‘Everest Trek with Monasteries and Sherpa Culture’ is a great short trek that gives us a chance to relish hiking in the astounding Himalayan trails while also exploring the ethereal mountain monasteries and rich local traditions of the Sherpas. Our trek begins in Kathmandu with visits to UNESCO World Heritage Sites. We also visit the very famous Tengboche Monastery, the biggest monastery in the Everest region of Nepal. The actual trek begins from Lukla and along the trails we admire the exquisite Himalayan landscape and unearth local legends that talk about Everest’s greatest climbers, artists and even the elusive Yeti!
We will be staying at Hotel Shanker in Kathmandu for three nights and at teahouses during the trek. All accommodations are on a twin-shared basis. Single supplement will be served on request and will cost an additional USD 250. Himalayan Glacier will arrange rooms with attached washrooms; however, teahouses in some places only have shared washing and toilet facilities. Also note that single rooms are readily available in Kathmandu and the trekking regions at lower elevation but it might be difficult to find them at higher elevations.
Upon our arrival in Kathmandu, Himalayan Glacier will arrange to pick us up from the airport. We will then be transferred to Hotel Shanker or similar category hotel. We can either visit Himalayan Glacier’s office in Thamel or take a rest at our hotel room during the late afternoon. In the evening, a welcome dinner will be served to us in a traditional Nepali restaurant where we will be able to enjoy authentic Nepali cuisine with a brief cultural program. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Today after breakfast we start a guided tour to several of the most historical and spiritual attractions in Kathmandu which are also listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites. We visit the historic Durbar Square, the sacred Hindu temple of Pashupatinath, the famous 'Monkey Temple' (Swayambhunath) and Buddhist shrine (Bouddhanath), which is also one of the largest stupas in the world. After the tour, we get introduced to fellow participants and discuss our trip at Himalayan Glacier’s office. Overnight in Kathmandu.
After breakfast, we will be taken to the domestic terminal of TIA for an early morning flight to Lukla. After a flying above the breathtaking green and white mountains, we reach Tenzing-Hillary Airport at Lukla. This is one of the most beautiful air routes in the world culminating in a landing on a hillside surrounded by high mountains. Upon our arrival at Lukla, we meet our other crew members and after some packing and arrangements, we start our trek through the prosperous village of Lukla until we reach Phakding. To assist in acclimatization, we only have a short hike today. However, if interested in additional activities, we can take a side trip to a nearby monastery. Overnight in Phakding.
After breakfast we walk through beautiful pine forests and then along Dudh Koshi River ending our nature-filled journey at Namche Bazaar. After walking for almost over an hour, we come across the glistening Mt. Thamserku (6,608m) on our right and also experience the serenity of pine, fir and juniper forests throughout our journey. If the weather is clear, we may even catch a glimpse of Mt. Everest peering over the Lhotse-Nuptse ridge. We continue walking until we reach the entrance to Sagarmatha National Park, Namche Bazaar, the gateway to Mt. Everest and main trading centre of this region. This day we cross five suspension bridges, the last one also known as the Hillary Bridge being the highest. It is an uphill walk from Hillary Bridge to Namche Bazaar. Overnight in Namche Bazaar.
This is the day set aside for acclimatization. Health experts recommend that we stay active and move around even during the rest day instead of being idle. There are a few options set aside for this day. We can either stroll around Namche’s quaint villages or come in contact with the Sherpa people and their rich culture, or we can hike up to the Everest View Hotel and enjoy an up-close view of the mighty Everest. While in the Namche village or upon returning from the hike to the Everest View Hotel, trekkers may also visit the local museum containing exhibits displaying the area’s native flora and fauna as well as the history of the Mount Everest region.
Our trail heads west along the valley of the Bhote Koshi River. The views of the Himalayas including Kongde Ri (6187m), Khumbi Yul La (5765m), Kusum Kanguru (6,373m) are fantastic. The first village we pass through is Phorte where a tree nursery was established by Sir Edmund Hillary's Himalayan Trust. We continue along the balcony path. After descending to the river we cross a bridge before making a steep climb to Thame, situated at an important junction along the old primary trade route to and from Tibet via the Nangpa La (pass). Overnight in Thame.
We climb up to the famous airstrip of Syangboche. Just above the airstrip is the Everest View Hotel, a Japanese plan to build a deluxe hotel with great views of the highest mountains on Earth. The Khumjung valley is surrounded by Himalayas including Kongde, Thamserku and the scared Khumbila. While in the Khumjung village we can visit the Edmund Hillary School and Khumjung Monastery (a monastery famous for housing the head of the Yeti!). Overnight in Khumjung.
