Top 5 Budget-Friendly Treks in Nepal

19, Oct 2023 |

Nepal's seemingly diminutive size belies its wealth of trekking opportunities. There are numerous trails that offer not only affordability but also a richly rewarding experience

Nepal, a small paradise nestled within the towering Himalayas, is a land of breathtaking landscapes, rich culture, and awe-inspiring nature. It's a haven for travellers in search of unforgettable experiences and a chance to explore the majestic mountains.

But if you find yourself on a tight budget, don't despair. Nepal's seemingly diminutive size belies its wealth of trekking opportunities. There are numerous trails that offer not only affordability but also a richly rewarding experience. We've put together a list of the top 5 budget-friendly treks in Nepal, perfect for those seeking outdoor adventures without breaking the bank.

Lower Mustang Trek

Mustang, a renowned global destination within Nepal, holds a special place on the international stage. Lower Mustang, situated in the northern region of Nepal's Gandaki province, offers an ideal trekking experience that spans 7 to 9 days, making it well-suited for beginners and budget-conscious travelers. The crown jewel of the Lower Mustang Trek is the sacred Muktinath temple, dedicated to Narayana (Vishnu) and revered by both Hindus and Buddhists. This temple boasts 108 taps, believed to cleanse pilgrims of their sins as they pass through each one. Along the journey, trekkers traverse vibrant Nepalese villages such as Lupra and explore charming locations like Kagbeni and Jomsom. The trek also offers breathtaking panoramic vistas of Mount Annapurna and Mount Dhaulagiri, making it a truly rewarding experience.

Here's a cost breakdown for the Lower Mustang Trek:


Two essential permits, TIMS and ACAP, are required for the trek, each incurring its own cost (as detailed above).


Anticipate spending approximately $8 (equivalent to NPR 1060) for a basic meal, totaling around $20 or NPR 2600 for three meals a day.


Most trekkers embark on the journey by road from Kathmandu to Pokhara. Bus fares vary, ranging from NPR 1200 to NPR 1500, depending on the amenities provided by the bus.

Guides and Porters:

Charges for guides and porters fluctuate, typically falling in the range of $20 (NPR 2600) to $25 (NPR 3000) per day, depending on specific arrangements and services.


Annapurna Base Camp Trek

The Annapurna Base Camp trek, nestled in the scenic Annapurna region of Nepal, is a captivating journey that typically spans 10 to 12 days. Throughout this trek, trekkers are treated to breathtaking vistas of majestic mountains, including Dhaulagiri, Annapurna I, Annapurna II, Nilgiri, Machhapuchre, Manaslu, Gangapurna, Tilicho, Pisang, and more. The trek offers not only these panoramic mountain views but also the unique opportunity to relax in a natural hot spring at Jhinu Danda. Additionally, it provides an immersive cultural experience as it brings travelers into direct contact with the customs and hospitality of the Gurung and Magar people.

Here's a breakdown of the total cost for the Annapurna Base Camp Trek:


Travel from Kathmandu to Pokhara: A tourist bus costs approximately Rs 1000 (USD 7.59), while a local bus is around Rs 800 (USD 6.07). Alternatively, a flight from Tribhuvan International Airport to Pokhara ranges from Rs 5000 (USD 37.93) to Rs 7000 (USD 53.11), with prices varying by airline and season.

Siwai to Chhomromg to Hilamayas: This part of the journey involves trekking by foot, so there are no additional transportation costs.


TIMS (Trekkers' Information Management System): It costs $10 if arranged through a registered travel agency or $20 if obtained individually. SAARC country citizens pay $6.

ACAP (Annapurna Conservation Area Permit): The permit fee is NPR 300 (approximately $25) for foreign nationals and NPR 1000 for Nepalese and SAARC trekkers.

Food and Accommodation:

Accommodation costs depend on your choice of lodging. Standard teahouses charge around $5 to $10 per night, equivalent to around NPR 1000. Luxurious hotels and lodges may cost between $30 and $40, or more, in the range of NPR 20,000+.

For food and beverages, budgeting around $15 to $20 per day should suffice.

Guides and Porters:

Guide and porter fees can vary based on their experience and qualifications. Typically, a daily rate of $20 to $25 is adequate to cover expenses, including tips, for both guides and porters.


Langtang Region Trek

Trekking through Nepal's enchanting Langtang region promises a visual feast, surrounded by towering mountains, vibrant wildflowers, and serene villages. This trek offers a unique opportunity for solitude, as it's less frequented compared to more popular trails in Nepal. The Langtang Valley Trek is particularly renowned for its Kyajin Ri viewpoint, which provides stunning vistas of Langtang Lirung, Yubra, Naya Kanga, Yala Peak, Changbu, and more. Additionally, the journey includes a visit to Kyanjin Gompa, a charming village steeped in the beauty of Buddhism, and an immersive experience of the distinctive lifestyles of the local Sherpa, Bhote, and Tamang communities.

