Makalu Base Camp Trek

20 Days


Makalu Base Camp Trek is more or less an eco-friendly trek in the ever ascending daily hikes of twenty days to the base camp of Makalu where aspiring mountaineers train and prepare to scale this gigantic fifth tallest peak of 8,481 meters known as Makalu. Mount Makalu lies in the eastern part of Nepal on the Nepal-China border.

It is more or less a trek for those who love the animal and plant world and other trekking enthusiasts would believe themselves to be in another world of wildlife. Most of the trek ascends up through forest and terrains with villages on the ways, through the Makalu-Barun National Park, where not only the locals of the villages look after the region they are in, but also stern restriction is on to the destruction of the natural life and vegetation. So much so, the region in which you do this Makalu Base Camp Trek seems to be a botanist dream come true. It is worth nothing, that the flora and fauna and terrain keep on changing as you go higher and higher in elevation to the Base camp, and the local life so well integrated into the terrain, that you can hardly set them apart. The vegetation seems to change on a daily basis as you hike northwards from the lush tropical forest to the more alpine ones. Along with this, there seems to be a change in the living ways of the locals as well. This is because the walk of life stems from the eco-natural ways they live. While on the way, you cross a number of streams and rivers and thick forest vegetation of plants of over three thousand species and might come across the endangered animal species of the red panda, and other animals and other bird species. There is a variety of flower in the plethora that it would make a florist’s envy. So much so, when you return from your Makalu Base Camp trek, you will be a physically stronger person with a brighter mental capacity. The air and the diverse greenery has a way of doing it coupled with the pristine unpolluted air of the Himalayas. This might make you consider doing treks in other regions of Nepal such as Everest Region Annapurna Region and Langtang Region.

There is much that one would gain from doing the trek to Makalu base camp in the eastern half of Nepal. On your first day, you get to see four UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kathmandu which would be a precursor to understanding the cultural, tradition and religious aspiration of the Nepalese people. Then the trip by air to Tumlingtar and back to Kathmandu gives you a quick aerial view of what the topography and terrain look like from the lower Himalayas to the higher snow-capped mountain peaks to the north. Then on the daily hikes itself, you get majestic sights and views of not only Mount Makalu but also Mount Everest to the northwest, Mount Kanchanjunga to the northeast, Mount Lhotse, Mount Baruntse, Mount Chamlang and the rarely seen Khashang face of Everest. Then on the way and back, you get to pass through the evergreen countryside, over roaring icy Himalayan Rivers, Alpine Meadows, valleys and glaciers emitting from the Mountain glens. Then it is the crowning glory of it all, the Makalu Base camp with its glaciers at a height of 5000 meters above the level of the sea, getting the chance to mix with the mountaineers aspiring to scale this 8000 plus meters high mountain. And, to get an opportunity to touch, feel and see, some of the finest flora and fauna, animal and birdlife of the Makalu-Barun National Sanctuary Park, where you might also encounter the rare red panda. Finally, on the way, you also interact with the local people, learning of their lifestyle, culture, tradition and religion. So much so, that this Hike in Makalu with want you to take treks to other trekking in Nepal areas.

Where do we stay while on the trek?
We stay either at lodges if we halt off at some village that provides lodging, but mostly it is at the campsite. Nevertheless, the arrangement are fine, comfortable and warm in the higher. Makeshift toilets are used at the campsite and food is prepared by the staff. Since there are strict provisions in the region all waste must be carried out. Your lodge and hotel stay is basically confined to Kathmandu and Tumlingtar, but, you staying and nightly rests are taken care of by the company and your security as well.

