Base Camp Everest Travel Guide

The most iconic base camp of all, at the foot of the greatest mountain in the world, Mount Everest (8848m), this is one of the world's classic treks.

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All the info to prepare your trip to Base Camp Everest. How to get in, maps, activities...

Everest Base Camp Trek is a famous challenging trek in Khumbu, Nepal.

For information on preparing for this trek, including when to go, what to bring, what permits are required, and safety precautions including altitude sickness, and water contamination, see Trekking in Nepal.

Famous for its spectacular mountain peaks and the loyalty and friendliness of its inhabitants (the Sherpas), the Everest region (Khumbu) is one of the most popular destinations for tourists in Nepal. While many of the routes through the mountains are arduous, there are ample places to rest and enjoy a meal along the way. Furthermore, don’t worry about getting lost. Just ask a local the way to the next village on your route, and they will direct you. Most Sherpas under the age of fifty can at least understand basic English, and many speak it fluently.

While trekking is possible in this area the whole year round, the best times to visit are from the beginning of March to mid May and from the beginning of September to mid November. The winters are very cold and snow may make it difficult to travel higher than Tengboche, and also lodges may be closed above this altitude. Summers, on the other hand, are wet, and the spectacular peaks are often lost in the clouds. April and early May is a good time to see the hedgerows and trees bursting into bloom, with Rhododendrons, in particular, adding a spectacular splash of colour to the landscape. However, dust from the plains of India during the spring routinely provide less than ideal conditions for clear mountain views. The views are much better after the summer monsoons have cleared the atmosphere of dust, but the days are shorter and cooler.

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GET IN

From Nepal

Fly to Lukla Airport from Kathmandu. There are several Airlines operating dozens of flights everyday. Among them Tara Air and Agni Air are generally considered the most reliable company plying the route. Sita Air also operates two flights every morning from Kathmandu Domestic Airport to Lukla at 7AM and 8:20AM. The flight takes around 25 minutes. During the summer rainy season, there may be substantial delays of flights, even a wait of one week is not unheard of. For the return journey, the flights leave Lukla at 7:40AM and 9AM. Helicopter Charter service is also available on demand and mostly used for rescue operation.

Alternatives are to fly to Phaplu airport, 2-3 trekking days south of Lukla, or to walk in from Jiri, which is 5-7 trekking days west of Lukla. These alternatives take more time and therefore are less popular, but are very peaceful and pleasant – and much safer than flying into Lukla. Just after the village of Monju, there is check point for entering the Sagarmatha National Park. You will need to show your passport and pay a 3,000 Rs entry fee.

From Tibet

Tourists can reach Tibet Everest Base Camp by flying to Lhasa. Afterwards rent a private car from Lhasa to Tingri(520km) along Sino-Nepal Friendship Highway, before turning south to Himalaya Natural Reserve about 100km to Everest Base Camp.

Travelling from Lhasa to Tingri, the land travel itself is an amazing journey, with going through three famous tourist cities Gyantse, Shigatse, Sakya and some stunning scenic spots like Yamdrotso Lake, Karola Glacier.

There are many flights from Mainland China to Lhasa, Tibet. Chengdu is the biggest air hub to Tibet, about 10 flights a day from the early morning to the evening.

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GET AROUND

Hiring Guides/Porters

Do you need a guide and porter for the journey? If you are strong, then a porter is not required, though hiring one does direct well needed cash into the homes of poor families and allows you more flexibility. If you do hire a porter, remember to keep valuables with you. The vast majority of porters are extremely honest, but it only takes one who is not to ruin a vacation! Expect to pay around 1200-1600 Rs (more if your load is very heavy) a day for a porter’s services, and as far as Namche you are not expected to pay for accommodation and meals. Guides will cost about 2,000 – 2,500 RS. However, due to the high price of food and lack of provisions for porters above Namche, meals should be provided. (NB: Namche has a cheap and clean lodge specially for porters). Anyway, ensure that your terms are clear at the time of hiring. This will save trouble later.

