15 Best things don’t miss during Makalu Base Camp Trek
03 Sep

15 Best Things Don’t Miss During Makalu Base Camp Trek

Mt. Makalu Base Camp Trek ‘adventure to exotic Barun Valley en route world 5th highest peak Mt. Makalu’


Major Highlights:

  • A sweeping panorama of the world’s four highest peaks on scenic flight both ways.
  • Views of Mt. Everest, Lhotse, and Makalu as far as Mt. Kanchenjunga in the Far East.
  • Highly protected Makalu Barun National Park is enriched with exotic flora and fauna.
  • Adventure away from mainstream trekking trails and permanent settlements.
  • From low sub-tropical to cooler hills and towards the arctic zone of ice and glaciers.
  • Explore traditional remote villages adorned with impressive age-old cultures.
  • Rare views of Mt. Everest East Face, known as the famous Kangshung face of Everest.

The Makalu Base Camp Trekking Overviews:

The Makalu Base Camp Trekking is a wonderful adventure to experience once in a lifetime. The walk takes you to a hidden Barun beautiful valley bounded by high towering snow-capped peaks and staggering cliff walls. Truly an amazing country to explore in the least ventured areas with a mass flow of trekkers and adventurers.

Makalu Base Camp Trek is exhilarating and can be a challenging journey in deep snow conditions. To reach the base camp of Mount Makalu, the world's fifth highest peak, located in far mid-eastern Nepal. 

The adventure to Makalu Base Camp Trek starts with a swift and scenic flight from Kathmandu to land at Tumlingtar. The airport and town are situated on a shelf of the Arun River around low warm sub-tropical farmland. Where drive takes you on a hilly rough road past farm villages and the town of Khandbari to reach Num. 

Today we are discussing the number of things that are not to be missed during our Mt Makalu Base Camp Journey. 

Mt. Makalu view seen from Makalu Base Camp.
Mt. Makalu View seen from Makalu Base Camp. 

01: The Scenic flight to Tumlingtar:

As flight time for Tumlingtar from Kathmandu domestic airport, get on board on moderate size airplane of respective airlines. As soon as the aircraft lifts high above Kathmandu city and valley. Enjoy the glorious panorama of the city with Kathmandu Valley in the backdrop of the Himalayan range of white peaks.

As the plane diverts east stunning views of Nepal's rural countryside of deep valleys and tiers of rolling green hills. Includes breathtaking views of the snow-capped mountain range of Mt. Gaurishankar, Melung Tse, and Numbur with Mt. Everest, Lhotse, and Mt. Makalu. 

Extends as far as Mt. Kanchenjunga on the far eastern horizon, the slow plane makes a smooth landing. On reaching Tumlingtar Town Airport and its wide long runways, perched above the Arun glacial river.  

The same magnificent panorama to enjoy on the way back to Kathmandu, after completing the Makalu base camp trek.

02: Makalu Barun National Park enriched with exotic flora and fauna: 

Makalu Base Camp and the whole areas of Barun Valley are strictly protected by Makalu Barun National Park. Established in 1992 as an eastern extension of Khumbu and Everest areas Sagarmatha National Park. 

It is one of the world's most protected areas, where elevation gains of more than 8,000 m. Enclosed by alpine forest and arrays of snow-capped peaks where rare herbs and indigenous flora and fauna exist.

The Park is enriched with 25 species of rhododendron, 47 types of orchids, and 56 rare plants. As well a perfect habitation for Snow leopards, red pandas, musk deer, and wild boar, the wildlife often sighted.

At 8,481 m high, Makalu is the world’s 5th highest peak, the iconic pyramid-shaped mountain is situated within the park. About 19 km southeast of Mount Everest, famously known as Khansung or Eastern Face of Everest. Which is only seen from Makalu Base Camp, around the western end of Barun Valley.

03: Might see or come across Domestic Yaks and Wild animals. 

Around Barun Valley and the high towering rocky cliff where mountain goats and wildlife dwell. A perfect home for wild mammals having both dense forest and wide pasture fields for animals to graze. Barun Valley is also a summer pasture field for domestic animals like yaks, sheep, and goats with other cattle.

As well as for wildlife and exotic birds of different species, this is why Makalu Barun National Park has been established. Protecting the pristine environment with rare and endangered flora and fauna. Around the park are various species of animal habitats and 88 species of mammals. 

Include snow leopard, Indian leopard, clouded leopard, jungle cat, leopard cat, golden jackal, Himalayan wolf, red fox, and red panda. The list extends with Black bears, langurs, Assamese macaque, Himalayan Thar, Himalayan goral, Muntjac, musk deer, and barking deer. 

