- Relax at a resort in the countryside of Kathmandu
- Hike past forests and waterfalls along the Dudh Kosi Valley
- Stop in towns along your trek to visit monasteries and markets
- Ascend all the way up to Ama Dablam Base Camp and the summit of Kala Patthar
- Explore some of Kathmandu's most important holy sites
|Day 1||Arrive in Kathmandu||Haatiban Resort|
|Day 2||Hike to Champa Devi||Champa Devi|
|Day 3||Fly to Lukla||Lukla|
|Day 4||Trek to Monjo||Monjo|
|Day 5||Trek to Namche Bazaar||Namche|
|Day 6||Trek to Mende via Thame||Mende|
|Day 7||Trek to Tashinga||Tashinga|
|Day 8||Trek to Tengboche and onto Pangboche||Pangboche|
|Day 9||Acclimatize and excursion to Ama Dablam Base Camp||Pangboche|
|Day 10||Trek to Pheriche||Pheriche|
|Day 11||Trek to Lobuche||Lobuche|
|Day 12||Ascend Kala Patthar||Kala Patthar|
|Day 13||Descend to Pheriche||Pheriche|
|Day 14||Trek to Tashinga||Pangboche|
|Day 15||Trek to Monjo||Monjo|
|Day 16||Trek to Lukla||Lukla|
|Day 17||Fly to Kathmandu||Kathmandu|
|Day 18||Boudhanath & Pashupatinath||Kathmandu|
|Day 19||Depart from Kathmandu|
Day 1: Drive to Kathmandu Countryside
Get ready for your first day in Nepal! After arriving in Kathmandu, your English-speaking guide will drive you through scenic rural highlands to Haatiban Resort, which literally translates to "Elephant Forest." Located in the southwest of the Kathmandu Valley roughly 1,300 feet above the namesake city, Haatiban offers stunning views from above as well as full resort amenities nestled into a peaceful pine forest. Haatiban's location also makes it convenient to access hikes to nearby villages, where you can visit Buddhist monasteries and Hindu temples. Away from the bustle of Kathmandu, you can acclimate, rest, and prepare for your upcoming treks.
Day 2: Hike to Champadevi
Start the day off early with your first hike, which will last for about 3-4 hours. Your destination will be Champa Devi Hill (7,500 feet), a vantage point that allows you to see the entirety of the eastern Himalayas up to Mount Manaslu. The view is especially beautiful in the spring and fall. If you have enough energy, you can also hike an additional two hours up to a higher point.
In the afternoon, return to your hotel and take a break. Alternatively, you can go with a local guide to visit Pharping and Dakshinkali, two charming nearby villages.
Day 3: Flight to Lukla
Transfer to Lukla (9,000 feet) and check in at the Summit Lodge. Eat an early lunch, then trek up to Bom Danda (9,843 feet), a small, high-altitude village. Along the way, see the famous Lukla airfield and watch planes take off and land in one of the region's only aviation centers. Once you reach Bom Danda, take some time to enjoy the calm atmosphere before heading back to the lodge for dinner.
Day 4: Trek to Monjo
Enjoy breakfast and take off right at the crack of dawn. By starting today's hike early, you will avoid larger groups of trekkers and porters that depart from Kathmandu and get more space to enjoy the breathtaking views. Pass by Sherpa settlements and gaze down at the Dudh Kosi Valley, which contains one of the world's highest rivers, before completing the first two hours of the trek and stopping at the village of Phakding (8,700 feet).
After a quick lunch break, continue on for approximately three more hours to the village of Monjo (9,350 feet). There, you can wind down in a colorful teahouse and join other trekkers and porters from all walks of life.
Day 5: Trek to Namche Bazaar
From Monjo, trek up steeper ground to Namche, a journey that will take about three hours. Pass through the gates of Sagarmatha National Park at Jorsale, complete the entry requirements, then continue until you reach the confluence of the Imja Drangka and the Nangpo Drangpo, the two branches of the Dudh Kosi River. Cross the river via a hanging bridge, then start climbing the adjacent hill. Once you've climbed to the halfway point, the first views of Mt. Everest and Lhotse will gradually appear in the distance. The rest of the climb then flattens out until you reach Namche.
Namche is the largest and most well-established village in the Khumbu region. On a clear day, you can see Thamserku (21,713 feet) and Kwangde (20,420 feet) to the east and west, and the towering sacred mountain of Khumbila (18,724 feet) to the north. Stroll along the narrow streets and experience both old and new in Namche. Sherpa homes exist side-by-side with cafes, handicraft stalls, and climbing rental shops. Here, you can find for sale everything from traditional vegetables to packaged snacks, from tennis shoes to Tibetan boots. Make sure to sip on a soothing cup of tea and take time to recover from your hike, then check in to your hotel for the night.
