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Annapurna Base Camp Trek is undoubtedly one of the best and most challenging experiences for anyone in the world. Nepal boasts some of the best trekking destinations in the world and Annapurna Base Camp ranks high on that list. Especially during the peak Spring and Autumn seasons, the view you will see while trekking to or from base camp will be second to none.
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Despite the popularity of the ABC Camp, many trekkers especially from the USA are unaware of the cost of their entire trek. So in this guide, we will talk about the Annapurna Base Camp Trek Cost for US Citizens. We will go into detail about each factor that decides the cost like Flight from the USA to Nepal, Cost of Lodging and Food in Kathmandu, Modes of Transportation from Kathmandu to Pokhara either by car or plane, food and Accommodation costs in Pokhara and much more.
So without any more delay let’s delve into it.
Factors Affecting Annapurna Base Camp Trek Cost For US Citizens
As mentioned earlier the Annapurna Base Camp Trek depends on several factors, so you must take all factors into account to prepare your budget for the trek.
If you pay attention to these common or uncommon factors then it can create a huge budgeting problem down the road during your trek. So let’s take a closer look at them.
Flight, Insurance and Visa Fee
Cost of Flight From USA To Nepal
Budgeting for the cost of flights to and from Nepal is important for US citizens planning to hike in the country. This means that you will need to pay for your trip from the United States to Nepal, as well as your return trip back to the United States after completing your hike.
During the offseason, you can get flight tickets for as low as $400 but in normal season the price starts at $600. Some airlines have quite expensive prices, which will total over $1900 for the round trip, which might be the most expensive among them.
The cost of an international flight is influenced by your departure location. For instance, if you are traveling from India, the price will be $50, while it will be $200 if you are leaving from Australia.
The cost of an international flight from the USA to Nepal ranges from $400 to $1200, depending on the airline, location, travel class, and season. This cost does not include a round trip.
You might also get an appropriate discount or lower price if you book your tickets in advance as Nepal has a very reasonable cancellation policy for your convenience.
Travel Insurance Cost
Travel Insurance is very important whenever you decide to travel or trek in Nepal. It becomes even more significant when you are traveling to a challenging place like the Annapurna region for what could be one of the most challenging treks in your life.
If you don’t have travel insurance during these treks it can cost your bank account and even your health. Many unforeseen circumstances can impact your health during the trek which will be secured by your travel insurance.
In the case of the Annapurna Base Camp Trek, Travel insurance is necessary not only for any sickness, illness, or accident but also if you require a helicopter rescue. In the case of helicopter rescue, the cost is more than $5,000 which is quite expensive but it will be covered by the insurance.
Furthermore, according to the local government rules in Nepal, the Travel Allowance is a must for everyone visiting Annapurna Region so you must include it in your budgeting plans.
Visa Fee to Nepal
If you are a US Citizen visiting Nepal for the ABC trek you are required to have a visa. Every national except Indians must issue visas to visit Nepal. You can receive your VISA either by going on the Nepalese Embassy website, filling out forms, and paying the required fees or by arriving in Nepal and filling out the Arrival card and Tourist Visa form in Nepal. You can also pay the Visa fee at the airport itself.
For the Annapurna Base Camp Trek, you must fill out the Nepalese Visa Form for 30 days as the trek can take more than 18 to 20 days itself.
Let’s take a look at the Arrival Visa Fee in Nepal
- $30 US – 15 Days Nepal Tourist Visa
- $50 US – 30 Days Nepal Tourist Visa
- $124 US- 90 Days Nepal Tourist Visa
Hence, these are the Visa fees in Nepal for every US citizen. If your arrival in the USA is only for the Annapurna Base Camp Trek then you can take 30 Days Nepal Visa for $50.
Mode of Domestic Transportation (Bus vs Flight cost, time, and comfort
You must also consider transportation costs from Kathmandu to Pokhara and back when planning a trip from the USA to Nepal. This cost is separate from your international airfare, and can quickly add up, so be sure to plan accordingly.
There are two options for transportation from Kathmandu either by flight or by bus. So let’s get into it.
If you want to reach Pokhara from Kathmandu quickly, then taking a flight is the best option. This is particularly useful if you’re short on time or have only a few days to complete your trek.
Naturally, a flight from Kathmandu is more expensive than the bus or car route. The time it takes from Kathmandu to Pokhara is normally 45 minutes and you can only a scenic mountainous view of the valley, Kathmandu city, and mesmerizing landscapes.
If you have decided to go to Pokhara via flight then the cheapest price is $80 which is not as comfortable as the standard flight that can cost from $120 to $150. You can either book a flight from Kathmandu yourself via Buddha Airways or if you are taking assistance from travel agencies then they will book your flight along with other services in Pokhara as well.
Another way to travel from Kathmandu to Pokhara is by road which means you can book a private vehicle, a public bus to Pokhara, or a tourist bus if you are in a larger group of people. Although these options can be viable apart from the public bus where it is very crowded and you will not get a private moment. However, if your budget is low then a public microbus or bus might be the best option for you.
