Everest Base Camp & Gokyo Lakes 17 Days

You've never seen Everest like this! Combining a large part of the classic Everest Base Camp trek route with the relatively unexplored wonders of the Gokyo Lakes region, this 17-day adventure is one that cannot be beat. Nestled in a hidden valley of the Khumbu region, Gokyo village is one of the Himalayas’ unsung treasures. Your trek will bring you over the winding path between forgotten valleys, snaking around tranquil lakes and traditional villages. You’ll also come face-to-face with the jewels of the Gokyo Lakes: Gokyo Ri, and the Fifth Lake - the splendor of which overlooks a stunning view of majestic Everest! Explore the glistening ice trail of the Cho La pass over a glacier before hiking to Kala Patthar, the famed Black Rock, as you savor the views of Everest, Pumari, Lhotse, Nuptse, and other peaks. We’ll then spend a thrilling day at the Everest Base Camp, and follow the classic trail down the mountain.

Enjoy this bracing, unforgettable journey with the reassurance of our trained, experienced guides and porters helping you each step of the way! Enjoy quaint teahouse lodging and the company of the friendly, welcoming mountain locals. Your trip is fully customizable - we love helping you make the memories of a lifetime.

    What's Included?

  • 17 day adventure, 14 of which include 3 meals a day
  • 2 nights of accommodation in Kathmandu, breakfast included
  • Round-trip flight between Kathmandu and Lukla, flight/tax/transfer included
    *
  • Accommodation while trekking
  • Airport transfers
  • Everest trekking permit and TIMS (traveler security) Card
  • Fully-licensed, English-speaking guide
  • Porter service
  • Local and government taxes
  • First aid kit
  • Trip completion certificate
 
* Lukla Flight Delays (read more)
* Travel Insurance is required on all Treks (read more)
* No Extra Fees for Solo Travelers (read more)

Day 1 - Kathmandu: Arrival Day

Altitude: 1,350m/4,428ft
Welcome to Kathmandu, the capital and cultural hub of Nepal! We’ll be waiting with a warm greeting and easy transfer to your hotel. Plan on an evening briefing on last-minute specifics about your trek and an early lights-out: you have a big day ahead.

Day 2 - Kathmandu to Lukla Flight and Phakding

Altitude: 2,800m/9184ft (Lukla) & 2,652m/8,698ft (Phakding) Walking Distance: 8km (3-4 hours) - All distances and time estimates are approximate. Flight time: 35 min
After a short morning flight to Lukla, you'll be introduced to your guide and porter. Kick off your trek with an easy walk through Chaurikharka village and descent towards Dudhkoshi Ghat (2,530m/8,300ft). The trail follows the bank of the Dudhkoshi River until Phakding (2,652m/8,700ft), where we will be staying for the night to acclimatize. Enjoy your free time in Phakding, a popular stopping point.

Day 3 - Phakding to Namche Bazaar

Altitude: 3,440m/11,283ft Walking Distance: 10-12km (5-6 hours) - All distances and time estimates are approximate.
We'll have breakfast in Phakding before gearing up for the trek to Namche Bazaar, the biggest sherpa village in Nepal. Our trail takes us first over the Dudhkoshi River via a long suspension bridge, and then through a beautiful pine forest to Monjo, about two hours away. Soon thereafter, we will approach the entrance to Sagarmatha National Park for a brief permit check and then descend to Dudh Kosi River (spotting Mani stones along the way!) en route to Jorsale. Lunch will be served here, and then it's uphill to Namche. Our path along the riverbank is flanked by two crossings, one of which is the Hillary Suspension Bridge. It's a tough climb up the hill to our resting place, but you’ll be rewarded in Namche Bazaar with your first glimpse of Everest in its majesty.

Day 4 - Namche Bazaar: Rest and Acclimatization Day

Altitude: 3,440m/11,283ft
At this point, we take a well-deserved break! Today will be spent resting and allowing our bodies to become acclimatized to the lofty altitude. There’s an optional 2 hour hike to Everest View Point, an uphill walk that will help speed acclimatization. Otherwise, spend the day exploring Namche Bazaar. Check out the Sherpa museum for an overview of the Sherpa culture and history of mountaineering. On Saturdays, the Hatt Bazaar is open for trading and an intimate look at the locals’ marketplace. It is part of the larger Namche Bazaar, a shopping hub filled with all manner of trekking and mountaineering clothing and equipment.

