If you ask any avid hiker about their bucket list of trekking destinations, there’s no doubt that you’ll find Nepal on that list. Home to the world’s highest peaks, Nepal abounds with some of the best trekking in the world—and for a good reason. Think glaciers, snowy peaks, alpine meadows, barren alpine tundra above the treeline, cliffside trails, Sherpas, remote Hindu temples, viewpoints decorated with prayer flags—oh, and the constant sound of yak bells. Watch in awe as the sun illuminates the world’s most majestic mountains. Golden hour takes on a whole new meaning here, and you should see it for yourself. We’ve listed the 10 Best Treks in Nepal below to help you choose which trek suits your sense of adventure best.

Nepal, located in Asia between India and Tibet, is renowned for its enormous peaks (Mount Everest—ever heard of it?) and its blending of Buddhism and Hinduism, an amalgamation of its neighbours. The crowded cities comprise packed streets lined with shops, clouded by lots of commotion and pollution. But Nepal has a natural respite from the chaos of the metropolis: escape into the Himalayas where you’ll feel like an inconsequential speck among a seemingly endless range of striking peaks.

The treks in Nepal bring you to new heights geographically. If you can, we highly recommend arriving at least a week before starting your trek to acclimatize to the altitude. There is severe elevation gain on quite a few of these treks. Monitor yourself for symptoms of altitude sickness and take rest when you need it. In fact, it’s a wise idea to factor rest days into your itinerary. The minimum days listed for each trek do not include travel days to and from each trailhead, so be sure to incorporate those as you plan your journey. The routes range from easy to challenging, so no matter your fitness level, there’s a trek in Nepal for you.

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Annapurna Base Camp Trek

Annapurna Base Camp Trek Overview

Picture yourself in Nepal, standing at the base of one of the world’s most massive mountain ranges with unspoiled snowy peaks and jagged edges as far as you can see. The Annapurna Base Camp Trek is a sure-fire way to test your comfort levels, mountaineering fitness, and sense of adventure—and it will be worth it. The Annapurna Base Camp Trek is one of the more popular trails in Nepal, but for a good reason.

Starting in the small town of Nayapul, leave civilization behind and head into the majesty of the Annapurna mountain range for a minimum of 7 days. This out-and-back trail leads you through terraced rice paddies and high alpine meadows amid peaks reaching 8000m. Your turnaround point is the base of the awe-inspiring Annapurna I at 8091m. Expect to round every corner and be astonished by the might and majesty of the Annapurna mountain range over and over again.

This trail is one of the best for its accessibility and well-equipped teahouses and lodges en route.

Annapurna Base Camp Highlights

  • Stand in awe among the 4 highest peaks in the region
    • Annapurna I (8091m)
    • Annapurna South (7219m)
    • Machhapuchhre (6993m)
    • Hiunchuli (6441m)
  • Rest your muscles in Jhinu Danda hot springs mid-journey (you can even stop here twice—once on the way up, and once on the way back!)
  • Visit during spring to see enormous rhododendron fields in bloom

Annapurna Base Camp Trek Details

  • 7 days minimum
  • Trail length: 115.0km
  • Elevation gain: 4100m
  • Difficulty: Easy to moderate
  • TIMS card required
  • Permits required

Annapurna Base Camp Trek Tours

Spend an unforgettable 15 nights trekking in the Himalayas on the Annapurna Base Camp Trek. If you want a trekking adventure but find the planning overwhelming, this guided tour is a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the Himalayan mountain life without worrying about accommodation and food during the trek. Engage with the local Gurung people, spot diverse mountain wildlife, and watch as the sun illuminates the Annapurna range each morning. This tour includes a short flight over the Himalayas to reach the trailhead, so you’ll enjoy a birds-eye of the wild landscapes you’ll soon wander through.

