This 14-day Everest Lodge to Lodge trek tour takes you into the heart of the Khumbu region whilst avoiding the higher altitudes. You’ll explore the fertile valleys, get stunning views of Everest at Namche Bazaar, and meet the beautiful local people as we visit schools and monasteries. Starting and finishing in Kathmandu, we’ll take you deep into the Everest/Khumbu region, home to the world’s highest peaks, massive glaciers, remote mountain villages and intriguing ancient cultures. The Everest region has captured the imagination of adventurers since the first maps of the area were drawn, and it’s easy to see why. Every day of this dramatic and varied multi-day hike differs from the one before. We’ll descend into long fertile valleys, wind our way around mountain passes and stand at the foot of the highest mountains in the world. We won’t have to climb to higher elevations to do it either – we’ll do it all without hiking above 3780 metres (Khumjung, 12,400 feet).
Duration: 14 days
Travel style: Hiking Focused
Activity Level: 4
Trip Start: Kathmandu
Trip Ends: Kathmandu
Your trip starts in the lively and bustling city of Kathmandu. You’ll be met at Kathmandu Airport by a friendly face from Active Adventures Himalayas who will accompany you to our hotel. If you arrive early, you can head out to explore the city’s labyrinth of back street courtyards, colourful market stalls and ancient temples on your own for your first taste of Nepal’s culture and friendly people. This afternoon, your guide will meet you at our hotel and run through what to expect from the days ahead. Tonight, we’ll take you out for dinner at a local restaurant, for your first experience of Nepalese dining – a culinary crossroad between the influences of China, India and Europe which makes for some really delicious flavour combinations.
Visit Swayambhunath Temple
Today we’ll head a short distance across town to an ancient stone pilgrim stairway that leads to the Swayambhunath Temple. Keep an eye out for macaque monkeys as they often join us on the walk up the stairway – they’ve even been known to steal hats on occasion, so stay alert! According to local legend, Swayambhunath (meaning ‘self-arisen’), was said to have risen up from a lake that once covered the land where Kathmandu now stands. Up on the hilltop temple, the smell of incense and butter lamps will follow you as you gaze out over the sprawling city of Kathmandu below. Local devotees come here daily to make a ritual circumnavigation of the centre piece stupa (a dome-shaped Buddhist shrine) and spin the prayer wheels set into its base. Later, we’ll make our way back down into town and make preparations for our journey to Lukla and the Everest region tomorrow.
Journey to Lukla
This morning we’ll take a short flight to the mountain settlement of Lukla. This small town high in the Himalayas is the gateway to the Everest region and an important base for mountaineering expeditions. Once we arrive we’ll meet our amazing porter team based in Lukla. This afternoon we may have a chance to visit the local school and monastery.
Hike from Lukla to Jorsalle
After a last gear check with our guides, we’ll lace up our boots and hit the trail, hiking down to the village of Phakding on the banks of the Dudh Kosi River. Our lunch lodge in Phakding has wonderful views out to the surrounding mountains and down to the river and the fertile valleys it supports. After lunch, we’ll set off through a narrow valley divided by the Dudh Kosi River, passing terraced crop fields, small villages and ever-present prayer wheels (always pass on the left and spin them clockwise). As we approach the entrance to Sagarmatha National Park, we’ll be greeted with sensational views of massive snow-capped Himalayan peaks with names you’ll soon become familiar with such as Thamserku and Kangtega.
Hike from Jorsalle to Namche Bazaar
ascent to the village of Namche Bazaar, home to the world’s highest marketplace and incredible 360° views. If we’re lucky we’ll be treated to our first views of Mount Everest on this climb, it’s a decent slog to the top, but so worth it! We have the afternoon to relax and soak in our surroundings; Sagarmatha National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site and home to a wide range of plants and animals. Himalayan tahr (a type of wild goat) and Himalayan monals (an extremely colourful member of the pheasant family) are known to frequent this area, so keep your eyes peeled and a camera handy if you’re a keen photographer.
Rest day/Acclimatisation day, Namche Bazaar (Sherpa capital), hike to view Mount Everest
With its remote alpine setting and outlook across to Kongde Ri at 6187 metres (20,298 feet) and surrounding peaks, Namche Bazaar is one of the most beautiful villages in the Himalayas – a great place for a relaxed, acclimatisation
day. Namche Bazaar is a fairly small town so you can wander its narrow, cobbled streets to explore the monasteries and tea houses without worrying about getting lost. This place was historically an important stopping point for trading expeditions across the Nangpa La to Tibet and is still an important supply point for mountaineers and trekkers today, so the local market is definitely worth a look. Those that feel up for it will have an opportunity this afternoon to hike above Namche Bazaar for a great panorama. It’s a steep trail, but the views of Everest, Lhotse and Ama Dablam are jaw-dropping and make the effort thoroughly worth it! Look out for Himalayan tahr and the Danphe pheasant (Nepal’s national bird).
