Find the best price for the Everest Base Camp trek

So you want to go to everest base camp and want to know how much it will cost?

Trekkers heading towards Everest
From package tours to budget guides there are many ways to Everest Base Camp!

There's so much information out there that it's often hard to get a straight answer.

You'll find your straight answer on this page.

First, it's really important to remember the following as your price will depend on it.

  • How many days do you want to trek for? - EBC can be 12 -16 days on average.
  • What time of year are you planning to go? Peak season is more expensive than off.
  • Who do you buy the trek from? Travel agent, online group travel, online agent, in country guide, local guide.
  • What type of trek do you want to do? All inclusive, guide only or independent?

Lets deal with the biggest issue first, where and what type to buy a trek along with the costs!

Kathmandu Airport Delays 2019 From April 1st 2019 Kathmandu's runway will be undergoing reconstruction. The runway will be closed every night from 10pm until 8am the next day. Reaching Lukla via Ramechhap/(Manthali airport (4-5 hours from Kathmandu) is being proposed as an alternative both going to Lukla and returning to Kathmandu. As such this may effect the cost of your trek. For more information see my full guide on trekking to Everest Base Camp.

Something to keep in mind

It's worth considering a local trekking agency over a big international agency. Generally speaking the international agency will be paying staff in other countries while a Nepali agency will be paying local staff. The result with hiring via a Nepali agency is that your costs will be lower and you are helping the local economy.

Cost of booking a trek online to Everest Base Camp

Booking a trek/tour online with a private company is probably the more costly way of arranging a trek to Everest Base Camp. Here's my list of recommended Nepal trekking tours

Trekking to Mount Everest
Trekking to Mount Everest doesn't mean you need to bring -50 summit gear with you

  • Prices range per person from USD$1,200 all the way to $5,000 for an average 12 - 15 day trek.
  • Prices generally include: permits, round trip flights from Kathmandu to Lukla, accommodation, meals.
  • Prices won't include: travel insurance, visa fees, trekking equipment.

The benefits of booking online are if you are stuck for time then everything will be pre arranged for your arrival. You can literally arrive in Kathmandu on day one and head out trekking on day two.

The negatives are that you'll be paying a premium for this. You won't be able to meet or choose your guide before hand.

If booking online with a private company do take note of what's included in your package. Some things like permits or Lukla flights are not mentioned and need to be clarified in writing.

Be aware:

It's very important to be aware of "too good to be true prices" online. That $900 EBC camp trek by a "well known" agency might well mean you'll be joining another much larger group which can cause all sorts of problems later on i.e. people not showing up, other last minute routes being selected, no choice in accommodation, being with a big group of another nationality you may not like etc.

In 2019 local teahouses have increased their accommodation and food prices. Some trekking companies are not raising their prices to match these increase by skimping on accommodation and meals.

In 20119 it's also important to be aware of Nepal's fake helicopter rescue scam which is also linked with very cheap treks being offered online and in Nepal.

Moral of the story? Read this page carefully and you'll quickly be able to calyculate the cost of an Everest Base Camp trek based on your own needs and expectations of a trek.


Trekking tour with an online booking company


The difference between booking online with a private company and a booking company can be one in the same - it can also work in your favor.

The Khumbu Glacier by Everest Base Camp
The Khumbu Glacier by Everest Base Camp
A booking company sources the best deals from private companies. Some of those private companies are local companies while others are popular well known international tour companies.

The same cautions apply to tour booking companies when it comes to trekking. Make sure you know what's included in the price! The pro's with a booking company are that they list their prices for you. They generally have flexible dates for trekking. You are booking through a well known booking company. The con's are that you still don't know your guide before you go. The booking company is generally a 3rd party.

If you are interested in finding a booking company who has trekking tours then I've put together an up-to-date list of booking companies offering trekking tours and treks to Nepal.


Package tour with a Nepali trekking company


This is about the second most popular way to arrange a trek to Everest Base Camp.

  • Prices range per person from USD$1,400 up to $1,700 for an average 12 - 15 day trek.
  • Prices should include: permits, round trip flights from Kathmandu to Lukla, accommodation, meals.
  • Prices won't include: travel insurance, visa fees, trekking equipment, drinking water.

The benefits of booking a package trekking tour to Everest Base Camp is that everything is taken care of for you. Accommodation will be booked ahead, meals will be paid for and arranged. You should get to meet your guide beforehand.

