I did the Annapurna Circuit with AME treks May 4-23, 2014. I went on a private tour with my sister and a friend.
Communication: I emailed a few local tour groups and AME treks was the first to reply. Tika, the executive director was the person I communicated with. He was always quick to reply to my e-mails (always within 1 business day) and answered all my questions. It was nice to just communicate with ONE person and it gave me peace to mind to have all my e-mails replied to so promptly.
Cost & Service: The cost for AME treks is very reasonable, especially for the services provided. You can go on their website to see what is included, but not mentioned there is all the extra services they give you! We had many breaks along the way where they always provided tea, we got cookies with our afternoon tea, and FRUIT after our dinner. It's hard to get fruit on the hike so the fact that they carry all the fruit from Kathmandu to the hike and along the hike us made me feel special. I didn't see any other guided hiking group getting fruit after their meal and they were envious of us :) They provide all the meals on the trek and we were always well fed.
Guides & Porters: Our guide was Shusil. He was a great GUY but not a very good GUIDE. He was very nice, polite, respectful, and funny when we talked to him, but in terms of a guide he was mediocre. He was always on his phone instead of talking to us during the hike and would walk at his own pace regardless of ours. Some days he was so far ahead of us we couldn't see him, another day he told us to go ahead and he would catch up only he never caught up until we got to our destination town! Also, we would have to ask him what the plan was for the next day (when to get up, how hard/long the day would be, etc.), or to tell us about the town or aspects of Nepalese culture. As a guide we would expect that he would tell us these things without us having to prompt him (I mean, that's what he's getting paid for, right? The Annapurna circuit is for the most part a very clearly marked trekking trail). Lastly, we could only understand about ~60% of what he was saying. Our porters were Buwan and Bishnu, who were great! Always had a smile on their face and always joking around with us. Even though their English was limited, we found a way to understand each other :) On our trip by the end we found that we were talking to our porters more than our guide.
Miscellanous: My favourite thing about AME trekking company is that they are always trying to improve their services. At the end of our trek Tika took us out for our "Feed Back" dinner. He genuinely wanted our constructive criticism to improve the company. Unfortunately, we had to let him know about our experience with our guide (shushil) and if anything he was gracious for our feed back. He let us know that he would speak to Shusil and actions would be taken to improve his service and apologized on his behalf. He also reinforced that our expectations in a guide were not unreasonable. There was another couple at our feedback dinner who had just done the Everest Base Camp trek and they had a great guide, so I think we just had bad luck and our guide is not a reflection of the company.
Verdict: I would definitely recommend AME trekking company to my family and friends (just not the guide that we had!). They provide excellent service at a reasonable cost. They also have extra add on services (cookies with tea, fruit after dinner, welcome dinner and feedback dinner) that make them truly personable. My sister, friend and I truly LOVE Tika! He is so nice and such a gentlemen. We truly felt like he cared about our experience and is always trying to improve his company. Also, his English is amazing!
I (eventually) want to do Everest Base Camp and would not hesitate to go with AME treks again :)
Visited May 2014