It has been an experience trying to hire a guide/porter for our 21-day trek (we’re planning on doing Annapurna Circuit and Annapurna Sanctuary/Base Camp. We’ve talked to 5 total companies in doing our research and getting good points of comparison. 2 we found on Trip Advisor, 1 through our hotel, and 2 through personal contacts. In the end the Trip Advisor companies won out; you can’t really compare with 200+ reviews and a 5 star rating.
There are different kinds of guides/porters you can hire. Usually it’s the lowest price for a porter who speaks little to no English, mid-price of a guide/porter who can speak a little more English, and then highest is the guide who doesn’t carry your pack but is just a guide who finds tea houses for you to stay in, etc. Between the two of us, we combined our gear to fit into one backpack, so we just needed one guide/porter. The range we found was between $14-$30/day which covers their fee, lodging, food, and insurance. A big range and today we found out a good reason why.
The most important thing to do is to meet your guide/porter before you commit. We were talking to Earthbound Expeditions when one of their guide/porters happened to be there so we got to talk to him. Right away the English was a problem and we could tell he couldn’t understand some of our questions. Big question mark. So we met with a potential guide/porter from Himalayan Glacier Trekking and it was much better. You could actually have a conversation. So always check! Even though Himalayan Glacier Trekking was $5 more a day, we felt this was worth it and key since you’ll be spending every day for the next 3 weeks with this guy!
We leave tomorrow and will be without Internet access for the next 3 weeks. We promise the next post will be filled with beautiful photos from our trek! You can subscribe to my blog to get an email update when I publish the next post.