Sherpa Villages and Mount Everest
On this classic first-timer's trek through the legendary Khumbu (Everest region), your senses come fully alive, and all the views are magical. We'll take you to all the major Sherpa villages, plus famed Tengboche Monastery, from where you can get a good look at Everest (especially beautiful at sunrise or sunset!). And though Everest is undeniably the star of the show, you'll view a stunning panorama of other Himalayan monarchs as well- from Kangtega (22,340') to Thamserku (22,208') and the obelisk of Ama Dablam (22,494')-a veritable outdoor cathedral of soaring peaks.
As you walk with your companions-fellow travelers and our friendly crew of Sherpas-you'll enjoy unbeatable mountain scenery, lively Sherpa village life, and the quiet beauty of the Buddhist culture so prevalent in the Nepal Himalaya.But as any seasoned traveler to Nepal will tell you, there's more to this charming country than the mountain scenery (though that's a pretty darned good reason to trek here). The high mountain villages seem captured in time; ancient Tibetan Buddhist monasteries are alive with the sounds of worship by devoted monks; and several species of lovely rhododendron (magnificent in the spring!) grace the hillsides. But best of all, the friendly Sherpa people will captivate your heart in a second and make you a devotee of this part of the world forever.
9 days moderate to strenuous hiking at medium elevation (max. 14,088')
- Classic first-timer's trek through the legendary Khumbu (Everest Region)
- Sleep in comfortable new lodges-no camping!
- Get a glimpse of Everest, highest peak in the world, and enjoy magnificent views of Ama Dablam!
- Encounter the quiet beauty of the Buddhist culture so prevalent in the Nepal Himalaya, explore ancient Buddhist monasteries that seem captured in time
Duration: 14 days Start Location: Kathmandu End Location: KathmanduDownload Detailed Itinerary
Day 1 : Kathmandu
You'll need to arrive in Kathmandu, Nepal Arrive in Kathmandu by 2:00 p.m. on Day 1. A Mountain Travel Sobek representative will meet you outside the customs and immigration area at the airport. He or she will answer questions, brief you on the immediate arrangements, and escort you to your hotel. The trip leader will hold a short briefing in the hotel around 4:00 p.m. regarding trek arrangements and a general orientation to Kathmandu. Most flights from the U.S. require three days of travel and overnight en route (you arrive in Kathmandu on the third day). More specific details will be sent to you in your pre-trip packet of information.Dinner this evening will be on your own.
Day 2 : Touring the Kathmandu Valley
Kathmandu is one of three former medieval city-states in the valley, along with Bhaktapur and Patan. We will take a morning tour of Bhaktapur, a Unesco World Heritage Site, which has preserved its ancient character and is an enchanting display of medieval Nepalese town life. A highlight is Durbar Square, with its many temples, remains of an ancient palace, and intricate Sun Dhoka ("Golden Gate"), a gilded copper gate crafted in 1753. In the afternoon, Kathmandu is yours to explore. By western standards, the city is intimate. You can visit the many interesting sights, shrines, and markets, or stroll in Kathmandu's fascinating Asan Tole bazaar. Don't miss Durbar Square, Thamel, Swayambhunath (the "Monkey Temple," overlooking the entire Valley; go at sunrise or sunset!) and the King's Palace. You could also hire a driver to take you to the nearby ancient city of Patan.
Day 3 : Mountain flight to Lukla (9,200')
Transfer to airport for the mountain flight to Lukla airstrip (weather permitting). During the short but spectacular flight we will leave the Kathmandu Valley and head into the Himalaya, the world's highest mountains rising before us. Our destination is Lukla, perched high on a mountainside above the Dudh Kosi (River of Milk), where we make an unforgettable landing on its 1,729-foot-long, 65-foot-wide runway. Walk to our lodge. After lunch, we take a pleasant walk of about 3 hours to the nearby village of Bom (9,381'), from which we will have a wonderful birds' eye view of the small Lukla airport and the village.
