Take any hiking adventure or a trip to the Everest Base Camp (EBC), the cost can be directly related to three aspects:
- Number of days
- Choice of food and amenities
In this article, we will be breaking down and dissecting the entirety of the trip in terms of its expenses. So, if you plan to go on such trips, we have the numbers for the expedition’s cost.
So, let’s get right to it without wasting any time!
Everest Base Camp & Three Passes Trek Cost
Table of Contents
The package tours cost anywhere between the range of $1000 and $2000. The price is similar whether the booking is made internationally, online, at a local agency, or in Kathmandu. Just be cautious about whether the company is reputed and pays the guides and porters properly.
- Some of the operators might require you to submit a medical certificate mandatorily.
- If you’re traveling in a group, two guides will accompany you: A lead and an assistant guide. And at least one of them could speak English or any other language you prefer.
- The packages are priced differently based on their services, categorized as luxury (including an attached bathroom in some tea houses and electric beds, to name a few) and budget options.
- An all-inclusive package typically covers food, shelter, insurance, and permits. It generally doesn’t cover the flight costs. You might have to spend some money on your trial for miscellaneous things. It is better to note the exceptions that are not covered.
Hiring Guides & Porters
If going with a group isn’t your thing, but neither is braving it out alone something you want to do, the best option we have for you is to hire freelancer guides and porters. It is much cheaper than a packaged tour, and you get a companion for your trek. You can hire independent trekking guides, Sherpana and Sherpahire, or reach Kathmandu and get help from a local agency. Each guide or porter usually costs around $25 and $35 per day.
Guide-Cum-Porter is an actual existing concept, and you can hire one of them. The prices usually range between $35 and $50 per day, depending on the season.
Things To Know Before Hiring Guides And Porters
Certain agencies offer guides and porters services from Lukla. However, be warned that a few guides and porters might not be experienced. So, it is better to exercise caution and have a conversation before confirming or paying the deposit. The guides and porters are really important in your journey as they stand on the line of making or breaking it. You will spend most of the next 10-15 days with them, and they call the shots on several important decisions in the case of emergencies. However, the drawback of hiring them is that there are chances that you might have to pay for their flight if you’re hiring them from Kathmandu.
Some of the other important things to note include:
- Even when the bookings are done internationally, the guides and porters would be from the local community.
- If you have any medical issues, it is important to inform the guide before starting the trek, as you’ll be gaining altitude every day.
- The charges are based on each person, even if you’re traveling as a group. The larger the group is, the more affordable it becomes. If you’re more than 10 in number, up to $100 or more will be reduced from the cost for each person.
- You’ve to tip the porters and guides beyond the package price, usually about $10 per day per person.
- A porter usually carries up to 25 Kg. One porter can carry the baggage of 2 or 3 trekkers.
- It is good to check if the guides and porters are insured and if the guide holds the license before hiring them.
Although the government of Nepal has put up a notice stating that independent trekking has been banned in the EBC since March 2023, we did trek independently in September 2023. We were not questioned at the checkposts when the officials verified the trek card and permit. So, you can do the Everest Base Camp trek on your own.
It is the most affordable and the best option if you’re on a budget. It’ll cost you less than $500.
The accommodation prices are usually between NPR 500 and NPR 1000 for a two-sharing bedroom in most tea houses, provided you eat food at least two times during your stay. The price remains the same for the most part, even if the room has three or four beds. Few resorts and luxury accommodations will charge you up to NPR 3000 based on the facilities they provide. If you’re traveling during off-season months, a lot of the tea houses offer stays for free.
We did the EBC and three passes trek in September and paid only NPR 2233 per person for the accommodation. We stayed 4 days for free and sometimes only had to pay NPR 200 per room.
Food is the primary expense you’ll incur on your trek as the prices increase with the altitude. For instance, a Dhal Bhat costs NPR 600 at Namche Bazaar, NPR 800 at Dingboche, and NPR 1000 at Gorakshep. See the climb? We spent about NPR 23,623 for food per person. We had various vegetarian dishes, including Dhal Bhat, veg noodles soup, pizza, pasta, hot chocolate, mostly ginger lemon honey tea, and garlic soup.
Twin’s Tip: We did not buy bottled water. By filtering the tap water and stream water, we saved huge bucks. We used Sawyer, a squeeze water purification system. Few people even bring water purification tablets. In Nepal, tap water is not recommended – we advise you to treat the water or buy bottled water.
Note: Irrespective of how you decide to do the trek, as a package tour or on your own, the accommodation and food costs are more or less the same.
- The Sagarmatha National Park entrance permit – NPR 1500 per person for a single entry for SAARC nationals. For people belonging to foreign nationality, the cost is NPR 3000.
- Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality tourism fee (Trek Card) – NPR 2000 per person for a single entry for all nationals.
You can purchase both permits at Lukla, or Monjo. You will have to show these at different checkpoints along the route.
Note: A TIMS card is not mandatory for trekkers as of 2023.
Flights To/ From Lukla
The flights between Lukla and Kathmandu cost between NPR 10,000 and NPR 20,000, while the flights between Ramechhap and Lukla cost around NPR 8,000. The price of the flights is lower when you book at least two months ahead.
It cost us NPR 12,000 to Lukla since we booked a couple of months in advance. We booked our return flight after landing in Lukla and ensured that our departure flight to Lukla was not canceled. The return flight price increased to NPR 17,000 since we had to book it just two weeks earlier.
Twin’s Tip: There are no flight rescheduling charges for the domestic flights between Kathmandu and Lukla.
People also trek between Jiri and Lukla. Check out the blog where we have explained all the possible routes to reach the Everest Base Camp.
Insurance For The Everest Base Camp Trek
Although the insurance is not mandatory for the trek, it is safer to have high-altitude trek insurance that covers up to an altitude of 6000 m since emergency evacuation and rescue in Nepal are expensive. The helicopter rescue would cost around $3000.
World Nomads and ASC360 offer insurance specially designed for the EBC trek. It needs to be purchased before you depart from the home country. We purchased ours from ASC360 for about INR 8500 for one person. Make sure to read the policy description before opting for one.
The souvenirs and hiking equipment are cheaper at Kathmandu when compared to Namche Bazaar. As we were short of time, we purchased a few souvenirs at Namche on our return.
You’ll be charged for using services at the tea houses like Wi-Fi, charging your electronics, opting for electric beds, hot showers, and laundry. The price increases as you gain altitude and the tea houses charge between NPR 200 and NPR 1000.
Breakdown of Our Expenses (For One Person From Lukla – Lukla)
|Tip to a local guide for helping us cross the Ngozumpa Glacier |
(NPR 2500, split among 3 persons)
|Flight from Kathmandu to Lukla||NPR 12000|
|Flight from Lukla to Kathmandu||NPR 17000|
|Souvenirs bought at Namche||NPR 4350|
|Total||NPR 63530 or $ 475 (inclusive of Lukla flights)|
Apart from this, we stayed for a night in Kathmandu before our flight to Lukla. So, the extra expense included accommodation and food in Kathmandu, and an NCell SIM card purchase for NPR 700. Add the VISA fees if it is applicable to you.
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