Up with the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and the ascent of Kilimanjaro, the trek to Everest base camp is one of the world’s great iconic walks. If you love walking this has to be on your bucket list.
Our lodge-based trek follows faithfully in the footsteps of Edmund Hillary allowing plenty of time to acclimatise properly and enjoy the views. The trek starts with the rollercoaster flight into Lukla: make sure you sit on the left for your first great views of the Everest region. The landing at Lukla can be a white knuckle affair but the pilots are incredibly skilful dropping the plane down onto a short steep runway.
Once your crew is assembled you start your trek passing through Sherpa villages with well cultivated fields. The trail is generally downhill for the first day but day two starts with a long hard climb to Namche, a surprisingly large town where even Illy coffee and a chocolate brownie are found.
Crossing the suspension bridges that span the Dudh Koshi river, you climb to Tengboche with its incredible monastery set against the backdrop of Ama Dablam, Everest and Lohtse. Next stop is Pheriche and then after a few more days you arrive in Gorak Shep the last stop before Everest Base Camp.
A short climb to the top of Kala Pattar (5545m) for a breath-taking view of the highest mountain on Earth. You then descend again to Dingboche and over the next three days retrace your steps to Lukla to relax and celebrate.
Sleep at Everest Base Camp (Private Only)
For all private trekkers we are able to arrange an overnight stay at Everest Base Camp during the main climbing season from March through May. This is a very unique experience for trekkers as they get to join the campsite of an Everest expedition team and can walk all the way up to the crampon point on the Khumbu icefall. For more details, just contact one of our team!
On arrival at Kathmandu airport, a member of the Kandoo team will meet you and take you to your hotel.
Our adventure starts with a short flight to Lukla, including breathtaking views of the Himalaya region from the air, and a while-knuckle landing on Lukla's mountain runway. We'll meet the rest of our crew at Lukla, and begin hiking up the Dudh Koshi valley on the way to Phakding.
After leaving Phakding, we will cross the same river several times over high suspension bridges. It helps to avoid thinking about Indiana Jones movies here! Soon, we'll pass Monjo and enter the Sagarmatha National Park.
Once inside the Park the trail becomes steep, rising to Namche. Namche Bazaar is the chief trading village for the region, and an excellent place to find a few last Western luxuries, including Illy coffee and some amazing brownies! Better still, on a clear day you can see Everest itself from here.
Namche supports a host of shops, lodges and tea houses, and is an excellent place to grow used to moving around in the thin air nearly 3500m above sea level.
To help the process along, we'll organise a trek to the Everest View Hotel (at 3880 metres). You can enjoy lunch with a world class view of the mountain on their patio.
We'll continue to follow the valley above the Dudh Koshi, and be treated to amazing views of Everest, as well as Lhotse, Nuptse and Ama Dablam along the way. We'll cross another high bridge at the village of Phunki Tenga, where we will stop for lunch.
After a brief rest, we have a steep climb to Tengboche, the site of the largest gompa (Buddhist monastery) in the region.
Day six takes us back down into the forest, and across the Imja Khola. Once across, we'll climb up to Pangboche village and more stunning views of what seems like the entire Himalaya.
We'll continue upwards to the HRA's first aid post at Pheriche, and be able to attend a lecture on avoiding altitude sickness (which we really do advise you to attend).
In order to help with your acclimatisation and prepare you for the higher portions of the trek, we will arrange an excursion to see Tshola Lake and the Tawache and Cholatse Walls.
The short trek will take us up the ridge over Dingboche, where we'll be able to see the Imja Valley spread beneath us, and the south face of Lhotse in the distance.
Today we begin the main trek again, climbing the steep Khumbu Glacier with Tawache and Cholatse peaks overhead. The boulder-strewn terminal moraine makes interesting and rugged terrain, and the top of the glacier is marked with numerous cairns, left to mark the passage of the Sherpas and climbers who have died conquering Everest.
At the glacier's top, the path levels out to a very gentle climb to Lobuche.
The trail now leads along the Khumbu Glacier, providing excellent vistas of the Himalayan peaks nearby. Lunch is at Gorak Shep, and then we are back on the trail for a few hours until we reach Everest Base Camp. We will pass lesser glaciers, ice pinnacles, and the sometimes dangerous crevasses of the Khumbu along the way.
The return trip to Gorak Shep is made along a higher path overlooking the Khumbu icefall and the South Col route.
We'll set off very early on day ten to make for the peak of Kala Pattar, and one of the most awe-inspiring views in the region. The land stretches out before us, from Everest itself to the Khumbu icefield.
After a pause for rest, lunch and photographs, we begin the descent back to Dingboche.
We'll be following the river again for some time, then making our way to Tengboche through rhododendron and birch woods.
After Tengboche, we'll cross the Dudh Koshi and return to Namche.
Our last day of trekking follows the Dudh Koshi valley into Lukla.
At Lukla there is usually a farewell party for everyone - climbers, guides and porters alike - celebrating another successful trek. Be sure to try the traditional Sherpa dances and sample some chang while you're at it. It's a bit like beer, but served hot.
An early breakfast, then off to Lukla airstrip for the flight back to Kathmandu, and your hotel.
On day fourteen, a member of the Kandoo crew will take you to Kathmandu Airport, and see you off on your return flight.
If it were not for the altitude, the EBC trek would be considered fairly moderate. However, when you take the altitude into consideration, the trek becomes quite difficult. On average you will be trekking 5 or 6 hours per day and you will need a good level of fitness. With some basic training we believe the EBC trek is achievable for most people.
The total hiking distance from Lukla to EBC and back is 76 miles or 122 kilometres.
Rivers, valleys, forests, suspension bridges, monasteries, Nepalese villages and, of course, hugely tall mountains make up most of the beautiful scenery on this trek.
The EBC trek is extremely popular so we always recommend booking at least 3 months in advance.
The best time to trek Everest Base Camp is during the warmer and drier months from September to November and March through to late May.