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Classic Everest Tour

Highly recommend Encounters Travel. Entire tour was conducted without a hiccup, tour guides were amazing - friendly, highly knowledgeable, courteous and nothing was too much trouble to ensure our trip was of a high standard.

Chook31, 23 Oct 2018

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Classic Everest OVERVIEW

TOUR SUMMARY

21 days

Kathmandu to Kathmandu

ON REQUEST

Country(ies): Nepal

Tour type: Private

Group size: Min: 1 | Max: Any

Accommodation: Boutique hotel & trekking lodges

Meals:

Transport: A/C minibus & flight

Highlights: Kathmandu, beautiful 3 day hiking route avoiding flight up to Lukla, classic Everest Base Camp trek, Sherpa town of Namche Bazaar, side walks from Dingboche, amazing views from Kallar Patar and friendly trekking lodges.

This is a world-class trek that takes you through beautiful wooded valleys, along cold, clear mountain rivers, and into the soaring, snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas. The trek culminates in a climb to the high mountain glacial region of Everest Base Camp. The trek is justifiably famous for being both challenging and rewarding, and yet remains open to most who have the stamina and determination to make it.

You start this tour in Kathmandu where you meet your trekking guide and take a walking tour of this fascinating and culturally rich city, including the temples and stupas of Durbar Square. You then travel by road to Salleri where your trek to Everest Base Camp begins. Starting in Salleri means you avoid the flight into Lukla and instead add 3 beautiful days of trekking through the foothills of the Himalays in areas with few other tourists.  This is a lodge-based trek, which gives you the chance to spend time meeting and talking with other trekkers and guides in the evenings, as well as enjoying a little more comfort at the end of each day and ensures you contribute to the local economy.

From Salleri the trek spends the first few days climbing gradually through the Himalayan foothills, crossing several deep, wooded river valleys before following the Dudh Khosi up to Namche Bazaar, an historical Sherpa trading centre of the Khumbu Region. From here you enter into the Sagarmatha National Park area, and tremendous mountain scenery surrounds your trail as you make your way towards the high mountain glacial region of the Everest Base Camp. Several acclimatisation days are built in en-route to ensure you ascend safely.

Beyond Lobuche, snow-capped mountains close around as you follow the Khumbu Glacier up to Gorak Shep (5,288m), and ascend Kala Pattar (5,545m). The view of Nuptse, Ama Dablam and Everest, from the summit of Kala Pattar, is truly breathtaking. The following morning, you trek up to the Everest Base Camp area, from where so many expeditions have begun. From Base Camp you retrace your steps back to Lukla, along the way appreciating spectacular views of peaks from angles you may have missed on the way up.

From Lukla you catch the morning flight back to Kathmandu where you have a little free time to do some last minute shopping or a little more sightseeing around the city and surrounding valley.

The itinerary given below can be extended in various ways, including adding a few days hiking back out again instead of flying down from Lukla. You can also add some side walks to Ama Dablam base camp, Chukkung and Chukkung Ri, or add a loop through the Gokyo Valley via the Cho La Pass, or further extend by crossing the Renjo La Pass before returning to Namche Bazaar via Thame. Please contact us to discuss your options and available time.

ITINERARY

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Day 1 Arrive in Kathmandu, transfer to hotel

We greet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel in the centre of Kathmandu, where our Encounter Travel rep welcomes you, helps you settle in, and explains the agenda for the rest of your tour.

OVERNIGHT:

Kathmandu hotel

MEALS:

None

EXTRAS:

None


Day 2 Kathmandu. Walking tour and free time

The first part of the morning will be dedicated to a pre-trek briefing and introduction to your trekking guide. After this we arrange for you to taken on a guided tour of the fascinating, sprawling city of Kathmandu. We take you to visit Durbar Square with its splendid array of Hindu Temples and the old Royal Palace. We also visit the important Hindu temple of Pasupatinath where you will learn about Hindu traditions and rituals and possibly see some cremations at this holy and auspicious site. Next, we climb up the many steps leading to the immense, and very different, Buddhist Swayambhunath Stupa, which sits upon a hill overlooking Kathmandu and gives a spectacular view out over the city. You will also have some free time to check out the numerous little gift shops that line the maze-like streets.

In the evening your time is free to try out the numerous, restaurants and bars, and soak up the unique nightlife that makes Kathmandu a magnet for travellers from all over the world.

