Everest & Gokyo Lakes Circuit

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£2,349
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Trip code: 
TNE
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group Adventure Holidays, Tailormade Adventures
Activity:
Point-to-point Walking
Min age:
18
Group size:
2–12

Circular trek via the Gokyo Lakes, crossing the Cho La Pass to Everest Base Camp

This circular Everest Base Camp trek explores the heart of the Sherpa homeland, from Namche Bazaar to the Gokyo Valley, crossing the glaciated Cho La Pass and on to the classic route to Everest Base Camp used by the great climbing parties. Allowing ample time for acclimatisation, we are able to explore this high mountain wilderness, the quieter Gokyo Valley as well as the main Everest trails. Our goal is Everest Base Camp on the Khumbu Glacier with the chance to climb iconic Kala Pattar (5545m), which offers fabulous close-up views of Mount Everest.

Highlights

  • Enjoy a circular trek via the quieter Gokyo Valley
  • Stay beside the azure blue glacial lake at Gokyo
  • Cross the Ngozumpo Glacier and conquer the Cho La Pass
  • Ascend Kala Pattar and Gokyo Ri for views of Everest and other Himalayan giants
  • Trek to Everest Base Camp and stand at the foot of the highest mountain on Earth

Key information

  • 3 nights standard hotels and 15 nights teahouses
  • 15 days point-to-point walking with full porterage
  • Group normally 2 to 12 plus tour leader and local staff. Min. age  18 yrs
  • Altitude maximum 5545m, average 4100m
  • Travel by private minibus and 2 domestic flights
  • Staff carry oxygen, a PAC bag, and a first aid kit on trek

What's included

  • All breakfasts
  • Morning bed-tea on trek
  • Welcome drink at each overnight lodge
  • 3 nights hotels and 15 nights teahouses
  • All listed transport and activities
  • Tour leader throughout, plus local staff (staff to client ratio of 1:4 on trek)
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • Full porterage throughout trek
  • Exodus kitbag 
  • Trekking map (provided locally)
  • Trekking permit and national park fees

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request, Kathmandu only)
  • Visas and vaccinations
  • Sleeping bag (hire in advance from £45*)
  • Down jacket (hire in advance from £45*)
  • *Hire package incl. sleeping bag & down jacket from £63
Call us on
0208 772 3936
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

15 (one optional)

Pace:

Approximately 6 to 9 hrs walking on average per day, with some shorter/longer days (crossing the Cho La is a 12 hr day)

Terrain:

High altitude; mostly well-established trails - snow is possible at the highest parts. One mountain pass involving steep, rocky terrain, some scrambling and walking on a glacier

Day by day breakdown
Day 38.0km/5.0miles
Day 415.0km/9.0miles
Day 57.0km/4.0miles
Day 610.0km/6.0miles
Day 710.0km/6.0miles
Day 86.0km/4.0miles
Day 95.0km/3.0miles
Day 1010.0km/6.0miles
Day 119.0km/6.0miles
Day 126.0km/4.0miles
Day 1313.0km/8.0miles
Day 1414.0km/9.0miles
Day 1510.0km/6.0miles
Day 1617.0km/11.0miles
Day 1713.0km/8.0miles

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Exodus has a longstanding relationship with our local partner in Nepal, having worked with the family business, passed from father to son, for over 30 years. We employ local leaders, guides and staff throughout and work with family-run hotels, such as the Hotel Royal Singi wherever possible.

Exodus has set up and supported many projects in Nepal over the decades, from installing solar cookers and donating smokeless stoves (a safer means of cooking, which helps prevent eye and lung problems), to supporting a tree nursery in Braga (in the Annapurnas) and helping supply water and hydro-electric power to several villages.

Following the 2015 Nepal earthquake, Exodus’ emergency fundraising appeal raised over a quarter of a million pounds thanks to our loyal customers and friends. This enabled us to provide emergency relief (shelters, food and medical supplies), to rebuild homes and schools, and to run a medical camp in spring 2016 in the remote village of Thulopatel in partnership with volunteers from Nepal Medical College. Over 1,500 patients from rural communities were treated for a variety of ailments, to whom medical facilities are not normally readily available. Many of our previous projects (both water pipes and stoves) were damaged in the earthquake - in 2017 we started repairing and replacing these.

Exodus also worked with Health Partnership Nepal and sponsored their medical camp in Charikot in 2017 as well as sponsoring more than 400 Freedom Kits (providing sanitary wear) for women in Nepal – we will be continuing with this project in 2018.

To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

London
to
London
  • Day 1

    Depart London.

    The group flight is an overnight flight departing London this evening.

  • Day 2

    Arrive Kathmandu.

    The group flights are scheduled to arrive into Kathmandu this afternoon. Free airport transfers are available for any flight, provided you have supplied your flight details to Exodus in advance and requested transfers. A representative will meet you at the airport and you will be transferred to the hotel. There are no activities planned today so if making your own travel arrangements, you can arrive at any time. Upon arrival to the hotel please look out for a noticeboard in the reception area with details of where and when to meet for your welcome/trek briefing this evening. There is an Exodus desk in the hotel lobby should you require any assistance.

    Hotel Royal Singi (or similar)

  • Day 3

    Fly to Lukla (2800m). Head northwards up the valley of the Dudh Kosi; trek to the small settlement of Phakding.

