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!

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. Somethings 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.


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. 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 a 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.

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.

  • 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!


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 and due to go up 20% in September 2017. For a guide or porter it's $90-100.

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 rupees at Gorak Shep. Prices also change between off-peak and peak seasons.

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 200-300 for a hot shower. On a budget? Cold bucket showers are available.

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 $2-6. Above that and you are looking at en-suite's and room heaters.

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.

Extra accommodation fees: yes there's more. Your accommodation fee does not include a hot shower. Cold ones 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.

The good news is there's no fees (yet) for blanket or extra blanket. And guest houses in Nepal don't charge to mind your baggage so long as you stay with them. 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.

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!

Cost of Permits for the Everest Base Camp Trek:

Permit prices a Sagamartha National Park Permit costs 3000 Rupees plus 13% VAT. While a TIMS card costs 2000 rupees. If you are trekking with an agency then the TIMS goes down to 1000 rupees. Do read about the latest trekking permit and national park fees in Nepal.

* in September 2017 the Solukhumbhu region is introducing an addtional 2,000 rupee regional fee to all trekkers. This will be payable in the region itself. Additional Solukhumbu fee information.

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 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 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

(link to top)


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