The negatives are that you'll still be paying a premium for this and many agencies will try to make out that your accommodation will be top rate. The reality is there's a strong chance it will be pretty standard.


Cost of hiring a local guide through a Nepali trekking agency


This is about the most popular way to arrange a trek to Everest Base Camp and the costs are broken into two important choices.

Yak in the winter snow at Everest Base Camp
Yak sightings are free on the way to Everest Base Camp!

Generally speaking you can either choose from a guide only cost. Or a package tour.

The package tour is basically the same as the one listed above. The guide only tour costs differ greatly.

  • Prices range from USD$600 up to $800 with bargaining.
  • Prices for guide only include: the guide!
  • Prices won't include: Kathmandu to Lukla flights, permits, meals, travel insurance, visa fees, trekking equipment, drinking water.

The benefits of arranging a guide only service from a trekking agency is that you can shop around. You can meet and interview several trekking guides (I recommend this).

The trekking agency will also help you book your Lukla flights if necessary, but again this will probably be an extra.

The negatives are that you'll need to arrange your own accommodation and meals when out trekking. This is actually not as hard as it seems as there's plenty to choose from. If you are not used to bartering though you might end up spending a little more than you should though. The second issue that this can all take a little bit more time to arrange on your side of things.

Generally speaking your guide will also help you to get your trekking permits too. But you'll need to pay for them.


Cost of an independent guide to Everest Base Camp


This is one of the most economical and better options but you should be aware of a few things.

Arranging an independent trekking guide means not going through an trekking agency. Quite literally it means hiring a guide from the street or via a recommendation.

  • Prices range from USD$400-500 with bargaining.
  • Prices for guide only include: the guide only!
  • Price doesn't include: Kathmandu to Lukla flights, accommodation, permits, meals, travel insurance, visa fees, trekking equipment, drinking water.

The biggest negative is that your guide might not be qualified or have legitimate references. You can ask to see them in advance.

You'll also need to arrange your own accommodation and meals when out trekking.

The positives here are a decrease in cost.


Cost of hiring a guide-porter to Everest Base Camp


This is the third cheapest method for getting to Everest Base Camp.

Large group of trekkers on the way to Everest Base Camp
The cost of going with a large group of trekkers can mean no "alone time"
  • Prices range from USD$400-500 with bargaining
  • Prices for guide/porter only include: the guide/porter!
  • Price doesn't include: Kathmandu to Lukla flights, accommodation, permits, meals, travel insurance, visa fees, trekking equipment, drinking water.

A guide-porter is basically a guide who is still in training or doesn't have his qualifications yet. They might not speak English well either. They should have been to Everest Base Camp before - but do be warned they might not have been.


Cost of a porter to Everest Base Camp


This is the second cheapest cost for getting to Everest Base Camp.

  • Prices range from USD$150-400 with bargaining.
  • Prices for porter only include: the porter!
  • Price doesn't include: Kathmandu to Lukla flights, accommodation, permits, meals, travel insurance, visa fees, trekking equipment, drinking water.

A porter is only meant to carry up to 20kg of your equipment. They are not meant to be guides. Few speak English well which can be an issue in making things understood.

I've seen quite a few people try to take a cost cut in hiring only a porter to act as a guide to Everest Base Camp. It just doesn't work out that way. Don't expect any directions or help if you get lost.

If you have experience trekking, mountaineering then it might be worth a consideration to hire a porter. But if you've never trekked before or are just looking to cut costs on a trek to Everest Base Camp then hiring a porter to act as a guide is not a good idea.


Cost of independently making your own way to Everest Base Camp


This is the cheapest method in getting to Everest Base Camp.

No guides, guide/porters or porters - just you.

  • Zero prices aside from accommodation, meals, drinks, permits and flights.
  • You can reduce your costs even further by trekking from Jiri to Lukla rather than flying.

Benefits here aside from reduced costs would include a fully independent trek to Everest Base Camp.

Negatives would be that this option really should not be taken by anyone who has no or little trekking experience in Nepal. Secondary negatives would be that if you get into difficulties or have an accident you really are on your own! Do remember it's very important to get trekking insurance for Nepal before going!


