Everest Mountain Culture Trek – 14 Days…with Serene colourful monasteries that blend in with a vibrant Sherpa culture in the foothills of the mighty Everest…
This is one of those off-track treks that steer of the central trails towards the Southern parts of the high valleys that culminate at Mount Everest; in the Solu Khumbu region, the main dwelling of the Sherpa People who follow a mountain culture of a unique kind, making the mountains of this particular area a major source of survival. Trekkers needn’t worry much about altitudes on this venture with elevations that go between 2000 and 4000 metres. The jagged ridges and valley landscapes in this striking part of Nepal makes a trekking vacation just the perfect outing for family and friends, especially for greenhorns making it for the first time… the ‘Everest Mountain Culture Trek’ beckons you to experience a mountain culture that may inspire your quest to learn of an ancient mountain culture that tells us so much of life from a different perspective where the welcoming hospitality will warm our hearts in ways not seen at even some of the biggest hotel properties on earth.
We hop a scenic flight that’s almost like a sky tour from Kathmandu to Lukla where we get to view a whole range of mountains from the windows of our plane. It’s then a cool happy-go-lucky hike up the Dudh Kosi Valley to the happening Sherpa capital of Namche. Hereabouts, it’s an ideal spot to acclimatize a bit before moving on through a tranquil path to Thame village in the Bhote Kosi valley. We also drop in to the cliff-hangar Buddhist monastery in this village before we descend to Khumjung, it’s a feast for the eyes with solid views of Kantega, Thamserku and the Nuptse-Lhotse wall with Mt Everest hovering above like a roman centurion.
Khumjung, one of the biggest inhabited villages in the ‘Khumbu’ is an ideal place to create conversations with the local Sherpa folks and get insights into their traditions. We haul up below Khumbila Peak, abode to the patron God of the Khumbu, before heading down the trail to Phortse, Pangboche and Thyangboche. Nature’s gifts are well displayed right throughout our journey, as we realize we are surrounded by silver grey snow-laden mountains all around us, verdant valleys with lovely rivers running between them, bordered by dense forests with sweet chirping birds and little hamlets with cultivated fields hanging onto nail biting precipice like slopes all combine to make this venture a trademark vacation never to be forgotten. After this gripping journey we retrace our steps back to Lukla for our flight to Kathmandu.
The best times to do this trip would be early autumn and early spring [i.e. September-October-November/February-March-April]. During these times the skies are clear, blue and lovely; in spring the mountains are lit up with a whole lot of pretty flowers everywhere…and the birds welcome you with their merry tunes…
Trip Duration : 13N / 14D
Trekking Code: STE/ER/10
Trekking Duration: 8 Nights / 9 Days
Grade: Soft Adventure Trek
Activity: Cultural tour, hiking and exploring
Starts and ends in: Kathmandu
Trek type: TH [teahouse lodges]
Accommodation: Hotel / lodge (tea house)
Transportation: Flight & private car
Maximum altitude: 3985m
Day 1 : Arrival in Kathmandu at Tribhuwan International Airport
Day 2 : Free at your own leisure
Day 3 : Flight to Lukla & trek to Phakding
Day 4 : Trek to Namche (3450m)
Day 5 : Rest day in Namche
Day 6 : Trek to Thame [3739m]
Day 7 : Trek to Khumjung [3786m]
Day 8 : Trek to Phortse [3542m]
Day 9 : Trek to Pangboche [3985m]
Day 10 : Trek to Tengboche [3864m]
Day 11 : Trek to Namche 
Day 12 : Trek to Lukla [2832m]
Day 13 : Flight to Kathmandu
Day 14 : Depart Kathmandu
Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu
It’s a panoramic thrill flying into Kathmandu on a clear day. The views of snow-capped mountain peaks sprawling down below you are almost ecstatic, beginning a whole chain of memorable experiences that stay with you for a long, long time. And as your plane hits the tarmac, our waiting support team will meet and greet you at the airport and escort you to your hotel. Welcome drinks will be served and over night at your hotel.
Day 2: Free at your own leisure
After your first night in Kathmandu, you will be well informed on arrival about what to do in your next free day.
The choice is yours: either you can stroll around the nearby market on your own or you can opt for a half/full day guided sightseeing tour in Kathmandu at places of interest. The cost for this extra tour is not added in the trek cost and you have to pay extra depending on the places you choose to visit. This extra tour gives you deep insights into Nepal’s iconic monuments that have been recognized by UNESCO as world heritage sites. Sansui Treks will give you an orientation on your program & you will also get the opportunity to ask us any questions you may have regarding our upcoming adventure. When this is done, you might find time to shop around the city in the evening time if you need any gears for the trek. Overnight at your hotel
Day 3: Flight to Lukla - Trek to Phakding [2656m] hiking time approx 3 hrs
A flight to Lukla and a landing on a steep mountain runway brings us to the start of our trek at the village of Lukla [2850m]. After meeting the crew, we head up the Dudh Koshi Valley on a well-marked trail and then stay overnight in Phakding.
