The cost of your trek to Everest Base Camp will be determined by the type of trek you are planning, your trekking route, time on the trail, and by the season you choose to trek. We have done a lot of trekking in Nepal, including the Everest Base Camp trek twice. I interviewed several agencies, hotels, and guides in Kathamandu and Lukla, and in this post, we give a detailed breakdown of the exact cost of the EBC trek with a tour, your own crew, and completely independent.
We wrote down everything we spent on our trek in March 2020 daily. Our budget was sufficient for a comfortable trek, buying tea or coffee when we were thirsty and pretty much eating what we felt like it. This was an average budget, you will be able to be a lot more frugal or lavish.
How Much Does an Everest Base Camp Trek Cost ?
The cost of the trek to Everest Base Camp can vary greatly from as little as $600 to thousands of dollars. This is the average starting price to budget for doing the trek in different styles as discussed in this article.
- Package tour EBC trek with international agency $1700
- Package tour EBC trek with local agency $1600
- Independent EBC trek with a guide and porter $1370
- Independent EBC trek with a guide $1085
- Independent EBC trek with a porter $930
- EBC Trek completely independent $645
Overall due to expensive transportation (a return flight Kathmandu – Lukla) Everest Base Camp trek works out quite a bit more expensive than other well-known hiking routes in Nepal such as the Annapurna Circuit or the Annapurna Base Camp trek.
Different Ways to Trek to Everest Base Camp
The way you trek ( the crew you choose) will be the main factor that determines the cost of your trek. You can either do a package tour through an agency where everything for your Himalayan adventure is organized for you; hire your own crew a guide and porters as required or do the trek completely independent. Irrespective of which way you decided to trek, the food, and facilities on the way will be very similar, everybody stays and eats in the same tea houses in most villages.
- Doing an organized tour through an agency is a good option if you are alone, not confident to do the trek unassisted, or don’t feel like spending hours planning your Everest Base Camp trek itinerary. It is an easier and safer but more expensive option.
- Hiring a local guide and a porter is a cheaper way of trekking than on a package tour. Finding porters and guides in Kathmandu is easy, just go to any local agency they will assist you to organize staff for your purposes.
- Doing it yourself is not hard and plane, bus or jeep tickets from Kathmandu to Lukla are the only thing that you have to organize. You follow a very clear path, everybody stays in the same little “towns” with many tea houses, it is not necessary to book anything.
Everest Base Camp Trek Tour Cost
The biggest choice that you have to make here is if you are going to book a tour when you arrive through a local agency or if you are going to book a package tour beforehand through an agency online. Most of the international and local companies use the same local guides and porters, so even with an international company booking your tour you do support the local community, just check you use an ethical company, paying proper wages. Hand your money to a company you trust, because in the end they are responsible for your safety and you want to go with a company using the best staff.
When we were staying at Gorakshep a lady with a local guide for the trek walked to EBC from the teahouse on her own, leaving her guide behind. Four hours later it was dark and -20C outside, the guide and some staff at the teahouse started a search. She got lost somewhere but found her way back on her own 2 hours later. It would be good to know that there is a system in place to prevent this and to resolve it if it does happen and I think with a reputable agency you will have this peace of mind.
Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania was a great guided expedition I went on. Comparing the cost of this trek with EBC is interesting.
Cost of a Package Tour with an International Agency
Average cost of a 14 day Everest Base Camp Trek package tour with an international agency – starting from $1200 + $500 food – $1700
G Adventures EBC Trek – Trek to Everest Base Camp with the reputable international tour company, G Adventures. 385 reviews, mostly 5 stars, read them! 15 days, Kathmandu to Kathmandu. English-speaking local guide and assistants for the trek. Porters included on the trek. Trekking to Everest Base Camp. Internal flights. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities. Food not included.
