The Annapurna Circuit trek is a legendary circuit loved by trekkers all over the world. This trek has a highly recognized and astounding trekking path.
With a unique landscape, breathtaking views of the Himalayas and diversified culture, this trek is appealing to all the trekking enthusiasts.
And like any other trek, getting to the region and completing the Annapurna Circuit trek includes various costs such as transportation, permits, equipment, guides, accommodation, food and so on.
The cost normally depends on the duration and how you travel and spend. However, you can be assured that you will have all your money’s worth with the Annapurna Circuit trek.
Now let us discuss in detail all the major Annapurna Circuit trek costs to help you budget your trip.
Table of Contents
- Breakdown of Annapurna Circuit Trek Cost
Although it is possible to take the Annapurna Circuit trek independently, there are many who prefer to trek with Tour Operators. It is primarily because they don’t have to worry about the logistics, and trekking with a Tour operator is a lot easier and safe as well.
Due to many intersecting paths in the region, it is good to have a guide lead your way.
And when you trek with tour operator, they will make all necessary arrangements for your domestic travels, lodging, food, permits, and guide.
There are two choices when planning on trekking with tour operator. Either you can choose a local agent or a western agent.
The local tour operators can charge anywhere between USD 900 to 2,000 depending on the duration. The western operator can charge from about USD 1500 to 4000.
However, choosing a local tour operator makes more sense as Nepalese are the ones who have the most know-how of Nepal. It is as simple as that.
Breakdown of Annapurna Circuit Trek Cost
You will need a visa to enter Nepal regardless of which country you’re from, except for India. Indians can enter Nepal without a visa. While you can get your visa before you come to Nepal, many nationals get a visa on arrival at the airport itself.
The cost of your visa will depend on your duration of stay. All visas allow multiple entries into the country within the visa time frame. The tentative visa rates are:
- 15 days: USD 30
- 30 days: USD 50
- 90 days: USD 125
There are two ways to choose domestic transportation. You can either take a flight or go by land via bus or a private jeep/taxi.
If you choose to take a flight, the cost can vary seasonally. The flight tickets are generally costlier during the peak trekking months which are Feb-May and Sept – Nov.
However, if you book your flight well ahead of your trek, you might be able to get some good deals.
- Flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara (including return): approx USD 215
- Local Bus from Pokhara to Besisahar (starting point of the trek): approx USD 3
- Local Bus from Nayapul to Pokhara (return): approx USD 3
And if you are traveling in a group, you can choose to hire a private vehicle in which you can share the cost amongst the group members.
- Local Bus from Kathmandu to Besisahar: approx USD 6 to 7 (one way)
- Private Jeep from Kathmandu to Besisahar: approx USD 120 to 150 (one way)
Food and Drinks Cost
With the growing number of tourists every year, there have been improvements in the standard of the tea houses and the lodges.
The quality of the food has also gotten better, and you can find more varieties. Most tea houses now serve dishes like spaghetti, pasta, sandwich, etc.
Yet the best value for the money is Dal Bhat, the Nepali staple food. It is tasty, filling and inexpensive.
One thing you will notice while eating during the trek is that the food cost gradually starts to increase as you go higher. Hence the cost of food can start from USD 5 at low altitude. And can go up to USD 8 per meal at the higher altitudes.
As for drinks, the cost is as follows:
- Bottled drinking water: USD 1 to 5
- Tea : USD USD 0.5 to 2
- Hot water: USD 0.5 to 2 per cup.
Accommodation is very cheap on the route. The average price for a double room with or without an attached bathroom is around USD 10 to 12. This is the price if you eat breakfast and dinner in the teahouse. If not you will have to pay more for the room.
The tea houses are clean for the most part. The rooms are basic. They have power outlets and occasionally have attached bathrooms with western or squat toilets.
Generally, they have a cozy common area with a fire and good company. Though limited, wifi is available in some tea houses.
Guide or Porter Cost
A guide and porter both have an important role to play while trekking. Having them ensures you have a safe and relaxed trekking experience.
With a guide, you are safe as he leads you through the route.
They are professionals who have experience of being in the trails and know what to do in case of emergencies. They also provide you with the necessary information regarding the people and the places, etc.
