Makalu Base Camp Trek - 18 Days

For those who are only familiar with the likes of Annapurna and Langtang, you perhaps haven’t heard about Makalu Base Camp. Avid trekkers certainly know what it’s like to hike to the region with so much to brag about.

Makalu Base Camp Trek offers everything one could’ve ever imagined on a trek. The place appears nothing but unrealistic with breathtaking scenic views and natural attractions.

It won’t be second before you perceptively fall for the place, only for its scenery. First-timers would be probing for the skyscraping snow peaks with distinct landscapes upon reaching the base camp.

But there’s so much to explore here, be it scavenging through the valley or walking across the remote villages. There is a pure whiff of Nepalese culture and history around the Makalu region including solidarity of different ethnic groups.

Makalu Base Camp Trek is a true nature’s gem art that has been delicately carved and put forthright. One of the rarely traveled trekking routes, it has a unique topography with gleaming glacial lakes overlooking the base camp.

The fifth highest snow peak of the world, Makalu lies at an elevation of 8481m. Be it of its secluded places that are inaccessible or challenging trails, Makalu Base Camp relatively sees few visitors.

Still, the hike is quite a one with travelers boarding on a flight from Kathmandu to Num. It’s the outset of your excitement before finding oneself on a rocky trail to Num and Sedua.

On an 18-day long trip, you’ll be exploring a lot of places including wonderful Kauma and Mumbuk. To add more, there is much more to learn about the culture of different ethnic groups while stopping at villages.

To make sure that none of the trekkers withstand altitude sickness, we have planned a day for acclimatization.

Taking away the wonderful memories made at Makalu Base Camp, you walk your way down. Passing all the villages from Neha Kharka to Pukuwa and Bumling, you’ll finally reach Tumlingtar.

From here, we have a flight expecting your arrival before it wends its way to Kathmandu. In between, the flight will keep track of your time while taking you to the stunning landscapes and mountains of the Himalayas.

Highlights of Makalu Base Camp Trek

  • A scenic vista of soaring snow peaks and mesmeric landscapes
  • Strolling above the terrace farm and bright-colored valleys
  • Trek through lush green forest embellished with spring wildflowers
  • Recaptures the heart back and forth with a balanced ecosystem
  • Experience the culture and tradition of people in the Himalayas
  • Witness the spectacle wilderness and unique flora and fauna

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Day 1
Day 01: Kathmandu to Num via Tumlingtar

Flight Distance: 186 km

Flight Duration: 25-30 minutes

Maximum Altitude: 285 meters

For the first day of Makalu Base Camp Trek, we’ll keep the trip as short and easy for you as possible. Also, we hadn’t got to interact much following the hectic schedule and arrangements, a little briefing is must.

Meantime, we won’t keep holding you for too long and keep the instruction clear and precise. With that, you too make a quick move and have your breakfast so that we can catch a flight to Tumlingtar. It takes around 50 minutes to reach this village which lies in eastern Nepal.

Better part of this trip is that you get to see the wide-ranging geographical features with unique landscapes. Taking off, there is even more to discern including the panoramic view of Lhotse, Chamlang and Mt. Kanchenjunga.

As soon the flight lands, you’ll have a tea break as well as meet up with the other crew members. From here, you take 4 hours of scenic drive to Num passing through Chichila. Overnight stay at the wonderful Num and your official trek to Makalu begins the next day.

Day 2
Day 02: Num to Sedua

Trek Distance: 29.9 km

Trek Duration: 5-6 hours

Maximum Altitude: 1460 meters

It’s the first day of your actual hike to Makalu Base Camp so we’ll start slow before taking the pace. As the trail is miles long, perhaps a breakfast would help you get that much-needed physical strength.

Starting from the Num village, the route walks down the steep hills and through the pastures. A little while after, you’d cross a suspension bridge, flowing underneath that is Arun River.

It’s an uphill on the other side of the bridge that you’ve to scale to reach Sedua. Among the foreground of the expedition are traditional remote villages, lush green forest and terrains.

Spend the night at Sedua and you can precede the trek to Makalu Base Camp the following day.

