Some say the sky-high Himalayan kingdom of Nepal brings you closer to nirvana. To be sure, the serenity of Nepal springs from Buddhist teachings. But it’s not just the elevation and peaceful ways that make your spirit soar. It’s the majestic and unforgettable beauty — snow-covered massifs tower over pristine alpine lakes and sweeping green valleys, with ancient monasteries clinging to cliffs.
On this tour, we uncover the wonders of Kathmandu before setting off on a trek amidst the soaring peaks of the Everest region and past terraced hillsides of Sherpa villages, resting each night at comfortably rustic mountain lodges. The trek takes you through spectacular mountain scenery surrounded by the world’s highest peaks as well as passing some imposing religious sites such as a Buddhist monastery at Tengboche. There is also an option of trekking to Ama Dablam Base Camp, an opportunity to explore less trodden paths towards one of the most spectacular mountains in the world.
Arrival in Kathmandu
Upon arrival in Kathmandu, you are met by your Boundless Journeys guide and transferred to our hotel for the next two nights. Kathmandu stands at an elevation of approximately 4,600' in the bowl-shaped Kathmandu Valley of central Nepal. On clear days you can view the Himalayan peaks to the north. The valley is home to the Newar culture and Kathmandu comprises a multi-ethnic population predominately of Hindus and Buddhists. There are numerous religious and cultural sites to visit during our stay here.
We meet as a group for orientation before our welcome dinner this evening.
Hotel Yak & YetiKathmandu, Nepal
The Yak & Yeti in Kathmandu is a luxury hotel in the heart of Kathmandu. Modern day sophistication greets cultural heritage in the grounds of this 100 year-old former palace. The property is a fusion of modern design and the noblesse of original heritage interiors. Within walking distance of shops and restaurants of the Thamel district, this is a convenient place to base before and after our trek.
Kathmandu City Exploration
Following breakfast, we meet our tour leader who will give us an overview of our upcoming Himalayan adventure while making sure everyone is properly equipped and prepared for the trek.
We then set out to visit the temple of Pashupatinath located on the banks of the Bagmati River. Pashupatinath is the holiest Hindu shrine in Nepal. Next we will visit Boudhanath Stupa, the largest stupa in the country and a destination for Buddhist pilgrims from all over Nepal. Both of these unique sites will give us insights into the rich cultural traditions of Kathmandu.
We then drive a bit outside of the city to visit Bhaktapur, known as the 'City of Devotees', a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its monuments reflect the glory days of the Malla Dynasty when art and architecture thrived in the three cities of the valley. Famous for its pottery and woodcarving, this ancient city has managed to retain its brick paved roads, charming red brick houses and a way of life that goes back to medieval times.
We explore the various temples of Bhaktapur Durbar Square dating from the 13th to 18th centuries, including the Nyatapola Temple and Bhairavnath Temple, dedicated to Bhairav, the God of Terror, a three-storied temple noted for its artistic grandeur. We then visit the Golden Gate, the entrance to the 15th century Palace of 55 Carved Windows, and a masterpiece in repousse art. There will be some time to stroll around Taumadhi Tole, a short street lined with shops selling handicrafts of the Kathmandu Valley. Please note: Bhaktapur was one of the most affected areas of the April 2015 earthquake. Renovations are currently in progress.
This afternoon will be at your leisure and you may choose to dine at your hotel or at one of Thamel's many restaurants.
Fly to Lukla & Trek to Phakding
Today we fly from Kathmandu to Lukla (9,383'), gaining incredible views of the Himalayan peaks en route and landing at one of the most spectacular airports in the world. Lukla is also known as the "gateway to Everest" and is a bustling little mountain town and hub for trekking groups setting out on their Himalayan journeys.
Sir Edmund Hillary, the New Zealand mountaineer who was the first to summit Mt. Everest with his sherpa counterpart, Tenzin Norgay, did not have the luxury of flying to this airport and had to make the two-week overland journey through the foothills of the Himalayas from Kathmandu.
Upon arrival at Lukla, we meet our trek crew members and after some packing and arrangements, we set out for our trek through the village of Lukla. Leaving the village behind, we descend through rhododendron, magnolia and pine forests while passing through several small settlements with prayer wheels, flags, painted Mani stones (prayer stones), teahouses and shops along the way. We cross the Dudh Kosi (or 'milk river') over a suspension bridge for the first of many times during our trek and eventually reach the village of Phakding for our overnight stay.
