Makalu Base Camp Trek

Trip Fact:
  • Duration 19 Days
  • Difficulty Level Strenuous
  • DestinationNepal
  • Max Altitude5100m
  • Accommodation3 star Hotel in Kathmandu and Tea house/home stay during trekking,
  • MealsBreakfast in Kathmandu and All meals during the trek
  • Trip Start/EndTumlingtar
  • Group Size2-30 pax
  • Best SeasonMarch to May, September to November are the best months.

What to Expect:

  • Begins at Tumlingtar in the mid-eastern Himalayas.
  • Encompasses forests, river valleys, and Gurung villages within Makalu Barun National Park.
  • Offers panoramic Himalayan views and high-altitude lakes from Makalu Base Camp at 5,100 meters.
  • Features the Tutu La (or Shipton’s) Pass, named after mountaineer Eric Shipton.
  • The park is home to 3,000+ plant species and rare animals like snow leopards and red pandas.
  • A must-do for adventure and nature enthusiasts.

The Makalu Base Camp Trek starts from Tumlingtar, a location in the middle-eastern part of the Himalayan range. This isn't just any walk in the landscapes; it's a high-altitude adventure. Your journey kicks off by walking through forests that have beautiful rhododendron flowers, and you also get to see villages where the Gurung people live. These villages are surrounded by peaceful river valleys, and all of this is within an area known as the Makalu Barun National Park.

As you keep walking and gain altitude, you'll notice the scenery changes. You'll see panoramic views of high mountains that make up the Himalayas, along with lakes that are way up high in the mountains. There are also some challenging paths and crossings you'll need to get through to finally reach Makalu Base Camp, which is full of rocks and is at a very high altitude.

This trek is long and can be tough. It's perfect for people who love to trek and want to be surrounded by untouched nature instead of tourist crowds. The base camp is way up at an elevation of 5,100 meters, which means the gradual walk helps you adjust to the increasing height without getting sick.

When you finally make it to the base camp, you're rewarded with unbelievable views. You'll see a massive ice formation called the Barun Glacier, along with the south face of Makalu mountain, which is 8,481 meters tall. You can also see Everest and Lhotse from here. Plus, you'll get some time to explore around the base camp, checking out nearby lakes and glaciers.

For the return trip, you'll head back down, passing through different scenery. This time, you'll cross a high spot called Tutu La Pass, which is also known by another name, Shipton’s Pass. This place got its name from Eric Shipton, a famous mountaineer who was part of many important Everest expeditions.

The Makalu Barun National Park itself is a treasure trove of biodiversity. It's home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. We're talking about more than 3,000 species of plants, 440 different birds, and 75 types of mammals. Some of the rare animals you might spot include the snow leopard and the red panda.

The Makalu Base Camp Trek offers an incredible mix of natural beauty, from forests and rivers to high mountain vistas. It's also a haven for people who love taking photos. Above all, this trek is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for anyone who loves adventures.


Depart from Kathmandu for a brief but scenic 35-minute flight to Tumlingtar. The aerial view will offer glimpses of terraced fields, remote villages, and the majestic Himalayas. Once in Tumlingtar, you'll embark on a 4-hour drive to Chichira, which stands at an elevation of 1980 m/6496 ft. This quaint village will be your introduction to the region. Here, you'll unwind in a local Tea House, where you will be served a traditional Nepali dinner.

  • Tea House
  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

After a hearty breakfast in Chichira, you'll set out on a 6-hour trek towards Num. The pathway will wind through verdant forests and over suspension bridges, offering expansive views of the valleys below. By the evening, you'll find solace in a Tea House in Num, which lies at an altitude of 1040 m/3412 ft.

  • Tea House
  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

The journey from Num to Seduwa will engage you for about 6 hours. As you traverse through local villages and terraced fields, you'll get glimpses of traditional Nepali lifestyles. After reaching Seduwa, situated at 1500 m/4921 ft, you can relax and refuel with a local dinner.

  • Tea House
  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

Setting forth from Seduwa, the path to Tashigaon, elevated at 2100 m/6889 ft, will unfold over 5-6 hours. As you walk, dense rhododendron forests will greet you, interspersed with panoramic views of the Makalu range.

  • Tea House
  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

From Tashigaon, prepare for a challenging ascent to Khongma Dada, standing tall at 3500 m/11482 ft. This 6-7 hour trek is physically demanding, but the breathtaking vistas of the Himalayas will invigorate your spirit. A warm meal awaits you at the Tea House.

  • Tea House
  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

Khongma Dada serves as your acclimatization base. Given the height, it's crucial to adapt to the altitude. You can engage in light activities like exploring nearby meadows or simply resting, soaking in the beauty around.

  • Tea House
  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

Rejuvenated, trek through alpine terrains for 6-7 hours, aiming to reach Dobate. The serene atmosphere, sitting at 3500 m/11482 ft, offers another opportunity to rest and rejuvenate.

