Nepal – Classic Everest Base Camp
Since the first ascent by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in 1953 (or were it Mallory and Irvine in 1924 ?) Mount Everest is the most famous mountain in the world. This giant is surrounded by other peaks like Lhotse, Makalu and Cho Oyu that also attract many climbers from all over the world.
Most travellers however stick to a challenging trek to the Everest Base Camp. Trekking to Base Camp offers you astounding mountainviews and opportunities to get a glimpse into the life of the Sherpas. Although it is probably the most popular trek in Nepal and many people of all ages walk up to Base Camp, you should be in good shape and should not underestimate the effect of the altitude on your body.
Straight to Everest Base Camp
The Everest Explorer is our most straightforward trek to Everest Base Camp, starting from the airstrip of Lukla at 2850m. After a spectaculair mountain flight you meet up with your private guide and porter(s) who will be your ever-smiling company for the next days.
Gradually you climb up to Namche Bazaar, the unofficial Sherpa-capital, where you will spent a full day acclimatising. Namche is a the main trading center in the Khumbu-region and is spread out over the hillsides, with a lot of lodges and shops.
From Namche you follow the main trail that leads up to Base Camp. You walk along the rushing water of the Dudh Khosi to themonastery of Tengboche with amazing views on Ama Dablam. Passing the villages of Dingboche and Lobuche, you will finally reach Gorakshep, near the moraine of the Khumbu Glacier. This is the highest point you will sleep during this trek, at around 5100m. From Ghorakshep most trekkers walk on to Basecamp in the afternoon and make the tough climb up to Kala Pattar (5545m), one of the most iconic viewpoints in the Himalaya. After this climb you will make your way down again to Namche and Lukla, full of unforgettable memories.
This Everest Base Camp Trek can be easily extended with some relaxing sightseeing days in Kathmandu Valley or a visit to Chitwan National Park. If you have more time you can also trek to Everest via the Gokyo Lakes, crossing the Renjo La and the Cho La.
Contact us for a tailormade offer.
This is a sample itinerary that can be easily adapted to your wishes and suggestions. We include 2 days of acclimatisation in Namche and Dingboche to make your ascent to more than 5000m more succesful.
Day 1: Kathmandu
Arrive in Kathmandu International Airport where you will be met by our representative. He will bring you to your designated hotel in the center of Kathmandu. Depending on the time of arrival one of our guides will take you for a citywalk or even up to the monkey temple of Swayambunath. In the evening you have a welcome diner with our local crew.
Day 2: Kathmandu
Although Kathmandu has a growing population and is sometimes very polluted, it still remains a nice place to spend a couple of days visiting some of the cultural highlights.
A local guide will take you first to Pashupatinath, the most important Hindu-temple of Nepal. Entering the inner timple is not allowed to non-hindus, but from the opposite side of the river you will have a good view on the whole temple site. Pashupatinath is famous for the cremation ‘ghats’ where every day corpses are cremated. You can witness these open air cremations ceremonies from the riverside.
Your next stop throws you back in ancient Tibetan times. The giant stupa of Bodnath is one of the iconic images of Nepal. Buddhist pilgrims from all over the subcontinent come to Bodnath to make a kora (ritual circumnavigation) while making their prayers. The streets around the stupa are full of monasteries and Tibetan shops. It is a nice place to have lunch on one of the rooftop terraces and see the Tibetan community in their daily life.
After lunch you go for a visit of the central area of Old Kathmandu with the famous Durbar Square and you can walk back through the bustling medieval shopping streets to your hotel.
Day 3: Lukla and trek to Phakding
A short flight takes you from Kathmandu to the airstrip of Lukla (2800m) from where you start with a gentle day up and down to Phakding at 2850m (3 hours walk).
Day 4: Trek to Namche Bazaar
Today the real trek starts to get to Namche Bazaar. You follow the Dudh Khosi valley, cross many suspension bridges and finally climb through the pines to Toktok with has nice views on Thamserkhu (6608m). I will take 4 more hours of going up and down via Chumao and Monjo, ending with a tough climb up to Namche Bazaar (3420m).
