View from the summit of the Island Peak, Nepal
21-day adventure

Everest Base Camp and Island Peak

Nepal
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Code: NPEI

21 days
Challenging

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Our local team

Our team in Nepal has been creating Himalayan adventures since 2012, supporting teams to visit the iconic sites of Everest Base Camp, Gokyo Lakes and Annapurna Circuit. Our trips are expertly run by Pimba Tensing, a highly experienced guide who has summitted Everest twice! He and his team of porters, cooks and drivers run an incredibly efficient, encouraging and safety orientated service to ensure every Himalayan trek is outstanding. They...
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Kandoo's view

Climbing Island Peak is an incredible experience for the adventurous trekker. Standing at 6,189m it is a real Himalayan summit and from the top there are the most spectacular views across the whole of the Khumbu region. You start the trek following the classic route to Everest Base Camp before heading to base camp for the ascent of Island Peak.

Trip highlights

  • Summit a Himalayan peak over 6000m
  • Approach up the Khumbu Valley via Everest Base Camp
  • Lodge and tent-based accommodation

Experiences

  • Kandoo Summits
    The summit of Mt Toubkal
    Head to the top of a real mountain summit for a real sense of achievement

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Itinerary

  • Day 1

    ARRIVE IN KATHMANDU

    All trekkers need to organise their own flights to Kathmandu International Airport (KTM). From Kathmandu Airport we will arrange a private transfer to your hotel. That night or early the next morning you will meet your local Kandoo representative and have a full pre-trek briefing

    • Accomodation: Hotel
  • Day 2

    FLIGHT TO LUKLA – TREK TO PHAKDING

    The flight from Kathmandu to Lukla takes 45 minutes and is an adventure in itself with great views of the Everest region (from the left of the plane) and ending with a hair-raising landing on a steep mountain runway. After meeting our crew, we will start our trek by heading up the Dudh Koshi Valley on a well- marked trail to Phakding

    • Transport: Flight (0.8 hour, 136 km)
    • Hiking time: 3 - 4 hours
    • Ascent: 1500 m
    • Descent: 144 m
    • Max. altitude: 2800 m
    • Accomodation: Teahouse
    • Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    TREK TO NAMCHE BAZAAR

    From Phakding, we cross and re-cross the river on high suspension bridges. Beyond Monjo is the entrance to the Sagarmatha National Park, which was set-up to conserve this fragile mountain environment. We then ascend steeply to Namche and along the way, if the weather permits, catch the first glimpse of Mt Everest. Namche Bazaar is the main trading village in Khumbu and has a busy Saturday market. It is a meeting place for the Hindu traders from the lowlands and Tibetan yak caravans that have crossed the glaciated Nangpa La. You can enjoy an Illy coffee and amazing brownies here!

    • Hiking time: 6 - 7 hours
    • Ascent: 794 m
    • Max. altitude: 3450 m
    • Accomodation: Teahouse
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Trip information

Difficulty

Climbing Island Peak is a very demanding challenge but, if you are in great shape physically, we can get you to the summit. There is no technical climbing up Island Peak. You need experience walking in crampons and with the use of an ice axe but nothing more. If you have already trekked to altitude then this is a great next challenge. The first part of the ascent is physically very hard because you are trekking up rough terrain at over 5000m. This part though is definitely non-technical.  You then reach the glacier field and you will need to rope-up and wear crampons. During this section there is a risk of falling into snow covered crevasses, so you will be roped to the rest of the team for safety. There will be ladders strapped in place to cross the crevasses. These can be daunting, but you will be on safety lines at all times. You finally then reach the foot of the headwall. This is the toughest part of the climb, as the ascent is very steep and the air at its thinnest. Fixed lines make the climbing route safe, but it will take lots of determination to get up to the summit ridge.  From the summit ridge to the top is a short relatively easy ascent.


The expedition is ideally suited for trekkers with some experience in high altitude trekking and using fixed ropes and crampons. This is not essential as training will be given.


Looking for training advice or a training plan in preparation for this trip? We'd recommend checking out Kate Sielmann and her coaching programs that are specific to mountaineering and trekking training. Find more details here.

Food & drink

You choose what you want to eat at the lodges, and settle your own bill in the morning. While you can eat heartily for very little money at any lodge, we do recommend that you budget £20 to £25 ($30 to $35) per day for meals and drinks. This will ensure that you not only have plenty of food, but that you enjoy it a lot more. Where once there was a choice of perhaps 5 different rice or lentil based meals at any one lodge, most now offer a wide menu of 40 or more choices from the basic (such as dhal bhat) to the sophisticated (yak steak with blue cheese sauce).Please note that we prefer some of the more expensive lodges, so the prices are higher than they might be at more spartan facilities.