Everest Base Camp on a Budget


The Everest Base Camp Trek is on average one of the most expensive treks in Nepal. Yes, the views are spectacular. Yes you get to visit and see the world's tallest mountain. However compared to other treks in Nepal the price is certainly higher.

Dal Bhat on the Everest Base Camp trek
Eating Dal Bhat can save you a lot of money and you get free refills!

How can you make the Everest Base Camp trek cheaper? The biggest cost factor for the trek is food and a guide. There are a few things you can do to lower these costs. However under no circumstances should you put your health at risk. Just in case you were wondering accommodation is not so expensive especially when sharing.

To lower the cost of your food budget simply stick to Dal Bhat. Rice, lentils, vegetables. It's what the locals eat. You get double servings, it's filling, loaded with carbs and it varies slightly in each tea house. Yes, it can get boring but you'll only be eating like this for 12 days. It's also significantly cheaper than ordering chicken sizzlers, pastas and so forth. For breakfast, stick with porridge. It's filling and often better than the current pancakes on the EBC route.

If you are taking a porter and they have extra weight then don't be afraid to pack up some trekking bars and milk powder. A 500 gram packed of porridge in Kathmandu can cost 130 rupees and last for 4-5 days while a single bowl of porridge at Gorak Shep can cost 500 rupees. So, you get the point. If there's two of you going, then sharing the weight of carrying some things can help.

Avoid purchasing sweets or soft drinks on the trek. They are expensive.

Use a water filter or a steripen or water treatment to lower the cost of buying water for the 12 days.

Taking the right trekking guide and a trekking package can also lower your budget.

If you are trekking to get the most out of every minute you spend in Nepal then having a good local guide is worth every penny. If you are only trekking to say you've "done Everest" then you can get away with less experienced (but qualified) guide. The difference will be language, enthusiasm and knowledge.

A less experienced guide will get you to Everest while a more experienced guide will make every day of your journey days you'll remember & cherish forever

Finally because local package tours for USD1,300 seem a lot more than "just hiring a guide" they often include flights, accommodation, permits, meals and a guide. When you add up all these things. The insider secret where is that local guides get discounts on meals and accommodation on this trek - this is how they make a profit. Opting for this type of package means you don't have to worry so much about what you are ordering at dinner time. So if you have a big appetite then going with a local package trek can save you money.

For more on guides and package treks do read about how to hire a trekking guide in Nepal.

Still trying to work out your budget? Below is a full breakdown on the price of a trek to Everest Base Camp.

 


Breakdown of costs & budget for Everest Base Camp


Aside from package tours, guides and porters there a few other things you need to keep in minding when calculating the full cost of the trek.

Mount Everest up close
This is what Everest looks like up close, click for larger photograph!

Cost of Flights to Lukla:

Lukla to Kathmandu flights generally cost $180-190 one way in 2019. For a guide or porter it's $90-100 (yes, they get a reduced rate - normally it's included in their price quotation to you).

Cost of Accommodation on the Everest Base Camp Trek:

Accommodation along the trail varies. Off season low end tea houses can be as little as 100-200 rupees. However prices rise the further you go along the trail and can hit 1,000 to 2,000 rupees at Gorak Shep. Prices also change between off-peak and peak seasons.

In late 2018 a new 500 rupee minimum charge was introduced after Namche Bazar. As of the new 2019 peak season this minimum charge is only randomly being made. If trekking on a package trek this will not effect you. If trekking solo then it may effect you so be sure to get a receipt for any payment you make.

Hot showers are not included in accommodation prices! Yes, accommodation along other treks includes hot showers. Not on the EBC though. Be prepared to pay 200-500 for a hot shower. On a budget? Cold bucket showers are available for free.

Remember, during off-peak season the price of a single room goes down and it's easier to barter for better prices. However during off-peak season dorm rooms are often closed.

During peak season prices are often set and bartering is harder. Like in many places the cheaper accommodation tends to fill up the quickest. The average cost of a room along the Everest Base camp trail is between $5-6. Above that and you are looking at en-suite's and room heaters for $10-20.

If you are on a package tour your accommodation will be paid for already. If it's not to your liking, then you can pay more on the spot to upgrade (provided there's a room available.)

There are high-end luxury lodges along the trail which run between $100 - 300 per night. Read more about what trekking accommodation and tea houses are like in Nepal.

