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 – Matador – Trekking 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