- Roam narrow alleyways in bustling Kathmandu and discover Durbar Square
- Watch the sun set on Mount Everest and Lhotse from Kala Patthar viewpoint
- Learn about Sherpa culture
- Sip tea or coffee at one of the world's highest markets, Namche Bazaar
- Helicopter to ground zero for all Everest expeditions: the foot of Khumbu Ice Fall
|Day 1||Welcome to Kathmandu!||Kathmandu|
|Day 2||Explore Kathmandu||Kathmandu|
|Day 3||Fly from Kathmandu to Lukla, Trek to Phakding (8,563 ft / 2,610 m)||Phakding|
|Day 4||Phakding to Namche Bazaar (11,290 feet / 3,440 m)||Namche Bazaar|
|Day 5||Acclimatization day in Namche Bazaar||Namche Bazaar|
|Day 6||Namche Bazaar to Tengboche (12,687 feet / 3,867 m)||Tengboche|
|Day 7||Tengboche to Dingboche (14,304 feet / 4,360 m)||Dingboche|
|Day 8||Acclimatization day in Dingboche (14,304 feet / 4,360 m)||Dingboche|
|Day 9||Dingboche to Lobuche (16,175 feet / 4,930 m)||Lobuche|
|Day 10||Lobuche to Gorak Shep (17,594 feet / 5,364 m), Hike to Everest Base Camp||Gorak Shep|
|Day 11||Kalapatthar, Return to Lobuche (16,207 feet / 4,939 m)||Lobuche|
|Day 12||Lobuche to Pangboche (13,074 ft / 3,985 m)||Pangboche|
|Day 13||Helicopter from Namche Bazaar to Kathmandu via Everest Base Camp||Kathmandu|
|Day 14||Depart Kathmandu|
Day 1: Welcome to Kathmandu!
Flying into Kathmandu, you'll have views over the valley, the Himalaya, and the terraced fields below. After completing customs, a representative will be waiting to greet you outside the airport and to guide you through the initial culture shock of Kathmandu’s narrow, winding streets to your hotel.
Once you've settled in, head out and explore the city. Kathmandu Durbar Square is a great place to start your exploration, where you'll walk through narrow alleyways teeming with small shops, ancient temples, and local restaurants. If you want to stretch your legs, Swayambhunath, the white stupa rising above the valley, is the perfect spot to catch the sunset over the valley.
In the evening, the tourist hub of Thamel is a good place to grab your first meal, with a variety of restaurants to chose from offering both Western and local Nepali dishes.
Day 2: Explore Kathmandu
Kathmandu has a special atmosphere during the early morning hours when the city is slowly coming to life yet not too chaotic. It's a great time to walk and explore the streets or have a chai overlooking one of the local courtyards or durbar squares.
After breakfast, there are then a number of ways you can spend your day given the myriad famous sights around the Kathmandu Valley. You can use this as a free day or you can utilize a local English-speaking guide who knows the city well and can explain the history and significance of the sights (along with a private jeep to take you around).
In the evening, head out for dinner at one of the city's great eateries, or your specialist can arrange a home-cooked dinner with a local family.
Day 3: Fly from Kathmandu to Lukla, Trek to Phakding (8,563 ft / 2,610 m)
After breakfast, you'll fly to Lukla (a 30-minute jaunt) and land on the steep mountain runway that brings you to the start of your trek. Try to get a window seat on the left-hand side of the plane and keep your camera close: the flight takes you between mountains and through valleys, with great views of the Himalaya on clear days.
Your first day on the trail is intentionally easy, enabling you to get used to the higher elevation. Today you'll trek a short distance through local villages where you'll likely encounter fellow trekkers, locals, and yaks with their tinkling bells. Continue through the Dudh Koshi Valley on a well-marked trail and stay overnight in Phakding.
Trekking time: 3-4 hours (4.7 miles / 7.5 km)
Day 4: Trek from Phakding to Namche Bazaar (11,290 feet / 3,440 m)
After breakfast in Phakding, you'll start a steady and steep incline towards Namche. This is a challenging day as you'll start to feel the altitude. The route also consists of a number of high suspension bridges over the Dudh Kosi River that you need to cross.
Just beyond the village of Monjo is the entrance to the Sagarmatha National Park, which was set-up in order to protect and preserve the fragile mountain environment (your guide will cover your permit fees here). The trail gets steeper along the way, and if the weather is clear, you will get the first glimpses of Mount Everest.
When you arrive at Namche, settle into your accommodations and explore the town. Namche is a great place to stock up on supplies as there are numerous small shops selling snacks and trekking gear, as well as restaurants and bars. If here on a weekend, check out the Saturday market—a meeting place for the Hindu traders from the lowlands and the Tibetan yak caravans that have crossed the glaciated Nangpa La.
Trekking time: 4-6 hours (4.6 miles / 7.4 km)
Day 5: Acclimatization day in Namche Bazaar
Today is a rest day so take time to relax and sleep in. Namche is tucked away between two ridges amid the giant peaks of the Khumbu and has an abundance of lodges, tea shops, and souvenir markets. It is an ideal place to spend a day acclimatizing to the higher altitude.
To speed up the acclimatization process, you can also head to the Khunde Hospital set-up by Sir Edmund Hillary, or take a highly-recommended one-hour walk up to the Everest View Hotel above Namche for views of notable peaks like Ama Dablam, Nuptse, Lhotse, and Everest. There are also good views from the Sherpa Culture Museum just above the town.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 6: Trek from Namche Bazaar to Tengboche (12,687 feet / 3,867 m)
After breakfast in Namche, you'll follow the trail along the side of the valley high above the Dudh Kosi River. You'll get your first views of the Khumbu region's giant peaks: Mount Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, and Ama Dablam. Pass by several villages and numerous tea shops, and descend steeply to a bridge over the river at Phunki Tenga. The village is an ideal stopover for lunch and you can rest before making the steep climb to Tengboche.
