When I got into thinking about where to go on my 30th birthday trip, I asked myself, “What would be a major travel goal of mine that I could cross off the bucketlist to make  it extra special?” A number of options came to mind, but the one that really stuck was to go on the Everest Base Camp (EBC) trek.

The trek to Everest Base Camp was definitely the most beautiful trek that I’ve done. Having grown up in the tropics all my life, you can just imagine how amazing it is for me to enjoy views of soaring ice & snow-capped mountains — Of Mount Everest, no less, surrounded by many of the most iconic peaks of the Himalayas.

Having done the Annapurna Base Camp trek during my first trip to Nepal, I already had a good grip on what to expect and preparations involved. As a casual hiker, I knew it was going to be tough but achievable at the same time. Anyone with an average level of fitness, who’s not afraid to break a sweat can do it!

Traveling to Everest Base Camp for the first time? This detailed travel guide will make it easy for you to plan a trip, save money, and maximize your time.

Scroll down to read must-know travel tips before you go, followed by a sample itinerary + budget breakdown and lots of extra travel tips.

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How to get to Everest Base Camp (EBC) — The South Base Camp of Mount Everest is located in Nepal. After arriving in Kathmandu, the country’s primary international gateway, the quick and easy way to get to the jump-off point of the trek is by flying to Lukla (25-minute domestic flight). The typical EBC trek itinerary takes 12 days.

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How much does it cost to get to base camp Everest? — The price of a 12-day package trekking tour usually costs USD 1,200 to 1,700 per person. This rate usually includes the flights to Lukla + expenses during the trip for food accommodations, trekking permit, guide and/or porter. It excludes expenses in Kathmandu, equipment, insurance, etc. For independent trekkers, it’s possible to go with a budget less than USD 1,000 per person. Meanwhile, the cheapest but longer way is by taking the bus to Jiri village from Kathmandu and starting the trek to EBC from there.

How to start planning — One of the first things you need to decide is whether you want to go: (1) with a Sherpa guide or (2) independently. The first option is highly recommended if you want to make the trip as hitch-free as possible. The guide will help you get prepared with a briefing in Kathmandu, secure required trekking permits & registration, arrange your return flights to Lukla, make the trekking itinerary, take care of your accommodations & food, and most importantly, keep you safe during the trek. If you need a porter to carry your bag, the guide can also arrange that for you.

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Schedule 2-3 weeks or more — In addition to the days spent on the actual trek, you’ll need to add at least one whole day in Kathmandu for pre-trip preparations, and some allowance in case the trek takes longer than expected. Having extra days after the trek also gives you time to explore interesting spots to visit in Kathmandu and Nepal. If you have limited time for your trip (less than 3 weeks), you will absolutely need to book a tour package with an agency so that all the arrangements would be taken cared of by local experts.

Best time to go — For the highest chance of clear views of Everest and the Himalayan Mountains, the best months to trek are before the pre-monsoon season from March to April or after the monsoon season (and before winter) in September to November. This is also the peak trekking season, so book your tours & accommodations early.

You’ll be staying and eating at Tea House Lodges the entire trek — You can rest easy! There’s no need to set up tents or cook food during the whole trek. The entire trail is dotted by Sherpa villages spaced a few hours hike apart. In each of these villages are plenty of “Tea House” lodges that offer rooms/dorms, tea/coffee & cooked meals for trekkers… even WIFI!

Take care of altitude sickness — Hiking in elevations of 2,500 meters or higher puts you at risk of getting Acute mountain sickness (AMS). A major prevention is hiking your way up slowly. This is the reason why you don’t necessarily need marathon-level training before you go. It’s important to keep well hydrated, not to hike up too fast, and not skipping acclimatization/rest days.

Get travel insurance — You’ll definitely need to book a good travel insurance before going. I booked mine on WorldNomads. The “Stanard Plan” covers activities including “Hiking up to 6,000 meters.” For reference, the altitude of Everest Base Camp is 5,335 meters.

