Upper Mustang 4WD Jeep Tour

Upper Mustang 4WD Jeep Tour is designed to provide visitors with a scenic experience in the Mustang region of Nepal.

Trip Facts

duration Duration 12 days
trip-difficulty Trip Difficulty Moderate
trip-difficulty Highest Point 3840 M
Average Group Size 4 PAX
trip-code Trip Code UMJT
trip-code Area Annapurna Region
trip-code Start Point Kathmandu
trip-start-point Trip End Point Kathmandu
trip-accomodation Accomodation As Mentioned
trip-meals Meals As Mentioned
transportation Transportation On Private Basis

Trip Highlights

  • Spectacular Annapurna Himalayan Range and the other Himalayas.
  • Gompas and cultural attractions of Marpha and Kagbeni village.
  • Scenic beauty amid the mountains.
  • Kaligandaki valley and the cultural attractions of Lo Manthang.
  • Waterfalls, River, Sky Caves, Barren landscapes and picturesque scenery during the drive.
  • Tibetan-influenced culture and traditions. 
  • Arid landscapes of the mustang region.

Trip Overview

Upper Mustang 4WD Jeep Tour is designed to provide visitors with a scenic experience in the Mustang region of Nepal. Upper Mustang, formerly the isolated kingdom of Lo, is one of the most beautiful places to visit in the remote Mustang of Nepal. It is widely admired for its pristine and unspoiled landscapes, arid valleys and cultural and traditional values of Thakalis and Tibetan people residing in the Upper Mustang.

Upper Mustang is located in a dry region of Nepal due to the trans-Himalayan landscapes. One of the major attractions of this place is the stunning desert environment and cliff-faced scenery. The mountain vistas, Tibetan culture and traditions, scenic Jeep trip and beautiful mountain valleys are best explored in the Upper Mustang 4WD Jeep tour.

The major beauty of this part of Nepal is the human factor. The civilization that originally belonged to the Tibetans and practices that are still relevant to consider a boon of old times is very astonishing. Upper Mustang residents rely on trade, tourism, and animal husbandry for a living. There was no interaction from the outside world because of the seclusion. As a result, they were able to maintain their old traditions and culture.

This Upper Mustang and Kaligandaki Valley Jeep driving tour is a ton of fun and a lifetime experience. It is designed for the people who want to travel to this magnificent land of the mustang to learn about the wonders of the language, the fascinating culture, and the customs that are virtually entirely Tibetan.

Many of the historic salt caravans travelled via Mustang, which once served as a key route for navigating the Himalayas between Tibet and Nepal. On this trip, you will take a 4x4 drive to this region to explore its amazing architecture, linguistic diversity, and fascinating culture and traditions, which have deep-rooted Tibetan influence.

During this trip, you can explore some other attractions such as Muktinath temple, Dhumba Lake, Thakali cuisine, local delicacies and the incredible life of people.

Upper Mustang Jeep Tour Facts

Trip Name

Upper Mustang 4WD Jeep Tour


12 Days

Highest Elevation

3840 m. 

Driving Distance

930 Km






Local Lodges

Permits required

Restricted Area Permit, ACAP, TIMS


Where is Upper Mustang?

Upper Mustang is situated in the Tibetan Plateau. In the rain shadow region of the Himalayas, Upper Mustang is a dry river valley located close to the Annapurna Circuit. This valley used to be a prohibited kingdom within Nepal. It established its own tradition and culture, which is quite similar to Tibetan culture, as a result of years of isolation from the outside world. It is one of the most beautiful areas in the trans-Himalayan zone of Nepal. There are numerous attractions that offer a wide range of experiences and allows you to witness the mindblowing vistas, culture and traditions and the lifestyle that still has no touch of modernity. 

History and Culture of Upper Mustang

With an average elevation of 4,000 meters, Upper Mustang is part of the Tibetan plateau both geologically and culturally and is situated north of Annapurna. The valleys are dry and dusty, and there are numerous cave houses perched high up on the cliffs among colorful rock formations. Upper Mustang is one of the few locations left where one may still witness unaltered Tibetan culture because it was the first area to allow trekking activities in 1992, and it still receives only a small fraction of visitors that enter Nepal each year. 

