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Everest and Gokyo Lakes Circuit

Hike through rugged terrain and traverse the mighty Cho La Pass as you climb to Everest Base Camp the hard way


Trip Ref #9923

Everest and Gokyo Lakes Circuit

Hike through rugged terrain and traverse the mighty Cho La Pass as you climb to Everest Base Camp the hard way

18 nights
2.5 weeks off work
Up to 14 people
Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu

Hotel · Glamping · Teahouse



Based on 18 reviews

A proper challenge for fit and experienced walkers with the 'grit' to tackle a Himalayan mountain pass

Stand at the foot of the highest mountain in the world on this challenging circular trek through the quiet and relatively untrodden Gokyo Valley

Snake between cairns, ice and moraine as you trek the famous Ngozumpa Glacier - the longest in the Himalayas - to reach the top of Cho La Pass (5420m)

Ascend Kala Patthar (5550m) and Gokyo Ri (5357m) for some of the best views in the Himalayas, including Everest’s summit and the turquoise Gokyo Lakes

Unsure which trek in the Everest region is for you? Check out our handy guide comparing this route with the classic Everest Base Camp trek

Day 1

Intoxicating Kathmandu

Check into your hotel in Thamel and get your first taste of life in Kathmandu. After meeting your guides and making any last minute plans for the trek, you’ll finish the day with a group dinner alongside the rest of your team.

Day 2

Journey to Manthali

You'll have the morning free to explore a little more of Kathmandu before jumping on the bus and heading to Manthali. This remote region is where most Lukla flights now depart from (although occasionally they depart from Kathmandu if you're lucky) and you'll spend the night in safari tents near to the small airport so you're ready to jump on the first flight in the morning.

Day 3

Fly to Lukla, trek to Phakding


4hrs · 7.5km · 190m up · 460m down

Fly across the roof of the world on a small plane to Lukla in the Everest region – a breath-taking (and occasionally thrilling) journey and the jumping-off point for your trek. Meet the rest of your local crew and then hike along the lovely Dudh Kosi River to Phakding village where you'll stay in your first teahouse.

Occasionally Lukla flights can be delayed or cancelled - please see the FAQs for further information.

Day 4

Phakding to Namche


5hrs · 10.4km · 1205m up · 375m down

Start your day with a walk through a beautiful pine forest and then cross the famous Hillary Suspension Bridge – be sure to check out the wonderful view of Mt. Thamserku (6618m) in the distance. Continue on to Jorsale village and up the challenging climb to Namche Bazaar where you’ll get your first glimpse of the world’s highest mountain, the immense 8,848m peak of Mount Everest.

Day 5

Acclimatise and explore Namche

You've now reached 3440m, so it's time to spend the day acclimatising to the altitude. Relax, wander the village, visit the Hillary School and Khunde Hospital, or hike to a nearby viewpoint where you can enjoy an incredible panorama of Mount Everest, Ama Dablam, Thamserku and Lhotse.

Day 6

Namche to Phortche Thanga


5hrs · 7.4km · 800m up · 660m down

Push above the 4000m line to the Mong La Pass with its amazing views of the Dudh Koshi River. Continue hiking to tonight’s destination, the village of Phortche Thanga where you can visit a local monastery or just eat and relax on the riverbank.

Day 7

Phortche Thanga to Dol


6hrs · 5km · 470m up · 40m down

Climb through the rhododendron forest and along a steep section to the Sherpa villages of Tonga and Gyele. Immerse yourselves in the local culture, capture some shots of the Khumbila and Tawache mountains and then get some rest ready for a big day tomorrow.

Day 8



4hrs · 5km · 420m up · 70m down

Ascend higher and higher through the jungle until it gives way to juniper forests, interspersed with yak pastures and summer camping grounds. Arrive at Machhermo around lunchtime and explore the valley with its amazing view of the 8,201m peak of Cho Oyu - the Turquoise Goddess.

