Everest Namche Lodge Trek

Settle into the famous center of Sherpa culture high in the Himalayas
Overview

overview

JOURNEYS and the family of JOURNEYS' senior mountaineering and trekking guide welcome you to settle in and stay awhile in Namche Bazaar in the roadless Khumbu region of Nepal. Make your stay in a Sherpa home-based lodge in the shadow of Mount Everest. Over the past 30 years, JOURNEYS has built a proud reputation for personalized treks that pause in Namche, but this trip – unhurried, self-paced, and flexible – is different. With hosts and guides eager to help, you decide how far you’d like to hike and how much you’d like to learn from the monks, merchants, National Park officials, farmers, schoolchildren, and mountaineers you encounter. We can imagine no more exquisite place on earth to catch your physical and spiritual breath. This program offers time to sample a variety of Khumbu experiences.

If you choose this trek for hiking to Everest Base Camp, keep in mind that the trekking paths in this region are not well-maintained, uneven, and sometimes slippery. Also, a significant portion of the hiking is an uphill climb. Other factors to consider are: possible cold to freezing temperatures, possible altitude sickness, and, as with many countries, foodborne illness.

Be sure to read Marketing Associate Katina Nichols' MUST-KNOW tips for trekking in the Everest region. Katina went on a similar trek in November 2013.

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: National Geographic Adventure magazine selected this program as one of their 25 Best New Trips of 2010. Hundreds of travel operators nominated trips, and this one was selected for its unusual flexibility and value. It continues to be a JOURNEYS favorite.

itinerary

itinerary

  • Day 1: Arrive Kathmandu

    On arrival in Kathmandu, you will be met by a JOURNEYS staff member at the airport and transferred to your Western-style hotel. Your guides will be available for advice on everything from how to bargain to choosing restaurants to learning a little bit of the Nepali language. You will have some time to just relax, or to nibble at the feast of new experiences in this exotic city. Later, you'll have a brief orientation.

    Meals
    None
    Lodging
    International Guesthouse or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 2: Kathmandu
    Boddhanath Stupa, an icon of Kathmandu

    You have the day free to spend as you like. There is much to see and do in Kathmandu. Alternatively, we can arrange a city tour with an English-speaking guide who will help you learn about city life (additional cost). Consider a visit to the famous temples of Swayambhunath, Pasupatinath, or Boddhanath.

    In Kathmandu, and throughout your trip, we encourage you to interact with local people either through your guide as interpreter, or through participation in the activities that are all around you.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    International Guesthouse or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 3: Fly to Lukla / Hike along the Dudh Kosi
    Begin your trek amidst pine forests and Buddhist prayer flags

    Your guide will meet you very early and assist with your transfer to the Kathmandu airport for your flight on a 20-seater two-engine Twin Otter to Lukla, at 9,000’ elevation. (We’re pleased to plan your travel to Nepal and your first days in Kathmandu too; just ask us.) The flight to Lukla is always thrilling, through a deep valley between towering snow-capped ridges. The plane turns and you actually land going uphill.

    The air is clear, clean, and cool.  Smell the pine trees and juniper incense, listen for the yak bells. Your local guide will be waiting for you with a porter or a yak to transport your gear while you carry a light daypack.  The first day’s walk may take you four to eight hours, depending on your pace. You might feel the altitude change from Kathmandu to Lukla as you hike today, so take your time. Hike down to meet the Dudh Kosi River and then up along the river’s edge. You can’t see Everest yet, but you will likely see many other snow capped peaks. Stop overnight at a basic Sherpa guest house in Monjo.

    Note: Today's hike is moderate. Keep in mind, though, that the trekking paths in the Everest region are not well-maintained. They tend to be rocky, uneven, and slippery after a rain. We suggest you bring hiking poles for extra support or rent them in Kathmandu. Your guide can assist you with rentals.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Sherpa guest house
    Show on a map
  • Day 4: Hike to Namche
    Traditional Sherpa welcome with a silk kata scarf

    Today’s hike is up, up, up! You set your pace. You will feel the altitude if you have not noticed it already, but the increasingly-dramatic vistas of high peaks, possibly including your first glimpses of Everest, will energize your effort. Finally, after anywhere from four to eight hours of mostly uphill, you round a corner and behold the colorful village of Namche Bazaar.

