Finding the right Everest view trek itinerary for your budget and experience is not easy. Me, my husband, and his mom went in the spring of 2015, and luckily left the country 12 days before the major earthquake struck. This information is based on our experience.
I spent weeks scouring the internet, reading reviews, and chatting on forums before I finally booked our trip. It turns out, that research was worth it because we had an amazing time with an amazing company. If you are planning an Everest view trek, look no further. I have all the information you need about the itinerary, experience, and budget.
Mosaic Adventure Everest View Trek Package: $840 per person
This company provides an awesome service for an awesome price (I promise they’re not paying me to say this). We had zero problems with Mosaic Adventures and paid way below market price. After exhausting research I found this to be the cheapest trek with the most included into the price.
For $840pp, we received
- Pick up at the airport in a private vehicle
- Two nights in the Thamel Eco Resort Hotel in Kathmandu before departure
- All meals during the 7 day trek
- Six nights accommodation on the trek (I traveled with my husband and his mom. We accepted the cheapest quote which meant staying in three person rooms. However, only one tea house actually gave us a three person room, and the other six nights we were given a single and a double instead anyway. So, definitely worth saving the extra money!)
- English speaking guide and a porter for the trek
- Round trip flight from Kathmandu to Lukla (the starting point for all Everest treks)
- Sagarmatha National Park fees, our TIMS card (required for entrance into the park) and entrance and monument fees for various sightseeing (this was listed in our itinerary, but I’m not quite sure what it is referring too)
- Sleeping bag and down jacket for the trek (totally necessary and you don’t want to waste money purchasing your own, like other companies require!)
- All travel arrangements, government taxes and fees.
- Personal driver from Kathmandu to Pokhara (the package originally included a final night in Kathmandu after our return, but I swapped that hotel stay for a driver between the two cities on the day we returned from our trek instead.)
Everest View Trek Experience
Our Everest view trek was six nights, as we did not have the time for the 15 day Base Camp trek. My honest opinion? I’m glad we cut it short, and I’ll tell you why. First, you can’t see Everest from base camp. You have to climb another grueling summit, Kala Pattar, to see an unobstructed view.
Another reason I was happy we didn’t extend the trip was food. Seven days of the same flavors and food options doesn’t sound like much, but it was awhile before I could smell dal bhaat again and feel hungry. There are no cars in the Himalayas so everything has to be carried up to the towns manually, whether that’s done by person or animal. Food waste is EXTREMELY frowned upon (for good reason) so everyone in a tea house orders at the same time and everything is cooked at once. If altitude makes you lose your appetite (like it did for me) be careful, because you will bear the brunt of some serious side eye if you can’t finish your pasta or pizza. The flavors were good, but monotonous after awhile, and the quality and variety only decreases the higher you go.
The third and final reason I was happy we didn’t choose the extended trek is because (please don’t kill me) it’s boring. HEAR ME OUT. The days spent hiking were some of the most beautiful, serene, magical days of my life. It’s a completely amazing and surreal experience. The problem arises when the hike is finished. On an average day we would hike from around 8am to 2pm. Once you reach your next village, you’ll find a gift shop or two, maybe a monastery, a couple tea houses and travelers, and that’s… about… it. The views are spectacular, but there’s only so many nights I can spend playing gin rummy and chatting with strangers before I’m ready to head back to civilization.
SO. Think about what trek is right for you. We were able to see Everest for three of the seven days of our trip, and it would have been four if the weather had cooperated. Setting foot in Everest base camp is a major bucket list goal for some, but for me, just laying eyes on the peak was a dream come true.
Everest View Trek Itinerary
This is the typical itinerary breakdown for a seven day Everest view trek, leaving and returning to Kathmandu, Nepal.
Day One: Fly to Lukla and trek to Phakding.
Hiking time: 4 hours
Max Altitude: 8,700 ft
Be warned, this flight is not for the faint of heart. I’m a seasoned vet when it comes to flying, but the turbulence on this tiny flight freaked me out so much I had residual anxiety about flying for the next two years. Not trying to scare you or anything. We flew Buddha air, and it was extremely convenient to have Mosaic Adventure take care of it all. Make sure you are on the earliest flights out because they have the best chance of leaving on time. The weather is notoriously fickle and the Lukla runway so short and dangerous that flights are often cancelled for days at a time.
In our case, we had a very close call. My husband was on the 6am flight alone. He departed without problem, and his mom, me, and our tour guide waited for the 6:45 departure. The airport moved slow, clouds began to roll in, but at 7:30 we finally boarded our tiny 12 person plane and took off for Lukla. What I didn’t learn until later was that we were on the last flight out for THREE DAYS. So my advice is two fold. Plan your trek with plenty of buffer time before your international flight out of Kathmandu at the end, in the not-so-unlikely case that your trek does end up getting delayed. Also, don’t split your group onto multiple flights. My husband would have been stuck in Lukla alone for three days.
Anyways. The views of the Himalayas surrounding you in Lukla were a breathtaking start to the trip. Lukla is the largest and most touristy town as the starting point for all treks. Our trek to Phakding went off without a hitch. We entered Sagarmatha (the local name for Everest) National Park and for the most part the day’s trek was flat and green, winding across suspension bridges and past many carved prayer stones, houses, farms, and store fronts. Phakding is a small town with a few shops, souvenirs, restaurants and tea houses to choose from, but again our trek company had pre chosen and booked each one for us. We enjoyed a local Everest beer, dinner, and walk around town before heading off to bed.
