Everest Monasteries Trek is an outstanding trek, visiting the high valleys of the Khumbu with time to explore villages and monasteries and to sample the incredible hospitality of the Sherpa people. We fly from Kathmandu to Lukla and trek slowly up the Dudh Kosi Valley to the Sherpa capital, Namche. Here, we have time to acclimatize, before following the quiet trail to Thame village in the Bhote Kosi valley. We visit the ancient cliff-hugging Buddhist monastery. Descending to Khumjung, we are treated to incredible views of Kantega and Thamserku and the Nuptse-Lhotse wall with Mt Everest rearing above.
At Khumjung, we camp below Khumbila Peak, home of the patron God of the Khumbu, before making our way towards Phortse, Pangboche and Thyangboche. The views along the trail throughout are tremendous, with snow-capped mountains on all sides, deep forested river valleys and small villages and their fields clinging to impossible looking slopes.
Our highest point will be Pangboche (3908m) and its charming and unspoiled monastery. After Pangboche we shall return to Lukla via Thyangboche and Namche. A flight back to Kathmandu will conclude this wondrously divine trek. The best time for doing this trip is March to May and September to December.
It’s a panoramic thrill flying into Kathmandu on a clear day. The views of snow-capped mountain peaks sprawling down below you are almost ecstatic, beginning a whole chain of memorable experiences that stay with you for a long, long time. And as your plane hits the tarmac, our waiting support team will meet and greet you at the airport and escort you to your hotel. Welcome drinks will be served and over night at your hotel..
Kathmandu is the historical and cultural heart of Nepal and has been a popular destination for tourists ever since Nepal opened its doors to visitors. The city presents a wonderful mix of Hinduism, Tibetan Buddhism and Western influence. There will be a guided tour to the largest Buddhist stupa in Nepal Boudhanath and after that to the most popular Hindu shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva- Pashupatinath. We take a tour to Patan or Lalitpur (the City of Artisans), which is 5km away from Kathmandu. We walk through Patan Durbar Square, and delight in the architectural wonders of Malla era. Mahaboudha Temple, Kumbeshwor Temple, Krishna Temple and Golden Temple are the major attractions at the square..
A spectacular flight and a creepy gutsy landing on a steep mountain runway bring us to the start of our trek at the village of Lukla [2850m]. After meeting the crew and sorting out details for the long hike and the limb crunching climb, we head up the Dudh Kosi Valley on a well-marked trail to our first camp near the river at Phakding. And it’s our first over night amidst the natural wonders of nature..
From Phakding, we cross and re-cross the river on high suspension bridges. Beyond Monjo is the entrance to the Sagarmatha National Park which was set-up in order to protect and preserve this fragile mountain environment. We then ascend quite steeply to Namche and along the way, if the weather is clear, catch our first glimpse of Mt. Everest in the distance. Namche is the main trading village in the Khumbu and has a busy Saturday market - a meeting place for the Hindu traders from the lowlands and the Tibetan yak caravans that have crossed the glaciated Nangpa La. .
Namche is tucked away between two ridges amidst the giant peaks of the Khumbu and has an abundance of lodges, tea shops and souvenir shops as well as a magnificent outlook that seems to meet western standards, even at this remote mountain outpost. The amazing Sherpa folks down here have learnt a lot from the big expeditions that have passed this way. It is an ideal place to spend a rest day, acclimatizing to the new altitude before heading off towards Tengboche. Options for acclimatization walks include a visit to Khunde hospital which was set-up by Sir Edmund Hillary, or a one hour walk up to the Everest view hotel above Namche for the sunset view of Ama Dablam, Nuptse, Lhotse and Everest. There are also good views from the national park centre and museum just above the town. We have a nice time at Namche and then settle in for the night..
From Namche the route turns west and the trail is almost level as we head up the Bhote Kosi Valley, once a popular trading route into Tibet. Along the way we pass many prayer flags and mani stones, all indicative of the Tibetan Buddhist culture of this area. After descending to the Bhote Kosi the trail climbs steeply to Thame. From here there are good views of the peaks of Teng Kangpoche and Kwangde. To the north is the Nangpa La, the pass leading to Tibet. Thame Gompa is situated above the village overlooking the valley and is the site for the spring celebrations of the Mani Rimdu festival..
