Mera Peak at 6476 m is the highest trekking peak in Nepal. It is located to the east of the main Khumbu trail of the Everest region. It is a stunning, scenic mountain that provides a rewarding challenge for the fit and experienced trekker. The trek itself is technically straightforward, but it is very demanding due to the extreme altitude. At this altitude, air’s oxygen content is less than 50% of what it is at sea level so we would not recommend taking on Mera as your first high-altitude trek. If you are a seasoned high-altitude walker, however, the opportunity to embark on a remarkable journey and the feeling of being able to reach the summit is second to none. The view from the summit is one of the finest in the Himalaya with five 8000 m peaks visible: Everest, Lhotse, Cho Oyu, Makalu and Kanchanganga.
All our Nepal and Himalaya treks are private departures, so you are free to choose your date (between October and November or between March and May), and companions (minimum group size is 2 people) and our trekking and climbing support crews will be with you during the entire trek – we provide one of the highest staff to client ratios on the trek: one trekking guide per party, one climbing guide during the climb, one Sherpa assistant for every four trekkers (for every three during the climbing part), and one porter for every two trekkers when trekking. Note that you will always trek to the base camp with your private guide and porters, but it is possible to join other climbing parties for the climb itself. This decision is at the entire discretion of your tour leader and will be based on providing maximum safety to all climbers.
You will spend 3 nights in a nice hotel in Kathmandu on a twin share basis, 12 nights on a twin share basis in traditional mountain lodges (tea houses) and 2 nights (plus one contingency night) camping.
- Explore vibrant Kathmandu
- Experience authentic Sherpa villages, meet locals during tea house stays and soak up the Sherpa culture
- A carefully planned route that provides the best acclimatisation and stunning Himalayan scenery
- Highly experienced UIAGM climbing leader and Sherpa trek crew
- Take in incredible views of Everest, Lhotse, Cho Oyu, Makalu and Kanchanganga
Click to view map
Day 1: Arrive Kathmandu
Upon arrival at Kathmandu Airport (you can choose any flight you wish), you will be met by our representative and transferred to your hotel in Kathmandu. Relax at your hotel, then explore the streets of Kathmandu.
Day 2: Kathmandu Sightseeing & Trek Preparation
After a lovely breakfast in the morning, we start a guided sightseeing tour to four UNESCO World Heritage sites of Kathmandu that have historical and spiritual values. We will visit Pashupatinath, Temple Swoyambhunath Stupa, Kathmandu Durbar Square and Bouddhanath Stupa. Meet your trekking guide at the hotel lobby and get the all information about your trip, and also feel free to get his help for last-minute gear shopping in Thamel.
Day 3: Flight Kathmandu – Lukla; Trek to Paiya | 6-7 h | 2730 m
We drive off to the airport early in the morning and take a scenic flight to Lukla. Make sure you sit on the left for your first great views of the Everest region. The landing at Lukla is an adventure experience by itself, but the pilots are highly skilled. Upon arrival at Lukla, we meet our other crew members, and after some packing and arrangements, we start our trek through the village of Lukla. We will walk south, descending through rhododendron forests and enjoying dramatic views of the Dudh Khosi river. It is a steady climb of around 2-3 hours to reach Chotak La pass at 2945 m; the rest of the way to Paiya is on flat but undulating terrain.
- Walking for the day: 6-7 hours, final elevation 2730 m
Day 4: Paiya to Panggom | 5-6 h | 2804 m
Today, after breakfast, we start advancing towards Panggom. After crossing the Poya Khola, we turn off the main Jiri-Namche trail and onto the old trade route, climbing up to the ridgeline overlooking the Khare Khola. There you have good views of the old Everest expedition route from Jiri and the dramatic Dudh Kosi river. We will be crossing several suspension bridges along the way to Panggom, through beautiful rhododendron and pine forests.
- Walking for the day: 5-6 hours, final elevation 2804 m
Day 5: Panggom to Ningsow | 6-7 h | 2863 m
Crossing through the Panggom La Pass at a height of 3174 m, the trail leads us to Ningsow, following the river.
- Walking for the day: 6-7 hours, final elevation 3440 m
Day 6: Ningsow to Chhetra Khola | 7-8 h | 3122 m
From Ningsow, we start ascending north along the Chhetra Khola River. We enter Makalu Barun National Park and follow the Pasang Lhamu trail where we can have a rare chance of spotting a Red Panda.
