Even though there are many articles about the trek to the Everest base camp, I haven’t gone into detail about something that most of you would like to know about: Where to sleep during the trek. How much does the accommodation cost? What amenities are available? Can you book in advance? All these questions will be answered in this article.
The trek to the Everest base camp is quite an ordeal to organize due to the lack of information and the logistics involved. So I took photographs of the accommodations and wrote down all the expenses during the trip. I hope to solve all your doubts after reading the article.
It is compulsory to take out travel insurance that to trek to Everest base camp (they will ask for your policy number when processing your trekking permit in Kathmandu).
I hired World Nomads insurance as it covers up to 6,000m altitude and helicopter rescue. IATI Seguros recently started offering trekking coverage up to that altitude. I recommend IATI If you prefer to hire a company with full service in Spanish.
Where do you sleep during the trek
Accommodations during the trek to Everest base camp are the same throughout the route. The houses where you sleep are called lodges or teahouses. They are houses with normally more than two floors but sometimes only one, with dozens of rooms. This lodge is the Sherpa family’s own home 99% of the time (If not 100%).
Don’t be surprised if you see the children playing or the youngest daughter working serving you food in the lodge. As I’ve already talked about in this article, tourism is largely their way of subsisting, so they usually put the girls to work in the lodge and the boy to act as a porter. Be careful with these things and don’t participate in irresponsible tourism.
How are the lodges in the Khumbu Valley
How are the lodges? They are all cut by the same pattern. They are stone houses with a roof made of sheet metal or wood. The interior is usually covered in wood for insolation from the cold outside.
Something I always noticed when choosing a lodge was the covering of the windows, since it used to get colder there. I was surprised to see that the higher the altitude, the better the construction and insulation used to be. After all, the locals already know what are the temperatures to expect at each site and build according to those needs.
Rooms are usually double occupancy with two wooden single beds, small thin mattresses, and blankets. Still, you should always carry your own sleeping bag for the sake of hygiene and the cold. I used the blanket over the sleeping bag for a few nights which were colder. Rooms on the trek to the Everest base camp come with a shared bathroom and no shower. If you want a private bathroom, you will have to pay for a superior room. You will have to pay to use the shower with hot water. There are fewer private bathrooms and showers the higher you go (there is always a shared bathroom), so ask at the reception before accepting a room if this is a must for you.
All the lodges have a common room where the environment and social life are concentrated. At peak times they usually turn on the stove which works on dry yak droppings. This common room is full of wooden tables and is where meals are served. You will probably end up spending hours playing cards or talking to other travelers before and after dinner.
There are several “hotels” which have European prices, charging between € 40 to € 70 per night. These hotels have more amenities such as a bathroom with a private shower or wifi but honestly, I don’t think it’s necessary.
How to find accommodation on the trek to Everest base camp
One question that many travelers ask is if you can book in advance or if you can run out of room to sleep.
The hotels with European prices that I mentioned before can be booked through Booking.com. There are some others that you can also book through Booking.com for € 10 – € 20. Even so, the established system is to reserve the room when you arrive.
I hiked to Everest base camp in April-May, the second-highest season after October. I never ran out of place to sleep. When I got to a town during the trek, I used to move towards the middle or the end of it to save myself a few steps the next day. From there I began to look at the lodges from the outside and went for the ones that looked like they were well constructed looked better and I would go in and ask for the price and availability.
At this time they will tell you how much the room costs and if you agree they will take you to it with the key in hand. Once you see it, you already give the key to stay in this or not. As simple as that.
There are only two lodges in Tengboche, one of which was full so I had to stay in the other. They were in the process of expanding one of them when I went there. There are more lodges to sleep in just a little ahead of Tengboche as well, in case you cannot find accommodation there.
Accommodation price on the trek to Everest base camp
Note that the price is 200-300 rupees, which is between € 2-€ 3. Some may even cost 100 rupees like the one I stayed in at Doughla, but it is not normal.
