Makalu Base camp trekking is one of the best treks for adventurers to explore the remote and untouched wilderness of Nepal. The trek is blessed with pristine landscape and natural beauty with the ultimate destination being Makalu Base camp at an altitude of 5250 m. Makalu (the fifth highest mountain) with its beauty and diversity, attracts many adventure-loving tourists.
The area was designated Makalu Barun National Park in 1992 to protect and promote the natural treasures of the area. The unique landscapes and the rich biodiversity are being explored and studied by people of different fields every year. The highlights of the trek are the breathtaking views of the mountains like Mt. Makalu ( 8463m), Mt. Chamlang (7319m ), Mt. Baruntse (7129m) and others than descend to Arun river (670m), within 40 km.
The colorful flowers blooming beneath the snow-white mountains and rocks arising from lush green forests are stunning contrasts of the trek. Barun Valley, with lush Rhododendrons covering the hills, high waterfalls falling into deep gorges, alpine meadows as well as glaciers, has a unique contrasting look. The climatic variations have resulted in diverse flora and fauna in the region with around 3000 species of plants.
The fauna of the region includes animals like red panda, snow leopard, Himalayan wolf, Assamese Macaque and others. 315 species of butterflies, 43 of reptile, 16 of amphibians, 440 birds and 88 mammals have been discovered in the area till date.
The people in the area are also of different cultural and ethnic backgrounds, languages and customs. Rai and Sherpas make up most of the population with their unique traditions. The trek is a naturally pleasing and culturally entertaining trip to experience the remote life of Nepal. we run this trek basic tea house trek. In the past its used to be only full camping trek.
What is Included
- Three meals a day (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) during the trek.
- Fresh fruit every evening after the dinner.
- Trekking Lodge (basic Tea House) accommodations throughout the trek.
- Makalu National Park permits & Trekkers Information Management System(TIMS) permit.
- Round trip flight fare Kathmandu-Tumlingtar-Kathmandu with including airport transfer.
- A highly experience, helpful, knowledgeable, friendly , English speaking well trained, Government License holder guide with all his salary, food, drinks, accommodation, transport and insurance.
- Strong, helpful porters with proper safety equipment and walking equipment his salary, foods, accommodation and insurance (one porter for two people).
- Strong, helpful porters with proper safety equipment and walking equipment his salary, foods, accommodation and insurance (one porter for two people).
- Arrangement of Emergency Helicopter service which will be paid by your Travel Insurance Company.
- Use of sleeping bag, down Jacket, Duffel bag and walking Poles (if you don’t have your own, To be return after trip completed).
- Nepal Eco Adventure T-shirt and cap.
- Government taxes and official expenses.
- Makalu base camp trekking map.
- Oxymeter to check your pulse and oxygen saturation and heart rate twice daily (Very useful to check Altitude Mountain Sickness(AMS) symptoms) Which will ensure you trek is in the safest hands possible for all levels of trekker.
- Assistant guide group size above 6+ person.
What is Excluded
- Meals and hotel whilst you are in Kathmandu.
- Nepal entry visa fee $50 USD visa on arrival.
- Your Travel Rescue Insurance (compulsory).
- International airfare.
- Your personal expenses.
- All the alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks.
- Tips for the guide, porter and driver (Tipping is expected).
- Hot shower and battery charging on the tea houses.
- Excess baggage more than 20kgs for Tumlingtar flight.
Join Our Fixed Trip Starting Date
|TRIP DATES||AVAILABILITY||PRICE||SPACE LEFT|
September 4, 2022 - September 20, 2022
September 11, 2022 - September 27, 2022
September 18, 2022 - October 4, 2022
September 25, 2022 - October 11, 2022
October 2, 2022 - October 18, 2022
October 9, 2022 - October 25, 2022
October 16, 2022 - November 1, 2022
October 23, 2022 - November 8, 2022
October 30, 2022 - November 15, 2022
November 6, 2022 - November 22, 2022
November 13, 2022 - November 29, 2022
November 20, 2022 - December 6, 2022
November 27, 2022 - December 13, 2022
December 4, 2022 - December 20, 2022
December 11, 2022 - December 27, 2022
December 18, 2022 - January 3, 2023
Mount Makalu lies in the Mahalangur section of the Himalayas, about 19 km southeast of Mount Everest. However, the peak lies in the Sankhuwasabha district in Province no. 1.
