Everest Base Camp Trek
Base Camp. Two little syllables that conjure up dreams as immense and powerful as the Himalayan Mountains themselves. This 15-day trekking tour is your chance to make these dreams come true, to challenge yourself and discover both the majesty of the mountains and your own potential. Walk among giants of nature and revel in the sense of freedom that comes from leaving Wi-Fi and Netflix behind for card games in tiny teahouses, learning about Sherpa life and watching the sunrise over Everest. Plus, our commitment to the rights and fair treatment of porters and trekking guides means you can rest assured knowing you’re doing the trek of a lifetime the ethical way. ALTERNATE ITINERARY: In case of weather conditions leading to cancellations or delays in included flights, this trip will operate on an alternate itinerary. Please see day 1 of the itinerary for more details.
Tour At a Glance
- In addition to immense rugged mountains, witness everything from still alpine lakes and glacial plains to frothy rivers and valleys covered in pink blossoms, depending on the season.
- A trek like this is the bonding experience of a lifetime and the genuine comradery formed between members of your small group will stay with your forever.
- Get your first glimpses of the mighty Himalayan range on the included flight from Kathmandu to Lukla – the famous airport in the sky.
- Hike with an experienced and passionate English-speaking local leader as well as a team of guides and porters who will introduce you to rich Sherpa culture.
- We partner with local mountaineering and porter welfare programs, so you can trek easier knowing that while our porters are taking care of you, there’s someone looking out for them.
- Read our comprehensive guide on trekking in the Everest region here:
- Tour code: HNXE
- Group Adventure
Namaste! Welcome to Kathmandu, the Namaste! Welcome to Kathmandu, the colourful capital of Nepal where ornately carved balconies mingle with beautiful shrines and temples. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 2 pm today. If you arrive with time to spare, maybe check out the storied stupas and pagodas of Swayambhunath (Monkey Temple) or take a walk around the local Durbar Square. If you’ve got limited time in the city, consider an immersive Urban Adventure like Cook in Kathmandu, a community farm-to-table cooking class with the Seven Women social enterprise. ALTERNATIVE ITINERARY DUE TO FLIGHT CANCELLATIONS: Weather conditions in the Himalayas can change rapidly, which can result in the need for changes to be made to our intended itineraries. Flights throughout Nepal – particularly in high mountain areas – are often delayed or cancelled due to poor weather conditions. Flights between Kathmandu and Lukla are particularly prone to these delays which has the potential to vary the itinerary of our tour departures. Our contingency plans in case of bad weather preventing the fixed wing aircraft flight from Kathmandu to Lukla are as follows: Day 2 – We will attempt to board our booked fixed-wing plane as per the itinerary. If this flight is cancelled, we will return to our hotel in Kathmandu for an additional night. Day 3 – We will again attempt to board our booked fixed-wing plane. If this flight is cancelled we will endeavour to charter a helicopter to transport the group, provided helicopters are available and weather does not prevent them from flying to Lukla. Travellers will need to use their emergency fund to cover the cost of the chartered helicopter. The exact cost will depend on how many travellers are in your group and could be up to US 500. If we reach Lukla on day 3 by either fixed wing aircraft or helicopter we will then follow the same itinerary to Everest Base Camp but descend over one less day in order to take our return flight from Lukla on day 14. Day 4 – If both fixed-wing planes and helicopters are unable to reach Lukla on the morning of day 3, then on day 4 we will travel by road to Phaplu (an approximately 9-hour drive by private vehicle) and then trek to Tengboche on the Everest Base Camp route via Lukla. While we will not be able to reach Base Camp itself on this altered itinerary, but our travellers have still found it a highly enjoyable trek with superb views of the ranges and Everest itself. We also advise allowing a few extra days in Kathmandu at the end of your trip should your return flights from Lukla be delayed due to weather conditions.
Hotel ( Night)
Kathmandu - Rickshaw Night Explorer Urban Adventure - USD68Kathmandu - In Focus: Cook in Kathmandu Urban Adventure - USD93Kathmandu - Kathmandu Living Urban Adventure - USD66
2 Phakding (2610 m)
Sitting at 8848 m Mt Everest, the h Sitting at 8848 m Mt Everest, the highest peak in the world, is one of the greatest trekking destinations. Locally known as Sagarmatha, the mountain has long been revered as the home of the gods. First conquered by Tenzing Norgay and Sir Edmund Hillary in 1953, Everest has traditionally been the ultimate goal for mountaineers. On this trip you will take on the challenge of reaching the mountaineer's base camp and gain an insight into the world famous Sherpa culture. You will cross glaciers and broad plains, traverse valleys and climb high passes to reach the picturesque Everest Base Camp. Our accommodation comprises small, basic teahouses along the track. These basic but cosy remote houses are operated by the mountain Nepalese to cater for trekkers and also offer simple yet filling and delicious meals to sustain our efforts. This is a challenging trip and involves difficult trekking at high altitudes but the whole experience is simply awe-inspiring! Today we have a very early (approx. 6.30 am) flight from Kathmandu to Lukla (45 minutes). If the weather is good, the views of the Himalayas from the small plane are amazing! After breakfast in Lukla (2840 m), a short safety talk and an introduction to our porters, we gear up and commence our trek. Today is a fairly gentle introduction, following the milk-white Dudh Kosi River approximately three-hours to Phakding (2610 m). Overall altitude gain today between places we sleep is -190m.
