Everest Base Camp Heli Trek
Everest Base Camp Heli Trek reveals some of the most breathtaking scenery in the Himalayas. After exploring Kathmandu, you fly to Lukla (2,860 m) where your trek to Everest begins. The trail follows the course of the Dudh Kosi, the ‘River of Milk’, gradually climbing through forests of rhododendron and magnolia.
There are rest days at Namche Bazaar (the delightful Sherpa capital) and at Dingboche village (set below the spectacular peak of Ama Dablam) – to help adjust to the altitude.
By the time, you reach Loboche the temperature will have dropped and you will be walking among frozen rivers in an icy wilderness. From here, you make the trek to Base Camp itself – at the foot of the world’s highest peak. The next day brings you to the final highlight – Kalar Patthar (5,545 m) with stunning views of Everest and the Khumbu Glacier cascading below.
After returning from Kala Patthar you will have breakfast in Gorak Shep, then board a helicopter to return to Kathmandu. The standard cost of a helicopter tour to EBC typically starts from around $1,200 to $2,500 per person.
|Days||Program||Altitude||Distance / Duration||Accommodation|
|1||Arrival at Kathmandu||1,350 m||2/3 star hotel|
|2||Trek preparations and Kathmandu valley sightseeing||1,350 m||2/3 star hotel|
|3||Kathmandu to Phakding||2,610 m||3 hrs||Teahouse/lodge|
|4||Phakding to Namche Bazaar||3,420 m||6 hrs||Teahouse/lodge|
|5||Acclimatization at Namche Bazaar||3,790 m||5 hrs||Teahouse/lodge|
|6||Namche Bazaar to Tengboche||3,860 m||5 hrs||Teahouse/lodge|
|7||Tengboche to Pheriche||4,240 m||4: 30 hrs||Teahouse/lodge|
|8||Acclimatization at Pheriche||4,240 m||4 hrs||Teahouse/lodge|
|9||Pheriche to Duglha||4,620 m||3 hrs||Teahouse/lodge|
|10||Duglha to Lobuche||4,930 m||2 hrs||Teahouse/lodge|
|11||Lobuche to Gorak Shep||5,160 m||6hrs||Teahouse/lodge|
|12||Gorak Shep to Kala Patthar and back to Kathmandu||5,545 m||2/3 star hotel|
Arrival in Kathmandu
Upon arrival at Kathmandu International Airport, transfer to your hotel in Kathmandu or Bhaktapur. A short briefing will follow concerning the necessary formalities and your trekking itinerary. Depending upon your arrival time, you may spend your free time visiting nearby sanctuaries or resting.
Trek Preparations and Sightseeing in Kathmandu Valley
Half-day sightseeing tour of UNESCO Bhaktapur and Kathmandu, including Buddhist and Hindu temples and shrines reflecting ancient local traditions. There is time to explore the city’s many places of interest on your own or take a rest while trekking permits are finalized. In the evening, sample a delicious traditional Nepali dinner. Overnight in Kathmandu
Kathmandu to Phakding (2,610 m)
Early in the morning, you will be picked up to go to the Kathmandu airport, from where you will take the airplane to Lukla, which will take about 30 minutes of flight time. At Lukla, we will meet our porters and head north from the airstrip to Chablung (2,700 m). Here we will cross the Tharo Koshi river on a local-style suspension bridge. Just past the bridge, we can see the peak of Kusum Kangru (6,367 m), which is the most difficult of the so-called “trekking peaks." Beyond the Tharo Koshi, the trail climbs a bit towards Ghat (2,590 m), where we will cross a ridge marked with painted Mani stones and climb to Phakding, where we will stay overnight (3 hrs).
