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+977 01 4516813 / 4512647 info@crystalmountaintreks.com

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Is Crystal Mountain Treks expensive?

Kandu and guests at Annapurna South

Is Crystal Mountain Treks expensive?

Why are some other trekking companies offering cheaper prices?

So, you’ve been out on the internet shopping for prices, and you found some other trekking companies that offer similar treks for lower prices. And you’re wondering why ours cost more. It’s a reasonable question and one we’d like to answer.

The core question is: What are these trekking companies ACTUALLY offering at that price, and what are we offering? It’s important you’re fully understanding this, and comparing apples to apples.

At Crystal Mountain Treks, our price includes pretty much all of your expenses while in Nepal. Besides a few meals in Kathmandu and personal expenses, everything is included – from the time we pick you up at the airport to the time we drop you off again at the end of your adventure. This is not the case with many budget trekking companies that specialize in cutting corners to provide low-bid mass market treks to budget travelers.

Here are some factors you need to consider when making a comparison:

1) We don’t do budget “mass market” treks. 

Crystal Mountain Treks does not run trips for the mass market or exclusively for larger groups. Our customers are not just a number in a database. Instead, all our trips are for private groups of 1 or more participants. We strive to foster personal relationships with all our trekkers. We also try our best to ensure that your trek in Nepal is your best trip ever. A majority of our trekkers are either referrals or repeat customers. Our quality is our business model and has been for decades.

2) What’s included and what’s not:
Food menu in Lukla
Above is a sample food menu from a lodge in Lukla – food prices get more expensive as you ascend to Gorakshep where it is 50% – 100% more expensive.
  • Some trekking companies only include lodging and guide staff in their pricing. Meals, the largest cost component, are not included. Meals in the Everest can cost anywhere between US$ 30 – US$ 50 per person per day. This can add up over the duration of the trek to US$ 350 – US$ 650 for a 12-day trek.
  • We don’t limit our customers to pre-chosen, limited meal plans, as many budget trekking companies do. For example, for dinner, some trekking outfitters will pre-order one soup item and one main item. This allows budget trekking companies to cut their prices, but the customers will have to pay out-of-pocket if they want to adjust these meal plans.
  • On our treks, you can order anything from the menu (besides packaged snacks and bottled beverages). And, as long as you are not wasteful, you can order as many items as you want. We do this to ensure that you have all the nutrition you need to safely complete your adventure, and the choice of foods you want to enjoy every meal.
  • Menu in Lobuche
    Menu in Lobuche – Boiled water is Rs. 900 ($7) for a liter of water. Boiled water costs more in Gorakshep.
  • Keeping properly hydrated with safe drinking water through a trek is key to staying healthy and completing a trek safely. So we provide boiled water for drinking twice a day – in the morning and in the evening. Boiled water at lodges can cost up to $8 per liter at the highest places such as at Gorakshep. There are very few companies which provide this service at the base price, which will easily add between US$ 100 – US$ 200 per person to the cost.
  • Additionally, on our treks, you may order standard coffee, tea, and hot-lemon as many times as you want – again, as long as you are not wasteful. Most companies will not provide this facility or will limit the amount you can order. Budget clients will see that savings come out of their pockets, adding to the full expense of the trip.
3) We pay our guides and staff better than average wages. 

One of the key ways budget trekking companies reduce costs is to offer extremely low wages to their guides and porters, often well below a reasonable living wage for people in the region. Our wages tend to be about 50%-100% more than many of the mass-market trekking companies in Nepal. We also ensure that our staff have quality equipment – boots, cold weather clothing, etc. – so that they can do their jobs safely. Many budget companies require their staff to provide all of their own equipment, which can provide an enormous financial burden on their guides and porters.

Paying higher wages and providing the best equipment not only allows us to provide fair compensation to our staff, it also allows us to hire the best and most qualified local guides, who have years of experience and training in the Himalayas. Many budget companies cannot afford to hire this level of expertise. The Himalayas are not a place to cut corners on under-trained or inexperienced guides.

4) We’re absolutely dedicated to you completing your trek safely. 

At Crystal Mountain Treks, our primary goal is to enable you to complete your trek safely and enjoyably. Unfortunately, that’s not the primary goal of some budget companies who hope (and sadly sometimes plan) that you return halfway. If you return without completing the trek, all costs are not incurred which would mean a saving for the trekking company. In some cases, companies can also earn extra commissions by encouraging helicopter evacuation, which can earn them thousands from insurance payouts.

We’re very sad to say that it is not uncommon for low-bid budget trekking companies to sell very low cost treks, knowing that they will earn their profits from these highly questionable practices, make evacuations happen by rushing your itinerary so that you don’t get to acclimatize properly. The Nepalese government has been cracking down on these practices, but sadly, it is still happening.  When you are seeing treks advertised that are getting you higher, faster, you should be very wary about how they are making their profits.

So, is Crystal Mountain Treks expensive?

This is for you to decide. As one of the oldest and most respected trekking companies in Nepal, we have been safely guiding trekkers across the Himalayas for generations, and we know how to get our clients where they are going safely and enjoyably. Our packages are designed to take appropriate time for acclimatization, and ensure that you reach your goal, which often makes them a bit longer. This, of course, increases their cost slightly. We believe this is not only the best, but the only way to run a business.

We hope this explains our cost structure, and helps you to make an informed decision on who to trek with in Nepal. We hope it is with us, or another company that provides safe, enjoyable treks that provide quality employment to their staff.

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+977-01-4416813

info@crystalmountaintreks.com

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  • Over 30 years experience
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