Makalu Base Camp Trek - 19 Days

Makalu Base Camp trek is a significantly adventurous hike in the Mahalangur Himalayan range. Trekking to the foothills of the world’s fifth tallest mountain at 8,481meters above sea level is already a blessing. Along with the stunning snow-clad terrain landscape, the unbelievable variation in flora and fauna, and the local Himalayan community makes Makalu trek an expectation journey in Nepal.

The awesome bio-diversity inside Makalu Base Camp is worth exploring. It’s been ranked Moderate to Challenging and conquered by the trekkers with very strong stamina. It’s one of the least explored and under-rated trekking destinations of Nepal. Makalu is less known due to its inaccessibility from Kathmandu. However, after the introduction of daily flights to Tumlingtar, tourists are starting to recognize its beauty.

A couple of tea houses has been made along the trail and it can be both a tea house and camping trek. Yet, Makalu Base Camp takes 21 days to complete and remains the most difficult base camp trek in Nepal. So, if you are up for some adventure, get your bags ready. Makalu Base Camp trek commences with the fly to Tumlingtar and then dry to Num. There are huge terraced farms and villages that have been homed by the Rai people of the east.

Ascending via many beautiful rhododendron forests (with blooms of red, purple, pink, and white), we get to Khogma Danda for acclimatization. Trekking deeper inside the mountains, we pass steep granite cliffs and glaciers to Langmale Kharka. Only on the 15th day, you get to the Makalu Base Camp and then get to Tumlingtar airport on the same route.

Some Facts of Makalu Base camp Trek:

  • Duration of trek 21 days
  • The beginning point of the trek: Chicha
  • The closing point of the trek: Num
  • Maximum elevation: 4500 mt.
  • Accommodation: Teahouses/Camping
  • Best Seasons to visit: The trail is open throughout the year however, Spring and Autumn the best
  • Trek Category: Hard
  • Transportation: Flight/Bus/car/taxi/jeep
  • Permits: TIMS and National park fees

How Much Does It Cost To Climb Makalu?

The Makalu region ranks as a restricted trekking zone of Nepal and needs a special permit for visiting. That means, along with the Restricted Area Special Permit, you will also need a licensed guide and group of at least two people (no independent trekking). This adds a significant amount to your trip cost. It’s also very long and remote trekking, making it even more expensive. 

The cost of the Makalu base camp trek in Nepal is about $3000 to $3500. Finding how difficult it is to get food and bed on such remote land, you will realize that the price is completely justified. The Himalayan Mater’s have arranged the cheapest package of $2400 per person. The cost includes all food, permits, accommodation, guide, and porters- basically everything you need during the trek. 

How Difficult Is The Makalu Base Camp Trek?

Well, it is difficult. Makalu Base Camp trek is among the hardest treks of Nepal and has more than 250kms of distance. In comparison to other base camp treks like Everest and Annapurna, this particular trek needs a lot of preparation and a very strong physique. However, there’s no need for climbing gears and mountaineering skills. Any climbing skills needed in the dangerous part will be taught by our guide before the trek.

The elevation of Makalu Base Camp is also 4810 meters, and the chances of altitude sickness at such a height are severe. You need to add acclimatization days to your Itinerary and walk very slowly. Being dehydrated and loaded with carbs is important for a successful trek. Other than altitude and distance, the hardest part of the Makalu Base Camp trek is its remoteness. Once you get to the higher altitude, you barely see any villages and met people.

There are no shops, no ATMs, no electricity, and no Wi-Fi for more than 20 days of your time. You will have a team of a porter who will carry your every essential need and food. Sleeping in a tent, excreting in an open area, having no place for a shower, and many other challenges come along the way. So don’t start the trek until you are committed to such challenges.

Makalu Base Camp Trek Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu

arrival in kathmandu

As soon as you arrive at the airport in Nepal, our team will pick you up. Since then, you will be in safe hands for another 20 days; everything will be taken care of. In the evening, there will be a briefing session about the tour and also some time for shopping. Later, we shall all celebrate with a welcome dinner and you will be introduced to the rest of the team.

