Everest Base Camp via Gokyo Lake and Cho la Pass is one of the best trekking trails in Nepal. This trail is not so crowded as many other trails in the peak of the season. The trek to Everest Base Camp via Gokyo Lake gives you an opportunity to trek on an off beaten trail. This trek starts in Lukla and winds through Sherpa Villages like Namche, Khumjung and Machhermo among others all the way up to Gokyo Lake.
From Gokyo you can enjoy a nice panoramic view of the mountains and their snowcapped peaks. The trek to Everest Base Camp via Gokyo crosses Cho La Pass, which is 5363m high, from there we will enter Khumbu Valley and follow the popular Base Camp Trail to the Everest Base Camp and Kalapattar.
Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu (1,350m.)
Day 02: Kathmandu: Sightseeing and trek Preparation
Day 03: Fly to Lukla, trek to Phakding (2,651m.)
Day 04: Phakding to Namche Bazaar (3,438m.)
Day 05: Acclimatization Day – Namche Bazaar: (3,440m.)
Day 06: Namche Bazaar to PhortseThanga (3,680m.)
Day 07: PhortseThanga to Machhermo (4,470m.)
Day 08: Machhermo to Gokyo (4,800 m.)
Day 09: Gokyo Valley: Acclimatization Day – Optional Hike to 5th Lake
Day 10: Gokyo to Thagnak (4750 m.)
Day 11: Thagnak to Cho La pass (5,367m.) to Dzongla
Day 12: Dzongla to Lobuche (4940 m.)
Day 13: Lobuche to GorakShep (5,170 m.), visit Everest Base Camp (5,364 m.)
Day 14: GorakShep to Kala Patthar (5,545m.) to Pherice (4,288m.)
Day 15: Pheriche to Namche Bazaar
Day 16: Namche Bazaar to Lukla (2,800m.)
Day 17: Fly to Kathmandu
Day 18: Final departure
You arrive in Kathmandu and you will be picked up from the airport and you will be taken to your hotel in the heart of Kathmandu, where you will spend your first night.
Today you will visit different historical and cultural sites of the Kathmandu valley with one of our guides. In the morning after having breakfast you will go and visit the Buddhist and Hindu temples Boudhanath and Pashupatinath, which reflect the culture and tradition of the Nepalese society. After having visited these temples you will go to Kathmandu Durbar square in Basantapur, later in the afternoon we will pay a visit to Swayambhunath, the famous monkey temple and in the evening you will return to your hotel.
In the morning you have a scenic flight of 30 - 35 minutes to Lukla (2800m.) from Kathmandu. During the flight you can see the snowcapped mountains and green fields below. From Lukla we start our walk and head to Phakding passing through the forest and then we follow the river bank of the DudhKoshi River. In Phakding you can climb to the Gumpa to see your first view of the high peaks. We spend the night in Phakding.
From Phakding the trail follows the DudhKoshi River and eventually we reach Zamphuti. From there we can see excellent views of the Thamserku peak. Then the trail climbs to Chomoa, the site of an agricultural project, an interesting place to have a look around and gain an insight into the farming way of life of the local people. From Chomoa, the trail climbs to Monjo (2840m.) and we will enter the Sagarmatha (Everest) National Park (1148sq km, established in 1976). From there we will walk some distance to Jorsale, from where we will climb while we enjoy views of Mount Everest peeking over the ridge of Nuptse (7879m.).Finally the trail will reach the street of Namche Bazaar, here we will stay overnight at a guest house.
Today will be a resting day, for proper acclimatization.We will combine this with an excursion. We will hike to Everest View Hotel, the ideal place to see some of the highest mountain tops such as Mount Everest, AmaDablam, Thamserku, Lhotse and a few others. You can walk around the Khumjung valley, Hillary School and Khunde Hospital and then return back to Namche. In Namche Bazaar you can spend some time interacting with the local Sherpa and Rai people.
We will leave Namche bazaar and walk for some time along the ridge and then descend to DudhKoshi River at Phunkithanka. Then after crossing the bridge as we hike up the steep path to Tengboche. When you reach Tengboche you will see the local monastery. Tengboche has the largest Monastery of the Khumbu region, we will stay there overnight at a Tea house.
