If you are planning to go on Upper Mustang trek, then you need to know that this region is considered as a restricted area. According to the government policies in Nepal, to trek in the restricted area, one needs to obtain the special permit. So, permits for Upper Mustang Trek includes Upper Mustang Restricted Area Permit and Annapurna Conservation Area Permit. Restricted area permit is not possible to issue on the way, so make sure to acquire it before you start the journey.
Things You Should Know Before Trekking to Upper Mustang
- This trek can't be done independently. So, remember to organize your trekking with the involvement of the registered local trekking agency.
- Minimum two members are required to be in the group to obtain permits for Upper Mustang Trek.
- If you are trekking only in the Upper Mustang region, then there is no need for a TIMS card as there are no TIMS check posts on the way to Upper Mustang.
Until 1992, it was a restricted demilitarized area because of its close border connection with Tibet. And any trekking trail which has a border with China/Tibet needs a special permit. Because of the high Upper Mustang permit cost, this trek is regarded as one of the expensive trekking destinations of Nepal for foreigners.
The permit fees to get into this region depend upon the duration of your trekking days. You need to obtain two different types of permits to trek in this region and they are;
1.Upper Mustang Restricted Area Permit
It is not possible to trek this region without the RAP. The territory above the Kagbeni village is considered as the Upper Mustang region where you will find the RAP check post. Trekkers have to show the Upper Mustang Trekking permits and other documents while entering as well as leaving this region.
It is issued by the Immigration office of the Government of Nepal either in Kathmandu or Pokhara. Remember it can be acquired only through the registered local trekking agency of Nepal.
Upper Mustang Restricted Area Permit Cost: US$ 500 per person for 10 days and thereafter, US$ 50 per person for each additional day.
2.Annapurna Conservation Area Project Permit (ACAP)
Upper Mustang is part of the Annapurna Conservation Area. So, without the valid permit for the Annapurna Conservation Area, you can't enter into this region. Once ACAP is issued, trekkers can stay in the ACAP area as long as they wish because there is no restriction on the length of the time for this permit.
It is issued by the Nepal Tourism Board office located at the Kathmandu and ACAP counter at Pokhara. Well, in order to provide you hassle-free trekking, we, Adventure Himalayan Travels, will obtain and manage all the permits required for Upper Mustang.
ACAP cost for foreigners: US$ 27 or NPR 3000
ACAP cost for SAARC nation: NPR 1,000
ACAP cost for local tourists: NPR 100
Frequently Ask Questions (FAQ)
Can I get the Permit for Upper Mustang Trek Independently?
ACAP permit can be obtained by the trekkers individually by visiting Nepal Tourism Board in Kathmandu and the tourist office in Pokhara. You don't need to have a registered local agency by your side for this permit.
However, individual trekkers can't obtain Restricted Area Permit (RAP) as solo trekking is not allowed in the Upper part of Mustang valley. You must go through the registered local trekking agency of Nepal to obtain a special permit.
You can't obtain a special permit even only with the help of a guide. It is obtained only by the trekking company, registered in Nepal.
What are the requirements for obtaining the Upper Mustang Trekking Permits?
There are certain formalities regarding the requirement of documents and rules to obtain the permits for Upper Mustang and they are;
- There should be at least 2 trekkers in the group.
- The permits for Upper Mustang must be obtained through the registered local trekking agency.
- Special permits can't be issued for less than 10 days.
- Original passport with the valid visa for at least 6 months.
- Photocopy of both passport and visa
- Two printed passport sized photographs
- Money is US$ for foreigners; however, Indians can pay in Nepalese currency equivalent to US$.
If you want to trek solo in Upper Mustang for some reason, then you have the option to issue 'Ghost Permit' in the other person's name. However, if you choose this option, your Upper Mustang Permit Fee will be double i.e., US$ 1000. It means you have to pay an extra US$ 500.
Do I need to have a TIMS card for Upper Mustang Trekking?
If you have issued the Restricted Area Permit (RAP), then you don't need to obtain the TIMS card to trek in that specific area. So, only for trekking in Upper Mustang, you don't need to have TIMS.
However, after completing your Upper Mustang Trek, if you planned to further extend your trek to Jomsom, Annapurna Base Camp or if you want to continue your trek to the Lower Mustang, then TIMS card is compulsory.
Upper Mustang Permit for Indian
Upper Mustang Permit cost for the Indian is the same as other foreign countries in terms of special permit. It starts from US$ 500 per person for the first 10 days and thereafter each extra day costs US$ 50 per person. However, the cost for obtaining the Annapurna Conservation Area Project permit (ACAP) for Indian is NRP 1000 as they belong to SAARC countries.
The Indian trekkers need to obtain their permits for Upper Mustang through the registered local trekking agency of Nepal.
Upper Mustang Bike Permit cost for Indian is same as the trekking permit fee for them i.e. (US$ 500 per person for 10 days and then each additional day cost US$ 50 per person). Also, the ACAP cost is similar i.e., NRS 1,000.
There must be two riders to obtain the Upper Mustang Bike Permit through the Nepalese registered local trekking agency.
Upper part of the Mustang valley is a dream destination for every local as well as international tourists because of its cultural, natural, and historical importance. So, don't miss to put the Mustang Valley trek mainly in Upper Mustang in your bucket list. Success rate of this trek highly depends upon the trekking agency. So, be cautious while picking the trekking agency.
If you want your trek to the Upper Mustang to be hassle-free and well-guided, then don't hesitate to contact us. We, Adventure Himalayan Travels, is a registered local trekking agency of Nepal who has several years of experience in leading trekking trips to the restricted areas. So, we assure you to provide satisfactory services.