Outline Trekking Itinerary for Makalu Base Camp Trek
Day 01 : Arrival at Kathmandu
Day 02 : Kathmandu Sightseeing and trek preparation
Day 03 : Kathmandu to Tumlingtar (50 minutes flight) to Chichila (4-5 hrs bus ride) to Deurali (2-3 hrs hike)
Day 04 : Deurali to Num (1500m) 5-6 hrs
Day 05 : Num to Seduwa (1540m) 5-6 hrs
Day 06 : Seduwa to Tashigaon 5-6 hrs
Day 07 : Tashigaon to Khongma (3560m) 5-6 hrs
Day 08 : Khongma to Mumbuk (3550m) 5-6 hrs
Day 09 : Mumbuk to Yangle Kharka (3600m) 5-6 hrs
Day 10 : Yangle Kharka to to Langmale (Yak Kharka) 4400m 5-6 hrs
Day 11 : Langmale to Makalu Base Camp (5000meters) 5-6 hrs
Day 12 : Acclimatization day
Day 13 : Makalu Base Camp to Yanle Kharka 5-6 hrs
Day 14 : Yangla Kharka to Thulo Pokhari 5-6 hrs
Day 15 : Thulo Pokhari to Tashi Gaon 5-6 hrs
Day 16 : Tashigaon to Num 5-6 hrs
Day 17 : Num to Bhote Bas 5-6 hrs
Day 18 : Bhote Bas to Tumlingtar 5-6 hrs
Day 19 : Tumlingtar to Kathmandu (flight) 50 min
Day 20 : Transfer to the Airport for your onward destination

Trip Highlights

  • Enjoy sightseeing at the UNESCO World Heritage Sites inside the Kathmandu City.
  • Catch scenic round flights of Kathmandu- Tumlingtar- Kathmandu .
  • Enjoy majestic panoramas of Mt. Makalu-the fifth highest mountain along with Kanchenjunga massif, Everest, Lhotse, Baruntse, Chamlang and the rarely seen Kangshung face of Everest.
  • Hike past roaring Himalayan icy rivers, green countryside, alpine meadows, valleys, glaciers.
  • Explore around the Makalu Base Camp at an altitude of 5000 m above the sea level.
  • Witness variety of floras and faunas of the remote Makalu Barun National Park.
  • Get along with ethnic people and their culture.


Today you will arrive at the capital of Nepal Kathmandu by flight. A representative from the company will be waiting at the International Airport to welcome you. He will then take you by private vehicle to a three star hotel in the city for you stay. If you have any time left in the day, you could use it to roam around the vicinity of the hotel to check out what’s new. You stay the night at that hotel.

Today you will be taken on a sightseeing tour of the city, namely to four places of importance, Kathmandu Durbar Square, Pushupatinath Temple, Swayambhunath Temple and Baudhanath Stupa. Each of them have significance in the Nepali culture, tradition and religion, so much so, that, they a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
In the Evening, at the hotel, there will be trek preparation time with the staff of the company.

Today we actually do some hiking, but first we must take a 50 minute flight to Tumlingtar, which will gives us an aerial view of some of the finest terrain of the Himalayan Nation. From Tumlingtar, we take a five hour bus ride to our starting point of the hike at Chichila. From here we start the three hour hike to Deurali. It is a quick descend most of the way and we should get to our destination ahead of sunset, giving us time to stroll around the village and getting acquainted with rural Nepal. We stay the night at lodge here.

In today's hike, we head to Num, while on the trek here, we pass aromatic rhododendron, Oak and hemlock wood, in which, we get a taste of the flora and fauna of the area. We reach Num much before sunset that is a very small less populate village. We set camp for the night here.

Today the hike first takes us down to the Arun River, after which we pass through a dense wood in a narrow valley to get to Runruma. From here, we ascend slowly up a steep path to reach Seduwa. We set up camp for the night.

Today we hike to Tashigaon (2070 metres). We ascend to Ipsuwa Khola and the Kasuwa Khola on the east and west. Over a hillside, an isolated village with some paddy fields, we then get to Tashigaon. We set up camp here for the night.

Today you hike to Khongma (3560 metres). At the start you pass through rhododendron and Oak forests. After a while, you encounter a spread of temporary huts of Shepard. Here onwards, it is a steep climb for an hour or so, till you reach Khongma. We set up camp here for the night.

