makalu base camp

  • 21 days

  • Strenous

  • Spring,Autumn

  • Highlights 

    • Enjoy the breathtaking trek to Makalu Base Camp, where few people have gone before.
    • On a single day of exquisite trekking, cross the Shipton La pass and three other high passes.
    • Makalu Base Camp offers a full day of adventure.
    • As you climb from 700m to above 5,000m, you'll see a variety of scenery in several climatic zones.
    • On the walk, stay in tea houses to get a taste of rural village life while also contributing to the local economy.

    Trip Profile:

    Duration: 20 nights /21 days (Kathmandu/Kathmandu)

    Trek Duration: 15 nights/16 days ( Num/ Num)

    Max. Altitude: 5,300m, above Makalu Base Camp, Day 13

    Trek Grade: Strenuous 


  • DAY 1
    Arrive to Kathmandu. Group transfer to hotel.

    When you arrive at Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport, our staff will greet you and take you to the hotel. Our guide will give you a brief overview of the hotel, Kathmandu, Trekking, do's and don'ts, and other relevant information that you'll need to know while in Nepal.

  • DAY 2
    Fly to Tumlingtar. Drive to Num (1,560m.) 4-5 hours driving approximately.

    You will be picked up and transported to Kathmandu airport for your domestic flight to Tumlingtar. The flight takes around 35 minutes, and the views of the mountains are magnificent if there aren't any clouds in the sky! You drive for roughly half an hour uphill on a hilly road to Kandbari, the district's largest town and home to the government authorities. As you ascend, you'll see much of rural life, including cornfields, bamboo, and sal trees. You continue on a steep dirt road to the highest point at 1,960 meters before descending to Chicula, a little town at 1,900 meters with a police checkpoint where you must submit your trekking permit.

  • DAY 3
    Trek from Num to Seduwa (1,560 m.) 800m descent and 800m ascent, 8km distance, 5-6 hours of walk.

    Today you have a long, steep descent to the Arun River, which will take about 2 hours, followed by a long climb to Seduwa, where you will lose and gain height all in one day. The walk down to the river passes through cardamom plantations (the area's most valuable cash crop), and the path is made up of large stone steps that lead all the way to the river. It's scorching hot, but the vista is breathtaking. After crossing the Arun River on a suspension bridge, you begin the lengthy, twisting ascent to Seduwa, passing through enormous bamboo groves and vibrant village life. The Makalu-Baron National Park checkpoint will be required of your guide.

  • DAY 4
    Trek from Seduwa to Tashigaon (2,100 m.) 700m ascent, 8km distance, 5-6 hours of walk. 

    Today's walk is much more pleasant than yesterday's, with none of the strenuous ascents and descents. As you enter Sherpa territory, you begin climbing on a road with many stone steps and pass multiple mani walls. You pass past many little farms strewn across the slope, cardamom plantations, and bamboo and rhododendron forests as you travel. Today's hike is certainly varied and undulating. At 1,900m, you'll reach the little town of Chyaksa Danda after about two hours. A tea store, a school, and many dwellings can be found here. Barbets, cuckoos, drongos, and laughing thrushes can all be heard calling through the trees. You'll be trekking through dense forest at times, and you'll have to cross a couple streams on sturdy log bridges. Your destination, Tashigaon, is visible on the hillside ahead, although reaching there takes longer than you may expect due to the uneven path. You'll eventually come to a log bridge before making your final push up stone steps to Tashigaon. Because the lodges are all positioned on the ridge, you'll have to climb through the village to get your dal bhat!

  • DAY 5
    Trek from Tashigaon to Khongma Danda (3,637 m.) 1,400m ascent, 7.2km distance, 7 hours of walk.

