How Much Does the Everest Base Camp Trek Cost?

Current as of March 2017
How much does the Everest Base Camp trek cost? Anything from $500 to over $10,000. There really is that much variation.

Everyone has to buy a Sagamartha National Park Permit – 3000 Nepalese Rupees ($28) – and a TIMS card – US$20 paid in Nepalese rupees if independent, or US$10 in NPR if part of a group. What you pay above that depends on the route you’re doing and your requirements for porters, food and comfort.

How much does the Everest Base Camp Trek cost

WHAT THE EBC TREK COSTS FOR SHOESTRINGERS

The Everest Base Camp trek can cost under $500 for shoestringers who walk in from Jiri, then straight in and straight out to Everest Base Camp, unguided, over 24 days or so, assuming you already have travel insurance and all the gear you’ll need for the Everest Base Camp trek.

Note that sleeping bags and warm clothing can be hired in Kathmandu: Shona’s Alpine on Amrit Marg in Thamel rents sleeping bags and down jackets for NPR 80-100 per item per day, though you should go a season warmer than they recommend. Wear boots you have already broken in.

The cheapest way to do the Everest Base Camp Trek is to walk in to Lukla from Sriwalajaya, near Jiri, which takes six days: accommodation and food costs along this section of the route will be well under $10 a day for most, but you’ll cover an elevation equivalent to scaling Everest from sea level as you trudge up and down the valleys. Returning, you can either take the same route or walk out to Phaplu or elsewhere and pick up a jeep. (For more detail on this, see my Everest Base Camp Trek FAQ.)

EVEREST BASE CAMP TREK COSTS – INDIE STYLE

Most people choose to fly into Lukla, which costs $148 each way for non-Indian foreigners and 5573 INR for Indians in 2017, under $50 for Nepalese nationals, such as guides and porters who are travelling with you from Kathmandu. Overseas citizens, though not Nepalis, can now apparently book flights online at Tara Air, but you are still best off booking through an agent in Nepal who can help out if flights get backed up at Lukla.

Do note that flights routinely get backed up as the planes will only fly when the weather is clear in both Lukla and Kathmandu so you should allow several days’ leeway before your international flight, or, if timing is tight, ensure your travel insurance covers you for helicopter evac.


A porter-guide, who knows the route and speaks some English, should cost in the region of $20 per day, and porters in the region of $10 per day. Guides cost from $40 per day, depending on their skills and experience, and will manage recruitment of other team members if required, although if they’re managing a team as well as guiding, you’ll need to pay them more ($60 and up).

The standard tip is about 25%, and many agencies are happy to arrange guides, porters or porter-guides, giving you an additional layer of protection. A reasonable load for a porter is 15kg: they have to carry their own gear as well. Guides might help you out if you’re struggling with a bag, but will not carry for you. Please be sure to pay porters well: their need is considerably greater than yours.

Most basic lodges on the Everest Base Camp trek cost 200 NPR ($2) for a room, or 500 NPR ($5) where en suites are available, although you have to eat your meals in the lodge, and food becomes more expensive the higher up the trail you go, as everything has to be brought in. Purifying your own water makes sense economically and environmentally – at higher elevations, a bottle of mineral water can cost almost $5. During cold times of year at higher elevations, you will need to buy hot drinking water from your lodge to ensure it lasts through a day’s trekking without freezing solid: this can cost several hundred rupees.

As a rule of thumb, shoestringers should be able to fill their daily calorific requirements, which increase, like costs, with altitude, for $15 per day on average on the Everest Base Camp trek proper. Allowing $25 per head will give you a broader range of options, including niceties such as meat, lots of hot drinks and the odd beer, apple pie or bucket of hot water to wash in: if you need candy while you trek, carry it with you from Pokhara or KTM, as a Snickers bar can cost $4 higher up the trail. (For more on food on the EBC trek, read this.)


HOW MUCH THE EBC TREK COSTS – IN “LUXURY”

People who book luxury treks overseas over routes such as the Three Passes often pay ten times, and sometimes twenty times, what shoestringers do for a 19 or 20 day trek. β€œLuxury” lodges charge from $150-$200 per day, with food prices to match, although there is no such thing as luxury higher up the trail.

If comfort is important to you, this is the primary instance where booking an organised tour can save money, as operators can get discounts on this price. If you have the money, Adventure Consultants’ top end tour includes helicopter transport, while Mountain Madness’ $5000 trek includes a night camping at EBC among the climbers.)

Camping treks to Everest Base Camp cost much, much more than teahouse trekking as you have to cover the costs of yaks and porters. As these tend to put you up in villages full of trekking lodges rather than, say, at Everest Base Camp, there is very little point in doing one of these on this route: it’s so far from wilderness trekking that you’ll often camp in a lodge’s grounds and use their toilets.

HOW MUCH THE EBC TREK COSTS – ON A BUDGET WESTERN TOUR

I am not a fan of group tours, but the comments here have shown me that many people value the security of a well-known Western operator and the companionship of a small tour group. G Adventures has some reasonably well-priced trips – usually around $1600 for 15 days out of Kathmandu. Upcoming discounted departures include 18 March for $1402, 26 May for $1317, and 2 June for $1402 – to book, click here. You can read their full trip schedule here, which is also a good guide to the basic, in-and-out Everest Base Camp trek route.

WHAT WE PAID FOR THE GOKYO EBC TREK

We spent $1100 per head all-in for nineteen days in the mountain, including flights, food, drink, porter-guide’s fee and tips. We stopped when we wanted to stop, and climbed when we wanted to climb, and only had to get up early when we did the Cho-La Pass.

The total cost of our Everest Base Camp trek, which we did via the much more interesting Gokyo route, was much, much less than the cheapest Western operators charge for tours EXCLUDING food, which was our largest single item of expenditure, and we stayed in the same lodges they did.

BUT PLEASE DON’T SKIMP ON THIS

You will need adventure travel insurance to cover the Everest Base Camp trek. The best travel insurance for Everest Base Camp, provided you’re not mountaineering, is World Nomads. As always, be sure to read the Ts & Cs (here’s why).


For more on Everest Base Camp see my Everest Base Camp Trek FAQ, or to read my account of doing Everest Base Camp by way of Gokyo start here. We arranged our flights and porter-guide through Trek Around Nepal: they also offer full-service treks.

127 Responses

  1. Excellent informative and accurate.

  2. Ben says:

    Hey – I’m currently in Nepal preparing for a similar trek. Did you book the food/lodging through an agency, or just the porter-guide and then arrange the rest along the way?

    • Theodora says:

      Hi Ben, Thanks for the comment. A good porter-guide will help with lodgings, though not in the way a guide will, but he negotiated deals for us when we rocked up into each place (we discussed between ourselves). Bear in mind, though, for EBC, that we went in a shoulder season, not peak, and going the Gokyo route: going with a porter-guide or a guide can apparently be a challenge in peak season when accommodation becomes full. At this time of year, I believe you’ll be OK going with a porter-guide and available accom — there’s over-capacity in most places outside peak season. Hope this isn’t too late for you. Theodora

  3. Casey Chan says:

    Hi Theodora,

    I am planning a trip to ebc this October. It would be peak. Would you do it the same way you did in peak? Wold you go with a local agency?

    Thanks.

    • Theodora says:

      I would probably not want to do it in October, TBH, Casey — the trail can be like Piccadilly Circus with the mule trains and yak trains bringing up supplies and lots and lots of trekking groups. You have to pull off the trail and hunch against the wall when a mule train comes past, and those things can go on for ages, even outside peak. The weather is better, of course, but you wouldn’t get the sense of high mountain isolation that you can do later in the season. Are you absolutely set on October?

      If you did the Gokyo route in peak you might well face challenges with accommodation either side of the Cho-La — i.e., you’d have to walk further than you might want to do once you’d crossed it. There seemed to be quite a lot of spare capacity on the EBC trail proper, also in and along Thame if you’re doing the Three Passes, but many of the lodges do prioritise groups. That said, if I were doing it in peak, I’d definitely opt for the Three Passes, or at least the Gokyo route, precisely because those are less busy than the straight-in, straight-out route.

      I would always do it as an independent trek rather than as a group tour. That’s because of the altitude, acclimatisation, walking pace, etc — you can tailor-make all those when you’re doing things independently. The guy who introduced us to Nir and arranged things for us was Narayan Bhandari — [email protected]. I’d sound him out about whether you’d need, or whether it would be possible to, prebook rooms in some of the spots where there is more pressure on accommodation.

