Upper Mustang Motorbike Tour Overview
- Trip Code: CT-10094
- Package: Upper Mustang Motorbike Tour
- Duration: 12 Day(s)
- Trip Level:
AdvancedRequires prior training and some experience in trekking and mountaineering
- Start At: Kathmandu
- Ends At: Kathmandu
Mustang Motor Bike Tour Highlights
- Embark on an extraordinary journey to the untouched region of Nepal, where the thrill of a riding trip awaits. Traverse the harsh and arid terrain of Jomsom and Kagbeni as you make your way to the captivating destination of Lo Manthang.
- Immerse yourself in the diverse culture and traditions reminiscent of Tibet, as you encounter fascinating tunnels and monasteries that transport you back in time, unraveling the rich history of the region.
- Indulge in the local flavors and delights of Marpha, where you can savor the taste of apple wine and locally crafted brandy, adding a unique touch to your experience.
- Pay a visit to the revered Muktinath temple, a sacred site cherished by both Hindus and Buddhists, where spirituality intertwines with breathtaking architecture.
- Prepare to be mesmerized by the awe-inspiring sight of the Kali Gandaki, the world's deepest gorge, a natural wonder that will leave you in awe of nature's grandeur.
- As you venture through this untouched region, you will be captivated by its raw beauty and the sense of serenity that envelops you, creating memories that will last a lifetime.
Experience the ultimate adventure of the Upper Mustang Motorbike Tour, where relaxation, freedom, and the thrill of becoming a new person await. Embark on a journey through the forbidden kingdom of the Upper Mustang on a motorbike, adding a whole new dimension to your adventure. Whether you are a motorbike enthusiast or a road trip lover, this 12-day tour will take you on an unconventional road expedition through the desert region of Nepal.
The Upper Mustang Motorbike Tour is an exhilarating and captivating experience like no other. From the moment you set out on your adventure, you will be greeted by endless hills, cascading waterfalls, and challenging terrains that test your skills in the thin alpine air.
This motorbike tour will lead you to the last remaining Tibetan kingdom nestled in the Trans Himalayan Area, a hidden gem accessible to only a select few visitors each year. The cultural diversity of the region is a captivating blend of Tibetan and Thakali traditions, making Upper Mustang a truly unique destination.
As you ride through winding valleys, discover glacier lakes, and marvel at the majestic Himalayan Mountains, you will be awestruck by the beauty that surrounds you. The warm hearts and radiant smiles of the mountain people will make your biking experience truly worthwhile, leaving an indelible mark on your heart. Their friendly greetings and gestures will make you feel right at home, making you reluctant to leave.
For any motorcycle enthusiast, the Mustang excursion on a bike will undoubtedly be one of the most memorable journeys they have ever embarked upon. Starting from Kathmandu, we ride all the way to Lo-Manthang, the ancient walled city of Upper Mustang, and then return to Kathmandu. Along the way, you will pass through picturesque villages like Eklo Bhatti and Tangbe, immersing yourself in the unique charm of the region.
The restricted access to Upper Mustang ensures that only a limited number of tourists have the privilege to explore this uncharted territory, making your experience all the more exclusive and extraordinary. The terrain itself is unparalleled and unlike anything you have ever encountered before, adding an extra layer of thrill and adventure to your journey.
|Arrival in Kathmandu - Transfer to Hotel and Trip Preparation
|Tribhuvan International Airport (1,400m/4,592ft)
|UNESCO World Heritage Sightseeing in Kathmandu and Trip Preparation
|1,350 m/ 4,428 ft (Kathmandu)
|Ride from Kathmandu to Bandipur (1030m/3,378ft)- 145 km
|Drive from Bandipur to Tatopani Hot Spring (1,190m/3,904ft) - 110 km
|Tatopani Hot Spring (1,190m/3,904ft)
|Drive from Tatopani to Muktinath (3,760m/12,333ft) via Marpha, Jomsom, and Kagbeni
|Ride from Muktinath to Lo Manthang (3,730m/12,235ft) - 46 km
|Lo Manthang (3,730m/12,235ft)
|Excursion Day in Lo Manthang
|Lo Manthang (3,730m/12,235ft)
|Excursion Day in Lo Manthang
|Ride from Lo Manthang to Tatopani
|Ride from Tatopani to Pokhara - 110 km
|Ride from Pokhara to Kathmandu - 200 km
|1,350 m/ 4,428 ft (Kathmandu)
|Final Departure from Nepal
Upper Mustang Motorbike Tour Altitude Chart
Upper Mustang Motorbike Tour Itinerary
Arrival in Kathmandu - Transfer to Hotel and Trip Preparation
As you arrive at Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport, you will be greeted by the magnificent views of Nepal's hills and valleys. Our friendly representatives will be waiting to welcome you and accompany you to your hotel located in Thamel, a bustling tourist hub. Take some time to relax and rejuvenate after your journey, and then we can proceed with discussing the details of your upcoming adventure.
