Tour type: Private
Group size: Min: 2 | Max: Any
Accommodation: Boutique hotel & luxury trekking lodges
Transport: A/C car/minibus & flight
Highlights: Kathmandu, luxury Yeti Mountain Home lodges, amazing Everest views, Namche Bazaar, Sherpa village of Thame, remote trekking to Kongde, trekking guide & porters
With eight of the world's ten highest peaks, Nepal is blessed with spectacular mountain vistas. Trekking in the Everest region is rewarding, not only for its proximity to the world’s highest mountain (8,848m) but also for its friendly Sherpa people, picturesque villages, great variety of cultures and traditions, festivals and monasteries. This trekking tour travels at a relatively relaxed pace and gives you a chance to get right up into the Khumbu region and enjoy great views of Everest and other peaks, while staying in luxury lodges with the best comfort available.
You begin with a walking tour of the narrow back streets and temples of Kathmandu. This lively city is a magnet for travellers from all over the world and a fascinating place to wander around. From Kathmandu you then take a dramatic short flight to Lukla, the gateway to the Everest region.
Your trek starts from Lukla and takes takes you up the Dudh Kosi river valley past many small, picturesque Sherpa villages. The valley slopes are covered with magnificent forests of rhododendron, magnolia and giant firs, and the snow-capped peaks stretch away into the distance. We break for a day in Namche Bazaar, an historical Sherpa trading centre of the Khumbu region, where you will stay for a day to acclimatise to the altitude and perhaps take some day hikes.
From Namche Bazaar you leave the main trekking route to Everest Base Camp and head to Thame, birthplace of many renowned Sherpa mountaineers including Appa and Tenzing Norgay. After another break here, you head further off the beaten track to the Yeti Mountain Home lodge at Kongde which boasts spectacular views across the valley to Namche Bazaar with Thengboche in the distance and the peaks of Everest, Lhotse and Ama Dablam beyond. There's a chance for a hike next morning to the top of Kongde Ri for even more spectacular views, and more day walks or relaxation before you leave and head back to Phakding and Lukla for your flight back to Kathmandu.
The Yeti Mountain Home lodges used on this trek are the best appointed and most comfortable in the Khumbu region, with good restaurants, wines and other drinks available at the bar, and even spa sessions possible in Namche Bazaar.
The tour can be taken at any time of year, though the periods from October to November, and March to May provide the best weather for trekking. You can also extend or shorten the route or duration if you wish, with options available to see discover more of Nepal's cultural highlights, or visit one of its lowland National Parks.
We greet you at the airport and transfer you to your boutique hotel in the centre of Kathmandu. You'll meet your trekking guide this evening for a pre-trek briefing discussion of the days ahead. You'll then have some free time to check out the numerous little gift shops and trekking shops that line the mazelike streets of Thamel, picking up any final snacks and equipment you may want for the trek. In the evening you have an opportunity to tryout the numerous, restaurants and bars, and soak up the unique nightlife that makes Kathmandu a magnet for travellers from all over the world.
Kathmandu boutique hotel
We'll pick you up early from your hotel this morning for the flight up to Lukla (2840m). This is an exciting flight into one of the world's most famous landing strips. On arrival you have a look around Lukla, meet your porter(s) and subject to the final flight timing, stop for some lunch, before starting to trek towards Phakding. This is an easy first day's walk, starting off downhill into a forested valley before climbing slightly to Dungde (2630m) and then descending again to Ghat (2530m) in the base of the valley where you join the Dudh Kosi (Kosi = river). From there it's a short walk up the river to the Yeti Mountain Home lodge in Phakding (2610m). Here you'll be made welcome and settle in for your first night in the mountains.
Trekking time - approx. 3 hours
Yeti Mountain Home lodge - Phakding
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
After a hearty breakfast, you leave the lodge behind and start the day's hiking, following the Dudh Khosi througn pine forest northwards through Benkar, Chumowa and Jorsale to a fork in the river. Along the way you'll cross several of Nepal's famous long and high cable suspension bridges. You follow the left fork (of the Kyajo Khola) making the steep winding ascent up to Namche Bazaar (3,446m), the administrative centre for Khumbu. If the weather is clear you will get your first views of Everest on the way. Namche Bazaar has a long history as a trading centre, though trade has changed considerably from its heyday of exchanging salt for grain to its main role now as a base for trekkers heading up towards Everest and the Gokyo Valley. There are lots of trekking shops selling gear and clothing and lots of cafes and other shops. You can even enjoy a massage and spa treatments in your lodge here. The Yeti Mountain Home lodge in Namche has a great location above the town with excellent views across the valley to Thamserku (6632m) and the Kongde mountain range.