      But if you have any flexibility, I’d try and do it in November, or even consider December…

    • kriz Noel Castillon says:

      Hi Casey,

      I’m planning to do EBC Trek this October too. I’m a first-timer and I’m planning to do my trek alone, without guide or porter from Jiri-EBC-Jiri… Honestly i’m afraid to do it alone, nonetheless, since its peak, i think there would be a lot of trekkers and it would be a safe trek hopefully. See you this october.

      Kriz, from Philippines

      • Theodora says:

        We met a few people doing it solo, so you should be fine, and if you’re starting from Jiri you’ll probably buddy up with groups anyway. Couple of points: if you’re doing high passes, you’ll need a guide/porter-guide, or to join up with a group, because these are difficult and risky. Also make sure you have a Nepalese SIM. It won’t work everywhere, but it will work on some parts of the route. And let wherever you stay in Namche know when you should be expected back, especially if you’re going to be leaving some gear in Namche.

  4. The information mentioned in above is updated and exact one. The flight fare to Lukla will be changed to US$ 159 for one way from Sept 01, 2013. Please be noted.

    • Theodora says:

      Thanks for the update, Surya. Would you mind advising what the costs are for flying guides and porters from September, because I realise I didn’t include that info in the post?

      • sidds says:

        When you say-“We spent $1100 per head all-in for nineteen days in the mountain, including flights, food, drink, porter-guide’s fee and tips. ” what flight trips does it contain?
        From Kathmandu to Lukla round-trip or also from your home country to Nepal?
        I am almost booked with a travel company and my trek is from 1st March to 17th march. They have charged me 2100 USD for everything from KTM back to KTM for the 17 days plus 2 day stay in a hotel at KTM. Your thoughts? Also, what do you think about hiking in early march?will it be too cold?

        • Theodora says:

          Ha, we did it in November-December, so early March might be similar – doable, but bracing! Our trip included KTM-Lukla flights, same as yours. The biggest expenses on the trip are food and drink and guide fees – accommodation is $2-$8 per night unless you’re in the ‘luxury places’ (which you’re not at that price point), but your food bill will run you several times that, and you will be charged extra for accom if you eat elsewhere. TBH, the price seems high to me. Are you going with a private guide and private porter? If so, if you are paying both the private guide and the private porter, that’s likely to be around $60-$75 US per day. Does the price include food? Meals cost more the higher up the mountain you go. If it’s a group tour, run for the hills. Even if it’s a private tour with just you and your guide and your porter, the price should still include most meals.

  5. Please remind the flight to Lukla cos again updated now the fair cost is 162US$ one way per person.

  6. Petar says:

    Dear Theodora,

    I’m a solo enthusiast planning to do the EBC in June 2014. I’d be very thankful if you could help me with some tips and advice. My idea is to catch the flight from Kathmandu to Lukla and then starting the trekking adventure to the ECB.
    Is it safety to do it alone, without a porter, a guide etc.? Just following the map route and the route everybody is following? To arrange my food and accommodation by myself?
    I’m still a student so money are still a big issue. I’m planning to spend not more than 900-1000 USD for flight Kathmandu-Lukla-Kathmandu, food and accommodation and to do the trek in about 14-15 days.

    P.S: Sorry for my bad English. Hope you got my questions. Your blog is GREAT! Thank you for sharing your experience with us!

    Best wishes from Bulgaria,

    Petar

    • Theodora says:

      Hi Petar,

      Thanks for your kind words. June is peak monsoon season, which means food and accommodation will not be a problem, but you may well be looking at slippery paths at lower elevations, a tonne of rain at lower elevations, and snow on the passes. That said, it should be perfectly doable, and your budget is OK for what you’re trying to do, easily.

      The path is very obvious, particularly with a map. The key thing you need to do is not ascend too quickly to save money, because then you can get altitude sickness; be sure to have a line in your budget for travel insurance that covers you up to 6000m (not all insurers will do that).

      If you really want to save money, give yourself more time in Nepal — your whole student holiday — and walk in from Jiri. By the time you’ve spent the money to get from Bulgaria to Nepal, you might as well spend all your summer holiday there, because the international flights are your biggest expense, and your cost of living is a fraction of that. Then you can go to Pokhara, Chitwan and other places too. Don’t limit Nepal to one high trek only. It’s a lovely country, and deserves your whole summer holiday.

      Cheers,

      Theodora

      • Petar says:

        Dear Theodora,

        thank you for your reply. So you suggest me to start my trekking from Jiri to the EBC and not taking the expensive flights Kathmandu-Lukla-Kathmandu. This means I’ll save about 320USD, that’s a lot indeed. But then how long will my trekking extend? How many days do you suggest me to take into consideration for this trekking? And what are the possibilities to reach Jiri from Kathmandu? The accommodation will be the same cheap price I hope and there are enough lodges on that route as well?
        A lot of questions again, hope not bothering you that much. :)))

        P.S: Oh, yes, an important one. You said it’s the monsoon season with a lot of raining and bad weather to be expected. Does it mean that I won’t be able to see the outstanding views of the Himalaya and did some photos and video to show back home? How bad is it actually? I mean walking 14+ days in rain and dark clouds doesn’t look like in my dreams :((

        Thank you again and wish you all the best!

        Petar

        • Theodora says:

          Hi Petar,

          Jiri is easily reached by bus from Kathmandu. A typical Western hiker will walk from Jiri to Lukla in six days; local Nepalese can do it in under three; I met one guy who took eight days to do it. You’re walking up and down and up and down steep-sided valleys: I’ve not done it, but flown over it, and the landscape is extremely corrugated. I’d guess by the time you’ve done Jiri-Lukla and then EBC, you’d walk out faster. It’s also possible to walk out to Phaplu (so you’re not repeating the route), although that’s an incredibly lengthy jeep transfer at the other end.

          Accommodation and food are much cheaper along that route than on the EBC trail proper, because the eating places are set up for local travellers rather than tourists, so your daily budget will be less. You’ll also have a more authentic experience, because the accommodation is less touristy.

          I haven’t been to Nepal during the monsoon, and it depends when in June you are doing the trail, and when the monsoon arrives, as to how conditions will be. One advantage is that you will have privacy to yourself on the trail, no problem finding accommodation, etc. But you will be really short on bright blue skies and sunlight, and some of the passes may not be crossable at that time. That said, if you’re spending 3-4 weeks in the Himalaya, it would be a cruel monsoon that allowed you not a single dazzling view.

          If you’re looking for classic views, I’d recommend you time your visit for your university Christmas holidays. You’ll probably have a lot of grey, snowy days, but you’ll probably also have some bright blue searing skies, and if you’re trekking it in December, despite the cold, the crowds will be easing off. Note that Gorak Shep can feel extremely cold. It was -15C INSIDE the lodge where we were staying: because fuel is so short at high elevations, they don’t run the stoves the whole day, and the altitude makes the cold feel even colder.

          But from your name it sounds like you’re from a cold country, right?

          Theodora

  7. Mohsen says:

    Hi dear Theodora!
    firstly really thanks for sharing experiences in such a nice way!
    Theodora, we (2 persons) wanna go EBC from 23 of November by flight to lulka, and I think each night I will stay in these places: 1.phakding 2.Namche Bazar 3.Tengboche 4.Pheriche 5.again Pheriche 6.Lobuche 7.EBC and coming back… I have some qustions:
    1.how we can get this insurance that u mentioned above?
    2. are there some rooms for sleeping in each region which I told even EBC exactly? and there is no need to bring tent?
    3.I have a sleeping bag with rate of -3 c to be comfortable, considering the lodges do I need the other one?
    4.how about shoes, I have a Scarpa backpacking boots (Baron model) is it enough for late november there? or heavier even two layer boots?
    5.If we need to complete our gears which city is better for buying?
    6. and last one on that time is it needy to book lodges or planes of kath to lulka and vice versa from agencies or trekking companies there?
    and is it possible to having your email if some questions cause?

    really thanks again for your attentions
    best regards
    Mohsen

    • Theodora says:

      Dear Mohsen,

      Thanks so much for your lovely comment.

      1: I’ve added an insurance calculator to the post so just fill in your details there and it will take you through to the site. Be sure to request Level 2 cover when it asks what level of cover you require. Or you can click here.

      2: You’re at the tail-end of high season, so you should be able to find places to stay. If Tengboche’s full, you may need to walk on a little further. At EBC, you’ll be staying at Gorak Shep, not base camp itself. There are guesthouses scattered along the trail, so even if the main places are full, you should find some form of accommodation either before or after the main stopping points.

      3: Do you mean -30C? That should be fine, but you might need a quilt at Gorak Shep – depends if it’s an authentic -30 sleeping bag or a fake version, which are really only good to half that rating. You’ll be sleeping in your clothes, most likely, as well.

