Travel from Kathmandu to some of the world’s highest mountains

Experience the high mountains of Nepal on this challenging trekking adventure. Conquer Everest's Base Camp, a holy grail for mountaineers, and complete the arduous Annapurna Circuit. Take in stunning scenery and soak up the rich cultures and traditions of this beautiful country, exploring tiny villages and meeting friendly locals along the way. Ever dreamed of seeing the wind-swept peak of Everest, of traversing high passes and crossing blue-white glaciers, of meeting holy men and taking in nature at its grandest? This trip has it all.

Kathmandu, Nepal
Kathmandu, Nepal
Walking & Trekking
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Min 16
Group size
Min 1 Max 12
Carbon offset
462kg pp per trip


  • - Help Nepal get back on its feet by retuning to the country, and discover how Kathmandu still remains a legendary destination while the post earthquake rebuilding continues
  • - Explore timeless Kathmandu
  • - View the mighty Himalaya Mountain range on the flight to Lukla.
  • -Trek to Everest Base Camp, from where mountaineering climbs of the worlds highest peak begin.
  • - Learn the illustrious history of the once prosperous hilltop trading town of Bandipur, lost to the minds of most travellers and a delight to wander
  • - Trek the mighty Annapurnas and uncover a different side of the Himalayas – terraced rice fields, oak and rhododendron forests, all surrounded by stunning snow-capped peaks
  • - Conquer the climb to the highest point on the Annapurna Circuit, crossing the Thorong Pass at 5,416 metres
  • - Soak up beautiful views of mastered mountains while relaxing by Pokhara’s Phewa Lake


This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2016 to 31 December 2016. View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2017 - 31 December 2017

Namaste! Welcome to Nepal.

Please arrive by 14:00 on Day 1 as we will have an important group briefing. Your leader will leave a note at reception telling you where and when this important meeting will take place. Please ask a member of reception for this information.

Kathmandu, the colourful capital of Nepal, is a fascinating blend of traditional architecture and symbols of the 20th Century. Its rich artistic and cultural heritage is evident where ornately carved balconies mingle with beautiful shrines and temples.

If you arrive early we recommend you check out Durbar Square with it's temples, markets and busy atmosphere. It is also worth the climb to visit the Swayambhunath - the 'monkey temple'. Explore the network of street markets and alley bazaars and Pashupatinath. For those with a few extra days in Kathmandu, the neighbouring towns of Patan and Bhaktapur are well worth a visit.

For more information on Intrepid Foundation projects in Nepal, visit our website:
Sitting at 8848 m Mt Everest, the highest peak in the world, is one of the greatest trekking destinations. Locally known as Sagarmatha, the mountain has long been revered as the home of the gods. First conquered by Tenzing Norgay and Sir Edmund Hillary in 1953, Everest has traditionally been the ultimate goal for mountaineers. On this trip you will take on the challenge of reaching the mountaineer's base camp and gain an insight into the world famous Sherpa culture. You will cross glaciers and broad plains, traverse valleys and climb high passes to reach the picturesque Everest Base Camp. Our accommodation comprises small, basic teahouses along the track. These basic but cosy remote houses are operated by the mountain Nepalese to cater for trekkers and also offer simple yet filling and delicious meals to sustain our efforts. This is a challenging trip and involves difficult trekking at high altitudes but the whole experience is simply awe-inspiring!

This is a trek that requires an excellent level of fitness as there are plenty of ascents and descents and the walking is very strenuous. The weather can be harsh in December and January, with a combination of snow and frosts.

This trip includes one or more overnight stays over 3500 metres/11500ft, where there is a genuine risk of being affected by Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). If left untreated AMS can be life-threatening. We would expect the majority of a group to notice the effects of being at high altitude, and while most will only feel discomfort, it is not uncommon for a small number of people to need extra care which will be provided by our leaders and local staff. All our trips that spend time at High Altitude follow our standard altitude safety measures.