Teahouse ( Night)
3 Namche Bazaar (3440 m)
Today you’ll trek around 7 hours to Today you’ll trek around 7 hours to Namche Bazaar, where you’ll spend a couple of days acclimatising to the altitude. You might also get your first look at Everest itself. From Phakding you’ll cross the river and head up the valley, following in the footsteps of the porters loaded with supplies for Namche Bazaar. The trail, lined with blue pine forest, follows the river valley and is especially spectacular in spring when the rhododendron flowers are bright in bloom. Cross the Dudh Kosi River at Benkar, and look way up above 6,000 metres to see the peaks of snow-capped Kusum Kanguru (6369m) and Thamserku (6623m). Press on to Monjo (2835m), a good place to break for lunch. From here the walk starts to get a little tougher, with a steep ascent to Namche Bazaar. Enter into the national park, cross the river through the village of Jorsale (2805m) and then continue upstream. Cross another spectacular suspension bridge and begin the ascent to Namche Bazaar. Get your camera out as now there will be your first glimpse of the peaks of Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse and Taweche. Namche will be your last chance to check your equipment and hire any additional gear for the high altitudes from Dingboche onwards. Namche Bazaar is also the last chance to enjoy the local nightlife or take to the pool hall and video parlours.
Teahouse ( Night)
4 Namche Bazaar (3440 m)
You’ll stay at Namche Bazaar for an You’ll stay at Namche Bazaar for another night so that you can properly acclimatise to the altitude. One of the best ways to do this is to take strenuous walk up to a high altitude then come back down to sleep – so there’s an optional walk above the Bhote Khola River Valley towards Thami (3810m). Taking a walk to see both the sunrise and sunset views from the national park headquarters above the village is also a great option. This stunning vista includes a super panorama of the Khumbu peaks and great views of Everest. The national park headquarters are home to interesting displays about Sherpa lifestyle and culture, and the local flora and fauna. Namche gained its importance during the period when Tibetan salt was traded for the lowland grains of Nepal. Rugs, clothing, salt and dried meat still all do a roaring trade in the village centre, so haggle for any extra supplies you might need.
Teahouse ( Night)
5 Phortse Gaon (3810 m)
Today we trek for about 6-7 hours t Today we trek for about 6-7 hours to cover the 9 km from Namche Bazaar to Phortse. This route offers amazing insight into the life and culture of the sherpas, and that night we stay in a village that is home to a number of sherpas who have reached Everest's summit. Looking out from Phortse, the views of Amadablam are great. Overall altitude gain between places we sleep is 370m.
Teahouse ( Night)
6 Dingboche (4360m)
Climb above the tree-line and trek Climb above the tree-line and trek approximately six hours covering the distance of 8 kms to Dingboche. Here you’ll find a beautiful patchwork of small fields enclosed by stone walls. These walls protect crops of barley and potatoes from the cold winds. The scenery is once again spectacular and although Everest will be hidden behind the Lhotse-Nuptse Ridge, the huge peaks that tower above the eastern end of the valley are more than worthy. If the weather’s right, then there will be gorgeous sunsets illuminating the peaks – Ama Dablam, the south face of Lhotse to the north, and also Island Peak in the centre of the valley. Overall altitude gain between places we sleep is 600m.
Teahouse ( Night)
7 Dingboche (4410 m)
Today is another acclimatisation da Today is another acclimatisation day. Staying the night in Dingboche we take day hikes to Amadablam base camp, Nagarjun Hill or Chukkhung.
Teahouse ( Night)
8 Lobuche (4900 m)
From Dingboche, ascend the small ri From Dingboche, ascend the small ridge behind the village above the Pheriche valley. From the stupa at the top, Taweche and Cholatse (6440m) make for a pretty striking scene; they seem to lean forwards from across the valley in the west. To the north, Lobuje Peak (6119m) and the snowfields of the Cho La are the kings of the skyline. The walking will now be fairly flat on wide-open fields, but remember that there’s no rush – take your time and ensure you’re well hydrated. Late in the morning you will cross the Khumbu Khola at Dughla and take a light lunch at the foot of the huge terminal moraines of the Khumbu Glacier flowing off Everest. In the afternoon, there will be a solid and quite steep climb on a rocky trail to the top of the moraines. On the crest of the ridge, you’ll pass a line of memorial cairns (stacks of stones), built in memory of the Sherpas and climbers who have died on various Everest expeditions over the last fifty or so years. From here the view is downright spectacular once again, with Pumori (7145m), Lingtren (6697m), Khumbutse (6623m), and across the border in Tibet, Changtse (7550m), surrounding you. Then follow the valley stream to the lodge at Lobuje, arriving early afternoon. The trek to Lobuche is about six hours and covers 7 km, bringing us close to our ultimate goal! Overall altitude gain between places we sleep is 490m.