      4: Boots sound fine: better than the Chinese furry ankle boots I wore πŸ˜‰ Bring plenty of socks, though: we took six pairs each and washed them. Then you can always wear two pairs of socks if your feet get chilly.

      5: Kathmandu is the best place for buying gear, which becomes more expensive up in the mountains, although they have shops in Lukla and Namche, everything gets more expensive the higher up you go. We bought some stuff in Pokhara, other stuff in KTM: take your time to walk around, comparing prices, and negotiating, and try and buy everything from one store so you get the best discount.

      6: It’s certainly easier if you work with a trekking company to book the plane tickets, because then if you’re up in the mountains they’ll have someone in Lukla to arrange extensions and confirm flights. You might also find a porter-guide quite handy if you’re carrying a lot of gear, which it sounds like you will be.

      As regards email — I’d prefer to keep this as a comments thread, just so everyone else can read the questions and answers. Do please just reply to me here, and I’ll answer them. I check my comments as regularly as I check my emails, and do reply as fast as I can…

      Theodora

      • Aram says:

        Hi Theodora,

        Thank you for all the information you have provided. I was wandering if you could answer a couple more questions that I have.

        I’m planning on doing the EBC trek at the end of March; however, I’m planning on doing an unguided trip.

        Due to this, I’m having a bit of trouble finding a travel insurance which will cover me for my trip.

        I saw that in your response above you recommended a specific travel insurance (World Nomad Travel insurance). Do you know if they cover for unguided treks as well?

        Furthermore, you mentioned something about the part from Jiri to Lukla. You said that the average western trekker does it in 6 days but local Nepalese can do it in 3. Is that because they are used to the altitude/climate or is it simply due to the fact that they are fitter? πŸ™‚

        Thank you for your time,

        Aram

        • Theodora says:

          Hi Aram,

          It seems from this that most nationalities are covered for independent trekking – http://ow.ly/sIOfq — but NOT US citizens. You can check what’s covered for your nationality here – http://ow.ly/sIOj5. If you ARE a US citizen doing it independently you might need specific mountaineering cover.

          As regards the walk from Jiri to Lukla, I’d say for all of those reasons — used to the altitude, used to walking up and down steep slopes, and fitter. If you routinely cover that sort of distance on foot, then you do get faster than, say, a typical Western trekker who’ll do a walk like that once every few years and then never again.

          Hope this helps! And do come back to me if you can’t find cover.

          Theodora

  8. Mohsen says:

    thanks a lot dear Theodora for your perfect and immediate reply and also your nice spirit!
    yes, it’s very good and you do a good job, in this way the others with common questions will get their response!
    dear Theodora, what will be the source for water except bottled mineral water, from river? or there are some springs? is the river water suitable for purifying and which method of purifying you advise?
    we are for 10 days there (from lulka to EBC and coming back to lulka) so how much will be the cost at least for us, without $324 for airplanes!?
    and do you have any other advice for us?
    thanks πŸ™‚

  9. I have done the EBC trek independently with a good friend in the past. Took a scenic local bus from Khatmandu to Jiri. Here we came across an absolute gem by chance. We stayed at Jiri view guest house which is run by two brothers. One of the brothers (his name is Padam) used to take tour groups as a guide. He agreed to takes us all the way at a cost of about $10 per day. We paid for his food and return flight back from Lukla to KTM. Best thing we ever did! He has a wealth of local knowledge and a great laugh. I couldn’t recommend him highly enough. If anyone goes out there please give our regards to him. Tell him Zai and Umesh were saying ‘Hi’and asking about him.

  10. @Mohsen, take a sleeping bag liner. Take a bag that goes down to at least -10 comfort rating that has a hood/ baffle. nothing worse than a cold nights sleep. Use the chlorine purifying tablets. they generally taste better than the others i’ve tried over the years.and they’re very cheap!

  11. hello says:

    1200 $ all included for the EBC with all hotels in KTM + 1 tour of KTM included + all flights, porter, licensed guides (equipped and insured), lodes, meals and lending of equipment needed at altitude and sleeping. Permits included.
    + all transport to get where you need without having to bother about it and lose time.

    So, unless, you have 30 days in Nepal to organize it on your own, you’d rather take a trek through a local agency for 200$ more.

    Of course, it’s cheaper than Europe tour operators

    By the by: World Nomads’ sucks big time, they are the arrogance incarnated. Try others…

    • Theodora says:

      Not sure where you’re getting the $200 more figure… We spent nineteen days on a tailor-made adventure, on our own timeframe, going the long way up Gokyo Ri over the Cho-La Pass, without the requirements of a group, and that figure included everything from chocolate and beer through to juices, hats, meatfest meals, posh coffees, hot “showers” etc, etc. And that cost *less* than you spent on an ?11-12? day group tour: god only knows why you’d want a tour of Kathmandu, it’s perfectly easy to walk to whatever you want to see, which costs nothing, or take a taxi for a couple of bucks, but I guess some people just like tours.

      I’m not sure what point you’re trying to make here, really, but the advantages of trekking indie-style are that you can take extra days to acclimatise, if required, go up mountains that you like the look of, if you want, stop wherever you want to stop, pick your own route, stop on glacier lakes and go skating on them, stop at baby yaks and pet them, swing by monasteries and chat to monks, have lunch whenever and wherever you feel like it, etcetera, etcetera. All of these are not opportunities you get on a group tour.

      We’ve not claimed through Worldnomads, but everyone I know who has done, including one person who was bereaved, found the experience very positive, and found them easy to deal with.

  12. Ivan Mares says:

    Hello Theodora,
    I red very interesting conversation, thank you for it. I have 3 questions.
    1.We intend to go to EBC from Jiri in April next year mainly because we would love to see flowering rhododendron trees and we expect a lot of them in the forests on the way from Jiri towards Lukla. Is it the right expectation? 2. Do you have an idea about how much one way jeep transport from KTM to Jiri may cost ? 3. You mentioned insurance covering the missed overseas flight from KTM due to delay ( bad weather ) in Lukla. Can you advise the insurance company, please? Thank you very much. Best wishes, Ivan

    • Theodora says:

      1) Yes, that’s the rhododendron season, and the EBC walk should be stunning.
      2) There are public buses Kathmandu-Jiri, so you don’t need a jeep for it.
      3) Most insurers will cover you for missed flights based on a delay assuming that your travel insurance extends all the way to your return date home, and that you had the flight booked. Check the specific policy wording for details before you buy.

  13. Lauren says:

    Hi Theodora!

    Thank you so much for all of the helpful information. Instead of using water cleansing pills at lower elevations where you can get water naturally, do you think a Steripen would work just as well or do you have to have the pills? Thanks so much for all of your helpful information!!

    Lauren

    • Theodora says:

      Hi Lauren, It looks like the Steripen should work fine, although you may have to do things like warming the battery in your pocket and fiddling slightly with the water so that it picks up minerals if temperatures are very low… Theodora

  14. Ross says:

    That is great information. I was actually thinking of heading there later in the year and a few friends had done the western tours but said that it was possible on your own after doing it. This gives me all the steps to actually doing it myself. Very handy, thanks.

  15. tenzin kalden says:

    Hi Theodora, You are so wonderful for patiently providing the answers to the queries of one and all. Thanks. I’m thinking of doing EBC from Jiri. Will carry some “tsampa”, nuts, dried fruits, of course butter, cheese, etc. Thinking of doing it on a shoestring budget. I have a heavy Quencha 3 Person tent. But I’m in great shape and 31. You know, Tibetan refugees while escaping Tibet to India trek for a couple of months in much harsher conditions. Most are okay at the end. Some get frostbite and very few lose their lives. I’m thinking of doing it in mid-March. Swimming in Goa at the moment. Wish me luck! πŸ™‚

    • Theodora says:

      I’m sure you’ll be fine! I met someone (non-Tibetan) who walked to Lhasa because he couldn’t get a permit, so you’ll enjoy. Do bring cash with you, though, just in case you find that higher up the trail they want you to buy meals &c to stay on their land — and you’ll probably want the odd hot meal once you get up high.

  16. Max says:

    Hi Theodora, I know I am not the first to say this, but your time and knowledge you have shared is second to none. I feel I may be asking something already answered, however am still really unsure on something. Me and my partner are looking to do a short 4/5 day trek from Lukla to EBC. We really are on a budget but taking into account of flights from KTM to Lulka, a guide and porter for us 2, accomodation (tea house is more than fine) and food, how much should we be looking to pay? The reason I ask is because we keep getting quotes, and I am uncertain that maybe we should arrange in Lulka ourselves. If you could let us know an approx valuation we should be paying we would greatly appreciate it.
    Thank you so much.

