You need to check your quote to see exactly which costs are included and excluded in your trip cost. You’ll find that most things are included. However we suggest that you budget roughly an extra USD $200 to cover extra costs. These may include:
Lunches and dinners in Kathmandu and Pokhara. Check your quote to see which meals are included.
Nepal Entry Visa. Your visa will cost either $25 for 15 days, or $40 for 30 days.
Drinking water. We don’t provide drinking water on the trek. We encourage you to respect the environment and use reusable drinking bottles and water purification tablets. It’s also a lot cheaper and it’s safe as long as the water you purify runs clear from the source.
Other drinks. All meals included in the itinerary come with a cup of tea or coffee. You need to pay for any other drinks that you order.
Overweight backpack. If your backpack weighs more than 13kg, you will need to pay a bit extra to compensate your porter.
Tips for your guide and porters. We suggest that you give a tip if you’re happy with the service you’ve received. Whilst we pay our guides and porters fairly, wages in Nepal are still low.
Optional extras at your accommodation. In some accommodation you may have an opportunity to pay for WIFI access. It’s normal for teahouses to charge extra for battery charging, since most rooms don’t have power points. Some teahouses have hot showers (or hot buckets of water), or even attached bathrooms available for an extra cost.
Additional costs due to unforeseen circumstances. Including flight delays and cancellations (see below), also extra nights in Kathmandu.
Flight Delays (Lukla Airport, Everest)
The Tenzing-Hillary airport at Lukla is in the heart of the mountains. If the weather is bad or the visibility is poor, your flight may be cancelled or delayed. If this happens, your guide will advise the best course of action and adjust your itinerary accordingly. We can usually rework your itinerary easily and still fit everything in.
It’s often possible to transfer your flight to the following day free of charge. However, in the unlikely event that flights are cancelled for consecutive days, we’ll need to make other arrangements. Your guide will advise you of the options and we’ll do everything possible to make sure you can still trek in Nepal. Any extra costs incurred will be your responsibility including any additional night’s accommodation in Kathmandu.
When you choose a trek, you need to have confidence that your current fitness level to trek Nepal is good enough to meet the challenging conditions you’ll find here. Even if you’re used to long, multi-day hikes at home, it can be quite different at high altitude. Don’t be put off! We really think that most people can do a trek in Nepal with the right training and a great guide!
There are many options for those with a moderate fitness level to trek Nepal. So, if you exercise regularly, there will almost certainly be a trek for you! We’ve met trekkers over the age of 70 on the easier trails like Ghorepani Poon Hill. We regularly see families with older children trekking too.
Every trek has some tough uphill climbs. It’s the only way you’ll see some of the beautiful mountain views on offer! So if you don’t walk very often (including uphill), we recommend that you make a plan to get trekking fit before you come to Nepal.
Longer treks, crossing high-mountain passes demand a much higher fitness level. So you’ll only want to choose one of these treks if you’ve already got a really high fitness level.
You’ve got a great opportunity to think about the trek you really want to do! Not just what you think you can do. Often, we sell ourselves short or we lack belief in what we’re truly capable of. This is your chance to do something amazing and it’ll be well worth the effort to get fit and reach that summit! It could be life-changing!
Trek ‘Level of Difficulty’
Each of our most popular treks show the level of difficulty, in relation to each other.
Easiest treks are just what they say. They’re the easiest, lowest altitude treks you’ll find in the Nepal Himalaya! You can still expect to trek for 1-3 days, but not above 2,000m/6,500ft. With this level of effort, you can still enjoy some spectacular Himalayan mountain views! Ask us about organising a shorter trek for you.
Easier treks are mostly steady walking, with an occasional moderate climb. If you’re short of time or concerned about the physical demands of trekking in Nepal, Ghorepani Poon Hill is a great option. It’s one of our shortest and lowest altitude treks. Making it accessible to anyone with a moderate level of fitness. Poon Hill is one of the most popular vantage points in the Himalaya, providing spectacular views of the Annapurna mountains. We guarantee it will take your breath away!
Moderate treks are mostly intermediate level walking, with some challenging climbs. Our popular treks to Annapurna Base Camp and Tengboche to see stunning views of Everest are both moderate. You trek right into the heart of the Himalaya up to around 4,000m/13,000ft and enjoy spectacular views. Yet you walk for less days and without climbing to the highest passes.
