Makalu Base Camp Trek - 18 Days

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US$2090 US$ 1567.5/pp  

Makalu Base Camp Trek - 18 Days

  • Starting Cost
    US$ 1567.5
  • Duration:
    18 Days
  • Destinaiton:
    Everest
  • Season:
    Spring & Autumn
  • Difficulty Level:
    Very Strenuous
  • Max Altitude:
    4,870 m

Highlight

The trek unfolds between lush forests, cascading waterfalls, and boulders, offering a thrilling mix of ascending and descending trails. Traverse high passes over 4,000 meters, such as Shipton La and Keke La, pay homage to the sacred Kalo Pokhari Lake adorned with fluttering prayer flags.


Overview

A journey tailor-made for the intrepid explorer with the Makalu Base Camp Trek, an obscure trail that promises an unparalleled Himalayan adventure. Located amidst the majestic peaks of the Makalu Barun National Park, this trek leads you to the base camp of the fifth highest mountain in the world. The diverse flora and fauna of the Makalu Barun National Park is home to elusive creatures like the snow leopard, red panda, and black bear. Set your sights on the awe-inspiring Mt. Makalu and drink in the panoramic vistas of Makalu, Lhotse, Baruntse, and Kanchenjunga that adorn the horizon.

Immerse yourself in the rich mountain culture as you live among ethnic groups of Rai and Sherpa, each with their unique traditions and heritage. Makalu Base Camp trek helps you gain insight into rural life in Nepal as you mingle with locals along the way, learning about their daily routines and age-old customs.

Your adventure kicks off with a scenic flight from Kathmandu to Tumlingtar, followed by a drive to Chichila, the starting point of your trek. Trekking through hillside villages like Num and crossing the Arun River via suspension bridges, you'll journey onwards to Seduwa and Tashigaon, where the allure of the mountains grows ever stronger. You will take a day to acclimatize soaking the breathtaking views of Khongma La before tackling rugged terrain and high passes en route to Makalu Base Camp. Spend a day exploring the wilderness before retracing your steps back through Yangle Kharka, Dobato, and Khongma Danda, observing the diversity that marks the transition from lower to higher altitudes.

As you bid farewell to the majestic Makalu and the communities that call them home, you will be taking memories that will last a lifetime.

 

Itinerary (Plan)

Time : 25 mins Drive
Max Altitude : 1,440 m
3 Star
N/A
  • Arrive in Kathmandu.
  • Our representative will be there to greet you and transfer you to your hotel.
  • The program will be briefly explained on the way to the hotel.
  • Rest of the day varies depending on your arrival time; some activities can be arranged if you arrive by midday or late afternoon.

Time : 4 Hours
Max Altitude : 1,560 m
Guest House
Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  • We take an early flight from Kathmandu to Tumlingtar which will take us around 35 minutes mark
  • Drive from Tumlingtar to Num
  • Get a glimpse of a rural hillside village, as we will be driving on the road lined with bamboo and sal trees.
  • Overnight in Num.

Time : 6 Hours
Max Altitude : 1,500 m
Guest House
Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  • We start with a scenic uphill trek through the traditional Himalayan villages and lush forests from Num.
  • Hike the mountainside trails hugging the slopes as we gradually ascend.
  • After 5-6 hours of hiking, pass along the ridge towards Seduwa village  . 
  • Take in sweeping panoramas from Seduwa’s vantage point high above the valleys.

Time : 6 Hours
Max Altitude : 2,100 m
Guest House
Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  • From Seduwa we will hike on an undulating trail with steep ascents and descents that characterizes the mountainous trails of Nepal.
  • Hike down a staircase entirely carved of stone towards the Arun river below. Crossing the suspension bridge over Arun river is frightening to many because of how loud it sounds. The river reminds us of the raw, untamed force of the natural world.
  • Enter Makalu Barun National Park, registering permits at the checkpoint.
  • Arrive in the late afternoon at the village of Seduwa for an overnight stay.