Day 9

Enter the Gokyo Valley


5hrs · 9.8km · 515m up · 60m down

Begin your day with an epic view of the plunging Khantega Gorge and then follow the river as it winds its way toward the vast, 36km Ngozumpa Glacier – the longest in the Himalayas. From here its time to enter the Gokyo Valley, one of the most picture-perfect locations on earth, home to the highest freshwater lakes in the world, sacred to both Hindus and Buddhists.

Day 10

Acclimatise in the valley

You’re now approaching 5,000m, so it's time to acclimatise once again as you prepare for the final push. Spend some time hiking this beautiful valley, and trek between glorious lakes fed by towering peaks. If you're feeling acclimatised, do not miss the opportunity to hike up the small peak of Gokyo Ri (5,360m), a viewpoint that has to be seen to be believed - the Ngozumpo Glacier stretches for miles, a string of lakes line the valley floor, and four of the highest peaks in the Himalaya are visible (including Everest) and the Gokyo Lakes themselves!

Day 11

Trek to Thagnak village


4hrs · 5.5km · 370m up · 130m down

Trek the short distance to the small, highland village of Thangnak. The trail from Gokyo climbs up and onto the mighty Ngozumpo Glacier and undulates its way across to the far side, snaking between cairns, ice and moraine deposits to reach Thangnak - staging point for the Cho La Pass. Relax, continue acclimatising and prepare for one of the best days hiking in the morning.

Day 12

The Cho La Pass


8hrs · 13km · 668m up · 538m down

Climb the steep, eastern side of the Cho La Pass before dropping down into the main Everest Valley. The ascent of the pass is steep and rocky and the upper part requires some scrambling (and is often covered in snow and ice). You'll definitely feel like you've earned the astonishing Himalayan panorama that waits at the top. The glaciated top is a bit easier-going before descending via a rocky gulley to the valley floor below. Continue on to Dhzongla village and rest up for the night.

Day 13

Dhzongla to Lobuche


3hrs · 6.3km · 40m up · 140m down

Take a moment - your goal is within touching distance, so there’s plenty of time to rest up, recover and enjoy some high altitude scenery as you travel between mountain villages.

Day 14

Destination Everest Base Camp


5hrs · 11km · 496m up · 260m down

Navigate around the Khumbu Glacier and on to Everest Base Camp, sitting at a whopping 5364m. Spend some time enjoying your achievement and fill your camera with jaw-dropping photos.

Day 15

Sunset from Kala Patthar


8hrs · 20km · 537m up · 1716m down

Ascend to Kala Patthar (5,550m), the highest point on the trek so far, with a never-ending view of Everest and many of the other highest peaks on earth. After watching the sun set behind the mountains its time to head down to Pangboche, where you’ll spend the night.

Day 16

Pangboche to Namche


6hrs · 13.6km · 875m up · 1252m down

Cross over suspension bridges and re-enter the jungle before tackling the steep incline that leads to Phungi Than. Continue through the forest and back to Namche.

Day 17

Begin the final descent


6hrs · 18.2km · 788m up · 1200m down

Trek through the pine and rhododendron forests one last time before saying goodbye to your local support staff and heading back to Lukla.

Day 18

Return to Kathmandu

Fly back to Ramechhap after your incredible mountain journey. You'll drive back to Kathmandu in time for some well-earned beers and a celebration dinner.

Day 19

Last chance to enjoy Nepal

Sleep in, have breakfast in your hotel and then spend some final time in Kathmandu before returning to the airport and back to reality.


Internal flights

Internal flights from Kathmandu/Manthali to Lukla (return)


Local, expert, English-speaking guides


2 nights in Kathmandu and 15 nights on the trek


Welcome and farewell dinners in Kathmandu


To and from the airport and everything in between


Your overnight luggage is carried for you


All entrance fees and permits are taken care of

Not Included

Flights to and from the meeting point

Travel insurance

Personal expenses

Tips for your guides

Some meals as described

Visas where required

Day 1

Hotel · Twin or triple share




Day 2

Glamping · Twin share




Day 3 – Day 17

Teahouse · Twin share




Day 18

Hotel · Twin share




Day 19

Departure day




What is the food like?