    Be ready for a lot of climbing today! You start by leaving Tashigaon and ascending on stone steps. After a bit, you'll pass through a beautiful rhododendron forest and over a log bridge. It's a difficult climb, but it's a beautiful stroll, with verditer flycatchers, treepies, and warblers tweeting through the trees and sparrowhawks flying overhead. The blooming rhododendrons and magnolia trees give a colorful foreground in April, with snow-capped peaks to the east. When you turn back, you'll notice Tashigaon is far below you. After around three hours, you'll arrive in Dhara, which has a tea store and where you'll most likely take your lunch because it's your final chance for a break until you reach Khongma. After leaving Dhara, it's a one-hour climb to Unshisa at 3,200m, where you'll cross a massive rock. This pass is marked by prayer flags and a tea shack (which closed in April 2019). From Unshisa, the ascent continues on stone steps through a rhododendron forest. after a couple of hours toiling upwards from Unshisha, you reach a stone rest stop with prayer flags, and another 15 minutes - ½ hour - brings you to Khongma Danda at 3,560m. There are three lodges at Khongma, and there may be quite a bit of snow here as well.

  • DAY 6
    Rest day for acclimatization. 

    Because adequate acclimatization is critical, we strongly advise you to go up to the Khongma La today. You begin ascending through rhododendron bushes on stone steps all the way to the pass at 3,890m. The pass should take about an hour to reach. If you're feeling adventurous, you can venture a little further - your guide will advise you. You then return to Khongma, fit and acclimatized, ready to tackle the four passes the following day.

  • DAY 7
    Trek to Dobate (3,860 m.) over Shipton La (4,230 m.) – 852 m. ascent and 599m descent, 7.6 km. distance, 6-8 hours of walk.

    Today is extremely gorgeous, as we cross four high passes with breezy traverses and dramatic ridge sections that provide near-constant vistas of snow-capped peaks. If you go trekking in April, be prepared for snow. There is one lonely tea store on the Shipton La, but you won't have lunch until you reach Dobate, so bring plenty of snacks and water with you (you may be given a packed lunch today). After about an hour of climbing through rhododendron bushes, you'll reach your first pass of the day, the 3,890m Khongma La. If the weather is clear, you'll be able to view Makalu and Chamlang from there. If the weather is clear, you'll be able to view Makalu and Chamlang from there. Before rising to your second pass, you drop for a little while. As you climb an airy slope, you'll get views of Kangchenjunga. Sano Pokhari Danda, at 4,105m, is reached via steep stone steps with Sano Pokhari Lake below. It takes around an hour to get here from the Khongma La, though it may take longer if you have to navigate through snow. More undulations lead to the Shipton La, the highest pass at 4,200 meters. During the season, a tin shelter/tea store serves thirsty, exhausted hikers and pilgrims. Near the shelter, a mani wall and cairn adorned with prayer flags mark the pass.

    At 4,080m, you reach Kalo Pokhari Lake by a less steep descent. During the Janai Purnima Festival, it is decorated with prayer flags and visited by Hindu pilgrims. The last pass of the day, the Keke La at 4,170m, is a gentler climb from the lake. Finally, following a 45-minute descent, you'll arrive at your Dobate lodge, which will be a wonderful sight after your four-pass toil! Here is a nice, clean lodge with a pleasant and welcoming proprietor. As a reward for your efforts today, the dal bhat will be extremely tasty.

  • DAY 8
    Trek from Dobate to Yangle Kharka (3,630 m.) 430 m. ascent and 600 m. descent, 9.7 km. distance, 5-6 hours of walk.

    This morning, you have a lovely descent through rhododendron and pine forests. In the trees, look for Guldenstadt's redstarts, minivets, tragopans, and magpies. There is a steep descent through the woodland to the Barun River, which can be challenging with remaining snow. You eventually reach the river and begin your stroll on a trail that runs beneath a large landslide region. On your way to work this morning, you catch glimpses of Chanlang and Tutse. The tea shop at Themathang Kharka, 3,500m, is reached after a short ascent. From Dobate, it takes about four hours to get here. Just before you reach Themathang, there is a beautiful waterfall. From here, continue for a little distance until you reach a wooden bridge that crosses the Baron Khola. The trail begins to undulate, and you can now see the river on your left. A lot of effort has gone into constructing a stony road in the vicinity of Yangle Kharka. It takes around 112 hours to go to the Yangle Kharka meadows and your overnight lodging from the tea shop in Themathang. It's a wild, windy, and secluded location. 

