Set off on an unforgettable adventure to the base camp of one of the world’s most magnificent mountains; Mount Everest. Join National Geographic on a 17-day Himalayan trek to Everest’s Southern Face Base Camp through some of the world’s most spectacular mountain scenery. Spend time discovering the historic treasures of Kathmandu, stay in villages set against soaring, jagged pinnacles, get to know the unique culture of the Sherpas and walk trails lined with mani stones, engraved with Tibetan Buddhist prayers. Learn more about the remote mountain monasteries and discover more about the spiritual perspective of the Sherpa people who call these magnificent mountains home as you are journey alongside our adventure guides.

Trip highlights

Trek to the foot of the world’s highest mountain, Everest.

Set off on a series of challenging hikes to Kala Pattar (18,192') for a dramatic view of Everest.

Discover the medieval wonders of the Kathmandu Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage site, on guided tours and on your own.

In the mountain village of Khumjung, spend time at a school established by Sir Edmund Hillary, a local clinic, and a Buddhist monastery.

Explore Sherpa villages, and visit the ancient Tengboche Monastery and Nepal’s oldest nunnery.

Itinerary - 17 Days

1-2 Kathmandu, Nepal

Weather permitting, fly over the mountains to Lukla (9,200'), perched high on a slope in the Khumbu region of the Himalaya. Meet with Sherpa guides and pack animals to begin the trek, descending 1,500 feet to the Dudh Kosi (River of Milk). As we journey through the trail to the village of Phakding, we’ll pass mani walls, boulders carved with Tibetan Buddhist prayer inscriptions. (5 miles hiking, 3 hours) (Day 1: D; Day 2: B)

Accommodation: Hotel Shangri-La, Kathmandu

3 Lukla

Weather permitting, fly over the mountains to Lukla (9,200'), perched high on a slope in the Khumbu region of the Himalaya. Meet with Sherpa guides and pack animals to begin the trek, descending 1,500 feet to the Dudh Kosi (River of Milk). As we journey through the trail to the village of Phakding, we’ll pass mani walls, boulders carved with Tibetan Buddhist prayer inscriptions. (5 miles hiking, 3 hours) (B/L/D)

Accommodation: Everest Summit Lodge - Lukla

For Spring 2020 departures, please note that due to potential airport maintenance, the flight to Lukla may depart from Ramechhap instead of Kathmandu. In the event of this change, there will be an early morning transfer from Kathmandu to Ramechhap, followed by the flight to Lukla. The rest of the day will proceed as scheduled.

4 Begin Trek/Monjo

On day 4 of your expedition, you will meet with our porters, Sherpa guides and pack animals and set out on our trek to Everest Base Camp. Follow the trail down to the Dudh Koshī Nadī (River of Milk), passing stone mani walls—boulders carved with Tibetan Buddhist prayer inscriptions. Arrive in the village of Phakding in time for lunch, then continue to Monjo (9,350’). Check-in at our lodge and relax from the day’s hike. (6 miles hiking, 6 hours, 350’ elevation gain) (B/L/D)

Accommodation: Everest Summit Lodge - Monjo

5 Nāmche Bāzār

Just outside of Monjo, officially step foot in Sagarmatha (Everest) National Park, a World Heritage site.
Catch the first glimpse of Everest during a steep climb that brings us to the Sherpa market town of Nāmche Bāzār, our home for the next two nights. In order to acclimatize, we will spend an extra day here and embark on a few short hikes to take in the magnificent views of Everest. (Day 4: 6 miles hiking, 5-6 hours; Day 5: 3-4 miles hiking, 2-3 hours) (B/L/D)

Accommodation: Hotel Namche

6 Khumjung/Tashinga

Hike past the Syangboche airstrip to Khumjung, a Sherpa village situated at the foot of a sacred cave. Visit a clinic and the local school established by Sir Edmund Hillary’s Himalayan Trust in 1961, if possible; and stop by a small gompa—a Tibetan Buddhist monastery. Eat lunch on the trail and continue to the tiny, tranquil village of Tashinga (11,320’). (5 miles hiking, 4–5 hours, 20’ elevation gain) (B/L/D)

