Makalu Base Camp Trekking- 23 Days

Makalu Base Camp Trekking

The trek to Makalu Base Camp, 4700m, is an exciting camping trek into a remote and fairly inaccessible region where few trekkers have ventured. Courageous trekkers prepared to do without the comforts guest houses will find a wilderness just waiting to be explored.

Trekking to the base camp of the world's 5th highest mountain, Makalu, 8463m, is considered one of the tougher treks in Nepal, as the trek begins at an altitude of just 400m and reaches 5500m in only ten days; however, this is what accounts for the great diversity of vegetation, culture and scenery that makes this trek exceptional. Trekking at elevations above 3000m is physically demanding but our itinerary allows for acclimatization, so this trek is feasible for any physically fit hiker.

The Makalu Base Camp Trek starts after a short flight to the airstrip at Tumlingtar, Sankwasabha District in Eastern Nepal. Tumlingtar is beside the beautiful Arun River in the base of the Arun Valley. For two days the trail gradually climbs up to Chichi La, and the next two days the trail descends back into the Arun Valley. During these days we are surrounded by fertile terraced fields and pass through numerous farming villages.

We make a steep ascent up to Tashi Gaun village, where we spend two nights to acclimatize. We continue climbing, leaving the bamboo and rhododendron forests behind us as we reach Kongma, 3700m, which we call the dry camp as there is no water source there. From here on the barren tree line, we get magnificent views of Kanchenjunga and Makalu. We spend one night in Kongma before the next steep ascent over rock boulders up to the pass, Shipton La, 4229m and begin the long descent down to Muga (Do Bato), which is the same altitude as Kongma. Once again we cross the Arun River, and follow the deep gorge with juniper forest lining the walls on either side of us. Further up we reach a surface of rock and loose scree, called Sherson, 4700m, below the Base Camp of Makalu, where we stay two nights.

We have a full day to explore the area around the tip of the Barun Glacier. From a view point above base camp we get breathtaking views of the highest mountains in the world: Everest 8850m, Lhotse 8516m, Makalu 8463m, Chamlang 7319m and Baruntse 7220m. From Sherson we descend on the same trail to Tumlingtar. The descent is less tiring, but the loose scree below base camp, and forest trails covered with leaves can be more slippery descending than ascending.

The Makalu Base Camp Trek is diversity at its best. This single trek passes through distinct vegetation zones including sub-tropical jungles at low altitudes, sub-alpine valleys with forests of fir, birch and rhododendron and high alpine zone with herbs, grasses and juniper shrubs and pastures. Makalu Conservation area is known for its uncountable species of flowering plants, birds and animals. You will also observe a wide cross-section of Nepali ethnic groups with their unique cultures. The Rai, Limbu and Newar ethnic groups dominate the lower altitudes, whereas the Sherpas live in the higher altitudes.


Trip Highlights


  • Uninhabited pristine wilderness
  • More adventurous than commercialized treks
  • Start in subtropical lowlands, reach the high Barun glacier
  • Superb views of the south face of Makalu, 8563m, Everest, Lhotse, Chamlang and Kanchenjunga
  • trek to the base camp 5th highest peak in the world 

Day 1 : Arrival in Kathmandu

Day 2 : Preparation Day in Kathmandu

Day 3 : Fly to Tumlingtar and Trek to Khandbari, 937m

Day 4 : Trek to Chichila,1840m (1893m)

Day 5 : Trek to Num, 1524m

Day 6 : Trek to Sedua, 1600m

Day 7 : Trek to Tashigaon, 2063m

Day 8 : Trek to Kauma, 3470m

Day 9 : Trek to Dhobate or Mumbuk, 3500m

Day 10 : Trek to Yangle Kharka, 3600m

Day 11 : Trek to Merek, 4570m

Day 12 : Trek to Makalu Base Camp, 4853m

Day 13 : Hiking Makalu Base Camp.

