Everest Base Camp and the Hidden Khumbu

From Kathmandu to the Khumbu, possibly the world’s most famous trekking region - Everest Base Camp. Get off the beaten trails and explore this region in depth, including crossing three legendary high passes.

  • Intro
  • Itinerary
  • Dates
  • Price and What's Included

Join us on this incredible trek through the enchanting Sherpa high country and visit Buddhist monasteries, the famous Everest Base Camp and lesser visited valleys of the Khumbu Region. This trek gives you the opportunity to climb the famous peak of Kala Pattar [5554m], the Kongma La [5540m], the Cho La [5370m] and the Renjo La [5415m] – all providing simply incredible views of the Himalayan giants all around!

Your itinerary has been designed to ensure your wellbeing in the world’s highest trekking region and that all precautions are taken to get you safely to Everest Base Camp, across the three high passes as well as exploring the lesser visited areas of this stunning Khumbu (Everest) region.

Everest Base Camp and the Hidden Khumbu itinerary

View Detailed itinerary

Day 1 Flight to Lukla [2800m] & trek to Phakding [2656m]

Your guide will meet you early in the morning and escort you to the domestic airport for your spectacular flight and exciting landing on the steep mountain runway. This brings you to the start of your trek at the village of Lukla [2800m]. After your guide organises the trekking crew, you head up the Dudh Kosi Valley on a well-marked trail to your first night near the river at Phakding. (approx 3-4 hours)

Day 2 Trek to Namche [3450m]

From Phakding, you cross and re-cross the river on high suspension bridges. Beyond Monjo is the entrance to the Sagarmatha National Park which was set-up in order to protect and preserve this fragile mountain environment. You then ascend steeply to Namche and along the way, if the weather is clear, catch a first glimpse of Mt Everest in the distance. Namche is the main trading village in the Khumbu and has a busy Saturday market – a meeting place for the Hindu traders from the lowlands and the Tibetan yak caravans that have crossed the glaciated Nangpa La. (approx 5-6 hours)


Day 3 Acclimatisation day in Namche

Namche is tucked away between two ridges amidst the giant peaks of the Khumbu and has an abundance of lodges, tea shops and souvenir shops as well as a magnificent outlook. It is an ideal place to spend a rest day, acclimatising to the new altitude before heading off towards Tengboche. Options for acclimatisation walks include a visit to Khunde Hospital which was set-up by Sir Edmund Hillary, or a one hour walk up to the Everest View Hotel above Namche for the sunset view of Ama Dablam, Nuptse, Lhotse and Everest. There are also good views from the National Park Centre and Museum just above the town.

Day 4 Trek to Tengboche [3846m]

From Namche, the trail contours around the side of the valley, high above the Dudh Kosi. Now you get your first really good views from the trail of the great peaks of the Khumbu; including Mt Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse and Ama Dablam. Passing by several villages and numerous tea shops, you descend steeply to a bridge over the river at Phunki Tenga. The village, with its water driven prayer wheels, is an excellent lunch spot, and here you can get a good rest before making the steep climb to Tengboche. Although tiring, the hike up the zigzag path has numerous distractions, with rhododendron bushes, beautiful birds and superb mountain scenery. Tengboche is famous for its legendary monastery, the largest in the Khumbu. You stay at a tea house near the monastery with Everest, Lhotse and Ama Dablam in full view (weather permitting of course). (approx 5 hours)

Day 5 Trek to Dingboche [4300m]

To start off this morning you descend steeply through gorgeous Rhododendron forest to Deboche, cross the Imja Khola and climb steadily to the village of Pangboche.

This is directly opposite Ama Dablam [6,856 m], and has exceptional views of the mountain, with mani walls, walled fields and scattered pine trees in the foreground. Old Pangboche’s gompa is the oldest monastery in the Khumbu, founded in 1667 and housing relics said to be the skull and hand of a yeti. A further two to three hours walking brings you to Dingboche. (approx 5-6 hours)

Day 6 Acclimatisation day in Dingboche

Today is a good chance to take your body a bit higher during the day and sleep back down at Dingboche in the evening. Some great hikes include exploring upper Dingboche, which has a more traditional feel than the lower part of town, taken up with the trekking lodges that we rely on up here. We can also head up onto the ridgeline to a peak called Dolma Ri, topped with prayer flags and said to be the home of eagles. For a smaller excursion there is the chance to visit an old Buddhist hermitage called Nangar Dzong. However, if you are tired, just take it easy and rest – listen to your body!