Day 4 : Monjo (9,317')
We begin our day early to avoid the big crowd coming in from Kathmandu and returning to Lukla on their way out. From Lukla, the trail descends 1,500 feet down to the Dudh Kosi. We'll notice that the local people look quite different than the people of Kathmandu. The inhabitants of the Khumbu are Sherpas, people who migrated from Tibet over 500 years ago and still practice evolved forms of Tibetan Buddhism and dress in much the same Tibetan style. As we follow the trail to the village of Phakding, we will pass mani walls (boulders with carved Buddhist prayer inscriptions), a number of small villages, and well-terraced hillsides. Looming above us, in the distance, is Khumbila (18,800'), the sacred peak of the Sherpa people, our sentinel to the spiritual and geographic heart of the Khumbu. Khumbila remains unclimbed (sacred peaks may not be climbed) and it represents the "protector" deity of Tibetan Buddhists. We'll arrive at our lodge in Monjo (9,317') for lunch and have the afternoon free to rest and relax. (8 miles, 6 hours hiking)
Day 5 : Trek to Namche Bazaar (11,286')
We follow the forested trail north up the Dudh Kosi valley to Jorsale, where we officially enter Sagarmatha (Mount Everest) National Park, established in 1976 as the first national park in the Himalaya to help protect an area of great environmental, religious, and cultural importance. (Sagarmatha National Park is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.) We continue along the trail, crossing the Dudh Kosi and begin the steep climb up “Namche Hill,” amidst lovely forests of rhododendron, fir, and magnolia, to the Sherpa market town of Namche Bazaar. As we climb the steep hillside, we catch our first glimpse of Everest and the snowcapped panorama of Himalayan giants to come. Namche Bazaar is the unofficial capital of the Khumbu, the local center for trading and supplies. The town, filled with numerous homes, trekker's inns, shops, and a small monastery, is beautifully situated in a terraced amphitheater facing the hanging glacier below Kwangde (20,293'). We’ll check in to our lodge and have the afternoon free to explore Namche Bazaar. (3 miles, 3 hours hiking)
Day 6 : Tashinga (11,800')
We’ll have some time in the morning to visit the Sagarmatha National Park Visitors Center and Museum, where there are terrific views of the Everest region and numerous educational displays on the culture, geography, geology, climatology, and wildlife within the park and the Khumbu.
Our trail follows the classical route to Everest, on a winding, almost level trail. After about 3 hours of hiking, we’ll take a slight detour off the main path and hike 15 minutes further before arriving at our comfortable lodge. After check in, we’ll have the rest of the afternoon free to rest and relax. (6 miles, 5 hours hiking)
Day 7 : Tengboche (12,680') - Pangboche (13,107')
We descend into the deep Dudh Kosi Gorge—one of the most beautiful valley walks on earth—and come to a fir forest where we begin to climb steeply to the site of the famous Tengboche Monastery (12,680'). Destroyed by a fire in early 1989, the monastery has been completely rebuilt. Tengboche monastery is the spiritual center of the Khumbu and a training center for new monks. The Rimpoche of Tengboche resides here and the area is considered holy; nothing may be hunted or killed. Expeditions to the world's highest peaks have traditionally stopped here to receive the blessing of the high lama.
