Footsteps of Hillary Trip Notes

At Imaginative Traveller we always aim to provide accurate information for our travellers. Unfortunately information such as the price of optional activities is occasionally subject to change, and this means that we are constantly revising our trip notes. In order to ensure that you have the most up to date information for your trip we suggest that you check the trip notes for your tour around one month before departure.

  • Trip code :GIEB
  • Trip length : 16
  • Trip starts in : Kathmandu
  • Trip ends in : Kathmandu
  • Maximum group size : 15
  • Ages : 18 – 39
  • Accommodation : 2 Nights Hotels/Guesthouses, 13 nights Trekking lodge
  • Transport : Bus, Plane


  • 17th Century Thyangboche Monastery
  • Namche Bazaar – the gateway to the High Himalaya
  • Aint’ no mountain high enough
  • Kathmandu’s hidden old town
  • Having a (eye)ball in Nepal
  • Kala Patar (5545m) – the best vantage point to see Mount Everest
  • Bodhnath Stupa of Kathmandu – one of the biggest Buddhist shrines in the world
  • Everest Base Camp and the notorious Everest Ice Fall


Got your trekking pants on? Good. Fly from Kathmandu to Phakding then start walkin’. Check out Namche Bazaar, have a lil’ look at old Everest, bliss out in the coolest monastery in the world, eat cake, visit Everest Base Camp. Yeah… this is a pretty ace trip. Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay were the first ones to summit Everest in 1953. Even though you won’t be climbing the great mountain you’ll still feel the rush of being up there where it all began. 



Kathmandu (1360m)

Surely one of the highlights of any trek is the forced carb loading? Break out the stretchy pants and tuck into some guilt-free pizza, pasta, cheese spaghetti and momo dumplings. Pre-departure meeting at the hotel and an optional group dinner in the evening.


Phakding (2652m)

Fly to Lukla then head off on foot from the airstrip. Towering above our route to Phakding are the icy peaks of Thamserku and Kusum Kanguru. Fly parallel to the Himalayan giants en route to Lukla. Land on an airstrip built by Sir Edmund Hillary and the Sherpas in the mid 1960s. Explore the village of Lukla. Begin the trek and descend to the Dudh Kosi River, heading to a lodge in Phakding (Walking time: approx 3 hours)


Namche Bazaar (3446m)

Yes, that’s right. You’re looking at Everest. Spend a bit of time acclimatising in Namche, which means “no strenuous activity”. See if you can find the yak parking area above the market and gorge yourself at the bakeries (you’re still carb loading, remember). Day 3, Set off on an 6 hour trek, acclimatising slowly to ensure peak physical form. Walk through tracts of blue pine and rhododendron forest – both spectacular in the spring. Awesome views of Kusum Kanguru and Thamserku peaks. Cross a suspension bridge over the Dudh Kosi River The peaks of Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse and Taweche come into view for the first timeStay in a village lodge in Namche. Haggle for Tibetan artifacts in local shops – if you’ve got the energy (Walking time: approx 6 hours). Day 4, Stay at Namche to allow for acclimatisation Perhaps view the sunset and sunrise, and fantastic panoramas of Everest from the national park headquarters above the village (3880m)Optional walk up the Bhote Khola River Valley to Thami. See displays of Sherpa lifestyle and culture.


Khumjung (3970m)

You’ll come to appreciate the tern “short walking day”. Stop by the National Park Museum, Everest View Hotel and a hospital built by Sir Edmund Hilary on our way to Khumjung. Continue the ascent alongside Everest. Panoramas of towering Himalayan snow peaks. Perhaps visit the nearby small hospital run by Sir Edmund Hillary’s Himalayan Trust. View a yeti skull at the Khumjung Monastery (if you’re lucky!) Stay in a lodge in Khumjung (Walking time: approx 2 hours)


Thyangboche (3875m)

As far as monasteries go, this one takes the cake. If you don’t feel a sense of calm sitting at 3867m in Nepal’s spiritual centre of Tibetan Buddhism while looking at Mt Everest, then you might be a robot. Perhaps stop off for a hard-earned coffee and cake from the Khumjung bakery. Rejoin the trail to Everest, keeping eyes peeled for Danphe Pheasant and Himalayan Thar. Enjoy views of Kantega, Ama Dablam and EverestStay overnight at Thyangboche (Walking time: approx 5 hours)


Dingboche (4360m)

Everest is so close you could touch it. We know you’re excited but pace yourself because altitude sickness can sneak up when you least expect it. Day 7, Visit the Thyangboche Monastery. Indulge in lunch at village of Pangboche, with the peak of Ama Dablam in the background. Climb through alpine hillside to a lodge in Dingboche (Walking time: approx 5 hours) Day 8, A day off from hiking to rest and acclimatise if you’re up for a short walk (4700m). Explore the beautiful Imja Khola Valley and view the surrounding peaks.


