Top things to do and trek in Kathmandu before your Everest Base Camp adventure

before everest base camp

Planning to trek to Everest Base Camp (EBC) is an exciting adventure. However, acclimatizing to high altitudes before your Everest Base Camp is crucial for a successful and enjoyable adventure.

If you are flying from a country with a significant time difference and spending long hours on a plane, it is better to spend a day or two exploring the city before the big adventure. This will help your body adjust to jet lag and the time difference.

Kathmandu, at an altitude of 1,345 meters (4,412 ft), offers several acclimatization hikes and activities to help you prepare for the higher altitudes you’ll encounter on your trek.

This blog post will guide you through the best pre-EBC acclimatization hikes, day tours, other activities, and accommodation options in Kathmandu.

 Why Acclimatization is Important

When you fly from Kathmandu to Lukla (2,840 meters / 9,317 feet) on the first day of your EBC trek, you experience a significant altitude change.

For those coming from sea level, this can be challenging. Acclimatization hikes in Kathmandu can help your body adjust gradually, making the transition smoother and reducing the risk of altitude sickness.

Top 5 One-Day Hiking Options from Kathmandu before your Everest Base Camp Trek

  1. Champadevi Hill Hike (2,278 meters / 7,473 feet)

Champadevi Hill hike offers stunning views of the Kathmandu Valley and the distant Himalayas.

It’s a moderate trek, perfect for acclimatization. The total hiking time is roughly 4 hours of ups and downs, with about a 1.5-hour round-trip drive from the Thamel area to its starting point in Hattiban.

You will gain approximately 930 meters in altitude.

height of champadevi hill 2278 meters

  1. Shivapuri Peak Hike (2,732 meters / 8,963 feet)

Located in Shivapuri National Park, this hike takes you through lush forests and offers panoramic views of the Langtang range.

It’s a moderate to challenging day trek, perfect for acclimatization before Everest Base Camp trek. The total hiking time is roughly 6 hours of ups and downs, with about a 1-hour round-trip drive from the Thamel area to its starting point in Panimuhan.

You will gain approximately 1,385 meters in altitude.

shivapuri peak day hike

  1. Phulchoki Hike (2,700 meters / 8,858 feet)

Phulchoki, the highest hill surrounding the Kathmandu Valley, provides a challenging hike with rewarding views and diverse flora and fauna.

It’s a challenging day trek, perfect for acclimatization before heading on a trek to EBC. The total hiking time is roughly 6 hours of ups and downs, with about a 2-hour round-trip drive from the Thamel area to its starting point in Godavari.

You will gain approximately 1,355 meters in altitude.

phulchoki day hike from kathmandu

  1. Jamacho Hike (2,130 meters / 6.988 feet)

A relatively short hike that offers beautiful views of Kathmandu and the surrounding mountains, perfect for a day’s outing.

It’s an easy to moderate day trek, perfect for acclimatization before heading on an EBC trek. The total hiking time is roughly 3.5 hours of ups and downs, with about a 1-hour round-trip drive from the Thamel area to its starting point in Fulbari.

You will gain 785 meters in altitude, hiking from 1,345 meters in Kathmandu to the top at 2,130 meters.

jamacho trek

  1. Hike to Bagdwar (2,490 meters / 8,169 feet)

This hike leads you to the source of the Bagmati River and offers a peaceful trail through dense forests.

It’s a moderate day trek, perfect for acclimatization before heading on an EBC trek. The total hiking time is roughly 4.5 hours of ups and downs, with about a 1-hour round-trip drive from the Thamel area to its starting point in Panimuhan.

It follows the same trail to Shivapuri Peak up to Bagdwar. You will end your hike there, while those heading to the peak will ascend another 242 meters to reach the top.

You will gain 1,145 meters in altitude, hiking from 1,345 meters in Kathmandu to 2,490 meters.

bagdwar day hike

Here are some helpful links with detailed information for those planning their first Everest Base Camp trek:

Got more questions? Browse our blog posts or reach out to me for more information.

Best Day Tours in Kathmandu

  1. Kathmandu UNESCO Heritage Sites Day Tour

During the Kathmandu Sightseeing Day Tour, explore the rich cultural heritage of Kathmandu by visiting UNESCO World Heritage Sites such as Swayambhunath, Boudhanath, Pashupatinath, and Patan Durbar Square.

  1. Bhaktapur and Bungmati Khokana Day Tour

Discover the ancient city of Bhaktapur and the traditional villages of Bungmati and Khokana, known for their rich Newari culture.

Bhaktapur Durbar Square- Cultural Nepal

  1. Trishuli River Rafting Day Tour

For adventure enthusiasts, a day of rafting on the Trishuli River offers thrilling rapids and beautiful scenery.

Tirshuli River rafting

Other Activities Before or After EBC

  1. Visit to Chitwan National Park

Experience a different side of Nepal with a safari in Chitwan National Park, home to diverse wildlife including rhinos, tigers, deers and elephants.

Chitwan National Park Jungle Safari Tour deer

  1. Visit Pokhara

This beautiful lakeside town is a must-visit, offering stunning views of the Annapurna range, serene lakes, and plenty of adventure activities like bungee, paragliding etc.


Cooking Classes in Kathmandu: A Flavorful Acclimatization Activity

Before heading on your Everest Base Camp trek, immerse yourself in the rich culinary traditions of Nepal with a cooking class in Kathmandu. This activity not only offers a delightful way to spend your time but also provides an opportunity to learn about the local culture and cuisine.

Why Take a Cooking Class?

Cultural Experience: Learn about the ingredients, techniques, and traditions that make Nepali cuisine unique.
Hands-On Learning: Engage in a practical cooking session where you can prepare and taste traditional dishes.
Social Interaction: Meet fellow travelers and locals, making new friends and sharing travel experiences.

