If you do not have the time to do the Everest Sherpa Trek, then you can enjoy the same cross-cultural experience in less time on this trek. Or, you may want to add this quick visit to the Everest area if you're already planning other experiences in Nepal or Tibet. Fly in and out of Khumbu and spend your days exploring villages and monasteries and experience the Sherpa culture up close. Your nights are spent in comfortable Sherpa-run lodges with basic, but good cooking.
Day 1: Arrive Kathmandu. On arrival in Kathmandu, you will be met by our staff member at the airport and transferred to your Western-style hotel. Your guides will be available for advice on everything, from how to bargain, choosing restaurants to learning a little bit of the Nepali language. After your arrival you will have some time to just relax, or nibble at the feast of new experiences in this exotic city. Later there will be a brief orientation.
Day 2: Kathmandu.
Your second day in Kathmandu includes guides visits to famous temples of Swayambhunath, Pasupatinath or Boddhanath. You will see life going on as it has for hundreds of years against a background of sacred peaks, terraced hillsides and an exotic culture. In Kathmandu and throughout your trip, we encourage you to interact with the local people either through your guide as an interpreter, or through participation in the activities that are all around you. While you explore, your staff gets all your food, supplies and logistical requirements in order. Includes: (B).
Day 3: Kathmandu/Lukla/Chumoa.
Fly from Kathmandu to Lukla airstrip at 9000 meters in Khumbu. Accompanied by a Sherpa trekking guide and yak, proceed up the deep valley of the Dudh Kosi. Hike alongside impressive mani walls, carved with the Tibetan script, "Om Mani Padme Om". Prayer flags fly above every house and large wooden or metal prayer wheels sanctify the trail. Stay in a lodge near Chumoa just outside the Everest National Park boundary. Includes: (B, L, D).
Day 4: Chumoa/Namche Bazaar.
You enter Sagarmatha National Park at Jorsale and climb out of the pleasant pine forest through a series of switchbacks. If the sky is clear, you will catch your first glimpse of Everest halfway up the slope. At last you arrive in Namche Bazaar, the most important cultural and economic center in the area. It lies in a natural amphitheater protected from the weather and blessed with a major natural spring. Several of your staff are from this area and you will be welcomed in the home of the Sherpa family of your guide. This is a convenient place to rest for a day, to acclimatize to the elevation and to investigate the town. Includes: (B, L, D).
Day 5: Namche Bazaar.
Take a full day for exploration and acclimatization. From the ridge top near the monastery it is frequently possible to see into Tibet, depending on the weather. You may decide to hike up to the famous Japanese "Everest View Hotel". The immediate area outside of Namche is good for bird and animal watching. Thame Village is an ambitious five hour walk. At times there is email and phone service in Namche. Includes: (B, L, D).
Day 6: Namche/Tengboche.
Enjoy the spectacular trek to Tengboche Monastery and the neighboring nunnery at Deboche. The view, the thin air, and the nature and culture en route, all encourage a leisurely hike. May to June, tall rhododendron forests will be blooming in brilliant reds and pinks and the high peaks are tantalizingly close. You will stay in a guesthouse near the monastery at a site offering a view of the mountains in an area that is superb for bird watching. Tibetan Buddhism is integral to Sherpa thinking, life-span rituals and the rhythms of daily life.
Tengboche is the most important Sherpa monastery. Here you will take a full day to observe, question, and possibly participate in the activities around the monastery and nunnery. There is a small interpretive center and gift shop at the monastery. If you are feeling ambitious and well-acclimatized, you may decide to hike as far as the monastery of Pangboche. Your guide will point out Musk Deer, Himalayan Tahr and Blood Pheasants on the brushy hillsides. Includes: (B, L, D).
Day 7: Khunde/Namche.
Today return to Namche via the twin Sherpa communities of Khunde and Khumjung. Visit the school and hospital here, both creations of the foundation established by New Zealand climber Edmund Hillary. The geometric fields, expansive view and local people all may encourage you to linger. Overnight with your Sherpa family in Namche Bazaar. Includes: (B, L, D).
Day 8: Namche/Lukla.
On the hike from Namche to Lukla, look for huge beehives on overhanging cliff faces and the rare honeyguide birds that raid the hives. The airstrip at Lukla has recently been improved and paved. Flights now operate year round to this strip. All meals are included.
Day 9: Lukla/Kathmandu.
You say good-bye to your guide and fly back to Kathmandu. It is advisable to allow for the possibility, at any season, that flights may be delayed. Most people do not have to wait more than a day or two, if at all. Includes: (B).
Day 10: Kathmandu/Onward.
Transfer to the airport for your onward flight. Includes: (B).
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