Yes, you can trek the routes alone without hiring a guide or porter, but it might not be easy if you are a beginner. Because you have to search for your own accommodation, there are no proper markings or signboards, no village insight for several kilometers.
Makalu Base Camp Trek is graded as moderate to difficult level trek. The level of difficulty mostly depends upon an individual and their experiences. If you are a regular trekker, the route will be less demanding, but it will be nerve-racking if you are a beginner.
Makalu Base camp is the highest point in this trek, so the maximum altitude you reach is 4870 m above sea level.
No, there aren’t any kind of restrictions on this trek, so enjoy it fully.
Yes, permits are compulsory to complete the Makalu Base Camp Trek. You will need a Makalu Barun National Park entry permit and a Makalu Rural Municipality permit.
Best time for Makalu Base Camp Trek
Like any other trekking route of Nepal, spring and autumn are the best seasons to Trek to Makalu Base Camp. It is because both seasons have pleasant temperatures and great clear skies.
However, you can visit the routes during winter and monsoon but only during specific months or weeks due to weather conditions. The number of trekkers visiting Makalu Base Camp during these seasons is very low.
Moreover, we know when to and how to trek through the Makalu Base Camp routes throughout the year and make the best out of every climatic condition. So, be worry-free when traveling with us.
By far, every trekker agrees that autumn is the best season for Makalu Base Camp Trek due to the clear skies and no snowfall. However, there is an occurrence of little rainfall during the transition period from monsoon to fall.
The fall months are- September, October, and November, when daytime temperature stands sunny and pleasant. The nights won’t be harshly cold during these months, but a bit chilly depending on the elevations.
The autumn season generally triumphs from mid-September because there is still monsoon rain in the first week. The bright blue skies and crisp air kick in by the second week, giving a great view of the engaging scenarios—the temperature shots up to a maximum of 17 degrees in the day and 2 degrees at night.
October is the most enjoyable month that showcases the different shades of the lush forests and lofty mountains in the trails. The weather is also at its best, making the trek quite memorable. The average temperature reached up to 12 degrees during the day and 0 degrees at night.
November is on the verge of winter, but it is still an excellent option for 17 Days Makalu Base Camp Trek. This month will not be as temperature as other autumn months, but the walk will be enjoyable. The temperature drops to 6 degrees during the day and -2 degrees at night.
After autumn, spring is the next best season when most of the trekkers visit Makalu Base Camp. This season has sunny and warm weather with occasional snowfall at high elevations during the transition period from winter to spring.
The spring months are- March, April, and May when the skies are clear, and the mercury keeps going up with each passing day. The season brings greenery and a myriad of colors surrounding the trails.
From the initial month, spring commences with Holi in the nation. The weather slowly gets balmy, making the days seem longer and melting away the ice. The trails begin to offer the beautiful sights of blooming rhododendrons and snow-capped peaks on the backdrop. The average temperature is 11 degrees during the day and 4 degrees at night.
April is a great month to plan your Makalu Base Camp Trek Itinerary. It is warm in lower regions and moderately chilly in higher areas. The spring fascinates every trekker with the fully bloomed flora and lofty peaks. The average temperature ranges about 11 degrees in the day and 7 degrees at night.
May is the best month for climbing mountains and trekking in the Himalayas. The weather is favorable to travel in the Makalu as it keeps getting warmer day by day. The temperature ranges from 15 degrees during the day and 10 degrees at night.
Winter is off-season but still trekking is possible for Makalu Base Camp Trek with extra precaution. To travel in this season, you need to be able to tolerate the high and low erratic weather and temperatures.
The winter months are- December, January, and February, when the trails let you experience unique moments with outstanding views. The best part of hiking in winter is the low number of trekkers.
December becomes the winter wonderland for those who enjoy peace and privacy during their voyage. The cold is just beginning, but the trails are already empty and quiet for Makalu Trek. The temperature is 6 degrees at day and -3 degrees at night.
January is the coldest month of them all when a lot of snow will block the paths due to heavy snowfall. So, you might have to return halfway or take another route which can be long and challenging, thus be careful. The temperature ranges from 4 degrees during the day and -8 degrees at night.
