Namaste! Welcome to Nepal. Please arrive by 2pm on Day 1 as we will have an important group briefing. Your leader will leave a note at reception telling you where and when this important meeting will take place. Please ask a member of reception for this information. If you touch down early then there’s much to do in Kathmandu, a city of ancient architecture and modern development, whose rich artistic and cultural heritage means it remains the legendary destination it has been for decades. Maybe head out in to the streets of Pashupatinath (home to markets, bazaars, holy men, monks, bicycles, and sacred cows), climb to Kathmandu’s most important Buddhist shrine Swayambhunath or the ‘monkey temple’, or feel out the atmosphere in Durbar Square. After the meeting the evening is free, but you’ll usually head out to one of Kathmandu’s fine restaurants.
ALTERNATIVE ITINERARY DUE TO FLIGHT CANCELLATIONS:
Weather conditions in the Himalayas can change rapidly, which frequently results in the need for changes to be made to our intended itineraries. Flights throughout Nepal, particularly in high mountain areas, can be delayed or cancelled due to poor weather conditions. Flights between Kathmandu and Lukla are particularly prone to these delays which has the potential to vary the itinerary of all departures in the Everest region. Our contingency plans in case of bad weather preventing the fixed wing aircraft flight from Kathmandu to Lukla are as follows:
Day 2 - We will attempt to board our booked fixed wing flight as per the itinerary. If this flight is cancelled we will return to our hotel in Kathmandu for an additional night.
Day 3 - We will again attempt to board our booked fixed wing flight. If this flight is cancelled but helicopters are available and permitted to fly to Lukla we will use our best endeavours to charter a helicopter to transport the group. Travellers will need to use their emergency fund to cover the cost of this chartered helicopter. The exact cost will depend on how many travellers are in your group and could be up to US$500. It is common practice for the helicopter company to charge varying prices, so you may pay different amounts to others on the flight. If we reach Lukla on Day 3 by either fixed wing aircraft or helicopter we will then follow the same itinerary to Everest Base Camp, but descend over one less day in order to take our return flight from Lukla on Day 14.
Day 4 - If no flights (either plane or helicopter) are possible on the morning of Day 3, then on Day 4 we will travel by road to Phaplu (approximately 9 hours drive by private vehicle) and then trek to Tengboche on the Everest Base Camp route, via Lukla. While we will not be able to reach Gokyo Lakes on this altered itinerary, we should still have enough time to reach Everest Base Camp at a safe rate of ascent.
We also advise allowing a few extra days in Kathmandu at the end of your trip should your return flights from Lukla be delayed due to weather conditions.