Wander with us for 12 days on a trek to Everest Base Camp.
Experience the culture, people, and environment of the Everest region of Nepal with 2 world-class guides fluent in both English and Nepali. This trek is meant for those who want an intimate, once-in-a-lifetime experience in the highest region of the world, with both the place and the people. Enjoy 10 days of hiking, over a total of 46 miles covering more than 9,000 vertical feet of elevation gain. Visit remote villages, cross rivers with yaks on suspension bridges, and experience spectacular views of some of the highest mountains in the Himalaya.
Wander with fellow adventurers to Everest Base Camp, a location less than 1% of the world will ever see. 5% of trip proceeds will go towards The Nepal Project, a local charity devoted to improving the education of Western Nepal children.
This trip also includes the option to hike with a teenage Nepali citizen who otherwise could not afford to visit the Khumbu Valley. This will provide you a once in a lifetime experience to practically give back to an individual in a community and make a difference in the students’ life for ever.
To sponsor a student from the Dang Valley will cost an additional $350 and can be added on at checkout. Please contact email@example.com if you have questions about this opportunity.
Kathmandu is our arrival city and where we are spending a couple nights before we fly to Lukla. We are staying in the popular Thamel neighborhood which is filled with hundreds of trekking shops and western orientated restaurants. It will be a great place to unwind from our long flight and do some shopping for any needed trekking gear.
Day two in Kathmandu will include gear check, permitting, and a 5 mile run in the hills outside of Kathmandu.
We start the morning and grab a flight out of Kathmandu Airport. The flight takes 25 minutes. The domestic airport is something out of this world and those of us who travel frequently found ourselves quite amused by some of the processes or lack there of in the airport.
After arrival and meeting of the porters, the group is hiking to the town of Phakding. This hike should take approx. 4 hours .
Distance Traveled for the Day –Distance: 14.3km
Lukla (elev. 2,795m) to Phakding (elev. 2,610m)
The trek to Namche Bazaar is the day you hear most about. It is infamous for it’s long consistent steep inclines uphill. The path to Namche is very well traveled so you’ll continually come across locals, other tourists and then the continual traffic of yaks and porters.
Distance Traveled for the Day – Distance: 11.3km
Phakding (elev. 2,610m) to Namche Bazaar (elev. 3,480m)
Today is a rest/acclimatization day in Namche Bazaar. It’s important to let your body get use to life above 4,000 meters. Hang out and get used to life above 4,000 meters (13120 feet).
The trail leaving Namche Bazaar becomes consistently narrower and less “paved”. The hike is up and down hill climbs across long suspension bridges that span across the deep valleys. The last bit of the climb into Thyangboche Monastery is fairly steep but not as long or arduous as previous days. Thyangboche Monastery is one of the larger monasteries that we will see on the trek.
Distance Traveled for the Day – Distance: 10.4km
Namche Bazaar (elev. 3,480m) to Tengboche Monastery (elev. 3860m)
This is one of the easiest days and starts with going downhill on a fairly wide path with well established trees. As you hike towards Dingboche you start to get more of an idea of the vast expanses and the altitude that you are now at. With large valleys and winding streams now far below the trails and even more spectacular view around each corner.
Distance Traveled for the Day – Distance: 14.5km
Tengboche Monastery (elev. 3860m) to Dingboche (elev. 4350m)
Most of the day consists of small inclines with a steep climbs. We trek beside clear flowing streams in valleys caused by the ice flows then climb into open plains nestled between huge mountain ranges. Many of the trails are wash out during the melt or monsoons and need to be rebuilt for the tourists each year.
Distance Traveled for the Day – Distance: 8.4km
Dingboche (elev. 4350m) to Lobuche (elev. 4920m)
This is the pinnacle of the trek. We are making the climb from Lobuche to Everest Base Camp back to Lobuche. Today you will only need a daypack with food and clothing.
Leaving Lobuche we will head out on narrow tracks that are at times a few feet wide and several hundred metres above the ground. At other times we were trekking in wide valleys. The vegetation is sparse with the trail becoming more challenging from many large rocks that form part of the trail.