Day 7 Trek to Chhukung [4730m]

Today we leave the main EBC trail and trek up along the Imja Khola into the upper Imja Valley to Chhukung, a seasonal herding village nestled under Ama Dablam, the immense 3000m south face of Lhotse, the Nuptse wall, Peak 38 and Island Peak, to name just a few of the incredible landscape features that make this such an awesome setting. It’s a short walk, but as we have gained altitude, in the afternoon we will just relax and take it easy in our simple tea house, marvelling at the impressive ice flutings and ridges which surround us up there. (approx 3 hours)

Day 8 Climb Chhukung Ri [5530m]

Today we have the option to climb Chhukung Ri, a climbing peak with two summits, the higher at about 5530m. From the summit, the views are of course spectacular, particularly of Makalu, but also of the mind-blowing number of huge peaks surrounding us.If you find you would like to take it a bit easier, then another option is to hike up the rolling valley towards Island Peak Base Camp, a three hour journey up, two hours back. We may meet Island Peak climbers who wander into camp in the late afternoon, exhausted after the day’s climb.

Day 9 Trek to Labuche [4930m]

From Chhukung we have two options: We can descend to Dingboche and continue to Labuche from there, or we can cross the high pass, the Kongma La [5540m]. If we take the first option, then we retrace our steps to Dingboche and enjoy a cuppa at our old tea house. We then follow a trail along the side of the wide valley, with the valley floor and Pheriche below us and the impressive peaks of Cholatse and Tawache above us on our left. We have a short climb up to Dughla and our lunch spot before making our way onto the terminus or ‘foot’ of the enormous Khumbu Glacier, climbing more steeply now. At the top of this climb there are many stone cairns, built as memorials to the many Sherpas and mountaineers who have died while climbing Mt Everest. Our path then climbs gently along the rocky paths on the glacier, to eventually reach the cluster of houses at Labuche. (approx 6-7 hours)

If we take option two and climb the pass (your trekking crew will determine who has acclimatised well enough to attempt this high pass and may split the group so everyone gets to have an amazing day) then we head west out of Chhukung on a small, rocky trail and contour around the hillsides until we reach Pokalden Base Camp. The trail then gets steeper around some more hillsides and we will reach a second Pokalden Base Camp and a clear blue lake which sits just below the pass. We climb the last half hour or so on a wild looking trail cut impossibly into the cliff side. It is a solid trail, but looks pretty interesting! After reaching the pass, we make our way down into Labuche, and focus our energy on rehydrating with endless of cups of Nepali tea, soup and long chats about the trails so far.

Day 10 Trek to Gorak Shep [5184m]

To reach our next objective, Kala Pattar, the trail follows the Khumbu Glacier, and offers superb views of the surrounding mountains, especially where the path is forced to rise to cross a tributary glacier. We stop for lunch at our camping place for the night, Gorak Shep. Later in the afternoon, when the sunset colours begin to appear on Everest, we make our way to the top of one of the finest viewpoints in the Everest region, Kala Pattar [5554m]. As the light begins to fade we stroll back down to our basic lodge at Gorak Shep and have an early night in preparation for our trek to Everest Base Camp the following day. (approx 2 hours to Gorak Shep)

Day 11 Trek to Everest Base Camp [approx 5300m]

This is it! You want to get and going early this morning as the walk to base camp and back to Gorak Shep requires about 5-6 hours, following the Khumbu glacier, sometimes on moraine and sometimes on the glacier itself. Base Camp does not have a set elevation as it will be in a slightly different place each year, but you will certainly know it when you get there! On reaching the base camp, please respect the space of any climbing expeditions based there, but enjoy this crowning moment, before returning down the long trail back down to Labuche. Today we will take a packed lunch, although in the peak season there is a bakery operating at Base Camp these days, so you can get a nice snack there if it is open! (approx 7-8 hours)

Day 12 Trek to Dzongla [4830m]

