When you’re thinking about going on an adventure like the Everest Base Camp trek, there will be lots of factors to take into consideration. When do you want to go, which route would you like to take, how fit do you need to be?
But one of the most important questions will be; “How much does Everest Base Camp cost?” Whether you are budget-dependent or this isn’t a big concern, it’s important to consider how much you want to pay for your Everest Base Camp trip – and what this cost will actually get you.
How much does it cost to trek to Everest Base Camp?
The baseline cost of trekking to Everest Base Camp will depend on a number of variables. The costs will change based on how inclusive you want your trip to be.
At the cheapest end of the scale, there is the option of trekking to Everest Base Camp independently. At this time, it is not a legal requirement to have a guide to trek to Base Camp – you can go it alone if you choose. This will obviously save you money, but there are several drawbacks.
If you are trekking alone, you will have to navigate your own way along the trails and carry your own bags. This makes the trek much more physically and mentally difficult. You will also have no-one to go to with questions or advice. If something goes wrong, there is no expert on hand. When you take everything into consideration, the cost of a local guide is a very small price to pay for the safety and ease they will bring to your experience.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for an option that gives you complete ease of experience – taking away all the stress of organisation and allowing you to focus on the adventure, then booking with a tour company is the best option. This will, of course, cost you more – but only because everything is included in one price! One important thing to bear in mind when you’re choosing a company to trek Everest Base Camp with is whether they include UK guides as well as local guides.
Local guides are fantastic – they have all of the local knowledge and expertise from living in Nepal and having done the Base Camp trek hundreds of times. However, UK guides are a great benefit, because they give you a point of contact, someone to ask all of your questions the whole way through your trip, from the moment you depart from the airport to the moment to arrive back home.
There are also several other pragmatic elements to take into account when you are looking at an Everest Base Camp trek price comparison.
Cost of flights to Kathmandu
Operators that provide land-only packages will usually offer lower prices, but this obviously means that you will have to pay for your own flight separately. Not only does this often mean a lot of work, it may also work out being more expensive.
Tour operators will already have relationships formed with flight agents, and they will be able to get good industry rates on quality flights. If you decide to go land-only, just bear in mind that you might end up having to take several connections in order to get a more affordable flight from your home country to Kathmandu. The average cost of a return flight from London to Kathmandu is around £500, so this is important to budget if you decide to go solo.
Of course, to get from the airport to the Everest Base Camp trailhead, there will be several internal journeys you’ll need to take. First of all, there will be a transfer from the airport to your accommodation in Kathmandu. Generally-speaking, taxis and tuk-tuks are affordable in Nepal, but as with any country, journeys to and from the airport will be charged at a much higher rate. For this reason, having a transfer booked in with your tour operator is usually preferable.
Then you will have to get from Kathmandu to the beginning of the trek. The most common way to do this is by taking a flight to Lukla. This costs around $200 each way, but there is a high demand for flights, so if you try to just turn up you are likely to have to wait for hours if not days to get on a flight. Again, booking your flight as part of a package tour is a much better idea in most cases.
Accommodation cost in Kathmandu
Another cost to take into consideration if you are looking to do Everest Base Camp independently or with an in-country team is your accommodation. Throughout the Everest Base Camp trek, most people will be in the same kind of accommodation regardless of how they have booked the trek. This will comprise of comfy local teahouses.
However, in Kathmandu, the prices for hotels vary significantly – you could pay anywhere from under ten dollars per night to over 100 dollars per night depending on the level of luxury you are after.
Again, a tour agent will be booking rooms in hotels for a larger group of clients, so it is highly likely that they will be able to get a much more competitive rate for accommodation than you could independently.
How much does food cost on the Everest Base Camp trek?
Another important cost of the Everest Base Camp trek is food. When you’re hiking for several hours per day at altitude, it’s important that you’re getting all the nutrition you need, so good food is worth the investment. Luckily, though, Nepal is a very affordable country when it comes to eating.
You can expect to spend around $25 dollars per day for three meals if you are not using an inclusive operator, plus money for any snacks. A major cost for some trekkers is that of bottled water. You can’t drink water out of the tap in Nepal, but plastic water bottles are very expensive in the mountains as they have to be flown in by helicopter or driven up in a Jeep. This means that you can save yourself a lot of money by bringing along a filtering water bottle (use our code ‘BLC15’ for 15% off Water-to-Go bottles!)
Altogether, this can mount up to a quite significant amount of money. So, again, it’s worth considering trekking to Everest Base Camp with a travel agency that offers an all-inclusive package, which will cover all of your food on the trail, as well as refreshments. This may well end up saving you a big chunk of money – and we know what to recommend, too!
How much does Everest Base Camp cost per day?
The daily costs of the Everest Base Camp trek will vary depending on your chosen accommodation, how much you eat and various other factors. However, if you are not doing the trek on an inclusive basis, you can expect to pay these kinds of costs during the trek itself:
- Accommodation in teahouses: $10 per night
- Local guides: $40 per day
- Food: $25 per day
- Permits: $53
- Flight to Lukla: $180 each way
When you consider that you are trekking for twelve days during the Everest Base Camp trip, it is often more than worth it to do the trip with a tour operator! However, it’s also worth bearing in mind that many tour operators don’t actually include the cost of food in their treks. Here at The Bucket List Company, we include all of your meals and refreshments, permits, flights, accommodation and everything else in the price of all our treks in Nepal, so that you never have to worry about unexpected costs.
So why book with a group?
Ultimately, even if you trek to Everest Base Camp independently, you’re going to be spending well over $2000 dollars all-in, before you even think about spending money. But this will not get you experienced UK guides to go to with all of your queries and needs, and it will also mean you have to do the admin of paying for every individual meal, transfer, permit – and the rest – and you can’t be sure you’re getting a fair price, either. Not to mention that you’ll be hiking alone, which isn’t a lot of fun.
For just a little bit more, you could book with a company that offers you all-inclusive pricing and a hassle-free experience, so you can simply immerse yourself in the moment. Here at The Bucket List Company, we book everything for you and include it in our prices. This includes:
- UK flights
- Accommodation in Kathmandu and on the trek
- Flights to and from Lukla
- Food during the trek
- Local guides and porters
- UK guides
- Kathmandu city tour
UK guides and 24-hour support
Another major benefit of booking your Everest Base Camp trek with The Bucket List Company is the fact that we take qualified UK guides on our trips. Our guides are highly experienced and first aid trained, and they will take care of you throughout your trip. We will meet you in the airport in UK and guide you throughout your trip. We also have a 24-hour support team in the UK to take care of any administrative needs. This will make your trip so much more simple and enjoyable.
Kathmandu city tour
One thing that most tour operators don’t include is a tour of Kathmandu. On a locally-guided tour, you’ll discover the highlights of Durbar Square, Monkey Temple, Swayambhunath stupa, Boudhanath stupa and many more fascinating sites. This is an amazing opportunity to experience the cultural heritage of Nepal, which adds a unique dimension to your Everest Base Camp trip. That’s why we include it in our prices!
Travel with a group
Trekking to Everest Base Camp with a group adventure company also means that you’ll make friends during your trip. Even if you think you’re a fiercely independent traveller, you will find that undertaking a challenge like Everest Base Camp is much more special when you have someone to share it with.
Check out our photographer Ali’s blog post to find out how he, as a formerly anti-group-travel adventurer, suddenly understood why trekking in a group is so amazing after he photographed our Annapurna Circuit trek.
So, make sure that you’re travelling with a company that offers you the full package, with flights, transfers, food, accommodation in Kathmandu and UK guides included. Luckily, that’s where we come in!