We retrace our route down the Bhote Kosi Valley towards Namche and branch off to follow a quiet trail to Khumjung. It is a picturesque village which also has its own gompa at the top end of town. From our camping spot we have excellent views of Thamserku, Kantega and Ama Dablam..
Now we descend back along the valley to Phortse, a village which seems unaffected by the advent of trekkers. The quiet rhythm of life continues as it has always done in the village. .
From Phortse, passing through fields, a stream and two white Chortens, we descend along the trail to Pangboche. It takes a couple of hours to reach Pangboche. Our highest trekking point is Pangboche (3985m). Its highlight is the charming and unspoiled monastery. The monastery is believed to have been founded around 1667 which makes it the oldest Sherpa gompa in the Khumbu..
While on our way down to Tengboche we see many beautiful sights of rhododendron bushes with beautiful birds and superb mountain scenery. Tengboche is famous for its legendary monastery, the largest in the Khumbu. A spectacular panorama of Everest, Lhotse and Ama Dablam rising in the horizon can be seen from this village..
From Tengboche we descend to the bridge over the Dudh Kosi at Phunki Tenga, where there are water driven prayer wheels, before making our way back to Namche. After a breather, we settle down for the night at Namche.
Our final day's trekking follows the Dudh Kosi back down to Lukla. This last evening in the mountains is the ideal opportunity for a farewell party with the Sherpa guides and porters, where we can sample some chang (local beer - a favorite drink on the mountains), do a jig to some Sherpa dancing and reflect back on a memorable trekking experience. .
We pack up early and head for the airstrip to hop a flight back to Kathmandu On touchdown, the rest of your day is free to do your own things. You could do some last minute shopping and packing, or send a few post cards home or even go down for a stroll to Thamel, an internationally known hub for tourists in Asia.
Our Nepalese support team will take you to the airport for your flight home. (Or stay longer for short tours such as game drive at National parks, do some wild-water rafting, a Tibet tour or even mountain biking, etc- please ask us). .
Soft Adventure trek
This trek is only of about a week. You generally don't go above 4000 meter. Each day you can expect to walk for around 4 – 5 hours. They are a perfect introduction to trekking in Nepal. The activity level is fairly easy but don't expect it to be all easy going, there will still be some hills to climb as well as the well-known 'Nepali flat' – a little bit up and a little bit down.
We offer several options regarding the organization of your trek:
1) Guide, Accommodation and Porter trek (GAP trek)
This is an abbreviation of Guide Accommodation and Porters (GAP). This option of the trek is for those who want basic support from us. This is the most economic way to do trekking in Nepal. We provide an English speaking local Sherpa guide, book and pay for the accommodation in local lodges during trek and arrange required porters and trekkers pay for meals directly to the local lodge owner. Expect to spend around 2000-2500 Rupees a day for food. Guide, accommodation and porters are covered in the price.
Includes: Accommodation, guide and porters
2) Camping trek
On camping trek you will be sleeping and eating on tents. A trekking crew contains one sirdar, one cook and the numbers of kitchen crew, Sherpa assistants and porters depending on the size of the group. Under the leadership of the Sirdar (the local trek leader) the crew will ensure you take the right path. The kitchen crew will keep you well fed with delicious and nutritious meals. The porters shall transport the gear from camp to camp. Our main aim is to make the trek as hassle-free and enjoyable as possible. Sirdar and his assistants speak basic English, good enough to explain to you about the places, local culture or any sight that catches your eyes.
Includes: Guide, Porters, Cook, All meals and tents
3) Lodge or tea house trek
Although simple, the teahouses or lodges do provide shelter and warmth and are normally run by friendly local families. The lodge or tea house treks are less expensive then camping trek and are largely suitable for small group.
Includes: Accommodation in Lodge, guide, porters and all meals
YOUR TREK CAN BE ORGANIZED IN ALL THE 3 WAYS AS MENTIONED ABOVE.
