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Makalu Adventure

Kathmandu, Nepal
About Makalu Adventure
Treks, Expeditions, Tours and Mountain Biking in NEPAL, TIBET, BHUTAN & INDIA since 1998. We offer competitively priced trips to a set of destinations which we know well. Well resourced in the field but not heavily marketed, these trips are fantastic mix of expert guides, good itineraries, good logistics and a great crew of people.
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Bob-from-Port_Huenem wrote a review Jun 2020
Bangkok, Thailand23 contributions3 helpful votes
I returned to Nepal for work and extended the trip a few days so I could see Mt Everest from area above Namche. On short notice, Mr. Mohan put together a 5 day itinerary with guide and porter that included airport transfers and R/T flight to Lukla at a great price. All were top notch professionals. Thanks to Makalu Adventures, I was able to condense a lot of Nepal experiences into a short timeframe - and the view of Everest and Ama Dablam from Tengboche was epic. Pick Makalu Adventures if you desire flexibility to help build your own itinerary and quick, courteous service - I never waited more than 5 hours for a reply to my inquiries. Can't wait to book them again for a Gokyo Valley experience.
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Date of experience: October 2019
Dal S wrote a review Oct 2019
3 contributions1 helpful vote
AMAZING BIKE TRIP I loved every minute of it... WOW.. factor was 10/10 I have been on many bike trips Mongolia, Philippines, India and Morocco and in 2016 cycled the Great Divide for 2 months. All the previous trips had issues with the support crew and I left various negative feedback with all companies envolvef This trip, was the by far the best and I cannot fault anything. I had not trained too much prior to this trip and found a couple of the days very hard and I was always at the back of group. I fact I’m always at the back on all my previous trips !!!!! This didn’t matter, as it was all about taking photos, the scenery, the people and relaxing whenever I could on daily rides. I was always stopping and was still able to get to camp by 2 pm most days. My wife came along and was part of the support crew. She enjoyed it and was well looked after by Makalu staff. (She misses Tibet already...despite struggling with the altitude for most of the trip) Everything about the trip was great. Food 10/10 The days after reaching Everest Base Camp, got better and better and some I experience best bike riding I have ever done. The bus trip from the Border back to Kathmandu was also a once in lifetime experience.. I had problems with my bike rear wheel from day 1 and so to finish the 1000km ride was even more of a achievement. The Lhasa bike shop said it be 50-50 that the wheel would last till Everest. Anyway, I did it...... This trip for me and wife would have cost so much more if we had used a different company. We also went to Bhutan after the Tibet trip with Makalu Adventure and it was well organised and we enjoyed it a lot. As for the Tibet to Lhasa bike ride, I would recommend Makalu Adventure, as it was truly a once in lifetime experience. We will be going back next year, to do some trekking and we will use Makalu again. Thanks again Darren and Liezel England
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Date of experience: September 2019
José Manuel wrote a review Oct 2019
1 contribution3 helpful votes
First of all, I must say that my trip was wonderful, with stunning landscapes, good weather, and above all an incredible group of people with whom it was a pleasure to ride, however this opinion is about the work of Makalu Adventure and Mohan, the president of the company. The first thing I have to warn about Mohan is that if you have any questions, he will answer what he thinks you want to hear. The problem is that what you want to hear sometimes coincides with the truth, and sometimes not. As examples (I have all this written down, in case anyone wants more information), I asked him if it was possible to charge our electronic devices (mobile, GPS) during the campings, since the trip includes several days without sleeping in any hotel. His answer was yes, there was going to be no problem to charge our phones in the campings. Well, this is simply a lie, it is necessary to carry a charger with enough capacity to charge your devices for up to 6 consecutive days, since you will be sleeping in camping for 6 days in a row. Another example, once I read the program of the trip, it was not clear to me if one day was going to sleep in camping or in a hotel, therefore I asked Mohan, and his answer was that we were going to sleep in a hotel that day. Once again this answer turned out to be false, we slept in camping that day. Sleeping in camping is not necessarily bad, simply if the president of the company writes to me saying that that night I will sleep in a hotel (and therefore I have paid to sleep in a hotel), it bothers me to find out that I am going