February shows the end of winter, but it is still chilly throughout the region. However, the skies are clear, offering excellent visibility with a less crowded route. The trails are emptier and quieter than usual, giving a true sense of adventure in the Himalayas. The daytime temperature ranges about 7 degrees and drops to -5 degrees by night.
Monsoon is the unpreferable season to plan the Makalu Base Camp Trek itinerary due to the steady rain shower. There are high chances of natural calamities like floods and landslide occurrence at this time.
The monsoon months are- June, July, and August, when there is a rise in temperature and erratic rainfall. Due to them, the weather is humid, and insects like leeches, bugs crawl in the paths.
The first week of June is okay to plan your Makalu Base Camp Trek Itinerary as the weather is still acceptable with no dark clouds or frequent rainfall. But as the days pass on, slight rain and dark clouds start to hover over the trails.
There is still an occurrence of heavy rainfall in July, making the air more humid and hot. So, trekking during this month can enhance the risk of injury due to wet and slippery roads.
The humidity and rain begin to recede as August hits the trails. The skies slowly clear up, but the routes will still be soaked with mud, so waiting a week or two to begin the trek is better.
If you look past the muddy trails and obstructed view, you can notice the beautiful species of flower that begin to grow due to continued rainfall in the courses. The maximum temperature reaches a maximum of 18 degrees at day and 2 degrees at night.
How Difficult is Makalu Base Camp Trek?
Makalu Base Camp route is rated moderate to strenuous level trek, but the toughness is nothing compared to climbing the Makalu peak. The elevation gain, weather uncertainties, actual trekking distance, and other things are what make the trek challenging.
Like any other trek, the route follows through several ups and downs to reach the base camp. Also, it takes you above 3000 m marks and keeps you in the Makalu region for about 14 days.
Even though the trek is demanding, it is not impossible. With the right gears and proper practice, you can reduce the risks and make the journey successful. Trekkers of any type (novice or professional) can complete the trek.
Factors that determine Makalu Base Camp Trek Difficulties
Makalu trek is not considered the most leisurely trek due to the remoteness, changing terrain, high altitude passes, unpredictable weather, and more. The journey is quite a challenge to touch nature's paradise.
You need to walk in the rugged terrain for 5 to 7 hours each day while covering 15 km. Also, the trails go through several steep and long ups, downs, turns, and twists.
However, the route of Makalu Base Camp will be a more minor hurdle for trekkers with prior experience. But, it doesn't mean the trek is not suitable for novice trekkers. It is just that climbing the trails and walking long hours will feel harsh and tiring for them.
With no prior trekking experience, Trekkers will quickly get exhausted and slow down the group. They will need to stop and rest after every climb or hour, which can irritate their companion, creating awkwardness.
Elevation gain difficulty
The rapid and continuous change in elevation can cause altitude sickness, which is a significant hurdle during the Trek to Makalu Base Camp. You begin the trekking journey from 867 m and reach up to 4870 m within a few days span.
If you walk steep ascend and descend, gaining up to 1500 m altitude in a day, then it can cause health-related problems. The quicker you rise in high altitude, the more it raises the risk of Acute Mountain Sickness.
Acute Mountain Sickness is triggered due to reduced air pressure and low oxygen level in high places. If this illness worsens, then it can be dangerous and life-threatening for trekkers. But do not panic because not every person suffers from altitude sickness.
People say the symptoms of AMS feel similar to a hangover. Trekkers suffering from AMS get dizzy, out of breath, have difficulty sleeping, headache, nausea, vomiting, etc.
If you feel any of the mentioned indications, immediately inform your close companion or the guide. Your guide will give you direction on what to do next. Usually, people either halt in the same destination or trek to lower areas.
Makalu Base Camp Trek is remote and not as popular as other trekking destinations, so very limited services are available. The trek has only come to the limelight in a few years; thus, the area is still developing.
Due to this reason, you won't find several facilities like 3-star accommodation, different cuisines, western snacks, etc. There are no proper modes of transportation, so the routes are deprived of much technology.
There are few lodges and tea houses with essential services available on the trek. The number of shops between two destinations is also low, so be prepared beforehand.