If you're up for it, you can also explore the captivating Kathmandu Durbar Square, where you can immerse yourself in the rich history of Nepal. Visit the Hanuman Dhoka Museum to witness artifacts that bring the country's past to life. Stroll through the enchanting alleyways, engage in conversations with the locals, and savor the flavors of authentic Nepalese cuisine, making the most of your first day in Nepal.
UNESCO World Heritage Sightseeing in Kathmandu and Trip Preparation
On the second day, immerse yourself in the cultural treasures of Kathmandu through a guided city sightseeing tour by motorbike. Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including Bhaktapur Durbar Square, Changu Narayan Temple, Pashupatinath (the temple of Shiva), Boudhanath, and Swayambhunath (also known as the Monkey Temple).
These iconic sites showcase the rich history, art, and spirituality of Nepal. Take in the architectural marvels, observe religious rituals, and soak in the vibrant atmosphere. After the tour, return to Kathmandu to prepare for your upcoming adventure. It's also an ideal day for a test ride to ensure your motorbike is in perfect condition. Enjoy a comfortable overnight stay in Kathmandu.
Ride from Kathmandu to Bandipur (1030m/3,378ft)- 145 km
Today, embark on a thrilling ride from Kathmandu to Bandipur, a scenic town nestled at an altitude of 1030 meters. The journey is approximately 145 kilometers long and can take around 5-6 hours, as it includes both on-road and off-road sections. Follow the majestic Trishuli River during the first half of the journey, enjoying picturesque landscapes along the way. While the off-road routes may pose some challenges, the rewards are truly worth it.
Marvel at the panoramic views of the Annapurna and Machhapuchhre (Fishtail) mountains as you approach Bandipur. Once you reach Bandipur, relax and unwind in this charming town known for its well-preserved Newari architecture and captivating cultural heritage. Enjoy a comfortable overnight stay in Pokhara, preparing for the adventures that lie ahead.
Drive from Bandipur to Tatopani Hot Spring (1,190m/3,904ft) - 110 km
After a delicious breakfast, take some time to explore the beautiful city of Bandipur and indulge in a shopping spree. Then, gear up for an adventurous drive toward Tatopani. This leg of the journey will be one of the most challenging, as you navigate through rough terrain after Beni. Expect narrow patches, gravel roads, and possibly even off-road sections. It will be an exciting experience as you pass by cascading waterfalls, towering cliffs, and picturesque valleys along the way.
Following the course of the Kaligandaki River, you will eventually reach Tatopani, renowned for its natural hot springs. Check into one of the lodges and soothe your muscles as you relax in the rejuvenating hot springs. Afterward, take a short visit to the nearby Narchyang Waterfall and capture some memorable pictures. Enjoy a comfortable overnight stay in Tatopani.
Drive from Tatopani to Muktinath (3,760m/12,333ft) via Marpha, Jomsom, and Kagbeni
Today's journey will be longer but less challenging, allowing you to relish the breathtaking landscapes along the way. Depart from Tatopani and head towards Lete, a picturesque village nestled in the Mustang region, surrounded by the majestic Annapurna and Nilgiri mountain ranges. As you continue driving alongside the Kali Gandaki River, you'll reach Marpha, famously known as the "Village of Orchards."
Indulge in the delicious apples and try some of the local apple brandy. From Marpha, your route will take you through Kagbeni, where you can explore the ancient caves before proceeding to Muktinath. Muktinath is one of the highest temples in the world and a significant pilgrimage site. The town is well-equipped with hotels and shops, allowing you to rest and acclimate to the altitude. Enjoy an overnight stay in Muktinath.