Teahouse ( Night)
9 Gorak Shep - Everest Base Camp (5364 m)
This is the big one, the day of Eve This is the big one, the day of Everest Base Camp. From Lobuche, follow the broad valley that runs parallel to Khumbu Glacier, with a gradual ascent enabling you to build the slow, steady rhythm required when walking at high altitude. When you reach the moraines of Changri Nup Glacier, you will make a series of small ascents and descents over a rocky trail lined with cairns that eventually leads to the surprising glacial sands of Gorak Shep (5160m) – reached after about three hours of walking. Now’s the time to grab a quick bite, gear up appropriately, and then head off towards Everest Base Camp. The trek to the base camp can be achieved in around three hours, and if trekking in the popular climbing period of March to May, you will almost certainly encounter yaks and porters supplying food and equipment to expeditions here. From Everest Base Camp you will not get views of Mount Everest, but you are able to see glorious glaciers, lakes, caves, and the notorious Everest Ice Fall that flows from the Western Cwm. It's regarded as technically the hardest and most dangerous section of the mountain. The return journey from the Base Camp to Gorak Shep takes the same amount of time. You will have an early dinner so that you are able to get up early the next day for awe-inspiring views of the Himalayan giants from Kala Patar. Notes: Trekking time approximately 3 hours to Gorak Shep (5160 m) and approximately 5 hours round trip to Everest Base Camp. Overall altitude gain between places we sleep is 240m.
Teahouse ( Night)
10 Kala Pattar - Pheriche or Orsho
Today we witness some of the Himala Today we witness some of the Himalayas most recognisable sights. We make an early start to avoid the early morning clouds and trek to Kala Pattar (5545 m) to witness the best views of Everest.Don’t be surprised if you get a little tear in your eye when you soak up the views of Everest. Embrace that emotion and spend as long as you like here to savour this extra special moment. To get there from the lodge the ascent is quite steep, so start very slowly and try to ascend at a steady rhythmic pace. Kala Patar is the rocky hilltop below Pumori. It’s a tough walk because of the altitude, but the view from the top will surpass your wildest imagination. It will probably take a good hour and a half to reach the summit from Gorak Shep, although lower viewpoints can provide views that are almost as good. Pumori, Nuptse, Changtse, Ama Dablam, Taweche, Kantega and Everest – they’re all here. About three kilometres away and some 200 metres below, the area of the Everest Base Camp can be seen in a bowl at the bottom of the Khumbu Ice Fall. Then it’s all downhill from here – the descent to Gorak Shep is easy and when you arrive back at the lodge you will have a quick drink and head off to the rooms to pack your kit bags while breakfast is being prepared. After breakfast you will set off to Lobuche and Thugla, where you will stop for lunch. Then you’ll cross the Khumbu Khola and head down the valley below Cholatse to Pheriche, where you will stop for the night. It's a tough walking day (approx. 8 hours), and depending on how the group feels, your leader will decide where you spend the night.
Teahouse ( Night)
11 Tengboche (3840 m)
Descend through the small settlemen Descend through the small settlements at Orsho and Shomare before passing through Lower Pangboche. Here you’ll reach the suspension bridge over the Imja Khola River, then ascend back to Tengboche to visit the monastery. According to legend, Lama Sange Dorjee, who came from Tibet’s Rongphu Monastery, founded Thyangboche Monastery in the 17th century. Tengboche was destroyed by an earthquake in 1933, rebuilt and again badly damaged by a fire in 1989. Construction of the present monastery was completed in 1992. Spend a bit of time visiting the monastery and the Sherpa Heritage Foundation museum. Trek to Tengboche is approx. 4 hours).
Teahouse ( Night)
12 Monjo (2860 m)
Descend steeply through beautiful f Descend steeply through beautiful forest of juniper, rhododendron and fir. Cross the Dudh Kosi River and ascend to Trashinga. From here the trail contours high above the valley through Shanasa and on to Namche Bazaar, before descending steeply down to the large suspension bridge over the Dudh Kosi River. You’ll follow the trail through Jorsale and back to Monjo, where you’ll stop for the night (approx. 5 hours).
Teahouse ( Night)
You’ve done it, your last day of tr You’ve done it, your last day of trekking! Today we walk back to Lukla via Benkar through blue pine and rhododendron forest, with great views of Kusum Kangaru. It’s only a short walk from here in the valley before making the final climb up to Lukla, where you’ll say goodbye to your Sherpa crew. Celebrate with a hot shower and a few drinks with your group before flying back to Kathmandu tomorrow morning.
Teahouse ( Night)
Weather permitting we take a short Weather permitting we take a short early morning flight from Lukla to Kathmandu on day 14 (approx 45 minutes). We'll return to the hotel and have free time during the afternoon for further sightseeing or shopping. Shop in some of Kathmandu's many markets for clothing, embroidery, carpets or ceramics. If shopping is not your thing, take a trip over the Bagmati River to the adjacent city of Patan, with its abundance of temples and monasteries. We enjoy a final night together, reliving the trek and our extraordinary achievements.