Since now that we are at an altitude of more than 3000 metres above sea level, our bodies need to get used to the air density level before we climb higher. So we rest the day at Khongma taking short walks around, before we go higher in elevation

Today, we hike to Mumbuk (3550m). The path to get us to Thulo Pokhari and Sano Pokhari are short ascends and descends. Having some time spent here in enjoyment of the waters, we head down through pine, hemlock, birch and rhododendron woods to reach Mumbuk. We set up camp for the night.

After hiking for half an hour, we are then in the Barun Valley. It is one of the least explored regions. You will now pass through some of the most unique landscapes as this park houses more than 3000 species of flowering plants, 440 species of birds and 75 species of animals, which include the clouded leopard, red panda and musk deer. Hiking for an hour, we reach the Barun River, It is another hour's hike to Yangle Kharka. Here we set up camp for the night.

Today our hike takes us across the Barun River over a wooden bridge to Ramara where you will a large Mani Wall with prayers inscribed on it. After a while you will reach Shersong and descend down for a while, we get to Langmale where we set up camp for the night.

Today is the big day. We hike towards Makalu Base Camp (5000 metres). It should take us about six hours to reach. In order to get there, you will have step ascends to hike over and passing rocky mounds, Moraines and streams. You will be taken aback by the surrounding mountains and the astonishing view of Makalu as it comes closer with every step. At Makalu Base Camp, we set up camp for the night.

After spending some time, it is time to return. Today, we walk back to Yanle Kharka which should take us about five hours to reach. Once there, we set up camp for the night.

Today we leave the village of Yanle Kharka to get to Tholo Pokhari. It is a descend most of the way. Once there, we set up camp for the night.

After taking in the view of the day at Tholo Pokhari, we hike to Tashi Gaon. It should take us about six hours to reach and is mostly a descending hike. We set up camp for the night here.

Today we retrace up steps backwards downhill to Num which should take about six hours to reach. We set up camp here for the night.

Today we hike to Bhote Bas, in about six hours. We ascend to Mani Bhanjyang through terraced fields and then onto Khadbari and finally our destination for the day. We set up camp here for the night.

Today, we head to Tumlingtar, the final leg of our trek. It should take us about six hours to reach. We stay the night at a lodge here.

Today, we take the 50 minute flight to Kathmandu, getting the last taste of rural Nepal from the air. At Kathmandu, we are taken to our three star hotel, after which we could use the remaining day time doing as we please. In the evening you have dinner with the staff at an authentic Nepali restaurant. You stay the night at that hotel.

As you trip is now completed, you will be dropped off at the airport, three hours of your flight out for check in formalities.
At Breakfree Adventures, we hope that you would have had a fabulous time with us on the trek.


What is Included

  • Airport pick up/drop by a private vehicle.
  • Three night’s accommodation in Kathmandu including breakfast as per the itinerary.
  • Guided Kathmandu city tour at 4 UNESCO World Heritage Sites with private vehicle and guide.
  • Round trip flight fare from Kathmandu – Tumlingtar – Kathmandu.
  • Domestic airport departure tax.
  • Tumlingtar – Chichila by a local bus.
  • All accommodations during the trek at camp/lodges.
  • All camping equipment (two men tents, dining tent, toilet ten, table, chair)
  • All meals (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) during the trek.
  • Experienced Government licensed English speaking trekking guide, kitchen staff and necessary porters (1 Porter for 2 trekkers) on the trek.
  • Trekking staff costs like their transportation, food, accommodation, wages, and insurance.
  • Makalu Barun National park entrance permit fee.
  • Trekker's Information Management System (TIMS) card fees. (Please bring 3 passport size photos for TIMS & Permit)
  • First Aid medical kit (carried by your trek guide).
  • Trek gears like duffle bag, down jacket, sleeping bag and walking pole. (To be returned after the trek)
  • Our souvenir to you - Breakfree Adventures T-shirt, trekking map and trip achievement certificate.
  • Farewell dinner in Authentic Nepali Restaurant after the trek completion.
  • All government and local taxes, VAT.