  • Tea House
  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

Continue to embrace the natural beauty during your 6-7 hour trek from Dobate to Yangri Kharka. Resting at 3557 m/11669 ft, Yangri Kharka offers serene landscapes to end your day.

  • Tea House
  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

Departing from Yangri Kharka, Langmale Kharka is your next stop. The 5-6 hour trek will introduce you to even more dramatic landscapes, with Langmale Kharka itself nestled at 4410 m/14469 ft.

  • Tea House
  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

The pinnacle of your trek approaches as you head to Makalu Base Camp. After a 6-7 hour journey, you'll stand at an awe-inspiring 4870 m/15977 ft, with the mighty Makalu serving as the backdrop.

  • Tea House
  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

Dedicate this day to exploring the Makalu Base Camp. Venture out on short treks, photograph the surreal landscapes, or simply meditate amidst the Himalayan giants.

  • Tea House
  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

The descent begins. Retrace your steps for 6-7 hours back to Yangri Kharka, resting again at 3557 m/11,671 ft.

  • Tea House
  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

Continuing your downward journey, a 6-7 hour trek will see you back in Dobate. The familiar altitude of 3500m/11482ft will offer comfort as you wind down.

  • Tea House
  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

A 6-hour trek from Dobate will lead you back to Khongma Danda, allowing you to re-experience the vistas and terrains you've crossed earlier.

  • Tea House
  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

The descent becomes more serene as you head downhill for 5-6 hours, finding solace in Tashigaon, resting again at 2100 m/6889 ft.

  • Tea House
  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

From Tashigaon, a 4-5 hour trek will lead you back to Seduwa, letting you relive the memories of the ascent.

  • Tea House
  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

Setting out from Seduwa, you'll spend 5-6 hours trekking back to Num, reminding you of the early days of your journey.

  • Tea House
  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

 As you near the end of your trek, a 6-7 hour journey will usher you back to Tumlingtar. You can enjoy the local vibe, resting at an altitude of 285m/935ft.

  • Tea House
  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

The grand finale involves a 35-minute flight back to Kathmandu from Tumlingtar. Once in the city, the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu, standing at 1,350m/4,429ft, will welcome you back, offering both a contrast and a conclusion to your Himalayan adventure.

  • Breakfast

Cost Details


  • 11 Nights accommodation in the Mountain
  • All meals (breakfast/lunch/dinner) in the trek
  • Guide for the entire trek ( professional English guide)
  • Trekking Porter ( 2 trekkers: 1 porter)
  • Round trip Tumlingtar flight ticket
  • Makalu-Barun national entry permit fees
  • TIMS card fee for the trek
  • All necessary taxes and paper works
  • A comprehensive medical kit
  • All necessary land transportation for the trek


  • All hotel/accommodation in Kathmandu
  • Travel insurance
  • All other expenses during the trek

Good to Know

Best Time to Trek Makalu Base Camp

Selecting the right time to embark on the Makalu Base Camp Trek is crucial, not only for safety reasons but also to ensure that you have the best possible experience. Here's a breakdown of the different seasons and what trekkers can expect during each:

Pre-Monsoon (Spring): April and May


Blossoming Flora: As spring unfurls in the Himalayas, trekkers are greeted with vibrant rhododendron forests, painting the trails in various shades of pink, red, and white.
Clear Views: The days tend to be clearer, offering panoramic vistas of the majestic peaks.


Crowds: Being one of the preferred trekking seasons, you might encounter more trekkers on the trail.

Post-Monsoon (Autumn): September and October


Optimal Weather: This period, right after the monsoons, brings crisp air, clear skies, and unparalleled views of the mountain ranges.
Cultural Insight: With many local festivals occurring in these months, it's an opportune time to immerse oneself in the Himalayan culture.


Busy Trails: Similar to the spring season, autumn is popular among trekkers, making the trails and teahouses busier.

Winter: December to February


Solitude: For those seeking solitude and quieter trails, winter is ideal. Fewer trekkers embark on this journey during the colder months.
Snow-Capped Beauty: The landscape transforms, offering breathtaking views of snow-blanketed terrains.


Challenging Conditions: Cold temperatures and heavy snowfall can make some parts of the trek challenging, even inaccessible. Proper gear and preparation are vital.

Monsoon: June to August


Lush Greenery: Monsoons bring life to the region's flora, resulting in a lush and green landscape.


Risk of Landslides: The heavy rain can trigger landslides, making certain trail sections risky.
Leaches and Bugs: The wet conditions are perfect for these little critters, which might be bothersome for some trekkers.
Reduced Visibility: Persistent clouds and fog might obstruct the majestic mountain views.


While each season offers its unique charm, most trekkers opt for the pre-monsoon (spring) and post-monsoon (autumn) periods for their optimal conditions. Regardless of when you decide to trek, it's essential to stay updated on weather forecasts and be prepared for varied conditions, ensuring a memorable and safe journey to Makalu Base Camp.