Day 5 - Namche Bazaar to Tengboche

Altitude Tengboche: 3,870m/12,684ft Walking Distance: 10km (6 hours) - All distances and time estimates are approximate.
Breakfast in Namche Bazaar fuels us for another day of trekking towards Everest Base Camp today! Breathtaking views of the Himalayas - Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, Ama Dablam, Thamserku and Kwangde - are some of the highlights not be missed. A short drop takes us to the riverside, then it’s across the river upwards through the forest pass. Brace your legs for a continual uphill trek at this point, alternating between a gradual grade and some seriously steep ground! Our destination, Tengboche, is known as one of the most beautiful places in the Everest region. Its views, which include Ama Dablam, are legendary. We'll stop in on the Tengboche monastery, which is one of the largest in Khumbu. Nourish your spirit with a guided tour of the monastery grounds, followed by chanting and prayer with the resident Buddhist monks.

Day 6 - Tengboche to Dingboche

Altitude Dingboche: 4,400m/14,435ft Walking Distance: 11km (6 hours) - All distances and time estimates are approximate.
Our trek today kicks off with a walk through the rhododendron forest to Deboche followed by a bridge over the raging Imja Khol River. We'll pass the valley wall and then traverse the plains to Pangboche village, the biggest settlement of Sherpas in the region. Enjoy a great opportunity to observe a typical Sherpa village and have lunch with the locals! The intrepid can brave a brief hike to the Pangboche monastery, one of the oldest in the area. Our afternoon trek will be a difficult one, as the landscape gives way to dry, deserted mountains and we hike towards Dingboche.

Day 7 - Dingboche: Rest and Acclimatization Day

Altitude Dingboche: 4,400m/14,435ft
This is your chance to rest up before the last leg of our adventure! Savor a full day of exploring Dingboche and the surrounding valleys of Chhukung and Imja, the latter of which links with Island Peak, the high passes of Amphu Laptsa, and Makalu Barun National Park. Taking an optional trek to the valleys will pay off in rewarding views, but taking it easy is the most important thing today. You’ll need your rest for the penultimate day of ascent tomorrow.

Day 8 - Dingboche to Lobuche

Altitude Lobuche: 4,900m/16,076ft Walking Distance: 11-12 km (6-7 hours) - All distances and time estimates are approximate.
From here on forth, the trek will move more gradually be more challenging, due to the higher altitude. We’ll pass Dungla, but not before a tough, steep walk to the top of a high hill. Here are the memorial stupas dedicated to the climbers and trekkers who lost their lives to Everest over the years. The next part of our adventure brings over craggy mountain terrain to Lobuche, a small settlement with amazing views of Mt. Lobuche, Mt. Pumari and the Nuptse. Prepare to snuggle up for a cold night, as we are now almost three miles above sea level and the evenings can be downright chilly!

Day 9 - Lobuche to Gorekshep and Everest Base Camp, EBC to Gorekshep

Altitude Gorek Shep: 5180m/16,994ft (Gorekshep) & 5364m/17598 (EBC) Distance of walking: 15km (6-8 hours) - All distances and time estimates are approximate.
This is it! Our big day kicks off with an initial, relatively easy trek from Lobuche to Gorekshep. The subsequent, straight trail to Everest Base Camp is harder, involving rocky dunes and moraine, formed accumulation of unconsolidated glacial debris. On the way to our destination, we’ll approach the famed Khumbu Glacier and icefall, located on the slopes of Everest. At the Base Camp, our goal, you’ll have the chance (during the spring climbing season) to meet climbers attempting to scale the mountain’s summit. Break out your cameras for unbelievable views of breathtaking beauty. As the afternoon sun starts to wane, we’ll head back to Gorekshep for some much-needed rest and relaxation after a grueling and busy day.