    Located in a natural amphitheater at 11,000’, Namche is the cultural and economic heart of the Sherpa world. Hundreds of Sherpa Buddhist families live here in traditional white homes with green and red wood trim; thousands of bright prayer flags flap in the breezes.

    Your lodge is perched near the top of the natural bowl that cradles the town. From the ridge top, gaze on a 360-degree panorama of towering snowy peaks, secluded monasteries, high yak pastures, and the alpine slopes of Sagarmatha (Mount Everest) National Park. Expeditions to Everest and her sister peaks all pass this way, and now it’s your turn. Your lodge host and his family will welcome you with a kata (ceremonial scarf) and tea. Relax and  enjoy the friendly mountainscape environs of your Sherpa lodge basecamp.

    Note: Today's hike is long and strenous, particularly the last stretch of it. Expect to go slow and take lots of breaks.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Sherpa Lodge
    Show on a map
  • Day 5: Settle into Your Sherpa Lodge
    Walking the lanes of Namche

    On your first full day in Namche, we recommend you take it easy to acclimatize to the elevation. Stroll in the bazaar, stop at the National Park Visitors’ Center, or find a viewpoint to admire Everest. It is said that conversation is the national sport of Nepal, so jump in. The locals will want to know about you and will be open about their own lives and customs. Almost every Namche family has members who have scaled the highest Himalayan peaks as part of international expeditions; if you enjoy mountaineering lore, ask for stories. As your hosts come to understand your interests and evaluate your adaptation to the altitude, they can help you formulate an exploration program for the next few days. Note – Internet connections and local cell phone service are typically available, but not always reliable.

     

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Sherpa Lodge
    Show on a map
  • Day 6: Enjoy Your Namche Base
    Mount Everest on the left

    Over the next four days, or however long you choose to stay, you will have a multitude of half-day and full-day options in and around Namche, in Sagarmatha (Mount Everest) National Park, in the nearby villages of Kunde and Khumjung, and in the village and monastery of Thame, where one of our co-founders was born.

    In Namche, spend time with the members of your household. Learn to cook Sherpa stew or mo-mo’s (meat or veggie dumplings). Note the effort the community has expended to protect the environment from the seasonal influx of climbers and trekkers. There’s a kerosene depot to deter wood-cutting. The electricity lines are underground. There are impressive applications of wind, solar, and water power. No glass bottles are permitted. Note the mountaineering gear (left from expeditions) and Tibetan art in the shops. On Saturdays, the weekly market causes the population to quadruple. Farmers and merchants from lower elevations may walk several days to bring fresh produce, Indian goods, and hardware from the plains.  Sherpas from the many valleys above Namche come to purchase these goods and trade their milk products, potatoes, and yak-hair goods.

    A short walk in one direction offers superb views of Everest, as well as the dramatic peaks of Lhotse, Nuptse, and Ama Dablam. In another direction, your hosts will suggest where you can find Himalayan tahr and musk deer, prey species of the snow leopard, which has been seen just a few hours' walk from your lodge.

    Namche is actually part of the one of the world's most unique national parks. Created in 1976 to protect more than 425 square miles of peaks and glaciers and forests, Sagarmatha (Mount Everest) N.P. also includes Sherpa villages, farmland, and yak pastures. The park management plan recognizes that traditional Sherpa culture is as important to protect as the wildlife and forests. Learn about programs of reforestation, trail maintenance, erosion control, hydro power, and wildlife management. No animals may be killed within the park, and wood collecting is strictly controlled. The result has been an increased standard of living and a stabilized natural ecology. Animals such as musk deer, Himalayan tahr, and blood pheasants are quite tame and easy to observe. Snow leopards, long absent from the area, now inhabit several of the valleys close to Namche.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Sherpa Lodge
    Show on a map
  • Day 7: Thame or Tengboche Monasteries
    Trekkers and Sherpas in Kumjung

    Opt for a day hike to Thame or an overnight to Tengboche. These are the sites of the two most important Sherpa Buddhist monasteries.