Trekking in Nepal Mountain views on Annapurna Base Camp
Trekking in Nepal Mountain views on Annapurna Base Camp

Annapurna Circuit Trek

Annapurna Circuit Trek Overview

A trek of hyperboles: the widest pass, the deepest gorge, the highest lake. Trek through the foothills of the Annapurna mountain range in north-central Nepal. Variety is an understatement when it comes to the terrain on this circuit. Over 12 days (minimum), you’ll encounter forests, canyons, gorges, and villages untouched by modern development. Climb into alpine meadows one day and desert-like landscapes that feel other-worldly the next. Pause and admire the pristine turquoise hue of Tilicho Lake—breathtaking in all senses of the word.

Get a sense of Tibetan tradition as you trek to the Muktinath temple, one of the highest temples in the world, at the foot of Thorong La Pass, the world’s widest mountain pass. As you head deeper into the mountains, you come upon remote ethnic villages of Gurungs and Magars, the local indigenous people. Stop and sip on a cup of masala tea amid the grand peaks of the Annapurna range.

Annapurna Circuit Trek Highlights

  • Stand on the shore of the turquoise Tilicho Lake, the highest lake in the world at 4919m
  • Admire the abyss of Kali Gandaki Gorge, the deepest in the world at a depth of approximately 6000m
  • See Rupse waterfall, cascading down for 300m
  • Visit numerous gompas, Buddhist learning centres + temples

Annapurna Circuit Trek Details

  • 15 days minimum
  • Length varies between 160.0km230.0km, depending on starting point
  • Elevation gain: 4656m
  • Difficulty: Moderate to challenging
  • TIMS card required
  • Permits required

Annapurna Circuit Trek Tours

This trek in Nepal is one of the more challenging routes, but it can be a little easier on a guided tour, so you don’t have to fuss about logistics. Set out on the Annapurna Circuit Trek for 18 nights in this majestic land. Your local guides will be with you from the start in Kathmandu and lead you through the awe-inspiring scenery of the Himalayas replete with alpine meadows, enormous gorges, and of course, the snow-capped jagged peaks. On the Annapurna Circuit Trek, you’ll challenge yourself crossing over Thorong La Pass, the world’s widest mountain pass. Indulging in a guided tour means you have more time to admire your surroundings—trek for the sake of trekking.

Trekking in Nepal views on Annapurna circuit
Trekking in Nepal views on Annapurna circuit

Everest Base Camp Trek

Everest Base Camp Trek Overview

You may have heard of this one—it’s arguably one of the most famous treks in Nepal, possibly the world. Trekkers hail from all parts to have their moment in front of this beast, reaching 8848m. The mountain terrain is relatively similar as you make your way to base camp—but that doesn’t make it any less impressive! There’s nothing like being surrounded by gigantic peaks to make you feel small in this vast, wild scenery. Nature is a powerful force, and this trek proves it.

Although this route has an incredible reputation and deserves to be one of the best treks in Nepal, it has become slightly less appealing due to its popularity. If you want a Himalayan experience without large crowds of trekkers, this may not be the one for you.

Everest Base Camp Trek Highlights

  • Stand at the base of the highest peak in the world
  • Learn about Sherpa culture, the expert Nepalese climbers who spend their lives in this area
  • Visit mountain monasteries and a school established by Sir Edmund Hillary in Khumjung village
  • Trek alongside astounding glacial views of the Khumbu Glacier
  • Explore Namche Bazar, a colourful market town built on a terraced slope at 3440m

Everest Base Camp Trek Details

  • 12 days minimum
  • Approximately 128.7km
  • Elevation gain: 2902m
  • Difficulty: Moderate to challenging
  • TIMS card required
  • Permits required

Everest Base Camp Trek Tours

Do you want to get to Mount Everest but don’t know where to start? Consider a guided Everest Base Camp Trek. With a local guide and most details planned for you, you can sit back and relax (well, not relax—it’s a challenging trek!). For 16 nights, you’ll be immersed in Himalayan magic, a mountain range known as the “roof of the world.” Catch one of the most epic sunrises rises over Everest from Kala Patthar peak. Stand at the foot of the world’s highest mountain—the most satisfying check off your bucket list.