Day 4: Trek to Namche [3450m] – hiking time approx 5 hrs
From Phakding, we cross and re-cross the river on high suspension bridges. Beyond Monjo is the entrance to the Sagarmatha National Park which was set-up in order to protect and preserve the fragile mountain environment. We then take a steep hike to Namche. If the weather is clear, we get the first glimpse of Mt Everest. Namche is the main trading village in the Khumbu and has a busy Saturday market - a meeting place for the Hindu traders from the lowlands and the Tibetan yak caravans that have crossed the glaciated Nangpa La. We spend our night at a hotel in Namche
Day 5: Rest day in Namche
Namche is tucked away between two ridges amidst the giant peaks of the Khumbu and has an abundance of lodges, tea shops and souvenir shops. It is an ideal place to spend a day, acclimatizing to the new altitude before heading off towards Tengboche. To acclimatize, you visit Khunde Hospital set-up by Sir Edmund Hillary, or take a one hour walk up to the Everest View Hotel above Namche for the sunset view of Ama Dablam, Nuptse, Lhotse and Everest. There are also good views from the National Park Centre and Museum just above the town. Overnight Namche
Day 6: Trek to Thame [3739m] – [3736m] – hike 5-6 hrs
From Namche the route turns west and the trail is almost level as we head up the Bhote Kosi Valley, once a popular trading route into Tibet. Along the way we pass many prayer flags and Mani stones, all indicative of the Tibetan Buddhist culture of this area. After descending to the Bhote Kosi the trail climbs steeply to Thame. From here there are good views of the peaks of Teng Kangpoche and Kwangde. To the north is the Nangpa La, the pass leading to Tibet. Thame Gompa is situated above the village overlooking the valley and is the site for the spring celebrations of the Mani Rimdu festival. This is an ideal place to spend our night
Day 7: Trek to Khumjung [3786m] - hike 5 hours
We clamber up to the famed airstrip of Syangboche. Just above the airstrip is the Everest View Hotel, a Japanese plan to build a deluxe hotel with great views of the uppermost mountains on Earth. The Khumjung valley is surrounded by Himalayas including Kongde, Thamserku and the sacred Khumbila. While at Khumjung village we drop into the Edmund Hillary School and Khumjung Monastery (a monastery famous for housing the head of the Yeti!). This is where we bunk out for the night
Day 8: Trek to Phortse, 3670m – hike 4 hours
From Namche, we ascend steeply to the airstrip at Shyangboche and then continue on to our lunch spot in Khumjung, the largest village in the region. Towering above the Khumjung village is the sacred rocky peak of Khumbilya (5761m). It is the home of the guardian goddess of the region, often depicted in religious paintings, or Thangkas, as a white-faced figure on a white horse. The trail contours around Khumbilya's lower slopes, passing through beautiful birch forest and on to treeless, grassy slopes to a stupa (3992m) on top of a rocky ridge at Manla. This is where we spend our night
Once again the views of the mountains are magnificent. Phortse can be seen across the valley, a picturesque village set in a patchwork of stone-walled fields. From the stupa we descend on a series of switchback trails to the Dudh Kosi River, 300m below, at Phortse Bridge where we spend our overnight [not on the bridge of course]
Day 9: Trek to Pangboche [3985m] hiking time 3-4 hrs
Today’s trek is mostly downhill. As we retrace our steps to Duglha and descend to Pheriche, we arrive at The Himalayan Rescue Association, a trekker’s aid post and worth a visit. After lunch we cross the Khumbu Khola on a wooden suspension bridge and follow the Imja Khola to the village of Pangboche. We spend our night in Pangboche village
Day 10: Trek to Tengboche [3867m] hiking time approx 5 hrs
From Namche, the trail contours on to the side of the valley, high above the Dudh Kosi. We get our first really good views of the great peaks of the Khumbu including Mt Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse and Ama Dablam. Passing by several villages and numerous tea shops, we descend steeply to a bridge over the river at Phunki Tenga. The village is an ideal stopover for lunch. Here we can rest before making the steep climb to Tengboche. Although the hike up the zigzag path is tiring, it presents us with many beautiful sights of rhododendron bushes with beautiful birds and superb mountain scenery. Tengboche is famous for its legendary monastery, the largest in the Khumbu. A spectacular panorama of Everest, Lhotse and Ama Dablam rising in the horizon can be seen from the campsite.
Day 11: Trek to Namche [3450m] hiking time approx 4-5 hrs
We continue to follow the river and, after crossing it, climb back up through birch and rhododendron forest to Tengboche. Kwangde, Tawache, Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, Ama Dablam, Kantega and Thamserku are just a few of the Himalayan giants to be seen. From Tengboche we descend to the bridge over the Dudh Kosi. At Phunki Tenga, we get to see the water driven prayer wheels, before making our way back to Namche for the night.