Challenging treks include some strenuous climbs to summit or cross high mountains and passes. They also tend to be longer treks that require a good level of stamina. Push yourself to the limit on the famous Annapurna Circuit or cross Everest Base Camp off your bucket list!
Very Challenging Treks
Very challenging treks are longer treks crossing multiple high mountain passes. You need an excellent level of fitness to partake in these treks.
If you’re still unsure about your fitness level to trek Nepal, get in touch and we’ll talk you through your options. If an example itinerary doesn’t exist for the trek you’ve got in mind, ask us about the level of difficulty.
Yes, we’ll organise a porter to carry your backpack. We include this cost in your quote, so you don’t have to pay extra providing your backpack is not ‘overweight’ (please see below).
Trekking Nepal is challenging and even harder if you’re carrying your own backpack. It’s much easier for you to put one foot in front of the other and enjoy the stunning scenery, if you’ve only got a small day pack to worry about! (That is unless you’re very fit and you’re used to strenuous hiking with a backpack).
There are many porters in Nepal. It’s the way most including our founder Krishna start their careers in the very popular Nepal trekking industry. We carefully select each of our porters in Nepal (many are from Krishna’s extended family) and we ensure they’re safely up to the task. We also include porter insurance in our quotes, to protect our porters in the event of an accident or emergency.
How Much Weight Can my Porter Carry?
The recommended weight for porters to safely carry is 25kg and we assign one porter between two people (unless you pay to have an extra porter). When you think about it, 25kg is already a very heavy load to carry, especially when you’re trekking in the Himalaya! Therefore we ask that you make sure your backpack weighs no more than 12-13kg.
We’ve trekked in Nepal many times and we think you can easily take what you need and be within 13kg. Especially when you can also carry things in your own day pack. If you’re not sure about what to take on the trek, have a look at our packing list here.
You don’t have to take everything with you. It’s always possible to leave some things (including a clean change of clothes) at your hotel or at our office in Kathmandu – just ask us.
As part of our responsible trekking policy, it’s our priority to be fair to our porters and to compensate them for carrying heavier loads. So, please note that if your backpack weighs more than 13kg, we will charge you extra and this money will be paid directly to your porter.
Note for Solo Trekkers
If you trek solo with a porter-guide (basically a guide who will carry your backpack), we ask that you limit the weight to 10kg. We’re already asking your guide to do two jobs and it’s important that he can walk with ease to be able to take the best possible care of you during your trek.
Extra Charges to Pay if Your Backpack is Overweight
We will weigh your backpack before your trek starts. If it weighs more than 13kg (or 26kg if you’ve paid to have your own porter), we will charge you $1 per extra kilo per day. So, if you have an extra 3 kilos and you are trekking for 10 days, we will charge you an extra $30, which will be paid in cash directly to your porter.
If you would like to know about the cost to have one porter for yourself (to carry up to 26kg), just let us know. We’ll happily provide a revised quote. This could work out much cheaper depending on how much you plan to take with you.
Essentials to Keep With You
You still need to carry a day pack, as there are some essentials you need to keep with you including:
Water purification tablets.
A snack to give you a boost when you need it!
An extra layer of warm clothing.
Rain jacket if there’s a risk of rain – your guide will let you know.
A hat (warm hat if it’s cold, sun hat if it’s sunny and hot!).
Sunglasses (all year round) – the glare from the snow in winter can be quite literally blinding.
Sun screen (all year round).
Any fragile items – see ‘note about fragile items’ in our Packing List.
Camera to snap all those incredible mountain views!
Each morning, pack these essentials in your day pack and put everything else in your backpack.
Please note that often your porters will walk ahead of the group, so you may not have access to the contents of your backpack, until you arrive at your destination.
There are many different types of accommodation in Nepal. However, there is a big difference between the standard of accommodation in Kathmandu and Pokhara, compared with the teahouses on the trekking trails.
When you contact us for a quote we’ll ask you about your travel preference. This helps us to determine the standard of accommodation you expect in Kathmandu and Pokhara. Whether you tell us you’re a budget or mid-range traveller, the hotel accommodation in Nepal that we organise will be comfortable, centrally located and great value.
