How fit do I need to be to trek in the Himalayas?
You should be moderately fit, exercise regularly and enjoy active vacations and walking and hiking in mountainous terrain. For the Everest base camp trek or similar, you should be able to run for an hour without stopping at any speed for an hour and still feel good to continue – OR – walk for 5-6 hours in a day with rests. Trekking is an endurance sport. Mostly you need a good attitude which will go a long way toward the success of reaching your goal.
When is the best time to trek and climb in Himalayas?
Fall (September – November): Fall is considered the best time for trekking in Nepal. The weather is excellent at this time, allowing for clear blue skies and tantalizing mountain views. Temperatures are moderate. Occasional short storms may bring snow to higher altitudes.
Winter (December – February): Winter brings heavy snowfall mostly at higher altitudes. This can be a good time for cultural tours and trekking at lower elevations.
Spring (March – May): Spring is a good time for trekking and climbing in Nepal and Tibet. The rhododendrons, the national flower of Nepal, make the hillsides a colorful paradise during the spring. It is mildly warm at lower elevations and at higher elevations the mountain views are excellent while the temperature is quite moderate. If you trek to Everest base camp in the spring, you will have the opportunity to meet world-renowned climbers as several Everest expeditions will be assembled at base camp.
Summer/Monsoon (June – August): The monsoon during the summer months can make travel in Nepal wet, warm and often humid. Strong monsoon rains don’t usually last long, and often end with large and wonderful rainbows. However, the streets in Kathmandu can be muddy and landslides sometimes occur in the mountains. It is recommended to carry insect repellent when trekking during these months.
What sort of experience do your guides have?
Our guides are dependable, competent and highly qualified with more than ten years of trekking experience, leading trips, treks, climbs and expeditions in the Himalayas. Our guides speak English and the local language. We are trained in first aid and CPR. Most importantly our guides are friendly and enjoyable and are passionate about sharing the true beauty of Nepal and all that this country has to offer.
What is the routine on the trek?
Most trekkers normally start their walk early around 7:30 to 8:30 AM after a hot breakfast. The morning sun offers nice mountain views. You will carry a light pack for your camera, water, a jacket and a wind layer. Around noon we will reach the lunch stop where we will spend time drinking tea, resting and having lunch. After lunch we normally walk 2 to 3 more hours before arriving where we will stop for the evening. Here at the lodge we will have hot tea and relax the rest of the day. Our day ends with dinner and then off to bed in single or double rooms in the trekking lodge.
What type of shoes or boots should I wear?
The proper footwear depends on the trek and on the trekker. Most treks can be done in comfortable running shoes while longer more strenuous treks may require sturdy but lightweight hiking boots. It is best if you purchase shoes and boots long before arriving in Nepal. We advise that you wear your boots prior to the trek to break them in – in order to prevent blisters, which can be debilitating on the trail.
How big will the group be?
We try to bring together a small group of like-minded people. Our trekking groups are generally from 2 to a maximum of 20 members. Also if someone interested to trek single we have such offer as well.
Do you arrange private or family treks?
Yes, if you would like to travel independently or with friends, family or colleagues, you are invited to choose the trip that best suits your group and the trip dates according to your schedule. We are happy to consider any number of trekkers. Our minimum group size is 2 and the maximum is not more than 50 at a time. The cost per person for private trips is negotiated on the basis of group size, trek area and duration.
How long do we walk each day?
Our trips are classified into three categories according to the level of difficulty. Easy adventure treks are about a week to 10 days in duration. They generally don’t go above 13,000 feet (4,000 meters). You can expect to be hiking / walking for around 4-5 hours a day. Moderate to fairly challenging treks are longer treks that go into high mountain country above 13,000 feet (4,000 meters). Physically these trips are more demanding and tiring and may involve 6-8 hours of trekking along rocky trails in high Himalayan terrain. Strenuous treks are longer treks that go beyond the normal activities of trekkers and tourists. These include ice climbing and mountaineering expeditions. Physically challenging, these trips might involve 7-9 hours trekking in a day and are likely to include unfavorable weather conditions and strenuous activities. Some level of experience may be required for these trips.