    A monastery (which is currently closed) is located just down the road from the resort, offering an interesting foreground for shots with the snowy mountains in the background.

  • DAY 9
    Trek from Yangle Kharka to Langmale (4,420 m.) 758 ascent, 10.5 km. distance, 5 hours of walk.

    You go down to the river and a tiny monastery from your lodge. It's a comfortable, flatish start as you maintain the river on your left and the enticing aroma of juniper on your nose. The route is lined with colorful prayer flags. The magnificent cliffs on either side of you soar, and Peak 4, Peak 6, Peak 7, and Yaupa dominate the views ahead. The scenery is breathtaking, with jagged snow-capped peaks, sheer cliffs, waterfalls, and sacred caves.

    After about 2 and half hours of walking, the trail opens up as you pass through the pastures of Jhak Kharka, Yak Kharka, and Merek, where you will find a welcoming tea shop. Before heading onward, you'll almost certainly stop for a cup of chai. Take it slowly and steadily here, since you'll be aware of the height as you climb towards Langmale. From Merek, it takes about 2 hours to get to your tea house in Langmale. Peak 7 provides a breathtaking backdrop to the lodge rooms, and the vistas are breathtaking. Just in front of the row of rooms is a mani wall with prayer flags. Black redstarts and choughs are prevalent in this area.

  • DAY 10
    Rest day for Acclimatization and local excursion.

    Today, there are a few acclimatization choices. Behind the tea house is a good hill and viewing point, and you can take this hike as far as your guide suggests.

  • DAY 11
    Trek to Makalu Base Camp (4,800 m.) 473 m. ascent and 115 m. descent, 8.7 km. distance, 5-6 hours of walk.

    Peak 7 is an almost constant companion on the trek today, while Peak 6 lies just ahead, looking eerily Ama-Dablam-like. You're on a nice path now, but the going is challenging at this altitude, so take it easy. As you snake your way around the valley, keep the river on your left. As you round each turn, you'll be treated to a new spectacular view. You'll be hopping from rock to boulder at times, but you'll largely be on a flat, sandy trail. Although you will gain 400 meters in elevation to reach your destination, the route undulates softly and there are only a few tougher spots to get you out of breath.

    As you progress, you'll see Peak 4. After a couple of hours of trekking, you'll arrive to Shershong, a broad, flat meadow with a lockable tiny stone house that makes a suitable camping spot at 4,630m. Makalu eventually appears, tantalizingly close. Its imposing face, with its icefalls, crevasses, sharp edges, and seracs, inspires awe. You wonder when the base camp would appear as you round a few bends. The lodges and (if it's spring) a clump of tents that identify the base camp will eventually appear. You descend, cross the river, and arrive at your long-awaited destination in five minutes. Makalu, the world's fifth highest mountain, dominates the view, as one might anticipate. Different types of mountainous birds can be seen during the trek on this day.

  • DAY 12
    Exploration day at Makalu Base Camp.

    Climbing to the ridge above the base camp (about 5,300m) today is one option for getting the best panoramic views. You cross the river on a wood bridge and then climb for around 3 hours on a vague, slightly ambiguous path. From this vantage point, you can see Everest, Lhotse, and Nuptse, as well as Makalu, Peak 7, Peak 6, and Peak 4 up close and personal. When you've got your fill of mountain drama, retrace your ways back to base camp. The trip should take about 4-5 hours round trip. It's a difficult hike because it's steep and the altitude will almost certainly be a factor above 5,000 meters.

  • DAY 13
    Return to Yangle Kharka – 122 m. ascent and 1,214 m. descent, 16 km. distance, 6-7 hours of walk.

