Most trekking routes within the Annapurna region, including Annapurna Base Camp, are located within the Annapurna Conservation Area. To this end, all hikers are required to obtain a trekking permit along with a TIMs card before trekking here. To get an Annapurna Trekking Permit is straight forward; however, there are some things you will need to consider.
After deciding that we would complete the Annapurna Base Camp circuit without a guide or agency, it was down to us to prepare all the documentation we needed to trek. We trawled the internet for hours. There were bits of information here and there, but no simple guide that covered everything we needed to know.
With this in mind, we created this simple step by step guide to obtaining your Annapurna Trekking Permit and TIMs Card. It includes where you can get the permits, how much it will cost, and what you will need to take with you.
ANNAPURNA TREKKING PERMIT – STEP BY STEP GUIDE
Step 1: ORGANISE YOUR TRAVEL INSURANCE
It’s important to note that most standard travel insurance packages do not include high altitude trekking. The risks of trekking at a high altitude are significant. We saw many people having to be helicoptered down due to altitude sickness or injury. The cost of a helicopter rescue is $2500, so unless you can afford that, be sure to get suitable cover.
World Nomads are our favoured travel insurers as they make it super easy to make changes to your policy. We contacted them the day before we were due to start our trek and a simple add on gave us cover right away. Get a quick quote from World Nomads here or using the form below.
Step 2: DECIDE ON YOUR TREK & PLAN YOUR ITINERARY
There are numerous treks to choose from within the Annapurna region. From the 3-week Annapurna Circuit or the classic Annapurna Base Camp to the shorter and less challenging trails – there’s a trek suitable for everybody.
When you apply for your Annapurna Trekking Permit and TIMs card, they will want to know which trekking route you are planning to take. Furthermore, they will want to know when you plan to start and finish the trek. It doesn’t have to be entirely accurate, but having an idea of your itinerary will help with the application.
Step 3: DECIDE IF YOU WILL TREK ALONE OR WITH AN AGENCY/GUIDE
Whether you decide to trek in an organised group, with a guide, or alone will determine the next steps of this process. If you organise your trek through an agency or a guide, they will usually take care of the documentation for you. Just be sure to check in advance if they will organise your permit and TIMs card.
While the popular treks within the Annapurna region do not require that you trek with a guide, many trekkers still choose to hire them. There are some advantages to having a guide; however, we wouldn’t say it is necessary on the busier trails. That being said, I can only personally comment on the Annapurna Base Camp trek.
*Tip – To pay for a guide and porter can significantly increase the cost of your experience. Prices start at $25 per day for a guide and $15 a day for a porter. Although it would have been nice to provide a job for local, unfortunately, we did not have the budget on this occasion.
Step 4: LOCATE YOUR NEAREST TOURIST CENTRE
Kathmandu: Nepal Tourism Board, Pradarshani Marg, Kathmandu 44617, Nepal
Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday. 10am – 5pm.
Pokhara: ACAP Office, Pokhara 33700, Nepal
Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday. 10am – 5pm.
Step 5: PREPARE WHAT YOU NEED FOR THE APPLICATION
Here is a list of everything you will need to take with you to the tourist centre when applying for your permits.
- 4 x Passport Photos (In Pokhara, they took these free of charge at the tourist centre)
- Trekking Route (Annapurna Circuit, Annapurna Base Camp etc.)
- Entrance & exit points of your trek
- Trekking Itinerary (Approximate start and end date)
- Emergency Contact Information Local (Can be your hotel or guesthouse)
- Emergency Contact Information Family
- Fees in local currency (more information below)
- Travel Insurance Details (see step 1)
Step 6: TIMS & ANNAPURNA TREKKING PERMIT COST
ACAP (Annapurna Trekking Permit) Foreigners: 3,000 NPR ($27/£22)
TIMS permit (with a guide): 1,000 NPR ($9/£7)
TIMS permit (without a guide): 2,000 NPR ($18/£14)
For more information on trekking permits and TIMs card, you can visit the official tourism website of Nepal.
Step 7: COMPLETE THE APPLICATION FORMS
Once you’ve gathered up everything required for your application, head to your nearest tourism centre and complete the relevant application forms. They shouldn’t take you long too complete if you have followed the steps above.
Once you have handed everything over to the staff, and so long as everything is in order, you will have both your TIMs and Annapurna trekking permit in around 15 minutes.
Step 8: TIME TO PREPARE FOR YOUR TREK
Now you have the relevant permits it’s time to prepare for your trek. Be sure to check out the following articles that will help ensure you a safe, comfortable, and enjoyable trek in Nepal:
As travellers, it should always be a top priority to travel responsibly. We already leave a substantial carbon footprint just by flying to our travel destinations, so that’s even more reason to make a positive impact when we get there. There are many small steps you can take to becoming a responsible traveller, and we highly encourage you to educate yourself before trekking in the Himalayas. Here are some things you can do to minimise your footprint when trekking in Nepal:
1. Do not leave any rubbish along the trail (unless it’s in a bin): You would think this would go without saying; however, there are some questionable humans who think it’s ok to leave rubbish lying around on the trail.
2. Carry a Steripen or iodine tablets to sterilise water: This not only limits your usage of single-use plastic but also saves you money too!
3. Respect the local culture: Be courteous of the local culture and act in such a way that leaves a good impression. Learn a little of the local language (hello and thank you is the minimum, you can use Google Translate), greet the locals in a polite manner, and respect dress codes & traditions.
Well, that concludes our step by step guide to getting your Annapurna Trekking Permit. If you have any questions or feel we have missed anything, please reach out to us in the comment section below.
Stay Adventurous & Happy Trekking,
Charlotte & Natalie x
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