• Apr 27, 2020
  • Rupak Parajuli

For travelers who wish and will to seek a destination with a limited amount of money, Nepal’s budget trek is a perfect program for them. Nowadays, budget Trekking in Nepal has become a commercial business and many trekkers from all around the world come here to travel with limited amounts. For the last two years, budget trekking has become quite well known and familiar. Nepal offers a wide range of varieties for budget trekking. You can access different destinations of Nepal with a limited budget. 

The first thing that will cost you is your visa. You will be required to pay for a visa unless you are from India or China. You can pay the visa fee at the airport in Kathmandu after completing the visa process online or you can get one after your arrival at the airport. After paying the visa fees, you can enter the country multiple times before the visa expires. US dollars are ideal for payment as all payment needs to be done in a convertible currency. You should bring a passport-sized photo and the correct money to get a visa along with your documents.

For 15 days, the visa will cost USD 15. It will cost USD 40 to get a visa for 30 days and for 90 days the cost of a visa is USD 100. At the Immigration Department in Kathmandu, the visa can be extended up to 4 months in case you need to stay for more days than expected. They might also grant the fifth month of visa if you show your flight ticket out of the country.

To plan your trip on a budget, think about the requirements for Transportation, Guide or Porter, Permits, Food, and Accommodation. Now, let's discuss the cost associated with the best trekking in Nepal for budget travelers. 

Table of Contents

Best Budget Treks in Nepal

Langtang Valley Trek

Langtang is an ideal option for people on a budget. Despite being close to the capital of Nepal - Kathmandu, this trek offers one of the truest experiences of Trekking in Nepal. This trek makes for an enjoyable trip due to the warm and friendly Tamang locals and the unspoiled natural beauty of the Langtang National Park. You will be enthralled by the snow-capped peaks of Lirung and Langtang. This trek can be done by anyone with a regular fitness level, you do not need to be overly fit to handle this trek. You can get a lot more than you would expect from Langtang valley trek despite having a low budget. We have prepared a list of the approximate cost it will take for you to complete this trek.

Transportation Cost  

Public Transport is the cheapest option and it will cost anywhere from NPR 350 to 600 or USD 3.5 to 6 to get from Kathmandu to Syabrubesi. You also have the option to travel through jeep from Kathmandu to Syabrubesi which will cost NRP 800 to 1000 or USD 8 to 10. Tourist buses are also another option and they are the most expensive option. Depending on the time of travel and the standard of the bus, it will cost you anywhere around USD 10 to 15.

Trekking Permits Cost

You will require two permits for this trek. One is the TIMS Card and the other is Langtang National Park Permit. The TIMS card will cost you NPR 2,000 per person or USD 20. The Langtang National Park Permit cost you NPR 3000 or USD 30. Both of these permits can be acquired in Kathmandu.

Food & Accommodation Cost

The cost of food gradually increases the higher you go. As the food needs to be carried by mules from Syabrubesi, they become expensive. While food prices are usually around USD 2 to 5 in the lower regions, in the upper regions you will pay USD 4 to 6 for the same meal.

Tea houses accommodations are the only accommodations available on the Langtang valley trek trail. The meals will be provided by the place that you choose to stay at. The cost of accommodation only is around USD 2 to 5 per night and you will need to pay extra for food.

Guide and Porter Cost 

Although you can manage this trek on your own, it is recommended that you take a guide or porter with you. A porter will carry your heavy backpack and a guide will provide you with knowledge about the things you see on the trail. While a licensed guide charges about USD 22 to 25 per day, a porter will charge USD 15 to 18 per day to carry your stuff.

Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek

This easy and short trek takes you through the hills of Kaski district and throughout the trail, you will get to observe the lifestyle of the Gurung community and experience their lifestyle. In this trek, you will get a genuine trekking experience in Nepal and get to enjoy more than 32 peaks panoramic view. The time it takes to trek to Ghorepani and then to Poonhill is 4 to 5 days and it is not a very difficult hike. Although the trek is manageable all year round, the most ideal seasons to trek here are Spring and Autumn. We have prepared a list of the approximate cost it will take for you to complete this trek.

Cost of Transportation

There are four ways you can get to Pokhara to start this trek. The first one is to fly to Pokhara from Kathmandu to start your trek. If you are short on time then this is your best option. For a 20 minute flight, a one-way ticket will cost approximately USD 120. The next option is to travel through buses. There are two types of buses available. Public buses that take you to Pokhara from Kathmandu for a cost of about NPR 300 to 500 or USD 3.5 to 5 and the buses to Nayapul from Pokhara cost about USD 1 to 1.5 or NPR 350 to 500.