One word of advice, place your meal order as soon as you can upon arriving at the lodge as it is strictly ‘first ordered, first served’, and the best lodges are quite busy at meal times.

Accommodation

Trekking in Nepal is more popular than ever. As a result, the standard of accommodation available on most of the trek routes has improved dramatically. Where there were once simple peasant huts, large hostels have been built featuring running water, indoor toilets (some en-suite) and electricity. However, while internet access, charging facilities and hot water are available, you will need to pay to use them - if you plan on using the internet and showering every day, then you should budget around $10 per day.

However, development is still ongoing, and as you get higher into the mountains the lodges become more basic. Furnishing is generally fairly spartan, and most rooms feature little more than a bench bed and a thin mattress, so your sleeping kit will probably see some early use. Showers are not always available and it tends to be just the communal areas that are heated. 


The exception to that rule is Namche. Namche features some really great lodges, including the Hil-Ten (this is not a region that makes much of copyright infringement) and if you are in need of refreshment there both Illy and Lavazza coffee are available

Kandoo has a list of lodges that we prefer to work with, all of which are regularly inspected to ensure the best quality rooms available. Even at the worst, they are clean and well-kept. When the route is busy, we send a porter ahead to hire rooms for the night, as they cannot be reserved in advance.

Transport

The general standard of driving throughout Nepal is poor and badly regulated. Roads in Kathmandu are very congested, many drivers are not properly licensed and vehicles are poorly maintained. During the monsoon season (June to September) many roads outside the Kathmandu valley are prone to landslides and may become impassable. We insist on using a high standard of vehicle and driver for all of our transfers. In Nepal it is not a legal requirement to have seatbelts fitted in the back of vehicles, and while we try to use vehicles that do have rear seatbelts fitted, this cannot always be guaranteed. If you are unhappy about any aspect of the vehicle or the standard of driving, please speak to the driver or our local office.

Luggage

Duffel bags

You will be provided with a large duffel bag at the pre-trek briefing that will be yours to use for the duration of your trek. Your equipment will then need to be transferred into this bag. If you are travelling with a duffel bag then it is up to you which bag you choose to use for the trek, if you are travelling with a suitcase then this will need to be left at the pre-trek hotel and collected upon your return as our porters need the bags they carry to be flexible. 


The internal flights operate a strict limit of 10kg for your main bag and 5kg for your day sack. This weight limit is particularly tight for the peak climbs because of the climbing kit. We therefore allow a limit of 15kg for your main equipment bag and 5kg for your day sack, and we will arrange for the extra 5kg to travel as excess baggage. There may be times when the airline is unable to carry the excess baggage on the same flight. If this happens, your climbing kit will be re-packed separately, sent on the next available flight and a porter will catch up with you on the trail. You will be given 2 litres of water on arrival in Lukla to fill your bottles for your first day’s trekking, so you do not need to carry water from Kathmandu. All items must be packed in your main equipment bag. They should not be attached to the outside, as we are not responsible if items fall off when the bags are being carried on the trek.


If you are renting equipment in Chukhung, please allow for the additional weight when you leave Kathmandu, so that your bag does not exceed 15kg for the porters to carry once the climbing kit is added later.

How do I get there?

There are several ways to get to Nepal from Europe and the USA all of which involve an international flight to Tribhuvan International Airport which is the main airport in Kathmandu. There are a lot of flights that fly to Kathmandu through the Middle East. Qatar, Gulf and Air Emirates offer daily flights from Europe and the US to Kathmandu, with a stopover at their central hubs. You must be careful though, as some of these layovers are very long indeed. Check the schedules carefully, and consider using Qatar. They seem to have the shortest layovers (at Doha) by a substantial margin. The other alternative is to fly via Delhi, with BA, Air India or Jet and then catch a shorter flight up to Kathmandu. Again be careful of long layovers and be warned - some of the reviews for Air India are less than glowing!

Flight changes during Peak Season

Please note that during peak season domestic flights will depart from Ramechhap rather than Kathmandu. Ramechhap is a 5-6 hour drive from Kathmandu and as this is a national alteration concerning all domestic flights to the Everest region, flight companies will provide transfer buses to Ramechhap from Kathmandu.  The change has been implemented to put less stress on Kathmandu airport as the number of domestic flights to Lukla increases with the popularity of the region. This will only affect trips to the Everest region not Annapurna. If your trip overlaps the dates these are implemented, you may find that you fly into Lukla via Kathmandu but return via Ramechhap.

