Trekking in Nepal: Explore the Off-beaten Adventure on your Budget
21 Nov 2023 Chandra Gurung
Nepal Trekking is a backpacker’s paradise of Himalayan on Shoestring Budget
On the lap of the Himalayas, there is a country named Nepal that presents you with some breathtaking landscapes along with rich cultural and natural heritages. And for adventure seekers like you, the trekking trails of Nepal are the utmost. Ranging from the deepest canyons in the world to the highest mountain in the world, Nepal has everything to offer.
While you might wonder if you will empty your pockets and break the bank for this trip, Nepal is one of the most budget-friendly countries to travel to that will save you thousands. This hidden gem has untouched beauty, rich culture, and authentic experience, all while adhering to your budget.
Trekking in Nepal’s Popular Off-beaten Trails
From beginners to trekkers, Nepal has diverse trekking trails for all levels of expertise. For example: for those who are seeking less crowd to get to Annapurna Base Camp, the Annapurna Circuit provides alternative trails to reach there. Thus, you can trek as per your preference and desires. Here are some of the popular trekking spots in Nepal that are less frequent:
1. Manaslu Circuit Trek
Manaslu Himal is one of the world’s eight highest peaks in the world which offers a challenging yet rewarding trek to those who are willing to get out of their comfort zone to enjoy the stunning panoramic views along with a blend of both natural and cultural beauty.
2. The Langtang Trek
In the Northern part of Kathmandu, there are traditional villages along with alpine meadows that are ideal for those who seek a leisure place to soak in the beauty of this region. The views of Mount Langtang Lirung, Dorje Lakpa, and Langtang Ri are central to this trek. Also, the Langtang National Park with diverse flora and fauna is home to biodiversity.
3. Kanchenjunga Trek
Kanchenjunga is the third-highest peak in the world and offers a view of neighboring peaks like Makalu, Lhotse, and Everest. It is a remote and challenging trek that passes through the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area. The trek is about 220 kilometers and is usually completed in 21-24 days. If you are seeking an adventurous and unforgettable trek, Kanchenjunga Trek is just the thing for you.
Trekking in Nepal on Budget – What can you expect?
Nepal offers you affordable trekking options that will meet your needs and preferences. From the permits required, and accommodation to food, you will witness inexpensive yet rich experiences in comparison to other popular trekking destinations in the world. You can select among various trekking packages online and offline and compare them to the local outfitters and international market.
As per the estimated figures, you will be spending around 600 USD to 2000 USD for a trek of 7 to 16 days per person. This price ranges from short treks to a 21-day-long trek. The major areas for your expenses during trekking are
The cost of transportation solely depends upon your destination. However, Nepal offers some affordable travel options if you opt for public vehicles such as local buses and jeeps. Public transportation in Nepal is an adventure in itself.
Every trek has a certain trailhead and thus, the trail will start on foot. However, getting to the starting point depends on what medium you choose. Let us take an example. For the Manaslu Circuit trek, the trek begins at Arughat or Soti Khola. If you get on the bus from Kathmandu, the local bus costs 10 USD per person whereas on a Jeep it takes around 150 to 200 USD.
You will require a permit to enter the restricted areas while trekking. These permits are issued by the National Tourism Board. You will require these permits and passes while trekking in areas like Everest, Annapurna, Langtang, Manaslu, Mustang, and Rolwaling. As per the latest update, it costs NPR 3,390 for a National Park Permit and NPR 3,000 for a Conservation Area Permit per trekker.
3. Food and Accommodation
The estimated average cost for food and accommodation while trekking in Nepal can range from 40 to 60 USD a day for a person. This included your breakfast, lunch, and dinner along with the night stay at the available hotels during the trek in the Himalayas. However, this can be altered as per the location, destination, and other preferences.
Trekking packages in Nepal
Several trekking agencies have been providing services for trekking. You can compare these packages online and offline to ensure that the trek’s budget fits your budget and you get the package as per your need and preference. The most common trekking packages in Nepal include the following services.
- Transportation to and from the trailhead
- Trekking permits and passes
- Trekking guides and porters
- Accommodation and food in the city
- Tea house accommodation and meals throughout the trek including breakfast, lunch, and dinner
Some of the companies provide additional equipment and gear such as sleeping bags, trekking poles, etc. However, these items are to be returned to the company once you complete the trek. Also, the companies provide emergency first aid kits.
Trekking guides and porters charge USD 25 to 40 per day. This depends upon the level of difficulty of the trek. Also, the porter can charge from USD 20 to 30. You can pack lighter if you wish to minimize this cost.
How much budget should you set aside while trekking in Nepal?
|Trekking routes and destinations in Nepal||Average time taken to complete the trek||Tentative cost per person for the trek|
|Everest Base Camp Trek||14 to 16 days||1400 USD to 2099 USD|
|Annapurna Circuit Trek|
|10 to 15 days||800 USD to 1500 USD|
|Manaslu Circuit Trek|
|13 to 15 days||1200 USD to 1600 USD|
|Langtang Valley Trek||10 to 14 days||800 USD to 1200 USD|
|Upper Mustang Trek|
|15 to 19 days||1800 USD to 2500 USD|
How can you save money while Trekking in Nepal?
The budget you set while traveling to Nepal solely depends upon the services you choose. Nepal offers a wide range of services which range from local products to five-star luxury. Therefore, there are a number of ways to save money on trekking in Nepal. While setting a budget, here are some of the few additional options that can save you dollars:
- Camping: Opt for camping instead of staying in lodges. Camping can be a much cheaper option. You can rent camping gear from travel agencies or local shops in Kathmandu.
- Local Eateries: Eat the local food rather than the western food. While you might seek Western foods, the local options as per the geography and weather will be more affordable due to their availability.
- Packing mindfully: Packing light is another way to save your money on porters. The less you carry, the less you will have to pay the porter. Packing the essentials and lightweight clothes will be better.
- Bargain: Bargaining is common in Nepal and you can bargain when you can. Thus, while shopping around Kathmandu, choose the local shops and markets for the best deal and prepare yourself to bargain.
Being a budget-conscious trekker requires the necessary planning and mindful spending. But you wouldn’t need to worry in Nepal. Here, Nepal will present you with some of the off-beaten treks along with warm hospitality and on-budget travel experience. You can immerse yourself in the beauty of this country without even straining your wallet. From food and accommodation to gear and equipment, you will get the best deals. The true sense of trekking lies not in the luxury but in the transformative voyage itself.