Breakfast is usually hot porridge, muesli or Tibetan bread served with an omelette or boiled eggs. Menus in teahouses are very similar at every stop and there will usually be a choice of traditional Nepalese dhal bhat (a mixed plate of lentils, rice, vegetables and pickles - delicious and healthy), Nepalese dumplings (momo’s), mixed noodles, pasta and even pizza. Although meat is available at some teahouses, we suggest you ask your guide for advice re consumption as it tends to depend on how far it has travelled as to whether it is a safe option.

Dairy-free, vegan or vegetarian diets can be catered for while trekking although meals may get a bit repetitive - dhal bhat will likely be your go-to staple. Gluten-free/coeliac diets are tricky to cater for on teahouse treks (beware that powdered soups and seasonings used often contain gluten, and cooking oil is commonly reused and may cause cross-contamination). Please explain your dietary requirements to your guide so that they can assist when ordering, and bringing along some extra food/snacks is advisable.

What is the accommodation like?


You’ll stay in a hotel in Thamel close to the main shopping area and heritage sites. Expect an en-suite room with air-con and wifi included.


For solo travellers looking for their own space, an optional private room can be booked for the two nights in Kathmandu only (subject to availability). Please request this at the time of booking. See Optional Extras for prices.

In Manthali

You will stay in the Manthali Resort in safari tents. There is a swimming pool on site.

On the trek

You’ll be staying in teahouses - mountain lodges with a communal dining area and basic toilets that are usually sorted by gender. Wifi, phone charging and hot showers are often available for a small cost.

The Area




Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu

Anytime on Day 1


Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu

Anytime on Day 19


Airport arrival and departure transfers are included no matter when you arrive and depart (even if booking extra nights before or after the trip), provided you have completed your passenger information form and have supplied your flight details in advance.

Travel options

There are regular flights to Kathmandu from major airports across the UK and Europe.

Enjoy 12.5% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 12.5% discount to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

What do I need to bring?

  • Day pack with rain cover (30 litre +)
  • Rucksack or duffle bag (for the porters to carry overnight kit)
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Lightweight down jacket
  • Waterproof trousers
  • Lightweight trekking trousers
  • Hiking shorts (if trekking in the summer)
  • Thermals (top and bottom, merino ideal)
  • 2/3 trekking t-shirts/shirts
  • Fleece or warm mid-layer
  • Waterproof thick gloves
  • Glove liners
  • Hiking socks and lighter walking socks
  • Wool hat
  • Sun hat
  • Spare underwear
  • Buff or similar
  • Worn in waterproof hiking boots
  • Lightweight trainers (for the evenings)
  • 4 season sleeping bag
  • Sleeping bag liner
  • Pillow case (optional)
  • Trekking poles
  • Travel towel
  • Sun protection (sunscreen, sunglasses)
  • 2 water bottles (1 litre each)
  • Metal SIGG bottle (useful to fill with hot water to use as a hot water bottle at bedtime)
  • Headtorch
  • First aid kit and/or personal medication
  • Water purification tablets/system
  • Hand gel
  • Biodegradable wet wipes
  • Small biodegradable bags to take toilet tissue off the mountain
  • Toilet paper/tissues
  • Powerbank
  • Universal plug adaptor
  • Book/kindle/cards for downtime
Winter departures only (end Nov-March)
  • Gaiters
  • Microspikes
  • Extra warm layers (add an extra warm item to all key items above)
  • Extra set of thermals (pair to walk in, pair to sleep in)
  • Merino trekking socks
  • Merino glove liners

What's available to hire?

The below can be rented in Kathmandu:

  • Down jacket: costs approx. $1.5/day with a deposit of $50
  • Sleeping bag (3 season only available): costs approx. $2/day with a deposit of $80
  • Spikes (for Winter departures only) costs approx. $1.5/day.

(Please ask your host if this is needed so they can assist you with how to arrange the hire)

What can you buy in Kathmandu?

Kathmandu has many outdoor gear shops - some are real with kit that is the same price you will find it at home and some are filled with cheaper imitation gear that may not be of the same quality. You will however find a soft duffel bag easily that the porters can carry.

