The Annapurna Circuit trek is a legendary trekking trail loved by hikers around the world this trek has a trekking route that is highly recognized and stunning. With a unique landscape, spectacular Himalayan views and diverse culture, this trek appeals to all trekking enthusiasts.
Like any other trek, getting to the region and completing Annapurna Circuit trekking includes various costs such as transportation, permits, equipment, guides, lodging, food etc.
The trek cost generally depends on the duration of your holiday and how you trek and spend. However, with the Annapurna Circuit trek, you can be assured that you will have all of your money worth.
So, now let’s discuss in detail of the Annapurna Circuit trek costs to help you budget your trek.
How Much Does It Cost to Trek Annapurna Circuit?
Although the Annapurna Circuit trek can be done totally independent, there are many who choose to go trekking with travel companies. It’s mainly because they don’t have to think about logistics and it’s also much easier and safer to trek with a travel company.
It’s good to have a guide lead your journey because of many intersecting routes in the region
And when you’re hike with travel company, they’ll make all the arrangements necessary for your domestic travel, accommodation, food, permits, and guide.
When planning on trekking with tour operator, there are two options. You can either pick a local agent, or a Western agent.
Annapurna Circuit trek cost, the local tour operators can charge from USD 900 to USD 2000, depends on the duration. The western operator can charge anywhere between USD 1500 and USD 3000.
However, it makes more sense to choose a local tour operator, because Nepalese are the ones with the most know-how in Nepal, as simple as that.
Nepal Visas Costs
You’ll need a visa to enter Nepal, except for Indian. Indians are allowed to enter Nepal without a visa. While you can obtain your visa before you arrive in Nepal, many nationals get a visa at the airport itself upon arrival.
The cost of the visa will depend on the duration of your stay. All visas allow multiple entries within the time frame of the visa into the country. The tentative visa costs are:
- For 15 days: USD 30
- For 30 days: USD 50
- For 90 days: USD 125
Annapurna Circuit Trek Transportation Cost
There are two ways of choosing the transport. You can either take buses or a private jeep by road.
If you decide to take a flight, the cost may vary according to season. The flight tickets are usually more expensive during the peak trekking months Feb-May and Sept-November.
However, if you book your flight in advance of your trek, you could get some good deals.
And if you’re traveling in a group, you can choose to hire a private vehicle to share the costs among the members of the group.
- Local bus to Besisahar from Kathmandu: approx. USD 5 to 7, one way
- Private Jeep to Besisahar from Kathmandu approx. USD 130 to 160, one way
Food and Drinks Cost During Annapurna Circuit trek
With the increasing number of trekkers every year, the standard of the tea houses and the lodges have been improved.
Also, the quality of the food has improved, and more varieties you can find. Many tea houses also serve dishes such as spaghetti, pasta, sandwich and so on.
Yet Dal Bhat, the staple Nepali food, is the best value for money. It is delicious and cheap!
One thing you’ll notice when eating during the trek is that as you go higher, the food cost gradually begins to increase. Hence food costs can start at low altitude from USD 5. And, at the higher altitudes, can go up to USD 8 per meal. As for drinks, the costs are as follows:
- Bottled drinking water: USD 1 to 4
- Tea/Coffee: USD USD 0,5 to 2,5 per cup
Accommodation Cost During Annapurna Circuit Trek
Accommodation on the route is cheap. For a double room with or without an attached bathroom the average price is around USD 5 to 8. ⠀
The tea houses are generally clean. The rooms are simple. They have power outlets, and bathrooms with Western or Squat toilets are sometimes attached
They usually have a comfortable common area with a good company and a fire Wifi is available in some guesthouses although it is limited.
Annapurna Circuit Trek Guide & Porter Costs
A guide and a porter both play a major role during trekking. Having them ensures that you have a safe and relaxed experience on trekking.
You are safe with a guide as he leads you through the right routes
They are professionals with experience in the trails and know what to do in an emergency. They also provide you with the information you about the people and places etc.
Having a porter will also keep you free from carrying the heavy baggage. A porter is capable of carrying up to 25 kg. Hence the guide’s cost for the Annapurna Circuit trek is about USD 30 -33 a day and USD 17 -20 a day for a porter.
