Makalu Base Camp Trek

19 Days

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  • Trek in the remote and untouched region of Makalu-Barun National Park
  • Reach the base of Mount Makalu, close to Everest
  • Less crowded, this route is an excellent alternative to the popular trekking regions of Nepal
  • Combined with trek and camping, this route lies in an utterly beautiful region in central-east Nepal
  • Chance to see a lot of wildlife - in a habitat that is still intact and is not encroached at all
Makalu Base Camp, located inside Makalu Barun National Park is a less-frequented trekking region as compared to popular trekking routes. The trail is known for extraordinary natural beauty, quiet and immersive experience. You will cross several picturesque villages, a number of passes, and a lot of yak pastures before arriving at Makalu Base Camp. This fifth highest peak in the world soars 8,481 meters - the base of which is a beautiful location offering a rare view of the valleys, glaciers, lakes, rivers, mountains, and forests from a single vantage point. High Venture Plus invites you for an extraordinary trip to Nepal that is complete with beauty, harmony, and adventure.
 

Route Map

Makalu Base Camp Trek Route Map

Itinerary

  • After breakfast, drive to Kathmandu Airport and take a on-hour flight to Tumlingtar. Meet the trekking crew and then take the brief before starting the trek to Chichila. The beautiful landscape will inspire you as you begin the trek. Arriving at Chichila, we will check into a lodge for the night.
  • After breakfast at the lodge, we will begin the trek with wonderful views of Mt. Makalu walking through dense forests. Trek through ascents and descents for a couple of hours and then descend to Num where we’ll stay tonight.
  • Today it’s mostly a descending trail from Num. We will also be entering Makalu-Barun Conservation Area. We will trek through the corn fields and farmlands of Lumbang. The trail is rocky, which ascends through terraced farms of maize and barley. Later in the day we will arrive at Seduwa where we’ll stay tonight in a lodge.
  • After a leisurely breakfast, we will pack the bags and leave, trekking through meadows and rivers. It’s mostly trekking uphill from here, until we arrive at the village of Tashi Gaun. Stay in  this picturesque village tonight.
  • Starting from Tashi Gaun, we will walk on a steep ascending path. The gravity will slow you down, but take a number of tiny breaks and continue forward. The scenery gets dramatic with views of lakes, ponds, and hills. We will also see a number of animals such as blue sheep and of course, yaks! We will come to a checkpoint at Unshia, and get an entry to Makalu-Barun National Park. From here, begin a challenging seven-hour trek to Khongma Danda, or Kauma, as it is sometimes called. Stay here in a home or set up camp for the night.
  • It’s a day of rest and relaxation today at Khongma Danda. We will get up late and have a relaxing morning. Prepare breakfast and enjoy the views. In the afternoon, visit the nearby locations, including a monastery. Go to bed early and save up on energy needed for the days to come at Makalu Base Camp.
  • It’s a remarkable day of trek today - and a tough one too. Starting from Khongma Danda, we will first climb to Kauma-La Pass. Descend through the hills and reach another pass called Keke-La Pass. From here, we will ascend further to a third pass called Shipton-La Pass. Enjoy the beautiful scenery here, especially the lakes and pond perched high up in the hills. Later, continue to reach the fourth and last pass for today - Tutu-La Pass - at an incredible 4,170 meters. Have majestic views of several peaks from here before arriving at Dobato for the night stay.
  • Leaving behind Dobato, we will enter a tropical forest of rhododendron and oak and walk in the cool shades. Next, we will come to the beautiful river Barun, an important freshwater source for wildlife of Makalu-Barun Valleys. Take some photos and trek along to reach a yak pasture and farms. This is Yangla Kharka where we will stay tonight.
  • After breakfast in Yangla Kharka, we will pass through more forests at the foothill of the mountains. A couple of hours, and we will come across a number of little creeks until arriving at a place called Merek. Take a little break here and trek along crevasses and hills to reach the pasture of Langmale Kharka. This is where we will stay tonight.
  • From Langmale Kharka, we will start gradually after breakfast. After some time the the trail goes along a steep ascent, with Barun River at the side. Tread carefully and do not forget to have pictures of the glaciers and rocky cliffs you might come across. The views of Makalu peak are really captivating. Trek for a couple of hours to reach Makalu Base Camp, our destination for tonight. Upon reaching here, unpack and set up the tent - all the while looking at views of the nearby peaks that are beautiful beyond description.
  • The day starts with a beautiful view of the Makalu-Barun National Park. Far ahead you will see beautiful valleys - quiet and serene. Just behind you is a stunning panorama of Makalu, Everest, Lhotse, and other peaks. This wonderful feeling is sheer joy in itself. Immediately ahead you will see the glaciers and little glacial lakes that add to the beauty of an already wonderful experience. Make you you take little hikes around to see more of the beautiful landscape. Return to Base Camp and spend the rest of the day here.
  • After breakfast, pack you bags and leave. Today we will retrace our steps to Yangla Kharka first crossing a thick beautiful forest, then some rocky paths and several villages until we arrive at Yangla Kharka where we’ll stay tonight probably in a lodge or a homestay.
  • After breakfast, it’s time to descend further. Trek through forests of rhododendron and little pastures until we arrive at the beautiful Barun River. We will trek along this river and see some rocky cliffs and ridges. Further up we will encounter more streams and creeks, and later in the day arrive at Dobato. Here we’ll stay tonight in a lodge.
  • We will further retrace our steps to Khongma Danda. After breakfast we will enter a forest of rhododendron and trek through this lush forest until we come to the village of Mumbuk. From here, we will cross the four passes we came earlier - Tutu-La, Shipton-La, Keke-La, and Kauma-La before arrive at Khongma Danda or Kauma as it is sometimes called. Set up camp at this serene location for the overnight stay.
  • Retracing our steps further, we will enter a dense forest of juniper and oak and fir, headed for Tashi Gaun. Sections of the trail are rocky but beautiful. Tread carefully along the path until we come to the exit point of Makalu-Barun National Park. From here, we will have a continued trek to Tashi Gaun, a picturesque village of the Sherpa community. Stay tonight in this village in a lodge or a homestay.
  • Leaving Tashi Gaun behind after breakfast, we will head towards Seduwa, our destination for tonight. First we will cross some little creeks and enter a beautiful valley - the Barun River Valley. It’s lined with beautiful rivers and streams, two notable ones being Isuwa and Hingsa. These rivers can also be found in the trekking route to Arun Valley. Later in the day we will arrive at Seduwa for the overnight stay in a lodge.
  • After breakfast at Seduwa, we will pack the bags and leave. Early on, we will trek through forests of bamboo and rhododendron through the shaded trails. We will later arrive at Arun River and upon crossing it, we will come to the exit point of Makalu-Barun Conservation Area. As we descend through the last section of our trail, we will cross several hamlets and beautiful villages until we come to Num, our destination for tonight.
  • Today marks the last section of our trek in this program. Descending gradually through the path we will enjoy the beautiful views of several peaks, especially Mt. Makalu. Take note of the trail that sometimes goes steep, but you will enjoy every bit of the route as you come to Chiclila and then drive to Tumlingtar. Hop into a lodge for the overnight stay.
  • After breakfast, go to the airstrip at Tumlingtar. On the scheduled time, take a scenic flight back to Kathmandu. Once in the capital, spend the rest of the day as you desire. Stay tonight in a hotel.

