Makalu Base Camp Trek - 22 Days

  • Duration 22 Days
  • Difficulty Level Strenuous
  • Destination Nepal
  • Trip Type Lodge Based Trekking
  • Best Season Spring (March - May) & Autumn (Sept - Nov)
  • Group Size 16
  • Maximum Altitude 5,000 m

Highlights

  • Explore the unspoiled gem of the Himalayas, Makalu Base Camp
  • Less crowded offbeat trekking route
  • Serene trekking experience 
  • Meet with mountain people and trek through lovely villages
  • Witness stunning mountain views and landscapes throughout the trek
  • Trek in the Makalu Barun National Park

First of all, Makalu Base Camp trekking is one of the most difficult treks in Nepal and is only recommended to travelers who can endure the trodden trekking routes and bare minimum facilities. The trekking route to the lap fifth highest mountain in the world, Mt. Makalu (8,463 m), is not as bustling as the other famous base camp treks like EBC and ABC. Therefore, the trekkers get to enjoy a tranquil journey.

If you are looking for an unspoiled gem in the Himalayas, then we highly recommend the Makalu Base Camp trek. It is a venture for travelers who love to challenge their limits and are in search of heavenly sceneries.

Makalu Base Camp trek is one of the less-visited treks in the Himalayas. The route to Makalu Base Cap is detached from other frequently visited trails. Hence, the trail has limited services to offer to the trekkers. The trail explores the wonders of Makalu Barun National Park, which is home to diverse species of flora and fauna. 

The lower part of the Makalu Base Camp trek route is abundant with rhododendron forests, orchids, and other exotic plants. Whereas, you get to see excellent rock cliffs and hanging glaciers with many waterfalls in the upper part of the trails. The cultural heritage of the natives of the Makalu region is unshaken. The locals still have the living style handed down to them by their ancestors. The region has not seen any drastic modern changes over the years.

Views during Makalu Base Camp Trek

In terms of views, the Makalu Base Camp trek wins all the other treks. You get to see the close surreal panorama of Mt. Everest (8,849 m), Mt. Makalu (8,463 m), Mt. Lhotse (8,516 m), Mt. Kanchenjunga (8,586 m), Mt. Baruntse (7,162 m), etc. Likewise, the landscapes in the Arun and Barun valleys are unlike any other place. The route unfolds nonstop scenery for you to enjoy and unwind. 

How difficult is Makalu Base Camp Trek?

The Makalu Base Camp trek difficulty is strenuous. You cover approximately 200 km on this trek. The terrain tests your physical fitness and demands prior trekking experience. As the elevation touches 5,000 meters, you have to be aware of altitude sickness. Every day 6 to 7 hours of the walk is no joke, especially when the trail is serene and you are less likely to come across other fellow trekkers.  

You cross a high pass, gorges, moraines, and snow paths. The basic comforts along the way are scarce, so the trek can get even more daunting for some travelers. 

Training for the Makalu Base Camp Trekking

Unlike other treks, the Makalu Base Camp trek 20 days needs proper preparation. From packing to getting your body & mind ready for the venture is crucial. 

The first thing is getting you ready for long walks. For that, you can hike or go on long walks. Next, you have to work on your stamina, core body strength, and muscles. And lastly, you have to pack all the essentials to make it easy for your mind to adjust to the region. 

What do we offer?

If we consider the isolation of the region, elevation gain, unstable weather, and off-beat trekking route, then the Makalu Base Camp tea house trek does seem unattainable. However, with proper preparation, precautions, and determination, one can certainly do this trek. 

We have organized many successful Makalu Base Camp trekking with a high satisfaction rate among our guests. Our experienced yet friendly crew, knowledge about the region, and genuine Makalu Base Camp trek cost make us the best trekking partner for this trek. 

You trek safely and sustainably with us. Furthermore, you can book the Makalu Base Camp trek 2022/2023 in a few clicks via our site. Our travel consultants will answer all your queries and help you in booking the journey. 

Here are some other strenuous grade treks you can consider- Manaslu Circuit Trek, Kanchenjunga Trek, Everest Three High Passes Trek, and Upper Dolpo Trek.

