Everest Base Camp Trek

Everest Base Camp Trek

Practical Information

Our Trek Type: Guided

Independent Trek Possible: Yes

Accommodation Type: Guesthouses & Camping 

Distance: 133km 

Duration: 12 days

Max Altitude: 5550m

What is Everest Base Camp Trek?

You will find two Everest Base Camps, the North Base Camp, situated in Tibet, China at 5,150 metres and the more popular South Base Camp in Nepal at an altitude of 5,364 metres. 

The mountain climbers use the Base Camp to acclimatise for several weeks, to reduce the risk of altitude sickness, prior to summiting Mount Everest. In the recent years trekking to the South Base Camp has become a popular destination for hikers around the world. This trek tends to last for 12 days, with some opting for a shorter or longer time. 

This journey offers incredible views of the forests, mountains and glaciers. Going through different Sherpa villages gives a good glimpse of the local culture and life. Completing the trek gives hikers memories and unforgettable experiences that will last a lifetime.

Trek Distance 

Guided: Yes

Independant Trek Possible: Yes

Tour vs Hiking Alone

The Everest Base Camp trek can be completed without a tour and it might be a good option for those well experienced in navigation and hiking. We opted for a guided tour as there are certain risks associated with high altitude and trekking with a local Sherpa guide took the cultural experience to another level. Booking flights from Kathmandu to Lukla can be a tricky task, but as part of the tour this was already organised for us, as well as accommodation, food and hot drinks. 

Every night our guide used his connections to make sure we had enough blankets to keep us warm throughout the night. We learnt so much from our guide, that otherwise we would not have been able to do on our own. 


People think you need a great deal of preparation before starting this trek. We spent a year prior to our trek in lockdown, eating take-aways and drinking wine on the weekends. With most of the gyms closed, our only activity was long walks during the evenings and weekends. 

Even though we did not train, we are relatively fit people so that was enough for us to complete the trek successfully. You don’t need to go through rigorous training, but being used to hiking and walking will definitely help. One thing you will not be able to train for is altitude sickness!

Health & Altitude Sickness

It is important to be in good overall health with a basic level of fitness. Along the way we met trekkers of all ages, so it doesn’t matter if you think you’re too old for this adventure, it is still possible. 

Some of the altitude sickness symptoms are: frontal headaches, nausea & vomiting, dizziness, loss of appetite and shortness of breath. During the hike it is important to be drinking plenty of fluids, at least 3 litres daily, to stay well hydrated. The local remedy for altitude sickness, apart from descending, is garlic soup. As with any other physical trekking, we would recommend bringing a small first aid kit with important medication such as pain killers, anti-inflammatories, diarrhoea and nausea medication, as well as plasters for blisters. Medications are available to prevent and treat high-altitude sickness, but consult your doctor prior, to tailor the medications to your pre-existing conditions. 


In each village you will find a number of teahouses available that provide very basic rooms, some will come with showers, other ones with toilets only. Your hot shower options are very limited, and if you are lucky enough to find a place that offers this, expect to be charged extra, and the water may not even be that hot. Our guide recommended not to take showers after day three, to reduce your chances of becoming ill and developing altitude sickness. 

The main living room is the centre of all trekkers evenings, here you will sit around the fire, play cards, chat with other trekkers and eat your evening meal. Electricity is not usually included in your stay, some teahouses offer it at an extra charge, where others don’t offer it at all. The same goes for internet access. The higher you go the more expensive these facilities become, therefore taking a power bank with you can help you charge your cameras and phones overnight. Cards are not accepted so it’s good to have enough cash on you. 

Teashouse, Khunde Village
Vegatarian Momo's


Considering such a remote location, we were so impressed with the number of choices available at every teahouse along the way. For breakfast, there was a choice of different styles of eggs, pancakes, porridge, cereal, toast and Tibetan and Chapati bread. Lunch and dinner offered a range of rice options, soups, noodles, momo and western options including pizzas, burgers, pasta and potatoes. Let’s not forget the king of Nepalese cuisine, ‘The Dal Bhat – 24 hour power’, because after eating this meal you’ll have enough energy to last you the entire day. 

Even if you’re not a fan of hot drinks, you’ll become one on this trek. Both mornings and evenings can get so cold that having a hot ginger and lemon tea will be the most pleasant moment of the day. It feels like a warm hug from a loved one!

In a lot of teahouses, alcoholic drinks such as beer, whiskey and wine is available, we recommend leaving these treats till the end of the trek when you are at lower altitude. 

Day by Day Trek

Day 1 - Lukla to Phakding

Starting Altitude: 2860m

Duration: 3 hour trek


End Altitude: 2610m 

With our boarding passes in hand, we boarded a 15 passenger plane at Kathmandu Airport, making sure we had the left hand sided seats to give us the best views of the Himalayas, as we flew towards Lukla. 

