- Take a guided walking tour of the ancient city of Patan
- Trek through the incredible Khumbu region, with amazing views of the Himalaya
- Visit the famous Buddhist Monastery of Tengboche
- Trek an off-the-beaten-path to the glacier of Kondge Peak
- Stay in luxury accommodations throughout your trek
|Day 1||Welcome to Kathmandu!||Kathmandu|
|Day 2||Explore Patan: Heritage Walking Tour||Kathmandu|
|Day 3||Fly from Kathmandu to Lukla, Trek to Phakding (8,714 feet / 2,656 m)||Phakding|
|Day 4||Trek from Phakding to Namche Bazaar (11,290 ft / 3,440 m)||Namche Bazaar|
|Day 5||Trek from Namche Bazaar to Tashinga (11,319 feet / 3,450 m)||Tashinga|
|Day 6||Trek from Tashinga to Pangboche (12,821 feet / 3,908 m)||Pangboche|
|Day 7||Day trip to Ama Dablam Base Camp (15,092 feet / 4,600 m)||Pangboche|
|Day 8||Trek from Pangboche to Mende (13,123 feet / 4,000 m)||Mende|
|Day 9||Trek from Mende to Thame (12,484 feet / 3,805 m)||Thame|
|Day 10||Trek from Thame to Kongde (13,944 ft / 4,250 m)||Kongde|
|Day 11||Trek from Kongde to Lukla (9,186 feet / 2,800 m)||Lukla|
|Day 12||Fly from Lukla to Kathmandu||Kathmandu|
|Day 13||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 Patan: Heritage Walking Tour
Meet your local guide and walk through the ancient courtyards of Patan to see how the Newari artisans continue to live. Here you will discover their unique culture and gain a rare insight into daily life. You will meet local artisans, including metalwork artists, thangka painters, and wood and stone carvers.
Kathmandu Valley is comprised of three ancient cities, including Patan, also known as Lalitpur, the "city of fine arts."Patan is believed to have been founded in the third century BCE, by famed Buddhist emperor Ashoka, who visited the town while on a pilgrimage from Northern India and built four stupas that enclosed the center of the old town. Whereas the other cities in the valley — Kathmandu and Bhaktapur — were mainly influenced by Hinduism, Patan is distinguished as the oldest continuously Buddhist town in the world.
Day 3: Fly from Kathmandu to Lukla, Trek to Phakding (8,714 feet / 2,656 m)
After breakfast, you'll fly to Lukla (a short, 30-minute jaunt) and will land on a steep mountain runway, which will bring 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 will take you between mountains and through valleys, with great views of the Himalaya on clear days.
You'll then trek a short distance; your route is intentionally easier today, allowing you time to get used to the higher elevation. You'll venture through local villages, where you'll likely encounter fellow trekkers, locals, and yaks with their tinkling bells. You'll then continue through the Dudh Koshi Valley on a well-marked trail and stay overnight at a beautiful lodge in Phakding.
Flight time: 30 minutes
Trekking time: 3-4 hours (4.7 miles / 7.5 km)
Day 4: Trek from Phakding to Namche Bazaar (11,290 ft / 3,440 m)
After breakfast in Phakding, you'll start a steady and steep incline towards Namche Bazaar. This is a challenging day as you'll start to feel the altitude. The route also includes crossing a number of spectacular high suspension bridges over the Dudh Kosi River.
Just beyond the village of Monjo is the entrance to the Sagarmatha National Park, which was established 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. After a steep 45-60 minute 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 and trekking gear, as well as restaurants and bars. If you're 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.
Close to your lodge is the internationally known Museum of Sherpa Culture and the traditional villages of Kunde and Khumjung; visiting them is a highly recommended half-day excursion. The location of your lodge is superb, offering 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 (21,729 feet / 6,623 m) rises as a backdrop. Just a short walk away is a classic view of Ama Dablam (an incredibly beautiful mountain), Lhotse and Everest.
This is an ideal place to spend the day, acclimatizing to the new altitude. Tonight you can relax in your luxury accommodations and enjoy the creature comforts you'd miss out on if you were staying instead in a rustic teahouse.
Trekking time: 4-6 hours (4.6 miles / 7.4 km)
Day 5: Trek from Namche Bazaar to Tashinga (11,319 feet / 3,450 m)
Today, you have a few options for a short day of trekking. The day’s destination is Tashinga and can either take the direct (and more gentle) route, contouring around from Namche, or you can make the climb up to Khumjung for a range of other options.
If you choose to explore Khumjung, you can visit the Everest View Hotel on the way. Enjoy a cup of tea from the terrace, taking in the spectacular views of Everest and other Himalayan giants. If you organize your visit ahead of time, you might also be possible to visit the clinic in Khunde and the Khumjung school: both projects are supported by the well-regarded Himalayan Trust; the school and clinic are wonderful places to learn about medicine and education here in the mountains.
The picturesque little gompa (monastery) in Khumjung, set in a grove of trees above the houses of the village, is also well worth a visit. If you give a small donation to the caretaker, you may be allowed to see the gompa's so-called "head of a yeti."
From Khumjung, the trail descends with chortens, forming a dramatic frame to the superb view of Ama Dablam (21,968 feet / 6,696 m), and Kantega (22,241 feet / 6,779 m), flanked by the towering heights of Everest, Lhotse, and Nuptse. You'll then descend from the village, first through walled fields and then through rhododendron and blue pine forest, to the village of Tashinga.