Day 14 : Trek to Yangle Kharka, 3600m

Day 15 : Trek to Dhobate or Mumbuk, 3550m

Day 16 : Trek to Khongma, 3560m

Day 17 : Trek to Tashigaon, 2070m

Day 18 : Trek to Num, 1500m

Day 19 : Trek to Chichila, 1840m

Day 20 : Trek to Tumlingtar

Day 21 : Fly to Kathmandu

Day 22 : Free Day in Kathmandu

Day 23 : Departure from Nepal

Start Date End Date Cost Status Booking
10 March, 2020 01 April, 2020 US $2600 per person Available
22 March, 2020 13 April, 2020 US $2600 per person Available
31 March, 2020 22 April, 2020 US $2600 per person Available
05 April, 2020 27 April, 2020 US $2600 per person Available
22 April, 2020 14 May, 2020 US $2600 per person Available
12 May, 2020 03 June, 2020 US $2600 per person Available
31 May, 2020 22 June, 2020 US $2600 per person Available
12 August, 2020 03 September, 2020 US $2600 per person
04 September, 2020 26 September, 2020 US $2600 per person Guaranteed
17 September, 2020 09 October, 2020 US $2600 per person Available
08 October, 2020 30 October, 2020 US $2600 per person Guaranteed
22 October, 2020 13 November, 2020 US $2600 per person Available
07 November, 2020 29 November, 2020 US $2600 per person Available
20 November, 2020 12 December, 2020 US $2600 per person Guaranteed
01 December, 2020 23 December, 2020 US $2600 per person Available

Cost Include(s)

  • Transfer from Airport – Hotel – Airport: Car, Van, Hi-ace or Coaster in a private vehicle.
  • Authentic Nepali welcome dinner with Live Nepalese Cultural Program.
  • Accommodation in Kathmandu ,Four nights on Twin share Bed and Breakfast Basis.
  • Accommodation during Trek ; local lodges 18 nights (Full board meals with twin-share rooms ,beds with comfortable foam mattress and pillows)
  • English speaking experienced Sherpa guide (Govt. Trained/License Holder).
  • One Sherpa guide-assistant if group size is more than 4 Trekkers.
  • Porters: One porter for 2 Trekkers basis.
  • Trek Staff costs including their salary, insurance, equipment, food and accommodation.
  • Personal insurance for Nepalese staff.
  • Annapurna Foothill’s Duffle bag for Trekking.
  • Annapurna Foothill’s Tshirt.
  • Energy Supplies ( Snickers, Mars, Bounty) and Fresh Fruits on the Trek 
  • First aid medicine kit.
  • Makalu ConservationFee, TIMS permits & all required permits or Official Documentation.
  • All ground transfers Kathmandu.
  • All government and local taxes.

Cost Exclude(s)

  • Your Personal Travel Insurance.
  • Nepal Entry Visa Fee.
  • Lunch & Dinner in cities - allow $ 10 to 14 for per meal in Tourist restaurants.
  • Beverages (soft drinks, mineral water,boiled water and beer).
  • Tips for guide, porters and driver (customary).
  • Any personal expenses not mentioned in above services.
  • Additional night accommodation in Kathmandu because of early return from Trek (due to any reason) than the planned itinerary.

Why Trek to Makalu Base Camp with Annapurna Foothills Treks?

When trekking into extremely remote regions, it is important to have trek with an experienced company. Annapurna Foothills Treks has been running trekking and climbing expeditions for over 10 years. Annapurna Foothills Treks reaches for the highest standard of ethical business practices.

The Best Time of Year for the Makalu Base Camp Trek

The best seasons for Makalu Base Camp trekking are spring (February to late April) and autumn (late September to late November).  A summer trek is also possible however, the flight from Nepalgunj to Juphal may be affected by monsoon weather.

Temperatures on the Makalu Base Camp

The temperatures at night will drop to around 5C, and during the day will climb to around 25C. At higher altitudes temperatures range from about 15C to 20C.

You should be prepared with proper protection from the sun as well as layers of clothing that can be added or taken off easily.

Makalu Base Camp is a Camping Trek

Accommodation is included in the cost of your package and Annapurna Foothills Treks takes great care to arrange the most comfortable accommodation possible throughout your stay.