Hotel ( Night)
Day 15 is departure day and we say Day 15 is departure day and we say 'Namaste' for memories that will last a lifetime. There are no activities planned for today and you are able to depart the hotel at any time. Check out time from the hotel is at 12 noon. If you are departing later, you can arrange luggage storage at the hotel. At the end of your tour please consider donating to the KEEP Porters Clothing Bank. As you will have come to realise on your tour, porters play a vital role in the tourism industry enabling tourists to visit Nepal’s most picturesque and difficult terrain. The majority are subsistence farmers who travel from lower areas of Nepal to the higher elevated trekking routes to find employment. Contrary to the belief that porters are well-adjusted to the cold and altitude of the Himalayas, every year many porters suffer from a variety of illnesses such as altitude sickness, snow blindness, hypothermia and frostbite and some even die as a result. The Clothing Bank was set up in 2009 to provide ill-prepared porters with better clothing suitable for trekking in a mountain environment and reduce the number of unnecessary illnesses and fatalities which occur each year. Usually donations of used jackets and trousers/pants from Westerners do not fit Nepali porters who tend to be smaller. However donations of other clothing items such as socks, boots, sunglasses, warm gloves and sleeping bags are always welcome. Your leader can ensure that your donation is passed on.
Kathmandu - Panorama Hike Urban Adventure - USD57Kathmandu - Spiritual Nepal Urban Adventure - USD80Kathmandu - In Focus: Handmade Kathmandu - USD93Kathmandu - Exploring Patan & Bhaktapur Urban Adventure - USD97
Dates & Prices
Is this trip right for you.
- The weather can be unpredictable in the Himalayas and every year a significant number of trips have flights to or from Lukla delayed or cancelled due to weather conditions. See day 1 of the itinerary for the alternative plans should this happen on your trip.
- Hiking the Himalayas is no walk in the park. But seriously, this trip includes 12 days of trekking for up to eight hours per day, reaching altitudes of over 5500 metres. Depending on the time of year, the weather can be harsh. Ask anyone who has done it and they will say the rewards are worth it, but we can’t stress enough that you must be in excellent health to participate. Think you’re up for it? Find our step-by-step training guide here: .
- The trekking lodges, known as teahouses, that we stay in on the trek are very simple with only basic facilities. Access to electricity points for charging devices will cost extra. Wi-Fi is available at some locations, but connections may be poor.
- The scenery and conditions vary between seasons. Please carefully consider the time of the year you wish to trek in and consult this packing guide .
- The Everest Base Camp trek is a very popular route and you will encounter many other trekkers and groups on the trail and at the teahouses. If you are after a trek that sees less travellers and spends more time trekking through communities rather than on a more established route, see our Tamang Heritage & Langtang Valley Trek (HNXV).
- This trip includes one or more overnight stays over 3500 metres (11500 ft) where there is a genuine risk of being affected by Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). If left untreated AMS can be life-threatening. While the vast majority will only feel discomfort, it is not uncommon for a small number of people to need extra care which will be provided by our leaders and local staff. All our trips that spend time at high altitude follow our standard altitude safety measures. A number of medical conditions and medications can also reduce your body's ability to acclimatise, and thus will affect your performance at altitude and make you more susceptible to AMS. If you are worried about any pre-existing condition (e.g. heart problems), or unsure of your physical ability, you must seek medical advice prior to booking. You may also wish to discuss medication such as Diamox that may help aid acclimatisation. Read more about AMS here:
- Hotel (2 nights)
- Teahouse (12 nights)
Joining point description
Hotel Marshyangdi is situated in the heart of Thamel, Kathmandu’s tourist mecca. Its variety of restaurants and shops, pulsing nightlife and easy access to major tourist sites and the airport make it a convenient place to stay. www.hotelmarshyangdi.com
Joining point instructions
There are two pre-paid taxi booths inside the terminal, one on each side as you exit the baggage claim area. They have fixed rates of NPR800 to anywhere in the Thamel area from 6am-8pm and NPR1000 from 8pm-6am. Otherwise you will need to bargain hard from the taxi rank outside of the airport - aim for NPR600. The drive into Thamel takes 30 to 40mins dependent on the traffic.
Please be aware that there may be porters outside the terminal offering their services for a fee. If you do not wish to use their services, be ready to kindly but firmly let them know.
Alternatively Intrepid offer a pre-arranged transfer service option. Enquire with your agent and advise your flight arrival details at least 14 days prior to your trip departure. If you have purchased an arrival transfer you will be met after exiting customs outside. Look for our representative holding a sign with your name on it. If you have any trouble locating your transfer rep, or if your flight is going to be delayed, please call:
The hotel is approximately 200 metres north from the Kathmandu Guest House and about 40 metres north-west from the Rum Doodle restaurant
Normal check in time at the hotel is after 12:00.
