Everyone has a bucket list. We are sure you do too. How many things have you checked things off of your bucket list? You must be saving up to check those off your list.
Here is one thing you can check off your list and at an affordable price – A trip to the Himalayas, the Base of the highest peak on earth – Mount Everest..
Mount Everest is the first thing that will come to your mind when you think of Nepal. Trekking to the Everest Base Camp is one of the most iconic trekking stops in the world. It is also among the most popular destination for trekkers all around the world.
The Everest Region trek is famous for the height it stands on, the landscape and the breathtaking views. Along with that it is also famous for its culture and traditions in the local Sherpa community.
Did you know you can also get opportunity to visit the Sagarmatha National Park when you trek to the Everest Base Camp?
Let’s talk about the cost of the trekking in Nepal. Nepal is generally an affordable place compared to other trekking destinations around the world. But, you need to be realistic regarding your finances during a trip.
The Everest Base Camp, like any other trekking route asks you to pay a certain amount of money. You will be travelling for a minimum of 12 days. This means you will be paying for living in Nepal for 12 days. You will be paying for everything starting from staying in the lodges or tea houses, eating, travel permit fees and other private costs.
The major activities that you will be paying for in the trip are transportation, accommodation, your meals, the permits, and more. Besides this you will also be paying for the miscellaneous costs according to the extra activities you might do throughout the trek duration.
So, you should be financially capable of getting to the Everest Base Camp as much as being physically and mentally ready for a trek.
We at Great Adventures would like to ensure that you have proper information before you choose your treks. Hence, here is a break down of the costs you will have to pay for. We have also covered the optional activities costs.
We have included everything from international flights to traveling in Nepal under this section.
The very thing you will have to pay for is your ticket to Nepal and back. Buying a ticket for that flight from your home country to Nepal and back will be the most expensive part of the Trek.
The price depends on the airline and the class you book your flight on along with the part of the world you are traveling to Nepal from. But, on average your airfare could range from $500 to $1000 or more.
You should book your tickets to Nepal in advance. You will get your tickets for a cheaper price if you book them beforehand. The price of the tickets usually are more expensive when you buy them a few days before you leave. Especially if you have planned to trek during the peak trekking seasons – from February to May and September to November.
Traveling within Nepal
Your trekking journey to the Everest Base Camp runs through the Khumbu region of Nepal. To get there you can choose among the two starting points.
The first one is catching a domestic flight from Kathmandu to Lukla (Tenzing-Hillary Airport). The trek typically starts at Lukla which lies 2,860 meters above sea level. The cost for a one-way ticket to Lukla will cost a little more than $160. The total duration of the flight to Lukla will be of 30 minutes.
If you want to bypass the expensive flights to Lukla you can take the second route. You can take the bus to Jiri. You adventurous bus ride will take about 6 to 9 hour from Kathmandu. The bus ride will cost you $10 to $12 each way.
If you take the bus you will be enjoying four to seven days more of Nepal and its beauty. Well if money isn’t a problem for you, you could take the mountain flight or charter a helicopter to Lukla.
You will be staying at the different tea houses/lodges along the route to the Everest Base Camp. Your wallet will be happy to know that accommodation is the cheapest part of the whole trek.
On average, the average accommodation charges will range from $1 to $3 a day.
The accommodation along the trail is basic with two single beds and warm blankets. You will also find few hooks on the wall to hang your sweaty clothes and a bedside table. Since the weather is drastic all year round. We recommend you take a sleeping bag in case the nights are colder.
You will find western toilets in some tea houses/lodges, but most come with squat toilets.
The best part of the lodge or tea house you will be staying at is the kitchen. You will most likely be spending most of your time in the dining room, which is warm with firewood and stories from the lodge owners and trekkers.
The meal eaten throughout the country is the most popular and found abundantly across the trekking circuit – Dal Bhat. If you choose to eat dal bhat you will be served hot rice with lentils, vegetables, pickle. The variety of vegetables served will vary based on the season.
Besides dal bhat, you can also order noodles, potatoes, fried rice, soup and more from the menu provided. The price of the Nepali food starts approximately at $4 dollars in the lower regions of the treks will go higher the more altitude you gain.
The menus in the lodges will also have western dishes like pizza, pasta, and french fries. A range of cold drinks and beers are also available in the tea houses and lodges. Drinking alcoholic beverages in higher altitude, however is not recommended as it could lead to altitude sickness. The price for the western food can start at $5.
We recommend you make a budget of $20 to $30 a day on meals. In total your meals could cost you a minimum of $250 to $300 throughout a ten day trip, in average.
Tourists from all over the world, except India, will need a visa to enter Nepal. You will not need to get your visa before you fly to Nepal. You can purchase the visa to enter Nepal upon arrival in the airport.
The price of the visa is $25 for a multiple entry 15 days stay in Nepal. You can also choose to buy a $40 visa that will let stay in Nepal for a month. If you are exploring more of Nepal there is a 3-month visa which will cost $100.
Nepal has a lot of places you can sit and relax in after your adventurous trek.
There are two permits you will need to successfully complete your trek to the Everest Base Camp. First is the Trekkers Information Management System (TIMS card) and the second one is the Sagarmatha National Park Entry Permit which will let you enter the Khumbu National Park.
There are three different types of Trekkers Information Management System cards available. The cost and color for each card are different.
- Organized TIMS card – Blue colored card, which costs around $10.
- Individual TIMS card – Green colored card, which costs around $20.
- SAARC Country TIMS card – Red colored card, which costs around $3.
