This fast-paced trip takes you up to Namche Bazaar, a traditional Sherpa village and unofficial capital of the Khumbu region. You'll pass through Sagarmatha National Park—a UNESCO World Heritage Site—across suspension bridges, through alpine forests, and visit ancient Buddhist sites. The adventure ends with a helicopter tour of the snow-capped Himalayas and includes a stop at the base of the tallest mountain in the world: Mount Everest.

Highlights

  • Trek to Namche Bazaar in the heart of the Everest Region
  • Fly over Everest Base Camp by helicopter for a truly unique experience
  • Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kathmandu
  • Explore the local markets and shops of Kathmandu

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Welcome to Kathmandu! Kathmandu
Day 2 Fly from Kathmandu to Lukla, Trek to Phakding (8,563 feet / 2,610 m) Phakding
Day 3 Trek from Phakding to Namche Bazaar (11,290 feet / 3,440 m) Namche Bazaar
Day 4 Everest Helicopter Tour from Namche, Fly back to Kathmandu Kathmandu
Day 5 Depart Kathmandu  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Kathmandu!

Kathesimbhu Stupa. Kathmandu
Kathesimbhu Stupa. Kathmandu

Flying into Kathmandu, you'll have great views of the Himalaya (on a clear day) and of the terraced fields and hillsides, below. After completing customs, a representative will be waiting to greet you and drive you to your hotel.

After you've settled in, you'll have time to explore the city. Recommended sights to see on your first day include Kathmandu’s Durbar Square and its narrow alleyways teeming with small shops, ancient temples, and local restaurants, and also Swayambhunath temple, where you can watch the sunset over the valley and the Himalaya to your north.

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: Fly from Kathmandu to Lukla, Trek to Phakding (8,563 feet / 2,610 m)

Fly from Kathmandu to Lukla
Fly from Kathmandu to Lukla

After breakfast, you'll fly to Lukla (30 minutes) 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 today 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 you time to get used to the higher elevation.)

Continue through the Dudh Koshi Valley on a well-marked trail and stay overnight in Phakding. 

Flight time: 30 minutes
Trekking time: 3-4 hours (4.7 miles / 7.5 km)

Day 3: Trek from Phakding to Namche Bazaar (11,290 feet / 3,440 m)

The Hillary suspension bridge before the climb up to Namche Bazaar
The Hillary suspension bridge before the climb up to Namche Bazaar

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)
Accommodation: Teahouse

Day 4: Everest Helicopter Tour from Namche, Fly back to Kathmandu

A memorable experience in the Himalayas
A memorable experience in the Himalayas

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 5: Depart Kathmandu

The all-seeing eyes of Buddha at Swayambhunath
The all-seeing eyes of Buddha at Swayambhunath

It's time to say farewell to Nepal. Enjoy your last moments in Kathmandu with breakfast in a café, a city stroll, and/or souvenir shopping. A representative will meet you at your hotel and drive you to the airport for your return flight home. It's good to be at the airport at least 2 hours prior to departure.