Accommodation & Meals in Makalu Base Camp Trek

In the earlier days, trekkers used to camp throughout the journey, relying on tents, camping gear, and carrying their own food supplies with the help of porters. Today, the trail offers rustic teahouses, homestays, and occasional hotels. While these establishments provide basic amenities and authentic Nepali cuisine, don't expect urban luxuries. Trekkers are advised to pack snacks for daytime munching, as shops are sparse.

Despite the availability of lodges and teahouses, it's wise to bring essential items such as a water bottle and sleeping bag. Remember, while the trek has modernized in some aspects, its charm lies in its raw, untouched nature.

Travel Insurance for the Makalu Trek

Given the trek's challenging nature and altitude (4900m at Makalu Base Camp and 5650m at Makalu Advance Base Camp), securing travel insurance is non-negotiable. Such insurance typically covers:

  • Medical expenses, including potential altitude sickness treatment.
  • Emergency evacuations, including helicopter rescues.
  • Lost or stolen baggage.

Ensure thorough research while choosing an insurance provider. The goal is to trek with peace of mind, knowing that unexpected challenges are covered.

Understanding Altitude Sickness

At 4900m, the Makalu Base Camp sits beneath the towering Mount Makalu, the world's fifth highest peak. Altitude sickness is a real concern once you surpass 2500m. Symptoms like headaches, dizziness, and shortness of breath can appear subtle but can escalate if not addressed.

To mitigate the risks:

a) Stay hydrated throughout the journey.
b) Avoid caffeine and alcohol while trekking.
c) Allow time for proper acclimatization.

Carrying a well-stocked first aid kit and possessing basic first aid knowledge is also crucial. On this adventure, while the beauty of the Himalayas is enchanting, safety and preparedness should always come first.


  • Q1. What is the Makalu Base Camp trek?

    The Makalu Base Camp trek is a challenging and remote journey leading trekkers to the base of the world's fifth-highest mountain, Mount Makalu. This trek offers unparalleled views of the eastern Himalayas and provides a deep immersion into the region's rich biodiversity.

  • On average, the Makalu Base Camp trek takes about 19 days, covering both the ascent to the base camp and the return journey.

  • The ideal times for the Makalu Base Camp trek are during the pre-monsoon (March to May) and post-monsoon (late September to November) seasons. These periods offer clearer skies, better mountain views, and relatively stable weather.

  • Throughout the trek, accommodation is typically in basic tea houses/homestays. These are simple lodges offering basic amenities, traditional meals, and a communal sleeping area.

  • Yes, like many high-altitude treks in the Himalayas, there's a risk of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). It's essential to be aware of its symptoms and to acclimatize properly. Always consult with a guide or medical professional if symptoms appear.

  • Physical fitness is crucial. Engage in cardiovascular exercises, strength training, and altitude training if possible. Also, gather necessary gear, understand the route, and acclimatize properly during the trek.

  • Essential gear includes a good quality backpack, trekking boots, down jacket, waterproof outer layers, trekking poles, sleeping bags rated for cold temperatures, a first aid kit, and UV protection sunglasses. Depending on the season, crampons and gaiters might also be necessary.

  • Yes, the trek provides an insight into the Sherpa and Rai cultures. Villages like Tashigaon are inhabited by the Sherpa community, offering trekkers an opportunity to experience their traditions, festivals, and daily life.

  • Tea houses provide traditional Nepali food, including 'dal bhat' (lentil soup with rice), momo (dumplings), thukpa (noodle soup), and other local dishes. Some tea houses might also offer basic international cuisine, such as pasta or pancakes.

  • The trek typically starts at Tumlingtar, which is accessible by a short flight from Kathmandu.

  • While the mountain water is often clear, it's advisable to treat or purify the water before drinking to avoid waterborne diseases. Bringing water purification tablets or a water filter can be beneficial.

  • The trek covers approximately 120-130 kilometers, but the exact distance can vary based on the specific route taken.

  • While there are no established clinics or hospitals on the trail, guides are trained to handle altitude sickness and minor injuries. In extreme cases, helicopter evacuations can be arranged, but it's crucial to have appropriate travel insurance that covers high-altitude trekking and potential evacuations.

  • Tipping is a customary way to show appreciation for the services of guides and porters. While there isn't a fixed amount, a general guideline is to tip 10-15% of their total fee, depending on the quality of service.

  • Navigating the Makalu Base Camp trek can be demanding because of its isolated setting, significant elevations, and rugged pathways. Ensuring appropriate acclimatization, being in good physical shape, and having prior trekking experiences can be advantageous for this journey.

  • The Makalu Base Camp trek offers a remote and less-trodden path, providing a genuine and unspoiled Himalayan experience. Trekkers can enjoy diverse ecosystems, ranging from tropical forests to alpine landscapes, and get glimpses of rare wildlife like the red panda and snow leopard.

  • For those considering a trek during the Spring, I'd recommend April and May. During these months, you'll experience clearer skies and the vibrant beauty of blooming flora. If you're leaning towards an Autumn trek, then October and November should be your top picks. The visibility post-monsoon is fantastic, offering unrivaled views of the mountain ranges.

Ask a Question