Find answers to frequently asked questions about trekking and climbing in Nepal such as visa, trip grade, fitness level, a typical day, accommodation, food, etc
1. What is the difficulty level of treks in Nepal and the level of physical fitness required to undertake those treks?
There are easy, moderate, and challenging trekking routes in Nepal that you can indulge in according to your taste. The level of physical fitness also depends upon the trek you choose. The easy treks explore the hilly trails which are smooth and do not involve a longer duration of treks. These can be done by any age group. Moderate treks include difficult trails and even cross high altitude passes. These require an individual to be at a decent physical condition. They also involve longer walking duration at around 7-8 hours on average. Lastly, the strenuous ones are the ones which require trekking expertise and mental fortitude. It is a must to have a good physical condition as the trails cross 5000 meters.
2. What is the average walking distance/hour?
Walking distance/hours vary according to the client’s fitness and also due to altitude, terrain, and gradient. In general hiking terms, walking distances are measured in hours rather than miles. On average, you will walk for around 6 hours every day on our trekking trips in the Himalayas. Morning walk, which will be 3-4 hours after breakfast till lunch, and two hours after noon we reach our overnight place.
3. Is previous experience necessary to trek in the Himalayas?
If you are in good health and enjoy regular exercises such as jogging, tennis, or even long hikes then with proper itinerary and acclimatization you can embark on the Himalayan adventure. Previous experience is not required to trek in the Himalayas although it will be beneficial to have some. Trekking to Everest Base Camp Langtang Valley, Manaslu Circuit, and Annapurna Circuit don’t require previous experience but being physically fit is a basic requirement as you will be walking 6 hours every day on average on ups and downs terrain over 5000m altitude above sea level.
For climbing trips, it is essential to have some previous experience. On our climbing trips, we have a climbing course at the base camp before the actual climb, where the guides will teach you skills and techniques along with the demonstration of the proper use of pieces of equipment.
4. What is the best time of the year to trek in Nepal?
The best time to trek in Nepal depends upon your preferences and trekking destination. Most would argue that the best time for trekking is spring (March to May). This season greets you with pleasant weather conditions with blossoming flora. So, you can enjoy your trek in lower as well as higher altitudes.
If what you are looking for clear skies and moderate trekking days then you can also choose to trek in autumn (September to November). This is the best place time to trek on higher altitudes of Nepal as most days are met with a sun shining directly above your head. The view of the Himalayas and surrounding scenery are also better during this season.
If what you prefer is less number of people you want to meet on your trek then, monsoon (June to August) and winter (December to February) are your best choices. There are trekking destinations like Mustang and Dolpo which can be trekked during monsoon. Similarly, treks like in lower region of Annapurna, Everest and Langtang can also be done during the winter season. However, beware of the adverse climates that you may meet on your way.
5. What is the temperature during the day and night in Nepal?
In Nepal, the temperature varies as per the altitude. There are three geographical divisions in Nepal, namely: Terai, Hill, and the Himalayas.
The Terai region is hot and humid throughout the year, except during winters. The average temperature here is 15 degree Celsius during winter and drops even lower at night. During summer the temperature may rise as high as 40 degree Celsius.
Areas below the 3500-meter altitude fall under temperate regions. The temperature here can range from 8 degree Celsius in December to 22 degree Celsius in mid-July. The temperature of Kathmandu alone goes below 1 degree Celsius in the winter and can rise up to 25 degree Celsius in the summer.
The Himalayas that are in the highest altitudes above 3500 meters can get up to sub-zero temperatures in the night. The sun blaze during the day might bring you some warmth. On an average the temperature drops by 6 degrees with 1000 meters in altitude. In winter, the temperature drops below 0 degree Celsius.
6. How can I access the Internet in Nepal and do I need a SIM card?
The Internet can be easily accessed across the country using various mediums. The most popular methods remain mobile data and Wi-Fi.