OVERNIGHT:

Kathmandu hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:

None


Day 3 From Kathmandu (1400m) drive to Salleri (2800m)

After breakfast you drive out of the Kathmandu Valley by private car/minibus with your guide and porter(s). The drive is on decent black-top roads, through Dhulikel where you can get excellent mountain views, and then descending to the Sun Kosi, one of Nepal's most famous white water rafting rivers. After a while you leave the valley and turn north for the final section through small villages, past terraced fields and beautiful scenery up to Salleri. The total drive today is around 8-9 hours, though you can take a short domestic flight to Phaplu airport, a short distance further up the road, if you'd like to get there more quickly. You spend the night in your first trekking lodge.

OVERNIGHT:

Salleri trekking lodge

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:

None


Day 4 Trek to Taksingdo (2960m) (5/6hrs)

You leave Jiri (1,950m) walking through thick forest, before heading up hill, and across several suspension bridges ascend towards The Mali Damda, before descending to Shivalaya where you then continue on the trail to Deurali (3,000m). It is a long climb up to Deurali, and you may choose to stop and spend the night at Shivalaya instead.

Trekking time: Approx. 7½ hours

OVERNIGHT:

Deurali trekking lodge

MEALS:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

EXTRAS:

None


Day 5 Trek to Kharikhola (2040m) (5/6 hrs)

Today you head straight down to the Thado Khola and cross the suspension bridge before walking through the river valley to Kinja, where you ascend to Sete.

Trekking time: Approx. 3 to 8 hours

OVERNIGHT:

Sete trekking lodge

MEALS:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

EXTRAS:

None


Day 6 Trek to Paiya (2730m) via Kari La (3080m) (5/6 hrs)

You are now in Sherpa country, and a gradual climb takes you up to the Lamjura Pass (3,500m), which has the first viewpoints of Everest. You then descend to Junbesi with good views of Gaurishankar, Number Himal & Dudha Kunda.

Trekking time: Approx. 6 hours

OVERNIGHT:

Junbesi trekking lodge

MEALS:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

EXTRAS:

None


Day 7 Trek to Phakding (2610m) (5 hrs)

Today's trek is along a sloping trail to Solung, where you begin to descend to the Ringmo Khola before ascending to the Taksindo Pass and then descending to Nunthala.

Trekking time: Approx. 7 hours

OVERNIGHT:

Nunthala trekking lodge

MEALS:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

EXTRAS:

None


Day 8 Trek to Namche Bazaar (3440m) (5/6 hrs)

From Nunthala the descent continues to the Dudh Koshi (Milk River) where you then ascend through several Sherpa villages, terraced fields and forests to Khari Khola.

Trekking time: Approx. 5 hours

OVERNIGHT:

Khari Khola trekking lodge

MEALS:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

EXTRAS:

None


Day 9 Acclimatisation day in Namche

Today's climb is towards Puiyan, through Sherpa villages and a forest inhabited by monkeys, passing through a narrow canyon before arriving at Puiyan.

Trekking time: Approx. 4 hours

OVERNIGHT:

Puiyan trekking lodge

MEALS:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

EXTRAS:

None


Day 10 Trek to Tengboche (3860m) (5 hrs)

The trail climbs from Puiyan to a ridge before gradually descending to Surke. More ascents and descents await us, along with glimpses of spectacular mountain peaks, as you trek along the trail towards Lukla, though you don't climb that high. You finally follow the Dudh Kosi to Phakding (2,652m) where you stay overnight. With luck you'll see your first yaks of the trip about now.

Trekking time: Approx. 6 hours

OVERNIGHT:

Phakding trekking lodge

MEALS:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

EXTRAS:

None


Day 11 Trek to Dingboche (4410m) (4/5 hrs)

Leaving Phakding, you follow the Dudh Khosi northwards through Benkar, Chumowa and Jorsale to a fork in the river. You follow the left fork (of the Kyajo Khola) ascending up to Namche Bazaar (3,446m), the administrative centre for Khumbu. The town has a long history as a trading centre, though trade has diminished considerably from its heyday of exchanging salt for grain.

Trekking time: Approx. 5 hours

OVERNIGHT:

Namche Bazaar trekking lodge

MEALS:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

EXTRAS:

None


Day 12 Acclimatisation day in Namche Bazaar

You spend today day acclimatising, which gives you the opportunity to explore the town and get a feel for the Sherpa culture, which is prevalent here in Khumbu. You also have the chance to take a walk to the scenic valley of Thame, with its precariously built monastery. You can also visit the Sagarmatha National Parks Visitor Centre, with a splendid display of Sherpa culture. 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.

