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Plan your Everest Base Camp trek

Kandoo's View

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 'pre-monsoon' (February, March, April and May), and in Autumn 'post monsoon' (September October, November and December). 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 and if you want to sleep in base camp  itself this is the time of the year to go.  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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Is it difficult trekking into Everest Base Camp in Nepal?

As soon you start trek to the Everest Base Camp you are at 2,850m/ 9,000 ft and you start walking to 5,364m/ 17,500ft high in the Himalaya’s. We highly suggest you to drastically slow your walking pace. The best way to trek on higher altitude and to climb any mountain range is by spending as little energy as possible while you move from one village to next.

Sleep overnight at base camp

For  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!

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Trip dossier, route maps and profile

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Everest Base Camp Trek Animated Route Map
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Everest Base Camp Trek: Kandoo Adventures Route Profile

Detailed itinerary

Day 1Arrival

On arrival at Kathmandu airport, a member of the Kandoo team will meet you and take you to your hotel.

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, and your hotel.

Day 14Kathmandu

Free time to explore the vibrant, bustling city of Kathmandu and immerse yourself in its wonderful culture

Day 15Departure

A member of the Kandoo crew will take you to Kathmandu Airport, and see you off on your return flight.

Availability and prices

Last Updated November 12 2019
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Arrival: November 17 2019
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Price: £1129 $1468 €0
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Arrival: November 24 2019
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Arrival: January 12 2020
Days: 15
Price: £1179 $1533 €0
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Arrival: January 26 2020
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Arrival: February 9 2020
Days: 15
Price: £1179 $1533 €0
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Arrival: March 22 2020
Days: 15
Price: £1229 $1598 €0
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Days: 15
Price: £1229 $1598 €0
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Price: £1229 $1598 €0
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Price: £1229 $1598 €0
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Days: 15
Price: £1229 $1598 €0
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Days: 15
Price: £1229 $1598 €0
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Arrival: September 13 2020
Days: 15
Price: £1179 $1533 €0
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Arrival: September 27 2020
Days: 15
Price: £1179 $1533 €0
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Arrival: October 11 2020
Days: 15
Price: £1229 $1598 €0
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Arrival: October 25 2020
Days: 15
Price: £1229 $1598 €0
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Arrival: November 8 2020
Days: 15
Price: £1229 $1598 €0
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Arrival: November 22 2020
Days: 15
Price: £1179 $1533 €0
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Arrival: December 13 2020
Days: 15
Price: £1179 $1533 €0
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Arrival: December 20 2020
Days: 15
Price: £1179 $1533 €0
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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.

How hard is Everest base camp?

Everest Base Camp (EBC) is a notoriously difficult environment, and extremely hard for even the most experienced climbers. The EBC trek may seem basic on paper, but the high altitude makes it exponentially more difficult and more dangerous.

The very start of the EBC trek, known as Lukla, sits at nearly 3,000 metres high. At such altitudes, the human body can start going through trauma, known as Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). And as you know, the climb only goes upward from there to Base Camp. The key to survival is to take things slowly.

The highest point in the journey is actually on your return: the view at Kala Patthar, stands at 5,554 metres.

Everest base camp best time to go

The best time to go to Everest Base Camp would be during Spring and Fall. You’ll want to avoid monsoon season, so you can go either before, in February, March, April, or May, or after in late September, October, November or December. There are other potential timeframes, but those are the safest and most common.

Cost to climb Everest base camp

An average trek to Everest Base Camp usually takes 12-15 days, and costs range from about $1,400 to $1,700 USD per person. That cost includes your airfare, proper permits, as well as food, lodging, and any other accommodations at Base Camp. 

Q1How far is the Everest Base Camp trek?

The total hiking distance from Lukla to EBC and back is 76 miles or 122 kilometres.

Q2Do I need to book in advance?

The EBC trek is extremely popular, so we always recommend booking at least 3 months in advance. We run with a small team of very experienced guides and with short trekking seasons we get booked up quite early.

Q3What kit will I need for the trek?

The key challenge on this trek is the big variations in temperature you will experience, both between day and night, and as you increase altitude from Lukla up to base camp. The best solution to this is lots of different layers of clothing that you can adjust to keep your temperature just right. And, of course, a really good sleeping bag. For more detailed advice on the kit you will need see here.

Q4How many days do I need for the trek?

After running Everest treks for over 10 years we have found that our 12 day itinerary is the shortest that has a great success rate and a very low risk of altitude sickness. If you want to go shorter than this then you could consider a helitrek.

Q5How do I get to Nepal for this trek?