Time : 6 Hours
Max Altitude : 3,500 m
Guest House
Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  • We start with an uphill climb ascending numerous stone steps. Crossing bridges, then hiking through rhododendron forests. In spring, these vibrant forests burst into colorful blooms.
  • After a peaceful forest trek, we’ll stop for lunch in the village of Dhara.
  • After a few hours of trek from Dhara we will arrive in the settlement of Unshisa after the challenging climb.
  • Continue ascending stone staircases through more rhododendron forests till we reach our night's stop at Khongma Danda's high viewpoint.

Time : Acclimatize full Day
Max Altitude : 3,500 m
Guest House
Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  • Spend today resting and acclimatizing in Khongma Danda before tomorrow's high pass crossing.
  • For better altitude adjustment, opt for a recommended day hike to Khongma La (3,890m).
  • Begin hiking up a stone staircase trail lined with rhododendron forests. After an hour's steady ascent, we will reach the viewpoint of Kongma La pass. Take in the sweeping panoramic vistas from this high vantage point.
  • Retrace our steps back down to Khongma Danda village. Relax and recharge this afternoon after the acclimatization hike.

Time : 7 Hours
Max Altitude : 3,862 m
Guest House
Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  • We ascend through rhododendron forests up to Khongma La (3,890m) with views of Makalu and Chamlang.
  • Trek across a scenic ridge leading to Sano Pokhari Danda overlooking the sacred lake below.
  • Climb steeply up to Shipton La (4,229m), festooned with fluttering prayer flags. Take in the panorama, then descend to the pilgrimage site of Kalo Pokhari Lake (4,080m).
  • Continue over Keke La (4,170m) for more jaw-dropping mountain vistas.
  • Finally, descend through a breathtaking high-altitude valley to Dobato. Rest tonight after this strenuous 6-7 hour multi-pass crossing accomplishment!

Time : 6 Hours
Max Altitude : 3,557 m
Guest House
Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  • Begin with a pleasant downhill trek through forests of rhododendron, redstarts and pine trees.
  • The trail descends steeply towards the Barun River - use caution if snowy.
  • Enjoy views of snowy Chanlang and Tutse peaks as you lose elevation.
  • After the descent, tackle an uphill climb to reach Themathang Kharka.
  • En route, pass an impressive waterfall cascading through this remote landscape.
  • Cross a wooden bridge, then hike over rugged terrain towards your next stop.
  • Arrive at the scenic grazing meadows of Yangle Kharka after 5-6 hours of trekking.
  • Take in the stunning mountain scenery surrounding this high alpine encampment.

Time : 6 Hours
Max Altitude : 4,410 m
Guest House
Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  • Today’s trek starts with a descending trail that winds alongside a river, inside a jungle, surrounded by the dramatic cliffs that rise on the opposite side of the valley.
  • Further down we can enjoy a pleasant and relatively flat trek as we trek through the pastoral landscapes.
  • Pass by the grazing pastures of Jhak Khark, Yak Kharka, and Merek before arriving at Lagmale Kharka.
  • Witness the vibrant prayer flags fluttering gently in the mountain breeze, adding a splash of colour to the natural surroundings.

Time : 6 Hours
Max Altitude : 4,870 m
Guest House
Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  •  Today’s trek takes us towards the Makalu Base Camp, situated at the foot of the 5th highest mountain on Earth.
  • Behold the awe-inspiring sight of Makalu itself, its formidable face featuring treacherous icefalls, deep crevasses, jagged ridges, and towering seracs.
  • The trail will then descend, leading us across a river crossing before finally arriving at Makalu Base Camp at an altitude of 4,870m.
  • Keep your eyes open for the local wildlife that inhabits this high-altitude environment, including the elusive Tibetan snowcock, black redstarts, hill pigeons, and more.

Time : Exploration Day
Max Altitude : 4,870 m
Guest House
Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  • Spend an entire day at the barren, rocky landscape of Makalu Base Camp, with the immense Barun Glacier stretching out beyond it.
  • For a lighter exploration option, we go on a hike to discover the lakes located beyond the base camp area.
  • Alternatively, set out on a short uphill trek to a ridge directly above base camp, marked by colorful prayer flags fluttering in the mountain breeze. From this lofty viewpoint, take in awe-inspiring up-close vistas of Makalu itself in the near vicinity.
  • In the distance, we can get a glimpse of Makalu, Lhotse, and Nuptse dominating the horizon.