OVERNIGHT:

Namche Bazaar trekking lodge

MEALS:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

EXTRAS:

None


Day 13 Trek to Lobuche (4910m) (4/5 hrs)

From Namche Bazaar you follow a small trail high above the Dudh Kosi River, and are rewarded with incredible mountain views. On a small ridge across the valley, the monastery of Thengboche can be seen. You descend to Khumjung, a beautiful small village where it is possible to sample the local Sherpa hospitality.

Trekking time: Approx. 2½ hours

OVERNIGHT:

Khumjung trekking lodge

MEALS:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

EXTRAS:

None


Day 14 Trek to Everest Base Camp (5364m) and back to Gorak Shep (5140m) (flexible day) (6/7 hrs)

Today you descend to the village of Shanasa and then Trashinga, where the trail drops steeply to cross the Dudh Kosi at Phukitenga (3,250m). You initially climb steeply before the trail levels out to a more gradual ascent to Thengboche. Thengboche is set in a beautiful meadow; high on a ridge surrounded by towering Himalayan peaks and is famous for the Thengboche Monastery.

Trekking time: Approx. 2½ hours

OVERNIGHT:

Thengboche trekking lodge

MEALS:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

EXTRAS:

None


Day 15 Trek to Kalla Pattar (5550m) and down to Dughla (4620m) (5/6 hrs)

You descend through a forest of birch, fir, juniper and rhododendron, to the nunnery at Deboche. You then cross the Imja Khola ascending gradually, with Ama Dablam dominating the skyline, following the trail that climbs over glacial moraine to Dingboche.

Trekking time: Approx. 4 hours

OVERNIGHT:

Dingboche trekking lodge

MEALS:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

EXTRAS:

None


Day 16 Trek to Pangboche (3930m) (5/6 hrs)

Today you have a full day for acclimatisation and exploring. Dingboche is a beautiful patchwork of small fields enclosed by stonewalls, which protect the crops from the strong winds. Those looking for a pleasant walk can head up the valley towards Chukung, where the views are fantastic.

OVERNIGHT:

Dingboche trekking lodge

MEALS:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

EXTRAS:

None


Day 17 Trek to Namche Bazaar (3440m) (4/5 hrs)

Now well above the tree line you follow the trail to Dusa where you begin your climb of the Khumbu Glacier. Following the moraine of the glacier, with views of Kalar Pattar and Pumori, you finally reach Lobuche (4,930m).

Trekking time: Approx. 4 hours

OVERNIGHT:

Lobuche trekking lodge

MEALS:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

EXTRAS:

None


Day 18 Trek to Lukla (2840m) (6/7 hrs)

The views today are spectacular, as you are afforded the beautiful panorama of Everest, Nuptse and Ama Dablam. If you are up early enough to catch sunrise, you will see this magnificent view just light up in front of you. Your trek today can prove to be both mentally and physically demanding as you follow the glacier up to Gorak Shep (5,288m) where you will spend the night (if you are really feeling the altitude, you may descend 300m to Lobuche). There are two walks to do from here today and tomorrow. Firstly, a short walk takes you to Kala Pattar (5,545m), from the summit of which you can witness one of the most spectacular views in the world, with an almost complete view of Everest. Secondly, is the final trek up to the Everest Base Camp area. There are a number of base camps here dating back to the 1920s; they stretch out around the Khumbu Icefall (4,930m). You may be lucky and see an expedition that is about to set out to climb Everest.

Trekking time: Approx. 5-8 hours

OVERNIGHT:

Gorak Shep trekking lodge

MEALS:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

EXTRAS:

None


Day 19 Fly from Lukla to Kathmandu. Transfer to hotel. Free time

Depending on the choice of walks you did yesterday, you'll either push on to Everest Base Camp or do the short, steep climb up to Kala Pattar, before reluctantly heading back from the Base Camp area to Lobuche.

Trekking time: Approx. 4 to 7 hours

OVERNIGHT:

Lobuche trekking lodge

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:

None


Day 20 Kathmandu. Free day (to allow for delays to Lukla flight and on trek)

Today you descend, retracing your steps into the Pheriche valley, and back through Pheriche joining up with the main Imja Khola Valley. From here you head to Pangboche (3,860m), where you have chance to visit a gompa (monastery) that is some three hundred years old. Built at a time when Buddhism was first introduced into this region. You pass superb 'mani' stones, and then drop down to the Imja Khoa River, where you cross and walk through a fine forest of rhododendrons to the village of Devoche (3,820m).

