips to help you save money without compromising your experience:

  • The peak trekking seasons are spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November). Traveling during the off-season (monsoon or winter) can reduce costs for flights and accommodation.
  • Domestic flights to and from Pokhara and Jomsom can be cheaper if booked well in advance. Monitor airline websites and book as soon as your travel dates are confirmed.
  • Instead of taking flights, consider taking a bus or shared jeep from Pokhara to Jomsom. This is a slower but significantly cheaper option.
  • Use local buses within Kathmandu and Pokhara to save on taxi fares.
  • Opt for budget tea houses or homestays instead of more expensive lodges. These often offer basic amenities at a fraction of the cost.
  • Don’t be afraid to negotiate room rates, especially if you are staying for multiple nights.
    Stick to local Nepali dishes like dal bhat (lentil soup with rice) which are more affordable and often come with free refills.
  • Imported foods and snacks are more expensive in remote areas. Bring some from Kathmandu if needed.
  • Instead of buying bottled water, carry a reusable water bottle and use water purification tablets or a portable filter. This not only saves money but also reduces plastic waste.
  • Share a guide and porter with other trekkers to split the costs.
  • Always negotiate the daily rates and agree on tips in advance.
  • Since the Restricted Area Permit is expensive, consider planning a shorter itinerary to reduce the number of days you need the permit.
  • Ensure you have all necessary permits before you leave Kathmandu to avoid higher costs and hassle on the trek.
  • Pack light to avoid needing extra porters. Essential items include warm clothing, a good sleeping bag, basic toiletries, and a first-aid kit.
  • If you don’t have all the necessary trekking gear, consider renting equipment in Kathmandu or Pokhara instead of buying new items.
  • Buy a local SIM card for your phone in Kathmandu for cheaper communication. Look for SIM cards with good data packages.
  • Use free Wi-Fi available at tea houses and lodges instead of international roaming.
    Ensure you have comprehensive trekking insurance, but compare different providers to find the most cost-effective option.
  • If traveling with a group, ask for group discounts on flights, accommodation, and guide services.
  • Be mindful of your spending on souvenirs and extra services.

You can make your Upper Mustang Trek cost more affordable by implementing these tips. You will also still enjoy the breathtaking landscapes and rich cultural experiences this remote region has to offer.

Is Upper Mustang Trek Worth Adventure?

Absolutely, the Upper Mustang Trek is worth every penny and effort. Despite the costs involved, the experience offers unparalleled rewards.

The trek takes you through some of the most breathtaking landscapes in Nepal. From the arid desert-like terrain to the dramatic cliffs and canyons, every step reveals a new and stunning vista. Upper Mustang is steeped in history. Exploring ancient cities like Lo Manthang, with its medieval fortresses and palaces, feels like stepping back in time.

For a 10-day trek with moderate spending, the total Upper Mustang Trek cost could range from $1,700 to $2,500 per person. This estimate includes all major expenses such as permits, accommodation, food, transportation, and guide/porter services.