From Phortse Thanga it is an uphill climb to Machhermo. We walk on a trail alongside a rhododendron forest and pass through a waterfall before reaching Tongba Village. We continue our uphill trek and pass through Dhole, Labarma and Luza villages before reaching Machhermo. Throughout today’s journey we will be walking alongside the Dudhkoshi river. We will spend the night in Machhermo.
We begin today by climbing a ridge for an excellent view down the valley to Kangtaiga and also up towards Cho Oyu (8153 m). The valley now widens as the trail passes through Phangkha, where an avalanche in 1995 killed 40 people. We then descend to the riverbank before climbing onto the terminal moraine of the Ngazumpa Glacier on a steep trail. Upon crossing an iron bridge over a stream, the trail levels out as it follows the valley past the first lake, known as Longpongo, at 4690 m. At this junction we might get a chance to observe lama footprints on a stone. Little ahead of the second lake, we reach the third lake, the two linked by a surging stream. Gokyo village stands by the third lake and Cho-Oyu Mountain as a backdrop sets an amazing spectacular sight here. After lunch, we explore around the third lake, Dudh Pokhari. We will stay overnight in Gokyo village.
We will hike to Gokyo Ri, a small peak above Gokyo village. As we ascend, the views become even more fantastic and we can see four of the seven highest peaks of Nepal, Cho Oyu, Everest, Lhotse and Makalu. Reaching the fourth lake, Thonak Tsho we take pleasure in the lake’s serene beauty after which we trek back along the retracing trail to the third lake. We may take an additional hike up to the fifth lake, Ngozumba Tsho if time permits and depending on our physical conditions. From here, the view of Ngozumba glacier, the longest glacier of the Himalayas, is really good. We will stay overnight in Gokyo.
If we did not climb the Gokyo Ri the previous day, we can do that today. Climbing to the top of Gokyo Ri is demanding as it is steep and takes about 3 to 4 hours to reach the top. But the scenery of Gokyo village, on the edge of third lake overlooked by Cholatse and the broad Nogzumpa Glacier, is really nice. We are surrounded by panoramic mountains such as Kusum Kanguru, Thamserku, Kangtega, Taboche, Cholatse, Makalu, Lhotse, Nuptse, Everest, Changtse and Pumori. We trek through the Ngazumpa Glacier to the mountain on the other side. Next, traverse along the edge of that mountain and then meander into Thagnak. It will be a short hike today with an afternoon of rest which will prepare us for long hiking days which we have ahead of us.
Today is going to be one of the toughest days of the trip. The Cho La pass is not itself difficult, but it is steep and involves a glacier traverse on the eastern side. We need to be careful as the trail is vertical and the rocks glazed by ice may cause trouble by making the trail slippery. The trail from Phedi climbs through a ravine and a rocky trail. While trekking through the side of a frozen lake, we reach at the top of the pass decorated with prayer flags. The pyramidal Ama Dablam presides over a range of mountains on the south even as Cholatse soars to the west and Lobuche East and Baruntse rises sharply to our right. We need to pass through some crevasses before we reach Dzongla Village. The village provides great views of Cholatse, Ama Dablam, Lobuche mountains along with the Pheriche Village far below.
This will be a very short trek so we have a lot time to relax and enjoy the beauty that surrounds us. We climb down from Dzongla and walk through a grassy trail while enjoying the view of Lobuche Peak. The trail curves through the wide river bed before reaching Lobuche. We can spend the rest of day taking a rest which will help us prepare for the next day’s long trek. We will stay overnight in Lobuche.
Today is longest trekking day but we’ll achieve our goal – Everest Base Camp. Walking through moraine and slippery trail might be difficult for some of you but an incredible 360° mountainview inspires us to develop our strength. Since there is no place to stay at Everest Base Camp return to Gorakshep to spend the night there.
Today has another climax- Kala Patthar (5,545m), a nice sunrise viewing point. At Kala Patthar, countless high peaks play around our eyes, offering great photo opportunities. Spend some time and walk back to Gorakshep. Thereafter, we’ll continue trek back downhill to Pheriche, where we will spend the night.