Trekking in Nepal views on Everest Base Camp Trek
Trekking in Nepal views on Everest Base Camp Trek

Gokyo Lakes Trek

Gokyo Lakes Trek Overview

Just west of the Everest Base Camp Trek you’ll find an excellent alternative: the Gokyo Lakes Trek. In about 10 days, you explore the region close to Everest, hiking through isolated Sherpa communities and witnessing some of the most astonishing panoramic views of the Himalayan peaks. This trek passes by five breathtaking lakes, creating plenty of photographic opportunities. As you gaze out at the Gokyo Lakes, feel the zen atmosphere and listen to the faint sound of yak bells permeating.

You can venture on this trek without a guide if you feel comfortable navigating on your own. If you want, stay longer in your favourite teahouse, or take an alternate route around the lakes. Feel genuinely at peace in the Himalayan wilderness. The Gokyo region is an ideal place to get lost and find yourself.

Gokyo Lakes Trek Highlights

  • Explore five vivid emerald lakes deep in the mountains
  • Pass by fewer tourists on this remote out-and-back trail
  • Witness some of the best panoramic views in the Himalayas from Gokyo Peak at 5357m
  • Watch the sunset over Mount Everest from Gokyo Peak
  • Catch a glimpse of the biggest glacier in the Himalayas, Ngozumpa glacier

Everest Base Camp Trek Details

  • 10 days minimum
  • Trail length: 92.0km
  • Elevation gain: 2497m
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • TIMS card required
  • Permits required

Gokyo Lake Trek Tours

If Everest is on your list, but you have more time to spare, the Everest Base Camp and Gokyo Lake Trek is a magnificent extension that includes both treks. Spend 20 days in the Himalayan wilderness with a local guide exploring the region’s almost-unbelievable wonders. The scenery is so photogenic, with six emerald lakes, continuous shark-tooth peaks, and prayer flags flying in the wind with bluebird sky backdrops. Remember to put your camera down and enjoy it with your own eyes!

Trekking in Nepal views on Gokyo Lakes Trek
Trekking in Nepal views on Gokyo Lakes Trek

Poon Hill Trek

Poon Hill Trek Overview

The Poon Hill Trek is one of the shortest treks in the area with low elevation gain. Are you a sunrise fanatic? Then this is the best trek in Nepal for you. From Poon Hill, you get a unique viewpoint for catching an epic sunrise coming over the world’s third-highest peak, Annapurna I. If you don’t have much time but crave to be immersed in the magical Himalayan peaks, this is a great option—especially if you want an enviable photograph of your experience!

The trek commonly begins with an ascent to the village of Ghorepani, which involves hiking up over 3,000 stone steps. Before dawn breaks, head to the summit of Poon Hill at 3210m to witness a sunrise unlike any other in the world. On a clear day, you can see several seven- and eight-thousand-meter peaks from the viewpoint.

For a minimum of 3 days, you trek through misty forests, over suspension bridges, and into remote mountain villages. With uninterrupted panoramic views of the peaks around you, this short trek is well worth it.

Poon Hill Trek Highlights

  • Witness one of the most magical sunrises over the peak of Annapurna I
  • Exceptional panoramic views of the Himalayas
  • Relatively easy trek—great to acclimatize to the region

Poon Hill Trek Details

  • 3 days minimum
  • Length of the trek varies, but the most common route is 40.0km
  • Elevation gain: 2197m
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • TIMS card required
  • Permits required

Poon Hill Trek Tours

Are you short on time or a less-experienced hiker? Ease into the terrain and altitude on the guided Ghorepani and Poon Hill Trek. Remain at a lower altitude than some other treks for a 10-day journey to the village of Ghorepani and Poon Hill—a jaw-dropping vantage point to admire the sunrise over the Annapurna range. Stay in comfortable teahouses en route, enjoy a welcome dinner with your crew, and follow your English-speaking guide as you trek through one of the world’s most astounding places.