Trekking time - 5-6 hours
Yeti Mountain Home lodge - Namche Bazaar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
You spend today day acclimatising to the altitude, which gives you the opportunity to explore the town and its surroundings and to soak up the views. Well worth a visit are both the Sagarmatha National Parks Visitor Centre, with a splendid display of Himalayan fauna and flora and Sherpa culture, and the Sherpa Culture Museum in Chhorkung, a short walk away. This has some fascinating exhibits covering all the Sherpa Everest summiteers and some beatiful photos on sale. The views from around Namche Bazaar can be very good, and (subject to weather) you get your first good sightings of Kwangde, Everest, Nuptse, Lotse and Ama Dablam, and others! There are also several interesting and scenic day walks you can do if you wish. These include a good half day hike to the traditional villages of Khumjung and Kunde.
Yeti Mountain Home lodge - Namche Bazaar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Yeti Mountain Home lodge - Thame
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
You'll spend a second night in Thame tonight, which gives the opportunity to explore the area around the village a bit more. The steep walk up to the impressive Nyingmapa Gompa, built in the 16th century is very rewarding, especially if your visit coincides with either the Dumchi or Mani Rimdu festivals. Other walks from here include the challenging Sunder Peak which at 5361m will prove too high for most, especially those without mountaineering experience and equipment for the final stretch. A tough but rewarding walk up to the ridge can still be had up though, and the route up to 4800m is non-technical and provides great views of Kongde, Everest, Makalu, Cho Oyo, Thamserku and more.
Yeti Mountain Home lodge - Thame
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
You leave Thame this morning and follow the southern bank of the Bhote Khosi back downstream before climbing away from the river on a little walked path up through rhododendron, pine and bamboo forests towards Kongde (4250m). The best time of year to see the rhododendrons in bloom varies and seems to be getting earlier, but you should see lots of flowers in February and March with the season tailing off by April. You're well off the normal trekking routes here and will see few, if any other trekkers. This is a harder day's walking and the easier pace and acclimatisation of the previous days should prove invaluable in making this an enjoyable day. Your ascent continues until you reach the glacier of Kongde Peak with amazing views of Everest, Lhotse and Ama Dablam. This is a new, well built trail, created especially to access the Yeti Mountain Home Lodge. It does include one short section with cables for handrails for safety. Your guide and porter will be available to assist if necessary.
The Yeti Mountain Home Lodge in Kongde sits at 4250m and really is a spectacular location and experience. You can see your earlier stop of Namche Bazaar across the valley, with the high peaks of Everest, Lhotse, Ama Dablam and Thamserku in the background. After your long climb a hot shower is welcome, followed by a glass of wine and more excellent food. You'll remember your stay here for ever!
Trekking time - 6-7 hours
Yeti Mountain Home lodge - Kongde
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Today is left free for you to make the most of your beautiful surroundings. For those feeling energetic still, there is the option of an early start to walk up to the top of Farak Ri, a smidgeon under 5000m. The walk to the top should take 2-3 hours, and the early morning views from here are fantastic, taking in 4 of the 6 highest peaks in the world - Everest, Lhotse, Makalu and Cho Oyu.
After returning to the lodge, there will be lunch served on the terrace and the afternoon free to chat with your fellow guests and guides, to relax by yourself or to take some more walks around the area. In the evening another delicious dinner is served.
Trekking time - approx. 4 hours for Farak Ri
Yeti Mountain Home lodge - Kongde
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
You'll leave the lodge at Kongde reluctantly this morning, taking the trail steeply down towards the Dudh Kosi. You'll be losing around 1600m in altitude today, so it will be tough on your knees and trekking poles are highly recommended. You're still on a trail used by hardly any trekkers and will pass several smallholdings and Sherpa settlements with great views down the valley towards Lukla providing an excellent excuse for photo stops and to rest your legs. After reaching the bottom of the valley its a short walk downstream, back on busier paths, to the Yeti Mountain Home lodge at Phakding where you can put your feet up for a welcome easy afternoon.
If you wish, you could shorten the trek by a day and push on this afternoon for the 3 hour ascent up to Lukla, ready to fly home tomorrow morning. This itinerary takes things a little easier though.
Trekking time - 4-5 hours
Lukla trekking lodge
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
You can take it easy today as there is only around 3 hours hiking to do today, though the majority of it is uphill as you ascend back up to Lukla ready to fly back to Kathmandu tomorrow. Lukla is a busy little town, especially in the mornings when all the flights arrive and depart, but much quieter in the afternoons, with a steady stream of tired trekkers arriving back after their various hikes in the mountains. You'll have the afternoon free to catch up on any diary entries or to organise your photos while relaxing in the comfort of the Yeti Mountain Home lodge here.