Intrepid Travel Everest Base Camp Trek – highly rated trek with well-known tour company Intrepid Travel. Top-rated trek- 4.9 out of 5 based on 474 reviews. 15 days, Kathmandu to Kathmandu. English-speaking local guide and assistants. Porters included on the trek. Internal flights. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities. Food not included
Intrepid Travel Everest Base Camp and Gokyo Trek – few big companies do this trek to both EBC and the spectacular Gokyo Lakes, 19 days with Intrepid Travel. Another 5 stars rated tour with plenty of reviews. English-speaking local guide and assistants. Porters included on the trek. Internal flights. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities. Food not included
Cost of a Package Tour with a Local Agency
Average cost of a 14 day Everest Base Camp Trek package tour with a local agency – starting from $1600
The nice thing about using a local agency is that all the money goes to the local community. Walking through the streets of Kathmandu I saw many amazing prices advertised, with a 14-day trek starting from a little as $550! I talked to these agencies and as I added more and more things I wanted to be included the price kept climbing until it was more or less the same that I saw online. Many hotels have their own travel agencies and the prices are similar to the agencies in town. Ask at your hotel and walk around in town, ask at several agencies. It is nice if you stay in a hotel for a couple of days, use guides and services they trust, leave your luggage at the hotel when you go trekking, and return to the same hotel following the trek.
The average price I was quoted for an all-inclusive package tour (14 days) Kathmandu-Everest Base Camp – Kathmandu started from $1600 (USD) for a mid-range tour, this included return flights Kathamandu-Lukla, guide, porter, permits, accommodation, and food.
Some agencies did offer luxury ($2000) and budget ($1300) tours. With the luxury packages, you will stay in luxury accommodation in Kathmandu, Lukla, Namche Bazaar, and Teng Boche with more expensive meals, I think the rest of your tour will be very similar since the tea houses where you eat and sleep are pretty stand in the rest of the villages
With these package tours, the price does come down a bit if you are more people, the average quote for a standard package per person, 1 person $1500, 2 people $1300, 4 people $1200.
Everest Base Camp Trek with your own staff
$643 (hike independent) + $440 (guide) + $286 (porter) – starting from $1369
Organizing your own trek with guides and porters sound very expensive, but is actually a very affordable way of trekking. Many solo hikers hire a guide that doubles as a company. A group of trekkers often share a guide making it even more affordable. You can hire a porter to help you carry your luggage. Since a porter can carry up to 25kg, 2 trekkers often share a porter.
Hiring guides & porters for the EBC trek
Organizing a guide in Kathmandu
If you are going to hire your own crew doing it in Kathmandu is the most common way, few people do this online. You do get approached by touters or guides themselves in Kathamandu, but the safest way of doing this is by going to a local agency. This way you do have someone to turn to if there was a problem, your guide cannot just disappear.
Some agencies in Kathamandu organize that you meet your guide in Lukla while some prefer to send a guide with you from Kathamandu, in this case, you will have to pay for the guide’s flight, Nepalese citizens fly at a reduced price of $100 for the return flight. You do not have to pay for food or accommodation for your guide, they get this for very cheap at the tea house or for free for bringing you.
I will recommend that you meet with the guide before, check if he speaks good enough English, if you trust him and if you get along. I have met guides that have climbed Everest, some of these guys are extremely knowledgeable.
- Make sure you are using a registered guide
- The guide should be insured
The cost of organizing a guide for EBC in Kathmandu
Cost of taking a guide from Kathmandu – $100 (flight) + 13 days x $30 + 10% tip = $540
The average price of a guide is $25 to $30 per day, you are allowed to share a guide. It is recommended to use a guide for not more than 4 people and some companies require you to hire an assistant guide for bigger groups.
The cost of organizing a guide for EBC in Lukla
Cost of hiring a guide in Lukla 13 days x $30 + 10% tip = $440
The price for a guide is the same as organizing it in Kathamandu, $25 to $30 per day. It is definitely possible to get a guide in Lukla or even later on in the trek. We were approached by more than one guide when we arrived at Lukla airport at 07:00 in the morning. The advantage is you do not have to pay for a flight, but obviously, you will know nothing about this guide with no references. There are however many agencies in Lukla and in Namche Bazaar where you can still organize a guide.
The cost of hiring Porters
Cost of hiring a porter 13 days x $20 + 10% tip = $286
Guides do not carry luggage and you will have to hire a porter for this service. Porters usually charge $20 per day and can carry up to 25kg, some porters charge $25 if they carry luggage for 2 people. If you work through an agency in Kathmandu you do not have to fly porters to Lukla, they will organize with porters that can meet you in Lukla. If you start doing the trek without a porter and feel you need a porter later in the trek, you should be able to find a porter without too much trouble in Namche Bazaar or even later on during the trek, this is of course not guaranteed, and a bit of a risk.
You can find a full list of gear and clothes for hiking the Everest Base Camp trek in our detailed EBC packing list.