Guides are definitely not necessary if you are traveling no higher than Tengboche or Pangboche. Above that, you might consider hiring one. Not only can they guide you on the right path and explain local sights, but can be invaluable should you fall ill. Guides speak English (and often other languages – specify your choice when hiring) and need an official license to operate. They command a much higher rate than porters (negotiate), and carrying your bags is not part of their service. Like porters, they will find their own accommodation and meals unless you invite them.

In general, guides are local Sherpas or Tamangs and are usually named Lama; porters are Rai or belong to ethnic groups from other areas.

Guides and porters can be hired for a fee through trekking agencies in Kathmandu or you can inquire at lodges in Lukla or Namche. It is highly recommended that you hire staffs through Government licensed companies and make sure that they are properly insured, properly equipped and meals / accommodation is included in the prices. It’s always good to make sure that they are in safe hands. It is also your responsibility to make sure that your staffs are safe. At Lukla airport, there are always hopeful porters milling around the exit, but it is better to use a lodge owner as an intermediary. They can help you negotiate a good deal and translate your specific needs. Eco Paradise, Lukla or Namche Hotel, Namche are convenient and good places to do this.

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Buy

Prices are as follows: Water 120-450Rs Coke 150-400Rs Meals 500-900Rs Hot Shower 200-400Rs Candy 80-280Rs Battery Charging 100-300Rs per hour.

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Lodges and restaurants in Khumbu only accept Nepalese rupees. Budget 3000 Rs per person per day for food and accommodation – prices rise with the altitude, though you may spend more in Namche because there is more on offer. Lodges, basic room 300-700Rs

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STAY SAFE

Khumbu is a very safe region and violent crime is almost unheard of. However, due to the amount of people flowing through the area on treks, it is advisable to always keep your valuables in sight.

Altitude sickness affects even young and healthy people and is a genuine problem in Khumbu. If you feel dizzy, suffer palpitations or severe headaches, return immediately to lower altitude. Do not take altitude sickness lightly. It can and does kill!

aks may be photogenic, but they are aggressive and unpredictable. Always stand on the upper slope (i.e., above the path, away from the drop-off) to let yaks pass. Every Sherpa has a tale about Westerners who have stood on the lower side of a trail to let a herd of yaks pass and been killed after being pushed off.

Don’t drink the water no matter how pristine it appears. Use iodine tablets as a purifier or purchase boiled water. Exceptions: Namche and Phortse have clean water supplies that the locals drink directly from the faucet. However, this may not be a good idea for outsiders lacking immunity to local bacteria, but certainly it should be ok for brushing teeth.

There is an emergency rescue centre based in Namgyal’s lodge in the village of Machhermo in the Gokyo Valley manned by two volunteer doctors. Note: This is purely an emergency rescue centre, and the doctors will not treat common ailments.

Clinics are a sparse resource in Khumbu. However, should you require medical attention there are two possibilities:

Western medicine – Kunde Clinic, in Kunde Village (above Namche) has Western trained doctors and is a surprisingly well equipped facility – they even have a decompression chamber for those suffering with severe altitude sickness. On your return journey, you might like to donate your unused medicines to Kunde Clinic, though ensure that they are clearly labeled in English – even the most valuable medicine is useless if there are no instructions on how to use it.

The Himalayan Rescue Association operates a clinic staffed by western physicians in Pheriche. They give a daily lecture on taking care of your health in the Khumbu region, and, for Rs. 100, check your blood oxygen content and pulse rate. This is a good place to stop at even if you are not experiencing any health problems. Check out their t-shirts, scarfs and hats, the proceeds of which go towards operating the clinic.

Tibetan medicine – the Healing Centre in Namche offers treatments using natural formulas. It is located next to the Camp de Base hotel, but entered from the path in front of the library. This clinic provides free treatment for porters and other patients on low income. In order to continue this service, donations are greatly appreciated.

Along the trail, you will also see small medical stations. These stations generally have very rudimentary facilities and can only realistically offer treatment for very minor ailments, such as cuts and bruises and (non-altitude sickness related) headaches etc. Namche also has a dental clinic, located on the right side slope of the village when looking up.

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Most of the places in Khumbu region are now equipped with telephone lines. Almost every places have at least one telephone line. Trekkers can also enjoy own mobile phones in the region. Nepal Telecom and Ncell (the two pioneer telecom companies) gives frequent signals on the trek.

