Annapurna Circuit trek is one of the most popular trekking destinations in Nepal. During the Annapurna Circuit Trek, you will trek through lush green valleys, fascinating villages and getting close in touch with diversified cultures. But what kind of costs are you likely to bear during the Annapurna circuit Trek?
The first thing you will need is a trekking permit of about $20. You will also need various trekking equipment. You will also need visa considerations, insurance for the trek, vaccinations, flight, food, and accommodation.
There might also be miscellaneous expenses along the way. It depends on how you travel and spend. But be rest assured, you will have all your money’s worth as you trek the Annapurna Circuit. You’ll cherish this journey you’ve made for the entirety of your life.
Annapurna Circuit trek is one of the moderate- hard treks in Nepal. It generally takes 14 days to complete this trek. Your expenses will increase if you customize and extend this trip.
You will enter and exit many of Nepal’s beautiful and serene places during the Annapurna Circuit trek. These include Tilicho Lake (Taal), known as the lake situated at the highest place in the world, Lamjung, Manang, Mustang, Muktinath, and Kaski. These are some of the most beautiful places to visit in Nepal. You will see the vast Nepalese landscape, culture, tradition, lifestyles, frozen lakes, alpine valleys and monasteries throughout the trek.
Needless to say, while you are on this trek, you will see some of the highest and the tallest mountains of the world. Some of them are Annapurna I (8,091m / 26,545ft), Annapurna South (7,219m-23,693ft), Gangapurna (7,455m-24,457ft), Annapurna III (7,555m-24,787 ft), Lamjung Himal (6,931m-), Mt. Manaslu (8,163m), Pisang peak (6,091m), Chulu East (6,584m), Chulu West (6,419m), Dhaulagiri (8,167m), Tukuche peaks and Vara Shikar / Annapurna Fang with Mt. Machhapuchhre ( Fish-Tail 6,997m).
In this article, you will get a comprehensive idea of the various costs you will have to bear during the Annapurna Circuit Trek. If you are a domestic tourist you might not have to bear some of the costs included in this list. If you are a foreigner, you’ll have to bear most of the costs because there are often more costs associated with foreign trekkers.
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Annapurna Circuit Trek Package Cost
Annapurna circuit trek is possible alone for experienced trekkers or the ones who have completed the very trek previously. Not to say that you cannot do the trek completely on your own, alone and for the first time. It would be a lot easier and also safe to get a tour guide for the first time. There are hundreds of intersecting paths in the region. So, it is good to have a guide to lead the way.
A travel agent will make all the arrangements for your lodging and food, all the permits, plus will also provide you with a porter which will definitely come in handy for a first- time trekker. If you plan to trek alone, expect to pay somewhere around US$700 – US$1,000. This includes your trekking permit, food, and lodgings along the way.
Assuming you are planning on trekking with an agent, you will have two choices; you could choose a local agent or a western agent; the local tour operators charge anywhere from US$950 – US$2,000. Most western operators charge you from US$1,500 to US$4,000.
Choosing a local tour operator would be a good option as he has more things to share about the place.
We would recommend not opting for cheaper tour operators. They are often poorly run, use the worse tea lodges, and provide cheap food and poor equipment. You should always prioritize safety while choosing an operator. We would recommend you not to compromise on a few dollars or rupees.
Make sure that your tour operator is a member of the Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA). The NMA is responsible for regulating the welfare issues of the porters and guides working in Nepal.
Check what your operators include in their price while you choose between the local and western operators as this varies quite significantly.
Average cost for an organized tour = US $1,100
The average cost for an unorganized tour =US $900
How much the Visas Costs?
No matter which country you come from (excluding India as we share an open border), you’ll need a visa to enter Nepal. While you can get your visa before you come to Nepal, most of the people get a visa upon arrival at the airport itself. Sometimes, it can be tedious and even costly due to delayed airport services.
The cost of your visa will be different depending on your length of stay. All visas allow for many entries into the country within the visa time frame. Some of the tentative visa rates are:
- 15- day visa – US$15
- 30- day visa – US$40
- 90- day visa – US$100
Vaccinations are Recommended
Vaccinations are not a mandatory thing. It is only a recommendation for you to be on the safer side, ‘better safe than sorry’, right? Also, it is good that you be immune to diseases for your own safety.
All these are only recommendations and we are no medical experts by any means. So, we would strongly suggest you meet with your doctor before you arrive in Nepal.
Some of the key vaccinations that we recommend are Tetanus, Diphtheria, Hepatitis A, Polio, and Typhoid. But if you want to be super careful, you could also consider Rabies and the Japanese Encephalitis jab. But, the risk of you getting infected with these diseases is very rare. The average cost of vaccinations for the Annapurna Circuit Trek is approximately US$200.
We would also recommend that you carry a portable water purifier. It will always come in handy because the drinking water in Nepal may not suit everyone. You can boil water before you drink or you can use iodine water purification tablets.