Mustang used to be a distant, largely independent kingdom of Lo, having Lo Manthang as its capital. Previously a part of Tibet, Upper Mustang was traversed by salt caravans traveling through the Himalayas into Nepal. The royal ancestry of the Upper Mustang can be traced back to the 13th century when it is believed to have become a sovereign kingdom. During the 1960s, Mustang served as a stronghold place for the Tibetan Khampa rebels resisting the Chinese army. That movement is believed to have some influence on making the Upper Mustang a restricted area.

Ancient Tibetan Buddhism

The inhabitants of the Upper Mustang refer to themselves as ‘Lowa’. In Tibetan, ‘Lo’ is the word for ‘north’, and ‘Lowa’ is the term for the inhabitants of Tibet. They use a variety of the Tibetan language known as ‘loba’ as their primary language. The lowa people practice Tibetan Buddhism.

Lower Mustang's culture has a stronger affinity towards Tamang culture. The majority Tibeto-Burman ethnic group in Nepal is thought to be the Tamang people. Lower Mustang is primarily inhabited by Thakalis. The ‘Thak Khola’ region, a chain of valleys along the Kaligandaki river, is where Lower Mustang first appeared.

Upper Mustang is also known as ‘The Forbidden Kingdom', and Lo Manthang, the former capital, is referred to as ‘The Ancient Walled City’. For both domestic and foreign tourists, Upper Mustang has become a very popular location. The Upper Mustang’s stunning terrain and distinctive culture combine to make it a very favourable and incredibly admired tourist destination in Nepal.

Major Driving Attractions

  • Try Bungee Jump in Kushma (228 m.) on the way to Tatopani.

  • Explore the natural hot spring in Tatopani.

  • Naturally enriched Rupse Waterfall.

  • Try Tukuche Thakali Khana.

  • Dhumba Lake of Mustang.

  • Muktinath Temple in a return trip.

Lo Manthang

The capital of Upper Mustang and a remote Tibetan town, Lo Manthang (3,800 m), was established in 1380.  During Nepal's monarchical era, the city was the only autonomous kingdom within the Nepalese territory. However, the democratic country emerged as a part of the sovereign state and is currently governed by the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal. Because the settlement is enclosed by the wall, Lo Manthang is also referred to as an Upper Mustang walled city. An estimated 900 Lobas people live in the area. The Tibetan border is around 20 kilometers to Korala. By using this route from Tibet, local people still trade in this area.

The walls surrounding Lo Manthang were constructed in the about 15th century, during the rule of Amae Pal, the first monarch of the Mustang dynasty. The walls were constructed completely of clay, and according to village elders, Yaks were employed to crush the wall as it was being erected. The language and cultural customs of this region, known in Tibetan as ‘Lo’, are identical to those of Tibetans. The region accepted the royalty and administrative system prior to Nepal becoming a federal republic state; Jigme Dorje Palwar Bista was the last king of the Lo Manthang region. More than a dozen caverns of significant historical and archaeological significance have been found in the area of Upper Mustang.

Visitors come to Lo Manthang and Upper Mustang to study the ancient Buddhist civilizations, monasteries that date back thousands of years, cultures, peoples, and stunning landscapes. Also, the region is stunning as a high-altitude desert with a small patch of greenery. The houses in the area are all constructed of mud brick. There are many other attractions to explore in the Upper Mustang of Nepal. Lo Manthang and Upper Mustang are the restricted areas.


In the valley of the Kali Gandaki River, Kagbeni, a Tibetan town, serves as the lone gateway to the upper Mustang. It is also the oldest community in the Himalayas and is known for incredible cultural spectrums. Kagbeni is located in the Varagung Muktikshetra rural municipality of the Mustang district in western Nepal. It has a total area of 58.3 sq. Km and is located at an elevation of 2,804 meters above sea level. Despite being a small community, it has fame and acclaim due to its natural beauty, culture, traditions, and mind-blowing natural landscapes.

