Is my departure guaranteed?
Please note there is a minimum of two participants required per departure date. If you are the only person booked for a particular departure, you have the option to either pay a fee of $200 to maintain your solo departure or postpone the trip to a different date at no additional charge. If the two person minimum has been met, then there is no additional fee. Do not make travel arrangements until you receive confirmation from Ace the Himalaya.
What is the best way to get to the trip start location?
Plan to fly into Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) in Kathmandu, where an Ace representative will be there to pick you up and bring you to the hotel.
What should I know about booking my flights to/from Nepal? Do I need to plan buffer days in case of delays?
This itinerary already has a buffer day at the beginning of the trip and two buffer days at the end fo the trip in case of flight delays or cancellations in Lukla due to bad weather conditions. Please note that Ace the Himalaya is not responsible for any inconveniences or missed international flights caused due to airport changes, flight delays/cancellations, etc. which are beyond their control.
What are the itinerary changes for departures in March/April/May/October/November?
As per the notice made by the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal, flights from Kathmandu to Lukla have been shifted to Manthali Airport (Ramechhap district) due to heavy traffic congestion during certain months and runway maintenance in Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu. If your trip date falls during the peak trekking months of March, April, May, October, or November, the Kathmandu to Lukla flight will likely be a flight from Manthali to Lukla instead (the flight to Lukla is included in the trip cost regardless of which airport you are flying out of).
It may be possible to get a Kathmandu to Lukla flight during these months, however there are limited flights and the planes are very small (carrying a max. of 15 passengers). Due to high demand it is very difficult to get seats on these flights. If you book your trip and flights far in advance it may be possible to get this flight, however it cannot be guaranteed. If the Kathmandu to Lukla flight is not available, Ace the Himalaya will arrange a transfer for you to get to Manthali for your flight to Lukla (this transfer is included in the price of the trip). See the itinerary on Days 3 and 14 for transportation details.
What happens if my Lukla flight is delayed or canceled?
Lukla Airport is situated in a wonderful valley surrounded by high mountains. Because of this, landing and taking off from Lukla is considered difficult and technical. The weather in the area is unpredictable and changes every few hours often resulting in flight delays or cancellations.
Twin Otter and Dornier planes are the primary mode of transport to and from the airstrip at Lukla. This service is fairly dependable, however if flights are cancelled due to mountain weather conditions to/from Lukla Ace the Himalaya will help you charter a helicopter to ensure you are on schedule for your trip and international flight connections. Per Nepal’s Civil Aviation rules, the helicopter can fly if the visibility is 4,900 feet or greater, while the Twin Otter and Dornier planes can fly if the visibility is 16,400 feet or greater. If the weather is extreme and the visibility is less than 4,900 feet helicopters are also not operated. In such cases, Ace the Himalaya will reschedule your flight for the next day depending on availability. If this situation continues to repeat itself for many days, then you would be provided with alternative trek options.
The additional cost of this helicopter charter would be approximately $2,500 to $3,000 per helicopter (this cost can be shared among the passengers). The helicopter takes a maximum of five passengers plus 33 pounds of luggage per person. Payment for the helicopter must be paid at time of service by the participant. US dollars cash or credit cards (Visa Cards, Master Cards, American Express) are accepted for helicopter transportation. Any card payment requires a 4% bank fee, which goes directly to the bank. This cost can later be submitted for reimbursement through your travel insurance company. Ace the Himalaya can help you with the necessary documents for a claim.
What are the accommodations like?
Accommodations include four nights in shared rooms in three-star hotels in Kathmandu and 11 nights in guesthouses along the trek. The hotels used in Kathmandu are the Gaju Suite Hotel and Hotel Jampa. Both are high quality hotels. The guesthouses generally provide basic, clean facilities with a mattress and quilt or blanket. You should expect to bring your own sleeping bag, although Ace the Himalaya can provide one for $35 per person for the trip if necessary. You can also rent a down jacket at a cost of $35 per person for the entire trip.