- Walking for the day: 7-8 hours, final elevation 3122 m
Day 7: Chhetra Khola to Kothe | 6-7 h | 3580 m
Follow the trail through bamboo and pine forest first and then via alpine meadows. Cross isolated suspension bridges and don’t forget to stop by the seasonal tea houses for a cup of tea. We’ll follow the river to the village of Khote and the lodge where we’ll spend the night.
- Walking for the day: 6-7 hours, final elevation 3580 m
Day 8: Kothe to Thagnak | 6-7 h | 4358 m
The scenery changes today, from woodland to scrub and moraine, as we climb above 4000 m. Continue following Inkhu Khola upstream. Pay homage to an ancient Gompa (monastery). We’ll reach the beautiful summer grazing village of Thagnak, where we spend the night.
- Walking for the day: 6-7 hours, final elevation 4358 m
Day 9: Thagnak to Khare | 5 h | 5045 m
The trek to Khare is gentle ascent. We’ll cross the river just above Tagnak then ascend the Dig Tsho glacier. We’ll be able to see the Hinku Nup glacier hanging above us. The trail gets steep again just before Khare. We will have spectacular views and can see our route via the glacier we’ll climb the day after tomorrow.
- Walking for the day: 4-5 hours, ↑500 m ↓0 m, final elevation 4910 m
Day 10: Khare Acclimatisation Day
We’ll spend today acclimatising and preparing for the summit climb. We will take an acclimatisation hike along the ridge behind the village.
Day 11: Khare to High Camp via Mera Glacier | 6-7 h | 5780 m
Leaving Khare, we walk on a good path to the glacier where we put crampons on and head out onto the glacier. After an initial steep slope the angle eases off, and we walk to Mera La, with spectacular views en route. High Camp provides great views of Kanchenjunga, Chamlang, Baruntse, Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Ama Dablam, Cho Oyo and Kantega. Overnight in tents.
- Walking for the day: 6-7 hours, final elevation 5780 m
Day 12: Summit Day – Climb Mera Peak (6476 m) and Return to High Camp | 9-12 h
We get started before dawn (as early as 2 am and no later than 5 am). We’ll aim to reach the summit by midday, but of course, this will depend heavily on the weather. The 30-degree slope is challenging, but not a technical climb. After getting behind the ridge, our guide will attach a fixed rope for the final steep ascent, and we will use our ice axes to make the last 30 metres at a 55-degree angle. Approaching the summit, you’ll see the incredible panorama of five of the world’s six highest mountains, including Mt Everest. With an experienced team by your side, you have reached the summit – you did it! In the event of inclement weather, the contingency day (Day 13) will be used to give a second chance at a summit attempt.
- Walking for the day: 9-12 hours, final elevation 5780 m
Day 13: Contingency Day
In inclement weather, the contingency day will be used to give a second chance at a summit attempt.
- Walking for the day: 4-5 hours, ↑350 m ↓750 m, final elevation 3440 m
Day 14: High Camp to Khare | 5 h | 5045 m
You’ll take a steady trek down the Iinkhu Valley to enjoy a relaxing evening of celebration at your tea house in Khare.
- Walking for the day: 5 hours, final elevation 5045 m
Day 15: Khare to Kothe | 6-7 h | 3580 m
Today we retrace our steps down to Kothe.
- Walking for the day: 6-7 hours, final elevation 3580 m
Day 16: Kothe to Tuli Kharka | 8-9 h | 4150 m
Today is uphill again, following a path that offers superior views of Mera. Tuli Kharka is a small hamlet comprising of a couple of tea houses.
- Walking for the day: 8-9 hours, final elevation 4150 m
Day 17: Tuli Kharka to Lukla via the Zetra La Pass | 8-9 h | 2840 m
We’ll climb a series of ridges before reaching the Zetra La Pass (4660 m). Descending from the pass can be treacherous when covered with snow; ensure you carry crampons and have an ice-axe. Then follow a final descent to Lukla, where you will spend your last night in a local teahouse. Now the celebrations can really begin!
- Walking for the day: 8-9 hours, final elevation 2840 m
Day 18: Flight Lukla – Kathmandu & Overnight
Recall the memories from the trek and enjoy the flight back to Kathmandu. Back in Kathmandu, you can spend some leisure time.
Day 19: Departure
Private transfer to Kathmandu Airport or optional extension.
Optional Chitwan Jungle Safari Extension (2 nights)
Experience the other side of Nepal in the jungle of the Chitwan National Park. Once home to a royal hunting reserve, Chitwan is now widely recognised as one of the best national parks in Asia. The park offers protection to numerous species including the one-horned rhinoceros, Bengal tiger, leopard, sloth bear, wild elephant, striped hyena, Gangetic dolphin, crocodile and wild bison.