Mountain ResortPhakding, Nepal
Situated on the main trail to Namche bazar in the Everest region, The Mountain Resort has nine rooms with en suite baths, a clean and warm dining hall and a comfortable sun room. The outside garden offers majestic views of Thamserku and serves as an ideal place for relaxing. The resort is run by Raj Kumar Tamang, local to the Khumbu region, who provides guests with a warm welcome.
Trek to Namche
Our route today crosses the valley and Dudh Khosi several times on high suspension bridges. We slowly climb up from the valley floor through pine forests and on a clear day you will get your first glimpse of Mt. Everest leaving us awed by its massive presence looming over us. We soon enter Sagarmatha National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and named in the vernacular after the more widely known Mt. Everest. Our final push is a challenging series of switchbacks ascending to Namche Bazaar, also known as the "Sherpa capital of the world." Namche is situated in a dramatic setting with stunning views of the mountains across the valley, serving as a well-earned stopver following our ascent from the valley floor below.
Namche traditionally served as a trading post along the route linking the salt lakes of Tibet with the agricultural lowlands of the Kathmandu Valley. Today it is poised at a confluence of trekking trails, and Namche's economy is now predominately based on tourism. However, it maintains a rural mountain charm as its growth is constrained by its geographical limits.
We settle into our charming lodge for the next two nights and take our time acclimating to the thin mountain air.
Hotel NamcheNamche, Nepal
Hotel Namche is on the high street in Namche Bazar, an ideal location for most trekkers in this mountain village. The hotel is known for its friendly staff, an assortment of good food, great hospitality, daily housekeeping, dry cleaning and laundry services. The hotel has thirty rooms with en suite baths.
Today we have the opportunity to relax at our lodge and spend the day exploring Namche with our guide. We may visit the Khunde Hospital and the National Park Centre and Museum located just above the village. Or you may opt to go on a one-hour evening walk above Namche. On clear evenings you can see the sunset over Ama Dablam, Nuptse, Lhotse and Everest.
Trek to Tengboche
Today the trail climbs out of Namche Bazar and then levels out as we head towards the village of Kyangjuma (11,646'). From here we ascend and follow a ridge above the Dudh Koshi enjoying spectacular mountain views as we go. We then descend to the settlements of Sanasa and Tashinga where we pass various shops run by locals selling their wares. Descending further through the forest we eventually reach Phunki Tenga (10,662'). From here we begin another ascent through the forest to reach the spectacularly set Tengboche Monastery (12,687'), located on a hill at the confluence of the Dudh Kosi and the Imja Khola rivers.
Followng a visit to the monastery, we continue for a short distance to our lodge for the night.
Rivendell LodgeTengboche, Nepal
Rivendell Lodge is located in the quiet and cozy settlement of Debuche, and a fifteen min walk from the spiritual center of Tengboche monastery. The lodge is surrounded by rhododendron and birch trees, an area that is frequented by the elusive Musk Deer and Impeyan Pheasants, locally known as the danphe. There are nine rooms with attached bathrooms and a restaurant offering an array of local and European-stlye dishes.
Trek to Pangboche
From our lodge this morning we keep to the left of the Imja Khola all the way to the village of Pangboche. We have a leisurely start as the trek is only several hours and take our time to soak in the incredible high alpine scenery. As most monasteries in remote Himalayan villages, the Pangboche monastery is an imposing feature in the landscape as we approach Pangboche village. The monasery is reputed to be the oldest in the Khumbu region dating back around 500 years. The building is surrounded by large black juniper trees, sacred to the local Buddhist people and used in festivals and ceremonies to bring good fortune to local inhabitants.
After lunch and settling into our lodge, we visit the monastery this afternoon and the primary school located at the upper reaches of the village. The remainder of the afternoon we rest up for our big hike to Ama Dablam base camp.
Everest Summit Lodge - PangbochePangboche, Nepal
Everest Summit Lodge Pangboche is right off the main trail to Everest base camp and serves as an excellent location at one of the highest permanent settlements in the Khumbu region. Pangboche village is inhabited by the Sherpa people and is home to the oldest monastery in Nepal. The lodge has ten rooms with en suite baths, and a restaurant that serves traditional and continental cuisine.