Hike to Khumjung, visit Khunde village
This morning, we’ll set off early with fantastic views of Everest. As we traverse around the foothills we’ll have incredible views of Ama Dablam 6856 metres (22,493 feet) and Nuptse 7861 metres (25,791 feet). Mt Everest
and Lhotse begin to loom ahead in the distance. Looking south, we’ll have a view of numerous other peaks such as Kangtega, Thamserku and the jagged ridgeline of Kongde Ri. The first school in the Khumbu region was built here by New Zealander Sir Edmund Hillary who, along with Tenzing Norgay, made the first successful ascent of Mt Everest in 1953. He makes us proud to be Kiwis! Along with other projects in the region, Hillary built the Khumbu region’s first school in 1961 as part of the Himalayan Trust he set up soon after climbing Mt Everest. The school now provides education for more than 350 children of all ages from surrounding villages. This afternoon you’ll have the option to explore Khunde village.
Visit Khumjung Monastery, hike to Thame
Today, for those that are keen, we’ll visit Khumjung Monastery before heading off the beaten track to the village of Thame, passing isolated Sherpa villages, the narrowest gorge of the Bhote Kosi river, and massive rock formations along the way – there’s amazing scenery everywhere you look! When we reach the head of the river valley we’ll begin a short, steep ascent to Thame village – the childhood home of Tenzing Norgay. This isolated settlement set among alpine meadows was once an important stopping point on the salt trade route between India, Nepal and Tibet, and is home to one of the oldest monasteries in the region. It looks like it’s been built straight out of the enormous rock wall that towers above it! We’ll have the evening here largely to ourselves to take in the mountain views, the sound of the river below, and the chants coming from the town’s monastery.
Explore Thame and the surroundings
Thame was one of the last year-round villages on the salt trading route that existed between Tibet, Nepal and India. It is the home to many famous Sherpa mountaineers, including Apa Sherpa, who holds the world record for summiting Everest 21 times. It was also a childhood home of Tenzing Norgay, who was (with Sir Edmund Hillary) one of the first men to climb Mt Everest. The monastery is one of the oldest and most spectacular in the region and an amazing place to catch a sunrise. This afternoon is a great chance to walk the 3 hour village loop – keep your eyes peeled for the information boards along the way.
Hike from Thame to Jorsalle
The clear mountain views here in Thame are at their best in the morning as the sun hits the peaks and valley where the village lies. En route we’ll descend through high alpine grassland divided by stone walls before making our way down through beautiful pine and rhododendron forests, where we’re sure to hear the familiar sound of yak bells as they graze nearby. Keep an eye out for musk deer as we head through the forest as they’re often seen here too. After arriving back in Namche Bazaar we’ll take lunch before retracing our steps down the Everest Khumbu trail. The trail leads down towards the Dudh Kosi River and it’s fairly steep going for a little while. From here, the trail follows the river back to Jorsalle.
Hike from Jorsalle to Lukla
This is our final full day on the mountain trails of the Khumbu region so it’s time to put our boots on one last time. We’ll stop for tea in Phakding village before making the climb back up to Lukla. We’ll share a final meal with our local team of porters and cooks to celebrate our incredible achievements and experiences on the trek, and to thank the team that helped make it all happen.
Return to Kathmandu
This morning we’ll take our last look at the Himalayas from Lukla before the short flight back to Kathmandu. For those who are keen this afternoon, we’ll walk to Durbar Square, the place where Nepal’s kings were crowned in past times. The square is in the centre of old town Kathmandu, and is the city’s greatest example of traditional architecture, so much so that it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979. Dinner this evening will be yours to explore and experiment at one of the many great restaurants in town.
Free day in Kathmandu
Today you’re free to explore the winding streets, atmospheric temples and markets of Kathmandu. Every now and then, flights out of Lukla can be delayed due to the weather, so there’s a chance we may be flying back into Kathmandu today instead. Either way, you can take the time to soak up the sights and sounds of this energetic, colourful culture. Tonight we’ll meet at a local restaurant for our final dinner together to celebrate our achievements and adventures in the Himalayas..
Today is the final day of your Himalayas trekking trip with us amongst the highest mountains in the world. If you have extra time after your trip, we’re happy to make suggestions on how to make the most of it. On the other hand, if you’re on your way home today, we’ll send you back refreshed and invigorated from the great hiking and adventures you’ve had with us in Nepal!
