How to plan a budget for Annapurna Trek?

Published on: May 26, 2024

Starting from uncontaminated air, spectacular background of snow-capped mountains, blue lakes and surrounding greenery and stunning natural beauty, Pokhara.

The trails in Nepalese Himalayas through some isolated community Annapurna region trek is generally circling the giant Himalayas of Annapurna while coming across variety of floras and faunas with a lot of up and down hills and challenging terrains. Going up till the base camp of Annapurna or Mardi. Passing through lush greenery of Oak and pinkish Rhododendron forest one could see variety of seasonal wild flowers as well. In the region, there lies various high mountains including the world`s 8th highest Dhaulagiri (8167m) and 10th highest Annapurna I (8091m), and between these two snowcapped giants lies the Kaligandaki George, the deepest in the world. The Annapurna trekking commences from the low lands inhabited by the various Hindu communities, and goes along the small settlements with the majority of Buddhists, animal grazing pastures, high rugged mountain trails.

 Budget for Annapurna Trek

The way you trek determines the cost of trek. There are plenty of organization national and international who will organize your trek once you confirm your reservation. You can also arrange your own guide and potters and prepare your own crew instead of depending on others.

Booking an organized Annapurna region trek through an agency can be a very good option. This is the safest and easiest way to complete the trek as every services for the trek is provided by the travel agency and they will take most of your responsibilities. However the agency will charge for the service but those who don’t want to spend hours for planning or those who are alone and are not confident for the trek, they can actually book such package from an agency. The agency also customize the itinerary according to your preferences and requirement.

If booking a package from an agency is expensive than hiring a local trek guide and a porter can be cheaper way for the trek. One can simply visit a local agency and get help or assistance to organize staff for the trek. Also, finding a guide and porter in Kathmandu is not difficult, just be aware of the scams.

If you are planning to do it independently then it can also be a good option. Booking a room and reserving a plane ticket can be hectic during the peak season and you have to do it in advance. The trails are well marked so you won’t get lost.

Factor affecting cost of trekking

Well you see the overall cost of the trek may vary from the estimated cost as you know it may be affected by the transportation, foods, accommodation and the activity before the trek. Following are some cost analysis you have to consider before planning any trek.

1.The cost in Kathmandu.

Well Kathmandu is major gateway to come inside Nepal by air so after a hectic flight you would definitely want some rest. Once you are on a new place you definitely want to explore and exploration have some prices to pay.  Kathmandu is the capital city of Nepal and “Thamel” a popular tourist hub is located here. So, the expense depends on your preference and includes airport transfers, hotel accommodation and food. There are some UNESCO world’s heritage site around Kathmandu valley. The tourist standard may cost you around $25-$500 range and according to your preference you can choose your hotel. If you are a budget traveler and want to avoid fancy hotel you also have option hostel where you will be sharing room. If you want to include a day for Kathmandu valley sightseeing tour then it will add another 80$-150$ as per your service choice.

2.Cost of transit

Well there are few places where you have to stay during the trek. As you know the place which you will be staying before starting the trek will cost you some finances. If you are going via Pokhara then cost of food, beverage and accommodation is similar to that of Kathmandu whereas from Beshi Sahar, Lamjung the cost tends to vary. It will cost you about $15-$20 for F&B and accommodation for Beshi Sahar.

3.Transportation

International flight cost are always excluded from the trip cost organized by an agency. After you fly to Kathmandu from your origin destination, if you want to take a flight for Pokhara which will be your gateway for this trek which is approximately $250 for round trip. The maximum baggage weight of these domestic flights is 10 kg only as they are small in size. However taking a private vehicle would be also okay if you have groups or even you are a solo traveler. Taking public vehicle is also a fair option in order to reduce the trek cost overall.

4.Visa Cost for Nepal

Many country citizens can get visa on arrival at Nepal however we suggest to check if your country is eligible in order to get on arrival visa or not. If you book the trip via agency they can help regarding the visa process but they will be demanding copy of your passport. It is better if you fill the form by yourself at the airport which is hassle free lately. Following are tentative cost for visa in order to enter Nepal.