After lunch at Tengboche, we continue our trek on to Pangboche. The hike along the Imja Drangka River is very scenic. Arriving at the top of the ridge, Ama Dablam (22,494') and the great massif of Mount Everest (Sagarmatha in Nepali or Chomolungma in Tibetan, at 29,028') hover majestically above us. The spirituality and scenic value of the site never fails to impress. Our lodge in Pangboche is located right along the trail to Everest and almost at the base of Ama Dablam. (7 miles, 5-6 hours)
Day 8 : Pangboche and day excursion to Highend Ama Dablam Base Camp (15,091')
Ama Dablam is one of the most loved and admired mountains in the Khumbu. After crossing the Imja Drangka river we make a gradual ascent until Lhabarma, where you'll suddenly be standing right in front of the spectacular mountain ridge. The aura of the mountains is a real gift of Mother Nature that you will never forget. Return to our lodge for overnight. (8 miles, 6-7 hours hiking)
Day 9 : Trek to Tashinga (11,800')
Today we cross the Mengbo and the Dudh Koshi rivers to a quiet trail on the other side. The panoramic vista with old stone houses and the absence of other trekkers along the way is blissful. When we arrive in Tashinga we will check into the lodge with the rest of the day free to rest and relax. (7 miles, 5-6 hours hiking)
Day 10 : Monjo (9,317')
We begin the morning by retracing our trail to Namche Bazaar for about an hour, until a detour points us off the main trail toward Khumjung village (12,366'). The path leads gently up the shallow valley and into Khumjung, the education center of Khumbu. We’ll visit the Khumjung monastery and the Kunde hospital before retracing our steps all the way back to Monjo. (6 miles, 5 hours hiking)
Day 11 : Return to Lukla (9,200')
Todat we'll return to Lukla along the Dudh Kosi, retracing our steps from Day 4. Overnight at the lodge in Lukla. (8 miles, 6-7 hours hiking)
Day 12 : Kathmandu
Today we'll bid a fond, if somewhat hesitant, farewell to the Khumbu as we board our return flight from Lukla to Kathmandu (weather permitting). Upon arrival in Kathmandu we'll transfer to our hotel.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The next day will be spent either in Kathmandu or Lukla, depending on our luck with the Lukla flight. Flights in and out of this tiny mountain airstrip are commonly delayed and we have no way of predicting the length of the delay: it's something we just have to live with. With luck we’ll get out the first day. All lodging and meals at Lukla are at your expense while waiting. We cannot overemphasize the unreliability of these flights, which are operated as a scheduled service by various airlines. We have no control over their operation or schedules, and while we devote an enormous amount of time, money and energy into securing reservations and obtaining replacement reservations when flights are cancelled, you should be ready for disappointments, delays, and cancellations of Lukla flights. For this reason we have scheduled an extra day at the end of the trek so as not to interfere with your homeward bound flights.
Day 13 : Kathmandu
If our flight from Lukla is not delayed, we’ll have a morning tour of the Hindu shrines and ghats at Pashupatinath on the Bagmati River and the large Buddhist stupa at Bodhnath, center of the Tibetan Buddhist culture in Kathmandu. The afternoon is free to relax or do some last minute shopping or sightseeing on your own. In the evening the group will gather for a farewell dinner with the group at a local restaurant.
Day 14 : Fly home
Transfer to the airport and depart Kathmandu on homeward-bound flights. Please note that most flights require an overnight en route.
If you'd like to extend your stay in Asia we offer a number of wonderful extensions in India, Vietnam, and Cambodia. Ask our Regional Specialist for details!
DATES: Best time to go: April - May, October - December Departures: Private departures are available on the dates of your choice, pending availability. Call us for details.
Monjo LodgeMonjo, Nepal
Located at an altitude of 2,850 meters in the quaintly picturesque valley of Monjo, this lodge overlooks the village and the narrow Dudh Koshi valley. Thamserku Himal rising high up behind the lodge serves as a dreamlike backdrop.
Sherpa Land LodgeNamche Bazaar, Nepal
This local tea house lodge offers comfortable accommodations in the heart of Namche Bazaar. Surrounded by some of the highest mountains in the world, yet close to shopping and local culture in the village center, Sherpa Land offers guests a unique experience amidst the majestic grandeur of the Himalayas.
Tashinga LodgeTashinga, Nepal
Situated amidst pine forests overlooking the Dudh Koshi valley, this lodge offers breathtaking views of Ama Dablam, Thamserku, the Tabouche Peak and Khumbila. Comfortable rooms and local hospitality make for a wonderful stay at one of the most beautiful locations along your trek.