    • Theodora says:

      Hi Max, That’s a brutal ascent rate — even worse than the ascent rate on Kili — how much experience do the two of you have with altitude? You’re pretty much guaranteed headaches, and potentially even HACE or HAPE http://www.altitude.org/altitude_sickness.php. If your timeline’s really that tight, I wouldn’t do the trek — not least because flights out of Lukla routinely stop running in bad weather.

      Cost depends on the time of year at which you’re doing it. To answer your question: I’d look for a porter who’s also happy to guide, or two porters, and you should pay him at the very least $15 per day, and not give him more than 20kg to carry (he has to manage his own gear too). Rooms in teahouses cost from 250-600 depending on how far up the trail you are, what the facilities are, and time of year, but they also require that you eat meals with them, which will add around 1000 to the budget further up the trail even if you’re only eating dal bhat, breakfast and some hot drinks or boiled water.

      Theodora

      • Max says:

        Hi Theodora, very sorry I meant from Lukla to Namche Bazaar (the Everest View Hotel – I think that is what it is called), would this be a feasable trip? We have been quoted $750 for flights, tea-house accomodation, meals included, guide and porter….is this fair?

        Thanks,

        Max

        • Theodora says:

          Hi Max,

          Yes, that’s perfectly feasible – whew!. It’s two days from Lukla to Namche Bazaar, and then you’d do the Everest View Hotel as a day hike on your middle day: if you could, I’d recommend extending by one day, so you get to do the Thamel hike too — it’s a lovely valley.

          Is that price $750 for the two of you, or $750 each? If it’s $750 for the pair of you, it’s a phenomenal price: return flights alone for the two of you would be $576 on Tara Air. If it’s $750 per head, it’s steep — perhaps because you’re flying a guide and a porter in from KTM with you (fares are less for Nepalese than for foreigners, but it’s still a cost)? Typically, you’d expect to pay a guide $50-$60 per day, and a porter $15-20: even paying top whack, that’s $400. If it’s the latter, I’d propose going back to them and asking if they know a porter-guide who could do both halves of the job, ideally someone based in Lukla so you lose the flight cost.

          Note, though, that you are paying for convenience and speed here, so you may well need to fly someone in from KTM – a lot of porters/porter-guides are based in Jiri, so would need to walk in to Lukla for 2-3 days and then out again, which they’d be prepared to do for a 2-3 week gig, but probably not a 5-day gig. Does this make sense?

          Theodora

  17. Leonardo Torrellas says:

    Hi Theodora,
    Thank you so much for this wonderful article and for all of your helpful replies to other people that have helped me as well..
    Im planning to hike to EBC alone in mid-May.
    First I wanted to fly to lukla but then I read your answer of walking to Jiri and said (Why not?) So Im going for that option.
    I have a question, How difficult is it to get a Porter?
    My budget is around 1200$ Is it reasonable?
    And my flight back to Miami is mid June
    So is a month enough time for this Trek? (Jiri to EBC)
    I wont Trek Back to Jiri, Ill take a one way flight back to KTM from Lukla.

    Thanks!

    • Theodora says:

      Hi Leonardo,

      Yes, a month will be plenty, even if flights back up in Lukla. Note with this timing you might hit the monsoon (though you might well be lucky). Your flight back from Lukla will be $144; you should pay your porter, who’ll also be guiding, definitionally, as a solo porter, $20-$25 per day if he speaks English, $15 if he doesn’t. Depending what side trips you do and what route you take, he’ll be with you for 16-20 days (so $240 – $500 plus tip). I very much doubt you’ll have a problem finding a porter — although monsoon season is the key rice planting time, so you might find him in a hurry to get back to his fields if the monsoon comes early. So: your budget is doable if you take a plain porter who doesn’t speak English. Will be much harder if you go for someone who speaks English. Hope this helps….

      Theodora

  18. Omar LondoΓ±o says:

    Hi Theodora

    Thank you for sharing all you experience and knowledge with us, it was really useful for me all the information you posted and all the answers u given to other people, just can say thanks for your time.

    I am going to Nepal in Mid-may and after reading all this I am definitely starting my trek at Jiri,Aware of the approaching of the monsoon I am positive and sure I’ll get good weather and blue sky views till I reach EBC by end of May, I am 22 and fit but I know my body will need time to get conditioned to altitude. I have no rush time at all but a budget to keep low as possible for my ongoing trip so here I come my question, Since I dont mind carrying my own stuff how essential is a porter from Jiri to Namche Bazar? I can imagine the path is all the way marked isnt it? I mean I know their value as guides and experience and helpfulness but is That essential if I want to go solo? and there from Namche to EBC should I hire a porter or guide? can I hire one from there? and just one more question on the way back I’d like to take another route then to get to certain point where I can get back to KTH, any recommendation?

    Thank you Theodora!

    • Theodora says:

      Yes — you can pick up jeeps from Phaplu to KTM. It’s a long ride — but a different route, and only a three day walk. If you don’t mind carrying your own gear, then I know several people who’ve done it from Jiri without a porter — the EBC trail is incredibly obvious, and I’m sure if you just ask people “Sagamartha?” heading out of Jiri, they’ll point. If you choose to do a high pass as part of your route, I’d recommend a porter there, not least for safety, but you’ll be able to pick one up at the teahouses approaching the high passes. And, if you’re lugging a lot of gear, you might feel the need for a porter in the last stages. But: play it by ear. And, obvious point, but I can’t reiterate this enough — do pay a decent rate if you do hire someone. The extra $5 between $10 and $15 a day makes a stack of difference to the typical porter, far more than it does to even the most budget of budget travellers. Enjoy! Theodora

  19. Juliet says:

    Safety at altitude needs to be born in mind. It is not safe to ascend more than 300m a day and you need a rest day every 1000m of ascent. Going from sea level to 5300m in 6 days is dangerous. About 10 people a year die trekking to base camp- considering 30 000 go every year this is not outrageous- but I can guarantee those who are alone or without a guide (a Sherpa won’t know what to do if you get sick) are most at risk. Please be careful also about security- every year solo travellers go missing in Nepal and are never found- you are completely vulnerable to injury and attack travelling alone. Travel slow; travel with a group and be safe! xx

  20. Chelsea says:

    Hi Theorda,

    Thanks so much for your post, it really put things into perspective for me. I’ve been reading some of the posts however I thought if I asked you specific questions about my trip to EBC that you can advise.

    -I’m travelling with a friend landing in Katmandu, what’s your advice to start the trek to EBC?
    -My budget for the EBC trek is 1,000, is that reasonable or unrealistic? Also can the trek be done in less than $1,000?
    -How many hours per day do you hike?
    -For clothing/sleeping bags, is it easier to buy it in Nepal?
    -We’re going in September, will be have any issues with accommodations?
    -Are porters necessary? Both of us are average healthy females who are fairly athletic
    -Would you recommend a guide?

    Thank you!

    • Theodora says:

      Hi Chelsea,

      This post covers what the EBC trek costs – http://www.escapeartistes.com/2013/01/25/how-much-does-the-everest-base-camp-trek-cost/ – and why. So, yes, you can do it for under $1000 but it’s hard work (explained in the post).

      How many hours per day depends on what route you’re taking – on the standard in-and-out route it’s typically 3-4 hours a day. If you’re doing a route with passes, that involves long days as you need to get over the passes in one go. They’re short days because of the altitude increases and the risk of altitude sickness.

      Yes, much easier to buy what you need in Nepal. There are good quality fake branded stuff in both KTM and Pokhara – you’ll need to negotiate. Depending on the time of year, you’ll need different rates of sleeping bag – for the fakes, assume you’ll need 5-10 degrees more coverage than they claim.

      In early September you should be fine. October is the peak season, so you may have issues finding accom without a guide/porter at that time of year.

      The porter question depends on how you feel about hiking while carrying a lot of gear, and how much altitude you’ve done: base camp’s at 5100m. We took a porter-guide, Nir, who both carried and guided (not to the level of English that a pro guide would, but he was very good), arranged through http://www.trekaroundnepal.com: he was great. Narayan, who runs trekaroundnepal.com, is a nice guy with excellent English and I’ve heard he’s a phenomenal guide, though I haven’t used his services as a guide.

      You could always start without and hire someone on the route IF you’re trekking outside peak season, and if you’re trying to do it on a tight budget that might be the way forward. You can also usually hire someone to help you over passes if you’re doing passes. Plenty of people do the trek without porters, guides or expeditions and have a fine experience – people do also occasionally disappear, but with two of you you shouldn’t need another body along for safety.