Unfortunately, in classic Nepalese style, the exact dates this will affect will not be released until a few months prior to the trekking season starting. 

Budget & change

The Nepali Rupee is a closed currency so you will not be able to buy this before you arrive. It is advisable to travel with US Dollars, as these are widely accepted. It is very important that US bills be new (less than 10 years old), crisp and untorn. If you want some local currency then we can take you to an ATM or bank. Alternatively all the hotels in Kathmandu will change money for you. We recommend that you take local currency on the actual trek with you, as the teahouses prefer local currency to dollars. You will also get a more favourable exchange rate in Kathmandu.

If you are relying on a credit or debit card for emergency funds, make sure you tell your card issuer that you will be using it abroad, or you may find that it won't work when you really need it.

In Kathmandu a meal for two at a mid range restaurant will cost ~$20. A taxi will generally start on a base rate of $0.45 and then charge $0.4 for every km. Or you can ride the bus which will be around $0.15 for a 5km journey. Souvenirs in Kathmandu are generally on the cheaper side too. 
Whilst on the trek, we recommend that you budget $30 to $35 per day for meals and drinks. 
You may also want to be prepared to pay for the cost of a helicopter which can fly in bad weather (around US$300-500 per person), in the case of your flight to or from Lukla being postponed due to bad weather conditions.  

Our recommended guidance for spending budget in Nepal would be between $500-800 (depending on the length of the trip and your meal preferences) on top of your tips, to give you ample money for souvenirs and treats. 

Tips

We realize that tipping may not be a common practice in all countries but for Nepal it is a standard practice that all operators support. The decision on how much to tip should be determined by how well the team served you while you were on the trek. Tips are always discretionary and if you are not happy with the service you have received you do not have to pay tips. Tips can be made in US dollars or Nepali Rupees. It is very important that US bills be new (less than 10 years old), crisp and untorn.


We are members of the Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal and the Nepal Mountaineering Association, and follow their guidelines when recommending tip levels for guides and porters. We would suggest you budget $300-$350 per trekker for your tip contribution.


We say goodbye to our porters in Lukla before we return to Kathmandu. Any tips that you wish to give to the porters will need to be carried on the trek with you.

Formalities & health

Passport

Please double check that your passport is valid for 6 months beyond the date of arrival in Nepal. We recommend that you take a photocopy of your passport and keep it separate from the original, and this will be useful if the original is lost while you are travelling. You must carry your passport on the trek with you, as it is required for internal flights.

Visa

Most visitors to Nepal (including nationals from the UK, Europe, USA and Australia) require a tourist visa to enter Nepal. To secure a visa you will need to present proof that you have a return ticket, and proof that you have sufficient money to support yourself during your stay in Nepal. Visa can be obtained online at: https://uk.nepalembassy.gov.np/visa/. Visas are valid for 6 months from the date of issue, so do not send off your application too early.
The other option is to queue and pay for a visa on arrival at Kathmandu Tribhubhan International Airport. This will need to be paid for in cash. We highly recommend securing a visa before departure as this will ensure you have no problems passing immigration, as well as speed up the process of clearing immigration. You will need at least one blank visa page in your passport. Certain nationalities not mentioned above must apply for a visa in advance, so check with your local Nepalese Embassy or online at: https://www.immigration.gov.np/page/visa-on-arrival.

For most of our trips, you may be ok with a 15 day tourist visa which costs USD30 (around GBP25). However, if you are adding any extra days in Kathmandu you would then require a 30 day tourist visa which USD50 (around GBP40). Visas can be extended once you are in Nepal, but overstaying your visa is taken very seriously, and can result in your being detained or not allowed to leave without paying a fine. In Kathmandu airport they will assume you are paying in your home country currency so make sure you have the amount you need for your visa, or to extend your visa, in cash in your home currency. For smaller currencies, USD will be the best replacement.

Vaccinations

The standard vaccinations required are diphtheria, tetanus, typhoid and hepatitis A, but you should always consult your doctor or travel clinic for the most up to date advice.

Insurance

It is your responsibility to ensure that you are fully and adequately insured for the duration of your trip. Please ensure that all activities, excursions and destinations in your itinerary are included in your travel insurance policy, in addition to your regular cover for cancellation and medical expenses. For the Annapurna and Everest Regions, we recommend cover up to 6000m of altitude. If you are climbing Mera Peak or Island Peak you will need cover for trekking up to 7000m of altitude.