Day 3
Day 03: Sedua to Tashi Gaun

Trek Duration: 5-6 hours

Maximum Altitude: 2063 meters

It seems like the dramatic walkway of Makalu Base Camp never fails to surprise its visitors. First it was an alley to Sedua and now it’s a rocky trail that heads to Tashi Gaun.

But for the latter one, the trek is still short and only takes 5 hours to reach. With the trail up sloping, trekkers may feel exhausted the first few hours.

Nevertheless, it’s a flat terrace field thereafter so you can steadily hike to the village. On the way, you’ll come across Hindrungma village as well as a meadow and gushing streams.

As the nearby suburb is somewhat densely populated, you can see farmland full of paddy. The night you’ll stay at Tashi Gaun which has a lot to offer the guest.

So all you have to do is spare some time and enjoy the magnificent view perceived from here. You can easily get a glimpse of the surreal landscapes and snow peaks from the ridge.

For the night, you can rest at a lodge in Tashi Gaon and continue the Makalu Base Camp Trek the following day.

Day 4
Day 04: Tashi Gaun to Kauma

Trek Duration: 6-7 hours

Maximum Altitude: 3470 meters

Kauma is probably the most serene place to stay than anywhere else in Makalu Base Camp Trek. But as much as you’ll feel relaxed after stopping by the village, it’s equally strenuous to arrive here.

It is, therefore, you’ll begin walking the trail early morning and get a head start. In this way, you can easily make your quest to Kauma without any stress.

The path from Tashi Gaun follows a dense forest until meeting a rocky trail. It then comes across many small streams, a green meadow and ridge.

After rambling a steep stairway and a narrow cliff, you’ll eventually be at Kauma. It’s also where you’ll be staying the night as trekking ahead is impossible on the day.

Day 5
Day 05: Acclimatization day at Kauma

Although you won’t trek any further today, the day is still going to be a lot hectic. As usual, the morning begins with you waking up to the chilly wind of the himalayas.

Have breakfast and you can explore the nearby surroundings and even visit the local people. For a change, you can interact with them and try to sneak into their lifestyle and culture.

Because the day is scheduled for acclimatization, you’ll be having a short hike. The best thing about it is that the trekking destination won’t be far off the village.

At night, you can enjoy the cultural events arranged by the local community but not every day. Overnight stay at a lodge.

Day 6
Day 06: Kauma to Mumbuk

Trek Duration: 6-7 hours

Maximum Altitude: 3500 meters

After relaxing a whole day earlier, it’s time to fasten the seat belt and walk towards Mumbuk. Trek from Kauma to the Mumbuk lasts around 5 hours during which you’ll pass a few lakes.

While it’s the toughest of all treks, Mumbuk is still worth exploring following its grand view. It’s a steep walkway up to the forest from Kauma and then through the forest up till the ridge.

As much as it was challenging to reach here, you’ll be quickly driven by the scenery. There is a crystal clear view of Peak 6 and even Chamlang to glance from the village.

Day 7
Day 07: Mumbuk to Neha Kharka

Trek Duration: 6 hours

Maximum Altitude: 3000 meters

Trekking to Neha Kharka is something you won’t experience every day. The bustling valley along the rocky trails with fast-flowing streams is going to light your day.

So not to miss either of it, get up before dawn and start climbing down the ravine. The trail here is not as well-defined as others with twist and turn, sludge and rocks all over.

At some point, you may also experience a rough patch. But besides that, the pathway is fantastic walking across the glacial valley. It also unveils the dazzling vista of Peak 6 and

nearby snow-capped mountains.

It turns out that the trek ahead is impossible to make the same day. Thereby, overnight stay at a guest house in Neha Kharka.

Day 8
Day 08: Neha Kharka to Sherson

Trek Duration: 7 hours

Maximum Altitude: 4615 meters

For those who couldn’t fully enjoy their stay at Neha Kharka, it’s your chance today to explore the village. Before having breakfast, you take a quick trip of the village and relish the unobstructed views.

After the meal, we head to Sherson along the trail that walks through a dense forest. Beyond just stunning, you can spot rhododendrons alongside tundra and alpine in the woodland.

Once again, you have this mesmerizing view of Peak 4 and Pyramid Peak to explore on the way. Coming forth from here, the trek gets a bit tough having reached a higher elevation.