What is Not Included

  • Lunch or Dinner in Kathmandu.
  • Monuments entrance fees while sightseeing in Kathmandu.
  • Nepal visa fee (bring accurate USD cash, US$30 per person for 15 days, and two passport photos)
  • Extra accommodations in Kathmandu or Pokhara if required.
  • International airfare and travel insurance.
  • Any kinds of drinks or personal expenses (tea/coffee, hot chocolate, boiled water, bottled water, soft drinks, beer, phone calls, laundry, battery recharge, hot shower etc.)
  • Tips for guide and porters


Where is mount Makalu located?

Mount Makalu is located located in the Mahalangur Himalayas on the border between Nepal and Tibet Autonomous Region, China. The peak is 19 km southeast of Mt. Everest. It is the fifth highest mountain in the world with a height of 8,485 meters (27,838 ft). The mountain shape is a four-sided pyramid and is an isolated peak. Makalu has other subsidiary peaks which are Kangchungtse, or Makalu II (7,678 m) lies about north-northwest of the main summit and Chomo Lonzo (7,804 m) north-northeast of the
main summit.

How is Makalu base camp trek difficulty?

Makalu base camp trek difficulty falls under strenuous or difficult trek. Walking hours is 5-6 hours on average days and you need to be in good physical shape. The trek route involves crossing over many rivers, suspension and wooden cantilever bridges, stone stairs, dense woodlands and with a sudden change of altitude and weather. Makalu trek is an adventurous trek and trekking over 4000 meters. Preparing yourself before the trek is recommended and previous experience of trekking above 4000 meters will be beneficial.

What is the maximum altitude reached in Makalu base camp trek?

The maximum altitude attended during Makalu Trek is Makalu Base Camp (5000m).

Is Makalu base camp trek tea house trek?

Makalu Base Camp trek can be organized as both camping and teahouse for accommodation. It also depends on your group size.

Is Makalu base camp trek permit required?

Makalu base camp trek permit is required in which one will be the entry permit into Makalu Barun National Park and the TIMS card (Trekkers’ Information Management Systems). We shall handle all the permits and already included in the trek cost.

How much is Makalu base camp trek cost?

Makalu base camp trek cost depends upon if you are doing it as a private trek or joining a group with people from round the globe.

When is the best time for Makalu base camp trek?

The best time for Makalu base camp trek is between September-November and March-May. Both seasons gives you clear blue skies with great Himalayan views. During these seasons, the passes are less likely to be covered with snow so it will be easy to cross them.

Makalu base camp trek without a guide can be done?

Makalu base camp trek is strenuous trek done at the high altitude so trekking solo in this region isn’t suggested and taking along an experienced guide who knows the area better is always recommended. Besides, your guide will take of everything from arranging lodges to meals, leading the way and the most important if in case of sickness, he shall take care of you and in serious conditions like altitude sickness, arrange for the rescue since our guides are always in contact with the office while on the field.

What is Makalu base camp trek route?

Makalu base camp trek route is first fly into Tumlingatar from Kathmandu and start trek to Makalu base camp and again back to Tumlingtar then fly back to Kathmandu. Tumlingtar is a small city located in Eastern Nepal, between the Arun and Sabha Rivers in Kosi Zone.

What are Makalu base camp trek highlights?

Makalu base camp trek highlights include a view of Mt. Everest, spotting rare wildlife like a red panda at Makalu Barun National Park as well as trekking along river gorges, sheer cliffs, beautiful waterfalls, high-altitude lakes and passing through Sherpa and Rai villages.

What kind of equipment is required for a trek to Makalu base camp?

Much equipment isn’t required for Manaslu base camp trek besides clothing as per the season. These include down jacket, thermal longs and top, comfortable trekking trousers, t-shirts, fleece, windproof jacket, hat, scarf, and gloves. At most cases, your company already provide down jacket and sleeping bag. Besides, clothing can be purchased in Kathmandu at Thamel area as well where numerous trekking shops exist with both local and foreign brands

Will I get altitude sickness on Makalu base camp trek?

