Everest Base Camp trek is one of the most popular treks in Nepal. Glorious view of the mountains, picture perfect villages and wonderful people during the trek will make you cherish this trip for rest of your life.
Everest Base Camp lies in Sagarmatha National Park, a UNESCO Natural Heritage site. The highest peak in the world- Mt. Everest alongside other mountains: Lhotse, Cho Oyu and Nuptse are visible during this trip.
The culture, lifestyle as well as faith of the Sherpa people is also something that you should look forward to witness during your trip. As long as you prepare well for the trek, there is absolutely no reason to think that you can’t complete the trek. Besides, if you are interested in the EBC trek, you can complete it in merely 10 days.
|Day 01||Kathmandu- Lukla - Phakding||2800m||35 min flight, 3-4 hrs trek|
|Day 02||Phakding - Namche Bazaar||3438 m||5-6 hrs trek|
|Day 03||Namche Bazaar -Tengboche||3870 m||5-6 hrs trek|
|Day 04||Tengboche - Dingboche||4360 m||5-6 hrs trek|
|Day 05||Dingboche - Lobuche||4940 m||4-5 hrs trek|
|Day 06||Lobuche - Gorak Shep - EBC - Gorak Shep||5360 m||7-8 hrs trek|
|Day 07||Gorak Shep - Kala Pathar - Pheriche||5555 m||7-8 hrs trek|
|Day 08||Pheriche - Namche Bazaar||3438 m||6-7 hrs trek|
|Day 9||Namche Bazaar - Lukla||2800 m||6-7 hrs trek|
|Day 10||Lukla - Kathmandu||1400 m||35 min flight|
Max. Altitude: 2800m
Walking Hours: 35 min flight, 3-4 hrs trek to reach Phakding
Distance: 8 km
On the first day of your trip, you will head out to Lukla from Kathmandu. The flight will take off early in the morning. The altitude of Kathmandu is 1400 meters while that of Lukla is twice that of Kathmandu. The flight is a scenic as you fly over the Himalayas.
After landing in Lukla, you will start your trek and reach Phakding. Phakding is slightly lower in altitude than Lukla and has an elevation of 2610 meters. Phakding is a small village in the Khumbu region and lies to the north of Lukla.
The trek to Phakding is merely 3-4 hours in total as you will only trek 8 kilometers. You will have your dinner in Phakding, where you are going to stay overnight.
Max. Altitude: 3438 meters
Walking Hours: 5-6 hrs
Distance: 11 kilometers
The next day, you will set off to Namche Bazaar from Phakding. Namche is located at an altitude of 3438 meters. In total, you will gain an altitude of 828 meters. In terms of the vertical distance, you will walk 11 kilometers. You will spend 5-6 hours trekking this day.
The trek will take you through Monjo village which is located just below the entrance of Sagarmatha National Park. From Monjo, you will enter Sagarmatha National Park, trek to Jorsale and finally reach Namche Bazaar, biggest town in the Everest region.
Namche Bazaar is a town that buzzes with tourists and has a historic marketplace that has souvenirs shops, delicious yak cheese and butter, Tibetan artifacts as well as trekking equipment. You can also visit a cyber cafe as well as a pub here.
You’ll be cvernight at Namche after a dinner in this region.
Max. Altitude: 3870 meters
Walking Hours: 5-6
Distance: 10 km
The next day, you will trek from Namche Bazaar to Tengboche, which has an altitude of 3870 meters. The trekking distance is 10 kilometers and you will complete this trek in 5-6 hours. You will gain an altitude of 430 meters this day.
As you climb higher during your trek. it is extremely important that you don’t gain a lot of altitude in single day. This ensures that the chances of altitude sickness are minimized.
Tengboche is a quaint village in the Khumbu region, Khumjung. Mt. Ama Dablam is visible from this region. Besides, Tengboche Monastery, a Buddhist monastery where a lot of people from various parts of the country come to receive blessing from Lama.
During the spring season, you can see rhododendrons making the surrounding hills in Tengboche beautiful with their presence.
You will have an overnight stay at Tengboche after dining in this region.
