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Everest Base Camp Itinerary and Accommodation List | EBC Independent Trek 2019

Rob and Jenny at the top of Everest Base Camp

Below you will find a complete summary of our 14-day trip independent trek from Lukla to Everest Base Camp. The Everest Base Camp itinerary and accommodation list should give enough information of our journey to plan your own. Most of the places we stayed were good but we were quite careful to check the quality before agreeing on most occasions. We strongly recommend you do this, especially the bathrooms, since nearly all the lodges in each village charge the same price.

All prices and details are for May 19th to 1st June 2019 and for a couple sharing.

If you would like any details of the kit that we took with us then please see our full kit list (link to come).

Note: more pictures to come – for now check them out on our Instagram.

Everest Base Camp Itinerary Summary

Route Details for Everest Base Camp Itinerary

Day 1: Fly Kathmandu to Lukla. Lukla to Monjo

  • Date: 19th May
  • Drive: 03:00 – 06:30
  • Flight: 07:00 – 07:30
  • Trek: 08:30 – 15:45; 7.25 hrs; 13.6 km
  • Starting altitude: 2860m
  • Final altitude: 2835m
Everest Base Camp Itinerary | Rob is standing in front of the plane in the most dangerous airport in the world in Lukla
We were so relieved to land in Lukla, the most dangerous airport in the world

This day was quite tough, starting at the meeting point in Kathmandu at 2:45 am for a 4 hour bus to Ramechaap. At the time of our trek, all flights were from Ramechaap due to repairs at Kathmandu airport, so the drive may not be required in the future. The flight is meant to be one of the most dangerous in the world, and we were ready for some hairy turbulence,but thankfully there was very little and the landing on the tiny 500m runway was smooth. Though the quickly approaching cliff edge does put you on the edge of your seat! We sat and watched the planes over a late breakfast at “The Nest at Lukla”. The toilets here were pretty grim, but the pancakes were nice enough.

The day’s trek was mostly flat or downhill to start with, winding down the gorge following the river. We stopped in Phakding on the way up for a spot of tea and lunch. Many people stop here for the first night, but we recommend that you carry on to Monjo as we did. Day 2 is a very tough uphill climb and you will be grateful to miss out the first hour or so of it by starting in Monjo. The path continues down the valley and you will be interrupted by the occasional train of donkeys or yaks. Make sure to stand towards the mountain so they don’t knock you off! There is a fair amount of upward climbing and the few swinging bridges get your heart pumping. Eventually the path makes a steep descent and then immediate ascent to bring you into the small village of Monjo.

Where we stayed

Mount Kailish Lodge | Cost: 500 NPR
Recommend: Yes
Lovely host, Charging cost reasonable, Extra blankets offered free of charge, Food reasonable price and quality

Day 2: Monjo to Namche Bazaar

  • Date: 20th May
  • Trek: 8.5 hrs; 08:25 – 17:00; 5.15 km
  • Starting altitude: 2,835m
  • Final altitude: 3,400m
Our first sighting of Everest was so fortunate | Everest Base Camp Itinerary
Our first sighting of Everest was so fortunate | Everest Base Camp Itinerary

Honestly, the trek from Monjo to Namche is one of (if not the) toughest of the whole trek. It is uphill the whole way with very little in the way of rest spots, flat portions or downhill strolls. The highlight of this day’s trekking, other than getting to Namche, is a spot where there is a toilet, a water tap and a notice board, behind which, if you are lucky, you can get your first glimpse of Everest. 

Where we stayed

Khumbu Lodge | Cost: 1000 NPR
Recommend: It’s ok, better places in town (see day 11, Sherpa Snowland Lodge)
Famous place where Jimmy Carter stayed, everywhere in Namche will try to charge 500 NPR per person, food was good and reasonably priced for Namche, good atmosphere, free charging offered but better option for charging is Herman Helmers Bakery.
Tip: Go to Herman Hellmers bakery for the coffee and cake. It is excellent, plus the wifi is good and the charging is free (take advantage of this before you head up to the higher climbs)

Day 3: Namche Bazaar Acclimatisation Day

  • Date: 21st May
  • Trek: 4.5hrs; 08:30 – 13:00; 3.76 km round-trip
  • Starting altitude: 3400m
  • Max altitude: 3880m
The view looking down into Namche Bazaar | Everest Base Camp Itinerary
The view looking down into Namche Bazaar | Everest Base Camp Itinerary

We trekked up to Hotel Everest View at 3880m. This took a surprisingly long time as our legs were only just getting used to a bit of exercise, but the view is lovely and worth the trip. On the way, make sure to visit the Tenzing Norgey memorial. If you are lucky you should get a brilliant view of Everest and many of the surrounding peaks. If you aren’t lucky you can still understand a bit more of the history of trekking surrounding Mt. Everest. We went up the path to the east of Namche and came back on the path to the west of Namche. It was great to get two different views of this cool town.