    We fly to the mountain airstrip of Lukla (2,800m), and set off on the first short leg of our trek, heading northwards up the valley of the Dudh Kosi (or 'Milk River'). We descend from the small plateau down into the forested valley. The trail crosses several tributary streams and we have some tantalising views before reaching the small settlement of Phakding, where we will spend our first night.

    Teahouse (sleeping altitude 2650m)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Follow the Dudh Kosi and ascend to Namche Bazaar.

    Heading out of Phakding we follow the Dudh Kosi northwards. This day's walk takes us through magnificent forests with glimpses of the mountains ahead. We cross the river several times by bridges as we pass through the villages of Benkar, Monzo and Jorsale. A final bridge brings us to the foot of the steep climb to Namche. Halfway up this ascent we may get our first glimpse, cloud-permitting, of the summit of Everest appearing majestically behind the great ridge of Nuptse-Lhotse. A last 300m of climbing brings us to Namche Bazaar, the Sherpa capital and the main town in the area. Namche is a prosperous Sherpa town and an important trading centre. It has a weekly market on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning but the town bustle all day every day with trekkers, coffee shops, bakeries and stores selling all kinds of trekking and climbing gear as well as Tibetan souvenirs. 

    Teahouse (sleeping altitude 3,440m)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Explore in and around Namche Bazaar; acclimatisation walk in the Thame Valley.

    We spend today acclimatising to the altitude. If it’s a clear morning those who want can get up before breakfast and walk up to the National Park Museum for our first good view of Everest, Nuptse and Lhotse. After breakfast we have an easy acclimatisation walk into the Thame Valley, a quiet side valley on the way to Tibet. The trail climbs steeply out of Namche and then contours around the valley on an easy trail through beautiful forest. We return to Namche for lunch and in the afternoon there is time to explore the Sherpa capital or visit the Everest National Park Museum or the Sherpa Cultural Centre.

    Teahouse (sleeping altitude 3,400m)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Acclimatisation walk to Kunde and Khumjung; descend to Kyanjuma.

    We climb steeply out of Namche to the Everest View Hotel. This spectacularly situated hotel has wonderful views of Everest and Ama Dablam and is an ideal place for a tea break. Continuing on, we trek to the villages of Kunde and Khumjung set below Khumbila, the rocky peak sacred to all Sherpas. In Kunde we can visit the Edmund Hillary hospital, and in Khumjung we can see the Edmund Hillary School. There should also be time to visit Khumjung monastery, where for a small donation we will be shown the only Yeti skull in the world! Descending to the main trail we spend the night at Kyanjuma.

    Teahouse (sleeping altitude 3,600m)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Cross the Mong La into the Gokyo Valley and trek to Dole.

    At Kyanjuma we turn off the main trail and begin climbing to the Mong La, marked by a chorten on the top of a ridge at 3,972m. This ridge descends from Khumbila, the abode of the patron god of all Sherpas. From the ridge, the trail descends in a series of steep switchbacks towards the Dudh Kosi. At Phortse Tenga (3,600m) the trail starts to climb steeply out of the valley and we enter the rhododendron forests, which give way to juniper and conifers higher up the valley. We pass through kharkas, summer settlements used by the Sherpas to graze their yaks, before coming to Dole, where we have magnificent views of Kangtaiga and Tramserku.

    Teahouse (sleeping altitude 4,040m)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Continue to Machhermo.

    A short walk today. From Dole the trail is steep in places as it passes through Lhabarma and Luza along the side of the valley, high above the river through scrub junipers until we cross the sandy spurs to Machhermo (4,410m). It was here in 1974 that a yeti was reported to have attacked a sherpa and killed three yaks! We should get to Machhermo by lunchtime and in the afternoon there is time for an acclimatisation walk up onto the ridge behind the lodge for amazing views of Tramserku.

    Teahouse (sleeping altitude 4,410m)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 9

    Trek to Gokyo Lake, a small settlement of lodges on the shores of a blue lake. Afternoon, optional walk up the hill behind camp for incredible views of the Ngozumpo Glacier.

    We begin today by climbing a ridge for an excellent view down the valley to Kangtaiga and Tramserku and up the valley towards Cho Oyu (8,201m). The valley now widens as the trail passes through Pangkha then descends to the riverbank before beginning the steep climb on a narrow trail onto the terminal moraine of the Ngozumpo Glacier. We pass the first of the lakes at Gokyo, called Longpongo. We then follow the almost level trail past the second lake and on to the third lake and the walled meadows and lodges of Gokyo at 4,750m. Gokyo is a small settlement of lodges on the shores of a blue lake. Look out for Brahmany Ducks swimming in the lake. We have lunch in Gokyo and in the afternoon we can walk up the hill behind camp for incredible views of the Ngozumpo Glacier.

    Teahouse (sleeping altitude 4,750m)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 10

    Climb Gokyo Ri (5360m); afternoon trek to Dragnag.

    A very early start this morning for the steep ascent of Gokyo Ri (5,360m), a small peak above Gokyo village. As we climb, the views become even more fantastic and from the top we can see four of the seven highest peaks in the Nepalese Himalaya: Cho Oyu, Everest, Lhotse and Makalu. Stretching out for miles below us is the longest glacier in Nepal - the Ngozumpo Glacier, which tumbles down from the slopes of Cho Oyu. One of the best all-round views in Nepal, the climb is well worth the effort. We return to Gokyo for lunch and then set off for Thangnak. The trail starts by climbing to the crest of the moraine overlooking the Ngozumpo Glacier. The route across the glacier is well marked with cairns but we need to take care as the path is narrow and there is ice underfoot in parts. The trail climbs up and down and takes us to the eastern side of the Gokyo Valley. We stay tonight at Tangnak (4,700m) at the foot of the Cho La Pass.