Trekking time - approx. 3 hours
Yeti Mountain Home lodge - Lukla
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Kathmandu boutique hotel
Today is a free day to spend relaxing and recovering from your exertions. We also leave it free in case there have been any delays on your trek, or to the flight back from Lukla. These flights are extremely dependent on good, clear weather, and it is not at all unusual for them to be delayed or cancelled. We therefore feel it is very important to always build a free day in at the end of trekking tours like this to protect against this eventuality.
You may want to spend more time exploring Kathmandu and its surroundings; there are plenty of things to see and do. Perhaps some last minute shopping for presents will fill your last day in Kathmandu.
We offer several options today, including tours to the nearby ancient areas of Patan and Bhaktapur or further afield in the Kathmandu Valley. Longer extensions could add some safari activities in Chitwan or Bardia National Parks, or try some exciting rafting on the Bhote Khosi or Trisuli rivers.
Your time is free in Kathmandu today until we pick you up and transfer you to the airport for departure. Extensions are available to try some white water rafting, add some more cultural sightseeing and touring or to visit one of Nepal's wildlife reserves.
During busy periods, flights to Lukla may depart from Ramechhap instead of Kathmandu. This is a shorter flight, less prone to weather delays, but does require an early start and a 4-hour drive from Kathmandu to Ramechhap airport. We will advise you before departure if your flight will depart from Kathmandu or Ramechhap. If this is the case there will be an additional fee of US$50 per vehicle payable in Kathmandu for each journey.
Seasonal prices are given below based on 2 people travelling with one trekking guide and porter. We can also customise the itinerary to fit your personal requirements and the number in your party. Please contact us for more info.
The hotels and accommodations listed below are the ones we most often on this tour. From time to time we may exchange these for similar properties at the same level. In general, specific hotels cannot be guaranteed on our group tours, but you may select your preferred options if you are booking a tailor-made trip.
Norbulinka Boutique Hotel
Recently renovated in 2017, the Norbulinka Boutique Hotel provides a good quality mid-range experience on the edge of Thamel in Kathmandu. There are 40 well appointed rooms, free WiFi, and bicycle hire is available on site.
The Norbulinka Boutique Hotel provides an excellent base for stays in Kathmandu with the busy streets of Thamel on the doorstep. Durbar Square is just 1.3km away too.
The hotel has 40 comfortable en-suite rooms with satellite channels, flat-screen TVs and free WiFi. The on-site restaurant provides continental and buffet breakfasts, and bicycle hire is available on site. Overall this is a very good choice for a mid-range hotel in Kathmandu in the Thamel area.
Yeti Mountain Home - Phakding
Just 3 hours walk from Lukla, the Yeti Mountain Home lodge in Phakding provides a high level of comfort and peace with its riverside location, well appointed rooms, hot showers, home-grown organic food and a well stocked bar.
The Phakding Yeti Mountain Home lodge (2601m) has a peaceful riverside location next to the Dudh Kosi river, with its own organic garden & greenhouse, good food, and a well stocked bar. It is around 3 hours walk uphill to Lukla, and about 5 hours walk to Namche Bazaar from the lodge.
There are 18 spacious rooms, furnished with a combination of traditional Khumbu and modern style with natural wood. Beds are either king-size or twin-bedded, with electic blankets and all bedding provided. Bathrooms are en-suite with hot water on tap and a thermos of hot boiled water is provided in each room. The lodge also features a heated leisure room and a small library. Credit cards are accepted. Smoking is not allowed inside the lodge.
Yeti Mountain Home - Namche Bazaar
The Yeti Mountain Home lodge in Namche Bazaar sits above the town with great views across the valley to Kongde Ri. There are 20 well appointed rooms, free WiFi, massages and treatments available and electric blankets in all rooms.
Yeti Mountain Home - Thame
This lodge sits in the base of the valley near Thame village, overlooked by snowy peaks and Thame gompa. Yeti Mountain Home's high standards of food, drink and comfortable accommodations are maintained making this a great base to explore the area.
Yeti Mountain Home's Thame lodge sits in the base of the valley at an altitude of 3800m, overlooked by snowy peaks and Thame gompa. It can be reached after around 5-6 hours walk from Namche Bazaar. There are 18 spacious and cosy rooms, all with en-suite bathrooms, running hot & cold water, electric blankets and all bedding provided. A thermos of hot boiled water is provided in each room. The lodge has a dining room, heated bar area and a sun room to take advantage of the great views. Smoking is not allowed. Credit cards are accepted.