Finish point description
Hotel Marshyangdi is situated in the heart of Thamel, Kathmandu’s tourist mecca. Its variety of restaurants and shops, pulsing nightlife and easy access to major tourist sites and the airport make it a convenient place to stay. www.hotelmarshyangdi.com
Finish point instructions
- A taxi to the airport will cost about NPR400 from 06.00-20.00 and NRP500 from 20.00-06.00. Hotel reception or your leader can help you organise a taxi.
- Normal check out time is 12 noon. If you are departing later in the day or evening, you can arrange luggage storage at the hotel.
- Most national governments provide regularly updated foreign travel advice on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all destinations and activities on your trip. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trips here: We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, flight tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however, during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests or relax and take it easy. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Intrepid's operational safety policies can be viewed on our website at the link below. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how safety is being managed on our trips.
- : Demonstrations and protests are common in Nepal, with strikes regularly occurring that may result in curfews or roadblocks being enforced at short notice. At these times, businesses may close and vehicles may not be allowed on the roads. You should avoid any demonstrations or political gatherings and follow local advice, including that of your leader in the event of any disruptions. PETTY THEFT & CRIME: Pickpocketing and other petty theft is common, especially in places where tourists or foreigners frequent. Take care when walking around at night. Avoid walking on your own and don’t carry large sums of cash. Keep valuables in a hotel safe if possible. Bars and restaurants now close at midnight as part of a government crackdown on illegal activities. Foreigners remaining in bars and clubs after hours have been detained by the police. Police have increased their presence in Thamel and Durbar Marg, popular tourist districts in Kathmandu, in an effort to reduce crime in these areas. You should seek out police if you have been robbed or affected by any crime. ALTITUDE: Altitude sickness is a risk, including on the Annapurna, Langtang and Everest Base Camp treks. Please make sure you familiarise yourself with signs and symptoms before you depart and monitor your own health during your trek. INSURANCE: Make sure your insurance covers you for your intended activities, including travel and trekking above 3000m if this is included on your itinerary, mountain rescue services and helicopter evacuation costs. FESTIVALS: Travelling in Nepal during Holi Festival (28-29 March 2021, 27-28 March 2022), can at times be dangerous due to revellers consuming intoxicating substances. The day is often associated with physical violence and danger. Your leader will advise you and your group on what places to avoid on this day and it may even be necessary for us to alter your itinerary for the day to avoid putting you or your group leader in a high-risk situation. Travelling during the Hindu festival Diwali (4 November 2021, 24 November 2022) can also be dangerous. During this time there are many displays of fireworks in the streets. It can be very noisy for several days and there is also a lot of pollution caused by the fireworks. As there are no restrictions on buying fireworks there are often injuries caused by people exploding them inappropriately. During this festival, your leader may be required to alter your itinerary to avoid any dangerous areas to avoid putting the group at risk. INTERNAL FLIGHTS: There have been a number of air accidents in Nepal. We only use airlines that have passed strict safety audits for included internal flights in Nepal, including Buddha Air, Yeti Air & Tara Air.
Medical and health information
- All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to manage and enjoy our style of travel. Please note that if in the opinion of our group leader or local guide any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, we reserve the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.
- You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements as they may not easily be obtained while travelling.
- The safety and wellbeing of our travellers, leaders, crew, staff, and suppliers continues to remain our highest priority as we travel. You can read more about how we will keep you safe on our trips, including our COVID-19 Health & Safety Guidelines here
- If you are unwell prior to travelling, please stay at home and contact us to make alternative arrangements. At the group meeting, you will be asked to complete a self-screening health form and report any COVID-19 symptoms as well as any close contact with someone who has suspected or confirmed COVID-19. If you are displaying any symptoms or have any health concerns at this time, we will follow the advice of local health authorities to determine whether medical assistance, isolation or further action is required. We ask all travellers to continue to monitor their health throughout their travels and report any relevant symptoms to their tour leader.
- All travellers on Intrepid trips (outside Australia, New Zealand and the Cook Islands) are required to produce proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. From 1 December 2021, all travellers on Intrepid trips, including in Australia, New Zealand and the Cook Islands, are required to produce proof of full vaccination against COVID-19.
- This policy is in addition to any specific testing or vaccination requirements for entry or exit to a destination or required by your airline. For more information, including a detailed FAQ about this policy, please visit
- Air quality in Nepal can be poor, especially in winter. Some towns, including Kathmandu, experience very high levels of seasonal smog and heavy particulate pollution. Seek medical advice if you're concerned about the effects of air pollution.
- Travellers to altitudes higher than 2,500m are at risk of altitude sickness, also known as acute mountain sickness (AMS). This can be life-threatening and affect anyone, even people who are very physically fit. There is a higher risk for those who have had altitude sickness before, who exercise or drink alcohol before adjusting to the altitude, or who have health problems that affect breathing. If your tour travels to high altitude, see your doctor for advice specific to you and your situation before you depart. It is important to be aware of the normal altitude symptoms that you may encounter BUT NOT worry about
- - Periods of sleeplessness
- - Occasional loss of appetite
- - Vivid, wild dreams at around 2500-3800m in altitude
- - Unexpected momentary shortness of breath, day and night
- - Periodic breathing that wakes you occasionally
- - Blocked nose
- - Dry cough
- - Mild headache
- If you are feeling nauseous, dizzy, or experience other symptoms, please be sure to let your group leader know immediately so that we can monitor your condition.
