Join the Makalu Base Camp Trek to be a part of an exclusive trekking opportunity and embark on a journey to the base of the world’s fifth-highest peak known for its outstanding diversity of flora and fauna. Open to the outside world after the trek by Eric Shipton crossing what became known as Shipton La pass, this trek helps you observe the lifestyle of a cross-section of people besides traversing through high altitude terrains, snow-clad landscapes, a steamy forest of low altitude, glaciers and glacial lakes and an array of awe-inspiring Himalayan peaks. Suitable mostly for the experienced Himalayan trekkers, Makalu Base Camp Trek challenges your adventurous spirit, surprises you with the Kangshung (east) face of Mount Everest, views that extend from Makalu to Kanchenjunga Peaks and take you through pretty terraced farmlands of interesting villages. Makalu Base Camp Trek waits for you with the pristine and never-seen beauty of the Himalayan region.
Makalu Base Camp Trek begins from the hill town of Tumglingtar and gradually leads into the heart of Makalu Peak. From the humid lowlands, the trek passes through the diverse ecosystem and cultures (from Rai community in the lower region to the Sherpa community at higher altitudes), lush hills and twisting ridgelines before joining the Arun River again, and entering into Makalu Barun National Park, between Num and Seduwa villages. Continuing our trek through the villages of Tashigaon we enter the premise of Makalu Barun National Park to reach Unshisa village.
The ascent over the ridge of Khongma Danda, we shall cross the famous Shipton La Pass and venture into the remote Barun River valley. Traversing through the rough terrain across the several summer settlements we shall reach the Makalu Base Camp. Intermittently, we shall have beautiful views of the Himalayas including Everest, Lhotse, Kanchenjunga, Chamlang Peak, and several snowy mountains as well as walk through some of the last remaining areas of alpine meadows and pristine forests. Returning along the same trail, we shall return to the airport in Tumlingtar and then to Kathmandu to complete the Makalu Base Camp Trek.
Makalu Base Camp Trek is a demanding trekking expedition requiring trekkers to walk around 6-8 hours on average on difficult terrains and have very good physical fitness with a regular exercising routine. Spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) are the preferred seasons for this trip. You don’t need previous trekking experience but a positive attitude and endurance to complete this trek. Join our professional team and carefully planned itinerary to explore this isolated yet truly beautiful region in eastern Nepal.
If this itinerary doesn’t suit your requirement or if you want to customize it, please feel free to contact us. This trek could be customized as per your required time-frame and budget limits.
Day 1 : Arrive at Kathmandu::
Be welcomed by our representative at the airport and meet the group at the hotel in Kathmandu. Transfers from Tribhuwan International Airport in Kathmandu are available to you. Depending upon your time of arrival, you may have time to explore the immediate surrounding and get acclimatized to this bustling city. Stay overnight in Kathmandu.
Day 2 : Kathmandu Sightseeing and trek preparation::
Head on to the ancient heritages of Kathmandu and have insightful sightseeing today. We may start from the nearby Kathmandu Durbar Square, an ancient royal residence with the historical palace, unique temples including the resident of Living Goddess Kumari, resting places, and intricate carvings on the monuments. We shall also pay a visit to the ancient pilgrimage of Swayambhunath Stupa or the Monkey Temple with a beautiful whitewashed main stupa, brightly colored prayer bells, some Hindu temples, and the pleasant view of Kathmandu valley. Boudhanath Stupa is another ancient heritage that boasts of being one of the largest stupas in the world and is considered a haven of Tibetan Buddhism. Pashupatinath Temple, a Hindu sacred place, at the bank of the holy Bagmati River is another prominent heritage in Nepal. Your trekking guide will give you information on the treks about the days ahead. You may clarify your doubts in this regard. Stay overnight in Kathmandu.
Day 3 : Fly from Kathmandu to Tumlingtar (518m/1,700ft) then drive to Num (1,560m/5,119ft) : 50 mins flight, 4-5 hours drive:::
To begin with the adventure in eastern Nepal, we shall begin the day with an early morning drive to Domestic Airport and take on a flight to the hill town of Tumlingtar, perched on a broad plateau to the east of Arun River, along the chain of Himalayas. There we shall enjoy our breakfast and introduce ourselves to our local porters. From this village, which provides a view of Makalu and Chamlang Peaks on clear weather, we shall set off on a drive to the trailhead of Chichila where we will have our lunch and get to know about the local indigenous people. In a rough road and through the landscape with the terraced fields, we drive towards Num enjoying the beautiful sceneries of terraced fields, rivers, and mountains. Num is a spectacularly placed village from where we have a tantalizing view of Arun River and Sedua village. Stay overnight in Num.