A number of medical conditions or medications can also reduce your body's ability to acclimatise, and thus will affect your performance at altitude and make you more susceptible to AMS. If you are worried about any pre-existing condition (e.g. heart problems), or unsure of your physical ability, you must seek medical advice prior to booking. You may also wish to discuss medication such as Diamox that may help aid acclimatisation.

Please note that while we endeavour to assist all our clients in achieving their goals, there may be times your leader makes the decision to either delay or stop your ascent based on your medical conditions and AMS symptoms.

This trip is lead by an experienced English speaking local guide and two assistants who help with the daily logistics. Though you are expected to help carry your gear, there are porters provided to assist.

Details of the trip, which are subject to change due to weather conditions or any other factors outside of Intrepid's control, are as follows (please note all trekking times are approximate): Please note that on occasions due to weather conditions we are unable to fly to Lukla as planned. In these cases, you will be accommodated at your joining hotel at your expense until the weather clears. Your trekking guide can advise locally.

Day 2 - Phakding (2610 m)
Today we have a very early (approx. 6.30 am) flight from Kathmandu to Lukla (45 minutes). If the weather is good, the views of the Himalayas from the small plane are amazing! After breakfast in Lukla (2840 m), a short safety talk and an introduction to our porters, we gear up and commence our trek. Today is a fairly gentle introduction, following the milk-white Dudh Kosi River approximately three-hours to Phakding.
Overall Altitude gain between places we sleep is -190m

Day 3 - Namche Bazaar (3440 m)
Today we trek 9 km to Namche (approx. 6 hours), the administrative centre of the Khumbu region. This will be your last chance to check your equipment and hire any additional gear for the high altitudes from Dingboche onwards. Namche Bazaar is also the last chance for a hot shower, yummy feast, to enjoy the local nightlife or to take to the pool hall and video parlours.
Overall Altitude gain between places we sleep is 830m

Day 4 - Namche Bazaar
Today is an acclimatisation day where we will also visit the local museum and surrounding villages. The best way to acclimatise is to do a strenuous walk up to a high altitude then come back down to sleep. Remember - it doesn't matter how fit you are, anyone can be affected by altitude, so have a chat to your doctor before you leave to talk about the symptoms and what to expect.

Day 5 - Phortse Gaon (3810 m)
Today we trek for about 6-7 hours to cover the 9 km from Namche Bazaar to Phortse Gaon. This route offers amazing insight into the life and culture of the sherpas, and that night we stay in a village that is home to a number of sherpas who have reached Everest's summit. Looking out from Phortse Gaon, the views of Amadablam are great.
Overall Altitude gain between places we sleep is 370m

Day 6 - Dingboche (4410 m)
Climb above the tree-line and trek approximately six hours covering the distance of 8 kms to Dingboche.
Overall Altitude gain between places we sleep is 600m

Day 7 - Dingboche (4410 m)
Today is another acclimatisation day. Staying the night in Dingboche we take day hikes to Amadablam base camp, Nagarjun Hill or Chukkhung.

Day 8 - Lobuche (4900 m)
The trek to Lobuche is about five hours and covers 7 km, bringing us close to our ultimate goal!
Overall Altitude gain between places we sleep is 490m

Day 9 - Everest Base Camp (5364 m)
From Lobuche we trek to the Everest Base Camp and then back down to our lodge at Gorakshep (5140 m). Here we have astonishing views over the Himalayas.
Overall Altitude gain between places we sleep is 240m

Day 10 - Kala Pattar/Pheriche or Orsho
Today we witness some of the Himalayas most recognisable sights. We make an early start to avoid the early morning clouds and trek to Kala Pattar (5545 m) to witness the best views of Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse and other surrounding peaks. It's a tough walking day (approx. 7 hours), and depending on how the group feels, your leader will decide where you spend the night.