- Take a boat along the Rapti river, which shelters about a quarter of the world’s remaining gharial population
- Jump on a jeep safari and spot a range of wild animals
- Spend some time in a local village, visiting the wildlife display centre and learning about local life
- Accommodation on twin share basis in a comfortable local hotel
- Meals included: 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners (excl. beverages)
Important: You will see other tour operators offering elephant riding activities and many tourists taking part in them during your time in Chitwan. However, we have an elephant welfare policy, and as such, we discourage travellers from riding elephants in Nepal or anywhere in the world. See the Responsible Travel section for more information.
Day 1: Kathmandu – Chitwan National Park
We walk off to the tourist bus stand, which is around 15 min walk from your hotel. Take the tourist bus and ride past river valleys, terrace fields, and highway settlements to southern lowlands (5 h). Upon getting off the bus, meet the staff, who will drive you to the resort. After having checked in, enjoy the lunch and make yourself comfortable amidst the beautiful garden. The manager will brief you about the activities schedule. In the afternoon, drive to the nearby river where alligators, birds, and rhinos can be spotted along with the mesmerizing sunset view. Overnight.
Day 2: Chitwan Activities
Early in the morning, we drive to the river and start canoeing through the jungle to spot alligators and various species of birds. After canoeing, we walk through the forest and take the jeep back to the resort. After lunch enjoy a jeep drive into the national park where we can spot more wild animals, and if lucky, Royal Bengal tigers. After we drive back to the resort, enjoy the dinner, and walk to the community hall to view the cultural show. Overnight.
Day 3: Chitwan – Kathmandu
After breakfast, the staff will drive you to the bus station and you will board the tourist bus. You can get back to Kathmandu or opt for Pokhara.
What to Expect
You will spend 3 nights in a nice hotel in Kathmandu on a twin share basis, 12 nights on a twin share basis in traditional mountain lodges (tea houses) and 2 nights (plus one contingency night) camping. Lodges at higher elevations are fairly basic. We have carefully hand-picked all places and regularly monitor their quality. We have tried to choose accommodations that offer friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour.
Tea houses are mountain lodges that are located along many of the trekking routes in Nepal that provide meals and accommodation. They are similar to mountain huts in the Alps except that in Nepal you primarily get private rooms and a wide choice of food. The tea houses, in general, offer simple but adequate accommodation; please be realistic about what to expect in the high mountains and in remote areas. Most tea houses are built specifically for trekkers, but some, in the more remote regions of Nepal, may double as the family’s home.
The teahouse’s centre is the heated eating hall (some lodges charge a fee to switch the heater on). The bedrooms are almost all twin-share (note that you may still be asked to share with 2 or 3 during peak season on very rare occasions). Bedrooms are not heated, and you will need to bring or hire a sleeping bag.
Most tea houses have only one or two basic toilets, and sometimes these are located outside the main building. Toilet paper is not provided so you should bring your own or buy it from the tea house. If there is not a flush handle, there should be a container of water to use.
The owners make most of their income from the meals and beverages. For this reason, you are expected to eat all your meals at the teahouse at which you’re staying. Most teahouses sell snacks, soft drinks, tea, coffee and other essentials such as soap and toilet paper. Almost all tea houses have electricity, but power outages are quite frequent. Electricity is available to charge your cameras and other electronic devices for a small fee at the dining rooms of most tea houses. A few of the lodges on this trek have WiFi which varies in quality of signal. Some lodges now have hot showers (you will be charged a small fee for using them). Note that sometimes this is simply a bucket of hot water and not a proper shower head.
Click to view our default hotels for this trip
- Kathmandu: Holy Himalaya
Several years ago, tea houses’ choices were limited and pre-booking the lodge fixed menu was often the only option. Since then, as the lodges have improved in quality, so has food choice, with most tea houses now offering an extensive menu. To give our customers choice, we now operate our trek on a lodge only basis (welcome dinner and breakfasts in the Kathmandu hotel are included as well as all meals on the two days in the tent camp). You will need to plan £25-30 per day in total for all meals in the tea houses.
- For breakfast, you can have toast, tea, eggs, and porridge. It gets served at around 7-8 am which is ideal for the early morning trek.
- Dal Bhat which consists of rice, dal (pulses), lentils, spinach, gundruk, optional meat, and others is a typical meal offered for lunch, or you can opt for a noodle soup.