Pangboche LodgePangboche, Nepal
Pangboche is located literally at the lap of Ama Dablam, often described as one of the most beautiful mountains on earth. With Everest to the north, Thamserku and Kangtaiga to the east, the Kongde range to the south, and the Imjatse River flowing through the wide fertile valley, this quaint lodge rests in the midst of abundant natural glory.
Lukla LodgeLukla, Nepal
This lodge lies at the very gateway to Mount Everest. Spacious, comfortably furnished rooms with en-suite facilities, a lovely sunny garden and traditional interiors make for a very warm welcome to arriving guests.
Yak & Yeti HotelKathmandu, Nepal
A 5-star deluxe oasis in the heart of Kathmandu, the Yak & Yeti is the perfect blend of contemporary international standards and time-honored Nepali tradition. Guests will find refuge among antique fountains, gilded temples and emerald gardens, while enjoying a state-of-the-art gymnasium, spa, shopping arcade, atrium, tennis courts and swimming pools.
Properties shown are representative of the accommodations we use on this trip, may not be inclusive of all accommodations we use, and are subject to change.
Expert leadership is the key to an exciting, unforgettable experience. Our trips feature gifted leaders for whom leading trips is a true vocation. Besides showing you wonders you’d never find on your own, they make sure everything runs smoothly and safely without a hitch. They are knowledgeable about all aspects of your trip, and take great pleasure in sharing their insights with you. More than just guides, they positively elevate your experience by being teachers, companions, and the best of friends. You’ll be in good hands with them every step of the way.
Pranoy Rai was born in Nepal, studied in Darjeeling, India, and is a travel enthusiast who has always been keen on adventure. Working as a trekking leader since 1999, he has an enormous experience in the field, having led numerous treks and tours to Nepal, Tibet and India. Pranoy successfully completed his basic mountaineering course from the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute of Darjeeling with grade 'A' certificate. He has been trained in wilderness medicine by Dr. Jim Duff, an expert in wilderness first aid and co-author of “First Aid and Survival in Mountain and Remote Areas.” In addition to being fluent in English, Nepali, and Hindi, he speaks basic Tibetan and Chinese. Pranoy is very keen on birds, plants, and flowers, and has acquired a very good knowledge in them that he looks forward to sharing with you on trek.
Sanjeev Chhetri is a graduate of Delhi University, India, and has been leading treks in Nepal, Tibet, India and the Alps since 1990. He is an avid bird-watcher and very well traveled, with time spent in India, Tibet, China, England, Ireland, France, Thailand, USA and Switzerland. He lives with wife and son in Kathmandu. Sanjeev is very knowledgeable of the cultures, religions, and traditions of the countries he leads trek for and enjoys sharing his experiences with you.
Gyamcho Wangdi has led treks for Mountain Travel Sobek since 1988. A Bhutanese, he grew up in the small hill town of Kalimpong in the Darjeeling District of India and received his schooling from a Scottish missionary school. He studied botany and zoology and was a naturalist at Tiger Tops Jungle Lodge in Nepal for eight years. While working at the park, he greeted VIPs and other celebrities such as Princess Anne, the late Rajiv Gandhi (former Prime Minister of India), King Gyanendra (present King of Nepal), Bjorn Borg (former #1 tennis player), Reinhold Messner (Everest summiteer), and actors James Coburn, Robert Redford, Goldie Hawn, and Carrie Fisher. Gyamcho’s passions are seeing new places, off-road driving, interior design, and drawing cartoons (he has published a cartoon book on the Yeti called "Mysterious Mystical Yeti," which became a hit among Nepal trekkers). His gentle, courteous manner, amusing anecdotes, and overall knowledge of Bhutan and Nepal are the key to the success of your trip. He is fluent in English, Hindi, Nepali, and Bhutanese.