Here's a comprehensive breakdown of the total cost for the Langtang Valley Trek:


TIMS (Trekkers' Information Management System): $20 for individual trekkers, $10 per person in a group through an agency, or $6 for SAARC nationalities.

Langtang National Park Entry Permit: $33.90 (including 13% VAT) or $16.95 for trekkers from SAARC nations (including VAT).

Optional Route Through Shivapuri National Park: $5.65 (NPR 748).


Anticipate around $3 or NPR 395 per meal. Budget approximately $15 (NPR 1985 max) per day for meals.


If you follow the classic route, you'll travel from Kathmandu to Syabru Besi for the trek's starting point and return the same way. Public vehicle costs range from $10 (NPR 1300) to $15 (NPR 1986).


Hiring a guide or porter generally costs between $20 (NPR 2600) and $25 (NPR 3000) per day, excluding tips.


Mardi Himal Trek 

Nestled to the east of Annapurna Base Camp, Mardi Himal is a captivating mountain located roughly 12 to 15 kilometers (7.5 to 9.3 miles) away, depending on the chosen route. This trek typically spans 4 to 5 days and offers a mesmerizing panorama of mountains, including Mount Machhapuchre, Annapurna South, Mount Hiunchuli, and Mardi Himal, among others. What sets the Mardi Himal trek apart is its off-the-beaten-path charm and relatively low foot traffic, making it an excellent choice for beginners. This trek is ideal for those embarking on their first trekking adventure and provides a fantastic opportunity to spot rare wildlife like the Himalayan wild thar, mask deer, barking deer, and even the elusive snow leopard.

Here's a breakdown of the total cost for the Mardi Himal trek:


To reach Mardi Himal from Kathmandu, transportation costs approximately NPR 1500 to NPR 2000, which equates to $10 to $15. Typically, trekkers journey from Kathmandu to Pokhara and then drive to Deurali. For those looking to save money, there's also the option of trekking to these destinations.


To undertake the Mardi Himal Trek, two permits are required: the TIMS (Trekkers' Information Management System) and the ACAP (Annapurna Conservation Area Permit). These permits are the same as those mentioned for the Annapurna Base Camp trek.

Food and Accommodation:

A comfortable teahouse along the Mardi Himal trek costs approximately NPR 500, or $5 per night. Sharing a twin bedroom with a friend is a slightly more economical option, at around NPR 900 or $7 per night. Setting aside around NPR 5,000 or $35 for additional snacks along the way is usually sufficient. When it comes to meals, budget around NPR 3000, or $22, to cover three meals a day. Keep in mind that this is an average cost, and opting for less fancy meals can significantly reduce expenses.

Guides and Porters:

Hiring guides and porters generally falls within the range of $20 to $25, or NPR 1500 to NPR 2500 per day. This fee includes their food and accommodation during the Mardi Himal trek.


Khopra Ridge Trek

For budget-conscious trekkers seeking an excellent choice, the Khopra Ridge trek offers an ideal option. This week-long trek is relatively unexplored in Nepal and caters to beginners, requiring no specific skills other than being in good physical shape. The Khopra Ridge Trek unveils a splendid panorama featuring Tukuche Peak, Nilgiri, Mt. Dhaulagiri, Mt. Bara Shikhar, Mt. Machhapuchre (fishtail), and more. Notably, the journey culminates at Khayer Lake, a sacred site revered by locals. Along its serene banks, you'll discover the Khayer Barahi temple, a place of worship for the Magar community and Hindu devotees seeking blessings. En route, the trek meanders through charming villages like Ulleri, Bayeli Kharka, and Naya Pool, where you'll witness a simple lifestyle and breathtaking landscapes.

Here's a comprehensive breakdown of the total cost for the Khopra Ridge trek:


The same permits mentioned earlier for the Mardi Himal trek and Annapurna Base Camp trek are required: the TIMS (Trekkers' Information Management System) and ACAP (Annapurna Conservation Area Permit).

Food and Accommodation:

Anticipate an average cost of NPR 1200 or $14.49 for three meals a day.

A shared room in a standard teahouse ranges from NPR 350 to NPR 450, equivalent to approximately $5 per night.

Guides and Porters:

Guides and porters typically charge around NPR 2000 or $20 per day. You can consider tipping 10% to 15% of their fee if you're satisfied with their service.


Transportation is used from Kathmandu to Pokhara and from Pokhara to Naya Pool. Using public vehicles for this leg of the journey costs around $15 or NPR 1500.


Teahouse accommodations generally fall within the range of $7 to $10 per night, on average.


Also Read

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