The cost of accommodation on the EBC trek
Accommodation 11 nights – NPR 5590 / $47 (500×2+500×2+500+2×500+700+200+1190)
Our total cost of accommodation was $47 for 11 days excluding shower and wifi. The price of accommodation is cheap if you eat in the tea house that you are staying at, the tea houses make money from you buying food, not accommodation. Below is a list of the tea houses we stayed in and the cost per night, what is included, and the cost of extras.
- Monjo, Mount Kailash (stayed here twice) – NPR 500 per room wifi 500, hot shower free, charging 200
- Namche Bazaar, International Foot Rest Lodge (2 nights) – Namche has a fixed price of NPR 500 per person, hot gas shower 500, wifi free, charging free
- Teng Boche, Himalayan Guesthouse – NPR 500 per room
- Dingboche, Himalayan Culture Home (2 nights) – NPR 500 per room, wifi NPR 800 (1gig), hot shower NPR 500 pipes were frozen the whole town so we took a bucket shower, we shared one bucket of hot water.
- Lobuche, New EBC Guest House – Lobuche has a fixed price of NPR 700 per room (1 to 3 people) charging device for 1 hour NPR200, shower NPR 700
- Gorakshep, Himalaya Lodge – Room was free Hot shower 1000 NPR
- Phortse, Thamserku View Lodge – NPR 200 per room, charging NPR 300, bucket shower NPR 500
- Lukla, Hikers Inn, includes hot shower and wifi, $10
The cost of food on the Everest Base Camp Trek
Total Cost of food for 11 days on EBC Trek NPR 54 140 ($455) thus NPR 4921 / $41 per day for 2 people = $20.50 per person per day
The menu is very similar in all tea houses, we found the prices to be similar in most teahouses from Lukla to Dingboche, from Lobuche, everything became significantly more expensive since porters and pack animals must carry the food up the mountain. In the table below you can see the price of a couple of different dishes at three different altitudes.
We met some trekkers that had severe diarrhea after eating meat and chicken and we decided to avoid eating meat. We never had any stomach problems. There are many yaks at high altitude, so I assume here the yak meat is good.
Breakfast (2 egg omelette, muesli porridge)
- at lower altitudes, Namche Bazaar (3440m) – Avg. NRP 500
- at higher altitudes, Lobuche (4930m) Avg. NRP 550
- high altittude, Gorakshep (5180m) Avg. NRP 600
Lunch/dinner (spaghetti, fried rice, spring roll, momo etc.)
- at lower altitudes, Namche Bazaar (3440m) – Avg. NRP 550
- at higher altitudes, Lobuche (4930m) Avg. NRP 800
- high altittude, Gorakshep (5180m) Avg. NRP 850
Dal Power! the most popular local food and definitely more than 50% of the local diet. Lentil soup, rice, and some potato vegetables that come with it. It is not crazy cheap but is usually served bottomless, they keep filling your plate when it is empty, just make sure of this when you order, but after a hard day of trekking quantity-wise, this is usually the best deal you can order!
- at lower altitudes, Namche Bazaar (3440m) – Avg. NRP 700
- at higher altitudes, Lobuche (4930m) Avg. NRP 850
- high altittude, Gorakshep (5180m) Avg. NRP 850
- at lower altitudes, Namche Bazaar (3440m) – Avg. NRP 150
- at higher altitudes, Lobuche (4930m) Avg. NRP 200
- high altittude, Gorakshep (5180m) Avg. NRP 180
Hot water (boiled)
At some of the lodges a 1L thermos flask of water was for sale for a bit cheaper.
- At lower altitudes from NRP 100 cup
- At higher altitudes up to NRP 120 per cup
- high altittude, Gorakshep (5180m) NRP 120 per cup
Tap water is not potable hiking to EBC and drinking water is a significant expense if you buy bottles of drinking water all the way. We use filter bottles and did not buy any water on the trek, the LifeStraw bottle, can be filled from any stream or tap, this is also great for the environment, since you do not buy plastic bottles and create a lot of waste on the mountain everyday. A 1l bottle of water costs between NRP 100 and up to NPR 400!
Hiking Everest Base Camp Independent
The total cost of our independent trek to Everest Base Camp for 11 days Kathmandu to Kathmandu cost NPR 38 400 ($ 323) + $160 x 2 (flights) = $643 per person
$58 per day or $29 per day without flights
Breakdown of our Independent EBC Trek Cost
- Permits – NPR 5000/USD $42
- Flights – USD 320
- Accommodation – 11 nights – NPR 5590 / $47
- Food – NPR 27 094 / USD $228
Everest Base Camp Trekking Permit Cost
The local permit and national park permit total price NPR 5000 – You require two permits to hike to Everest Base Camp.