Annapurna Circuit Trek Permit Cost
For the Annapurna Circuit trek, you will need two permits, which you will use to check in at different checkpoints along the trek. Here below are the permits and costs:
Trekkers Information Management System (TIMS Card)
- For SAARC nationals: about USD 7
- For all other nationals: about USD 20
Annapurna Conservation Area / ACAP
- For SAARC nationals: about USD 10
- For all other nationals: about USD 30
Please note that the price includes 13% VAT compliance.
Mountain trekking also comes with its own set of risks and Annapurna circuit trekking is no different.
You never know what you might have to do while trekking. Anyone can experience acute mountain sickness, muscle sprain and general tiredness.
But having travel insurance is wise to stay on the safe side. Your insurance policy will cover any additional expenses that may result from various injuries, health issues, or accidents
It should also cover the cost of a helicopter rescue, the cost of treatment and also the cost of repatriation, including the cost of theft and liability, cancelation and misplaced luggage.
So, make sure the policy covers the altitude below 6000 meters, the Annapurna Circuit trek in Nepal goes over 5000 meters +.
With all of these, the average cost (not including mountaineering) for trekking insurance is USD 150 (based on 30 days coverage).
It is difficult to estimate the cost of the equipment, as it varies from individual to individual. It also depends on how much equipment you already own and how much you’re willing to buy or rent.
If you’re someone who often doesn’t trek, then renting may be a good option. You may not want to spend much on buying something that might not be very useful later.
Renting gears comes at a cost, though. Whether you’re buying or renting, you’ll find many trekking gear shops in both Kathmandu and Pokhara.
Annapurna Circuit trek will require different gear and equipment. Some of the essential ones are:
- A sleeping bag
- Duffel bag + daypack
- Warm and waterproof/wind jacket
- Hiking trousers and shirts, including a base layer and second layer fleece
- A light weight good quality trekking boot
- Pair of sport/normal shoes for when you want to take a stroll
- Gloves, inner/outer and warm thermal socks
- Hiking Poles
- So, an approximate estimate is about USD 500.
Tips for Annapurna Circuit trek
- Make sure they are a member of the Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA) and a member of the Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal when choosing a tour operator. It is a governing body regulates the welfare issues of the guides and porters working in Nepal
- Although there are different views on tipping in Nepal, we recommend that you tip your guide and porter. Tipping about 10% of your trekking cost is the general rule of thumb. And if you want to pay more it’s up to you totally.
- Carry extra money for services such as wifi, electronic storage, hot showers, snack buy etc.
Ways to reduce your expenses
- Choose off-season to get good deals in flight and accommodation instead of peak season
- Travel by land instead of air
- Rent trekking gear instead of buying them
- Spending money on bottled water can be expensive, thus carrying water purifying tablets for drinking water.
Detail Itinerary of Annapurna Circuit Trek
Day 1: Arrive in Kathmandu (1400 m)
We will receive you at the airport for transfer to your hotel. In the evening, you will meet your trekking guide for a trek briefing.
Day 2: Drive to Besisahar (approx. 5) by Hiace van & drive to Pisang (3200 m).
We’ll have our breakfast on the second day and your guide will pick you up, and take the bus to Besisahar together. The local bus ride is 5 hours west of Kathmandu where you can experience from the bus some rural settlements and beautiful countryside.
Once we reach Besisahar we will continue our journey north to Pisang. Your jeep is waiting for you at Besisahar and we will finally reach Pisang after the 5-hour journey. Overnight at Pisang.
Day 3: Trek to Manang (3540 m) 4 hours
We’ll have already reached 3300 m at Pisang on the 3rd day. We’ll officially begin our Annapurna Circuit trek after breakfast at Pisang. Today, from Pisang trekking to Manang, we will cover up to 17kms.
The trail leads straight to the north and then to Nawal, Bhraka and finally to Manang further west. However, the other alternative to go to Manang from Pisang is to take the southern route via Humde where the trail meets at Mugje through a suspension bridge. Compared with the northern route through Ghyaru the southern route is easier. Overnight at Manang.
Day 4: Acclimatization day & Discover Manang
Although acclimatization stands for stepping back from the regular ascend and adjusting the altitude, it does not necessarily mean rest. The right way to adjust to the higher altitude and thinning air is to be active.
Thus, we will take a short hike to the nearby Gangapurna Glacier ridge or walk up to the cave above Manang village to aid acclimatization. The remaining time will be used to discover the villages the native people and their history. Overnight at Manang
Day 5: Trek to Yak Kharka (4020 m) 4 hours.