Weight Restrictions

There is a weight restriction on the flight to and from Lukla of 10kg checked baggage plus 5kg hand luggage. It is not a problem for you to check in 1-2kg more than this as long as you are happy to pay an excess luggage charge (approx. £1 per kg). Some items may be left in the hotel in Kathmandu if necessary.

Please remove all unnecessary packing before you leave home and ensure you take all plastic off the mountain to be disposed of in Kathmandu.

*Requests for optional extras can be made after booking on your “My Bookings” page

Optional Private Room Upgrade (Kathmandu x 2 nights)

Payable Before Departure

Optional Private Room Upgrade (Kathmandu x 2 nights)

Pre/post-trip accommodation in Kathmandu (Single)

Payable Before Departure

Pre/post-trip accommodation in Kathmandu (Single)

Pre/post-trip accommodation in Kathmandu (Twin/Double)

Payable Before Departure

Pre/post-trip accommodation in Kathmandu (Twin/Double)

- Paulina(October 2023)

I signed up for a Gokyo Valley & Everest Base Camp trek led by Sanjeet Twayana and I couldn’t ask for a more professional, kind and funny guide than him. The whole team, including fantastic porters made sure this challenging trek was a safe and very special adventure for the group. They showed us how beautiful Nepal is, and shared their impressive knowledge about the region. For that, I’m forever thankful and would highly recommend booking trips with them!

- Laura(October 2023)

Booked a trek to see the Gokyo Lakes, Cho La Pass, Kala Pattar and Everest Base Camp. It was the most incredible trek that I’ve been on and I couldn’t recommend it enough. I had Dakman as a guide with Njima and Anbunde as assistant guides. I couldn’t have asked for better. They went above and beyond, offering us things outside of the itinerary just to ensure we had the most out of every moment. A real highlight for me was getting to join in with the festival activities too! I was able to ask endless questions to learn about Nepalese culture, all of which were answered with a smile! Our 4 porters were just amazing too. I’ve already instructed my friends that they need to sign up immediately! Thanks again for the most amazing 19 days!

- Torge(October 2023)

great trip and great local host (Sanjeeth)! Its hard but well worth it.

- Bethan(September 2023)

We had the pleasure of trekking the Gokyo Lakes / Cho La pass EBC route and it was amazing, from the beginning until we departed. If you have the time, I would recommend taking this longer route as some of our highlights were on the sections which are not on the traditional EBC route (in particular, Gokyo Ri). The longer route is noticeably quieter than the main EBC route and so offers (in our opinion) a better hiking experience overall.

We are seasoned hikers but this was our first high altitude trek, so we were initially nervous about the additional challenges of getting to 5600m but our guide, Pasang Sonam Sherpa was a phenomenal leader, and controlled the pace such that we were able to achieve each milestone without an issue. We had also read conflicting reviews online on the difficulty of the trek, but our guide Pasang made sure that we took regular breaks and provided lots of tips along the way to help us through. If you are of average to good fitness, I am confident that Pasang would be able to guide you to the top.

Pasang is the most unbelievably knowledgeable and friendly guide we could have asked for (he has a close-to-encyclopaedic knowledge of the various peaks in the region) and reassured us about every aspect of the trek that we had questions on. He also seemed to be popular amongst the porter and guide community, so we made plenty of friends along the way! Our porter, Dawa Sherpa was also super friendly and made sure we were able to complete the trek safely and with all of our kit.

As advertised, the accommodation is basic. It must be said that some of the lodges were nicer than others and there were occasions where we walked past tour groups in nicer lodges (e.g. with newer facilities, more toilets) to go to our basic ones (one of which was an outbuilding to the main lodge; another had no wifi; all had shared facilities); however, I’m not sure what the practicalities are of booking the accommodation in advance in this region (perhaps the other lodges had their issues, who knows) and speaking with Pasang we do understand that accommodation is quickly booked up at short notice and in some villages, such as Portche Tanga, options are really limited. On reflection, it might have been nice for the host to have opted for some slightly higher-end (meaning perhaps $5-8 p/room more) accommodation at points along the way but mostly we had no complaints. The Hotels in Namche and Gokyo were our favourites.