Phakding to Namche Bazaar (3,420 m)
From Phakding, we follow the valley of the Dudh Koshi river, staying on the west bank of the river. We climb steeply over a rocky ridge towards Benkar (2,710 m). From here the trail continues alongside the river. All along this part of the trail, villages are interspersed with magnificent forests of rhododendron, magnolia and giant firs. In both the early autumn and late spring, the flowers on this portion of the trek make it a beautiful walk. We cross the Kyashar Khola river and climb out of the valley to Monjo (2,840 m). Just beyond Monjo, the trek enters the Sagarmatha (Everest) National Park, which was established in 1976 to protect a 1,148 sq. km. area surrounding Mt. Everest. Beyond the national park entrance station, the trail makes a steep, rocky descent and crosses the Dhudh Koshi river on a 120-meter-long suspension bridge towards Jorsale (2,830 m). After crossing this river a few times while climbing our way up the valley, we will reach Namche Bazaar (3,420 m). Namche Bazaar is the main trading center in this region and features numerous shops, hotels and restaurants (6 hrs).
Acclimatization in Namche Bazaar
Acclimatization is important before proceeding higher. Today we will take a day hike through the villages of Khunde and Khumjung. We start with a steep one-hour climb to the Shyangboche airstrip (3,790 m), from where we will slowly ascend towards Khunde, passing numerous chorten (stone Buddhist monuments). We take the trail east from Khunde to Khumjung, the largest village in Khumbu, at the foot of the sacred peak Khumbila. After enjoying lunch here, we will follow a steep switchbacking trail descending to Chhorkung (3,540 m). It's a quick descent back to Namche Bazaar (5 hours) from here.
Namche Bazaar to Tengboche (3,860 m)
Our route today to Tengboche weaves in and out of side valleys, making small ups and downs, to the teashops of Kenjoma, and joins the trail from Khumjung just before a collection of Mani stones. The views of Everest and Ama Dablam are excellent from this part of the trek. We pass the small settlement of Sanasa, from where the trail drops towards Phunki Thanga (3,250 m). From here, the trail climbs steeply through forests and around Mani stones as it follows the side of a hill to the saddle on which the monastery of Tengboche sits at 3,870 m. The view from here is rightly deemed to be one of the worlds most magnificent. Kwangde (6,187 m), Tawachee (6,542 m), Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse (8,501 m), Ama Dablam, Kantega, and Thamserku provide an inspiring panorama of Himalayan giants. We will spend the night in Tengboche village (5 hrs).
Tengboche to Pheriche (4,240 m)
From Tengboche, we start our day by descending through forests of birches, conifers, and rhododendrons to the village of Deboche. From here, the level trail passes many Mani walls in a deep rhododendron forest. After crossing the Imja Khola river, the route climbs past some magnificently carved Mani stones to Pangboche (3,860 m). This is the highest year-round settlement in the valley, and the Pangboche gompa is the oldest in Khumbu and once contained relics that were said to be the skull and hand of a yeti. Beyond Pangboche, the route enters alpine meadows above the tree line, mostly consisting of scrub juniper and tundra. We will cross the Khumbu Khola river and arrive in Pheriche, which is a labyrinth of walls and pastures (4:30 hrs).
Acclimatisation day in Pheriche
The most important thing for acclimatization at high altitudes is a slow ascent. Therefore, it is imperative that we spend an additional night at Pheriche to aid the acclimatization process. A good way to spend the day is to hike to the small summer settlement of Chhukung at 4,730 m. From here, we have tremendous views of Island Peak (6,189 m), the south face of Lhotse, and the south-eastern face of Ama Dablam. After enjoying the views here we return back to Pheriche (4 hrs).
Pheriche to Duglha (4,620 m)
The trail of today ascents the broad, gently sloping valley from Pheriche to Phalang Karpo at 4,320 m. In many places, the trail crosses small streams on boulders. Beyond Phalang Karpo, the trail climbs steeply onto the terminal moraine of the Khumbu Glacier, then joins the trail from Dingboche and contours down to a stream, crossing it on a bridge just before Duglha (3 hrs).
