Annapurna Circuit Trek Permits, How to Obtain Them?
Annapurna circuit trek is an adventurous trek within the Annapurna mountain range of central Nepal. It houses the diverse wildlife of the Annapurna Conservation Area. The area has a culturally diverse community and shows the immaculate landscapes of the Himalayas. Annapurna circuit trek is not just an adventurous journey, it also requires a lot of physical labor during the journey. It also requires a lot of mental exhaustion for the preparation of plans, itineraries, essential items, etc. The Annapurna circuit trek requires ample preparations. Among them is obtaining the Annapurna circuit trek permits. Many trekking regions among the Himalayan trails of Nepal require permits.
In this article, we will make you understand the necessity of such permits, how to get them, how many permits you need for the Annapurna circuit treks, how much Annapurna circuit trek permits cost, etc.
Table of Contents
- 1 Essential Annapurna circuit permits and its breakdown
- 2 How to obtain these permits?
- 3 Points to be noted about the permits
- 4 The Annapurna region and the necessity of permit to travel the region.
- 5 Frequently Asked Questions about the Annapurna circuit trek permits.
- 5.1 What permits do I need to get to do the Annapurna circuit trek?
- 5.2 How do I get Annapurna trekking permit?
- 5.3 How do I get Annapurna Base Camp permit?
- 5.4 Do I need any other permit for the Annapurna Base Camp if I already have the Annapurna circuit trek permit?
- 5.5 In what currency should the permit payment be made?
- 5.6 Do I need to be in Nepal to get the permit?
- 5.7 Can I do the Annapurna trek on my own?
- 5.8 Do you need a permit to trek anywhere in Nepal?
- 5.9 Where can I buy a trekking permit in Nepal?
- 6 Conclusion
Essential Annapurna circuit permits and its breakdown
Types of permits
There are two types of permits you need to obtain in order to trek the Annapurna circuit. They are as follows.
TIMS permit (Trekker’s Information Management System)
A TIMS permit is a basic permit you need to obtain while trekking anywhere in Nepal. The TIMS permits come with two variations, one for a solo trek and the other one for a group trek. The TIMS permit for a solo trek (the one without a guide) will cost you around NRs 2000 or USD 18, whereas the TIMS permit for a group trek (with a guide) will cost you around NRs 1000 or USD 9
ACAP permit (Annapurna Conservation Area Permit)
The Annapurna Conservation Area Permit is the permit implemented by the Annapurna Conservation Area for the protection and promotion of the protected region of Annapurna.
The permit for ACAP will cost you NRs 3000 or USD 25.
How to obtain these permits?
You will have to fill out an application in order to obtain your permits for the Annapurna circuit trek. You will have to submit this application to the nearest tourist center in Nepal first. These are some of the locations you can fill out the application.
- The tourism board in Kathmandu is the most convenient one as it is located nearest to the airport and is in the capital. The address and the availability of the center are as follows.
Address: Kathmandu: Nepal Tourism Board, Pradarsani Marg, Kathmandu 44517, Nepal
Availability: Monday to Sundays, from 10 am to 5 pm ( Closed on Saturdays)
- The tourist center in Pokhara is also an easy way to obtain Annapurna circuit trek permits. Since Pokhara is located within 4 hour’s drive within the Annapurna circuit trek region, this would also be convenient. The address of the center and availability are as follows.
Address: Pokhara: ACAP Office, Pokhara 44700, Nepal
Availability: Monday to Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm (Closed on Saturdays)
Once you reach these locations for the application, you need to craft the form using the following criteria carefully.
- Carry proof of identification, like a passport.
- Four copies of a very recently clicked passport-sized photo. The photo must show your face clearly and be able to identify you.
- Give a clear map of your trekking route. If you have any, you can list the route based on your travel package.
- Clearly mention the entrance and exit points of your trek.
- Make a travel itinerary for your trek, and it can be an approximate outline of your travel from the start to the end. Such an itinerary will be easily covered if you have a travel package.
- You need to give a local emergency contact It must be from someone you know in Nepal. You can give the contact info of the guesthouse or hotel you’re staying in Nepal.
- You must also give the family emergency contact information of your family back at home.
- You also need to have a breakdown of all your fees for the Annapurna circuit trek in local currency.
- You need to have travel insurance for such treks. Since treks to high-altitude places like the Annapurna circuit are challenging, having travel insurance is essential. Details of such travel insurance are also needed.
After you have an application fulfilling these criteria, go to your nearest tourist board and submit it to the staff. If your application has no faults and fulfills are the needed criteria, you will get both your TIMS and ACAP permits within 15 minutes.
The hassle of obtaining all these permits will be on us if you do the Annapurna circuit trek with us at Nepal guide treks. Bring the essential documents to us and relax.
Points to be noted about the permits
- You cannot have only one of the two permits for the trek; you require both permits for a single entry.
- The permits, once issued, cannot be refunded or transferred. Keep a note of that.
- Your permits have validity. The validity will be based on the application you have submitted. Be wary of the validity, as a minor mistake might cause problems. Read the form carefully.
- The permits will not cost extra based on the days of your travel. Traveling for 5 days and 10 days will have the same cost for the permit. So, you can have extra days in your application in case you might have some delays.
- You will have to enter your permit details at all counters along the trail you are traveling. This is done to ensure your safety, so please do not be hasty with this task.
The Annapurna region and the necessity of permit to travel the region.
Why is the ACAP necessary?
