My husband and I used the services of Hiking Himalayas Trek and Expedition in November 2013 and I would recommend them for guiding in the Everest Base Camp region. Our guide was Hari Nepal and our porter was Narayan . Both were very personable. Hari has great English skills and is extremely knowledgeable about the mountains, religions, cultures and was clearly a regular guide on this route — the lodge owners knew him and we would run into other guides & porters along the way who also knew him. We were happy with the tea houses & rooms that Hari arranged for us. He also helped us navigate things like money exchanging. Hari definitely enriched our first experience in Nepal. The trek itself was fantastic and epic.
We started in Jiri, which I’d recommend if you can manage the extra time. It is a challenging hike when you take into account the number of ascent/descents, cold temperatures up high, and altitude, but absolutely worth the effort! Just a couple of things to suggest as you plan your trip.
First, plan some extra money into your budget to cover additional food — our package included a basic Nepali breakfast, lunch, dinner. It was Great. If you just make sure to bring enough rupees on the trek to cover . Also, I highly recommend bringing along all the energy bars/trail snacks you need from home — healthy snacks like Clif bars, GU, Gatorade, and fruit-nut trail mix are not available at all along the trail. All you can buy for snacks is candy bars and potato chips. Second, we opted to upgrade our Kathmandu hotel on the return from EBC , Raj Nepal helped us book a room at the Kathmandu Radisson Hotel (pretty close to Thamel) and it was a really nice treat at the end of our epic journey to see Mount Everest! Last but not least, we upgraded from the public bus from Kathmandu to Jiri to a private car and, based on conversations with others who took the bus, I think we made the right decision!