Having a porter also keeps you free from the burden of carrying the heavy baggage. A porter can carry up to 20 kgs. Hence the cost of the guide for Annapurna Circuit trek is about USD 30-35 per day and for a porter USD 18-20 per day.
Recommended Vaccinations Cost
Getting Vaccinations are purely for safety. It is not mandatory, yet important to prevent various diseases.
However, before taking one we suggest you consult with your doctor prior to your arrival in Nepal. Some of the important vaccinations we recommend are Tetanus, Diphtheria, Hepatitis A, Typhoid, etc.
The average cost of vaccination for Annapurna Circuit trek is anywhere between USD 150 to 200.
Also, in order to prevent yourself from waterborne diseases, we recommend that you carry a portable water purifier.
Trekking Permit Cost
You will need two permits for the Annapurna Circuit trek. You will use these to check-in at various checkpoints along the trek. The permits and costs are as follows:
Trekkers Information Management System Card (TIMS)
- SAARC nationals: NPR 600, about $6
- All other nationals: NPR 2,000, about $20
Annapurna Conservation Area or ACAP
- SAARC nationals: NPR 1000, about $10
- ALL other nationals: NPR 3,000, about $30
Please note that this price includes 13% VAT (Value Added Tax) compliance.
Travel Insurance Cost
Trekking to the mountains always comes with its own set of risks, and Annapurna Circuit trek is no different.
You never know what you might have to deal with while you are trekking. Anyone can suffer from acute mountain sickness, muscle sprain, and general fatigue.
So it is wise to stay on the safe side by having travel insurance. Your travel policy should cover every extra expenditure that might occur as a result of various injuries, health issues, or accidents.
It should also cover the cost of a helicopter rescue, treatment cost as well as the repatriation cost Including the cost of theft and liability, cancellation, and misplaced luggage.
The Annapurna Circuit trek in Nepal goes over the elevation of 5,000 meters, therefore, make sure that your policy covers the altitude below 6000 meters.
With all of these, the average cost for trekking insurance (not including mountaineering) is USD 150 (based on 30 days cover).
The cost of equipment is difficult to estimate as it varies from one individual to another. It also depends on how much equipment you already own and how much you are willing to buy or rent.
If you are someone who does not trek frequently, then renting can be a good option. You might not want to spend much on buying something that may not be of much use later.
However, renting gears also comes at a cost. Whether you choose to buy or rent, you will find many trekking gear shops both in Kathmandu and Pokhara.
You will need various gear and equipment for Annapurna Circuit trek. Some of the basic ones are
- A warm sleeping bag
- Duffel bag and a day pack
- Warm and waterproof jacket
- Trekking trousers and shirts, including a base layer and second layer fleece
- A lightweight high-quality trekking boots
- Pair of regular shoes for when you want to take a stroll
- Warm gloves, inner and outer and warm thermal socks
- Trekking Poles
So, a rough estimate is somewhere around USD 500
Total Annapurna Circuit trek cost
For a 10 to 14 days Annapurna Circuit trek, the cost per person can range from USD 1200 to 1600 (excluding international flight).
The cost includes domestic transportation, trek permits, accommodation, and meals. Yet, this cost does not include insurance, visa, and personal equipment.
Tips for Annapurna Circuit trek
- While choosing a tour operator, make sure it is a member of the Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA) and member of Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal. It is a governing body that is responsible for regulating the welfare issues of the guides and porters working in Nepal
- Though there are various views regarding tipping in Nepal, we suggest you tip your guide and porter. The general rule of thumb is tipping about 10 percent of your trekking cost. And if you wish to pay more, it is totally up to you.
- Carry extra money for facilities like wifi, charging electronics, hot showers, buying snacks, etc.
Ways to reduce your expenses
- Choose off-season instead of peak season to get good deals in flight and accommodation
- Travel by land instead of air
- Rent the trekking gear instead of buying them
- Spending money on bottled water can get expensive, hence carry water purifying tablets for drinking water.
- Carry some snacks with you as food can cost way more in the higher altitude.
The Annapurna Circuit trek is a journey of a lifetime and is worth every penny. The cost of the trek depends upon the way you trek, the facilities you use and the luxury you desire.
For further questions or queries, please feel free to contact us. It is our pleasure to guide and assist you in planning the trek and make sure it is a successful one.