Trekking in Nepal views on Poon Hill Trek
Trekking in Nepal views on Poon Hill Trek

Langtang Trek

Langtang Trek Overview

Many of the best treks in Nepal require a day or two to reach the trailhead, but that’s not the case with the Langtang Trek—it’s one of the closest trekking routes to Kathmandu. Located in north-central Nepal, close to the Tibetan border, you’ll observe a more significant influence of Tibetan culture as you trek through the Langtang Valley.

You will need at least a week to complete the Langtang Trek. The route passes through bamboo forests, alpine meadows, with no shortage of rivers and waterfalls to admire. Tibetan Buddhist monasteries dot the landscapes as well, and the plethora of prayer flags flying in the wind give a spiritual ambiance to your journey.

The Langtang Trek region was affected by an enormous earthquake in 2015 and has since been rebuilt. Now, trekkers will find newer guesthouses with updated amenities, which are always welcome after a tough day in the mountains.

Langtang Trek Highlights

  • Walk among the astonishing “Valley of the Glaciers”
  • Immerse yourself in Tibetan culture en route
  • Witness impressive alpine flower blooms during summer

Langtang Trek Details

  • 7 days minimum
  • Trail length: 120.0km
  • Elevation gain: 2393m
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • TIMS card required
  • No special permits required

Langtang Trek Tours

For those short on time but crave an immersive Himalayan trekking experience, check out the guided Langtang Trek. Starting and ending in Kathmandu, you’ll be guided for 10 days among the Langtang valley, just north of Nepal’s capital. En route, there’s no shortage of phenomenal mountain views and opportunities to learn about Sherpa culture. This trek is a great option to maximize your time in Nepal.

Trekking in Nepal views on Langtang Trek Nepal
Trekking in Nepal views on Langtang Trek Nepal

Manaslu Trek

Manaslu Trek Overview

If you go to Nepal looking to escape the stress of city life, you can’t get much further than the Manaslu Trek. It’s a super remote trail that loops back to the starting point, which means you’ll enjoy new views each day. Being so isolated from populated areas means that ecosystems on this trek are thriving. As you hike among lush forests to open alpine areas, keep your eyes peeled for diverse wildlife like the grey wolf, Asian black bear, lynx, and over 100 species of birds.

Trekkers require about two weeks for this route, similar to the Annapurna Circuit. But unlike the Annapurna Circuit, this is a more remote venture to its depths. If you have the time for a two-week tour, the Manaslu Trek is an excellent alternative to the more easily accessible Annapurna trails. Because this trail includes different sleeping destinations each night, it’s more popular with trekkers who are after variety. To avoid any accommodation mishaps, book your teahouse room ahead of time.

Manaslu Trek Highlights

  • Traverse one of the longest passes in the Himalayas, Larkya La Pass at 5106m with views of these majestic peaks: Himlung Himal, Cheo Himal, Kang Guru, and Annapurna II
  • Enjoy ever-changing terrain and views on this loop trail
  • Camp at the base of Manaslu, the eighth-highest mountain in the world, looking up at its two ominous shark-tooth peaks
  • View diverse wildlife that you’re more likely to encounter in this remote area

Manaslu Trek Details

  • 14 days minimum
  • Trail length: 180.0km
  • Elevation gain: 4437m
  • Difficulty: Moderate to challenging
  • TIMS card required
  • Permits required

Manaslu Trek Tours

Cultural and geographical diversity is synonymous with the guided Manaslu Circuit Trek. Over 19 days, you’ll encounter a vast range of terrain as you gain severe elevation on this remote route. Pass through villages of all three influential cultures in the area: Hindu, Buddhist, and Tibetan. The Manaslu route is quite challenging, but you can rest assured that accommodation and food are taken care of to focus on the hike itself.