Itinerary

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Our airport team will assist you on your arrival day and help you check in to the hotel. We drop you at the hotel in a private vehicle and later inform you about the day program. Though there's not much planned for today, we will have a welcome dinner in the evening.

  • AccommodationHotel
  • MealsWelcome dinner
  • Maximum Altitude1,310 m

An easy day with visits to historical monuments and later preparation for the trek. It will be a guided tour. We visit the Boudhnath Stupa, Swayambhunath, and Kathmandu Durbar Square. After that, we meet with the trek guide and introduce ourselves. He gives a short briefing about the trek and helps us in final packing.

  • AccommodationHotel
  • MealsBreakfast
  • Maximum Altitude1,310 m

Our team will pick you up from your hotel lobby and drop you at the airport. The flight from Kathmandu to Tumlimgtar is around 35 minutes and offers scenic aerial views of the mountains. From Tumlingtar, we will drive to Num. First, following a winding route, we drive uphill to Kandbari and join a dirt road to Chicula (1,900 m). Here onwards, the road is bumpy to Num.

  • AccommodationLodge
  • MealsBreakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Maximum Altitude1,490 m

The first couple of hours, the trail steeply descends to the Arun river, and then we walk on an uphill path to Seduwa. We cross a suspension bridge over the Arun river and pass by groves of giant bamboo and small villages to Seduwa.

  • AccommodationLodge
  • MealsBreakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Maximum Altitude1,460 m

It's a gentle walk today. There's no brutal ascent and descent like yesterday. We continue climbing on stone steps and pass by several mani walls. The trail goes through farms across the hillside. After a couple of hours of walking, we reach Chyaksa Danda (1,900 m) and further trek through dense forests. Along the way, we cross a few streams and reach Tashigaon.

  • AccommodationLodge
  • MealsBreakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Maximum Altitude2,070 m

The trail from Tashi Gaon to Kauma offers fantastic landscapes. The trail is steep, but the breathtaking mountain views pay for the tough walk. We will be walking along the cliffside and pass by small settlement areas.

  • AccommodationLodge
  • MealsBreakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Maximum Altitude3,470 m

We spend a day in Kauma resting and acclimatizing. We go on a short hike and explore the village. This off-day will let us have good insight into the unique lifestyle of the locals.

  • AccommodationLodge
  • MealsBreakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Maximum Altitude3,470 m

Leaving Kauma behind, the trail steeply ascends and further passes by lovely rhododendron forests to the top of a ridge. We can see stunning views of Mt. Chamlan, Peak 6 & Peak 7 from the top of the ridge. We then have a final descent through lush forests to Mumbak for a night's stay.

  • AccommodationLodge
  • MealsBreakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Maximum Altitude3,570 m

We follow a downhill, steep gully along a stream for about 500 meters. The trekking route up the glacial valley is rocky and muddy. We can see an impressive view of Peak 6 on the way. Neha Kharka is a temporary camping site in Barun valley and is located on a large open grassy plain.

  • AccommodationLodge
  • MealsBreakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Maximum Altitude3,700 m

We will be walking in the west and soon join the alpine tundra. The trail further ascends to the higher point of Barun valley. We get to see superb views of mountains like Pyramid Peak, Peak 4, etc. The altitude gain is quite high today because of no camp between Neha Khara & Sherson, therefore we will be walking slowly and making sure our body is fine.

 

Sherson is a small village situated near the Lower Barun glacier. The trail involves a long uphill walk with steep rocks. We pass by villages like Jhark, Ramara, and Mera before reaching Sherson for the night stay.

  • AccommodationLodge
  • MealsBreakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Maximum Altitude4,615 m

We leave Sherson early in the morning and begin trekking towards the Makalu Base Camp, the base of the fifth highest mountain in the world, Mt. Makalu. We reach the Makalu Base Camp in an hour and a half long hike from Sherson. We trek on rocky terrain to the base camp. The base camp offers a breathtaking panorama of mountains.