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See Everest without the trek — If you want to see Mount Everest and you’re not up for the hike. The best way to go at it is by booking an Everest mountain flight. This scenic tour takes 1-hour and offers amazing views of not only the tallest mountain on Earth but also a blessed aerial panorama of the Himalayan mountain range.

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Everest Base Camp Travel Guide Blog

Everest Base Camp Itinerary

Here’s a sample 12-day Everest Base Camp itinerary to give you an idea of how to go about your trip. This itinerary follows the typical “backtrack” trail from Lukla to Everest Base Camp. It takes 8 days to hike up to EBC, while the hike down, back to Lukla takes 4 days.

Pre-Trek: Kathmandu

TimeActivity

Flight to Kathmandu

Kathmandu Airport to city center transfer

Kathmandu hotel check-in

Meet-up with trekking guide & pre-trip discussion.

Secure trekking permits & registration

Last minute shopping for the trek

Day 1: Kathmandu To Lukla & Phakding

TimeActivity

Hotel to Kathmandu Airport Transfer

Early morning flight to Lukla — Flight duration is 25 minutes approximately.

Arrive at Tenzing-Hillary Airport in Lukla (2,860m)

Start trek to Phakding — Trekking duration is around 3 to 4 hours approximately.

Clear trekking permit checkpoint in Lukla

Arrive in Phakding (2,652m) & tea house lodge check-in

Day 2: Phakding To Namche Bazaar

TimeActivity

Start trek to Namche Bazaar — Trekking duration is 5 to 9 hours approximately.

Clear trekking permit checkpoint in Jorsalle

Arrive in Namche Bazaar (3,440m) & tea house lodge check-in

Day 3: Namche Bazaar Acclimatization Day

TimeActivity

Day excursion to Khumjung Monastery and/or Thame

Tea/coffee at Hotel Everest View

Visit Sherpa Culture Museum and the Everest viewpoint at Sagarmatha National Park Museum

Explore Namche Bazaar

Day 4: Namche Bazaar To Tengboche

TimeActivity

Start trek to Tengboche — Trekking duration is 5 to 7 hours approximately.

Arrival in Tengboche (3,870m) & check-in at tea house lodge

Enjoy views of Mount Everest, Mount Ama Dablam & Mount Nuptse.

Visit the Tengbouche Monastery

Day 5: Tengboche To Dingboche

TimeActivity

Start trek to Dingboche — Trekking duration is 5 to 8 hours approximately.

Cross hanging bridges and enjoy views of Mount Ana Dablam

Arrive in Dingboche (4,360m) and check-in at tea house lodge

Day 6: Dingboche Acclimatization Day

TimeActivity

Day excursion to Chhukung and/or the viewpoint near Dingboche

Day 7: Dingboche To Lobuche

TimeActivity

Start trek to Lobuche — Trekking duration is 4 to 7 hour approximately.

Pass by Everest Memorial

Arrive in Lobuche (4,940m) and check-in at tea house lodge

Day 8: Lobuche To Everest Base Camp via Gorak Shep

TimeActivity

Start trek to Gorak Shep — Trekking duration is 3 hours approximately.

Arrive in Gorak Shep (5,170m) and check-in at tea house lodge

Trek to Everest Base Camp (5,364m) — Trekking duration is approx. 2 to 2.5 hours one-way or 4 to 5 hours round-trip.

Day 9: Gorak Shep To Kala Patthar & Pheriche

TimeActivity

Trek to Kala Patthar (5,545m) — Trekking duration is 1 to 2 hours one-way or 2 to 4 hours round-trip approximately.

Start trek to Pheriche — Trekking duration is 6 to 7 hours approximately.

Arrive in Pheriche (4,280m) and check-in at tea house lodge

Day 10: Pheriche To Namche Bazaar

TimeActivity

Start trek to Namche Bazaar — Trekking duration is 5 to 6 hours

Arrive in Namche Bazaar (3,570m) and check-in at tea house lodge

Day 11: Namche Bazaar To Lukla

TimeActivity

Start trek to Lukla — Trekking duration is 6 to 9 hours approximately.

