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Annapurna base camp trek: how much does it cost?

Annapurna base camp trek: how much does it cost?

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The trek to Annapurna’s base camp has become one of the most popular treks in Nepal in recent years. It’s a trek that brings travelers face to face with the deadliest mountain in the world, while passing by some of the highest rice paddies you’ll ever see, encountering countless of staggering mountain rapids while getting lost in endless stretches of lush forests. Trekking in the Annapurna Circuit is an amazing experience but it comes with a cost. If you’re wondering what’s the cost of Annapurna base camp trek and whether it’s more feasible to hire a guide or do it independently, keep reading. This article will give you a perspective of all the costs associated with this journey.

Cost of Annapurna base camp trek: hiring a guide and a porter

Cost of Annapurna base camp trek

The Annapurna Base Camp trek is a moderate trek and more people decide to do it independently nowadays. This is certainly a good option but traveling with a guide also has its advantages. The guides know the terrain, the trekking route and can tell you a lot of things about the places you come across along the way. Additionally, you might struggle with your backpack while climbing to base camp and you might need to hire a porter as well. If you want to hire a guide and a porter, you will need between $20 and $30 per day for the guide and between $15 and $20 per day for the porter. This includes all of their meals, accommodation, and insurance. Finally, keep in mind that by selecting a local tourist agency, you are also helping the local economy.

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Cost of Annapurna base camp trek: Transportation

The trek starts and ends in Pokhara which is also the second largest city in Nepal. However, most people enter Nepal through the Kathmandu international airport and a lot of them have a tourist agency book their transportation from Kathmandu to Pokhara. You can choose from several different transportation options, including a flight, a private vehicle, a tourist bus, and a local bus. You can arrange all of these options on your own and doing it through an agency will just add unnecessary costs to your trip.

cost of annapurna base camp trek

To get a rough idea of the costs involved in this journey, here’s a rough cost estimate of all transportation options.

  • A one-way flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara costs between $80 and $120 USD.
  • Renting a private vehicle from Kathmandu to Pokhara costs around $120-$140 USD which is feasible if you’re traveling in a group but not really if you’re traveling solo or with one companion.
  • A tourist bus from Kathmandu to Pokhara costs $10-$15 USD.
  • Finally, the local bus from Kathmandu to Pokhara will cost you only $5 USD but keep in mind that the journey lasts 7-8 hours and these buses aren’t very comfortable.

Are you enjoying this article? Then you’ll probably like my article that breaks down the costs of reaching Everest by helicopter.

Cost of Annapurna base camp trek: Permits

Nepal mountain bridge

If you want to do the Annapurna base camp trek, you will need to obtain two permits; a TIMS card (Trekking Intelligent Management System) and an ACAP permit (Annapurna Conservation Area Project). If you’re coming from a country that doesn’t belong to the SARRC region, the cost of a TIMS card is 2,000 NPR ($20 USD) for individual trekkers and 1,000 NPR ($10 USD) for group trekkers. The ACAP permit costs 2260 NPR per person (around $20 USD).

 

You will also need to provide four passport photographs for your permit, so have a few extra photographs with you to avoid the cost of taking them in Nepal. The two permits can be obtained in the offices of Nepal Tourism Board in Kathmandu, Pokhara, and the village of Nayapul (the starting point of the Annapurna base camp trek).

Enjoying this article? Check out my guide to trekking the Manaslu Circuit.

Cost of Annapurna base camp trek: Accommodation

Annapurna accommodation

Being one of the more frequented trekking routes in Nepal, you will find a lot of tea house lodges on the way. Most of them cost between NPR 300 and 800 ($3.5-$8 USD) per night. The cost of the lodges varies based on the remoteness of the region and the altitude, as well as the rooms and the services they provide. Over the last few years, most tea houses have improved their standards and most of them have solar panels, electricity, and showers with hot water.

Looking for a less frequented and relatively unexplored trekking route in Nepal? Check out my trekking guide to Nar Phu Valley.

What about food costs?

nepal food

Even though most tea house lodges have small restaurants on-site, meals aren’t usually included in the price per night. The food served in these establishments is usually traditional Nepali but you can find a few restaurants that serve continental food as well. Keep in mind that getting the ingredients to prepare these meals at such a high altitude isn’t easy and certainly isn’t cheap. Hence, the price per meal increases together with the altitude. On average, plan to spend between $2.5 and $5 USD per meal throughout your trip. Finally, I would suggest trying to take as many snacks as you can before you start the trip, as there are only a few supermarkets on the route and most of them are quite expensive.

