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Experience the Majestic Beauty of Makalu Base Camp Trek

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20 days
Availability : October through May
Min Age : 15+
Home » Holiday Packages » Off the beaten Track Adventure » Experience the Majestic Beauty of Makalu Base Camp Trek

Estimated reading time: 13 minutes

Nestled in the eastern reaches of Nepal, the Makalu Base Camp Trek is a journey into the heart of the Himalayas, offering breathtaking landscapes and an immersive cultural experience. Embarking on this trek leads you to the foothills of Mount Makalu, the world’s fifth-highest peak, soaring impressively at 5,416 meters above sea level.

Makalu Base Camp Trek Details

The Makalu Base Camp trek lasts 20 days, incorporating three nights in Kathmandu for acclimatization. The journey begins with a flight from Kathmandu to Tumlingtar, followed by a scenic drive to Num, a charming village that serves as the starting point of the trek. As the path unfolds, it meanders through traditional Rai villages, offering a genuine insight into the local culture.

Best Time For Makalu Base Camp Trek

Plan your adventure between October and mid-December or March and May for optimal trekking conditions. During these periods, clear skies and moderate temperatures provide a comfortable and visually stunning experience. Avoid trekking from June to September due to the monsoon season.

Accommodations and Meals

Throughout the trek, accommodations are provided in tea house lodges. These lodges offer basic amenities, allowing trekkers to immerse themselves in the local environment. The dining arrangement encompasses breakfast, lunch, and dinner, showcasing a range of cuisines influenced by the specific locale. It’s crucial to be aware that there could be a modest availability of vegetarian options.


Flights from Kathmandu to Tumlingtar are readily available, and your guide will arrange all travel logistics, including flight bookings and local transportation to Num. The journey involves a jeep ride from Tumlingtar to Num, allowing you to soak in the picturesque surroundings.

Makalu Base Camp Trek Route

The trek unfolds as you traverse traditional villages like Seduwa, Tashigaou, and Khongma and cross three passes, including the notable Shipton La at 4,170 meters. The route offers panoramic views of the Himalayas, including the majestic Mount Makalu. After reaching Makalu Base Camp, the return journey follows the same trail back to Num.

Preparation Tips

  1. Route, Guide, and Accommodations: Research and plan your route, book a knowledgeable guide, and secure accommodations, either through trekking agencies or teahouses along the trail.
  2. Equipment and Clothing: Ensure you have suitable trekking equipment, sturdy shoes, and extra layers for varying weather conditions. A daypack and a light rain jacket are essential for a comfortable trek.
  3. Physical and Mental Preparation: Start a walking or jogging routine weeks before the trek to acclimate your body. Learn about proper nutrition and hydration for sustained energy during the trek. Seek advice from experienced trekkers for insights into the journey.
  4. Pack Lightly: Prioritize quality over quantity when packing. A well-fitted backpack will contribute to a comfortable trekking experience.

Embarking on the Makalu Base Camp Trek in Nepal offers an opportunity to delve into the unspoiled magnificence of the Himalayas and immerse oneself in the vibrant cultural fabric of Nepal. With proper preparation and a sense of adventure, this trek promises an unforgettable journey into the heart of one of the world’s most captivating mountain ranges.

Tour Details

Here are some highlights of the trek!

Departure & Return Location

Kathmandu, Capital city of Nepal

Departure Time

09.00 AM to 10.00 AM (flexible)

Price Includes

  • Airport pick up / drop off by car
  • 3 nights accommodation with breakfast at tourist standard hotel in Kathmandu
  • Experienced guide and required number of helpers
  • Semi lodge / camping arrangments (lodges will be provided whereever possible, if not tented camp)
  • Locally available meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
  • All Internal flight arrangemet
  • All Trek logistics including permits, transportation etc..

Price Excludes

  • Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu
  • Personal expenses
  • Trek insurance (please ensure you have full cover travel insurance that covers air ambulance, medical expenses, etc.)
  • Staff Tipping


  • Trekking Duffle Bag
  • Trekking Map
  • Company T-Shirt
What to Expect

Here is a list of trek highlights which you can expect on this trek.

  • Stunning view of Landscape from lowland to highland
  • Warm welcoming and Greetings from smiling people wherever you are!
  • Magnificent view of Mt. Makalu and other snowy peaks
  • Cross the high passes of Keke La (4125m) & Shipton La (4170m)
  • The trek is suitable for experienced trekkers, who have already trekked in Nepal or who can can walk for 6-7 hours a day.
  • Trekkers will only carry a light day bag for day uses and big duffle bag or rucksack will be carried by our porters
  • An English speaking experienced guide will be accompanied
  • Accommodation will be at tea houses or tented camp
  • Locally available meals will be served during the trek


Day 1Arrival in Kathmandu

Upon your arrival at Tribhuwan International Airport (TIA), you will be met by our Airport Representative and transferred to the hotel. Overnight at the hotel, inclusive of breakfast.

