For any adventure-seeking travelers, trekking is ideal for sightseeing and cultural encounters. Nepal provides many trekking route options that stretch across the country. With its diverse terrains and geographic locations, this nation starts as a popular trekking destination.
With Nepal’s breathtaking locations every year, this country attracts +200,000 trekkers. Indeed, many travelers have Nepal’s trekking destination on their bucket list. All these trails are stretched in an east-west line across northern Nepal’s Himalayan belt. Hence, you can say all these routes lie in the lap of the Himalayas.
Not to mention, all these adventures are of different lengths and difficulties. In addition, getting some basic, detailed information on the routes before you plan your travel is essential. Below are some of the basic questions to ask yourself before you think of trekking in the Himalayas.
- How many days are you going to trek in Nepal?
- Which level of difficulty trek are you looking for?
- During which season are you planning to make your visit?
- Are you a solo traveler or in a group?
- Are you traveling on a budget?
Some Trekking Routes In The Himalayas of Nepal
There are numerous trekking trails across Nepal, from the east to the west. However, among all these, the Everest and Annapurna regions are the two most popular regions for the trek.
These sites also follow multiple small yet famous trails. Below are some of the listed routes in Nepal.
The Everest Region
- Everest Base Camp Trek (Duration: 12-14 days, Difficulty Level: Medium)
- Gokyo Lake Trek (Duration: 14-16 days, Difficulty Level: Medium)
- Pikey Peak Trek (Duration: 6-7 days, Difficulty Level: Easy to Medium)
- Three Passes Trek (Duration: 16-18 days, Difficulty Level: Very Challenging)
The Annapurna Region
- Annapurna Base Camp Trek (Duration: 10-15 days, Difficulty Level: Medium)
- Mardi Himal Trek (Duration: 6-8 days, Difficulty Level: Easy)
- Khopra Danda Trek (Duration: 7-8 days, Difficulty Level: Moderate)
- Tilicho Lake Trek (Duration: 5-6 days, Difficulty Level: Moderately Challenging)
- Poon Hill Trek (Duration: 4-5 days, Difficulty Level: Moderate)
- Mohare Danda Trek (Duration: 3-5 days, Difficulty Level: Moderate)
- Panchase Trek (Duration: 3-5 days, Difficulty Level: Moderately Challenging)
The Trekking Guide While In Nepal
You will first need a Nepalese visa to commence your travel to Nepal. Well, most foreign nationalities travelers get their Nepalese visas on arrival. You can also submit an online application through a website for the visa.
Apart from it, you can also fill out the application form at the airport; however, during peak season, it might take some time to do so. Also, you can get three types of visas here; a 15-day visa (US$30), a 30-day visa (US$50), and a 90-day visa (US$125).
Later, if you wish to extend the visa, you should go to the Immigration Office in Kathmandu or Pokhara. Here, every visa extension is for fifteen days, costing you about US$45. You can stay in Nepal for 180 days, depending on the country of your origin.
Nepal uses Nepalese Rupees (NPR), and several currency exchange places exist. You can exchange major currencies like USD, Euro, British Pounds, Australian and Canadian Dollars, and Japanese Yen.
While in Nepal, it is best if you carry cash in most of the places you go, and you can make the withdrawal from the ATMs. You can withdraw about NPR 15,000-20,000 per transaction at one time. You will have to pay a commission on every transaction, ranging from NPR 300 to 500.
Furthermore, if you are traveling to remote areas, you should always carry cash as they do not use cards or have ATMs. However, you can use cash and cards for hotels, restaurants, and shops in the city area. But you should learn that some hotels and cafes charge around 3-4% extra if you pay via card.
Best Seasons For Trekking
The best seasons also vary depending on the nature and location of trekking. Though you can visit Nepal all year round, the best seasons for trekking are spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November). This is because the weather is comfortable and neither too hot nor too cold.
During summer (June to August), the weather is too hot, often followed by heavy rainfall, as it is also the peak of the monsoon season. While during the winter (December to February), the mountain region gets way too cold, and many guesthouses are closed.
However, even if it’s too cold, some travelers like to trek in winter, especially in the Langtang region. But in the Annapurna region, winter trekking is closed due to the high chances of avalanches. Moving on, April and October are one of the busiest months for trekking, and the trails are too crowded.
The Cost Of Trekking In Nepal
In truth, the cost of trekking in Nepal depends on which route you take or which region you are trying to explore. It also depends on how you want to take the trekking route and if it’s with a guide or porter.