The windswept deserts of the upper Himalayas have a certain fascination. Nothing in this community is excessive; there are no frills or fluff to hide behind when you enter Kagbeni. The stark wilderness that Kagbeni contains strikes with all its blatant splendour, leaving you spellbound in a desire to get into the depth of what this beautiful mountain village has to offer.


The village of Marpha is located in the Mustang District, which is a part of the Dhaulagiri Zone's Western Development Region of Nepal. The Mustang village of Marpha is well known for its apple crop and is located 2,680 meters above sea level. In addition to producing apples and wine, this area is well known for its Thakali population, its distinctive style of building, and its culture and traditions. Since Tibetan refugees have lived in Marpha for a considerable amount of time, Tibetan is one of the major languages spoken here.

Marpha, which is surrounded by mountains, is distinguished by its lovely, wide-roofed homes. Mural painting on the exterior of houses gives them an attractive appearance. Apple orchards cover the settlement's desert-like landscape. The Samten Choling Gumba, which is regarded as the Marpha people's cultural legacy, is located at the village's highest point. Additionally, this village is well-known for its photography and videography. The visibility of the surrounding lands, which are encircled by mountain ranges, is astounding on clear days.

What to expect from the Upper Mustang 4WD Jeep Tour? 

Sky caves, canyons, and other stunning and captivating vistas of great mountains like Dhaulagiri and Annapurna make the experience as stunning as the place itself is. There are several locations in Nepal and along the Hindu Kush Himalayan range that offer similarly stunning natural scenery, but Upper Mustang stands out because of the distinct religion, culture, and history connected to Tibet. The incredible mountain lifestyle that is purely isolated from the modern western touch and aboriginal to the people of Mustang is one of the best things that you can explore in the Upper Mustang region of Nepal. 

Some of the major things that you can do in the Upper Mustang region of Nepal are exploring diverse landscapes, visiting monasteries, interacting with the locals and getting insights into the lifestyle that still dates back to the old times. Furthermore, the lifestyle is unique and very different from other parts of the world. In the conservation efforts to protect the cultural and historical dimension of this ancient Kingdom, the Upper Mustang area is put on a restricted area by the government of Nepal. To enter the Upper Mustang of Nepal, every foreign national needs to obtain a special restricted area permit and must follow the rules and regulations as instructed by the liaison. 

The cultural setting of the Upper Mustang is a singular fusion of an arid alpine terrain with innovative irrigation systems and clay construction. Strong winds blowing daily in prayer flags, bright green barley fields fenced with pebble walls, a chromatic harmony between earthen architecture and nearby red cliffs, all of these elements combine to create an incredible cultural landscape that is best explored in this Upper Mustang 4WD Jeep tour. However, Upper Mustang Trek is also a wonderful option to explore the incredible landscapes of Nepal. 

Detailed Itinerary

Day 01

Kathmandu Arrival | Welcome to Nepal!

Your Arrival Time (?) Our office representative will meet and greet you in typical Nepali style at Kathmandu airport and transfer you to your hotel in Kathmandu. In the evening, we will meet at the hotel for a coffee talk and brief you on the details of your upcoming program. 

Extra activity that you can participate in Kathmandu during your Cultural Tour, let us know your preference in advance so you can schedule the program accordingly and book as needed.  

  • Everest Mountain Flight (It is a 1-hour flight (scheduled at 6:30 AM) with a breathtaking view of the mountain range.) (USD 220 PP)

  • Gosaikunda Helicopter Tour from Kathmandu. (USD 300 PP)

  • Everest Helicopter Tour from Kathmandu with Kala Patthar Landing. (USD 1100 PP)

ascent 1350 M
trip-accomodation Nepali Ghar
trip-meals N/A
transportation Scorpio Jeep
Day 02

Kathmandu Sightseeing and Trip Preparation.

Have your morning meal and get ready for your cultural tour, you will devote your full day to cultural sightseeing inside Kathmandu valley. Explore the Pashupatinath temple devoted to Lord Shiva which is famous for its awe-spiring and amazing pagoda architecture. Visit Boudhanath stupa, where you will be welcomed by the divine smell of incense and the cooing and grunting of the pigeons. After arriving at the Boudhanath stupa the divine aura will declare peace among people's souls. You can also enjoy the rooftop view of the entire place while sipping aromatic coffee and yummy food.

