- Enjoy a thrilling helicopter ride to Everest Base Camp
- Stay in some of the most luxurious lodges in the Everest region
- Experience Sherpa culture in Namche Bazaar
- Trek to Thame, up a remote side-valley from the major Khumbu Valley
- Get amazing views of Everest, Lhotse, and Ama Dablam from Kongde
|Day 1||Arrive in 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||Trek from Phakding to Namche Bazaar (11,290 ft / 3,440 m)||Namche Bazaar|
|Day 5||Acclimatization Day in Namche Bazaar||Namche Bazaar|
|Day 6||Trek from Namche Bazaar to Thame||Thame|
|Day 7||Trek from Thame to Kongde (13,944 ft / 4,250 m)||Kongde|
|Day 8||Rest Day in Kongde or Day Hike to Farak Ri)||Kongde|
|Day 9||Heli Tour to Everest Base Camp, Fly to Kathmandu||Kathmandu|
|Day 10||Depart Kathmandu|
Day 1: Arrive in Kathmandu
Flying into Kathmandu, you'll have views over the valley, the Himalaya, and the terraced fields below. A representative will be waiting to greet you outside the airport and guide you through Kathmandu's narrow, winding streets to your hotel.
Once you've settled in, head out and explore the city. Kathmandu's 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 choose from offering both Western and local Nepali dishes.
Day 2: Explore Kathmandu: Swayambhunath, Pashupatinath, and Patan Durbar Square
This morning, you'll be picked up by an English-speaking guide for a full-day tour of the Kathmandu Valley, visiting three sacred sites: Swayambhunath, Pashupatinath, and Patan Durbar Square. This day fits quite a bit in—helpful for maximizing your time in Kathmandu—but doesn't overload you with too many sites. You can spend as much time as you like at each temple (this is a private tour just for you), although most people tend to spend an hour.
You'll return to your hotel in Kathmandu in the late afternoon to meet your trekking guide, who will go over the details for tomorrow's adventure.
Day 3: Fly from Kathmandu to Lukla, Trek to Phakding (8,563 ft / 2,610 m)
You'll fly to Lukla this morning and land on a steep mountain runway, which 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.
You'll then trek a short distance through local villages, where you'll likely encounter fellow trekkers, locals, and yaks with their tinkling bells. Having an easy first day is intentional, allowing time to get used to the higher elevation.
Continue through the Dudh Koshi Valley on a well-marked trail and stay overnight in Phakding.
Trekking time: 3 hours (4.7 miles / 7.5 km)
Day 4: Trek from Phakding to Namche Bazaar (11,290 ft / 3,440 m)
This morning, you'll start a steady and steep incline toward Namche Bazaar. This is a challenging day, as you'll start to feel the altitude. The route also consists of several high-suspension bridges over the Dudh Kosi River.
Just beyond the village of Monjo is the entrance to the Sagarmatha National Park, which was set up to protect and preserve the fragile mountain environment. The trail gets steeper along the way, and if the weather is clear, you will get your first glimpses of Mount Everest. After a steep hour-long climb, you'll arrive at the Sherpa capital of Namche Bazaar.
Namche is a great place to stock up on supplies as there are numerous small shops selling snacks, trekking gear, 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 crossing the glaciated Nangpa La.
Close to your lodge is the internationally known Museum of Sherpa Culture; the traditional villages of Kunde and Khumjung are a highly recommended half-day excursion. The lodge's location is superb, with a bird's eye view over Namche and across the valley to the serrated ridges of the Kongde range, while the magnificent peak of Thamserku rises as a backdrop. Just a short walk away is a classic view of Ama Dablam, one of Nepal's most beautiful mountains, and Lhotse and Everest.
This is an ideal place to spend the day acclimatizing to the new altitude.
Trekking time: 4-6 hours (4.6 miles / 7.4 km)
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 5: Acclimatization Day in Namche Bazaar
Today is a rest day to acclimatize to the higher altitude, 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. You could also 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.
Day 6: Trek from Namche Bazaar to Thame
After breakfast at the lodge, you'll start the day with a two- to three-hour walk through forests of spruce, juniper, and pine to the village of Thamo. Trekkers much less use this trail, and you'll immediately notice the difference. It is, however, an important trail that leads to Tibet via the Nangpa La on the shoulder of Cho Oyu (26,286 ft / 8,012 m). It is also the historical route that the Sherpas took when they migrated from eastern Tibet 800 years ago.
A lunch stop is made in Thamo, home to Ang Rita Sherpa, who holds the record for scaling Everest ten times without oxygen. After lunch, you'll continue walking for another two hours to arrive at a deep gorge where the Bhote Koshi River thunders through the narrow defile. You'll cross a sturdy bridge spanning the gorge to reach Thame (12,467 ft / 3,800 m).
This important village is the home of many famous mountaineers, including Tensing Norgay, the first man to reach the summit of Everest along with Sir Edmund Hillary. The village is picturesque and has a magnificent 16th-century Nyingmapa Gompa (monastery) built by Lama Rolwa Dorje.
Enjoy breathtaking views of Thamserku and Kusum Kanguru from your lodge tonight.
Trekking time: 3-4 hours
Day 7: Trek from Thame to Kongde (13,944 ft / 4,250 m)
Today begins the first of two tougher trekking days, both of which bring great rewards in terms of the outstanding Himalayan panoramas you'll see. You'll begin the day's trek with a 30-minute descent, then follow a trail on the south side of the Bhote Kosi River through the tiny village of Pare.
You'll then climb gradually through rhododendron, pine, and bamboo forests to arrive at the glacier of Kongde Peak, where you have stunning views of Everest, Lhotse, and Ama Dablam. This is a newer trail, and you are unlikely to see many other trekkers in this section. Although the trail is well built, it does cross some very steep ground, and there is one short section where cables are used as handrails to safeguard progress.
At Kongde, you'll settle into the lodge and then head outside for a walk to enjoy some of the best views in the Everest region. From atop Kongde, you'll have panoramic views of the entire Khumbu region and Everest, Ama Dablam, and other mighty Himalayan peaks.
Trekking time: 5-6 hours
Day 8: Rest Day in Kongde or Day Hike to Farak Ri
For those who wish to make the excursion to Farak Ri (16,404 ft / 5,000 m), it's an early start to make it to the top of the peak for sunrise. From the summit, you'll be treated to a panoramic view of the entire Khumbu Valley, including four of the six highest peaks in the world: Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, and Cho Oyu. Returning to Kongde, you'll have lunch on the terrace with views over Namche and Khumjung village. The rest of the day is free for relaxing or further walks in the area.
Day 9: Heli Tour to Everest Base Camp, Fly to Kathmandu
After an early breakfast, you'll be picked up in Kondge for a private helicopter tour in the Himalaya instead of trekking back the way you came. You'll get aerial views of Ama Dablam, Thamserku, Kantega, Lhotse, and Nuptse. Stop at Everest Base Camp, before flying 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 10: Depart Kathmandu
It's time to say farewell to Nepal! Enjoy your last moments in Kathmandu with breakfast in a café, a city stroll, or souvenir shopping. A representative will meet you at your hotel and drive you to the airport for your return flight home.