Yeti Mountain Home - Kongde
This lodge has to have one of the best, and highest locations of any in the world with spectacular views surrounding you. Levels of accommodation, food and drink are impressively high given the remote location, providing a fantastic experiene.
Yeti Mountain Home's lodge at Kongde will prove the highlight of any trek which visits it, with its spectacular location at an altitude of 4250m making it one of the highest in the world too. Views from the lodge take in five of the world’s highest mountains; Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, Cho-Oyo, Gyajung Khang (the highest under 8000m), and Ama Dablam. in addition you have views down over the Khumbu Valley and Kongde Lake, and the trekking peak of Farak Ri is just a 3 hour hike away for even better early morning views.
There are just 12 comfortable rooms, all with en-suite bathrooms, hot and cold running water, electric blankets, and a thermos of hot boiled water provided. The heated dining room makes the most of the panoramic mountain views and excellent food is served here, including from their own organic greenhouse. A well stocked bar is the icing on the cake. Smoking is not allowed. Credit cards are accepted.
Yeti Mountain Home - Lukla
This lodge is just 15 minutes walk from Lukla airstrip and provides a great access point to the Khumbu. The comfortable rooms are well appointed, there is excellent food & drink available, as well as a treatment spa, library and small museum.
Yeti Mountain Home's lodge in Lukla (2860m) provides a great base for exploring the Khumbu, either as a first stop after arriving on the flight from Kathmandu, or as a final rest point before flying back after your trek. The gardens have good mountain views, and the normal high level of YMH service and accommodations are provided. There are 20 rooms, all with en-suite bathrooms with hot & cold running water, electric blankets, all bedding, and a thermos of hot boiled water. The lodge also has WiFi, a small museum and library and spa treatments are available to ease any tired muscles after your trek. Credit cards are accepted. Smoking is not allowed.
Our tours are designed to include all that you need to enjoy a really special time in the destination youre visiting. However, we do also offer some extra options to complement the tour and add some additional sightseeing or activities, or some extra time at either end of the tour.
All accommodation based options (e.g. Single supplements, extra nights, cruise upgrades) should be booked and paid for in advance so that we can make the appropriate arrangements. Other options may either be booked and paid for in advance or while you are on the tour, though we recommend booking in advance to ensure there are no issues with availability.
Many options are priced the same throughout the year, but some may incur single or high season supplements - full details are given on the tour reservation form or on request.
The detailed Tour Notes below have been written to give you some more detailed information about how the tour runs, what to expect, and how to prepare for your holiday. We recommend downloading an up to date copy of these shortly before you travel in case of any changes.
The time in India and Sri Lanka is GMT plus 5 1/2 hours.
The time in Nepal is GMT plus 5 3/4 hours.
The time in Bhutan is GMT plus 6 hours.
The time in Tibet is GMT plus 8 hours.
Daylight saving adjustments are not applied.
Luggage: Whatever you're doing in Nepal, Tibet or Bhutan, you'll find that large rigid wheeled suitcases are cumbersome - you may be able to wheel them inside the airport and your hotel, but due to the condition of roads and pavements that's often about it. As many of our tours involve a degree of adventurous activity, we strongly advise you to bring a more practical bag for these i.e. a rucksack or holdall. These are easier for both your porters, and yourself to carry around. Suitcases are OK for our cultural tours in Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan though, but please aim to bring small or medium sized ones rather than very large. If you are trekking or rafting, or doing a lot of travel throughout the country, then as little as possible is the basic message. A rucksack or holdall (50-70 liter approx.) for your main luggage, and a daypack for you to use during the day should be plenty. While rafting we only take essential kit on board the rafts, and your main luggage will travel by bus to the take-out point. While trekking your porters (Nepal) or ponies (Bhutan) will carry your main luggage, leaving you with just a daypack with things you'll need during the day. You can also leave some luggage locked safely in the pre-trek hotel if you wish. We recommend that couples plan to leave one main bag behind, and pool their remaining luggage in their other bag for the porter to carry.
Luggage limits: Most international airlines allow 20-23kg per person of hold luggage. Domestic flights often have smaller allowances around 15kg. As airline rules vary we recommend that you take no more than 20kg of luggage if your tour just includes international flights, and no more than 15kg if there are any domestic flights included in your itinerary. Please ask us for details if you are unsure. Any excess baggage fees will be your responsibility to cover. Most airlines allow between 5kg and 10kg for hand luggage so we suggest that you take no more than 5kg unless you have confirmed that your airline(s) will allow more than this.
