Solukhumbu is located in the Himalayan region of Nepal, on the northwest corner of Province 1. Bagmati Province surrounds it to the west and Sankhuwasabha to the east whereas, Bhojpur is located in the south-east, Okhaldhunga in the south, and Tibet (China) to the north.
The name Solukhumbu is a combination of its two regions: Solu and Khumbu.
It is the most visited tourist site as it is the home to some of the world’s highest mountains. Everest, the highest mountain in the world, is located in this region.
Since it is located at a high altitude and comprises the highest peaks, it is no doubt that Solukhumbu has the best mountain scenery in the world. Therefore, the district invites trekkers to explore its vicinity, mountains, and alpine lakes.
Solukhumbu used to be ruled by the Kirat Dynasty in the early and medieval eras. It was part of Chaudandi of Majh Kira before it got unified by the king of Gorkha, Prithvi Narayan Shah.
Best season to travel to Solukhumbu
The best time to visit Solukhumbu is in the Spring season (March to May) or the Autumn season (September to November). Summer, which begins from May-end to June is also an excellent time to go to Solukhumbu.
These months are when the weather is dry and warm. The skies are clear, making it best to view the beautiful Himalayan ranges and rhododendron forests while trekking through the trails to reach the Gokyo Lakes or Everest Base Camp itself.
Due to heavy rain, the trails get muddy and slick during the monsoon season (July to August).
There are also a lot of flight cancellations between Lukla and Kathmandu. Winter begins in November and reaches its peak in January, covering the trails with snow.
Solukhumbu is most challenging to visit during monsoon and winter; however, these months will be worth it if you are looking for sheer adventure.
Read more: How to plan an Everest Base Camp trek
Traveling to Solukhumbu
Solukhumbu is 144 kilometers away from Kathmandu. Phalpu village is the gateway for many treks in the Solukhumbu district. There are two ways to travel to Solukhumbu, which we will discuss below:
i. By flight
Flying to Solukhumbu’s Lukla airport from Kathmandu’s domestic airport is the easiest and fastest way to reach your destination. It takes 44 minutes to get to the village.
The flight to Solukhumbu is a thrilling experience as you will be flying into the mountains. For this, good weather is a must. Your flights will typically be scheduled in the morning; however, you may face delays and flight cancellations, especially in monsoon season.
So far, only Yeti Airlines offer flight services from Kathmandu to Solukhumbu. The flight to Solukhumbu takes somewhere between $160-$660.
ii. By road
Driving to Phalpu is a cost-effective way to travel to Solukhumbu. It is also a great way to visit during monsoon season as flights often get delayed and canceled.
However, traveling by road takes about 7-8 hours to reach Solukhumbu. The road conditions are also rough, and thus, it will be a bumpy ride.
On the brighter side, you will see fantastic countryside sceneries.
You can find buses and jeeps that will drive you to Lukla.
Driving from Kathmandu to Phalpu Salleri on a bus/jeep costs $20-$60 per person. Groups traveling together can reserve the jeep for $160-$250.
There are three routes to Solukhumbu’s Lukla village by road:
Route 1: Kathmandu – Jiri/Bhandara-trek to EBC
Route 2: Kathmandu-Salleri-BP Highway
Route 3: Kathmandu-Dharan-Tumlingtar-walk to Lukla through Salpa Pass (Aruna Valley Trek)
Solukhumbhu highest mountains
Solukhumbhu is home to 99 named mountains, of which Mount Everest is the highest.
Some of the highest and most prominent mountains in Solukhumbu are:
- Mount Everest (8,848.86m)
- Mount Everest-South Peak (8,765m)
- Mount Lhotse (8,516m)
- Lhotse Nup Peak (8,494m)
- Lhotse Shar Peak (8,382m)
- Lhotse Middle Peak (8,372m)
- Cho Oyu (8,201m)
- Gyachung Kang (7,952m)
- Ngozumpa Kang I (7,916 m)
- Nuptse I Peak (7,861m)
- Chamlang (7,319m)
- Pumori (7,184m)
- Number (6,959m)
- Lunag Ri (6,895m)
- Taboche (6,495m)
- Angola (6,906m)
- Kantega (6,779m)
- Ama Dablam (6,856m)
Places to visit in Solukhumbu
Everest Base Camp
Everest Base Camp is the world’s most epic destination and the most popular. Trekking to the world’s highest peak base camp is a significant achievement, and not everyone can do that.
Trekking the Everest Base Camp lets you explore the Himalayas’ challenging trails, all the while presenting you with jaw-dropping scenery of the mountains, icefalls, and quaint Sherpa villages, which are all so picturesque.