From Khumjung we hike to Phortse. Upon crossing the lower slopes of Khumbila, we enjoy the mesmerizing views of Phortse, Cholatse and Taboche, Ama Dablam, Thamserku and Kangtanga among others. Phortse village lies in the Khumbu region, south of Mt. Everest, off the main trekking routes. Overnight in Phortse.
This day's trek starts with a hard but short climb after which we move steadily alongside a ridge to Pangboche. We visit the Pangboche Gomba on the way and see the footprints of the Lama Sangwa Dorje. The houses of Pangboche nestle beautifully above the terraced fields like a large crescent moon. Overnight in Pangboche.
From Pangboche, we head east and join the main trail of the Everest Base Camp. Then we descend to Tengboche, a village that houses the very famous Tengboche monastery which is the largest monastery of the Everest region. Located amidst the Sagarmatha National Park (a UNESCO World Heritage Site of "outstanding universal value”), it is draped with the panoramic 360-degree view of the Himalayas, including Mt. Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, Ama Dablam and Thamserku. The monastery opens at 3:pm so we reach there by three. And, if we are lucky we might just be able to witness a religious ceremony. Overnight in Tengboche.
From Tengboche, we trek down through the hillside blanketed by rhododendron and juniper trees. After crossing the prayer flag festooned bridge over the Dudh Koshi River our trail follows the Dudh Koshi gorge descending rapidly through the pine forests before reaching Sansa which is a major trail junction in the region. Now the trail clings to the steep wooded slope, winding through several bends. After passing a Chorten, we reach the army camp at Namche Bazaar. Overnight in Namche Bazaar.
The trail descends steeply downward so we need to walk cautiously as our shaky legs continuously battle the rocky terrain. After crossing the suspension bridges over the fast flowing Dudh Koshi and its tributaries, the trail becomes more level and natural. After our arrival in Lukla, we stretch those sore legs and recall the experiences of the last couple of weeks. Overnight in Lukla.
We catch an early morning flight to Kathmandu after our long mountain journey. After reaching Kathmandu, we can take a rest or do some souvenir shopping. If we want to explore any other areas of Kathmandu, we may do that today. Our guides can help you with both souvenir shopping or sightseeing. There will be a farewell dinner in the evening to celebrate the climbers’ successful summit of the Island peak. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Your adventure in Nepal comes to an end today! There is nothing to do but trade emails with your travel companions and organize your photos. A representative from Himalayan Glacier will take you to the airport, approximately 3 hours before your scheduled flight. On your way home you'll have plenty of time to plan your next adventure in the wonderful country of Nepal.
Please note that often the Kathmandu-Lukla-Kathmandu flight gets delayed by a few hours or may even be canceled for one, two, or more days due to unfavorable weather conditions. Such conditions may arise even in the best seasons. Hence, in such cases, you must be prepared for long waits either at Kathmandu or Lukla airports, as this can happen either at the start or end of the trek or even both! We will do our best to avoid such delays, and arrange the next flight for you. We also organize Helicopter rescue in such conditions, if it is available and upon request by our clients. The helicopter charges around USD 3500 and it can lift 4-5 persons per flight. Still, we suggest you to be prepared for possible delays/cancellations, and if possible to come with some extra buffer days (1-2 days) at the end of the trip to accommodate such delays. If everything runs smoothly and you still have a few days of your buffer days left then you may even engage yourself in optional activities which can be arranged by Himalayan Glacier upon request. The optional activities may include visiting places/landmarks of your choice, adventure sports, shopping, etc.In case the flight delay/cancellation happens at the start of trip and it goes so long that it disturbs your onward travel schedule, you are free to choose an alternative trip such as a trek in the Annapurna, Langtang, or any other region. If you are not interested in the alternative trip and would rather wait for your original preferred trip, you are welcome to wait in Kathmandu for as many days as it takes to get a flight to Lukla. However, please note that there will be no refund, if you lose time waiting at the airport and do not take an alternative tour or you only do a short trek later due to time limitation. If the cancellation happens before the trip, we will provide you accommodation and lunch in a guesthouse in Kathmandu. In case of the flight delay/cancellation after finishing of the trek, you will be responsible for all your expenses. Please also note that you will not be entitled to any refund for the services (such as hotel, transport, flight, etc.) included in the package that you would not use later.