    With a heavy heart, you leave Mount Makalu behind and begin retracing your ways back to Yangle Kharka. The Shershong meadow, identified by a tent with a bright orange tarpaulin, takes about 1and ½ hours to reach. You'll be back in Langmale in about an hour or two, where you can have tea and possibly lunch. After around 1 ¼ hours of walking downhill, you'll arrive to Merek's tea shop. It's nice to unwind here with a cup of chai before making your journey back to Yangle Kharka via the pine forests. From the tea shop in Merek, it takes around 2-2 and ½ hours to get here. 

  • DAY 14
    Return to Dobate – 640 m. ascent and 412 m. descent, 9.3 km. distance, 6 hours of walk.

    It's a lovely easy saunter down to the tea store in Themathang, passing through several rhododendron plants as you approach. Just before Themathang, there is a wooden bridge with prayer flags to cross. It will take around 1and ½ hours to get here.

    After a short time, you will be required to negotiate the landslide region, which will take approximately 1and ½ hours. Take care as there are a few tiny sections to navigate. You begin rising steeply through the rhododendron forest after an undulating stretch. If you're lucky, you might spot a Himalayan monal, Nepal's national bird, with its rainbow-colored feathers. 

    As you reach the lodge at Dobate, the hiking becomes easier and the elevation becomes more gradual. Take aware that there are no more refreshment stops until you reach Dobate following the tea store at Themathang, which is early in your trek, so bring lots of snacks.

  • DAY 15
    Return to Khongma – 600 m. ascent and 852 m. descent, 7.6 km. distance, 6-7 hours of walk.

    Today is your last chance to see the high mountains, including Kangchenjunga, in all their glory. At 4,170 meters, you begin your ascent to the Keke La, which should take about 1and ½ hours. It would take another 1 and ½ hours to reach today's highest peak, the Shipton La at 4,200 meters. Take use of your time at the tea house. After another hour or two of curving around the hillside, you'll reach Sano Pokhari Danda at 4,105m, which is marked by a big cairn. After another hour of undulations, you'll reach the final pass, the 3,890m Khongma La, which is marked by a mani wall. You'll return to your Khongma lodge after a 250-meter descent, mostly on stone steps. Blood pheasant can be observed walking across the snow between the rhododendron bushes on occasion.

  • DAY 16
    Return to Tashigaon – 80 m. ascent and 1,450 m. descent, 6.4 km. distance, 5 hours of walk.

    It takes about 2 hours to descend from Khongma to Dhara Kharka. You'll almost certainly stop here for a cup of tea. The descent to Tashigaon takes a further three hours.

  • DAY 17
    Return to Seduwa – 150 m. ascent and 700 m. descent, 8.9 km. distance, 4-5 hours of walk.

    It will take you about 4-5 hours to get back to Seduwa today.

  • DAY 18
    Trek to Num – 800 m. ascent and 800 m. descent, 8 km. distance, 5-6 hours of walk. Drive to Khandbari.

    It's a long, somewhat steep descent to the Arun River at 770 meters, mostly on stone steps. As you descend deeper into the forest, the temperature will rise dramatically. You cross the river and return to Num through an 800-meter climb. Lunch at the Nishan 'Hotel,' a tea house around 300 meters below Num, is a nice suggestion. Now you can pat yourself on the back for completing such a difficult and rewarding journey!

    Finally, you return to Khandbari via vehicle, where you will spend your final night in the highlands.

  • DAY 19
    Drive to Tumlingtar. Fly to Kathmandu.

    After breakfast, return to Tumlingtar to catch your aircraft back to Kathmandu, where you will be welcomed and brought to your accommodation. You have the remainder of the day to unwind and recover from your efforts.

  • DAY 20
    Day at leisure in Kathmandu. 

    You have the day free to visit some of Kathmandu's landmarks, do some last-minute shopping, or simply relax at your hotel. 

  • DAY 21
    Transfer to Airport for the International departure.

    On this day, you will be transported to the airport for the International departure according to your flight schedule.