Arrive in Lukla (2,800m) and check-in at tea house lodge

Confirm Luka to Kathmandu flight at the airline office

Day 12: Lukla To Kathmandu

TimeActivity

Lukla to Kathmandu flight

Kathmandu Airport to hotel transfer

Kathmandu hotel check-in

The “pre-trek” days in Kathmandu can take as little as 1 or 2 days. If you’re planning to have your trek arranged by a guide or tour operator prior to arriving, this is certainly doable. If you’re planning to go independently, I suggest that you arrive earlier to get the permits, flights & pre-trek preparations sorted.

I followed the same itinerary posted above on my way up to EBC (more or less). On my way down, however, I decided to go a different route & follow the circuit trail via Gokyo Lake. The itinerary of my Lukla-EBC-Gokyo Lake-Lukla trek is posted later on this guide.

Everest Base Camp Budget

Your travel expenses will largely depend on your traveling style whether you plan to go with a tracking package via an agency or trek independently. To help you set your own budget, here are budget estimates if you follow the 12 days and 11 nights (12D11N) itinerary posted above. Make sure to review all discounts & online booking prices.

Activities/attraction costs breakdown
USD 1,200Full Board EBC Private Guided Trek Package — NPR 140,000 per person approx. Includes Lukla flights (roundtrip), permits, professional guide, porter (for groups of 2 or more), all accommodations, all meals, tea/coffee, airport transfers & pre-trek briefing in Kathmandu. Cheaper rates are available for bigger groups.Book discount here
USD 132World Nomads Insurance — NPR 14,700 per person approx. Includes coverage of expenses on overseas medical (up to USD 1M), emergency medical transport (up to USD 500K), & more. The price posted is only an approx. ‘Standard Plan’ price (3 weeks travel in Nepal for Filipinos). The final price varies depending on your country of residence, age & length of trip. Click the link below to calculate your insurance cost & see the full list of benefits.See insurance cost
Full Board Guided Trek Budget
Transport — Included in trek package: Roundtrip Kathmandu to Lukla flights, airport transfers
Accommodations — Included in trek package
Food — Included in trek package: Full board (3x daily) meals + tea/coffee.
NPR 154,700Total — Including trekking insurance, accommodations, food & transport for the entire 12-day trek. Excluding expenses & flights to Kathmandu, equipment, & personal items. USD 1,332 or approx. PHP 73,500 / SGD 1,800.
Solo Trekker Budget
NPR 40,000Transport — Kathmandu to Lukla roundtrip flights. Excludes airport transfers in Kathmandu.
NPR 3,850Accommodations — NPR 350 per night (average) x 11 nights
NPR 26,400Food — NPR 2,200 food budget per person per day (average) x 12 days
NPR 7,390Activities — Everest region trekking permits and registration. See list of permits posted below.
NPR 92,340Total For Independent Trekkers — Including insurance, flights to Lukla, trekking permits/registration, accommodations, food & during the actual 12-day trek. Excludes guide/porter costs, flights to Kathmandu & expenses in Kathmandu. Approximately PHP 42,000 / USD 800 / SGD 1,100.
NPR 131,940Total With Trekking Guide — In case you plan to find a guide on your own after arriving in Nepal. Includes insurance, costs above + guide fee. Excludes airfare to Lukla for your guide. Approximately PHP 60,000 / USD 1,146 / SGD 1,557.
Other expenses
NPR 40,000Kathmandu to Lukla roundtrip flights — One-way fare per person price is NPR 20,000 (USD 180) or NPR 40,000 roundtrip. This fee is usually included in trekking package rates if booking with an agency.
NPR 3,390Sagarmatha National Park Trekking Permit — Per person price is NPR 3,000 + 13% VAT. This fee is usually included in trekking package rates.
NPR 2,000Trekkers’ Information Management Systems (TIMS) Card — Per person price is NPR 2,000 for independent trekkers or NPR 1,000 if trekking with an agency. This fee is usually included in trekking package rates.
NPR 2,000Khumbu Pasang Lamhu Rural Municipality Entrance Fee — This fee is usually included in trekking package rates.
NPR 39,600Sherpa Trekking Guide for 12 days — NPR 3,300 price per day x 12 days. Daily rate usually ranges from NPR 2,200 to 5,500+ per day (USD 20 to 50) per guide. The Guide fee is usually included in the trekking package rate.