Accommodation in Kathmandu and Pokhara
Kathmandu and Pokhara offer many options from budget to luxury accommodation. We always book comfortable and clean minimum 3* hotels with an en-suite bathroom, warm/hot shower and flushing toilet. These are things you’ll learn not to take for granted once you start trekking!
We’ll select a hotel based on your travel preference. Feel free to let us know if you have a particular expectation, however we can’t guarantee a specific hotel. We have relationships with several accommodation providers in Kathmandu and Pokhara, which means we can negotiate better deals for our clients.
Accommodation in Teahouses (During Your Trek)
One of the most common types of accommodation in Nepal is teahouses. With the introduction of teahouses along many of the trekking trails, it’s easier than ever to trek Nepal. We always reserve the best teahouses available, but the standard can vary greatly. The usual sleeping arrangement is a solid bed and foam mattress. If a blanket isn’t provided you can ask your guide to get you one. You’ll be sleeping in your own sleeping bag (you can hire a sleeping bag in Kathmandu or Pokhara), yet an extra layer can come in handy.
Most teahouses have shared toilet facilities, which are usually located outside and are often extremely basic (see below).
Additional washing facilities are not always available, hence biodegradable hygiene wipes are our ‘go to’!
Most teahouses are supplied with cold water from an outside tap, which you can use to wash your hands, feet (after a long, hard trek!) and face. Sometimes you can pay extra for a bucket of hot water or a warm (solar) shower. If you’re at high altitude and it’s very cold, we advise against this. Your body can get cold very fast when you’re wet and it’s hard to get warm again. You don’t want to risk getting sick during your trek.
The standard of teahouses is slowly improving and some have started offering attached bathrooms for approximately $10 extra per night. Talk to your guide if you are interested in upgrading where there is availability. However we strongly recommend you check the facility first. Some attached bathrooms don’t have running water. Just a toilet and bucket of water to flush. Whilst others have a cold tap, or even a shower (most likely with cold water).
Toilets in Nepal (During Your Trek)
Toilets in Nepal, like many in Asia are usually holes in the ground that you squat over and flush with a jug of water. The key is to relax all the way down so you’re resting on your calves! If you’re fit enough to trek, you’re probably fit enough to squat low!
The cleanliness of toilets really does vary. Some are sparkly clean and others will turn your stomach. But when you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go. So be brave and get it over with quickly!
The first time you sit on a ‘normal’ toilet once back in Pokhara or Kathmandu will be delightful. It makes all the squatting well worthwhile, unless you’re used to squatting that is!
There are other types of accommodation in Nepal as you’d expect. Including luxury retreats, village home-stays and just about everything in between. If you’d like to spend some time in a different type of accommodation in Nepal, let us know. We can build it into your itinerary!
We love the food, including the trekking food in Nepal! Okay, we love all food! But seriously, it’s possible to eat really well in Nepal. There’s always a huge amount to choose from. You’re guaranteed to find something you’ll like and you can eat healthily too. The combination of rice-based meals and vegetables when you’re trekking can help your waistline (I always enjoy getting on the weighing scales after a trek!). But if you’re not worried about that, there are plenty of delicious sweet options too including sweet teas!
Trekking Food in Nepal
Trekking food in Nepal isn’t limited to Nepali dishes. Menus often include Western and Chinese style dishes. You can expect to find pasta, pizza, french fries, chow mein, and many other things you wouldn’t imagine eating in the Nepal Himalaya. These options usually aren’t nearly as good as the real thing, but great if you just fancy a change. In any case, you won’t go hungry!
There are many local dishes that you might like to try. These are Team Nepalorama’s favourite three courses (and drinks)!
Breakfast – Tibetan Bread
When it comes to breakfast, there’s no contest! Our favourite trekking food in Nepal is Tibetan bread. Tibetan bread is a traditional homemade flatbread, available in every teahouse. You can enjoy it cooked plain and served with an omelette or fried egg on top. Or, if you’ve got a sweet tooth, order it fried and served with honey. Whether you want a sweet or savory breakfast, Tibetan bread is the answer – it’s really delicious and filling, the perfect start to your day!