If you are trekking with us, we ask that you keep the weight of your main bag that the porter will carry to a maximum of 12.5kg. This then allows the porter to carry up to 2 bags, and a maximum of 25kg (the International Porter Protection group's advised limit for Nepal is 30kg, which then leaves a little more weight for their own kit). This weight allowance includes your sleeping bag if you are hiring it from us and not carrying it with you to Nepal
If you are doing an Everest trek and flying from Kathmandu to Lukla, then flight luggage limits are 10kg for your main bag and 5kg for hand luggage - total 15kg. You can re-arrange that after you arrive in Lukla. Please keep to these limits as while you can pay for extra weight, it may be held back until the next flight which may then be delayed or cancelled.
Treks in Bhutan follow the same weight limits for your ponies.
You may leave other luggage securely locked in your hotel during the trek. If you are travelling as a couple then we suggest you leave one main bag in Kathmandu and share the other main bag that the porter will then carry.
Clothing & Climate: Nepal and Bhutan have a climate that ranges widely depending on when you visit, and where you are visiting.
- Autumn - late Sep-Nov: The weather is good and very warm, with lots of sunshine, getting quite hot during the day in lowland regions. It will still be cold at night at higher altitudes if you are trekking. Shorts & T-shirts are fine while you are walking, but you should still bring warmer clothes for the evenings. There is a good chance of rain in September and early October, so bring a waterproof.
- Winter - Dec-Feb: It will be pleasant in lowland regions with very little rain, but will be cooler at night. Long trousers and shirts are advised during the day, and you will need warm clothes in the evenings. If you are trekking, then it will be cold during the day, and extremely cold at night, particularly at higher altitudes. Several warm layers are recommended so you can regulate your comfort as you walk, including a waterproof, even if only to protect from cold winds. We include thick down jackets in our optional trekking packs for comfort in the evenings at higher altitudes.
- Spring - Mar-May: The weather is very pleasant during the spring, and again shorts & t-shirts are fine while you are walking. There is a higher chance of rain as the season progresses, so a thin waterproof is recommended in case. It gets very hot and humid in the lowlands from May onwards.
- Monsoon - Jun-mid Sep: It will be hot and sticky during these months, with lots of rain, so come prepared accordingly if you are visiting during these months - gaiters are highly recommended if you are trekking to keep out leeches.
A huge variety of cheap trekking gear is available in Kathmandu (fleeces, waterproofs etc.) and buying some here can save you carrying it with you, and support the local economy. However, you should definitely bring your own walking boots.
Modesty rates highly in Nepal and Bhutan especially for women, so please ensure all clothes are loose fitting and not too revealing. You'll find the Bhutanese dress fairly smartly or in national dress, so you will stand out even more if you look scruffy.
On the raft: Shorts, Tevas (sandals) or trainers, baseball style cap to keep the sun off your face, sunglasses with a strap to keep them on your head, swimwear, sarong for women, sun-cream, lip balm, water bottle, several t-shirts.
Note: All footwear on a raft should be rubber soled, and of the type that will not come off easily.
Off the raft: Long trousers, warm sleeping bag (provided, but you may want to bring a sheet sleeping bag as well), petzel type head torch, warm jacket/fleece, dry shoes, boots, warm socks, towel, warm long sleeved shirt, toiletries.
Cameras: You can take cameras on the raft, and we endeavour to keep that sort of kit dry in waterproof bags. But there is always an element of risk of getting the camera wet.
What you shouldn't take on the raft: All the rest of your kit and you're your valuables. We will make arrangements for their transport to your take-out point.
Suggested Clothing and equipment: Strong hiking boots or walking shoes that you have broken in; Good sized rucksack or holdall; 3 to 4-season sleeping bag (only if you want to use your own rather than the one provided in our optional trekking pack); silk or cotton sleeping bag liner; lightweight waterproof and windproof jacket; (waterproof gaiters, waterproof over trousers - these are only necessary on some treks in some seasons - contact us for further info if required); 3 or 4 t-shirts; small day pack; several pairs of light socks; 2 pairs of heavier woollen socks; underwear including thermals; warm hat and gloves; swimwear; pair of lightweight trousers; pair of shorts; 1 fleece or warm jumper and 1 sweatshirt. Also, sunglasses, torch and batteries, toiletries (include a lighter to burn toilet paper), bring biodegradable shampoo & soap, towel, blister kit, money belt and any personal medication you might require. Remember, Lots of layers are the key to staying warm and comfortable. Also, keeping your feet comfortable and healthy makes a huge difference to how you enjoy your trek. So, bring waterproof boots/walking shoes and plenty of pairs of socks so you can change them regularly.