      We needed a porter because my son was 12 at the time, and skinny. Nir’s guiding skills added to our experience of the trek. Note that a guide – pro guide with good English and certificate — will make a major dent in your budget. More on costs in the post I cite.

      Cheers,

      Theodora

  21. rola says:

    Hello Theodora,

    I will be doing the trek in July, and I am aware, after reading the comments, that it will be monsoon season, I am going solo so I am a bit worried about doing the trek, other than altitude sickness, I read on other forums that sime people went missing, is the path difficult for one to understand ? I do not intend on crossing high passes just the original route ti EBC .

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated, and thank you for posting this article, helps alot!

    • rola says:

      Please excuse my post I hust noticed there is a similar question above,and you mention the path is obvious. So I guess that answers my question πŸ™‚

    • Theodora says:

      Hiya,

      People do go missing trekking in the Himalayas, yes. Be aware that when you’re doing it during monsoon season conditions will be more difficult and there will be many fewer tourists on the trail, so there’s a higher risk of (for example) slipping, being injured, and not being reported missing, and there will be fewer travellers around that you could hook up with.

      I should also add that the path to Everest Base Camp, as opposed to Gorak Shep, where you spend the night, if you spend the night up there, isn’t particularly obvious, because it’s over morain. Push comes to shove, though, you’ll always be able to hire a porter / porter-guide…

      Theodora

  22. Guy Hunt says:

    Hi there

    We are looking to do what you have done. How did you pay for the trip through the company like Trek Around Nepal? Did you pay once you arrived? Or in advance? If you paid in advance, how did you pay for it securely?

    Cheers
    Guy

    • Theodora says:

      Hi Guy,

      We met up with Narayan in Pokhara and gave him cash for some of the trip: some of the fees, like Nir’s wages, were sorted out at the end, although I gave Nir advances on his wages a couple of times, and I paid all our accommodation and food etc in cash. Business in Nepal runs largely on cash and trust, although Narayan also works with a larger tour agency in Kathmandu, so might now be able to accept a deposit on a trek in advance of your arrival, via internet banking. I know a few people now who’ve trekked with Narayan, and he’s entirely trustworthy….

      Theodora

  23. Judy says:

    Hello,
    I am planning an 8 day trip from Lukla-Phakding-Namche-Namche rest day-Tengboche-Pangboche-Khumjung-Monjo- and back to Lukla. There are two of us and we’d like to hire a porter/guide (one person) who would be able to get us a room for the night and carry just the essentials along with sleeping bags, not more than 15kg. How do I find such a person and how do I get the 2 required permits on my own? How do we get this person covered by insurance? And lastly, is Thamel Valley close enough for a day hike from Namche on our rest day?
    Thank you so much for taking the time to keep this site going.
    Judy

    • Theodora says:

      Hi Judy,

      Yes, we did Thamel as a day hike from Namche, so that’s perfectly doable. One option to cover off sourcing the porter, getting the permits and getting the insurance is to go through a Nepalese agency – we used Narayan at trekaroundnepal.com.

      Alternatively, to DIY, for a TIMS permit you can take two passport photos and a passport copy to the Nepal Tourism Board offices in Kathmandu – Bhrikuti Mandap Park, Exhibition Rd. You pay your entry fee on the trek at the park gates – that’s NPR3000.

      You can find porters just by hiring people at Lukla, depending on the season: you might find it tough during peak season. Neco Insurance – http://www.necoinsurance.com.np/ – apparently offer porter insurance, but I suspect that would be time-consuming, if not impossible, to arrange if you only hired a porter in Lukla. I’m double-checking your question with a specialist organisation in Nepal, so I’ll get back to you in a few days.

      Theodora

  24. Sanjeeb says:

    Hey there Theodora, It really grateful of you to assist with those valuable suggestions. Would you mind telling the budget for a local person (Nepalese) to EBC via Jiri?
    Thank you.

    • Theodora says:

      Hi Sanjeeb – I’m not at all sure how much accommodations higher up within the national park discount for Nepalese. Your park entrance fees will be lower, of course, and you won’t have to pay travel insurance, and I’d guess you’d get better prices on the Jiri route in particular, speaking the language and being able to negotiate on both food and accommodation. But I suspect you might end up paying close to the same inflated prices on food and liquids higher up the trail as Western tourists: food and liquids are expensive, because it all comes up on yak trains. Are you going in high season? If you go in the off-season, you’ll be in a much stronger position to negotiate good prices on rooms and food, or to negotiate to put a sleeping bag in the dining area near the stove. In peak season, they’ll be so full of wealthy Westerners there’ll be limited incentive and space to help at all. Theodora

  25. Prasanna Joshi says:

    Hi Theodora, I am Prasanna from India. I wish to do EBC this december. Can you suggest me some contact of trekking organizing company from Nepal ? Finding right one from a list of 100s of companies is tough Thanks …

  26. Kendra Murphy says:

    Hi Theodora! I hope you wouldn’t mind answering some questions for me.
    I am going to be traveling to Nepal in March of 2015 to do a mission trip in Tikapur. I am thinking about doing the EBC before this trip. Is February a good time to do it? I have limited funds so I am trying to save as much as possible. Are guides or porters necessary or is it possible to do it alone with a good map? Do you have such a map? Will there be many other people on the trail? What kind of quality is the trail? Also, what heavy gear is needed (ex. crampons, boots, etc.)? Would you recommend bringing your own sleeping bag or will teahouses along the way be able to provided bedding for you each night? Can I count on teahouses to provide breakfast and dinner? As you see, I have many questions and would greatly appreciate your knowledge and wisdom.
    I am also thinking about biking from Tikapur to Lumbini after my mission trip. Do you have any advice or information pertaining to this?

    Thank you so much! I hope to hear from you soon!
    Kendra

    • Theodora says:

      Hi Kendra,

      February is midwinter, so extremely cold at higher elevations – in December, daytime temperatures indoors at Gorak Shep were around -15, and nights considerably colder, and the altitude makes you feel the cold more – and there won’t be many people on the trail, which may be hard to pass in places, and in places hard to find in heavy snow: bearing in mind these factors, I’d counsel against doing it without a porter or a guide at this time of year, although maps are available. You’ll need a very heavy sleeping bag in addition to the bedding the teahouses provide, and even then you’ll likely sleep in your clothes at higher elevations. Most people don’t use crampons, but you’ll need good boots and a LOT of layers. Some teahouses will be closed in February, but others will be open, and, yes, they do breakfast and dinner.

      I’ve not done Tikapur or Lumbini, but they’re both close to sea level, which means temperatures will be MUCH more civilised in February. I’d consider doing the cycle trip before your mission, and the trek after.

      Cheers!

      Theodora

  27. Pim Greven says:

    Hi Theodora!
    My friend and I are flying into Kathmandu on the 25th of November and would like to fly into Lukla around the 28th or 29th. We are both fit, 21 year old guys who are happy to carry our own gear, but are looking at the option of getting a guide to enhance our trek, if it’s cheap enough. We’d like to try and keep the budget as low as possible. Would it be possible for us to sort out flights and potentially a guide in the 3 days before we’d like to fly? Or do we need to book flights sooner? Also, if we decide to not get a guide, are our chances of meeting up with others doing the same as us on the trek pretty big?

    Thanks for the website, it’s a huge help!

    • Theodora says:

      Hi Pim,

      At that time of year there shouldn’t be a pressure on flights unless they’ve been stopped for bad weather, so that should be doable: we met a few independent travellers at that time of year, so you ought to as well. Note that if you arrange a guide in Kathmandu you’ll need to fly them in, so you might want to ask around in Lukla or Namche rather than prebooking.

      Hope this helps!

      Theodora

  28. GOPAL THAKUR says:

    HiTheodora
    I m planning to go for advance base camp (6400m) and kumbhu icefall in this Christmas. I need to know
    1. Is there any mountaineering certificate required to get the pass for this n what other government formality are needed n how much time it will take to manage all thede things.
    2. I m curious about the gear n I don’t have enough budget. Plz guide me how I should manage the gear specially boot n sleeping bag. N what would b the appropriated cost of this one.

    Best regards
    Gopal

    • Theodora says:

      Hi Gopal, The Khumbu Icefall is a dangerous route – you need ropes and ladders, which are set by expeditions who are climbing Everest during the spring climbing season: 13 Sherpas died doing this last year, and you can read more about it here. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/04/140418-everest-avalanche-sherpa-killed-mountain/ It’s not something you should attempt solo without support teams, proper climbing equipment and funding, let alone in December: people die on Everest all the time and if you try this solo at this time of year you’re highly likely to be one of them. Please, please do rethink this. Theodora

  29. waikit says:

    I’m planning to solo hike all the way up to Everest base camp, if capable advance base camp on jan 2015. My budget very tight max usd400 for the whole hiking trip. Is it possible?
    How many days u think to complete the journey, hike from jiri, no flight. Its winter, I dun expect it to be quick n smooth lol.
    Wat do u think? Im not even sure this plan is feasible or not wit this budget!