After almost 7 hours of continuous trek, you’ll finally stop by at Sherson. For the night, it will be your choice to either stay at the lodge or a guest house to feel more cosy.

Day 9
Day 09: Sherson to Makalu Base Camp

Trek Duration: 4-5 hours

Maximum Altitude: 5000 meters

Most noted for its spectacle and subtlety, Makalu Base Camp is your next stop. Making the way from Sherson, you’ll ascend the hill and roll by a waterfall named Shiva Dara.

The route being itself a vision will stun you with the glance of Mt. Makalu. What more the trail delivers is a beautiful pass that you’ll meet after walking along the bank of Barun River.

A quick walk down to a stream and then you’ll lead to Makalu Base Camp. The day ends here and you can put a camp now to stay the night.

As the base camp overlooks a surreal topography and snow peaks around, you’ll have a great night.

Day 10
Day 10: Explore Makalu Base Camp

There are ample reasons for why you should at least spend a day at Makalu Base Camp. For first-time trekkers, the reasoning would just be the splendid view of Makalu. Few more premises to stay in the camp would be the glistening glacial lakes and topography.

Meanwhile, for the rest, it’s as well the beauty of the base camp that keeps changing. The natural belle of Makalu is never the same as it was once left.

The more you wander around the base camp, the more you’d be able to explore and study the secluded part of the region. Trekkers also have a choice to either head to the Advance Base Camp or else not.

Nonetheless, if you ascend the campsite, there is a picturesque view of Lhotse and Everest waiting for you.

Day 11
Day 11: Makalu Base Camp to Neha Kharka

Trek Duration: 5-6 hours

Maximum Altitude: 3000 meters

After celebrating the opulence of Makalu Base Camp, it’s time you retrace your steps back. It takes about 5 hours to walk down the entire path and reach Neha Kharka.

Hence, start trekking as early as possible but make no rush. Take your time and make sure to have breakfast so as not to lose the energy.

Route to this small village provides tranquility to travelers with flowers blooming throughout the forest. Few miles down the hill to Barun River and walk across it and you’ll reach Neha Kharka. Spend the night at a lodge over here and you can carry on with the trek tomorrow.

Day 12
Day 12: Neha Kharka to Mumbuk

Trek Duration: 5-6 hours

Maximum Altitude: 357 meters

Okay after alleviating one more day of strain, you now have to hike to Mumbuk to lessen one more. Going no out of the way, your morning starts with a delicious local breakfast of the Himalayas.

As soon you pack your stuff, the trek starts and you’ll be descending the hills. Walk ahead and you’ll find yourself in the forest full of rhododendron.

Distance-wise you won’t have to walk too long from here and you’ll be glaring at this beautiful village. Stay the night at a guest house in Mumbuk.

Day 13
Day 13: Mumbuk to Kauma

Trek Duration: 5-6 hours

Maximum Altitude: 3470 meters

With a delightful night spent at Mumbuk, you now have six days to go before arriving at the valley. The day 13 of Makalu Base Camp trek starts with you scrambling the trail heading towards Kauma.

While the hike won’t last long, you’ll still have a busy day walking the trail via Shipton La. From here, it’s a gradual downhill until reaching the village so you won’t be too tired.

Overnight stay at one of the guest houses in Kauma and you can keep up with the hike the next day.

Day 14
Day 14: Kauma to Tashi Gaon

Trek Duration: 5-6 hours

Maximum Altitude: 2070 meters

It’s a new day of your Makalu Base Camp Trek but the trek you’ll be having today is nowhere strange to you. After almost 11 days, it’s you once again walking the same beautiful Tashi Gaon.

Start the day with a morning meal at Kauma’s guest house and walk the downhill afterward. There are ample remote villages you’ll come across before arriving at Tashi Gaon.

Even after reaching here, you can experience a lot and take pleasure in spectacular scenes. Like earlier, you’ll spend the night at a lodge in Tashi Gaon.

Day 15
Day 15: Tashi Gaon to Pukuwa

Trek Duration: 5-6 hours

Maximum Altitude: 1520 meters

Pukuwa may look as though one of any other Himalayan village but the sight it has to offer is definitely unique. The place is incredibly wonderful with the sublime beauty of snow-covered mountains.