Please take a copy of your insurance policy to the pre-trek briefing, as the guide will need to collect your insurance details. We also ask that you keep a copy of your policy summary (containing policy number and the emergency contact number for your insurer) in your day sack at all times, so that we can access this information should we need to contact the insurer on your behalf.

Health

Malaria

There is no risk of malaria in Kathmandu and or on the majority of Himalayan treks that we operate, due to the altitude. However, there is a risk of malaria in areas of Nepal below 1,500m, particularly in the Terai district, the lowland region of Nepal adjacent to the Indian border. This region includes Chitwan National Park, so if you are planning a safari extension to your trek, you need to plan anti-malarial medication for this part of your trip. In addition to taking medication, we would recommend you take every precaution to prevent mosquito bites by wearing long-sleeved trousers and shirts at dusk and dawn when the mosquitos are active, and by using a DEET based mosquito repellent.

Altitude Sickness

Altitude sickness, also called Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), hypobaropathy and soroche, is an illness caused by exposure to low air pressure, especially low partial pressure of oxygen, which many trekkers experience at high altitudes. AMS is caused by exerting yourself at high altitudes, especially if you have not been properly acclimatised. It is most common at altitudes above 2400 metres. Your route into the Annapurna Sanctuary has been designed to aid your acclimatisation wherever possible, but the following will also help your body adjust:

Slow and steady. You need to keep your respiration rate low enough to maintain a normal conversation. If you are panting or breathing hard, you must slow down. There is no pressure on you to keep up with other members of your group.

Drink much more water than you think you need. Proper hydration helps acclimatisation dramatically. You need to drink at least three litres each day.

Diamox

There has been a lot of research on Diamox that shows is that it has been reasonably well proven to be helpful in avoiding AMS by speeding up the acclimatisation process. In the UK it is a prescription drug which must be prescribed by a doctor, but some doctors are reluctant to prescribe it. The concern is that by taking Diamox, people believe that they are immune from AMS and can ignore the symptoms. In reality, although Diamox can help prevent the symptoms, should symptoms still develop it means that you are not acclimatising and you have to take notice. Diamox is taken before you start trekking to prevent altitude sickness, not once you are on the trek and symptoms have developed.

Dehydration

You can easily become dehydrated at high altitudes. The lower air pressure forces you to breathe more quickly and deeply, and you lose a lot of water through your lungs. You will also be exerting yourself, and sweating, and may even suffer from diarrhoea. As a result, you will have to drink much more water than you normally would so you should drink at least 3 litres of fluids every day while trekking. Even when you do not feel thirsty you have to drink this amount as a minimum, preferably more. Stay on the look-out for signs of dehydration in yourself and your fellow trekkers. The most common symptoms include thirst, dry lips, nose or mouth, headache and feeling fatigued or lethargic.

Equipment & clothing

Equipment supplied by Kandoo Adventures

We recommend that wherever possible you use your own gear for your trek as this is the best way to ensure your comfort and enjoyment. We recognise though that the cost of some items is very high and this may not be possible.

Duffel bags

You will be provided with a large duffel bag at the pre-trek briefing that will be yours to use for the duration of your trek. Your equipment will then need to be transferred into this bag. If you are travelling with a duffel bag then it is up to you which bag you choose to use for the trek, if you are travelling with a suitcase then this will need to be left at the pre-trek hotel and collected upon your return as our porters need the bags they carry to be flexible. 


We do not have other  gear available for rental but there are many places offering gear for rental in Kathmandu. The quality of rental gear is very variable and it is your responsibility to check carefully the condition of any item you rent. We accept no responsibility for the quality of equipment hired. An indication of the likely rental costs is below.

  • Four Season Sleeping Bag  - $2 per day
  • Down Jacket - $2 per day
  • Trekking Poles - $1 per day
  • Sleeping Mat - $2 per day (closed cell foam mat; inflatable mats cannot be hired)

For Island Peak you will also need additional specialist equipment. This can be hired in Kathmandu but is also available to rent at a lodge close to base camp. Prices below are for Kathmandu rental. Prices in the lodges can be more than twice this cost. It is still cheaper though to rent from these lodges as you only need to pay for 3-4 days hire. You should be aware though that the range of sizes and the quality of rental gear available here is even more limited than in Kathmandu and you may not find something that is perfect for you. In addition, climbing boots may have only just been returned by a previous user and may still be wet.