Trekking time: Approx. 4 hours

OVERNIGHT:

Devoche trekking lodge

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:

None


Day 21 Departure airport transfer

You ascend through a forest of pine, fir and rhododendrons, with possibilities of seeing wild musk deer along the route. As you arrive at Tengboche (3,867m), whose famous Gompa was burnt down in 1989, and now rebuilt, you are afforded a brilliant views of Ama Dablam, Everest, Nuptse and other peaks. You then descend to the settlement of Phunki Thangkha (3,247m), with a series of waterdriven prayer wheels on the Dudh Kosi. You trek on through forests and then climb steeply en-route to Namche Bazaar (3,440m).

Trekking time: Approx. 6 hours

OVERNIGHT:

Namche Bazaar trekking lodge

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:

None


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Included:
  • All accommodation (4 nights in mid-range hotels, 16 nights in trekking lodges)
  • 24-hour airport arrival & departure transfer service
  • Private car/minivan for drive to Salleri
  • Domestic flight from Lukla to Kathmandu
  • Services of a trekking guide and porter(s) throughout the trek
  • Insurance for porters and guides
  • Trekking area permissions/permits
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary (breakfasts in hotels, all meals on trek)

Excluded:
  • International flights (available on request)
  • Visa fees (available on arrival for most nationalities)
  • Travel insurance (compulsory, available on request)
  • Meals not indicated in the itinerary
  • Drinks, snacks and other personal expenses (e.g. laundry)
  • Tips for guides and porters
  • Sleeping bag (available for hire in Kathmandu as part of a trekking pack)
  • Any other items not mentioned above
Notes:

During busy periods, flights from Lukla may return to 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 Ramechhap airport back to Kathmandu. We will advise you before departure if your flight will return to Kathmandu or Ramechhap. If this is the case there will be an additional fee of US$50 per vehicle payable in Kathmandu.

Gallery


Dates and Prices

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.

Start Date
End Date
Price (P/P)
Offer price
Note

Accommodation

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.

Apsara Boutique Hotel

Apsara Boutique Hotel

Kathmandu


Apsara Boutique Hotel is located in Kathmandu, 0.9 miles from Kathmandu Durbar Square. The hotel has a terrace and views of the mountains. Free WiFi is provided throughout the property.

Local rating

Our rating

 Apsara Boutique Hotel Apsara Boutique Hotel

Apsara Boutique Hotel is located in Kathmandu, 0.9 miles from Kathmandu Durbar Square. The hotel has a terrace and views of the mountains. Free WiFi is provided throughout the property.

Rooms have a flat-screen TV. Some rooms include a seating area to relax in after a busy day. A terrace or balcony are featured in certain rooms. The rooms have a private bathroom. For your comfort, you will find bath robes, slippers and free toiletries.

There is free shuttle service at the property.

Guests can enjoy a meal at the on-site restaurant, followed by a drink at the bar. The property also offers room service and packed lunches.

The hotel also offers bike hire and car hire. Swayambhu is 1.3 miles from Apsara Boutique Hotel, while Pashupatinath is 2.2 miles from the property. The nearest airport is Tribhuvan Airport, 3.1 miles from the property.

Lodges & Teahouses

Lodges & Teahouses

Trekking


Trekking lodges & teahouses can range greatly, depending on the remoteness of the trek, from comfortable lodging with good facilities and amenities including WiFi and hot showers to much simpler accommodations.

Local rating

Our rating

 Lodges & Teahouses Lodges & Teahouses

For lodge-based treks, we use a variety of tLodges and Teahouses. In recent years many new lodges have sprung up and been improved and many offer quite good facilities and amenities including hot showers, WiFi and recharging points.  However, in some areas the lodges can be run on a very simple basis where toilets and bucket showers are outside the main building. We can't promise that you will always have full amenities all the time, so you should understand this before embarking on these treks.

Staying in lodges gives you more comfort overnight than camping, and also allows you to meet up with and talk with other trekkers and guides at the end of the day. It also allows us to put more back into the local economies than if we were bringing everything with us.

Rooms in lodges are normally based on same sex sharing of twin rooms (though couples will be able to share).  Some sheets & blankets are provided but a sleeping bag is still required. We provide the option to hire a sleeping bag in our trekking pack option, though you may still wish to bring your own inner sleeping bag liner or sleep sheet if you wish.  Warm showers are available for a small fee at most lodges, though these may be bucket showers higher up. You may also need to pay a fee for WiFi access and for recharging devices.