Day 11 - Tengboche (3840 m)
Trek to Tengboche (approx. 4 hours), for excellent views of Amadablam and a visit to the Tengboche Monastery and the Sherpa Heritage Foundation.

Day 12 - Monjo (2860 m)
Trek downhill and out of the national park to the small settlement of Monjo (approx. 5 hours)

Day 13 - Lukla
This morning we descend to Lukla for the night before flying back to Kathmandu.
Weather permitting we take a short early morning fight from Lukla to Kathmandu. (approx 45 minutes). We'll return to the Kathmandu Guest House and have free time during the afternoon for further sightseeing or shopping. Otherwise a rest before the next portion of this trekking adventure.

Note - If there is bad weather or low cloud conditions our flight back to Kathmandu may not go, giving us an extra day in Lukla to relax or do a day walk. In this case, we will return to Kathmandu by late morning on day 15.

Day 15 is a free day. Relax or jump on an optional Urban Adventure. Your tour leader will be able to assist you booking. Maybe shop in some of Kathmandu's many markets for clothing, embroidery, carpets or ceramics. If shopping is not your thing, take a trip over the Bagmati River to the adjacent city of Patan, with its abundance of temples and monasteries.
Today there will be another joining meeting to meet new trekkers joining for the Annapurna section of the trip.
Its a good chance to check trekking gear to ensure everything is ready to go. Go through the trekking itinearry with our guide and hand in photos for trekking permits.
Tonight head out for an optional dinner to get to know everyone before heading off tomorrow.
Leaving Kathmandu, we head for Bandipur, first by local bus and then by Jeep; stopping along the way at Dumre (approx.5 hours). Located high on a ridge (1,000 m) above the road to Pokhara lies this little-known Newari trading village.

At the eastern part of the town is the pagoda-roofed Bindabasini temple which acts as the abode of the goddess Durga, Bandipur's guardian deity. The rich wooden carvings and detailed brass-work that adorn the temple are replicas of those found in the many old pagoda structures of the Kathmandu Valley.

Bandipur is still not in many travellers 'to visit' list, so the likelihood of meeting fellow travellers is still very minimal. The views are stupendous, as is the warm local welcome. There is a terrace opposite the hotel in the main street from where you can view the other side of the valley and watch the goings on of the village - a great place to enjoy an afternoon drink. In front of the guesthouse is a café and bar serving simple, delicious meals from locally sourced organic ingredients.

Be prepared for simple lodgings and food, but more importantly the genuine friendliness of the locals and the simply stunning views of the Annapurna and Manaslu mountain ranges - the hallmark of this region. Bandipur is a basic village but the surrounding countryside makes for great walks and all the locals will want to talk to you and guide you on your way.

Our accommodation for the night is a restored village mansion in the heart of the old bazaar. The rooms here are simple but cosy in traditional style with dim lighting, old wooden doors and thick brick walls. The timber and red brick building with carved beams and staircases has pleasant twin and double rooms in traditional style with separate shared facilities (towels provided, separate ladies'/gents' blocks). The facilities might be simple, but the staff are extremely friendly and helpful and the Nepalese feel of the place has been retained so it's a favourite of many of our travellers.
We immerse ourselves in the spectacular mountain wilderness that encompasses the Annapurna Range. At 8,091 m, Annapurna 1 is one of the highest mountains in the world. Its surrounding sister mountains are equally imposing, creating magnificent panoramas from any viewpoint. Throughout the trek we come across isolated mountain communities, each with different ancestral customs and traditions, resulting in not only a visually superb expedition but also a culturally rich one. We meet warm and welcoming locals herding yaks and goats on the grassy pastures and visit their monasteries and temples. We pass waterfalls of melted snow, cross icy rivers, walk along broad plains and hike up high mountain passes.

A couple of days are also allowed for rest and acclimatisation. Please note that the following itinerary can vary due to unforeseen circumstances including weather conditions or bandhs (strikes) called by the political parties. All trekking times are approximate.

