Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek Cost

Unspoiled mountain valleys that feature a mix of raw Himalayan nature and ancient Buddhist culture Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek is one of the best remote and off the beaten tea house treks in Nepal. One good thing about venturing into this unknown world of Kanchenjunga isn't that expensive as one would think.  In fact, due to the far proximity, from capita, it is relatively expensive comper to the Manaslu, Langtang and Annapurna.   However, Kanchenjunga trek it is a similar cost to trek Everest region. Our clients who experienced Kanchenjunga circuit trekking have nothing but positive feedback, and for most of them who had also been to Everest Base Camp aka EBC or Annapurna Base Camp aka ABC, Kanchenjunga is so much better, to avoid tourist crude compared to any other trails in Nepal. 

Why Kanchenjunga Trek 

⇒ It is a remote and off-the-beaten-path in Nepal. Only about 2,000 tourist hikes Kanchenjunga Compear to 30,000 tourists in Everest Base Camp Trek
⇒ Kanchenjunga Trek surrounded by third the highest mountain in the world including Kanchenjunga main.  Not to mention, that two north and south Basecamp are all above 5,000m.  Very few places on this earth will have these combinations!
⇒ Magnificent landscape, trail runs through the valley and sceneries of Wedge Peak (6,750 m), Mera (6,344 m), Nepal Peak (6,910 m), and Twins (7,351 m) 
⇒ Kanchenjunga Base Camo Trek offers a lot more side-trips than any other trail, and You can spend more than 3 weeks and venture into different places like Ghunsa, Khambachen, Yamphuding, South and Noth Base Camp. 
⇒ It is part of The Great Himalayan Trail (GHT).  The Kanchenjunga trek in is one of the major parts of "The Great Himalayan Trail' - a single long distance trekking trail from the east end to the west end of Nepal, includes a total of roughly 1,700 km hiking path.
    Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek         Quick fact
Third highest mountain in the world 8,586 m
Trek difficulty 4 of 5 (Strenuous)
Highest altitude 5143m
Best season March, April, May, October, November, December
Accommodation Tea house / Home stay
Trek starting & ending point Taplejung
Mode of transport Flight / Local bus / Local Jeep
Trekking days 3 weeks (20-21 days)

Permit Cost 

Kanchenjunga Trek is one of the restricted areas in Nepal. The means you are required to have a guide or a registered porter and permit through the local agency in Nepal. You will need two permits for the trek. 
   Kanchenjunga Trekking Permit Cost  
Kanchenjunga Conservation Area Project Permit Cost  NPR 2,000 per person
Kanchenjunga Restricted Area Permit  USD 10 per person, per week
Minimum requred for three weeks permit USD 10x3 = 30 Per person 
Total permit cost for one person USD 50

Documents and Time to issue a permit 

Ir order to get the Kanchenjunga Trek Permit, It is required to have the copy of the passport, ID image and original passport with visa stamp. It will take only 3-4 hour to get the permit from Sunday to Friday  (10:00 am to 5 PM) Please make sure there is no public holiday. If you don't have a day to spear in Kathmandu for the permit some company also offers expedite permit without original passport and visa. Please contact us if you want a trekking permit to be issued in advance or check with your company. 

Guide and Porter Cost 

While Nepal has some trekking trails where tourists can trek even without a guide, this doesn't apply to Kanchenjunga.  It is also required that at least two trekkers should be in a group to get the trek permit. Or trek with "Ghost Permit". (Paying double an amount of permit cost and travel with real person name) If you are hiking alone, please check with your company if they can pair with you or they could get you a ghost permit. 

Hiring a professional guide for Kanchenjunga is slightly expensive than any other trek in Nepal.  On average, the fee is about USD 30 to 35 per day, and this includes the guide's food, accommodation, and insurance.  It is all due to the expensive food cost for the guide. They are also required to pay the similar price as a tourist in Kanchenjunga. Unlike other trekking regions, the guide gets the discount on food. 
     Guide and Porter Cost For Kanchenjunga Trek  
Prefessional Guide with (Trainning, Licence, and field experience) USD 35 per day
Prefessional Porter/ Guide with (Trainning, Licence, field experience) USD 33-35 per day
Experience Trekking porter USD 28-30 per day
We are also often asked by our client if it is possible to only trek with a porter in Kanchenjunga.  The answer is Yes, this is possible!!!  However, the cost of hiring a porter is not that much different from hiring a guide due to the cost of food and insurance.  I would say roughly USD 30 to 35 a day inclusive of food, accommodation, and insurance would be the cost of hiring a porter for Kanchenjunga trek. Similarly, we were often asked to design the itinerary with porter guide (A learning guide) as well,  That would cost roughly  USD 32-35 a day. The good things about having a porter guide also helps to share the load and guide you through the trail. let's say one person who can do both jobs as a guide and a porter.