Options

Our tours are designed to include all that you need to enjoy a really special time in the destination you‘re 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.

 Single room supplement (NPTMCE)

Single room supplement (NPTMCE)

Min numbers: 1 person


This option books a single room in all the accommodation throughout the tour. Room shares may be available but the supplement is payable if a room share cannot be arranged.

Price from
On Request
per person

This option books a single room in all the accommodation throughout the tour. If you are a single traveller and would be happy to share a room, let us know and we will see if we can pair you up with another single traveller of the same sex. If a room share is not available when you book then we will add the single room supplement to your booking and it will be payable with your balance payment unless we have arranged a room share for you by then. If a room share is arranged after you have paid the supplement then we will refund it to you. Room shares are arranged in order of booking.

Note: The price shown is a low season price. Slightly higher prices may apply during high and peak seasons - the exact price for your dates will be shown on the online booking form and is always available on request.

Tour Notes

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.

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  1. Accommodation

This tour uses a variety of accommodation from comfortable boutique style hotels to basic trekking lodges.

Hotel in Kathmandu
We use a comfortable boutique style hotels in Kathmandu, set in the Thamel part of the city which is most popular with tourists and has easy walking access to plenty of cafes, shops, restaurants and trekking equipment shops.

Trekking with lodges
For this lodge-based trek, we will use a variety of Lodges and Teahouses. In recent years many new lodges have sprung up and been developed and many offer quite good facilities and amenities, especially between Lukla and Tengboche. These include hot showers, WiFi and options for recharging devices (these may all incur a fee). However, in some areas particularly at higher altitudes, the lodges can be run on a very simple basis where toilets and washing facilities are outside the building. We can’t promise that you will always have full amenities all the time, so you should understand this before embarking on this trek.

Staying in lodges gives you more comfort overnight than camping, and also allows you to meet up with and talk with other trekkers and guides at the end of the day. It also allows us to put more back into the local economies than if we were bringing everything with us.

Rooms in lodges are normally based on same sex sharing of twin rooms (though couples will be able to share).  Some sheets & blankets are provided but a sleeping bag is still required. We provide the option to hire a sleeping bag in our trekking pack option, though you may still wish to bring your own inner sleeping bag liner or sleep sheet if you wish.  Warm showers are available for a small fee at most lodges, though these may be bucket showers higher up.


  2. Meals

Hotels in Kathmandu, Pokhara & Bandipur
Breakfasts only are provided in these hotels. Kathmandu and Pokhara in particular have a wealth of restaurants serving excellent food from all over the world, so you will never be short of ideas or places to eat within a short walk of the hotel.

Trekking with lodges
Three meals per day are included on the trek, covering one main item from the lodge menu plus tea/coffee for breakfast and dinner, and a more basic lunch. This provides a hearty breakfast and dinner, but you may add to these if you wish (eg. for deserts or snacks), paying the lodges directly.  You’ll find that the lodges along the route provide a surprisingly good selection of food and drink. In places the menu may be limited but the food is always nourishing and wholesome. To protect the limited resources available in remoter trekking areas (particularly with regard to fuel) we politely suggest that you either eat the same items as the guide / porters, or as the rest of your party, and not to order too many different items from the menu.

Water & Drinks
It is very important that you drink lots of water and remain well hydrated during this, and any trek. We also recommend you refrain from drinking much alcohol during the trek. This all helps your general wellbeing and to protect against the symptoms of altitude sickness. You can buy bottled water at most of the lodges along the route and tap water is also available but should be treated. However, we strongly recommend against buying bottled water as plastic waste is a perenniel problem in the Himalayas and other trekking areas. We therefore recommend that you carry your own water bottle (or two) and refill it each day at the lodges you pass or from springs or streams your guide suggests are OK to use. Any water collected this way should be treated either with a water filter or with purification tablets. Water bottles with built in filters are readily available these days and are excellent for trekking with. Purification filters and tablets are available to buy in trekking shops in Kathmandu and Pokhara if you don't want to bring them with you. You can also get cheap powdered flavourings to remove the taste of purification tablets. 


  3. Group Size / Tour Leaders / Guides

Group size
This is a private tour, so your 'group' will just be whoever you are booking and travelling with, plus your guide and porter(s).

Guides
Fully trained English-speaking Nepalese trekking guides are provided on this tour and many of our travellers consider them a highlight of their tour. For parties of 1-6 travellers we provide one trekking guide plus porters, and for groups of 7 to 12, two guides are provided plus porters.