Trekking in Nepal views on Manaslu Trek
Trekking in Nepal views on Manaslu Trek

Upper Dolpo Trek

Upper Dolpo Trek Overview

If you’re looking for a strenuous trek in a remote section of Nepal, the Upper Dolpo Trek will appeal to you. Trekking this loop will take at least three weeks. You must incorporate at least two days on either side of the journey to access the trailhead. Because this trek is so remote, it lacks the infrastructure to welcome hoards of tourists, so be prepared for a more rustic experience. This trek requires that you travel in a group of at least two, and you must have a guide. Once you’ve got all those details sorted out, you’re in for an experience like no other!

Upper Dolpo is one of the best hikes in the Himalayas—take your time exploring the wild west of Nepal. On this trek, you walk through time-captured villages, and you’ll observe the lives of those who live there. Don’t be surprised to see yak farmers herding their animals across the tremendous Himalayan plains. You’ll traverse high and wild mountain passes replete with ancient villages and Tibetan temples. Due to its proximity to Tibet, the Buddhist influence is palpable in the Dolpo region.

Upper Dolpo Trek Highlights

  • Escape the popular treks and hoards of tourists on this super remote trail
  • View blossoming and fragrant orchids, edelweiss, and forget-me-nots in the summer
  • Reap the views of the surrounding giants: Dhaulagiri, Sita Chuchura, Nilgiri, Thapa Peak, Tukche Peak, Tilicho Peak
  • Stand before Shey Phoksundo, an enchanting turquoise alpine freshwater lake with stupas dotting its shores

Upper Dolpo Trek Details

  • 21 days minimum, but factor in 2 days for travel on either side
  • Trail length approximately 246.0km
  • Elevation gain: 2965m
  • Difficulty: Challenging
  • TIMS card required
  • Permits required
  • Must have at least two trekkers in a group
  • Must have a guide
Trekking in Nepal views on Upper Dolpo Trek
Trekking in Nepal views on Upper Dolpo Trek

Upper Mustang Trek

Upper Mustang Trek Overview

For a unique trekking experience in Nepal, the Upper Mustang Trek certainly delivers. Geographically nestled between western Tibet and the Himalayas, the environment and ambiance are unlike any other treks in our list. Mustang is an area that was recognized as a Buddhist kingdom up until the last century. Choosing this trek will take you over ancient kingdom routes and through desert landscapes thanks to its rain shadow locale.

Access to this trail remains highly restricted, so you will need to be accompanied by a guide to complete the journey. Along the trail, which is out-and-back with a small loop mid-trip, the scenery consists of treeless red cliffs and arid terrain. Even during the monsoon season in Nepal, this trek is suitable for hiking. For a mystical trekking adventure, spend about two weeks deep in the Himalayan wilderness on the Upper Mustang Trek.

Upper Mustang Trek Highlights

  • Explore barren plains and arid desert landscapes, distinct from other Himalayan regions
  • Trek in Nepal’s ancient and forbidden Buddhist Kingdom of Mustang
  • Admire unobstructed views of the giant peaks Nilgiri, Annapurna, and Dhaulagiri

Upper Mustang Trek Details

  • 12 days minimum
  • Trail length approximately 160.0km
  • Elevation gain: 1027m
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • TIMS card required
  • Permits required
  • Must have at least two trekkers in a group
  • Must have a guide
Trekking in Nepal views on Upper Mustang Trek
Trekking in Nepal views on Upper Mustang Trek

Kanchenjunga Trek

Kanchenjunga Trek Overview

Are you a fit trekker who wants a challenge in one of the most remote parts of Nepal? Head to the most eastern region of Nepal to the protected area of Kanchenjunga, home to the third-highest mountain in the world, Mount Kanchenjunga. This longer route earns its spot as one of the best treks in Nepal—you spend a few days hiking around and exploring the base of this epic mountain. Kanchenjunga is in a restricted zone, and this trek requires special permits, a local guide, and that your group is at least two people.

