- Discover Kathmandu's famous temples and bazaars by rickshaw
- Enjoy a scenic six-day trek to Ama Dablam Base Camp
- Soar over Himalayan peaks and Everest Base Camp in a helicopter
- Tour Swayambhunath Stupa and Pashupatinath Temple in the Kathmandu Valley
|Day 1||Arrive in Kathmandu, Explore||Kathmandu|
|Day 2||Helicopter to Lukla, Trek to Phakding||Phakding|
|Day 3||Trek to Namche Bazaar||Namche Bazaar|
|Day 4||Acclimation Day in Namche Bazaar||Namche Bazaar|
|Day 5||Trek to Tengboche||Tengboche|
|Day 6||Trek to Pangboche||Pangboche|
|Day 7||Day Hike to Ama Dablam Base Camp||Pangboche|
|Day 8||Scenic Helicopter Flight to Kathmandu||Kathmandu|
|Day 9||Heritage Tour in Kathmandu & Patan||Kathmandu|
|Day 10||Depart Kathmandu|
Day 1: Arrive in Kathmandu, Explore
Welcome to Nepal! Touch down in Kathmandu, where your driver will be waiting to take you to your hotel. Settle in and then head out to explore Kathmandu independently. The capital is Nepal's historical and cultural heart, presenting a blend of Hinduism, Tibetan Buddhism, and Western influences.
In the evening, you'll meet a guide to tour Kathmandu by rickshaw. Visit UNESCO-listed Durbar Square for its ancient temples and palaces and then explore iconic Asan, a market square where five streets converge. Here, you can wander alleys lined with spice vendors and shops selling everything from vegetables to textiles and souvenirs. Afterward, return to your hotel for a Nepali dinner.
Day 2: Helicopter to Lukla, Trek to Phakding
Start the day with a 45-minute helicopter flight to the Himalayan town of Lukla, the starting point of your trek. The scenic flight takes you between mountains and valleys, offering showstopping views of the Himalaya on a clear day. Disembark in Lukla to begin your first three-hour hike to Phakding.
Pass through lush valleys bordered by forested mountains and alongside aqua rivers, the road curving through tiny hamlets marked with decorative prayer wheels. Along the way, you'll pass porters carrying huge loads on their backs, caravans of yaks with tinkling bells, and smiling villagers. Settle into your tea house and enjoy a big meal and an early night.
Day 3: Trek to Namche Bazaar
After breakfast in Phakding, you'll start a steady and steep incline toward Namche Bazaar. Along the way, the scenery transforms from fields of flowers and cabbages to a river valley littered with boulders, then up through a pine forest and across dizzying suspension bridges that span the Dhudh Kosi River. This is a challenging day, as you'll start to feel the altitude kick in.
Just beyond the village of Monjo, you'll reach the entrance to the Sagarmatha National Park (Sagarmatha is the local name for Everest), established to protect and preserve the fragile mountain environment. Your guide will submit your permit and fees here before the final, steep ascent to Namche Bazaar. If the weather's clear, you'll get your first tantalizing glimpses of Mount Everest.
When you arrive at Namche, settle into your cozy teahouse and explore the town. Namche is a great place to stock up on supplies, with shops selling snacks and trekking gear. The town also has restaurants and bars where you can refuel while watching documentaries about Everest. If you pass through Namche on the 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.
Day 4: Acclimation Day in Namche Bazaar
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Spend today on an acclimation hike from Namche Bazaar, a necessary process that helps avoid altitude sickness. Climb through the cobbled streets of the town to a steep trail that ascends 1,500 feet (460 m) to Syangboche Airport and a farther 330 feet (100 m) up Syangboche Hill, reaching a viewpoint that lies 12,800 feet (3,900 m) above sea level. From here, you'll rest and take in the incredible mountain views.
If you have more energy, you can continue to the Everest View Hotel above Namche for sunset views of Ama Dablam, Nuptse, Lhotse, and Everest. Before returning to town, browse the nearby National Park Centre and Museum. Spend the rest of the day relaxing in a tea house or bakery, sipping hot tea and snacking on fat momos, accompanied by views of snow-capped peaks.