Porters
This is a supported trek, and we provide porters to carry your main bag. All you will need to carry is a small day-pack containing your water bottle/camera/snacks/clothes you may take on and off during the day. You can leave a bag with some of your luggage locked securely in the hotel in Kathmandu.
We support and follow international guidelines for the employment of any trekking porters we use, including those of Tourism Concern and the IPPG (International Porter Protection Group). Insurance is provided for all porters. Generally we use one porter per 2 trekkers though this will vary slightly on occasion depending on the make up of your party.
If there are two people travelling, then our normal arrangements are for one guide and one porter. You could bring two main pieces of luggage with you, leaving one behind in Kathmandu and sharing your kit in the other main bag for the porter to carry. Our strict maximum weight limit for porters in Nepal is 30kg. Please therefore plan to take a maximum of 15kg per person on the trek that you would like the porter to carry.

At Encounters Travel we only use local Nepali guides and reps. We feel this gives you the best experience of the country and the sites you are seeing.


  4. Transport

We use private cars or minibuses for all the main transfers & journeys on this tour, including from Kathmandu to Besi Sahar, and Pokhara to Bandipur and back to Kathmandu.

Jeeps, which may be shared with other travellers, are used for the rough gravel roads from Besi Sahar to Kotor, and down from Marpha/Jomsom to Tatopani and Beni.

An upgrade to a domestic flight back from Jomsom to Pokhara is available on request either in advance or during the trek (subject to availability).


  5. Transfers

This tour include a 24-hour airport arrival and departure transfer service at Kathmandu airport and all other transfers. There will be a collection of people waiting on the far side of an airport service road immediately in front of you as you exit Kathmandu airport. Please look out for an Encounters Travel signboard to find our representative. You may well be pestered for tips by porters who try to carry your luggage. We suggest you either be firm and insist on carrying your own luggage, or if you want assistance, wait until you have met our representative and then let him arrange the porter for you. You will need to have some money ready for a small tip (eg. up to NRs 50 or a single US Dollar bill).

Your airport transfers are only included on the first and last day of the time you have booked with us. If you make your own arrangements for additional accommodation at either the beginning or the end of the tour then you will need to arrange your own airport transfers on these days.


  6. International Flights

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.


  7. Trekking

The trekking times given in the daily itinerary are approximate, and will vary depending on your fitness, and also importantly, on the speed you want to walk.  We will normally set off early in the morning, and have plenty of breaks during the day, before finishing trekking in mid-afternoon.  Some days will be longer than others, and your guide will let you know when there is a long day ahead.

Acclimatisation days are added into all our itineraries where required, and these cannot be missed out.  You can however, slightly adjust the itinerary as you go along if you are struggling on a particular day, or you want to forge ahead - as long as this does not change the profile of the way you are gaining altitude from day to day. This must be done in consultation with your guide and be based on lodge availability. If travelling in a group of people, you should be prepared to walk at the speed of the slowest member.

We have graded this trek as: DIFFICULT:

“A serious trek, where we would expect you to have had previous trekking experience and to prepare in advance. You should be very confident of your trekking ability and be prepared to walk some long days perhaps on a steep climb (or descent). You may also have to walk difficult terrain or at high altitude for a number of days. This is definitely the kind of trek where you are more likely to experience extremes of altitude and/or weather.”

You will need to prepare in advance for this trek and we will provide you with a simple training guide. We will also ask you to complete a simple questionnaire about your fitness which will help us to advise you on how best to prepare.

Due to the nature of the trek we set a minimum age of 15 on this tour. If you have a family with younger children then please contact us and we will be able to offer options for alternative trekking routes.


  8. Trekking seasons

Winter - December to February
It can get extremely cold higher up during the winter, and large dumps of snow can also cause delays and block the high passes. For this reason we avoid trekking during these months.

Spring - late February to May
This is a great time to trek, with the weather getting gradually warmer, and rhododendrons in flower.

Monsoon season - June to September
The monsoon rains start around mid-June and continue through July and August and into September. While it is possible to trek during these months, we avoid them on this route because the trails particularly at lower elevations can get muddy and slippery and hiking through prolonged periods of heavy rain isn't that enjoyable. There is also a higher risk of landslides blocking the trails and potentially causing injury.

Peak season - October-November
October and November are peak season for trekking in Nepal, with good weather and mainly clear skies, though you will often still get some afternoon showers if the monsoon is running a bit late. This is the busiest time on the mountain and flights into Nepal can also fill up and get expensive earlier.