Day Two: Trek Phakding to Namche Bazaar
Hiking time: 6 hours
Max Altitude: 11.280 ft
More uphill than the day before. We should have gotten our first view of Everest, but instead we had clouds and rain that turned into snow as the climb got higher and colder. Our guide assured us it was good luck and would almost certainly lead to perfect clear weather the next day. We entered Namche Bazaar in a frozen white haze and I payed for my first and only hot shower of the trip.
Day Three: Namche Bazaar Acclimatization Day
Day hike: 4 to 5 hours with many stops
Max Altitude: 13,000 ft
Waking up in Namche Bazaar is my favorite memory of our entire trip. When we entered the town, we couldn’t see anything due to the snow storm, but it was definitely worth the wait. In the morning, we woke up to the most breathtaking mountain views outside our window. The jagged sheer gray rock faces rising up around us was one of the most intimidating and memorable sights I have ever seen.
We stayed in Namche Bazaar for two nights to acclimate to the altitude, so we did a day hike on day three. The hike up to the Sherpa museum had absolutely stunning views of the Himalayas on all sides, not to mention the colorful town of Namche spread out below us as we climbed. The clouds remained persistent as we hiked up to the Everest view point, but by 9am they finally cleared and we got our long anticipated first view of the giant. It was a distant peak, but Everest nonetheless.
We continued our climb up to the Hotel Everest View and grabbed a drink at the restaurant, but by then the clouds had rolled in and Everest eluded us once again. However, being surrounded by the ancient circle of Himalayan peaks in that spot to this day remains one of the most humbling and important experiences of my life. You’ll be short of breath, tired, sweaty and cold all at the same time, but awed beyond compare.
Namche Bazaar is the last stronghold of civilization on the trek, and we enjoyed it to the fullest. We returned to Namche by 1pm and spent the rest of the day drinking in the many bars, wandering the shops, buying souvenirs, and enjoying the mountain views.
Day Four: Trek Namche Bazaar to Tengboche
Hiking time: 7 hours
Max Altitude: 12,694 ft
This was the most physically difficult day of the trek, with hours of hiking uphill. We could see Everest for most of the trip though, which meant multiple rest breaks disguised as photo ops in front of the giant. We crossed rivers, tackled steep mountainsides, and enjoyed views no human deserves to see.
We arrived to Tengboche around 3pm after about 7 hours of hiking, just in time for the clouds to obscure Everest once again. Tengboche is a flat valley surrounded by peaks, and a much welcomed respite after the agonizing uphill battle of the day. It’s situated at 12,694 feet and boasts the highest permanently inhabited monastery in the world. It’s sparsely populated with about six buildings to feed and house the trekkers passing through.
We toured the monastery, ate dinner, and enjoyed the views, waiting until morning to finally see Everest between the peaks. At this point in the trek, the tea houses were so small and the weather so cold, I couldn’t bear the thought of stripping down and getting wet in a shower. Our group mutually decided to become a judgement free zone and put off the issue of showering until we returned to Kathmandu.
Day Five: Trek Tengboche back to Manjo
Hiking time: 6 hours
Max Altitude: 12,694 ft
Tengboche was our last stop, and the highest altitude we reached. The morning offered clear and beautiful views of Everest and the surrounding mountains, which our guide eventually had to drag us away from photographing to begin our descent back to down the trails.
On day five we retraced our steps and not surprisingly, moved downhill at a much quicker pace. We opted to pass through Namche Bazaar and stay in the smaller town of Manjo, mostly just for a change of scenery. If we had chosen to continue to base camp, we would have still had 5 more days of trekking and over 5,000 more feet in altitude to climb before we reached it.
In Manjo, we made the mistake of agreeing to try the “Homemade Wine” that we saw on every tea house menu. It’s not wine, btw. It’s moonshine. Remember the side eye I mentioned when it comes to food waste? To get around it my husband and I eventually had to sneakily pour our “wine” out the window in desperation. Avoid at all costs (unless you like to party much harder than we do).
Day Six: Trek Manjo to Lukla
Hiking time: 6 hours
Max Altitude: 9,300 ft
Our short and flat trek took us back into Lukla in about 6 hours and was our final goodbye to Everest National Park and the Himalayas we had called home for the past week. Feeling accomplished, we enjoyed the company of a rowdy group of EBC trekkers celebrating the completion of their trip. We accompanied them to the few bars around Lukla and then turned in for our early flight home.
Day Seven: Flight from Lukla to Kathmandu
We were up early and once again Mosaic Adventures pulled through and had us all together on the first 6am flight back to Kathmandu. Most porters live in Lukla, so make sure you tip yours before your leave. On the way home, we again flew Buddha Air, but if you’re booking on your own, I don’t think you can go wrong with any of the different airlines. It’s much more important to choose your flights based on time rather than airline.
Our flight home had some amazing views of the Himalayas, but I was distracted by my own paralyzing fear from the heavy winds and turbulence buffeting our plane feet at a time. I kept a steady eye on our tour guide who didn’t seem to worried or bothered at all and reminded myself the flight hadn’t crashed since ‘97, but still. I said my prayers just in case. The 45 minute flight felt like a lifetime, but we eventually landed back in Kathmandu. We returned to the hotel where we had stored our extra weight, and hopped in our private car for the winding 5 hour trip to Pokhara.
So, this was my experience on the Everest view trek in Nepal. It was stunning, amazing, breathtaking, and every other adjective I could ever use to describe it. In fact, writing about it now and going through photos is making me want to book another trip, this time to EBC or maybe in the Annapurna range. It’s such a unique experience, and if you get the chance, don’t hesitate to cross this Himalayan trek off your bucket list!
PS if you want to read more, check out these articles about what to do in in Pokhora, Our time in Kathmandu, and my Nepal FAQ!
All my love,