  • For 15 days multiple entry visa – $30
  • For 30 days multiple entry visa – $50
  • For 90 days multiple entry visa – $125

5.Trekking permit cost

Annapurna region is a conservation area and you will be needing the permits like

  • ACAP (Annapurna Conservation Area Permit)
  • TIMS (Trekkers Information Management System)
  • Restricted area permit.

In order to get this permit you will be needing copy of your passport and photo of passport size. The total cost for all these permits will be ACAP $30 TIMS $30 and Restricted Area is about $100.

6.Accommodation during the trek.

The higher you climb the expensive it is but the accommodation during the trek in less expensive than that of Kathmandu as Kathmandu offers variety of accommodation but in mountains you can’t pick or choose. The accommodation cost differs from teahouses to comfortable lodges and also the altitude. Average cost of one night for a bed can cost around $5- $10 per night. The basic room in the teahouses usually have two beds, pillow, blanket and an attached bathroom (except few). Every teahouses have a large dining hall where trekkers eat, relax and chat with other fellow trekkers. The dining is well warmed up and heated by a fireplace which is placed in the center of the dining room.

Note: You can eat your meal at a different place rather than where you are staying the overnight but you may have to pay $10 for your room. So, it’s better to get food where you are spending the overnight.

 Following are some extra (optional) service charges during your accommodation.

  • Internet

Internet services may not be free at every teahouses. It is very common in the mountain region to charge Wi-Fi service from $2 to $5 per hour even though the service is very slow.

  • Battery Charging

Battery charging cost are usually charged on hourly basis as electricity is not available around the region. It may cost around $2 to $6 per hour and charging a power bank may cost upto $10.

  • Hot Shower

Hot shower are not free in most of the tea houses. It may cost around $2 to $6 for a hot shower depending on the altitude you are at.

7.Food cost during the trek

As stated, the higher you climb the expensive it is and the less option you get on food. It is suggest that you choose vegetarian dishes rather that non-veg as they are cheaper and considered healthier and fresh in the mountain regions. Meats are considered bit unsafe as in mountains it is really hard to maintain the quality of meat and sometimes eating meat could cause you some trouble with your body during the trek.

Similarly, for bottled water, it will cost from $1 to $4 as you move further up on the trail. The daily average cost of food and water may be around $30 to $40.

Note: Instead of using bottled water, you can take some water purifying tablets with you and sterilize the drinking water which can save plenty of money from drinking water cost.

8.Guide and Porter

Having guide and porter during the trek is very essential during the trek as this will enhance plenty of information around the trail. They know local language so it’s helpful during communication with locals and tea house owner. As porter will be carrying out your weight so you can walk freely when the trail get difficult. If you somehow want to swim somewhere in the trail or do something different like this they will also guide you and tell you if it’s safe or not.

The average cost of a guide per day ranges from $30 to $50 depending on their experience, qualification and language they speak. Hiring a porter can cost from $20 to $25 per day who will be carrying up to 15 kg of your luggage. Always make sure to meet the guide before the trek, get along with him/her and make sure he is insured for the trek.

Giving a tip in Nepal is expected but not mandatory. A good average tip is 10% of the overall trip price for the guide and porter.

  • Valid travel insurance

Average travel insurance for trekking up to 6000m costs about $150 for 30 days. These fees may vary according to age, nationality and duration of trek. However, most agents do not manage travel insurance in Nepal, so it is mandatory to have travel insurance in your home country. Trekking in the Himalayan region is always uncertain as anything can happen during the trek as the trek has to be done in a high altitude and frigid climate. Due to altitude problems, some trekkers require helicopter rescue services from high altitude to take them to reputable hospitals for treatment. Therefore, it is recommended to take out insurance from your home country with appropriate insurance covering all activities during your visit to Nepal. A travel insurance document is mandatory when applying for a trekking permit. Insurance fee is not included in the travel price.

  • Trekking equipment cost

It is very essential to have proper gears as it will keep you safe and make your trek comfortable and easy. Cost of such trekking equipment are not included in trek package cost. The cost of beginner’s trekking equipment can be ranged from $200 to $500. Some of the essential trekking equipment that you need are water and wind proof jackets, thermal clothing, high quality waterproof boots, trekking poles and warm gloves.