The notes above are a rough guide and the weather does vary throughout each season and from year to year. The monsoon rains can start earlier and also drag on into October, and cloud cover can be variable too. However, taking a balance of the numbers of people on the trails and the weather & visibility, our preferred months to trek this route are October-November, March and April.


  9. Acclimatisation and Altitude Sickness

The tour reaches an altitude of over 5000m on several occasions and we therefore plan the daily walking schedule to ensure that you acclimatise gradually and to take account of the effects that spending time at high altitude can have on you. The speed that we gain altitude is therefore restricted and you may not push on ahead even if you think it has been an easy, short day, if you are feeling fine at the time or if you want to shorten the overall trek.

Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) can develop at any altitude over 2000 meters. The early symptoms are headache, extreme fatigue, and loss of appetite. Some people become breathless at rest. AMS is the result of fluid accumulating in parts of the body where it does not belong: in the brain, in the lungs, or both. When mild symptoms develop, it is a signal that you must stay at that altitude or descend until symptoms have gone away. Never ascend with any symptoms of AMS!

Most people reaching altitudes above 3000m and certainly above 3500m will experience some breathlessness, mild headaches, and poor sleep patterns. Other common symptoms include lack of appetite, increased urination (though you should be drinking a lot so should expect this anyway), strange dreams, tightness in the chest and fatigue. However, few people get very severe symptoms or go on to develop acute altitude sickness (AMS) which requires medical treatment.

If you are male and/or unfit/unhealthy and/or older (60s, 70s, 80s) then you are more likely to be affected than if you are female and/or fit & healthy and/or younger. However, there is no hard and fast rule and there are plenty of exceptions to these generalisations.

To try and minimise the effects of altitude, we recommend that you:

  • Ensure you keep warm
  • Don’t take any baths or showers for your first couple of days at altitude
  • Don’t smoke
  • Eat more fruit & vegetables than normal
  • Breathe deeply but normally – don’t be tempted to gasp and hyperventilate
  • Drink lots of water (several litres) before you leave low altitude, and carry on drinking a lot of water while at high altitude.
  • Don’t rush – walk slowly and don’t exert yourselves. Taking things easy and slowly really helps prevent mountain sickness
  • Don’t drink alcohol
  • Tell each other and your guide how you are feeling as time goes on (this helps others spot if symptoms are becoming severe)

People with serious heart disease should not visit high altitudes, and people with light heart troubles should check with their doctor and follow their advice, as should people with high or low blood pressure.

More severe symptoms that may require medical treatment or an early descent to a lower altitude include severe and persistent headaches, nausea & vomiting, disorientation and loss of co-ordination, irrational behaviour. If you do experience any of these, make sure you tell each other and your guide straight away.

Trekking and Altitude Sickness
If you are trekking with us then you should keep your guide informed at all times of any symptoms you may be developing, especially headaches and breathlessness while at rest. You may need to spend a night or two at the same altitude before continuing your trek. All our trekking tours have acclimatisation days or specially designed schedules to help with this. Usually within one or two days you will feel well and can continue your trek. On private tours, your guide will adjust your itinerary to try and ensure the normal route can be achieved, though this may not always be possible. On group tours, the group may delay their ascent if the itinerary allows, or a porter or second guide may remain with you until the group descends and rejoins you.

If you are resting at the same altitude and your symptoms are becoming worse, then it is necessary to descend. Worsening symptoms of AMS including increasing tiredness, severe headache, vomiting, and loss of coordination. These are signs of High Altitude Cerebral Edema (or HACE). HACE can lead to unconsciousness and death within 12 hours if progressive symptoms are ignored. Increasing shortness of breath, cough, and tiredness are signs of High Altitude Pulmonary Edema or HAPE. HAPE can also be rapidly fatal if ignored.

A person suffering from AMS may not have clear thinking and may have to be forced to descend. You accept that our guides have the final decision on whether you should descend and that ignoring their advice constitutes your choice to leave the tour. Even if someone is willing to descent they should never be allowed to descend alone and one of our porters or a second guide will accompany you. Keep descending until the person shows some sign of improvement, usually after 300-500 meters of descent. Even if the diagnosis is not clear, but might be AMS, you should descend. You can always re-ascend when you feel better.

It is best to start descending while the person who is ill can still walk. In Nepal, if the person can no longer walk, a yak or horse might be obtained. Porters can often be found to carry a sick person down. Do not wait for a helicopter. If you choose to administer oxygen or medications do not delay the descent to watch for improvement.