- Please be aware that should your group leader deem it unsafe for you to continue trekking at any time, they will arrange for you to descend to a lower altitude.
- Please read the following document carefully and, during your trip, utilise the table on the back daily to record your own perspective of your general health and any symptoms you may experience
- On some days this trip may ascend faster than commonly published recommended ascent rates at altitude. However, based upon an assessment by our external safety and medical advisors, and in conjunction with our own risk assessments, we consider that the ascent rate is acceptable due to the additional safety measures that are in place for our customers. If you have concerns about this, please speak to your booking representative.
- All our leaders in the Himalayas are trained in the use of a PAC bag (Portable Altitude Chamber) and this is carried on all trips which go above 4,200m. The PAC bag is used in an emergency only to treat altitude sickness in the mountains. A First Aid kit is carried with the group and all our leaders are First Aid trained. Please ensure that your travel insurance policy does cover you up to the maximum altitude on this trip, and includes helicopter evacuation. Please take proof of this with you on the trip, as you will need to show it to the leader.
- Malaria is a risk in some areas of Nepal including Chitwan National Park. Dengue fever and Japanese encephalitis also occur, including on occasion in Kathmandu. Protect yourself against insect bites by wearing adequate protection, including repellent.
- Medical facilities in Nepal are very limited, particularly outside Kathmandu. In Kathmandu, treatment at international-standard clinics is expensive and up-front payment for services is generally required. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment, including evacuation by helicopter.
MANDATORY VACCINATION POLICY
MEDICAL FACILITIES AND TREATMENT
Food and dietary requirements
- We do not include meals while trekking, allowing you to choose what you want to eat and when. We know from experience that the altitude and physical exercise can mean trekker's appetites differ quite widely. The menus in the teahouses are varied, ranging from traditional Nepalese dhal bhat to pizza and apple pie. Vegetarians are well catered for in Nepal. How much you need to spend per day will vary, but it could be anything up to US$60 per day for meals, snacks and drinks. Prices tend to get higher the higher you go on trek in response to the difficulty of getting supplies to the teahouses.
- In Kathmandu and Pokhara there are plenty of restaurants and cafes for all tastes and budgets. For a glimpse at what traditional Nepali cuisine entails, check out our guide here
- Alcohol and trekking don't mix. We highly recommend that you limit your alcohol consumption in Kathmandu prior to your trip. Celebrate your achievements after your trek. Both alcohol and caffeine increase dehydration. Limit your intake of both when hiking at high altitudes.
FOOD IN NEPAL
ALCOHOL & CAFFEINE
- What you need to bring will vary according to when you are travelling. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible and make sure that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage, and walk with it for short distances. As well as your underwear, toothbrush and other items you always need to pack for travel, below are some items that you specifically need for this trip.
- Intrepid provide an individual duffel bag to carry your trekking gear. The weight limit per person is 10kg each. Porters carry two bags each as well as a their own backpack. Porters weight limit is 25kg each.
- Please keep the weight and bulk of your trek bag to a minimum by bringing clothes made from lightweight material. Don't pack too much clothing; one or two changes will be all you need. However, as the weather conditions in the Himalayas are often unpredictable, be prepared for all eventualities, be it rain, unseasonable cold or heat. For the trek all of your gear should be packed into plastic bags to protect it from the weather dry clothes are essential for your comfort.
- Your trek leader will assist you in packing your kitbag and can advise what to bring and what can be left behind in Kathmandu.
- Day pack Your day pack must have the capacity for the items you will be carrying on a day's walk rain jacket, spare trousers, warm clothing, water bottles, camera equipment, washing items and other personal effects. A hip/waist strap provides additional comfort. You should consider day packs of at least a 30 to 40 litre capacity. You only need to carry your day pack when trekking each day.
- Trekking boots (broken in)
- Gaiters (for winter departures Dec-Feb only can be hired in Kathmandu if required)
- Waterproof 3/4 season jacket and trousers (can be hired/purchased in Kathmandu if required)
- Camp footwear (ie sneakers, thongs or booties)
- Several pairs of high quality hiking socks
- T-Shirts highly recommended are synthetic t-shirt styles that wick away moisture
- Thermal underwear/layers
- Down jacket (can be hired/purchased in Kathmandu if required)
- Warm mid layers (fleece/micro fibre)
- Trousers lightweight, loose fitting, trekking trousers (can be purchased in Kathmandu)
- Shorts or skirt for summer
- Tracksuit or fleece pants for even
- Sleeveless fleece and extra layers for winter departures (Dec-Feb)
- Warm hat & sun hat
- Scarf/neck warmer
- Gloves and mitts waterproof and warm.
