Trips booked in Nepal cost $25 to $80 a day, depending on the river, number of people in the party, and standard of service. For trips on the Trisuli and Kali Gandaki (the most popular rafting rivers), upmarket companies typically charge $30–40 a day to a walk-in customer, which should include transport to and from the river by private bus, good, hygienic meals and a mat in a tent. Budget outfits offer these trips for around $25 a day, but at that price you can expect to travel by local bus and be served pretty unappetizing food – or even pay for your own bus tickets and meals. Other more remote rivers cost $10–20 a day extra.
These prices assume full rafts, which hold up to seven paying passengers each. Note that the most popular high-season trips with the most popular high-standard companies are often fully booked up, months in advance.
When reckoning cost per day, bear in mind that a “three-day” trip is rarely three days of solid rafting: you may be travelling to the river most of day one, with just an hour spent on the river that afternoon, rafting for maybe four hours on day two, and then travelling back on your last day.
Your travel insurance policy should cover the proposed activity: if you’re away from main roads then helicopter rescue may be needed, and no helicopter will take off without cash in hand or the assurance of repayment by an insurance company. Leave a copy of your travel policy with the operator, highlighting the emergency contact number.
Note that at the time of writing, government rafting permits were no longer required.