While the city of Kathmandu is amazing and should be on everyone’s bucket list, you’re undertaking this adventure because you want to head into the Upper Mustang to the Ancient Kingdom of Lo Manthang. You’ll feel like Indiana Jones as you explore the lost caves that have been around since 1000 BC and are inhabited by skeletons of ancestors of the people in the villages below. This is one of the most extreme adventures we offer and it is certainly much more of a challenge than our extremely popular Stairway to Heaven adventure which takes a similar route but stops short in the Lower Mustang.
Of course, you still do all the good stuff of the Stairway to Heaven adventure, such as see open-air cremations, ride some amazing roads, and have the Thamel and Pokhara night life but you’ll also have 7 days on some of the gnarliest dirt roads on the planet. Our Stairway to Heaven adventure in Nepal is our most popular adventure but this new adventure is for the more adventurous rider and presents excellent value.
We usually have a night out in Thamel before seeing probably the most surreal thing you’ll ever get to witness in your life at Pashupatinath Temple the next morning. It’s time to get on the road and clear your mind (and nostrils) of the open-air cremation you just witnessed, we head west towards Fish Tail Mountain and stay in a historical village. As we head into Pokhara, which is the base for the trekkers on the Annapurna Circuit, the roads give a hint of what the Mustang Valley has in store for the next 4 days. They will test you and the bikes to the limit. The view once you are in Muktinath is undoubtedly worth it. Climb the “Stairway to Heaven” up to the town monastery and take in the majesty of the Himalayas.
Descending into the valley back into Pokhara for a free day, you can do your laundry, go parasailing, chill on boat on the lake or have a few celebratory drinks. Or…..we good go in search of suspension bridges to cross! We then scoot across back to Kathmandu taking the long way home alongside a river into an area that got hit hard by the 2015 earthquake. An air of melancholy inevitably surrounds you as you realise your adventure is nearing its end, …until you realise you can come back again and do one of our other adventures!
|DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION||Kathmandu, Nepal|
|TOUR DATES||2020 – November 15th – 26th
2021 – March 18th – 29th (coincides with Holi Festival)
2021 – November 14th – 25th
|PRIVATE ADVENTURES||This tour is also available as a private adventure for solo adventurers, a couple, a club or even just a group of mates. This can be any combination of riders, pillions or even passengers or family in one of our expedition support vehicles. The tour can be shortened or lengthened to suit your desires. Please contact us to discuss your needs.
Best months are February, March, April and October, November
|PRICES||Rider: US$4,190 per person
Pillion: US$3,490 per person (Challenging for a pillion for 6 days)
Optional 5-Day Trek: US$1190
Optional Flight over Himalayas: US$290
Chopper to Everest Base Camp: POA
|WHAT’S INCLUDED|| Transfers to/from Airport and Hotel
All internal transfers and other travel for the duration of the adventure
A well maintained Royal Enfield Motorcycle
Quality Accommodation on a twin share basis (comfort hotels/guest houses/camps)
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner for the entire trip
English speaking guides
Medical kit available and oxygen on high altitude adventures
Mechanics with all necessary spare parts
Support vehicles to carry all luggage (if riders are injured or feeling unwell they can take a break and jump into our back-up vehicle to relax!)
Bottled mineral water throughout the adventure
Tea/Chai included at rest breaks
Permits for restricted areas
All entrance fees en-route
|NOT INCLUDED|| International flights
VISA (details sent with rider pack)
Travel Insurance (compulsory)
NOTE: The prices above are based on a twin share basis. If you’d like your own room, then there is a US$650 supplement.
Payment terms: A US$1000 deposit must be made at time of booking. Balance payment must be paid 8 weeks before the tour start date. Payment plans are available upon request.Terms & Conditions What To Bring Price Guarantee
As you descend from the clouds over the majestic Himalayas, you will see the bustling city of Kathmandu where we will start and finish our adventure. A Himalayan Heroes representative will be waiting for you as you exit the airport. They’ll accompany you to your hotel not far from the tourist haven of Thamel. After lunch, we’ll visit Pashupatinath Temple where you’ll see corpses cremated in a traditional Hindu ceremony on the banks of the Bagmati River. Later in the evening we will have a welcome dinner at an authentic Nepali restaurant to get to know one another, have the first of many culinary masterpieces and be entertained with a cultural show.
