Mardi Himal trek is amongst the most affordable treks in Nepal. The Mardi Himal trek cost involves the cost you spend on various factors like the cost of permits, food, accommodation, guides and porters, cost of trekking gears and so on.
Mardi Himal is an unspoiled trekking destination in the Annapurna region. It is probably the least trekked and a novel route in the region. So, the cost of the trek is a bit cheaper than other popular trekking trails in Nepal. The trek is a great option to trekkers who have limited time and budget for the trek.
While trekking in summer, you will follow the footprints of Shepherds into the lap of the beautiful Mardi Himal. The trek introduces you to the diverse flora and fauna in the region. And, the trek is an exploration into the life and the nature of the exotic trails of the Annapurna region.
The solitary trails to the Mardi Himal Base camp exhibit the most scenic landscapes, forests, Valleys and villages, rivers and the dazzling Himalayas. You will see the magnificent views of the Annapurna, Machhapuchhre, and Hiunchuli. With such an adventure and varied opportunities in the trek, the cost you pay for Mardi Himal Trek is quite reasonable.
Is Mardi Himal Trek Cost Affected by the Trek Route I choose?
Yes! The Mardi Himal trek cost varies for different trek routes. The variation in the trek route means you will have to use different modes of transportation or may have to travel for longer days which brings change in the Mardi Himal Trek Cost. There is not a unique trek route for the Mardi Himal Trek. You can choose any of the different possible routes.
However, there are two most popular routes. You may choose any based on your comfort.
a) The Direct Route
The first route is the direct route. Taking this route means you are having a lesser days trek.
The trek starts at Pokhara. From Pokhara, you will take a taxi directly to Kade. Kade is the point from where the pure trek begins. The hike from kade stops at the Forest Camp. From the Forest camp, trek route extends up to the High Camp on the following day.
Trekkers stay overnight at the High Camp. On the other day, you will trek to the Mardi Base Camp. Return back to Pokhara via the same route. This trek is more demanding. But the advantage is it is less expensive.
By trekking on this route, you sum up your trek to a 5 day Mardi Himal trek. The trek costs around $500 in this case.
b) The relaxed route
This route is one of the most preferred routes. This route involves a steady and gradual trek. Also, it lessens the trek duration per day meaning the trek is more easy and fun.
This trek too begins at Pokhara. A short taxi ride will take you to Phedi. The trek now starts for real. You will trek to Pothana/ Deurali from Phedi. Pothana is an admirable Gurung settlement. The trek route from Pothana takes you to the Forest Camp. From the Forest Camp to the High Camp following the Mardi Base Camp.
The route is more comfortable. You will have more time to relax and be with nature. There is no hurry to enjoy the adorable Himalayan sceneries.
The route from and back to Pokhara takes a week or 6 days. (Depending upon your choice)
The trek is more costly than the ‘direct route’ Trek. The Mardi Himal Trek Cost while following this route comes around $ 600.
The Permit Cost
Two different permits are essential for the Mardi Himal Trek:
- ACAP: The Annapurna Conservation Area Entry Permit is collected for the conservation of the Annapurna area. The ACAP permit costs $ 20. (Nrs. 2000 with an additional amount of Nrs.260 as VAT). For SAARC Nationals, the ACAP entry permit fee is Nrs. 200. You can get the ACAP permit at Kathmandu or in Pokhara.
- TIMS: This is the Trekkers Information Management System. This permit is required basically for the foreign trekkers. By the help of TIMS permit, they keep a count on the number of trekkers. They will help to search for them if they are lost or something. It costs $20 (Nrs. 2000) per person.
Costs of Accommodation, Meals, and Drinks on the Mardi Himal Trek
Mardi Himal Trek is a tea house trek. You will also see few homestays at villages like Siddhing. The tea houses and homestays are traditional and beautiful. They offer the best possible services and facilities.
It costs around $2 to $6 per room for an overnight at a local tea house. The cost is negotiable. It may cost less or more depending upon your bargaining skills.
During the trek, you will get to enjoy three meals a day to supply sufficient energy. The tea houses on Mardi Himal Trek are primary. The food menus include the local and essential food items basically.
Whatever you choose to eat, it is hygienic and energy supplying. The teahouses in lower altitudes have more food options on the menu. Also, the cost of food is lesser.
You will have very short food menus as you ascend to higher altitudes. Also, the cost of food increases with the increase in the trek altitudes.