Everest Base Camp Travel Tips Before You Go

How to get to Everest Base Camp

Do I need a visa to visit Everest Base Camp, Nepal?

Nepal tourist visa for Filipinos

The Philippines to Nepal

Kathmandu To Lukla Flights

How To Book Lukla Flights

What currency to carry when traveling to Nepal?

Exchanging Philippine Peso to Nepali Rupee

How much money do I need to bring?

Do I need to bring a tent during the Everest Base Camp Trek?

Do I need to bring/cook food Everest Base Camp Trek?

What can I drink while on the trek?

Is it the trek to EBC difficult?

How to get to Everest Base Camp

The Everest Base Camp in Nepal is located on the south side of Mount Everest.

To get there, you first need to travel to Kathmandu, the capital city and sole international gateway of Nepal. Then, take a 25-minute flight to Lukla in the Himalayas, the main jump-off point of the trek to the base camp.

There’s also the cheaper but more time-consuming option of taking the bus to Jiri, located a couple days hike away from Lukla.

Do I need a visa to visit Everest Base Camp, Nepal?

Most nationalities (including Philippine passport holders) can travel to Nepal for tourism purposes with a Visa On Arrival (VOA).

The VOA process at the airport is easy. Here’s a quick step-by-step walkthrough:

How to get a Nepal Tourist Visa On Arrival

Step 1: Upon arrival at Kathmandu International Airport, fill up the (1) ‘Arrival Card’.

Step 2: Fill-up the ‘Tourist Visa’ form using the self-service kiosk machine at the airport. To save time, you can also fill-up the form online at the Nepal Department of Immigration website.

Step 3: Pay the visa fee at the collection counter & get the receipt.

Step 4: Proceed to the immigration desk for processing. Present your arrival card, visa form, payment receipt, valid passport & other documents (as necessary).

Nepal tourist visa fee for single-entry visa on arrival

15 days: USD 25

30 days: USD 40

90 days: USD 100

To be on the safe side, pay in cash (exact amount), in USD or any major currency. While credit card payment is also accepted, you might risk delays if banking services are unavailable/offline at the time of your arrival.

For a hassle-free trip, make sure that you are able to provide the following typical requirements at the immigration checkpoint:

Valid passport not expiring within 6 months.

Confirmed flight ticket/s back to your home country or onward destination that you are allowed to enter.

Evidence that you have sufficient funds to cover the entire duration of your visit.

Proof of accommodation — Hotel reservations or letter of invitation from your friend/family residing in Nepal.

Evidence that you are visiting for travel or holiday purposes only. (tour itinerary, receipts etc.)

Remember to always check for changes in the visa policy of any country that you want to visit. You can find official visa information at the Nepal Immigration website.

Nepal tourist visa for Filipinos

Filipinos/Pinoy tourists can enter Nepal either by getting the Tourist Visa On Arrival (VOA guide posted above) or by applying for a visa prior your travel date, at the Consulate of Nepal in Manila.

I got the VOA on my two trips to Nepal with no problems. Their visa policy is quite liberal since Nepal’s tourism industry is a major contributor to the local economy.

Remember to keep these on hand at the immigration checkpoint: Return/onward ticket, hotel reservations & tours/attraction tickets that you have pre-booked online.

These documents will help to convince immigration officers that you are really are visiting as a tourist, NOT for work, and you are able to fund the entire duration of your trip.

The Philippines to Nepal

There are no direct flights connecting Manila or any airport in the Philippines to Kathmandu.