Day 10 - Gorekshep to Kalapathar to Dzongla

Altitude Dzongla: Kalapathar 5545m/18192ft, Dzonga 4840m/15879ft Walking Time: 12km and 6-7 hrs.
We'll wake before dawn today to trek towards Kalapathar (which means "black rock") for a fiery, glorious sunrise over Mt. Everest. The day's first light will illuminate your spectacular view of Nuptse Nup, Changtse and Lhotse.This may be, of the whole journey, your most opportune moment to snap amazing pictures of Everest and its neighboring peaks. Afterwards, it’s back to Gorekshep for breakfast and onwards to Dzongla.

Day 11 - Dzongla to Cho La to Thaknak

Altitude: Cho La 5364m/17598ft, Thaknak 4358m/14298ft Walking Time: 12km and 7-8 hrs.
This could be the most challenging day of the trek as you go over the pass. Fortunately, having already visited Everest Base Camp you should be getting used to trekking at the high altitude and feeling stronger. If the weather is bad crossing the pass can be difficult. Crampons are not normally used but microspikes can be helpful if the weather is at all bad. It’s a tough climb to the top but the amazing views more than make up for it.

Day 12 - Thaknak to Gokyo

Altitude: Gokyo 4750m/15584ft Walking Time: 9 Km and 4-5 hrs.
We continue down into the Gokyo Valley and cross the Ngozumpa glacier the longer glacier in this part of the Himalayas and an impressive sight. We should reach Gokyo by lunch. After lunch you should have time to walk up to one of the lakes in the valley and get some great views of the surrounding peaks.

Day 13 - Gokyo - Gokyo Ri to Machermo

Altitude Gokyo Ri (5,357m): Walking Time: 7km (5 or 6 hours)
We will take an early morning hike up to the summit of Gokyo Ri at 5,357m. The views here might even be better than those from Kala Patthar. In front of you are 4 of the 14 tallest peaks in the world, namely, Everest, Lhotse, Makalu and Cho Oyu. Although further away the views of Everest are great and you get to look down on one of the largest glaciers in the Himalayas below you. We will head back to the tea house for breakfast and to start our trek down the Gokyo Valley to Machermo where we will spend the night.

Day 14 - Machermo to Namche

Altitude Namche: 3,440m/11,283ft Walking Time: 15km (7 to 8 hours).
Today is a relatively long hike but it’s a good trail and all downhill. The lower elevation makes things easier as well. The trek spends most of the day going down the Gokyo Valley with some good views of the peaks before you intersect back with the main route up to Everest Base Camp and head back to Namche. Will spend the night in Namche Bazaar.

Day 15 - Namche to Phakding and Lukla

Altitude: 2,800m/9,184ft Walking Distance: 16km (6-7 hours) - All distances and time estimates are approximate.
After breakfast, we trek toward the Hillary Suspension Bridge and then pass through several local villages. Our arrival in Lukla brings an evening in our last Tea House and, traditionally, a party with your trekking crew: you made it! Thanks to great teamwork and perseverance, you’ve accomplished a physical feat of which others only dream. This is your last night on the mountain, which can be bittersweet.

Day 16 - Lukla to Kathmandu

Altitude: 1350m/4428ft Flight time: 35 min
In the morning, you'll hop a brief flight from Lukla to Kathmandu, where your journey both began and ends. You'll transfer to your hotel upon landing for some much-needed solo rest and reflection after your trek conquering the Himalayas. We'll reunite in the evening for a farewell dinner at one of the best Nepalese restaurants in town, where we'll be eager to hear your feedback on the trip.

Day 17 - Kathmandu: Departure Day

Altitude: 1,350m/4,428ft
It's your last day in Nepal! Grab some breakfast, and then take in some last-minute shopping in Kathmandu. We’ll make sure you arrive at Kathmandu International Airport with plenty time before your flight home. At this time, we’ll say our goodbyes and bid you farewell, armed with warm memories and gorgeous photos to show your loved ones. END OF OUR SERVICES.

