Namche Bazaar was once a sleepy little Sherpa village where nothing much happened. But then, Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay climbed Mt. Everest in 1953 and from that point on, visitors started to come to the region. Namche Bazaar went from a tiny little village to a small city, with all sorts of amenities as well as great mountain views.
Today you will find all kinds of hotels, banks, ATM machines, bakeries, restaurants and local gift shops. It is the capital of the Sherpa people who call eastern Nepal their home. In the old days, this was where you could barter for yak cheese and butter. You will still find that here, along with a lot more.
There are no roads to Namche Bazaar. Everything comes by yak and donkey trains or by air. Still, it has to come straight from Lukla airport by yak and donkey before you arrive at Namche Bazaar.
Namche Bazaar is a fun place to visit. They speak relatively good English here, and enjoy visitors. It is also a place to where most everyone spends two nights, because of the need to acclimatize to avoid altitude sickness. From nearby, you will have a great overlook of Mt. Everest, the world's tallest mountain along with a number of beautiful, snow-covered 8,000+ mountain peaks.
The area is steeped in traditional Tibetan Buddhism, and there are monasteries everywhere. On the trail to Namche Bazaar are rhododendron forests, the fast flowing Dudh Koshi River, suspension bridges, waterfalls and more.
This adventure features two full days of sightseeing in the Kathmandu Valley plus a full day in Namche Bazaar. Lots of time to explore and to enjoy the full Nepal experience.
This is an ideal short trek for those who want to combine culture along with great views of Mt. Everest. The trip is nine days, with only three days of trekking. So if your time is short, and you want to experience the region and beauty of Mt. Everest, this is a perfect trip for you.
DAY 1 – Arrival in Kathmandu, transfer to hotel
DAY 2 – Full Day of Sightseeing in Kathmandu Valley
DAY 3 – Fly to Lukla and trek to Phakding (elev. 2,635 m) 3 – 4 hours
DAY 4 – Trek to Namche Bazaar (elev. 3440 m) 5 – 6 hours
DAY 5 – Acclimatization at Namche Bazaar
DAY 6 – Trek to Lukla, 6 – 7 hours
DAY 7 – Fly to Kathmandu
DAY 8 – Full Day of Sightseeing in Kathmandu Valley
DAY 9 – Departure
DAY 1 – Arrival in Kathmandu: You arrive at Tribhuvan International Airport where a representative of Swiss Nepal Family Trekking & Expedition will greet you and take you to your Three Star Hotel by private car. You will enjoy a welcome drink as well as an evening orientation about your trip as well as equipment check. Spend the night in the hotel.
DAY 2 – Sightseeing in Kathmandu Valley: There is plenty to see and do in the Kathmandu Valley, and with our private vehicle and your own personal guide, you will spend the day seeing the highlights of the Valley. There are seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites, plus a chance to see local culture, taste local foods and to immerse yourself in the local culture.
DAY 3 – Flight to Lukla (elev. 2840 m), Trek to Phakding (elev. 2610 m): After breakfast, we will take a domestic flight to Lukla where we begin our trek in the Everest region. It is just a 45 minute flight, and what a flight it is! We literally follow the backbone of the Himalayas eastward. On the flight you will see not only Mt. Everest, but also the peaks of Kanchenjunga III, Mt. Lhotse IV, and Makalu V. Each of these peaks is over 8,000 meters, literally forming the roof of the world. We land in Lukla village where we begin our trek. There are no roads to Lukla, so this village is only accessible by air or a seven day trek from Jiri village. We will be heading toward Phakding village. We actually go downhill from Lukla as we travel through the rugged foothills of the Everest region. Trekking time is around three hours and we will stay in a local lodge at Phakding.
DAY 4 – Trek to Namche Bazaar (elev. 3440 m): Our walk begins early in the morning. It is a fairly easy trek, even starting out rather level as we follow the Dudh Koshi River. The land will start to move uphill gradually as we make our way toward the main district city of Namche Bazaar. We will cross the Hillary suspension bridge, and until we finally come to the steepest part of today's trek that leads us to Namche Bazaar. There are plenty of views of the high mountains along the way, as well as becoming immersed in the local Buddhist culture of the Sherpa people. We will check into a local guesthouse for the night.
DAY 5 – Acclimatization in Namche Bazaar: It is important to spend a day acclimatizing to the higher elevation as altitude sickness can be quite serious. The day will not be spent just lying around (unless you want to), but we will hike to Everest Viewpoint for a magnificent view of Mt. Everest. From here, you will see the spectacular peaks of Everest, Amadablam, Nuptse and many more. It is only a two hour hike to Everest Viewpoint and we will spend a few hours there enjoying the view as well as having lunch. We will return to Namche Bazaar where you can spend the afternoon exploring the village. There is a lot to see here. We will spend the night in our local guest house.
DAY 6 – Trek to Lukla: Today is the last day of trekking as we make our way back to Lukla in order to catch a flight back to Kathmandu tomorrow morning. It is a 6 to 7 hour trek as we make our way back to Lukla, following for much of the way the Dudh Koshi River. We will spend the night in a local lodge.