You will be trekking through traditional Sherpa villages with well-carved buildings and beautiful views like Namche Bazaar, Khumjung, and Dingboche. Not to mention, you will be crossing a lot of suspension bridges.
You will see stunning mountain views of Everest, Lhotse, Ama Dablam, and more along the trekking route.
The trek not only takes you to Kala Patthar. This place rewards you with a stunning 360-degree view of the mountain range and offers a challenging uphill route.
Located at an altitude of 4,700-5,000 meters above sea level, Gokyo Lakes are beautiful oligotrophic lakes that are also the world’s highest freshwater lake system.
The lakes offer majestic views of the surrounding mountains. Besides trekking to the lakes, going on a helicopter trip would also be an excellent way to sightsee the lakes and the mountains.
Sagarmatha National Park
The Sagarmatha National Park is a fascinating site enlisted as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. It is surrounded by the tallest mountains and glaciers and houses many rare species.
The national park is renowned for housing snow leopards, red pandas, and musk deer.
It would be best if you trek your way to the national park.
Tengboche Monastery, also called Dawa Choling Gompa, is the most famous religious institution in the Khumjung village of Solukhumbu. Located in front of Mount Ama Dablam, it is 3,687 meters high. Every afternoon, a monastery tour is conducted.
Visit this monastery to see the residing Rinpoches and get blessed by them.
You should also attend the Mani Rimdu festival, which takes place every October. There will be prayers, songs, ritual dances, and food!
Namche Bazar, the ‘Gateway to Mount Everest,’ is the Sherpa capital village with numerous teahouses, restaurants, and bars. Additionally, you can purchase mountaineering equipment here.
Namche Bazar is the last place where ATMs are available.
The region’s scenic beauty is enhanced by the cliffs and canyons that dominate the vibrant village. The town has numerous ancient monasteries too.
Namche is home to many animals like yak, mountain goat, blue sheep, and birds like pheasants and griffin vultures.
Lukla is known for having one of the world’s most dangerous airports, The Tenzing Hillary Airport. But Lukla has more than that to offer.
Lukla is a town that hosts numerous trekkers. Therefore, it has a lot of accommodation and eatery options, all with a view.
The town also has many shops selling trek equipment and gear. For example, you can get yak-hair gloves and North Face jackets for cheap. Lukla sure is a paradise start to the Everest Base Camp trek.
Shangbouche Hill is the best place to check out the stunning views of Mount Everest, Ama Dablam, Lhotse, Thamserku, Khumbila, and Konde Ri. It is a tranquil and peaceful place where you can spend an hour unwinding in the atmosphere of the Himalayas.
Sherpa Museum is located in Namche Bazar. Visit this museum to learn about the Sherpa culture and the Everest region of Nepal.
Also, check out the Tenzing Norgay statue that lies in front of the views of Mount Everest. It is a great place to explore while acclimatizing in Namche Bazaar.
Accommodation in Solukhumbu
Solukhumbu, though being a remote region, has no scarcity of accommodation. Lukla has the most number of lodges, hotels, and teahouses.
As you go higher up in the Solukhumbu region, you will be staying in teahouses and homestays.
Most tea houses only charge $4-$5 per night. However, if you want to stay in nicer lodges, you must pay around $20-$40 per night.
If you’re going on a trek with an agency, your agents will take care of accommodations for you.
Food and water in Solukhumbu
Your agency takes care of all your meals throughout the tour. The cost of meals is all included in your package.
You will be eating your breakfast and dinner at the lodge/teahouse that you will be staying in.
If you’re traveling solo, there are lots of excellent restaurants and cafes at Lukla and Namche Bazar of Solukhumbu that provide local as well as continental dishes. The food will be a bit pricy, though.
Tea houses do not have a variety of menus. You will be provided a combo of toasts with jam/honey, eggs, milk or black tea OR chapati and potatoes, Tibetan bread, or porridge with milk.
Your lunch will mainly consist of Dal Bhat (rice and lentil soup and curry), noodle soup, momos, sandwiches, burgers, etc.
Dinner will also consist of Dal Bhat, noodle soups, Tibetan bread, and potato items.
In terms of water, you can buy mineral bottles in shops and teahouses. Some lodges even provide one for free.
However, mineral waters start being costlier as you go higher up. It costs $1-$4. It is best if you buy a hydration bladder and use water purification tablets.
So these are all we have for now on Solukhumbu. Feel free to comment below if there is anything we have missed.