The best way to get to Nepal from the Philippines is by booking flight connections via Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia Airlines or Malindo Air), Singapore (SilkAir) or Hong Kong (Cathay Pacific/Cathay Dragon).

The timezone of Nepal (GMT +5:45) is 2 hours and 15 minutes behind the Philippines (GMT +8).

Kathmandu To Lukla Flights

From Kathmandu, direct flights to Lukla are operated by Tara Air/Yeti Airlines, Nepal Airlines, Summit Air, and Sita Air. Flight duration is around 25 to 30 minutes. Flights arrive at Tenzing–Hillary Airport located right in the village center.

How To Book Lukla Flights

Kathmandu to Lukla one-way fares usually cost USD 180 per person.

The easiest way is to have your tour agency do it for you by booking a trekking package that includes the roundtrip flights to Lukla.

If you plan to it on your own, you can easily book the flights at any travel agency or airline booking office in Kathmandu city center (Thamel)/Kathmandu Airport. Better yet, book online to avoid bringing/exchanging large amounts of cash during your trip.

Flights only operate during good weather. Book the earliest flight schedule (6am to 7am) for the best chance of avoiding delayed/canceled flights. Cloudy skies/rainy weather conditions usually happen later in the day.

Book your flights well ahead of your trip to reserve your seat & avoid fully-booked early morning flights. During the busy trekking months, it’s not uncommon to experience trekkers delayed for several days because of the limited daily flights.

Make sure to confirm your flights at the official airline office upon arrival in Kathmandu and near the end of your trek at Namche Bazaar or Lukla… even if you already have a confirmed reservation booked online or through an agency. This is important because the airlines have a nasty habit of allocating seats to other passengers if you skip this “pre check-in”.

Flying to Lukla

It’s no secret that Lukla Airport is often rated as one of the most dangerous airports in the World. Just looking at the take-offs & landings is already a hair-raising experience.

It is hands down the most interesting flight I’ve ever been on. I was on the edge the entire time not only because it was my first time to fly in a tiny 14-seater propeller plane, but also because of the exhilarating Himalayan views.

While all seats are window seats, rush to rearmost seats to enjoy the best views & legroom. The window view on the front seats are partly blocked by the wing.

What currency to carry when traveling to Nepal?

Nepal’s local currency is the Nepalese rupee, commonly abbreviated as NPR or Rs.

There are ATMs at the airport and plenty in Kathmandu that accept international withdrawals.

In addition, you should be able to exchange your USD, SGD, HKD, EUR, GBP & other major currencies to NPR easily at most money exchange stalls.

I use my ATM card a lot when I travel. It’s way more convenient than to worry about bringing and exchanging cash. Because banks charge a fee per withdrawal, I make sure to withdraw large amounts instead of several smaller ones.

Pre-book your accommodations & trekking packages online , so that you can worry less about bringing/exchanging large amounts of cash.

Exchanging Philippine Peso to Nepali Rupee

Philippine Pesos (PHP) is rarely accepted at bank/currency exchange shops anywhere in Nepal. Bring cash in USD, EUR, or GBP. Or, withdraw Nepal Rupees from an ATM. Remember to check if your bank requires you to activate your ATM card for international withdrawals.

How much money do I need to bring?

Depends on how long you’re trekking. Make sure to bring enough for food & lodging. Also, hot showers, WIFI & gadget charging/electricity use if you need them.

Nearly all establishments on the trail route only accept payment by cash in rupees. So, you must bring enough local currency to last you the entire trek.

To be safe, you should already have cash in hand before leaving Kathmandu because nearly all establishments on the EBC trail accept payment in cash in the local currency only.

There are a couple of ATMs/money exchange shops in Lukla and Namche Bazaar but I recommend them only as a backup for last-minute buys and souvenir shopping.

Theft is rarely an issue while on the trek to EBC.

Do I need to bring a tent during the Everest Base Camp Trek?