The accommodation varies from trip to trip and day-to-day – you’ll stay in a variety of places from jungle lodges to mountain huts, local motels and friendly lodges. Active Adventures focuses on getting you out into amazing places in the most stunning parts of the world, so this isn’t a tour of the world’s fanciest hotels! Another focus of Active Adventures is having a good place to rest and rejuvenate at the end of a busy day, and to make sure you are fully charged for the next day’s activities, so you’ll always find yourself in a clean, comfortable room, quite often with a spectacular view.
Below is a sample of some of the amazing places you’ll stay in:
With mountain views, Nirvana Home is situated in Namche and has a restaurant, a shared lounge, bar, garden and sun terrace.
Hotel Himalayan Culture Home is situated at Namche Bazaar, Nepal which is a gateway to Mount Everest. The hotel was established in 2005 and it is situated at a quiet and peaceful location.
All prices are per person twin share and unless otherwise stated, are in Australian dollars, are correct at the time of publication and subject to change without notice.
Please contact us for available dates.
Walking: 2-3 hours per day on gentle-gradient trails.
Other activities: On these trips, you’ll be taking part in a range of other activities that focus less on building up a sweat and more on enjoying the finer things in life.
Walking: 2-4 hours per day on gentle to moderate gradient trails. No multi-day hikes.
Biking: 1-3 hours, cruisy rides achievable by anyone, even first-timers
Kayaking: 1-3 hours, entry-level sea kayaking with specialist guides and stable boats
Other activities (e.g. snorkelling): Always optional and very little exertion required. A highlight for many!
Hiking: Typically 3-6 hours per day on well-formed back country trails. Expect some significant gradient inclines and declines.
Altitude: Your trip may include some moderate altitude areas, though these don’t form the focus of the trip and are generally manageable.
Biking: 1-3 hours, cruisy rides achievable by anyone, even first-timers
Kayaking: 1-3 hours, entry-level sea kayaking with specialist guides and stable boats
Other activities (ie caving): Always optional and very little exertion required. A highlight for many!
Hiking / Trekking:This is an Active trip with a capital ‘A’. Most of our signature adventures are a level 4. Typically 4-6 hour hikes with options for more, sometimes with limited or no vehicle support and nearly always with ascents and descents.
Altitude: Some trips at this level will reach a significant altitude. We are here to help you manage that and make your experience one to cherish for a lifetime.
Biking & Kayaking: If one, or both, of these activities are ‘your thing’ There are trip options in this range to specialise, allowing you to be on two wheels or with a paddle in your hand for most of the day.
Trekking & Altitude: This is classic trekking, at altitude. Some might even call it ‘expedition-style’. We’ve had folks from all walks of life achieve their dreams on our grade 5 trips, so if you’re in for a challenge get in touch to find out if this is for you.
In the event you need to cancel your trip, the following cancellation charges will apply:
Any deposits not transferred to future trips are non-refundable and will be forfeited. All refunds are less any non-refundable expenses incurred by Active Adventures.
Requested changes to your trip and/or date must be made prior to 90 days before your departure. In the event you need to change your trip and/or date, the following will apply:
A cancellation or postponement will take effect from the date which Active Adventures receives written notification of the cancellation or postponement. This cancellation policy includes voluntary or involuntary early departure from a trip. No refunds will be given for missed or unused services such as accommodation, activities or meals. We strongly recommend travel insurance which covers cancellation fees at the time of booking.
*Cancellation and postponement terms and conditions may differ for certain group trips, as well as Cruises, Private Journeys, and Extensions. These exceptions are clearly indicated in the detailed itineraries for each of these trips.
We occasionally may have to cancel any trip at any time before departure for commercial reasons beyond our control, including if the minimum numbers required to operate the trip are not reached. If we do have to cancel your trip, you can transfer the fare to an alternate departure date for no additional fee or alternatively opt for a refund, including your deposit.
In circumstances where the cancellation is due to any conditions or event outside our control, including but not limited to natural disasters, pandemics, border restrictions, terrorism or political instability, Active Adventures will re-book you on an alternative trip or will offer you a future trip credit valid for 24 months.
If you’re re-booked to a new departure, as a result of your booking being cancelled by us or force majeure, the cancellation terms in effect on the date when your booking was changed will apply for your new booking.
All credits and refunds resulting from cancellations for any reason will be less any non-refundable expenses incurred by Active Adventures. Active Adventures is not responsible for any additional expenses you may have incurred as a result of your booking, including but not limited to visas, vaccinations, medical expenses, clothing, equipment, testing, quarantine, travel insurance excess or non-refundable flights.