DAY 7 – Fly to Kathmandu: We will fly early morning to Kathmandu where you will have a free day to explore the city, do some shopping or just plain relax. We check into our Three Star Hotel upon our return.
DAY 8 – Sightseeing in Kathmandu Valley: Today is day to finish up touring the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It easily takes two days and today visit around Bhaktapur and Changu Narayan.
DAY 9 – Final Departure: All good things must come to an end, and your trip to Nepal is no exception. Before leaving, why not talk to your representative at Swiss Nepal Family Trekking & Expedition about returning to Nepal for your next holiday. The vast majority of people make a return trip to Nepal because they are impressed by not only the beauty, but also the local people. Swiss Nepal Family Trekking & Expedition offers trips into neighboring Tibet, Bhutan and India. Be sure to discuss your interests and plans with them today.
While traveling with Swiss Nepal Family Trekking & Expedition, your all-around safety and satisfaction is of our paramount concern. Please not that the Trip Leader has the authority to cancel or amend any part of this itinerary if it is considered necessary due to any safety concern. We leave no stones unturned to keep the itinerary mentioned above, but as this adventure includes traveling to remote areas of the Himalayas, we can't guarantee that we will not be forced to make last minute changes in our plans. Factors enter into these decisions include extreme weather conditions, unexpected natural disaster, health concerns of any of our group members, etc., can all contribute to the necessity of make unexpected changes. Your SNFT trip leader will try to insure that the trip runs as planned, but we kindly request that you please be accommodating if such changes do occur.
Please note that the Kathmandu-Lukla-Kathmandu flight often gets delayed by a few hours or even cancelled due to critical weather conditions. The Lukla airport is notorious for fog which we have no control over. Swiss Nepal Family Trekking will do everything it can to avoid such a situations. Mr. Kishan Gurung, the managing director of Swiss Nepal Family Trekking & Expedition has developed a strong relationship with the manager of the Lukla airport as well as with local helicopter companies. Mr. Gurung will try to arrange alternative flights if necessary if flights are cancelled. We have a 99% success rate for arranging such flights for our valued clients in case of flight delays and cancellations. For the successful flight in rescue or cargo helicopters, the cost is around USD 200 to $250 per person additional cost. If we must charter a helicopter, then the cost is around USD 3500 for up to five people. It is advisable to always be able to stay an extra day should weather conditions require. Normally, we can usually fly out the same day, but it is a good idea to be prepared.
If everything runs smoothly and you still have a few of your buffer days left, you can arrange alternative activities to participate in with Swiss Nepal Family Trekking & Expedition upon your request. There are plenty of things to see and do in the Kathmandu Valley, including seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
In case of flight delays or cancellations at the start of the trip, you can also choose an alternative trip, which includes trekking in the Annapurna Region, Manaslu, Langtang, Mustang or any other region in Nepal. Swiss Nepal Family Trekking & Expedition can offer you some really wonderful trekking opportunities in a variety of great locations. You can also choose to spend the time in Kathmandu exploring the Valley and all it has to offer. There is no need to be stuck in a hotel room; we can provide some great experiences as you wait for the weather to clear so you can fly to Lukla.
It is recommended that you set aside two to three days as "buffer days" at the end of your trip before having to depart Nepal when trekking in the Everest region. This is just good planning and will make for a much more pleasant trip. We apologize in advance for any difficulty the weather may contribute to. It is just part of being at the roof of the world.
THE TREKKING GROUP:
For this trip, there will be a Trek Leader and Sherpa Porters for carrying luggage (2 trekkers = 1 porter). This arrangement ensures that if anyone in the group is sick, the trip can still go ahead as planned. However, Swiss Nepal Family Trekking can run this trek for the group of any size. Generally, the maximum number of trekkers that the company has found optimum is 12.
All accommodations for the Short Trek Namche Bazaar are on twin-sharing basis with inclusive costs and are chosen based on standard hygiene and standard of food, services, locations, etc. There will be two styles of accommodations during this trek. We will spend four nights at a Three-Star Hotel in Kathmandu. During the trek, we will spend four nights at standard tea houses or lodges with unheated rooms with wooden beds and foam mattresses. We can provide you with attached bath in some major towns; however, tea houses and lodges in some places have only shared washing and toilet facilities. We share a room with someone else of the same sex of our group if you are a solo traveler. If you prefer a single room, you may indicate your preferences and obtain a single room for an additional fee. Please understand that single rooms are not always possible at tea houses and mountain lodges. We will do our best to try and make the appropriate arrangements.
During this trek, you can enjoy the typical Nepali food along with different ethnic cuisines as well as all types of international cuisine (Tibetan, Continental, Italian, Indian, etc.) with items from pizza to chips to apple pie. You can even enjoy hot chocolates, a variety of breads, drinks and snacks. Breakfast of a day will be served from the tea house or lodge where we spend the night. Lunch will be served on the way to our destination with dinner served where we are spending the night. During your stay in Kathmandu, a farewell dinner along with breakfasts will be served.