Trekking in Nepal is quite affordable but adventurous at the same time. To trek in Nepal it is economic and budget-friendly. Nepal offers a large variety of trekking options from easy to moderate to strenuous which you can customize depending on your preference.
Nepal is a trekkers’ paradise, blessed with dramatic landscapes and exotic view of the Himalayas. Besides the beautiful scenery, it provides an opportunity to experience the rich culture as well. Also, you meet the local people of various groups and ethnicities.
You can trek in Nepal in any season. Each season has its own perks and provides a unique experience. And, always have something new and exciting things to offer you.
Nepal is an affordable place for trekking. But, during the peak season, the costs are relatively higher than in the off-season.
Nevertheless, there are many other factors that influence the cost of trekking in Nepal.
For instance, the following are some of the factors that affect your total cost of trekking in Nepal
- The destination that you want to visit
- The activities that you want to undertake during your trip
- The seasons that you want to visit
- The length and duration of your trek
- The cost of trekking Permits
- The cost of Guides and Porters
- Mode of accommodation
- Mode of transportation
- Food and drinks
- Other miscellaneous expenses
Also, Trekking independently in Nepal is possible. But, it is not recommended unless you are an experienced trekker. The most convenient way to trek in Nepal within a budget is to buy a package tour.
Here are some cost ranges for the most popular treks in Nepal:
- Everest Base Camp Trek 15 days– $1,100 per person
- Annapurna Circuit Trek 20 days – $ 799 per person
- Langtang Valley Trekking 11 days– $560 per person
- Upper Mustang Trekking 17 days– $1560 per person
Now, let’s get into details of the cost of trekking in Nepal.
Cost of Transportation
There are generally two types of transportation in Nepal for trekking purposes – by road and by air. There are many options available such as local buses, tourist buses, private jeeps, cars, and flights. And the prices will be in that order.
The local buses are the cheapest among other means of transportation. So, you can go for public transportation to reduce some expenses. Nonetheless, public transportation in Nepal is a unique experience in itself.
A local bus can cost you from $1 to $10. But, for better comfort and facilities you can choose tourist buses or jeeps.
The tourist buses will cost around $8 to $30 per person. The cost of the jeep is around $40 to $50 per person and the cost of a flight is $120 per person one way.
The cost may vary according to the distance you travel in or the destination you want to visit.
Cost of Trekking Permits
You will need a trekking permit while trekking in Nepal. Nearly, for every trek in Nepal, you will need two permits. A national Park Permit and a TIMS ( Trekkers Information Management System) card.
And most often you will also need more than two permits depending on your trekking route.
There are two types of TIMS card. The green which is for independent trekkers costing USD 20. And the blue for trekkers who are part of a group with a guide cost USD 10.
And the entry fee for entering the national parks or conservation areas for foreign nationals:
- Annapurna Conservation Area: $28 (NRs. 2800)
- Manaslu Conservation Area: $28 (NRs. 2800)
- Kanchenjunga Conservation Area: $28 (NRs. 2800)
- Sagarmatha National Park: $40 (NRs. 4000)
- Langtang National Park: $40 (NRs. 4000)
- Makalu-Barun National Parks: $40 (NRs. 4000)
- SAARC nationals have to pay NRs. 200 ($2) as the permit fee
And also you need to get special trekking permits before trekking to the restricted areas of Nepal. These permits can be easily obtained from local trekking agencies. For restricted areas, the amount of permit depends on the length of your stay and the season of the year.
Some of the restricted areas are Dolpo, Upper Mustang, Manaslu, Tsum Valley, and Kanchenjunga.
For Upper Mustang and Upper Dolpo, you need to pay $500 per person for the first ten days. After that, you need to pay $50 per day per person.
For high altitudes, you will need a special climbing permit. Trekking at 5,650 – 6,500 m will cost $350 for 1-4 members.
Cost of Accommodation
The cost of accommodation varies along with the altitudes, season, and trekking trails.
On popular routes, most of the tea-houses offer the standard comfort and services. Most rooms have twin beds with showers available.
The cost of the tea-houses is around $3 to $5 per night. And during the off-season, same rooms cost around $1 to $3 per night only.
Also during the peak season, the prices are relatively higher than in other seasons and there is little room for negotiation.