Insurance is the Most
You never know what you might have to deal with while trekking. You might catch altitude sickness or even general fatigue and muscle strain during the trek. So, being safe and sound with travel insurance prior to the trip is always a good idea.
One thing to make sure is that your insurer covers you for all your basic travel needs such as lost/delayed baggage, flight cancellation, tour cancellation, and medical cost cover.
Make sure of what the insurance policy covers for before getting one. For example, check and make sure that your insurance covers for not only high altitude but also for medical air support.
The average cost for trekking insurance (not including mountaineering) during the Annapurna Circuit Trek is US$150 (based upon 30 days cover)
Equipment Ease Your Trekking
Choosing the right equipment for the Annapurna Circuit Trek is mandatory. It is also one of the more expensive elements during the trek. The cost of the equipment is difficult to pinpoint. This is because the cost depends upon how much equipment you already own, how much equipment you are willing to hire and pay for.
Renting is always a good option if you don’t trek frequently. Check for the proper quality of gear before leasing or renting equipment though.
There are certain key items that we would recommend that you should always bring with you;
- A warm sleeping bag and a backpacking sleeping pad.
- Sunglasses (UV coated), sunscreen and a beanie/hat.
- Duffel bag and a day pack.
- Warm gloves, inner and outer and warm thermal socks.
- Warm and waterproof jacket.
- A lightweight trekking boots and an extra pair of regular shoes for when you want to stroll.
- Trekking trousers and shirts, including a base layer and second layer fleece.
If you buy all of the aforementioned trekking gear first-hand, it will cost you somewhere around US$500 – $1,000.
Flights Cost (Kathmandu to Pokhara and vice versa)
Flight costs differ from season to season. They are relatively expensive during trekking seasons. February-May and September-November are comparatively expensive seasons for booking a flight. If you book your ticket well ahead of the trek, you might be able to enjoy some profitable discounts.
If you plan to fly from Kathmandu to Pokhara, the starting point for your trek usually means catching a domestic flight. You might also travel on the road on a tourist bus, private taxi, at a relatively cheaper rate but this is rather a long journey.
The average cost of a flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara or Pokhara to Kathmandu is US$ 200. On the other hand, if you travel via road in a private vehicle, it will cost you US$ 150. If you are traveling in a group, you can share this cost amongst all the group members.
Food Cost during Annapurna Circuit Trek
Teahouses and lodges you will encounter during the Annapurna Circuit Trek have improved their standard of services quite drastically over the years. It may be due to the increase in the flow of the in recent years.
The food they serve has also increased in quality too. Most teahouses even serve foreign dishes but obviously, the costs are a little higher than you might expect it to be because of the transportation costs.
You will mostly and very easily find typical Nepali Daal Bhat during your treks. It is also a good source of protein, carbohydrates and even fats which you will need in plenty during your trek. But you are not guaranteed to find the same quality everywhere during your trek. You may also find other cuisines including international cuisine like Indian, Italian, and Continental.
Since the Annapurna region has a slightly better tourist infrastructure compared to other treks. So, you can expect a little more variety of foods here. The average cost for food is around US$ 3- 10 per meal.
Accommodation Costs on Annapurna Circuit Trek
Like most of the popular trekking routes of Nepal, you’ll have to accommodate yourself in tea house lodges which will provide you with bedding and food. The tea houses are clean for the most part and are cozy. Also, teahouses in the Annapurna region are among the best and clean teahouses compared to other trekking routes.
You may find certain tea houses in your way that are pretty luxurious too. The cost of stay at teahouses will obviously depend on the remoteness and altitude of the place. It also depends upon the standard of rooms and services it provides.
The average cost of accommodation is US$ 3- 10 per night. However, this cost also depends upon the type of room you want to accommodate in. Common rooms cost cheap while single rooms are more costly.
Tips and Spending Money
Making sure that your tour operator is a member of the Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA) is a key. It is a type of a regulatory body that is responsible for regulating the welfare issues of the porters and guides working in Nepal.
There has always been a conflicting view regarding tipping in Nepal, We would suggest you tip your guide anywhere from US$150 – $200 for a 14- day trek and your porter between US$60 – $80.
The general rule of thumb which is mostly followed is tipping about 10% of your trekking cost. You are not obliged to follow it and if you are happy and satisfied with your guide and porter, you may even pay more if you wish to do so. On the other hand, if you are not happy with how your guides and porters you may not necessarily tip them.
Lastly, it is always recommended while you travel to carry or allocate spare cash for general spending on activities like shopping, etc. Kathmandu and Pokhara have some great markets where you can buy local handicrafts and souvenirs.
The Annapurna Circuit trek is one of the many serene trekking routes in Nepal. It is a lifetime journey that is worth the money you spend. Depending upon the way you trek and the amnesties, facilities, and luxuries you desire, the trek will set you back anywhere from a thousand and five hundred dollars.