Approaching the most dangerous airport in the world was both terrifying and exciting at the same time. After safely landing and leaving the plane, we were amazed by the views that were in front of us. The airport in Lukla is nothing like you experienced before, there is not baggage claim, instead your bag is thrown towards you by one of the airport staff. With our duffel bag in hand, we meet our guide and sherpa and headed towards our first teahouse for breakfast. 

After a short breakfast we started day one of our trek. Along the way we were so excited with the views of all the mountains, but little did we know these were going to get more impressive as each day passed.

Lukla Town Everest Base Camp Trek

We found the first day of hiking relatively easy, by afternoon we arrived at our first village, Phakding. With our cameras in hand, the afternoon was ours to explore the village and take as many pictures as possible. Our first teahouse experience was charming, we found the locals very friendly and accommodating and surprised by the number of food options available on the menu. The night though was extremely cold and we were so pleased to have packed our thermals and sleeping bags. The lesson we learnt on day one was that there may not be: 1 – free electricity 2 – free internet, and 3 – that by the end of the trek we would be sick of playing card games together!

Suspension Bridge Prey Flags

Day 2 - Phakding to Namche

Duration: 6 hour trek

Distance: 11.4km 

End Altitude: 3405m

Waking up cold, the ginger and honey tea tasted better than anything in our lives! After a quick breakfast we started the hardest day of the trek. 3 hours into the hike we reached the Sagarmatha National Park entrance, as our guide sorted out our permits, we took the time to play with the cutest puppies. 

Afterwards, the trek only got worse with constant ups and downs, ups and downs, and more ups and more downs. Just to reach the hardest of the ups, that physically and mentally destroyed us.

Namche was the first place where we started experiencing altitude sickness symptoms, but despite this we took some time to explore this impressive town. With the high altitude and difficult terrain it’s impressive that you will find some tasty bakeries, barber shops and even an Irish pub. Sadly, we felt so unwell we didn’t spend long before getting our heads down for the afternoon. 

Everest Base Camp Trek School Children
School Children
National Park Entrance
Sagarmatha National Park Entrance
Everest Base Camp Trek
Sagarmatha National Park Entrance

Day 3 - Namche to Khunde

Duration: 3 hour trek

Distance: 4.4km

End Altitude: 3840m

Heading up from the town, we found a viewpoint which gave us an impressive view over Namche from above. The biggest highlight of this day was being able to see Mount Everest for the first time. We were lucky that in the morning the skies were clear, so we had the chance to stop, admire the views and take more photos. 

Compared to the previous day, it was a relatively easy trek and it didn’t take long before arriving at our next destination, Khunde. Soon after lunch the clear skies disappeared and the massive clouds took over the village. With the bad weather and limited options in the village we spent the afternoon playing cards and enjoying hot tea in the teahouse. At this point, having a double bed and not a single, started to become an issue because of the bad smells. Freezing cold showers, or no showers at all become a tough reality to deal with.

Namche Town Viewpoint
Namche Prayer Wheels
Mount Everest
First view of Mount Everest
Khunde Everest Trek
Donkey, Khunde Trek

Day 4 - Khunde to Tengboche

Duration: 6 hour trek

Distance: 11.8 km

End Altitude: 3875m

You would think “hiking up” the mountain means going up and up, we thought so too. Little did we know we would spend 6 hours and nearly 12km to make an altitude increase of just 35 metres. 

Although this is all part of the acclimatisation, at one point our trek took us down to 3100 metres. 

On this part of the trek we didn’t come across too many other hikers, instead we had to make way for the yaks and donkeys, that were surprisingly faster than us. Realising this hurt our pride a little!  Talking about donkeys and yaks, at the start you try to avoid the mess on the floor, but by day 4  you don’t care, you just want to make it to your next teahouse.

Arriving in Tengboche, we were fascinated by the 360 degree views of the mountains. Tengboche Monastery is an important Buddhist monastery located in the village. Hikers are allowed to enter but must follow the guidance and be respectful of the local culture. If you want the opportunity to observe the daily lives of a Buddhist monk this is your chance. 

Khunde Everest Base Camp Trek
Khunde Village
Khunde Morning
Khunde Village

Day 5 - Tengboche to Dingboche

Duration: 5 hour trek

Distance: 11.2km

End Altitude: 4410m

Our guide recommended setting an early alarm before sunrise to enjoy the views. Opening the curtains to the clear skies and incredible views made us dress up quickly and run out to the view point. Seeing the sun rising from behind the mountains was a very surreal experience, even the low temperatures in the early morning didn’t ruin this moment for us. It was an early, but a very beautiful start to the next long day of hiking. 