Max. Altitude: 4360 m
Walking Hours: 5-6
Distance: 9 km
You will leave Tengboche the next day and arrive at Dingboche. Dingboche is located at an altitude of 4360 meters, roughly 14000 ft. In 5-6 hours of trekking, you will cover a distance of 9 kilometers.
Dingboche also lies in the Khumbu region, Chukung valley. Chukung valley is surrounded by the slopes of mountains like Lhotse, Nuptse and Ama Dablam on various sides. Imja river flows in the eastern part of Dingboche.
You will have your dinner at a lodge Dingboche. You will also spend your night there.
Max. Altitude: 4940 m
Walking Hours: 4-5 hrs
Distance: 7 km
Next day, you will go from Dingboche to Lobuche covering a total distance of 7 kilometers. kilometers. This will be one of the shorter trekking days where you trek for only about 4-5 hours. Lobuche has an altitude of 4940 meters.
Trekking in this day will give you a glimpse of various mountains such as Nuptse, Cholatse, Thamserku,Khumbutse, Lingtren, Pumori and Mahalangur Himal. This place has a name that is shared by various other peaks in this region such as Lobuche East and Lobuche West. Lobuche lies in the foot of the Khumbu glacier.
In the previous years, accommodation in Lobuche was primitive but with the betterment of tourism industry in Nepal, modern facilities such as internet and oxygen facilities are provided in some lodges. You will spend your night in Lobuche.
Max. Altitude: 5360 m
Walking Hours: 7-8
Distance: 15 km
This is perhaps the most thrilling day of your trek where you will trek for around 7-8 hours and cover a total of 15 kilometers.
In the morning, you will trek from Lobuche to Gorak Shep, where you will have your lunch. Gorak Shep has an altitude of 5160 meters. After lunch, you will climb up Khumbu glacier and reach Everest base Camp which has an altitude of 5360 meters.
You will spend an hour or so at the Base Camp where you will have all the chance to admire the beauty of the Everest region. You can take stunning photographs here. After spending quality time here, you will trek back to Gorak Shep.
You will spend your night in a teahouse/ lodge at Gorak Shep.
Max. Altitude: 5555 m
Walking Hours: 7-8 km
Distance: 15 km
From Gorak Shep, you will start your trek early in the morning to Kala Pathar, the highest point in your trek. It has an altitude of 5555 meters. You will cover an identical trekking distance this day as the day before i.e. 15 kilometers. The number of trekking hours is also identical.
Kala Pathar offers the most accessible views of the Everest. It is also important to go to Kala Pathar because the Everest is not visible from the Base Camp. From many surrounding areas, the views of the summit of the Everest is blocked by Nuptse mountain.
After sightseeing in this region, you will descend to Pheriche. This means that the altitude you will lose by getting to Pheriche from Kala Pathar is around 1200 meters. You will spend your night in a guest house in Pheriche.
Max. Altitude: 4371 m
Walking Hours: 6-7
Distance: 15 km
From Pheriche you will descend to Namche Bazaar. Although you will cover a total of 15 kilometers spanning close to 6-7 hours, there will be low chances of you getting tired as you will mostly descend downhill.
The hillside that you can see while you descend while coming down to Namche Bazaar will be covered with rhododendrons as well as juniper trees. While descending, you will cross a bridge over Dudh Koshi river which leads to Sansa. From Sansa, you will get to view of Ama Dablam, Thamserku, and Nuptse.
You will spend your night in a guest house in Namche Bazaar.
Max. Altitude: 3438 m
Walking Hours: 6-7
Distance: 18 km
On this day, you will cover a total distance of 18 kilometers which is the highest in the trek. However, due to the fact that most of the time you will be descending down, you will trek for only 6-7 hours.
Your trekking trail this day will take you through various suspension bridges, Buddhist monasteries and quiet villages to Lukla.
You’ll have an overnight stay in Lukla.
Flight time: 35 mins
On the tenth and the last day, you will take a flight from Lukla to Kathmandu. In this short flight - 35 minutes, you will reach Kathmandu. From the airport, you will be taken to your respective hotels.