This price is for a standard room with a shared bathroom and with the condition of having breakfast and dinner in the same accommodation. If you do not want to have breakfast and dinner in the same accommodation, then the price of the room can go up to 1,000 rupees. Before you are shocked, think of it as a luxury to be able to have your meals in the accommodation itself. I doubt that you would want to look for other places to eat after getting up at six in the morning or after eight hours of walking. In addition, the prices of food are usually the same in all places and increases according to the altitude at which you are at.
Services such as wifi, electricity to charge batteries/mobiles, or hot showers are paid separately. You can see how much these services usually cost in the Everest base camp budget article.
There are accommodations (especially in Namche Bazaar or Dingboche) where you can pay for a superior room that includes all or some of these things: private bathroom with hot water, electricity, and plugs in the room itself, Wi-Fi in the common room and thermal blankets in the bed.
Read my entire budget broken down day by day to see how much I payed each night at the lodges.
There are two exceptions to these prices. When you get to Lobuche, there is a kind of ticket office where you will have to give your trekker’s permit. They will register your data and you will have to pay Rs.500 (3-4 €). You can go to any accommodation with the ticket they give you. The Rs.500 covers the room of the accommodation. You only have to pay for food at the lodge of your choice.
The next town to Lobuche is Gorakshep, which is the last town of the entire trek to Everest base camp. There is no box office in Gorakshep but the price of accommodation is also usually at 500Rs. I suppose that the price is higher at a higher altitude due to the difficulty in construction and bringing the materials. Even so, I also have to tell you that they are the best quality lodges throughout the trek.
Food during the trek to Everest base camp
Since accommodation and food are so closely related, I wanted to include this topic in the article. I don’t know if it’s because of the hunger and numerous hours of walking, but I thought the food during the trek was delicious.
What kind of food is available? You can find noodles and rice with vegetables, potatoes with vegetables, sherpa stew (a kind of vegetable stew with rice and/or noodles with all the vegetables they have), momos (traditional Nepalese dumplings), vegetable rolls, etc. There is usually a pasta dish like macaroni and tomato and sometimes, pizza! These latter dishes are usually more expensive.
There is always a meat dish which is one of the most expensive. I was a vegetarian at the time, so I didn’t eat meat. Still, I recommend that you do not either. Why? The meat is yak and is not treated in the same way that you may be used to in your country of origin. It is also usually transported by porters for days, so the state of the meat is doubtful. Apart from this, meat is heavier for your body to digest especially at higher altitudes, and can create discomfort during the trek. If you want to eat meat, I recommend doing it when you are in Kathmandu.
There are also soft drinks and beer on the menu which are expensive and can reach € 8. Once again, I recommend not consuming them for the price and your health during the trek. The best thing you can do to avoid altitude sickness is to drink a minimum of two liters of water a day. You can always order a wide variety of teas and infusions in the lodges (the ginger is the best to avoid altitude sickness) either in a cup, medium jug or large jug. If you are two or more people, it is worth asking for a pitcher that will serve several cups of hot drink.
Finally, how do you order food? They usually give you a notebook once you sit down at the table (sometimes they write it down themselves at the moment). In this notebook, they will indicate (or you must write down yourself) the number of your room. You write everything you want to order just below and the quantities and price of each dish. They will take the notebook and serve what you have asked for at the table. You will not pay at the moment, but you will pay the sum of everything consumed at the time of check-out.
Bakeries are kind of like coffee shops that serve rolls, cakes, and other sweets. Since people usually eat in their accommodation, bakeries try to make it up by offering amenities such as movies, board games, or letting you charge your mobile phone in exchange for a minimum order. I went to the Dingboche bakeries to eat and charge the phone during the hours we were there.
Are you organizing your trip to Nepal to trek to the Everest base camp?
Read the trekking guide to the Everest base camp to organize your entire trip.
