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 many treks in Nepal, including trekking to Everest Base Camp twice, I interviewed several agencies, hotels and guides in Kathamandu and Lukla and in this post we give a detailed break down of the exact cost of the EBC trek with a tour, your own crew and completely independent.
We wrote down every cent we spent on this trek in March 2020 to give you our exact cost. We had a comfortable trek, buying tea or coffee when we were thirsty and pretty much eating what we felt like it. Our budget is a pretty average one, 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
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 organised 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 or not confident to do the trek unassisted, it is an easier and safer but more expensive option.
- Hiring a local guide and a porter is a cheaper way of trekking than in 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 is 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 before hand 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.
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 reputable international tour company, G Adventures. 385 reviews, mostly 5 star, 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 star 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 of 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 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 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) Kathamandu-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
Organising 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 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 for the EBC trek
Organising a guide in Kathamandu
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 dissapear.
Some agencies in Kathamandu organise 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
Cost of organising 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.
Cost of organising 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 orgaising 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 in Lukla airport at 07:00 in the morning. The advantage is you do not have to pay for a flight, but oviously 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 organise a guide.
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 organise 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 off course not guarenteed and a bit of a risk.
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 it included and 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 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
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 tried to stay away from meat dishes like chicken or beef we never had any stomach issues but met some travellers who had after eating meat or chicken. It’s different as you go higher there will be many dishes (steaks, burgers) with yak meat there are many yaks around so I assume the meat will be fresh.
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
It is another significant expense if you don’t have any filter or purification. We didn’t buy water on the route we each carried a LifeStraw bottle, we used it all the time and it worked great we could refill it on the way from any water tap or stream which means we didn’t have to carry extra water or buy plastic bottles. 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
Things to Organise before hand
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 route while trekking, it is very easy and basically impossible to miss all the checkpoints where they are available, just take enough cash.
Do you need a TIMS permit to trek to Everest Base Camp?
TIMS ( Trekkers’ Information Management Systems) is a system that was set up by the central government of Nepal to collect data of all trekkers in Nepal and according to central government the TIMS card is a requirement before any individual can trek anywhere in Nepal.
From what I understand the Nepal government wants you to get a TIMS permit so that they can add you to the database of trekkers in Nepal. This permit costs you RPM 2000 and is only valid for a single entry into any national park. This permit was required and checked in the Annapurna and Langtang region, but not in the Everest region.
There is a lot of conflicting information online so we went to the tourism board in Kathmandu to get the correct information. The tourism board assured us it is still necessary and that the information online is incorrect. While hiking to EBC they did not ask for our TIMS at any check point, when I told them I was forced in Kathmandu to buy the permit the officials laughed and told me to go and ask for my money back in Kathmandu. Several officials at checkpoints in the Everest Base Camp Trekking region assured me it is not required.
If you hike from Jiri or Salerri to Lukla you pass through areas controlled by different local government and a TIMS might be necessary.
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– we reserved our flights with Tara Air in Kathmandu about two weeks ahead without paying. We paid $320 per person for our return flights Kathmandu – Lukla. Changing the flight dates are easy and free even while trekking. Our return date changed during our trek and we phoned Tara from a tea house on the way to change our date. I will always recommend you reserve the first flight in the morning since flights from Lukla to get cancelled 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
We try not to think about what can go to wrong too much when attacking a new adventure. Hiking at high altitude in a remote location, there are obviously very real risks. Insurance is very important on any high altitude trek, altitude sickness is very common and since there are no roads in these mountains if you get seriously injured or sick you will have to be evacuated by helicopter that costs about $3000. Most travel insurance will not cover extreme activities like high altitude trekking. Get a quote here for World Nomads hiking insurance for Nepal that covers you to 6000m (that is a ‘yes’ for Everest Base Camp at 5364m).
Doesn’t matter where you live or where you are at the moment, it takes less than 2 minutes to get a quote and you can buy it online even if you are already traveling. If you only take out a policy for your trek duration it is not too pricey, starting in a couple of days? it is not too late
Where to stay in Kathmandu
We’ve stayed at several hotels in Kathmandu in different parts of Thamel and finally found the best (at least for us) location Keshar Mahal Marang Street. A small and quiet dead-end street in Thamel with only hotels, hostels, restaurants and coffee shops. The street is a 5-minutes walk from the main touristy area with hundreds of shops and agencies. There are a couple of great restaurants and coffee shops nearby.
There are a couple of hotels on the street we stayed at Aryatara Kathmandu Hotel for quite a while, every time we finished a trek we came back for a couple of days. It’s a very nice place, big rooms, comfortable beds, good breakfast (included), great hot shower, AC, wi-fi, TV, etc. The room price includes free airport pick-up (for international flights only). The staff is very helpful and friendly. We stored our extra luggage here every time we went hiking for free without any problem.
More options in the same street
- Budget | Hostel Milarepa | Shangri-la Boutique Hotel |
- Middle price | Oasis Kathmandu Hotel | Hotel Blue Horizon |
- Luxury | Fairfield by Marriott Kathmandu |
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