Today is the day the adventure starts proper. The traffic in Kathmandu is similar to that in a lot of developing countries so we try to avoid it best we can by getting an early start. A quick breakfast while the support team load the back-up vehicles with your luggage before a refresh of the rider briefing and getting the keys to your motorcycles.
Keep your wits about you as we head west out of town and along the Trishuli River towards our first stop Bandipur. With a rich trading history dating back to the mid 1700’s, this mountain village still retains an authentic old time cultural atmosphere even though trading has long gone.
An easy day with not a lot of ground to cover will allow us time to take some detours and cross some of Asia’s longest suspension bridges. A great way to confront your fear of heights… unless its windy…then it’ll only make it worse! There will be some free time in the afternoon for you to explore the town and its watering holes. Plan what you’ll do when you get back in a weeks time. Maybe canoeing, site seeing or even some parasailing.
POKHARA TO TATOPANI (approx 105kms – 5 ½ hrs)
As the roads become challenging, rough and unsealed with many river crossings for the next 6 days, we ask people to pack lightly, taking only what is necessary until we return. Starting out on tarmac, we’ll end up on some great dirt road routes that provide fantastic mountain vistas, picturesque terraced farmlands and an opportunity to walk on one of Nepal’s famous suspension bridges. There is a continuous change in the topography with every twist and turn until our arrival at Tatopani.
TATOPANI TO MUKTINATH (approx 80kms – 5 ½ hrs)
A short ride through some of the most amazing landscapes of the adventure will see us tackle a large river crossing in Lower Mustang. The road to our hotel is spectacular as we travel through a number of remote villages. Muktinath is part of the Annapurna Circuit, and you’ll encounter many trekkers from across the globe here making their way to Chulu East Muktinath is the highest elevation we reach and while you might be short of breath walking around the village exploring, it is unlikely you will suffer from altitude sickness.
MUKTINATH TO LOMANTHANG via GELING (approx 100kms – 6 ½ hrs)
We head back down to Kagbeni on the Kali Gandaki River, show our restricted permits and the checkpont and enter the Ancient Kingdom of the Upper Mustang. The roads are twisty and totally dirt from here on in. We cross the river at Chele and continue North, passing through a few small villages towards Geling.
We say our adventures are mind blowing and this section is one of the reasons why. Riding into Lo Manthang is one of the best experiences a motorcyclist can have. The river below, the mountains above and the Sky Caves of Nepal in front of you. The Mustang caves are a collection of some 10,000 man-made caves dug into the sides of valleys. Several groups of archaeologists and researchers have explored these stacked caves and found partially mummified human bodies and skeletons that are at least 2,000–3,000 years old. Explorations of these caves by conservators and archaeologists have also led to the discovery of valuable Buddhist paintings, sculptures, manuscripts and numerous artefacts belonging to the 12th to 14th century, but no one has yet understood who built the caves and why they were built. The site is currently listed as a UNESCO tentative site since 1996.
FREE DAY in LO MANTHANG
As early as 1,000 BC, the caves were used as burial chambers. During the 10th century, the region is thought to have been frequently battled over, and consequently, placing safety over convenience, families moved into the caves, turning them into living quarters. By the 1400s, the caves functioned as meditation chambers, military lookouts or storage units as people moved into villages. In 2010, a team of mountaineers and archaeologists uncovered 27 human remains in two biggest caves near Samdzong. The relatively intact skeletons – dating from the 3rd to the 8th centuries, before Buddhism came to Mustang – had cut marks on the bones. Scientists believe that this burial ritual may have been related to the Bon-Buddhist practice of sky burial. To this day, when a citizen of Mustang dies, the body is sliced into small pieces, bones included, to be swiftly snatched up by vultures.
LOMANTHANG TO KALOPANI via MARPHA (approx 115kms – 7 hrs)
Although we only travel a bit over 100kms, it’s going to be a big day. We’ll start early and head back down the valley, stopping at Kagbeni for a short visit to the local monastery where many Yogi’s come to isolate themselves in the caves overlooking the village to practice their meditation and rituals. We’ll then continue on to Kalopani via Marpha
KALOPANI TO POKHARA (approx 125kms – 6 ½ hrs)
Although we only travel a bit over 100kms, it’s going to be a big day. We’ll start early and head back down the valley, stopping at Kagbeni for a short visit to the local monastery where many Yogi’s come to isolate themselves in the caves overlooking the village to practice their meditation and rituals. We’ll then continue on to Kalopani via Marpha.