  • Value Added Tax (VAT)

VAT is a general consumption tax that is applied on every product and services. The government of Nepal charges a total of 13% VAT to all the trek operators and are included in the trek package cost.

Which company to choose?

It is big question among the trekkers to choose a company as there are companies growing like mushrooms and with plenty of option and the variety of service that they offer trekkers are always in dilemma to choose a company. Following are some variety of company you get during your search.

International Luxury trek operator

Most customers believe that if they paid more, they would get better service. Even for the Trek, there are many international luxury trekking companies offering luxury trekking packages at higher prices. And surprisingly with standard security they have a high success rate. But even with all the package costs and safety guarantees inflated, they still charge the hiker with high price over $3000 to $5000 per person. As well as Annapurna, these international luxury providers specialize in other travel destinations around the world. Therefore, they cannot promise you the best experience at Annapurna Base Camp. We provide excellent service with high facilities and security. However, the main purpose trekking is not only to reach the final destination, but also to experience the lifestyle, culture and traditions that international luxury suppliers miss.

Budget trek operator

Though they have budget trek operators in their names, a lot of budget tour operators tends to sell Annapurna Base Camp trek package in a very expensive rate than it costs. On the other hand, the package may look a budget-friendly one but anyway it’s obviously an expensive one at the end. Normally, these tour operators hire some third party firm which helps them to provide services outside of their own country and add up their profit margin (10-15%) in the trip cost.

Also, most of these type of operators hire some local guides, offers very limited services and use the cheapest resources for the trek. During the trek, they may provide you the cheapest teahouses excluding the meals for your entire trek. Their trek cost ranges from $700 to $1200per person on/off the peak season. Though the package cost is cheaper than others, most of the services like basic meals, airport transfer, food during the trek are excluded which means that you will have to spend extra dollars for the exclusive services.

Cheap trek operators

Even though these operators’ price ranges are far lower than those of others, it is generally recommended not to plan your trip with such inexpensive trek providers. These trek operators are typically inexperienced and hazardous. Avoiding such operators is always the best choice if you want your travel to be safe, stress-free, and more knowledgeable.

Everyone wants to save money as much as they can, but that does not mean you should compromise on a lot of services for the travel by purchasing the cheapest item. Your journey experience and quality matters, and if paying a little extra for the goods may result in better experiences and higher-quality service then why not?

Online travel agents

Online travel agencies act as a middleman or “deal maker” and take a specific percentage of your package of your vacation with each reservation. By eliminating several services for the trek, they may offer very inexpensive pricing for the trek package. Their package prices often range from $700 to $1100, which might draw many trekkers due to their inexpensive cost. When making a reservation for Trek in Himalayas of Nepal, you should be extreme cautious. Trekking in Nepal is no joke as it takes much work and focus. There are several risks that could occur on the trip, so it’s crucial to work with a trustworthy tour operator with plenty of experience.

Local Operators

Many local businesses have grown in number in Kathmandu as a result of the expansion of the tourism sector in Nepal. Some of these neighborhood business owners are registered, but the majority are not. These neighborhood businesses do not have fixed price and do not any offer.

Due to the large number of local businesses, there is intense competition among them. As a result, they are compelled to research the market, available resources, and market prices. According to their customers’ needs and tastes, they create personalized itineraries for them. They provide good safety management services because they are in a competitive market with other local companies. The cost of the Trek, which includes the majority of services and they are well experienced in what they do. 

Why Annapurna trekking with Global Holidays Adventure?

Why should anyone pick anything at all? Due to service, correct? And yes, we offer quality service everyone says that but at Global Holidays Adventure, the experience you can have with us is unbeatable because we provide hassle-free service and have a decade’s worth of experience in this region, with a high success rate for each trek, climb, and tour package we offer. We are a legitimate firm that has been operating for a considerable amount of time. We give you a local experience because all of our tour guides live in that area, are familiar with the area, and will put in the most effort and take you to the most authentic locations.

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