Day 5: Trek to Tengboche
Say goodbye to Namche Bazaar this morning and hit the trail again, following a curving path along the valley's edge, high above the Dhudh Kosi River. You'll catch an unobstructed glimpse of the world's highest peaks as you leave Namche. Continue through traditional Sherpa villages dotted with tea shops where you can stop for a warming cup of Nepali chiya (spiced milk tea).
Finally, you'll descend steeply over the river along another suspension bridge for a respite in the village of Phunki Tenga. Enjoy a carb-heavy lunch before tackling another steep climb as you zig and zag through shady rhododendron forests with high-altitude vistas. Finally, you'll arrive at Tengboche, home to a legendary Buddhist monastery, the largest in the Khumbu Region.
Day 6: Trek to Pangboche
After climbing to bare Tengboche, you'll descend steeply through a thick forest today. Cross over the Imja Khola River, part of the Dhudh Kosi tributary, to the village of Pangboche, which is situated directly opposite mighty Ama Dablam. From Pangboche, you'll enjoy stunning views of the mountain.
Take some time to visit Pangboche's Gompa, the oldest Tibetan monastery in the region. Founded in 1667, the monastery houses a few unusual relics—namely, the skull and hand of a supposed yeti. Today is a short walk, so you'll have plenty of time to rest at your tea house, rehydrate, and acclimate.
Day 7: Day Hike to Ama Dablam Base Camp
Today you'll make the long journey to Ama Dablam Base Camp, which lies in the shadow of its imposing neighbor, Everest. Start by making your way up the ride of a sheltered valley that leads to the base camp of Ama Dablam, perhaps catching a glimpse of climbers preparing to scale its giant peak. Soak up views of the mountain, to many, considered one of the world's most beautiful.
Enjoy a hot lunch in the newly-built Ama Dablam Base Camp Hotel before trekking back to Pangboche along the main trail in the afternoon. This route involves a lot of inclines and declines, as well as crossing a steel suspension bridge over the Imja Khola. Return to your tea house for a restful evening.
Day 8: Scenic Helicopter Flight to Kathmandu
Rather than trekking back the way you came, today, you'll rise early for a spectacular helicopter flight back to Kathmandu. During the scenic tour, you'll soar over some of the area's most magnificent blue glacier lakes and mountains. Look out for the jagged peak of the world's highest mountain, Everest, and aerial views of Ama Dablam, Thamserku, Kantega, Lhotse, and Nuptse.
After showcasing views of this snow-capped wonderland, your pilot will continue to Kathmandu. Touch down and head back into the city, where you'll enjoy the rest of the day as you please. Ease your aching muscles with a massage, enjoy a Nepalese meal, and relax in your hotel.
Day 9: Heritage Tour in Kathmandu & Patan
Today you'll embark upon a full-day cultural tour of the Kathmandu Valley, visiting three sacred sites: Swayambhunath Stupa, Pashupatinath Temple, and Patan Durbar Square. This is a private tour with a local guide, so you can spend as long as you like at each destination. Start in Patan Durbar, a beautiful living square home to temples and the Patan Museum; the famous Golden Temple lies just around the corner.
Located on a hill a short drive from the city, Swayambhunath is a great place to admire the views of the Kathmandu Valley below. The stupa—a dome-shaped Buddhist structure—is one of the most historic places in this part of the world. Spin the prayer wheels and admire the fine paintings and sculptures around the stupa.
Continue to Pashupatinath Temple Complex on the banks of the Bagmati River. The temple is Nepal's holiest Hindu pilgrimage site and has drawn worshippers for at least 1,500 years. Visit a sixth-century statue of Buddha and an eighth-century statue of Brahma, then wander past skeletal images guarding temple gates and other temples dedicated to various deities in the complex.
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, and some souvenir shopping. Your driver will take you to the airport in time to catch your homebound flight. Safe travels!