Wi-Fi is available in most of the major cities like Kathmandu, Pokhara, Biratnagar, Chitwan, Lumbini, etc. Most of the hotels and restaurants in these areas provide free Wi-Fi. Generally, if you are searching for good internet access then it will be provided at a major tourist destination. However, you will not get good internet and Wi-Fi facilities while you are on a trek to higher altitudes. SIM Cards come in very handy during such situations. Nepal has three main network providers i.e. Nepal Telecom (NTC), Ncell, and Smart Cell. All three of these companies provide data connectivity including 4G services. You can buy these SIM cards at Kathmandu International Airport or local mobile stores in Thamel. These SIM Cards allow you to communicate and access the internet as well. Thus, they are a must on your trips to Nepal. But you will need to have 2 passport size photos along with a passport copy (Make sure that your phone is unlocked)
7. Can I get Nepal visa on arrival?
Yes, you can obtain a Nepal visa on arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu. Kindly ensure that you have an exact amount of cash and 2 passport-size photos to expedite the ease of visa application.
8. Is airport transfer included?
Yes, we provide airport transfers to all our customers according to their flight time at no extra cost. Confirm your flight details one week before arriving in Kathmandu. should do.
9. I am a single traveler, will the single supplement be charged?
If in the case of the single by default then we will provide a single room without extra charge. However, if someone wishes to have a single room then the single supplement will be charged.
10. Is tipping included in the trip cost and if not, how much should I budget for?
Tipping is not mandatory but is appreciated. We suggest allocating USD 5 – 8 per person per day for tea house/lodge trek and USD 8 – 10 per person per day for camping/climbing trip. This can be handed over to the leader/chieftain at the end of the walk. You can give your trekking equipment like shoes, jacket, trekking pole, and head torch to any other similar crew for distribution as gratitude to the staff. And on the last day of the trek, we advise and celebrate a celebratory night with all our trekking teams and on that last day we suggest to give gratuity to the staff only at the end of the trek.
11. What type of trek is best? (Tea House/Lodge Trek or Camping Trek)
Due to most of the trekking routes being a hot spot for treks, you can find an abundance of tea houses and lodges. Tea house trekking can give you the benefit of not having to worry about accommodation and dining. Trekkers can stop and rest at teahouses available at strategic locations on the trekking trail. As such, teahouse trekking is also the most famous trekking in Nepal.
However, you can also choose camping treks. These treks allow you to enjoy the originality of nature and Nepalese communities from afar. Most of the time, you will require a crew to help to set up tents, cook food, and carry your luggage. This may make camping trek more expensive than the famous teahouse treks.
12. Is there accommodation on teahouse treks?
Rooms are basic, normally just a bed with a pillow and blankets but with a wonderful view from your window. All the teahouses/lodges have a spacious warm dining room lounge. We will arrange for you and your group to stay in local lodges daily. Please remember that some of them are very basic and a sense of adventure is necessary.
13. Meals in teahouse/lodge treks?
Meals are included in our package and you can choose your meals from the menu. Meals are served in Teahouses/Lodges located along the trail. You can find a wide variety of Nepali and Western food as well as drinks (coffee, tea, milk, soft drinks, beer, etc…)
14. Accommodation on a camping trip?
On our camping trip, for every 2 persons, a tent is provided and besides that, we will have a dining tent, kitchen tent and more for your comfort.
15. What is Meals on camping trip?
On our camping trips, we have an experienced chef to cater to the group’s needs. Our Chef will prepare exceptional meals and ensure their quality preparation. He will be with us and is responsible for all meals during our trekking days. You can and are encouraged to bring along comfort food that you enjoy eating – chocolates, power bars, dry fruits, candies, other snacks, etc.
16. What luggage should I bring with me?
Which should consist of all your duffel bag with clothing and gear for your trekking trip and the duffel bag will be carried by the porter. Secondly, you should bring a daypack or a small rucksack, large enough to carry your valuable items, water, energy bars, cameras, a waterproof jacket, and fleece.