Lunch – Momo
Another traditional Nepali dish is ‘Momo’. A type of dumpling with various fillings (meat or vegetable) and spicy dipping sauce. Great for a snack or side dish, either steamed or fried. When we’re trekking, we try to eat light at lunchtime because it’s much harder to get started again on a very full stomach! But if you prefer to eat your main meal at lunchtime, try momo in the evening!
Dinner – Dal Bhat – the ultimate trekking food in Nepal!
You’ll soon become familiar with the famous phrase ‘Dal Bhat Power 24 Hour’! Dal bhat is the Nepali staple diet. In fact, most Nepalis eat dal bhat twice a day, every day. This doesn’t mean they eat exactly the same food every day. Dal bhat, consisting of rice, lentil soup, curry (veg, meat or even paneer), pickles and often-steamed or fried greens is different every time you order it. It depends what vegetables and meat are available, so you’re always in for a surprise! In the lower mountains, many teahouses have their own vegetable gardens and pick the ingredients fresh for your dal bhat when you order! Naturally the higher you trek, the more basic dal bhat becomes, as it’s much harder to transport fresh ingredients to high altitudes.
You can find dal bhat on every teahouse and restaurant menu. It’s sometimes referred to as the Nepali Set Meal. Traditionally when you order dal bhat, you’re offered a second helping of at least rice and lentil soup, likely some more curry too. So it’s a filling and healthy choice when you’re famished after a hard day’s walk!
I love that Krishna is excited about eating his dal bhat every single day! He sends me a message to say ‘it’s dal bhat time! 😀😀😀’ We both think the trekking food in Nepal is yummy!
Our Favourite Local Drinks
We just love masala tea, also known as masala chai. It’s basically a black tea made with delicious spices, sugar and milk. In Krishna’s village we drank masala tea throughout the day as various relatives stopped by. Krishna boiled fresh milk from his own buffalo to make the tea. We can’t get enough of this stuff!
Rum and Tatopani (Hot Water)
We strongly advise against drinking alcohol when you’re trekking, as it can affect your ability to acclimatise to the high altitude. But if you want a well deserved celebration drink once you’ve returned to a low altitude, rum and tatopani (hot water) is a local favourite and mine too! You’ve probably tried or heard of a ‘hot toddy’, made with rum, hot water and often lemon and honey. So rum and tatopani isn’t that unusual! Yet it’s amazing how the hot water brings out the spicy flavour of the rum. Order a ‘quarter bottle of rum and a pot of hot water’ in any teahouse or bar – it’ll definitely warm your cockles after a long, hard trek!
It’s possible to trek Nepal without a guide on the unrestricted trails and lots of people do. The trails are usually clear and easy to follow, although we’d highly recommend you take a good map with you.
If you decide to trek Nepal without a guide, it’s a bit cheaper. After all, you’re not paying for a guide. You may also choose not to pay porters to carry your backpacks. You pay for other things included in trip packages like transport, accommodation and food directly. Sometimes you might end up paying more for these things, as you have no relationship or agreement in place with business owners.
You organise your own transport and find your own food and accommodation along the trails. Decide your own daily agenda and trek at your own pace – very fast or super slow, and take breaks when you want. Sounds great right?!
I’m Anna from Team Nepalorama. I’ve trekked in Nepal myself with and without a guide. Having experienced both options, I’ll never trek Nepal without a guide again – here’s why…
The Benefits of Trekking With a Guide and Why we Recommend it!
When you walk out of Kathmandu airport, you’ll discover a sea of people waiting to offer you their services. It can be quite daunting and I find it’s much easier to simply look for my guide (who is holding a sign). Once I’ve found my guide I know I’m in safe hands and everything will be taken care of including transport to Thamel and my hotel accommodation. I can just relax and enjoy the crazy sights of Kathmandu!
I don’t have to worry about, or spend lots of time organising trekking permits, because my guide has already organised them for me.
My accommodation on the trek is guaranteed. This is really important in high season, as the demand is higher than the availability. When you trek with a guide/company, they make the reservations in advance to make sure you have a bed. It’s not possible to book ahead without a guide, you just have to turn up and hope for the best.
