Makalu Base Camp Trek
Photo Credit: Mick Fingleton

Makalu Base Camp Trek is suitable adventure for anyone seeking a challenge combined with an exciting and unique cultural experience. As one of only 14 mountains in the world above 8,000 metres, Mount Makalu is located in the Khumbu region of northern Nepal. It is in fact the fifth highest mountain in the world. This trek will expose you to the breathtaking views of the highest mountain ranges our world has to offer, including the one and only Mount Everest, India’s highest peak Kangchenjunga, the fourth highest mountain Lhotse, and two Nepal favourites: Barunste and Chamlang. Beneath these snowcapped peaks lies the picturesque Makalu- Barun Valley. The path leads through this remote valley, full of rare species of animals and plants that allow a glimpse of the wildlife protected by the world’s giants.
The Makalu Base Camp Trek encourages trekkers to gape at the wonders of the world, relax amongst the stunning scenery and absorb the fresh cold air. What could be missing? Culture. Visiting the people of this remote and beautiful corner of the world, you will be immersed in the culture of Himalayan villages, the Tibetan Sherpa inhabitants, learning and taking part in their ancient traditions.

Highlights of this trek include:
• Sightseeing in Kathmandu
• Stunning views of Mt. Everest and of India’s highest peak
• An opportunity to glimpse rare wildlife including: red pandas, snow leopards, and flying squirrels
• Learning about the lifestyle of the Tibetan sherpas

A typical day on the Makalu Base Camp Trek:

The day begins with preparing your bag for the porters followed by breakfast. Breakfast is typically ordered the evening before in order to give the teahouse owner ample time to prepare. It is important to remember that the owners cook meals for 20 to 30 people in a small kitchen. After breakfast, the morning trek starts with short teahouse breaks. Around noon, we take a longer break for lunch. After lunch, we trek until we reach the destination for the day. In the afternoon, we reach the destination and are assigned rooms. The porters will have already delivered the heavy bags. We will order dinner, and you will have time on your own to relax and explore the village we are visiting. At dinner, the guides will explain the expectations for tomorrow’s segment and provide practical information including what time the heavy bags should be ready for the porters, what time to order breakfast and what time the trek starts. After dinner, you have free time to read a book, discuss the day’s adventures with your fellow trekkers and the guides, or enjoy a game of cards.

Makalu Base Camp Trek: Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu

Touch down at Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu. You will be greeted by our representative who will transfer you to your hotel. After settling into Nepal’s largest and diverse city, you will be taken for dinner where you will meet the rest of your trekking group and taste the traditional tastes of Nepal.

Day 2: Explore Kathmandu

After spending the night at your hotel, you will have the day to tour the world heritage sites in and around Kathmandu. Visit the UNESCO cultural heritage site Pashupatinath, a Hindu temple situated 3km northwest of Kathmandu in the village of Deopatan. Meet Saddhus (holy men/ Baba) who spend most of their hours cremating bodies on the riverbank of the holy Bagmati. Monkeys fill the surrounding area as you explore the bustling markets selling a range of Hindu gifts, incense, and rainbow tika powders that make unique souvenirs. Wander over to the Bouddhanath stupa, the holiest Tibetan Buddhist temple outside Tibet. Marvel at the astonishing 14th century building before having lunch at Bouddha, which offers panoramic views of the stupa. Head to Swoyambhunath stupa after lunch. As well as offering 360 degree views of Kathmandu Valley, this stupa is home to many monkeys. A trip to Kathmandu is not complete without a visit to Durbar Square. Once the home of the city’s royalty, it is now a must see destination on any traveller’s itinerary. Meander through the beautiful temples and market stalls and head to Freak Street, the home of the hippies in the 60’s and 70’s. After diving into the beautiful, bustling atmosphere of Kathmandu, it is time to meet the group you will be spending the next 14 days with. You will receive an invitation to a traditional Nepalese restaurant where you will be briefed on important information about the trek will have a chance to ask the staff any questions regarding Makalu Base Camp trek you may have, while enjoying the traditional flavours of Nepal.

Day 3: Tumlingtar

Today you will have an airport transfer to catch the short flight to Tumlingtar. The views from the plane include the snowcapped peaks of Mt. Everest, Makalu and Mt. Kanchenjunga. Upon arriving in the tiny village situated between the Arun and Sabha Rivers, we have a short walk to camp.

Day 4: Trek to Trek to Mani-Bhanjyang

The trek begins! We set out on a one-hour hike past farms and villages towards Khadbari through the sub-tropical forest of Sorea-Robusta also known as Sal Tree in India. We reach the quaint town of Khadbari before continuing towards the campsite at Mani Bhanjyang along a path offering stunning views and a variety of terrain.

Day 5: Trek to Chichila

Feeling adventurous this morning, we start by ascending for 3-4 hours on a wide and well-worn trail, arriving at Bhotebas for lunch. We continue to Chichila village where we can admire the astounding views of Mt. Makalu and Khumbakarna and where we will be spending the night.

Day 6: Trek to Num

Admire the beauty of colossal rhododendrons, oaks and hemlocks as we climb through the forests to the top of the ridge toward the northeastern village of Num. Once we reach the top, it is a pleasant two-hour walk downhill to the campsite. Num has a very small population with only 15 houses and a primary school so it is a great opportunity to experience simple Nepalese life and meet the locals.