The Annapurna circuit continues to leave the Marshyangdi River on the 5th day of our trip, the trek continues towards Yak Kharka. Ascending the steep trail, we arrive at Ghusang first.
The mani walls will lead the trail from Ghusang (Gunsang) along Thorong Khola where we will have to cross a suspension bridge and walk uphill before finally reach to yak Kharka. Overnight at Yak Kharkha.
Day 6: Trek to Phedi (4450 m) / High Camp (4850 m) 5 hours
Leaving Yak Kharkha, you’ll ascend to Letar. Accompanied by the continuous view of the surrounding mountain peaks, you can walk through towering cliffs to Thorung Phedi.
Upon your way to Thorong Phedi, you will pass small teashops. From Thorong Phedi a close-up view can be observed of Thorong Peak (6144 m), Syagang (6026 m), Khatungkang (6484 m), Purbung Himal (6590), and others. Overnight at Thorong Phedi/ High Camp.
Day 7: Trek to Muktinath (3800 m) via Thorong La Pass (5416 m) 8 hours
Today is going to be one of the most strenuous yet exciting trek for us as we cross the highest pass to go to Muktinath. Thorong La Pass lies between Manang and Mustang and was used by early traders to pass from Manang to Mustang, and now by trekkers.
Numerous prayer flags mark the top of the Thorong La Pass and you will be greeted by the magnificent view of peaks above 6000 m; pleasant view of Kali Gandaki Valley westward and Yakwakang northward. After we cross the pass we walk a little further along the Thorong Khola to Muktinath. Overnight at Muktinath.
Day 8: Trek to Jomsom (2745 m) 5 hours
We will start our day by visiting the famous Muktinath temple. Hundreds of pilgrims visit the religious site annually. We walk from Muktinath towards Jomsom which is 5 hours walk.
We come across various suspension bridges and prayer flags along the way. Generally, the trail is dry with a stream flowing through the terrain The Mustang region is truly beautiful, and its authentic culture and land structure varies from the rest of Nepal. Arriving at Jomsom, we will check in to our lodge.
Day 9: Drive from Jomsom to Pokhara (823m). 158 km. Driving 8 hrs.
Wake up early in the morning about 5:30 AM and have a breakfast and then walk to Pokhara bus station for the drive It’s off-road drive from Jomsom to Beni but a scenic one.
You are passing through the Marpha, Kalopani, Ghasa, Tatopani villages. You can see beautiful Rupse Waterfall on the way. There is a blacktopped road from Beni to Pokhara.
Once you have reached Pokhara, you can check in at the hotel. free and rest. You can visit Fewa Lake in the evening and walk along lake side street to see the market. Overnight at a hotel.
Day 10: Drive back to Kathmandu (1400m).
We leave for Kathmandu by tourist bus at approximately 7.30 am. We arrive back in Kathmandu at about 2-3 pm. With lots of good memories you’ll go back to Kathmandu. In the evening, we will have a farewell dinner in a traditional Nepalese restaurant with cultural performances.
Day 11: Free day / Fly to home.
It is also a spare day. If you are interested in taking some gifts for friends and relatives from Nepal, visit some nearby shops or go out for typical Nepalese goods in Thamel. In the evening, we will have a farewell dinner at a traditional Nepalese restaurant with cultural performances.
How Difficult is the Annapurna Circuit Trek?
The Annapurna Circuit Trek is a moderate trekking route and one of the longest in the region. So, without prior training and preparation, it can be a little harder for a beginner trekker to complete the journey. Annapurna Circuit Trek is one of the most inspiring and adventurous trekking experiences for any trekker.
How Long Does It Take to Trek the Annapurna Circuit?
Annapurna Circuit trek normally takes about 10 to 20 days, leaving Kathmandu before returning to the capital with a stopover in Pokhara. The trail is moderate to fairly difficult and crosses numerous rivers over steel and wooden suspension bridges.
The Annapurna Circuit Trek is a lifetime journey worth every single cent. Trekking in Nepal costs depend on how you trek, the facilities you use and the luxury you want.
Please feel free to contact us for any further questions/queries. It’s our pleasure to guide you and help you in planning this trek and make sure it’s a great and successful one.