Travel Insurance

Proof of travel insurance is mandatory before starting the trek. Standard policies often only cover medical evacuation to 4000m so make sure the policy you get covers up to 6000m. We usually suggest World Nomads which costs around $125. You only need to be covered on the policy for the days you will actually be trekking.

Flight Delays in Lukla/Kathmandu

The flight between Kathmandu and Lukla where the trek starts is generally reliable but if the weather is bad all flights will be canceled for the day. In the event the flight is cancelled we will attempt to get you on a chartered helicopter but you are responsible for the extra costs in this event which can range from $150 to $500 or more depending on the number of people on the flight.

We schedule one extra day into the trek already as a buffer day in case of delays but as flights can at times be delayed for several days we suggest you add a couple of extra days at the end of your trip in case of any delays. Extra days should always be scheduled at the end of the trip and not the start.

    Extra Costs and Exclusions

  • Nepal entry visa ($40 USD).
  • Sleeping Bag Rental $12 and Down Jacket $12 if needed.
  • All the meals are included on the trek but we only include breakfast while you are in Kathmandu.
  • We suggest a tip for the guide and porter after the trek - Plan on a at least $80 (more will be appreciated).
  • We don't include drinking water on the trek which you can buy a number of places for between $1 and $3 a bottle (it gets more expensive towards base camp). A better solution is to buy water tablets in Kathmandu for around $2 and treat the water (your guide can help you find the good places to fill your water bottle).
  • The other things not included on the trek are like Wifi, charging batteries and hot showers. Wifi is available in some tea houses for $3 to $5 an hour. Hot Showers are also available in a few for around $4 and charging costs about $1.50 an hour.
  • Unforeseen cost due to flight cancellation, weather conditions etc. You are responsible for extra hotel nights ($30/night) and meals in Kathmandu for any extra days in Nepal due to flight delays.


Solo Travelers

We generally don’t charge solo travelers any extra fees. Solo travelers can expect their own hotel room in Kathmandu but will need to share a room with other group members during the trek. If availability allows we will arrange private rooms on the trek as well upon request.

If you are a solo travelers and planning and not joining one of our group treks you will be charged an extra $10 a day for a porter.

Cancellation Policies

We understand things happen and plans change and will refund your deposit minus a $150 cancelation fee. Once we have booked your flight between Kathmandu and Lukla your deposit is non-refundable. If your travel dates change we can generally reschedule you at no extra charge, but please provide at least 7 days advance notice.
The following are what we advise you obtain in the way of equipment and gear before trekking in Nepal, and are meant to keep you mobile and comfortable in a range of expected weather conditions. Trekking gear can be rented or purchased in Kathmandu at cheaper prices, remember Nepal is the home of Mount Everest, there is plenty of choice and our staff can assist you with the necessary arrangements. Except for your day pack, all luggage will be carried by porters. There is an allowance of 33lbs/15kg per person. Additional personal items not needed for the trekking portion of the trip can be checked in the hotel’s storage room for no extra cost.

    Head

  • Sun hat or scarf
  • Light balaclava or warm fleece hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Head torch


    Upper Body

  • Cotton t-shirts or thermals
  • Fleece jacket
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Down jacket


    Lower Body

  • Lightweight cotton pants (long)
  • Waterproof pants


    Feet

  • Thin inner socks
  • Thick, warm wool hiking socks
  • Comfortable hiking boots


    Hands

  • Gloves


    Accessories

  • Sleeping bag rated to 0°C
  • Trekking bag/duffel bag
  • Large plastic bags (for keeping items dry inside trek bag)
  • Trekking poles (optional, recommended)
  • Water bottle or camel bag
  • Toiletries
Start your adventure here with us!

FAQ

The basics

What is trekking?

Trekking is an adventure! For the uninitiated, this active pursuit involves lengthy, multi-day walks and climbs on village and park trails. The terrain is usually fairly steep, and we will likely encounter snow at higher altitudes (those above 5,500m/18,000ft).

Is trekking for me?

We like to think trekking is for everyone who is physically fit, patient, and loves the outdoors.

Why is a guide necessarily? I've trekked/hiked/camped before - can't I guide myself?

