Most people have heard of Mount Everest, which is, of course, the highest mountain in the world.  But while most people are not in a position to climb to the summit of this 8,848m high giant, most of us could potentially reach its base.  That is Everest Base Camp.  Even if you are not an avid hiker or very familiar with the names of treks in Nepal (or other countries), a quick Google of the best treks in the world will bring you to the Everest Base Camp (EBC) Trek.

Let me give you more information about this trek and what is involved.  A Complete Guide to the Everest Base Camp Trek.

Where is Everest Base Camp?

High in the Nepal Himalayas, standing astride, the northeast border between Nepal and China is the highest mountain in the world.  In the past, it would have taken weeks to travel from the capital of Nepal, Kathmandu, to Everest.  But not only is there air and road infrastructure now leading us to this great mountain, but there are also trails to follow and lodges to sleep in, making the journey to Everest base camp much shorter and easier.

How to Reach Base Camp

The first step is to reach Lukla, the start of the many treks and climbs in the Khumbu Region (also known as the Everest Region).

The most classic arrival point in Lukla is through its airport.  Which is officially the Tenzing Hillary Airport after the first two men to climb Everest back in 1953, but is generally known as Lukla Airport.

The flight itself is relatively short, flying along the side of the hills and mountains and over forests,  farmland, and settlements.  The 40 minutes flight starts at Kathmandu, although now they may start from Ramechap.  If coming from Ramechap, then there is a few hours of drive from Kathmandu to reach Ramechap airport.  This is something you should ask about when you are planning your trip. 

Day 1: Flight to Lukla

Once you reach Lukla, what happens next?  

This is officially Day 01 of the trek, and once you have arrived and your gear has been offloaded and sorted, the hiking begins.

Your first introduction to trekking is a 3 or 4-hour hike from Lukla to Phakding.  By now, it’s around noon, so why, you may think, do you spend your first night at Phakding?  

Having left Kathmandu at an elevation of 1,400m  and Lukla at 2,846m, if you keep walking, you will reach an altitude of 3,440m, which is too much of a jolt for our bodies in one day. Since you will also have been up very early that morning, having an early night and a good sleep is recommended. 

Day 2:  Phakding to Namche  Bazaar

After breakfast, head off through pine forests, a river, and the valley.  In the spring, there will be colourful rhododendron flowers in bloom. We cross the Dudh Khosi River again, with two over 6,000m giants – Kusum Kanguru and Thamserku – towering above us.   

There will likely be a stop for lunch at Monjo before crossing into the Sagarmatha National Park and climbing up to Namche Bazaar.  After crossing another suspension bridge, you will get your first sighting of the Everest peaks. Arrival in Namche is always exciting as this is the place where climbing expeditions, as well as trekkers, prepare themselves for what is to come.

Exploring Nepal,Aerial view of Namche Bazaar, Everest trek, Himalaya, Nepal
Aerial view of Namche Bazaar, Everest trek, Himalaya, Nepal

Day 3: Acclimatization in Namche 

Now being at the height of 3,440m, everyone has to acclimatize their body to the altitude.  So, we take a day in Namche to do this.  It gives time to explore the surrounding area, perhaps visit the health post or school set up by Edmund Hillary, and double-check the gear.  It also gives more time to get to know your trekking companions and buy any last-minute snacks or personal items which will not be available further up the trail. 

Day 4: Namche to Tengboche

Today we see a different type of settlement to that of Namche Bazaar.  Tengboche is the highest Buddhist monastery in the Khumbu Region and is home to dozens of practising monks.  On the way, Buddhist shrines and stupas pass with walls with carved prayers and colorful prayer flags.  And, of course, mountains.  The monastery has a panoramic view of the mountains – such as Everest, Lhotse, and Ama Dablam.  You will want to spend time taking spectacular photographs.  You may also want to spend time with the monks and, if lucky, join a puja (religious ceremony). If the timing is not right for puja, you will still be able to light some butter lamps in memory of a loved one or simply celebrate your trip. 