The next type of bus is the tourist buses which cost about USD 8 to 30 to get to Pokhara from Kathmandu. Tourist buses cost USD 5 to get to Nayapul from Pokhara. The cost of the tourist bus depends on the time of travel and the standard of the bus. The slightly more expensive option is to take a private car. While they are significantly more expensive, they are convenient. A private car to Pokhara from Kathmandu costs NPR 4,000 to 6,000 or USD 40 to 60 and it costs NPR 2,000 or USD 20 to get to Nayapul from Pokhara.

Trekking Permits Cost

You will require two permits for this trek. One is the TIMS Card and the other is Annapurna Conservation Area Permit. The TIMS card will cost you NPR 2,000 per person or USD 20. The Annapurna Conservation Area Permit costs about USD 28 per person. Both of these permits can be acquired from Kathmandu.

Food & Accommodation

While the cost of food depends on the place and the item you want to purchase, the average food cost is between USD 2 to 5. The prices get higher the higher you go and a bottle of water can cost anywhere between USD 0.4 to 1. You should take water purifying tablets if you are worried about how to purify water.

For this trek, there are many tea houses available along the trail and the cost of accommodation depends on the services that are available in the tea houses. Wifi and hot shower facilities are common among these teahouses and they are usually equipped with two beds. The price of accommodation is usually USD 3 to 5 per night.

Guide and Porter Cost

Having a guide or porter will surely help along the way although it is possible not to take one. A licensed trekking guide usually charges about NPR 3,000 to 4,000 or USD 30 to 40 per day while a porter charges around NPR 2,000 to 2,500 or USD 20 to 25 per day. A porter guide will charge about NPR 2,500 to 3,500 or USD 25 to 35 per day.

Annapurna Base Camp Trek

A widely known trekking destination in Nepal is the Annapurna Base Camp Trek which takes you to the base of Annapurna peak. You can see a panoramic view of many splendid mountains beside the Annapurna massif like Machhapuchhre, Himchuli, Gangapurna, etc. You will trek in the Annapurna Conservation Area after you start from the foothills of Pokhara.

The local indigenous community living here are known for their warm hospitality and welcoming people. The community has a rich culture and lives a very traditional lifestyle. The majority of people living here are the Magars and Gurungs who greatly dominate this place. We have prepared a list of the approximate cost it will take for you to complete this trek.

Transportation Costs

To start your trek, your first option is to fly to Pokhara from Kathmandu. For a 20 minute flight, a one-way ticket will cost approximately USD 120. If you are short on time then this is the ideal option for you. The next option is to travel through buses. There are two types of buses available. Public buses that take you to Pokhara from Kathmandu cost about NPR 300 to 500 or USD 3.5 to 5 and the buses to Nayapul from Pokhara cost about USD 1 to 1.5 or NPR 350 to 500.

The next type of bus is tourist buses which cost about USD 8 to 30 to get to Pokhara from Kathmandu. Tourist buses cost USD 5 to get to Nayapul from Pokhara. The cost of the tourist bus depends on the time of travel and the standard of the bus. The slightly more expensive option is to take a private car. While they are significantly more expensive, they are convenient. A private car to Pokhara from Kathmandu costs NPR 4,000 to 6,000 or USD 40 to 60 and it costs NPR 2,000 or USD 20 to get to Nayapul from Pokhara.

Trekking Permits Cost 

You will require two permits for this trek. One is the TIMS Card and the other is Annapurna Conservation Area Permit. The TIMS card will cost you NPR 2,000 per person or USD 20. The Annapurna Conservation Area Permit costs about USD 28 per person. Both of these permits can be acquired from Kathmandu.

Food & Accommodation Cost 

The tea houses offer food services too so during this trek you will not have to carry food. If you want to then you can carry it but your bag will be heavier. From the menu available, you can enjoy the traditional Nepali food or order anything else they offer. For every meal the prices usually range between USD 3 to 5 but it depends on your appetite.

Along the trail, there are many tea houses that offer services of food and shelter. In most of the tea houses, a room will have two beds and the prices range anywhere between USD 3 to 5.

Guide and Porter Cost

Having a guide or porter will surely help along the way although in enhancing your knowledge and local context. A licensed trekking guide usually charges about NPR 3,000 to 4,000 or USD 30 to 40 per day. The charges include the accommodation and food for the guide. A porter guide will charge the same amount for carrying 15kgs of your backpack.