  • Namche has a post office, but there are mixed reports of letters reaching their destinations. Postage stamps are also available in local shops. International phone calls can be made in Namche and many of the other villages in the region, however this is very expensive compared to Kathmandu. The cheapest place is the one-phone government telephone office, on the second floor of the nondescript wooden building behind Hotel Buddha, identified with an official yellow sign in Nepalese with a faded paper sign in English stuck on to it. Expect a lengthy queue on Saturdays (market day).
  • Namche also has several Internet cafes. A good one with well working keyboards and photoshop is Namche Cyber Cafe next to Everest Bakery. They also have Wi-Fi at Rs. 100 per half hour, 200 an hour.
  • Tengboche has an internet cafe available at Rs. 20 per min.
  • Dingboche has a fast satellite internet laptops available at Rs. 20 per min. Its called Peak 38th.
  • Internet cafe at Gorak Shep is available at Rs. 25 per min, and is very slow.
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Mt.Everest in Tibet is with untamed valleys, highland glaciers, towering mountains, rare wildlife, etc. So, Mt. Everest is considered as one of the most attractive trekking areas in the world. There are three popular Treks in Everest Region Tibet Side.

  • Everest BC to ABC Trek (Everest Base Camp to Advanced Base Camp Trek), Tingri, Tibet. Everest BC to ABC Trek, is a challenging trek requires some mountain climbing experience. This trek starts from the Tibet Base Camp (5200m) of Everest and ends at Advanced Base Camp Trek(6400m) with 28km ascending mountain path,On the way to ABC, trekkers will pass Camp I ,Intermediate Camp, Camp II and be able to enjoy the grand Rongphu Glacier range, peculiar ice serac( a pinnacle of ice on the surface of a glacier), Kangshung Face of the east ridge of Mt. Everest, yaks caravan,etc. The trek takes 5-6 days.
  • Everest Base Camp Trek (Tingri to Everest Base Camp Trek), Tingri, Tibet. Tingri to EBC Trek is very popular among tourists, and recommend by Lonely Planet. This is a miled trek requires less physically challenging and manageable. It provides a heady mix of solitude,wildlife sighting and physical challenge, onagers and gazelle thrive around the trail. It takes 3 to 4 days with 70km walking path.
  • Gama Valley Trek (Gama Valley Trek in Tibet), Shigatse, Tibet. Gama Valley Trek is known as the most stunning Trek in the world but few tourists have been there.On the east slope of Mt. Everest lies the Gama Valley region. As early as 1920’s, Gama Valley was recommended as the most beautiful valley in the book ‘Exploration of Mt. Everest’, written by British explorer Barry.

  • Nepal Himalaya offers excellent mountain landscapes and fantastic undertaking trekking opportunities from the short and simple climbing and trekking to the requesting and strenuous frigid crests climbing.
  • Everest Base Camp Trek – The trek to Everest Base Camp begins with an scenic flight to the mountain airstrip at Lukla; from here we follow in the strides of extremely popular mountain climbers for the stroll into Everest Base Camp. Along the trek to Everest, you will find tea houses each couple of hours strolling to rest, bolster or rest overnight.At Base Camp, stand in the flesh with the mythical Khumbu Ice Fall and its towering scares. Climb to the summit of Kalapathar (5,643 m) for an unhindered perspective of Everest’s windblown summit.
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Base Camp Everest, the most iconic base camp of all, at the foot of the greatest mountain in the world, Mount Everest (8848m), this is one of the world’s classic treks. Famous for its spectacular mountain peaks and the loyalty and friendliness of its inhabitants (the Sherpas), the Everest region (Khumbu) is one of the most popular destinations for tourists in Nepal and Tibet.

Travel and tourism in Base Camp Everest. How to get in, maps, activities to do, where to eat and sleep. Download the Free Base Camp Everest Travel Guide.


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Michel Piccaya

About

As a freelance travel photographer, Michel Piccaya has been on the road worldwide for more than 20 years, exploring the most incredible itineraries. He’s currently based in Brussels however never stays at home for a long time !

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