    Teahouse (sleeping altitude 4,700m)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 11

    Cross the Cho La (5420m) and enter the main Khumbu Valley; trek to Dzongla.

    An early start for the very long day across the Cho La (5,420m). We climb up from Tangnak for about 90 minutes to a col. Ahead we can see the Cho La in the distance. We descend to a large boulder field, where we rest before tackling the final part of the climb to the pass. The last two hours are very steep and rocky and involve some scrambling as we zig zag up to the top. The upper part of the route can be covered in snow and ice, particularly after November and in spring. Finally we reach the glaciated top, from where there are excellent views including an unusual aspect of Ama Dablam. We need to take care on the descent as it’s steep and involves the crossing of a small glacier (usually snow covered) which is fairly straightforward. After a scramble down onto the glacier, we follow a trail across the snow and down a rocky gully to the pastures below. The trail becomes more defined as we approach Dzongla, where we stay tonight.

    Teahouse (sleeping altitude 4,830m)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 12

    Continue the ascent to Lobuje.

    An easier day ahead as leaving Dzongla we begin with a continuation of our descent. A short ascent brings us to the foot of Awi Peak, which we contour round on a wonderful high trail with great views of Chalotse and Tawoche across the valley. We finally descend to join the main trail again just below Lobuje. We spend the night at Lobuje (4,930m). The sunset on Nuptse from the ridge across from the lodge is not to be missed.

    Teahouse (sleeping altitude 4,930m)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 13

    A long day to visit Everest Base Camp. Overnight at Gorak Shep.

    We are now surrounded by giant Himalayan peaks; Everest, Nuptse, Lingtren, Khumbutse and Pumori tower above us. Today is long and hard as we visit Everest Base Camp (5,364m). The trail from Lobuje climbs steadily by the side of the Khumbu Glacier, with some steep ups and downs on a rocky trail. It will take us about 3 hours to reach Gorak Shep (5,180m), a collection of lodges situated at the foot of Kala Pattar. After a short break and an early lunch, we fill our water bottles and make sure we have plenty of snacks (there are no lodges from here to Base Camp) and set off for Base Camp. The trail heads along the crest of the moraine at first with plenty of undulations, some of them quite steep. We then drop steeply down onto the Khumbu Glacier itself, where we get magnificent close-up views of the great Khumbu Icefall as it tumbles down from Everest. In the spring season we will see expedition teams as they prepare for an ascent. We retrace our steps to Gorak Shep for the night.

    Teahouse (sleeping altitude 5,184m)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 14

    Climb Kala Pattar (5545m) for classic views of Everest; descend to Pheriche.

    Another long day as we ascend the small peak of Kala Pattar ('black rock') at 5,545m. It is a steep two-hour climb to the summit, but the effort is well worth it, as we appreciate the most magnificent view of the Khumbu glacier and above all a close-up sight of the world's highest mountain which the Nepalese call Sagarmatha - Head of the Waters and the Sherpas Chomolungma - Mother of the World. We return to Gorak Shep and descend past Lobuje to Pheriche (4,243m).

    Please note the exact order in which we trek up Kala Pattar and visit Everest Base Camp will depend on the weather and how the group is acclimatising. Both days are long and hard due to the high altitude.

    Teahouse (sleeping altitude 4,243m)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 15

    Trek to Thyangboche and visit the famous monastery.

    We descend the Pheriche Valley with spectacular views of Ama Dablam. We join the main Imja Khola Valley, which we follow down to Pangboche with superb views looking back to the great ridge of Lhotse-Nuptse. Pangboche, at 3,985m is the highest permanent settlement on the approach to Everest. Dropping down to the rushing Imja Khola we then walk through rhododendron forests to Thyangboche. From here we have a fantastic panorama of Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, and Ama Dablam. We stay here for the night and we can visit the famous monastery and if the weather is clear we can enjoy the fantastic sunset and sunrise.

    Teahouse (sleeping altitude 3,800m)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 16

    Trek back to Monzo via Kyanjuma and Namche.

    We descend through the forest to the river at Phunki Tenga. Crossing a bridge we then climb up to Kyanjuma with great views of Ama Dablam. From here an easy trail contours around the hillsides back to Namche Bazaar, from where we descend to the river and retrace our steps to Monzo (2,815m).

    Teahouse (sleeping altitude 2,815m)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 17

    Return to Lukla.

    We retrace our steps southwards with a final climb to the airstrip at Lukla.

    Teahouse (sleeping altitude 2,800m)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 18

    Fly to Kathmandu.

    We fly back to Kathmandu and spend the rest of the day at leisure.

    Royal Singi Hotel (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 19

    Free day in Kathmandu.

    Today is free for sightseeing in Kathmandu (it is also a spare day to allow for any delays in the flights to or from Lukla). You may wish to visit the monkey temple at Swayambunath, one of the largest Buddhist Stupas in the world at Bodnath, or the most important Hindu temple in the valley at Pashupatinath. We offer a full range of sightseeing tours, which can be booked and paid for locally. We offer a full range of sightseeing tours, which can be booked and paid for locally; please ask your leader for details.

    Royal Singi Hotel (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 20

    Fly to London.