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Day 5: Tengboche to Dingboche

Although this is a relatively short day, the trail is quite challenging.  After following the Imja Khola (river), the trails take us through windswept fields to the highest Sherpa settlement in the region – Dingboche.  On arrival, there is time to stare at the beautiful mountains. Ama Dablam is particularly clear and relaxed for some time before dinner. 

Day 6: Acclimatization Day in Dingboche

Sitting at almost 4,500m, it is wise to take an acclimatization day at Dingboche before heading even higher.  This gives trekkers a chance to visit Nangkar Tshang Peak, where Mt Makalu is on display, and there are several sacred sites to see.  By now, you will know that acclimatization does not mean ‘rest’.  This is a 3.5 to 5-hour return trip but will aid your body in getting used to high altitudes. 

Day 7: Dingboche to Lobuche

Beginning gently enough towards the Pheriche Valley through alpine scrub and yak pastures, today, the trail is a bit challenging.  Going over the Thukla Pass at 4,830m is a slow climb, although the views are wonderful.  

Tawoch, Ama Dablam, Cholotse, Lhotse, Nuptse, and more mountains over 7,000m are to be seen.  At the Thukla Pass, there is a memorial for climbers who have died trying to conquer Mt Everest.  But we keep going and eventually begin the descent into Lobuche.  Although this is quite a simple settlement, its geography makes it one with a beautiful backdrop. 

Day 8: Lobuche to Gorakshep (Afternoon hike to Kalapatthar)

Leaving Lobuche, we reach Gorakshep by lunch.  Gorakshep is the last human settlement before Everest Base Camp, and it is reached by passing over boulders and rough terrain.  After lunch, we leave our bags at Gorakshep (where we will return to sleep) and head off to Kalapatthar.  Kalapatthar is known as Everest View Point for obvious reasons – it provides the most breathtaking views of the mountain.  As the name translates to, this black rock stands at 5,545m and is the highest trekkers can go without climbing permits, etc.  It also gives the best views of Everest – even better than those at base camp. After taking in the views and getting dozens of photographs, return to Gorakshep for a hearty meal and a good night’s sleep. 

Day 9: Gorakshep to Pheriche (morning hike to EBC)

This is another exciting day as we travel from Pheriche to Everest Base Camp.  The countryside is stark with boulders and loose gravel, and the air is crisp. At base camp, we will witness the Khumbu Glacier, an icefall of some notoriety.  This is an area climbers have to pass over on their way to Camp 1 on the Everest climb.  While trekkers will see climbers’ camps ahead of them, they do not reach to the same spot.  Trekking EBC and climbing EBC are separate for health reasons.  Climbers do not want to risk catching colds or being interrupted by the hundreds of trekkers that come through this way.  After this visit, we head off to Pheriche, where we can see the Himalayan Rescue Association Clinic set up to help locals, trekking staff, and visitors. 

Day 10: Pheriche to Namche

In contrast to the stark landscape of the last few days, now the trail works its way through forests and greenery.   While you will be descending quite a bit, there are, as usual, some uphill areas too. This is a long hike but well worth it to see the changing scenery and know there is a comfortable lodge at end.  Time to catch up with folks back home via Wi-Fi and other trekkers.

Day 11: Namche to Lukla

This is the final day of the trek.  Head down from Namche Bazaar to Lukla, crossing over the same suspension bridges as you did on the way up and hiking through forests.  The final night of the trek is spent in Lukla to catch the early morning flight out of the Everest Region and back to Kathmandu. 

When is the Best Time to Go on the Everest Base Camp Trek?

Spring and autumn are the best time to trek in most areas of Nepal.  It is true to say the same about the Everest Region.  March to May and September to December  (spring and autumn) are the main trekking seasons when the trails will be busy and the lodges pretty full. However, the weather will be wonderful and the mountains clear – which is what trekkers want to see. 