Trekking in the Solu Khumbu region (Everest area) doesn’t need tremendous logistics in terms of accommodation as you will find plenty of clean and friendly Lodges along the trail. We stay in single rooms where possible, but often you will have to share. Rooms are basic, normally just a bed with a pillow and blankets. A few have electric lights and all have a spacious dining room-lounge. We will accommodate you and your group in local lodge available each day. We send a porter ahead of us to book the required rooms for the group (rooms cannot always be booked in advance). Please remember that some of them are very basic and a sense of adventure is necessary. It is cheaper to stay in Lodge rather than organizing a camping trek.
Camping trek means sleeping in tents. On a camping trek, the tents provided are ‘Two men dome’ or ‘A’ shaped. Foam mattress with insulation underneath is provided for sleeping. Clients need to have their own sleeping bag. Bags or cloth packs are used as pillows. If you wish, you can bring your own ‘Air pillow’.
Meals are included in our price and are taken in Lodges available along the trail. You can find a wide variety of Nepali and Western food as well as drinks (coffee, tea, milk, soft drinks, and beer).
Meals are prepared by our cook. We provide three tasty and nutritious meals daily along with drinks.
You will have to make your own eating arrangements in the many Lodges available along the trail. Expect to spend around 2000-2500 Rupees a day for food. Guide, accommodation and porters are covered in the price.
On camping trek, our staff will boil water and cook meals treated by potassium permanganate or iodine. On GAP trek and Lodge trek, you will be able to buy safe hot drinks in the tea house.
We recommend you to bring water purification pills. On the trail, water from stream is safe if away from settlements.
During the trek, your main luggage will be carried by porter or yaks. Please keep your luggage as light as possible around 12 to 15 kgs. You simply carry a day pack with water bottle, camera, sun-screen, spare jacket etc You can leave your valuable items at your hotel while trekking. Many hotels have a locker system and provide a deposit slip for the valuables kept under the hotel's safekeeping.
We provide different options concerning leadership in order to match your requirements:
1) Western leader
2) Trained Nepali Trek leader (experienced and knowledgeable)
3) Sherpa Guide (handles the logistics and guides you and your team on the trek)
The Sherpa guide (commonly called Sirdar) will be accompanied by a crew of porters. On camping trek, there will be 2/3 porters for each members while on GAP and Lodge trek 1 porter for 2 members.
Our trips are available on both fixed departure and private basis. If you are looking for a group to join this trip please check our ‘2015/16 departures’ link for availability, dates and price. If you would like to travel independently, or with your friends, families & colleagues you are invited to choose any of the trips at your convenient timeframe for any number of people (minimum 1 & maximum 100 at a time).
If you want to do something that is not included in our trip list we are ready to tailor a trip to suit your exact requirements. In short, we will make every effort to get you on the trip you want, when you want.
If you opt to join our ‘fixed departure trip’, you are likely to be joining people from different countries of any age group except minors. The size of group varies, minimum no of persons required to operate a trip is 3 the maximum is 12 people.
Everest region is more expensive than the other regions in Nepal, as most of the goods have to be shipped by airplane and then carried to their final destination by porters.
Lodge trek and Camping trek:
You only need money for table drinks (alcoholic/non alcoholic beverages), snacks while walking, tips, souvenirs, hot shower (available in some places).
You need to pay for your meals and should expect to spend around 2000-2500 Rupees a day for your food and snacks.
Tips are appreciated by your support team after the trip. The amount depends on your budget and appreciation of their work. As a suggestion, we advise that you can allocate 5- 10 % of the total tour cost as tips.
The starting point of the trek is in Lukla which is connected by a 45mins flight from Kathmandu. We will arrange the transportation from your hotel to the airport (Kathmandu). On your return to Kathmandu our bus will take you back to your hotel.
There are a plenty of telephone facilities in the Everest region. Cell phones work fine throughout the trek in Everest Region. If it is crucial for you to keep in contact with your family or others, we can provide you a sim card or rental satellite phones if necessary.
Trekking: You will need walking boots, sleeping bag (4 seasons/ -20C rated), waterproof jacket and trousers, fleece jacket, warm hat and gloves, sunglasses, water bottle, sun-screen and day pack.
It's not necessary to spend a lot of money buying extra equipment and clothing before your trip. Majority of these gears can be bought or hired at reasonable rates in Kathmandu. Explore Himalaya will thoroughly help you to buy or rent trekking gears in the outlets of Thamel, which sell or rent both international and local gears.