    The tour ends after breakfast. The group flight is a day flight scheduled to depart in the morning. Those on the group flights or who have booked a transfer through Exodus will be transferred to the airport.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Nepal

Most nationalities require a visa for Nepal, which can be obtained in advance or on entry. If you wish to apply before departure the current visa cost is £20 for a 15 day visa and £35 for a 30 day visa for UK passport holders. The current cost of a visa on arrival is US$25 for 15 days, US$40 for 30 days or if extending your stay $100 for 90 days. All are multiple entry. The visa on arrival fee can be paid for in cash in US Dollars, Pounds Sterling or Euros. You will also need a passport photo. Application forms are available in the immigration hall (or for electronic passports there are visa registration machines which, after inserting your passport, automatically fill out a form for you). You must firstly join the queue to pay the visa fee, and then go to the relevant immigration desk to obtain your 15, 30 or 90 day visa stamp. There can be long queues for visas on arrival.

Non UK nationals should check requirements with their nearest embassy (a few nationalities are not permitted visas on arrival).

Vaccinations

Nepal

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A.

There is low to no risk of malaria throughout Nepal and antimalarial tablets are not usually advised although may be considered for certain higher risk groups; you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice. The risk is highest in the low lying southern ‘terai’ districts bordering India.

A yellow fever certificate is only required if travelling from a country with risk of yellow fever transmission or for travellers having transited for more than 12 hours through a country with risk of transmission.

Dengue fever is a known risk in Nepal. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Most of our trips to Nepal go to high altitudes where there is a risk of being affected by Acute Mountain Sickness. Our itineraries are designed to enable everyone to acclimatise to these altitudes, but you should be aware that it is still possible for you to be affected. Please refer to the Altitude Warning within the Trip Notes for further advice on AMS.

Eating and Drinking

Breakfast is included throughout the trip. On trek the breakfast will be a set menu usually consisting of porridge, toast and egg. Any additional items that are not included in the set menu should be ordered and paid for separately. We do not include lunch and dinner on trek allowing you to choose what you want to eat and when. The menus in the lodges are almost identical to one another but offer a varied choice, ranging from traditional Nepalese dhal bhat to pizza and apple pie.

Dhal bhat is the staple diet in Nepal and comes in many different forms but generally comprises some curried lentil dhal and meat or vegetables, some rice, and a pickle/chutney. Another popular snack is momos; a type of Nepalese dumpling, fried or steamed, filled with meat or vegetables.

Although meat is available in the teahouses, we advise against eating it on trek. The meat has often been carried in the heat from lower altitudes for several days before reaching the lodges, and can cause stomach upsets or illness. Germs can also be spread by handling dirty money - we recommend using hand sanitiser.

If you buy imported food and drink whilst on trek you will spend more than the Trip Notes suggest.

Drinking Water

Staying hydrated is important when undertaking any physical activity but particularly so at altitude where it is generally recommended to drink at least 3-4 litres per person per day.

We strongly encourage you not to buy bottled water on trek as this contributes to the growing problem of plastic pollution in Nepal’s trekking areas.

All teahouses will provide cold water free of charge, if requested. Although this should not be drunk untreated, we recommend that you bring a reusable bottle with a wide opening (Nalgene or similar) with you and use a SteriPEN to treat it with. A SteriPEN is a handheld UV water purifier – small, lightweight and battery powered so easy to pack for a trek. In Nepal’s trekking regions most of the bottled water isn’t strictly ‘mineral water’ anyway but is UV treated, so it’s exactly the same technology. It’s quick to use, far more effective than purification tablets, and the water is ready immediately. It’s fine to use a SteriPEN on non-boiled water so long as it isn’t cloudy or full of sediment (which is uncommon in these regions).

SteriPENs are widely stocked on Amazon, outdoor shops and other online retailers; look for the latest models but avoid USB charging ones. Better still, a SteriPEN will pay for itself over the course of the trek and you won’t leave behind a single plastic bottle – you will end up spending the same or even less than you would on bottled water, plus you can keep it for future trips.

If you prefer not to invest in a SteriPEN, the teahouses also sell boiled water for approx. Rs150-300 per litre (the price increases the higher you trek) which should not require treating. This is also perfect for a bedtime refill as it can double up as a hot water bottle.

Weather

The main trekking season in Nepal is from mid-September to mid-May. We do not operate treks in Nepal outside of these months as it is the rainy season. During the trekking season conditions at most altitudes are generally comfortable for walking and rain or snow are occasional occurrences. Daytime temperatures will vary from 15ºC to 35ºC in the Kathmandu Valley to around 10ºC at 3,600m and progressively lower the higher we go.

Within the trekking season there are three further distinct seasons in the weather, each offering different advantages for trekking.

Post Monsoon/autumn: Mid-September to November. This is the most popular trekking season in Nepal. Day temperatures in Kathmandu are generally above 20ºC. On trek temperatures will be lower although skies are usually clear and days should be sunny and mild with clear mountain views. However, at higher altitudes the days can be cold and windy. Nights will be colder with temperatures dropping as low as to minus 10ºC or lower in late November at the higher altitudes.

Winter: December to end February. Despite the colder conditions this is an ideal time to trek in Nepal. Skies are usually very clear especially in December and the mountain views are at their best. Nights will be very cold with temperatures down to minus 20ºC but days are often pleasant and sunny. In Kathmandu maximum daytime temperatures are 19ºC.

