Nepal is one of the most budget-friendly destinations for travelers and trekkers around the world.
Your trekking in Nepal cost gets affected by many decisions like the duration, place, mode of transportation among others.
In most of the treks in Nepal, you will be spending time in the teahouses and enjoy the food they provide. So, the cost of teahouse trekking in Nepal is quite affordable.
There is no fixed cost of trekking in Nepal because it depends on what you prefer to do and where you plan to go on treks. The most popular treks like Everest Base Camp trek, Annapurna Circuit trek, etc are quite costly because of the services they offer. While some off-beaten treks like Manaslu Circuit, Dolpo trek, etc are quite cheaper because of the basic services they offer.
Factors that Determine the Cost of Trekking in Nepal
The total cost of your trek depends on many factors. Some of the major ones are:
- Trekking destination
- The activities that you plan to undertake during your trek
- The season that you wish to do your trek in
- The length and duration of your trekking trip
- Choice of accommodation
- Choice of transportation
- Meals and drinks
- Trekking Permits
- Other extra miscellaneous expenses
Here, the total cost of your trek doesn’t include the cost of your Visa, your international flights, and your Travel Insurance.
For almost all treks in Nepal, you need to take a mode of transportation to get to the actual start point. You also need one to return back.
These start and end points are the ‘trailhead’- the official start of the trek on foot.
Most of these lies out of town. Hence, you can take your choice of transportation from the available options. The cost depends on your trek destination.
By road, there are many choices available. You can hire vans, jeeps, and cars.
You can also take public transportation like local buses or vans. These are much more budget-efficient. They are also a great experience to see how the locals travel.
There are also choices of hiring and going on tourist buses on the more popular trek routes. These are more expensive than the local buses but cheaper than hiring vans, jeeps or cars.
There are domestic flights to and from the popular trek routes. These are the fastest way to travel. It is ideal for those short on time and also for those who don’t enjoy long hours on the road.
Listed below are the cost of different modes of transportation to and from the popular trek routes.
For most treks to the Everest Region, you need to get to Lukla- the trailhead.
This includes treks like Everest Base Camp trek, Gokyo Lake Trek, Island Peak climbing.
Flights: US$ 160 to 190 for one way from Lukla-Kathmandu.
If you choose the road, you can take a bus to Jiri-the trailhead for the classic Jiri-Everest Base Camp Trek.
Local Jeep- US$ 40 to 50 per person for one way.
Local Bus: US$20 to 30 per person.
For Annapurna Region treks, you need to first get to Pokhara and then travel to the trailhead. The trailhead can vary on the trek destination you choose. Given below are the most popular trek destination of the Annapurna region along with the transportation.
Kathmandu – Pokhara
Flights- US$ 90-230 per person for one way
Tourist Bus- US$ 13-27 per person for one way
Local Bus- US$ 6-8 per person for one way
Jeep, Vans, Cars- US$ 125-250 per person for one way
Local Bus- US$ 30-50
Flights- US$ 40-125 per person. (Jomsom-Pokhara and Pokhara- Kathmandu)
Jeep, Vans, Cars- US$ 50-125
Manaslu Circuit trek: For this trek, Arughat or Soti Khola are the official trailheads.
Local Buses- US$ 10 per person for one way
Jeep, Vans- US$ 150 to 200 for one way for the entire vehicle. (You can share the vehicle with other trekkers and split the cost. The vehicles can fit anywhere between 4-15 persons).
Note: The road transportation does lengthen your trek duration.
Cost of Trekking Permits
All trekkers wishing to trek in Nepal need to buy trekking permits. These depend on the trekking destination you choose.
Some treks take you through different regions and conservation area. While others take you through more remote and restricted regions of Nepal. The cost of the trekking permits for these depends on the duration and season of your treks.
There are others that are short and near the cities of Kathmandu and Pokhara that don’t need any permits.
Given below are the trekking permits needed with their cost for some of the popular trekking destinations of Nepal.
TIMS (Trekkers Information Management System):
SAARC nations: US$3
Rest on The World (ROTW): US$10
Group trekkers get a Blue TIMS card:
SAARC Nationals: US$ 6
ROTW: US$ 20
ACAP (Annapurna Conservation Area entry Permit):
SAARC Nationals: US$ 2
ROTW: US$ 20
You also need to add 13% VAT to this cost.
Everest Base Camp Trek and for most treks in the Everest Region:
Local Entry Permit: US$ 20
Sagarmatha National Park entry Permit: US$ 30
If you do the Jiri Everest Base Camp trek, you need to get an additional permit:
Gaurishankar Conservation Area entry Permit: US$20
Langtang Regional Area Permit: US$20
Langtang Conservation Area entry Permit:
SAARC Nationals: US$ 15
ROTW: US$ 30 and 13 % VAT
Some routes of this particular trek take you through this area as well.
For the National Park Permits, you also need to add 13$ VAT.
Restricted Region Treks: These treks are the more remote region treks of Nepal usually close to the border areas.
These regions of Nepal do not allow free individual trekkers nor trekkers without guides. These are in accordance with the laws of the Government of Nepal.
Given below are some of the popular treks within these regions along with the permit costs
Cost of restricted area permits for Upper Mustang Trek:
For the first 10 days per person US $500. After 10 days per day per person US $50.
