Traveling to the Trans-Himalayan zone is a wonder on its own.
Mustang treks are a stark contrast to what people particularly perceive of in Nepal. Being on the Northern side of Nepal and close to the Tibetan border, this is a trek passing the semi-desert lands.
Unlike Upper Mustang Trek, Lower Mustang Trek has however been a crowd favorite for a long time. The Lower Mustang Trek which is better known as Jomsom-Muktinath Trek is among the best selling treks in the Annapurna region.
It is also a favorite vacation destination for a lot of Nepali tourists. It is a place not to be missed.
One of the short treks in the Annapurna Region, Lower Mustang trek will take you to Jomsom and back to Kathmandu in 9 days. The significance of Muktinath among Nepali people will become clear to you once you step foot in the temple.
You wanting to get there alone will not take you there, you need to manage your physical capacity along with a schedule and your finances.
So, finances are a big part of where you plan to go, when you plan to go or whether you go at all!
There are a lot of other things you will be paying for when you trek to Lower Mustang. The major places you will be spending on are the travel tickets, permits, equipment (in case you do not already have them), food and accommodation.
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Lower Mustang Trekking Cost
Let’s take a closer look at the things that you will be spending on this trip.
We have included everything from international flights to traveling in Nepal under this section.
The very first thing you will be paying for is your ticket to Nepal and back, which is also the most expensive thing. Your tickets could range from $500 to $1000 or more for a round trip.
Although the price of your ticket will depend on the airlines you choose and how early you book your flight. Another variable is the part of the world you are traveling to Nepal from.
To get your tickets to Nepal at a more reasonable price you should book your tickets to Nepal in advance. When you buy the tickets right before you leave, they usually are expensive.
The price of the tickets will be especially high during the peak trekking seasons – from February to May and September to November. So, it is best you buy those beforehand.
Transportation in Nepal
You can travel to Pokhara in two different ways. First is taking a 6 to 7-hour bus from Kathmandu or you can catch a half an hour flight to Pokhara. The bus ride will cost you somewhere from $6 to $10 each way and flights cost around $100 to $120.
From there you will have to take a flight up to Jomsom which cost you around $118.
It is fairly easy to get a Visa to enter Nepal. Tourists from all over the world, except India, will need one. You can purchase the visa to enter Nepal upon arrival at the airport.
Nepal offers its Visas based on the length of your stay.
There is a multiple entry 15 days stay Visa which will cost you $25. Another one for a month that costs about $40 visa and if you plan to have a 3-month stay you will have to pay $100.
There are two different permits you will need to have when you trek to the Lower Mustang Area. The first one is Trekkers Information Management System (TIMS) card and the second is Annapurna Conservation Area Project Permit (ACAP).
Trekkers Information Management System (TIMS) card
There are three different types of Trekkers Information Management System card options available. Since all three suit different needs, you should choose the one suitable for your trek.
- Organized TIMS card – Blue colored card – $10.
- Individual TIMS card – Green colored card – $20.
- SAARC Country TIMS card – Red colored card – $3.
Annapurna Conservation Area Project Permit (ACAP)
Since the Lower Mustang trek lies in the Annapurna Region you will need Annapurna Conservation Area Project Permit (ACAP). This permit will cost you $20 and you can get it either from Kathmandu or from Pokhara.
ACAP permit is a one-time entry and exit permit. The permit doesn’t have an expiry date, so you can extend your stay without any stress if you want.
Note: In case you forget to take your permits, you can also get from the entrance itself but it will cost you twice as much. So we recommend you to get all your permits from Kathmandu or Pokhara.
Having a travel insurance is a must. You should get one before you leave for the trek as most tour packages do not include travel insurance.
Nepal doesn’t offer travel insurance, you will have to do this from your home country.
The travel insurance you choose must at least cover the basics – travel insurance and emergency medical evacuation insurance. Other than this, you will also want insurance that covers baggage coverage and trip cancellation.
You do not need to pay close attention to the height as the highest of the trek is at 3802 meters. This height is covered by most travel insurance companies in their basic insurance package.
Now, the price for insurance packages is different among the service providers.
You will be staying at different tea houses or lodges on the way to Jomsom – Muktinath. The accommodation charges en route will range from $1 to $3 a day on average.
So it’s safe to say that accommodation will be the cheapest throughout the trek.
The accommodation consists of basic amenities.
The rooms have two single beds with pillows and warm blankets. If you are lucky the rooms will have few hooks on the wall.
It is always better to hang your clothes than to le them on the floor or the bed, right?