We spent pretty much the rest of the day charging, using the wifi, and drinking coffee in Herman Helmers, a visit is 100% necessary.

Where we stayed

Same as previous day

Day4: Namche Bazaar to Tengboche

  • Date: 22nd May
  • Trek: 6.5hrs; 07:45 – 14:15; 9.6 km
  • Starting altitude: 3400m
  • Final altitude: 3850 m
The route to EBC is ever changing, but the views are always incredible | Everest Base Camp Itinerary
The route to EBC is ever changing, but the views are always incredible | Everest Base Camp Itinerary

Reluctantly we put our bags back on and started the walk towards Tengboche. After the first 500m to get out of the valley from Namche, the path follows the ridgeline and is mostly flat the whole way. This even lulled us into a false sense of security when we met some other brits who suggested our final destination shouldn’t be Tengboche. However the last 1 or 2 hours is hard, uphill the whole way, the ground is loose gravel and dust which gets all in your face (see our packing list, a buff is a must!) 

Once you reach the top of the hill, Tengboche and its Monastery lies ahead of you. We had almost decided to stay in Tengboche, so we sat inside the teahouse to rest with a pot of tea. As we did, the rain came down and our plans were sealed. We were glad for it, as the vibe was nice with lots of other trekkers both in groups and travelling independently. We also visited the Monastery which is nice to see, but we were not fortunate enough to be able to sit in on any prayers.

Where we stayed

Tashi Delek Lodge | 500 NPR
Recommend: Yes
Room was nice and warm, although a little noisy, Good atmosphere, lots of people, Food was ok.

Day 5: Tengboche to Dingboche

  • Date: 23rd May
  • Trek: 5 hrs; 07:45 – 12:45; 10.3 km
  • Starting altitude: 3850m
  • Final altitude: 4350m
This may have been one of the most beautiful days of the trek, winding through beautiful forests. | Everest Base Camp Itinerary
This may have been one of the most beautiful days of the trek, winding through beautiful forests. | Everest Base Camp Itinerary

This was quite a pleasant day. The walk starts downhill through a beautifully wooded area of trees and shrubs. We found this the prettiest day of the trek even though you start to feel the altitude a little bit on any of the ascents. After a while, the path drops down to the river and the short walk up hill to Dingboche is quite achievable. We had a quick tea break in Shomare and arrived in Dingboche for lunch. This is a nice place to take an acclimatisation day and, from what we saw on our route back, it seems to be a better option than Pheriche.

Where we stayed

Snow Lion Lodge | 500 NPR
Recommend: Yes – but mainly due to the proximity to the bakery.
Really friendly staff, best fried eggs on the trip, but the rest of the food was average (except for the bakery). The room was cold and there were gaps in the walls between rooms making it very noisy. The toilets were very cold, dirty and outside. Attached Bakery also had lovely staff, great apple pie and delicious hot chocolate. They show a film at 2pm – worth a visit.

Day 6: Dingboche Acclimatisation Day 

  • Date: 24th May
  • Trek: 4.5hrs; 08:00 – 12:30; 4.8 km
  • Starting altitude: 4350m
  • Max altitude: 5080m
Three hours climbing straight uphill on this day was hard work, but worth it for the views and the hot chocolate at the bottom. | Everest Base Camp Itinerary
Three hours climbing straight uphill on this day was hard work, but worth it for the views and the hot chocolate at the bottom. | Everest Base Camp Itinerary

We were starting to feel the cold here and we actually slept in our sleeping bags. However, instead of staying inside to keep warm, we made our way up a very steep and tall mountain. It took us 3 gruelling hours to reach the top at 5080m, but it was so worth it as the views were amazing. We are sure that this also helped us to acclimatise for the next few days as we did not reach this altitude again until Gorak Shep 3 days later.

We spent the afternoon in the French Bakery, the apple pie and hot chocolate is to die for and they even offer charging and a free movie. 