Kala Patar (5545m) – Base Camp (5364m)

Yes folks, it’s the one you’ve all been waiting for – Everest Base Camp. Look out for expedition groups on their way to the summit. They’re the rock stars of the climbing world (without all the groupies). Day 9, Tough hike to Lobuche (4930m). View the peaks of Taweche and Cholatse from the chorten atop the Pheriche Valley. Eat lunch at the foot of the huge terminal moraines of Khumbu Glacier. Visit a line of memorial cairns, built in memory of Sherpas and other climbers who have died on various Everest expeditions. Spectacular views of Pumori, Lingtren, Khumbutse, and, across the border in Tibet, Changtse (Walking time: approx 6 hours). Day 10, Follow the broad valley that runs parallel to Khumbu Glacier. Ascend gradually to the moraines of Changri Nup Glacier. Experience the sensational sunset views from the amazing vantage point of Kala Patar. Gains views of Pumori, Nuptse, Changtse, Ama Dablam, Taweche, Kantega and Everest (Walking time: approx 3 hours). Day 11, Wake early for the trek along the glacier to Everest Base CampIf trekking between March and May, you’ll almost certainly encounter yaks and porters supplying food and equipment to expeditions. See the notorious Everest ice fall (Walking time: approx 7 hours).


Thyangboche (3875m) – Lukla (2827m)

Say goodbye to our Sherpa crew at Lukla, where they’ll entertain us with a bit of a traditional song and dance. Get together with the rest of your group and pool your tips. Day 12, Head downhill to Dughla and enjoy a long tea break in Pheriche. Visit a trekkers’ aid post. Great views of Imja Valley, Ama Dablam and Kantega. Re-trace your steps to Debuche and on to Thyangboche (Walking time: approx 6 hours). Day 13, Descend from Thyangboche to the suspension bridge at Phunkitenga. Cross the Dudh Kosi river and ascend to Trashinga. Grab lunch in Namche Bazaar and enjoy a final opportunity to visit the shops (Walking time: approx 7 hours). Day 14, Set off on the last, steady 5 hours of the trek. Arrive back in Lukla and celebrate (or sleep off) what you’ve just achieved (Walking time: approx 5 hours).


Kathmandu (1360m)

Time to celebrate with a tongba (hot millet beer) and a plate of ziva (pastry fingers filled with cheese), while you relax your weary but incredibly toned legs. You’ve earned it. Day 15, Wake early in Lukla for the flight back to Kathmandu – hopefully not too hungover. Spend the final night in the Thamel district of Kathmandu. Day 16, The trip ends this morning, but Kathmandu has a lot more to offer those who wish to prolong their stay.


  • Gecko’s expert English-speaking local tour guide and trekking staff.
  • 13 day trek along the classic route to Everest Base Camp.
  • Total trip 16 days.
  • Return local flights from Kathmandu to Lukla.
  • Twin-share lodge accommodation, generally in rooms with sleeping mattresses.
  • Porterage on trek.
  • Ascent of Kala Patar.
  • Acclimatisation days in Namche Bazaar and Dingboche.
  • Gecko’s kit bag and first aid kit.


We have chosen a selection of some great optional activities to enhance your travel experience. You will need to cover any additional costs yourself. The below list is not exhaustive and should be used as a guide only. Prices are approximate and are for entrance only and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability and it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination.
Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. This means that it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, however we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Activities not listed below have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with booking these activities. The decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

  • Kathmandu – Bhaktapur entrance
  • Kathmandu – Half Day tour to Bhaktapur & Patan
    US$60 approx
  • Kathmandu – Mt Everest scenic flight – including transfers
    approx US$210
  • Kathmandu – Patan entrance
  • Kathmandu – Taxi to Bodnath Stupa
  • Namche – Sherpa House Museum
    US$2 ( small donation also appreciated)


International flights, arrival and departure transfers, airport/departure taxes, visas, pre or post tour accommodation, all other meals, optional tours sightseeing or activities during free time, transfers outside of the tour program, fully comprehensive travel insurance (obligatory on all trips and must include helicopter evacuation and repatriation), tips, items of a personal nature, laundry, cost of showers on trek (if available) and flights unless specified.