    Most Everest trekkers are unaware that the side trip to Thame village is one of the most historic, scenic, and wildlife-rich experiences in the Khumbu region.   Tenzing Norgay (who with Edmund Hillary achieved the first summitting of Everest in 1953) was born in Thame, as was Pemba Sherpa, a co-founder of JOURNEYS. The trail from Namche to Thame is the first leg of the long trip over the Nangpa La and into Tibet.  The Chinese have closed this route to official travel, but Tibetan refugees escaping persecution in Tibet still sometimes risk their lives to cross the 20,000’ pass. Thame is one of the prettiest villages in Nepal where two long glacial valleys converge. Snow leopards prowl these slopes. In spring, huge rhododendrons bloom across vast hillsides. In summer, the meadows bloom richly with wildflowers.

    If you are undaunted by the steepness of the trail or the thinness of the air so far up, consider the five- to six-hour hour trek to Tengboche Monastery.  It’s a long climb up through a sacred forest to finally reach Tengboche at 12,750’ elevation.  The view is spectacular.  It seems there is little between you and the peak of Everest, but for most people the Everest climbing base camp is still three long days’ walk and a mile of elevation away. Camp or spend the night in the monastery guest house, and observe temple chanting and other rituals.

    Or ... head on to Everest Base Camp! Stretch your Khumbu experience by continuing to trek past Tengboche to the phenomenal site where multiple mountaineering expeditions set up their base each fall and spring. The round-trip adds five to six days to this itinerary.

    Note: The trek to Tengboche is very strenuous. The trek to Everest Base Camp is, of course, even more strenuous. We suggest you don't attempt anything out of your comfort zone and risk getting seriously injured, as medical evacuation in this region can be delayed.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Sherpa Lodge or Tengboche
  • Day 8: Kunde and Khumjung
    Blessing from a lama at Tengboche

    The twin villages of Kunde and Khumjung can be reached by a 90-minute walk from Namche or on your return hike from Tengboche.

    These "classic" Sherpa villages are off the main expedition route and much less commercial than Namche. Here, beautiful traditional homes are surrounded by large potato fields where you might catch children immersed in a game of cricket. Khumjung is the site of the largest school established by the Hillary Trust, a model of pre-K to grade 10 education, said to be as good as the best schools in the capital. Kunde is the site of the first and most famous of the Hillary Hospitals. You can visit both.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Sherpa Lodge
    Show on a map
  • Day 9: Return to Lukla
    The most lingering memories are of the people

    On your second to last day, say goodbye to your host family after breakfast and retrace your trail back to Lukla. Heading back to Lukla is both easy because you lose altitude and difficult because the last stretch of the hike is a steep uphill climb. Slow down the homestretch with picture taking, wildlife watching, and chatting with people along the way. It's possible to make the 12-mile hike all the way to Lukla in a day, where you will have dinner and stay in a local guest house.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Local guesthouse
    Show on a map
  • Day 10: Return to Kathmandu
    Visit Kathmandu's many temples

    The take-off from Lukla is as spectacular as the landing, but the terrain now feels familiar. Enjoy the 30-minute flight back to Kathmandu, and please remember your Sherpa friends. Spend the afternoon visiting Kathmandu's most important Buddhist stupas at Swayambu or Boddnath or Hindu temple at Pashupati, or wander Kathmandu's lanes and durbar squares.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    International Guesthouse or similar
  • Day 11: Depart or extend

    Transfer to the airport for your homeward flight or remain in the Himalayas. In Nepal, add on a safari in Chitwan National Park or a short trek or village stay in the middle hills. Consider flying direct to Bhutan for JOURNEYS' six-day itinerary or for a longer exploration. Consider flying direct to Bangkok and enjoying our services in northern Thailand or Cambodia. Or, fly to Delhi or Varanasi in India, where we are also prepared to provide sensational itineraries. Namaste!