Today we retrace our steps down to Labuche and then we leave the main EBC trail again, taking an alternative, winding trail to Dzongla past the Cho La Lake. This is a lovely walk, contouring around the hillsides and enjoying the simply stunning panoramic mountain views. We enter the valley with Tawache Peak Base Camp and, crossing the river, have one more steep climb up into Dzongla, which is a small ‘kharka’ or pasture ground with two lodges. Here we are just a few hours below the Cho La pass and can relax and enjoy the amazing view up at the sheer wall of Cholatse Peak. (approx 5-6 hours)

Day 13 Trek to Dragnak [4700m] via the Cho La [5370m]

Today our trail goes up high to the Cho La at 5370m. It will take us about 3-4 hours to the pass from where, as you’d expect, you have sensational views! We start out from Dzongla by climbing up to a plateau like section and then, after crossing a mountain stream, often icy so be careful, we begin the real ascent to the pass. It’s a fun, but steep and rocky ascent, often with ice on the trail, so we need to take it seriously but have a great time in this incredible landscape, stopping to enjoy the surroundings as we go. Once up at the glaciated pass, we trek across the snow and ice to the summit and take in the incredible views of Ama Dablam, Kantega, Thamserku, Tawache, Cholatse and Baruntse to the east, and to Nangpai Gosain, Pasang Lhamo, Numbur and on the Gokyo side of the pass.

From the pass we descend steeply for 1 ½ hours and then the descent becomes more gradual, on a rocky hill trail, before it steepens again for our last descent into the welcome haven of Dragnak. (approx 5-6 hours)

Day 14 Trek to Gokyo [4700m]

From Dragnak, our trail heads out through the big Nzogomba Glacier with creaking glacial lakes below us and ridiculously stunning landscape all around us. We make our way across the glacier and trek past the second lake into the Gokyo Valley – so different form where we have come from, this is a green ablation valley dotted with gorgeous, turquoise glacial lakes. We now have a stunning walk into Gokyo, a seasonal grazing village built beside the third and largest lake and with our first views up to Cho Oyo (8201m). (approx 2-3 hours)

Day 15 Rest/Explore Gokyo/Climb Gokyo Ri [5400m]

Today can be used as a rest day, or we can get out and explore Gokyo. If we feel good, then head out up Gokyo Ri, 5400m. This peak offer yet more amazing views, in fact considered one of the best for the four highest mountains in the area; Everest, Lhotse, Makalu and Cho Oyu. It’s also a great vantage point for all-around spectacular views of the lakes, the glacial moraine and the Khumbu icefall. It is fantastic in the morning, the middle of the day or for sunset, but don’t forget to bring a torch if you opt for a ‘sunset on Everest’ views, which is better than the sunrise. If the peak is not your thing for today, then there’s a super nice 3-4 hour round trip to the fifth lake for a good view of Mt Everest from an alternate perspective.

Day 16 Trek to Lungden [4375m] over the Renjo La [5415m]

Back on the trails again, we have another stunning but long day, so it’s good to get out early. Our trail heads out around the side of the lake, then switch backs up a ridge until we reach an often frozen stream. Here we begin the steep ascent to the Renjo La, finally reaching the famous pass after skirting a dramatic rock face before the top. The mornings climb will take us about 4 hours and we stop to enjoy our picnic lunch and yet more ridiculously stunning views.

After the pass we have a steep descent for an hour or so to a lake where the terrain levels out for a bit in yak kharkas. We pass the twin Renjo Lakes and then we have a last steep decent into the Thame Valley. We stay the night in the small hamlet of Lungden, again with spectacular views and located in one of the lesser visited areas of the Khumbu region, allowing us to experience more closely the traditional life of Sherpa families. (approx 6 hours)

Day 17 Trek to Thame [3805m]

Today our trail follows the Bhote Koshi river for about 3-4 hours down into Thame. Our walk will feel like a step back in time as we pass by many old, walled Sherpa villages, seasonal settlements of the Thame and Thamo villagers. We will probably also share the trail with Tibetan yak caravans, Khampas, trading en route to and from Namche and Tibet with the villagers. Thame is a beautiful old village with snaking rock walls, yak paddocks and the gorgeous, traditional slate-roofed Sherpa houses. Thame Gompa, perched up to the north of the village, is one of the oldest in the Khumbu, so it’s well worth while to take the afternoon to climb to the Gompa and wander around this old, walled village. In Thame we can also see the Advanced Mountaineering Training School and their hydro power station. (approx 3-4 hours)

Day 18 Trek to Khongde [4200m]

After breakfast we take a walk for 5/6 hours through the forest, we reach at Kongde which is the ideal place for a blissful experience: Enjoy the beautiful panoramic views of Mt. Everest, Lhotse, Cho-Oyu, Gyjungkhang, Pumori, Nuptse, Ama Dablam, Tawache, Thamserku and Kusum Khangkaru and other more peaks during all the day walking.

