Interested in trekking Everest Base Camp in Nepal, but wondering what you’ll actually be doing day to day? I’ve got you covered with this 11 day Everest Base Camp trek itinerary. And if you want to see what it was like, scroll to the bottom for my three minute video covering our entire trek.
Planning your Everest Base Camp trek itinerary
There are many different itineraries for trekking to Everest Base Camp. However, they all are quite similar, including many common points such as Lukla (the airport on the mountain), Namche Bazaar (the final large village on the trek, before you get above the tree line), and Gorakshep (the final stop where trekkers sleep after Base Camp). Depending on what trekking company you go with you may have a slightly different itinerary. And I do recommend traveling with a Nepal trekking company rather than going independently – read more on the ethics here. Additionally, weather, flights, and other events could mean your Everest Base Camp trek itinerary may change slightly before or during your trek.
Choosing your tour operator for the Everest Base Camp trek
If you are looking into tour operators and companies to trek to Everest Base Camp with, it can be overwhelming. There are hundreds of companies out there that offer treks to Everest Base Camp, so it can be difficult to know what qualities to look for. I highly recommend looking at the Everest Base Camp trek itinerary that the company offers, before deciding to book. If the company doesn’t list an itinerary on their website, or are unwilling to give you a sample itinerary, then this is a red flag.
The most important thing you should look for on the company’s Everest Base Camp trek itinerary is acclimation days. These are ‘rest’ days (usually including a short hike) during which the body acclimatizes to the high altitude, lowering chances of altitude sickness. Your trek should include at least two acclimation days.
Other things to confirm with the tour company before you decide to book:
- Do they employ Nepali guides? I recommend choosing a company that is either Nepal-based or has a local operator. Meaning, your guides are actually from Nepal, speak the language, have insider knowledge, etc. Note: Many tour companies exploit their porters and guides, so confirm your company has ethical practices and pays a fair wage. And don’t forget to tip!
- Do the guides carry oxygen with them? In case of altitude sickness, your guides may have to administer oxygen.
- What standard are the accommodations? Is accommodation included? Most trekkers stay in teahouses, which are pretty basic accommodation that often are not heated and don’t have hot water. If you are concerned about this, check what ‘star’ rating your tour will have you stay in.
- What food is included? Confirm what meals are included – You should look for a company that includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner in your tour. All of these meals will likely be eaten at teahouses along the trail. Have dietary requirements? Check out my gluten free guide to Nepal, or Ashley’s vegan guide to Nepal.
- What beverages are included? You will need to drink a lot of water so confirm if your company will be covering your water cost, or supplying you with iodine tablets. If not, I recommend purchasing your own [amazon_textlink asin=’B0009I3T3S’ text=’iodine tablets’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’sarahbence06-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’1896c1db-c151-4af4-a35f-2199e63f11a6′] and a [amazon_textlink asin=’B079T324L1′ text=’filter water bottle’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’sarahbence06-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’a7e8fd70-da5a-45a0-9b68-9bd050701747′] for the trek. Read about the best travel filter water bottle that I use here.
- What are the contingency plans? Things happen along the trek to Everest Base Camp that are unpredictable. Confirm that your company has contingency plans in place for instances like not getting your scheduled flight to Lukla (this is highly likely!), weather, sickness, etc. If you can’t make it to Everest Base Camp, do they have another itinerary planned?
- What is the altitude and distance traveled each day? I highly recommend getting this information before your trek. It may seem abstract, but once you are on the trail it will be a lifeline for you. Personally, I much prefer having an actual measurable distance in kilometers or miles, rather than a time estimate. Some companies will only give you a time estimate for each day (ie. 6 hours trekking). However, this is completely variable and may not be representative of your own group’s pace. If the company’s Everest Base Camp trek itinerary doesn’t list distances, please ask them for this prior to the trek.
Personally, I did the Everest Base Camp trek with Travel Her Way, as one of their brand ambassadors. Travel Her Way is an all-women tour company, so I know it might not be relevant to all my readers. However, if you are a woman, or non-binary, I highly recommend trekking with Travel Her Way. Below I will share an 11 day Everest Base Camp trek itinerary based on the stellar itinerary that Travel Her Way has developed, in partnership with their Nepal-based tour operator, Trekking Planner Nepal.
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A sample 11 day Everest Base Camp Trek itinerary
Chances are, your tour will begin in Kathmandu, whether you have just flown in, or been exploring Nepal for a while. With Travel Her Way, I enjoyed that we had a full day to explore Kathmandu before flying off to the Himalayas. However, with this sample Everest Base Camp trek itinerary we will begin with day 1 as the first day of trekking.
Day 1: Kathmandu – Lukla (2,860m/9,383ft) – Phakding (2,610m/8,563ft)
Altitude gain: -250m/-820ft
Trekking distance: 9km
Day 2: Phakding (2,610m/8,563ft) – Namche Bazaar(3,440m/11,286ft)
Altitude gain: 830m/2,723ft
Trekking distance: 10km
Day 3: Acclimation day at Namche Bazaar (3,440m/11,286ft)
Day 4: Namche Bazaar (3,440m/11,286ft) – Tengboche (3,860m/12,664ft)
Altitude gain: 420m/1,377ft
Trekking distance: 10km
Day 5: Tengboche (3,860m/12,664ft) – Dingboche (4,410m/14,469ft)
Altitude gain: 550m/1805ft
Trekking distance: 11km
Day 6: Acclimation day at Dingboche (4,410m/14,469ft)
Day 7: Dingboche (4,410m/14,469ft) – Lobuche (4,940m/16,207ft)
Altitude gain: 530m/1,738ft
Trekking distance: 12km
Day 8: Lobuche (4,940m/16,207ft) – Everest Base Camp (5,380m/17,600ft) – Gorakshep (5,164m/16,942ft)
Altitude gain: 440m/1,393ft
Trekking distance: 15km
Day 9: Gorakshep (5,164m/16,942ft) – Kala Patthar (5,643m/18,514ft) – Pheriche (4,371m/14,340ft)
Altitude gain: -1,272m/-4,173ft
Trekking distance: 13km
Day 10: Pheriche (4,371m/14,340ft) – Namche Bazaar (3,440m/11,286ft)
Altitude gain: -931m/-3,054ft
Trekking distance: 14km
Day 11: Namche Bazaar (3,440m/11,286ft) – Lukla (2,860m/9,383ft)
Altitude gain: -580m/-1,903ft
Trekking distance: 15km
Although day 11 is your final day of trekking, you will likely fly back from Lukla-Kathmandu the following day. I recommend having a 1-3 day leeway, at minimum, before your international flight home from Kathmandu. With the unpredictability not just of the trek, but transportation within Nepal, it is best to give yourself some extra time in case something happens!
Everest Base Camp trek video
From the nail-biting helicopter flight, to the endless stone steps, to rationing our breathing at 17,000+ feet… how could I encapsulate the journey to Everest Base Camp in a blog post? I’ve certainly tried, and if you want the rawest depiction of what it’s like to trek to Everest Base Camp, I recommend my diary from the trek, which you can read here. But, as cliche as it is, they say a photo is worth a million words. If you really want to see what it was like to trek to Everest Base Camp, check out my Everest Base Camp video. I’ve distilled our 11 day trek to just over three minutes of honest moments from the trail.
Check out my other Everest Base Camp trek posts…
- Everest Base Camp trek diary
- Ethics and etiquette for trekking in Nepal
- Nepal gluten free guide
- 25 photos to inspire you to trek Everest Base Camp
- Kathmandu travel impressions
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