No. The entire trail is dotted by Sherpa villages spaced a few hours hike apart. In each of the villages are plenty of “Tea House” lodges that offer rooms/dorms, tea/coffee & cooked meals for trekkers… even WIFI!

During the high season, basic single rooms & dorm beds cost from NPR 200 per night at the villages in the lower elevations and cost more, from NPR 500 to 1,000+ per night at the upper villages near EBC.

Do I need to bring/cook food Everest Base Camp Trek?

You can readily order cooked meals & coffee/tea at the Tea House lodges. They usually serve Dal Bhat (Nepal’s quintessential lentil soup, vegetable & rice staple), cereals, noodles, Momos (Nepali dumpling), yak steak & even western-style dishes.

Full meals usually cost NPR 400 at the villages in the lower elevations and cost more, up to 900+ at the upper villages near EBC.

What can I drink while on the trek?

Tea Houses offer boiled water fetched from nearby streams. If you are not comfortable with this, remember to bring water purification tablets (can be purchased at a pharmacy in Kathmandu) or a UV handheld water purifier (SteriPEN, for example).

Some tour operators provide filtered water for the duration of the trek if it’s included in the trekking package.

If you really need to, bottled water can also be purchased at most tea houses (at a premium price).

Is it the trek to EBC difficult?

There’s no need for marathon-level training, mountain climbing prowess, or any test to your camping skills. Except for the final stretch to the actual basecamp, the trek is basically just a long (very beautiful!) uphill walk along footpaths connecting the Sherpa villages.

The biggest concerns you have to take care of are: The cold, rain or sun-protection (depending on the season), avoiding altitude sickness, planning for accidents/emergencies (just in case), scheduling a long enough trip, and making sure to have enough batteries to take lots of pics!

Gokyo Lakes + EBC Circuit Trek

If you have more days to spend in Nepal. Another popular route follows a circuit trail via Gokyo. This lakeside village is located on the foot of Gokyo Ri, which offers one of the best views in the in the Everest Region.

The route on the way up to EBC trek is the same as the typical “backtrack” trail. On the way down, however, you can go on the trail to Dzongla village instead of Dingboche/Periche, cross the Cho La Pass to get to Gokyo. Then, pass by Dole village on your way back to Namche Bazaar.

TimeActivity
Kathmandu to Lukla to Everest Base Camp
Pre-trek

Kathmandu — See details of the trek up to EBC in the main itinerary posted above

Day 1

Flight To Lukla & Trek to Phakding

Day 2

Phakding To Namche Bazaar

Day 3

Namche Bazaar Acclimatization Day

Day 4

Namche Bazaar To Tengboche

Day 5

Tengboche To Dingboche

Day 6

Dingboche Acclimatization Day

Day 7

Dingboche To Lobuche

Day 8

Lobuche To Gorak Shep & Everest Base Camp

Day 9Gorak Shep To Dzongla & Kala Patthar

Early morning trek to Kala Patthar

Start trek to Lobuche — Trekking duration is around 2 hours approximately.

Start trek to Dzongla — Trekking duration is 2 to 3 hours approximately.

Arrival in Dzongla (4,830m) & check-in at tea house lodge

Day 10Cho La Pass / Dzongla to Gokyo

Start trek to Gokyo via Cho La Pass/Glacier (5,420) — Trekking duration is 7 to 9 hours approximately.

Arrival in Gokyo (4,750m) & check-in at tea house lodge

Day 11Gokyo Ri

Start day trek to Gokyo Ri (5,357m) — Trekking duration is approximately 3 to 5 hours roundtrip.

Rest in Gokyo

Day 12Gokyo to Dole

Start trek to Dole — Trekking duration is 4 to 5 hours approximately.

Arrival in Dole (4038m) & check-in at tea house lodge

Day 13Dole to Namche Bazaar

Start trek to Namche Bazaar — Trekking duration is 5 to 7 hours approximately.

Arrival in Namche Bazaar (3,440m) & check-in at tea house lodge

Day 14Namche Bazaar to Lukla

Start trek to Lukla — See the main itinerary for details.

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