If only I had of known then what I know now! This post covers my Everest Base Camp Trek Itinerary – and then I tell you what I would have done differently if I had known then what I know now! Please do benefit from my often very tough experience!!!!!
My first key tip would be to have two nights in Kathmandu before beginning the trek. This allowed me to get over jet lag (I flew in from London) and also quite a bit of time to sort out money and extra gear. Here’s my Everest Base Camp trek itinerary blog!
Everest Base Camp Trek Itinerary By Day:
Day One: Kathmandu
Arrive into Kathmandu. I chose to arrive in Kathmandu a day ahead of my tour and I am really glad that I did. I had a full night’s sleep which helped with jet lag a lot. I wanted some luxury before the trek so I stayed at the lovely Dwarika’s Hotel. I arrived late afternoon so was able to explore the hotel and then have a fantastic dinner there.
Day Two: Kathmandu
This was a nice relaxed day. I explored Kathmandu including the main square and tried some local food. This was also a great time to get local currency (only available once you arrive in Nepal and in limited amounts – use that ATM several times!) and to do some shopping. There are loads of small shops that obviously are not licensed sellers of well-known brands throughout Kathmandu.
I chose to go to the big North Face shop as I was buying walking poles and didn’t want them to fall apart!
Joined my organized tour group – Exodus – in the afternoon at the Exodus hotel. They had all just arrived from a long overnight flight. We had a briefing around 5 pm (they didn’t get to the hotel far ahead of that) and then it was off into Kathmandu for money changing/dinner/any shopping needed. I was even more pleased that I had arrived a day early!
⇒ Stay in Kathmandu at Tour Group Hotel
Day Three: Time to start Everest Base Camp Trekking!
This was an early start! The flights to Lukla go out very early to try to avoid cloud moving in and closing this rather vulnerable little airport.
⇒ Fly to Lukla
⇒ Begin Everest Base Camp Trek about midday
⇒ Stay Phakding
⇒ Read all about my trek – Literally Day by Day – in my Everest Base Camp Trek Blog.
Day Four: Hiking to Everest Base Camp
Trek to Namche Bazaar and stay the night.
⇒ Read all about the food on the trek, accommodation, showers, wifi etc in my post on the Real Story of the Nepalese Tea House.
Day Five: ebc Itinerary
Trek to Kyanjuma
Day Six: Base Camp Trek
Trek to Thyangboche
Everest Base Camp Trek Itinerary Day Seven: EBC Trek
Trek to Dingboche
Day Eight: EBC Trek
⇒ Acclimatisation Trek
⇒ Stay Dingboche
Day Nine: Everest Base Camp Itinerary
Trek to Lobuche
Day Ten: Everest Base Camp
⇒ Trek to Everest Base Camp
⇒ Stay Gorak Shep
Day Eleven: Everest Base Camp Trek
⇒ Ascend Kala Pattar (which I didn’t do as I was too sick)
⇒ Stay Pheriche
Day Twelve: Everest Base Camp Trek
⇒ I left the trek at this point due to illness but this is what would have happened
⇒ Trek to Kyanjuma
Day Thirteen: Everest Base Camp Trek
Trek to Monzo. Instead, I spent this day in Kathmandu back at the lovely Dwarika’s rather unwell!
Day Fourteen: Everest Base Camp Trek
Trek to Lukla. Unwell in Kathmandu instead!
Day Fifteen: Kathmandu
Fly back to Kathmandu from Lukla. I re-joined by a group at this point in the mid-afternoon. They were all rather exhausted! The afternoon was available for sightseeing although I was too sick still and I think the others were exhausted. Dinner was organized for that night.
⇒ Stay in Kathmandu at the Trip Hotel.
Day Sixteen: Kathmandu
This was officially the last night of the tour so the last night in the tour hotel. We had a big group dinner.
Most tours have these 2 nights in Kathmandu at the end to allow for how often flights can be cancelled going out of Lukla. I ended up having too much time in Kathmandu with the first day pre the trip and then having these 2 days. However, this is sort of standard for all tours.
Day Seventeen: Kathmandu
This was my favourite sightseeing day! I headed to Swayambhunath Temple or the Monkey Temple which I very much enjoyed. The views over Kathmandu are fantastic and there is quite a bit to see at the top of the hill.
I also visited the lovely Garden of Dreams which is owned by the same people as Dwarika’s. This is an oasis in Kathmandu. There are lovely gardens which you can access for a small fee. Once inside, Dwarika’s has a lovely cafe as well. Perfect for post trekking.
I had dinner and stayed at Kathmandu Dwarika’s Hotel
⇒ Check out my post on Luxury Things to do in Kathmandu.
Everest Base Camp Trek Itinerary Day Eighteen: Kathmandu
This was a rest/blogging day so mostly spent at the hotel. I did take a cab and visit Boudhanath Stupa. It was very photogenic but if you have to make a choice then the Monkey Temple is much more interesting.
⇒ Dinner and stay at Kathmandu Dwarika’s Hotel
Day Nineteen: Dhulikhel
I took a taxi to Dhulikhel and stopped at Bhaktapur on the way. I highly recommend a visit to this lovely little town. This is what I thought Kathmandu would be like – and maybe it was before the earthquake. It was very cute and photogenic and a pleasure to explore.
Then I arrived at Dwarika’s Resort. This stunning resort is about 1 1/4 hours from Kathmandu and was just fabulous!
⇒ Read all about it in my Review of Dwarika’s Dhulikhel Resort.
