Trekking Permit For Annapurna Base Camp Trek

Trekking Permit For Annapurna Base Camp Trek

If you are wondering how to get a trekking permit for the Annapurna Base Camp Trek, you have come to the right place. We have all the information you need to obtain the ABC Trek permits!

The Annapurna Base Camp is one of the famous trek in Nepal. It takes you through the scenic landscapes of the Annapurna region to the foothill of Mount Annapurna (8091 m). You will traverse from subtropical forests of rhododendrons, oaks, and bamboo to highland pastures and meadows.  

The trek is popular among trekkers for its adventurous trails, which pass by picturesque Gurung and Magar villages. The charming teahouses and homestays along the route make for a unique and rich trekking experience. The highlight of the trek is undoubtedly the gorgeous mountain views of Annapurna, Machhapuchre (Fishtail), Dhaulagiri, and others. 

The entire ABC Trek route lies within the Annapurna Conservation Area, the largest protected area in Nepal. Hence, trekkers must obtain the Annapurna Conservation Area Entry Permit (ACAP) to access the area. It is also necessary for the Annapurna Circuit Trek, which also lies within the conservation area. 

However, is the ACAP permit the only permit required for the Annapurna Base Camp Trek? Let us find out together!

What Permits Are Required To Trek Annapurna Base Camp?

As mentioned above, all trekkers embarking on the Annapurna Base Camp Trek must obtain the ACAP. However, trekkers must also get the TIMS card for the trek. Both permits can be obtained in Kathmandu or Pokhara. There are several checkpoints along the route where you must show the permits to pass. Let us learn more about these permits down below: 

TIMS (Trekkers’ Information Management Card)

All foreign trekkers in Nepal require the TIMS (Trekkers’ Information Management System). As of April 2023, the Nepal Tourism Board has stopped providing a TIMS card to solo trekkers. All trekkers must obtain the card through a government-registered trekking agency. 

When applying for the TIMS card, trekkers must provide their personal details, itinerary, and emergency contact number. This helps record the trekkers, which will help in quick response and rescue in an emergency or natural disaster. 

Trekkers must also remember that the card is single-use and non-transferable. A single permit for a particular region allows you to trek in different areas. Furthermore, you can use the same TIMS card within its duration to cover multiple regions, as they fall under the same TIMS system. 

The card is issued in less than an hour. The cost of the TIMS card varies for SAARC and non-SAARC nationals. Similarly, the card’s color is different for solo and group trekkers. Green is for solo or independent trekkers, and blue is for group trekkers.

Solo SAARC nationals NPR 600Green
Group SAARC nationalsNPR 300Blue
Solo Non-SAARC nationalsNPR 1000Green
Group Non-SAARC nationalsNPR 2000Blue

ACAP (Annapurna Conservation Area Entry Permit)

The Annapurna Conservation Area covers a large area of 7629 km per sq. The Annapurna Sanctuary also falls within the region. It is home to diverse biodiversity, including 1226 flowering plants, 105 mammals, 518 birds, 40 reptiles, and 23 amphibians. Likewise, over 100,000 residents from different ethnic groups live within the region. 

The conservation area covers a large part of the central Himalayas. It includes parts of Manang, Mustang, Lamjung, and Kaski. It was established in 1986 to preserve the region’s diverse nature and cultural heritage while promoting sustainable tourism. 

The National Trust For Nature Conservation manages the Annapurna Conservation Area. Since the ABC Trek route lies within the area, trekkers must get an entry permit. The Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP) applies to the entire Annapurna region. The fees from the ACAP help fund development and preservation projects in the region. 

Thus, trekkers can visit any area within the region with a single permit without additional charges. However, the permit is different from a restricted area permit. So, you cannot access restricted areas like Upper Mustang within the Annapurna region with Annapurna Conservation Area Permit alone. Also, a single permit serves only one person for a single entry. Once you exit from the departure point, the permit becomes void. 