Ama Dablam Base Camp
Today there is the option for those who have the energy to hike to Ama Dablam base camp. We begin by crossing the Imja Khola on a suspension bridge, followed by a gradual ascent as we gain breathtaking views of Ama Dablam (22,493'), and the surrounding Himalayan peaks. Ama Dablam means "mother's necklace"; aptly named after the long ridges on each side appearing as the arms of an ama - mother - protecting her child. The imposing hanging glacier that cannot be missed is thought of as the dablam - or the traditional double-pendant containing pictures of the gods, worn by Sherpa women.
Ama Dablam base camp is located at an altitude of just under 15,000' on an open yak pasture beneath the west face of the mountain. Your guide will point out the climbing route along the southwest ridge, as Ama Dablam is the third most climbed Himalayan peak. If our trek coincides with the climbing season, we may encounter climbing groups either acclimatizing at base camp or fixing a route up the mountain. After enjoying some time at Ama Dablam Base Camp, we return on the same trail back to Pangboche.
Tonight we celebrate our group's accomplishment over dinner at the lodge.
Trek to Khumjung
We head out of the upper Pangboche village on the high trail to Phortse, a small sherpa hamlet perched atop the convergence of the Dudh Koshi and Imja Khola. This is an infrequently used trail with possible sightings of the Himalayan tahr, a large wild ungulate and relative of the wild goat.
Our trail today is a bit up and down along the base of Taboche peak and holds majestic views of the surrounding peaks. As we reach the remote settlement of Phortse (12,500'), we gain views of the Tengboche monastery and Namche further beyond.
After a rest, we descend through pine and juniper forests to the valley floor known as Phortse Thanga (12,073'). From here the trail climbs steeply for approximately one and half hours until we reach the pass of Mongla Danda (13,051'). We enjoy tea at a local teahouse with a magnificent view of Ama Dablam and adjoining peaks. From here we desend to the village of Khumjung, the largest village in the Khumbu region at the foot of the sacred peak 'Khumbila', the protector deity of this region.
Ama Dablam View InnKhumjung, Nepal
Ama Dablam View Inn is owned and run by a local Sherpa family and has been in operation for over twenty years. The inn has several rooms, many which have attached toilets but shower facilities are shared. There is a cozy, traditional Sherpa dining hall that serves delicious Sherpa, Nepali and continental cuisine.
Trek to Monjo
This morning we may visit Khumjung High School, funded by Sir Edmund Hillary, before setting out to Namche. As we depart Khumjung, we pass a government-run yak breeding farm and then continue to the small airstrip at Syangboche (12,204'). From the airport, we descend south into Namche on an alternative route from the way we came.
After a welcome rest, we continue down the Dudh Koshi Valley retracing our steps and stopping over for the night in Monjo.
Everest Summit Lodge - MonjoMonjo, Nepal
Everest Summit Lodge Monjo is a comfortable trek from both Lukla and Namche bazar. Overlooking the quaint village of Monjo and the rushing Dudh Koshi River, this lodge is located against the striking backdrop of Thamserku Himal, rising between the Khumbu and Hinku Valleys. The lodge boasts twenty very comfortable rooms with en suite baths and gracious Sherpa hospitality.
Trek to Lukla
Today we return to Lukla passing through the village of Phakding and bidding farewell to the villages and people of the Khumbu hills and valleys and the majestic peaks they call home. We make our final climb into Lukla where we have some time to explore this small town on our own before our final dinner celebrating the incredible accomplishment of completing our trek.
Everest Summit Lodge - LuklaLukla, Nepal
Everest Summit Lodge Lukla is most conveniently located in close proximity to the Lukla Airport. The Lodge offers seventeen spacious double rooms with en suite baths, and a lovely sunny garden. The lodge is recognized for its traditional Sherpa interiors and unmatched hospitality.
Fly to Kathmandu
The trekking portion of our journey ends this morning, as we fly back to Kathmandu with a final aerial view of these mighty mountains. Please note that sometimes the flights in and out of Lukla are delayed due to unfavorable weather conditions. If this happens, we will do everything in our power to minimize the inconvenience.
Upon arriving in Kathmandu, we are transferred to our hotel. The rest of the afternoon, you may rest or explore Kathmandu at your leisure. This evening we gather over a celebratory dinner at a favorite restaurant in Thamel, bidding a final farewell to Nepal and the Himalayas.