- Sunglasses with UV protection
- Head torch (w spare batteries)
- Sunscreen and lip balm
- Light weight towel or sarong
- Personal first aid kit
- Biodegradable wet wipes/toilet paper
- Hand sanitizer gel
- Trail mix/nuts/muesli bars (bring zip lock bags from home)
- Pocket knife
- Insect repellent
- Ear plugs
- Walking poles
- Extra zip lock bags
- Hot water bottle (winter months)
- A good quality, warm sleeping bag is essential while trekking as only blankets are provided at tea houses. Please note that sleeping bags, are readily available to buy or hire in both Kathmandu at very reasonable rates. Your group leader can assist you in hiring gear after your joining meeting. If you plan to hire a sleeping bag we recommend that you bring an inner sleep sheet, which adds another layer of warmth. In winter a thermal inner sleep sheet is warmer. If you bring your own sleeping bag, please think about the time of year of your trek. We recommend a four season bag with a rating to around -10c. In Winter (Dec-Feb) a five seasons bag is recommended.
- It is essential to bring 2 x 1lt water bottles to refill along the way.
- While trekking, boiled or safe drinking water is available to purchase in tea houses.
- However, you should also carry a water purification method. Options include
- purification tablets available from camping stores or pharmacies eg. Micropur.
- 2% tincture of iodine, available from pharmacies, used at 4 drops per litre of water and left for at least 20 minutes longer in very cold weather.
- Before departing on your trek, make sure you have enough Nepalese currency to purchase meals and drinks during the trek in the smaller denominations where possible, there are no ATM's and it can be harder to change a NPR1000 note.
- For other guides to packing for treks
- If you are spending further time in the region, please see some ideas for regular travelling gear to pack.
- For further advice on what to pack, see our Everest Base Camp packing guide here
SLEEPING BAG & INNER SHEET
OTHER GUIDES & FURTHER TRAVEL
Passport and visas
You will need a valid passport to travel internationally. As a general rule, most countries require that your passport has a minimum of 6 months validity remaining. Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Please ensure the passport details you provide are accurate. Any errors provided may result in extra fees for making corrections in bookings. We recommend taking copies of the main passport pages and other important documents with you as well as leave copies at home with family or friends.
Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time. It is important that you check your government's foreign travel advisories along with the consular website of the country or countries you are travelling to for the most up to date information specific to your nationality and circumstances. Please be aware that not all visa information found online from other sources may be valid while COVID-19 restrictions are in place.
Visas can take several weeks to process, so make sure you research the requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for obtaining any necessary documents as well as the application and processing time. Your booking consultant can advise on a visa processing service or you can apply yourself directly through a consulate. Below you will find general visa advice about the destinations on your trip.
COVID-19 ENTRY AND EXIT REQUIREMENTS
Due to constantly evolving COVID-19 requirements and restrictions, you must monitor your government's foreign travel advice for the most up-to-date border measures and entry requirements as they may change without notice. See Intrepid Travel Alert page for some commonly used government travel advice websites:
Entry requirements may include but not limited to the presentation of a vaccination certificate, a negative PCR test, health declaration form, passenger locator form, or proof of hotel or tour booking. Lack of any required documents may result in denial of entry.
Airline boarding requirements may differ, or be in addition to, a destination’s entry requirements. Monitor your airline’s requirements regularly in the lead up to travel. Being allowed to board a flight doesn’t guarantee entry to a destination.
Please also ensure you have a travel insurance policy that extends to cover COVID-19 related expenses.
Please ensure you stay up to date with any current testing or quarantine requirements for returning to your home country or transiting through other destinations after the completion of your tour.
We are able to help facilitate taking a COVID-19 test while on trip. Please ensure you have funds available to cover the cost of this test which will be payable directly to the testing site. Your Intrepid Tour Leader will provide more details at the group meeting as well as assist with booking appointments for all travellers who need to be tested.
All foreign nationals (except Indian passport holders) require a visa to enter Nepal. Visas are obtainable from embassies abroad, land borders (including borders with India & Tibet), and on arrival at Kathmandu's Tribhuvan Airport. Please note that visa on arrival is only available to fully vaccinated visitors and those who are not fully vaccinated will require a recommendation letter from a Nepal travel agency and will need to go through 10-day quanratine on arrival.
Getting a visa at the airport or land borders can sometimes take time due to long queues. There have been instances when travellers are asked to show proof of exit from the country, ie flight tickets. You may also need to provide two passport photos and the following fees in US dollars (subject to change, cash only). Other currencies are also accepted although rates may differ. The following costs were correct at time of writing:
- Multi entry visa valid for 15 days - US$30
- Multi entry visa valid for 30 days - US$50
- Multi entry visa valid for 90 days - US$125
Your visa application form may require you to state the dates on which you enter and exit that country. Please note we suggest you list your date of entry a few days before, and date of exit a few days after your intended dates in case you encounter any delays or problems en route. To help calculate the exact dates of these crossings we have found the website www.timeanddate.com to be very useful.
Please note that you'll also need take a copy of hotel confirmation to enter into Nepal. Please consult your booking agent about a week before departure for a copy of hotel confirmation on your trip. Tea houses on the trek don't provide such confirmation so if you are booking your own accommodation for Kathmandu, please take a copy of the confirmation with you.
