Everest Base Camp via the Gokyo Lakes immerses the intrepid traveler into a world of high peak, hish altitude lake away from the relatively crowded main Everest base camp trail. Once you leave Namche Bazaar into the valley of the lakes you step into a wonderland of spectacular peaks and passes. These six lakes are hidden jewels in the lap of Sagarmatha National Park, claiming the title of world’s highest freshwater lakes. Their crystal clear waters reflect the snowy peaks of Lhotse, Makalu, Cho-Oyu and Everest, to create a surreal vision high in the Himalayas.
To reach this stunning place of beauty, we will climb over the Bhote Koshi valley and trace Renjo La pass. Sherpa hospitality and pleasant tea houses will keep us warm as we make our way across rocky ridges, through Tibetan trade routes and into stony Himalayan villages. On top of Gokyo Ri, we will have one of the best views of the Everest region. From there we will cross into the Khumbu via Cho La and then down to Everest base camp.
Add thundering rivers, peaceful valleys, thick forests and memorable sunrises, and you have the perfect recipe for an off-the-beaten track adventure.
Day 1: Arrival / Welcome Dinner
Your guide will be waiting for you at Kathmandu’s international airport to bring you to your hotel. After unpacking your things you will have time to relax before meet the rest of your team. Those arriving early will have time to explore some of the bustling local markets of Thamel. Together we will share a traditional Nepali meal and enjoy a cultural dance program while reviewing our plan for our trek ahead.
Day 2: Kathmandu City Tour
After breakfast, explore some of Kathmandu’s most historic and religious sites. Our guide will show you the white dome of the Buddhist Boudhanath temple and explain the Hindu ceremonies performed on the banks of Pasupatinath. In the afternoon, we’ll distribute any gear you’ll need for our trek and answer questions about what to expect in the days leading to Gokyo.
Day 3: Lukla (2840m / 9,186ft) / Phakding (2600m / 8530ft)
A small plane will take us high into the Himalayas where the snowy peaks of the Khumbu region welcome us to Lukla’s short, steep runway. Here we will start our journey by making our way through Sherpa villages and farming communities. The gushing Dudh Koshi River carves through boulders and mountainsides, and we’ll cross suspension bridges high above freezing waters. After a gentle walk, we’ll reach Phakding, where a home-cooked meal will warm and refuel us for tomorrow’s trek.
Day 4: Namche Bazaar (3450m /11,318ft)
A day’s walk will lead us to the tiered Sherpa settlement of Namche Bazaar, and our bodies will begin to feel the pull of higher elevations. We’ll take our time, stopping at Lorsale village for lunch and crossing rickety bridges with care. Alluring vistas and gorges will enhance our views of white-capped mountains. Upon reaching the picturesque village of Namche, we’ll rest for the evening and spend tomorrow acclimatizing.
Day 5: Rest Day
Namche is complete with cafes and bakeries, so you’ll have plenty to do while letting your body adjust to higher elevations. Our guide will plan side excursions to suit your tastes and keep feet moving. In the afternoon, stop by the Visitor Center or explore some of the nearby rock ledges for memorable photographs.
Day 6: Khumjung (3780m /12,401ft)
A short, easy walk from Namche is the village of Khumjung. Here we have several activities planned, including a visit to a yak farm to learn about the region’s farming practices and a trip to the Hillary School, an educational initiative established by Sir Edmund Hillary and his team. We can also explore the airstrip at Syangboche and see views of Mt. Everest from the luxurious Everest View Hotel. The Khumjung Monastery, home to yeti remains, is a must-see, and you’ll have time to relax and enjoy afternoon views of Mount Khumbiyela.
Day 7: Dole (4040m / 13,250ft)
Crossing bridges over the Dudh Koshi, our destination is Dole, a charming farming community with a handful of teahouses. An upward trail carries us to the ridges of Mong La, a Sherpa village boasting the oldest stupa, a Buddhist structure for worship. With towering mountains and the glistening Cho-Oyu watching over this community, Dole is the perfect place for a good night’s sleep.
Day 8: Machhermo (4410m / 14,468ft)
To allow our bodies to get used to the altitude, we will make our gently way to Machhermo. Our climb will be steady, offering views of Kyojo Ri and Macchermo peaks. Passing settlements and the village of Luza, we will enter the area where the Yeti was reportedly spotted. In the afternoon, attend an informational lecture at the Himalayan Rescue Hospital before saving a warm meal prepared fresh by the friendly innkeepers at Machhermo.