Day 5: Acclimatisation Day in Namche Bazaar
Most trekkers take an acclimatisation day in Namche Bazaar and go for a sidewalk to adjust better to the altitude. Your guide can take you on a short trip to the village of Chorkung (3540), or even on a full day trip to Thame (3970m) and Khumjung(3780m). Namche is the main centre of the Khumbu region and has shops, restaurants, lodges, internet cafes… and a colourful weekly Sherpa market. In theTourist Visitor Center near the headquarters of the Sagarmatha National Park, you can observe a collection of objects related to the first ascents of Mount Everest and the Sherpa culture.
Day 6: Trek to Tengboche
After breakfast you follow a smooth trail up and down with great views of Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, Ama Dablam and a close up view of Thamserku. After another bridge over the Dudh Khosi you climb up through the pine forests to Tengboche (3870m), a village which has the biggest buddhist monastery in the Khumbu-region.
Day 7: Trek to Dingboche
Get up early for the views on the monastery with the white mountains in the background! Along several mani walls and chorten you head north in the direction of the Imja Valley. It will take about 6 hours and some steep climbs to finally reachDingboche at 4360m.
Day 8: Acclimatisation Day in Dingboche
Although many trekkers continu onwards immediately, we advise you to take another rest- and acclimatisation day in Dingboche. You can explore the villages of Dingboche and Pheriche, but a very good acclimatisation walk goes up toChhukung (4730) at the head of the Imja-valley and the approach to Island Peak. Chhukung is surrounded by glaciers and mountains and, even by Khumbu standards, the views are amazing.
Day 9: Trek to Dughla
As it is a short day today, you can enjoy your breakfast in Dingboche with views on Ama Dablam. Later you walk about 3 hours to the small settlement of Dughla at 4620m.
Day 10: Trek to Lobuche
From Dughla you first follow the terminal moraine of the Khumbu Glacier, passing some memorials for famous climbers who lost their lives on Everest. Views on the perfect Pumori (7165m) an on the trail leading to the Chola pass are possible from here. Finally you arrive in Lobuche (4930m), once a summer settlement for shepherds, but now catering mainly for the trekking business.
Day 11. Trek to Gorak Shep and Everest Base Camp / Kala Pattar
A quite adventurous trail goes through the lateral moraine of the Khumbu glacier with views on the north ridge of Everest along with Mt. Pumori, Mahalangur, Lingtern, Khumbutse and Nuptse. A small ascent takes you to Thangma Riju with a perfect 360° degree view on snowy peaks. Normally you reach Ghorak Shep (5160m) for lunch, so you will have time to continue to Everest Base Camp in the afternoon or to climb up to the top of Kala Pattar (5545m)
Day 12: Trek to Kala Pattar / Everest Base Camp and descent to Pheriche
It’s best to leave very early if you want to catch the first rays of sun on the top of Kala Pattar, a 2 hour climb up to 5545m. It will be very cold (-10°C to even lower) in the early morning so be prepared for that. Once on the top, you will be rewarded however with one of the most spectacular sights in the world on giants like Pumori, Lobuche West, Nuptse, Lhotse and of course eternal Everest.
If you have been to Kala Pattar the day before you can take the walk to Everest Base Camp from Gorak Shep.
Early afternoon, you start the descent to Pheriche. After having been on altitudes over 5000m, descending mostly goes much quicker.
Day 13: Trek to Kyangjuma
Following the trail down along a scenic valley, you reach Pangboche and cross the bridhe over the Imja Khola. With a short break near the monastery of Tengboche, you make a final descent to the village of Kyangjuma (3570m, 6 hours)
Day 14: Trek to Monjo
A lot of trekkers stay in Namche again on the way back from Everest Base Camp, but we prefer to avoid the crowd and descent a bit further down to Monjo (2840m), a much quieter place than Namche to spent the last real night in the Khumbu (6 hours).
Day 15: Trek to Lukla
The final stage of your trek brings you down the airport of Lukla again, walking slightly up and down through forests, terraced fiels and small sherpa villages. The day ends with a final 45 minutes ascent to Lukla (4 hours).
Day 16: Fly to Kathmandu
Early in the morning you catch a flight back to Kathmandu. Upon arrival transfer to your hotel and a free afternoon to enjoy a good shower, a cold beer and everything else that Kathmandu has to offer.
Day 17: Free day in Kathmandu – optional excursions
You can enjoy a free day in Old Kathmandu, strolling through the town, visiting old templesquares and modern shops. If you like to see some more of the rich Nepali culture, we can take you to Bhaktapur, the 2nd royal city of the Valley, for a day-trip.