Tented camping in Upper Dolpo is sure to be a great outdoors holiday.  Our cook will assure you will enjoy delicious and hygienic food during the trek to keep you healthy and strong.  Most of the food is flown in from Kathmandu. Three generous meals a day, tea/coffee, hot Tang and high energy snacks are included in the package. 

Annapurna Foothills Treks logistics are well organized and of excellent quality.   Besides your two person sleeping tents*, we provide dining tent, kitchen tent, tables, chairs and even toilet AND shower tents!  (*Some companies claim 3-person tents, but the tents are all fixed size 2 person tents.  If you wish to have your own tent, you can pay for a single supplement, an additional USD300$)

In Kathmandu, our clients enjoy four nights in Hotel Shakti or Hotel Norbu Linka before and after heading into the remote regions.

Sherpa Support Staff:

Annapurna Foothills Treks has a capable support staff with ample experience in organizing camping trips.   The relationship we have developed among us over the years makes for a wonderful exchange of ideas, laughter and assistance. Your personal packs will be carried by the porters, saving you time and energy to fully enjoy the surrounding environment.

Each staff member at Annapurna Foothills Treks and Expeditions is insured for their appropriate roles. (Some companies are cutting corners here.)

Drinking Water on the Makalu Base Camp Trek

You will be provided with boiled water during the trek.  While trekking, it is important to keep hydrated; you should drink at least 3 liters of water each day.  As additional precaution, we suggest you bring a supply of water purification tablets to add to the water.


The altitude becomes more noticeable the higher we go, so we walk at a slow pace and take plenty of breaks to rest and acclimatize.


When travelling in remote mountain regions, uncertainties such as weather, health problems and natural disasters require a certain amount of flexibility. While our goal is to follow the itinerary, that is not our first priority; your safety is always our first priority. Annapurna Foothills Treks and Expeditions request your cooperation to accept the decisions and advice of our trusted and experienced guides if they deem it necessary to change or cancel any part of the itinerary due to safety concerns.

  • We either take Gamow OR oxygen in case of
  • Satellite phone (personal calls charged USD $3/minute)
  • First Aid Kit

Environmental Responsibility:

Annapurna Foothills Treks practices and teaches the Leave-No-Trace principles. Moreover, we are committed to protecting the land and culture of the indigenous people. The mountains are our home and we are unwilling to sacrifice their preservation for human objectives. Annapurna Foothills Treks believe that given the proper information most people will do all they can to help protect and maintain the environment.


It is really difficult to head straight up to high altitude for the first time even if you follow the recommended 400m-a-day-rule.  Our itinerary is planned to allow rational acclimatization and avoid altitude sickness. Please read Altitude Advice.

Travel Insurance

It is strongly recommended to be sufficiently protected when you go into remote areas. You need specialized travel insurance that covers emergency evacuation, injury, lost baggage, liability and medical treatment. Make sure the insurance covers all the activities that you will be undertaking during your stay in Nepal. Annapurna Foothills Treks and Expeditions Pvt. Ltd. can organize the appropriate medical response based on your policy. Annapurna foothills Treks has an agreement in Kathmandu that guarantees payment for helicopter evacuations. We will pay a cash deposit to the helicopter operator and collect the money from you once you have been rescued. Before leaving on the expedition, we will make sure your policy specifically covers mountaineering or alpinism otherwise you may have a difficult time settling the large claim.

Trip Facts

Destination : Nepal

Duration : 23 Days

Price : US $2600 p/p

Trip Grade : Challenging

Maximum Height:4853m

Minimum Height:1300m

Minimum Group Size:2 Trekkers

Maximum Group size:12 Trekkers

Activities:Trekking, Sightseeing, Hiking

Transport By:Private Vehicle, Domestic Flights



Best Season:March- May and September- November

Permits:Makalu Conservation Fee

Hotel in Kathmandu:4 nights on B&B plan (Bed & Breakfast)

Accommodation during Trek:Camping 18 Nights

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