Time : 8 Hours
Max Altitude : 3,557 m
Guest House
Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  • Depart from Makalu Base Camp and begin retracing our route back towards Yangle Kharka. We will begin the trek with a descent, trekking past the settlements of Sherson and Langale Kharka.
  • We walk through numerous pastures of Merek before arriving at Yangri Kharka.
  • Throughout this return journey, pause frequently to soak in the spectacular mountain scenery that unfolds around each bend.
  • Upon reaching Yangri Kharka, rest and recharge for the next day of trekking.

Time : 7 Hours
Max Altitude : 3,862 m
Guest House
Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  • Today we begin our adventure with a pleasant riverside walk, following the meandering river towards Themathang.
  • Upon reaching Themathang, take extra caution while walking past a landslide-prone area with a narrow trail.
  • Bask in the amazing views of the surrounding mountain peaks as we ascend steeply through a rhododendron forest. Navigating rugged terrain, passing through lush green valleys and forested stretches.
  • After conquering uphill sections, we will arrive at the settlement of Dobate.

Time : 7 Hours
Max Altitude : 3,500 m
Guest House
Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  • Prepare to be awestruck by the breathtaking vistas of Mount Kanchenjunga, the third-highest mountain on Earth, during your trek to Khongma Danda.
  • Ascend to the lofty Keke La Pass, gradually making your way towards the Shipton La (also known as Tutu La Pass).
  • Continue trekking while taking in panoramic mountain views, eventually arriving at Sano Pokhari Danda, a site of religious significance for Hindus.
  • The trail then leads you to Khongma La, identifiable by an ancient mani wall adorned with Buddhist carvings and prayer stones.
  • Carefully descend a series of stone steps, and you will reach the settlement of Khongma. In Khongma, keep a watchful eye amidst the rhododendron forests, as you may be fortunate enough to spot the elusive blood pheasant roaming in the snow.

Time : 8 Hours
Max Altitude : 1,500 m
Guest House
Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  • Today, we will retrace our route back from Khongma Danda to Seduwa, marking our exit from the Makalu Barun National Park.
  • We begin by carefully descending the stone steps we previously climbed up from Khongma. Crossing the bridge over Arun, starting a jungle walk, observing the dense forest vegetation.
  • Don’t forget to keep your ears tuned for the melodious chirping of the many bird species that inhabit this forested stretch.
  • Along the trail, you'll notice farms dotted across the hillsides, providing glimpses of rural village life. Watch carefully for cardamom plants, a valuable cash crop cultivated in this region.
  • After passing ancient mani walls and stone staircases, we will ultimately descend into the village of Seduwa.
  • Reflect on your journey as we exit the national park boundaries, carrying memories of trekking through these remote Himalayan landscapes.

Time : 4 Hours
Max Altitude : 1,560 m
Guest House
Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  • We trek back to Num, from where our trek initially started.
  • From Num, we begin a bumpy ride to Tumlingar
  • Overnight in Tumlingtar.

Time : 35 mins Flight
Max Altitude : 1,440 m
3 Star
Breakfast, and Lunch
  • Transfer to Tumlingtar Airport for your flight back to Kathmandu.
  • Upon arrival in Kathmandu, transfer to your hotel.
  • Depending on your preference and energy level, you can either rest at the hotel or explore nearby attractions in Kathmandu.
  • Overnight in Kathmandu.

Time : 25 mins Drive
Max Altitude : 1,440 m
N/A
Breakfast

The grand finale of our adventure in the Makalu region has arrived! Today marks the conclusion of our remarkable 18-day trek to Makalu Base Camp. Our airport representative will accompany you to the International Airport, ensuring a smooth departure for your journey back home.

 

As we bid you farewell, we hold the hope that your wanderlust brings you back to Nepal once more. Safe travels!