Altitude sickness on Makalu base camp trek can occur since the trek goes above 4500 meters. But enough rest/acclimatization days are planned and you are suggested to walk slow and drink enough water to avoid altitude sickness.

What is the maximum altitude attended during Makalu base camp trek?

The maximum altitude attended during Makalu base camp trek is Makalu Base Camp (5000m).

How is the accommodation on Makalu base camp trek?

Accommodation on Makalu base camp trek is basic with family-run lodges called tea house. But they will be nice and comfortable with usually a common bathroom.

Trip Information

We will provide you with comprehensive information on the every trek and tour we arrange. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you require more information or have any questions, we are more than happy to assist you in anyway.

When to go:
Spring (February, March, April, May) and Autumn (October, November) are the best seasons for the Makalu Base Camp Trekking. Trekking in summer/monsoon (June, July) will be affected by rain but summer trek could be a boon for a keen botanist. The trekking routes are crowded during spring and autumn but during monsoon and winter the routes are not packed and you could enjoy rather best of nature.

Travel Insurance:
Travel insurance is highly recommended and is in fact compulsory should you be going trekking, rafting, paragliding etc. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for personal injury, medical expenses, repatriation expenses, helicopter rescue, loss of luggage, etc. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. Please check with your insurance company that adventure activities and trekking above 3000m are covered in your policy, as some companies do not cover such things. You must carry proof of insurance (e.g. your insurance certificate) with you on the holiday; if you cannot provide this at the start of the holiday, you will be required to take out a suitable policy at that time.

Meals and Accommodation:
In Kathmandu, we normally use 3 stars hotel with breakfast but can upgrade upon request. During the Makalu Base Camp Trekking, we provide the best available camping tents (twin sharing), kitchen equipment, toilet & dining tents. If you are travelling in a group, you will share a tent with someone else of the same gender from your group. If you prefer a single tent, you may indicate your preference on request and pay a supplement. So in this arrangement overnight halts will be as fully organized camping program.

We provide quality food in sufficient quantities (breakfast, lunch and dinner) on a set menu prepared by our experienced cook & kitchen staff. Although the food is usually plentiful and delicious, you should be aware that the menu is not normally extensive but it will be wholesome & nutritious with variety of rice and noodle dishes, as well as soup & seasonal vegetables. A variety of cereals, bread and egg dishes are generally available for breakfast. You can ask your guide to fill your water bottle with boiled water and treat with water purification pills.

Fitness and Experience Required:
Our 20 days Makalu Base Camp Trekking is strenuous trek suitable for passionate walkers who have ability to walk at least 5-6 hours a day with a light day pack. Walking in higher altitude is physically demanding than walking in the lower altitudes; however, if you are in excellent health with average physical fitness and have positive attitude, self confidence and strong determination, you can accomplish the 20 days Makalu Base Camp Trekking successfully. Exercising and jogging regularly for some weeks prior of the trip are good idea to enhance your strength and stability. Past hiking experience would be an asset but no technical skill is required for this trip. Participants with pre-existing medical conditions such as heart, lung, and blood disease should inform us before booking the trek.

The Trekking Group:
For the Makalu Base Camp Trekking, there will be one Guide, assistant Guide (6 trekkers: 1 assistant guide) and porter for luggage carrying (2 trekkers: 1 porter). This arrangement ensures that should anybody in the group is sick; the trip can still go ahead as planned. We can run the Makalu Base Camp Trekking for group of any size, but generally have a maximum of sixteen people, as we’ve found this to be the optimum size for a successful trip. However, if you’d like to make a group booking for more than twelve people together, we can arrange this too.