The Sagarmatha National Park Entry Permit will cost you around $32.09.
Travel Insurances are not covered by most tour operators. This should be done in your home country.
You should take a travel insurance that covers the basic situations like travel insurance and emergency medical evacuation insurance. Additional you will also want your travel insurance to cover you for your baggage coverage and trip cancellation.
You should pay close attention to the maximum altitude at which they provide their insurance services in. This is another important point you should be careful of since the Everest Base Camp is situated at 5335 meters. The travel insurance you pick must provide its insurance coverage up to 6000 meters above sea level.
Let’s talk about the price. The price is different among the service providers. You would be paying a minimum of $120 per person for travel insurance that provides its service up to 6000 meters.
One of the most basic things you will need to prepare for when you go on a trek is the necessary equipment. The cost of equipment largely depends on the quality and the place you buy it from. There are various stores in Thamel where you can buy your gear. Several such stores will also let you hire the equipment. The price to hire equipments starts at $6 a day.
The basic of equipments you will need for the Everest Base Camp trek are a backpack, hiking boots, trekking poles, sleeping bag, thermal clothing, waterproof jacket, gloves, sunglasses, cap and a beanie.
Here is the full packing checklist you will need to carry for the trek.
Tour Operators, Guides.
It would be wise to hire a tour guide who has a good fluency in English. The main reason why behind hiring a tour guide is they help you safely complete your trek. The guides are also know the routes very well. They will make sure you enjoy the breathtaking views while you are on the right trail.
Taking help will prove to be safer than walking on the trails without a guide. So it smart to hire a local tour guide who is well versed when it comes to the trails to the Everest Base Camp. Additionally, the guides are very friendly and will help you organize everything from lodging to food in advance.
The Everest base camp trek is among the longer treks in Nepal. You will need a lot more equipment – which means a larger and heavier bag. Hiring a porter is a good idea if you have a heavy bag.
You can try carrying your own bag. But it will be a challenging task, especially on higher altitude. This is where the porter comes in. They will help you carry your 20 to 25 kg backpack throughout the trails.
The standard daily rate of a porter ranges from $20 to $30.
There are various costs that could add on to your original plans. These are out of the way activities you had not foreseen that you will end up paying for.
Tipping the guides and the porters who accompany you on your trek is customary in Nepal. The amount you tip the guide and the porter you hire is up to you. We would recommend your group to give the guides $15 a day a tip and $8 a day for the porters.
Wireless Internet and data packages are your source of communication during the trek. Since communicating via phone could be slightly dificult than in Kathmandu.
You can buy a SIM card in Kathmandu. You will get a 100MB data pack at around $3 based on the prepaid SIM you choose. Please check the specific operator’s site for more information on the data packages and the concerned rates.
Some of the tea houses and lodges on the trail and in the base camp will provide free WIFI facilities. While some tea houses and lodges will charge for the internet service, mostly in the higher altitude. The cost of the internet could be around $2 an hour.
Hot Drinking Water
Every tea house/lodge on the trek sells large to small thermos of water. They also provide pots of tea. A small flask of boiled water costs around $1.50, and a large one costs around $3.
It makes more sense that you carry a water bottle or a small flask. You can refill your bottle/flask from the lodges you stay in. Since buying bottle of mineral water starts at $1 in the lower regions and will go higher especially in the more remote parts of the trek.
If you did not buy one, you can buy one in Thamel. A water bottle will cost you $4 and a good 1-liter flask starts at $15. These purchases will help you save on buying bottled water.
The tea houses/lodges you choose to sleep in will usually provide cold showers. Some lodges will provide hot showers, you will have to pay for it.
The price for a hot shower in the lodges/tea houses in the lower altitude ranges at $2 to $3.
Charging Electronic Devices
Sun is the sole source of power in the tea houses and lodges on the route to the base camp. So, you will be paying to charge your devices. It will cost you from $2 to $5 an hour for charging your electronic devices.
The price for charging your gadgets will go higher in the more remote part of the Everest Base Camp trek.
You want souvenirs from your trek to the Everest Base Camp. These are little reminders of your conquest. The souvenirs can be anything like woolen hats, shawls, playing cards and postcards from the base camp or on road. These costs will start at $3 based on where you buy it.
Nepal is among the most economical travel destinations. And the overall cost of getting a scenic view of the highest mountain in the world will amount to a minimum of $2500. This is the total cost for an average of 12 to 15 days in the Everest Region.
For this price, you are guaranteed a very successful Everest Base Camp Trek. This trek will surely rank among some of the best experiences in your lifetime.
Nepal is a wonderland and a dream destination for all trekkers. Nepal’s beautiful landscape offers every trekker. You could be a novice or a professional trekker. Yet, you will find a trail to walk on.
You could have been assuming that the most iconic trek will be expensive. But you will be delighted to know that it could be more affordable than your expectations. You will have plenty to spare even after your trip to the Everest Base Camp.
We have tried to unload the stress of going through every website to figure out the tentative costs involved in the trek. We have laid out the basic points in the trek that will consume your money. Our aim here is to acquaint you with costs you will have to bare throughout the trek.
Note: This is a suggested budget assuming that you will be choosing among the local accommodations available, eating out a little and using the local services.
You can always lower the price of the trip by choosing not eat dal bhat at all lodges, choosing the bus journey over the flight and spending less on luxuries. If you stay in luxurious accommodation or eat out more often, you can expect your budget to be higher than this.
The price of the accommodation, transport and the food varies between the season you choose to trek in. The price of trekking in the peak will be considerably higher than that during the offseason.