Continue descending. The trail will take us across the Dudhkoshi River and then along the Dudhkoshi gorge as it rapidly descends through pine forests. There will be opportunities to see Himalayan Thar, Pheasant and other animals, if we are lucky. We will reach to Namche Bazaar where we will spend the night
Morning breakfast is followed by the trek towards Lukla valley. Enjoy nice views of the landscapes and mountains. We will stay overnight in Lukla.
Finally a day without trekking as we’ll take the scenic morning flight back to Kathmandu. Upon arrival, shift to hotel and spend rest of your time to relax and maybe do some last minute shopping. In the evening there will be a farewell dinner. We will spend the night in Kathmandu.
About 3 hours prior to your flight time, we will transfer you to the airport from where you can fly to your onward destination.
- Airport pickups and drops offs in a private vehicle
- Hotel accommodation in Kathmandu with breakfast
- Teahouse / guest house accommodation during the trek
- All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) during the trek
- Farewell dinner in Kathmandu
- Domestic flights (Kathmandu- Lukla -Kathmandu)
- Guided city tour in Kathmandu by private vehicle
- Entrance fees for sightseeing/monument visits as per the itinerary
- An experienced, English-speaking and government-licensed trek leader and assistant trek leader (5 trekkers: 1 assistant guide)
- Porter service (2 trekkers: 1 porter)
- All necessary paperwork and trekking permits (National Park Permit, TIMS)
- Medical kit (carried by your trek leader)
- All government and local taxes
- Nepalese visa fee
- Excess baggage charge(s)
- Extra night accommodation in Kathmandu because of early arrival, late departure, early return from mountain (due to any reason) than the scheduled itinerary
- Lunch and evening meals in Kathmandu, apart from farewell dinner
- International flights
- Travel and rescue insurance
- Personal expenses (phone calls, laundry, bar bills, battery recharge, extra porters, bottle or boiled water, shower, etc.)
- Tips for guide(s), porter(s) and driver(s)
This is departure.
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?
You’ll be traveling through wilderness, remote countryside, and high elevations. Trekking with a guide is not only safer but it will make for a more enjoyable trek. Our guides are experts in Nepal Himalayan treks and have on average over 10 years trekking experience. While the trails in the Everest and Annapurna Regions are generally well defined in other parts of the Himalayas they can be confusing and very few locals speak English. 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 Nepal trekking?
We have had families with kids as young as 7 years do the Everest Base Camp Trek and our eldest trekkers have been in their late 70s. There’s no limit on our adventures, as long as participants are healthy and willing! We generally suggest that families schedule a few extra days for the trek.
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.
What type of insurance should I have? Where can I obtain a policy?
Travel insurance is mandatory and obtaining for the days you are trekking is your responsibility. If you get to Nepal and don’t have insurance already we can help you purchase it for a reasonable price before you start the trek.
What’s the best time of year to book a trek in Nepal?
The best times for trekking the Nepal 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!
ABOUT THE TREK
How long do treks last?
Most of our Himalayan treks range from 7 to 30 days.
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 Nepal 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.
What happens if the flight from Lukla or Kathmandu is delayed?
The flights between Kathmandu and Lukla are generally reliable but if the weather is not good they can be canceled for the entire day. Our 14 day package includes one buffer day in case of delays but we suggest that you schedule a couple of extra additional days in case of delays at the end of your trek. If your flight is delayed in Kathmandu we will rebook your flight for the next day. We may also be able to provide an option for a privately chartered helicopter. If you choose to take the helicopter this can cost an additional $150 to $500 or more depending on availability and group size. Extra hotel nights ($30) and meals in Kathmandu are not included when flights are delayed although we will make arrangements for you. If your flight is delayed in Lukla we will provide the accommodation and meals in the cost.
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 list 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.
Do you have any extra charges for 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 going solo and not joining one of our group treks you will be charged an extra $15 a day for a porter.
Can I get a refund if I don’t finish the trek?
It’s sometimes the case that trekkers finish ahead of schedule or they end up stopping the trek early for health or personal reasons. If this is the case please understand that we cannot offer any refunds for unused days on the trek. Please understand that our costs are the same as we have an obligation to pay our guides and porters for the time they have committed.