- Round trip fair from Kathmandu - Lukla - Kathmandu
- Pick-up and drop-off from airport by a private vehicle
- Food ( breakfast including a cup of tea/coffee, lunch, dinner) and accomodation during the trek
- National Park permits and TIMS ( Trekkers’ Information Management System )
- An experienced guide with a government license and his food, accommodation, salary, insurance, flight, equipment and medicine.
- All Nepalese government taxes.
- International air fare
- VISA fees for entry to Nepal
- Personal expenses such as alcoholic drinks, tips to waiters, laundry
- Accommodation and expenses in Kathmandu
- Trekking equipment
Q1. Is Everest Base Camp Trek difficult or easy?Generally, the trek is not as hard as it sounds. It is rated as a moderate level hike. To get to Everest Base Camp, the trail traverse through many different Sherpa settlements. Also, the trail traverse through a huge variety of the terrain.
There are easy flat trails and difficult steep climbs but overall it is manageable for someone with little or no trekking experience. Also, the itinerary is designed with enough extra days for acclimatization. If you need, you can even spend extra days.
Q2. How much fit do I need to be to complete the Everest Base Camp trek?Everest Base Camp trek is a moderate level trek. You will get enough time to acclimatize with the high altitude.
During the trek, you have to walk for 7-8 hours per day. Even slow walkers can manage comfortably, walking at own pace. But for this, a reasonable fitness is required.
However, if you train your body before the trek, it’ll help to build endurance level. The more fit you are, the trekking will be more enjoyable. You can go for a day hike in your home country. You can do daily exercise like jogging, running, and cycling.
But if you have heart and lungs problem you should consult with your doctor. Be aware, that the medical facilities on the trail are very hard to find and if you find by chance it’s very basic.
Also, due to the steep ascents and descents, rocky paths, and some moraine walking, Everest Base Camp trek is hostile to anyone with knee problems.
Q3. Am I prone to altitude sickness?During the Everest Base Camp trek, there is a high risk of altitude sickness (read: how to prevent altitude sickness in EBC). It is often known as Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). No matter how fit you are altitude sickness can hit you. Careful! it can be fatal.
The effect of altitude is likely to come once you’re above 3,000 meters. The initial symptoms of altitude sickness are as follows:
- Nausea, vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- A persistent headache
- Weakness, fatigue, heavy legs
- Slight swelling of hands and face
- Shortness of breath upon exertion
- Ascend slowly and gradually as you reach higher
- Drink plenty of water
- Take plenty of rest
- Do not smoke, drink alcoholic and high caffeinated drinks
- Eat high-calorie food
Q4. How long does the Everest Base Camp Trek take?This depends upon the route you take and the number of days you spend in acclimatization.
Normally, Everest Base Camp trek can be done in 12-16 days. You can also extend the itinerary from 19-22 days and opt Three Passes Trek and Gokyo Valley Trek. If you want to explore more of the Everest region then these places are worth to visit!
Q5. What kind of accommodation is available along the trekking route?During the trek, you’ll spend most of the nights in tea houses. Tea houses is a synonym of guesthouses. The rooms are very simple but comfortable to sleep. In some places, you might have to use the squatting toilets. On the Everest trekking route till Namche Bazaar, there are many luxurious lodges and hotels. Here you’ll find a luxurious room with attached bathroom and hot shower. As you move to higher altitudes “don’t expect luxurious accommodation”! Check: Everest Base Camp Accommodation Guide
Q6. What kind of food is available?There are a variety of foods in Nepal you can try. During the trekking period, you’ll spend a lot of time in tea houses. Almost all the tea houses have the same food menu.
For breakfast, you’ll get boiled or cooked eggs, bread-butter-jam, pancakes, boiled potatoes, cereals and many more.
For meals, the most preferred dish is Nepalese traditional food “Dal-Bhat”. Rice is served with vegetable curry, lentil, chutney, salad, and meat (optional) cooked in Nepalese style.