FREE DAY IN POKHARA
Today is a well earned day of leisure. Spend it recovering from the night before or visit the local shops, take a canoe ride on the nearby the Phewa lake or catch a cable car to the World Peace Pagoda or even visit one of the five museums and if you’re feeling adventurous then you could go parasailing.
POKHARA TO KATHMANDU (approx 205kms – 7 ½ hrs)
Starting early, we head east alongside the Trishuli River as it winds its way towards Kathmandu. Reminiscent of the rice paddies of Vietnam and Thailand, the farming land between you and the river is busy with people working hard to make a living. We ride through some small villages, returning the vigorous waves directed at us while trying to soak in the stunning views that the terraced farm land present and descend upon the mayhem of Kathmandu. Upon arrival at the hotel we’ll have time to hit the town and celebrate our fantastic achievement with a dinner at a local Nepalese restaurant with great food and atmosphere..
This is a free day for last minute shopping and packing until being transferred to the airport for your departure back to monotony 🙂
Optional Add-On – Everest Sherpa Village Trek
The trek below is popular with our riders as a 5 day extension before or after their motorcycle adventure. We’re happy to arrange and customise it for your needs.
Flight to the World’s Scariest Airport and 5 Day return Trek to the gateway of Mt Everest Base Camp.
The tallest point on Earth, Mt Everest (8848m) is so close yet so far, why not take a few extra days and fly to the world’s scariest airport described as “a strip of licorice in a wall of granite”. The primary goal of this trek is to see Mt Everest (8848m) and the villages of the world famous mountaineers, the Sherpas.
The view of Mt Everest, from above Namche Bazaar is truly stunning. We walk past a small airport towards the Everest view hotel. Here we’ll enjoy a coffee and the breathtaking scenery of Mt Nuptse (7879m), Mt Lhotse (8416m), Mt Lhotse Shar (8400m) and Mt AmaDablam (6812m) along with of course Mt Everest.
The Cost of the add-on trek includes:
- Transfer to and from the Hotel / Domestic Airport / Hotel (Pre & Post Trek) in a private vehicle accompanied by Trek guide.
- Airfare for the sector Katmandu / Lukla / Katmandu
- 4 Nights / 5 Days trek in the Everest / Khumbu region inclusive of all meals (breakfast + Lunch + Dinner), accommodation in available local lodges or tea houses and the services of an experienced – Trek guide, Sherpas and the strong & reliable porters.
- Sagarmatha National Park entrance fees of US$30 per person.
- Trekker’s Information Management System (TIMS) card fee of US$10 per person.
- All expenses for the guide, his daily allowances including his meals and flight from Kathmandu / Lukla / Kathmandu.
- Gamma Bag (High Altitude portable chamber) in case of emergency arising due to altitude sickness. (The guide will be trained in First Aid specially relating to High Altitude Sickness)
5 Day Trek Itinerary
Day 13: Fly to Lukla & Trek to Phakding (Trek Duration: 3 – 3½ hours)
After breakfast, we get transferred to the domestic terminal of Kathmandu airport for an early morning flight to Lukla (2880m). This 45 minute flight provides a magnificent entry to the trek as it highlights the snowline of the Himalayan Range in the north and the rugged landing at the Lukla airport which is said to be one of the most spectacular flights in the world.
Upon arrival, we meet the Sherpa team who’ll distribute the equipment to the Porters and Dzhopke (a cross between and cow and a Yak used to carry loads). During this break, you are welcome to explore this bustling town on top of a hill with rows of houses, hotels and shops lining both sides of narrow cobbled streets.
The trek starts by following the trail leading to the northwest direction, which immediately descends from the end of the village on a trail through the open hillside. The trail is well defined and there are many shops and lodges catering to the trekkers. We cross a recently constructed suspension bridge (100 meters long) at the very beginning of the journey. From there we follow the regular trail passing small villages of Chaurikharka (2713m) and Ghat (2550m), with shops and restaurants on the way until we descend to the river at Phakding (2652 m).