The low number of accommodations will be a problem when trekking during autumn and spring. During these seasons, the routes are overpacked so you won't find rooms on the spot.
Also, the number of rooms available in lodges is limited. So, if you travel in large groups without advance booking, you might have to sleep on the kitchen floors or lobby.
Unexpected weather conditions are the main reason to make your trek colorless. No one can say what can happen next in the mountains, as it can be sunny one second and windy the next.
However, weather is more troublesome when trekking during the winter and monsoon seasons. The trails are cold, wet, muddy, and slippery at these times due to snow and rainfall.
In monsoon, the beauty of nature gets hidden behind the dark clouds, and in winter, the roads get blocked due to heavy snowfall. There are also flight cancellations and delays due to fog and rain showers.
The trails to Makalu Base Camp are not appropriately marked. The directions are plentiful in the earlier section at a lower elevation, but as you ascend in the paths, the markings get fainter and terrains more difficult.
The route is remote, so you will hardly find people to help you navigate. Thus, in case you get lost, it will be a significant problem for you. Also, sometimes it feels daunting to trek along and not see other trekkers for hours.
Blisters might not seem a significant problem to some, but it is because to imagine walking in the rugged terrain with a blistered foot for the next 14 days. Blisters are mainly caused due to inappropriate and poorly fitting shoes.
Due to a slight bulge, your entire journey can become disappointing because it creates difficulty in walking for long hours due to the continuous pain. So, make sure to carry the right shoes for the trek.
Tips for Makalu Base Camp Trek
Prepare yourself beforehand
Always prepare yourself physically and mentally before beginning the trek. You need to exercise and increase your stamina plus leg strength to continue walking in the rugged terrains. While keeping your mind calm for mental support.
You can prepare for the trek by going on short hikes and camping in higher altitudes. Other ways are long walking, running, swimming, cycling, hitting the gym, and more.
For mental strength, you can do yoga, meditation, control panic, etc. The preparation does not require 2 to 3 months, and you can prepare yourself 2 to 3 weeks before the 17 Days Makalu Base Camp Trek.
Many trekkers walk more than the required hours to finish the trip fast, which is a huge mistake. Doing so will only create health-related problems for them. It would help if you traveled slowly while taking your time to enjoy the moments.
It is suggested not to trek more than 500 to 700 m a day. Walking quickly without resting will cause AMS. So, move slowly while letting your body adjust to the environment to reduce the chances of altitude sickness.
You have no prior knowledge about the mountains, so you can get lost if you walk fast and lose sight of your group.
The next tip is to put more than one acclimatization in your itinerary to avoid altitude sickness. If the trek has shorter days, you can add a day for acclimatization, but if it is longer, put 2 to 3 according to your need.
Acclimatization is another natural remedy to reduce the chances of Acute Mountain Sickness. During these rest days, you don’t sleep all day. Instead, you walk around and hike to higher places to familiarize your body with the environment.
If you are a newcomer or novice trekker, make sure to add acclimatization before climbing higher elevations.
Bring your bottle and keep drinking water.
Drinking water is the essential piece of advice that you need to follow. Each day you walk for several hours feeling sweaty, so the chances of dehydration are high. Thus, carry a bottle with you and keep drinking 3 to 4-liter water every few hours.
Drinking water is another way to avoid altitude sickness. You will also find bottled water in the lodges, but you can’t be sure when to find the next shop. So, if you bring a bottle, you can feel it with stream water or at the hotel where you stay.
Keep in mind that the natural water source is unknown, so you get stomach aches or diarrhea. Thus to avoid these situations, you need to carry water purification tablets that kill harmful bacteria.
The trails of Makalu Base Camp lie in a remote area, so it is still not loaded with tea houses and lodges. Thus, if you travel without booking in peak times, then you might not get any rooms for the night.
So, whether you trek during peak or off-seasons, make sure to book your rooms in advance. This eliminates the trouble of visiting hotel to hotel for accommodation.
Avoid cigarettes and alcohol.
Even if you are a professional trekker, avoid drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes. Your body is trying to adjust with the increasing cold and decreasing oxygen in higher elevation. So, if you smoke or drink, it reduces the ability of your body to cope with the rising altitude.