This is the same for the Upper Dolpo Trek as well.
Cost of restricted area permits for Manaslu Region:
September to November per week per person: US$ 70
After 7 days per day per person: US$ 10.
December to August per week per person: US$ 50
After 7 days per day per person US$ 7
- For the Restricted region treks, you do not need TIMS.
- These prices are for per person for single use.
You can do most treks in Nepal as a tea house trek or a camping trek. You will spend the nights at local tea houses along the trails for the tea house trek. For camping, you will set up tents for the nights along the trails.
The cost of accommodation varies between trekking regions as well as the season you trek in.
Most tea houses offer rooms on a twin sharing basis with basic facilities.
But, if you want to indulge yourself, you can opt for a luxury trek. You will get better accommodation along with meals and drinks in this type of treks. Everything else including the duration and distance trekked will be the same.
The cost of basic accommodation is US$ 3-5 per person per night. Most tea houses and trekking regions have rules that you need to have your meals at the tea house you spend the night at. The meals are where the tea houses make their income from.
The price of accommodation also can increase as you trek further up. The cost of accommodation is also a little higher in the Everest Region than the Annapurna Region.
If you trek during the off-peak season for treks in Nepal, i.e. local winter and summer season, the price can be lower. The per night cost is around US$ 1-2. During rest days when you are spending 2 nights at the same tea house and eating all your meals here than they may not charge you at all for the rooms.
The luxury trek packages are available in the popular trek routes. Here, the cost of accommodation can be between US$ 100-300 per night.
You can also arrange for camping treks in almost all the trails of Nepal. A full set of trekking team accompanies you on these like guides, cooks, and porters.
In some of the local villages along the popular trails, you can also opt for homestays. You will stay at actual homes of local villagers with the rest of the family.
Meals and Drinks Cost
Most of the trails have some choices of restaurants, lodges, tea houses, cafes along the way that provide meals and drinks.
Most of these offer hygienic, local, and traditional meals and drinks. Some of them can also offer choices of Indian, Continental, and Italian cuisines as well.
For drinks, these offer tea, coffees, flavored cold and hot drinks along with bottled water.
Like accommodation, the cost of these increase with the rise in altitude. The cost may also increase depending on the remoteness of the trails. While the more remote the trail, more costly the meals and drinks.
At the start of the trek, the cost of meals can be between US$ 1.5-5 per meal.
At the High Camps, the same meals can cost between US$7-12. Given below is a rough estimate of the cost of drinks between the start point and High Altitude.
A cup of tea – USD $0.2-4
A cup of coffee – USD $0.4-5
A bottle of water/soda – USD $0.2-5
Guide and Porter Cost
Trekking with a guide and porter is helpful in many ways. Hiring one or both of them doesn’t cost you a lot.
The standard daily rate of hiring a professional, licensed Nepali guide is between US$20 to $40.
The standard daily rate of hiring a Nepali porter is between US$15 to $30.
Else, you can opt for a porter-guide. He does the job of both a guide and a porter. The standard daily rate of hiring a Nepali porter-guide is between $20 to $30.
The cost of hiring a porter and/or guide can also depend on the trekking route you choose.
Besides the ones mentioned above, there are other extra costs you have to include in your budget for treks to Nepal. These can be any or all of the following:
Charging your electronic gadgets
Once you leave the cities and are on the trails, you may have to pay to charge your electronic devices. These include your camera, phone, laptop or any other devices. The cost of charging them can be between US$2-$5. In the off-peak season, you may not have to pay for this.
In the lower regions of the treks, you may get free Wifi. But, once you are in the higher regions, you may have to pay to enjoy this service. It can cost anywhere between US$3-5 for 100MB.
The luxury package may include this service for complimentary.
Although not a tradition in the local culture, the trekking industry is a service industry. Most of the tea houses, lodges, guides, porters will expect a tip for a service well done. If you are happy with the services provided, you can leave a tip to show your appreciation.
In the higher altitudes as well as the remote region treks, you may need to pay for a bucket shower.
Entry fees or donations
There are many local museums, stupas, monasteries, and temples along the trekking trails. To enter some, you may need to pay for the entrance fee. Else, you may end up wanting to donate something for the cause.
- When you hire a guide and/or porter, you should be sure to make inquiries about their services. If hiring one independently, make sure to check their credentials. If possible meet them before the trek. This way you can be sure if they are compatible with you and whether they are up for the job. Remember, you will be spending many days with them. Being safe and sure is always preferable.
- You can invest in a portable solar battery charger or power bank. This will help you reduce your cost on the charging facilities of your electronic gadgets.
- Trek in groups to minimize the cost of your trip.
- Prepare and plan in advance. This includes booking your trek package, flights early. You will get better deals this way.
- Let your tour and trek operator know you are a budget traveler. This way they can help arrange better deals.
You can change the cost of trekking in Nepal according to your needs and preference. You can choose from budget treks to luxury treks in Nepal.
The above information is a guideline for what the different factors can cost in Nepal and what the total cost can shape up to.
If you have any further queries or questions related to any of these factors or any treks and tours in Nepal, feel free to contact us.