How much does it cost to trek at Annapurna Base Camp?

Annapurna Base Camp Trek is one of Nepal’s most classic and finest treks. Its richness in cultural and natural beauty makes this trek an exceptional choice. Trekkers visit Annapurna Base Camp frequently, seeking a blissful getaway into the mountains with not-so-difficult trekking routes.

The trekking routes pass through picturesque villages of indigenous Gurung people and offer extraordinary views of the Annapurna range along with the ever-so-beautiful peak of Machhapuchhre (6993m).

Apart from the mesmerizing Himalayan views and fascinating Gurung culture, the Annapurna Base Camp trek is also famous for the gorgeous sunrise view observed from Poonhill. In April, the entire trail is lit with rhododendron blooms of various colors, making the trek all the more exciting.

Machhapuchhre Base Camp, Ghorepani, Poonhill, Ghandruk, and the lake city of Pokhara are some highlights of a typical Annapurna Base Camp trek.

While trekking in the Himalayan foothills sounds intriguing, one must have a tentative budget plan to enjoy a problem-free trip. Although it can be challenging to calculate a definite amount, depending on your travel season and the total number of traveling days, you can always create an approximate budget. Below you will find a breakdown of all the possible costs for the Annapurna Base Camp trek.

Cost of living in Kathmandu

When you first arrive in Nepal, you will spend a day or two in Kathmandu. Kathmandu has plenty of hotels, lodges, and guest houses ranging from 5 stars to un-rated. Small guest houses and lodges can cost from $10 to $30 per night. Hotels and motels higher in quality can cost around $50 to $100 per night. 5-star hotels will cost you more than $150 per night.

Food costs in Kathmandu

Again, the cost of food depends on the quality you seek. An important meal at almost all local restaurants can cost anything from $5 to $20. But if you’re looking for international cuisines at high-end restaurants, then the food can cost you more than $20. You can opt for a typical Nepali Khana set (rice, lentils, vegetables, and optional meat) at any time for a more local taste. A Nepali Khana set can cost around $2.5 to $6.

Local travel costs in Kathmandu

You have various options to travel to Kathmandu. There are plenty of public vehicles such as buses, micro vans, and taxis. If you have signed up with a tour company, they will take care of your travel vehicle. Public vehicles, besides taxis, charge the same amount of a base charge of 15 rupees and an additional 5 rupees depending on the distance. Hiring a taxi can cost you more, but if you’re more comfortable traveling privately, a taxi is your go-to option. If you choose to tour the city with a single taxi, you may spend anywhere from $40 to $50.

Flight or Travel Cost

You have two options to reach Pokhara: by air or by road. The 30-minute flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara costs $124. For the road, you have different types of vehicles you can choose to travel with. Depending upon the size of the vehicle you hire, an essential car starts at $140 with a capacity to hold 3-4 people. You may also travel by bus, either a local bus or a tourist bus. A local bus will charge you $5, whereas the tourist bus fare starts at $7 for the basic option. For more luxurious options such as AC or wifi, the cost increases.

Cost in Pokhara

Cost of living in Pokhara

Like Kathmandu, Pokhara also consists of numerous hotels and lodges. A night in Pokhara can cost $15 and above, depending on the type of hotel you choose to stay in.

Food costs in Pokhara

You can get a decent meal for $5 to $10 at any restaurant in Pokhara. You can always opt for the Nepali Khana set as it is available almost all over the country.

Cost During Annapurna Base Camp Trek

Cost of living and food during trekking

During the trek, the price of food and lodging decreases from that of the city. But with the decreased cost, the service quality and the food variety also may decline since resources are hard to transport to rural places. During the trek, you may spend anywhere from $25 to $30 per day, including meals and lodging.

Cost of guide and porter

Hiring a guide will cost you anywhere from $20 to $30 per day, which includes their food and accommodation. An additional porter can cost $15 per day.

Cost of permits

All foreigners traveling in this region require special permits. You must purchase a TIMS (Trekkers Information Management Systems) card and an ACAP (Annapurna Conservation Area Project) ticket. If you are traveling with a tour company, you are charged $10 for the TIMS. If you are traveling alone, it will cost you $20. The ACAP ticket costs approximately $22.6 inclusive of tax.

Cost of gear and equipment

You must carry minimum weight with bare essentials for the trip. You can store your belongings in Pokhara for a small fee and only take the necessary items with you for the trek. What you need to pack for the trek depends on your travel season. The most essentials you will require are:

  • Sleeping bag (at least -10 degree Celsius)
  • Warm and waterproof jacket and trousers
  • Lightweight trekking boots
  • Trekking poles
  • A backpack or a duffel bag for luggage and a day pack
  • Trekking clothing (trousers, shirts, base layer fleeces)
  • Gloves, socks, and warm hats or beanies
  • UV sunglasses and sunblock lotion

The equipment and gear required for the trek can range from $500 to $1000. If you do not already own the equipment, you can purchase them at low prices in Nepal. Shops in the cities offer you good quality at low prices.

Communication and phone cost

You can purchase a local SIM card when you arrive in Kathmandu. Each card only costs about 50 cents to 1$. You can top up the card balance using recharge cards which are available from 50 cents and above. These SIM cards allow you to make domestic as well as international phone calls and use 3G/4G services. International calls cost you from 5 cents to 15 cents per minute, depending on the country.

Drinking water

It is always safe to only drink bottled water. One bottle costs 20 to 50 cents, and you can find it anywhere.

Tips for guide and porter

Tipping the guides and porters has been a long-followed tradition by trekkers. Tips are what make the livelihood of the guides and porters better. Always remember to tip them to support you for the trek. You can tip them as you like, but a decent amount can be 15% of their salary tipped per week.

Other costs

Besides everything mentioned above, you may want to spend more on leisure or buying souvenirs. You may want to take something home you find on your way. Thus, it is always beneficial to carry additional cash in your pocket.

Final Say

Annapurna Base Camp is a very affordable trek that has gained popularity over the years. This is mainly due to good word-of-mouth from travelers who have had a positive experience on the trek. However, you should still be ready for a highly challenging trek that can set you back both physically and mentally.