Overnight in Kathmandu

Day 2: Fly to Tumlingtar (1 hour) and drive to the starting point, trek to Num            

Flight to Tumlingtar is available from Kathmandu airport; this is only 35 minutes of flight. The domestic flight above the mountains of Nepal is an enthralling experience. After we land there, a local Jeep takes us to Num. Driving along the off-route of hills isn’t very easy, however, it’s an adventurous ride. Here, we will either stay in a local hotel or set up our first tent.

Overnight in Tumlingtar

Day 3: Trek to Seduwa via the Arun River           

The day starts with the downhill walk of about 2hrs. After crossing the suspension bridge over the river, we walk to the Rhododendron forest. On the way, there is a local village with the Rai family who are involved in farming paddy, millet, corn, and potatoes. After some paper works in the police booth, we set our first camp for the night. 

Overnight in Seduwa

Day 4: Trek to Tashigaon           

Today, we trek to the largest village in the Makalu Base Camp trek. The trail to the village is very flat and easy. Tashigaon has been inhabited by the Tibetan Buddhist village. There are prayer flags and Chorten all around the villages. You can also stay in the local houses upon request. Otherwise, the team will find a perfect place to set your camp.

Overnight in Tashigaon

Day 5: Trek to Khongma Danda

This is going to be a long day as you ascend via the thick sub-tropical forest. Gaining more than 1000 meters in a day isn’t easy. You must walk slowly and have enough rest on the path. 

Overnight in Khongma Danda

Day 6: Acclimatization day in Khongma Danda  

After gaining a lot of altitude yesterday, we will stop at Khongma Danda for another day. Having a rest day at such an altitude is important for your body. It’s a day for some camp firing, singing, and dancing. After a rest day, you will be fully rejuvenated for the further walk.

Overnight in Khongma Danda

Day 7: Trek to Dobate via Shipton La

This is a tough day as you walk via the Shipton La. Today, we cross our first and a challenging pass before getting further deep into the mountains.

Overnight in Dobate

Recommended Reading:- Detailed Itinerary About Khopra Danda Trek

Day 8: Trek to Yangle Kharka following the Barun River upstream

This day isn’t going to be very easy. However, walking via the Barun River and the forest, you will be much more relaxed. The forest will keep your mind fresh and you will witness the great mountain peaks before your eyes. 

Overnight in Yangle Kharka

Day 9: Trek to Yak Kharka

trek to yak kharka

As you are already dwelling at 4500 meters above sea level, there will not be a forest anymore. You can see the grasslands in the alpine climatic zone. The Yaks are roaming around as the Makalu Base Camp trek mountain appears closer.

Overnight Yak Kharka

Day 10: Trek to Makalu Base Camp

This is a rather easy day for Makalu trekking as you walk towards the Makalu Base camp. The trail is flat and there is beautiful vegetation all around. After a few hours of walk-in alpine meadow, you will soon reach the Makalu Base Camp. 

Overnight in Makalu Base Camp      

Day 11: Day walk around Makalu Base Camp       

This is the most exciting day of your trip. In the morning, we witness a spectacular sunrise before mount Makalu. We further head to explore the Glacier at Baruste Base camp. After a wonderful day, we are back to our tent in the Makalu base camp for a spectacular night. 

Overnight in Makalu Base Camp      

Day 12: Back to Yangle Kharka   

On the same path, we walk down to Yangle Kharka. The return journey on the familiar road to the mountains will actually be fun.

Overnight in Yangle Kharka

Day 13: Trek to Dobate

trek to dobate

We will be trekking in a rather leveled trail to Dobate. The journey to Dobate will be easy as you already acclimate with the higher altitude.

Day 14: Trek to Khongma Danda

Now, you will be walking in the sub-tropical forest. The vegetation starts to appear green and you will see many beautiful wild lives in the villages around.

Overnight in Khongma Danda

Day 15: Trek to Tashigaon           

Walking towards Tashigaon, you will be glad to find such a human settlement. A day at this lovely village is your chance to witness the local Tibetan Buddhist culture of Nepal. You can either set the camp or stay in the local house.

Overnight in Tashigaon

Day 16: Trek to Seduwa 

After a wonderful breakfast in Tashigaon, it’s time to head further down. On the way, you will encounter some interesting wildlife and vegetation.

Overnight in Seduwa

Day 17: Trek to Num      

Duration: 5-6 hours

Ready for the final day of the trek? Today’s journey along with the terrace farms and classic Nepalese village will be equally interesting. We will be walking along with different settlements before getting to Num.