Pay a visit to the ancient Buddhist complex Swayambhunath stupa also known as the Monkey temple. At last, you will visit Kathmandu Durbar Square, the ancient palace of the Malla kingdom. Kasthamandap, Gaddi Baithak, Kaal Bhairav Statue, Hanuman Dhoka Palace, and several other Pagodas are the things to explore around durbar square. If you need anything for your upcoming trek you can do shopping at Thamel. On this day, you will also get prepared for the forthcoming trip to Upper Mustang. You will be dropped back at your hotel in a private vehicle. 

descent 1350 M
trip-accomodation Nepali Ghar
trip-meals B
transportation Scorpio Jeep
Day 03

Drive to Bandipur. (Trishuli River Rafting On the Way).

Start your journey to Bandipur which will take around 6 hours. On the way, you can participate in exciting activities such as rafting in the Trishuli river. And pay homage to Manakamana Temple which is the most visited Hindu temple. 

In the daytime, Arrive in Newari settlement- Bandipur. Check-in at the hotel located in the core of the historical village area. Explore the natural attractions and take a short hike near the village area to get an astounding sunset and valley view along with a gorgeous Himalayan view.

In the evening, hike down and get along with the locals and learn about the history of this vintage village. Get some snaps of this beautiful place aged like fine wine. Try some of the signature dishes of this town and enjoy yourself. Stay overnight in a classic hotel that gives a vintage vibe. 

descent 1030 M
trip-accomodation Old Inn
trip-meals B
transportation Scorpio Jeep
Day 04

Bandipur to Tatopani.

From a hilltop near Bandipur, you will take in the magnificent dawn every morning. After exploring the amazing landscapes of Bandipur, you will drive towards Tatopani. The journey today is brief and takes place on a less crowded road.

As we approach Pokhara, the unique Machhapuchhre (Fishtail) and the Annapurna peaks start to get visible. We stop for a quick lunch break when we get to Pokhara before continuing on to Tatopani. Up to Beni, which is about a three-hour ride from Pokhara, the route is nice and paved. From here on, the path is arduous and dusty. However, the bumpy road is adventurous with amazing views of mountains, waterfalls and landscapes. Before we reach Tatopani's natural hot spring, you will ride around mountain ridges and pass enormous waterfalls. It takes about 6-7 hours of continuous drive from Bandipur to reach Tatopani. 

ascent 1190 M
trip-accomodation Hot Spring Inn
trip-meals B,L,D
transportation Scorpio Jeep
Day 05

Tatopani (Hot Spring) to Kagbeni.

From Tatopani, you will be driving towards Kagbeni village in the mustang district. The beautiful waterfalls, mountain beauty and greenery in the surrounding area are a wonderful part of the day. You can also explore the village area in the nearby settlement. After departing from Tatopani, you will move toward the Kali-Gandaki valley (the deepest gorge in the world). Drive through the towns of Ghasa and Tukuche and into Marpha. The apple trees and the wines made from them in Marpha are quite popular and make an incredible try if you want to.

Driving continues towards Jomsom, a major town in the Mustang region. After reaching Jomsom, the barren mountains gradually begin to appear in the background. Approximately one to two hours later, we arrived in Kagbeni. It is a small town situated in the midst of enormous, barren hills. 

ascent 2850 M
trip-accomodation Red House
trip-meals B,L,D
transportation Scorpio Jeep
Day 06

Kagbeni to Lo Manthang.

From Kagbeni, you will drive towards Lo Manthang in the Upper Mustang. The driving distance from Jomsom to Lo Manthang is roughly 59 kilometres. You come across communities, ancient monasteries, natural and man-made sky caves, Chortens, and royal palaces on this journey. The beautiful barren landscapes and incredible mountain vistas are the best parts of the day to explore.
During the morning time, on the way to Lomanthang, you can visit the Muktinath temple. 

ascent 3840 M
trip-accomodation Royal Mustang Resort
trip-meals B,L,D
transportation Scorpio Jeep
Day 07

Lo Manthang Exploration.