What's Included?

  • For accommodation in Kathmandu, the Hotel will be a 3 star Hotel and the room will be on twin sharing basis which includes breakfast. The package for Kathmandu’s hotel is for 2 nights.
  • Similarly, for accommodation in Pokhara, the Hotel will be a 3 star Hotel where the room will be on twin sharing basis, 2 nights.
  • Permit to Conservation Area / national park
  • Trekkers’ Information Management Systems (TIMS) card.
  • We further make arrangements of the best teahouses or lodge as far as possible in twin sharing basis throughout the trek journey.
  • Regarding the guide, we provide you with a professional very helpful and friendly trekking guide who can speak fluently in English.
  • The other assistant will also be provided if you are going in a group of two or more where the package will include their food, dally payment, transportation, and accommodation, along with covering up their insurance.
  • A down jacket, duffle bag and a sleeping bag will also be provided during the trek.
  • For transportation, we have roadways where we arrange tourist bus for solo travellers and private vehicle for group.
  • A T-shirt, trekking map and a certificate of achievement after completion of the trek will also be provided.
  • We also provide you with first aid kit.
  • The package also includes all the official and governmental charges.

What's not Included?

  • Visa arrangements and charges to Nepal (Obtain airport 15 days $25 – 30 days $ 40 -90 days $ 100 )
  • Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner and seasonal fruit will be provided during the trekking. ( About 250- 300 $ entire trekking )
  • All kinds of soft and hard drinks.
  • National and International plane fares.
  • Luggage charges (especially if they go excessive)
  • Travel insurance ( 30 $)
  • For extra accommodation in Kathmandu (if it exceeds more days than mentioned in the itinerary) whatever the cause might be early arrival, late departure or early return from the trek.
  • Along with accommodation, the same condition applies for food as well. You need to pay on your own for Breakfast, lunch and dinner for extra days even if it will be after returning back from the trek earlier than the mentioned date.
  • Personal expenses like phone recharge, laundry, hot shower, bottled water, extra porters, extra snacks, etc.Tips for guides and porters are also excluded as it is not a compulsion but it is expected that you tip them.