However, It is highly recommended that you go with a professional guide for safety reasons and you could be sure of the experience and rigid training they went through to get their license.  Of course, this is all dependent on you as long as you don't go trekking on your own in Kanchenjunga without a guide or porter as it is not allowed by the government.

What to expect a Guide from our company?

We take your security and safety seriously, so we ensure all our guide have undergone a proper professional training and received a licence from the government. 

⇒ Majority of the professional guides from NEST Adventure are born and raised in the mountain region and specialises for restricted trekking area in Nepal (GHT Trail) such as Manaslu, Tsum Valley, Upper Mustang, Kanchenjunga and Narphu.  So they know their way very well in these mountains. 
 
⇒ All our guides have been to Kanchenjunga at least 2 to 3 times every year so you can be sure of their experience in this terrain in this area.  

⇒ Most of our guide is young but very experienced and well educated.  They are able to converse in English very well, and in some cases, in other languages too.

⇒ Apart from safety, we want to make sure you will enjoy your time with NEST Adventure.  All our guides have been received 5 out of a scale of 5 ratings from our previous clients. Please review here

⇒ Each of our guides really has a good relationship with locals and teahouse owners along the way.  So there is not an issue with communication with tea houses or finding accommodation.
 
⇒ To make sure you would have a good rapport with the guide, we arrange for meetings with a guide before the departure or even on the phone before you confirm trek with us. You can ask the guide for questions and test his knowledge and experience, and if for some reason, you are not satisfied, we would be happy to provide another guide that will match your requirements. Please, do hesitate to contact us, if you are looking for someone like I just described (email: nestadventure@gmail.com)

How to find a good company that specialised for Kanchenjunga Trek

Here are some tips on how to find the suitable travel company for your next adventure to Kanchenjunga. Some of my suggestions below could save a couple of hundred dollars but still end up with the best service. At the same time even if you choose to go with big brother (expensive company), you should make sure if the company you choose has all of this! 
 
⇒ Look for a company who is not listed on the top advertising section page of Google.  Because these companies would pass on the cost of advertisement to clients.

⇒ Look for a company who has been listed at least on the second or third page of Google, as local companies in Nepal do not have enough resources or finances to compete with extensive international travel companies on the first page of Google.
 
⇒ Avoid third party booking agency like Bookmundi as it is likely the local travel companies are required to pay at least 15%-30% commission to these third-party websites.
 
⇒ Look for a company legal document page to make sure they are registered and appropriately licensed by the Nepal government.
 
⇒ Check what other travellers say about the company such as Tripadvisor.  These are independent reviews done by clients and verified by Tripadvisor so you can be sure of the type of service these companies are capable of.  If they treat 90% of their clients well, chances are, you will experience the same service.  
 
⇒ Check with a local company if their guide has a license, first aid and high altitude training, insurance, and accompanied by the right hiking gear.  
 
⇒ Check with a company if they are concern about your safety. If the local agency has a contract with a helicopter company in case of an emergency.  You may not need this service, but in emergency situations, this is VERY important.

⇒ Before your guide call to the helicopter company make sure the company provides advice called Plush Oximeter. This device will help to track, if your body has acclimatised or not? Do you really need to cancel this trip in the middle and go back to the hospital? Which also to prevent altitude sickness that keeps tracks of daily report of Blod oxygen level (SPO2) and Blod pressure BPM. 
 
⇒ Compare prices with at least few other companies, so you know you are getting a good deal. At the same time do not go with too low or too high. Stay with a medium one. 
 
⇒ A local company would appreciate if you write a positive review or recommendation in other travel forum or websites.  You may get a discount for you and your friends!
 
⇒ Make it easy and safe payment gateway! Like Paypal e-transfer etc. Do not pay 100% in advance. However, most of the company requires at least some percentage of the total amount as a booking confirmation.

⇒ Agree to meet with a guide before the departure, so you know the level of the guide.

