Planning a trek in Nepal

Nepal's stunning mountainous landscape was made for trekking, but this is a place where you need local experts and guides to show you the way. Read on for all you need to know about planning your trek in Nepal – and how to make your adventure easy with our tailor-made trips
view of small village Braga on Annapurna circuit
View of small village Braga on Annapurna circuit

View of the small village of Braga on the Annapurna circuit. Photo: Shutterstock


For those who seek breathtaking mountain scenery, nothing can beat the exhilarating treks of the Himalayas. Nepal is one of the world’s premier trekking destinations, with a vast array of routes on offer – from gentle strolls through the foothills, to pioneering high-altitude routes in newly opened wilderness areas. And excitingly, you can now take a trek with Insight Guides


Mention Nepal and many people will immediately think of trekking. In the 50 years since the first commercial trekking party headed into the Himalayas, the country has become one of the foremost destinations for those bent on plotting a path along mountain trails. Today, Nepal offers some of the best facilities in the world for those wishing to walk but with minimum planning and equipment. There are few other countries where you can set out on a month-long trek, far from surfaced roads, and yet be confident of a bed and a slice of apple pie most evenings.

Why you should trek in Nepal

The endless mountain scenery – so radically removed from familiar cityscapes – has its own calming impact, and the process of slowing the tempo of life to walking pace is a sure way of peeling away the stresses of modernity. The low ache of limbs after a day’s steady progress along the trail, a wordlessly smiling interaction with a gaggle of village children, the simple reward of a home-cooked meal in a rustic lodge, time to read a battered paperback in the afternoon sunlight, the sense of glorious isolation as a mountain valley fills with blue shadow at dusk, and the breathless release in the cold wind at the apex of a high pass with a new prospect beyond: these are the unquantifiable yet uniquely addictive rewards of trekking in Nepal. One visit is rarely enough.


Three Tibetan women in traditional dresses in Nepal. Photo: Shutterstock

 

Where to trek in Nepal

Treks need not be long and rigorous: they vary from two to three days’ walking on relatively easy, low-level terrain to demanding expeditions of three weeks or more. Do not make the mistake of thinking a short trek is necessarily easier – there are still hills and less time to get fit and into the trek rhythm. Our local experts can tailor a trip for you that takes account of how much walking you want to do and your fitness levels.

Our pick of the top treks in Nepal include: 

1. Annapurna Circuit

Nepal’s original teahouse trek, the route around the mighty Annapurna Massif still sets the standard for Himalayan journeys. For something a little different, our Annapurna Adventure is a mountain bike trip through this beautiful region, taking in the forbidden Tibetan kingdom of Mustang too, as well as Nepal's capital, Kathmandu.

2. Everest Base Camp

Everest Base Camp is the ultimate goal for many trekkers, but the real highlight of the trek is the journey through the Sherpa homeland. This iconic region can now be experienced on our Exclusive Everest trip – trekking amidst some of the most stunning mountain scenery in the world and staying in luxury lodges along the way. What could be better?

3. Langtang Valley

Away from the crowds of the other teahouse trails, this trek leads through lush forests to grand glacial vistas. Contact our local expert to plan your tailor-made experience.

 

Tengboche Monastery with Mt. Amadablam, Everest base camp trekking, Nepal

Tengboche Monastery with Mt. Amadablam, Everest base camp trekking, Nepal. Photo: Shutterstock


Everything you need to know when planning a trek

Costs

All trekkers are required to register with the government Trekking Information Management System (TIMS). If you are attempting a trekking peak, your trekking agent must obtain a Trekking Peak Permit from the Nepal Mountaineering Association. Permits for mountaineering are processed by the Ministry of Tourism (Mountaineering Section) and there are fees attached to each. In addition to trekking and mountaineering permits, there are entry fees for all the major national parks, which trekkers must pay. You can pay these in advance at the Tourist Service Centre in Kathmandu, or at the park entry points. For trekking in the Annapurna region, it is also necessary to pay an ACAP fee at the ACAP headquarters in Pokhara.

When to go

Trekking is possible year-round in Nepal, although most people would want to avoid the heat and monsoon of summer, and high passes will be closed in winter. Spring and autumn are the ideal times to trek, with the most comfortable temperatures and clear views.

Ethical trekking

Mountain tourism has been a boon to many of Nepal’s hill economies, providing seasonal jobs to hundreds of skilled guides and to the thousands of subsistence farmers who work as porters. 

 

Tempted to book a trip to Nepal? 

Browse Insight Guides' suggested itineraries online or submit a trip request now

Looking for a little more inspiration?

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The best ways to acclimatise on your trip to Nepal