Do make sure to follow the kit list MBA provides as we were thankful to have wet wipes etc. when showering wasn’t a practical option. The days are short with plenty of time for relaxing in the afternoon so come armed with something to occupy your time.

Overall this was a stunning addition to our collection of hikes! We had so much fun and Pasang even took the trouble of beating my boyfriend at darts on his inaugural darts match over a celebration beer on the way back down in Namche. Thank you again to Pasang and Dawa for making our trip so fun and meaningful!

- Sarah(September 2023)

Our group of 7 bonded really well and created hundreds of amazing memories during this tough but absolutely fantastic trip; and if you're able to take a longer holiday to reach base camp then I'd thoroughly recommend this - the Gokyo route is much quieter than the standard one. We were treated to incredible views when the skies were clear, and seeing the world's highest mountain in real life is something I'll always remember. Our guide Kanchan and assistant guide Birdhoj worked tirelessly to ensure our trip was a success - a heartfelt thank you to them both!

- Jasmine(September 2023)

The trip from beginning to end was amazing. Our local guide Kanchan and assistant guide Birdhoj, as well as all the porters, always made sure everything was running smoothly and made sure everyone had a great time. We had issues with the flights to and from Lukla, but on both legs, back up solutions were quickly found and everything went really smoothly. The trek itself was beautiful, and we had a great group of people. The Gokyo route was definitely less busy, and really worth the extra couple of days. One of the best trips I've been on!

- Charlotte(April 2023)

If you have the time I highly recommend taking this route to base camp. The trail is much quieter and gokio and gokio ri are stunning definitely a highlight for me. Local guides look after you well and take care of everything.

- Anna(April 2023)

This trip was absolutely fantastic- had the best time ever!

- Charlie(March 2023)

I had the best time on this trip of a lifetime! It was tough and there were some challenging days but the views of Everest and the absolutely stunning Gokyo Lakes make it all worth it. We had a lovely small group of three and we couldn't have asked for a better, more knowledgeable guide than Kanchan. Our porters, Buddha and Rohan were also fantastic, always with big smiles on their faces and happy to help with anything. The teahouses were basic but always very clean with a lovely roaring fire to keep warm. Food was great, I thoroughly recommend the Mars Roll! Reaching Everest Base Camp will always be a moment I will never forget, Thank you for such an epic adventure!

- Henry(March 2023)

A very long and hard trip. Gokyo Ri and the Chola Pass were fantastic, if you can afford the extra cost and few days it’s much better than base camp and the base camp route as it’s much quieter and so much more spectacular! Our guide Kanchan and porters Rohan and Buddha were fantastic, very kind and attended our every need. Make sure you bring a tablet to read books and playing cards as sometimes you finish very early and there is nothing to do in the tea houses; you also will need 500USD with you as well. Thanks for a memorable trip!

We've crunched the numbers to work out the total carbon footprint of this trip, and plant enough trees to suck 2x as much back out the atmosphere.

What's the number?
It works out on average at 612kg of CO2 emissions per person, including all local transport, accommodation, food, activities, guides, staff and office operations.

The only thing it doesn’t include right now is flights and travel to the destination. We do make an overall estimate across all our customers separately, but as we don’t book flights, have customers from all corners of the world, and no way of reliably knowing their travel plans, we simply can’t include an individual number in the figure on display here. We’ve got a goal for 2023 to fix that, so that when you book, there is a way to measure and mitigate the carbon emitted by your flight too.

But what does the number mean?
Yep, hard to picture eh? To give you an idea:

  • Driving 1000miles/1609km would be approx. 281kg of CO2 in an average car (or 140.5kg per person if there was 2 of you in it).
  • A return economy class flight London - New York would be approx. 1,619kg (1.66 tonnes) per person.
  • 10 trees in a temperate forest are estimated to remove approx. 250kg of CO2 from the air in a period of 5-10 years.