Including Himalayan Serow, wild boar, flying squirrels, and otters. Trekkers can come across the treks with chances of spotting some elusive wildlife. Especially walking from Tashi-Gaon onwards to Makalu Base Camp. 

04: Local Culture Rai/Limbu and Sherpa People: 

The culture and traditional ways of village life are mostly farming and raising livestock. The lower mid-hills from Tumlingtar to Num villages are mostly populated by a mixed group of tribes. Like the Hindu Bharamins and Chettries, higher up the indigenous Kirat people the Rai and Limbu. 

The main hill tribes of Eastern Nepal, around the higher region, are inhabited by the Sherpa, the highlanders of the Eastern Himalayas. Includes other minor groups of Gurung, Magar, and Tamang communities are inhabited. Trekkers will have the opportunity to witness both Hinduism and Buddhism. The religion and cultures as you pass along the villages until Tashi-Gaon the last main settlement before Makalu Base Camp.

05: Local Cuisine / Foods: 

In Nepal, visitors can find different types of foods from spicy to non-spicy foods, depending upon the occasion. In festivals or private celebration enjoys rich varieties of local cuisine during special party, wedding, and major events.

The food from simple and basic to lavish meals to enjoy in Nepal, on the Trek to Makalu Base Camp. Most villagers like all parts of Nepal enjoy the basic or national meal the famous Dal Bhat. A boiled or steamed rice of different quality served with mild seasonal vegetable curry and homemade pickle. Followed by Dal, a lentil soup of various species and colors of lentil beans. 

Besides Dal Bhat, the other main dish is Dhedo. A porridge made from wheat, barley, millet, and corn or buckwheat flour is one of the basic foods. Popular among the high hills and mountain people all around Nepal it is served with soup ‘Ghundruk’ a dried vegetable. One of the special soups found all over Nepal, in most restaurants, serves as Himalayan Soup. It will be an exciting experience to enjoy and taste the local cuisine of great variations to choose from.  

Vibrant dramatic terrains landscapes
Beautiful Campsite Vibrant dramatic terrains landscapes


06: Vibrant dramatic terrains landscapes. 

On Makalu Base Camp Trekking, one can enjoy varied dramatic and vibrant terrains of landscapes. Walking from low warm sub-tropical heavily farmed areas and villages of Arun Valley. Then heading towards cooler high hills covered in lush green vegetation and tall rhododendrons and pine tree lines. Amazing landscapes to enjoy the walks and then reach the scenic Barun Valley of mild temperatures. 

A wide field and a summer grazing area around Barun Valley are enclosed by high rocky cliff walls and snow-capped peaks. As the walk continues reaching the arctic zone filled with ice and glaciers at the bottom of Mt. Makalu. The world’s 5th highest peak at 8,481 m / 27, 838 feet high one of the technical peaks to climb.

07: Visit the Centuries-old Buddhist Monastery in Tashi Gaon. 

On this trek the higher region inhabited by the Sherpa tribe interwoven with Buddhist religion and culture. Where visitors can take a tour of more centuries-old Gompa or Monastery at Tashi-Gaon. 

Treasures ancient idols of Lord Sakyamuni Buddha, Guru Rinpoche the saint Padmasambhava with other great gurus and saints of Tibetan Buddhism. Includes murals and artifacts from olden times the interior main prayer hall with vibrant paintings of religious arts. 

08: Stop at Khongma Danda View Point. 

Khongma Danda at 3500 m / 11, 483 feet high offers spectacular views of Kanchenjunga towards the east. Includes grand look of majestic Mt. Makalu, Baruntse Himal with Chamlang peaks and tiers of rolling green hills. 

A scenic spot to enjoy a rest day as well for acclimatization along with a grand panorama of surrounding landscapes. As well as an array of snow-mountain ranges, where one can enjoy short exciting walks along with glorious scenery.

Kalo Pokhari View along the Makalu Base Camp Trek
Kalo Pokhari (The Black Lake view) 

09: Kalo Pokhari (The Black Lake) 

A little further from Khongma Danda ridge after crossing a Tutula Pass (Also called Shipton) 4125 meters pass comes across the Thulo Pokhari. This means a big glacial pond also known or called a Kalo Pokhari. 

Thulo Pokhari (Kalo Pokhari) is located at an altitude of 3,900 m /12,795 feet high, The Kalo Pokhari adds to the beauty of Makalu Base Camp trek. Most of the year it remains frozen, and one can walk over the icy pond of Kalo Pokhari during December and January. 