You’ll start trekking to Pukuwa right after having breakfast. The route will see you sloping down the hill to Apsara Khola and crossing the suspension bridge.

Next, you’ll run through a village with Rai settlement and gently walk down to Parangbu. It’s a dense forest to walk then after crossing the Arun River and you’ll reach Pukuwa.

Day 16
Day 16: Pukuwa to Bumling

Trek Duration: 5 hours

Maximum Altitude: 1160 meters

The day 16 of Makalu Base Camp Trek starts with you walking via dense forests. Without leaving the trail, you’ll ascend a ridge and a narrow pathway to Arun Valley.

From the end of the cliff, the trail slowly walks downhill up till the bank of Sankhuwa Khola. Though it’s not a major attraction, the place will still shower you with an alluring view of mountains.

It’s also a really good opportunity to interact with the locals and know about their culture. The night you’ll rest at a lodge in Bumling.

Day 17
Day 17: Bumling to Tumlingtar

Trek Distance: 4 hours

Maximum Altitude: 285 meters

Even after coming almost to the end of the trek, it’s going to be quite hard today. From the time you start scrambling the trail, it climbs uphill over a ridge and gently descends.

The path then follows Inkhuwa Khola and passes over a cantilever suspension bridge. A few miles ahead from here, you’ll meet a junction and subsequently a bridge atop Arun River.

Your arrival at Tumlingtar comes just after you progress through Chyawabesi. For the night, you’ll stay at a lodge in this small village.

Day 18
Day 18: Tumlingtar to Kathmandu

Flight Distance: 186 km

Flight Duration: 25-30 minutes

Maximum Altitude: 1400 meters

Your 18 day trek to Makalu Base Camp is right now counting its last few hours. The trek will formally end, soon after you catch a flight to Kathmandu from Tumlingtar.

The total flight duration from Tumlingtar will merely last 25-30 minutes. In between the time, you can have one last glance of the snow peaks and dreamy landscapes.

As soon your flight lands at the airport, our representative will escort you up to the hotel. You can relax thereafter or visit the shopping malls nearby, the choice is yours.

FAQs

Is it possible to trek Makalu Base Camp solo?

I’m sure most of you all are curious about whether one could travel to Makalu Base Camp alone or not. Putting it straight and clear, the base camp can be tripped solo but must work out the perfect time.

Also, you’d need an open street map of the region that simply has every location up to the base camp. Along with the map, you also have to look after your necessities and supplements.

Starting from the accommodation to food and other amenities, you must see all single-handedly. Local people here can sometimes rescue you but not necessarily every time.

Is the maximum altitude predetermined for trekkers at Makalu Base Camp trek?

For your information, the altitude you can ascend up to while trekking Makalu Base Camp is 5000m.

Is Makalu Base Camp trek in December difficult?

Makalu Base Camp trek isn’t beyond endurance in December but measures are to be taken. December marks the advent of winter and its icy-cold around the time which can impact on traveler’s health. This is why trekkers must keep themselves fit by doing light-intensity workout and exercise.

What are the required documents for Makalu Base Camp Trek?

Going on a Makalu Base Camp trek, you definitely need to have enough documents on your support. Official papers and documents related to trekking permits are must for verification at different checkpoints.

In the case of Makalu, you are required to have validated Makalu Barun National Park Permit that cost $30 approx.

How is trekking in March different from other months of the year?

Not so immensely but trekking in March is certainly more remarkable than any other month. It’s the time when the surrounding valleys in the Himalaya turns enchanting with unreal landscapes.

The rainwashed color of the forest once again turns green looking more vibrant. Trekkers are embraced by magnificent Rhododendrons blooming all around the woodland and also villages.

Do trekkers have to cope with the altitude sickness?

The altitude of 5000m and above is more than enough to make anyone feel dizzy. There is great possibility for hikers to fall sick in absenteeism of proper acclimatization.

Still, no need to panic, as medicines to impede the sickness are available at hand. The itinerary designed also provides you plenty of time to adapt to the climate at high altitudes. Drinking lots of water and proper rest will help get the better of the sickness.

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Makalu Base Camp Trek