The basic food menu includes Dal, Bhat, and tarkari. You can also choose from noodles and steamed dumplings. Dal- Bhat is filling and it also supplies more energy during the trek. You can also get some continental dishes up to Dhampus.
The cost for meals ranges between $2- $6 in the low altitude tea houses. The cost increases with further ascend in altitude.
When it comes to drinks, the most essential drink during trek is water. You will lose your body water while sweating. In several cases, your body may dehydrate faster. So, you must drink plenty of water.
Besides water, you can choose several hot and cold flavored drinks. They mostly include tea, coffee, and warm water.
Drinking alcohols and beverages are not suggested during treks. However, you can taste the local beverages while you return from the trek.
Bottled water can cost from $.25 to $4, depending on the altitude. You can reduce the expense by carrying your own refillable water bottles. Do not forget to buy water purifiers.
[Note: You will spend about $20 to $30 per day for food and accommodation. The cost also depends upon the time of trek. The tea houses offer special bonuses during the offseasons in accommodation and foods.]
Cost to Hire Guides and Porters for Mardi Himal Trek
Guides are people who guide you throughout the trail. They can communicate with you in English. Also, they can help you communicate with the locals and the fellow trekkers you will meet on the trek.
Guides are not supposed to carry your luggage. Instead, they will take you through short, easy and comfortable trails.
A licensed guide charges around US $ 25 to US $30 per day for the Mardi Himal Trek. This covers their fee, accommodation, food, and insurance as well.
Porter is a person who carries your trek gears throughout the trek. Porters don’t walk with you. They walk steadily maintaining their own pace.
For the Mardi Himal Trek, a porter charges around US $20 to US $25 per day.
In some cases, you may also find a porter-guide. They will carry your gear by guiding you through the trail. They speak and understand a bit of English. They can communicate with you and can know your interests too.
Hiring a porter-guide reduces the cost of hiring individual guides and porters. They charge from US $25-US $30 in general.
Solo or Group Trekking, Which is Cheaper?
Mardi Himal is a moderate level trek in the Annapurna region. Solo trekking is absolutely possible. Plan your trek wisely and the solo trek will be a success. The cost for solo treks without hiring a guide or a porter is cheaper.
During the solo treks, you are enjoying the bonding between you and nature while saving money. You will feel close to nature without someone to distract you.
On every new step, you will have to make decisions for yourself. Choosing to encounter mysterious is the biggest adventure/ merit to daring solo trekkers.
However, it is better if you hire a licensed guide, a porter, or a porter-guide. You can also choose to trek in Groups with travel agencies. Either way, you are securing a comfortable and easier trek.
You will have someone by your side to help you in getting permits, finding Accommodation and food, deciding the routes and finding stops for rest.
Also, traveling in a group ensures your safety in the route. You must not worry about your belongings, they will look after yourself.
[Note: The cost of TIMS for trekkers who travel in a group via Trekking Agencies costs USD 10 only.]
Cost of Transportation for the Mardi Himal Trek
Kathmandu to Pokhara
The Mardi Himal trek begins from Kathmandu. To reach Pokhara from Kathmandu, you will have several options. Kathmandu- Pokhara is a 7-hour journey through beautiful hills, terraced farms, and amazing landscapes.
If you want to take a local bus, a jeep, or a tourist bus, it will cost from $10 to $30 per person depending on the vehicle you choose.
These vehicles may charge more if you book them at the last minute. So make sure that you book them a day before.
You can also hire a private vehicle for yourself and/ or group.
The cost to hire a vehicle is the US $120 for a Jeep and the US $220 for a Van. When you pay this amount, you are hiring the vehicle and a driver.
You can also fly to Pokhara via a flight from TIA. This is a short and scenic flight. (25 minutes). You have to pay around the US $120 per person (one way) for the flight.
Pokhara to Kande
From Pokhara, a ride on a local bus for nearly an hour takes you to Kande. The cost is $1 per person. From Kande, you can start your trek.
Phedi is again an hour bus ride from Pokhara. The local buses charge you $1 per person up to Phedi. Mardi Himal Trek initiates at Phedi.
You can also take a local bus to Siding. This is also a short journey of an hour. It costs $1 per person. Keep in mind, the trail from Siding to High Camp is very steep and risky. So, we do not recommend this trek route.