While it is not a legal requirement, we cannot overstate the importance of trekking with a licensed, experienced guide. You'll be traveling through wilderness, remote countryside, and high elevations - from an aspect of pure safety, it is highly dangerous to go it alone. Additionally, very few locals in Himalayan villages speak English. Should you get lost (and, with many paths crossing through many, many villages, this is more a likelihood than a possibility), it would be difficult to communicate directions or obtain food and shelter. Additionally, our guides are experts in Himalayan treks with an average of over 15 years trekking experience. No matter how confident you feel in your skills or knowledge, it is almost certain that we can help enhance your experience.

Who can go?

Are there any age limits for Himalayan trekking?

Nepal law requires that children under age 18 are accompanied by a parent or guardian while trekking. There's no upper limit on our adventures, as long as participants are healthy and willing!

How difficult is trekking?

It depends on the specific trek, and, to some extent, on the preferences of those trekking. We offer all sorts of treks, ranging from easy to difficult.

Is previous trekking experience really necessary?

In theory, no. Anyone with robust cardiovascular capability and good stamina should be able to cope with higher elevations and lower oxygen density. Trekking or hiking experience anywhere in the world is strongly recommended for maximum enjoyment of your Himalayan adventure, however.

Preparation

What's the best time of year to book a trek in Nepal?

The best times for trekking the Himalayas are February to May, and then September to December. Unless you are trekking in rain shadow areas such as the Upper Mustang, trekking during monsoon season is going to be a very wet event. Winter isn't the optimal trekking season either, as very cold temperatures and heavy snowfall may impede crossings of high passes (treks that maintain lower elevations are accessible year-round).

Are any permits required for trekking?

Again, it depends on your specific trek. Some trekking areas require a special permit for trekking, while as others require only permits to enter conservation or national parks. Most require a Trekking Information Management System (TIMS) card. We handle all permits for you, so you have one less thing to worry about!

What type of insurance should I have? Where can I obtain a policy?

Travel insurance should be considered mandatory and obtaining it is your responsibility. If you are arranging your own insurance your policy should cover rescue insurance, as well as medevac by helicopter. Many of the same agencies that sell airfare now offer travel insurance as well. We recommend ihi.com if still need a policy. If you get to Nepal and don't have insurance already we can arrange an affordable policy for you.

About the trek

How long do treks last?

Most of our Himalayan treks range from two to four weeks.

How long do we spend walking each day?

Trekkers generally walk four to six hours a day. That's between five and fifteen kilometers depending on trail conditions and the state of the weather.

Room and board

What kinds of accommodations will we utilize?

Unless you signed up for a camping trip specifically, most treks include lodge or guest house accommodation. A small minority of trekking areas may not have lodges available, and accommodation in these places will involve sleeping in tents.

What is teahouse trekking?

Teahouse trekking is a type of accommodation unique to mountain treks, in which lodging and meals are set up at local teahouses or lodges on a full-board basis.

What is camping trekking?

Camping trekking involves sleeping in tents. We provide you with full board on these treks, with meals being prepared by professional trekking cooks in a mobile camp equipped with a kitchen and adequate support staff.

Where will our drinking water come from?

Bottled water is available everywhere on established trekking routes, and most villages on the way will have locally-purified water as well. The teahouses or camping crew will supply boiled water for drinking.

Where do we eat our meals?

The most frequently-traveled Himalayan circuits feature lodges and guesthouses. Continental menus are generally available, along with soups and dishes of noodles or rice. Other routes will include more limited choices. On the most remote routes, only traditional dal bhat, curry, or instant noodle soups will be available.

Health and safety

What physical criteria will ensure I'm fit enough to trek?

Good overall fitness, flexibility, and healthy will ensure you trek safely and comfortably. Those with acute or chronic health conditions impacting their stamina, range of motion, coordination, or balance may have difficulty completing the trek. If you are in doubt about your own physical readiness, consult a physician well in advance of booking your trip! General hiking experience and comfort with the idea of multi-day hiking will also ensure you are 100% ready to trek!

How will we deal with altitude acclimation?