Pre-monsoon/spring: March to May. Both day and night temperatures will be warmer in general but haze will often build up in the afternoons. It is very hot in the lowlands and temperatures rise to 30ºC in Kathmandu. Flowers bloom in this season and this is one of the reasons people chose to trek in spring.

Snow can be expected on any departure, usually at the higher altitudes. There will always be snow/ice on the top of the Cho La as it is a glacier.

Please remember that in any mountain area the weather is never wholly predictable and you should be prepared and equipped to deal with any differences in weather beyond the conditions described above.

Kathmandu, Nepal

Kathmandu, Nepal

Is this trip for you?

This trek is graded Challenging/Tough (Activity Level 6) with 15 days point-to-point walking and full porterage throughout - you need only carry your daypack. Please read a description of our Activity Levels, found on our website.

Most of the walking is at relatively high altitude. The maximum altitude reached is 5,545m with the average being 4,100m - please refer to the 'altitude warning' within the Trip Notes. The itinerary is designed with built-in acclimatisation days to maximise the chance of successfully crossing the Cho La pass, reaching Base Camp and climbing Gokyo Ri and Kala Pattar. The reward is panoramic views spanning pristine glacial lakes, expansive glaciers and the highest mountains in the world.

Anyone attempting this trek should be confident in their physical fitness and ideally have some previous experience of trekking at altitude. You may find our Walking & Trekking Fitness Training Guide a useful reference.

This circuit is tougher than a classic Everest Base Camp trek as it involves a long and demanding crossing of the Cho La (5,420m). This entails a very steep ascent and descent on rocky trails which can be icy; there is always ice and snow at the top as we cross a glacier.

Besides the pass, most of the walking is on well-established trails but there may be snow and ice at the highest points of the trek on any departure. Although daytime temperatures can be very pleasant, the nights will be cold; at Gokyo and around the Base Camp area it can be well below freezing; especially on the winter departures. In very bad conditions or when there has been very heavy snowfall the Cho La may be impassable, in which case a lower route will be taken. The trail also crosses a few modern suspension bridges, all of which have mesh sides but anyone with a strong fear of heights or vertigo may find them difficult.

Walking hours stated within the itinerary are given as approximates only. Timings exclude lunch stops and will vary depending on the pace of your group.

Why Trek with Exodus?

  • Over 30 years’ experience of organising treks in Nepal.
  • 96% of clients who trekked with Exodus in Nepal in 2016 would recommend us. 
  • 'Ask an expert' - talk to Exodus office staff who have done the treks themselves.
  • Small group size (max. 12 clients) and all departures guaranteed on 2 people.
  • Experienced English-speaking local leaders who are qualified in first aid and trained in recognising and dealing with altitude sickness.
  • One of the highest staff to client ratios on trek - 1 staff member: 4 clients. 
  • All staff (leaders, guides and porters) are fully insured and paid a fair wage.
  • Carefully planned ascent rates and itineraries with built-in acclimatisation and contingency days. 
  • Staff carry oxygen, a Portable Altitude Chamber (PAC bag) and first aid kit. 
  • Self-assessment AMS cards used to monitor every client at altitude.
  • Established protocol for Lukla flight delays: see below.

Internal Flight Delays

Please note that adverse weather conditions at Lukla airport occasionally mean that flights to/from Kathmandu cannot operate. We include an additional day at the end of the itinerary to allow for this, but on occasion, persistent bad weather may delay the start of your trek or your return to Kathmandu.

Should there be a lengthy delay at the start of a trip we will aim to provide a shortened Everest trek, but if adverse weather conditions continue and the main objective of the trek becomes impossible to reach, an alternative trek to another region of Nepal will be offered. When fixed-wing planes are unable to fly, but helicopters to Lukla are available, clients may choose to travel by helicopter; in this event, the price per person will be approximately US$500-600 per person, of which Exodus will cover half.

Should there be a significant delay at the end of your trek, we will endeavour to get you on the first fixed-wing flights to Kathmandu available. Should helicopters be able to fly, we will consider paying for these on a case by case basis to enable clients to meet their international flights. In the case of persistent adverse weather, Exodus will re-book international flights for Flight Inclusive clients, but please be aware that clients booking on a Land Only basis will be responsible for re-booking their onward travel and for any associated costs.

Call us on
0208 772 3936
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotel & Lodges

This tour spends three nights in a comfortable hotel in Kathmandu and fifteen nights on trek in lodges (teahouses).

In Kathmandu we usually stay at the Hotel Royal Singi, located within walking distance of the Thamel district. All rooms have en suite facilities and there is a restaurant, a bar and an outdoor courtyard. There is complimentary Wi-Fi in the hotel lobby and Wi-Fi codes are available from reception for the rooms. There is an Exodus desk in the hotel reception area and an Exodus representative will usually be available daily in the mornings and evenings.

The teahouses are basic but adequate; please be realistic about what to expect in the mountains. We ask that you read our Nepal Destination Guide for further details about the lodge facilities. 

The hub of the teahouse is the dining room, usually decorated with colourful traditional rugs, sometimes with a stove or heater (some lodges charge a fee to put the heater on). Most teahouses sell snacks and other essentials such as tissues, soap and toilet paper. Almost all lodges have electricity but it is not wholly reliable and lighting may not be bright enough to read by – a torch is essential. Electrical charging facilities are generally available only in the dining room (charged at approx. Rs150-350 per hour per device). Many of the lodges use solar power so sometimes there is not enough electricity for charging. Many lodges have Wi-Fi these days – in some areas it works well but in others it is slow and temperamental.