Where we stayed

Same as previous day

Day 7: Dingboche to Thokla

  • Date: 25th May
  • Trek: To Thokla: 2.5hrs; 08:00 – 10:30; 5 km; Day Hike: 2hrs; 12:00 – 14:00; 2km
  • Starting altitude: 4,350m
  • Max altitude: 4,612m
The route to Thokla was mostly flat and pleasant, very different to some of the other days! | Everest Base Camp Itinerary
The route to Thokla was mostly flat and pleasant, very different to some of the other days! | Everest Base Camp Itinerary

The trek from Dingboche to Thokla is easy. Except for the first 15/20 minutes up the steep valley side, the rest of the route is completely flat and straight. There are some beautiful valleys on all sides and a few streams running through them. Most people tend to move on from Thokla to stay in Lobuche, but reading our guidebook and checking the altitudes, staying in Thokla was the only option that did not exceed the maximum recommended 500m per day altitude increase.

We took the afternoon to soak up the sun and walked to a viewpoint over a nearby glacier. This in itself was lovely, and it was great to get a bit away from the well trodden paths.

Where we stayed

Kalla Pattar Lodge | 500 NPR
Recommend: Yes, definitely
The room was in our top 3 of the trek. Amazing view looking out over the mountains with bright sun to warm us up, food was reasonably priced– try the Swiss Roasti with cheese and egg! 

Day 8: Thokla to Leboche

  • Date: 26th May
  • Trek: To Leboche: 3hrs; 08:30 – 11:30; 3 km; To Italian Pyramid: 1.5hrs; 13:00 – 14:30; 1.4 km
  • Starting altitude: 4,612m
  • Final altitude: 4,930m
There were Yaks everywhere, yes they were grumpy, but my were they cute! | Everest Base Camp Itinerary
There were Yaks everywhere, yes they were grumpy, but my were they cute! | Everest Base Camp Itinerary

This again wasn’t a hugely difficult day, most of the effort is making it up the first hill straight after Thokla, this took about 2 hours. There are some very interesting and touching memorials here to climbers who have died both on Mt Everest or on other mountains. Leboche is where you really start to feel the cold, the whole place feels a lot more desolate, remote and less appealing. At this point you just want to get to EBC and back.

Luckily we were both feeling fit and well, not having any strong symptoms of the altitude so we made the short walk up to the “Italian Pyramid”. It is an odd glass building in the middle of the High Himalayas, so quite interesting to look at. 

Where we stayed

New EBC Lodge | 700 NPR
Recommend: Yes, definitely
Altitude starts to hit and we were exhausted so we could sleep anywhere, but this was by far the nicest place of three we saw in Leboche. We had a double bed with a single bed in the room also, all for the standard price in Lobuche (700 NPR). The food was fine, unfortunately they turned the stove on quite late meaning it was quite cold.

Day 9: Leboche to Gorak Shep to EBC to Gorak Shep

  • Date: 27th May
  • Trek: To Gorakshep: 07:00 – 09:30; 4.4 km, To EBC: 11:00 – 13:00, 4.4 km, Back to Gorakshep: 14:00 – 15:30, 4.4 km
  • Starting altitude: 4,930m
  • Final altitude: 5,364m
We made it! We could never have believed we would do this, and we are just so proud! | Everest Base Camp Itinerary
We made it! We could never have believed we would do this, and we are just so proud! | Everest Base Camp Itinerary

This was the day we had been waiting for, we made sure to get up early and made the relatively short and painless trek to Gorak Shep early enough to find a room, have some lunch and get ready for the afternoon. 

By 11am we were on our way to EBC, the altitude was really starting to hit us, especially me (Rob). Once we got out of the town and onto the glacier, I was unable to walk very far before getting out of breath, feeling sick and needing to rest. The adrenaline of finally reaching EBC was really all that was needed though, and once we were there we completely perked up. The walk is actually quite challenging over constantly changing glacial moraine and there were hundreds of Yaks and porters moving in both directions. (EBC was closing for the season a few days after we got there so they were clearing away all the gear.)

We spent an hour (maybe a little more) taking photos, chatting with others, looking around at the amazing sights and considering whether scaling the peak might actually be feasible one day…

Bonus shot from the above! we were so happy | Everest Base Camp Itinerary
Bonus shot from the above! we were so happy | Everest Base Camp Itinerary

The walk back along the same route took us much longer, mainly because of all the yaks and because, after 9 days of constant walking, we had finally run out of adrenaline. We were really looking forward to head back the next morning..