Popular Cooking Classes in Kathmandu

Nepali Cooking Course

Location: Thamel
Highlights: This course offers a comprehensive introduction to Nepali cuisine. You’ll learn to cook popular dishes like momo (dumplings), dal bhat (lentil soup with rice), and sel roti (rice doughnut).

Seven Women Nepal Cooking School

Location: Kathmandu
Highlights: A social enterprise supporting local women, this school offers classes where you can learn to cook traditional Nepali dishes while supporting a good cause.

Ranjana’s Cooking Class

Location: Lazimpat
Highlights: Ranjana, a local chef, invites you into her home kitchen to teach you how to prepare authentic Nepali meals. The class includes a market tour to shop for fresh ingredients.

What to Expect

Market Tour: Some classes include a visit to a local market where you can see and buy fresh ingredients.
Hands-On Cooking: Prepare and cook various traditional dishes under the guidance of experienced instructors.

Tasting Session: Enjoy the fruits of your labor with a tasting session where you can savor the dishes you’ve prepared.
Recipe Booklet: Many classes provide a booklet with recipes so you can recreate the dishes at home.

Benefits for Trekkers

Nutrition: Learn to cook nutritious meals that can inspire your food choices during the trek.

Relaxation: Enjoy a relaxing and enjoyable activity to take your mind off the upcoming trek.

Cultural Insight: Gain a deeper understanding of the local culture and traditions, enhancing your overall travel experience.

Taking a cooking class in Kathmandu is a fantastic way to acclimatize while engaging in a fun and educational activity. It’s a perfect addition to your pre-EBC itinerary, offering a taste of Nepali culture and cuisine.

Longer Pre-EBC Treks for Higher Altitude Acclimatization

If you’re looking to further acclimatize with a higher altitude trek before heading to EBC, consider these options:

  1. 5-Day Langtang Valley Trek

A scenic trek that offers a great introduction to trekking in Nepal, with beautiful landscapes and rich Tamang culture.

Langtang Trek Route

  1. 4-Day Poon Hill Trek

Known for its breathtaking sunrise views over the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges from the top of Poon Hill, this 4-day Poon Hill trek is a relatively short but rewarding option to undertake before your Everest Base Camp adventure.

Trekking to EBC requires starting from Kathmandu. Since the Poon Hill trek starts from Pokhara, you will need to add an additional day or two for commuting to and from Pokhara.

Reaching an altitude of 3,210 meters will definitely help you acclimatize for your big adventure ahead.

Poon Hill Trek 2024

  1. 4-Day Mardi Himal Trek

A less crowded trek that takes you through beautiful rhododendron forests to stunning viewpoints.

Mardi Himal trek reaches an altitude of 4,200 meters. It is a better option than Poon Hill for acclimatization as it takes you almost 1,000 meters higher than Poon Hill.

5 Days Mardi Himal Trek

  1. 5-Day Annapurna Base Camp Trek

Trek through diverse landscapes to the base of the Annapurna massif, offering incredible mountain views and a rich cultural experience.

For those seeking an exotic and wilderness destination, consider adding the 5-day Annapurna Base Camp Trek before heading on your EBC adventure.

This amazing expedition for 5 days promises to unveil Nepal’s stunning scenery and profound cultural heritage, ensuring an unforgettable 5-day adventure.

Annapurna Base Camp Trek

Top 6 Hotels to Stay in Kathmandu

For a comfortable stay before or after your EBC trek, here are six recommended hotels conveniently located in or around the Thamel area:

  1. Hotel Kathmandu Suite Home (Budget)

Kathmandu Suite Home is a cozy budget-friendly hotel with all essential amenities.

  1. Hotel Mulberry (Deluxe)

A deluxe hotel offering luxurious rooms and excellent service.

  1. Hotel Kantipur Village Boutique Hotel (Budget)

A charming budget hotel with a traditional touch.

  1. Hotel Aloft Kathmandu (Deluxe)

A modern deluxe hotel with top-notch facilities.

  1. Hotel Moonlight (Budget)

A budget-friendly hotel with comfortable rooms and a friendly atmosphere.

  1. Hotel Marriott Kathmandu (Deluxe)

A deluxe hotel offering world-class amenities and exceptional comfort.

 Shopping and Gear Rental in Thamel

If you need to do some shopping or rent trekking gear, Thamel is the place to go.

This popular tourist district in Kathmandu is packed with shops selling everything from trekking gear and souvenirs to clothing and accessories.

You can find high-quality gear for rent or purchase, ensuring you’re well-prepared for your trek.

There are many things to do in Thamel, from various eateries and cafes to large hotels, from massage centers to purchasing authentic souvenirs; this place has it all.

Things to do in Thamel

Additional Information for Trekkers

Health and Safety

Make sure to get a health check-up before your trek. Carry a first-aid kit and familiarize yourself with the symptoms of altitude sickness.

Permits and Documentation

Ensure you have all the necessary permits for trekking in the Everest region. This includes the TIMS card and Sagarmatha National Park Permit.

Local Guides and Porters

Hiring a local guide or porter can enhance your trekking experience, provide insights into the local culture, and support the local economy.

Travel Insurance

Make sure you have comprehensive travel insurance for EBC trek that covers high-altitude trekking.

In conclusion,

Preparing for the Everest Base Camp trek involves careful planning and acclimatization.

By spending a few days in Kathmandu and taking advantage of the hikes, tours, and activities available, you can ensure a smoother transition to higher altitudes and enjoy a memorable trekking experience.

If you need help booking any of the above activities during your stay in Kathmandu, please feel free to get in touch with us. We are a local Kathmandu-based operator organizing various day tours and multi-day treks in the Himalayas.

Want more information? Send us your query, and our experts will get back to you within 24 hrs.

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