Day 2Kathmandu (Final Preparation Day)

Final trek preparation. Overnight at the hotel, inclusive of breakfast.

Day 3/4Fly to Tumlingtar either drive to Num or Trek to Num (4-5 hours driving)

Flight Kathmandu to Tumlingtar, then drives by local jeep to Num (1560m).
Drive to the airport to board your flight to Tumlingtar (410m). On a clear day, we can see the Himalayan ranges.

Upon arrival at Tumlingtar airport; we will arrange a local jeep and drive along the ridges of Khandbari (the headquarter of Shangkhuwasabha district) and Manebhanjyang (1100m) and along the picturesque local villages of Bhotebas (1740m), Gogane (1720m) and Chichira (1980m); from where we can see good views of Mt. Makalu and other snowy peaks.

The road is bumpy and muddy; thus, in monsoon or pre-monsoon (July – early October), there may not be possible to continue the drive to Num. So, we may need to terminate the driving before reaching Num. Thus, we need to allow 2 days to reach Num.

Overnight at a tent or guesthouse, inclusive of breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 5Trek to Seduwa (1500m)

The Seduwa village is situated parallel to Num; we can see from Num on the other side of the Arun river just above. From here, we descend to the Arun river (760m), following the scattered houses, rice terraces, and the jungle before reaching the bridge over the Arun River (1:30 hour descent). As we crossed the suspension bridge, we ascended 800m to reach Seduwa by following some scattered villages of Belghari, which took us another 2:30 hours.

Seduwa is a nice small village, having settlements of Rai and the local community. There is also a high school and the Makalu Barun National Park, where we must register our trek permits.

Overnight at a tent or guesthouse, inclusive of breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Total 4 – 5 hours walking.

Day 6Trek to Tashigaou (2100m)

Today we walk through many small thatched scattered houses by following rice terraces and sometimes through dense forests of a different kind of vegetation. The trail gradually leads up and down by crossing some streams along the trail until we reach Tashigaou. It is a lovely village, having 3 nice guesthouses, some nice camping spots, and the last day walking through the villages.

Overnight at a tent or guesthouse, inclusive of breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Total 4 – 5 hours walking.

Day 7Trek to Khongma (3500m)

As we leave the last village of the trek, we walk through the dense forest of a different kinds of vegetation. We can only hear the voice of birds chirping here and there. The trail gradually leads us uphill by following the streams and wooden logs. After a 2 hours continuous walk, we arrive at Danda Kharka (2650m); there are a few teahouses, an ideal place to stop for lunch.

From here, the trail leads uphill until arriving at Wishisa (3110m, 45 minutes walk). After that, we climbed up again until arriving at another pass called Kongma Danda (3500m, 45 minutes walk). After a short descent and ascending, we arrive at our camp, Khongma.

Overnight at a tent or guesthouse, inclusive of breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Total 4 – 5 hours walking.

Day 8/9 Acclimatization day or continue the trek to Dobato (3862m) with 3 passes

The height we gain, 3500m at Khongma, is quite high. Therefore, if we feel discomfort sleeping overnight at the elevation, it is ideal to spend an extra night here. If we decide to spend an additional night, we make a day trip to higher elevations, explore the surrounding forest, and enjoy the views of nature and mountain range views.

On the other hand, if we feel alright and have no symptoms of altitude, it would be better to continue the trek. We have the flexibility about what to do and what not to do!

The first view of Mt. Makalu

As we leave Khongma, we ascend to Gongar la (3600m, 30 minutes walk), having a nice stupa with prayer flags and a nice resting place for porters. On a clear day, we can see excellent views of Mt. Makalu, Chamling, Baruntse, Kanchenjunga and Jannu. From here, we walk along the ridge slightly down and uphill until we reach Kalopokhari (black lake) for another 30 minutes. From here, we ascend another 45 minutes to reach another pass Shipton La (4170m).

After a few hundred meters downhill, we arrive at Thulo Pokhara (big lake); it is a crystal lake! Besides the lake, there is a memorial stupa and a few houses for yak herders. After we cross a stream that flows from the lake, we climb up again for another 30 minutes and arrive at the last pass of Keke La (4125m). From the pass, we descend following the rocky trail and rhododendron forest to Dobato (3862m, 1-hour walk). If you come in March / April, this valley is paradise in blossoms of rhododendron flowers.

