First published July 2017, updated January 2019
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 of known then what I know now. Please do benefit from my often very tough experience!!!!! A key thing I would keep is having 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.Compare Everest Base Camp Trek Guided Tours
Everest Base Camp Trek Itinerary By Day:
Day One: Kathmandu
Arrive into Kathmandu. I chose to arrive into 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 5pm (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: Start Everest Base Camp Trek
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.
Read all about my trek – Literally Day by Day – in my Everest Base Camp Trek Blog.
Fly to Lukla
Begin Everest Base Camp Trek about midday
Day Four: Everest Base Camp Trek
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 Nepal Tea House.
Day Five: Everest Base Camp Trek
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
Day Nine: Everest Base Camp Trek
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)
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. A dinner was organised for that night.
Stay in Kathmandu at the Trip Hotel.
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 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.
Check out my post on Luxury Things to do in Kathmandu.
I had dinner and stayed at Kathmandu Dwarika’s Hotel
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 Bodnath 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
Want to use this itinerary as a basis to plan a trip of your own? Check out the link below to wOndary – you can use this format and share it with friends and/or customise your itinerary:
How to get to Kathmandu:
Or try my favourite Middle Eastern Airlines – particularly if you like flying Business Class! I flew with Qatar Airways business class when I went – read my Review of Qatar Airways Business Class here.
This is one trip where you MUST take out travel insurance! I certainly ended up using mine! Click here for a quote on travel insurance.
Everest Base Camp Trek Guided Tour Options
For a really good comparison of tour options available check out Viator.Compare Everest Base Camp Trek Guided Tours
I travelled 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.
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 are a good operator for base camp.
Everest Base Camp Trek Itinerary: What I would I do differently
Golly quite a few things! The first is the medical things. I would have started out drinking water with electrolytes/diuretics from the beginning. 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, 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.
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 – Read my review of Dwarika’s Here. 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.
Kathmandu has some more basic boutique hotels that offer great value for money. Dalai-La and Kantipur Temple House offer traditional Nepalese style. Aria Boutique Hotel & Spa is somewhat more modern with its offer. Uniquely for Kathmandu, its interiors are heavy on white!
After my trek, I went heavy on luxury and stayed at the stunning sister hotel to Dwarika’s Kathmandu – Read my review of Dwarika’s Dhulikhel here.
Looking for a hotel in Lukla? I am afraid there aren’t any boutique options – Click here for the best Lukla options
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Also published on Medium.