  • AccommodationLodge
  • MealsBreakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Maximum Altitude5,000 m

The view we wake up with is unlike any other place. We'll find ourselves close to a great 8000 meters above the mountain. We cannot leave the base camp before exploring the nearby areas. At the foothill of Makalu is the holy Barun Pokhari. We walk around the lake and hike to a viewpoint. 

*Fact: Makalu Barun National Park is home to over two dozen mountains and is abundant in flora & fauna. Moreover, the region is popular for the Yarsagumba hunt.

  • AccommodationLodge
  • MealsBreakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Today, we begin the day early. It's a long descent to Neha Kharka following the same route. Leaving the base camp, we ascent and descent, relishing the excellent mountain panorama to Neha Kharka.

  • AccommodationLodge
  • MealsBreakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Maximum Altitude3,750 m

The trail today goes through lush forests of pine and rhododendron. Even though we will be retracing the path from Neha Kharka to Mumbak, the views are gonna seem brand new.

  • AccommodationLodge
  • MealsBreakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Maximum Altitude3,570 m

The trail ascends to Shipton La pass. It's a steep rugged uphill climb to the top of the pass. From there, we begin descending towards Kauma village to spend the night.

  • AccommodationLodge
  • MealsBreakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Maximum Altitude3,470 m

After breakfast, we begin trekking on a downhill route that leads to Tashi Gaon. We will take our time on the way and walk slowly, soaking in the beautiful scenery and noticing the daily lifestyle of the locals while passing through the villages.

  • AccommodationLodge
  • MealsBreakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Maximum Altitude2,070 m

We descend to Seduwa and continue walking down to Mulgaon. From here, the trail gets steep & rocky and passes through fields of corn/barley. We reach Ipsuwa Khola and cross a suspension bridge. The trail further enters Arun valley and drops down to Balung. We then cross a stream at 590 m and walk through forests to Pakuwa.

  • AccommodationLodge
  • MealsBreakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Maximum Altitude1,520 m

The trail is rocky and passes by green fields. We reach Tome village (520 m). From this village onwards, the valley gets wider and U-shaped. We then walk uphill along a steep, narrow rocky stairway to the top of a ridge and descend to the banks of Sankhuwa Khola (370 m). The Bumling village is located across this khola.

  • AccommodationLodge
  • MealsBreakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Maximum Altitude1,160 m

As it's the last day of the walk, we take it easy and enjoy every step. The trail descends, following downstream to its confluence point with the Arun river. We cross the river and begin walking along the east bank to the river. The trail passes by Chyawabesi and ascends to Tumlingtar.

  • AccommodationLodge
  • MealsBreakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Maximum Altitude860 m

We take a morning flight back to Kathmandu. Our team will escort you to the hotel. The rest of the day is free. You can relax and explore on your own. Later, we meet in the late evening over the farewell dinner.

  • AccommodationHotel
  • MealsBreakfast & Farewell dinner
  • Maximum Altitude1,310 m

It's an extra day in Kathmandu. Visit the tourist sites that are remaining and go shopping. You can also join activities like momo making class or Thangka painting class.

  • AccommodationHotel
  • MealsBreakfast
  • Maximum Altitude1,310 m

Our long adventurous trip in Nepal has ended. It's time to fly back to your home. Our airport team will drop you at the airport.

  • MealsBreakfast

This is our standard and recommended itinerary. If this itinerary doesn’t suit to you, we can customize your trip as per your interest and time-frame. Click here for Tailor-Made program.

Useful Info

Altitude Sickness

If you have not heard about altitude sickness previously, then it is an illness travelers face during the high elevation journey. Altitude sickness is caused if your body does not adjust to the increasing elevation. 

Makalu Base Camp Trek ascends to 5,000 meters, so the trip has risks of altitude sickness. However, with our Makalu Base Camp Trek itinerary, you can trek without any worries because it has adequate acclimatization days.

These are some of the symptoms of altitude sickness in its early stage: loss of appetite, insomnia, breathing issues, nausea, headache, etc. 

Makalu Base Camp Trek Permit

For the Makalu base camp trek, you have to get a Makalu Rural Municipality entry permit and a Makalu Barun National Park entry permit. You do not need a restricted area permit if you only trek to Makalu base camp and return back following the same trail. 