In case of flight delays in Lukla, this day can also be used a spare day.
Day 18: Fly home
Visa and formalities Nepal
For entering Nepal you need a valid pasport and a visum.
Visa can be easily obtained in Thribuvan Airport Kathmandu upon arrival. You just need 1 pasportsize picture, 1 visaform and some cash. Visa come for 15 days or 30 days.
Best Travel Period for Nepal
The best season for trekking and travelling in Nepal is from October to May*, depending of course of the altitude you’re on. For lower treks in the foothills of the Annapurna and in the Kathmandu-valley you can easily come for a Christmas holiday e.g. without having too cold. Higher up in the mountains the months of December to February can be really cold with temperatures dropping under -10°C -15°C at night.
October – November is the ‘classic’ main season for travelling in Nepal and on most trails you’re likely to meet other groups and people from different nationalities. The weather is fairly good with blue skies, lots of sun and mild temperatures. Normally you also get good views of the mountains.
Although winter really starts in December, it is a pleasant month to travel around in Nepal. In recent years the temperatures didn’t drop too low and there are less tourists than in October.
March and April are also very nice months for trekking and travelling in Nepal. Temperatures are rising, people are working on the fields planting new crops, nature is awakening after a long winter.
Some areas in Nepal like Dolpo and Mustang who are behind the main Himalayan range have a different season: they can be visited best between May and October.
What to bring to Nepal ?
For most of the classic trekkings and trips in Nepal you do not need any special equipment.
When you book a trip with us we provide you with an specific equipment list for your tour.
If you go on a cultural tour or only go for dayhikes in the lower hills, you can just wear light normal clothing as you would wear for a dayhike at home.
Following items however are essential if you go trekking in the mountains.
- Good sturdy walking boots, preferably waterproof
- Trekking trousers
- Warm Fleece and windstopper
- Thermal underwear for chilly nights and cold days
- Sleeping bag ( type depending on the type of trek – can be rented)
- Gloves /scarf / hat
- Daypack (40-50 liters)
- Sunglasses and sunscreen lotion
- Torch or headtorch
What’s included in your Nepal trip ?
As we work completely on a tailormade basis, we can offer you the full package or a basic trip with lots of personal freedom.
As most travellers however don’t have the time to organise everything themselves, most of our clients go for a full package.
All our Nepaltrips normally include:
- All airporttransfers in Kathmandu (international or domestic)
- Meet and greet by our local partners
- Welcome diner in Kathmandu
- Hotelnights with breakfast (as per your program)
- All transportation in a private vehicle with experienced driver
- Domestic flights (if in the program)
- Local cultural guide for sightseeing
- Full board (3 meals a day) while on trekking
- All necessary paperwork: TIMS, trekkingpermits, parktaxes
- Local trekking guide and enough porters for the luggage
- Insurance for guides and porters
- All necessary taxes
- 24/7 assistance of our local partner in Nepal
Although trekking to Everest Base Camp is very popular, it still is a high altitude trek above 5000m. Therefore you should bein good shape. Most people take some regular exercise before they come to Everest and go hiking or running several times a week to build up endurance. The fitter you are, the more likely you are going to enjoy this trek.
You will start this trek on more than 2800m. For most people a lot higher than where they normally live. You need to give your body the time to adapt to the altitude, having several days of acclimatisation and not pushing yourself to your limits.
In our itineraries we always include acclimatisation days where we offer a nice daywalk to a higher viewpoint, so your body can gradually adapt to the altitude. The ‘Climb High, Sleep Low’ principle is probably the best advice you can get. Refrain from alcohol on higher altitudes, drink enough water, try to sleep and rest when possible.
As you travel with a private guide and not in a group, there is no pressure on you: if you feel like having a day’s more rest, you can just do it. After all, it is supposed to be a holiday to enjoy the majestic beauty of the mountains.
Mountain Flights to / from Lukla
Sometimes flights to/from Lukla are delayed or even suspended due to weather conditions. Please allow some spare days in your travel schedule and don’t book your international flights on the same day as your domestic flights. Best is to take at least one spare day in Kathmandu (two is better). As we have good contacts we local airlines, we will try to put you on a next flight, but weather is unpredictable.
Sometimes helicopters are chartered on a shared basis by trekkers who are stuck in Lukla. This will come at an extra charge. You can try to reclaim this cost from your insurance company.