What type of food is served during a trek?
In general while trekking, breakfast may include a choice of porridge, muesli, omelet, fried or scrambled eggs with chapattis or bread. Lunch and dinner are generally pasta, potatoes or rice with or without cooked veggies and/or egg. Meat is also available, however it is recommended to adopt a vegetarian diet. As long as the meat is stored and cooked properly, meat dishes are also safe. Tea, coffee and hot chocolate are available at all meals. Your guide will do his/her best to make sure all food is well cooked. At some restaurants in Kathmandu, the vegetables are soaked in iodine and thus fresh salads are safe to eat. While trekking it is best to avoid raw vegetables unless you can peel them yourself. The rule is: cooked, peeled, boiled – or forget it! During the trek you can choose what you like from the menu in the lodge. There will also be plenty of snacks available such as biscuits, popcorn, candy bars and soft drinks. In some areas you will find fresh fruit in season.
Can I drink the water in Nepal?
Do not drink the tap water in Nepal. You can get very sick if you do. Instead, you should drink bottled water, which is readily available in Kathmandu. You can also buy bottled water at shops and lodges along the trail during your trek in the Himalayas. However, it is best to take the used plastic bottles and soft drink cans back to Kathmandu to be recycled. There is no good form of disposal for these in the mountains. During your trek you should instead drink either boiled water or water treated with iodine. Your guide can help you with the use of iodine.
What are the overnight accommodations like?
In cities you will be staying in hotels and guesthouses that are similar to those in the US with private bathrooms, showers, TV, phone, AC, etc. If you prefer luxury hotels we can make those arrangements as well. While trekking in the mountains the accommodations will depend on whether you are camping or teahouse trekking. If you are on a camping trek, then you will be sleeping in tents. The trekking lodges or teahouses are simple shelters. There is no central heat. In the dining room where meals are served, there is often a wood burning stove that heats that room only. The guest rooms are not heated so you will need a good quality sleeping bag, which can be rented in Kathmandu. The guest rooms are usually small and sleep one or two trekkers. The walls are thin so ear\plugs are a good idea for light sleepers. The bathrooms are down the hall or outside.
How much should I budget for tipping?
Your support team will work hard to please you during your trip. They will appreciate receiving a tip at the end of their service. The amount you give depends on you and your appreciation of their work. We recommend giving from $50 – $100 total in tips to your porters.
What happens in case of emergency?
In the case of a serious illness or a life-threatening emergency during your trek, a helicopter rescue will be initiated. You are responsible for all the expenses incurred in such an evacuation. It is required that you have insurance that covers emergency helicopter evacuation throughout your trip. However unlikely, we are prepared for emergencies, and your guide will respond quickly to get any necessary medical help. We aim to avoid such circumstances with education and a large dose of preventative medicine.
Is it possible to deviate from the itinerary?
Our specific itineraries are custom crafted with you in mind. Once we agree on a plan, we can always make minor changes and adjustments while en route. The itinerary acts as a general plan for the trip. However, there are often local events, festivals or happenings that may capture our attention. As long as everyone in the group agrees on these changes, that is fine. Major changes to the itinerary may be made if there are political or environmental concerns. Your guide will help to make any necessary adjustments. Our trips are adventures that may take you into remote regions where unforeseen circumstances may contribute to the need for a change in the itinerary.
Any suggestions on what to do and what not to do with respect to the Nepalese culture?
Nepal has many diverse ethnic groups, traditions and beliefs. There are numerous cultural practices that may appear unusual to a person on his/her first visit to the country.
- The most common greeting in Nepal is “Namaste” and is performed by placing the palms together
and bowing as if praying.
- Before entering a Nepalese home, temple or monastery remember to remove your shoes and place
them neatly side-by-side.
- Be careful not to use your spoon, fork or hands to touch another person’s food, plate, cooking
utensils or even the serving dish. Do not eat from other people’s plates and do not drink from
other people’s water bottles or glasses. This is considered to be impure by the Nepalese.