    • Theodora says:

      Everest Advanced Base Camp is not something to do solo, at any time of year, particularly not in January when ropes will not have been set: professionals die on that route, so it’s certainly not to be done solo, on a tight budget and ill-equipped. There will be no one out there to rescue you if you get in trouble, no marked path, no ropes, and it’s a dangerous route, across the Khumbu Icefall and up to 6400m.

      I’m also not 100% sure that the EBC trek is doable on that budget at that time of year: that’s because water will freeze much lower down than usual, so you’ll need to buy hot water to drink, which will eat into your budget.

      If you come fully-equipped, with all medicines you might need, and -30 rated sleeping bags, and layers, you could give it a go: accommodation gets more expensive the higher up the trail you get, as does food, so I’d recommend not spending the night at Gorak Shep, but turning round once you’ve done EBC proper.

      But I’d strongly suggest that, if that really is the only budget you’ve got, you wait until the weather is slightly warmer: that’ll save you the costs on missed days because of weather problems, and save you some of the money on boiled water, because you’ll be able to purify water lower down the trail. You could, of course, carry a stove to boil your own water, and a pan, and a thermos, and carry some of the food that you’ll eat: but calorific requirements are higher in the altitude and in the cold, and you certainly won’t be able to carry everything you need. And if that equipment comes out of your $400 budget, you won’t have much left over.

      Even if there’s no landslides and you make it in and out in 24 days, you’ve still got a budget of under $20 per day, which doesn’t leave much room for manoeuvre or any reserve in case something goes wrong. It also doesn’t leave you any budget for money for washing – your body or your clothes – which would leave you carrying an awful lot of stuff.

  30. Emma says:

    Hi Theodora!
    I have read a few of your posts and can’t thank you enough for taking the time to share your experience with us!

    I am planning on doing the Everest base camp hike end of March/beginning of April. Would you recommend this time as a good time to climb?

    Also, my budget is about $1,000 USD including meals/accommodation/bus or fly from KTM and I would like to pair up with a small group with porter and guide over 10-20 day range just to be on the safe side. Can you recommend how to go about booking with an operator?

    Thank you!

    • Theodora says:

      Hi Emma,

      Yes, that’s a good time to climb – although it’s also a very popular time of year to do the climb.

      There are no buses to Lukla from Kathmandu, so you’ll need to fly, I’m afraid – or walk in from Jiri. Pairing up with independent travellers on the mountain should be easy enough at that time of year, but I’m not sure you’ll find any operators prepared to sell the organised trek in small groups at that budget: I’d propose your best bet is to try and connect with people on arrival at Lukla and share the costs of porters, and a guide, if you also want a guide.

      Cheers,

      Theodora

  31. Glenn Marion says:

    Hey Theodora. Thanks for all the info. Heading to Nepal in September with unlimited time and no particular itinerary… other than eventually getting to EBC.

    Cheers.

  32. Cal says:

    Hi Theodora,

    Me and my friend (both of us have done the ABC in sept 2013) will be heading to EBC on early April 2015. Apparently, the KTM-Lukla flight has been increased to usd381/person (return) as quoted by the reservation manager of Tara Air. I’m now thinking to hike from Jiri and maybe fly back from Lukla to KTM. What’s the estimation time needed if starting from Jiri to EBC? If we don’t wish to fly back from Lukla, is there any alternative route to get to KTM beside descending to Jiri again? And how much time is needed? We will arrive KTM on 1 April and our flight back to our home country is 21 April. So we will have about 18 days for the hike.

  33. Rahul K says:

    Hello Theodora,

    I am planning to do EBC solo. Any idea if solo trekking banned in Nepal

    Thanks,
    Rahul K.

    • Theodora says:

      Hi Rahul,

      Let me ask around and get back to you. Theoretically you now need a guide for Everest Base Camp, but I’d be surprised if that was enforced rigorously. Theodora

      • Nick says:

        Hi Theodora,
        Please do ask around as I am also planning on going without a guide and am interested in what you hear. Also, I’m planning on doing the EBC trek in June (I know monsoon season). Will I still need a sleeping bag if I’m planning on staying in tea houses during June? Thanks for answering all these questions. It’s really helpful!

        • Theodora says:

          Hi Nick,

          Thanks for the reminder! I’ve checked and it IS still possible to do the EBC trek without a guide. I think you could probably get away without a sleeping bag in June given teahouses are unlikely to be full, so should have spare quilts – people do expect you to bring your own sleeping bag, though. Bear in mind that there’s a small possibility of an extremely uncomfortable night if you don’t bring one.

          Cheers,

          Theodora

  34. Andrew says:

    Dear Theodora,

    Thank you for this incredibly helpful summary of the EBC trek! I am planning to hike to EBC at the end of this month (April 2015). I looked over the other comments so I hope I’m not repeating anything, but I have a few questions for you:

    1) What permits are required for EBC?
    A. I read that I need: a trekkers management system (TIMS) card and Sagarmatha National Park entry permit. Am I correct that these are the only two? I do not think a Trekkers Permit is required because EBC is in a national park area and not a controlled area.
    B. Where do I acquire the necessary permits? I saw that the TIMS is available at the Nepal Tourism Board or TAAN in Kathmandu. I’m wondering about the National Park entry permit–do I need to go to the National Trust of Nature Conservation Office in Kathmandu or can I pick this up once I’m in Lukla? If I need a few permits from Kathmandu, I’m wondering where the offices are located (i.e. how much time to allot in Kathmandu for arranging the details).
    C. I read that Tourist visas are $25 for 15 days and $40 for 30 days. I’m planning on a 12 day trek plus 2 days in Kathmandu (total: 14). I am wondering if I can buy a 15 day Tourist visa when I arrive in Kathmandu or whether I need to opt for the 30 day visa. I read that there is a small renewal charge, but I don’t know if there’s also a large penalty for going over. I certainly don’t want to get in any trouble if a delay causes me to overstay my planned 14 days.

    2) Flight to/from Lukla
    A. What is the best way of booking the Kathmandu-Lukla flight? Should I book in advance or wait until I arrive in Kathmandu? Also, I’m wondering about the timings–should I look for a morning or afternoon flight? I’m hoping to reach Lukla as quickly as possible (once permits are acquired) and start hiking!
    B. This is probably a silly question, but do the flights leave from Tribhuvan International Airport? I’m coming in from South Asia, so I’m expecting to pass through here.

    3) What is the most accurate way of determining the weather along the route? I just did a Google weather search for Lukla and it said the temperature is 2 degrees Celsius and snowing. That surprised me for this time of year, and I wondered what it’s like higher up the route.

    4) I read your note that it is still possible to do EBC without a guide. I am planning on getting a TIMS green card for Free Individual Trekkers (FITs) because my budget is fairly small. It seems like a popular time of year to hike, so I don’t anticipate too much difficulty following the trail. Do you have any additional advice, though, for an independent trekker?

    5) I’ve heard that food/water sickness hits a lot of travelers. What’s the best way to avoid this? Unfortunately, I can’t get my hands on a steri-pen. I might be able to find some iodine tablets, though. Any thoughts?

    Thank you again for all your help! I appreciate the time you’ve taken to update this page and continue providing advice to trekkers for a safe and enjoyable trip!

    Best,
    Andrew

    • Theodora says:

      Hi Andrew,

      Gosh, you’re thorough!!!

      1: Yes, those are the only two permits that you need. You can buy the Sagamartha National Park permit when you enter the park, on day 2 of the trail. We didn’t arrange our own TIMS – Narayan did it for us – but do get to the office *before* it opens to avoid unsightly queues. (Nepalese bureaucracy tends to the time-consuming, which is why many people get agents to do it for them.)

      2: A) This time of year is peak trekking season, so you should try and book now – you’ll probably need to use an agent in KTM to do that for you. The chances of just picking up a flight next day in late April are low, I’d say. I’d also book the earliest flight you can get as it’s less likely to get cancelled, although cancellations aren’t that common at this time of year. B) Yes, there’s only one airport in Kathmandu. BUT the domestic and international bits of it are quite some way apart.

      3: AFAIK the only accurate way of determining the weather along the route is asking someone who’s currently up there: Nepal doesn’t have the money to spend on weather stations. I’d be amazed if it was that cold in Lukla at this time of year as well.