Day 19 Trek to Lukla [2800m]

This morning, we have a steep 4 hours walk down to Phakding with great views of Thamserku, Kusum Khangkaru and scenic views of Sherpa villages around Phakding, Lukla and Chourikharka. From Phakding we are back following the familiar trail we came up so many days ago. We are back in the lush Dudh Kosi river valley and follow the river back down to Lukla. This last evening in the mountains is the ideal opportunity for a farewell party with your guide and porters, where you can sample some chang, try Sherpa dancing and look back on a memorable trekking experience. (approx 8 hours)

Day 20 Fly to Kathmandu [1400m]

After an early breakfast you head to the airstrip with your guide for the return journey to Kathmandu. We will transfer you to your hotel in Kathmandu and the rest of the day is free for relaxing, getting a massage or taking in the life of town from a street side cafe!

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The best seasons for this trek are October-November and March-June, to avoid the monsoon weather of the Summer and freezing temperatures of the winter.
But for the adventurous spirits among you, Summer brings the blooming wild flowers and while it is wet, the warmer air gives you a peak beneath the snow. Winter can also be an amazing time to take this trip, the freezing temperatures provide crisp and clear views like you’ve never seen before.

Current departure dates

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Base price per person $1660

Price based on a minimum of 4 pax.


Throughout your trek you will be guided by an expert trekker who is there to not only show you the way, but also impart some local knowledge to ensure that you get an authentic experience in Nepal and of course, a safe one!
Accommodation is in local tea houses – they’re basic but clean.

What is included

  • Tea house accommodation while on trek
    Note: local tea houses are basic but clean and they do not often have attached bathrooms or hot showers. The price is based on twin share and does not include any extra charge that lodge owners may levy for single rooms, attached bathrooms or hot showers (if these facilities are available) or for battery charging. We can’t know in advance what they may/may not charge in different lodges you so we prefer to leave this cost out, out rather than pass along an ‘imaginary’ charge to you!
  • 2 nights in Hotel Sherpa land in Namche Bazaar with all meals
  • 1 night in Hotel Kongde with all meals
  • All meals on trek, with boiled drinking water (ie all meals commencing from lunch on day 1 and finishing with breakfast on Day 20)
  • Your return flights to and from Kathmandu for you and your guide, including transfers and airport taxes
  • Your trekking guide and porters, with all their transport, equipment, insurance and including their meals and accommodation and a first aid kit appropriate for the group size and trek route
  • Trekking permits and registration fees
  • Expert western leader

What is not included

  • Services and activities not mentioned in the detailed itinerary
  • Any gear or equipment that you may need to rent/buy – please ask us if you would like any advice about gear to bring/buy/rent
  • International flights to and from Kathmandu
  • Nepal visa fees and international airport taxes
  • Any excess baggage charges
  • Comprehensive travel insurance that includes trip cancellation and rescue evacuation should this be required for any reason (we require this as the minimum insurance cover)
  • Rescue/evacuation costs (to be covered by your insurance)
  • Additional nights, optional trips and sightseeing tours outside the detailed itineraries above
  • Single supplement
  • Personal expenses (eg mineral water/soft drinks/bar bills, entrance/photography fees at monasteries, laundry, telephone calls, postage, donations, extra snacks etc)
  • Any extra charge that tea house owners may levy for single rooms, attached bathrooms, hot showers or charging of batteries (if these facilities are available)
  • Costs incurred due to changes in programs and reservations due to unforeseen events (eg landslides, strikes, fuel shortages, etc)

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What impressed me most about the trip was how completely I could focus on just riding the bike and experiencing the surroundings... Mads and the support staff did a great job.
Peter Musgrave Canada