- Never touch anything with your feet. The feet and the floor are considered dirty.
- While traveling, dress appropriately. Women should avoid short skirts and sleeveless shirts
- Seek permission before entering a Hindu temple. Many Hindu temples do not allow non-Hindus to
- Leather is prohibited inside temples because cows are considered sacred and are not used for
- Walking around temples or Buddhist stupas is traditionally done clockwise.
- Be sure to ask before taking photographs of the locals. Some people believe part of the soul is
taken when a picture is snapped.
- Public displays of affection between a man and a woman are frowned upon and are not generally
- When the Nepalese shake their head from left to right, they may mean, “Yes”.
- Develop a genuine interest in Nepal and meet and talk to the Nepalese people. Do your best to
respect their local customs.
- The most common greeting in Nepal is “Namaste” and is performed by placing the palms together
How do I sign up for a trip?
Reserving a trip is easy. Send us a email: firstname.lastname@example.org . Once we have received your e-mail will send you trip application form. Please complete and return these forms with your deposit of $500 for each person. If you are signing up within 45 days of the trip’s departure, full payment is required. We recommend that you sign up as early as possible. Our group sizes are small, so they fill up rapidly. Trips frequently sell out a few months in advance. The trip deposit is fully refundable up until 90 days before departure, so there is no risk in reserving your space early. All prices quoted are in US dollars and are subject to change. All payments must be made in US dollars. We accept Visa®, MasterCard®, American Express® as well as personal checks or PayPal.
We are also open to creating trips on a first-come first-serve basis. If there is a trip that you have an interest in and particular dates that you have in mind, we will organize a trip just for you. And unless you want a private tour for just you and your friends, we will work to promote your trip in an effort to find fellow travelers for you. However, if enough travelers do not sign up, the trip may be cancelled.
What if I have to cancel?
If you decide to cancel your trip, the following fees apply and are due to Mega Adventures International Pvt. Ltd prior to departure when we receive written notice of your cancellation.
Cancellation Fee Schedule for tours and treks:
90-79 days prior to departure You forfeit half the deposit $250 80-60 days prior to departure You forfeit the deposit $500 59-29 days prior to departure You forfeit 50% of the total amount 30 or fewer days prior to departure You forfeit the entire cost of the trip
Cancellation Fee Schedule for Climbing Trips and Expeditions:
180-150 days prior to departure You forfeit $1,000 149-89 days prior to departure You forfeit 50% of the total amount 90 or fewer days prior to departure You forfeit the entire cost of the trip
What about transferring trips?
Tours and trekking trips may be transferred to the next year or to another date; however the transfer must be made 90 days or more prior to departure. Otherwise, if the transfer is made 90 days or fewer prior to departure, you must pay the cancellation fees as outlined above. There are no fees for transferring trips more than 90 days prior to departure. However, for climbing trips and expeditions, if you would like to transfer your trip to the next year or to different dates, there is an automatic transfer fee of $1,000 that must be paid to Mega Adventures International Pvt. Ltd.
Should I purchase trip cancellation insurance?
If you must cancel your trip due to illness, injury or death of yourself or an immediate family member, trip cancellation insurance protects all your deposits and payments for both air and land costs. It is recommended that you buy trip cancellation insurance.
What if MAI Cancel my trip?
MAI reserves the right to cancel all or a portion of a trip due to political or environmental circumstances, which may hinder trip operations or for any other reasons beyond our control. In the event of such a cancellation, we will give a full refund for the cost of the trip. However, MAI is not responsible for additional expenses incurred by you in preparing for the trip, visa fees, gear, insurance or medical expenses prior to the trip. If international air tickets have been purchased, the airline’s refund policy applies.
Is airfare included in the price of the trip?
Our prices are land costs only. International airfare is an additional expense. If you need help booking your tickets, please let us know.
What other expenses should I consider?
Medical advice and inoculations, health and travel insurance, travel and trekking gear, international airfare, Nepali visas, airport tax, spending money and some meals are not included in the cost of your trip. Please check the specific trip service details, includes and excludes details