Carry equivalent currency
There are no ATMs and e-banking available in the trails of Makalu Base Camp, so you need to carry cash that is enough for the entire trek. Make sure to bring the equivalent currency as they do not take money other than Nepalese rupees.
Food and Accommodation for Makalu Base Camp Trek
Food and Accommodation are more simple in comparison to Everest and Annapurna trek. You won’t find fancy rooms, dining areas, or various cuisines in these trails.
Instead, the rooms are simple twin-sharing that comes with beds, pillows, and blankets. You need to share the room with your fellow companion as individual ones are unavailable.
Also, the toilets are built outside the lodges and only have common sharing ones. So, you need to wait in the queue for your turn.
Likewise, you will eat different food for lunch and breakfast like soup, noodles, spaghetti, Tibetan bread, toast with jam, parathas, boiled eggs, scrambled eggs, and more.
Similarly, your dinner will always be the authentic Khana set that comes with rice, dal, curry, pickles, and other side dishes. This food gives you enough protein required to walk in the trails.
Please note that our company will only provide you with breakfast in Kathmandu and three meals during the trek. You need to pay for your lunch and dinner while staying in Kathmandu.
Guide and Porter
Solo trekking is available for Makalu Base Camp, so many trekkers get confused on whether to hire someone or not. Well, several people before you have gone individually and completed the trek, so it depends on your previous experiences and preparations.
However, we will recommend you to hire either a guide or porter or both. It is because the trials of Makalu are quiet and empty, so if you get injured or lost, there will be some for your safety and security.
Hiring a guide will be helpful as they navigate the way for you and act as a mediator. Likewise, a porter will carry your baggage, making your walk more accessible. If you wish, you can hire any one of them or both according to your budget.
Permits required for Makalu Base Camp Trek
To complete the Makalu Base Camp Trek, you need to carry two permits- Makalu Barun National Park Permit and Makalu Rural Municipality Permit. There is no requirement of TIMS for this journey.
The Makalu Rural Municipality permit cost is USD 20; NPR 2000.
The Makalu barun National Park entry fee is USD 30, NPR 3000.
You can purchase these permits from the Nepal Immigration office in Kathmandu or from the entry point of Makalu Barun National park.
Makalu Base Camp Trek Cost Estimation
Our 17 Days Makalu Base Camp Trek package covers the cost of Accommodation, airport picks and drops, meals during the trek, porter, guide, and more.
However, it does not cover your personal expenses like bar bills, hot shower, charging devices during the trek, Wifi, etc. You need to carry 15 to 25 USD for these for a day. Make sure to bring the equivalent local currency.
Travel insurance is always compulsory if you wish to begin your trek in the Himalayas. No one can predict what mishaps can happen in the mountains, so insurance is essential to be on the safe side.
Having travel insurance gives you several benefits like emergency evacuation, covering your medical bills, and more. If you get injured or are stuck in the mountains, a helicopter will be sent for your rescue.
You are traveling to a high altitude and many companies do not cover high elevation treks. Also, our 17 Days Makalu Base Camp Trek cost does not cover travel insurance, so make sure the company you find covers this altitude.
Packing list for Makalu Base Camp Trek
This is a comprehensive packing list, so summer and winter clothes are mentioned here. We will provide a separate list to you according to your travel month or season.
- Sun hat
- Woolen hat
- Buff or balaclava
- Woolen shirt
- Thick sweater
- Waterproof jacket
- Thermal high neck
- Long sleeve shirt
- Half sleeve shirt
- Fleece jacket
- Sports bra
- Thermal bottoms
- Loose fighting shorts or skirts
- Waterproof pants
- Thermal underwear
- Liner gloves
- Woolen gloves
- Trekking gloves
- Thin socks
- Woolen socks
- Trekking boots
- Hiking shoes
- Toothbrush and paste
- Multipurpose soap
- Toilet paper
- Wet wipes
- Moisturizer, lip guard, and sunscreen
- Medical kit
- Solar power banks
- Plastic bags
- Headlamp or torch
- Water bottle
We provide you with a few trekking equipment like a duffel bag, down jacket, sleeping bag, hiking poles, etc. But you need to bring the remaining things on your own. However, after completing the trek, trekkers need to return the goods to us before your departure.