⇒ Bring Cash! Instead of paying by card. You will save 4.2% if you pay in cash

⇒ If you would like to try how we do in our company please give us a quick inquiry at nestadventure@gmail.com

Transportation and Flight Cost   

The only convenient way to reach trekking starting point for Kanchenjunga is to take the 45-minute flight to Bhadrapur and ride again a local bus or jeep to Taplejung for about 6-7 hour. For someone who is willing to take a long drive from Kathmandu, (11-12 hour) there is also night but to Jhapa, Birtamod and take another ride again to Taplejung for about 6-7 hour. Travelling to Kanchenjunga trek starting point in a local bus might be a cheaper option but not the convenient. 
    Transportation cost list for Kanchenjunga Trek  
One way flight cost to Bhadrapur USD 141x2 = 282 per person
Bhadrapur to Taplejung local bus or local jeep cost USD 15x2 = 30 per person
Bhadrapur to Taplejung on a private jeep cost USD 250 - 300 per Jeep
Kathmandu to Birtamod distance 440 km  Travelling time - 11- 12 hour
Birtamod to Taplejung 114 km Travelling time 6-7 hour 

 FOOD Cost in Kanchenjunga Trek?

Since Kanchenjunga is one of the remote areas of Nepal, the cost of food it is generally more expensive here due to the far proximity of the market and menu choices are limited.  Those who have been to other base camps in Nepal should be familiar with the rule that the cost of food increases as the elevation increases.   This is because it becomes harder to transport the food. Higher the elevation, harder the food supplies if the area is more remote.  From Taplejung all the way up to Basecamp, supplies are being transported by pure hard work by men and mule, so you could imagine how much effort goes into each soup you will eat in the region.  You may want to budget roughly USD 7-8 per meal. So maybe USD 25 to 30 on a daily basis.  Of course, this would vary how much appetite you might have in each meal and your beverages. If you have been to Everest Base Camp, the cost is relatively the same or slightly higher. Everest is still more expensive than any other trek in Nepal. 

What to expect from food in the Kanchenjunga region 

⇒ Each tea house offers a restaurant with continental food, which you can choose from the menu. 

⇒ Normally any vegetables served in tea houses are produced from their own field.  The vegetable is usually organic, so good for your health. 

⇒ Not every camp offers meat (chicken, mutton, and pork.  Please note that beef is almost non-existent here.) However, some places Yak meat is available. If they do, you should check with your guide if this is fresh before you placed the order.  Because of the altitude and weather, it is sometimes difficult to raise these animals for consumption.  Storing the meat over the winter could also be challenging.  Better safe than sorry, please ensure you raise this with your guide so he can check first.  

⇒ You won't find tea houses anytime you are hungry.  So when you need that boost, please bring energy bar or chocolate for the trip and it could make a lot of difference.

⇒ "Dal Bhat power for 24 hours" The most common Nepali dish allows you to eat rice as much as you can, with no additional cost.  Rice is good as you need carbohydrates for that trek!

⇒ While it is generally clean, please take a lot caution when buying local food or drinking water.    

Accommodation in Kanchenjunga Trek 

When I trekked Kanchenjunga in 2009, I remember we had to sleep in Yakherd and dinner was served Yak milk, Yak cheese and rice pudding made from Yak milk. Since then it has changed a lot in the Kanchenjunga region. However, talking about this year, I assure you, basic accommodation is not an issue at all in Kanchenjunga as tea houses have started to spring up in each camp. For small group up 6 at a time wouldn't be a problem.  The cost for one twin sharing room is roughly USD 6 to USD 9 a night.  If you are renting one room with two twin beds so you could sleep on your own, please be reminded that you must pay for the total cost of the room, meaning the cost for two people. 

What to expect an accommodation in Kanchenjunga region 

Next to food, where exactly would you sleep?  Usually, there are simple tea houses for accommodation in the Kanchenjunga region, but please be reminded of the following:

⇒ Basic private room with shared toilet are mostly available throughout the trek.  However, please expect a couple of night where you may need to sleep in very basic accommodation share a room with other trekkers during high season, or you may even end up sleeping in the tent. 

⇒ Bring a sleeping bag and Sleeping pad with you.  Although beds, blankets, pillows, etc may be provided, you will not be sure that these are cleaned enough like in city before you use it.  Also, the weather could be, so sleeping bags are a must.  