Nepal Covid-19 Entry Requirement
For the latest update of what is required in order to enter Iceland, please check your government's foreign travel advice and also visit the following website:
Travel insurance is compulsory on all our trips for those travelling internationally. We require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. If you are travelling within your home country or region please confirm before travel that you are entitled to access the public medical system easily should an accident occur. We strongly recommend all travellers have a policy that also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage or personal effects. For international trips, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24-hour emergency contact number has been sighted by your leader.
If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number, and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and your credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.
Travellers who reside within the European Union or Switzerland receive basic international health insurance, so travel insurance is not mandatory under European Union Law. However, as this does not cover situations such as emergency rescues, private health care, or repatriation to their home country, comprehensive travel insurance is strongly recommended. European Union or Swiss travellers who decline travel insurance when travelling outside of their home region must sign a Travel Insurance Waiver Form at the Group Meeting.
For assistance with travel insurance or other services, please visit the link below:
Our Responsible Travel Policy outlines our commitment to preserving the environment, supporting local communities, protecting the vulnerable, and giving back to the places we travel. All our trip leaders, suppliers, and staff are trained on these principles and are core to us delivering sustainable, experience-rich travel.
Explore the different parts of our Responsible Travel Policy by visiting:
ELEPHANT PERFORMANCES & ELEPHANT RIDING:
While we respect each individual’s decisions while travelling, Intrepid does not include elephant rides or unnatural performance activities on any itinerary, and we recommend you bypass these activities should they be offered to you during your stay. Professional wildlife conservation and animal welfare organisations, including World Animal Protection, advise that contrary to common belief, captive elephants remain wild animals and despite good intentions, unfortunately, many venues are unable to provide the appropriate living conditions elephants require and this ultimately impacts their well-being. While there is some merit in the argument that the money you pay for the activity goes towards keeping the elephants and their mahouts employed, we know that it also fuels demand for elephants to be captured in the wild or captive-bred. We thank you for your support in improving the welfare of these majestic creatures. Further information is available on the below link:
Our porters are valued members of our trekking teams. We operate our treks according to standards that provide respectful, safe, and fair working conditions not only in Nepal, but on all our trips globally. For more information on porter welfare, see
Dress codes are quite relaxed in tourist areas of Kathmandu and Pokhara, but much more conservative in other parts of the country. Remove shoes before entering certain temples and holy places and be aware that non-Hindus may not be permitted at some religious sites. Dress modestly, take care not to offend, and ask your leader if you are unsure if something is appropriate.
Climate and seasonal
ALTERNATIVE ITINERARY DUE TO FLIGHT CANCELLATIONS:
Weather conditions in the Himalayas can change rapidly, which frequently results in the need for changes to be made to our intended itineraries. Flights throughout Nepal, particularly in high mountain areas, can be delayed or cancelled due to poor weather conditions. Flights between Kathmandu and Lukla are particularly prone to these delays which has the potential to vary the itinerary of all departures in the Everest region. Our contingency plans in case of bad weather preventing the fixed wing aircraft flight from Kathmandu to Lukla are as follows:
Day 2 - We will attempt to board our booked fixed wing flight as per the itinerary. If this flight is cancelled we will return to our hotel in Kathmandu for an additional night.
Day 3 - We will again attempt to board our booked fixed wing flight. If this flight is cancelled but helicopters are available and permitted to fly to Lukla we will use our best endeavours to charter a helicopter to transport the group. Travellers will need to use their emergency fund to cover the cost of this chartered helicopter. The exact cost will depend on how many travellers are in your group and could be up to US$500. If we reach Lukla on Day 3 by either fixed wing aircraft or helicopter we will then follow the same itinerary to Everest Base Camp, but descend over one less day in order to take our return flight from Lukla on Day 14.
Day 4 - If no flights (either plane or helicopter) are possible on the morning of Day 3, then on Day 4 we will travel by road to Phaplu (approximately 9 hours drive by private vehicle) and then trek to Tengboche on the Everest Base Camp route, via Lukla. While we will not be able to reach Base Camp itself on this altered itinerary our travellers have still found it a highly enjoyable trek with superb views of the Everest ranges including Everest itself.
We also advise allowing a few extra days in Kathmandu at the end of your trip should your return flights from Lukla be delayed due to weather conditions.
Nepal's climate varies greatly depending on the season:
JUN - SEP: the monsoon rains (mostly at night) bring landslides in regional areas. Cloud cover often obscures mountain views with rain, mud, and leeches deterring most trekkers at this time of year. Treks running in September can be hot and very humid at lower altitudes. See what it's like to trek during monsoon here:
MAR-APR: Spring brings warm weather and spectacular rhododendron blooms. A popular time to visit and one of the peak times to trek.
OCT - NOV: Clear skies and warm days make autumn the peak season.
DEC - FEB: Winter brings cold temperatures and snow to the mountains. Good trekking, but remember to rug up.
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