Trekking Guides and Staff:
The most significant thing that makes your Makalu Base Camp Trekking successful, enjoyable and memorable is the expert, experienced, courteous and helpful trek and Guide and the crew members who have ability of operating your days in the mountain smoothly. Your trip will be led by the best and most professional Guide. All of our Trekking Guides are carefully selected on the basis of their appropriate experience, Guiding skills and personal aptitude. With an objective of sustaining local communities Breakfree Adventures employs staffs who have plenty of knowledgeable about culture, flora and fauna, geography, and history of Nepal. Trekking Guide of Breakfree Adventures are also trained with following trainings to make them educated on potential medical issues during their trek, biodiversity and environmental issues, English language, etc:

Intensive Wilderness First Aid – KEEP (Kathmandu Environmental Educational Project)
Trekking Guide Training – Nepal Governments Ministry of Tourism & Civil Aviation department of Hotel Management and Tourism Training Centre of Nepal
Eco Trekking Workshop and Adventure Meet TAAN (Trekking Agents Association of Nepal)
English Language – KEEP (Kathmandu environment education project)
Conservation and Biodiversity TAAN
Rock, Ice Climbing and Mountaineering (Climbing leaders) Nepal Mountaineering Association
Our Trekking Guides obviously speak English sufficient enough to communicate but please consider this is not our mother language. The guides and porters know the routes and locality like the back of their hand, they practice the local culture themselves and they are extremely passionate about their country and its cultural aspects.

Climate and Weather:
The climate of Nepal is as varied as its geography. The low-lying Terai has a sub-tropical monsoonal climate. The Himalayan foothills, where most of our treks take place, are best in the cool dry season from September to May. The traditional trekking season in Nepal is late September to December, with October and November generally recognized as having the best weather. Spring is also a popular time of year with warmer weather and the advantage of seeing spring flowers and rhododendrons in bloom. The visibility is good and days are pleasantly warm, although nights can be cold, and snow is possible above 3,000 meters.

Himalayan weather can be unpredictable where nights are generally cooler and days warmer. It’s a bit colder during the winter season (Jan to Feb) but days can be quite warm and lovely if the sun is shining. You can expect a bit of snow in the months of January/February and December. Expect the unexpected! The temperature could be as high as 20 deg C to -15 deg C low.

Safety and Security:
Security and safety are a high priority of our company however there are risks associated with adventure travel, that you should consider before booking .Our trip operators constantly monitor their areas of operation and will cancel or re-route a trip if they feel a destination is unsafe. The decision to travel to a particular country or region is a personnel one.

Responsible Travel
Breakfree Adventures is a leading trekking and travel agency with dedicated travel Professionals who are well trained to give you the best of what Nepal has to offer. Our professional team follows a social philosophy that accepts responsibility for the local people and the environment in which we work. We respect the natural environment and the culture of our country, and we help travellers from around the world discover the natural beauty and cultural treasures of Nepal. We know that responsible travel tries to minimize the impact of tourism on the environment and maximize employment and income-generating opportunities for local communities. The whole of Nepal, including those living in remote rural areas that have very few other opportunities for development, benefits from sustainable tourism.

Breakfree Adventures is passionate about preserving the environment. As responsible tour guides in Nepal, we strive to maintain a symbiotic relationship with the local communities through which we travel. While trekking to different destinations, we choose environmentally- friendly lodges that respect the needs of their staff members. We take care of our staff as well as our valued clients. During our treks and other trips, we follow a zero garbage policy (“pack in, pack out”) and leave nothing behind in the campsites. We always welcome your feedback and comments regarding responsible travel, so please send an e-mail to let us know what you think.

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Makalu Base Camp Trek

Trip Facts

  • Nepal
  • 19 Nights/20 Days
  • February to November
  • Private vehicles & Flights
  • Makalu Base Camp (5,000 meters)
  • Strenous
  • Tumlingtar
  • Tumlingtar
  • Cultural Sightseeing & Trekking
  • 5-6 Hours
  • Lodge to Lodge Trek
  • Mt. Makalu, Kangshung face of Everest, Makalu Base Camp, Makalu Barun National Park
  • Hotels in Kathmandu, Lodge/Guest house during the trek

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