Q7. Is drinking water easily available?Yes, throughout the trail you’ll get mineral, boiled or tap water. Mineral water is safe but it is costly especially at higher elevation. The cost of mineral water per liter ranges from USD 1-3.5 from start to the end of the trek.
Another alternative is to carry a spare water bottle and get them filled in teahouses. The tea houses will sell boiled water at a relatively cheaper rate.
Although, you can save money by using reusable water bottle and water purification tablets. It’s cheaper,also controls environment pollution. On the trail, there are enough water taps, you can use purifying tablets and drink.
Q8. Do I need travel insurance for Everest Base Camp?Yes, you need to purchase travel insurance and make sure it covers altitude upto 6,000 meters. Everest Base Camp trek goes above 5,000 m above sea level. Most of the travel insurance policies will not cover you over 3,000 m.
Medical treatment at high altitude can be expensive as it often involves a helicopter airlift rescue. So, a general insurance is not enough for this trek. Before purchasing the packages you must read terms and condition very carefully.
Besides altitude, you may fall sick in the new surrounding, make sure to have all necessary vaccinations prior to going abroad.
Similarly, while traveling your luggage might get lost or stolen or damaged. You may have to loose expensive trekking equipment. Thus, make sure your travel insurance covers for lost, stolen and damaged luggage.
Also, if you’re doing side trips to Island Peak, then it’s best to get the travel insurance that covers helicopter evacuation up to 6,000 m.
Q9. When is the best time to trek to Everest Base Camp?The best time for Everest Base Camp trek is Spring (March to May) and Autumn (September to November). October is the most popular time for this trek. The views are good and the weather conditions is moderate.
During March and April, expect warm and sunny days. There will be very little or no rainfall. The skies are clear with an amazing view of snow-capped Himalayan ranges.
Besides, if you love solitude, then the monsoon (June to August) and winter (December to February) are the great time to do it. But it solely depends on how well you cope with the extreme weather conditions.
Also, while trekking during this time, you need to prepare yourself for flight delays and cancellations. Be aware the trail conditions can be difficult. Compared to the winter season, the visibility can be poor during monsoon.
So, if you go trek in winter you need to be prepared with the right clothing for challenging temperatures. Winter trek can be rewarding though. It could be an exciting way to celebrate Christmas and New Years.
Although the best time for the Everest Base Camp trek is Spring and Autumn, the trail is overcrowded. During this time, the tea houses are often packed by trekkers. You have to pre-book for accommodation and flight.
Q10. Do I need a guide/a porter/ a porter-guide?Although hiring a guide or porter while trekking in Everest region is not mandatory, trekking with a guide or a porter is more safe and enjoyable. A guide is a person who will look after all aspects of your trek. They’ll arrange flight tickets, rooms, meals and camping gears. They’ll also brief you about the history of the village, monastery, the local culture, and traditions.
A porter is someone who’ll carry your baggage for you. Hiring a porter will help you enjoy long walks comfortably. But at the same time, they may not know the trekking route well and may not speak English.
A poter-guide will speak some English, carry loads and do some basic guiding. They’ll help you to get the room, communicate with the locals, show the way, and explain the local culture and traditions.
Besides, if you want to enjoy the solitude, you can do a solo trek. The trekking route is well-marked and busy, so you may not need a guide to find the way.
Q11. Can I charge my electronic devices?Along the route most of the tea houses have electricity powered by solar. Charging your electronic devices will cost you some money especially at the higher elevation.
During the trek, to save some money, you can carry spare batteries for your camera, iPod.
Also, during the peak trekking season, teahouses are packed with trekkers. So, you may not get free space for charging your devices. In that case, you can charge your devices after paying few dollars to the lodge owners.
Q12. Is trekking permit required for Everest Base Camp trek?Yes, TIMS (Trekkers’ Information Management System) Permit and Sagarmatha National Park Permit are needed.
For TIMS card, you can apply in Nepal Tourism Board office in Thamel. There are three different types of TIMS card. Each card is different in color and cost.
The first one is organized TIMS card is blue in color cost USD 10. The second one is freelance individual trekkers card is green in color cost USD 20. The third one is SAARC Country TIMS card is red in color cost USD 3.