At the lower altitude locations like Lukla, Phakding, and Namche the guesthouses have shower facilities with hot water. And in the rest of the locations (at higher elevations), warm water in a bucket will be provided for shower. At all locations, it will cost you an extra $3-4 per shower. The higher you go, the more expensive the hot shower will be.
Can solo travelers get their own room? Is there a single supplement fee?
There is no option to have a single room during the trekking portion of the trip, however if you would like your own room for the four nights in Kathmandu, this can be arranged by paying an additional $140 directly to Ace the Himalaya.
What is the food like?
Most guesthouses (lodges) in the Everest region trails cook a delicious range of mostly vegetarian fare. Meals include pasta, tuna bakes, noodles, potatoes, eggs, daal bhat (rice and lentils), bread, soup, fresh vegetables (variety depends on the season) and even some desserts like apple pies, pancakes, and some attempts at custard. You'll find a lot of garlic on the menu because it assists with acclimatization. In many larger villages you may find some meat items on the menu. You can always get hot chocolate, tea, and hot lemon drinks, as well as soft drinks, and treats like chocolate and potato chips.
All meals (three times a day, breakfast, lunch and dinner) are included while trekking. While in Kathmandu breakfast is included.
What type of shape do I need to be in for this trip?
This Everest Base Camp trek is suitable for people who are fit. To ensure you have an enjoyable experience, you should start a fitness regimen before you embark on your journey. People with pre-existing medical conditions must consult a physician before considering the trek. Hiking at high elevation is challenging, and it is common to experience some discomfort before you acclimate to the altitude.
To prepare for a strenuous trek, you should begin training at least two to three months before your departure. As a guideline, an hour of aerobic exercise three to four times per week is appropriate. It’s best to hike trails that include relatively steep ascents and descents. If you can comfortably manage a couple of valley-floor-to-ridgeline ascents per day, you’re well prepared to get the most out of this amazing journey to Everest Base Camp.
What should I pack? Does Ace the Himalaya use yaks and porters on the trek, or will I carry all of my own gear?
This is a porter-supported trek and two clients will share one porter. Ace will supply you with a trek duffel bag where you keep your heavy items and this bag is carried by the porter. You'll need to bring your own daypack to be carried by you. In the daypack, you can put money, important documents, water bottle/bladder, camera, toiletries, sunscreen, notebook, etc.
The weight limit for the Kathmandu-Lukla-Kathmandu flights is 33 pounds. This is combining both the duffel bag and the daypack. If you exceed this limit, you'll have to pay an additional fee. When this happens, sometimes the airline sends your bag in later flights and this can be very problematic for many reasons. So, it is recommended you pack as carefully as you can and not exceed the weight limit. You can leave your non-trekking items at the locker facility in the Kathmandu hotel.
After you book your trip, Ace the Himalaya will supply you with a detailed packing list. The following gives you a general idea of the trekking equipment and clothing needed for this trek:
- 4-season sleeping bag (available for rent for $35/person)
- Duffel bag (Ace will provide one complimentary duffel bag which is yours to keep)
- Down jacket (must have for mornings, nights and evenings, and for altitudes above 13,000 feet; can be rented for $35/person)
- Sun hat (Ace will provide a complimentary hat)
- Wool or synthetic hat that cover the ears
- Sunglasses with UV protection
- Neck warmer
- Liner gloves
- Heavier shell gloves
- Lightweight expedition thermal tops
- Fleece jacket or pullover
- Water/windproof shell jacket (preferably breathable fabric)
- Synthetic sports bras (for women)
- Lightweight expedition thermal bottoms
- Nylon hiking shorts
- Soft shell and hard shell trekking pants
- Water/windproof trousers
- Casual pants
- Liner socks
- Heavyweight socks
- Waterproof hiking/trekking boots
- Light shoes/sneakers/sandals
- Gaiters (for monsoon and winter)
Medicine & First-aid
- Extra Strength Excedrin for altitude related headaches
- Ibuprofen for general aches and pains
- Immodium or Pepto Bismol capsules for upset stomach or diarrhea
- Diamox (commonly prescribed as Acetazolamide) 125 or 250mg tablets for altitude sickness
- Anti-infection ointments
- Lip balm (At least SPF 20)
- Sunscreen (SPF 40)
- Passport and extra passport photos (3 copies)
- Airline ticket (please make a copy and leave one at the Ace office in Kathmandu just in case you need to change the date of your flight)
- Durable wallet/pouch for travel documents, money, and passport
- Water bottle/bladder
- Water purification Iodine tablets
- Toiletry kit (be sure to include toilet paper stored in a plastic bag, hand wipes, and liquid hand sanitizer, towel, soap, etc.)
