Do you want to hike Everest base camp on a budget? The Everest base camp trek is a hugely popular trek that allows you to catch of glimpse of Mount Everest and explore the misty Himalayas.
Despite the exorbitant prices being advertised to hike the Everest base camp trek ($7,000!), it’s entirely possible to Everest base camp on a budgetof USD800.
I know it’s possible because I did it myself!
If you are looking for ways to save for your travels, read these articles first :
Here is the cost breakdown of my Everest Base Camp trek in 2017.
Everest Base Camp on a Budget of USD800
Entrance fees $50
You need to fly from Kathmandu to Lukla Airport, which is the base of the mountain where the trek begins.
A quick google on the local airline website indicates that the price is USD330. However, you can book it with a local travel agent : Mountain Sun Valley Treks and Expeditions.
The price was exactly the same price as booking it directly with an airline but the benefit is, you get a local contact and advice from a Sherpa, which is invaluable.
Why is the price the same?
I think the agency make their money if you book any additional services, like a porter or rent hiking gear, etc. But since you are doing Everest Base Camp on a budget, you won’t be using any of these services.
What is the added benefit of booking with a local travel agent?
You have a local contact if thing go wrong, which it did for me. The flight was cancelled by the airline for three consecutive days due to bad weather. The local travel agent hooked me up with a HELICOPTER RIDE.
Tip-If you want to trek Everest base camp on a budget of less than USD800, you cut your costs down even further. You can take a public bus or jeep to Jiri and then trek 3-4 days to Lukla, instead of taking a flight.
But remember, you are going to be doing a LOT of trekking from Lukla, so don’t tire yourself out before the hike has even begun!
Total cost $330
You can save lots of money and reduce the Everest Base camp trek cost by not using a porter or a guide. Use this route instead, it was mapped out to me by a Sherpa and it worked a treat!
A porter or guide can charge between $30 to $50 per day, but you can trek up to Everest Base camp independently.
The trek is clearly signposted, safe and well maintained. You won’t need a porter if you pack light.
Read this article on what to pack for the Everest Base Camp trek.
A huge part of hiking Everest Base Camp on a budget is planning ahead, packing properly and buying items cheaper in advance than last minute, at a higher price.
Total cost: FREE
Sagarmatha National Park permit fee: RS3,000 (around $30)
Local tax: RS2,000 ($20)
At the entrance to the National Park in Monjo, you will be charged need to pay for a Sagarmatha National Park permit fee. This will cost RS3,000 (around $30)
Also, at the beginning of the trek, there will also be a local tax of RS2,000 ($20)
Note-The local tax replaces the Trekker’s Information Management System ‘TIMS’ card.
You don’t need to buy a TIMS card but you DO need to pay the local tax.
Total cost: $50
3 meals : RS2,500 ($25) per day
10 nights : RS25,000, $300
Die hard budgeters who have scaled Everest Base Camp may bleat in protest and say this costs too much.
But, I like my food, so I allocated extra in the budget to eat as much as I wanted.
Food I would recommend are ‘daal bhaat’,(a lentil curry with rice), steamed or fried yak dumplings and yak cheese.
Tip – There is a 110% chance you will fantasise about chocolate Mars Bars on the hike but it will cost your soul and your grandmother, so please buy some lower down on the trek, like Namche Bazaar.
Total cost : $30 per night, 10 nights : $300
Hike in the low season (May to August) and you stay for FREE.
Because you will agree to eat dinner and breakfast there and this is accepted.
I did this and didn’t have to pay a single cent on accommodation during my entire Everest Base Camp trek. But I made up for it by eating like a piglet 🙂
Note-In peak seasons (Oct-Mar), guesthouses may charge between $2-$7 per night.
Total cost: Low season: FREE
I am about that #budgetlife, but it is always good to have a buffer or cash cushion incase something unexpected crops up on your Everest Base Camp trek.
For example, you will be charged to use hot showers, WIFI and to charge any of your electrical goods.
Also, in Namche Bazaar you might want to buy a hat or little booties to keep you warm higher up the track.
I think I spent just under $100 on miscellaneous items.
Total cost: $100
So, there you have it, how to hike to Everest Base Camp on a budget of USD800. You can spend more if you want to splash out on buying gifts and goodies or more food but overall, its entirely possible to reduce the Everest Base Camp trek cost to USD800 if you don’t go on a spending spree.
If you want a bit more guidance on the route and what to expect, you can read:
If you have any hesitations about tackling the Everest Base Cap trek, please don’t let cost be one of them.
In the words of the legend Sir Edmund Hillary
‘You don’t have to be a hero to accomplish great things. You can just be an ordinary chap, sufficiently motivated to reach challenging goals.‘
PS; If you are looking for some extra ways to save for your travels, here are a few articles which will help you save in the meantime :