Trek Info

Here are some of the Trekking accessories that you require for the easy and convenient journey-

In general you will need four sleeping bags (we could provide you one for the trek), a duffel or a trekking bag of 70-80 liters (we can provide one), down jacket (this too we can provide one if needed for the trek) and a normal travel bag of 25-30 liters.

For clothing, you will require the following-

Upper body- For this-shirts, waterproof jacket, fleece jacket or pullover, water proof jacketare needed. Wind proof jacket are optional but preferred. For T-shirts, baggy cotton T-shirts are the best especially for warm days in lower altitudes. Moreover, we recommend synthetic T-shirts as they quickly absorb the moisture. Then, for the waterproof jacket, we recommend you to have nylon which is light.

Lower body- For this, you need hiking shorts, trekking pants, soft shell and hard shell pants, cotton pants or jeans. For hiking shorts, buy the fabric which dries quickly. For trekking pants, go for the ones which have zipper in the middle of the knees so that you can take off the bottom part when necessary. Forsoft shell pants, buy a synthetic fiber. Then, for hard shell, buy a waterproof one. Full zipper from top to bottom is preferred for both soft and hard shell pants. For extra wearable, have a pair of jeans or cotton pants.

Inner wears- Regarding inner wears, you need lightweight underwear which is preferably made up of synthetic. For women, own synthetic sports bras. You could also have swimsuit if you would like to.

Footwear- For this, you need a trekking boot, gaiters and sandals. For Trekking boots, get a hard sole lug-cleated boots for good performance for every kind of landscape. We then recommend you to have a pair as it helps keep your feet dry quickly and keeping dust, rocks and snow out of your shoes. We also suggest you to have a pair of sandals as it helps while you are in the lodge. Then, for socks, you require 4 pairs of synthetic and 3 pairs of woolen socks.

Hand wears- The hand essentials are gloves, mittens and hand warmers. For warm weather, buy synthetic or thin woolen gloves. For cold weather, buy a woolen or fleece gloves. While for mittens, Gore-Tex mittens are the best. Regarding hand warmers, it’s completely your choice whether you want to have or not.

Face protection- For protecting the face against the snowfalls, heavy wind, direct sun, etc. we recommend you to have a cap or a hat, a synthetic woolen hat, a lightweightedbalaclava, glacier glasses having 100% UV protected lens with side shields and hard-sided storage, headlamp, ear muffs, neck warmer, etc. Ear muffs and neck warmers are not necessary but are up to your choice.

First Aid Kit- Though the trekking guides will be carrying a first aid kit box, we suggest you to have one as well. So, for this, you will need to have basic emergency equipment. You can discuss with us regarding what all to take along with you.

Personal care- The personal care products that you will require while trekking are tooth brush, tooth paste (biodegradable is preferred), towel, soap, hand wash, sanitizers, wet wipes, deodorants, crèmes, etc. along with your other needs.

Miscellaneous but important- These include valid passport, passport size photos, airline ticket (and its copy), luggage locks, thick garbage bags, water bottle, small bag for travel documents, passport, wallet/purse, etc., pocket knife, sunscreen lotion (SPF 40 recommended) and lip balm of at least SPF 20.

Extras- The extras include trekking poles, snacks, books, games, chargers, binoculars, batteries, camera, guide book, extra glasses (if you wear), notebook/pen, sleeping bag liner, hydration bladder with drinking tube, pee bottle for men and pee funnel for women, thermos, etc.

Note- Tight fitting clothes especially made out of fabrics like lycra, especially to women can be offensive to the local villagers. So, make sure that you pack something to wear on top of them if you want to pack them.