What are we doing about it?
Our trips are relatively low-carbon by design, and we're working with all our hosts to develop long term carbon reduction plans. For every person booked with us since 2016 we’re planting enough trees to suck at least 2x more carbon out the atmosphere than is emitted by their trips. All native trees, as part of amazing projects that are re-foresting degraded land, tackling the biodiversity crisis and supporting local communities at the same time. We go further than that too, also funding re-wilding projects worldwide to help protect important keystone species from extinction. See the reforestation and re-wilding schemes we support. See our carbon action plan.

Want to know more?
Amazingly, no international travel company has ever publicly published their carbon measurements before, as far as we know. We believe that must change, quickly. So we’re openly sharing the method we used in the hope that other companies will be able to more easily follow suit and build on what we've done so far. You'll find it all here.

This circular trek is slightly tougher than the classic linear Everest Base Camp route because of the additional challenge of crossing the Cho La Pass yet should be within the capabilities of keen trekkers who lead an active lifestyle and have good fitness and mental stamina. Still, it's important to note that trekking at altitudes above 3000m/10,000ft is more demanding on the body than walking at low elevations. The crossing of the Cho La is a long and demanding day with a steep climb on rocky terrain (often icy) followed by crossing a glacier at the top. Some training beforehand will help and we advise doing at least one weekend of back to back days walking. The guide will set the pace and as with all altitude treks, the theme is ‘slowly slowly’ to help you adjust to the altitude.

Sure can! Over 70% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

We do not include meals on the trek as from experience we know that altitude and physical exercise can mean appetites vary hugely. The cost of food rises as you ascend as it is all carried in by porters and yaks and as you get higher up, very little food can be grown. How much you spend per day will vary according to your choice of meal but generally, people spend between $25-$35 per person per day on meals and hot drinks. Below is an approx. breakdown of some items:

  • Dal Baht: $4 to $7C
  • Chow Mein: $2 to $4
  • Eggs: $2 to $4
  • Toast: $1.50 to $3
  • Tea/Hot Chocolate: $1.00 to $3.00
  • Chocolate Bars: $2 to $4

Teahouses will provide cold water free of charge however it needs to be treated to enable you to drink it. Please read the FAQ re our advice here.

Other extra costs to be considered:

  • Shower: $2-$4
  • Wifi: $2-5
  • Electricity: $2-5

See Lukla flight cancellations FAQ also.

It is customary in Nepal to tip guides and porters. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. You can give any tips to your lead guide at the end of your trip. This will then be shared amongst the whole team. For full transparency, the lead guide will distribute the tips to the guides and porters in your presence. It is customary for the guides to receive a higher share than the porters as they are more highly qualified. A good rule of thumb is around $185pp as a tip, although the amount you give is entirely your choice. 

If you would like to give an additional tip to a member of the team who has supported you personally please do so directly and discretely.

The preferred currency is the Nepalese Rupee (NPR). Whilst ATMs are available in the main cities, please do not rely on them as they are often out of order and most have a maximum withdrawal limit equivalent to about GBP300.

It's best to bring the bulk of your money with you in cash and exchange it at a bank or at one of the many money changers in Nepal - your guide will help you with this. Most major currencies are accepted, including GBP (Sterling), Euros and US Dollars, however Scottish or Irish currency cannot be changed. Keep your exchange receipts in case you want to change any unused Rupees back into hard currency when you leave Nepal (it is illegal to export Nepalese Rupees as it is a closed currency).

You will need to carry a fairly large amount of cash while trekking for the meals. We advise that you keep this in a waterproof bag and in your day bag along with your passport.

We work with some of the best leaders in the industry, every one of which is government licensed and very experienced. In order to ensure this high standard of performance, the host provides them with top-notch in-house training that covers advanced wilderness first aid, hyperbaric chambers, oxygen system, mountain rescue, incident management and Leave No Trace (LNT) principles to help keep the Himalayas pristine.