Ride from Muktinath to Lo Manthang (3,730m/12,235ft) - 46 km
Begin your day with an early morning hike to Muktinath, a sacred place revered by both Hindus and Buddhists. After bathing in the holy waters, return to your hotel and prepare for a long day of riding. Today's destination is Lo Manthang, the walled city of Upper Mustang. The rocky trail to the northwest of Muktinath offers thrilling off-road experiences for bikers. Pass through various Tibetan settlements and explore the captivating landscapes of the rainshadow area as you make your way to Lo Manthang.
Be aware of the increasing altitude and inform your guide if you experience any symptoms of altitude sickness. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Marvel at the panoramic views of the Nilgiri and Dhaulagiri mountains as you arrive in Lo Manthang. This unique village bears the cultural influence of Tibet, with its mud-brick walls and numerous Gompas (monasteries). Enjoy an overnight stay in Lo Manthang, savoring the charm of this extraordinary place.
Excursion Day in Lo Manthang
On your first day of exploration and acclimatization in Lo Manthang, immerse yourself in the rich cultural and historical treasures of the city. Begin by visiting the magnificent red cliffs renowned for their vibrant orange-red hue, creating a stunning backdrop. Another must-visit attraction is the five-storeyed King's Palace, a centuries-old structure dating back to the 1400s. This palace, built by the first king of Mustang, King Ame Pal, features white lime paintings, sacred texts like Kanjur, and intricate Ranjana script inscriptions. Presently, it serves as the residence for the ceremonial king and queen. Spend the remainder of the day exploring the charming city at your leisure, soaking up the unique atmosphere.
Overnight stay in Lo Manthang.
Excursion Day in Lo Manthang
On your second day of exploration in Lo Manthang, delve deeper into the cultural and religious landmarks that adorn the city. Begin by visiting Champa Lakhang, a sacred site boasting a large Buddha statue adorned with intricately painted Mandalas on the walls. Continue your journey by taking a hike to Namgyal Gompa, a religious courthouse that also serves as a local courthouse. Explore other significant gompas, including Thubchen Gompa, the primary monastery in the city, and Chodey Gompa.
Additionally, pay a visit to the Tsechen Shedrub Ling Monastery School, where student monks devote their time to study and practice. Immerse yourself in the serene surroundings and gain insight into the spiritual traditions of the region. Overnight stay in Lo Manthang.
Ride from Lo Manthang to Tatopani
Bid farewell to the enchanting city of Lo Manthang as you embark on your return journey to Tatopani. The route will take you through awe-inspiring vistas, traversing deep canyons, eroded cliffs, and Moraine valleys, eventually leading you back to greener landscapes and signs of civilization. Although the ride may be long and tiring, the reward awaits you at the end of the day—a relaxing soak in the natural hot springs of your lodge. Take the opportunity to unwind, explore the town, collect souvenirs, and savor local delicacies.
Overnight stay in Tatopani.
Ride from Tatopani to Pokhara - 110 km
Embark on a scenic ride from Tatopani to Pokhara, covering a distance of 110 km. The journey takes you along the captivating Beni-Jomsom Road, tracing the picturesque Kali-Gandaki River. Make a stop at Beni Bazaar to procure any essentials you may need. After approximately four hours of riding, you will reach the vibrant city of Pokhara. Take the opportunity to explore the city further or simply relax and rejuvenate. In the evening, you can visit the clubs and restaurants around Phewa Lakeside, immersing yourself in the lively atmosphere.
Overnight stay in Pokhara.
Ride from Pokhara to Kathmandu - 200 km
Prepare for a long ride from Pokhara to Kathmandu, covering a distance of 200 km. Departing from Pokhara, you will journey eastward along the Prithivi Highway, accompanied by the flowing Trishuli River. Take breaks along the way to rest and admire the scenic landscapes. After a fulfilling ride, you will arrive in the bustling capital city of Kathmandu. Upon reaching your accommodation, take some time to relax before exploring the streets of Kathmandu, indulging in souvenir shopping, and savoring the diverse flavors of Nepali cuisine.
Final Departure from Nepal
Today marks the end of your memorable journey. Bid farewell to your dedicated crew as they accompany you to the airport for your departure. Reflect on the incredible 12-day motorbike adventure you experienced in Upper Mustang, one of Nepal's unique regions. We hope you return for more thrilling adventures in the majestic Himalayas of Nepal. Safe travels and until we meet again!