Day Packs and Main luggage: You will want a sturdy and comfortable daypack to carry your day-to-day items with you while you are walking (clothes you may change in and out of regularly, drinks, snacks, camera). You will also need a sturdy holdall or backpack for your main luggage. Your porters or ponies will carry this for you, so suitcases are not appropriate. They may leave earlier than you, and may not walk with you throughout the entire day, so bear in mind that you won't have access to this luggage all the time - you need to ensure you are carrying everything you require during the days walk in your daypack. You can leave luggage behind in storage at your hotel so you don't need to take everything with you on the trek.
Whilst in the game parks:
You should bring long trousers and long-sleeved shirts for jungle walks and travel within the park. Please ensure these are of drab colours to avoid drawing attention. Sunglasses and sun-hats are advisable for hot and bright days. Mosquito repellent is highly recommended. Binoculars are extremely useful at any of Nepal's National Parks, and are not generally available for hire locally. Don't forget fast film for those jungle shots and moving animals/birds. A good cleaning kit is essential as these items are unavailable once at the park. It is also better to take quality film, either from home or Kathmandu into the parks, and to ensure you have a spare fully charged battery and memory card.
All tours: We recommend that you bring a sun hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, a basic first aid kit, toiletries, money belt, small torch, camera & charger.
We want to give you as much flexibility as possible when it comes to booking your holiday with us. So, to take account of people with varying travel plans, we don’t include your international flights in the main tour price. We are however very happy to suggest flights to go with the tour. Please contact us with your preferred dates and departure airport and we’ll give you a selection of airlines, times and fares to choose from.
Your airport arrival & departure transfers are included on the first and last days of the tour.Most of our Nepal tours start and finish at Kathmandu airport (KTM).
On tours that combine Nepal with Tibet, and/or Bhutan, any international flights connecting these countries may be included in the price of your tour or we may ask you to purchase them individually. If we arrange the flights then e-tickets will be sent to you in advance but will also be available in Kathmandu before you travel to the airport for the flight.
While an accepted part of the culture and customs in Nepal, tipping is always optional, and any amounts paid should reflect excellent service. Tipping in Tibet and Bhutan is less prevalent though it is still normal practice to tip your guide and driver at the end of the tour.
We support and follow international guidelines for the employment of any trekking porters we use, including those of the IPPG (International Porter Protection Group). We therefore pay all our porters a higher than average wage, but an additional tip is still normal practice at the end of your trek.
It is normal and accepted for people to tip differently, and you should not feel under any pressure to tip any particular amount. We are often asked for advice on common amounts however, and suggest that you consider around US$ 5-10 per person per day for guides, US$ 3-7 p/p/day for assistant guides or tour leaders, and US$ 2-5 p/p/day for porters and drivers.
Haggling or bargaining is also prevalent throughout Nepal and Tibet, particularly in Kathmandu, and is still done in markets in Bhutan though to a lesser extent in other shops. More often than not the start price is at least double the actual price the vendor will be happy to accept. Do not take offence, but be prepared to bargain if you want to, consider your budget (and what you'd be happy to pay for things at home), pay fairly and enjoy this as part of the experience. Note: if you do offer a price, then you are expected to purchase – do not start bargaining unless you really want to buy.
While you are out in rural/hill areas, we recommend that you should stick to published price lists and pay fair prices for local food, accommodation and services, as this aids local economies (bear in mind that when you are trekking, nearly everything you eat or buy will have been carried there by porters or donkeys).
You should ensure you are fully insured for medical emergencies including emergency evacuation and repatriation.
Recommended vaccinations and other health protection measures vary according to the country you are visiting and where you are travelling from. We recommend you contact your GP/medical practitioner or a travel clinic for current information on vaccinations needed for your destination. You should ensure that you are up to date with vaccines and boosters recommended for your normal life at home, including for example, vaccines required for occupational risk of exposure, lifestyle risks and underlying medical conditions. In addition, additional courses or boosters normally recommended for the countries in this region are:
Nepal: Additional vaccinations: Diptheria, Hepatitis A, Tetanus, Typhoid. Malaria map. Yellow Fever certificate: Required if arriving from or having transitted through an infected area.
Bhutan: Additional vaccinations: Hepatitis A, Tetanus, Typhoid. Malaria map. Yellow Fever certificate: Required if arriving from or having transitted through an infected area.