When you trek in the mountains, there's always the risk of getting altitude sickness, regardless of how old, young, fit or unfit you are. We would expect most trekkers to feel some mild symptoms of altitude sickness (headache, sleeplessness, heavy breathing) when over 3000m. Our guides are trained to identify the symptoms of altitude sickness so if any more serious symptoms are noted, there is a strict procedure regarding extra care or a rapid descent or evacuation if needed. All of our trips have been designed with altitude best practice in mind so acclimatisation days have been built in and our experienced guides follow advice to ‘walk high and sleep low’. On this trip, medical oxygen is available to treat altitude sickness should it be needed.

here are 3 different seasons for trekking in Nepal:

Winter (Dec-Feb): Despite being seen as ‘off-season’ this is often the best time to trek in Nepal. The nights can be very cold (down to minus 20ºC) but the trails are quieter and the mountain views are often at their best due to the clear, sunny skies.

Pre-Monsoon / Spring (March-May): Temperatures rise significantly in Spring and flowers are in full bloom in the lower lands. Although it can still drop below freezing at night, the daytime temperatures tend to sit between 10-15ºC.

Post-Monsoon / Autumn (Sept-Nov): This is the most popular time to trek in Nepal with sunny days generally. It can get cold and windy at higher altitudes - particularly in November, however, skies are usually clear.

Of course, mountain weather is notoriously hard to predict and snow can be expected on any trip so come prepared.

Although relatively rare in the trekking season, occasionally the Cho La pass (which links the Gokyo and Everest Valleys) can be blocked by snow. If it is not possible to cross the pass you will no longer have time to trek to Everest Case Camp. You will follow an alternative trekking route (usually with the option to visit Ama Dablam Base Camp) but will ultimately have to retrace your steps back to Namche.

A mountain flight to Lukla is included on Day 3 of this tour, and back from Lukla on Day 18. Although we schedule departure dates outside of the main monsoon season, weather conditions in any mountain region can be unpredictable. It is not uncommon for flights to and from Lukla to be delayed or cancelled during the trekking season. If your flight to Lukla is cancelled then your host will revert to 'Plan B', as follows:

You will spend an extra night in Kathmandu or Manthali and attempt to fly the next day. If you reach Lukla on Day 4, you will skip a night in Phortche Thanga but otherwise follow the normal itinerary.

If flights to Lukla are cancelled for two consecutive days and you arrive in Lukla on Day 5, you will skip a night in Namche Bazaar as well as a night in Phortche Thanga but will otherwise follow the normal itinerary.

If there are three days of consecutive flight cancellations then it is no longer feasible to safely complete the Gokyo Circuit to Everest Base Camp in the time available and your host will offer an alternative trek based on the majority group’s wishes. This may be the classic Everest Base Camp Trek (no longer visiting the Gokyo Valley/crossing the Cho La Pass), a trek to the Gokyo Valley only (without crossing the Cho La/visiting Everest Base Camp), or the Annapurna Circuit Trek.

Sometimes it is possible to fly part-way (to Phaplu), then drive on a dirt road to Kharikhola (6-7 hrs drive), and begin trekking from there. Alternatively, there is one further option in the event of flight cancellations to Lukla: to try to charter helicopters for the group (subject to availability). Helicopters are less hindered by poor conditions and can often fly when planes cannot. Anyone taking this option will need to pay roughly USD500 extra per person.

Please note that if you spend extra nights in Kathmandu as a result of Lukla flight cancellations, your host will ask you to pay the difference (of around USD45 per room per night) as the hotel in Kathmandu is more expensive than glamping in Manthali or a night in a teahouse.

See also "When should I book my return flight?"

The flight from Lukla to Kathmandu at the end of the trip is usually reliable, however, if the weather is poor cancellations can happen and there is the chance that you might have to fly the next day. To play it safe we advise you to consider booking an extra night’s accommodation in Kathmandu at the end of the trip.

There is a weight restriction on the flight to and from Lukla of 10kg checked baggage plus 5kg hand luggage. It is not a problem for you to check in 1-2kg more than this as long as you are happy to pay an excess luggage charge (approx. £1 per kg). Some items may be left in the hotel in Kathmandu if necessary.