Duglha to Lobuche (4,930 m)
From Dughla, the trail goes directly up the terminal moraine of the Khumbu Glacier for about an hour to the memorial area known as Chukpilhara, which was built in memory of six Sherpas who died in an avalanche during the 1970 Japanese skiing expedition on Everest. From here, the trail drops a bit and follows the western side of the valley to Lobuche, a summer settlement at 4,930 meters that has become a major trekking stop. The sunset on Nuptse, seen from here, is a memorable sight.
Lobuche to Gorak Shep (5,160 m)
The first section of today's trail follows the western side of the broad Khumbu valley and ascents gently through meadows besides the glacial moraine. The ascent becomes steeper and rougher as it crosses several side moraines. After rounding a bend in the trail, the conical peak of Pumori comes into view. On the lower slopes of this mountain, a ridge extending to the south terminates in a small peak known as Kala Pattar (5,545 m), meaning "black rock." The trail then makes a short descent onto the sandy, flat expanse of Gorak Shep. From here, we will continue to the current Everest base camp, which is about a 4-hour return walk from Gorak Shep. We will return to this small settlement after our visit to the base camp (6 hours).
Gorak Shep to Kala Patthar to Kathmandu via Helicopter (4,930 m)
After an early morning rise, we will start our day by climbing the Kala Pattar (5,545 m). This is a steep ascent up the grassy slopes west of Gorak Shep. From Kala Pattar, the entire Everest south face is visible, as are Lho La (the pass between Nepal and Tibet, also known as the Western Cwm), Changtse (the northern peak of Everest), and most of the West Ridge route. We return to Gorak Shep for breakfast, then return to Kathmandu via Helicopter where our team will greet you and transfer you to your hotel
Departure from Kathmandu or continuation of onward travels in Nepal
- Airport pick-up and drop-off
- Four nights hotel accommodations with breakfast in Kathmandu and Bhaktapur
- Licensed and trained trekking guides
- Porters for carrying goods and supplies
- All accommodation during trek
- All meals and hot beverages whilst trekking
- Transportation to and from trail head
- All necessary documents and permits for trekking (where applicable)
- National Park/Conservation Area entry permit
- Equipment such as sleeping bag, tents, mattresses
- Cooking equipment (if required)
- Camp-site charges (if required)
- Insurance, medication, and equipment for staff
- Coordination of Quick Rescue service (costs covered by your insurance plan)
- International airfares
- Travel/trekking insurance
- Excess baggage charges more than 16kg and hand bag more than 5kg in domestic flights
- Visa fees
- Airport departure tax
- Rescue charge
- Drinks (cold and alcoholic)
- Expenses of personal nature
- Permit and liaison officer fee (where applicable)
- Lunches and dinners whilst not trekking
- Aerial view of the Himalayan ranges
- Trekking up to Everest Base Camp
- Helicopter ride to Kathmandu
- Pick you up at Everest Base Camp/Kalapatthar
- Visiting Namche Bazaar if you choose to stop at Namche
- Breakfast or Lunch at Everest Base Camp
- Witness stunning landscapes, green hills, Sherpa villages, and lush forests
- Enjoy panoramic views of numerous snow-clustered mountains like Everest, Lhotse, Kanchenjunga, Makalu, Ama Dablam, Pumori, Thamserku, etc
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I go to Everest Base Camp by Helicopter?
Yes, you can go to Everest Base Camp by helicopter. The helicopter tour usually takes around 4-5 hours, including stops for acclimatization and a brief stop at EBC.
How much is a helicopter to Everest Base Camp cost?
The cost of a helicopter tour to Everest Base Camp (EBC) can vary depending on the operator, the duration of the tour, the type of helicopter, and the number of passengers. However, the standard cost of a helicopter tour to EBC typically starts at around $1,200 to $2,500 per person. This price usually includes round-trip helicopter flights, permits, and a short stop at EBC for photos and sightseeing. Some operators may also include hotel transfers, breakfast, and other amenities in the package.
How long is the helicopter ride from Lukla to Everest Base Camp?
The helicopter ride from Lukla to Everest Base Camp (EBC) is relatively short, usually taking around 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the weather conditions and the specific route taken by the helicopter pilot.
Read our FAQ that answers general questions