Upper Mustang Motorbike Tour Cost Mentions
- Airport pickup and drop-off service.
- Motorbike rental for the entire trip.
- Three meals daily during the trip, along with tea or coffee three times a day.
- Accommodation in lodges and local houses throughout the trip.
- Mustang Special Permit (Upper Mustang permit) fee, which is USD 500 per person.
- Upper Mustang Permit fee for Indian citizens and other citizens, which is USD 500 per person (included in the cost).
- ACAP Permit (Annapurna Conservation Area Permit).
- Wages, accommodation, and food for local staff (guide and mechanics).
- Breakfast is provided.
- Motorbike fuel for the entire trip.
- Spare parts for the motorbikes.
- Accommodation in Kathmandu and Pokhara on a twin-sharing basis with a bed and breakfast plan.
- Backup transportation throughout the entire trip.
- Farewell dinner.
- Beverages during the entire trip.
- Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu.
- Entry fees to world heritage sites.
- Travel rescue and insurance.
- Motorbike insurance.
- Tips for guide and mechanics.
- Bike gears (riding gear, helmets, etc.).
- International air tickets.
- Nepali visa fee.
- Bar bills (alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages).
- Repair charges for any physical damage on the motorbikes.
- Personal expenses such as laundry, phone calls, and shopping.
- Any additional expenses or changes to the itinerary due to political or weather conditions, unforeseen circumstances, or any other factors not mentioned in the inclusions.
Please ensure you budget separately for these expenses during your trip.
While Upper Mustang can be visited throughout the year, the preferred seasons for travelers are autumn and spring. During these times, experiencing the beauty of nature while riding a bike is truly splendid. The weather is delightful, offering clear vistas of the landscape and a vivid blue sky. As you ride your motorcycle, you'll encounter vibrant, multicolored flowers, lush green grass, and the warm smiles of the locals.
Exploring Upper Mustang on a motorcycle during winter presents some challenges. The trail is covered in glistening white snow, making it difficult to ride smoothly and increasing the risk of slipping. Caution must be exercised when riding in the cold weather to ensure safety.
Regardless of the season you choose to visit, Upper Mustang's allure remains intact. Each time offers a unique experience, whether it's the blossoming beauty of spring, the vibrant colors of autumn, or the serene and quiet atmosphere of winter. Selecting the right time for your motorcycle adventure depends on your preferences and your ability to adapt to the challenges of the season.
Upper Mustang holds the distinction of being Nepal's last forbidden kingdom, and exploring this region on a motorbike requires obtaining two essential permissions.
The first is the Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP), which is priced at NPR 3000.00 or USD 30 per person. This permit grants access to the Annapurna Conservation Area, where Upper Mustang is located. It helps in preserving the natural environment and promoting sustainable tourism in the region.
The second permit is the Restricted Area Permit (RAP), which is mandatory for entering Upper Mustang. The cost of the RAP is USD 500.00 per person for a duration of 10 days. If you wish to extend your stay, an additional USD 50 per person per day is required.
These permits not only regulate access to Upper Mustang but also contribute to the conservation and preservation of this unique cultural and natural heritage. It is important to obtain these permits before embarking on your motorbike adventure to ensure a smooth and lawful exploration of the region.
The Upper Mustang Motorbiking Tour route begins with a visit to major historical places in the Kathmandu Valley. After exploring the cultural and historical sites, you will start your ride to Pokhara via the busy highway. In Pokhara, you will have enough time to enjoy the natural beauty of the city before embarking on the tour.
From Pokhara, the road is well-paved until Beni, where you will begin riding on rough roads. Your first-night stay in the Mustang area will be in Kalopani. As you continue riding, you will be treated to panoramic views of the Annapurna Himalayan range as you reach Jomsom. The journey then takes you to Muktinath and Kagbeni.
After Kagbeni, you will officially enter the restricted area of the Upper Mustang. After riding for two more days, you will finally arrive at the capital city of Upper Mustang, called Lo Manthang. Lo Manthang is an ancient kingdom situated in the Trans Himalayan range. The region is culturally rich, with its people being of Tibetan origin and belonging to the local Thakali community. The locals speak different languages and have a synthesis of Tibetan and Nepalese cultures.