Your guide takes your food orders and settles the bill (food based on your travel preference is included when you’re trekking). It’s much easier than trying to do these things yourself. Instead, you can sit back and relax after a tough walk!
Your guide will organise trustworthy porters to carry your bags. Again, it’s more difficult to make arrangements yourself, but not impossible! When I’ve trekked without a guide, I’ve carried my own backpack.
Most importantly for me, when I trek in Nepal, I’m on holiday! It’s a challenging adventure, as opposed to lying on the beach! But I still want to feel looked after. I don’t want to think about where I’m going to eat and sleep each day. Instead, I want to focus on the trekking itself and the stunning nature in the Himalaya, which for me, invokes a sense of deep self-reflection.
If You Choose to Trek Nepal Without a Guide
Make sure you’re fit to trek. Trekking is challenging and trekking guides are skilled to look after all members of a group, providing encouragement when needed. Without a guide looking out for you, you want to make sure you’re in peak condition to trek.
You must carry a very good map with you and pay attention to it. You also need to keep a close eye on the weather and know when to stop for the day.
You must build sufficient time to safely acclimatise into your itinerary.
Have some knowledge of altitude sickness symptoms and what to look out for. In the event that one of your group is sick, you must take immediate action.
Make sure you have comprehensive travel insurance and a way to contact your insurance company in the event of an emergency.
In peak season, it’s sensible to carry a tent with you in case you’re unable to find accommodation.
Trekking Nepal with Nepalorama
When you trek with us, you trek on your terms, with your own guide. Whilst we agree your itinerary before you go to Nepal, you still have a lot of flexibility once you’re there. For example, if you want an extra rest break, just ask your guide! If you want to start a bit later one morning, just ask your guide! If you want to walk further one day, just ask your guide! You get the idea!
We may not be able to fulfill every request, but we’ll explain why and of course our guides will do everything possible to make sure your trek feels just right for you!
Trekking Nepal is a big deal! You put your complete trust in a stranger to guide you in the mighty Himalaya. Not a decision to be taken lightly. If you trek with a guide that isn’t very good or that you don’t get along with, it could ruin your trip. That’s why it’s critical for you to trek with a trustworthy Nepal trekking guide.
We’ve been there and we understand how important it is to have the very best possible trekking guide. Your guide needs to speak good English, be very experienced, knowledgeable and friendly. But if he’s no fun to be around, your trip won’t be the same!
That’s why Krishna carefully selects all our guides himself.
“I choose the very best guides who are just like me! They all have lots of experience trekking all over Nepal. They are very professional, but they are also very kind, friendly people.” Krishna – Founder of Nepalorama Trekking
We know our clients love Krishna, they’ve said so in many client reviews on our website and on Trip Advisor! So, we know all the things that make the very best trekking guide and we make sure all our guides tick these boxes!
Krishna has known all our guides for many years. In fact one of our guides Ramesh is Krishna’s brother! Krishna has trekked with each and every one of our guides, so he knows exactly how they operate. For us, service is everything. Both before and during your trek. It’s really important that your guide provides great service, as well as being experienced, knowledgeable and fun!
How do we Choose a Guide for Your Trek?
We consider the average age of the people trekking. All our guides are wonderful, but sometimes a younger group may prefer to trek with a younger guide. Likewise an older group may prefer an older guide!
It’s important to make sure your guide knows your trekking route intimately. Some guides have spent more time guiding treks in particular regions than others. So, we select a guide who knows your trek and the business owners along the trail exceptionally well!
If you have special requests, we try and accommodate these. For example, if you are an avid nature lover, we can match you with a guide who has good knowledge of nature in the Himalaya.
Our Commitment to You
We guarantee that with us, you’ll trek with a trustworthy Nepal trekking guide and you’ll be in the safest hands with them. We also guarantee that your guide will do everything possible to make sure you have an amazing, authentic experience in Nepal.
There are so many trekking companies of varying standards in Nepal. It’s understandable if you’re not sure who to trust. You need to make make sure you’re dealing with a trustworthy Nepal trekking company like Nepalorama! After all, trekking Nepal is a big deal! You don’t want to be let down, disappointed in your guide, or feel unsafe at any time. Quite the opposite – you need to have confidence that you’re in the best hands both before and during your trek!