⇒ Extra blankets are provided in each camp at no additional cost except maybe one night in Basecamp before the high.pass.  In this area, you are required to pay NPR 200-300 per extra blanket. 

⇒ Warm heater or bonfire will be provided in the communal area in most of the camp but only during dinner time.  Enjoy the time here to mingle with local Nepalis and fellow travellers.  Apart from this time, tea houses do not have heaters in rooms or communal area.

⇒ The toilets are very basic, and they usually are outside building so please make sure if you are using toile at night bring someone with you especially if jungle wildlife surrounds the camp and snow leopard is everywhere in Kanchenjunga. Also, bring enough wipes or toilet paper with you (these are also available for purchase tea houses if you run out). 

⇒ Do not bargain in fix price such as the cost of the food which is written on the menu. 
⇒ Do not enter into their kitchen without permission. 
⇒ Tea houses usually charge additional for hot water for bathing or for charging mobile phones, camera etc.  You may want to bring a power bank with you or some solar battery.  

Cost of the Drinks in Kanchenjunga Trek? 

The cost of tea and coffee are relatively the same as in other mountain region but slightly cheaper than in Everest Base Camp.  

A cup of tea - USD 1.5- 4 
A cup of coffee - USD 2 - 4 
A bottle of beer - USD 2 - 5
A bottle of water / soda - USD 0.5 - 4 

Drinking water in Kanchenjunga region 

⇒ Bottled water is available to buy in each camp (roughly NPR 200 (USD 2) in the lower elevation and NPR 400 (USD 4) in the higher altitude) 

⇒ Majority of trekkers use water purification drop or tablet or water filter to save money. 

⇒ You don't need to carry more than two litres of water during the day. Usually, the water source is available every one to two hours of walking distance where you can refill water. Please make sure with guide water sources are available along the way. 

⇒ Carry at least one water bottle which is suitable for hot and cold water. 

⇒ Relatively, the water in the mountain is not as polluted as in the city and are usually drinkable.  You will see locals and your guide drinking this water with no issues.  However,  to be safe, please make sure you use water purification drop. 

⇒ Your body needs plenty of water at this elevation, so please drink as much as you can and stay away from dehydration.

How difficult is Kanchenjunga Trek? 

Difficulties in trekking in the Himalayas frequently become an altitude sickness.  Due to the long days before reaching high altitude, the success rate of Kanchenjunga trek is still much higher than Everest Base Camp or any other trek in Nepal. Based on our experience, around 95% of our groups managed to complete the Kanchenjunga with no altitude sickness issues. Someone who has no previous high altitude hiking experience has done this trek with no problem. However, doesn't mean it's as easy as walking in the park. Most certainly you need to be physically fit. Be ready to walk at least 6-7 hour a day with 400-500m of elevation gain every day.

Trek essentials (What to pack for Kanchenjunga Trek) 

⇒ No climbing Ropes needed
⇒ No Ice axe required
⇒ No Goretex needed or expedition jacket 
⇒ No climbing shoe or crampon required (Ground is not paved – rough, rocky and gravel strewn)

What you need are:
⇒ Hiking boot (high ankle boot recommended)
⇒ Sleeping bag 
⇒ Sleeping mat
⇒ Down Jacket
⇒ Pair of the thermal sweater to keep you warm inside
⇒ Pair of comfortable dry hiking pants
⇒ Hiking socks (woollen socks are recommended)
⇒ Hiking bag (minimum 50l+10)
 
Additionally, you could consider taking, warm hat/ head cover, scarf, sunglass, lip guard, sun cream, trekking pole, headlamp, windproof gloves, water bottle, water purification drop, camera accessory, first aid kit etc. Detailed trekking essential list will be provided upon request. Please email us.  

Telecommunication and wifi facilities in Kanchenjunga Region

Only 30% of the area in Kanchenjunga has a cell phone signal. However, some of the camps have a satellite phone for emergency contact. Only Some lodges in the Kanchenjunga region offer wifi for an extra charge. If you want to bring 4G sim card with internet package, we would recommend having Ncell. Less then in USD 10, you can buy an internet package in Kathmandu. Make sure you have one of them before departure.

Just until Amjilosa (which is 5 days trek from Taplejung) personal phone of the guide will work which is less than 3,000m in elevation completely safe zone. No altitude sickness alert. 