Extra accommodation fees: yes there's more. Your accommodation fee does not include a hot shower unless you are paying for an ensuite room. Cold showers are free (not so nice). A hot shower on the Everest Base Camp trail can cost from from 200 rupees to a more likely 600 rupees per hot shower. Many people on a budget just skip them or opt of bucket of icy water in the bathroom.

Wait, there's more again. There's also an hourly charging fee for batteries or devices that will set you back about 200-600 rupees. Powerbanks are usually charged for $10.

There's one final expensive - internet. WIFI charges range from 200 rupees to 500 rupees and even then the service is very slow. It's best used for sending a message home to let them know your are okay. If internet is important to you then you could look into getting an http://everestlink.com.np/ card with prices from $20 for 10GB. Not all tea houses have this connection noe is it always working but it is becoming more wide spread.

The good news is there's no fees (yet) for blanket or extra blanket. An electric blanket can cost $20 per night in some teahouses. Hotels and guest houses in Nepal don't charge to mind your baggage so long as you stay with them before going on your trek. The exception are a few backpacker hostels which have started charging to mind your bags.

Cost of meals & water on the Everest Base Camp trek:

Meal prices again vary. Dal Bhat at the start of a trek can start at 200 rupees and at the high camp go for 800 rupees. Again that price varies between high and low trekking seasons.

The main trail to Mount Everest
On average the Everest Base Camp trek is the most expensive treks in Nepal - yes the trails are great the name is biggest cost

Bottles of water also go up in price. One liter of bottled water can start at 50 rupees and at high camp cost as much as 200-rupees!

Do be mindful of water stations. Most have not had their filters cleaned. It's worth bringing your own filtration system.

Cost of Permits for the Everest Base Camp Trek:

National Park tickets (permit) prices for Sagamartha National Park cost 3000 Rupees. While a TIMS card costs 2000 rupees. If you are trekking with an agency then the TIMS goes down to 1000 rupees. However, as of April 2018 TIMS cards are no longer required - due to the additional USD$20 Solukhumbu fee being charged at Lukla. This is said to be temporary but as of 2019 it is still in place*. When you fly into Lukla or trek into the region you'll pay the Solukhumbu fee at a counter there. Any immediate updates to this can first be found in additional Solukhumbu fee information and will also be updated here. Do read about the latest trekking permit and national park fees in Nepal.

Cost of guide on the Everest Base Camp Trek:

Guide prices vary by season and whether you hire one from an agency or independently. Low-end prices can start at around $20 per day. The average cost of a trekking guide is $30. While higher end guides are $50+.

Generally speaking the higher the cost of your local guide the better they should be. They'll put safety first, have a good knowledge of the environment and many years of experience etc. These prices only apply to local guides. They do not count for online trekking packages as you will not be directly dealing with the guide.

If you find all this complicated or overwhelming then do consider my Find a Trekking Guide Service or my Nepal travel planning services. If you'd like me to recommend a guide then do get in touch with me. For a well researched list of local guides please get my Nepal guidebook.

Cost of a guide-porter on the Everest Base Camp Trek:

Again guide-porter prices vary by season and if they are from an agency or not. Guide-porters usually cost $20-25 per day.

Cost of porter on the Everest Base Camp Trek:

Porters usually cost between $15-20 per day (do remember that porters are not guides and can't be tasked with such a job).

Travel Insurance for your trek:

Lastly don't forget to get adequate travel insurance for your trek. Do make sure your policy covers you for both trekking and traveling over 5,000 meters.

The basic cost of a medical helicopter lift out starts at USD$5,000 so getting insurance is a must!

You can read here about my recommended travel insurance for Nepal.


More articles on trekking in Nepal


You might find my following free guides helpful:

Trekking in Nepal

My guide on trekking in Nepal

  Trekking Equipment Check out my guide on equipment & gear needed for trekking in Nepal
 
List of treks to hike in Nepal Check out my list of treks to do in Nepal complete with maps   Nepal Mountain range Check out my guide on how to travel overland into Tibet for a lot more!
Trekking in Nepal How to choose a trekking guide in Nepal   Record of Mount Everst Base Camp Trek in the Winter My Day by day account of trekking to Everest Base Camp in the off season (winter)
 
Traveling overland into Nepal Check out my How to travel overland into Nepal guide   Guide to traveling Nepal Check out my country Guide to Nepal
Trekking permit fees & National park entry fees in Nepal

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