Lodge/ Tea House Trek, GAP Trek & Camping Trek:
Each morning after packing our bags and having a good breakfast, we set off on the day's walk. After walking for 3-4 hours we stop for lunch at around midday. The afternoon's walk is generally shorter and we usually arrive at our destination in time for afternoon tea. The remainder of the afternoon can be spent exploring the village, doing a bit of washing or simply relaxing with a good book. On some days we will arrive at our destination by lunch time and the entire afternoon will be free. After dinner, the evening will often be spent playing cards and reliving the day's adventures, before heading off to bed for a well-earned sleep. However, on a camping trek, you begin your day with a hot cup of tea which will be served to you in the tent at 6 am, followed by a bowl of hot water for washing. Other day activities are the same as mentioned above.
You need to pass on your International flight details to us for a 'meeting and greeting' service at the Airport. You just pass on the Customs and come out of the Terminal building where you will see someone standing with a placard that states either 'Explore Himalaya' or your own name.
The best seasons to trek to the Everest base camp region is Autumn (from mid-September till November end), and Spring (from the beginning of March until mid-May). Temperatures will drop considerably as you trek higher every day. The nights are cold (between -10 C to 5C) but the days are sunny and hot (between 10C to 20C). The mornings are usually clear, with clouds building up during the afternoon, disappearing at night. Trekking during the monsoon and winter is not recommended, as the visibility during monsoon is limited, upper parts and high passes could be covered with snow in winter.
March, April, October and November are the most favored months. Please choose the date that is convenient for you.
Sherpas live in the upper regions of Solu Khumbu. They emigrated from Tibet about 600 years ago. The Khumbu region has provided a strong group of able bodied, hardy and fearless Sherpa porters and guides. Sherpas practice Tibetan Buddhism, which is also known as Lama Buddhism.
Losar is celebrated in the month of February by the Sherpas. ‘Losar’ means New Year in Tibetan. Buddhist monks offer prayers for good health and prosperity at monasteries. People exchange various goods and gifts among them. Families organize feasts and perform dances.
Dumje is celebrated to mark the birthday of Guru Rimpoche (Padmasambhava).The celebration takes place in June and lasts for six days. It is celebrated in a big way in the villages of Namche, Thame and Khumjung.
Mani Rimdu is a festival that celebrates the victory of Buddhism over the ancient animistic religion of Bon. This festival is celebrated in the monasteries of Thyangboche, Chiwang and Thami. At Thangboche the celebration takes place during the November- December full moon.
The itineraries for each trip should be taken as a guideline only. Depending on prevailing situation, you can modify it to some extent after consulting with your guide. However, the date of trek completion should always coincide with the original itinerary.
You should keep in mind that this is an adventure trip into a remotest mountain region, where many unforeseen events may contribute to the need for a change in itinerary. In such cases, we or your guide will suggest the best alternative similar to your original program.
We ensure liability as per indicated in the itinerary and list of services. If the holiday is cut short or completed earlier than the projected period upon client’s wish, we shall not be responsible or make refund against unutilized days or services. Clients need to pay extra for Hotels/services incurred in Kathmandu or elsewhere in such cases.
As vaccination requirements change frequently, we suggest you to consult your doctor at least 2 months prior to the beginning of your trip. We recommend protection against malaria, tetanus, typhoid, hepatitis and polio.
Altitude Sickness has the potential to affect all travelers from 2500m and higher. Your body needs time to adjust to smaller quantities of oxygen in the air at 5500m/18,044ft; the air pressure is approximately half that of sea level, i.e. there is half the amount of oxygen. Acute Mountain Sickness is caused by going up high too fast and can be fatal if the entire warning signals are ignored. This itinerary for Khumbu monastery has gradual climb and the duration itself is short, hence, chances of AMS are not as much as on the treks to other high altitude areas. However, one needs to be careful and take all the necessary precautions.
We supply a first aid kit with standard medicines prescribed by trekking doctors. Since our staffs/guides do not possess much knowledge about medications. Hence, we would request you to use the medicines by yourself. It would be better if you bring your own medical supplies. We suggest that you take some pain-killing pills with you and enough medicine for cold, diarrhea, nausea and fever. Some nasal ointment and throat-moistening pills will greatly be of help for those who are sensitive to chilly or freezing weather conditions. Age is no barrier to take an unforgettable trekking experience.