Exploring Lo Manthang, you will come across hundreds of years old monasteries, sky caves, palaces, and scenic settlements of local villages. These unique features offer a glimpse into the rich history and cultural heritage of the region.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
The Upper Mustang Motorbike tour requires participants to be physically fit and possess good motorbike riding skills. The road conditions after Beni Bazaar are challenging, as they are completely off-road. Additionally, you will reach an altitude of 4,000 meters during the trip. Therefore, it is essential to have good physical condition to endure the demands of the journey. Having proficient riding skills is also important for navigating the terrain effectively.
For the Upper Mustang Motorbike tour, we provide either the 411 CC Royal Enfield Himalayan or the 500 CC Royal Enfield Classic motorbike. Both options are powerful and designed for long drives, offering comfort and reliability. If you have a preference for a specific bike, please let us know, and we will accommodate your request. Additionally, if you have a preference for other brands of motorbikes available in Nepal, we can make arrangements accordingly. This year, we have added 15 Royal Enfield Himalayan 411 CC bikes to our fleet for this adventurous journey.
Yes, you need a valid motorcycle license to ride in Nepal. In order to participate in the Upper Mustang Motorbike tour, we require a copy of your passport and motorcycle license. With these documents, we will arrange the necessary local permits that allow you to ride in the Mustang region. It is important to have the proper license to ensure compliance with local regulations and for your own safety during the tour.
The best season for a motorbike tour in Mustang is from March to November. During this period, the climate in Mustang is favorable for travel. It is important to note that June and July are the rainy seasons in Nepal, but Mustang is located in the rain shadow region of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Himalayas, so it does not experience heavy rainfall during this time. However, it is advisable to avoid the monsoon season due to potential road conditions and limited visibility.
On the other hand, December, January, and February are winter months in Mustang. During this time, Mustang experiences snowfall and extremely low temperatures. The weather conditions can make the roads challenging for motorbike riding, and the overall experience may not be as enjoyable.
Therefore, for the best motorbike tour experience in Mustang, it is recommended to plan your trip between March and November, when the weather is more suitable and the roads are in better condition.
Yes, it is possible to add extra days to your trip to Mustang. If you wish to extend your journey, you can discuss it with your guide during the trip. They will update our office in Kathmandu, and we can make the necessary arrangements for additional days, including guides, accommodation, and meals.
Please note that there may be additional costs associated with extending your trip, and these costs will cover the expenses for the extra days. If you are on a private or solo trip, there is more flexibility in adjusting the itinerary to add extra days. However, if you are traveling in a group, the options may be more limited, and it is important to discuss and coordinate with your group members and guide them to determine the feasibility of adding extra days.
Ultimately, your guide will communicate your preferences to our office, and we will make the necessary arrangements based on the availability and feasibility of extending your trip to Mustang.
Equipment And Gears
To prepare for your trek in Nepal, it's essential to consider both the specific route and the time of year. Here is a Nepal trekking packing list to help you pack wisely. Here’s our Nepal Trekking packing list.
Upper Mustang Motorbike Tour Reviews
Mountains, dust and Rock’n’Roll
On: 09 Jan, 2022
My first ride to Lower Mustang was a unique experience, unlike any other location in Nepal. It felt like a desert oasis surrounded by the majestic Himalayan mountains, their peaks covered in snow. We started early in the morning after a delicious breakfast prepared by our team. Everything was well organized, and we wasted no time in hitting the road. Along the way, I had the opportunity to ride my tempo and explore the region with a few companions when we arrived at our destination earlier than expected.
As we ventured through the area, we came across villages where we discovered yak milk tea, a delightful find. Meanwhile, some of the group members enjoyed the warmth of the ovens in the villages. The roads presented challenges at times, transitioning from dusty to wet and icy in certain sections. However, we had a team member who guided us safely through these areas. I was captivated by the vibrant colors of the small Nepali villages against the snowy backdrop, showcasing the diversity of the local communities.
The food in this region surpassed my expectations, surpassing the quality of what we had encountered in hotels and tea houses along trekking routes. The atmosphere within the group remained relaxed and positive, even during a break when one of the bikes required repairs in the middle of nowhere. Riding through the Himalayas was truly an unforgettable experience and ranks among the most beautiful places I have ever explored on a bike.