Camp on both the north and south sides of this majestic peak in glaciated base camp zones—remember to stretch your neck because you’ll be craning upwards in awe so often! On the way, the trail passes through subtropical valleys to dense alpine forests and meadows. You’ll see views of zigzagging rivers and streams, and as you gain altitude, the landscape opens up to incredible views of the Himalayas as you draw nearer to Kanchenjunga.

Kanchenjunga Trek Highlights

  • Camp at the base of the third-highest mountain in the world, Mount Kanchenjunga (8586m)
  • Trek among blooming rhododendron meadows
  • Stop at local villages to understand local culture and customs
  • Spend at least three weeks trekking in the remote eastern region of Nepal

Kanchenjunga Trek Details

  • 21 days minimum
  • Trail length: 220.0km
  • Elevation gain: 3040m
  • Difficulty: Challenging
  • TIMS card required
  • Permits required
  • Must have at least two trekkers in a group
  • Must have a guide
Trekking in Nepal views on Kanchenjunga Trek
Trekking in Nepal views on Kanchenjunga Trek

Nepal Trekking Season

When is the best time to trek in Nepal?

The best time to trek in Nepal depends on which region you choose to visit. That said, as a general guide, the best season is autumn, September to November, when the climate is pleasant, and you’re not likely to encounter snow at higher altitudes. After the summer monsoons, the skies are much clearer, and the vegetation is super lush. If you can aim to trek in Nepal in the fall, that’s what we recommend. Warm, clear days, and cool nights—the ideal trekking conditions!

If you can’t take your trek journey during the fall, you’ll get ideal trekking conditions in April and May. During these months, the weather is warm during the day, but you could encounter some rainy afternoons, and potentially late snowfall that would make some of the higher passes impossible to cross.

Due to Nepal’s weather systems, winter and summer conditions are problematic for trekking. From December to March, there’s a high risk of avalanches, the temperatures are well below freezing, and trails could be icy and dangerous for less-experienced hikers. Some of the best treks are accessible in winter, but most are too cold and too remote to make it worthwhile. June to August is the monsoon season when trails will be super muddy and prone to landslides. However, if you must go to Nepal during the summer, not all hope is lost. Two of the best treks are located in a rain shadow lending to dry conditions year-round: the Upper Mustang and Upper Dolpo treks.

Is it Safe to Trek in Nepal

Safety in Nepal

Like anywhere you travel, you should exercise a degree of caution when travelling in Nepal, especially in cities before starting your trek. Use common sense as you move about the country, and never reveal to anyone where you keep your valuables.

Once you’re in the mountains, you’ll mingle with villagers daily. They are welcoming to trekkers, as long as you are respectful. Some might be extra excited to show you their hospitality. Be mindful of any strangers who may want to join your group at the last minute. Trek with people you know, or new friends you’ve become acquainted with before heading into the wilderness for several days.

Altitude sickness

At such high altitudes in Nepal, trekking poses a risk for getting altitude sickness or acute mountain sickness when your body is not receiving the proper amount of oxygen it needs. When you trek in Nepal, you must acclimatize adequately to maintain good health for your trek. We recommend incorporating at least a few days on either side of your trek to acclimate yourself. Also, if you have the time, include a couple of rest and acclimatization days into the trek itself.

Here are a few tips to prevent altitude sickness:

  • Stay hydrated
  • Sleep well
  • Eat well and limit sugar intake
  • Limit alcohol intake
  • Move slowly when climbing uphill

If you feel any of the symptoms below, take precautions to make sure they don’t worsen. Symptoms should subside as you move to lower elevation.

  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Loss of appetite
  • Rapid pulse (heart rate)
  • Shortness of breath with exertion

Earthquakes and avalanches

Nepal sits on the fault line of two massive tectonic plates, the Indo-Australian and Asian plates, which means it is prone to earthquakes. Interestingly, the Himalayas are a result of these two tectonic plates colliding. The last devastating earthquake was in April 2015 (at the time of writing), which caused several avalanches, landslides, deaths, and damage. While you can’t necessarily avoid earthquakes, you can plan your trip to avoid the winter and summer months when avalanches and landslides are a risk.