The Everest base camp area is a big glacier mixed with rocks and a lot of dust.
Distance Traveled for the Day – Distance: 13km
Lobuche (elev. 4920m) to Everest Base Camp (elev. 5364m)
Descend all the way to Namche Bazaar.
Distance Traveled for the Day – Distance: 13km
Lobuche (elev. 4920m) to Namche Bazaar (elev. 3,480m)
Early morning descent to Lukla that should not take too long and a return flight to Kathmandu. The afternoon will be open to explore historic places of interest such as Durbar Square or Patan.
Namche Bazaar (elev. 3,480m) to Lukla (elev. 2,795m)
Wanderers will fly to Kathmandu. After hotel check-in, you have a final night in Kathmandu to explore.
Depending on flight departures, you have the entire day to further explore the city of Kathmandu.
Jeff Gaura, a former peace corp volunteer in Nepal during the 890’s spent his early 20s in a small village immersed in Nepali culture. Jeff is considered family to many Nepali citizens and has raised money to build 4 schools in this Himalayan kingdom.
Jeff is also a TeamUSA athlete and an Ultrarunner who feels at home in the Himalaya. Jeff speaks English, Nepalu and Tharu.
Hishi Velardo was born in the Tibetan Steppe and fled it over the Himalaya on horseback at the age of 4 when the Chinese invaded Tibet. She survived the winter trip across the Himalaya down into the Kathmandu valley and worked at a restaurant translating French, English, and Italian for tourists during the Hippie movement of the 1960’s. Her language gift was discovered and she attended the Queen’s private school in Kathmandu where she learned western culture in addition to how to read and write. After completing high school, she received a scholarship to study in Taiwan where she learned to speak, read, and write Mandarin, a feat accomplished by few. At the end of her stay in Taiwan, she received a scholarship to study library science at the University of South Carolina where she met her future husband, Bob, a Coast Guard Veteran. She met Jeff at a library in Staten Island, and the two are now brother and sister. Hishi’s children call him Uncle Jeff, and are family.
Hishi has trekked the Everest Region two times.
Price of this trip is $2275 for each wanderer.
This Nepali Cultural Everest Base Camp Trek is designed for active, physically fit wanderers. If you have questions about physical specifics of this trip, please contact Jeff Gaura, firstname.lastname@example.org. Trip prices are based on accommodation and American guides for duration of the trip. All trips will have an orientation for all wanderers approximately 4 weeks before departure.
Subject to Change: This itinerary is subject to change according to weather, acclimatization and physical limitations of each participant.
Deposit Requirement: 20% deposit is required immediately with each booking request. A booking cannot be guaranteed without a deposit.
Deposits can be paid by check, Venmo or credit card. All credit cards are processed through Stripe.
Trip Costs: This trip must be paid in full prior to 2 months start of trip. If trip fees are not paid within this time-frame, trip deposits will be forfeited & trip participation may be canceled.
Refund Policy: There is a 10% non-refundable fee per person on all received cancellation requests, regardless of the period when the cancellation is submitted. This trip is only 50% refundable if the request is made prior to 4 months. If cancellation request is made after, no refund will be issued. This is due to the strict booking policies for desired hotels.
We apologize for any inconvenience of this policy. You can however, transfer your reservation to another willing participant in the event you need to cancel. Just notify us if this is the case.
Tour Cancellations: Big Fat World Tours reserves the right to cancel any trip for any reason and will notify each guest as soon as possible. All deposits and monies paid will be refunded 100% in such an event. Trip Insurance is required. Rescue assistance/Insurance – It is best to purchase that includes helicopter evacuation and medical treatment costs. We can offer you coverage upon request. We recommend Global Rescue, as their services include helicopter and international medical evacs.
These policies are strictly enforced due to logistical partners in country and reservations made with local hotels and providers.
Both guides (Jeff and Hishi) are well versed both in the Nepali language and the culture. We both have spent years of our lives here not only as adventurers but as family members and volunteers. No other program is lead by people with such a unique blend of American and Nepali culture blended together.
