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Everest Base Camp Trek Itinerary: What I did and what I would do differently

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 Hotel Kathmandu. I arrived late afternoon so I was able to explore the hotel and then have a fantastic dinner there.

bedroom at dwarika's kathmandu - first night of my everest base camp trek itinerary
My lovely bedroom at Dwarika’s

Day Two: Kathmandu

This was a nice relaxed day. I explored Kathmandu including the main square and other places to visit in Kathmandu 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!

I 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

⇒ And definitely log in to 12Go when you’re organising how you’re going to get around Nepal. This super easy to use platform has all modes of transport on the one platform and allows you to compare based on time, cost, and reviews.

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.

The tip of mount everest seen from the everest base camp trail
First sighting of Mount Everest

Day Four

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 Nepal Tea House.

Day Five

Trek to Kyanjuma

First view of Mount Everest - day 3 of the Everest Base Camp Trek
First view of Mount Everest – day 3 of the everest base camp Trek

Day Six

Trek to Thyangboche

Day Seven

Trek to Dingboche

Day Eight

⇒ Acclimatisation Trek ⇒ Stay Dingboche

Day Nine

Trek to Lobuche

Stunning views on Day 7 of the Everest Base Camp Trek
Stunning views on Day 7 of the Everest Base Camp Trek

Day Ten: Everest Base Camp

⇒ Trek to Everest Base Camp ⇒ Stay Gorak Shep

everest base camp with mountains and khumbu ice fall in the background
Finally Everest Base Camp!

Day Eleven

⇒ Ascend Kala Pattar (which I didn’t do as I was too sick) ⇒ Stay Pheriche

Day Twelve

⇒ I left the trek at this point due to illness but this is what would have happened ⇒ Trek to Kyanjuma

view from helicopter of the himalayas
View from the helicopter

Day Thirteen

Trek to Monzo. Instead, I spent this day in Kathmandu back at the lovely Dwarika’s rather unwell!

Day Fourteen

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.

A typical bedroom at a nepal tea house
A typical bedroom at a nepal tea house

Day Sixteen: Kathmandu  

I was finally feeling relatively back to normal so spent the day doing some Kathmandu sightseeing. More of Durbar Square, Thamel, and Patan. 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

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.

shops on a street in bhaktapur nepal

Day Twenty: Dhulikhel

Dwarika’s Resort

Day Twenty-One: Dhulikhel

Dwarika’s Resort

view from dhulikhel resort over the kathmandu valley
The amazing view over the Kathmandu Valley from my room

Day Twenty-Two: Dhulikhel

Leave Nepal

Everest Base Camp Trek Itinerary: What I would have done differently 

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.

view of a propellor and the himalayas from a plane window
The view over the Himalayas flying into Lukla

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.

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The main street in Lukla Nepal
The main street in Lukla Nepal

How to get to Kathmandu:

Flights to Kathmandu

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).

welcome signs being held at Lukla airport Nepal
welcome signs being held at Lukla airport 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.

Exodus Everest Base Camp Treks. 

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.

signs for restaurants in Lukla Nepal
The bustling Lukla food scene!

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 Hotel Kathmandu.

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.

Read reviews on TripAdvisorBook Now

rocks and views of the himalayan mountains
One of the many lovely views on the way

Kathmandu has some more basic boutique hotels that offer great value for money. Dalai-La and Kantipur Temple House offer traditional Nepalese style.

Read reviews of Dalai-La on TripAdvisor Book Now

Read reviews of Kantipur Temple House on TripAdvisor Book Now

Aria Boutique Hotel & Spa is somewhat more modern with its offer. Uniquely for Kathmandu, its interiors are heavy on white!

Read reviews on TripAdvisor Book Now

If you’re after a real treat check out my post on the stunning Dwarika’s Dhulikhel Resort – stunning Himalayan luxury!

The lovely Dwarika’s Kathmandu

Who Paid for What in this Everest Base Camp Trek Itinerary 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 Everest Base Camp Trek Itinerary 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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The Boutique Adventurer l Luxury Travel Adventures in Emerging Destinations You saved to Everest Base Camp Trek in Nepal Travel 1 This Everest Base Camp Trek Itinerary covers three weeks Nepal including a lovely spa at the end - and what I would do differently - including all the days of the actual trek to Everest Base Camp and things to do in Kathmandu #everestbasecamp #nepal
Your dream of reaching Everest Base Camps but don't know what to expect? This complete day but day guide will give you all the informations you need to know about this trek of a lifetime. From what to pack to how to fly to Lukla, what the accommodation looks like to how to prepare. #everest #outdoor

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Tuesday 31st of January 2023

Wow, it's really great article about the Everest base camp trek. And your article is a wonderful post. Detail info - Everest Base Camp Trek

Ian Macdonald

Monday 26th of April 2021

You might have done better if you had spent more days aclimatising on the way up. I did the base camp trek at age 58, and we had two full days aclimatising heading up. I had no problems with altitude sickness, but did get a chest infection from inhaling powdered yak dung just as we got to EBC. Anti-biotics crushed my fever in a matter of hours and I was able to hack up Kalla Patar. It was tough, but the views and experience is WELL worth the extra effort. I had come all that way to see Everest at dawn and nothing was going to stop me.

Others in our party took medicine to manage the altitutude, but I did not feel the need. For the most part I felt exhilaration rather than headaches. The young fit men in our party suffered the most!

Helicopter was probably better than the horse ride out I saw one tourist experiencing. We had a couple turn back, but overall helath was well managed by our tour leader, who made sure we drank plenty and ate well. I followed all the advice and had a wonderful experience up and back.

The Boutique Adventurer

Monday 26th of April 2021

Hi Ian. I think you're right - I would have done better if I had had more time to acclimatize. I also wish I had of been proactive with hydration tablets and taken them from the beginning vs just when I started to feel sick. Gosh a chest infection sounds really tough at that altitude with that level of exertion every day! Luckily my focus was on getting to base camp which felt like a huge achievement given how I felt. And although the helicopter ended up being covered by insurance I would have seen it as an excellent use of funds!


Wednesday 8th of April 2020

This is one of the most useful itineraries for the Everest Base Camp trek. Lots of travelers might actually want to follow this if they are headed on to the EBC. Btw I would like to recommend you to Kanchanjunga Base camp, it's on whole another level of adventure.

The Boutique Adventurer

Wednesday 8th of April 2020

Thanks Sazjan - I don't know Kanchanjunga Base Camp - will have to check it out!


Tuesday 16th of October 2018

Great Post i like Your whole Schedule its amazing.Base camp trek is full of learning and thrilling adventure. Everest base camp K2 base camp trek and gondogoro la trek is most adventure’s treks in the Baltoro Glacier. Many Trekking Company provides great services for reach these trekking E and hiking lovers on these treks. You should go on K2 base camp but mentally prepared for that is most important for because it’s not an easy job. Always take reliable services when you go for on Base camping. I love Base camping due to Cross cultural communication, friendly environment in camping be like a family member. K2 Base Camp trek is really a great adventure’s trek.

The Boutique Adventurer

Wednesday 17th of October 2018

Thanks for your comments. I think K2 might be a bit much for me but thanks for the advice!

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Tuesday 17th of July 2018

Your Iternary is amazing about everest base camp. you should visit india leh ladakh for himiliyan trek

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