Day 6: Trek to Mende via Thame
After breakfast in Namche, head north-west along the Nangpo Drangpo Valley (Bhote Khosi). This route offers great views of Kwangde and its iconic cascading waterfalls. Higher into the trail, you will pass through a rhododendron forest that blooms in the spring. Keep your eyes peeled for the colorful Impeyan Pheasant, Nepal's national bird, and various small deer. Trek past the village of Thamo until you reach Thame (12,470 feet), one of the trail's most picturesque villages.
Thame's array of houses and fields are set to a backdrop of massive snow-capped peaks. Be sure to check out the house at the top of the village which once belonged to Tenzing Norgay, who, along with Sir Edmund Hillary, was the first to reach the summit of Mt. Everest in 1953. Then, trek another hour out to the monastery (12,927 feet), one of the oldest in the vicinity featuring an impressive main temple. Finally, walk back to Mende along a less-strenuous trail that flattens out to an altitude of 12,631 feet.
Day 7: Trek to Tashinga
Today, descend back down the valley and merge onto the main trail back in the direction of Namche. Cross over the Kyajo Khola and follow along a high-altitude trail that passes by the top of Syangboche and descends down to Khunde. If there is time in Khunde, you can visit the local clinic and the Sir Edmund Hillary Khumjung School, the first modern school built in the Himalayas. Today, both institutions are supported by the Himalayan Trust. In nearby Khumjung, you can also stop at a small gompa (monastery) that is said to contain the head of a yeti, which you can see for a small donation fee.
Once you are back on the trail, descend from Khumjung and gaze upon scattered stupas that frame a stunning view of Kangtaiga (22,241 feet), Everest, Lhotse, and Nuptse. Walk through walled fields, a rhododendron forest, and a blue pine forest to the village of Tashinga, where you will spend the night.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 8: Trek to Tengboche and Pangboche
In the morning, descend to the river before reaching the diagonally-sloping path that leads towards the famous monastery of Tengboche across the valley. After a 30-minute to one-hour descent along a steep, winding trail back down to the Dudh Kosi River, cross a suspension bridge sitting between an imposing overhanging cliff (10,499 feet). Stop at the small village of Phunki Tenga for a cup of tea before continuing onto the monastery. Climb up a steep incline shaded by pine forest and at the top, emerge through the mandala gateway to see the gompa.
Take some time to appreciate the magical and awe-inspiring monastery grounds, much of which was rebuilt by the Sir Edmund Hillary Trust after a recent fire. Then, descend to Deboche and visit a local nunnery before crossing another bridge and trekking ahead to Ama Dablam. Here, you can see the oldest regional monastery which dates as far back to the first introduction of Buddhism into the Khumbu. Your total trekking time today is four to five hours. Stay overnight at a lodge in Pangboche.
Day 9: Excursion to Ama Dablam Base Camp
After crossing the Imja Drangka River, ascend gradually to the mountain ridge at Lhabarma. Walk along the foothill and glance up at Ama Dablam (22,349 feet), one of the most admired mountains in Khumbu. Ama Dablam Base Camp (5,013 feet) rests alongside an open yak pasture on the mountain's west face. From here, you can look up the south-west ridge to your right and spot a moving, hanging glacier.
From Base Camp, you can also see Kan Tega (22,254 feet), Thamserku (21,712 feet) and Tawoche (21,463 feet). If your trip coincides with the main climbing season, you may even be able to spot experienced climbers attempting to conquer the 60-degree ice slopes from the summit with some binoculars. Towards the end of the day, return to Pangboche.
Day 10: Trek to Pheriche
Depart Pangboche on a path that takes you into new, desolate territory where the only signs of human life are a few cottages and walled fields. Reach Orsho, cross a stream, and get ready for the final steep ascent to Pheriche, a village surrounded on all side by mountains. Pheriche is known for possibly being the highest barley-growing area in the world, where the crop is harvested during summer months. Your total trekking time today is four to five hours. Go for a village walk if you are not too burnt out, and receive a warm welcome at a small teahouse, where you will stay the night.
Day 11: Trek to Lobuche
This morning, you'll start on a five- to six-hour trek. Ascend along the ridge to the chorten (monastery) beyond Dingboche village and continue on through a grassland plateau. Get stunning views of Tawoche and Cholatse as well as the village of Pheriche in the valley below. Stop briefly at the hamlet of Duglha and encounter the terminal moraine, which sits at the base of Khumbu Glacier and is distinguished by a jumble of rocks. Ascend the moraine, passing along memorial cairns to fallen climbers, as the terrain becomes increasingly rugged and high-altitude.
Hike further along a frozen stream until you reach a group of rural houses at Lobuche. A summer yak-grazing outpost-turned-trekking-base, Lobuche now operates year round and is a popular stopping point on the route to Everest Base Camp and Kala Patthar. Explore your surroundings and walk around the moraine as you gaze upon an imposing glacier. As your day comes to a close, watch the sunset behind Nupste illuminate the surrounding mountains.