SAARC nationalsNPR 1000
Non-SAARC nationalsNPR 3000

Procedure to Get Trekking Permits For Annapurna Base Camp Trek 

Procedure for getting the TIMS Card

You will need to provide the following documents for getting the TIMS card: 

  • Photocopy of your passport
  • Valid Nepal tourist visa 
  • Two passport-sized photos

While getting the card, trekkers must provide their personal details, trek details, and emergency contact numbers. It helps to ensure the trekkers’ safety at the time of emergency or natural disaster. The information required while applying for the card are: 

  • Trek’s itinerary and routes
  • Trek’s start and end date
  • Trek’s starting point and exit point
  • Insurance policy number and details
  • Contact number and address of trekking company and hotel 
  • Emergency contact number of trekker’s home country

The TIMS card can be obtained from the Tourist Office at Pradarshani Margh, Kathmandu. It is a 20-minute walk from Thamel, and the office is open from 9 AM to 5 PM. Meanwhile, you can obtain the card in Pokhara from the Trekking Agencies Association Of Nepal (TAAN) at Lakeside, Santi Partan. The opening and closing hours are the same as those of the Kathmandu office. Both offices are open Sunday through Friday.  

Submit the form along with the documents and pay the fees. Getting the TIMS card takes around half an hour or less than an hour. 

Procedure for getting the ACAP 

The documents you will need for getting the ACAP include: 

  • Valid passport
  • Two passport-sized photos

Similarly, trekkers must provide details, including an itinerary, while applying for the Annapurna Conservation Area Permit. The information you need to provide is as follows: 

  • Name and contact number of the travel agency
  • Name and contact number of the tek guide
  • Detailed trek itinerary
  • Entry and exit date for the Annapurna Conservation Area

The permit will be included if you are trekking through a travel agency’s trek packages. However, individual trekkers can get the Annapurna Conservation Area Permit from the ACAP center in Kathmandu or the Immigration Office in Pokhara. 

The ACAP center is at the Nepal Tourism Board, Bhrikutimandap. It is open from 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday, except on Saturdays. The Immigration Office in Pokhara is located in Damsite. The Tourism Board Office is inside the office, where you can apply for the permit. The office is open Sunday through Friday, at the same time as the Kathmandu office. 

You must first fill out the form and submit two passport-sized photos with valid passports. After paying the fees, you will get the permit within 5 to 10 minutes. 

Are Guides Mandatory For Trekking in Annapurna Base Camp? 

The short answer is yes. It is mandatory to hire a guide for trekking in Annapurna Base Camp. All foreign trekkers must hire a licensed guide through a registered trekking agency in Nepal, whether solo or in groups.  

The Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) issued a press release on March 9, 2023, stating that all foreign trekkers must hire a government-registered guide. The NTB and the Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal agreed on this rule, which came into effect in April 2023. 

The reason behind the new rule is to ensure trekkers’ safety and security during the trek. Similarly, it aims at promoting sustainable tourism and persevering the cultural heritages. 

Annapurna Base Camp is a moderately difficult trek. However, this does not make it less challenging. The terrain is rough and rugged. Trekkers have to walk 5 to 6 hours daily while making steep ascends and descents during the trek. It is physically demanding. Guides ensure that you are safe during the trek. 

Similarly, guides help to navigate rough terrain and ensure that trekkers stay on the designated trails. In addition to their support, guides are trained to provide first aid in emergencies. They provide indispensable support while ensuring your safety. Guides also have local expertise, so trekkers can get deeper insights and immerse themselves in the local culture and traditions. 

The cost of hiring a licensed guide can range from USD 30 to USD 40 per day. The ABC Trek packages include a licensed, English-speaking guide. The fees include the guide’s expenses, excluding tips. 

Enquiry Us For Securing Permit of ABC Trek

The trekking permit for the Annapurna Base Camp Trek includes a TIMS card and an ACAP. The costs for the permits are different for SAARC nationals and non-SAARC nationals. Similarly, you can get these permits following the procedures we mentioned above. 

However, if you want to avoid the hassle of getting the permits, you can rely on Vacation Trekking. We are a government-registered company that offers various services, including securing permits for the ABC Trek. You can also inquire with us if you need help getting the trek permits for any trekking destinations in Nepal. 

You cannot get the permits from your home country and have to arrive in Nepal. Moreover, it can take almost a full day to travel, apply, and obtain both permits. Instead, you can rely on us, and we will handle the tedious paperwork. You can go sightseeing and relax while we get the permits on your behalf. 

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