Overnight in Num

Day 18: Drive to Tumlingtar        

In the daytime, we hop into a local Jeep that brings us to the airport at Tumlingar. Your long journey ends here.

Overnight in Tumlingar

Day 19: Fly to Kathmandu

As you stay in the luxurious seat of the domestic airplane, you will be excited to be flying above the mountains. Soon, you will be driving to your hotel in Thamel from Kathmandu. A private car drop you in a hotel room and you will have some time for souvenir shopping. In the evening, the entire team gathers for the farewell dinner and we shall celebrate the victory together.

Overnight in Kathmandu

Recommended Reading:- Detailed Itinerary Of Annapurna Base Camp Trek

Day 20: Departure

As per your flight time, a private car drops you at the airport. You don’t have to worry about paperwork and all. Soon, you will be flying back to the homeland. Wish you a great journey ahead.

So, when do you plan to complete this amazing journey? Do inform us about your arrival and we shall make the arrangements.

Makalu Base Camp Trek Map

Usually, trekkers only take one route to Makalu Base Camp. This route starts from Num (a few hours’ drive from Tumlingtar airport) and goes via Khongma La. Then you go to Yangle Kharka and move to the Makalu Base Camp. Other shorter and easier routes might be developed in the future, but we suggest taking this standard route for now. Other routes can be dangerous. 

Itinerary

Day 1
Arrival in Kathmandu

Altitude: 1400m

Day 2
Fly to tumlingtar and drive to trekking starting point

Altitude: 1,980 meters
Duration: 3-4 hours

Day 3
Trek to Seduwa via the Arun River

Altitude: 1,500 m./4,922 ft.
Duration: 6-7 hours

Day 4
Trek to Tashigaon

Altitude: 2,100 m./6,890 ft.
Duration: 4-5 hours

Day 5
Trek to Khongma Danda

Altitude: 3,500 m./11,483 ft.
Duration: 6-7 hours

Day 6
Acclimatization day in Khongma Danda

Day 7
Trek to Dobate via Shipton La

Altitude: 4,229 m./ 13,874 ft.
Duration: 6-7 hours

Day 8
Trek to Yangle Kharka following the Barun River upstream

Altitude: 3,557 m./ 11,670 ft.
Duration: 6-7 hours

Day 9
Trek to Yak Kharka

Altitude: 4780 meters
Time: 6 hours

Day 10
Trek to Makalu Base Camp

Altitude: 4,900 m./16,076 ft.
Duration: 4-5 hours

Day 11
Day walk around Makalu Base Camp

Day 12
Back to Yangle Kharka

Altitude: 3,600 m./11,811 ft.
Duration: 6-7 hours

Day 13
Trek to Dobate

Altitude: 3,650 m./11,975 ft.
Duration: 6-7 hours

Day 14
Trek to Khongma Danda

Duration: 5-6 hours

Day 15
Trek to Tashigaon

Duration: 4-5 hours

Day 16
Trek to Seduwa

Duration: 4-5 hours

Day 17
Trek to Num

Duration: 5-6 hours

Day 18
Drive to Tumlingtar

Duration: 51 km. /31 miles

Day 19
Fly to Kathmandu

Day 20
Departure

The Trip Cost Includes

  • Airport pick up & drop off service in a private vehicle
  • 3-star accommodation in Kathmandu with breakfast
  • Best available clean and comfortable Tea house accommodation during the trek
  • All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) with tea/coffee during the trek
  • Staff insurance and necessary ground transport for support staff
  • Guide for 9 days
  • Trekking permits - Annapurna conservation permit and TIMS Card.
  • All Local and Government taxes, administrative charges

The Trip Cost Excludes

  • International flight ticket and Nepal entry visa
  • Personal travel insurance (Which should include coverage for trekking)
  • Lunches and dinners in Kathmandu, except the farewell dinner
  • Personal gear for trekking (Including any you may wish to hire in Kathmandu), any personal expenses (i.e. soft and alcoholic drinks, snacks etc.)
  • Tip For filed staff

You can send your enquiry via the form below.

Makalu Base Camp Trek
From $2,400
per Adult

Makalu base camp trek

  • Car/jeep/bus/Air
  • 1 to 12 pax
  • 4500mt.