Makalu Base Camp Trek

Duration23 Days
Trip GradeChallenging
Maximum Altitude5150 M
Group Size1-12
Best TimeMarch to May & Sept to Dec

Makalu Base Camp Trek highlights

  • Natural Wonders of the Eastern Nepal
  • Closer View of Mt. Everest and other peaks
  • Makalu Barun National Park for its amazing biodiversity
  • Ethnic Villages of Rais and Limbus
  • Less crowded trekking trails
  • Teahouse trekking
  • A different experience from that of other popular trekking regions like Everest, Annapurna, and Manaslu Circuit trek

Makalu Base Camp Trek Overview

Makalu Base Camp Trek is a memorable trip along off-the-beaten-path trekking in Nepal. It takes you through the less frequented trails around the 5th highest peak in the world. Mt. Makalu (8,463 m) lies around 15 kilometers east of Mt. Everest (8,848.86 m).

Located between Everest region and Mt. Kanchenjunga (8,586 m), it is a lifelong memory one must have. Especially, those who want to have something different choose this trek. The avid trekkers having previous Nepal trekking experience can easily do this trip.

While walking along the silent Nepal Trekking trails, you can have a closer view of Mt. Everest and other snow-capped peaks. Mt. Lhotse (8,516 m), Mt. Chamlang (7,319 m), Mt Kanchenjunga, and Mt. Makalu itself come into your sight.

The wildlife and vegetation of Makalu Barun National Park also make your trip more meaningful. Makalu Base Camp Trek is also known for this protected area. You can have glimpses of rare animals of the Himalayan ecological belt.

The national park houses 315 species of butterflies and 440 bird species. This region is best for butterflies and bird-watching tours as well. Besides, 3,128 plant species, 43 reptiles, 16 amphibians, 78 fish, and 88 mammals are found here.

The major plant species found here are rhododendrons, primroses, orchids, juniper, and fir. You can find 30 species, and 25 species of rhododendron flowers of Nepal. If you do Makalu Barun Trek in spring, the entire region looks colorful.

The Makalu region trek has been densely populated by the Kirant religious group since even before the birth of modern Nepal. Limbus and Rai are living here by keeping their age-long lifestyle, culture, and tradition still intact. Despite the remoteness due to geographical conditions, these people are living happily in this part of the country.

How to Get Makalu Trek

The Makalu Base Camp Trek can be started from two important places in eastern Nepal. One is Tumlingtar of Sankhuwasabha district while the other is Dhankuta Hile.

You can fly from Kathmandu to Tumlingtar within an hour’s duration. On the other hand, driving to Hile from Kathmandu takes around 13 hours. The choice is yours which mode of transportation to use!

Nevertheless, most of the local tour operators develop Makalu Base Camp trek itineraries to start from Tumlingtar. You reach Makalu Base Camp (4,870 m) on the 7th day after you have formally begun the trip.

You will stop the nights in teahouses established on the stops around the Makalu region trek. The teahouses provide basic food and accommodation facilities to the trekkers. However, the food items are hygienic and organic produced on their farm.

You spend a day at the base camp of Mt. Makalu and explore the important natural sites around. Then, you go for a Round Makalu trek that it takes around 8 days to get to Tumlingtar. During the more than two weeks’ time, you get first-hand knowledge about the culture and nature of this remote area.

Makalu Trekking Difficulty

Talking about the Makalu trek difficulty, it is a moderately challenging trek in Nepal. You have to reach the highest altitude 4,870 m of the base camp. Although the trails are less crowded, only a few trekkers have been to this region.

You have to go across a few high passes during this trek. The highest pass to climb is Keke La Pass (4,230). Another is Tutu La Pass (4,200 m), which is also called Shipton’s Pass. Eric Shipton was the first person to pass this high pass in 1954.

Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) is another difficulty of this trek. As you have to spend nights above 2,500 m, it is always possible for AMS. However, slow walking and enough rest can help you prevent this.

The Next factor to add to the Makalu trek difficulty is the duration of the trekking per day. You have to walk nearly 5 hours every day along the rugged trails going up and down. It is not that easy for everyone to cover the given distance within a limited timeframe.

Considering the Nepal trekking duration, Nepal trekking trail conditions, and high passes, we don’t recommend it for beginners. It is the best fit for those who have a habit of regularly walking along the steep up and down. Previous Nepal trekking experience becomes an added qualification as well.

The weather at the time you plan your Nepal trek is also responsible for making it a success. The winter may be unfavorable due to heavy snow while heavy rainfall in monsoon. Therefore, spring (March- May) and autumn (September – November) are the best times for the Makalu Base Camp trek.

