There a few things on Planet Earth that eclipse the feeling of trekking through a mammoth mountain range, and the Khumbu Region is as big as it gets. The ascent from the mountain hub of Lukla, through fertile fields, past towering peaks to the lunar landscapes of the Khumbu glacier is a worthy trek for even the most avid adventurer.
Every step you take towards Base Camp robs more vital oxygen from your already heaving lungs, every step becomes slower and more lethargic yet somehow the old-fashioned practice of one foot in front of that other gets you to the end of another day. It's a battle of mind over matter that may see the fastest fail, as the methodical march on towards the nightly teahouse, one chapter closer to their ultimate goal.
The ever-changing landscapes, bustling villages and passing yak trains provide a welcome distraction from the constant uphill slog, set to the background sounds of gushing mountain streams, tinkling prayer wheels and giggling school kids.
WELCOME TO KATHMANDU
Please ensure you arrive in Kathmandu no later than today for your check-in at Hotel Tibet.
Compulsory group briefing at the hotel AM. This will be conducted before the optional Cultural Half Day Tour departs.
Tonight we all head out as a group for a Nepalese Cultural Dinner.
Kathmandu Cultural Tour - 1/2 day
Head out and explore Kathmandu with your trekking crew, an English-speaking guide and visit some of the most historic, iconic tourist sites including:
- The Monkey Temple
All transport, entrance fees and bottled water are taken care of
Fly to Lukla
If the mountain Gods are with us and the flight is on time, you will arrive in Lukla (2800m) around 10am, wander the streets to buy any last minute shopping and enjoy an early lunch, before starting the mainly downhill trek to Phakding (2610m)
Trek to Phakding
The 9km hike to Phakding (2160m) should take 3 hours. When you arrive, you can check into your room and spend the afternoon relaxing and acclimatising. Make sure you keep well hydrated; 4 to 5 litres of water a day is essential all the way through the trek.
Trek to Namche Bazaar
You get to cross a number of vertigo-inducing suspension bridges while gradually moving uphill towards the entrance to the Sagarmatha National Park and the Everest Region. Next, you head downhill for a short time before levelling out alongside the river crossing mixed terrain. The trail follows the river to the final high double suspension bridges before you begin the quad-burning ‘Namche Hill’. It can take 2 hours to reach the Sherpa village of Namche Bazaar (3340m), where we will be based for two nights. Today’s trek is around 12km or 5 hours, with plenty of breaks along the way.
There's no such thing as a rest day in the Himalayas! We climb up to the village of Khumjung, visit the local school and shops, then head back to Namche for an afternoon of great coffee, last-minute shopping and even a massage.
Trek to Tengboche
Today we hike towards Tengboche, at 3860m. After ascending out of Namche, the first 2 hours are relaxed walking, traversing the left-hand side of the valley, high above the river below. The trail descends down toward the river for our lunch stop. From here it will take 2 – 3 hours to hike up the long hill to the town of Tengboche, home to a stunning monastery and coffee shop that sells the best apple pie and espresso. There are 5-6 hours of hiking today, covering 10km.
Trek to Dingboche
From Tengboche, we travel to Dingboche, at 4400m. The trail heads up and down hills before crossing the river and then uphill towards Pangboche for lunch (Pangbouche was one of the villages on the trail that suffered most from the recent earthquakes), which usually takes 2-3 hours. From there it is a gradual uphill trek towards the Imja Valley with views towards Island Peak and an hour later arrives in Dingboche. The total trekking time will be 5 to 6 hours. The distance will be 12km.
Trek to Lobuche
From Dingboche, we head to Lobuche, at 4900m. The trail heads back towards the Khumbu valley and becomes a long and slow trek across a beautiful elevated route towards Dugla, where we stop for a while to eat lunch and rest. This usually takes 2 hours and after lunch, from Dugla to Lobuche, will be an additional 3 hours with plenty of rest stops. After stopping at Dugla we have a long uphill section over the Thukla Pass which tops out at the Everest Memorial, before heading on to Lobuche. We've been lucky enough to secure accommodation at The Pyramid, a stunning glass research station nestled at the base of the mountains, for our own private Himalayan retreat. We will be trekking for 12km over 5 hours today.
