You arrive Kathmandu.
Your second day can be used to explore Kathmandu as your trek is prepared. The city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has loads of great cultural sites to visit.
The 45-minute flight to Lukla offers sensational views of the Himalayas. You have a couple of hours to yourself before your trek begins. You then hike to the village of Phakding along the impressive Dudh Kosi river.
The pace of the second day is rather more challenging. You continue to follow the Dudh Kosi river, passing through a beautiful forest. If the weather is good, you will get your first sight of Everest here. There is also a variety of plants and wildlife to look out for. After several hours of fairly steep climbing, you arrive at Namche Bazaar, the heart of the Sherpa community and entrance to Sagarmatha National Park.
The day is spent acclimatising. This gives you with the opportunity to explore the delectations of this vibrant and prosperous village: a visit to the Sherpa Culture Museum or Mount Everest Documentation Centre with some time devoted to the local cafés, markets and shops. The Everest View Hotel above the village provides a great view of Everest and the other Khumbu peak. The hotel is also noteworthy for being the highest in the world!
This day is pleasant, taking in the beauty of fir, pine and rhododendron forest as you head for Tengboche. The monastery there is hugely significant to the Buddhist mountain people and is a great place to visit – it is well worth your time. You will see a 20-foot sculpture of Buddha, lama robes, musical instruments and ornate wall hangings. A prayer ceremony can be observed.
The trek to Dingboche entails a number of gradual climbs with remarkable mountain views. You pass through birch, fir, juniper and rhododendron forest in addition to some open hillside. From Dingboche, Island Peak can be seen, along with many other stunning mountains. Be sure not to miss the French bakery in Dingboche.
The challenge deepens today, commencing with a steep ascent to the ridge over the Pheriche Valley. Views are dramatic, encompassing peaks and snowfields in both Nepal and Tibet. Later on, at Tukla, you will advance past memorials dedicated to the Climbers and Sherpas who have perished on Everest in the last half century. This is where you can see the memorial to Scott Fischer, the famous American guide and founder of Mountain Madness, who sadly perished on Everest during the 1996 tragic climbing season. You will end the day at Lobuche, just south of the village you will see the peak of Lobuche East, another popular trekking peak in Nepal.
Today you trek from Lobuche to Gorak Shep. Depending on time you can climb to Kala Patthar (5,643m) to get the finest view of Everest in the region. You can also see uninterrupted views of Changtse, Khumbutse, Lingtren and Pumori. These views will stay with you forever. You will over night in Gorak Shep (5,164m).
Today you will wake early to either trek up Kala Patthar, if you didn’t get a chance yesterday, or trek for two hours to Everest Base Camp. Most people return to Lobuche for the night.
See the detailed Climb Section below.
After you have completed your Island Peak climb and returned to Chukkung (see The Climb section below), you then trek back to Dingboche where you will overnight again. From Dingboche it is possible to trek all the way back to Namche Bazaar for another night and then onto Lukla to catch a flight back to Kathmandu. You may want to break up this return leg with another stop in Monjo or Phakding.