Tengboche Sunrise
Tengboche Sunrise

At this point Sandra was really starting to suffer from the altitude sickness, so we had to take the day easy. This day was packed with crossing numerous suspension bridges, decorated with Nepalese prayer flags – one of the most iconic pictures from Nepal. 

Dingboche was the only village where we stayed for two nights, staying in a place for longer was a nice break, but didn’t mean there would be no more hiking. 

Tengboche Sunrise 2
Tengboche, Sunrise
Dingboche Trek
Dengboche Trek
Tengboche Trek
Dengboche Trek
Mount Ama Dablam

Day 6 - Dingboche (Acclimatisation Day)

Duration: 2 hour trek

Distance: 4.8km

End Altitude: 4900m

Acclimatisation days are very important in order to adjust to the higher altitudes and to try and minimise the side effects of altitude sickness. 

Our acclimatisation hike took us 500 meters up to an incredible viewpoint of Mount Ama Dablam, we are still torn by which was the more impressive mountain, Mount Everest or Mount Ama Dablam. 

Hopefully you’ll be able to do this trek yourself and make up your own mind, if you’re not planning to visit the Himalayas, have a look at the pictures and let us know which one is your favourite.

Dingboche was another village that offered some level of entertainment in the form of tasty bakeries and movie screenings. Don’t think you can watch the latest Batman movie, all you’ll be able to watch is Everest (2015 film)! 

Dingboche Trek 2
Acclimatisation Trek
Dingboche Trek 4
Acclimatisation Trek
Dingboche Trek 3
Acclimatisation Trek

Day 7 - Dingboche to Lobuche

Duration: 4 hour trek

Distance: 9.6km

End Altitude: 5030m

At this point of the trek our adrenaline levels went up and our oxygen levels continued to drop, making breathing, sleeping and walking a lot more difficult. We came across another set of bridges, these were not suspension bridges but suspicious looking wooden bridges, luckily with the yaks and donkeys crossing safely we were hopeful it would hold our weight too.  

Chhukpi Lhare
Chhukpi Lhare

One of the most powerful and important moments of the entire trek was arriving at Chhukpi Lhare, the Everest Memorial site, commemorating all the brave climbers and sherpas, who lost their lives climbing in this region. It left us feeling emotional and humbled to realise how deadly the love and passion for mountains can turn out to be. 

Lobuche Trek 2
Lobuche Trek
Lobuche Trek
Lobuche Trek
Lobuche Trek 3
Lobuche Trek
Base Camp
Everest Base Camp

Day 8 - Lobuche to Gorakshep

Duration: 3 hour trek

Distance: 7.2 km

End Altitude: 5165m

Today was the day! But before reaching Everest Base Camp we had to reach our highest located village of the trek. Paths soon disappeared and we started walking over massive rocks. In Gorarkshep we dropped off our bags and after a quick lunch we took the final trek to the Everest Base Camp. 

Sandra was forced to have garlic soup, which is supposed to help with the altitude sickness, well it didn’t. Half an hour before reaching Base Camp vomiting garlic soup was the lowest point of the entire trek, but we managed to carry on. We were too close to give up now and turn back. 

The colourful tents started to appear in the distance and we knew we were getting so close. This is the moment though to just stop and take in all your surroundings. With the clouds slowly covering the snow covered mountain tops, its at this point you realise just how small you are in this world. The sense of achievement can be emotionally over whelming. Make sure you still have enough battery left in your cameras because this is when you are going to start using up all of your memory. 

Everest Base Camp Trek
Everest Base Camp Trek
Everest Base Camp Trek
Everest Base Camp

Everest Base Camp

After 3 hours and a final 5.4km, we reached our dream. At 5364 metres we reached the Everest Base Camp. Walking through glaciers, seeing the famous tents pitched, full of climbers waiting for their moment was one the most memorable sights of our lives. Pictures will never do this place justice. 

We got to the Base Camp at the perfect moment, as we started heading back the clouds took over the views and we made our way back through the snow storm. Even though it was April, we couldn’t help ourselves to sing a few Christmas songs for entertainment. 

Everest Base Camp Trek
Everest Base Camp
Everest Base Camp Trek
Everest Base Camp
Everest Base Camp Trek
Everest Base Camp
Everest Base Camp Trek
Everest Base Camp

Day 9 - Gorakshep to Pheriche

Duration: 6 hour trek


End Altitude: 4266m

After troubles eating, nausea, vomiting and massive headaches, Sandra was not feeling the early morning start. With her Polish flag in hand, Brett took on the challenge of summiting Kala Patthar  at 5550 metres in the early hours of the morning. 