Day 4 : Num to Seduwa (1,500m/4,922 ft): 6-7 hours:::
The settlement we saw Num village shall become the destination, albeit the view seemed pretty closer yesterday. We shall have steep and terraced slopes from the Num village and continue along the trail to the Arun River for several hundred meters. Before crossing Arun River over a suspension bridge, we shall traverse through the densely forested and slippery sections in our initial section of today’s trek. Following the crossing over this impressive glacial river, our uphill climb begins. Through the twisting trails, we reach the village of Runruma, and ahead through the steep trail, we finally reach the settlement of Seduwa. This village provides a marvelous view of cascading hills covered with green and lush forests. Stay overnight in Seduwa.
Day 5 : Seduwa to Tashigaon (2,100m/6,890ft): 4-5 hours:::
We shall begin our trek with the checking up of our permits in the entry checkpoint in this village and then ascend through the rhododendron and bamboo forest to move out of the valley. Navigate the ways through terraced fields to reach the settlement of Manigaon. Here onwards, we shall trek through the forest, beautiful farmlands, and school to reach the Tashigaon village, the last village in our walk into Makalu Base Camp or before Chhukung in the Everest region. We settle for today in this village, i.e. have an overnight stay in Tashigaon village.
Day 6 : Tashigaon to Khongma Danda (3,500m/11,483 ft): 6-7 hours:::
Today we have a longish trekking day before we hike across the challenging pass of Shipton La. We shall begin our trek with the steep ascent through the dense forest with rhododendron and oak trees. After trekking for some time the trail gradually starts to open up to the view of more rhododendron forest and we shall continue through to the small settlement at Chipla village. March ahead in the trail along the ridge to continue for the destination of Khongma Danda. This settlement has few teahouse lodges with comfortable facilities even for a tented terrace. Stay overnight in Khongma Danda.
Day 7 : Acclimatization day at Khongma:::
This is a rest and acclimatization day of this trekking expedition before we climb to higher altitudes. We shall be crossing over the formidable Shipton La Pass (4,216m) tomorrow and for this today we shall hike to a higher altitude as well. The acclimatization mantra of climbing high and trekking low must be followed by every trekker and we are no exception. We shall thus be having a climb towards the Shipton La Pass on the Kongma Danda ridge for some time in the morning. The view of Kanchenjunga Peak from Kongma ridge is beautiful. Stay overnight at Khongma.
Day 8 : Khongma to Mumbuk (3,570 m/11,712 ft):::
Today we shall have one of the most challenging trekking sections till today as we shall be crossing over the Shipton La Pass. After the acclimatization, our trekking for the day shall take us through a steep trail along the switchbacks and some of the most beautiful views of the Makalu, Chamlang, and Kanchenjunga mountains overlooking the trail. Through the stone staircase and rhododendron forest, we shall reach the base of Shipton La Pass. Hike in a steep trail to reach the top of the Pass, only to witness the breathtaking view of the Himalayas, cascading hills, and scenic landscapes with green lush forests. The rocky trail then takes us down to the Kalo Pokhari Lake. Further on the trail, we shall reach the Keke La ridge on a steep trail from where the previous ridge of Shipton La Pass seems little below to us. Trek down from this high ridge through the ridge with terraced and cascading hills as well as silver fir forest surrounding the trail and looked over by the Himalayas to reach the destination for today, the Mumbuk. Stay overnight in Mumbuk.
Day 9 : Mumbuk to Tonhe Kharka:::
Trekking deeper into the Arun valley, today we shall initially descend to the Barun River and all along the day, our trek shall be accompanied by this mighty and glacial river till we reach the destination of Tonhe Kharka. Traverse up along the trail, yet in an overall descent, to reach the summer settlement of Temanthang Kharka along the Barun River. Climbing up and down carefully and cautiously, we shall trek through several areas prone to landslides where we shall walk around huge boulders and have some sections with unclear trails. On both sides of the trail, we shall see big cliffs and a couple of prominent caves considered holy by the locals of the region. The trail, after a long slope, now starts opening to a valley after a gentle climb. We further continue through the view of alpine pastures with beautiful flowers dispersed with the spruce trees and rocky cliffs, and increasingly improving views of mountains such as Peak 6 we reach Tonhe Kharka. Stay overnight in Tonhe Kharka.
Day 10 : Tonhe Kharka to Sherson:::
In an increasingly strenuous trail, we shall today take rest at the Sherson before our final ascent towards Makalu Base Camp. In today’s trekking, we shall trek through the densely forested area with strands of fir, bilberry, juniper, and rhododendron, across several small streams originating on the glaciers at a higher altitude and marveling at the close view of Peak 7, Chamlang Peak, Kongku Chuli Peak and some unnamed peaks, huge cliffs with caves, long waterfalls running down, and summer grazing areas before approaching Lenhmale Khaka. Further on, we have an alpine environment with shrubs, prayer walls at Ramara though the forest with rhododendron and juniper and berberis are found for some time initially. Further walking through the grassy plain we reach Sherson, the base camp area for Makalu Peak, with the view of Lower Barun Glacier, the upper part of Makalu’s south face, and other neighboring peaks. Stay overnight in Sherson.
