Itinerary Details: 10 days/9 nights
Day 1: Arrival
Namaste. Welcome to Nepal! Arrive in Kathmandu and transfer to your hotel. Kathmandu is the capital of Nepal. The Kathmandu Valley, consisting of Kathmandu, Lalitpur, and Bhaktapur, may have been inhabited as early as 900 BC. The city houses various Hindu and Buddhist temples as well as the King's Palace. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Day 2: Kathmandu – Lukla - Monjo
This morning, fly from Kathmandu to the small mountain airstrip at Lukla. Upon arrival, transfer to Lukla lodge for refreshments and a briefing before commencing the trek. Pass through several villages before stopping for lunch at a beautiful spot alongside the Thada Kosi River, below the base of the Kusum Kangru Himal. The second half of the trek to Monjo should take no more than 3 hours. The next big village is Phakding (8700'/2652m) but the trail passes many smaller settlements. The walk from Lukla to Monjo is an easy hike over gently undulating hills. Overnight at Monjo.
Day 3: Monjo - Thachok Danda - Monjo
Trek: 5-6 hours
The hike to Thakchok Danda is to assist with acclimatization. Your Sherpa Sirdar will take you up the hill to Thakchok's summit, which lies slightly above 9842'/3000m. From this vantage point, the views of Kongde Ri, Thamserku and Numbur Himal are quite spectacular. Return to Monjo Lodge for the night.
Day 4: Monjo – Tashinga
Trek: 5-6 hours
Five minutes beyond the lodge, enter the Everest National Park where formalities must be completed. Today is one of the tougher days of the trip, but spectacular scenery awaits as you climb slowly up to Namche Bazar. Along the way there are two suspension bridges to cross as you zig zag along the Dudh Kosi River before reaching the base of the Namche Hill. After an easy-paced three hour walk, arrive at Namche Bazar, the heart of the Khumbu. A well deserved break is planned over lunch and there will be time to explore the town. Above Namche, the trail to Tashinga follows the classical approach to Everest. Overnight at the lodge.
Day 5: Tashinga – Thyangboche - Tashinga
Trek: 5-6 hours
Looking across the valley from the lodge, you can see the path sloping diagonally upwards to the famous monastery of Thyangboche. Begin the day's trek by descending to the small hamlet of Phunki Tenga lying beside the Dudh Kosi. Cross the suspension bridge before beginning a steep ascent. This part of the trail passes through fairly heavy forests of rhododendron and pine so it is well shaded and cool. The setting of Thyangboche is magical, positioned against a backdrop of some of the Himalayas most brilliant peaks. The monastery was accidentally burned down only a few years ago and re-built largely through the efforts of the Sir Edmund Hillary Trust. After a leisurely lunch and a tour of the monastery, retrace to Tashinga for the night.
Day 6: Tashinga – Monjo
Trek: 6 hours
From Tashinga, take the lower trail back to Namche. There will be time for a short stop in Namche for last minute shopping before making the final descent to Monjo. After crossing the Edmund Hillary Bridge, arrive at the lodge at Monjo. Overnight.
Day 7: Trek via Gumila Monastery to Lukla
Trek: 5 hours
Today's return trek to Lukla will bring you through the village of Phakding and a chance to visit the monastery of Gumila. It takes about 30-45 minutes to reach the monastery, accessible by a path leading off the main trail. It is home to 12-15 monks of the Gelugpa sect and a center of Buddhist learning. Continue back to the main trail and overnight at Lukla Lodge.
Day 8: Lukla – Kathmandu
In the early morning, transfer to the airstrip for your flight to Kathmandu. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel. Afternoon at leisure and overnight in Kathmandu.
Day 9: Kathmandu
After breakfast, visit the sights of Kathmandu: Kumari Bahal, the Temple of the Living Goddess; Kasthamandap, the wooden house that gave Kathmandu its name; Durbar Square, the central area housing an array of temples; the Royal Palace, overlooked by the ancient Hanuman Dhoka; and Swayambhunath, the 2000 year old Buddhist stupa. In the afternoon, take a tour of Patan city, built in 3rd century AD by Emperor Ashoka. Patan boasts of fine arts enclosed within 4 stupas. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Day 10: Departure
Today, transfer to the airport for your onward flight.