Accommodation: Everest Summit Lodge - Tashinga

7 Pangboche

Set out through the Dudh Koshī gorge to Tengboche Monastery—home of the Tengboche Rinpoche (or abbot)—on one of the most beautiful valley walks on Earth. At this noted monastery, visit the main prayer hall to see Buddhist statues, murals, and wood carvings; observe the rhythm of life and prayer of the local Sherpa community, and gaze out over the surrounding peaks.
Descend to the Deboche Nunnery to meet the sisters of Nepal’s oldest convent, which has been undergoing reconstruction since the 2015 earthquake; then hike through a scenic forest to the village of Pangboche (13,074’). (7 miles hiking, 6 hours, 1,754’ elevation gain) (B/L/D)

Accommodation: Everest Summit Lodge - Pangboche

8 Dablam Base Camp/Pangboche

Embark on a gentle acclimatisation hike up to Ama Dablam Base Camp (15,013’), one of the Himalaya’s most iconic peaks climbing summits. Enjoy lunch on the trail before returning to Pangboche for dinner and evening at your leisure. (8 miles hiking, 6–7 hours, 1,939’ elevation gain and loss) (B/L/D)

Accommodation: Everest Summit Lodge - Pangboche

9 Pheriche

Head through the sparse, mountainous landscape, encountering the occasional yak, on today’s trek to Pheriche (14,304’). After checking in at our lodge, enjoy an optional hike around the village, or relax until dinner. (3–4 miles hiking, 3–4 hours, 1,230’ elevation gain) (B/L/D)

Accommodation: The Edelweiss Pheriche

10 Lobujya

On the hike to Lobujya (16,235’), pass by the base of the Khumbu Glacier—the world’s highest glacier—and pay respects at the memorial cairns left for those who have died on Everest. Walkthrough the site of one of the camps of Sir Edmund Hillary’s legendary 1953 British Everest Expedition. Enjoy dinner tonight with a view of an unforgettable sunset over Nuptse. (4 miles hiking, 4 hours, 1,931’ elevation gain) (B/L/D)

Accommodation: Eco Lodge Lobuche

11 Gorak Shep

Walkthrough a boulder field on the hike up to the village of Gorak Shep (17,000’), nestled under soaring summits. If you’d like, climb up to Kala Pattar (18,192') for a dramatic close-up view of Everest. (2-3 miles hiking, 3 hours, 765’ elevation gain; optional hike to Kala Pattar 5 miles hiking, 4 hours, 1,192’ additional elevation gain and loss with optional hike) (B/L/D)

Accommodation: Hotel Everest Inn

12 Everest Base Camp/Lobujya

Weather permitting, we’ll head out on the final climb to Everest Base Camp, tucked into the mountainside under the sparkling Khumbu Icefall. Take time to soak up the awe-inspiring views and thrill of accomplishment. Then return to Gorak Shep (17,000’) for a quick rest before continuing on your way to Lobujya (16,235’). Tonight, sit down to a hearty dinner at the lodge. (8 miles hiking, 7–8 hours, 600’ elevation gain, 1,423’ elevation loss) (B/L/D)

Accommodation: Eco Lodge Lobuche

13 Pheriche

Embark on the final hike of the trip, heading back down to the remote village of Pheriche. Rest for the remainder of the day and enjoy dinner at the hotel. (4 miles hiking, 3 hours, 1,931’ elevation loss) (B/L/D)

Accommodation: The Edelweiss Pheriche

14 Lukla

Weather permitting, board a helicopter and fly down to Lukla. Spend the afternoon exploring the town. (5,304’ elevation loss) (B/L/D)

Accommodation: Everest Summit Lodge - Lukla

15-17 Kathmandu

Weather permitting, fly back to Kathmandu on day 15 and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure. We have scheduled an extra day in case of a flight delay. (4,407’ elevation loss)

As your expedition comes to an end, spend day 16 delving deeper into the medieval wonders of Kathmandu. Visit Bodhnath—Nepal’s largest Buddhist stupa—and Durbar Square, both shining examples of the group of cultural treasures in the Kathmandu Valley designated a World Heritage site. Venture into the bustling bazaar of Thamel, and enjoy lunch and the afternoon on your own. Return to the hotel this evening for a farewell dinner.

On the final day of your Everest Base Camp expedition, spend the morning at your leisure and depart Kathmandu for your home-bound flight.
(Day 15: B; Day 16: B/D; Day 17: B)

Accommodation: Hotel Shangri-La, Kathmandu

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