The Transformation Trek: Nepal
On this classic Himalayan trek, hike through the lush vegetation of Sagarmatha National Park (a UNESCO world heritage site), experience the Sherpa culture, feel a deep spiritual connection as we visit one of the world's highest Buddhist monasteries and have some of the most beautiful views of Mt Everest and it's neighboring peaks. Daily asana, meditation and pranayama is customized based on our trekking day.
Day 1, Sep 30
Namaste and welcome to Kathmandu!
Our trip begins today in Kathmandu. You will be met and escorted to your hotel in Kathmandu. This evening we will gather together for a welcome dinner!
Day 2, Oct 1
Explore Swayambunath Temple, Boudhanath Temple, and Durbar Square.
On our first full day in Kathmandu, we enjoy a day-long, guided tour of the ancient cities of the Kathmandu Valley. Nepal is rich in religious diversity and exploring numerous Buddhist and Hindu sites is an excellent introduction to the area. At Swayambhunath (or "the Monkey Temple") gilded Buddhist and Hindu shrines overlook the valley where monkeys and dogs squabble and pilgrims come to pay respect. Durbar Square boasts some of the most spectacular palace temples and pagodas in the valley and teems with significance to local Hindus. We also visit Boudhanath, the largest and perhaps most impressive Buddhist temple in Kathmandu, along with the adjoining monastery. Finally, we visit in Holy Hindu pilgrimage site Pashupatinath. Tonight we head back to the hotel and pack for our mountain departure!
Day 3, Oct 2
Kathmandu to Phakding village.
Early today we transfer to the airport where we board a scenic flight to Lukla. There, we meet our porters. After a cup of tea, we are on our way! Our trek begins with a leisurely and scenic four-hour hike down to the riverside village of Phakding. Prayer flags stream in the breeze as we cross sturdy suspension bridges over the roaring Dudh Kosi River to arrive at our first teahouse this evening in Phakding.
Trekking: 3-4 hours; about 4.5 miles. From Lukla (9,320'/2,840m) we lose 920'/280m over the first 3 miles of our hike, then hike a relatively flat final 1.5 miles to arrive in Phakding (8,560'/2,610m).
Day 4, Oct 3
Phakding to Namche Bazaar.
As we continue trekking today, expect the air to be cool and the trail to be shaded for a couple of hours before the sun reaches the bottom of the Dudh Kosi River valley. The trail occasionally wanders past farmhouses and crop fields, through small villages and past giant prayer wheels, and crisscrosses the river on sturdy suspension bridges. Long needle pine trees and stunning views of massive Himalayan peaks like Kangtega and Thamserku line the route as we approach the entrance to Sagarmatha National Park. The steep ascent to the village of Namche Bazaar is a good day's workout of about six hours. Namche is the world's highest marketplace, the largest Sherpa village in the Khumbu and the jumping-off point for many Everest expeditions.
Trekking: 6 hours; about 5.6 miles. We gradually gain 920' over the first 4.2 miles, then quickly gain an addition 2,000' in the final1.4 miles for a total of 2,920' of gain to reach Namche Bazaar (11,285').
Day 5, Oct 4
Acclimatization Day at Namche
We awaken to yak bells and a sunrise illuminating the 20,000' mountains that surround us! The surrounding peaks include Kwangde (20,930'), Thamserku (21,680'), and Kangtega (21,932'). We take a short hike where we come to our first breath-taking views of Mount Everest (29,035') and other legendary Himalayan peaks, including Nuptse (25,790'), Lhotse (27,605') and Ama Dablam (22,493'). A leisurely yoga practice amongst the great mountains is something you will never forget.
Day 6, Oct 5
Namche to Tengboche Monastery
Hiking out of Namche Bazaar, we traverse the lower slopes of Khumbi Yulha, a mountain held sacred by the Sherpa people. We'll descend to the river once again then ascend to Tengboche Monastery. Tengboche is surrounded by views of the snowy Himalayas and hosts the most impressive Tibetan Buddhist temple in the region.
Trekking: 5 hours; about 5 miles. From Namche Bazaar, we gradually ascend 360' over 2 miles to reach Kyangjuma (11,645'). Then we descend 985' in 1.75 miles to the Imja Khola River (10,660') where we cross the river by bridge, then ascend 2,005' in 1.25 miles from the river to reach Tengboche (12,665'). Total elevation gain: 2,365'. Total elevation loss: 985'.
Day 7, Oct 6
Tengboche to Phortse
The trek takes us on a descent through the forest as we make our way down to the river. The trail then takes us back up to the village of Phortse, a traditional Sherpa village that sees far less visitors, as it is off of the main trekking circuit, providing an authentic experience. Yoga in the yard and songs at night are always a favorite.
Trekking: 3-4 hrs. From Tengboche (12,665'), we descend to reach the river, then we cross by bridge and climb to reach Phortse (12,959')
Day 8, Oct 7
Phortse to Khumjung.
After breakfast we begin our trek to the Sherpa village of Khumjung, nestled into the slopes of the sacred mountain Khumbi Yulha. Sir Edmund Hillary, credited with Everest's first ascent, helped build the first school in the Khumbu region. We'll spend one night at a small lodge in this very traditional village where Sherpa life endures as it has for ages.
Trekking: 3.5-4 hours
Day 9, Oct 8
Khumjung to Monju
Departing Khumjung today, we pass through Namche and retrace our route. We descend through small villages and fields along the way and enjoying our final views of the big peaks from the trail. The setting in Monju is serene along the Dudh Koshi River, nestled beneath the cliffs with high rugged mountains rising from the valley floor. We'll rest by the warm stove in the dining room and enjoy a partner Thai bodywork workshop tonight!
Day 11, Oct 9
Monju to Lukla.
Our final day of trekking brings us to Lukla. Today, we honor our journey by trekking in silence. The powerful tool of becoming quiet provides the opportunity to fully absorb the experience. Tonight, after breaking silence, we have a real celebration at our final lodge and enjoy music and dancing, great food, local drink and the companionship of our guides and porters, who by now have become familiar faces and friends as well.
Trekking: 4-5 hours
Day 12, Oct 10
Return flight from Lukla to Kathmandu, weather permitting.
Very early this morning we board a flight to Kathmandu. Upon our arrival in Kathmandu, transfer to the hotel and celebrate with a hot shower! The remainder of the day is free. There are many more opportunities for exploration, souvenir shopping and sightseeing.
Note about flights: Mountain flights to and from Lukla are not always dependable; weather conditions may cause flight cancellations. Delays are possible any time of year. Our final full day is designed to accommodate some weather delays.
Day 13, Oct 11
Free day to explore the Kathmandu Valley.
Enjoy a free day exploring on your own. Breakfast and farewell dinner included. (Note: Today serves as a reserve day for return flight from Lukla in case of inclement weather delays).
Day 14, Oct 12
Our adventure ends today in Kathmandu.
This morning we transfer to the airport for departures back to the United States. Breakfast included.