Also, some trekking trails cost way more than small routes with additional permit costs. As for the estimated expenses, you will need about US$25-28 per person per day. Likewise, if you are looking for a guide, you will need about US$30 per day, depending on the number of people.
In addition, a porter will cost you about US$25-30 per day. But having said this, it is always best to carry some extra money with you during the trekking. This can be due to snowfalls, flight cancellations, or sickness.
Even though you trek independently or with a group, you will need trekking permits to enter the National Park or Conservation Area. Yet you will need a TIMS card to enter some parks, which you can purchase at the Tourism Board Office in Kathmandu or Pokhara.
Below are some items you will need to get the TIMS card.
- Passport-sized photos (two)
- Filled form with insurance details (one)
- Contact details in Nepal
- NPR 2000 for the form
Similarly, below are the items you will need to get the National Park to permit.
- NPR 3000 to get the permit
- Passport-sized photos (two)
- Filled form with passport details (one)
All in all, you can get solo permits; however, in some areas, they do not allow you to trek without a guide or a tour group. Most such places are near China and Tibet’s border, like the Upper Mustang trek or Manang trek.
Traveling inside the National Parks, you must have trekking insurance. In addition, if you have not applied for insurance yet, you can fill out the form when applying for the permits. But yes, filling out the insurance form is not a compulsion, as it is for your safety.
Though the injury cases may be low, it is always recommended to apply for trekking insurance, especially at high altitudes. Trekking insurance will cover every minor to major injury you may face in the Himalayas. If you have insurance, no matter how expensive the cost, it will be covered, but if you do not have insurance, you will have to pay it from your pocket.
Overall Guide While Trekking In Nepal
Once you are in Nepal to start your trekking adventure, you will need to know the basic details of how things work in Nepal. You should be fully aware of the transportation facilities, food, beverages, and accommodation.
Well, this is one of the crucial topics for this independent travelers. This is because the traveling Company will look after all the necessities if you are a traveler in a collaborative group or have signed a package deal. Not only this, but often, the traveling Company also helps the traveler pick them up at the airport upon arrival.
Every trip to Nepal includes an international flight to the Tribhuvan International airport unless you are coming from the Indian border. Just as you land in Kathmandu, you will find the bustling noise and crowded areas.
Here, if you are traveling from one place to another inside the valley, you can use local buses or taxis if you do not have a private ride. You can also ask for a ride using apps such as Tootle, pathao, and driver. However, you can always use the domestic flight while traveling out of the valley toward your trekking destination.
If you are in no hurry and would like to enjoy the scenic beauty on the way, you can opt for the buses. Furthermore, the bus facility can also be local, or you can book a seat on the tourist buses.
The main dish in Nepal is “Daal, Bhaat, Tarkaari,” which means lentils, rice, and curry. It is eaten by all Nepalese at least once a day. In the city area, you will find several cafes, restaurants, and hotels; you will get various dishes in every cuisine.
Indeed, the menus are quite diverse. However, in remote or village areas, you will mostly get local foods like rice, curry, eggs, meats, etc. While here, you should try out Dhido (buckwheat or millet flour dish), momos, gundruk, yak cheese, and so on.
Accommodation in Nepal varies with varying prices. You can choose from normal guest houses to luxurious 5-star hotels in city areas. If you are trekking in the mountain region, the higher you go, the lower your accommodation expectations should be.
In the Himalayas, you will find several guesthouses along the trail, and most of them have hot showers, electricity, and wi-fi. But only some of these have a western-styled flush toilet, as some only have the squat toilet outside. Besides, the accommodation price depends upon the season and region you are staying in.
Common Sickness While Trekking
Although you are a fit and healthy trekker, you might sometimes suffer from altitude sickness. Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) usually occurs when oxygen levels decline as you reach higher altitudes. Commonly, it starts when you cross a height of 2500 meters / 8000 feet.
Some of the commonsymptoms you will have altitude sickness are below.
- Rapid Heart palpitations
All of these can result for you to have mild headaches, difficulty in breathing, dizziness, nauseous feeling, and so on. You can prevent this sickness if you stay hydrated and take breaks when needed. Likewise, you can also take Diamox tablets.
Trekking insurance will cover every minor to major injury you may face in the Himalayas. If you have insurance, no matter how expensive the cost, it will be covered, but if you do not have insurance, you will have to pay it from your pocket.
It is hard to find food other than Dal and Bhat as you ascend further higher during trekking. You might get different cuisines in the lower Himalayan region but harder up above.