Day 12: Ascend Kala Patthar
Leave Lobuche and head northeast along the face of the Khumbu Glacier. The climb becomes increasingly difficult, as the ground here is almost completely rocky and devoid of vegetation. Keep your eyes out for Tibetan snow cocks, known for their distinctive call that resonates through the hills. After some more ascents and descents, head down to Gorak Shep to recharge with a cup of warm tea and a light snack.
After another challenging ascent that will last around two to three hours, you will finally reach the summit of Kala Patthar. At 8,188 feet, this will be the highest point of the trek! Get a breathtaking panoramic view of Everest and the other Himalayan icons of Pumori (32,441 feet), Changtse (14,767 feet), Nuptse, and Lhotse. If you are hiking in-season during the spring, base camp is just below the Khumbu Glacier.
Day 13: Descend to Pheriche
Today, you will complete the trip to Everest Base Camp, which can be accomplished through a direct trek that will take another eight to nine hours. Alternatively, you can head back down to Lobuche and continue to descend to Dughla. Then, instead of returning to Dingboche, descend to the bottom of the valley and continue onwards through flatter terrain to Pheriche. Stay the night before starting your official descent.
Day 14: Trek to Tashinga
This morning's hike will be a chance to take it easy, as you will descend into drastically lower altitudes along much of the same route as your previous ascent. From Pheriche, descend into the valley of the Imja Khola past Orsho and into Pangboche along a moderate trail. Quickly check out the gompa at Pangboche if you didn't get a chance last time, and continue your descent over a bridge and through a forest to Thyangboche, where you may spot native musk deer and pheasants.
After reaching Thyangboche, descend to the river at Phungithanga and climb slightly through swaths of pine trees up to Tashinga, the final destination for today. Here, Tibetan traders thrive, the temperature is pleasant, and oxygen in the air is plentiful.
Day 15: Trek to Monjo
Today, you will finally return to the lowlands after your last high-altitude treks. Set in a backdrop that offers amazing views of Thamserku and Kangtaiga, you will descend into Namche below and get a chance to visit the local market. Depending on the day, the markets may be bustling with activity as different groups of people gather. Stalls sell everything from rice, eggs, and beer to shoes, kitchen pots, and CDs — all of which used to be carried up by porters before the market was established. If you arrive on a Saturday, you can watch as Sherpas come in from distant villages to stock up on supplies and replenish the tea houses.
Later in the afternoon, continue your descent into the warmer valley and shed a few layers of clothing. The trek is relatively relaxing, and eventually, you will be back in the Dudh Kosi Valley. Pass your last checkpoint for the day at Jorsale and stop at Monjo.
Day 16: Trek to Lukla
On your final, bittersweet hike of the trip, trek to Lukla and get one last chance to cherish the hills of the Khumbu and the surrounding village scenery. Follow the main trail to get to Chablung, and go above the village of Chaunrikharka towards the direction of Lukla following a series of signs beyond the stream. On your climb uphill towards the left, the trail widens as you pass the scrub forests, school, and local houses of Chaunrikharka.
Finally, at the new settlement of Tamang Tole, you will conquer your last steep uphill climb. The airport is only a short distance away, and once you arrive, enjoy a beer and look back at how far you've come!
Day 17: Fly to Kathmandu
Today, you will fly back to Kathmandu. Keep in mind that flights into Lukla may be delayed due to weather conditions due to excess fog or wind, and that staff in both Lukla and Kathmandu are available to address any inconveniences. Since your last day in Kathmandu is relatively free, the slight chance of a flight delay should not throw you too much off schedule. Once you arrive in Kathmandu, you will be picked up and transferred to your hotel.
Day 18: Boudhanath & Pashupatinath Sightseeing
On your last day in Nepal, explore Pashupatinath and Boudhanath in Kathmandu. Pashupati, an extremely important holy site for Hindus all around the world, sits on the banks of the Bagmati River. The temple is dedicated to Shiva, one of the most widely worshipped gods in Nepal that many see as the nation's patron deity.
Boudhanath, also known as Khasti Chitya, is one of the oldest stupas in the country and is associated with the Tibetan community that settled in the area following China's Cultural Revolution in 1959. If you happen to visit on a holy day according to the lunar calendar, watch as Boudhanath lights up in the night, making for a dazzling sight.
After visiting the two holy sites, wander around the neighborhood surrounding Boudhanath and encounter an authentic, eclectic blend of cultures and traditions. Take the rest of the day to check out other sights in Kathmandu, relax, and pack for your flight back tomorrow.
Day 19: Departure
Say goodbye to Nepal and head back home with newfound memories! You'll be transferred to the airport in Kathmandu for your international flight.