Our Raw tours are best suited for those with a sense of adventure, are willing to step outside their comfort zone and don’t mind being thrown in at the deep end. For independent travellers who want to travel with others. Just the ticket for those aged between 18-35 or anyone young at heart who has an open mind, an eye on the budget and a nose for adventure. Authentic experiences that expand the mind rather than hold the hand.

Style Facts

  • The freedom to explore without breaking the bank
  • Time to do your own thing – or join in optional group activities
  • YOU choose where YOU want to eat
  • Basic accommodation
  • A variety of public transportation
  • Fully trained and experienced leader.


Explore the world on two feet – or two wheels! Our active trips range from classic treks & trips where walking forms an integral part of the itinerary to cycling tours offering a totally new perspective on a destination.

Some of our active adventure tours include the classic treks such as the Inca Trail, Kilimanjaro or Everest Base Camp as well as shorter one day or overnight hikes. Our cycling tours allow you to access hidden corners of a destination, discover remote villages and meet the locals – either en route or even by cycling alongside them. All our active trips are fully supported – with either porters and mules or by a support vehicle.


Our Basic tours offer superb value and are ideal for those who are happy to forgo some creature comforts in favour of an authentic and fun experience. Under the leadership of a fully trained tour leader, you will enjoy all the highlights and freedom of independent travel with the convenience, security and companionship of a small group.

Style Facts

  • Plenty of free time to explore independently
  • Optional activities to suit your budget
  • Freedom to choose your own meals
  • Simple famliy run hotels
  • Mostly public transportation
  • Fully trained and experienced leader.

This tour is operated by our partners Geckos Adventures


A necessary bugbear of adventure travel, visas can appear complicated, costly and confusing to apply for. Imaginative Traveller recommend applying for visas with a professional visa service who can guide you though the process and take care of lodging and collecting your passport with multiple embassies, so we have teamed up with The Visa Machine.

The Visa Machine ‘live and breathe’ visas and have the expertise to provide current and accurate information and arrange the correct visas for your trip, quickly and at a good price.

Please click here for more information.



We strongly recommend you visit your doctor to discuss health requirements for your trip. They will advise you regarding the appropriate inoculations. In some places anti-malaria medication may also be required. Some vaccines need to be administered a few weeks before departure so allow yourself plenty of time. Obtain a certificate of vaccination and carry this with you on this trip. A dental check up is also highly recommended.



Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping, participating in optional activities, and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
You will need to take cash to cover all additional expenses not included in your tour cost. These include food, drinks, optional sightseeing, tips, laundry, souvenirs and possible delays. If in doubt, bring more than you think you will need. It is always useful to carry an additional amount for emergencies. If there is a medical emergency you are sometimes required to pay at the time; providing your claim falls within the scope of your policy, your insurance company will make reimbursement later.



You must have extensive travel insurance as a condition of booking with us, and without evidence of a valid policy you won’t be allowed to start your trip. Please click here for more information


Responsible tourism is at the heart of Imaginative Traveller. For 20 years we have taken customers to places around the world in social and environmentally responsible manner, ensuring everyone involved respects and maintains the natural and often delicate balance of the destination.

As travellers ourselves we are well aware of the impact that tourism can have and whilst economic gain from tourism is often fundamental to a country, it should never be at the expense of its culture or the environment. It is our aim to provide journeys that have minimal negative and maximum positive impact on the places we visit. We do not believe that, as visitors, we should impose our own cultures on others; rather that we should experience foreign cultures and appreciate them for what they are.

We believe giving something back is essential. We therefore work with our customers and the people we visit to ensure the benefits go directly to contribute to local cultures and environmental conservation. This is not only good the communities we visit but it also gives our travellers more enriched adventures.

For further information about responsible travel please click here.


Itinerary Variation

While the information presented here details our planned itinerary, including routes taken, activities included, accommodation and meeting times, please accept that unforseen changes may occur. We are constantly on the lookout to improve our program and further enhance your experience. Naturally, we will keep you up to date with any last minute amendments to your tour.

Single room supplement

Most of our travellers like the thought of travelling with a few like-minded souls. There are NO compulsory single supplements on most tours as we simply arrange twin shared accommodation for you and another tour member of the same sex. But don’t worry if that doesn’t appeal. We do understand there are times when you just want a bit of privacy and ‘me’ time so we are more than happy to arrange a private room upon request when you book.

Other Information

A good level of fitness is essential. You will trek on hilly or mountainous terrain at altitudes of up to 5000 metres, for up to 7 hours per day.


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