Note: You do not need TIMS card to trek to EBC. A local permit costing USD20 works for this trek
Sagarmatha National Park Permit can be issued either in Kathmandu or directly in Monjo. The cost of this permit is USD 30 + 13% Govt. Tax. The cost is same for individual trekker and organized trekkers.
While trekking from Jiri to Everest Base Camp you need Gaurishankar National Park entry permits. The cost of permits is USD 20 and it’s same for both individual and organized trekkers.
Q13. Is tipping the guide or porter mandatory?No, tipping the guide or porter is not mandatory while trekking in Nepal. But it’s always appreciated. At the end of the trek, if you’re really satisfied with their job you can show your appreciation through a small gratitude.
Q14. Do I need to bring camping gear?No, you don’t have to bring unless you want to camp. Everest Base Camp trek is a teahouse trek. There are a lot of tea houses along the entire trekking route.
Q15. Is there are any alternative way to see a close-up view of Mt. Everest without walking for longer days?If you don’t have an ample of time for the Everest Base Camp trek, you can take a day’s Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tour around the Everest region to get a close-up view of the Himalayan ranges.
Q16. Do I need to bring all the necessary gears or can I get in Nepal?This is totally optional. There are plenty of shops in Kathmandu that sell trekking gears. You’ll find few other shops in some places along the trek route too.
Apart from high quality and popular branded stores, you’ll also find many other shops selling a high-quality copy of these brands but at a relatively cheap price.
Apart from this, you can also rent most of the trekking gears and equipments from Kathmandu. The rental cost is quite cheap, it doesn’t exceed more than $3-4 per day.
Right trekking gear can make or break your entire journey. So, it is not advisable to compromise on the quality especially when it comes to down jacket, sleeping bags, and hiking boots. Check this Packing list for Everest Region Trek to get more idea.
During the Everest Base Camp trek, weather changes drastically as you ascend from low to high altitude. You’ll notice huge temperature difference between day and night time.
Thus, while trekking in higher altitudes clothing in layers is the best option. If you dress in layers, with the changing weather you can adjust your body temperature by taking off or putting on extra clothes.
The weight limit for Kathmandu-Lukla-Kathmandu flights is 15 kg or 33 pounds. This is a combined weight of both duffel bag and the daypack. If your luggage exceeds this weight boundary, you’ll have to pay an additional charges.
You can purchase or rent trekking equipments in stores of Kathmandu at reasonable prices.
The checklist of gear and equipment below is a general guideline, use this list as a reference.
- 4-season Sleeping Bag (You can rent for $35 per piece, after trek it must be returned)
- Duffel Bag
- Down Jacket (It’s compulsory for mornings, evenings, and nights and for high altitude above 4,000 m)
- Full and half sleeve T-shirts
- Lightweight expedition thermal tops
- Fleece jacket or pullover
- Wind / Waterproof shell jacket
- Synthetic sports bras (for women)
- Lightweight expedition thermal bottoms
- Hiking shorts
- Trekking pants
- Windproof trousers
- Casual Pants
- Sun Hat
- Wool or Synthetic hat that covers the ears
- Sunglasses with UV protection
- Neck Warmer
- Scarf / Balaclava
- Fleece / woolen gloves
- Waterproof gloves
- Waterproof Hiking Boots
- Camp Sandals / Sneakers
- Heavyweight socks
- Light hiking socks
- Gaiters (Optional: Monsoon and Winter)
- Sock liners
- Water Bottle / Bladder
- Water Purification Iodine Tablets
- Toiletry Kit ( face towel, toilet paper, toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, deodorant etc)
- Trekking Poles
- Feminine Hygiene Products (for women)
- Lip balm (SPF 20)
- Sunscreen (SPF 40)
- Pee Funnel
Other Travel Accessories
- Basic First Aid Kit
- Personal Medication
- Diamox for altitude sickness
- Baby wipes
- Hand sanitizer
- Insect repellent
- Camera, memory card, and spare batteries
Pack light, Pack Smart!