Where we stayed

Buddha Lodge | 700 NPR
Recommend: Probably, the toilet let it down, everything else was good.
Lovely host, extremely friendly – gave us a 100 rupee discount and a free bounty bar. Food was nice (we may have been delirious by this point) and excellent portions. Nice warm restaurant – but people always wanted to leave the door open (go figure?!). Although technically there was a sit down toilet, it may as well have been a squat as there was no seat and there was… stuff… all around the toilet.

Day 10: Kala Pattar & Gorak Shep to Pangboche

  • Date: 28th May
  • Trek: To Kala Pattar and back: 04:00 – 06:00, 2.1 km To Pangboche: 09:00 – 16:00, 17.4 km
  • Starting altitude: 5,175m and up to 5,380m
  • Final altitude: 3,910m
It was much too cold, but the sunrise on Kala Pattar really was quite amazing | Everest Base Camp Itinerary
It was much too cold, but the sunrise on Kala Pattar really was quite amazing | Everest Base Camp Itinerary

This was a tough day, overnight the temperature dropped to -10 degrees celsius and our plan included a 4am start. This is to make it to the top of Kala Pattar for sunrise for an apparently beautiful view of Mt Everest. Unfortunately, we were so cold, so worn out and slept so badly that we only made it up half-way. The views were still amazing but we wish we had walked up the prior afternoon or waited until a little later (when it would have been warmer). We were so cold that we actually descended before sunrise and got back into our sleeping bags for a few hours sleep.

After a few hours sleep,we packed up, had a final high altitude breakfast and started trudging downhill. The walk was lovely, virtually all downhill and the air was becoming noticeably more oxygenated. On the way down we made sure to buoy on the spirits of any climbing passers-by (we know how hard the previous days had been). We made it to Thokla in record time to have a nice lunch, on the way up this distance took over 5 hours, but we were there in under 3. 

Descending down into the valley by Pheriche was beautiful. We had originally planned to stay here but feeling confident, refreshed and longing for a shorter walk the next day, we powered on. At first, this seemed to be a greatidea, we were making good headway down the valley and over the hills. However, at around 2pm we were hungry, tired, bored of walking all day and our feet were hurting a lot. As we rounded the corner into Pangboche we were ready to collapse, almost stopping at the first teahouse we saw. However we had a recommendation to stay at Highland Sherpa Resort, and we are glad we plodded the last 800m through the village to get there.

Where we stayed

Highland Sherpa Resort | 500 NPR
Recommend: Yes, absolutely.
Room was lovely with a great view and free slippers to walk around the teahouse. The restaurant was filled from genuine artefacts from prior expeditions to Everest as far back as the 50s and, the host was very sweet and friendly. The fire was kept going even though we were the only guests at first, and the Chicken Noodle Soup was delicious! 

Day 11: Pangboche to Namche Bazaar

  • Date: 29th May
  • Trek: 08:00 – 14:30; 13.3 km
  • Starting altitude: 3,910m 
  • Final altitude: 3,407m
Every bridge we took a few deep breaths to cross the deep ravines swinging in the wind | Everest Base Camp Itinerary
Every bridge we took a few deep breaths to cross the deep ravines swinging in the wind | Everest Base Camp Itinerary

By this point we were ready to go home, the weather was cloudy, we were tired, smelly and we had completed our goal (EBC). So we started our way back to Namche Bazaar looking forward to a coffee and apple pie in Herman Hellmers. To make matters worse the prior day’s many hours of walking had given us both a few blisters, our knees were starting to hurt from the strain of constantly going downhill and the path that we remembered as completely flat was anything but.

Having felt ripped off in Namche paying 1000 NPR per room on the way up, we looked for an alternative. Unfortunately, all teahouses were charging the same but we managed to find a great guesthouse in the centre of Namche which was more like a hotel. Our clothes smelt so bad by this point, but we changed into our cleanest items and headed out to Herman Hellmers to charge our electronics and get that last fix of apple pie.

Where we stayed

Hotel Sherpaland | 1,000 NPR
Recommend: Yes, absolutely. 
This is the nicest place we stayed on the trek, more like a hotel. The fixed room charge in Namche means it cost the same as other less appealing places, food was nice and reasonably priced, the room was warm, quiet and had large windows, we charged using the shared bathroom plug.