- Local permit (Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality Entrance Permit) for NPR 2000 obtainable in Lukla.
- National park permit (Sagarmatha National Park Entry Permit) NPR 3000 available in Kathmandu or Monjo. TIMS is no longer required.
I would recommend that you get both permits on the route while trekking, it is very easy and basically impossible to miss all the checkpoints where they are available, just take enough cash. Overall the cost of the permits for hiking to Everest Base Camp is the same as for the other popular treks in Nepal e.g. the Poon Hill or Annapurna Circuit trek.
Do you need a TIMS permit to trek to Everest Base Camp?
The Nepal Government uses TIMS ( Trekkers’ Information Management Systems) permits to collect data of all trekkers in Nepal. The tourism board in Kathmandu assured us that the TIMS card is a requirement before any individual can trek anywhere in Nepal including hiking in the Everest region.
The TIMS permit costs RPM 2000 and is valid for a single entry into any national park. Our TIMS permits were checked when trekking in the Annapurna and Langtang region, but not in the Everest region.
We found a lot of conflicting information online regarding the necessity of a TIMS permit for hiking to Everest Base Camp and went to the tourism board to confirm. They assured us it is required, we paid for the permits. It was not asked at any of the check points on the EBC trek and all officials that I asked told me they are not under jurisdiction of the tourism board and do not require TIMS anymore. Our experience was that TIMS is not required for EBC trek from Lukla in 2020.
If you hike from Jiri or Salerri to Lukla you pass through areas controlled by different local government and a TIMS might be necessary.
The cost of getting to the start of the Everest Base Camp Trek
The trek to base camp starts at the small village of Lukla in the Himalayas, there is no road leading all the way here, and flying is the most common way of getting to Lukla. It is also possible to get here from Kathamandu with a combination of Jeeps and walking.
Cost of Flights to Lukla
Our return flights Kathmandu – Lukla was $320 each. We reserved these flights in the Tara Air office two weeks ahead without any fees. We changed our return flight date without problems while trekking when our schedule changed, we just phoned Tara Air from a tea house.
Try to reserve morning flights since flights from Lukla to get canceled due to wind very quickly, we have been stuck here for days due to weather conditions.
Go to Lukla overland – We have also walked from Lukla to Salerri (2 days) and took a very long and uncomfortable jeep journey from Salerri to Kathmandu for $20 a couple of years ago when our flight was canceled due to weather conditions.
Coming from Kathmandu you can do the reverse and take a jeep from Kathmandu to Salleri. Salleri is 265 km away from Kathmandu. The ride is about 8 hours costing about NPR 1,100 ($10) for Buses and NPR 1700 ($17) for Jeeps, buses go daily from Kathamandu. You can walk from Salleri to Lukla in 2 or 3 days.
The trip between Kathmandu and Lukla can be made by helicopter, which is awesome and will cost you about $2500 one way for a helicopter that can be split between 5 people. You can sometimes get awesome deals with helicopters if you are a bit lucky with perfect timing.
Insurance for Everest Base Camp Trek
When hiking at high altitudes in remote locations, there are obviously very real risks. Altitude sickness is common and in case of emergency evacuation might be necessary. This is not common. Evacuation in Nepal is expensive since there are no roads in the mountain. Emergency evacuation by helicopter costs about $3000. High altitude trekking is not covered by standard travel insurance. Get a quote here for World Nomads hiking insurance for Nepal that covers you to 6000m, which means it will cover you at Everest Base Camp at 5364m.
It is very quick to get a quote online here and if you only get insured for the duration of the trek it is not too pricey.
Where to stay in Kathmandu?
Thamel is the popular, touristy part of Kathmandu, we have stayed in several parts of Thamel and our favorite location is Keshar Mahal Marang Street. A short, dead-end street with a couple of hotels, hostels, restaurants, and coffee shops. Five minutes’ walk from the main touristy area with plenty of shops and agencies. This area has nice coffee shops and restaurants.
Aryatara Kathmandu Hotel is a nice hotel, we stayed here several times when we returned from a trek. Large comfortable rooms, nice breakfast, TV, Wifi, all facilities. free airport pick-up (for international flights only). Friendly and helpful staff. They do luggage storage and we always left all extra luggage between treks.
Other Accommodation options in the same street