Travel insurance

For an adventure like trekking in Nepal, travel insurance is a must. Make sure you check coverage details before purchasing any insurance because some providers will not cover certain sports, including hiking. We use World Nomads insurance coverage because they support adventure lifestyles and understand what coverage is essential for trips like trekking in Nepal.

Trekking Permits in Nepal

What permits are needed to trek in Nepal

No matter where you trek in Nepal, you will need to register with the Nepal Tourism Board to obtain a Trekker’s Information Management Systems (TIMS) card. In addition to the TIMS card, some treks require special permits to enter because they are in protected areas or national parks. Keep your permits on you at all times in case you need to show an immigration official. For more information on entry permits to areas not listed below, see Welcome Nepal’s list.

Additional permits for trekking in Nepal:

  • Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP)
  • Sagarmatha National Park Entry Permit
  • Restricted Area Permit (RAP)
  • Manaslu Conservation Area Project (MCAP)
  • Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality Entry Permit

List of the best treks in Nepal and which permits are required:

  • Annapurna Base Camp Trek
    • TIMS, ACAP
  • Annapurna Circuit Trek
    • TIMS, ACAP
  • Everest Base Camp Trek
    • TIMS, Sagarmatha National Park Entry Permit
  • Poon Hill Trek
    • TIMS, ACAP
  • Langtang Trek
    • TIMS
  • Manaslu Trek
    • TIMS, MCAP
  • Gokyo Lakes Trek
    • TIMS, Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality Entry Permit
  • Upper Dolpo Trek
    • TIMS, ACAP, RAP
  • Upper Mustang Trek
    • TIMS, ACAP, RAP
  • Kanchenjunga Trek
    • TIMS, ACAP, RAP

How to get a trekking permit in Nepal

The most convenient way to obtain your permits is at the Nepal Tourism Board office in Kathmandu or Pokhara. You can apply for the TIMS card and additional permits at this office. (If you’re heading to the Gokyo Lakes Trek, you can pay for the Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality Entry Permit in Lukla.) In Kathmandu, the office is open from 10 am to 5 pm daily, and usually closed from 1 pm to 2 pm for lunch—it’s not a bad idea to call ahead and confirm their hours before you go (+977 1 4256909).

Be prepared for your turn at the window with the following information and documents:

  • Entry and exit dates for trek
  • Entry and exit points for trek
  • Itinerary/route for trek
  • Emergency contact in Nepal (you can use a tour agency as a contact)
  • Emergency contact in your home country
  • Your insurance policy number, phone number, and coverage specifics
  • Photocopy of your passport
  • 2 passport-sized photos

How much is a trekking permit in Nepal

Here’s a breakdown of costs for tourist permits in Nepal. We’ve listed the cost in USD, but you must pay in cash with Nepalese Rupees. See Welcome Nepal’s page for restricted areas not listed here.

Other Things to Know About Trekking in Nepal

Visa requirements for visiting Nepal

All travelers are required to obtain a tourist visa to visit Nepal, except Indian nationals. You can choose to get your visa from your nearest Nepalese embassy before departure or opt for a visa-on-arrival at the airport. The process is relatively straightforward—just be warned that you may be in a long line during peak tourist periods.

Tourist visa options for Nepal:

  • 15 days – $30 USD
  • 30 days – $50 USD
  • 90 days – $125 USD

Immigration officials will accept payment in the following currencies: Australian Dollar, Canadian Dollar, Euro, Hong Kong Dollar, Japanese Yen, Pound Sterling, Swiss Franc, Singapore Dollar, and US Dollar.

If you are applying on arrival, make sure you have the following:

  • Valid passport with at least 6 months validity
  • At least one blank page in your passport
  • Complete application form (at airport or online)
  • A passport-sized photo

There are options to extend your visa up to 150 days per calendar year. See Welcome Nepal’s page for details.