- For dinner (normally, it’ll be served around 7:30 pm to 8:00 pm), where once there was a choice of 2-3 different rice or lentil-based meals at the lodge, most now offer a menu of 20 or more choices from the basic (such as dal bhat) through western-style (pizza, spaghetti) to more sophisticated (yak steak with blue cheese sauce).
Difficulty & terrain
The trek itself is technically straightforward, but it is very demanding due to the extreme altitude. At this altitude, air’s oxygen content is less than 50% of what it is at sea level so we would not recommend taking on Mera as your first high-altitude trek. If you are a seasoned high-altitude walker, however, the opportunity to embark on a remarkable journey and the feeling of being able to reach the summit is second to none (read more about difficulty grades).
Acute mountain sickness
AMS is a significant concern when trekking above 3500 m. Although our itinerary is designed to minimise the chances of you suffering from AMS by providing enough acclimatisation days and ensuring a gradual increase in altitude, each individual is affected differently by height. If you have any pre-existing health conditions that you think may make you more susceptible to AMS, we recommend that you consult your doctor before booking this trip.
When to go
The main trekking season in Nepal is from September to May when daytime temperatures at most altitudes are generally comfortable for walking, the sky is clear much of the time and rain and snow are occasional occurrences. You are free to choose your date between October and November or between March and May. The summer months are very wet as it is the monsoon season and winter is extremely cold.
- Post Monsoon: October to November. This is the main trekking season in Nepal. Skies are usually clear, and days on trek are sunny and mild with clear mountain views. Nights will be colder with temperatures dropping as low as to minus 10ºC at the highest altitudes.
- Pre-monsoon: March to May. Both day and night temperatures will be warmer in general, but a haze will often build up in the afternoons. Flowers bloom in this season, which is one reason many people chose to trek in spring.
It is customary in Asia to tip service providers such as waiters, at approximately 10%, depending on the quality of service. All our staff in Nepal (guides, assistant guides and porters) are fully insured and paid a fair wage; however, tips are not a substitute for wages. The amount is purely a personal matter but we would suggest a tip per day of 15-20 USD for your guide, 8-10 USD for your porter and 5-6 USD per day for assistants and other staff. These apply to the whole party, not per person. Obviously, this is very much a rough guide and you are completely free to give whatever you feel is appropriate.
- All airport transfers as listed in the itinerary (one arrival and one departure transfer per party)
- 3 nights quality accommodation on a twin share basis in Kathmandu
- 12 nights twin share accommodation in the mountains (tea houses)
- 2 nights (+1 contingency night) in a tent camp
- Full day sightseeing tour of Kathmandu including entrance fees
- 3 breakfasts in Kathmandu
- Welcome dinner in Kathmandu
- All meals in High Camp
- Return flights from Kathmandu to Lukla with 10 kg check-in baggage and 5 kg hand baggage
- All national park fees and trekking permits
- 1 English-speaking tour guide in the lowlands
- 1 English-speaking trekking guide
- 1 English-speaking climbing guide
- 1 Sherpa assistant for every 4 people when trekking
- 1 Sherpa assistant for every 3 people when climbing
- 1 porter for every 2 trekkers
- Detailed pre-departure information pack including guide book, city maps and trekking maps
- International flights and international airport departure fee
- Visa fee
- Lunches and dinners in Kathmandu (except for the welcome dinner) and all meals in the tea houses (plan £25-30 per day in total for all meals)
- Hot shower, water, WiFi, charging mobiles and cameras etc during trekking (if you plan on using the internet and showering every day, then you should budget around £8-10 per day)
- Drinking water (beverages)
- Extra expenses due to unforeseen events such as natural disaster, roadblocks or health conditions of a fellow traveller
- Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
- Personal expenses and tips
- Any items not specifically mentioned as included in the programme
Options, extras & supplements
- Single room supplement applies to members of a group who require a single room (Kathmandu only – ask our experts for a quote); in the tea houses you may ask the owner if there are single rooms available and you can pay locally for them
- Unfortunately, we are not able to accommodate solo travellers on this trek
- Breakfasts in the tea houses (12 breakfasts)
- Full board in the tea houses (12 breakfasts, 13 lunches and 12 dinners)
- Kathmandu upgrade to a superior 4 or 5-star hotel
- Extra nights in Kathmandu (highly recommended – Lukla airport is notorious for being shut to fog. If you have no flexibility regarding your international flight schedule, this can cause huge problems for you. 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 extra cost will be approximately US$500-600 per person. So, if you have the time, it is worth booking extra nights or arranging fully flexible international flights.)
- Optional Chitwan Jungle Safari Extension