to sleep in a camping. Another thing that was not developed according to what is written is before starting the trip itself. It is written that before starting the trip in Lhasa there is a one-day route in Nepal. According to the program, they first take us out of Kathmandu in a vehicle to a certain place, from where we do the route, then back to the vehicle and return to Kathmandu. I understand that this is done mainly because traffic in Kathmandu is chaotic and dangerous for cyclists (maybe this is not the main reason, but the traffic in the city is truly dangerous for bikers). Again, they did different from what they wrote, our route began and ended next to the hotel, right in the center of the city. Fortunately there weres no accidents, but it would have been very sad that some participant had had a mishap and had to leave the trip before even starting it. I do not understand this change in the planning of the trip, nor do I understand that they did not notify us before or explain the reasons for the change after. A final example that I develop later on: in the meeting prior to the start of the trip, in Kathmandu, Mohan informed us that the Makalu Adventure team was going to be composed of 3 parts, a truck ahead of us, a support van behind us, and another guide cycling with us. Again, this turned out to be false, and in my opinion, this lie is the most important of all. After several bicycle trips, some on my own and others organized by different companies, for me there is a golden rule that cannot be broken under any circumstances, and that is that the first person to open the group must be someone from the organization, to avoid confusion about the path to follow (regardless of whether the path is easy to follow) or to solve any problems that may arise among the first participants, and the last person must also be a member of the organization, to ensure 100% of not leaving anyone behind AT ANY TIME. Well, practically every day during my trip, the organization was the following: Once the truck picked up the tents and other utensils (kitchen, etc.), it went ahead to prepare the next camp or the lunch, therefore we did not see them until lunch time or until the stage is over. The bike guide has no physical ability to ride with the group leaders, not even with the intermediate level people. This in itself is not a problem since he can do his job by staying with the last ones. The problem is when he doesn't do one thing or another, but, for example, arrives at the camping a couple of minutes or three BEFORE the last participant. In that period of time, eye contact with the last participant is lost, so if he has a mechanical incident or even an traffic accident, no one will notice. Many other days, in the middle of the day he put his bike in the truck and did not ride the rest of the stage. I think this was done by indication of another of the guides, a decision that left the participants even more alone. And the last element (the van), was continually overtaking us, so that guide wasn't closing the group. Sometimes he directly disappeared (nobody knew where he was). One of these times some people left their warm clothes in the van, hoping to meet it on top of a mountain to take those clothes and make the descent comfortable, and finally they were forced to finish the stage without those warm clothes for not meeting the van. It is true that in Tibet there are many checkpoints where it is necessary to give the passport to the police, and sometimes the van had to go ahead to give them, but in that case, in my opinion what the organization has to do is either make several regroupings during each day so that the group does not disperse too much (I have seen this in all my previous trips, it is normal if you want to have a minimum of control over a group of cyclists) or else the other option would be have more staff, another vehicle that close the group at all times while the other advance to the checkpoints. I insist in my opinion, there should ALWAYS be a member of the organization that opens the group, and there should ALWAYS be a member of the organization that closes the group, even more in a country where not all the people can speak english so you can find yourself in real trouble if you need someone and can't communicate with anybody. Just for breaching this, in my opinion this company should lose the right to continue organizing this travel. As I said, the guide who goes cycling has not done his job well, however I think that with precise instructions, more information and maybe a touch of attention, in the future he can be a more or less competent guide, I say this because sometimes he showed interest and will to help. Without a doubt, the worst thing about the organization is the guide that drove the van, which was supposed to be the leader of the group. I never saw a person who speaks so much to say so little. Each night after dinner he gave us a talk about the next stage, where all the data (distances, heights) were "about", "more or less", etc. When