Transportation in Nepal

Getting around Nepal is all part of the adventure. If you’re short on time, you can fly to the starting town near your trek and get a birds-eye view of your journey. The flights are quick but long enough to gaze at the awe-inspiring landscapes from your seat. If your budget allows it, avoid winding through high mountain passes in an old bus, and take a plane to your destination.

For land travel, you can hop on a budget-friendly bus for a bonus adventure, or hire a private driver. It can be worth hiring a car if you’re travelling in a group. Keep in mind that roadside challenges are common due to the steep and uneven terrain, old vehicles, and road closures. Give yourself some leeway to avoid this! Much like acclimating yourself to hike in Nepal, we recommend factoring in a couple of days for mishaps on the road. Travelling by land will be much more budget-savvy than taking to the air, but your choice of transportation depends on timeframe and sense of adventure!

Food in Nepal

The cuisine you’ll find in the Himalayas is excellent fuel for trekking—it’s packed with carbohydrates and protein to keep you full and energized. On your trek, prepare to get very familiar with dal bhat, a lentil stew with rice and curried potatoes. It’s vegetarian-friendly, but you’ll find curried meat options as well. The locals often eat this for lunch and dinner every day.

Aside from the dal bhat staple, teahouses offer extensive menus catering to the increase of tourists flocking to the area. Choose from hearty boiled potatoes in chili sauce, various curries and rice, momo—Nepali dumplings filled with cheese, veggies, or potato and served with chutney. There will usually be some form of a Sherpa stew made with meat, potatoes, and veggies in a rich sauce. Western options like pizza and pasta are also available, but they come with a more expensive price tag and quality cannot be guaranteed. Stick with the local flavours!

The breakfast menu will often include Tibetan bread, a lightly-fried sweet dough served with jam. Rice pudding or porridge with fresh coconut and cinnamon are great options for filling meals before heading out for each day’s intense trek. And, of course, you’ll find masala tea to warm you up on chilly mornings and evenings in the teahouse. Sip on the spicy, milky tea as you gaze out at the majestic views around you.

Nepalese customs in temples

Part of the mysticism that comes from trekking in Nepal is the influence of Hindu and Buddhist cultures. You are hiking through a foreign area, and with that comes a level of expected responsibility for respecting local customs. On your trek, you’re bound to visit a number of temples—they are sporadically built among the majestic Himalayan landscape because the mountains themselves have a deity-like power. Keep the following tips in mind when you enter temples en-route:

  • Take your shoes off before entering temples
  • Ask permission before entering Hindu temples
  • Do not take photographs inside Hindu temples (most of the time it is forbidden)

Cost to trek in Nepal

Nepal is a budget-friendly destination where you’ll be able to fulfill your Himalayan hiking dreams without breaking the bank. Of course, your trekking budget will vary depending on your preferences. You can cut costs way down if you go to Nepal packed with all your own gear, take local buses to each destination, and eat the cheapest food. The most significant expenses are trekking permits—factor these costs in when you plan your journey.

We like to travel on a budget, so here’s a quick breakdown of costs for a two-week trip with 10 days of trekking for an individual:

  • Food: $15–25/day
  • Transportation to trek: $20 (about $5–10 for bus ticket each way, depending on where you start)
  • Guide: $30/day
  • TIMS card: $8.35
  • ACAP permit: $25
  • 15-day visa: $30

Two weeks in Nepal: $733.35

If you have more cash to spend on your journey, you could pay for the convenience of domestic flights to reach your trek, avoiding a long, possibly overnight bus ride. Domestic flights cost around $160. Your costs will increase if you spend the majority of your nights in teahouses, which cost $3–10, rather than camping, or if you need to purchase gear in Nepal. With some careful planning and preparation, you can check off your bucket-list hike in Nepal without dipping into your savings too much.