Before North Base Camp, Lhnok, and Kambachen has a satellite phone in the camp. Before North Basecamp this is where possible help might need. So in case, you need to connect Kathmandu for the support it is possible.  If someone becomes sick, this is the altitude line where the satellite phone is available. 

No Satellite phone in the South Base Camp, but think about this way! If you survive in North Base Camp, Sele Le pass is lower and easy then south base camp. It is easy because you are already acclimatised in North Basecamp.  

Other miscellaneous costs

It is widely known that if something requires extra effort, then please do not expect it to be cheap and you will be charged additionally in the mountain.  For any trek in Nepal, the following are additional costs you may want to also factor into your budget: 

A. Charging your electronic gadgets such as Camera, iPod, mobile phone or anything would definitely cost you a few dollars at a time. The extra cost needs to be paid due to the high investment for the small local hydropower station.  As you will be on the mountain for many days and will definitely be requiring to charge at least your phone or camera (as you would want to capture the sceneries for sure!!), you might as well invest in a portable solar battery charger or a portable power bank.  Extra batteries for your camera will help as well.

B. Bucket shower (i.e. using a pail of water) heated by gas, firewood might cost you few dollars at a time.  In the mountain, please don't expect that you will have your full bath or shower every day.  Yes, as much as we want to do that, it is just not practical and economical.  So you should be prepared to smell the same as yesterday for several days basically.  Instead of a bucket water, another option would be to pack some wipes with you and use that instead in the interim, or a small towel that you could use to freshen yourself in the morning or before going to bed.

C. Donation; If you visit, monasteries, gumba or stupa, although it is not mandatory,  they do expect some small contributions for the maintenance of the area. Costs here could vary.

D. Tips for the support staff;  After each trek, your guide and porter also expect some tips from you.  Of course, this usually reflects your experience during the trek. Usually, USD 100 is on average for 2 weeks trek. USD 5 to 7 per day. 

Conclusion

As you probably gathered from your research, different companies offer different cost for Kanchenjunga trek.  This is probably very confusing as the cost range is relatively wide and it is difficult to decide which company to trust.  If you are planning for Kanchenjunga trek you shouldn't miss research a bit before you make the decision for example, if you try to look up the cost offered by international travel agencies, the charges could be more than USD 4,000 but if you check with a local travel company in Nepal, the price for the same package could reduce by a third.  For first time travellers, you would normally go with the international agencies because of their branding, and you could be sure of your safety.  However, I assure you that local agencies in Nepal could deliver a perfect trek Itinerary and the same level of quality at a fraction of the price.  It actually doesn't matter whether you go with the more expensive or, the cheaper one, as everyone sleeps in the same category of tea houses.  There is no such thing as a 5-star tea house in the mountain region.  Besides, you are also assured that you will be served the same quality of the meal.   

As a rough estimate, the Kanchenjunga trek package for 21 days could well range between USD 1,200 and USD 1,800 per person with full boarding package If you choose to trek with a Local agency.   

If you think, our GHT (Great Himalayan Trail) special expert team is suitable for your need, please do not hesitate to contact us (info@nestadventure.com).  I hope I was able to answer all of the questions that you been searching online. If I have missed something to include, please feel free to write a comment below.  

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About Rajendra Khanal (Raj)

Rajendra Khanal (Raj) Born and raised in Gorkha, Nepal, I am proud to call the Manaslu region my home! I have been in the travel business for over a decade from being assistance guide to being a guide/leader to being a manager and finally a founder of NEST Adventure. So you could say, I know my way well enough in the Himalayas especially in some of the off-the-beaten trails in Nepal like Manaslu, Kanchenjunga or Mustang
I am passionate about travelling and I strongly believe that seeing the world shouldn't break the bank (at least not too much!).  I studied in the UK and three years of living experience in the United States taught me how to deliver quality customer service in the business. I have backpacked to over 15 countries in Asia, Central Americas USA and Canada, one-third of Europe, Caribbean Island and  Latin America. As a backpacker myself, and travel expert of Nepal Himalayas I'm happy to share my experience with you. If you believe I can be helpful in planning your next trip to Nepal, then please do not hesitate to contact me. at nestadventure@gmail.com. I am also available 24x7 on Whats app and Viber +977- 9851052042 Or direct phone call +1(702) 465-9789. If you are interested to know more about my travel journey follow me on  Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
 
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