At higher altitudes - the kind we experience frequently on our treks- your cardiac and pulmonary systems are affected by lower oxygen density. Our bodies must adjust to the mountain elevation gradually, or we can become ill. Physical symptoms can range from general breathing difficulties all the way to acute mountain sickness (altitude sickness, soroche, or "the bends"). To avoid altitude-related maladies, we pace our treks appropriately and incorporate acclimatization days throughout the itinerary. There are points throughout many treks during which trekkers may choose to either tackle additional hikes/day trips or rest and relax as their bodies demand.

What do I need to know about sun protection?

It may seem counter-intuitive, but your skin is in more danger of sun damage on the mountains than while at the beach! The sun's intensity increases dramatically as we rise in altitude, and fresh snow reflects exponentially more UV rays than does the sand. You will need to protect your skin with clothing and sunblock. A sunblock specifically for mountain conditions is recommended. If you wear prescription eyeglasses its recommend that you get your prescription fitted to sunglasses.

What happens if I get sick or injured while trekking?

We take all possible precautions to proactively ensure the safety and wellness of our trekkers, but rest assured that our guides are trained and experienced in dealing with emergencies. Each guide is trained in first aid. In the case of altitude sickness, you will immediately be taken to a lower altitude. If necessary, your guide will utilize your travel insurance information to call a rescue helicopter, and you will be flown to Kathmandu or Pokhara for medical attention.

Are solo female travelers safe on Himalayan treks?

We ensure the travel safety of all our trekking guests, both male and female. Nepal, on the whole, is both very safe and welcoming of foreign visitors. We have longstanding, strong relationships with the lodges we frequent, and know them to be safe and reliable. In addition our guides are consistently mindful of all guests' whereabouts while trekking. We travel in small groups, all the better to easily maintain continual contact.

Practical matters

What should I pack?

Your specific trek and the time of year during which you depart will greatly impact your packing list. A recommended outline of clothing and equipment is listed with each trek. In general, a down jacket, a warm fleece jacket, thermal underwear, trekking pants and shorts, and sturdy boots are recommended to wear, and a thermal sleeping bag, backpack, and camera are recommended for your kit. If you take any medication, this should obviously be a packing priority. Utilize common sense - you don't want to end up short-handed on the mountain, but overpacking is undesirable. It's worth noting that just about anything you need in the way of trekking clothing and/or equipment can be purchased or rented in Kathmandu when you first arrive.

What sort of footwear is recommended?

Comfortable, sturdy trekking shoes or boots are a must. Ideally your footwear will have Gore-Tex or similar lining, along with thick soles. This will ensure that your feet stay warm and dry, and that you are comfortable walking on rocky paths. Wool socks are recommended instead of cotton, and these too should be thick and warm.

How much can a porter carry?

Porters' ability to carry baggage depends to some extent on the trekking route and altitude in question, but the average trekking porter carries between 15 and 25kg. A camping porter carries up to 40kg. One porter is typically assigned per every two travelers.

Should I tip my guide? How about my porter?

While not mandatory, tipping is customary and always appreciated in Nepal and on our treks. Your guides and porters will tremendously appreciate a small gratuity at the end of your trek, as these little extras go a long way towards helping their families. Tipping is a great way to show your appreciation for the team's hard work and devoted attention to your happiness.

How much money should I bring along?

Our treks are all-inclusive. We cover accommodation, food, park fees, permits, and many other costs, as a means of making your adventure as stress-free and convenient as possible.. Travelers generally bring a small amount of pocket money to cover bottled water, snacks, or tea beyond your included meals, souvenirs, tips, or donations to monasteries along the route (if you are inclined to give one). Trekkers find that around $20 a day is reasonable for these extras.

What communication options exist while trekking?

It varies. Mobile coverage is expanding around the world rapidly, and the Himalayas are no different… did you know that 3G coverage is available all over Mount Everest? There is no guarantee of uninterrupted coverage, however. Most trekking routes feature local VHF phones, but on the more remote trails, a satellite phone is the only option.

What is your cancellation policy? How about other terms and conditions?

Check out this link, or contact us for more information. We love hearing from you!