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Home>Nepal Tour>Nepal Trek Tour>Nepal Poon Hill Trek Cost: follow expert's tips to make the right budget

Nepal Poon Hill Trek Cost: follow expert's tips to make the right budget

The Poon Hill Trek in Nepal is among the most popular short treks in the country, and offers some of the most alluring views of the mighty Himalayas and the stunning Alpine forests across the Annapurna Region. The major highlight of the trek is the morning hike to the top of the hill station at Poon Hill itself, for the spectacular sunrise over the Himalayas to the east. A modest trek for people with a moderate level of physical fitness, this great trek can be done at a reasonable cost, and for budget trekkers, it is an ideal way to get the most out of the Annapurna Region without long treks and high expenses.

There are a lot of factors that can regulate the cost of the trek, from the number of days and the season, to the number of people trekking, the use of guides and porters, etc. The use of travel agencies is also a factor to consider when deciding on the trek, as many of the travel agencies will include such costs as transport, accommodation, trekking permit fees, and some other small costs. For some, especially those without the experience of trekking in Nepal, the use of a travel agency can make things easier, arranging all of the accommodation, guides, porters, etc for you, and including everything in their overall costs.

Consider the Cost for Different Poon Hill Trekking Seasons

Trekking to Poon Hill and beyond, along with the renowned Ghorepani Poon Hill Trail, can be done at any time of the year, as the altitudes of the trek are low, reaching only 2,874 meters at the highest point. However, the cost of the trek does vary with the seasons, and the most expensive times of year are in the spring and autumn, from March to May and September to November. Lower costs can be found in the summer and winter seasons, from June to August and December to January, and are much better for those traveling on a budget.

Spectacular view of AnnapurnaYou will scramble to the mountain top for the spectacular view of Annapurna.

In the high season, a trek around Poon hill - including the transportation from Kathmandu to Pokhara and on to Nayapul, permits, and breakfast, some with porters and guides - can cost from around 700 US dollars per person, which can drop with higher numbers in your party. For the low season, the same trip can cost as little as 325 dollars per person, a huge difference in price. This cost can also go down if you are a solo trekker and are not using guides and porters, but your responsibility also increases, and only very experienced trekkers should trek without guides.

Cost for Transport from Kathmandu to Pokhara and Nayapul

Traveling from Kathmandu to Pokhara, and then on to Nayapul for the start of the trek, is one of the major costs of the whole trip. How to get there can mean the difference between a high cost and an affordable one. Depending on the season, each of the different transport costs can be higher or lower.

The trip from Kathmandu to Pokhara is the most expensive transport cost of the trip, and there are several ways to do this. Flights generally cost around US$120 per person for a one-way flight, which is the most expensive option. However, it only takes around 30 minutes, so is fast. For cheaper options, the buses are the best way to go.

Taking tourist bus from Kathmandu to PokharaYou can take the tourist bus from Kathmandu to Pokhara.

Deluxe and Super Deluxe buses run to Pokhara from Kathmandu, at a cost of around US$7-8 and US$15-16 respectively. Local buses run the route for a cost of around 3-5 dollars, or you can opt to take a private car or jeep, which costs around 40-60 dollars per trip. The cars can carry up to five passengers, so if you are in a group, this can be a cheap enough alternative to the buses. By road, the 204-kilometer trip takes from 5-7 hours, depending on the mode of transport, with the local buses being the slowest, as they will stop more often.

The second part of the trip is from Pokhara to Nayapul, a distance of around 43 kilometers which takes around 2 hours at most. A private car or jeep will charge around 20 dollars for the trip, and will carry up to five people, while the tourist buses usually charge around 5 dollars per person. The public buses, which still stop frequently along the route, take a little over two hours, but cost only 1-2 dollars, which make them very useful.

Cost for Dining and Teahouse Lodge

Accommodation along the treks is usually in teahouses, and there are plenty of them along the Poon Hill trekking route. There are limited choices in the style of accommodation on the trail, and on average, the cost of a teahouse is around 3-5 dollars per night. Most of the teahouses offer clean sheets and blankets these days, and you can always ask for an extra blanket if it is cold, or bring a sleeping bag. Most of the teahouses do not offer hot showers, but there are a few lodges that do, which can cost around twice as much as the teahouses. Learn more of the best teahouse treks in Nepal.

Enjoying the dining at a teahouse during the Poon Hill TrekEnjoying the dining at a teahouse during the Poon Hill Trek.