you are doing a bike trip of more than 1000 km with mountains higher than 5000 meters there is no place for "abouts" or "more or less". The guides MUST have memorized (or at least recorded) every kilometer, each height of each port, each place of interest, each camp location, etc. It was certainly sad and even distressing to see both guides (the one in the van and the biker) discuss about the distance of the stages, and sadder still to verify in many cases that in the end neither of them knew the distances exactly. This gives an image of little professionalism that I had never seen so far. By the way, it should also be added that according to the program, one of the days began with a one-hour visit to a monastery on the outskirts of a city, as you can suppose already, that visit did not occur either, without explanation from the guide. One more note, in the program it is written that the organization transports a portable air chamber to deal with cases of altitude sickness. Well, when asking the guide about that chamber (I even showed him the program where that part is written) his response was elusive (at first he didn't even know what I was talking about), therefore, although I cannot assure you with facts, my impression is that they did not carry such an air chamber. At the end of the day it would have been very simple to answer something like "air chamber? Of course, here it is, take a look!". If this is true, it is an important example of the lack of professionalism and the little importance that Makalu Adventure gives to the health of its clients. I insist, this issue of the air chamber is NOT a fact, it is the impression I have according to the guide's response. At that time I was so sick and tired of him and his empty talk that I did not want to insist on the subject, but my advice for those who make the trip with them is, before starting the first day of travel, insist on SEEING that chamber in the truck. You may not need it, but you never know. Another thing, which is not written anywhere but I had taken for granted, is that some member of the organization had knowledge of mechanics to solve any technical problem. This is not the case, in fact the first day I had to repair the brake of the guide's bicycle, and I tell you that my knowledge of mechanics is quite limited. I say it here so that you know that you should bring the tools and spare parts that you consider appropriate, and logically you should also know how to use them. Finally, I have to say a good thing about the organization, and it's about the cook and his assistant. It's amazing what they can do with a portable kitchen, of course it was the best in regards to Makalu Adventure, my recognition to these two guys without a doubt, very good professionals. For all the above I have the feeling that Makalu Adventure does not take into account, no longer the opinion of its customers, but not even their safety and wellness. This is just my opinion, but it is an opinion based on the facts that I have presented. I sincerely believe that, as Mohan repeats over and over again, the fact that this is a "one in a lifetime" trip, makes him not to take into consideration his clients, since regardless they have an unforgettable experience or if their trip is a horror, it is unlikely for anybody to repeat this trip (curiously it was not the case of one of the members of my group, which was the second time he made the trip, although in his opinion the first time was better). That is why I feel the obligation to write my opinion here based on what I saw, what I heard and the written answers they gave to my questions, and what is why I recommend you make this trip with some of the other companies that organize it, even if they may have a higher price, I am sure they have a more professional staff. If anyone has any questions I am at your disposal to explain anything that has not been clear. Kind regards.
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Date of experience: September 2019
1 Helpful vote
MariaIndonesia wrote a review Jun 2019
Indonesia6 contributions2 helpful votes
We are a group of 4, visiting Nepal in March 2019. Mohan Lamsal of Makalu Adventure in Kathmandu organized the tour we wanted based on our own itinerary. Every thing went well. All accommodations were good and our guide, Sirrish, was a fantastic resource for the history and culture of Nepal. Even though Mohan is an extremely busy man (he is the owner of Makalu Adventure), he took the time to meet us a few times at the Thamel Eco Lodge in Kathmandu where we stayed some of the time. If you are planning on visiting Nepal ............. talk to Mohan at Makalu.
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Date of experience: March 2019
Dangerfield8 wrote a review Jun 2019
Yoxall, United Kingdom5 contributions
Makalu adventure ran everything perfectly guides were very knowledgeable and very good made everything run like clockwork many thanks
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Date of experience: May 2019