Departure from Kathmandu
After an early morning breakfast, we have the opportunity to experience one of the most spectacular mountain flights in the world. An optional flight (not included in tour cost) departs Kathmandu and flies east along the Himalayas, giving us eye-level views of the highest peaks on earth, including Mount Everest. After the flight, we return to the hotel where we say goodbye before continuing to the airport for our homeward journey.
Please note that this is a typical itinerary, and actual activities may vary due to weather conditions, local events, and to allow serendipity to play a hand in your experience. Accommodations are as outlined in the itinerary, although we reserve the right to change these or the order visited should the need arise.
Mar 18-30, 2020
Oct 13-25, 2020
Take over a date for your group! See "Make It Private" on Dates & Prices tab.
From $4,795 Per Person
$395 Per Person
Kathmandu to Lukla
First two reserved:$595
See single supplement policy below.
10+ Guests: $4,795 per person
4 to 9 Guests: $5,295 per person
Make it Private price is based on Land Cost only, and a guarantee of the specified number of guests in double occupancy. For groups smaller than the numbers shown, or those requiring single occupancy, we reserve the right to adjust the per person price. Additionally, some trips have minimum group sizes. Please call 1-800-941-8010 for details.
Accommodations (hotels, tents, cruise cabins) are based on double occupancy. A single supplement is paid by participants who specifically request single accommodations, subject to availability. If you reserve at least 120 days prior to departure, you may be eligible for a reduced or free single supplement.* This is generally limited to the first one or two solo travelers to reserve, and the reduction is outlined in the pricing for each trip. Please note, free or reduced single supplements are not combinable with other offers or promotions.
If you are traveling alone and wish to share accommodations, we will try to match you with a roommate of the same gender. If you reserve at least 120 days ahead and a roommate is not available, you will only be charged a “forced” single supplement in the amount of 50% of the standard single supplement* (unless otherwise noted in the detailed itinerary). Single accommodations are limited so you are encouraged to reserve early!
*This may not apply to certain trips with unique accommodation arrangements. Please see specific trip information for more details.
Boundless Journeys' trips are designed for energetic and flexible individuals who like to be active and have a spirit of adventure and a positive attitude. Everest Lodge to Lodge Trekking is rated 4, strenuous, on a scale of 1-5 (5 being the most strenuous). We trek through spectacular mountainous terrain and some days include significant elevation gains and losses ranging from 500 to nearly 3,000 feet; hiking times ranging from three to six hours. Most hiking is at altitudes between 8,000 and 13,000 feet, and the maximum elevation reached is just over 15,000 feet.
Our route is carefully planned to take advantage of amazing mountain scenery, sherpa culture and charming lodges along the way. The trails are generally in good condition and many are made from inlaid stones, including steep steps at times. Trail conditions vary greatly, including a mix of wide dirt paths, hiking trails with rocks and roots, rough, large rocky steps, loose scree, and shallow stream crossings. Uneven terrain underfoot requires agility and stable footing. We request that you bring hiking boots with full ankle support and two trekking poles, which help provide comfort, stability, and most importantly, enjoyment. Each hike includes sustained climbing and descending, sometimes steeply. The route does not travel through exposed sections with drop-offs, but does include limited sections of trail traversing steep hillsides, which may pose an issue for those with vertigo or a fear of heights.
Kathmandu is at 4,500', where we spend the first couple of nights of our adventure. We then take a mountain flight to Lukla at 9,383' and our first few days of trekking are done at a leisurely pace so that we have time to acclimate to the thin air. Over the course of the next few days, we make our way up to our highest lodge at just over 13,000' and from there we have the option to either rest or trek to Ama Dablam Base Camp at just over 15,000'. Keeping wellhydrated, avoiding excessive alcohol, eating frequent, light meals, and getting plenty of rest will help with any effectsaltitude that you may feel.
Most Convenient AirportTribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu, Nepal (airport code KTM).
Meeting Time and Place:
Your Boundless Journeys guide will meet you at the Kathmandu, Nepal airport upon the arrival of your flight. Please note: you should plan to arrive before 4 p.m. on Day 1.