Although this next zigzag path is tiring, your views will include beautiful rhododendron forests, colorful birds, and superb mountain scenery. Tengboche is famous for its legendary monastery, the largest in Khumbu, and a spectacular panorama of the aforementioned peaks can be seen from where you'll stop for the night.
Trekking time: 4-5 hours (5.7 miles / 9.2 km)
Day 7: Trek from Tengboche to Dingboche (14,304 feet / 4,360 m)
After breakfast, take some extra time to enjoy the scenery around Tengboche Monastery before you start today's journey. With mountains in the background, the monastery looks even more beautiful in the morning sunlight.
Once you set out, choose the upper trail for better views on the way to Pangboche village where you'll pass several stupas, Mani walls, and small villages. Stop for lunch at a place that serves delicious food with a fantastic close-up view of Mount Ama Dablam.
In the afternoon, walk north to Pheriche or take the eastward trail beneath the towering north face of Ama Dablam. From here, the walk is fairly moderate as you enter the Imja Valley, which gradually unfolds as you approach the confluence of the Lobuche River. Descend towards the river and begin the last and steepest climb of the day up to Dingboche.
On arrival, you will see a stunning set of fields enclosed by stone walls to protect barley, buckwheat, and potatoes from the cold winds and grazing animals.
Trekking time: 3-4 hours (6.7 miles / 10.8 km)
Day 8: Acclimatization day in Dingboche (14,304 feet / 4,360 m)
Today is your second acclimatization day of the trip, so sleep in and relax. Enjoy breakfast with great views of Ama Dablam to the south. To better appreciate numerous other peaks visible from Dingboche, you can climb the ridge behind the village. This is an ideal (and easy) acclimatizing excursion allowing you to see three of the world's six highest peaks: Mount Lhotse, Mount Makalu, and Mount Cho Yu. Meanwhile, look west to see the peaks of Lobuche, Cholatse, and Taboche.
In the afternoon, you can relax in the village checking out the lodges, a bakery, a handful of shops, and even an internet café.
Day 9: Trek from Dingboche to Lobuche (16,175 feet / 4,930 m)
After breakfast in Dingboche, you'll continue trekking up a wide valley beneath the impressive peaks of Cholatse and Tawache on the left. Then, turn right and take a steep climb towards the foot of the Khumbu Glacier.
The teahouse at Duglha is a good spot to have lunch. From here, the trail zigzags through the boulders of the glacier's terminal moraine. At the top of this climb, there are many stone cairns built as memorials to Sherpas who have died while climbing Mount Everest. From here, the path climbs gently along the glacier to eventually reach a cluster of houses at Lobuche.
Trekking time: 6-7 hours (7.5 miles / 12 km)
Day 10: Trek from Lobuche to Gorak Shep (17,594 feet / 5,364 m), Hike to Everest Base Camp
After breakfast, you'll trek along the moraine of the Khumbu Glacier. Ahead, you'll see the crest of the north ridge of Everest along with Pumori, Mahalangur, Lingtern, Khumbutse, and Nuptse. A small ascent takes you to Thangma Riju where you can admire panoramic views and then ascend on a steep trail to the top of Changri Glacier.
When you reach Gorak Shep, you'll be surrounded by the Himalaya. Take some time to rest and enjoy the views before you continue toward Everest Base Camp. Once you get to the starting point of the world’s tallest mountain, take photos, explore the camps and surroundings, then trek back to Gorak Shep for the night.
Trekking time: 6-7 hours
Day 11: Trek to Kalapatthar, Return to Lobuche (16,207 feet / 4,939 m)
Today, you'll prepare for an early morning rise and departure, amid pre-dawn darkness and cold temperatures. Dress extra warm as there is the potential for chilly winds which are quite common at this elevation.
You'll begin to see familiar peaks such as Lingtren, Khumbutse, and Changtse tower to the east as the highest mounting in the world begins to reveal itself. Upon reaching Kalapatthar, you'll get a 360-degree close-up view of formidable Mount Everest. Take time for photos and enjoy the magnificent mountain panorama before you return to Gorak Shep and continue to Lobuche where you'll stay the night.
Day 12: Trek from Lobuche to Pangboche (13,074 ft / 3,985 m)
After breakfast in Lobuche, you'll begin a mostly downhill trek to Pangboche. Retrace your steps and descend to Pheriche, where you'll arrive at The Himalayan Rescue Association—a trekker’s aid post and worth a visit.
Stop for lunch and then cross the Khumbu Khola on a wooden suspension bridge. From here, follow the Imja Khola to the village of Pangboche.
Trekking time: 5-6 hours (9.9 miles / 16 km)
Day 13: Helicopter from Namche Bazaar to Kathmandu via Everest Base Camp
Today, you'll explore the Everest region by helicopter. After an early breakfast, you'll be picked up in Namche for a private helicopter tour of the Himalaya. You'll get aerial views of Ama Dablam, Thamserku, Kantega, Lhotse, Nuptse, and stop at Everest Base Camp before flying all the way back to Kathmandu.
Upon arrival in Kathmandu, you'll be transferred to your hotel and can enjoy the rest of the afternoon and evening on your own, seeing anything you may have missed at the beginning of your trip.
Day 14: Depart Kathmandu
It's time to say farewell to Nepal. Enjoy your last moments in Kathmandu with breakfast in a café, a final stroll through the narrow alleys and temples, and some souvenir shopping. A driver will be waiting for you at your hotel to take you to the airport for your return flight home. It's best to be at the airport at least two hours prior to departure.