Costs of Clothing and Equipment for the Mardi Himal Trek
It solely depends on you what you wear or pack for the trek. What do you want? Do you want to buy everything new? Oh, wait!! You can also rent them for your trek. Or simply, you can take what you already have.
Here is the basic list of clothes and equipment for your Mardi Himal Trek:
- A pair of comfortable Hiking Boots, $27-$100 and pair of Socks, $5
- A Windcheater Jacket, $29 and a nice fleece jacket, $35
- Trekking pants, $35, Trekking shorts, $30 and Trekking shirt, $32
- A pair of comfortable trekking sandals, $29
- Sunglasses, $15 and A hat/ cap, $12
- Trekking poles for the descent and balance, $21
- A comfortable backpack with cover included, $40
- Hand sanitizer
- Tissue paper
- Towel (easy to dry)
- Toothbrush and a Toothpaste
- Shampoo and Soap
- Sunscreen lotion
- Female hygiene products
You can buy all these toiletries in Kathmandu or Pokhara for around $ 30.
- The female hygiene products are hardly available on the trails. So, make sure you carry them if you need them.
- The cost for everything is a variable. It depends on what brand you choose and where you buy them.]
- You can also easily rent these things on daily basis from Kathmandu. This will reduce the costs to much lower prices. Renting costs around $1 to $10 per item a day.
Extra Costs during the Mardi Himal Trek
Costs of clean drinking water
Safety and hygiene come first while trekking. You must drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated. The bottled mineral water gets costlier. It ranges from $1-$3 per bottle depending on the places.
Costs of wifi services in the remote areas
The trek takes you into the remote villages and areas. You may or may not have access to wifi and internet services. In some of the teahouses, they provide you Wifi services by charging you a certain amount per hour. (US $0.5 to US $2 basically)
Costs of Hot Showers
If you want to get hot showers at the lodges or teahouses, they will charge some extra costs for their service. Hot showers are available for about $4. (approx.)
Costs of charging electronic gadgets
You will have to pay a certain amount in order to charge your electronic gadgets while on the trek. They might charge some amount like $0.5 to $1.5. These things apply majorly during the peak seasons.
Donations and Tips
While trekking along the route, you may want to donate some amount to the kids, the Buddhist monasteries or to the schools. Also, you might want to give certain amounts as gratitude to your guides or porters.
Tips to Manage Costs during the Mardi Himal Trek
- Pre-book for your food and accommodation. In cases when you reach the teahouses in the late evening, they may charge you higher costs. But if you book the teahouses earlier, you will not have to rush to reach earlier to find one. This will save the cost too.
- You may not want to take back the trekking gears after completion of the trek. So, renting the trekking gears can reduce the cost over buying them. You can rent the trekking gears in Kathmandu or Pokhara.
- You must drink more water during the trek. Buying mineral water bottles is costlier. So, you can carry water purifiers and a personal water bottle to reduce the cost of drinking water.
- If you are planning to trek with travel agencies, compare the package costs of different agencies. Differentiate the services they provide before choosing to trek with them. Keep in mind, Booking the tour packages while in Nepal is less expensive than online booking.
- If you want to hire a porter or a guide, hire a local. By doing so, you are reducing the extra cost for their transportation, accommodation, and food. (from Kathmandu to Pokhara)
- Include some snacks and chocolate bars in your packaging list. Buy them at Kathmandu or in Pokhara. The charge is more on the snacks if you buy them along the trekking trails.
- You will need a sleeping bag, a backpacking tent, and a down jacket if you are going on camp trekking. Instead of buying a new piece, you can rent these items in Kathmandu and in Pokhara. This will reduce the extra cost of buying these items. You can rent Sleeping Bag and a Down Jacket for the same price, $12 (approx.)
- Get a travel insurance before going on the trek. This will help in cases of poor medical conditions, trip cancellations, thefts, and flight delays. The insurance policy will pay for all these cases. So, you will save money even in case of emergencies.
Mardi Himal Trek is a novel trekking trail in the Annapurna Region. And, lots of factors influence the Mardi Himal Trek cost. The trek route you choose and the duration of your trek are amongst the most crucial factors.
Considering all the above-mentioned factors, the roughly estimated cost of your Mardi Himal Trek will be around $550-700 in total. The price may vary depending on various climatic and political factors.
To book this trip, contact us. We are happy to customize the trip the way you get happy.