Everest Base Camp Trek Itinerary Day Twenty: Dhulikhel
Day Twenty-One: Dhulikhel
Day Twenty-Two: Dhulikhel
Everest Base Camp Trek Itinerary: What I would I do differently
Golly quite a few things! The first is medical things. I would have started out drinking water with electrolytes/diuretics from the beginning of my base camp Everest trek. Once everything hits you it is almost too late – a couple of women (one of whom was a nurse) did this on my trip and they did really well in terms of altitude sickness. Also, they started taking paracetamol from the beginning as well.
In terms of packing to trek base camp Everest, I pretty much had it covered – read about literally everything I took in my post about my Everest Base Camp Packing List.
The key thing I would have done differently is the trek in terms of where I stayed! I went with a really good tour company. I can’t fault them and the value for money was excellent. I was fine with the tea houses for the first few days. However, once we got over 4000m the cold and the dreadful conditions made for misery. The best part of my day was when I was out trekking – this is normally when I felt most comfortable. But at the end of the day you would arrive at a tea house exhausted and with headaches and it was so cold and so difficult to recover.
I would have gone with Yeti Mountain Lodges or one of the more upmarket lodge options. Now, these don’t take you all the way to the top. However you could use these for the first few nights and then only do the difficult ones when you must – and you would have had fewer nights in the freezing cold.
I would then have got a helicopter down to Lukla as soon as I could have after reaching Everest base camp. I paid US$1200 for my own helicopter from Pheriche to Lukla and it was worth every penny. I would imagine if pre-planned and if with others this would be more reasonably priced.
Even better would have been to trek back from Everest Base Camp to Gorak Shep (or to fly out of base camp itself) and then got in a helicopter and gone down to Lukla and stayed at a Yeti lodge that night – flying back to Kathmandu the next day. The way back is mostly a repeat of the way you went – except flatter. I didn’t do the last 3 of the 4-day return trek. Speaking with those who had I certainly didn’t miss anything and they were 3 hard days -with lots of boulders and still, of course, lots of up and down!
I had more time than I needed in Kathmandu – I definitely could have had one less night there even if there had been delays getting out of Lukla. But it was nice to be staying at Dwarika’s and having a chance to relax.
For me 3 nights at Dwarika’s Resort was perfect. It is a stunning resort but by then I was ready to go home so 3 nights was enough for it to still be really enjoyable.
How to get to Kathmandu:
I flew to Kathmandu with Qatar Airways business class from London and it was a fantastic experience.
This is one trip where you MUST take out travel insurance! I certainly ended up using mine!
Everest Base Camp Trek Guided Tour Options
There are several options for getting to Everest Base Camp from Kathmandu. Option one is to start your tour from the actual base of the mountain. This means a longer, more expensive trip but I have heard from those that took this option that they suffered considerably less from altitude sickness and overall had a much more enjoyable experience.
The second option is to fly to Lukla. This is by far the most common choice. Lukla is 2400m above sea level and a short flight on a small plane from Kathmandu (don’t miss my tips above on getting through the luggage restrictions!).
It is possible to hike to Base Camp on your own but I very much would not advise this. Safety is, of course, the number one reason. The weather changes massively during the day and visibility can drop to poor levels. Also, it would not be hard to get lost or take a less efficient path. Finally, as you head higher up there are fewer accommodation options and they tend to have already been booked.
Quite a few people find a guide and porter in Kathmandu. This is fine as an option although obviously, it is quite difficult to get a good feel for the quality of your guide.
Personally, I did the trek with a tour company. I definitely feel this is the best option. It is more fun to have several people on the trip. It also feels much safer to be with a reputable business (most of these tour companies source local operators so you are still providing a benefit to the people of Nepal).
Their processes and insurance are much better. Also, they will receive priority in the tea houses in terms of getting rooms, meals etc and organise all of this for you. Especially as you get higher you will be exhausted at the end of each day and lacking in energy.
⇒ If you’re planning on heading up to Everest Base Camp check out this really good comparison of tour options on Viator.
I did the Everest Base Camp Trek with Exodus. Exodus is the biggest tour operator for Everest Base Camp so there are quite a few benefits in going with them in terms of expertise, access to the best teahouses etc. They also know what they are doing and are very organised. As Exodus is a big deal in Nepal anyone working with them locally will be keen for this to continue and therefore service levels are pretty good. Exodus also offers tours for other popular trekking routes in Nepal like Annapurna Base Camp.
In terms of UK based tour operators, we saw quite a few G Adventures groups during our trek. They tend to stay at the same kinds of tea houses and have a similar setup. I have also heard that Intrepid is a good operator for base camp.
Boutique Hotels in Kathmandu
I recommend enjoying some luxury pre and post the Nepal Tea Houses! Without question, the best boutique hotel in Kathmandu is the lovely lovely Dwarika’s.
It isn’t exactly boutique but as options at a higher boutique end are a bit low in Kathmandu I am going to list the Hyatt Regency Kathmandu.
Aria Boutique Hotel & Spa is somewhat more modern with its offer. Uniquely for Kathmandu, its interiors are heavy on white!
If you’re after a real treat check out my post on the stunning Dwarika’s Dhulikhel Resort – stunning Himalayan luxury!
⇒ Looking for some travel inspiration? Itineraries not only help you plan a trip they can also help you to figure out where you want to go next. Check out my itineraries for Austria, Nova Scotia in Canada, Colombia, Chile, Jordan, Namibia, Sicily, Turkey, Scotland and Korea.
Who Paid for What in this Post
I covered my costs associated with most of this trip but Dwarika’s were kind enough to give me a discount on my accommodation costs. But as always my opinion is my own.
This post contains affiliate links. That means if you click through on them and end up making a purchase I will receive a small commission. This won’t affect the price that you pay. I just wanted to make sure that you were aware of this.
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Also published on Medium.