 

Live Weather

Real Tempreture
22.17 °C
Feels Like
22.71 °C
Humidity
87%
Cloud
scattered clouds

Video/Image Gallery

Cost Include

  • All airport transfers (international and domestic) via private air-conditioned vehicles.
  • All administrative expenses and government taxes.
  • Twin-sharing/double accommodation for 2 nights in a 3-star hotel in Kathmandu.
  • Twin-sharing guesthouse accommodation during the 15-night trek in the Makalu Region.
  • Standard meals throughout the trek (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner)
  • Round-trip airfare between Kathmandu and Tumlingtar.
  • First-aid trained, government-licensed trekking guide.
  • Porters for luggage during the trek (1 porter for every 2 clients). Max weight limit for a porter- 18 kg (9 kg per trekker, weight limit). You can store non essential items in your hotel or at the DWT store.
  • Fee and Permits for Makalu National Park and TIMS - Trekkers’ Information Management System (Please avail us with 2 passport size photos required for your permit).
  • Filtered water with included meals only
  • Wages, accommodation, meals, gear, insurance, and medications for all staff.
  • 1 duffle or kit bag, trekking map and a trip completion certificate.

Cost Exclude

  • Lunch and Dinner in Kathmandu.
  • International flight fare and Airport Departure Tax.
  • Nepal Entry Visa (Visa can be obtained easily upon arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, with a fee of (USD 30 for a 15-day visa, USD 50 for a 30-day visa and USD 125 for a 90-day visa).
  • Travel insurance.
  • Any further expenses that are not included in the "Include" section.
  • Charges for any excess baggage (Limit: 9 kg per person) during the trek.
  • Additional night accommodation in Kathmandu due to early arrival, late departure, or an early return from the trek.
  • Personal expenses (shopping, snacks, boiled bottled water, hot beverages like tea or coffee, cold drinks, hot showers, alcohol, Wi-Fi, telephone calls, battery recharge fees, extra porters, etc).
  • Individual clothing and equipment.
  • Tips for staff, guides and porters.

Additional Information

Physical Fitness

  • Makalu Base Camp trek is physically demanding, involving long hours of walking at high altitudes. Prioritize cardiovascular fitness, strength, and endurance in your training routine.
  • Consult with a healthcare professional before starting any fitness program, especially if you have pre-existing health conditions.

 

Altitude Sickness 

  • Understand the symptoms of altitude sickness (acute mountain sickness - AMS) and be aware of the risks associated with ascending to high altitudes.
  • Acclimatization is crucial for your body to adjust to the increasing altitude.
  • Headache, vomiting, nausea, dizziness, and shortness of breath are common symptoms of altitude-related sickness. If you notice any of the signs, consult your guide and follow their directions.
  • When suffering from AMS, do not continue the trek; instead, stay at the same location or move to lower elevations.

 

Accommodations

  • Familiarize yourself with the teahouse accommodation system along the trail. These are basic lodges that provide meals and shelter.
  • The rooms are primarily on a twin-sharing basis.

Connectivity

  • Be aware that internet connectivity is limited, and you may not have access to it in certain areas.
  • Mobile Networks are unreliable.

 

Environment Considerations

  • Respect local customs and the environment. Follow the principles of "Leave No Trace" and contribute to responsible tourism.
  • Bring a refillable water bottle and purification tablets to reduce plastic waste.

 

Weather Condition

  • The best times to trek to Makalu Base Camp are autumn (mid-September to November) and spring (March to early June). Temperature varies from 4°C (39°F) to -12°C (10.4°F) during March and early June to 8°C (46.4°F) average during the peak seasons of September and November.
  • Trek in the favorable seasons and keep away from the rainy season (July and August). In the cold months of January and February, the temperature can drop to -20°C (-4°F) and can be a little harsh in the mountains.
  • Traveling during bad weather conditions is the worst scenario possible, so always read the weather forecast or travel during peak seasons.

Trekking Permits and Documents 

Permits

  • Makalu Barun National Park Permit - Nepalese - NRP 100, SAARC - NRP 1500, Foreigners - NRP 3500

Documents

  • Two passport-sized photos
  • A copy of international flight ticket
  • A copy of travel insurance 

 

MBC Trek Length and Elevation

Trek Length

  • 15 Days 
  • 2 Nights at Kathmandu

Elevations

The elevation factor poses a significant challenge throughout the trek, beginning at an altitude exceeding 1,500m in Seduwa. Since most individuals aren't accustomed to such heights, the journey incorporates acclimatization days. The ascent to Makalu Base Camp is deliberately slow to allow for acclimatization and prioritize safety over speed.