However, if you are going to the Makalu circuit and pass by places like Kimathangka, Chepuwa, Hatiya, and Pawakhola, you need to obtain a restricted area permit and have to travel with a trekking company. 

Makalu Rural Municipality permit fee: USD 20

Makalu Barun National Park entry fee: USD 30

Makalu Base Camp Trek Best Time

Trek in spring- March to April and autumn- October to November to enjoy the best views. These months will provide you with the best trekking experience. Along with breath-taking views of the Himalayan sceneries, you will also get to be part of the biggest festivals celebrated in Nepal. The trail welcomes hundreds of species of flowers and other vegetation. Likewise, stable weather and moderate climate make the journey smooth. The days are bright and warm with cold mornings & nights. 

Last Minute Booking

We only advise last-minute booking for Makalu Base Camp Trek to travelers who are physically fit and have previous trekking experience, so that you can withstand the difficulties of the trail without doing any preparation. Talk to our travel consultant and share your requirements with them. They will help you with booking. We need 100% of the Makalu Base Camp Trek cost for trip confirmation.

Travel Tips 

Accommodation: There are a few teahouses in villages along the way. The teahouse will be very basic, with twin-sharing beds and a common washroom.  

Food: For breakfast, you will get cornflakes, oatmeal, toast, butter, jam, porridge, tea, coffee, juice, fruits, etc. Likewise, during lunch & dinner, there are curries (veg/non-veg), veggies, rice, dal bhat, pasta, noodles, thukpa, thenduk, chapati, etc. 

ATM: ATM is not available on the trekking route. We advise you to get cash in Kathmandu to use during the trek. USD 12 to USD 15 each day will be sufficient to buy extra drinks. 

Charging: Charging facilities are available but may cost you a few additional bucks that are not covered in the package cost. Get spare batteries or a solar charger. 

Luggage: We carry a duffel bag during the trek. You get a 10 kgs weight limit to pack your stuff for the trek. Trekkers carry a day pack. The weight limit for a day pack is 5 kgs. 

Personal Expenses: Things like international flights, travel insurance, tipping, shopping, etc, are not covered by our package cost. We recommend you budget some additional money for these things.

Travel Insurance: Makalu trek demands travel insurance that ensures air evacuation and medical accounts. We need your travel insurance documents at the time of booking for confirmation of the trip.

Tipping: Tipping is a tradition in Nepal, and our team members may approach you for a tip at the end of the trip. You are free to tip them whatever you please. 

FAQs

  • Q1. How difficult is Makalu Base Camp Trek?

    Makalu Base Camp Trek difficulty is considered challenging. The trail is very remote and visited by only a handful of trekkers every year. Therefore, the basic facilities are scarce, and the terrain is off-beaten. The trek usually goes above 20 days, and the elevation rise is more than 5000 meters.

  • Makalu Base Camp is located in Nepal in the Makalu Barun National Park. It is the base camp of the fifth highest mountain in the world, Mt. Makalu. The national park extends around Solukhumbu and Sankhuwasabha districts.

  • Yes, Makalu Base Camp Trekking needs permits. The trek requires two permits - Makalu Barun National Park Permit, which costs USD 30 per person & TIMS Card, which costs USD 20 per person.

  • To access Makalu Barun National Park from Kathmandu, you can fly to Tumlingtar and trek. There are also alternative roadways available.

  • Mt. Makalu (8,463 m) is located in Nepal on the Nepal & Tibet border, southeast of Mt. Everest.

  • Yes, you can trek to Makalu Base Camp solo. However, do your full research and make sure you do not see any issues with lodging and food on the way. The signboards along the Makalu Base Camp Trek route are not ample, so be careful and also stay updated with the weather.

  • From Kathmandu, there are two options to reach Tumlingtar, the starting point of Makalu Base Camp Trek. First, you can take a 45-minute direct flight to Tumlingtar, and second, you can drive fr 12 hours (500 km) to Tumlingtar.

  • Yes, you can freely customize the Makalu Base Camp Trek itinerary. You can also do changes in duration, departure date, services during the trek, etc. To tailormade Makalu Base Camp Trek, contact us anytime.

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