The conditions were extremely tough, temperatures below zero made it difficult to breath and stay warm. Not being able to feel your hands or feet, having your water freeze made a lot of people turn back and head down to the teahouses, but Brett managed to stay strong and reached the top. Watching the sun rising over Mount Everest, giving breath-taking panoramic views of the Himalayas made this challenging morning hike one of the most unforgettable experiences of Brett’s life. 

Afterwards, we started our trek back down thinking it would be so much easier, we were so wrong! Our guide gave us an option to either go back the same route or to split off and visit different villages on the way down. Of course we chose to explore new places. After such an achievement, a nice reward is wishing the fellow trekkers “good luck” on their way up, giving them the motivation that they haven’t got far to go. 

Everest Base Camp Trek
Kala Patthar
Everest Base Camp Trek
Gorak Shep
Everest Base Camp Trek
Everest Base Camp Trek
Everest Base Camp Trek

Day 10 - Pheriche to Phortse

Duration: 4 hour trek

Distance: 14.1km

End Altitude: 3810m 

The path today was relatively easy and was the main reason we managed to cover such a distance in a short time. On the way we managed to enjoy our surroundings and had enough time to stop and admire nature. 

We arrived in the next village before lunch, giving us enough time to go for a relaxing walk and explore one of the coffee shops in the area. Spending all afternoon looking up the massive mountain, and following the path up to the top, we knew we would be in for a tough next day. 

A highlight for us was spending some time in the evening talking to other trekkers in our teahouse, only to find out they were preparing to summit Mount Everest as the first ever black expedition. As we were told, there should be an upcoming documentary available on a streaming platform in the near future, if you want to find out about their journey, check out their social media @fullcircleeverest. 

Everest Base Camp Trek
Pika with prayer flags
Everest Base Camp Trek
Trekking towards Phortse
Everest Base Camp Trek

Day 11 - Phortse to Khumjung

Duration: 2 hour trek

Distance: 10.9km 

End Altitude: 3970m

What we expected the evening before, turned out to be even worse! After going down for 45 minutes we had to trek all the way back up in just over an hour. There where points were we regretted taking this route, wanted to give up, or call for the emergency helicopter to take us back down. No joking, this was one of the toughest moments of the twelve day trek, and we were going “down”, the trek was supposed to be easier!

Somehow we made it to the top and the views were kind of worth all the pain. The town of Khumjung was bigger than we expected, and we had the opportunity to explore the town and its coffee and souvenir shops. One of the biggest highlights was being invited to our guide’s home, to meet his family and have a cup of tea. The teahouses along the way were modest, but visiting a local home opened our eyes to the poverty that locals have to face. 

Everest Base Camp Trek
Everest Base Camp Trek
Everest Base Camp Trek
Flowers of the Himalayas
Everest Base Camp Trek
Wildlife During Trek
Everest Base Camp Trek
Lukla Airport

Day 12 - Khumjung to Lukla

Duration: 6 hour trek 

Distance: 22km

End Altitude: 2860m

Our final day! We still had no blisters, but putting our feet back into our hiking boots was not the feeling we wanted, especially with a long distance to cover. 

Knowing how close to the end of the trek we were, the day dragged and the paths seemed endless. Even the rain tried to make it tougher for us. Eventually, we arrived at Lukla and after dropping our bags off, our first mission was to buy an ice cold beer. This was the most well deserved beer and has never tasted better. 

Little did we know that the next day’s flight was going to be cancelled, and we would need to spend another night in Lukla.  Because of how dangerous and tricky Lukla airport is, the weather conditions must be perfect otherwise no planes will land or take off. That was the case for us, two of our flights were cancelled and in the end we had to take a helicopter to get back to Kathmandu to continue our travels. 

Everest Base Camp Trek
Everest Base Camp Trek
Puppies of Nepal
Everest Base Camp Trek
Lukla Celebratory Beer

Everest Base Camp Trek in Numbers:

12 days 


11 villages explored

2500 photos and videos 

15 Dal Bhat (24 hour power)

7 days of headaches and nausea

1 vomiting episode

4 cold showers between us 

1 fall 

0 broken bones 

0 blisters 

1 Everest Base Camp Trek to last a lifetime 

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Agnieszka

    Thank you for sharing your experience and beautiful pictures. Your writing is very engaging. I read all three stories in one sitting, could not put it down. A perfect level of details and information about accomodations, food and tourist attractions. Can’t wait for more. Happy traveling.

    1. Brett Dawson

      Hi Agnieszka,

      We’re so happy to hear that you enjoyed our stories. Nice to know you couldn’t put it down. There will be more content coming soon, don’t worry!

Leave a Reply