 

Typically, daily elevation gains will fall within the 400-800m range. After days with substantial gains and higher altitudes, there's a pattern of including acclimatization days. These days serve a dual purpose, providing time for sightseeing and exploring the surrounding areas.

 

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Equipments

For the Makalu Base Camp trek, you'll need a variety of equipment, clothing, and materials to ensure your comfort, safety, and success on the journey. Here's a comprehensive list:
 

Please note: We provide a Sleeping Bag containing sleeping bag liners which are graded to be used up to Camp 2 of Makalu. We additionally provide a 75 liters Duffle Bag and Trekking Poles to use for the trek.

 

Clothing

  1. Moisture-wicking base layers (Top and Bottom)
  2. Insulating layers (Fleece or Down Jacket)
  3. Waterproof and windproof outer shell jacket and pants
  4. Trekking pants and shorts
  5. Long-sleeve shirts and T-shirts
  6. Thermal gloves and waterproof gloves
  7. Beanies and Sun Hat
  8. Hiking socks and liner socks
  9. Gaiters (Neck/Leg)
  10. Scarfs and Balaclavas 

Footwear

  1. Well fItted Hiking Boots with Ankle support
  2. Ice Cleats (For Winter Months) 
  3. Casual Shoes and Sandals 

Equipment 

  1. Backpack (40-50 liters) with rain cover.
  2. Sleeping bag suitable for cold temperatures
  3. Trekking poles
  4.  Headlamp with extra batteries
  5. Sunglasses with UV protection
  6. Water bottles or hydration system
  7. Hydration bladder
  8. Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, biodegradable soap, etc.)

Creams and Medications 

  1. Tinted Sunscreen SPF 50 and above.
  2. Moisturizer 
  3. Lip Balm
  4. Healing Ointment
  5. Mosquito Repellent Cream 
  6. Cough Syrup 
  7. Medication for your Allergies 
  8. Blister Kit

 

Miscellaneous

  1. Waterproof cover for your backpack
  2. Energy Bars and Trial Mix
  3. Quick-dry towel
  4. Personal identification and necessary permits
  5. Money (cash) in small denominations
  6. Passport-size photos for permits
  7. Power bank or extra batteries
  8. Wet Wipes
  9. Pee bottle / Pee funnel for women
  10. Pillow Case

 

Remember, this list may vary based on personal preferences and the time of year you undertake the trek. Ensure that your gear is of good quality and suits the specific conditions of the Makalu region.

Route Map

routemap images

Fixed Departure

# Dete Cost Status Action

Freqeuntly Asked Questionnaire

Makalu Base Camp is the starting point for climbers attempting to reach the summit of Mount Makalu. It is located at an altitude of 4,870m in the Sankhuwasabha district of Nepal.

The most common way to reach Makalu Base Camp is by flying to Tumlingtar Airport from Kathmandu and then trekking through the Arun River Valley. The trek typically takes around 15 days, passing through Tashigaon and other picturesque villages.

The best time to trek to Makalu Base Camp is during the pre-monsoon (spring) season (March to early June) and post-monsoon (autumn) season (Mid September to November) when the weather is relatively stable, and the skies are clear.

You will need one permit: the Makalu Barun National Park Entry Permit. Additionally, if you are flying toTumlingtar, you will need a TIMS (Trekkers’ Information Management System) card.

The trek is challenging, and a good level of physical fitness is required. Regular cardiovascular exercises and strength training are recommended to prepare for the altitude and the demanding terrain.

Altitude sickness is a condition that occurs at higher elevations due to a decrease in the amount of oxygen. To prevent altitude sickness, it's essential to acclimatize properly, stay hydrated, and ascend gradually. If symptoms persist, descending to a lower altitude is crucial.

Essential items include sturdy trekking boots, warm clothing, a good backpack, a sleeping bag, and a first aid kit. It's essential to pack light but be prepared for changing weather conditions.

The temperature rating of the ISO-certified sleeping bag we lend is -10°C (50°F) comfort level.

We recommend having cash of around USD 15-20; it should suffice for any additional costs you may need for a day.

Mountain Tiger Nepal has cancellation and refund policies. Please visit our terms and conditions page for more information.

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