Annapurna now requires guides

As a follow-up to last week’s post on Trekking the Annapurna Sanctuary in Nepal

David DeFranza writes something new to me:

Permits, Porters and Guides

The Annapurna Sanctuary trek is largely contained within the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP), a national park that covers 7,629 square kilometers. Entry into the park requires the purchase of an ACAP Entry Permit. The permit requires an application and two passport photos. It costs about $60 USD and can be obtained in a single day from offices in Kathmandu and Pokhara.

In addition to this permit, all trekkers in Nepal are now required to register for and obtain a card through the Trekkers Information Management System (TIMS). This new card has replaced the controversial TRC permit introduced in 2006 and is available for free through a trekking agency, the Nepal Tourism Board, or the Trekkers Agencies’ Association of Nepal. The card can be issued in either Kathmandu or Pokhara.

Although people still circumvent the system, trekkers are now required to hire at least one Nepali staff member (a porter or guide) per group.

Many independent travelers are initially upset by this proposition. However, almost everyone who finds a knowledgeable guide from a quality company comes away admitting that it improved the overall trekking experience. …

read more – MatadorTrekking the Annapurna Sanctuary in Nepal

Independent hiking is still allowed in the Everest region. If you want to go it alone, that’s a big reason to bypass Annapurna and head for Lukla, instead.

Leave a comment if you know more about the mandatory guide regulation. It’s not clearly stated on the official government website.

Here’s an independent 2008 Circuit trip report – No Guide, No Problem! – The Annapurna Circuit

7 Replies to “Annapurna now requires guides”

  1. Was there again last January. Have heard or seen any info about that. What would we need a guide for a circuit that has been already totally changed with the dirt road going all the way up to Muktinath on one side of the Pass and under construction to Manang ( presently jeeps are going as far as Syange). Have been hiking in the area for the last 20 year. The circuit does not exist anymore as a hiking trail. But the area remains great. The economy is changing a lot in both valley with lower villages struggling with a lack of hikers but upper villages developing really fast. Many new valleys have been open to hikers with trailhead on the “Annapurna Circuit”. The positive side of that new development is that we can have a ride fairly high to explore and hike valleys that used to be too far. Although the rare villages in these valley are not offering any or really few food supplies or accommodation. Which make those places even more authentic :))
    Guide required for the Annapurna circuit seems to me more a false rumor….

  2. G’day from Sydney, Rick,

    I just did a fabulous trip in the Everest region, with guides and a community project thrown in.

    I know not everyone thinks they can afford guides, and not all Nepali guides are qualified and good, but it does provide vital income for people who would otherwise have very little, and if my experience is anything to go by, getting to know the Nepali guides was the best aspect of the trip.

    My natural instinct is against making anything compulsory, but if and when I go back to Nepal, I’ll certainly be cheerfully forking out a few rupees to have somebody show me around the mountains…and hoping they are good at what they do.

  3. its not true. I was there 2 months ago – no guide or porter needed. the post on matador was published 2 years ago. come on.

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