So, you’re going trekking in Nepal… lucky you!
While it seems like there’s quite a bit to do prior to the start of your trek, the permits are easily sorted within a day.
What Permits Do I Need?
First things first. If you’re doing the Everest Base Camp trek, Three Passes trek, Annapurna Base Camp/Sanctuary trek, or the Annapurna Circuit, you’ll need a TIMS card. The TIMS card is a trekking registration, basically, so they know who is on the trails at all times. It’s a safety measure.
The ACAP permit is a national park permit for the Annapurna Conservation Area. If you’re trekking in Sagarmatha National Park (the Everest treks), you’ll need a different national park permit, which you buy on the trail (it’s very straight-forward).
What You Need to Apply
To apply for a TIMS card, you’ll need to bring both your passport and two passport photos. You can get these anywhere in Thamel/Lakeside for a couple hundred rupees.
The fee for the TIMS card is the equivalent of $20 USD in Nepali Rupees.
The fee for the ACAP permit is 2,000 rupees. You’ll also need 2 passport photos and your passport.
You’ll also need to know your insurance number and coverage information, the rough dates you’ll be on the trail, and your itinerary. It’s okay for your itinerary to change a little bit, but you need to know where you think you’ll be stopping.
Applying in Kathmandu
Apply for all trekking permits at the Nepal Tourism Board, located on Pradarshani Marg. This is about a 20-minute walk from the heart of Thamel. Their hours are 10am-5pm daily.
There will be a couple desks in the office. One will be for the TIMS card, and there will be others for the various conservation areas.
Applying in Pokhara
You apply for your trekking permits and TIMS card at the National Tourism Board. This is about a fifteen-minute walk from the middle of Lakeside. You walk right along Phewa Tal (the lake) to get to the tourism board. They’re open from 10-4 daily.
Pretty easy, right? Tour agencies will charge you more than $20 USD for the TIMS and 2000 rupees for the ACAP, but they do save time if you’re in a crunch.
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