In case of a serious sickness or a casualty, which we believe will not happen; we will do everything to transfer you to the nearest hospital. Since you are entirely liable for all the expense incurred in evacuation please make sure that it is covered by your insurance before assigning for it or be prepared to pay on your own after getting back to Kathmandu.
Before joining a tour, we recommend you to take a travel insurance which should cover cancellation, medical expenses, helicopter evacuation and emergency repatriation.
All visitors except the Indian nationals must hold passport and valid visa. Visa can be obtained at the Nepalese diplomatic missions and consulates abroad. Visa is also issued at the entry points. It can be extended at the Department of Immigration, Kalikasthan, Kathmandu. Children under 10 years need not pay any visa fee. People willing to get entry Visa at the airport or any of the land entry points are required to fill a visa form with passport photograph. So, please download form from the link below and get ready while you are passing through the immigration Point.
Visa application form
Gratis visa for 30 days available only for tourists of SAARC countries
Multiple entry 15 days - US$ 25 or equivalent convertible currency
Multiple entry 30 days - US$ 40 or equivalent convertible currency
Multiple entry 90 days - US$ 100 or equivalent convertible currency
Tourist Visa Extension
* Visa extension fee for 15 days or less is US $ 30 or equivalent convertible currency and visa extension fee for more than 15 days is US$ 2 per day
* Tourist visa can be extended for a maximum period of 150 days in a single visa year (January - December).
The beautiful environment of the Himalayas is also an extremely fragile one. At Explore Himalaya, we are extremely conscious about the environment and aim to minimize the detrimental impact on the environment as much as possible.
As deforestation is one of the greatest environmental threats, we do not have camp fires and use kerosene as cooking fuel. We also discourage trekkers from using wood-fuelled hot showers in lodges along the way. Many lodges, however, now provide solar hot showers, a far more eco-friendly alternative.
Garbage disposal is another major problem. Some of the busier trails are at times strewn with litter and garbage thrown by irresponsible trekking groups. Our staff members are well motivated towards eco-friendly practices. We carry the non-biodegradable garbage, apart from that which can be safely and easily burnt at the campsite. Our aim is to help protect and preserve this beautiful environment for future generations of trekkers to enjoy.
In addition to your trek, we can organize extensions both within Nepal and other neighboring countries. You may want to try rafting or a jungle safari in Nepal or Nepal Cultural Tours .If you wish, you may as well take a trip to Tibet, India or Bhutan.
Explore Himalaya works with the motto ‘Development through Tourism’. Keeping in line with this motto, Explore Himalaya Community Service Project (EHCSP) was conceived to empower underprivileged, marginalized, poor and minority segments of Nepal.
Since its inception, EHCSP has been incessantly facilitating and advocating for school education, health, community development, forest conservation, agriculture, culture preservation and fund raising. Explore Himalaya encourages its clients who besides trekking and climbing the Himalayas are also interested in contributing for the development of Nepal.
We ensure that all porters and all other staff going into high altitude conditions are provided with adequate clothing and equipment. We are the first ever company to supply high-altitude porters with crampons.
We run the trek according to the guidelines of the International Porter Protection group (IPPG - www.ippg.net).
Our trek was great. We had good weather, great views of Everest on many days, a good guide and porter and a lot of fun.
On our return, both we and Explore were concerned as to whether we would be able to fly out and, thus, make our connecting flight to Europe. Weather at Lukla airport was, once again, changing all the time. Therefore, when we arrived back in Lukla at the end of the trek, Explore’s representative in Lukla and our guide offered to investigate whether we could get on a flight that afternoon, while the airport was still open.
We accepted the offer, they got us on a flight and were safely in Kathmandu, no longer worried about whether the airport would be open the next day. This all happened very quickly but, by the time we had landed, Explore had organized a guide to meet us at the airport and a hotel room in Kathmandu (Hotel Marshyangdi). Again, problem solved.
If you measure your tour operator by not only being able to organize a tour at a good value price but also on being able to solve any problems that occur then Explore Himalaya rate very highly.
We work with the motto "Tourism for Development". Explore Himalaya Community Service Project was conceived to empower underprivileged segments of Nepal.