We book twin-share bedrooms throughout this trek. Beds with foam mattresses, bedsheets and a pillow are provided. Bedrooms are generally unheated and can get cold at night so you will need to bring or hire a sleeping bag.

Most lodges have only one or two basic toilets and sometimes these are located outside the main lodge building. Toilets are usually Asian ’squat’ style; although many lodges have now installed ‘western style’ seated ones. Toilet paper is not provided so you should bring your own or buy it locally (please dispose of it the bin provided – do not put it in the bowl). If there is not a flush handle, there should be a container of water to pour down – if it is empty (or frozen) please either refill it or ask the lodge to.

Some lodges now have hot 'showers' (charged at approx. Rs250-500 per shower). Sometimes a hot shower is simply a bucket of hot water and not a shower head.

Standards of cleanliness vary especially in the peak trekking season and in winter when the water freezes at night. Please report any problems to your leader or the lodge and be vigilant in your personal hygiene regime – use soap or hand sanitizer gel before and after toilet breaks, snacks and meal times. 

As a general rule, the higher altitude you go to, the more basic the lodges and the more expensive food and services become.

Extra Accommodation

If you require any additional accommodation in Kathmandu either before or after the tour, we can book this for you (subject to availability), please enquire with your Sales Consultant.

Single Accommodation

If you prefer your own room, we offer a single supplement for the three nights in Kathmandu only (subject to availability). While in the teahouses, single rooms cannot be guaranteed but if a single room is available that night, you can pay locally on a day by day basis.

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Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Experts

Contact a member of staff who has done this trip

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Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

It’s hard to choose ten highlights in a land so full of wonders, but we did our best…

The mountains will always draw us back to this majestic country: and now, with the return of a very special trip, the

  • Reviewed April 2017
    Emily Green

    Excellent trip of a life time

    A trip of a life time! One I'll never forget. I am very pleased that I went early in the year because it was as a lot quieter on the routes than I've heard it can be in September/ October. The weather was very cold though, but the mountains and scenery looked stunning in the snow. A stunning part of the world.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching Everest Basecamp was very special, and a life long dream. However for me climbing to the summit of Kala Patther whilst the sun was coming up over Everest was even more special.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader Tenzi and his team were incredible. They thought of our every need before we did. Nothing was too much trouble for them. They did everything with a smile and were very attentive to making sure we were all ok. Incredible people - thank you!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take lots of warm clothes if you are going early in the season. Also some gaiters. A number of good base layers is handy. A portable battery charger is really handy too. Favtor 50 sunscreen is a must!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    An incredibly beautiful and challenging trip. I'd highly recommend it. I loved the longer trip with the additional Gokyo Ri and Kala Patther summits. Basecamp was great, but doing all 3 made it even more special.
  • Reviewed May 2016
    John Doyle

    Full Marks 10 out of 10

    This trip was everything I expected, and wanted. A journey up the relatively quiet Gokyo valley, then some very strenuous days, and then a relatively easy, but busy descent down the Khumbu. Crossing Cho La was hard but one of the best days. Our Leader,Silas, and guides Mingma and Pembar, were excellent. Also a word for our 4 porters, they did an incredible job,always willing, happy and smiling. My previous 2 trips to Nepal were in tents, but no more for me, the Tea houses make for a much more pleasant trip. This trip is long enough and varied enough, and strenuous enough to satisfy most people,and give a broad and varied look at life in this amazing country. Thanks

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Crossing Cho La

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    WI Fi is very common throughout most of the trip, much more common than mobile, although often unreliable. Take a solar powered battery bank,very useful. Most of us spent about £20/day out on the trails. Views on Diamox were mixed, some took it others not, we all managed to hit the high spots without any altitude problems.
  • Reviewed April 2016
    Chris Grant

    Worth the extra few days!