17. Will showers, washing facilities and battery recharge be available on the treks?
Yes, Hot showers, washing facilities, and battery charge are available on treks at an extra cost. Hot shower is available at the teahouses/lodges where you will stay at an extra cost of $2-3 per person. For battery/Phone charge we recommend you bring a travel adapter with you. Batt charge will cost $2-3 depending upon the place. Along the way, there are chances to do the laundry as some days are short-duration walks and also, we have a rest day on all our trips.
18. Can I buy trekking/climbing gear in Kathmandu after my arrival?
Yes, you can buy/hire your gear in Kathmandu after your arrival but kindly ensure that you have enough time in Kathmandu for shopping as the shops usually close at 8:00 pm. There are branded shops to local manufacturer shops in Kathmandu so it is quite easy to get all the gears in Kathmandu too. For climbing gears, an alternate will be to hire the gears if you do not have any plans of using them soon in the future.
19. Do I need trekking poles?
Trekking poles are not essential but are beneficial especially on a long day’s trek where the terrain is ups and downs. If someone has a knee problem then trekking poles are of great help. Having trekking poles while walking downhill will reduce the stress on your knee and thus helps you in getting down easily.
20. Are there ATM facilities in Nepal?
There are plenty of ATM facilities in Kathmandu, Pokhara, and all the major cities of Nepal. In the Everest region, they have an ATM facility on Namche Bazar too but carrying personal expenses from Kathmandu is still a good idea.
21. How much cash should I bring with me?
This entirely depends on your trip and how much cash should you bring, but since meals and accommodation on treks/climbs are all included on our trip, you will need cash for accommodation and meals in Kathmandu, personal expenses, tipping, and shopping.
22. What is the employee-client ratio and who will lead the group?
We are known for providing the highest staff-to-client ratio on most of our trips. We provide 1 assistant guide to every 6 clients, 1 porter to every 2 clients, and a local experienced trip leader and a Sardar for camping trips.
23. Dietary requirements?
If you have any special dietary requirements or allergies/intolerance to foods then kindly let us know and we will pass it on to the trip leader. But kindly note that we are not able to provide special diets as it can be very difficult, especially while traveling to high altitude areas.
24. Is there any place to store luggage in Kathmandu?
Before leaving for the trek you can store your luggage in the hotel as we will be staying in the hotel after the trek, please remember to collect your luggage storage tag. Ensure fragile items/laptops are packed carefully.
25. Currency information and exchange in NPR?
Major foreign currencies (USD, GBP, EUR, AUD, CFK, SGD, MYR, HKD) are widely accepted in Kathmandu and you can easily change it in the money changer in Kathmandu after your arrival. Foreign currencies are accepted in restaurants and shops too but it is advisable to change into NPR first as the rate will not be very good while paying by foreign currency and the same applies to your personal expenses for a trek.
[Carrying extra cash for an emergency purpose on treks/climbs is always a good idea too]
26. How can family and friends contact you?
In the case of an emergency, they can contact AlpineTrav Treks & Expeditions directly and we will pass the immediately message to your trip leader.
28. What is the checklist for personal gear/equipment on a trek?
Having a well-equipped backpack is a must for all the aspiring trekkers
. However, you need to have an idea of how much is enough and how much is too much or too little. This also depends upon your personal preferences and trekking destination but, here is a list of some of the important trekking gears and equipment. Check the equipment list
29. What to do with the extra free time after the Trek?
Nepal is full of natural scenery and tranquility so a perfect choice would be relaxation and sightseeing. You can visit major cities like Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Lalitpur where you can enjoy our cultural monuments. You can also visit other places like Pokhara, Chitwan, Lumbini.
If you are an adventurous person who loves adventure sports, you can enjoy your time with paragliding, bungee jumping, rafting or mountain biking.
[Please do not hesitate to contact us regarding any questions you may have regarding the trip]