      4: Only that if you’re on a tight budget bring all the snacks and treats you might possibly need in Kathmandu / Pokhara, and bring plenty of hard currency cash. You might find that you want to hook up with a group who do have a guide or a porter-guide just to facilitate getting spaces in tea-houses/lodges, and, if so, you’ll want to chip in to the cost of their guide.

      5: If you’re coming from South Asia you should have decent immunity to local intestinal fauna anyway, which isn’t to say that you won’t get sick but that you’re less likely to. We drank boiled water, and used purifying tablets on pump water lower down (local ones – we couldn’t get a SteriPen either, LOL) and were absolutely fine – but then we had good Asian immunity. I guess if you’re especially concerned about it, avoid meat – we didn’t, and we were fine.

      Any more questions, do give me a shout. And, enjoy!

      Cheers,

      Theodora

  35. Andrew says:

    Hi Theodora,

    I left a comment with several questions on Sunday, April 19th. However, I checked back this morning to see whether you had a chance to reply, but I don’t see any response. Are the comments moderated or was my post lost?

    Best,
    Andrew

    • Andrew says:

      Opps! My apologies! Something must have been wrong with my browser, but I now see your reply! Not sure if I can deleted this extra post. Sorry about that!

    • Theodora says:

      Hi Andrew, Comments are moderated for new commenters – which can mean long delays if I’m offline for some reason. But I also notice I’ve missed one bit. 1C – buy the 30-day visa. It’s worth the extra $15 for the security, because if you are stuck in Lukla you won’t be able to extend the visa, and then you may have to pay overstays and all sorts of hassles. Plus, extending visas typically takes a tonne of time. Cheers, Theodora

      • Andrew says:

        Hi Theodora,

        Thanks! By the way, what’s the best website to buy tickets to/from Lukla? There are a few that advertise it online, but I’m not sure they’re official. What would you suggest?

        Best,
        Andrew

        • Theodora says:

          Hi Andrew – I hope all is OK for you in Nepal (if that’s where you are). Obviously, there won’t be a bunch of flights to Lukla at the moment, and I wouldn’t anticipate anything that’s online in Nepal actually working either. Even at the best of times, though, you can’t buy tickets online: although you can reserve over the phone (this page has numbers for Tara Air: http://www.taraair.com/fares.html), you have to transfer/give money to an agent who goes and physically buys them for you, so most people just use an agent. We used Narayan Bhandari at trekaroundnepal.com – he’s safe and well and on Facebook. You could, in theory, go to their desk at the airport and buy it yourself, but any saving would be a complete false economy. Hope all’s OK with you. Theodora

  36. Campbell says:

    Nice article. My girlfriend and I did an independent budget trip. Your cost estimate is about right for a shoestring trip. Lukla to Lukla took 13 days at $20 a day, 4 extra days, our flight Kathmandu to Lukla, permits all inclusive our total cost was about $450 each. I describe how we did our trip; Everest Base Camp -20$ per day – Tips and Mistakes: http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog-entries/campbell-louw/1/1402141509/tpod.html Mistakes that we made during our EBC trek (don’t do the same!). All costs involved. The route that we followed and tea houses we stayed in.

    • Theodora says:

      Thanks for sharing – in particular the details on the tea houses should come in very handy.

  37. Maxine Schuiling says:

    Hi Theodora,

    I hope I’m not asking anything that you’ve covered previously!
    I am planning to do the trip in late Nov this year and was just wondering about the following:
    1. If time is not really an issue, what must be arrange before we arrive in Nepal? Or is it possible to arrange everything once you get there?
    2. I’m slightly confused as to the difference between an agent, and a company providing the trek. I suppose what I’m trying to ask is if it’s necessary to go through a company for anything or if you can do it all yourself. And if so, how do you avoid scams?
    3. Perhaps you will cover this when answering the question 1 and 2, but what needs to be done upon arrival? I’m quite clueless as I’d really like to not go with a company to keep costs down.
    4. How much fitness is required so hike to EBC?

    Thank you so much for what has definitely been the most informative post on this so far!

    • Theodora says:

      No worries, Maxine – comments on this are epic. I answer Q4 in great detail in this post about the details of the EBC trek – I do recommend you read it.

      1: If time is no particular issue, arrange everything once you get to Nepal – with the travel warnings, the route is going to be far from over-subscribed, and late November is well past peak even in a standard year. That way you’ll be able to meet people face to face.
      2: I’m not quite sure what you mean here. The post I link to above talks about doing EBC as a solo traveller. If you’re a relatively inexperienced traveller and looking for a guide or porter-guide, I’d recommend you go through an agency precisely to avoid scams, particularly since you’re solo and female. Talk to Narayan at http://www.trekaroundnepal.com so he can arrange a trusted porter-guide, plus flights &c – he can probably arrange a local guide so you don’t need to cover their flights. The distinction I think we’re getting at here is between using an agency to arrange things and joining an organised group tour.
      3: On arrival – assuming you already have the gear you need for EBC, including medical stuff, you need to arrange flights, permits and a porter-guide if required (you can also arrange on arrival at Lukla). If you’re walking in from Jiri, you need to arrange permits and hop on a bus to Jiri.

      I’d strongly recommend going with a trusted guide or porter-guide – i.e., through an agency — if you’re not used to solo, high-altitude trekking and the complexities of tourism in the developing world. It’s cold up there at that time of year, weather can be very unpredictable and visibility can be very poor when it snows.

      Hope this helps

  38. Tarun Batra says:

    Hii,
    I m planning to visit EBC in coming Nov 15.
    Can you guide me what things would be required and how much it would cost if i start my journey from kathmandu.

    Thanks
    Tarun Batra

    • Theodora says:

      Hi, This entire post is about what the trip costs. If anything’s unclear, ask a specific question and I’ll answer it. This post has a list of what gear is needed for the Everest Base Camp trek.

  39. Pragabh says:

    Hi Theodora,
    Thanks for the incredibly detailed post. I just needed to ask you about something.
    I am planning to organize an independent school trip with some of my friends as well as faculty (about 8-10 of us) next year. What do you think would be an ideal time for the trek? And also, do you think it is a good idea for us to do it as a camping trek?
    Any advice would be really helpful.
    Thanks!

    • Theodora says:

      Hi Pragabh, You might want to take a look at this post which has more of an overview. I’m not a fan of camping treks to EBC because they end up in the villages where there are lodges anyway, so you don’t get the wilderness camping experience you might in other parts of Nepal: they’re also more costly because of porters and yaks. Peak seasons are April-May and September-October. Prior to the earthquakes and the fuel crisis, I’d have advised avoiding those times of year as they’re horribly busy, with both lodges and trail unpleasantly crowded, and opting instead for March or November: tourist numbers may drop by next year sufficiently to make peak season doable, but I don’t have a crystal ball with which to see this, I’m afraid. Theodora

  40. Pragabh says:

    Thanks for the info.
    How difficult do you think it would be to find lodging if you haven’t pre-booked? And do you need a different permit to camp overnight at EBC?
    Thanks Again.

    • Theodora says:

      Both of these questions are addressed in the post I linked to – do you want to take a read of that and then come back if you have more questions?

  41. Felipe Bauermann says:

    Hello Theodora, congratulations for your post! I had a lot of doubts and now I know everything. Best regards!

  42. Steve C says:

    Hey Theodora, great post, thanks so much for taking the time to post. I’m thinking of doing the EBC trek on my own in Nov this year, and I was thinking of going with himalayanwonders, they charge $1299 with everything included, and I get tot join a slightly larger group of 5, the trek takes 14 days so it doesn’t seem rushed… I’ve read everything you posted about the price and organizing your own trip, but for someone like me with no travel experience to Nepal, would I not be better going down this route for my first trek, then maybe look to book for myself when I have more experience? Would love to hear your opinion, thanks Steve.

    • Theodora says:

      Hi Steve, That looks like a good price – although it does look as though you’re doing the 11 day version of the trek with 2 days in KTM. And, yes, if you’d rather take a group tour, then take a group tour. The disadvantage of these things for me is that you don’t have a choice of when to get out of bed, or what pace to walk at (not to mention sharing a room with a stranger), but if you’d feel more comfortable going with a group and a Western organiser, they seem like a solid choice. Theodora

  43. Attiryaq says:

    Hi Theodora, do you have any guide/porter to recommend? I wish to trek independently and not with a tour group as my budget is pretty tight, preferably $1000. Please advice.

    • Theodora says:

      Hi Attiryaq, I suggest you contact Narayan at trekaroundnepal.com – he arranged our porter-guide, Nir, although Nir is now a full guide, so he’d probably arrange someone else for you. In my Everest FAQ comments you’ll see reports from others who’ve used him. Cheers, Theodora

  44. Shalini Ingle says:

    Hi, Great info! we are planning for the trek from Mid may to may end 2016. Please share your thoughts on the weather during these days. Also what would be the approximate cost now ?