Trekking time: 3-4 hours
Day 6: Trek from Tashinga to Pangboche (12,821 feet / 3,908 m)
This morning, look across the valley to see the path sloping diagonally up towards the famous monastery of Tengboche (12,664 feet / 3,860 m), the highlight of today's trek.
To reach the monastery, you'll first descend to the Imja Khola river before a final climb. Tengboche is located on a ridge below the impressive north ridge of Kang Taiga. After your visit, you will continue your trek towards Pangboche, the highest of the original permanent habitations in the valley, via Deboche.
Trekking time: 4-5 hours
Day 7: Day trip to Ama Dablam Base Camp (15,092 feet / 4,600 m)
Today, you cross the Imja Khola river early and then will start your ascent of the valley en route to Ama Dablam. This is incredible trek will get you away from the crowds and onto the trails less traveled. You'll reach Ama Dablam Basecamp in time for lunch, taking in the incredible views and celebrate reaching your goal before heading back down the trail to Pangboche. Relax at your lodge tonight, looking up at the route you conquered!
Trekking time: 4-5 hours
Day 8: Trek from Pangboche to Mende (13,123 feet / 4,000 m)
This morning you'll leave Pangboche on the opposite side of the valley from which you originally arrived; the trail will continue in a lovely meander, contouring around the hills. You'll pass through Khumjung and the gompa at the top of the town then will continue on the quiet trail to the north of Namche.
From there, you'll pass the airstrip at Syangboche and the Japanese-built Everest View Hotel, and then will finish your day in Mende, which sits just under 13,123 feet (4,000 m).
Trekking time: 6-7 hours
Day 9: Trek from Mende to Thame (12,484 feet / 3,805 m)
Because today's trek is relatively short, make the most of your morning with a visit to the monastery above your lodge in Mende. After enjoying some serene reflection, you'll head out on today's route to Thame. You'll descend to the Bhote Kosi, then will climb steeply to your destination.
From Thame, you'll enjoy good views of the peaks of Teng Kangpoche and Kwangde, as well as Nangpa La, the pass leading to Tibet. Above the village, the 16th century Thame Gompa overlooks the valley and is the site for the spring celebrations of the Mani Rimdu festival.
After the short trek, you'll check in to your luxe lodging for the night. Here you can unwind and relax, or choose the one-hour walk up to the gompa, then head up to Sambar Peak in time for stunning panoramic vistas at sunset. Tonight, enjoy a dinner full of organic vegetables grown on the premises, some wonderful wine, and, of course, your outstanding views.
Trekking time: Approx 3-4 hours
Day 10: Trek from Thame to Kongde (13,944 ft / 4,250 m)
After breakfast, you'll start today trek descending the terrain for around 30 minutes, after which you'll follow a trail on the south side of the Bhote Kosi River and through the tiny village of Pare.
You then climb gradually through beautiful rhododendron, pine, and bamboo forest to the glacier of Kongde Peak, where you have stunning views of Everest, Lhotse and Ama Dablam. This is a very new trail, built specifically for the Yeti Mountain Home Lodge, so you are unlikely to see other trekkers sharing your route. Although the trail is well built, it does cross some very steep ground, including one short section where you'll use cables as handrails to safeguard your progress.
In Kongde, you'll check in to your beautiful lodge (situated at 13,944 feet/ 4,250 m). Have a hot shower, settle in, then head outside to drink in some of the best panoramas in the Everest region. The spectacular view looks right across the valley to Namche and beyond to Thyangboche, with a backdrop of Everest, Lhotse, Thamserku, and Ama Dablam.
Relax and recharge over world-class cuisine and fine wines in the restaurant while, from your perch by the window, you can watch the sun dip behind the world's highest peak. It just doesn't get better than this!
Trekking time: 5-6 hours
Day 11: Trek from Kongde to Lukla (9,186 feet / 2,800 m)
The last day of your trek is truly a gorgeous one. In the morning, you'll start your steep descent to Lukla. The first 3.7 miles (6 km) down to the main trail is absolutely out of this world, so you'll want to stop for plenty of photo ops. The views down the valley toward Lukla are amazing!
Once you reach Phakding on the main trail, you'll stop for lunch. After, you'll press on, reaching Lukla in the late afternoon; check-in at the cozy lodge, then celebrate the end of an amazing trek!
If you're looking to end your time on the trail in a unique way, you can also consider taking an early morning, thrilling helicopter ride up to Kala Pattar and fly above Everest Base Camp before landing in Lukla. Either way, you'll be treated to incredible views and a sense of accomplishment for your adventures on the trail.
Trekking time: 6-7 hours
Day 12: Fly from Lukla to Kathmandu
After breakfast in Lukla, you'll take an early morning flight back to Kathmandu.
Upon arrival, you'll be transferred to your hotel and will be able to enjoy the rest of the afternoon and evening at your leisure. Explore Kathmandu's streets on foot, bicycle, or rickshaw, perhaps shopping for souvenirs or seeing anything you may have missed at the beginning of your trip.
Other ideas include rewarding your muscles after the trek with a massage service at Seeing Hands (services are offered by the visually impaired), or the more upscale Kinjalla Spa. You can also take an early evening yoga class at Pranamaya Yoga, with two locations (Thamel and Patan).
In the evening, choose from a selection of Nepali, French, Vietnamese, and Middle Eastern dishes in Kathmandu.
Flight time: 30 minutes
Day 13: 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.