Day 9: Gokyo (4754m/15,597ft)
Venturing over a ridge filled with Buddhist shrines, we will see spanning views of the valley and white Himalayan crests. We will descend towards the river before regaining altitude and attempting a steep climb up the moraine of the Ngozamba Glacier. Passing over a bubbling stream, the trail will begin to even out until bringing us to the first lake, Longpongo, where a monk’s footprints are reportedly preserved in stone. The second lake Taboche Tsho is a turquoise vision, luring us further into the Gokyo region. After lunch, we will have time to explore and savour this phenomenal landscape before nestling into a comfortable teahouse for the evening.
Day 10: Gokyo Ri (5483 m / 17,988ft) / Dole (4040m / 13,250ft)
Sunrise on top of Gokyo Ri is magic. We will rise early to watch the Everest region turn purple and gold with the rays of morning. Here, you will understand exactly why we have ranked this trek as on of our favourites. After sipping morning tea, we will make our way back down to Dole, an easy descend from Ngozumpa Glacier. Tonight’s warm meal will be even more delicious, and after the hard work you’ve put in, you’ve earned it; the trek today is a challenging one, but well worth your efforts.
Day 11: Trek to Thaknak (4750m/15580ft)
Although this is a relatively easy day, we suggest an early start. You’ll be walking across Ngozumpa – the longest glacier in Nepal. On sunny days the ice melts fast, so it’s best to cross the glacier before it warms up. Listen out for rocks tumbling into the glacier lake. Once you arrive at Thaknak, climb the small hill to acclimatise.
Day 12: Trek to Zungla via Chola pass (5367m/17604ft)
This is probably hardest day of the trip. Start with a steep climb before the trail drops down to the bottom of the Chola pass. Another steep climb this time through rocks follows. Look out for Buddhist prayer flags on the top of the pass and incredible views. The ground can be icy as the trail descends again through huge rocks, followed by easy walking to Zungla
Day 13: Trek to Lobuche (4,930m/16,000ft)
Walking distance: 3 hours
Day 14: Trek to Gorekshep via Kalapathar (5545m/18,187ft)
Start the day by tackling the two hour hike up to the Kalapatthar, the best view point of Mt. Everest, Mt. Nuptse, Mt. Pumori, Mt. Amadablam, Mt. Thamerserku and Mera Peak. Take lots of photos before trekking down to the lodge at Gorekshep for breakfast, and then continuing down to Lobuche.
Day 15: Hike up to the Base Camp (5,357m/17,575ft)
Today you reach the famed Everest base camp. But there’s a three-hour walk along the ridge of the Khumbu glacier first. Drink in the majestic views, before finally spotting the Buddhist prayer flags – a sign that you’ve made it. After exploring, trek down to the lodge and spend the remainder of the day relaxing and enjoying the experience.
Day 16: Trek to Tengboche (3,867m/12684ft)
An easy day hiking downhill through the valley to Dingboche, passing through a few Sherpa villages along the way. After Pangboche it descends further to the river and across a bridge. Next up is Tengboche where an ancient monastery sits on the top of the hill. At the monastery witness the Buddhist evening chanting ceremony, a deeply moving cultural and spiritual experience.
Day 17: Trek to Namche (3440m/11,284ft)
Begin walking steeply downhill through a beautiful rhododendron, then climb steeply through the pine and juniper forest to Khumjung. Explore Khumjung village and after lunch continue your trek to the Namche Bazzar.
Day 18: Trek to Lukla (2,800m/9,184ft)
Enjoy an invigorating morning descent through pine forest to Monju. After a National park checkpoint, the trail continues to the Phakding for lunch before the final stage of your trek to Lukla. Take the time to reflect on what you have achieved, experienced and learnt as for many people it’s not just a physical journey but a spiritual one too.
Day 19: Fly to Kathmandu (1350m/4428ft)
35minute Trans Himalayan flight
Due to the weather flights are usually in the morning. Your guide will take care of airport formalities and luggage transportation, so you can enjoy breakfast at the lodge. When your guide receives news about your flight, you’ll head to the airport in time to watch your plane land. After a quick photograph, you’ll fly to to Kathmandu and have a private transfer to your hotel.
Day 20: Rest and relax in Kathmandu.
Day 21: Departure day (1350m/4428ft)
Free day for shopping and departure
After breakfast in your hotel, we’ll drop you at the airport to catch your flight home, or onto your next adventure. If you have a late flight, you’ll have plenty of time for last minute shopping. But eventually it will be time to say goodbye.