Trip PlanExpand All

Upon your arrival, the crewmember of the agency welcomes you at the Tribhuvan International Airport. Afterwards, you are taken to the hotel locate nearby Thamel Bazaar. As soon as you are fresh, you can roam around Thamel where you can see the foreign tourists from all around the world.

The tour guide takes you for an excursion around Kathmandu Valley. You will go around the World Heritage Sites recognized by the UNESCO. Until other provision, you visit Swayambhunath Stupa (the Monkey Temple), Patan Durbar Square, Pashupatinath Temple and Bouddhanath Stupa.

There are still three more such cultural sites in the Kathmandu Valley and other three are out of the Capital City. If the itinerary supports, you can also travel around Kathmand Durbar Square, Bhaktapur Durbar Square and Changunarayan Temple.

After you come back to the hotel after the guided tour around Kathmandu, the team leader meets you there. Then after, he will give briefing about Makalu Base Camp trek itinerary and its challenges.

After breakfast, you will to the Kathmandu Airport to take Kathmandu Tumlingtar flight. You   reach Tumlingtar, the gateway to Makalu Base Camp trek, in an hour. The mountain flight gives you the enchanting view of the Great Himalayas, and deep valleys surrounded by the green forests.

Then, you formally begin the trekking to Makalu region from Tumlingtar. You walk past a village Chilchila by ejoying the picturesque villages and Himalayan forests. In the end, you reach Num for the night station.


Following the banks of the Arun River valley, you march ahead. you will walk past the cultivated farmlands with different crops and vegetables. The trekking from Num to Seduwa takes nearly 7 hours by walking through the steep uphill and downhill trails.

From Seduwa, you enter into Makalu Barun National Park and Conservation Area. Therefore, you should take a permit there. In the leisure time, you can explore the beauty of nature and cultural diversity.


Early in the morning, you descend along the trail that runs from between the Ispuwa Khola and the Kasuwa Khola. The track moves further alongside the paddy cultivation area and beautiful villages. By enjoying the spellbinding wilderness of Makalu region, you reach Tashi Gaun. It is a beautiful village that serves with the astounding panorama of the Himalayas.


You begin the trip immediately after having breakfast. The trail stretches along with the grazing meadows of the alpine region. While measuring the rocky trail, you can see the herds of yak and sheep munching the green grass.

The dense forests of oak and rhododendron safeguarding such meadows make the journey more fascinating. By crossing the stone-paved trail until the top of a ridge, you reach Khongma Danda. Enjoy the appealing view of the nearby forests inhabited by the diverse animals and birds. Moreover, the sunset view of the surrounding is equally worthy of observing.


Today’s trekking is short, yet more challenging as you have to cross a couple of passes above 4,000m. The trail moves along the dense woodlands offering the alluring outlook of the snowcapped peaks. The sight of two natural lakes: Thulo Pokhari and Sano Pokhari adds up to the beauty of the trip.

You should go across Keke La Pass (4,230m) and Tutu La Pass (4,200m). Tutu La Pass is also known as Shipton’s Pass as it was first conquered by Eric Shipton in 1954. The view from these passes are beyond description!

The environment is made up of pine, birch, hemlock and rhododendron forests.  You might have the occasional glimpses of the Himalayan animals and birds as well. When you get to Mumbuk, you end up today’s travel.


The trail moves along the Barun Khola banks and then through some meadows. Some of the sections of the track may be slippery as it lies in the damp side. You have to walk being properly careful to avoid the possible accidents.

On the way, you might also encounter some herds of yaks and sheep grazing in these grassy lands. After you leave Tamatan Kharka and Yangri Kharka, you arrive at Nehe Kharka.


Today’s trekking trail moves along the large prayer wall reflecting Buddhist culture in Makalu region. As the altitude increases, the density of the forests decreases accordingly.

Also called Makalu Lower Base Camp trek rewards you with the rarely magnificent view of the Barun Glacier and Mt. Makalu (8,481m). You move further enjoying the meadows with yaks and sheep grazing in the wonderful reflection of Mt. Baruntse to reach Sherson.


This is the most awaited day as you are going to reach Makalu Base Camp (4,870m). The route follows the Barun Khola banks and a few small passes as well. You will have the captivating outlook of the eight-thousanders of the Eastern Himalayas.

From Makalu Base Camp, you have the panoramic view of Arun Valley, landscapes covered with dense forests and snow-clad peaks. You will also realize the sense of victory over the top  destination in the Himalayas.


To witness the beautiful sunrise view from Makalu Base Camp, you should wake up early in the morning. The output of the challenging off the beaten path trekking to Makalu region comes into your memory.

