The majority of people trekking to Everest Base Camp fly into Lukla for the experience. For those looking to better acclimate to the conditions and build up stamina the preferable alternative is to start from Phaplu.
The trek starts with a bus ride from Kathmandu or a private car/jeep. Although the trail from into Sagarmatha National Park is referred to as the classic route to Everest, the original trailhead began at Kathmandu — what an adventure that must have been! All early Everest expeditions including the Hunt expedition with Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary passed through the same route, hence its reputation as the gateway to the region, giving trekkers taking the route a sense of following in the footsteps of climbing history.
The hike from Phaplu to Lukla passes through a region that is blissfully free of the trekking numbers generally associated with the trails further north. The trek commences by heading out to Traksindu pass and climbs steadily to Lamjura Bhanjyang (3530m) before dropping down again to the crossing of Dudh Koshi east of Nunthala. The route encompasses a wide range of scenery and vegetation, from the verdant forests and patchwork of crops and terraced fields in the lowlands to passes such as Taksindu La Lamjura pass 3530m and Kari La 3145m all of which help to steadily build up conditioning and stamina for the trials ahead. By the time the trail leads into Lukla trekkers taking the Jiri option should be in fine fettle to tackle the main trailhead and better acclimated for the higher sections of the journey.
The trek then heads into Sagarmatha National Park and on towards Namche, where the landscapes take on a more dramatic turn as the towering presence of Everest and Lhotse take on more significance with each passing day, with surrounding peaks such as Nuptse, Kangtega, and the ever-impressive Amadablam adding their own touch to the stunning panorama. We call in at Tengboche monastery along the way, the obligatory stopping point for many a famous expedition seeking the blessing of the lama before taking on the perilous slopes of the world's highest peak. Everest Base Camp (5364m) finally greets us with the breathtaking climb to its perch below the famous mountain, with the stunning views from Kala Patthar nearby to add even more wonder to the experience.
Trekking in the region is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many visitors, with Everest as the chief goal thanks to its dramatic scenery, the famed Sherpas and their deeply rooted Buddhist beliefs, and the experience of walking through a timeless land that's a living museum to Himalayan climbing, with Everest itself as the jewel of the exhibits.
Let Nepal Trekking Experts be the ones to guide you via the Jiri route, with options such as the challenging Everest Three Passes or the Gokyo Valley trek available to further extend the adventure. Our staff are ready and waiting to discuss the variations, so please feel free to get in touch for further information.
Accommodation on Everest Base Camp Trek via Lower Lukla
Tea house hotels are plentiful within the infamous Everest Region of Nepal, with a range of quality available to you depending on your preference and needs. At lower elevations, you can choose more fully equipped tea houses with electricity, wifi, and en suite bathrooms with hot showers and western toilets. There are also more rustic, basic tea houses available, especially at higher elevations, that have simple rooms and basic services. Bathrooms might be shared and have a squat-style toilet. At these tea houses, you can pay a small fee for services such as wifi and hot showers. We provide you with a clean, -20°C sleeping bag to keep you cozy and warm.
Food on EBC Trek via Phaplu
Food in the Everest Region of Nepal is delicious and plentiful. Along the well-loved and well-traveled route to Everest Base Camp, there are many tea houses offering a range of options to suit your preferences.
- Breakfast - You can enjoy local chapati bread or Tibetan bread with curry or go for more familiar eggs, porridge, muesli, or pancakes. This trek is vegetarian and vegan-friendly, but if you have any other dietary restrictions, you can let us know, and your guide will communicate with the kitchen staff.
- Lunch & Dinner - You can choose from a variety of local dishes, including Dal Bhat (rice, vegetable curry, and lentil soup with unlimited refills!), fried rice or noodles, Mo Mo (local dumplings), Thukpa (Tibetan noodle soup), spring rolls, or western dishes like burgers, pasta, pizza, and potatoes.
Your package with Nepal Trekking Experts includes dinner in Kathmandu before you leave for your trek and three meals a day (with tea or coffee) every day of the trek, including travel days. If you'd like, you can purchase extra snacks, desserts, or fancy coffees when they're available.
When trekking with Nepal Trekking Experts, the permit fees are included in your package. Your guide will require your passport to obtain the required permits on your behalf.
- Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality Entrance Permit: The local government of Khumbu charges NPR 2000 per person, which must be paid in person in Lukla; this permit is not available in Kathmandu.
- Sagarmatha National Park Entry Permit: This permit can be obtained in Kathmandu at the Nepal Tourism Board Office or in Monjo at the Park Entrance Gate. It costs NPR 3000 per person.
Most tea houses have phone service and mobile reception; however, due to the nature of being in the mountains, it can be unpredictable. If you would like, you can purchase a data SIM card in Kathmandu before you depart. NCELL is a recommended provider that offers 3G internet services in the Everest region.
Many tea houses have wifi to purchase for around 3 dollars per day which is paid in local Nepali rupees. Please be aware that internet services may not be completely reliable due to weather and other issues.
Despite trekking deep into the Himalayas, most of the tea houses have either electricity or solar power. Depending on the tea house, you might be able to charge your devices in your rooms. Otherwise, you can pay a few dollars (paid in local rupees) to charge your battery in the main dining hall. Carrying a power bank is recommended during your trek in the Everest region.
Our tailor-made packages do not include a porter, so you can make the decision based on your own needs and preferences. Although not necessary, having a porter can make a massive difference in the enjoyment of your trek. If you are new to trekking at high altitudes, then we would recommend having a porter in the Everest region carry your bag. One porter carries the bags of two people (around 20kg) so that you can carry a small daypack. If you are undecided, we would be happy to discuss porters in more detail when you book your trek.
Kathmandu to Lukla Flights
Just for your information, normally Lukla’s flight will be operated from Ramechhap (Manthali Airport) in peak seasons like October/November and March/April. If the airlines are too busy, then they might operate from mid-September in the fall and in May in the spring. It depends on air traffic and the rules of aviation. Ramechhap is located 132 kilometers east of Kathmandu, which takes 4-5 hours by car or van. Most people begin to drive at 2:00 a.m. in the morning to get the earliest flight. Our package already includes the road transfer along with the flight.