10: Keke La (4170 meters) Pass. 

Walking ahead from Khongma Danda ridge to reach Kalo Pokhari after a short climb. Then reach on top of the Shipton-La Pass 4125 m) which leads us to Kalo Pokhari. 

As the walk proceeds towards another Pass Tutu La Pass Keke la Pass, 4170 meters leads us to reach Dobato. Facing grand views of Chamlang (7,319 m), Peak VI (6,524 m), Peak VII (6,758 m), and a range of other Himalayas peaks on route Dobate. 

11: Explore Mumbuk Rock / Shiva Parvati Cave. 

The walk from Dobato leads to Mumbuk, the last place before Barun Valley with dense tree lines. The walk heads down to Barun Valley to reach Yangle Kharka a small temporary settlement. From here climb towards Shiva Dhara at 4,310 m high, one of the famous pilgrimage sites. 

A tough and technical rocky cliff ledge to climb with the support of an iron chain attached to the rocky wall. One needs to be in good physical shape to venture this adventurous climb to Shiva Dhara, the waterfall.

The holy waterfall is revered as a sacred water spout/tap of Lord Shiva, near the waterfall. 

Stands a large stone cliff with an overhanging rock cave inside is the 152 m / 500 feet tall cascading waterfall. The pilgrim takes bathe in the holy waters on a full moon, as per the Hindu Lunar Calendar. Shiva Dhara is covered in snow most of the year. 

According to ancient Hindu belief, this spot is where Lord Shiva and Pārbati spend their time and bathe in the spring. To reach the holy spot of Shiva Dhara, one has to tough where the climb is extremely dangerous on a cliff wall for 3-4 hours with the help of a chain and an iron stump.

12: Walk through Glacial Lake. 

The other exciting feature of Makalu Base Camp Trek is the adventure that one can walk through the glacial lake. Which is en route to the Thulo and Sano Pokhari, the big and small glaciated ponds. If the surface of the pond is covered in thick ice for safe walks on top of these lovely glacial ponds. Just for fun and to add a bit of an adventure to experience walking on icy ponds. 

Glacial Lake at Makalu Base Camp.
Glacial Lake at Makalu Base Camp.

13: Point out the Barun Waterfall. 

As the walk progresses with exciting scenery to enjoy, reaching beautiful Barun Valley, bounded by high rock walls. Including towering windblown ridges and cliffs with snowy peaks, where many cascading waterfalls make the trek delightful.

Enjoy the stupendous scenery of surrounding landscapes as the magnificent waterfalls cascade down to join the Barun River. 

14: Spend the night at Makalu Base Camp. 

Enjoy the overnight at the highest point of the trekking adventure at Makalu Base Camp. Take the comfort of a nice cozy and simple lodge accommodation, or Have your beautiful Campsite, having good meals facing outmost views of surrounding peaks. 

The main highlight of the journey spending an extra day at the height of 4,900 m /16,076 feet at the world's fifth-highest peak Base Camp. Every room or tent faces wonderful and mesmerizing scenery of the giant peaks of Baruntse and Chamlang Himal. Including the staggering south face of Mt. Makalu with adjoining peaks. 

Explore the surroundings where there is a small route that leads up to Sherpani Col Pass 6193 meters or West Col Pass 6153 meters. This leads towards Hongu Valley linking Khumbu and Everest region, where few groups of trekkers seldom do this challenging venture.

15: Trek to Makalu Base Camp Pure Off the Beaten Track.  

Certainly, a great marvelous high-altitude country walks to Makalu Base Camp on pure and raw Off the Beaten Tracks. An enjoyable pleasant adventure walking in remote areas of Nepal's Mid-East Himalayas, away from the main popular trekking route. 

This makes this adventure more exciting and enjoyable where the walk leads to the world of your own. Beyond villages and human settlements, except for a few temporary huts to cater to the trekkers. It is truly a pure wilderness to experience on Trek to Makalu Base Camp.


Overall, the Makalu Trek is an awe-inspiring adventure that takes you amidst around less-explored region of Nepal. An opportunity to experience being close to a pristine natural environment, and exploring unique cultures. 

As well as walking close to the heart of the world's highest peaks, a great adventure. Especially for those in search of an off-the-beaten-path trekking experience with a sense of adventure. The Makalu Base Camp Trek will be a perfect choice to enjoy and make your dreams come true.

To read more deeply about Mt.Makalu Base Camp Trek, Information, itinerary, Cost details, the best time to visit, etc. you may like to read our Blogs.



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