From here, you also come to see the snowy peaks of the Everest region including Mt. Everest (8,848m). Later in the day, you can take short side trips around Makalu Base Camp. The worth having a look into are the glaciers, small ponds and waterfalls including forests.


After storing the lifelong memory in the camera and the mind, you descend through the trail you passed a couple of days back. The splendid sight of Mt. Everest region and dense forests inhabited by birds and animals make the retreat trip more rewarding. Walking for nearly 7 hours, you arrive at Nehe Kharka to wrap up the trekking today.


After breakfast, you begin to descend towards Mumbuk by enjoying the same old view of the Himalayas and green forests. As the trekking down is faster, you cover a comparatively longer distance today.


You end up the trip to Khongma Gaun after walking the downhill trail for about 6 hours.


After breakfast, you begin the trek up to Tashi Gaun and spend the night there.


By walking past the Kasuwa River Valley, you continue the trip along the Arun River banks. While moving ahead, you go across Mulgaun, which has cultivated farmlands with corn and barley.

Running along the rugged trail, you reach Balung Village in the end of the day. This is a beautiful village populated by Rai and Kshetri ethnic people. The friendly people have been living in the best of harmony for ages.


Following the banks of the Ishpuwa Khola and crossing a few suspension bridges, you reach Chayang. It is a Rai village where people follow Kirant religion. Then, on the way, you walk past Parangbu village situated on the Arun River banks. You will stay at Pukuwa Village by enjoying the wilderness and beautiful landscapes.


After having breakfast, you continue your journey through a trail that passes along dense forests and steep cliffs. En route, you come to go across Tome village in the Arun valley region. By following the Sankhuwa River banks, you will reach Bumling, a Kshetri village to end the trekking today.


Today is the last day of trekking in Makalu region and perhaps the shortest duration as well. Following the rugged trail moving uphill and downhill all the way through the dense forests, you reach Tumlingtar. Enjoy the trekking as far as you can. You can also make a celebration by making party with your fellow travelers.


You fly back to Kathmandu from Tumlingtar after having breakfast. After landing at the Kathmandu Airport, you will go to the hotel. In the daytime, you can go around the market to purchase necessary stuffs.

You can also take rest throughout the day at the hotel or even party with the fellow travelers. In the evening, the agency invites you to farewell dinner at a cultural restaurant around Thamel. You will really enjoy the cultural shows of the restaurant.


The crewmember of the agency escorts you up to the Kathmandu Airport as per the flight schedule. We hope you enjoyed Makalu Base Camp trek very much with Nepal Trekking Routes.

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Cost Details
  • Airport pick-up and drop off service ,
  • Trekking Guide and Trekking porter (Two participant=1 porter =Maximum 25 kg of luggage) Porter is not include for solo traveler
  • Breakfast, accommodation during the trekking and Kathmandu following iteniry
  • Sleeping bags, down jackets, duffel bags and trekking sticks if required,
  • Trekking permit of National park,
  • TIMS(Trekking Information Management System )
  • Flight fare Kathmandu to Tumlingtar and Tumlingtar to kathmandu
  • Insurance and equipment for the trekking staffs
  • First aid kit
  • Farewell dinner in Kathmandu with cultural program in typical Traditional nepali resturant

As you know, a few responsible factors determine the cost of a trek or tour package. The duration, type of food and accommodation facilities, the number of guide and porter you hire and the mode of transportation are some of them.

And if it is a restricted area trekking, it also costs higher than Free Individual Trekking. Makalu Base Camp trek is not a restricted area trekking; therefore it is not as costly as other trekking regions. For more details, you can reach us via phone call, email, WhatsApp or online booking system.

Yes, of course, you can! Makalu Base Camp trek can be customized to Kanchenjunga Makalu trek, Makalu Arun Valley trek or Makalu Everest Base Camp trek, etc.

Solo trek to Makalu Base Camp can be done as there is no restricted zone en route to the usual route to the base camp. However, we highly recommend you hire a professional guide. The guide and the porter help you in problems like finding the right trekking tracks. Likewise, if you suffer from Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), they will help you further.

The usual trail to the base camp of Mt. Makalu (8,463m) doesn’t have any restricted area. That means, you don’t require any special permit to do this trek. However, if you want to connect to Upper Arun Valley trek, you need a restricted area permit of Sankhuwasabha district.

Makalu Kimathangka, Chepuwa, Hatiya and Pawakhola are the restricted areas bordering with the Tibetan Autonomous Region. You have to purchase another permit if you want to reach these places.

Normally, you need the following permits to make Makalu Base Camp trek


Makalu Barun National Park Entry Permit

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