Day 7: Trek to Seduwa

Today is an exciting yet challenging walk as we descend 800 m down extremely steep slopes towards the stunning Arun River surrounded by cliffs covered in forests. We trek through more forests on slippery paths and cross a bridge suspended above the fast flowing waters. We climb back through the rainforest to stop for a well-earned lunch at Runruma with excellent views of the snowy peaks. A fantastic photo spot! After another steep climb, we will arrive in the traditional village of Seduwa where many locals are trade flowerpots and statues.

Day 8: Trek to Tashi Gaun

After the challenging trek yesterday, we will take it easy today with an easy short walk through rural farms villages. A one-hour uphill climb follows, which will take us to our destination for the night. Because the trek today is a short 3-4 hours, we have plenty of time to relax and explore the pretty village of Tashi Gaun.

Day 9: Trek to Kahuma Danda

We leave Tashi Gaun, the last village on our way to Makalu. Enjoy the fresh air as we take a pleasant walk through forests admiring nature’s beauty as we reach pastures filled with temporary huts before taking on the strenuous climb towards Kahuma ridge. Finally, we reach our camp for the night where we can relax and gaze up at the starry sky above the towering peaks.

Day 10: Trek to Mumbuk

Today we will trek past Thulo Pokhari lake, also known as ‘the big pond’, and Sano Pokhari lake, ‘the small pond’. These natural wonders sit below the spectacular mountain ranges offering exceptional views. Now we reach the snow where finding the trail will become difficult but hey we all love a challenge! We reach the dizzying height of 4,074 m at Tutu-la but soon descend to make the most of the views and of course the heavy snow while you can! We set up camp in woodland where we can rest and warm up for the night whilst gazing through the tress at Mt. Kumbhakarna, the 32nd highest mountain in the world.

Day 11: Trek to Nehe Kharka

We begin the day with a downhill walk to the Barun Valley at the base of Mt. Makalu. This concealed valley lies in the Makalu Barun National Park, yet it remains one of the less frequently visited valleys in the region, offering a remote and peaceful environment. Home to 3,000 different species of plants, 440 bird species and 75 mammal species, it is a good idea to keep your eyes open and if you are lucky enough, you may get a glimpse of the endangered cloud leopard, red panda or musk deer. We now have a very pleasant walk with gradual uphill slopes along the Barun River to our camp at Nehe Kharka.

Day 12: Trek to Sherson

We cross the wooden bridge above the Barun River, and climb over boulders to the large prayer wall at Ramara. After a few hours, vegetation becomes sparse as we discover the lower Barun glacier and the magnificent Mt. Makalu. We reach Sherson, our stop for the night and home to a number of stone enclosures and fantastic views of the peaks.

Day 13: Acclimatisation day

On the 13th day of Makalu Base Camp trek, there is no trekking program, Instead, you have time to explore the area at your own leisure. We recommend walking along the far side of the camp for a closer view of Mt. Makalu, Barun Pakhari and the Eastern Kanshung face of Everest. If you have enough energy, tackle a one-hour steep climb to get an even closer view of the towering giants. If you’d rather rest your feet, you spend the day relaxing in and around the camp.

Day 14: Free day in Sherson with optional excursion

Another free day with the option of a 4 to 5 hour walk to the base of Mt. Makalu.

Day 15: Trek to Yangri Kharka

It is time to put the hiking boots back on as we explore the surrounding valley and trek back to the end of Barun Valley to Yak Kharka for our overnight stop.

Day 16: Trek to Mumbak

We continue back to Mumbak today along a challenging uphill route until we make it to camp amongst the serene alpine forest where we can relax, chat and play some traditional Nepalese campfire games.

Day 17: Trek to Kahuma Danda

We retrace our steps to the Kahuma ridge through Shipton-la and Thulo Pokhari towards our camp. Meet locals as we go and admire the backdrop.

Day 18: Trek to Navagaun

Nestled above Seduwa, Navagaun is a Sherpa village that is somewhat larger than Tashi Gaun. After a 2-3 hour trek, we will spend the rest of our day and night here allowing plenty of time to explore this welcoming village.

Day 19: Trek to Num via Seduwa

We walk through fields to Seduwa, where after resting a short time, we will retrace our steps to return to Num.

Day 20: Trek to Chichilla

After a challenging uphill trek we can enjoy a fun, scenic walk downhill towards the village Chichilla where we will camp for the night.

Day 21: Trek to Khadbari

A nice 6 -7 hour trek through fields, farms and forests passing small villages to Khadbari, a large village where we will have time to explore in the evening.

Day 22: Trek back to Tumlingtar

Our final day trekking! This short 3-4 hour trek will take us to Tumlingtar where will have lunch and spend the final night of this unforgettable adventure. We will have plenty of time to celebrate our feat!

Day 23: Fly back to Kathmandu

We will say our goodbyes and you will return to Kathmandu where you will be transferred to your hotel.

Day 24: Day of leisure in Kathmandu

Now is your time to relax in the city or catch up on some sightseeing before spending your last night in the hotel.

Day 25: Departure from Kathmandu

Today is free for last minute shopping for souvenirs before your departure flight/drive to continue your travels or return home. If departing, you’ll be transferred to the International Airport for your flight to your onwards destination. We wish you a safe onward journey and hope you enjoyed your time with Fundraising Treks.


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