ANNAPURNA CIRCUIT BUDGET & NEPAL COST OF TRAVEL
Everything you need to know about the cost of travel in Nepal and how to trek the popular Annapurna Circuit in the Himalayas on a budget. Nepal is a budget-friendly country and we spent less than $21 per day during our 4 weeks Nepal visit.
Nepal, in general, is a budget-friendly country and it's possible to travel and stay there without breaking the bank.
Our spending in Nepal was a bit specific as we primarily hiked the Annapurna Circuit, so our options regarding food and accommodation were relatively limited.
Nepali government set a price range for all lodges on the trek, which means, the cost is very similar everywhere, there is only one rule, the higher you climb, the more expensive service you can expect.
Are you arriving to Nepal soon and looking for accommodation in Kathmandu? Check hotel rates in Nepal's capital through our link HERE.
Depending on your bargaining skills, owner's mood and the season you can try to get a better price. Also, it is unwritten rule hikers have dinner and breakfast in the same lodge where they sleep so usually we were asked only to pay for food and host waived our accommodation fees.
COST OF TRAVEL
In total, we traveled 23 days in Nepal and spent 102 424 NPR = 4453 NPR per day = 2227 NPR per person, which is approximately 21 USD per person per day. This sum is without the flight tickets and additional gear we purchased before the trek.
TOTAL: 970 USD
Return flight tickets from Prague, Czech Republic, with one layover in Dubai cost us approximately 800 USD per person. We could have probably acquired it way cheaper but were so excited about the idea going finally to Nepal, that we bought tickets straight away. We also needed the flight tickets for exact dates, so our searching options were limited.
TOTAL: 1600 USD
VISA AND PERMITS
30 days visa costs 40 USD per person, and you can pay the fee at the airport after filling out the arrival card. For Annapurna Circuit you must obtain TIMS & ACAP permits, it costs 2000 NPR each.
TOTAL: 160 USD
When hiking Annapurna Circuit, the expected price range for accommodation with breakfast and dinner varies from 250 NPR to 800 NPR for a room for two. We usually slept in private rooms with shared bathroom, only a few times we had a room with attached bathroom. You can expect slightly higher prices in larger cities as Kathmandu or Pokhara.
TOTAL: 184 USD
Taxi from Airport to the Thamel cost around 750 NPR, the ride itself will cost you another few years of your life.
Bus from Kathmandu to Besisahar cost 430 NPR per person.
Jeep from Kagbeni to Jomson cost 350 NPR.
Jeep from Jomson to Pokhara cost 1690 NPR per person.
Bus from Pokhara to Kathmandu cost 700 NPR per person.
TOTAL: 65 USD
Food and drink prices rise proportionally to elevation. Breakfast is 250 - 400 NPR, lunch and dinner 500 NPR - 700 NPR per person. We always ordered local vegetarian food which is cheaper than western food or meals with meat. We did not buy any alcohol while trekking. Firstly, it gets expensive, around 500 NPR for 0.33l beer bottle and secondly, it is not recommended to drink alcohol at this altitude.
It is also not safe to drink tap water in Annapurna area. Tourists should use purifying tablets, drops or buy water in ACAP stations along the road and it usually cost one-third of water in plastic bottles. In lowland, you can buy 1 liter for as little as 25 NPR, at the altitude around 3000 m it costs approximately 160 NPR.
In the cities, you can buy a dinner from 80 NPR.
TOTAL: 406 USD
On Annapurna Circuit we only bought freshly made snacks in bakeries along the trek for 100 - 150 NPR. Prices in local restaurants are cheap so no need to go grocery shopping. When we were longing for fresh fruit, we bought it in Kathmandu or Pokhara from street vendors. You must bargain as there is no set price and no one will tell you how much it should approximately be.
TOTAL: 25 USD
You can book a guided tour with a travel agency which will take care of everything on your behalf in advance, or you can hire guide and porter in Kathmandu, Pokhara or at the beginning of the trek. We decided it wasn't necessary to hire a guide as the trail is well-marked and we were also willing to carry our own backpacks. We paid entrance fees only in Kathmandu and Pokhara.
TOTAL: 30 USD
Before leaving, we bought down jackets, water purifying drops, medications and trekking poles. It cost around $700, but we didn't purchase this gear only for Annapurna Circuit and will use it in future.
TOTAL: 700 USD
When going abroad, we always purchase travel insurance. Annapurna Circuit is the trek at high altitudes so make sure your insurance covers rescue by helicopter above 5000 meters (Thorong La lies at 5416 m). Our insurance cost around $50 per person for the whole stay.