Dobato (Crossroad in English) is situated amidst the rhododendron forest and pine trees with few teahouses and a small camping spot. On a clear day, we can witness the view of Jannu Himal in the far east.

Overnight at a tent or guesthouse, inclusive of breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Total 4 – 5 hours walking.

Day 10Trek to Yangle Kharka (3540m)

The trail descends to Barun Khola through rhododendron forest and some nice meadowlands. It is steep ascends to reach the bank of the Barun River, which takes approximately 1 hour. From here, we walk along the Barun river bank. We also have to walk through the landslide path (Be careful, the rock may fall! it takes approximately 1 hour to complete the landslide section). It is quite a tricky path until we complete the landslide section.

As we walk further after completion of the landslide path section, we arrive at a large meadow surrounded by pine trees where there is a teahouse (a good place to stop for lunch) just above the soaring Barun River. Just in front, we will see the snowy peak of Chamlang. After another 2 hours of walking by following the river, we arrive at the wider valley, surrounded by pine trees and waterfalls; this place is not other than Yangle Kharka.

On another side of the valley, just above the river, we can see 2 caves. On full moon day in August, a fertility festival is held in the cave and surrounding the valley. It is believed that the famous Buddhist sage Ringboche had resided in the cave. It is also believed that any couple with no child can have a child after paying homage to Rimpoche in the cave. The belief still exists in the local people.

Overnight at a tent or guesthouse, inclusive of breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Total 5 – 6 hours walking.

Day 11Trek to Langmale (4410m)

From here, we walk, keeping the Barun river on our left side. The trail gradually goes up, and we walk through the rhododendron and pine forest. After an hour of continuous walking, we reach a meadow with a waterfall view on the right corner of the cliff; that place is known as Ripuk. Next, we see a wider view of snowy peaks, including Pyramid Peak, Peak 4, Peak 6, Chamlang and Peak 5, which are marvellous.

Then we walk again to Tadhosa, where there is a small teashop. From here, we cross a stream that flows from Shiva’s Dhara (Shiva’s waterfall). It is also believed that the water flows from Tibet Plateau. The view of the waterfall is great! We ascend for about 40 minutes and reach Jack Kharka, with a few houses for yak herders. After a short ascent, we cross a stream and climb up again for another 40 minutes following the yak pastureland, and eventually, we reach our camp, Langmale.
Overnight at a tent or guesthouse, inclusive of breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Total 4 – 5 hours walking.

Day 12/13Trek to Makalu Base Camp (4870m) and climb up to 5500m towards Advance Base Camp

We walk just above the Barun river for about 30 minutes, then through the bank of the river. After another hour, we reach Shersong (4630m), a large meadow. The view of the mountains from here is amazing! As we ascend, Mt. Makalu, with a spectacular view, appears in front. As we walk further, the tea houses at Makalu Base camp are seen.

Finally, after a few hundred meters ascending, we cross a wooden bridge over the Barun river and reach the Makalu Base camp. Approximately in 3 hours, we will reach Makalu Base Camp; so afternoon, we will have plenty of time to make a side trip to the open valley or towards the Advance Base Camp.

Please note

We have allocated 2 days for visiting Makalu Base Camp and Advance Base Camp. We can also make a day trip to Makalu Base camp and return to Langmale overnight. However, if one wants to make a side trip around the Makalu Base camp, it is recommended to spend overnight in the Base camp of Makalu.

Day 14 - 18Return to Tumlingtar

Return to Tumlingtar. Overnight at a tent or guesthouse, inclusive of breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 19Kathmandu

Flight back from Tumlingtar to Kathmandu. Overnight at the hotel, inclusive of breakfast.

Day 20Departure

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your onward journey or extend your holiday. ~~End of the trip~~


Makalu Base Camp Trek Map


1 Review
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Wolfgang Hartmann

Group Traveller

5th time in Nepal

Another “Caravan of Dreams” was finished after three weeks in November 2016. Our trip to Makalu Base Camp was my fifth trekking tour with NepalHiking. As always, their arrangement and planning were outstanding. Thank you very much for the excellent organisation of the trek. A special thanks to Surya Magar for his excellent guidance and our 2 strong porters, Bhim and Subarna. Without these guys, the trip wouldn’t have been possible. I am still thinking of the fantastic holiday and will never forget this time. See you again in two years for the Dolpo Valley trek.

9 September 2017
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