This trip is definitely going to be strenuous in parts. The 8 days of trekking involves many hours of climbing up steps. If you are not physically fit or have bad knees, this trip may not be for you. For the most part, a person with a normal BMI and above average fitness levels will be prepared for the easier of our Khumbu valleys trips, if they use porters to carry their gear. IF you wish to carry your own gear, you should be able to run a half marathon in under 2:30 minutes and be comfortable walking for 2 hours with your pack on, without a break. There are no realistic ways to prepare for the altitude, as there is no place to adequately train for the vertical that we will be experiencing.
We are not physicians, so we will direct you to this site for guidance. https://www.mountainiq.com/resources/altitude-sickness/
These varies based on weather, fitness levels and trail conditions. If you can not hike for 5+ hours comfortably, then this trip may not be well suited for you.
Once the elevation hits 12,000 ft, the guides will not do more than 1500 ft in net climbing a day.
Please read this helpful post on packing for this trip. A complete packing list will also go out in your trip on-boarding package.
Yes, a visa is required for all American passport holders and can be purchased at the Kathmandu International Airport. The cost is $25 (15 days) or $40 (30 days) and can be purchased on arrival. Visas must be paid in an approved currency such as USD or Euros. Believe it or not, a visa can not be paid in local Nepali Rupees.
The Kathmandu airport has visa kiosks and these speed up the process tremendously unless you land after several other flights and the visa line could be 60 minutes or more.
You can also go and print out the visa application before you leave the US and bring a passport photo and skip this line altogether.
Once we arrive in Lukla and you begin talking, you will know within a few minutes if you need a porter. If you do, they are available for rent with nearly no advance notice, assuming we took the earlier flight to Lukla. Portering is an industry in Nepal that accommodates those who aren’t sure. You just pay more if you wait till the last minute to purchase one.
We will have you escorted down to a lower elevation where you will wait for our group to return. As such, plan for it by bringing adequate reading material, playing cards, etc, in case you crash out. It happens.
All stomachs are not created equal and it is possible something you eat will give you ‘delhi belly’. We recommend doing probiotics before you leave to adjust your stomach to the new bacteria it will encounter in Nepal and bring charcoal/ Imodium products to help if you catch something. If you catch something else in Nepal, there are plenty of pharmacies to get you medications you’ll need.
A couple other things to watch out for:
N-Cell, the local carrier, offers pre-paid packages and SIM cards for those who wish to stay up on social media while we are there. In addition, some of the trekking lodges offer wi-fi as part of staying there. For places that have coverage, expect 3G. Bandwidth is priced by the MB, not the GB, so scrolling through Instagram can be expensive.
Yes. This is required! Anyone going to Nepal needs full medical travel insurance. This takes care of any issues while trekking that you may require such as a helicopter to the nearest medical facility if hurt. Depending on the provider, coverage can cost $75 to $150 dollars per person. I recommend World Nomads, they are highly skilled foreign carrier for insurance.
You must show proof of your insurance for any trips to Nepal.
Not recommended. As our western stomachs are not quite acclimated to Nepal, it’s best to use bottled water for drinking and brushing your teeth. Good news, many local restaurants have what they refer to as jug water, which is brought in for tourists and is safe.
To make sure you are 100% prepared for your trip to Nepal, here is a list of some helpful items you may need while in Nepal:
Most toiletries can easily be purchased from stores in Nepal and for extremely reasonable prices.
Yes, Nepal’s internal conflict has been over for several years and the country has become a peaceful democracy. Most visitors will feel very safe walking in Kathmandu, Bhaktapur & Pokhara.
Due to the April 2014 earthquake, many structures will be at threat of collapse. Use extreme care when walking in certain areas as instructed by your guides.
But, with any new environment take extreme caution with your money, passport & credit cards. We recommend photo copies of all your important documents.
Unfortunately, Nepal’s largest city Kathmandu is overrun with pollution mainly from older, dirty cars and the use of diesel generators for the frequent power outages. It is recommended that visitors wear a surgical mask while visiting Nepal to protect their lungs.
Pollution is not quite as evident in smaller, less populated regions, but always is a concern if you are traveling by road along heavily congested trucking routes.
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