At higher altitudes, the price can go up to $10 per night.
During treks like Annapurna Base Camp and Everest Base Camp, you can find luxury lodges. These luxury lodgers offer a higher standard of comfort and will cost around $100 to $300 per night.
Cost of Food and Drinks
Concerning the food and drinks, most of the tea-houses offer the basic local meals. Plus a variety of options for breakfast and dinner including tea and coffee are also available.
The cost of food is generally more expensive in higher altitudes. It is difficult to transport the food to a higher elevation. As many parts of Nepal is not fully accessible to transportation.
The cost of the food is $2 per meal at the beginning of the trek and at the higher elevation can go for $10 per meal.
Water also goes up in price the higher you go. One liter of bottled water can start at 25 rupees and at high camp cost as much as 200+ rupees. Using iodine or water purification tablets can help.
Also, the prices vary between high and low trekking seasons.
Cost of Guide and Porter
While trekking to the higher altitudes, guides and porters are very important for your safety. If you want a great trek, then don’t skimp on your guide.
The cost of guides and porters also vary by season and to a point the trek you are on. Everest guides generally charge more where Annapurna guides charge less. Far west Nepal trekking guides also charge more.
Generally, low-end guide prices can start at around $20 per day. The average cost of a good trekking guide is $30. While higher-end guides with special language skills could cost you around $50+.
Porters charge you around $15 to $18 per day. These porters will carry about 20 kgs of the load.
Cost of guide and porter for some popular trekking routes:
- Annapurna Base Camp – In ABC, the cost of the guide is $20 to $30 and porter is $15 to $20 respectively.
- Everest Base Camp – In EBC, guide costs $30-40 per day and Porter gets $10-20 per day. They will cost you extra if manage the recruitment of other team members.
- Manaslu Circuit Trek – $20-25 per day for a professional guide, and $15-20 per day for porters.
- Charging electronics such as Camera, Phone, Back-up chargers, etc will cost you around USD 2 to 5 at a time. Bring a portable solar battery charger or a portable power bank with you. It will help to cut down some expenses.
- Hot showers might cost you around $3 to $5. You can use some wet wipes or a small towel to freshen up yourself in the mornings and nights.
- Extra charges are also included for using Wifi in some region. Like in the Everest region, wifi cards cost around $3 for 100 MB. And on the Annapurna Circuit, you may get a one-time fee of $3 to $5 for wifi access.
- If you are happy with the services provided by your guide or porter, you can express your gratitude with a little tip.
- While visiting some monasteries, Gombas or stupa, you will often find donation boxes. Here you can donate a small amount. However, this is totally up to your choice.
Tips to Reduce the Cost of Trekking in Nepal
- Trek with friends/groups. With more people, the price is often cheaper. For instance, if six people are trekking, all can share the cost of the guide or transport. It’s therefore significantly cheaper than trekking with just two people.
- Take a bus instead of a flight. To trek to the Everest region, you must fly in and out of Lukla. Plus you need to pay to enter the national park which will add extra days depending on where you start. So treks in Everest is more expensive than those in the Annapurna region. And if you are trekking in the Annapurna or another region, taking a bus will add time to your itinerary but will cost you less.
- Avoid fancy trekking equipment. Most treks in Nepal don’t need the latest high tech equipment. In fact, most gear can be easily bought at knockdown prices in Kathmandu or Pokhara. You can also hire the gears or equipment.
- Leave most of your luggage in your hotel so you don’t need a porter. You can save a lot by leaving most of your load in a hotel – they don’t charge so long as you stay with them.
- Eat like a local on the trek. It’s the cheapest most nutritionally dense food out there. Likewise, if you have a sweet tooth, bring your own chocolate bar.
- Don’t stay in the popular tea houses. Stay in the lesser known places along the trails. There won’t be that much of a difference in accommodation but the price could be half.
- Trek in Nepal with a package tour. It can keep costs as low as possible.
Trekking in Nepal cost largely depends on your preferences. The prices changes with the choice of trekking destination, length, and duration of your trip. Plus, supplementary budget for shopping, souvenirs, maybe charity.
Lastly, you should get is good travel insurance for your trek. Make sure your policy covers you for both trekking and the altitude you will be reaching on your trek.
For further information and queries, feel free to contact us.