Monsoon (June and July) is not a good time to be on the trail.  Rain makes everything slippery and can be miserable if you get soaked through.  Flights may be delayed or cancelled because of bad weather.

Winter is also a little tricky as it is extremely cold with new snowfalls making the trails difficult to walk on and even spotting.  But the skies should be clear, and if you don’t mind the cold, it will be a quieter time to visit. 

How Much Does it Cost to do the EBC Trek?

Most trekkers will go through an agency.  International agencies may cost you between USD 3,000 to USD 6,000 per person.   Local trekking agencies will cost you around USD1,200 to USD2,500.

Flights cost the same regardless of who you travel with – approximately USD170 each way. 

While most guides, agencies, and regular trekkers recommend you do not trek alone, some people do venture without a guide.  If you insist in doing it this way – below are some rough costs for you:-

• Cost of a meal: USD 5 to 6

• Cost of non-alcoholic drinks: USD 2 to 5 

• Cost of alcoholic drinks: USD 6 to 10

• Cost of overnight accommodation: USD 5 to USD 150 (luxury lodges are only available in a very few villages)

• Cost of a hot shower: USD 4

• Cost of battery charge for your phone/camera etc., electricity or solar: USD 2 to USD 6.

In total, around $35 per day per head. 

Note: battery charging, hot showers, alcoholic drinks, and extra food are not included in the prices quoted by either international or local agencies.

Do We Need Special Permission to go to the Everest Region?

Everyone expects Nepalese needs permits for this trek, as the Nepal Government requires.

You need:- 

• Sagarmatha National Park Entry Permit: NPR 3,000 or roughly USD 30

• Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality Entrance Permit (the local government of the Khumbu Region): NPR 2,000 or roughly USD 20

What Kind of Accommodation Can I Expect on the EBC Trek?

This is mainly where the difference in the price you pay to different agencies comes in.  The better accommodation costs more. However, once you are higher up in the region, the accommodation is pretty much all to the same standard.  It is only in Namche Bazaar, Phakding, and Lukla that there is accommodation that we can call more luxurious.  

Standard accommodation usually consists of twin beds and some sort of bedding.  But we recommend you take your own sleeping blanket.  Sleeping rooms do not have heating, but there will be some sort of heat in the dining room.  Food is pretty standard also across the region (see below).   Hot showers come at a premium – and you have to pay for that.  

Be mentally prepared for delays and sharing with strangers.  If there is bad weather, flights can be delayed, and Lukla accommodation will become full quickly.  In the busy season, accommodation on the trails can be very crowded, and it is unlikely you will get a single room, even if you requested it.  You might even have to sleep in the dining room.

Food on the EBC Trek

Food consists of standard noodles, porridge, bread, and eggs with hot tea or coffee for breakfast.

Lunch is mostly taken on the trail, so it is likely to be dal bhat (rice and Nepali curry).

Dinner will have a mix of items – some made better than others – soups, curry, pizza.  Best to stick to what the locals are more familiar with. 

Some points:-

It is suggested trekkers bring their own snacks for the trail. 

Some bakery items are available at Tengboche, Lukla, and Namche, but they can sell out fast. 

Avoid meat at higher altitudes where there are no fridges or electricity.

Alcohol is expensive.  And it hits you harder at high altitudes.  Save the celebratory bottle of beer or glass of wine for the return trip at Namche or Lukla.  


  1. Thank you for your detailed and comprehensive blog post on the EBC trek! Your thorough information about food, accommodation, transportation, trek permits, and the day-by-day itinerary is incredibly helpful for anyone planning this adventure. I appreciate the effort you’ve put into providing such valuable insights. Well done!

  2. A fantastic article! “Things You Need To Know About Everest Base Camp Trek” is packed with comprehensive and insightful information. From the captivating writing style to the valuable tips and personal anecdotes, it’s a must-read for anyone planning this adventure. Kudos to the writer for sharing their wisdom and inspiring us to take on this epic journey!


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