    • Theodora says:

      Hi Shalini, That’s peak season so you may find costs slightly higher, but the weather will be at its best unless the monsoon comes early, which it might do as the La Nina effect follows the strong El Nino we’re experiencing. Theodora

  45. Shane Kenyon says:

    Thanks for this and your description of crossing Cho-La Pass. Makes me excited to think about visiting the Himalayas!

  46. Great article Theodora! πŸ™‚ We are budget travellers and we did the EBC Trek independently without guides or porters in March 2012. I wish this post had been there when we were doing our research then! We flew into Lukla to save time and walked out to Jiri via Gokyo. Your approximate costs are spot on! We actually just wrote an extremely detailed blog post on it – The Ultimate Guide to Walking the Everest Base Camp Trek Independently – as so many people kept asking us how we could afford to and manage do it independently and live to tell the tale! There is a huge misconception out there that it costs a small fortune and you need to be super fit or athletic or a mountaineer ! We must admit we ourselves thought that too until we knew we were going to Nepal and started researching. So it’s great to see a post that breaks the cost down into a guide based on individual travel style.
    http://wanderingon.com/guide-to-walking-the-everest-base-camp-trek-independently/
    It is an incredible, unforgettable experience – a true bucket list item! πŸ™‚

  47. Namaste from Kathmandu Nepal.I am Sagar Tamang working at Nepal Base Camp Treks and leading group to Mount Everest Base Camp and Annapurna Base camp in very reasonable cost US Dollars 40 per day and US Dollars 30 per porter.
    Cost Option we have Cheapest guide and cheapest porters around 10 to 15 US Dollars per day for budget travelers.
    Contact below links:
    http://www.nepalbasecamptrek.com/trekking/everest-base-camp-trek/
    http://www.nepalbasecamptrek.com/trekking/annapurna-base-camp-trek/

  48. Dear Theodora… Namastee from India, Himachal Pradesh..Village ( Theog also like mini Napal)… This article is really helpful for the kind of trekkers and climbers like us.. will meet you soon in this summer ..coming to Napal for Everest Base Camp Trek. Jai Shankar..
    Regards
    Vijender Kanwar

  49. fil says:

    hi, thanks for the great article, where do i buy the permits you mentioned?
    Sagamartha National Park Permit – 3000 Nepalese Rupees ($28) – and a TIMS card – US$20 paid in Nepalese rupees if independent

  50. Great Information you have posted Theodora.
    I do suggest that the reader should also be aware of attractive cost. I often run into people who has zero knowledge seems to be guiding tourist with lots of wrong information.
    These kind of inexperience guide will not gain proper experience for our valuable tourism industry in Nepal could harm in both ways.
    Last year, I was sitting at my patio on the way to Everest Trek, I have a great viewpoint patio where many tourist rest and take photo of Konde and historic monastery above our town. I heard this tourist ask his guide pointing Konde and Phari mountain asking what is the name of that mountain? and the guide’s answer was completely wrong name of the mountain from western Nepal.
    I just couldn’t let it go so i stopped the guide and tourist both and gave a proper information
    often times the guide itself gets lost themselves.

  51. Ginnieb says:

    Hi Theodora
    Wow! I must say you deserve absolute respect for all the invaluable time and knowledge you have volunteered over these past few years and still continue doing so! Thank you!
    I wonder if you could help. I am planning to travel with a small group to EBC at the end of April next year. We have the option of going with a well know UK adventure company or using a Destination management Company based in Delhi and using local guides and porters, booking all the tea houses along the way and including the flights from and to KTM/Lukla, although no food. The Adventure company cost is approx $1500. The Delhi company is approx $1840 including all meals however allows an extra full day for acclimatization 3 days acclimatization instead of 2 with the adventure company) .
    These prices are not including flight from the UK but do include the KTM – Lukla flights.
    What do you think of these prices, and would you say as a small group – around 8 people, do you think from a safety, security aspect we are better opting for a company such as these (both have been checked and are highly reputable) rather than opting to do it ourselves with local guides and porters?
    The adventure company allow 15 mins – 1 hour at EBV and the Delhi company say approx 2 hours. I always imagined staying longer or even sleeping overnight with a chance to meet some of the groups climbing, planning to summit.
    You invaluable advive would be very much appreciated.

    • Theodora says:

      Hi Ginnie,

      I’m afraid to meet the groups or sleep over you need to join one of the super high-priced tours like Adventure Consultants, who have their own groups climbing Everest – that’s really the only way to do that, and you’re looking at five figures, not four for that.

      Base Camp itself is just a selection of tents with a view up to the Khumbu Icefall so you don’t necessarily need extra time there, though you should have the Kala Patthar sunset or sunrise climb on your itinerary while you’re up there. Given it’s a custom tour for your group (I assume from the pricing), you should be able to add in extra hours if you’d like, although be aware that it’s always very, very cold at Gorak Shep and there may be pressure on accommodation up there at that time of year.

      Pricewise, you’d get a better deal from a small Nepali organisation than from either of those groups, but the price that includes meals and the extra days seems better, because meals are your largest expenditure in lodges (you spend more on food than you do on the room). Do they also include water and drinks for the trail? Three acclimatisation days is much better than two. It gives you a chance to walk a bit off the beaten trail and reduces the risk of anyone experiencing altitude sickness. I’d clarify that the price is for the eight of you to trek as a group and negotiate that quite firmly. With those numbers you should be walking just as a group meaning that you won’t have to do 6am starts if you don’t want to and that if anyone does get headachey you can slow your ascent.

      Hope this helps!

      Theodora

  52. Ginnieb says:

    Hi Theodora, I meant to say the adventure company at $1500 does not include food and the Delhi company at $1840 includes all food and actually an extra 2 days, one extra in Kathmandu and the other for acclimatization on the route.
    Many thanks for your advice πŸ™‚

  53. Simon Hickson says:

    Hello I’m going to EBC setting of 23rd October, I know it’s peak season and I’m traveling alone, I was looking at tours at about 1300 dollars. Would getting flights to pull a be a problem would I need to book in advance and are return flight easily changed for dates? Also would tea houses be full? For all these reasons I can see that a tour would resolve. The tour is actually on the mountain for 12 days one more than others which may help acclimatising? Although booking my own guide I could have extra days to acclimatie. I have 20 days in nepal. thanks Simon

    • Theodora says:

      Hi Simon,

      It’s easier to change flights if you’re with a tour or a local guide, because it’s all done at what passes for an office in Lukla. You can actually check flight availability online, but, yes, I’d say you’d want to book in advance at that time of year, which would mean arranging your local guide ahead of arriving in country. There will likely be pressure on guesthouses, so prebooking either as a tour or with a local guide makes a lot of sense during peak season. Don’t book your return flight too close to your flight out of Nepal as flights can and do get backed up on the mountains. Theodora

  54. Simon Hickson says:

    The fight was to Lukla not pull.

  55. Simon Hickson says:

    Thanks for your help. Most helpful.

  56. Nico says:

    Hey guys, Is there anyway to keep going or joining a group to reach the summit of Everest if you are already at Base Camp?
    How much would it cost if youre already at Base camp or maybe just getting 2 or 3 sherpas? These are maybe silly questions but I was just curious.

    Thanks

  57. Aloha Dionisio says:

    Hi Theodora, we are planning to go to EBC this coming April 1, 2017. We are just beginner and it is our first time to do this. We’re very thankful if you could help us with some tips and advice especially what travel insurance to get including Helicopter? We are from Philippines and we will having a flight to Kathmandu going to Lukla and then starting the trekking adventure on the 3rd of April and planning to end on the 14th day of April. Also how much would it cost to trek in EBC including foods, lodging, porter-guide-tips, and flights? We are on a tight budget so we are looking for the cheapest but safest one. Hope to hear your soonest response. Thank you

  58. Signe says:

    Hi!
    I know it is a long time ago since you wrote this article, but I am going to try anyway.

    I am going in March-April to the EBC. I would like to book a porter/guide in Katmandu and the flights. My questions is: Can it be arrange from the Company (guide) too go in a group? Like sharing a guide/porters with other hikers? I would love to have fellow hikers, but I do not want to book at full (even more overpriced) package tour.

    • Theodora says:

      Hi Signe,

      If you want to join a group in Kathmandu, you’re looking at a group tour: so, yes, you can be added to a group, but you’ll still be on a group tour. Your alternative is to ask around Thamel and see which other solo travelers want to get together to share a guide and/or porters, then arrange independently.

      Theodora

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