Day 11 : Sherson to Makalu Base Camp (4,870m/15,978ft): 6-7 hours:::
Today we shall trek to the base of the Makalu Peak or the Makalu Base Camp in a slow and gradual fashion. In a trail surrounded by glaciers and filled with rocks, we shall continue climbing to the higher altitudes. Accompanied by the majestic Himalayas and icy glaciers we shall reach the Makalu Base Camp. Get soaked in the Himalayan panorama surrounding us and be relaxed at the camp. Enjoy the breathtakingly beautiful sunset over the Himalayas. Stay overnight in Makalu Base Camp.
Day 12 : Day Hike to Makalu Advanced Base Camp:::
Today we shall have a big day of our expedition and the ultimate adventure as we shall be hiking towards the Makalu Advanced Base Camp. Beginning from the base of the peak very early, long before the day breaks, we shall encounter glacier crossings and steep snowfields to hanging ice fall to reach a plateau above the ice-fall. In this strenuous trek, you shall need a clear understanding of the alpine trekking techniques and mental endurance to overcome the odds. From the Makalu Advanced Base Camp, you shall closely witness the tallest Everest and other mountain peaks such as Lhotse, Nuptse, Cho Oyu, and several other peaks on the Nepalese and Tibetan sides besides glaciers. Capture the memorable moments in pictures and then descend gradually to the base camp. Stay overnight in Makalu Base Camp.
Day 13 : Makalu Base Camp to Mumbuk (3,570 m/11,712 ft):::
After reaching the pinnacle of our adventure, today onwards we shall be returning to lower altitudes. We follow the same trail that we took on our way upwards. Look out for the scenery and view more carefully today as we might have missed many outstanding views because we were too busy to turn around while climbing. Accompanied by the Barun River, trek slowly and gradually to reach the settlement of Mumbuk. Stay overnight in Mumbuk.
Day 14 : Mumbuk to Khongma la (3,500m/11,483 ft):::
The return trek continues today as well as we descent to the Khongma La where the challenging Shipton La pass once again comes before us. Before this, we shall trek past the Kalo Pokhari Lake and cross over the Keke La. Further, we shall ascent to the challenging pass and trek down from the summit along the trail with stone steps after which we shall reach Khongma La continuing along the trail. The ascent and descent today shall be a bit easier for us because we are now used to higher altitudes, fitter than before, and also better acclimatized. We shall end today’s undulating trek at Khongma La. Overnight stay at Khongma La.
Day 15 : Khongma la to Seduwa(1,500m/4,922 ft): 5-6 hrs:::
The downhill trek in our trekking continues today as well where we shall be losing a greater altitude than the previous day. Through the cloud forest, frequent long and steep sections, paths marred by landslides, several lively settlements, and scenic environment before a short hike to Murmidanda and a gradual descend to Seduwa, we shall complete our trekking for today. Stay overnight in Seduwa.
Day 16 : Seduwa to Chichila (1,980m/6,497ft): 5-6 hrs:::
We leave Seduwa village and reach the other side of the mighty Arun River after we exit the Makalu Barun National Park. After crossing over the mighty river, we traverse to the villages of Num and Mudhe. Trekking along the hillsides, traversing across several villages and settlements, and exploring the dense forests and the views of the Himalayas including the glorious Makalu Peak, we complete our trek for today to reach Chichila village. Stay overnight in Chichila.
Day 17 : Chichila to Tumlingtar (518m/1,700ft): 3-4 hrs:::
In the final leg of our return trekking from the base of Makalu peak, we continue ahead from the Chichila village with one last view of the majestic Makalu Peak. Trekking through the settlements at the foothills and on the hillside, terraced hills, and green lush landscape, and accompanied by the deluged Arun River, we shall reach the hill town of Tumlingtar. Prepare your bags and pack your equipment as we shall be leaving for Kathmandu tomorrow. Stay overnight in Tumlingtar.
Day 18 : Flight Tumlingtar to Kathmandu.:::
Flying along the humongous peaks and over the green and lush hills, we shall reach Kathmandu after a flight of around 50 minutes. You shall be transferred to the hotel where you can take a rest for the whole day, get in touch with your loved ones or go for some souvenir shopping later in the day. Pack your bags for the onward journey and later in the evening celebrate the successful adventure to the Makalu Base Camp with other team members. Stay overnight in Kathmandu.
Day 19 : Relax and Souvenir Shopping:::
After proper rest and relaxation, now it’s time for souvenir shopping and visiting the places nearby the hotel you stay in. Later in the evening, we will have a farewell dinner in a Nepali cultural restaurant and share our remarkable experience from our adventure-filled journey with the crew. Stay overnight in Kathmandu.
Day 20 : Departure Day:::
The adventurous journey of Makalu Base Camp Trek comes to an end today. In case you are not extending your stay in this Himalayan nation, our representative shall escort you to the international airport approximately 3 hours before your flight schedule. You shall have enough time to plan your next adventure in Nepal. For now, cherish the adventure in the Makalu region, one of the milestones of your life!