Day 18 - Besi Saha/Bahun Dada (1310m) (approx. 6 hours)
Drive to Besisahar (1.5hrs approx). Immediately on the the trail that takes you through Besisahar bazaar leading downstream, followed by the climb up the rocky steps. There are several ups and downs as the trail makes its way through sub-tropical forests and rice paddies of Sera. Further along, traverse a long saggy suspension bridge across Khudi Khola and arrive at Bhulbule. Resume on the trail that traverses the Marshyangdi River on a long, feeble suspension bridge as Bhulbule is left behind. Once the Ngadi River is crossed, the trail gently leads upwards through scrub forests and across landslides for a short distance, which then leads to few teashops and cold-drink stalls located opposite the rice paddies of Lampata, eventually leading to Bahundanda (hill of the Brahmins), an attractive village in the saddle of a long ridge.

Day 19 - Chamje (1,430) (approx. 6 hours)
Few dazzling cascades en route as the trail makes a way through a deep wooded canyon with few stretches steep climb

Day 20 - Bagarchap (2160m) (approx. 7 hours)
Trek continues through the deep wooded canyon embellished by stunning waterfalls as you venture into the Manang district. Much of the trail ascends throughout the day

Day 21 - Chame (2,710 m) (approx. 6 hours)
Marking the end of the great Marsyangdi gorge, make a steep climb to Timang, then the trail settles into gentler slopes as the vegetation transforms from dense pine forests to drier slopes. The district headquarters of Manang, Chame, is the largest settlement after Besisahar.

Day 22 - Pisang (3,300 m) (approx. 5 hours)
A slew of breathtaking scenery this day as the trail goes through a deep gorge, then past the great sweeping slope of Paungi Danda. Mostly easy walk with few ascending stretches of trail

Day 23 - Manang (3,540 m) (approx. 6 hours)
Trek the northern trail via upper Pisang and Ghyaru, an area renowned for its spectacular views. It is now drier and you are sure to come across local farmers herding yaks. (Tip: Tibetan yaks take a special interest in people wearing red!).

Day 24 - Manang (3,540 m)
We spend a day here to acclimatise to the altitude by doing some high climbing then return to the lower altitude of Manang to sleep. Manang, a village of about 500 flat-roofed houses offers excellent views of Annapurna II, Annapurna III, Gangapurna and Chulu East.

Day 25 - Manang to Yak Kharka (4,018 m) (approx. 5 hours)
Covering approximately 7 km, we steadily climb into the alpine region, taking around five hours.

Day 26 - Phedi (4,450 m) (approx. 5 hours)
Due to the altitude, we'll take the next section of the climb at a leisurely pace, which means we'll have time to admire the magnificent views from this part of the route. Once at Phedi, there will be plenty of time to rest and acclimatise to the higher elevations ready for the next part of the climb where we will encounter the Thorung La Pass, the highest point on this Annapurna Exoplorer.

Day 27 - Trek to Muktinath (3,800 m) (approx. 8-9 hours)
Setting off very early to cross the Thorung La Pass (5,416 m), the trail is steep but easy to follow. After between four to six hours climbing we'll reach the Pass's peak, adorned with prayer flags, a traditional stupa (chorten) and stone cairns built by travellers. Stop to admire the stunning views and marvel at how far you've climbed. Further along, the trail descends steeply proceeding towards Chabarbu. From here on, the trail crosses meadows, drops into a deep ravine, climbs out and follows a wide trail into Muktinath, a pilgrimage site held in great reverence by both Hindus and Buddhists.

Day 28 - Jomsom (2,800 m) (approx 7 hours)
Veer off the main trekking trail to make a side trip to an ancient village of Purang. Further up from the village, continue to take the less frequented route going past another village with a medieval feel to it, Jhong. From Jhong, descend to the Jhing Khola (river) following the course which we emerge on to Kagbeni. From Kagbeni, we rejoin the Annapurna circuit route to make a gradual descent through scenic, desert-like terrain, past charming villages and following the windy riverbed to Jomsom.