If you are travelling from Europe or the east coast of the USA, the best routes to Nepal are either via the Middle East hub airports or through one of the main international airports in India. We particularly like Qatar Airways when flying from the UK.  If you are travelling from East of Nepal or from the west coast of the USA, the best routings are via Singapore, Bangkok or Hong Kong.

Q6Will I need any vaccinations for this trek?

Any visitor to Nepal should have all their vaccinations checked as the list of what is recommended is lengthy, and includes hepatitis A and B. You must check your vaccination record with your doctor, but general advice on vaccinations is here.

Q7What is the accommodation like on the trek?

Our EBC trek is based in lodges, which are often called tea houses. We have tried camping treks, but find that staying in lodges is a more comfortable and enjoyable experience. The standard of accommodation and the facilities available varies a lot, but generally decreases as you go higher up the mountain. For more information about lodges see here

Q8What will the food be like on the trek?

Prior to 2014 we operated treks with food in the lodges included, as the choices were relatively limited and the "Lodge" fixed menu was a good option. Since then, as the lodges have improved in quality so have the choice of foods, with most lodges now offering an extensive menu. In order to allow clients to choose exactly what they wanted, we now operate all our treks on a lodge only basis. You will need to budget for between $25-30 each day for all meals. You can see a typical menu here.

Q9What tips would you recommend?

Our crew are some of the very best paid in Nepal and tips are not a substitute for wages. Tipping is part of the culture in Nepal and we recommend  $15 per day per guide and $8 per day per porter.  These amounts are for the group as a whole and not per trekker. 

Q10When is the best time to trek?

In short, there are two seasons, February to May and September to end of November. There is more information on the best time to trek in the Everest region here and detailed information about the weather in the Everest region here.

Q11Is the Lukla flight safe? Do I have to fly to Lukla?

Over the years, there have been accidents on the Lukla flights - given the difficulty of landing on the side of a mountain and the extreme weather conditions, the risk is unavoidable to some extent. More recently there have been no issues and everyone at Kandoo use the flights regularly.

Unless you want to take a two day bus drive to Jiri and then add in an extra 7 days to your trek there is no alternative to taking the flight if you want to trek to Everest base camp. And remember - the roads in Nepal are no safer.

Q12Should I have contingency in place, in case of flight delays?

Definitely yes. Lukla airport is notorious for being shut to fog, and if you have no slack in your international flight schedule this can cause big problems for you. All our Everest region trips allow one full contingency day, but if you have the time, it is worth booking extra days or buying a fully flexible international flight.

Q13What travel insurance do I need?

You will need high altitude trekking insurance to cover you to 5500m, for more on insurance see here.

Q14What currency will I need?

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. 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

Q15What can I do in the lodges in the evening?

Because of the need to acclimatise slowly some days are quite short, so you will have a lot of down-time, and there is no entertainment in the lodges. Stock up on good books (a kindle or similar) and take a pack of cards. The Nepalese love to play cards, and your guide will happily show you some of their local games.

Q16How will I get drinking water?

We will micro-filter water for you every day, so just bring a large bottle or a water pack like platypus

Q17Can I Trek to Everest Base Camp With Asthma?

Everyone’s asthma works in different ways so the effects of the climate and altitude can be different from person to person. However, for all cases, it is important to ensure your asthma is in full control before starting your trek.

The Everest Base Camp trek goes up to approximately 5500m. The air at this altitude is a lot colder and dryer.  If cold and dry air is a trigger for your asthma, then we highly recommend using a neck scarf (e.g. a buff). Another option would be getting a new medication or bronchodilators as this will make inhaling the cold, dry air easier.

Due to the extreme temperatures, an aerosol inhaler will freeze, so it is important to keep it in a warm place and in the case of you needing to use it, it is best practice to warm it up between your hands beforehand.

Various research has shown that asthmatics actually suffer fewer symptoms at higher altitudes. This is because there are fewer levels of allergens in the air to act as a trigger for your asthma. If it is only allergens that trigger your asthma, you’ll most likely do better at altitude than at sea level.

Asthma through excessive exercise is going to be one of the hardest ones to avoid as you are constantly working your body, and because of the lack of oxygen in the thinner air,  your body will be working harder than normal. It is important to take your trek slowly, take regular breaks and stay well hydrated. We recommend to be as fit as possible before starting your trek so you do not have to push yourself too hard.

Overall, asthmatics should not have a problem trekking to Everest base camp, providing a few precautions are taken; you are fit and healthy, walking slowly and monitor your breathing closely. It goes without saying to consult with your doctor beforehand to get their opinion

Speak with an expert Start planning your next adventure by contacting one of our team.
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Rachael Bode

Adventure Travel Consultant

Phone: + 44 1283 499982

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Sharon King

Adventure Travel Consultant

Phone: +44 1283 499981

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