Malaria: Vaccinations are not available against Malaria, which is a disease transmitted by mosquitoes that can be very serious and sometimes fatal. You should avoid mosquito bites by covering up bare skin with clothing such as long sleeves and long trousers and applying insect repellents to exposed skin. When necessary, sleep under a mosquito net. Mosquitoes are most active during and after sunset. You should consult with your GP/medical practitioner/travel clinic about the most appropriate malaria prophylactic medication to take for the regions you are visiting. In general the lowland regions Bhutan are considered malarial zones, while higher altitudes including central Bhutan including Paro, Thimphu, Punakha and Bumthang are not. Nepal is considered mainly low risk with prophylactics not normally required.
Yellow Fever: This disease is spread by infected mosquitoes that bite during the day. A Yellow Fever Certificate of vacinnation may be required as a condition of entry depending on which country you are arriving from, or that you have travelled or transitted through recently (including connecting flights with stopovers of over 12 hours). You can view a World Health Organisation map of areas where the virus is present in monkeys and therefore a potential risk to humans. Please ensure you have this certificate with you and to hand if necessary. Please inform us of any pre-existing conditions such as diabetes or asthma and any prescription medicine you may be taking. We also need to know about any food allergies or physical disabilities that you may have.
Passports should be valid for at least six months after your departure from the country. Please do not bring an almost full or almost expired passport. Visa arrangements are the responsibility of the traveller, and requirements are subject to change by the local authorities.
Many nationals can obtain their Nepalese visa in Kathmandu airport upon arrival (including UK, EU, US, CA, AU, NZ, SA citizens). The costs for a single entry visa are currently:
- up to 15 days - US$ 25
- 16 to 30 days - US$ 40
- 31 to 90 days - US$ 100
An additional $20 fee is charged to convert these into a multiple entry visa which will be needed for any tours returning to Nepal after visiting Bhutan or Tibet.
The visa is obtained in the immigration area at the point where your passport is stamped. Forms to fill in are available in this immigration hall and may also be given out on your flight (if so, do fill them in before you land as it will reduce your queuing time). You will also need to fill in an arrivals card. Once your paperwork is completed, head to the immigration desk and hand over your forms, 2 passport photos, your visa fee and passport. The visa fees are set in US Dollars, but you can also pay in other currencies, but don't rely on getting given change.
Passport Photos: You will need two passport photos for your Nepal visa if you are obtaining it on arrival. If you are doing any trekking, rafting or visiting a National Park (i.e. on many of of our tours), you should bring extras, as some of the permits we may need to get require these. Please bring at least 4 passport photos with you - they will always come in useful later if you don't need them all.
In Nepal, India and Sri Lanka, sockets are mainly two round pronged and 230 volts (Type C,D,M). In Bhutan a range of different sockets can be found, including two and three round pronged and three flat pronged (Type D,F,G).
Universal adaptors are available in most airport shops if you don't have one already. Standard UK-European adapters will work fine, though sometimes they may feel a little loose in the sockets. All hotel rooms have electrical sockets where you can re-charge cameras, phones etc. Hair dryers are sometimes available on request from the hotel reception if not in your room already but cannot be guaranteed.
If you have US appliances (110 volts) you will need a voltage converter as well as a plug adapter.
Please note that all Nepalese airlines operating domestic routes in the country are currently on the European Commission's list of airlines banned in the EU. This includes those running Everest viewing flights and flights to Lukla for the start of the Everest Base Camp trek.
Along with these Everest flights we may offer some other domestic flights on some of our tours, either as part of the itinerary or as an upgrade in place of a land transfer. Where this is the case we are careful to select airlines that have a good current reputation in Nepal.
If you would like to book a place on this tour, please complete the online reservation form on our website (via the Dates & Prices tab on the tour page). You may make a deposit or full payment online, or just hold a reservation if you prefer (full payments are due 8 weeks before departure). We will then contact you with more details about how to complete your booking. Payments may be made by debit or credit card (subject to a card processing fee), or by making a bank transfer, or posting us a cheque/bank draft. Full details will be provided in your booking confirmation email. Please contact us if you would like any more information or have any questions before making a booking.
We are a UK registered company and an ABTA Member (Y4447) and you can be confident when booking with us that your money is safe and protected.
Financial failure insurance is also provided through Affirma to protect all customers for the land portion of your tour.
Please see our website or booking conditions for more information.
It is impossible not to have an impact on the local environment, cultures and eco-systems when you travel. However, it is very possible to try and ensure that these impacts are as limited, or positive as possible. We are committed to ensuring that we try to leave our host countries in a better state than we found them and encourage and assist our travellers to help us with this.
The following are a few simple tips that require very little effort on your part but which will help ensure that any effect you have on the locations you visit is positive rather than negative.
All porters are employed and equipped following guidelines set by the International Porter Protection Group (IPPG).
