Day 1 – Kathmandu
On arrival into Kathmandu, Nepal, a representative of Aurora Expeditions will pick you up at the airport and take you to your hotel. Get to know your fellow trekkers and guide at a welcome dinner featuring authentic Nepalese cuisine, together with a brief cultural program.
Day 2 – Kathmandu
After a traditional Nepali breakfast, we will begin our sightseeing trip. We will have a private vehicle and a professional tour guide at our disposal. We will visit Boudhanath Stupa, one of the largest Buddhist shrines in the world. There, we will observe Buddhist monks and other faithful followers of Buddha saying prayers, walking clockwise around the stupa, spinning prayer wheels, or prostrating themselves underneath the colourful prayer flags to show their devotion. On the outer circle around the stupa are many shops selling local artwork and souvenirs. Afterwards, we will visit Pashupatinath, the most famous Hindu temple in the country. It is located on the banks of the holy Bagmati River. Here, we will see Hindu holy men (sadhus) meditating and pilgrims bathing in the river to purify themselves spiritually. We will also visit Bhaktapur Durbar Square, which is the plaza in front of the former Royal Palace, one of three of the old Bhaktapur Kingdom. The square contains a collection of pagodas and shikharas. A shikhara, literally meaning “mountain peak,” is a highly-stylised, elaborate Hindu temple. The attractions of the Bhaktapur Durbar Square include The Lion Gate, The Golden Gate, The Palace of Fifty-Five Windows, The Statue of King Bhupatindra Malla, and Art Galleries. The rest of our time in Kathmandu is free for further exploration and some shopping in the Thamel area near your hotel.
Day 3 – Helicopter flight to Lukla; trek to Monjo
We will take a 45-minute chartered helicopter flight to Lukla, where all treks towards Mount Everest must begin. As we will be flying eastward, try to get a seat on the left side of the plane to get a good aerial view of the snow-capped Himalayan Mountains and the Dudh Kosi (“Milk River”) below. Our path to Phakding will be relatively easy, as most of it is downhill through lush green valleys. We will pass through the region of Pharak, which lies in between the Solu region (south of Lukla) and the Khumbu region (the upper part of Lukla). We will pass by a small monastery high on a hill and many mani stones along the way. From Phakding, we will follow the Dudh Khosi (which you will have seen from the air), reach where it intersects with the Imja Khosi (river), and continue northward to Monjo, a small village in the Dudh Khosi river valley.
Total hiking time, approx. 4-5 hours. Max altitude 2,652 metres (8,700 feet)
Day 4 – Trek to Namche Bazaar
We will begin our long and steep climb to Namche Bazaar. We will ascend almost 800 metres (or about 2,625 feet) in one day. Again, our guides may go over some safety precautions to assist you in acclimatising to the higher altitudes. Along the way, we will be treated to a gigantic waterfall that often resembles a long, thin ponytail. As we climb further up the rocky trail, we will come upon a magnificent mountain called Thamserku. It vaguely resembles a giant fan-shaped scallop shell with vertical snow-covered ridges. During this portion of the trek, we will cross the Dudh Khosi several times over steel suspension bridges built not too long ago by Swiss design and engineering to replace the old wooden ones.
Total hiking time, approx. 5-6 hours. Max altitude 3,440 metres (11,286 feet).
Day 5 – Namche Bazaar
At an elevation of 3,440 metres (or 11,280 feet) above sea level, Namche Bazaar is the main trade and administrative centre for the Solu Khumbu region. It is also a popular resting spot for trekkers and mountaineers alike to acclimatise to the higher altitudes. The village is built against a mountainside and is shaped roughly like a shallow bowl. It is nestled beneath the sacred Mount Khumbila. Roughly translated as the “God of Khumbu,” Khumbila is too sacred to be climbed. Lodges and houses with colorful roofs are huddled together, connected by an intricate maze of dirt roads and footpaths. Here, we will find a museum, a monastery, and many shops, restaurants, and bakeries. We will have access to the Internet and can relax with a cup of tea. This is a day of rest and acclimatization, due to the high altitude.
Day 6 – Trek to Thame
It is a beautiful and easy walk to Thame. On the way we will see beautiful old Sherpa small villages and traditional houses. On arrival into Thame, we will explore one of the oldest Sherpa villages and their livelihood
Total hiking time, approx. 4-5 hours. Max altitude 3,780 metres (12,401 feet).
Day 7 – Trek to Kongde
We will be walking through the small bamboo and Rhododendron forest to Kongde. Being the longest walking day, we will be carrying our pack lunch and will be stopping in the middle of forest for a picnic lunch. Before reaching Kongde, we will be climbing the rock cliffs with the support of fixed ropes. It can be challenging for some trekkers.
Total hiking time, approx. 6-7 hours. Max altitude 4,270 metres (14,009 feet).
Day 8 – Kongde
Optional rest day, or hike up to Kongde peak, offering spectacular panoramic Mt Everest views.
Total hiking time, approx. 2 hours. Max altitude 4,650 metres (15,255 feet).
Day 9 – Helicopter flight to Kathmandu & Everest Base Camp flight*
From your breakfast table, enjoy the 360-degree panoramic views of Mount Everest, along with views of beautiful mountains like Loste, Nubste and Ama Dablam. After breakfast, board your group’s chartered helicopter to fly directly back to Kathmandu.
*Optional Everest Base Camp helicopter fly-over (early morning on Day 9 or Day 8, weather dependent): AU$525 per person
Day 10 – Kathmandu
You may enjoy the full day in a leisurely manner, catch up on some last minute shopping, or explore any landmarks you may have missed during our first day in Kathmandu. In the evening, we will have a farewell celebration dinner together.
Day 11 – Kathmandu
Today your trek will end in Kathmandu with a transfer to the airport, where you can continue your adventure at your own arrangement