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Although we call this trek our "Budget Everest Base Camp trek" you get the same great guides,  in fact the only things you do not get are food on your trek, private airport transfers and hotels in Kathmandu which you can then arrange yourselves. If you are looking for a really great trek but would like to save a little money on the extras this is a fantastic choice.

Along with the Inca Trail and climbing Kilimanjaro, the Everest base camp trek is one of the world’s greatest treks.  If you love hiking this has to be on your bucket list

The itinerary for this trek is the easiest of the base camp routes we offer and if you are reasonably fit and determined we can help you reach base camp successfully. It  is a lodge-based trek that allows plenty of time to acclimatise properly and enjoy the views. The last day is long but you are on the way back so a cold beer and some great food are just around the corner ..... or the next corner....

This trip starts with an overnight stop in the magical city of Kathmandu, which in spite of increasing numbers of tourists, retains its charm. If you have the energy after your flight make sure to check out some of the best sites including the the temple at Swayambhunath, for magnificent views over the Kathmandu valley, and Boudhanath, the fabulous stupa with the all-seeing eyes.

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About the route

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The trek starts with a roller-coaster 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 skilled at dropping the plane down onto the short, steep runway.

Once you are safely on the ground in Lukla you will meet with your porters and after a final check you start your trek. On this lower part of the trek you will be passing through a series of Sherpa villages, with well cultivated fields, in an area that is remarkably fertile. If you are hiking in mid-Spring you will also see dazzling displays of wild rhododendrons.

The trail is generally downhill for the first day, although as the guides will explain, Nepali flat means a whole lot of little ups and downs that don't gain you any overall height. 

Day two is completely different, as nearly all the day is spent criss-crossing the valley over wire bridges spanning the Dudh Koshi river.  All the time you are climbing steeply up to Namche Bazaar, the capital of the Khumbu region. Namche is a surprisingly large town where you can even find authentic Illy coffee and a really great chocolate brownie. Fill up here, this is as good as it gets!

From Namche, you drop down and climb back up again to reach Tengboche with its incredible monastery. From here you already have great views 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.

Gorak Shep is an unattractive village.  At this point,  you are well into the glacial zone and vegetation is sparse to non-existent. The star of the show here though, is the trek to the top of Kala Pattar (5545m) - this is immediately behind the village and gives breath-taking views of Everest.

From Gorak Shep you make your way up to base camp itself. This is a fairly flat hike over very rough and rocky terrain before the entry to base camp, where you will have time to rest, take pictures and soak up the views. You will then descend to Dingboche, and over the next three days, retrace your steps to Lukla where you can relax and celebrate with an ice cold beer.

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When is the best time to trek?

The best times for trekking to base camp are in Spring from February to late May, and in Autumn from September to the end of November. The summer months are very wet as it is the monsoon season and winter is extremely cold.  Trekking is almost impossible during the summer months as the trails are dangerous. 

There is no real problem in trekking during the winter as it will normally be dry and clear but it does get very cold. If you want to trek during the winter months you need lots of warm clothes.

For a more detailed explanation about what weather to expect on the Everest base camp trek see when to trek.  

As well as weather there are a few other factors you should think about before deciding when to trek. Everest climbers are in base camp in the late Spring.  Also think about the timing of festivals and anything else you might like to do while you are in Nepal. More information is here.

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How hard is the base camp trek?

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We have taken hundreds of fit, regular weekend walkers to base camp. While it it is a tough trek, provided you look after yourself properly and have a Kandoo attitude we can help you get there too.

Looking after yourself means walking slowly and not over-exerting yourself which can cause you to get altitude sickness.   It also means eating plenty of food, staying properly hydrated and managing your temperature so you don't get too hot or cold.

There are really just two things that make the trek tough.  First, even with acclimatisation days you are pretty much trekking 5-6 hours a day for at least 12 days. You need to have hardened your body off to walking to cope with this.

Second, is the effect of altitude. By the time you reach base camp you will have lost almost 50% of the oxygen in the air and this makes any exertion tough. It is important, if you are going to cope with this loss of oxygen, that you train hard before you arrive for your trek, then do everything slowly. This is a 'tortoise challenge'!

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Detailed itinerary

Day 1Kathmandu - pre-trek briefing

Attend pre-trek briefing meeting in Kathmandu.  You will need to arrange your own accommodation for this night as it is not included.

Day 2Flight from Kathmandu to Lukla, trek to Phakding

Our adventure starts with a short flight to Lukla, including breathtaking views of the Himalaya region from the air, and a white-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.

  • Elevation: From 1300 metres to 2800 metres to 2656 metres
Day 3From Phakding to Namche Bazaar

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. 

  • Elevation: From 2656 metres to 3450 metres.
Day 4Acclimatisation Day at Namche Bazaar

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.

  • Elevation: 3450 metres
  • Highest point: 3880 metres
Day 5From Namche Bazaar to Tengboche

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.

  • Elevation: From 3450 metres to 3867 metres
Day 6From Tengboche to Pheriche

Day six takes us back down into the forest, and across the Imja Khola. Once across, we'll climb up to Pangboche village and experience 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).

  • Elevation: From 3867 metres to 4252 metres
Day 7Acclimatisation Day at Pheriche

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.

  • Elevation: 4252 metres
Day 8From Pheriche to Lobuche

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.

  • Elevation: From 4252 metres to 4930 metres.
Day 9From Lobuche to Everest Base Camp, descent to Gorak Shep

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.

  • Elevation: From 4930 metres to 5164 metres
  • Highest point: 5364 metres (Everest Base Camp)
Day 10Ascent of Kala Pattar, descent to Dingboche

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.

  • Elevation: From 5164 metres to 4360 metres
  • Highest point: 5554 metres (Kala Pattar)
Day 11Descent from Dingboche to Namche Bazaar

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.

  • Elevation: From 4360 metres to 3450 metres
Day 12Descent from Namche to Lukla

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.

  • Elevation: 3450 metres to 2800 metres
Day 13Flight from Lukla to Kathmandu

An early breakfast, then off to Lukla airstrip for the flight back to Kathmandu.  From the airport our driver will drop you back to the centre of Kathmandu.

Availability and prices

Last Updated August 25 2020
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Frequently asked questions

The questions and answers below are specific to the Everest base camp trek. For more general questions about trekking in Nepal see here.

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