You can stay in touch with us online by following us on Facebook and Twitter. We post updates on relevant travel news in our destination countries, special offers and discounts and other interesting travel related news and information.
www.twitter.com/encounterstravl (yes, without the 'e')
Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our tours and needs to cover personal accident & liability, medical expenses and repatriation, travel delay & abandonment. We also strongly recommend that you take out cover against cancellation and lost/stolen baggage. Personal medical insurance does not normally provide sufficient cover and is generally not suitable for travel on our tours. You will not be able to join your tour if you have not provided us with details of your insurance or if you arrive without cover in place (no refunds will be due in this event). More information...
You may arrange your own insurance, or you can take advantage of a comprehensive policy that we can arrange for you through Endsleigh Insurance which has been designed to be suitable for our tours. The policy is available to travellers of all nationalities and you do not need to live in the UK to take out the policy. For full details of cover provided, prices and to apply for one of our policies, please complete travel insurance application form.
Note: Any country that borders the Mediterranean is considered as 'Europe' for the purposes of travel insurance (including Turkey, Israel, Egypt and Morocco). If you are doing a tour that visits one country in 'Europe' and one that is 'Worldwide' (for example, an Egypt and Jordan tour), then you need a 'Worldwide' policy. When completing the form you should enter your travel dates including any extra days involved in overnight flights or connecting travel between your home and the tour. Our policies are not able to cover any extra time or activities other than your tour and options booked with us and your travel to & from home.
Note - to comply with insurance sales regulations, our travel insurance policies are only available to customers booking directly with us. If you have booked through a travel agent you will need to arrange your own insurance.
If you plan to arrange a hot air balloon flight locally, or do some scuba diving during your tour, you should check the small print in your policy to make sure these are covered (these are covered in our policy). Please also check the maximum altitude that you will be reaching and that full cover including emergency evacuation is provided up to this altitude.
If you are taking expensive camera gear or other electronic equipment with you then please check the coverage and the fine print of your policy to ensure that you have sufficient cover.
IMPORTANT: We must have your travel insurance details (policy number and type of insurance) before you depart or you may not be allowed to join the tour. If you haven't told us already, please let us know the details when you can. You should take a paper copy of your insurance policy with you as you may be asked to show this at the start of the tour.
It is important when considering and preparing to travel anywhere in the world that you have a good understanding of the country you are visiting, its laws and customs, and the possible risks and situations that may occur. This includes specific risks related to your itinerary (eg. does it involve water & can you swim, are you fit enough for the activities included), as well as more general risks such as terrorism and natural disasters.
General details and links to more information about health risks, visa requirements, money, and travel insurance are given in these tour notes. We recommend that you re-read all these before your departure as well as the small print of your travel insurance policy so you know exactly what is covered and what is not.
You should take copies of your important travel documents with you and ideally also store them online securely as a backup. Make sure that you have given us your emergency contact details and told that person where and when you are travelling. Ensure you take enough money with you and that you have access to emergency funds.
Finally, you should read through and stay updated with the current official government travel advice for your destination. We are registered partners with the UK Foreign Office's 'Travel Aware' campaign which provides further useful and invaluable information.
This tour is specifically designed to provide a higher level of accommodation than our standard trekking trips. A boutique style hotel at around the 4-star level is used in Kathmandu, and then a selection of Yeti Mountain Home lodges are used during the trek. We consider these to be the best appointed and most comfortable lodges available in the Khumbu region.
The lodges all have excellent mountain views and are home to between 12 and 20 well equipped and comfortable rooms offering either king-size or twin beds. Electric mattresses and all bedding are provided though you may still wish to bring a sleeping bag for extra warmth especially during the winter season (sleeping bags are available for hire in Kathmandu before you start the trek). A thermos of hot boiled water is served in each room. Some lodges have WiFi access, as well as small libraries and even spa facilities in Namche Bazaar.
Luxury Everest Trek & Country Reviews
Posted 13th of Jan 2018
Our trip went off without a hitch and it was absolutely magnificent! We got lucky and no one else booked the same dates we did so we got our guide, Dipess, all to ourselves! Dipess was the most caring soul and we loved spending our time with him! He always made sure that we were well taken care of and he always had a smile on his face! He took care of everything, including our accommodations and meals. Our porter, Razkumar, was also absolutely amazing and never complained about helping us with our bags. We couldn't have done it without either one of them and we were so thankful to have them both! We saw many other trekking companies and guides, but we were convinced that we had the best! It was an amazing experience and one that we will remember for the rest of our lives!
Posted 19th of Dec 2017
Very good value for money.
Posted 9th of Oct 2016
all Nepal people were great, would love to go again