Other Annapurna base camp trek costs

Annapurna circuit

The above-mentioned costs make up for most of the costs associated with the Annapurna base camp trek but there are some other costs you should be aware of before you start preparing for your trip. Even though most tea house lodges have electricity, some of them, especially the ones in the higher altitudes might charge you a fee for charging your phone or camera. That’s why it’s a good idea to have a power bank or a portable solar battery charger with you.

Similarly, most tea house lodges have hot showers but you don’t know whether they’ll have any available rooms. You might end up in a facility that doesn’t have hot showers or charges a fee for using the showers. Hence, it’s a good idea to get some wet wipes before you start the trek.

Wi-Fi is almost non-existent in the lodges located at higher altitudes and most of the time you have to pay a few dollars to use it.

Don’t forget about water. Drinking tap water in Nepal is not recommended and getting clean drinking water at high altitudes costs up to $3-$4 per bottle.

Finally, if you’re traveling with a guide and a porter, keep in mind that they will be expecting tips. This isn’t mandatory but they will do their best to make you feel uncomfortable if you don’t tip them.

Guided tours vs trekking independently

cost of annapurna base camp trek

As you could see from the above-mentioned costs, reaching Annapurna independently will cost between $25 and $35 per person per day. If you’re traveling with a companion or in a group you can minimize these costs by sharing your food and accommodation. The lowest price for which you could complete the trek is around $15 per day if you don’t make any additional costs.  However, my advice is to still have around $300-$400 per person for the journey.

Alternatively, if you’re booking your trip with an agency that will provide a guide and a porter for you, this will cost between $750 (if you’re starting from Pokhara) and $1,200 (if you’re starting from Kathmandu). The cheaper tours don’t include your meals and the cost of hiring a porter, while the more expensive options usually include this, as well as your transportation from Kathmandu to Pokhara. With both options, you don’t have to worry about searching for accommodation and getting the permits, as the tour operator will do this for you.

Annapurna Base Camp Route & Highlights

cost of annapurna base camp trek

The hot springs of Jhinu

Nothing can help your tired legs recover like a dip into the hot springs near Jhinu Danda, a charming mountainesque settlement with beautiful views of the Annapurna Circuit. You’d have to take a 20-minute detour to reach the springs but it’ll be worth it!

Observe the rural life at the Gurung Villages

nepal villages

Even though the Annapurna trail has all the necessary facilities, most people who live in the mountain villages still prefer doing things in the old traditional way. Farming is still the main occupation of most locals and on this trail, you’ll find some of the highest rice paddy fields in the world. The locals have gotten used to tourists throughout the years and are always warm and welcoming. The way these people live and transport all necessary goods and products to high altitudes is admiring and will make you appreciate what you have a lot more while learning a lot about the local culture at the same time.

Endless stretches of lush forests

annapurna forests The Annapurna base camp trek leads you from the charming rice fields-filled mountain establishments through the subtropical forests before finally reaching the basecamp. Even though it doesn’t like a dreamy vacation, wondering through the mesmerizing endless stretches of pine, oaks, and bamboo is a mesmerizing experience.

The views of Mount Machhapuchre

Machhapuchre view

The Annapurna base camp trek is one of the rare treks that passes through two base camps. Most people start the journey to reach the Annapurna base camp trek but the views of snow-capped mountains, towering waterfalls, and staggering mountain rapids at the Mount Machhapuchhre base camp are just as beautiful.

Overnight at Annapurna base camp

Words can do little justice to spending the night watching the stars with the majestic Annapurna in the background. Reaching base camp is the highlight of the trip and seeing the sunset behind the snow-covered mountaintops is the most rewarding moment of the journey…

Enjoying this article? Also, check out my post about trekking Tsum Valley in Nepal.

The route to Annapurna base camp

annapurna base camp

The trek to base camp is located in the heart of the Annapurna circuit and there are a lot of amazing things to see along the way. The journey usually takes 10 days but keep in mind that if your starting (and ending point) is Kathmandu, you’ll need an extra day to reach from Kathmandu to Pokhara and vice versa. If you’re starting your journey from Pokhara, here’s how your 10-day itinerary would look like.

