NEPAL: Mustang Region during Yartong Horse Festival

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Mustang is a unique corner of Nepal, a genuine Shangri La. Culturally and geographically a part of Tibet, Mustang has until relatively recently been closed to the world. Tourism is still strictly limited and controlled.


This is an amazing opportunity to experience a medieval, Buddhist world set amongst some of the world’s most dramatic mountains, the world’s deepest valley and a breathtakingly beautiful high altitude desert.



Currently the most significant 20th century intrusion into Mustang is mobile phones, but a road is fast being constructed from both the Chinese/Tibetan border and from Jomsom. Already a small number of extremely intrepid 4WD trucks and tractors make it all the way to Lo Manthang during the dry season. Not only does this trek take you into an incredibly dramatic environment, it will introduce you to some amazing people – people who you will enjoy getting to know and will be proud to count as friends. The trekking crew speaks excellent English. Each one is an impressive and interesting character in his own right, and they’re great company. Because of our connections, you’ll also meet locals – monks, teachers, children, farmers, innkeepers, nomads… maybe even the King of Mustang if he’s at home.


You will find this trek reasonably demanding, but unique Tibetan ponies are provided for you to ride and they make life much easier on the ankle-twisting stones at the bottom of the Kali Gandaki gorge, and on long climbs. Descents are completed on foot. You do not need any horse-riding experience. The ponies are calm, surefooted and beautifully trained.


The highest passes we traverse are around 4,500 meters (14,750 ft.), but because we don’t sleep at high altitude, and the altitudes we do sleep at increase progressively, altitude sickness is extremely unlikely to be a problem.


All you have to do carry is a day pack, ride your pony, and walk downhill. The trekking crew does the rest. Tents are erected for you. Three excellent meals per day are cooked for you (rigid sanitary rules are observed in food preparation). You don’t have to think about anything – except about getting the most enjoyment possible from your adventure!

Trip Dates

The Yartong Horse Festival is planned for 5 – 8 September 2016. The trek dates are 28 August – 18 September. These dates are picked to correspond with auspicious days in the Tibetan Lunar calendar. These are the dates in Nepal ONLY! Allow more time if you want to buffer against unforeseen delays and if you want to explore the Kathmandu Valley or the Terai (Nepal’s tropical lowlands).

The Festival

The Yartong Horse Racing Festival will give us an opportunity to take part in festivities with the local people of Mustang. People come out in the finest local dress to enjoy the races… This is the Kentucky Derby of Mustang. If we are fortunate we will have a chance to join the King and his friends for the races. There will be plenty of dancing, horse racing, celebrations, singing, gambling and a good time had by all.


$5,550 per person


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