Everest Base Camp Trek Cost

by Guest

The allure that surrounds Everest Base Camp Trek, one of the most adventurous journeys on earth to the 5000 m base of Mt Everest, continuously remains a strong attraction. The cost is not cheap, but each year, thousands of adventures, climbers and ramblers, head to Nepal to experience something that is almost otherworldly. The power of Tibetan Buddhism – which soaks the cultural climate of Nepal – throws a shroud of the ethereal around the adventurous trek. This cultural dimension is then further heightened by the beauty and menace of the ever-present Himalayas. This is the experience that awaits the intrepid Everest base camp trekker. However, such experiences and memories do not come cheap. There are ways to bootstrap a cheap experience. Alas, such endeavours fail to fully immerse the participant into the strong cultural dimensions of the base camp adventure. This article will highlight the costs associated with Everest Base Camp Trek.

Why is Everest Base Camp Trek so difficult?

The one area that makes any journey to the base camp of Everest difficult is transport. Nepal is a beautiful country, but there is a reason for this immense beauty. It isn’t the most developed of nations. Road, rail and air transport networks are incredibly under-developed. To put this into context, the World Economic Forum places Nepal at number 125th for its quality of roads, 120th for its quality of railroads and 130th for port infrastructure and finally 126th for its air transport network. Transport is incredibly fragmented and notoriously difficult. This is the starting point of any planned journey to the base camp of Everest.

Geographical climate that awaits EBC trekkers

The goal is Khumbu in Nepal, this is the locale of the Everest base camp trek . The usual starting point is Kathmandu, predominantly due to the connectivity to international air travel terminals. It is possible to find flights to Kathmandu from key US, European and Australasian airports. Most begin their Everest base camp trek from Lukla. The journey begins after the obligatory cultural immersion of Buddhist and Sherpa culture in Kathmandu. Then it is a quick flight to Lukla – which has the most awesome runway in existence. The runway is on a hill and both take-off and landing have an essentially thrill-seeking edge to it. Once you’ve survive this mini endeavour, the next stage begins.

The Lukla experience will be your first real immersion into the cultural dynamics of the trek. You will experience Tea Houses (which are local lodges that weary traveller can stay in) and you’ll meet your porter and guide – your porter is the backbone (quite literally in the case of your luggage). He carries your supplies and luggage – albeit with a limited grasp of English. However, they are not to be confused by your Sherpa Guide - some of the larger trek operators have first-aid trained Sherpa guides with excellent English and even German. This is how your journey will begin. The acclimatisation is hard from Lukla, you are literally hitting the ground running in terms of difficulty. Some do prefer a slower acclimatisation, which sees others begin in easier climes, like Jiri. This almost alpine beginning to the trek, helps to build-up a novice’s ability before the difficulties begin post-Lukla.

Everest Base Camp Trek Cost

The trek, as outlined above, is a diverse collection of different areas from urban to rural, and therefore the cost dynamics of the trek to Everest’s base camp can be difficult to grasp. For the sake of comprehension, we will forgo travel costs to and from Kathmandu international airport and focus solely on the putative costs of the trek in singularity. You need to think about your airport transfers, your trek accommodation in the myriad of Tea Houses that you will frequent during your return trip. There is the obligatory Sagamartha National Park trek free along with your Sherpa guide and Porter fees. Furthermore, you need to think seriously about insurance and equipment costs. Finally, you will have other costs from drinks, hot showers (yes, they cost!) and water along with immigration VISA fees. These interwoven costs accumulate and this is how any trip to Everest base camp becomes quite a financial undertaking.

Breaking down the cost

The price, excluding flights, is can vary anywhere from $1,600 to $3,800 for a 14 day trip from Kathmandu to Kathmandu. This is made up of the following considerations, and is greatly dependent on the quality and brand of your trekking company, equipment being purchased and insurance.

Savings can be made. If you own the mountaineering equipment beforehand, you’ll save nearly 50% of the total cost outlined above. Furthermore, many decide to not have a porter. Other considerations include bootstrapping – doing it all independently (with some managing to do it for less than $500). However, with comfort and the right equipment, support and assistance, a quality excursion to the Mount Everest base camp will set you back a princely sum. Always make sure you use reputed travel agents and airlines. We hope you found this article of interest and if you want to know more about trekking in Nepal and visiting the Himalayas, why not check out some of our other articles on Everest ?

- Training for EBC Trek

- Vaccinnations requried for Nepal

- Books to read for Everest Base Camp Trek

Cover image credits to Lenny K

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