This trip includes one porter for every two trekkers. They will carry up to 20-25kg of kit so your overnight bags and spare clothes will be transported for you (maximum 12kg per person). You will only need to carry a ‘day pack’ with essentials in (extra layer, snacks, water, suncream, camera etc.

We’ve sourced some great optional activities for you to do in and around Kathmandu should you wish to explore the area a little bit further. Please discuss these directly with your host who will be able to book them for you.

Cook Like a Local: This short cooking workshop (approx. 3 hours) teaches you how to cook popular Nepali dishes like MoMo and Dal Bhat. You’ll meet your teacher and accompany them shopping, then head to the kitchen and learn to cook alongside them. Price: Pay what you think the workshop is worth!

Shop Local: A 2/3 hour guided exploration of the markets of Kathmandu. Learn about the vendors that line the narrow and crowded alleyways and witness everything you could ever imagine being sold, haggled or bargained for. It’s a great chance to learn about the melting pot of cultures that exist in Kathmandu. Price: $9-$50pp depending on the group size

Master of the Arts: Patan Durbar Square is popular for its handicrafts and this trip will explore the local factories where they are produced. You’ll visit 2-3 factories and learn about the traditional processes they use and see artwork being produced. Price: $14-$59pp depending on the group size.

Introduction to Shamanism: Shamanism, which is believed to heal many diseases, is not practiced widely these days, however this trip enables you to meet a practising Guru and learn all about this age-old tradition. You’ll visit a small house for an introduction, followed by lunch and then a drumming session where you’ll learn the importance of rhythm to healing. Price: $90-$150 depending on group size.

Although most teahouses have the option to buy bottled water, we advise against it to reduce the use of plastic in the mountains (this ends up being burnt or dumped in landfill out of sight). You will instead be provided with cold water that needs treating. There is a wide range of products available these days which are more effective than traditional purification tablets - some trekkers like to use UV handheld devices such as a Steripen - but other options are available (just check the performance in freezing conditions).

We recommend checking out the country specific information here and also talking to a travel nurse.

For current advice about travelling in Nepal, have a read of the UK Foreign Office pages here.

This trip includes a return domestic flight to Lukla. Nepal's mountainous terrain and weather make for challenging flying conditions and sadly more incidents (including fatalities) occur here than in other countries. Since 2013 the EU has banned all Nepalese domestic airlines from flying within EU airspace in order to raise awareness of the poor safety record (although no Nepalese airlines were operating routes within the EU prior to the ban). You should be aware that flying in Nepal is an identified risk: please consider this carefully before booking. Additional information can be found on the Aviation Safety Network entry for Nepal as well as the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office travel advice for Nepal. Domestic airlines in Nepal are generally not accredited by any internationally recognised safety audit systems and the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal does not operate to the same standards as those of Western nations.

What does Much Better Adventures do about this?

Much Better Adventures collaborates with other UK travel companies that arrange for independent air-safety auditors to visit Nepal annually to assess the local airlines. Much Better Adventures then only uses the carriers that were approved as part of the most recent audit. If any concerns are subsequently raised about an approved airline between audits, we put them on hold until the auditors are satisfied that safety standards are being met.

Owing to the nature of this trip, it is essential that your personal travel insurance policy provides cover to the maximum altitude visited on this trip (5550m) as well as for emergency medical evacuation by helicopter.

Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.

Travel insurance is compulsory for all of our adventures and you are required to provide your policy information before departing.

Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure. We also strongly recommend it includes cancellation and curtailment insurance, should you be unable to join your trip for specific reasons such as illness.

We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, just to cover you for any last-minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.

If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.

All of our group adventures are specially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded. Children can be accommodated on some private departures.

You're in good company. Our adventures are typically made up of a mix of solo travellers and small groups of two or three friends who simply love adventure, pushing themselves and meeting awesome like-minded people. See here for more info about our lovely bunch of Much Better Adventurers.

Want to book a private trip? Just tap ‘Private Group’ in the dates and prices tab.

Your trip is led by carefully curated local hosts and expert guides. See here for more info about the guides we work with.


Pay In Installments

You can choose to pay for this trip in as many installments as you like, with no interest or fees.

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