Food along the trail is varied and nutritious, with a variety of local and continental choices, as well as plenty of Chinese food available. Meals are fresh and home-cooked, and are usually healthy and tasty, and always served hot. The food on this trek usually costs from two to five dollars per meal, depending on the teahouse and what you are eating. It is important to stay hydrated on the trail, and while bottled water is only around a dollar a bottle, it is actually better and cheaper to bring water purification tablets with you, and fill your own water bottle at the teahouses for free.

Cost for Trekking Documents

All trekkers in Nepal have to have a Nepal Visa for entry into the country. The standard tourist visa is the visa that is required, which costs around 30 dollars and can be processed within an hour once you arrive at the Tribhuvan International Airport in Nepal. The application is done through the kiosks at the airport or online before you arrive, and the fee can be paid at the payment counter in dollars, euro, pounds sterling, and a few other currencies, but not in rupees.

Waiting to get trekking permit in NepalTo trek in the Himalayas and in Nepal in general, you have to get Trekkers Information Management System Card.

While trekking in the Himalayas and in Nepal in general, you will need to have a Trekkers Information Management System (TIMS) card, which costs around 28 dollars per person (2,000 Rupees). The TIMS card is mandatory for all trekkers in Nepal, even for just day trekking, and is designed to ensure the safety and security of all trekkers in the country. However, if you are trekking as part of an organized group, the fee for the TIMS card is halved.

You will also need the Annapurna Conservation Area Entry Permit (ACAP), which costs around 28 dollars per person, and half of which goes to the conservation of the forests and surrounding areas.

Cost for Trekking Gears

What you pay for the gear you need depends on where you get it, the quality and brand name of the equipment, and whether it is new or "pre-used". Buying your gear at home before you travel can be more expensive, and the Thamel area of Kathmandu has a huge number of shops that can sell you good gear at lower prices. Some of the shops also offer second-hand gear, in good condition, for a lot less than the cost of new equipment, which can help you save money. If you do opt for the new gear, then there are also shops that will buy it from you once you finish, although for a fraction of the cost you paid. However, this is a good way to get some of the expenses back after the trip, and not have to lug all the trekking gear back home again.

Cost for the Guide, Porter, and Tips

Trekking the Poon hill Trek can be done without a guide and porter, but if you are not comfortable trekking alone, then getting a guide can be a blessing, as they know all the best teahouses, are knowledgeable about the route and the sights, and can help with hiring porters if you need one. Overall, guides are the most useful expense of the entire trek, and can make your trek even better than you imagined.

The standard rate for hiring a guide in Nepal ranges from 30 to 40 dollars per day, and all guides for hire must be licensed professional Nepali guides. Porters range from 20-25 dollars per day, and will help to lighten your load on the trail. A combined guide and porter, which is usually a porter training to become a fully licensed guide, will charge around 25-30 dollars per day, and is a useful person to have with you. However, they will have less experience than a fully licensed guide and carry less gear than a normal porter.

Cost for other Personal Expenses

You will need to have personal travel insurance for traveling to Nepal, and this should include trekking insurance that has emergency evacuation and rescue services included. It is best to get this before you leave home, as insurance costs in Nepal are extortionately expensive.

Additional food and drinks that you want for the trail will cost you extra, although most food and drinks in Nepal, with the exception of imported beers and foods, are relatively cheap. If you are taking snacks along the trail to munch on while you walk, buy them in Kathmandu before you leave, as they are more costly in Pokhara and along the trail.

Conclusion

Trekking the Poon Hill Trek in Nepal can be done fairly cheaply, and while there are some things that will cost a little more, such as the cost of a guide, these will usually enhance your trekking experience so much more than the savings you will make by not having them. Trekking in Nepal on a budget is always a drain, as there are some costs that you cannot avoid, such as the TIMS card and permits, but these are requirements, so you should make sure your budget includes the first and foremost. Overall, a trek along the Poon Hill trail can be done on a good budget, if you are careful with what you spend.

Master Kungga Dundruk

About the Author - Master Kungga Dundruk

The Lhasa-born prodigy used to study business overseas, and got his Bachelor of Business in Nepal and India before moving back to his homeland.With pure passion for life and unlimited love for Tibet, Kunga started his guide career as early as 1997.

Responsible, considerate and humorous, he devoted his entire life guiding and serving international tourists travelling in Tibet.As a legendary Tibetan travel guru with 20-year pro guide experience , he once had an exclusive interview with the US media. Currently he is working in Tibet Vista as the Tour Operating Director. Whenever our clients run into troubles, he is your first call and will offer prompt support.

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