Trek to Everest Base Camp
Today’s trek is very beautiful and unique, crossing loose rock and glacial moraine. The up and down trail into Gorak Shep takes approximately 3 hours. We have lunch here and rest before the toughest but most rewarding part of your adventure - the walk into Everest Base Camp which takes around 3 hours where we will spend time basking in the glory of the world’s highest mountain! We then return to Gorak Shep for the night after a huge day of achieving a lifetime goal. Check out the other options to overnight at EBC, or fly over the region in a helicopter.
Helicopter Mountain Flight
Take a different view of the Khumbu region from up high, in a helicopter with a scenic flight over the trail you've spent the last week walking, well worth doing! From the landing pad at EBC, head over Gokyo Lakes, past Ama Dablam and take in the magnitude and magnificence of the Himalayas.
THE LUXURY WIND-DOWN
After staying at Everest Base Camp for a night to soak up the majesty of the Khumbu Glacier, take to the skies with a private helicopter flight back to Lukla for an overnight stay, before returning to Kathmandu. After the exertion of the last week trekking, you’ll be pampered, massaged and brought back life in the salubrious surroundings of Gorkana Forest Retreat for the next two days. With an indoor pool, 18-hole golf course, luxury spa and yoga retreat you’ll be back in perfect condition in no time at all. This option is the same duration as the standard trek but so much kinder to the body!
Summit Kala Patar (5600m)
For those with enough energy reserves left, this is one of the highlights of the trip. A dawn ascent of Kala Patar, the perfect place to watch the sunrise over Mount Everest. It's the toughest physical part of the trek and the return trip takes around 3 hours.
Trek down to Pheriche
The hike back to Pheriche is around 5 hours, winding back along the path we came up, until Dugla, where we descend into the stunning wide valley where we'll spend the night. A total of 8 hours of hiking today which is very challenging for most people, covering 16km.
Trek to Namche
Today we will trek from Pheriche back to Namche Bazar. It is another long day and can take approximately 9 hours. As you are heading downhill, to lower levels of altitude, and you can cover the ground quicker than on the way up. When you get back to Namche you will enjoy the delights at the Namche Bakery or play a few rounds of pool at Cafe Danfe before resting up for the long walk back to Lukla. Today’s journey is 22km.
Trek to Lukla
The final furlong! This is another long day and can be one of the hardest, as your body is tired from the trek. You start the day going back down Namche Hill and then tackle the long stretch back to Lukla. Today’s trek can take up to 8 hours and covers 21km. Once you get back through the famous arch into Lukla you can finally say you've completed the Everest Base Camp Trek. Tonight we have a celebration dinner and a few local specialities thrown in too.
Fly to Kathmandu
If the weather gods are with us we fly back to Kathmandu today and check back into Hotel Tibet. We recommended you book your international flight 2-3 days after your trek finishes. Lukla Airport can close due to sudden weather transitions and for a number of days in a row. If flights are cancelled or delayed for a few days, a helicopter charter flight (approx. $300-$400USD) may be required. Please ensure your travel insurance covers this instance.
Your Best Life Adventure officially ends today, but if inclement mountain weather delays our departure from Lukla to Kathmandu, it is advised that you plan to have at least two extra days in Kathmandu before your international flight departs. Travel insurance is highly recommended.
Free time to discover why Kathmandu is one of the friendliest cities in the world.
OPTIONAL Down Jacket Hire
If you'd like to hire a warm, down jacket for the duration of your trip, please select this now. It is essential to have one of these for the last few nights of the trip where temperatures can drop to below -5c, or if you intend summiting Kala Patar (5600m).
Sleeping Bag Hire
If you'd like to hire a warm, down sleeping bag for the duration of your trip, please select this now. There's nowhere better than the inside of one when the frost is nipping at your nose!