On this day, you will be exploring Lo Manthang in the Upper Mustang region of Nepal. In the walled city of Lo Manthang, you shall rest and explore the incredible place. You take the detour and go to Namgyal and Tingkhar Gompas, the sky caves of Chhoser and the 3,000-year-old Shija Jhong Cave. You will also visit the former, four-story royal residence. 

ascent 3840 M
trip-accomodation Royal Mustang Resort
trip-meals B,L,D
transportation Scorpio Jeep
Day 08

Lo Manthang to Marpha.

After breakfast, the rough and rugged off-road journey starts. From Tsarang village, you will continue your drive down the Kali Gandaki River while taking in the breathtaking views of the canyon's mind-blowing landscapes. Following the banks of the Kaligandaki river, the drive will take you to the incredible Marpha village. 

On the way, while returning from Jomsom, you can visit Dhumba Lake. 

descent 2650 M
trip-accomodation Hirachan Homes
trip-meals B,L,D
transportation Scorpio Jeep
Day 09

Marpha to Pokhara.

After breakfast, you will return to Pokhara by the drive to wrap up the journey. You will be taking the same route back from Marpha, leaving the stunning mountains behind while carrying special memories. Passing through Tatopani and Beni, you will return to the Pokhara valley. 

descent 822 M
trip-accomodation Hotel Barahi
trip-meals B,L
transportation Scorpio Jeep
Day 10

Leisure Day in Pokhara.

This day is optional considering your tiresome yet adventurous trip to the mountains. However, you will be visiting the Gupteshwar Mahadev cave, Davis Falls, Fewa Lake, and World Peace Pagoda briefly and enjoy the leisure in Pokhara.

ascent 822 M
trip-accomodation Hotel Barahi
trip-meals B
transportation Scorpio Jeep
Day 11

Pokhara to Kathmandu.

At. 09:00 AM: Have your breakfast and pack your bags for your flight back to Kathmandu. (flight duration is 25 mins) After baggage collection, your transportation will be waiting outside the airport. After check-in at your hotel, you can explore the vibrant streets of Kathmandu. You can visit Thamel and spend some time at cosy cafes and restaurants. 

You can also collect souvenirs like handmade jewellery, clothing items, and many more eye-catching things. (If you feel the need for a guide you will be allowed) Lastly, we will meet for a cultural (traditional local dance live performance in folk songs) Nepali dinner in Kathmandu on your farewell.

ascent 1350 M
trip-accomodation Nepali Ghar
trip-meals B,D
Day 12


Looking after your departing time, we’ll transfer you to the Airport for boarding. This day, after collecting a lot of incredible memories in the mountains of Nepal, you will be returning to your next destination. 

trip-meals B

Trip Guide

The given information about the Upper Mustang 4WD Jeep Tour is in-depth, feel free to contact us 24/7 for any kind of assistance. We will be available on WhatsApp to assist you instantly. You can write an email if this trip doesn't fit with your vacation schedule and requirements. We aim to offer the best possible travel experience to the customers. Depending on the needs of the visitors and the group size, we customize each vacation package. We will put together a bespoke itinerary just for your private group.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is Upper Mustang famous for?

    The virgin communities, ancient monasteries, natural and man-made sky caves, Chortens, and royal palace are some of the major attractions of Upper Mustang. The incredible arid landscapes and Tibetan-influenced culture and traditions lure the travellers and provide an amazing experience. 

  • Why is Mustang called the Forbidden Kingdom?

    In earlier years, the walled city of Mustang was in charge of regulating trade between the Himalayas and India. The upper Mustang region is referred to as the Last Forbidden Kingdom because it was inaccessible and restricted to tourists up until 1991, when the Nepalese government finally allowed travel to all areas of the country. To travel in this area, foreigners still need to obtain a restricted area permit. 

  • Why is Upper Mustang restricted?

    Amid the strategic concern during the Tibet war, the government decided to make it a restricted area. It still continues, however, for a different reason. To protect the local culture from dilution and as a conservation effort, the upper Mustang is restricted. To enter the area, foreigners need to obtain a restricted area permit and need to follow the protocols as decided by the liaison. 

  • Which 4WD Jeep will be used during the tour?