Annapurna Conservation Area was established by the National Trust for Nature Conservation in 1986 in order to protect the Annapurna region. It was the first protected area established in Nepal.
The Annapurna Conservation Area is housed within the area of 7629 sq. km, also marking it as the largest protected area in Nepal. The population of the area is over 100000. This area also houses rich biodiversity along with people of diverse cultures and languages.
The conservation area is home to around 105 species of mammals, 518 species of birds, 23 species of amphibians, and 40 species of reptiles. Along with these faunas, the place also has a whooping 1226 number of flowering plant species living in it.
This diverse and immaculate shelter for floras and faunas is one of the main regions of the Annapurna Conservation Area and is one of the best trekking areas of Nepal. This is considered one of the primary reasons behind the establishment of ACAP. Hence, it also factors in why this area is a key sector for tourism and brings in most of the local economy.
Tourism’s bloom in the region has impacted the economic activities of local people as well. The lodges and teashops of the Annapurna circuit trail benefit a lot from the tourism activities. There are currently over 1000 lodges and tea houses in the reason that deal with facilitating myriad trekkers every year.
Although the crowd of tourists has helped boom business, it also has brought immense damage to the environment. An average of a week worth of travel with a group of 10 people would bring about 15kg of nonbiodegradable garbage along the trail. The amount adds up every trip, and the amount of waste is staggering over the year.
Such garbage will negatively affect the wildlife of the region. The Annapurna region has its reputation for sheltering a diversity of floras and faunas, but such environmental damage will destroy the system. So to mitigate such damages and pay heed to the local people and their livelihood and economic activities, ACAP was imposed.
ACAP comes with the goal “to achieve a sustained balance between nature conservation and socio-economic improvement in the Annapurna Conservation Area (ACA), thereby assisting National Trust for Nature Conservation in achieving its goal.”
The object of the goal is planned to achieve with the help of ACAP permits. The permits will give a contribution to maintaining the landscape of Annapurna to its fullest potential. Along with the conservation of its natural resources for now and for the future. The permits will also allow an opportunity or sustainable social and economic growth for the locals. This will again help in better infrastructure and facilities for the trekkers in the future.
Therefore, the ACAP permit is quite essential for the survival of ACAP (the Annapurna Conservation Area).
Why is the TIMS Permit necessary?
The Trekker’s Information Management Systems permit is a general permit you need to get while trekking in any region of Nepal. They are implemented in order to track your safety. You will be on the system with the TIMS card as you show it at checkpoints along the trails while hiking.
The TIMS card is very essential if you get stranded or have mishaps while trekking. You must not skip showing your TIMS cards at the checkpoints along the trail at your convenience. It is for your own protection.
The idea of this permit was implemented by the Nepal Tourism Board(NTB) and the Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN) in order to maintain the safety of tourists in Nepal.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Annapurna circuit trek permits.
What permits do I need to get to do the Annapurna circuit trek?
For the Annapurna circuit trek, you will need a TIMS permit and a local Annapurna Conservation Area Permit(ACAP).
How do I get Annapurna trekking permit?
You wil get an Annapurna trekking permit by submitting an application to NTB (the Nepal tourism board).
How do I get Annapurna Base Camp permit?
You will perform the above-mentioned task of submitting an application to the Nepal tourism board. The permit for Annapurna circuit trekking and Annapurna Base Camp is the same.
Do I need any other permit for the Annapurna Base Camp if I already have the Annapurna circuit trek permit?
No, you do not need separate permits to travel to the Annapurna Base Camp. The same two permits will suffice.
In what currency should the permit payment be made?
You should make the payment for the permit in local currency, also known as the Nepali Rupees. The value of Nepali rupees is approximately NRs 126 for USD 1. But you have to check the transfer rates during your payment.
Do I need to be in Nepal to get the permit?
Yes, you must apply for the permit only after arriving in Nepal. On your arrival, if you’re traveling through a trekking agency, they will ensure the proper paperwork is done and apply for you.
However, if you plan on trekking independently, you must appear at the relevant application office on your own. Anyone else cannot be liable for you.
Can I do the Annapurna trek on my own?
Trekking Annapurna alone is possible but comes with a lot of hassle, planning, and preparations. The permits you need to get for this trip should be prepared on your own, and no one can be liable for them. If you wish to make all the plans and work on your own, you can travel alone.
However, trekking packages cover all the planning and work you would have to do in a solo journey. They will be an immense help, especially while preparing the documents for the application of permits.
Do you need a permit to trek anywhere in Nepal?
You will need the TIMS permit to ensure your safety during your treks in Nepal and a special region-based permit like the ACAP permit to trek.
Where can I buy a trekking permit in Nepal?
You cannot buy a trekking market like in a retail store. To get a trekking permit in Nepal, you need to submit a fully detailed application for your permit to the Nepal Tourism Board. After approving your application, they will grant you a permit with certain charges.
This article has very clearly explained the types of permits needed for the Annapurna circuit trek, the process of application, its purpose, and its cost. The permits are not immensely difficult to achieve. However, a slight error in your documents or application process will cause trouble with the permit.
If you choose to trek the Annapurna circuit region with us at Nepal guide treks, we will cover all the necessary papers for your permit approval. Along with that, we will also make sure your permit data is entered at every checkpoint along the trail during the trek with the help of our crew.
We have a very well-crafted 16-day package of Annapurna circuit trek, which will amount to a reasonable price of USD 999. Contact us at Nepal guide treks for such convenience with permits and other facilities for your Annapurna circuit trek.