FAQs

The ideal time to trek in Nepal whether it is either in Autumn- from September to November or in Spring- from March to May. These two seasons are considered to be the best time due to good weather and moderate temperate suitable for trekking.
In regard to the difficulty of trekking in Nepal, it depends upon the mountain range. Not all the trekking routes are that difficult to climb but there are places where you can find trekking most challenging as well.
In order to be fit for trekking, you need to start walking more and possibly go for hiking or even short distance trekking before you trek for long distance like this. You can go for hiking in your own place nearby before coming to Nepal as well.
The documents that you will require for trekking in Nepal will be your passport which should be valid at least till next 6 months, a copy of your insurance, 2 or more passport sized photographs, flight tickets of course along with emergency contact number in case of any emergency.
Yes, travel insurance is necessary and while getting the insurance, make sure that the company covers the altitude that you are trekking at. And the other thing, it is even better if you get the insurance from your own country.
For altitude sickness, as it is quite common problems in higher altitude, we provide you with some of the guideline regarding what you can do at your own level if it is not much. But if the sickness continues to get worse then you should immediately get down to lower region. In case of emergency, our guides will take care of it as they are well trained with using first aid and have basic knowledge of physical injuries or some other problems. But if the injury, altitude sickness or any other problem arises then the rescue team will be contacted. For this reason, you insurance helps a lot.
Yes, you need to have a trekking guide if you are a new trekker as you may not know about so many things like mountaineering or altitude sickness or even about the topography, weather, etc. And most importantly you will be able to know about the place that you are travelling; the exact location and can also have a company. But if you have travelled and especially trekked a lot of places in Nepal trekked earlier as well for many times and think you don’t need a guide then you may proceed. But for this also, make sure that you have the permission from the local and government authorities as trekking guide is mostly compulsory in many parts of the Himalayan region.
This however is not a compulsion in many of the trekking routes but it is better if you take a porter along with you as you can enjoy your travelling experience without having to carry a lot of loads- your backpack. And the other reason the local people will get a work to earn for their daily requirements and as the people in High Himalayas don’t have riches and live a simple normal life, it will perhaps be a great help.
The permits that you need for the trek will be done by our company and need not worry about it. But however, for your information, you will need to have a TIMS (Trekkers’ Information Management System) card- this is a basic permit for trekking in Nepal along with the necessary permits of where exactly you are trekking if needed. You can also have FIT (Free Individual Trekker) if you are a solo trekker. But this is not valid for the restricted areas where you cannot go forward for solo trekking. The other necessities will be Valid passport with at least six month remaining before it expire, a valid Nepal visa, e-copy of passport sized photo. The other necessities will be done by the company itself.
Yes, you can solo trek or travel in Nepal. However, for trekking in higher altitudes where the regions are known as Restricted Areas, there you are not allowed to go alone as you will have to buy at least two permits. But the interesting thing is that in most of the areas you also need to carry a guide along with you. So, if you can manage to trek with your guide paying for his permit and being with him throughout the trek, then you possibly might be able to trek in that way. Otherwise, you can get along with someone who also wants to trek solo and go together instead.
The foods are usually served in the teahouses which will be plain but good and hygienic as they cook the vegetables nicely. They even soak iodine in water before cooking the vegetables so that you can get good and healthy food. Whereas if you are camping then you can get local foods that you can cook it. Since in higher altitudes, you won’t find refrigerators and frequent power cut; you will have to be vegetarian during the trek even if you are not. Then, regarding water facilities, bottled water is available up to the most of the Base Camp itself which will cost around US$1-4. But however, you should not drink water from the tap or streams.
For souvenirs, you can get good hand knitted woolen goods, hats, cashmere shawls, pashminas, Buddhist memorabilia, carved masks, puppets, wood carvings, jewelry, etc. as these are the things which are frequently bought by the tourists. You can get the souvenirs mostly at Thamel area when you are in Kathmandu. So, for all of the extra expenses including souvenirs, food and drinks other than what the Hotel/ Teahouse provides you, or perhaps some clothing or equipment for yourself then we recommend you to have around US$200-350 along with you. Besides that, you can withdraw money from ATMs while in Kathmandu as well.
Yes, you can buy trekking equipment in Kathmandu and it may even cost a little less amount but the quality of the product can’t be guaranteed. So, for this reason, we recommend you to bring the very necessary equipment like the trekking shoes along with you. But for other additional needs, you can buy it in Kathmandu itself.
You need to carry warm as well as cool clothing as there might be hotter in some of the places along the way or even in Kathmandu during summer season. Then, you have to have a sleeping bag as you might need it at times if the teahouses are unavailable or so in some places. The other things we recommend are small portion of snacks like chocolate bars, water proof wearable, cap, lotion, sunglasses, hand sanitizers, water bottle, first aid kit, etc. along with your daily necessities.
We don’t think you will need Ice axe or Crampons during trekking even in the Himalayas as the trails are marked nicely until and unless you go to trekking in the winter. Then, you will need them as there will be much more snowfall and will also be easy for you while trekking. In other season, instead of Crampons, we recommend you to have Micro spikes as they are not heavy and you can carry it easily. Plus, Micro spikes are comparatively less expensive as well. And regarding the Ice axe, we will provide you with one if it is really necessary though it’s not that necessary, as we will know more about the size and shape along with light weighted one.

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