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    None
Price and Date Details

Price and Date Details

Apr 7-17, 2015
Oct 13-23, 2015
Or Privately on Request
Land Cost:
$2,950
Includes local Nepal flights
Single Supplement:
$350
The single supplement is applicable if a roommate is not available or if single accommodation is specifically requested. While single accommodation is not available on all trips, we will try and honor this request whenever possible.
Need to Know

Need to Know

Duration:
11 days
The number of days, or duration, in a destination corresponds with the itinerary as published. This is the time period covered by the land cost.
Comfort Level:
1
Basic Sherpa lodges to 3* Nepalese style hotel & (upgrade available in Kathmandu)
Group Size:
2-10
The stated range indicates minimum required for guaranteed departure and maximum accepted on the scheduled dates. Exceptions can often be made for private departures.
Activity Level:
4
JOURNEYS grading system from I to IV will help you choose an experience with physical demands which match your motivation. 1. Active Active exploration with optional day hikes, easy walking, leisurely bicycling or light canoeing. Comfortable travel by vehicle. 2. Vigorous Experience may include regular hiking or physical exercise in varied environments. Travel by vehicle may be long or over rough terrain. 3. Challenging Parts of trip will involve physical challenge. Daily hiking in rough terrain, high altitude, rough road travel and remoteness from modern medical care may be unavoidable circumstances. 4. Demanding Extended foot travel in very remote areas. Previous wilderness travel experience advisable. Doctor's certification may be requested.

Resources

Trip Extensions

Trip Extensions

Everest View Mountain Flight

Duration: 1 days

Enjoy the magnificent Himalayas close up. You'll have a bird's-eye view as you fly along the full length of the Nepal Himalayas. This is the best way to see Everest. *This trip is available from Kathmandu, Nepal when booked with conjunction with a Ne... read more

Dhulikhel Lodge Visit

Duration: 3 days

Lovely lodge with traditional architecture, private gardens and panoramic views; village and short treks nearby.

Bangkok Hospitality

Duration: 3 days

If you are passing through Bangkok and want more than a transit stop, ask for our three day/two night Bangkok Hospitality Extension. We meet you at the airport and transfer you to an attractive centrally located hotel. This extension also includes y... read more

Phuket

Duration: 4 days

Phuket is the largest of Thailand's islands. It is incredibly varied with rocky beaches, long broad sandy beaches, forested hills, and clear waters great for snorkeling and relaxing. There is no better way to end a trip!

Kathmandu Hospitality

Duration: 3 days

2 hotel nights with breakfast, 2 airport transfers, Kathmandu sight-seeing, ticket reconfirmation and assistance with any necessary trekking permits.

Angkor Wat 3-Day Odyssey

Duration: 3 days

This excursion focuses on the amazing ruins of Angkor in Siem Reap. Angkor Wat, a spectacular architectural legacy of a period of bizarre regimes, is the most famous and confusing of the ruins in southeast Asia. This makes a perfect extension to any ... read more

Angkor Wat 5-Day Odyssey

Duration: 5 days

This excursion takes you to Siem Reap where you explore the magnificent Angkor sites followed by a ride on the Tonle Sap to see the local fishing villages. Then a short flight to Phnom Penh where you visit interesting museums, including Toul Sleng, a... read more

Delhi Hospitality Package

Duration: 3 days

Visit Delhi before or after any Journeys Asia tour.

Chitwan National Park

Duration: 3 days

Chitwan National Park is probably the world’s best habitat for the rare Bengal Tiger and the One-horned Rhinoceros. Ride elephants in search of these animals and the hundreds of other animals and birds found here. Almost 700 sq. miles of lush rive... read more

Bangkok Exploration

Duration: 1 days

Accompanied by your personal guide you will meet exotic, ancient, enigmatic Bangkok head-on. After completing this multi-transport, mobile cultural immersion seminar, you should be able to go anywhere in Bangkok by train, ferry, sky-train, taxi or tu... read more

River Kwai & Erawan National Park

Duration: 4 days

This extension gives you a mixed variety of history and nature. You begin by exploring along the River Kwai stopping at important historical sites. You then travel to Erawan National Park, a unique and rugged landscape of high elevation plateau and s... read more

Ko Samui

Duration: 4 days

Relax and explore the beautiful island of Ko Samui. A perfect extension to any Asia tour.

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