Departure Time and Place:
You are free to depart on the final day of the tour (Day 13) or any time after. Please note that the flight on Day 12 from Lukla to Kathmandu is sometimes delayed or canceled due to unfavorable weather conditions. We recommend arranging international departure flights from Kathmandu after Day 13.
Temperatures in Nepal tend to be quite cool in the mornings and evenings, but heat-up by midday due to strong direct sunlight at high altitudes. There are pronounced rainy and dry seasons. The dry season lasts from October through May. Daytime temperatures during the spring and fall months in the Khumbu region will vary from about 80°F at lower elevations to around 50°F higher up. Overnight temperatures will be considerably lower and may drop as low as freezing and occaisonally to around 15°F at locations such as upper Pangboche and Amadablam Base Camp. Please also bear in mind that weather can change suddenly at anytime of year, and it may snow at higher altitudes during the spring and fall. Dressing in layers is a good strategy, so that you can shed or add layers as the day heats and cools. See the chart below for monthly average temperatures.
Nepal is generally delightful for hiking in the spring and fall. The driest weather and clearest skies are typically in October and November and it is he harvest season. During March through May, beautiful flowers are in bloom and it is the planting and ploughing time of year. The months of December through February are clear and cool (can be below freezing at night) and it is the shoulder season, so you will encounter fewer visitors. June through August is the monsoon season and it is generally not recommended to travel to Nepal at this time of year.
The general rule for food when traveling to developing countries is "wash it, cook it, peel it, or forget it." The well-run hotels where we stay and the restaurants where we eat prepare foods in a sanitary manner, using distilled water to wash vegetables, and iodine to kill any bacteria. You should drink bottled water and avoid ice cubes and frozen drinks if you are unsure of the water used for making the ice.
Please note that along the trek we eat lunch at local restaurants/teahouses along the trekking route and we enjoy dinner at our lodge each night. With the help of our knowledgeable tour leader and assistant guides, we choose each establishment based upon their reputation for delicious food and sanitary cooking conditions. However, most meat at restaurants along the trekking route is not local and instead flown in from Kathmandu. Since the freshness of the meat cannot be guaranteed on the trek, we recommend eating vegetarian during this portion of your trip.
Jeetendra Manandhar (Jeeten) grew up in Kathmandu and his fascination towards tourists and tourism in Nepal started from a young age because his father owned a small hotel in the 1980s. Jeeten is an active member of the Newari community in Nepal. With a background in Environmental Science, Jeeten is a nature lover and loves adventure. He has hiked and trekked to many places in Nepal and completed his guide training in 2011 and has taken a basic mountaineering and intensive Buddhism and Hinduism courses. As former student of Anthropology, he feels that the best part about his job is meeting new people, introducing him to new ideas and new experiences. Apart from English, Jeeten also speaks Newari, Nepali and Hindi.
Tanka was born in Sankhuwasabha District of Nepal's Koshi Zone. He belongs to the ethnic Gurung community and is a practicing Buddhist. Tanka first started working as a guide in 2008. In addition to holding a Bachelors Degree in Business Studies from Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu, he is current with his Wilderness and First Aid certificates, and also has completed a guide training with Kathmandu Environmental Education Project (KEEP) in 2010. Since then, he began his career as a trekking guide and has trekked extensively throughout the Annapurnas, Everest Region, Mustang, Mera Peak, and Langtang Valley to name a few. He has also completed Basic and Advance Mountaineering Courses and in addition to being a highly competent guide, Tanka is a very friendly and easy going person. Most of his clients claim to have found a friend in him and likewise Tanka takes pride of the fact that he has friends from all over the world.
With a Boundless Journeys guide, your experience is that of friend and local adventurer. We believe strongly in working with local guides, experts in the areas to which we travel, and they hold the keys to unlocking the hidden delights of your chosen destination. Although you will never know they are at work—the mark of a truly great leader—our guides make magical things happen and add a dimension to your trip that you could not experience on your own. Over the years we have forged bonds with some of the best guides in the world, and we typically work with a small team of guides in each region. You will be informed of the guide for your trip one month prior to your departure.
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Moderate to strenuous hiking through remote, mountainous terrain, 3-6 hours per day; daily elevation gains and losses range from 500′ to nearly 3,000′; Most hiking is at altitudes between 8,000′ and 13,000′, and the maximum elevation reached is just under 15,000′.
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