So it is advisable to either book a tourist bus or a private jeep from Kathmandu to Pokhara. The tourist bus is perfect for a group of 2-3 people who can mix up with other tourists and get to Pokhara for a lot cheaper than the private jeep.
If you’re planning on taking a tourist bus in the Thamel area, a ticket will cost you around $10. However, if you’re traveling with your family from Kathmandu to Pokhara, it’s best to opt for a private jeep. This mode of transport will take you 10 to 12 hours and can be booked through your travel agency or at bus parks. You can also split the cost with other travelers. The private jeep option costs between $250 to $300 for transportation.
Hence, flight transportation is quite expensive than road transport from Kathmandu to Pokhara. In the case of road transport private jeep is more expensive but comfortable than a tourist bus or public bus.
When traveling from Kathmandu to Pokhara, US citizens should consider two factors when it comes to accommodation costs: the cost of accommodation in cities and the cost of accommodation in remote areas.
The trek start from Pokhara but you have to spend at least one day in Kathmandu which will add additional cost. If you are staying in a budget hotel in Kathmandu then it will be a lot cheaper than the three-star hotels.
Generally, the cost of the three-star hotel in Kathmandu ranges from $30 to $50. If you have booked your ABC trek via a travel agency then they will provide an appropriate hotel or lodges for your accommodation for which you have to pay a certain amount.
You also have the option of highly fancy luxurious five-star hotels but they are highly expensive. You might have to pay up to $500 for the night for huge five-star hotels in Kathmandu.
The next day you will travel from Kathmandu to Pokhara where you will stay in another lodge or hotel which is comparatively cheaper than that of Kathmandu. However, there are also luxury hotels that can charge up to $500 per night so you can base your accommodation in either Pokhara or Kathmandu based on your budget.
The next part of the accommodation comes in the remote areas during the trek where you will have to stay in lodges and teahouses. The accommodation services in the teahouses are quite basic with small rooms. In these lodges and tea houses, you will normally get a double bed but if you want a single bedroom then the price will double.
In the case of the teahouse in the remote trek, the cost is normally $2 to $5 per night which shows they are a lot cheaper than those in city areas.
Food Cost During the Trek
Just like Accommodation, another important cost to take into account is your food and meals. You can choose from local delicacies to international flavors in different restaurants in the city area where you have to pay up to $10 – $15 per meal.
However, if you want to taste local cuisines like Dal Bhat (Rice and Lentils) then you can only pay up to $5 to $10 per meal. After spending a few days in city areas, when you start to trek the ABC Camp route you will reach the isolated areas where there are only limited options for foods and drinks.
Although you have certain options for Western foods like pizzas, chowmein, momos, stew noodles, etc, normally you will get options of local cuisine like Dal, Bhat, Dindo, Dumplings, Sandwich, Bread, and Chapati.
The price of the food and meals also decreases from the altitude and region. In the lower trails, you can eat delicious Dal Bhat for $3 but in the higher altitude, you might have to pay up to $7.
Guide and Porter Cost
Another important cost that you might want to include in your budget is the cost of a guide and porter. The guides are compulsory for the ABC Trek but porters are optional however the ABC Trek is quite challenging because you must climb high altitudes with heavy backpacks in your back so if you want to make your trek a lot easier then you might want to invest some money on hiring porters.
The guide cost ranges from $30 to $40 per day and the porter services cost from $20 to $30 per day. The guide will help you with every local situation, permit, and any problem with the local government and people as they have tons of contacts.
On the other hand, the porters are helpers you will help to cook food, set up a campfire, and carry backpacks or hire yaks or mules for carrying your heavy loads.
Paperwork and Documents Cost
Another important cost that may not seem important is the important documents or paperwork costs like permits, TIMS cards, etc. You must have an Annapurna Conservation Area Project permit and a TIMS card to be eligible for trekking toward the ABC Camp.
For an ACAP permit, you must pay $25 per person and for the TIMS card, the cost is $7 per person. You must have other documents like a passport-size photo, passport, visa, Travel Insurance paper, itinerary/route, Dates of your trek, Entry and Exit points, and Emergency contact information.
Other Miscellaneous Costs
Finally, there are other several miscellaneous costs that you will incur during your trek to the Annapurna region. Whether it is for the extra services in hotels like WIFI, Hot Showers, Chagring Pots, or buying items during sightseeing the expenses fall under miscellaneous costs.
It is important to separate from $100 to $200 for your other expenses so that you won’t have to worry about spending something for yourself.
Hence, Annapurna Base Camp is quite a popular and moderately cheap experience for the US Citizens. Compared to the trek in other countries, Nepal and Annapurna Base Camps are cheap and will provide excellent adventure for a reasonable cost which is cheaper along with some of the best services you have ever enjoyed during your trekking experience.