    If you want to see Everest Base Camp and climb Kala Pattar but don't just want to go up the valley and back down again, this is the trip to choose assuming you can spare the extra few days. This longer circuit, taking in both Gokyo Ri and one of the High Passes (Cho La), is well worth it: it's quieter, has stunning views in its own right and will allow you more acclimatisation time prior to the regular Everest bits. I can safely say it was the most varied, wonderful and fulfilling 15 days' walking I've ever done, and I'd recommend it to anyone with two feet and a head for heights.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Having a long-awaited glass of wine at the Everest View Hotel on a perfectly clear morning (trek day 14) - that was pretty special. The views from Gokyo Ri, Cho La, EBC and Kala Pattar were more staggering than I'd ever have believed, and the routes in between these high places were beautiful as well. But the biggest inspiration was seeing how the local Nepalese people have bounced back from disaster and continue to make their way in the world. Tourism is the lifeline of that region and it felt good to contribute to their ongoing recovery.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I'd had a great leader on my previous Exodus trip (Hamid on the Peaks and Valleys of the High Atlas) so I'd booked this specific trip because I'd heard good things about Valerie Parkinson. I wasn't disappointed: she *is* Exodus in Nepal and made a great trip into a glorious one. Everything went like clockwork without any fuss or bother; she lives and breathes her job; and she's happy to share her seemingly limitless knowledge. Full marks, and then some!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    In no particular order... There's a lot of climbing but the distances aren't too far. I wasn't able to do much in the way of appropriate preparation walking but I cycle regularly, and this helped build the thighs up for the ascents - definitely worth considering if you can't get some prep walks in before you go. I took a Steripen with me to save having to buy "mineral water" which is effectively only UV-filtered anyway - this helps reduce plastic bottle waste and also pays for itself over the course of this one holiday. A water bladder for the backpack is better for ensuring you take on enough liquid whilst walking, though a bottle is also vital in case the tube freezes in the early mornings (happened to me once). I also invested in a 16,000 mA power pack from RavPower, which, although heavy, was enough to recharge my Steripen 4 times, my camera 4 times, my phone once, plus someone else's phone and camera, and still have 20% or so left over - much better than trying to charge your devices at the lodges, trust me. There's plenty of snacking material for purchase in lodges (bars, Pringles, chocolates and the like) so there's no real need to bring stuff out with you unless you have specific requirements/tastes - this also helps you keep below the 10+5kg weight limit on the plane. I managed the whole trek without taking diamox (though a couple of Ibuprofen were needed one night to suppress the altitude headaches) or using trekking poles (that may just be a personal thing - most people used them). Mobile and Internet access is available in most places but is sketchy above Namche Bazaar so I didn't bother, and it was liberating. Bring a pair of comfortable earplugs if you have difficulty sleeping - there can be a lot of snoring at altitude and the lodge walls are mostly plywood so don't exactly cut out the noise from neighbouring rooms. I managed with a good 3-season sleeping bag since all lodges have blankets/quilts to provide extra layers (travelling in March/April). There are more Western-style toilets than you might have feared but you will need to use squat toilets before the end of the trip, promise... And when you're back in Kathmandu make sure you go to Fire & Ice for a pizza/dessert - what a treat!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was my second Exodus trip and my second 5-star review. If I could have given this 6 stars I would have because I enjoyed every minute - yes, even the 04:30 wake-ups. This is a special trip in a special country, and if you get the weather and a bit of luck like we did, you too could have a trip of a lifetime to the roof of the world.
  • Reviewed December 2015
    Helen Smith

    Trip of a lifetime!

    This trip is hard work, the altitude is hard work and some days I thought I could walk any further, but it was so worth it!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The group were awesome and getting to base camp with everyone was great fun!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ngima and the guides were funny, supportive and very knowledgable.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    My Walking sticks were so useful!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I'm So glad I did this trip
  • Reviewed December 2015
    Marlisa Paice

    The trip of a lifetime!

    This trip is incredible! It is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life but well worth it and I am so pleased I did it! The guides were fantastic, up early every morning to get us ready and last to bed at night, working non-stop to make the experience as good as possible! A week after I got back to the UK I was still shell-shocked about what I had achieved and just bowled over by the whole experience. The world is there to be seen! :)

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Base Camp!! - Has to be really doesn't it, iconic place and great atmosphere when you get there! Such a sense of achievement.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ngima was just incredible, most of the guides caught colds and chest infections while we were out there but they kept going with their unending enthusiasm and good spirits! They were always there when we had bad days and never stopped watching us to make sure we were having a good time!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    To get the most out of this trip I really would recommend a few things. Pack light! Take loads of photos. Enjoy every minute! Most of all I really believe I would have enjoyed it more if I had done some serious hill walking training - I made it with barely any training in that department although a reasonable level of general fitness but I think I would have benefited from more training on hills!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you are in two minds - just book it! The Nepali people are some of the nicest I have ever met and this is such an amazing experience. It's really put my privileged life into perspective!
  • Reviewed December 2015
    Martin Brennan

    One for the bucket list

    Tough but rewarding trip with a great bunch of people.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Though not for the faint-hearted, the magnificent and rugged landscape, the tough/arduous trekking, and the tranquility of the journey allows you to put things into perspective. This, combined with a fantastic group of people, made for a most enjoyable and memorable trip.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ngima was an inspirational leader, always there with encouragement and humour to ease our journey. Ngima kept us informed throughout our trek and, along with his chief and assistant guides, made this a hugely memorable (and educational) experience for our group. (I think a special mention for the porters and Yak driver is in order; these guys, through their hard work and efforts, made the logistically challenging task of moving sixteen people's kit look easy. The work that the whole team put in made this trip a seamless and enjoyable experience. Well done all!)

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is a tough but rewarding trip that is both physically and, at times, mentally demanding. While the group interactions and dynamics can help with mental side of things, the physical is something only you have control over; preparation is key to ensure that you are prepared for (and adapt to) the tough trekking and altitude that you will encounter. Without a doubt I think almost all of my group found the trek difficult at one stage or another, but the fitter and more prepared that you are the better and more enjoyable the trip will be.
  • Reviewed December 2015
    Janine Smallbone

    Awesome

    Absolutely excellent trip, beautiful surrounding, amazing people and a challenge to remember!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The whole trip was an amazing experience and also a challenge that won't be forgotten for a long while to come. The Gokyo lakes are beautiful and definitely worth seeing. The Cho la pass is a hard day of walking and scrambling but The achievement of finishing it is worth it. The leader, the guide and assistant guides and also porters were all fantastic and a credit to Exodus and couldn't have been more helpful throughout. The accommodation on the whole was as good as could be expected for the height and accessibility and all the staff were helpful and welcoming everywhere we went.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader was excellent, he couldn't have been more helpful, friendly or knowledgable about the trip, nothing was too much trouble day or night.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This trip is not for the faint hearted, it is very hard walking/scrambling on a couple of the days and much harder than the normal Everst base camp trek.
  • Reviewed December 2015
    Aisling Ni Bhroin