The lodges will have communal squat toilets. This type of toilet is pretty common in the rural areas of Nepal. Also, be sure to buy your toilet paper. You will only have a bucket of water in the toilets.
The staple Nepali meal – Dal Bhat is prevalent over the trail. One serving of Dhal Bhat will have hot rice, lentil soup, vegetables, and pickle. The variety in vegetables served will vary based on the season and the availability.
Besides Dal Bhat, you will also be able to order common international food like Indian, Tibetan, Continental, Italian, and more on the menu.
The menus in the tea houses and lodges will serve a range of cold drinks and beers. Drinking alcoholic beverages in higher altitude, however, is not recommended as it could lead to altitude sickness.
When budgeting for your meal you might want to set aside $5 per meal and approximately $15 to $20 a day. In total, your meals could cost you a minimum of $250 to $300 throughout the trip on average.
Then again, if you choose to eat specially ordered dishes like pizza or cakes, you should be prepared to pay more.
You will be paying for water when you buy bottled water. It costs around $3-$5. But you carry a refillable bottle with you, you can ask for a refill for a cheaper price.
If you choose to refill your bottle at natural water spouts or springs, be sure to use a filtration tablet.
Equipment is one of the most basic things you will need when you plan to go on a trek. Since you will be purchasing the equipment, the cost will depend largely on the quality of the product.
The brand also plays a huge role in the cost of the equipment.
In case you forgot to buy any gear you can always turn to many stores in Thamel. Many stores will also let you hire the equipment. The price to hire equipment starts at around $6 a day.
The basic equipment you will be needing for this trek are a backpack, hiking boots, trekking poles, waterproof jacket, gloves, sunglasses, cap and sweat absorbent items of clothing.
It is also quite easier hiring or buying these in Nepal over carrying these from home.
Tour Guide and Porter Cost
Hiring a tour guide is actually a smart choice. Guides eliminate the option of getting lost along the way. You should hire a guide with good English and proper route knowledge.
And the guides on the Lower Mustang Trek aren’t very expensive, contrary to popular belief. Hiring a tour guide will cost you about $25 to $39 a day. This cost includes the guide’s accommodation, food, and insurance.
You also can hire a porter while you trek to the Lower Mustang region. Porters help you carry your bag throughout your journey making the trek a wee bit easier on you. They can carry up to a 20kg bag.
You should also be aware of the price range the porters come in. You will need to pay about $20 to $25 a day which includes accommodation, food, and insurance.
But if you think you do not need a guide and a porter you can choose not to hire either. They just ensure your safety on the way and are good company.
Note: It is voluntary but a nice gesture to tip the guides and porters for all the work they do.
There are various costs you can add to your budget once you get there. Here are some of the things you may not have thought of when you made a budget for the trek.
People usually take treks to disconnect from the world, but you can always keep the world updated with wireless internet and data packages. Communication via a phone call can be a bit tricky due to poor cellular reception.
The tea houses and lodges will provide WIFI facilities. At some tea houses, these may be for free while in others you will have to pay per hour for a wi-fi service.
The cost of which could come around $2 an hour.
As for the data packs, you can buy a SIM card in Kathmandu and subscribe to a 100MB data pack. This package could cost you around $3 based on the SIM operator you choose.
Note: Check out the operator’s site for more information on the data packages and their concerned rates.
You will want souvenirs from your trek to Muktinath. The souvenirs you choose to purchase can be anything like woolen hats, shawls, playing cards or postcards.
The cost for these souvenirs could start at $3 based on where you buy it.
Planning a trek means planning the budget of the trek along with everything else. This can be overwhelming to some trekkers.
But you do not need to worry, we have sketched out the basic places you will be spending on.
You can take this as a base and start a budget to make your way to the holy destination at the Lower Mustang area.
All things considered, the Lower Mustang trek is a budget-friendly trek. You can clearly see that most of your budget consists of travel costs. The accommodation, meals, and other miscellaneous costs follow the travel costs.
Note: These above-mentioned costs are a suggested budget. We are assuming you will choose among the local accommodations available and using the local services.
You can always lower the price of the trip by choosing to eat dal bhat at all lodges and spending less on luxuries. If you stay in luxurious accommodation or eat out more often, you can expect your budget to be higher than the one we have sketched out.
The price of accommodation, food, and transport varies between the season you choose to trek in. The price of trekking in the offseason will be considerably more reasonable than that during peak season.
Hope we assisted you with the best information on the Lower Mustang Trek Cost. In case you need any further assistance, feel free to drop a message or contact us.