My accommodations during the trek
At this point, I think I have already clarified all the doubts you may have about accommodation. You can get a good idea of what they are like with all of this info. Even so, here are my opinions of each trekking accommodation to Everest base camp
Lukla: Sunrise Hotel (Rs.300)
This was my first night of trek and I paid 300 rupees for a room with a private bathroom. The price didn’t seem bad then but it was expensive compared to the rest of the accommodations. Despite having a private bathroom, everything was very dirty and be thankful if you could use the toilet.
Monjo: Mount Kailash Lodge (Rs.200)
It is located on the left side in the middle of the Monjo climb. I was almost alone in the lodge since it is not usually a place to spend the night. The room was right next to the bathroom and the common room was very spacious. I quite liked it and they had more amenities but I didn’t use them.
Namche Bazaar: Khumbu Lodge (Rs.200 o Rs 2,000)
I slept two nights here to acclimatize. For the first night, I took a normal room with a shared bathroom, and the second night in a room with a private bathroom with electricity. The lodge is very clean with good service and the common room has beautiful views. I spent a total of five nights here, between ascent and descent, and I got attached to the place and the family in charge of it.
Tengboche: Tashi Delek (Rs.300.)
The common room is spacious and was full of people when I was there. The views of the Himalayas are impressive on a clear sky and you see Everest along with Nutse and Lhotse as well as Ama Dablam on the right. It was worth it for this alone but the room itself is also quite good according to the standards there.
Pangboche: Everest View Lodge (Rs.200)
A very homely lodge where I spent the afternoon playing with the daughter of the family that runs it. Pangboche is not usually a place to stop to sleep and for that reason, it was very quiet. It also has impressive views.
I spent two nights in this lodge to do the third and last acclimatization. I am angry at myself for not remembering the name of the lodge because it was very good. The hallway and bathroom were very clean, the room was also good and the common room is small but with everything you need. If you want to try and locate it, I remember that it was on the main street of Dingboche on the left side. It has a small patio at the entrance of the building where they tend to hang clothes.
It is the cheapest lodge I stayed in and it wasn’t surprising because the room was literally like a matchbox, made up completely of wood and there was no light inside. It had the bathroom right next to the room, which is a plus point. My room did not have access to the common room, but I had to go outside and take a few steps to get to it. The quality was perhaps a little low compared to the rest of the accommodations, but the memory I have is quite bad since that is where I started to suffer from altitude sickness and I hardly slept or ate or was very cold.
Lobuche: Alpine Home (Rs.500)
They put me in a room on the third floor and I gasped for air by the time I got upstairs. This was where I had the worst time with altitude sickness and my memories are a little fuzzy. The room was spacious with a double bed. The lodge was warm, quite large with many rooms and a large common room with information about altitude sickness and there were emergency services available in the accommodation itself.
Gorakshep: Snowland Highest Inn (Rs.500)
Once again I got a room on the third floor, which is not appreciated in those altitudes, but the accommodation looked like it almost new. The room was very spacious with a single and a double bed, so I had plenty of room for my things. The common room is spacious and the lodge has bathrooms on each floor. They have services such as helicopter rescue and emergency oxygen, which I hope you would not need but it is not bad to know.
Periche: Himalayan Hotel (Rs.200)
It might be because of the exhaustion of the whole trek, but I found it the best trekking lodge. It was spacious with quite a few rooms. I found the room cozy, even with a mirror! (ok, a mirror that was just as big as my face, but a mirror after all) and carpeted floors to keep it warm. It has a washing machine and the common room was very cozy, colorful, with several stoves, tablecloths, cloth napkins, and background music! I thought it was great to rest and treat yourself to a pizza and drink Fanta.
I arrived at Namche Bazaar the next day, where I stayed in the same lodge again as the climb. After spending three nights at Namche Bazaar, I went down to Lukla to catch the plane back to Kathmandu.
So that’s it on the accommodations that I slept in on the trek to the Everest base camp. I hope the article helps you. If there is still any doubt, I am available for you in the comments below, by email or on social networks.