Annapurna Circuit Trek

Offering views of the Annapurna massif along with other spectacular snow-capped mountains, this trek is one of the most well-known treks in Nepal. During this trek, you will observe the alluring Tibetan, Gurung, Thakali, Sherpa, and Thakali community villages and experience their traditional way of life and culture along with this, you will witness glaciers and tranquil landscapes. You will walk through lush green valleys and an amazing assortment of terrain including alpine scrub and lowland pasture. Along the trail, you will experience the rich biodiversity, come across different flora and fauna, terraced farmlands, riverbanks, waterfalls, and so on.

Cost of Guide 

Having a guide or porter will surely help along the way although it is possible not to take one. A guide usually charges about NPR 2,200 to 3,000 or USD 22 to 30 per day. A licensed guide will charge above USD 30 per day. So you should check the license issued by the Government of Nepal to the guide before you choose one. 

Cost of Porter

Before hiring a porter, you should make sure that they have the correct gear and are insured. It is recommended that you hire a porter either in Pokhara or Kathmandu. If you hire a porter either in Kathmandu or Pokhara, then the usual cost is USD 20 per day but if you hire a porter on the trail then your cost will be significantly higher.

Cost of Transport for Annapurna Circuit Trek

You have the option to either go by plane or bus or hire a car. If you choose to go through a bus then the cost of transport from Kathmandu to Besisahar is approximately USD 10 per person. It will take about 6 to 7 hours for you to reach Besisahar. If you hire a car then the cost will usually be USD 110 per car. It will take you 6 hours to get to Besisahar by car.

Among these two options, the bus is the more economical option while the car is the more comfortable one. If you are starting this trek from Pokhara and then ending it in Besisahar then you have the option to fly to Pokhara from Kathmandu. The flight takes approximately 25 minutes and a one-way ticket costs USD 110 per person. You can fly to Jomson from Pokhara which will take about 20 minutes and a one-way ticket will cost USD 110 per person. You can also travel by private vehicle to Pokhara from Kathmandu. It costs USD 120 per car. 

Which Form of Transport Should You Choose?

If you are planning on starting your trek from Besisahar then you have to go by road. You do not have the option to choose. If you are not traveling solo and are in a group of 2 or 3 people, then you can hire a private transport as they are much more flexible. Tourist buses do not run on this route; so for those on a budget or alone, you have to take the local transport as it is much cheaper.

There are two flight options available for you if you plan on starting your trek from Pokhara. You can either go to Pokhara from Kathmandu or to Jomson from Pokhara. If you are starting your trek from Besisahar and ending it at Pokhara, then you can use the flight facilities. You have to be careful that you will have less time to get used to the altitude if you start your trek in Pokhara and if you plan on flying to Jomson then as you will be trekking higher faster, you should be cautious. 

Permit Costs for Annapurna Circuit Trek

You will require two permits for this trek. One is the TIMS Card and the other is Annapurna Conservation Area Permit. The TIMS card will cost you NPR 2,000 per person or USD 20. The Annapurna Conservation Area Permit costs about USD 28 per person. Both of these permits can be acquired from Kathmandu.

Food and Accommodation Cost

You will spend about USD 30 to 40 on average for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and basic accommodations. Basic accommodation entails a common bathroom shared by a twin room. The option of an attached bathroom is available in a few lodges and teahouses. Although you will find them on the lower trail to Pokhara from Jomson. The above-mentioned costs do not include any drinks or desserts. The higher the altitude, the greater the price. In higher altitude, the cost of alcohol and cold drinks will get more and more expensive. It is recommended that for food and accommodation, you allocate USD 30 to 40 per person per day. 

Additional Costs

While those are the basic costs, there might be some additional costs so you should be prepared. Additional costs can be anything from hot showers to drinking water. A hot shower will cost you USD 2 to 3 per shower as the use of gas to heat the water and on the trek, it is expensive to bring to villages. Charging your phone might also cost money. Usually, they might charge around USD 1 to 2 per charge or per hour. When you arrive in Nepal, you will get a local sim card which can be easily bought anywhere. You can even get sims from national telecoms at the airport.

The rates for calls, texts, and data packages are comparatively cheap and recharge of USD 5 to 10 should be more than enough for your trek. The money might not be enough if you plan on making international calls. Drinking water might also cost USD 1 per liter and if you are unsure about the water quality, you can buy water purifying tablets. Soft drinks, alcohol, and snacks will also cost you money as per the menu.  

Need Help Planning a Trip to Nepal?

Feel free to contact us, if you need any help planning your trip to Nepal. Our local travel experts will design a custom-made itinerary based on your time, group, cost, and other requirements.  

Rupak Parajuli

Rupak Parajuli

He is a Travel Enthusiast and Writer, who mostly covers the guide to outdoor adventure in the Himalayas of Nepal. He can be your friendly trip planner. Feel free to reach out to him.

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