In summary, if you are not doing well at altitude, most likely you have some mild symptoms of AMS. Rest at the same altitude until you feel well. If you are getting worse at the same altitude, descend to at least the last point at which you felt well. If you are not sure of the diagnosis, err on the side of being too cautious. Remember severe altitude sickness is entirely preventable if you follow these guidelines.

Costs for changing itineraries:
If you are not able to complete your trek or tour for any reason and choose to return back down early, then you may be liable to pay for extra accommodation and transport costs (see our booking conditions for full details). We try to be as flexible and helpful as possible in these cases, and will aim to arrange some lower altitude trekking or other tours during the time you would have spent at higher altitude. You must ensure that you have travel insurance that will cover you for any extra costs incurred due to symptoms or treatment or altitude sickness, and that your policy will cover you for helicopter evacuation to the altitudes reached on your tour.

More useful information on altitude sickness


  10. Fees & Permits

All your entry fees and permits are included in the price of the tour to cover entry into the trekking conservation areas, and sites on any optional day tours added to the tour.

This trek passes through a restricted trekking area (Nar & Phu Valleys) for which advance permits are required. We will need to receive a scanned copy of your passport at least 2 weeks prior to arrival in order to ensure that permits are ready for you to start the trek.


  11. Time

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.


  12. Health and Vaccinations

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.

Tibet: 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.


  13. What to take

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.

Whilst rafting:

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.

Whilst trekking:

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.


  14. Tipping - Nepal

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).


  15. Money
The local currency in Nepal is the Nepalese Rupee (NRs). There are a banks and several ATMs in Kathmandu where you can use a debit/credit card to withdraw cash (Visa, Mastercard), but these are not generally available out of Kathmandu or Pokhara. There are numerous money change shops in the main towns. Travellers cheques can be changed in some banks in Kathmandu and Pokhara, but not elsewhere.
You should ensure you have all the Nepalese rupees you think you will need before you leave for any trekking or visiting any more remote areas (including Bardia National Park). Try to obtain as many small denomination notes as possible, as higher value notes can be very hard to change in remote areas. You can pay with US Dollars cash in some places but should not rely on this.

  16. Passports and Visas - Nepal

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.


  17. Voltage

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.


  18. Internal Flights

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.


  19. Booking & Payment

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.


  20. Dates & Prices
We offer private departures on this tour starting on any day throughout the available seasons. Prices are given on our website for each season and are based on a minimum of 2 people travelling together. Customised pricing is available on request for solo travellers and for larger parties.

  21. Financial Security

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.


  22. Responsible Tourism

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.

  • Don't prejudge: Things in different countries will almost certainly be different. That doesn't make them worse or inferior, just different.
  • Communicate: Don't expect locals to speak your language. Take the trouble to learn a few words or phrases of the local language. Don't worry about sounding silly. Most locals are patient and accommodating and appreciate you making the effort to communicate in their language.
  • Conserve energy: Be careful not to waste valuable resources. Use local resources sparingly. Switch off lights, air-conditioning and fans when you leave the hotel room and don't waste water. Remove superfluous packaging. Many countries have far less efficient waste disposal systems than ours. Remove packaging from newly acquired items before leaving home.
  • Don't litter: No matter how untidy or dirty the country you're travelling in may look to you, avoid littering, as there is no need to add to the environment's stress. Many of the countries we visit have a tough challenge dealing with rubbish and waste. Please consider taking home as much plastic waste as you can (e.g. water bottles).
  • Choose environmentally friendly products: By using environmentally friendly (bio degradable) sun creams, shampoos and detergents you can help reduce pollution.
  • Respect local customs and traditions: As you are a guest in these countries, you should also comply with the local customs. If you are friendly and well mannered, the locals will reciprocate and it will only enhance your experience. It's important to follow dress and behaviour guidelines especially when visiting religious or sacred sites (your tour leader will advise you how best to do this).
  • If a client commits an illegal act the client may be excluded from the tour and Encounters Travel shall cease to have responsibility to/for them. No refund will be given for any unused services.

All porters are employed and equipped following guidelines set by the International Porter Protection Group (IPPG).


  23. Travel Insurance

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.


  24. Follow Us Online

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.facebook.com/encounterstravel
www.twitter.com/encounterstravl (yes, without the 'e')


  25. Before you travel

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.

'Travel Aware' campaign

Reviews

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Classic Everest & Country Reviews

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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!

Product Review


Posted 19th of Dec 2017

Very good value for money.

Product Review


Posted 9th of Oct 2016

all Nepal people were great, would love to go again