Our accomodation along the way is at local lodges, better known as teahouses, where accommodation is comfortable without being luxurious, toilets and washing facilities are shared and rudimentary, and the food is plain and filling. In a teahouse, we are provided with small private rooms with twin beds, mattresses and pillows. At times, in high seasons, and in places where there are a limited number of teahouses, we may have some nights in dormitories. In some places, teahouses don't have access to electricity and depend on solar powered lighting. In remoter regions, teahouses don't have running water and toilets can mean just a hole in the ground.
Hot shower facilities are available in the majority of the teahouses for a price although in most of the places, a hot shower means a bucket of hot water!
Early morning flight to Pokhara (20mins approx)
we toast our achievement over a celebratory dinner in the character-filled Nepalese town of Pokhara (827 m). Pokhara is a peaceful lakeside location which rests beneath the snow-capped peaks of the Annapurna Range. Sip on a cold brew and gaze up at the dramatic pass that you have just conquered. There are plenty of lakeside cafes where you can enjoy international cuisine, while the main street is full of shops and stalls selling a wide range of Nepali and Tibetan souvenirs.

Pokhara is part of a once vibrant trade route extending between India and Tibet. This is the land of Magars and Gurungs, hardworking farmers and valorous warriors who have earned worldwide fame as Gurkha soldiers. The Thakalis, another important ethnic group here, are known for their entrepreneurship. Take time to wander around the town and get to know its friendly residents.

Our simple hotel in Pokhara is set 100m back from Fewa Lake and with a back-drop of Machhapuchhare (Fishtail mountain) rising beyond. It has twin-bedded rooms with attached bath and a hot shower facility.
We return to Kathmandu by tourist bus (approx. 7 hours including stops) for further sightseeing or for some last minute shopping for friends and family at home. The options are plentiful - Kathmandu has many markets where Nepali specialties include clothes, embroidery, carpets and ceramics. On arrival in Kathmandu we'll check back into the Kathmandu Guest House.

There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the hotel at any time. Check out time from the hotel is at 12 noon. If you are departing later, you can arrange luggage storage at the hotel.
At the end of your tour please consider donating to the KEEP Porters Clothing Bank. As you will have come to realise on your tour, porters play a vital role in the tourism industry enabling tourists to visit Nepal’s most picturesque and difficult terrain. The majority are subsistence farmers who travel from lower areas of Nepal to the higher elevated trekking routes to find employment. Contrary to the belief that porters are well-adjusted to the cold and altitude of the Himalayas, every year many porters suffer from a variety of illnesses such as altitude sickness, snow blindness, hypothermia and frostbite and some even die as a result. The Clothing Bank was set up in 2009 to provide ill-prepared porters with better clothing suitable for trekking in a mountain environment and reduce the number of unnecessary illnesses and fatalities which occur each year.

Usually donations of used jackets and trousers/pants from Westerners do not fit Nepali porters who tend to be smaller. However donations of other clothing items such as socks, boots, sunglasses, warm gloves and sleeping bags are always welcome. Your leader can ensure that your donation is passed on.
View trip notes to read full itinerary


Guesthouse (6 nights), Teahouse (23 nights)
Included activities
  • Nepal Trek - Porter
  • Nepal Trek - Everest Base Camp
  • Kathmandu - Flight to Lukla
  • Kala Patar - Day trek
  • Bandipur - Guided walk


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Important notes

This trip starts in Kathmandu on Day 1 at 2pm.
Due to the demands of travelling at high altitudes a Passenger Self Assessment Form is required for this trip.
This is a combination of two of our most popular treks. As such the make up of your group and your trekking leader and crew will change on day 16 in Kathmandu

Trip notes

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Your trip notes provide a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what’s included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View trip notes