Day 12: Namche Bazaar to Phakding

  • Date: 30th May
  • Trek: 08:30 – 13:30; 9.92 km
  • Starting altitude: 3,407m
  • Final altitude: 2,640m
All along the way these beautiful archways mark the entrances to many of the villages | Everest Base Camp Itinerary
All along the way these beautiful archways mark the entrances to many of the villages | Everest Base Camp Itinerary

The weather started to turn at this point and there was a lot of cloud and humidity, this alongside the heat of the lower altitudes made this quite a sweaty day. The first part of the day comes down a very steep hill until you reach Monjo, where you will be checked out of the national park for the last time. The relatively flat last few kilometers to Phakding, seemingly easy on the way were really difficult and the rain, tempting all day, finally started coming down. We should be thankful though, as this was the only rain of the whole 14 day trip. 

Where we stayed

Star Lodge | 500 NPR
Recommend: No, try other places in the centre.
Would not recommend, but we did not check other options (we were too tired by this point). Looks like it had better days, the tea pots had mould growing all around the rim. Food was fine, though we ordered the most basic items for fear of mould. The room was big but full of bugs, dust and mould.

Day 13: Phakding to Lukla

  • Date: 31st May
  • Trek: 07:45 – 10:30
  • Starting altitude: 2,640m
  • Final altitude: 2,860m
Walking down is less strenuous, but the long distances can start to add up | Everest Base Camp Itinerary
Walking down is less strenuous, but the long distances can start to add up | Everest Base Camp Itinerary

A bit grumpy about our very poor choice of accommodation, and hungry since we didn’t want to sample too much of the suspicious looking food there, we started the last part of the trek. Jenny was really struggling with blisters and tiredness by this point and our pace was a lot slower than previous days. The last few kilometres are actually really nice, very green and with a few final swinging bridges. There was a sign in our lodge back in Tengboche which said“how can it be uphill in both directions?” which you completely understand on this stretch, as you trudge uphill out of the valley to get to the final destination in Lukla. 

We stayed right outside the airport. There was an attached German bakery but it was a bit quiet so we made our way back into town and found a lovely cafe for a sandwich, a coffee, a sit down and a final charge. We reflected on the trip as we relaxed and chatted to other trekkers on their way up and down. 

Where we stayed

Sherpa Lodge| 500 NPR
Recommend: Yes
Free charging and free wifi (even in lukla this is not everywhere), Friendly and helpful staff – they even gave us the remote for the tv in the restaurant. The room was nice, warm and cozy, but small. Tasty food, reasonable prices, within spitting distance of the airport.

Day 14: Fly to Kathmandu

  • Date : 01st June
  • Trek: 10:40 – 11:15
The flight back from Lukla to Kathmandu was a little more bumpy than on the way | Everest Base Camp Itinerary
The flight back from Lukla to Kathmandu was a little more bumpy than on the way | Everest Base Camp Itinerary

WOO-HOO we did it! We only had one of the most dangerous flights ahead of us and we would be done. Our flight was scheduled for 10.30am directly to Kathmandu (not Ramechaap, as on the way). So we woke up late had a quick breakfast and walked the 5 metres across the road from our guesthouse to the airport.

The flight on the way back was a lot more hair raising than on the way. After having loaded the plane up with climbing gear and trekkers heading to Ramechaap, they decided to completely unload the plane and instead it was our turn. We believe that because the weather was turning, they wanted to get the plane back to Kathmandu before it was too late to take off from Lukla. Once we were hurtling down the runway and just about lifting off we were grateful to be on our way. The thick clouds were terrifying in a plane of just 16 seats, and the turbulent journey almost left a head sized dent in the ceiling.  The real pinnacle was a very large drop, a shift of the plane’s nose towards the ground and a very loud number of beeps from the cockpit. Needless to say, we were counting our blessings once we were off the plane at Kathmandu airport.

Afterthoughts

Trekking independently without a guide was definitely the right choice for us. We both achieved something that neither of us ever thought we could do. We strongly believe that anyone can do it and that trekking independently provides the most amount of flexibility, enjoyment and above all, pride.

We hope that this Everest Base Camp Itinerary has come in useful for you. If you’d like to take this on yourself, please also check out our packing list here: Link coming soon.

Other resources

Big Fat Travel Adventure
Two Drifting Coconuts
Two Wandering Soles
Some of our other guides
Some of our blogs from Sri Lanka

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Rob & Jenny

About Rob & Jenny

We are a married couple from London taking a break from the 9-5 to travel the world and soak up new experiences. Follow us to find out more about the places we go, the things we see and the experiences we have.
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