Trekking in Nepal is a dream for adventure enthusiasts from all around the world. The trek to the base camp of the highest mountain in the world is no different. Everest Base Camp is one of the most famous treks in Nepal and experiences a lot of foreign and domestic tourists as well. Getting there could be tricky considering the road conditions of Nepal and the constant delay of flights to Lukla.
There are multiple ways to get to the Everest region in Nepal. The easiest but uncertain one is to take a flight to Lukla and start hiking from there. The other one is to drive to Jiri. Not so popular route is to drive to Salleri and start walking. Once you reach the region, there is only one way to get to EBC, that is to walk. No matter how you decide to go to EBC, always check the weather conditions as it might hinder your flight times and it is no fun to wait in airports especially in Nepal. Also, the trails are really slippery and full of leeches in the monsoon period.
Drive to Jiri
Jiri is a town 184 km east of Kathmandu and takes about 7-8 hours depending on the road conditions. The journey meanders you through narrow and winding roads. If you have enough time and want to experience the hilly village life, then this option is definitely for you. If you are starting from Jiri, then you need to buy permits for Gaurishankar Conservation Area. It takes about 5-6 days to reach Lukla from Jiri. It is going to be a tough walk as you cross two passes, Deurali and Lamajura pass, at an altitude above 3000m. However, the trek is highly rewarding as you walk through off-the-beaten paths until you reach Lukla. The locals will greet you with a warm smile and hospitality.
Fly to Lukla
A 30 minutes flight from Kathmandu, Lukla is one of the popular and main access points for trekkers to get to EBC. The flight gives you an amazing view of the mountains only if you get a seat on the left side of the plane, where the engine rumbles for the whole time enshrouded by the cotton buds that you’re urged to stuff it in your ears. The plane teeters in midair battling the strong wind and only when you touchdown on the famous for being one of the dangerous airports in the world, you feel relieved. Certainly, this is the fastest way to get there but the fast factor is relative here in Nepal. Due to weather conditions, the flight to Lukla is uncertain and can be delayed for days. If you have fewer days to spare in your vacation, then this option could be for you.
Drive to Salleri
Taking a jeep or a bus to Salleri from Kathmandu could be the best option to get to EBC when the flight to Lukla is postponed. The shady climate at Lukla could impede your excitement and take you to a point where you no longer want to go for trekking. So, in this situation, it is best to take a jeep to Salleri and start walking from there. The jeep to Salleri runs constantly even if the flight to Lukla is not delayed or cancelled. Lukla is about 3-4 days from Salleri depending upon your level of fitness. You pass through beautiful villages like Taksindu, Ringmo, Kharikhola. You get to experience the daily life of the local people there and at the same time enjoy the stunning views of the mountains.
Choose wisely how you decide to go to the Everest region. Also, check out our Things to Expect when you trek to Everest Base Camp for more information.