    Everest base Camp and gokyo lakes

    I had an amazing holiday with Exodus around trekking to Everest base camp and which included Gokyo Lakes. The trek left from kathmandu and was a 16 day trek in total. We were met with our amazing host Ngima at the Hotel Singhi in Kathmandu. He joined us on the first day for breakfast, sat with us and chatted for an hour, and stayed with us for the following 16 days round the clock. He was absolutely fantastic. He was so supportive to all of us, always looking out for everyone. We knew we ould call on him in the middle of the night if we were ill. This is quite a tough trek, and not one I would like to do without a guide. Ngima and our team of guides and sheraps amde this trip so enjoyable. They not only guided us, and helped us through the tough climbs, (and I could not have done the Chola pass without them), but they looked after us when we became ill and made sure our stay was as comfortable as possible. Ngima really did go out of his way to make sure we had a good experience. He even brought us on a night out in Kathmandu and stayed with us until we all got to the airport to fly back home. It was wonderful to do this trek with Ngima, knowing that he was there to help if anything went wrong. We climbed to Namche bazaar, and from there did the tour of the gokyo lakes which were stunning. We were lucky to have a great group travelling with us from the UK which made the trip so enjoyable. From here we climbed the Chola pass. Oh my goodness, that was tough! Not for the faint hearted! it was the most difficult part of the trip but Im so glad I did it. I couldn't have done it without the guides who held my hand all the way up that mountain and helped me reach the top! They have unswerving patience! Everest base camp seemed so easy when compared to the Chola pass! And we skipped all the way downhill back to kathmandu from there!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting to the summit of the Chola pass. I could finally breathe, relax, and take in the beauty around me, it's so stunning

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I love Ngima!!! He is just incredible! So attentive to all of us. He didn't miss a beat! There is nothing he wouldn't do for us. And he is so much fun too! He made our trip as great as it was. We were so lucky to have him!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you're scared of heights, avoid the Chola pass! And take the easier route to Everest base camp! But if you can brave it, its well worth it! Bring lot's of paracetamol with you for headaches! Oh and bring a hot water bottle with you! it keeps you lovely and toasty on those cold nights Oh nd bring a pack of cards.......

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Exodus way exceeded my expectations. Im already looking at what trip I can do next! Thank you for a very well organised holiday and looking after us so well
  • Reviewed December 2014
    Michael B

    Everest Base Camp & Gokyo Lakes

    Truly the hardest but the most amazing trip I've ever done. An excellent trip from start to finish. We were looked after by the best leader and guides and we had the best group to trek with. Awesome!!!!!!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were many but to list a few.... my first view of amazing Everest; trekking past the beautiful Gokyo lakes; reaching the summit of Gokyo Ri with amazing Himalayan views (so tough but so worth it); reaching the top of the demanding and icy Cho La Pass,

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our Group Leader, Gele was incredible! He took such care of us each day with patience and sensitivity. He took the time to get to know us all as well as sharing his stories. Gele was dedicated, attentive, informative, caring and supportive, a fantastic team leader. The entire Exodus team was great, very friendly and always there to offer assistance.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This trek is very difficult however if you listen to your guides and take it slow and easy you will have an amazing experience. Equipment: This is very important, if you go without the proper equipment you will fail. A good water proof Gortex jacket is a must. You will need a good down jacket for the tea houses Boots: Good worn in boots are critical to your success. Make sure they are very comfortable and supportive around the ankles. Layers: Take wicking material (don't forget good thermal underwear) – Icebreaker rules Invest in a good sleeping bag; Crampons for the glacier; Protein bars and beef jerky Finally listen to your guides! They know best.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Don't keep thinking about it - do it! Exodus have a fantastic reputation and there is no doubt that I will continue to travel with them for many years to come.
  • Reviewed December 2013
    Anonymous

    EVEREST BASE CAMP & GOKYO LAKES

    This trip was a great adventure, combining the thrill of superb mountain scenery with the achievements of crossing the Cho La Pass and reaching Everest Base Camp. We gained a fascinating insight into the sherpa culture and lifestyle. At the same time it was a really tough trek! 

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It was a great thrill to get to Base Camp and see the profusion of coloured flags, both prayer flags and national flags, that surround the cairn. I was not expecting to see anything at Base Camp out of the climbing season, but it seems like a place of pilgrimage in honour of the many climbers, including our sherpa guide Kaji, that have reached the summit of Everest from there.Also, it was a real eye-opener to see the huge loads carried by the sherpa porters up and down the many precipitous paths along these valleys. Almost everything needed in the villages, apart from basic foodstuffs, has to be carried up; these guys are a breed apart.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader, Gele, was very experienced and exuded an air of calm competence. He was very knowledgable about the whole area. He was very supportive and always on hand to help or offer advice, without being intrusive.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is a very tough trek, being 15 days continuous walking, the majority of which are above 4000 metres and several above 5000 metres. Although there are some shorter days, most days are 6 to 8 hours with a lot of steep ascent or descent. For comparison, this is much tougher than a Kilimanjaro trek, which is all over in 6 days. Getting supplies of drinking water is an issue. Many walkers felt the need to buy bottled mineral water, which gets increasingly expensive the higher you get, since it is all carried in. But adding sterilisation tablets to the local tap water is a perfectly safe alternative at essentially zero cost.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Some of the teahouses are very basic in the provision of toilet and washing facilities, the latter sometimes no more than an outside cold tap. So don't expect too much!

Dates & Prices

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An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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