Day - 1
Location: Kathmandu - Namaste! Welcome to Nepal. When you arrive in Kathmandu you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. The airport representative will be waiting outside the airport terminal a few metres from the exit door. Look out for the Peregrine signboard. The drive from the airport to the hotel takes around 20 minutes. A briefing given by the group leader is scheduled for this afternoon. Your trekking program and co-ordinate any last minute arrangements will be discussed. Look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, perhaps arrive a day early so you're able to attend. If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. The evening will be free, but the leader will usually organize an evening meal (optional) at one of Kathmandu’s fine Nepali restaurants. Alternatively you can enjoy dinner at the hotel.
ALTERNATIVE ITINERARY DUE TO FLIGHT CANCELLATIONS:
Weather conditions in the Himalayas can change rapidly, which frequently results in the need for changes to be made to our intended itineraries. Flights throughout Nepal, particularly in high mountain areas, can be delayed or cancelled due to poor weather conditions. Flights between Kathmandu and Lukla are particularly prone to these delays which has the potential to vary the itinerary of all departures in the Everest region. Our contingency plans in case of bad weather preventing the fixed wing aircraft flight from Kathmandu to Lukla are as follows:
Day 2 - We will attempt to board our booked fixed wing flight as per the itinerary. If this flight is cancelled but helicopters are available and permitted to fly to Lukla we will use our best endeavours to charter a helicopter to transport the group. Travellers will need to use their emergency fund to cover the cost of this chartered helicopter. The exact cost will depend on how many travellers are in your group and could be up to US$500. If no fixed wing or helicopter flights are available we will return to our hotel in Kathmandu for an additional night.
Day 3 - We will again attempt to board our booked fixed wing or a helicopter flight. If we reach Lukla on Day 3 by either fixed wing aircraft or helicopter we will then follow a modified itinerary with one day less in Namche.
We also advise allowing a few extra days in Kathmandu at the end of your trip should your return flights from Lukla be delayed due to weather conditions.
Day - 2
Location: Lukla / Phakding (2610m / 8563ft) - Rise early and board a plane for a quick journey from Kathmandu to Lukla (2827m) (approximately 45 minutes). This spectacular flight goes parallel to the giants of the Himalayas, with unforgettable views of the mountains bordering Nepal and China. Land on an airstrip built by Sir Edmund Hillary and the Sherpas in the mid-1960s. After landing you will have time to explore the village while the Sherpa crew sort and load your trekking equipment. After a quick safety talk, begin your trek to Phakding. You’ll descend towards the milky white waters of the Dudh Kosi River, where you will join the main trail to Namche Bazaar, located just above Chaunrikharka (2713m). The walk is easy and after passing through the small village of Ghat (2550m), it’s only a short walk to Phakding. Settle into your first mountain lodge of the trip. It features organic gardens, a peaceful riverside location, and warm and cosy rooms designed in traditional Khambu style.
Day - 3
Location: Namche Bazaar (3450m / 11319ft ) - Today you’ll trek approximately 7 hours to Namche Bazaar, when you will memorably see Everest for the first time. From Phakding you’ll cross the river and head up the valley, following in the footsteps of the porters carrying supplies for Namche Bazaar. The trail, lined with blue pine forest, follows the river valley and is especially spectacular in spring when the rhododendron flowers are bright in bloom. Cross the Dudh Kosi River at Benkar, and look up to see the peaks of snow-capped Kusum Kanguru (6369m) and Thamserku (6623m). Press on to Monjo (2835m), a good place to break for lunch. From here the walk starts to get a little tougher, with a steep ascent to Namche Bazaar. Enter into the national park, cross the river through the village of Jorsale (2805m) and then continue upstream. Cross another spectacular suspension bridge and begin the ascent to Namche Bazaar at a steady pace. There are some fantastic photographic opportunities as the peaks of Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse and Taweche (6542m) come into view for the first time. Your base for the next three nights, the Yeti Mountain Home, boasts a breathtaking location, perched on the upper slopes of the Sherpa capital.
Day - 4
Location: Namche Bazaar (3450m / 11319ft ) - Namche Bazaar is a great place to properly acclimatise to the altitude. One of the best ways to do this is to take a walk up to a higher altitude then come back down to sleep – there’s an optional walk above the Bhote Khola River Valley towards Thami (3810m). Taking a walk to see both the sunrise and sunset views from the national park headquarters above the village is also a great option. This stunning vista includes a super panorama of the Khumbu peaks and great views of Everest.
Day - 5
Location: Namche Bazaar (3450m / 11319ft ) - Enjoy free time in Namche Bazaar. The national park headquarters are home to interesting displays about Sherpa lifestyle and culture, and the local flora and fauna. Namche gained its importance during the period when Tibetan salt was traded for the lowland grains of Nepal. Rugs, clothing, salt and dried meat still all do a roaring trade in the village centre. Your guides are on hand to offer advice and escort you on further day walks.
Day - 6
Location: Monjo (2835m / 9301 ft) - Today you descend to the small Sherpa settlement of Monjo, (approximately 3 hours). Your route travels via Jorsale, which is located just north of Monjo and south of Namche Bazaar. This village is situated on the west side of the holy Dud Khoshi River which follows from the mountain. An exciting part of today's walk is crossing a suspension bridge – one of the popular bridges going across the Dudhkoshi. Settle into your plush lodge and enjoy some rest and relaxation. Tonight's accommodation is the newest of the Yeti Mountain Home lodges. It's spacious, comfortable and fitted out in classic Sherpa style.
Day - 7
Location: Lukla (2860m / 9383ft) - This morning you depart Monjo and continue your descent along the Dudh Koshi River. Along the way, pass by several monasteries and villages before making a final ascent to reach the Lukla plateau (approximately 4.5 hours). You should arrive there by mid-afternoon. On your arrival in Lukla, there will be time for you to relax and unwind. Your tranquil and beautifully decorated lodge offers the added bonus of a Himalayan Healers spa. Take the time to indulge in a few creature comforts as you reflect on the adventure that has been.
Day - 8
Location: Kathmandu - Fly back to Kathmandu from Lukla airport. In the late afternoon, visit the Garden of Dreams. This Edwardian garden, located centrally in Kathmandu, was created by Field Marshal Kaiser Sumsher Rana in early 1920. About half of that original garden still exists today, but it's a beautiful sight, having been restored with the help of the Austrian Government between 2000 and 2007. Spend some time exploring its elegant flower arrangements, pavillions and fountains. Afterwards, retire to the Hotel Annapurna for the evening.
Day - 9
Location: Kathmandu - Your trip comes to an end in Kathmandu this morning.