Day 14: Trek from Phakding to Namche Bazaar (Trek Duration: 5 hrs)
Leave the main village and the follow the trail on the left bank of the Dudh Koshi River. It is a pleasant walk for the first half of the day as one passes through agricultural countryside, small wayside villages and a monastery. We cross the Dudh Koshi at Benkar where there are tantalizing glimpses of the snow peaks Kusum Khangaru (6369m) and Thamserku (6623m). Just before lunch, there is a steep climb of about 20 minutes to arrive at Monjo for Lunch.
After lunch, we trek up to the check post to check the permits and enter into the Sagarmatha National Park. Descend for 10 minutes and then cross a suspension bridge to arrive at Jorsale (2800m). We then pass through several small villages surrounded by beautiful pine forests. This is a busy trail with our first good views are of the west ridge of Kusum Khangaru (6339m). Follow the Dudh Koshi River, crossing a rickety suspension bridge, which is in a dilapidated condition, and then slowly climb up a very steep trail to Namche Bazaar. Near half waypoint, we enjoy our first views of Mt. Everest (8848m), Nuptse (7879m) and Lhotse (8383m) – the big three. The climb takes nearly 3 hours as the altitude makes breathing a little difficult. Although we arrive at a gate with a sign saying, “Welcome to Namche Bazaar” it is a tad misleading as it takes another 20 minutes to arrive at the main town.
Upon arrival at Namche Bazaar (3447 m) we check into the lodge. This prosperous town is the largest in Khumbu. Mt. Thamserku (6648 m) and Kwangde Ri (6624 m) loom above the east and west of the village. The sacred mountain Khumbila (5707 m) dominates the skyline along the west.
Day 15: Explore the Area
Explore around the Everest View Hotel to see Mount Everest and a day trek to Khumjung Sherpa.
Day 16: Trek back to Lukla (Trek Duration: 5 – 6 hrs)
After breakfast we trek to Lukla. From Namche Bazaar head towards the southern end of the bazaar and descend steeply all the way to the confluence of Dhud Koshi and Bhote Koshi river, cross the great bridge again, and then continue back to Jorsale where we leave the national park before continuing on to Monjo. From here we pass the village of Monjo and It is interesting to watch others starting enthusiastically on the trek ahead as we head down to the village of Phakding. Today we re-trace our steps along the Dudh Koshi, crossing to the western bank at Benkar. It is a beautiful and easy walk through blue pine and rhododendron forest, back-dropped with views of Kusum-Khangaru (6179 m). In the afternoon we ascend out of the river valley back to the airstrip and our lodge accommodation at Lukla. We’ll stay overnight in surely what is one of the most surreal villages on the planet. Two weeks in Nepal is nearly at an end and the celebrations with our Sherpa companions will be epic.
Day 17: Final Departure
INSURANCE IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES
(INDIA, NEPAL, BHUTAN, TIBET, MONGOLIA, MYANMAR and SRI LANKA)
In the countries we conduct adventures, commercial insurance on motor vehicles is either not available, or is of questionable value. 3rd party insurance will usually not cover foreigners and even if it does, it is generally worthless if one needs to make a claim. In the event of an accident in these countries, the situation is usually settled on the spot without the “assistance” of insurance companies. If insurance companies are involved, it can take days, weeks and even months before there is a resolution.
Damage Cap Option “DCO”
Himalayan Heroes offers its riders the option of capping the cost of your damage bill on the motorcycle you are riding. The cost of this damage cap option “DCO” is US$195, paid as a lump sum before the tour starts. In the event you damage the motorcycle, the DCO will cap your damage bill at US$200.
- If, like most of our riders, you do not damage the motorcycle then the total cost to you is only the cost of the DCO = US$195.
- If, like some of our riders, you put the bike down at slow speed and damage mirrors, levers, foot pegs etc and the damage bill is say, US$120 then you pay the US$120. The total cost to you is US$315 (US$195 DCO + US$120 damage bill)
- If you have a big off and damage the tank, forks etc and the damage bill is say US$750 then your damage bill is capped at US$200. The total cost to you is US$395 (US$195 DCO + US$200 damage bill).
The DCO is optional, so if you would like to carry the risk yourself, you are welcome to. At the completion of the tour, you will be presented with an itemised bill of the damage to the bike. Approximately 50% of our riders do not damage the bikes and of the 50% that do receive a damage bill, the majority of the bills are less than $300. Please send us an email if you’ve got any questions about the DCO.
The DCO is not an insurance policy and therefore any costs related to it cannot be claimed on a travel insurance claim.