Day 12: Trek to Lukla [2800m] our last night on these lovely mountains - hiking time approx 3 hrs
Our final day's trekking follows the Dudh Kosi down to Lukla. This last evening calls for a celebration because this is our last day on these fantastic mountains that were home to us all of these days. We have a party with our Sherpa guides and porters who've got close to us over the weeks & are now good friends. We sample some 'chang' (locally brewed mountain beer) and try out some Sherpa dance steps. Altogether, this is an end to a merry trip on a merry note. After supper, we relax under the starry skies on a moonlit night & reflect on the emotional experiences we had while hiking through these massive mountains that have probably helped us re-discover ourselves in ways least expected. We then slumber into blissful sleep.
Day 13: Fly to Kathmandu
We pack up early and head for the airstrip to hop a flight back to Kathmandu. On touchdown, the rest of your day is free to do your own things. You could do some last minute shopping and packing, or send a few post cards home or even go down for a stroll to Thamel, an internationally known hub for tourists in Asia.
Day 14: Depart Kathmandu for home sweet home – Good bye you our trusted friends!
Our office support team will take you to the airport for your flight home. (Or stay longer for short tours such as game drive at National parks, do some wild-water rafting, a Tibet tour or even mountain biking, etc - please don't hesitate to let us know). We would be glad to help you. Thank you for doing this venture with us and it's been wonderful knowing you over the weeks. Please do stay in touch in the months ahead. Bon Voyage & take care!!!
Please Note: that although we will go the lengths to follow the itinerary given above, at times local trails or unpredictable weather patterns may necessitate slight changes if necessary. The trekking itinerary may also sometimes vary slightly depending on our trekkers' acclimatization rates. This adventure goes into wild territory above the timberline, so we seek to request maximum flexibility if and when required for the success and safety of your trip and your life.
A ‘TH [Teahouse Lodge] is a term used for sleeping in teahouse lodges on the trails. These teahouses are pretty basic but provide all the comforts that you would expect when hiking in remote conditions, they are cosy and warm – you’d like the homely environment. We crash out in single rooms wherever available, but often times we sometimes have to adapt to sleeping out in dormitory type rooms for a night. Generally, it’s just a bed with a pillow and blankets. It’s a matter of choice, if you want, you bring your own ‘Air pillow’ and freak out anyways, this is adventure in the wild…the rougher it gets the better. We accommodate our trek groups in local lodges available each day. Our porters hike ahead of us to book the required rooms for the group (rooms cannot be booked in advance). Please note, that some of them are very basic and a spirit of adventure is the call of the day. It is cheaper to stay in lodges rather than organizing a camping trek.
We have a pool of hotels in Kathmandu under 3-4-5 Star categories which we provide to clients in connection with this itinerary, unless it is mentioned otherwise or clients have a special choice. You can check on the description of such hotels through our website. Accommodation is never a problem, the choice exclusively yours.
At ‘Incentive Holidays’ – its zero tolerance on cutting of cost when it comes down to feeding our trekking guests, because we know how tough it is on the trails; we ensure that the lodges provide three tasty, bountiful and nutritious meals daily with a variety of local and Western dishes. To start the day, breakfast is ‘king size’ [the first meal of the day] consisting of a choice of porridge, muesli and cereals followed by omelet, fried or scrambled eggs with chapattis or bread. Lunch is generally a selection of salad, cooked vegetable dishes, pasta and traditional breads. After a lengthy gritty day on the trail, dinner is a hearty 3 course meal - soup, followed by a variety of vegetables, meat, rice and pasta dishes completed with a simple dessert. Don’t be surprised if the delectable ‘apple pie’ lands on your plate, it’s literally ‘yummy’’, even better than the ones you come across in Thamel.
Tea, coffee and hot chocolate are also provided at all meals. The lodges always use as much fresh produce as possible and special diets are regularly catered for. The local trek leaders are able to maintain very tight controls on health and hygiene in the kitchen with respect to general cleanliness and food preparation and also within the group with focus on personal hygiene. This has allowed us to maintain extremely high standards of health over many years of planning treks - and good health is vital to an enjoyable and successful trek and climb. All foods are well cooked and vegetables are treated by potassium permanganate or iodine. Boiled water is served for drinking. Antiseptic soaps and potassium or iodine treated water are provided for washing. Special dietary requirements can always be catered for. ‘Gluttony is a sin’ but there are no restrictions on the grub we serve to our guests on the mountains; we leave it up to our trekking guests who are the best judge of their own appetites…Bon Appétit!!
Popular Sightseeing places in Kathmandu:
Half day sightseeing includes visit two of these places and full day sightseeing includes three of these places inside the ring-road of Kathmandu. Besides the above mentioned places, the charges will apply depending on the distance accordingly.
The best time to visit for a trip of this kind would be in the Spring and Autumn. It is wonderful during this time of the year when an overall beauties of the landscapes found in these trips are so distinct & stunning, due to clear weather pattern & sunny blue skies. Our program could be changed to accommodate individual group choices and preferences in order to give you proper holidays that become signature ventures for a lifetime.