  • High Altitude Climbing Boot - $3 per day
  • Crampons - $2 per day
  • Ice Axe - $2 per day
  • Climbing Accessories Pack - $12 per day (includes helmet, harness, carabiners, prussik loop, tape sling, ascender & descender)

Clothing to bring

HEADGEAR
  • Warm beanie style hat – knitted or fleece
  • Neck gaiter or scarf. It can get dusty in Nepal and the air very cold. A scarf or balaclava comes in useful for keeping dust out and can double as a warm layer for your neck / face!
  • Sun hat – preferably wide-brimmed for protection
  • Sunglasses – high UV protection
  • Headlamp (plus extra batteries)
  • Climbing helmet

UPPER BODY

  • Thermal or fleece base layer (x2)
  • Long sleeve shirt/tshirt – light or medium weight, moisture wicking (x3)
  • Short sleeved shirt/tshirt – lightweight, moisture wicking (x2)
  • Fleece or soft shell jacket (x2)
  • Insulated jacket – down or primaloft
  • Lightweight water/windproof hard shell outer jacket
  • Gloves – lightweight, fleece or quick drying fabric
  • Gloves – heavyweight, insulated, preferably water resistant
  • Over mittens – with safety straps

LEGS

  • Leggings – thermal or fleece base layer (x1)
  • Trekking trousers – light or medium weight (x2) – convertible trousers work well
  • Waterproof hard shell trousers – ski pants work fine (x1)
  • Gaiters

FEET

  • Climbing boot – insulated, stiff-soled (B3)
  • Trekking boots – mid weight with good ankle support
  • Training shoe or similar – to wear around the teahouses
  • Mid-weight trekking socks (x5 pairs)
  • Breathable, high-wicking liner socks (x3 pairs)
  • Thermal trekking socks for upper reaches of your trek (x2 pair)

Equipment to bring

TREKKING GEAR
  • Small Rucksack or Daypack (30-40 litres) to carry water and personal items
  • Sleeping bag (4 season or -20 Deg C) and compression sack
  • Sleeping mat
  • Trekking poles
  • Water bottle or hydration bag – must be able to carry 1.5-2L of water

CLIMBING GEAR

  • Crampons – to fit your climbing boots
  • Ice axe
  • Climbing harness
  • Ascending (jumar) and descending (belay) devices
  • Carabiners – 2 x locking, 2 x non-locking
  • Prussik loop and tape sling

OTHER ACCESSORIES

  • Sunscreen and lip balm - high SPF
  • Toiletries, including toilet paper, wet wipes and hand sanitiser
  • Camera and spare batteries
  • Plug adapter, for charging devices in teahouses and hotels
  • Personal medication and first aid kit
  • Personal snacks and energy bars – dried fruit and nuts are a good option
  • Isotonic drink powder / energy drink powder to mix in with your water
  • Microfibre towel for wiping hands and face each day
  • Pee bottle, useful for late night toilet needs

Dates & prices

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28/04/2024 18/05/2024 $3,575 £2,749
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15/09/2024 05/10/2024 $3,575 £2,749
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20/10/2024 09/11/2024 $3,575 £2,749
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10/11/2024 30/11/2024 $3,575 £2,749
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09/03/2025 29/03/2025 $3,635 £2,799
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13/04/2025 03/05/2025 $3,635 £2,799
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27/04/2025 17/05/2025 $3,635 £2,799
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14/09/2025 04/10/2025 $3,635 £2,799
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Want to ask us a question or book a private trip? Don't hesitate to contact us!

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Price includes

  • Your hotel stay for one night before and two nights after the trek
  • All airport transfers
  • Return flight between Kathmandu and Lukla
  • National Park entry, TIMS fees & climbing permit
  • A fully supported trek with a qualified mountain guide
  • All drinking water on the trek
  • Teahouse accommodation on a room only basis
  • High quality sleeping tents
  • All meals when camping on the climb
  • Access to emergency oxygen and first aid kit

Price does not include

  • International airfares and visas
  • Tips for your guides and porters
  • Personal items
  • Travel insurance (you must be insured, and specifically for treks up to 6500m, using fixed ropes)
  • Your personal trekking and climbing gear
  • Your personal medicines or prescriptions
  • Meals and drinks on the trek (except when camping)
  • Meals and drinks in Kathmandu (breakfast is included)

Options

  • Additional hotel nights before or after your climb