Situated at the eastern part of Nepal, the less traveled region of Makalu is home to the world’s fifth highest peak of Makalu at 8463m and Makalu Barun National Park – the world’s only protected area with an elevation increase of over 8000m. This area contains 16 other notable peaks, and a wide array of terrain and ecological zones, ranging from the lush subtropical Arun Valley to terraced farmlands, alpine meadows, and snowcapped mountain ridges. The tremendous variations in altitude in this region provide for spectacular bio-diversity, varying climatic conditions, and an experience that will continually surprise you. Over 20 different ethnic groups dwell in the Makalu region, each speaking their own dialect – a fascinating aspect in its own right. The trek to Makalu base camp, one of the world’s highest base camps at 5000m, is a journey of immense scenic variety and ecological diversity. We will pass through the subtropical jungles of the Arun valley, home to an amazing variety of orchids and a flourishing bird population. We’ll visit mountain lakes and make several high passes, emerging into pristine alpine highlands with tremendous views of Everest, Lhotse, Khumbakarna, and Mt. Makalu itself. Our route will take us on a trail-less-traveled through terraced farmlands and remote settlements, ascending to a challenging pass across Shipton La at 4229m, from where we will access the south side of the mighty Makalu.
Day 1: Arrive in Kathmandu.
Get received at the arrival area of Tribhuwan International Airport by a representative from Era Tours and transported to your designated hotel. Unwind from your flight and meet us in the evening for a welcome dinner at a traditional Nepalese restaurant.
Day 2: Kathmandu sightseeing
Relax for the afternoon and enjoy a guided tour of Kathmandu’s unique attractions. We’ll spend the day exploring several of the city’s most famous cultural landmarks like the sacred Hindu pilgrimage site Pashupatinath on the banks of the Bagamati River, Swayambunath Stupa also known as The Monkey Temple, Bouddhanath – Nepal’s largest and most revered Buddhist stupa and Kathmandu Durbar Square with numerous cultural and historical monuments scattered around the vicinity.
Day 3: Fly from Kathmandu to Tumlingtar and drive to Chichila 1840m/6035ft: 1 hour flight and 3 hours’ drive
Depart after breakfast by plane to Tumlingtar. From here we travel by jeep over a rugged road cut through the hillsides to Chichila.
Day 4: Trek from Chichila to Num 1500m/4920ft: 6 – 7 hours walk
Our first day on the trail takes us through a scenic rural landscape of lush hillsides and farming communities. We ascend along a gentle ridge to Num.
Day 5: Trek from Num to Seduwa 1540m/5051ft: 6 – 7 hours walk
We descend steeply on a forest trail flanked by terraced fields to the Arun Khola. We pass through the checkpoint at the border of Makalu National Park.
Day 6: Trek from Seduwa to Tashigaon 2070m/6790ft: 4 – 5 hours walk
Our ascent along a narrow ridge takes us between the cascading waters of Kasuwa Khola to our east, and Ipsuwa Khola to our west. Passing several tiny villages and crop fields we reach Tashigaon.
Day 7: Trek from Tashigaon to Khongma 3560m/11676ft: 6 – 7 hours walk
The lush forested hills give way to sparser landscape populated by hardy scrub as we ascend in altitude. Khongma is the last village we will visit before entering the Barun Valley across the Shipton La.
Day 8: Rest day at Khongma.
We take a day to adjust to the altitude before tomorrow’s high pass. The valley scenery is beautiful and there is ample opportunity to explore the forested hillsides around Khongma to help us acclimatize.
Day 9: Trek from Khongma across Shipton La 4216m/13832ft to Debotay 3650m/11972ft: 7 – 8 hours walk
Several hours climb will take us across the Shipton La, from where we can see spectacular views of Chamlang, Peak 6, and Peak 7. We carry on further across another high pass called Keke La, descending into a stunning valley where our overnight stop at Debotay awaits us.
Day 10: Trek from Debotay to Yangle Kharka 3600m/11808ft: 5 – 6 hours walk
Gently ascending along the valley through lush rhododendron forests, we reach the Baruni River. We continue ascending to the valley’s edge to stop in Yangle Kharka for the night.
Day 11: Trek from Yangle Kharka to Merek 4500m/14760ft: 5 – 6 hours walk
Today’s rapid gain in altitude will prove a challenge. It’s a steep climb to Merek, emerging from the subtropical valley climate into rocky, high mountain terrain.
Day 12: Trek from Merek to Shersong 4840m/15879ft: 6 – 7 hours walk
We are high above the valley now, following a trail through majestic boulder fields and yak pastures. The magnificent south face of Makalu come and the lower Barun glacier come into view as we approach Shersong, along with a host of other peaks.
Day 13: Trek from Shersong to Makalu Base Camp 5000m/16400ft: 5 – 6 hours walk
Towering peaks surround us as we approach Makalu Base Camp. Upon reaching our destination, you’ll be standing beneath the 8481 meter peak of Mt. Makalu, the world’s fifth highest summit. The surrounding scenery is spectacular, with amazing views of Chamlang, Mt. Everest, and the Barun glacier. We’ll spend the day admiring the scenery and return to Shersong in the evening.
Day 14: Trek from Shersong to Yangle Kharka 3600m/11811ft: 8 – 9 hours walk
Our descent begins today. Dropping rapidly out of the altitude, we follow the Barun River to Yangle Kharka.
Day 15: Trek from Yangle Kharka to Mumbuk 3500m/11482ft: 6 – 7 hours walk
Our descent continues down a series of rocky slopes into the verdant green landscape of the Arun Valley. A short climb at the day’s end will bring us to Mumbuk.
Day 16: Trek from Mumbuk to Khongma 4080m/13385ft: 6 – 7 hours walk
We begin by climbing steeply through a pine forest. Crossing back over the Keke La and Shipton La passes, the stunning scenery takes on a different appearance when viewed on our descent. After a long, hard walk today, we make the final descent to Khongma.
Day 17: Trek from Khongma to Tashigaon 2140m/7020ft: 5 – 6 hours walk
Our descent continues steeply further into the valley to Tashigaon.
Day 18: Trek from Tashigaon to Num 1500m/4920ft: 4 – 5 hours walk
Exiting the Makalu National Park, we follow the Arun Khola passed Seduwa to Num.
Day 19: Trek from Num to Chichila 1840m/6035ft and drive to Tumlingtar: 5 – 6 hours walk and 3 hour drive.
Our final day of walking takes us back through the lush Arun Valley to Chichila, where we meet our jeep for the drive to Tumlingtar. The journey is over! Enjoy a meal and a well-earned hot shower in Tumlingtar.
Day 20: Fly from Tumlingtar to Kathmandu: 1 hour flight.
Board our plane in the morning for a scenic flight to Kathmandu. We’ll reach Kathmandu in the evening and transport you to your hotel. Spend the evening taking care of any last minute shopping or sightseeing after an amazing trip.
Day 21: Depart Kathmandu
Take care of any last minute shopping or sightseeing as time permits. You’ll be picked up at your hotel three hours prior to your departure flight. Thanks for traveling with Era Tours. Farewell and Namaste.