A quick guide on where and how to apply for a TIMS card and trekking permits in Kathmandu, Nepal.
If you’re headed to Nepal, there’s a big chance you’re going to do some trekking. Before you head out to the mountains, though, you need to make sure you’re properly prepared.
One of the things you need is a TIMS (Trekkers’ Information Management Systems) card. A TIMS card is a basic trekking permit you need for all treks in Nepal. You’ll also need trekking permits for specific areas, which can vary in cost based on the region.
Where to apply for a TIMS card and trekking permits in Kathmandu
The most convenient place to apply for a TIMS card in Kathmandu is at the Nepal Tourism Board office. Not only can you apply for a TIMS card here, you can also apply for other area permits, such as the Upper Mustang or Annapurna Sanctuary permits.
The Nepal Tourism Board’s office is located on Pradarshani Marg, a 15-minute stroll from the backpacker district of Thamel. The office is open from 10:00 until 17:00, but hours can fluctuate. There’s an unofficial lunch break between 13:00 and 14:00.
Before you apply for a TIMS card and trekking permits in Kathmandu
Before you apply for a TIMS card in Kathmandu, you need to know the following:
- Trekking entry and exit dates, can be estimate
- Trekking entry and exit points
- Trekking route/itinerary
- Emergency contact info for Nepal (can use a tour agency as a contact)
- Emergency contact info for someone in your home country
- Your insurance policy number, their phone number, and what your policy covers
You also need the following documents:
- Copy of your passport
- 2 passport-sized photos
For more information on the TIMS card, check out the website of the Nepal Tourism Board.
As for trekking permits, we had to submit the same information and photos as for the TIMS card, with a couple of additions:
- Name of trek route. Options include:
- Annapurna Sanctuary Trek
- Jomsom Trek
- Jomsom Muktinath Trek
- Everest Base Camp Trek
- Annapurna Circuit Trek
- Sikles Eco Trek
- Mardi Himal Trek
- Upper Mustang Trek
- Dhampus Trek
- Kharpani (Tatopani) Trek
- Chandrakot Trek
- Ghandruk Circuit Trek
- Machhapuchhre Model Trek
- Ghorepani Trek/Poon Hill Trek
- Ghorepani Ghandruk Circuit Trek
- Khayar Tal Trek
- Tilicho Tal Trek
- Tatopani Trek
- Name and address of trekking company (if relevant)
- Name and contact info of your guide (if relevant), and whether or not the guide underwent official guide training
You can find more on permit requirements for each area on the Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN) website, and information on permits for the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) here.
Trekking in Nepal during monsoon? Don’t forget to check out our monsoon travel packing list!
How to apply for a TIMS card and trekking permits in Kathmandu
The TIMS and permit office is on your left hand side when you enter the Nepal Tourism Board building. Here, you can find the forms you need to fill out.
Once you’ve filled out the TIMS and permit forms, hand them over together with your passport photos and fees at the relevant desk. TIMS cards are 2,000 Nrs per applicant if you’re doing an independent trek, or 1,000 Nrs per applicant if you’re part of a group. The Annapurna area permit is also 2,000 Nrs per applicant if going independently.
You’ll need to pay in Nepali rupees, not foreign currency. If you need a top up, there’s an ATM just outside the tourism board building. Once you’ve applied, you’ll get your permit roughly five minutes later.
Heading to Kathmandu and in need some some R&R? Check out our article on digital nomad cafes in Kathmandu for tips on the best coffee and WiFi in town!