Gokyo Trek (12 days)
This is a 12 day trek which avoids the more crowded Everest Base Camp route. In addition, the view from Gokyo Ri is as spectacular as that from Kala Pattar but the village of Gokyo itself is so much more beautiful than Gorak Shep. Gokyo is truly stunning with its emerald green lakes and herds of yaks wandering freely. The price includes one night at our hotel at the beginning & at the end of your trek.
The climb to Gokyo is steep and it’s easy to go too high too fast and suffer altitude sickness. Our plan is to take out time and avoid any problems. After all, there is plenty to see and do!
Your journey with us begins with the exciting 30–40 minute flight from Kathmandu to Lukla. If you can, sit on the left side of the plane, which affords the best views of the Himalaya.
At Lukla you will be met by your guide and porters who are all local Sherpas and Buddhists, which will add to your insight of their customs and culture.
Your trek begins, bizarrely, by walking downhill! This is a short day to Phakding, which is just as well after all the excitement of leaving Kathmandu, flying to Lukla and your first taste of being in the Solu Khumbu! All this should ensure you sleep well.
Days 2 &3
From Phakding it is a steep walk to the largest village in the area: Namche Bazaar. En route you get your first views of Mount Everest, if the weather is kind. Namche has a unique atmosphere which you will have plenty of time to enjoy as you will have an acclimatization day here. This does not necessarily mean no walking, as we will give you the option of a walk to Khunde and Khumjung on this day, which will help you acclimatize to the altitude.
From Namche the trail heads north towards Sanasa, but just before this there is a viewpoint which provides you with your first view of Ama Dablam, Lhotse Shar, Taboche Peak, Kangtega and Thamserku.
At Sanasa a quiet side path leaves the main trekking route to Everest Base Camp and crosses the slopes of Khumbila. Sherpas worship this mountain as it is the home of the patron god of the Khumbu region and is never climbed out of respect. You will continue on this path to the village of Phortse Thanga where we spend the night.
The walk to Machhermo via Dole is a steep one and so it is advisable to slow the pace and enjoy the breathtaking views of Cho Oyo, Thamserku and Kangtega.
As you trek towards Gokyo you can feel the excitement mount as you leave the foothills and enter the tundra of the high mountains. Gokyo has a magical setting with its beautiful lake and jagged peaks behind. You will feel a great sense of achievement having reached your highest village but tomorrow offers two amazing options.
Acclimatization day, but with options!
As the clouds can roll in by late morning, the first option is an early ascent of Gokyo Ri (a 4 hour round trip). This has spectacular views of Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Makalu, Cholatse and Taboche Peak, to name but a few! The second possibility is “The Sacred Lakes” walk (a 5 hour round trip) which gains very little altitude but the views to Cho Oyo are awesome! Scoundrel’s Peak is an easy walk off the main trail and the views of Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse and Makalu will live with you forever.
Rather than retrace our uphill route, out trek continues on the east side of the valley to Phortse which offers different views and warmer weather as the sun remains on this side till later in the day!
From Phortse it’s an easy stroll to the village of Pangboche, which has the oldest monastery in the Khumbu region. It was founded by Lama Sange Dorje in the 17th century. The trek then leads us through beautiful dense rhododendron forests with Spanish moss mixed with dwarf conifers where you can often see danphe pheasants and musk deer.
Suddenly you emerge from this forest and you have arrived at Tengboche where you will stay the night. Of course you will receive a very warm welcome here as this is the home of our trekking agency. Apart from the sheer beauty of the surrounding area, a visit to the monastery is a must for most trekkers and is often one of the highlights for many visitors. As a client of Tengboche Trekking, you are invited to morning and afternoon prayers at the monastery.
Some people have claimed that the bakery serves the best apple pie in the world!
From Tengboche it is a steep downhill start to the day but, before long, you arrive at Phunke Tenga, which is really just a collection of lodges but serves welcoming teas and coffees.
Before long you reach the point where you turned off to Phortse Thanga and so it is an easy walk downhill to reach Namche with all it’s great variety of amenities. If you didn’t visit the Mount Everest viewpoint on your first visit, then you will have to do so now.
The final day’s walking returns you to Lukla for your early morning flight back to Kathmandu the next day
Fly from Lukla back to Kathmandu.
Gokyo Trek Itinerary
Fly from Kathmandu to Lukla and walk to Phakding (2,562m/8,700ft)
35 minute flight, 8km, 3-4 hours
Phakding to Namche Bazaar (3,440m/11,280ft)
10km, 5-6 hours
Acclimatization day at Namche
Namche to Phortse Thanga (3,680/12,073ft)
8km, 3.5 – 4.5 hours
Phortse Thanga to Machherm (4,410m/14,468ft)
10km, 4.5 – 5.5 hours
Machhermo to Gokyo (4,800m/15,744ft)
7km, 3-4 hours
Acclimatization day at Gokyo
Gokyo to Phortse (3,810m/12,500ft)
5km, 5-6 hours
Phortse to Tengboche (3864m/12,673ft)
6km, 4-5 hours
Tengboche to Namche Bazaar (3450m/11,316ft)
8km, 5-6 hours
Namche Bazaar to Lukla (2,800m/9,186ft)
18km, 6-7 hours
Early morning flight back to Kathmandu
Please note that the above trekking times and distances are approximate.
Cloud and turbulent weather are regular phenomena along the Himalayan range. It is therefore possible that domestic flights from Kathmandu to/from Lukla may have to be delayed for a few hours or even cancelled for a day or more.
Fortunately this does not happen very often during the high seasons of March to May or September to November, but you need to plan for this possibility.
As a safeguard, we recommend that you add on a couple of extra days after your trek, before you fly from Kathmandu to your onward destination.