    Usually, we use a 4WD Land Cruiser or Mahindra Scorpio for the Upper Mustang Jeep Tour. The Jeep will be on a private basis, so it will be convenient to travel to this part of Mustang. Additionally, this trip diverges from other trips as it involves a 4WD drive with optimum comfort possible and enables you to explore a wide range of activities in Upper Mustang. 

  • What kind of foods will be served as per the meal inclusion?

    In Urban cities like Kathmandu and Pokhara, you will be served a variety of breakfast options. However, in the higher elevations during the trip, you will take the taste of local cuisine and which is mostly Thakali food and for breakfast limited options are available. Some of the available foods are eggs, fresh seasonal veggies, salads, apple pies, pancakes, Dalbhat, bread, soups, and meat (depending on availability) and in developed areas, you can try food from the A-la-carte menu and try a wide range of food options. 

  • When is the best time to visit the Upper Mustang 4WD Jeep Tour?

    The most ideal time of year to visit Upper Mustang Nepal is in the summer, autumn and spring. The greatest time to visit Mustang Nepal is when the weather is excellent, the terrain is beautiful, and the mountain vistas are breathtaking. Nepal is one of the most picturesque countries in the world because of its topography and range in altitude from tropical to frigid regions.  During the summer, spring and autumn time, the weather is quite good. So, you will be rewarded with the most beautiful scenery of the Mustang region.

  • Can we customize the Upper Mustang 4WD Jeep Tour?

    Yes, the tour is fully customizable. Actually, we encourage customization of tours as it will be more efficient and guests friendly as we’ll be able to plan what the traveller needs. So, customization is an excellent option we provide on all our trips. After corresponding with our informed correspondent, you will be able to customize the plan. If you have any preferences, you can inform our travel consultant at that time and he/she shall arrange the best plan possible. 

  • Is there any minimum number of people required for this trip?

    Yes, we require a minimum of 4 travellers in order to organize a trip to the Upper Mustang. Since it is a 4WD jeep trip, it can easily accommodate 4 travellers and it will be convenient in terms of cost efficiency and time as well. 

  • What will be the cost if there are only two people?

    If you want to travel with two people only, then it's also a wonderful option. However, the cost of two people on this trip is about USD 2700 Per Person. 

  • What documents are required to obtain the restricted area permit?

    For both the Restricted Area Permit and ACAP permits, you need a copy of your passport, a visa for Nepal, information on your itinerary, two passport-sized pictures, and around 530 USD ($500 for RAP and $30 for ACAP). Never attempt to go unaccompanied or without a guide as it is a considerable offence and you won’t be allowed to enter the restricted area without having a licensed guide. 

Services Includes

  • Kathmandu airport transfer on arrival and departure.

  • Private vehicle with A/C for all mentioned sightseeing.

  • A 4WD vehicle, possibly Land Cruiser or Mahindra Scorpio from Kathmandu to Upper Mustang (max. 4 pax in one jeep) and back. 

  • All (11 nights) hotel accommodations at the mentioned hotels and resorts/available best local lodges at respective places. 

  • Daily breakfast at the hotel/local lodges from the next day of your arrival.

  • Lunch and Dinner as mentioned in the itinerary.

  • An English-speaking, professional and government-licensed tour guide during your sightseeing at Kathmandu.

  • All necessary paperwork. (ACAP, Restricted Area Permit and TIMS Card)

  • Professional and experienced guide during your jeep tour.

  • Guide’s salary, food and accommodation.

  • Arrangement of emergency helicopter service which will be paid for by your traveler’s insurance company.

  • All mentioned sightseeing entrance fees and permits. 

  • One local SIM card (returnable, if required) during your stay.

  • All government and local taxes.

  • Farewell Nepali cultural dinner on your last night in Nepal.

Services Excludes

  • Personal expenses.

  • Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu and Pokhara.

  • Nepal visa cost. (You will require 2 passport-size photos and 30 USD)

  • International flight ticket.

  • Travel health insurance. (Recommended)

  • Tips for the guide, porter and driver.

  • Sweet things like dessert/chocolate.

  • All alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.

12 Days from US$ 2375
USD 2300 / Person


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