- Adjustable trekking poles
- Favorite snack foods (no more than 2 pounds)
- Paperback books, cards, mp3 player
- Cameras (memory cards, chargers, and also batteries)
- Pee bottle for men and pee funnel for women
What is the best season for this trek?
The trekking season extends from mid-September to May.
How much should I budget for extra expenses? Do I need to tip my guide and porters?
It depends on your spending habits. Generally, in Kathmandu you can allocate $10 to $15 for a lunch and a dinner. $100 to $150 per person for the entire trek will be enough to buy bottles of water, chocolates, pay for the hot shower, and a few drinks during the trek. Please note, as you go higher in altitude, items become more expensive since all goods are supplied either by helicopter, horse, mules, or porters.
Gratuities are not included in the price of this trip. Tipping is not required, but a small gesture of thanks to your guides and local porters. The level of the tip should reflect the level of satisfaction from and personal involvement with your guide.
Are there phones, Internet access, and charging stations along the way?
There are phones in some villages from which you can make international calls. Internet is also available in some villages, but connection speeds are often slow and unreliable. Most facilities have charging stations, which you can use for a nominal fee.
Can I use credit cards on the trip?
Most places in Kathmandu accept credit cards. However, once on the trek, cash is the only payment option.
Is the water okay to drink? Do I need to bring purifying tablets or filters?
In most places, bottled water is readily available. If you wish to drink tap water, you’ll need to bring your own purification system.
Is Ace the Himalaya’s staff insured?
Yes, Ace the Himalaya insures all of their trekking staff, including the guides, cooks, Sherpas, and porters.
How far is the trek?
The total trekking distance is about 97 miles (156 km).
What are the restrooms like along the trail?
In most cases, you can use a restroom provided by the guesthouses/lodges on the trail. Most places do not provide toilet paper but it can be purchased on the trail. You'll need to provide your own hand sanitizer and towel.
What safety measures are in place? What safety equipment do guides carry with them on the trek to deal with sickness/accidents?
Ace the Himalaya guides are available 24 hours a day during the trek. They are trained in first aid and can use an Oxy meter to track your oxygen level to make sure you are fit enough to continue your high altitude trek.
Guides also carry local sim cards both Nepal Telecom and Ncell, and access to satellite phones where cellular service is not available in order to update the whereabouts and condition of every client. During an emergency, guides will be in communication with the head office in Kathmandu, which is available 24 /7, to arrange horse, mule or helicopter evacuations if necessary.
Should I purchase travel insurance? If so, do you have a recommended provider?
Travel insurance is required. Travel insurance allows you to seek reimbursement if you are forced to cancel your trip for unforeseeable reasons, or if you need to cover medical help, emergency transport, and/or theft or accidental damage while traveling. For travel insurance, we recommend World Nomads.
Are there special requirements for entry into the destination I am visiting?
We recommend you visit the local government websites where you plan to travel and review the required documentation for entry, current restrictions, and general recommendations for travel within the area. We encourage you to also visit your home country's embassy website if you are traveling to a foreign country. Requirements can change rapidly. Please be sure you stay abreast of the requirements and restrictions for anywhere you plan to visit. You can also enroll in the U.S. government’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) and you will be sent updates if the situation in your destination changes. You can find the program link at https://step.state.gov/.
Can I cancel the trip?
Book confidently with Free Cancellations within 72 hours of booking. After 72 hours, cancellation fees will apply. Cancellations are subject to the full discretion of Ace the Himalaya. For more information on our Travel Cancellation Policy please Click Here.