The first day: Taking a one-hour drive from Pokhara to Nayapul, start trekking and reach the village of Ulleri (1,960 meters)

Second day: Trek from Ulleri to Ghorepani (2,874 meters)

Third day: It’s a detour but seeing the sunrise at the top of Poon Hill (3,212 meters) is a must. If you want to skip this, you can proceed to the village of Chomrong (2,171 meters) and probably reach Dobhan on the same day and make your itinerary a day shorter.

Fourth day: Trek from Chomrong to Dobhan (2,601 meters)

Fifth day: Trek from Dobhan to Deurali (3,205 meters)

AutoEuropeh day: Reaching Annapurna base camp (4,130 meters)

Seventh day: Trek down from the base camp to Bamboo (2,312 meters)

Eighth day: Trek down to Jhindu (1,780 meters)

Ninth day: Reach the end of the trail at the village of Phedi and drive off the road back to Nayapul.

When is the best time to take the Annapurna base camp trek?

cost of annapurna base camp trek

The best time of the year to take this trek is in October/November or March/April. However, keep in mind that this is also a time of the year when most tourists decide to visit. Alternatively, you can visit during the winter but pack some winter clothes. You can also visit in the summer but be ready for hot temperatures and a lot of sunburns. If you want to, you can also visit during the monsoon season but keep in mind that the visibility will be lower due to mist.

A few more helpful tips

When I fly to Nepal, my go-to choice is always Qatar Airways. The main reason for this are the their huge discounts on flights to Kathmandu and by using my link you can save as much as 25% off on your flight to Kathmandu.

If you don’t have hiking equipment for your trip, I recommend Camelbak. Use this discount code and get 15% off on your first order.

In case you’re wondering what kind of food to bring for the trip, check out this selection of dried food for backpacking and camping by Wise Food Storage.

If you’re camping, you need to travel light. And not taking your camera is one good way to lose weight. Check out these lens solutions by Olloclip; they make the pictures taken with your phone look like pictures taken with a professional camera.

Finally, for the best travel insurance deals for your trip to Nepal, whether you’re climbing high altitudes or doing adventure sports, World Nomads is a great choice. Making a claim for a payment with them is super easy and can be done from anywhere in the world and their customer service is superb.

Did this article answer all the questions you had about the cost of Annapurna base camp trek? Do you think we didn’t mention some important additional costs? Let us know in the comments!

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The Broad Life

Sunday 23rd of June 2019

I did some trekking in my country,Vietnam but it's never looked so cool like the Annapurna base camp. It's looked so amazing from the pictures you show in the post. THanks for this post I can know a great place to plan my trekking.

Passport Symphony

Monday 24th of June 2019

Vietnam has some amazing treks but I would definitely suggest visiting Annapurna as well:)

Thelittlelai: Beyond limits

Sunday 9th of June 2019

Wow, hiking to Annapurna base camp is the kind of adventure that I would always love to experience. I like how this adventure gives you a chance to commune with nature, since you'll get to experience the endless beauty of natures along the way. The clean river and the hot the spring are both amazing, and would love to get a dip if i get the chance. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

Passport Symphony

Sunday 9th of June 2019

It sure is an amazing experience! I hope you make it to base camp someday :)

Yukti Agrawal

Sunday 9th of June 2019

I have read about Anapurna trek a lot but loved your post as it is categorized cost wise. I find it very useful in planning my budget for Anapurna base camp trek. It looks reasonably priced without a guide but maybe I will hire local guide / porter to know about the place or surroundings.

Passport Symphony

Sunday 9th of June 2019

Thank you, Yukti, I'm really glad you could get some useful tips for your upcoming Annapurna trek.

Anwesha Guha

Friday 7th of June 2019

I have never thought of visito Nepal before this but I would love to try and trek to the beautiful Annapurna base camp. Do you know why that base camp is called Annapurna as in India, Annupurna is the Goddess of food.

Passport Symphony

Friday 7th of June 2019

That's right, Anwesha- Annapurna is the goddess of food and nourishment :)

Cecilia

Friday 7th of June 2019

It took us about 9 days to climb Kilimanjaro and it was a little over $1000. This seems to be much more reasonably priced. Plus, I love that there are all those cute tea house lodges along the way!

Passport Symphony

Friday 7th of June 2019

I haven't been to Kilimanjaro but since you're using the word 'climb' I suppose you made it to the top. Beware that this is a cost estimation for the Annapurna base camp trek which is roughly a bit more than halfway to the top. The cost of climbing the top will be a lot higher and you will definitely need a professional guide, as this mountaintop is deemed to be the deadliest one in the world.

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