Everest Base Camp, in Solukhumbu, from Kathmandu, is nearly 200 km away and reaching there is not like walking in the park. This region’s remoteness, rugged topography, and high altitude make Everest Base Camp Trek challenging.
With a decent trek plan, logistics, and itinerary, you can hike up to the base camp or fly directly on a helicopter for one day. There are a few ways to immerse yourself in the true heaven of mountains and mesmerising natural resources of the Everest region.
One, you can plan Everest Base Camp Trek for 12 days, where you’ll take a flight to Lukla and then start the trek. This has been the most common way to reach Everest Base Camp. While trekking, you can enjoy scenic landscapes, mountains, Sherpa cultures, and more.
Second, people opt for group sharing or a chartered one-day Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tour from Kathmandu to Kala Patthar and back to Kathmandu. It’s a four-hour mountain flight where you’ll fly on a helicopter over the towering mountains in the Everest region. The cost of this tour is not that expensive, and hence, people opt for it.
Lastly, there’s an eclectic style of Everest trekking where your first trek to certain places like Namche or Tengboche to get some trek experience. And from those places, a helicopter will pick you up, take you to the base camp, and drop you at either Kathmandu or Luka.
In this blog, we’ll cover these four topics in detail and give you an in-depth idea of which styles suit you the best.
12 days Everest Base Camp Trek
The Everest Base Camp Trek route is 130 km from Lukla and finishes at Lukla, following the standard itinerary. You’ll hike more than 8 km daily, with the trek time averaging 5 hours. Furthermore, you’ll gain around 7,000 metres of altitude daily on the hike.
A 40-minute scenic flight from Kathmandu to Lukla is the best-practised method to reach Lukla and start the hike to the base camp. You’ll get the base camp on the 8th day from Lukla with two acclimatisation stops.
Lukla, the gateway to Everest, is a small town in the Solukhumbu district. The trekkers hike up to the base camp stop for breakfast or lunch before starting the hike. On the other hand, it’s an ideal last stop to celebrate the successful trek for returning trekkers, guides, and porters.
Lukla to Phakding
Lukla to Phakding is a four-hour hike. You’ll hike through the beautiful settlements of Lukla, Ghat, and Phakding. You’ll stay overnight at the tea house in Phakding.
Phakding to Namche Bazar
Phakding to Namche Bazar is a six-hour hike, around 11 km long. You’ll hike on relatively flat terrain before making a final one-hour ascend from Hillary Bridge to Namche.
Acclimatisation at Namche Bazaar
Acclimatisation rest at Namche Bazar makes you adapt well to the high altitude. Trekkers plan their hike to Hotel Everest View at Syangboche for better acclimatisation. Other destinations include Thame, Khumjung, and Sagarmatha National Park in Namche.
Namche Bazaar to Tengboche
The five-hour hike from Namche takes you to Tengboche at 3,860 metres. Tengboche is the largest Buddhist Monastery in Khumbu, Tengboche Monastery.
Tengboche to Dingboche
Five hours of hike to Dingboche from Tengboche gives you the utmost glimpses of Ama Dablam mountain. You’ll also start hiking in the dry region of Khumbu. The hike distance from Tengboche to Dingboche is around 9 km.
Acclimatisation at Dingboche
Acclimatisation at Dingboche is the ideal stop to go up to 4 900 metres and then hike back to the tea house. Trekkers start the hike to the viewpoint after breakfast. From the perspective of Dingboche, you’ll see Ama Dablam, Makalu, Nuptse, Tawoche, and others.
Dingboche to Lobuche
You’ll hike on relatively flat terrain for the first two hours till Thukla. After lunch at Thukla, you’ll steadily climb for one hour till the memorial at Lobuche. From the Lobuche memorial, you’ll hike to the Lobuche settlement for one hour on flat terrain.
Lobuche to Gorak Shep to Everest Base Camp
On the 8th day of the Everest Base Camp Trek, you’ll reach the base camp and safely return to Gorak Shep. First, you’ll hike to Gorak Shep, take lunch, walk to Everest Base Camp, take photographs, and then return.
Benefits of hiking Everest Base Camp Trek
- Twelve days hike on the classic Everest trek route from Lukla to base camp to Lukla, a trail hiked by legendary Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay.
- Ideal junket to witness the world’s highest, Everest, Lhotse, and Makalu, from a close distance.
- Hike through inspiring landscapes enriched with Juniper and Pine forests accompanied by cascading Dudh Koshi River.
- Experience the best of Sherpa cultures, lifestyles, traditions, and companionship.
- Best accommodation and meals in the tea houses with added services like Wifi, Hot Shower, Hot Drinking Water, and attached bathrooms.
- Twelve days long Everest Base Camp Trek for a once-in-a-lifetime experience on the Himalayas.
Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tour
One-day Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tour is the fastest, safest, and most affordable tour to reach the Everest Base Camp. This four-hour-long scenic helicopter flight flies you above and between the towering mountains of the Everest region.
The helicopter takes off from Kathmandu airport and lands at Lukla airport for about 10 minutes. With a complete flight briefing, the aircraft takes the wing over Lukla, Phakding, Namche, Tengboche, and Dingboche and lands at the Pheriche helipad.
From Pheriche, the helicopter only carries three passengers at a time. After flying over Khumbu icefall and Camp I of Everest, the helicopter lands at Kala Patthar for 5-10 minutes for sightseeing.
After completing sightseeing from Kala Patthar, the helicopter flies back to Lukla and stops for flight briefing and refuelling. After some minutes, the aircraft prepares for the return to Kathmandu.
Dreamy glimpses of mountains
Reaching Everest Base Camp by helicopter gives you an ideal opportunity to witness the bird’s eye view of the world’s highest mountains. You’ll fly above, between, and adjacent to various mountains while flying on a helicopter to the base camp.
Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Ama Dablam, Tawoche, Changatse, Lobuche, Pumori, Khumbu, and Kantega are the famous mountains with complete glimpses on this tour. You’ll have the photo opportunity while on the flight and at Kala Patthar.
Besides mountains, you’ll also witness the sheer aesthetic of Sagarmatha National Park, a diverse terrain of sub-tropical, temperate, sub-alpine, and alpine zones.
Quickest Everest Base Camp Tour
You’ll complete the Everest region tour in just four and a half hours on a helicopter which generally takes 12 long strenuous days to trekkers.
You’ll reach Everest Base Camp quickly and minimise various risks associated while trekking. On top, you’ll save time with the best value for the helicopter tour cost.
Avoid Altitude Sickness with a helicopter tour
A helicopter tour is the best way to reach Everest Base Camp if you’re scared of altitude and mountain sickness. Not everyone can handle altitude sickness, and not everyone’s body reacts similarly.
On the Everest trek, you’ll be over 5,640 metres if you hike up to Kala Patthar. Most trekkers find breathing challenging even at the base camp at 5,364 metres. On top, hiking on rugged terrain with the sun overhead often makes it difficult.
Thus, to avoid altitude and related sickness, a helicopter tour is the only available way to reach Everest Base Camp. You’ll get an oxygen supplement on the helicopter tour if you feel any difficulty. Also, you’ll have a short window for photographs and video at Kala Patthar that prevents you from any sickness.
Private and Group Sharing helicopter tours
Based on your preference, a private or group-sharing helicopter flight is the best way to reach Everest Base Camp.
You’ll get the group-sharing flight if you’re an independent traveller and want to go on Everest Helicopter Tour. You’ll be accompanied by three to four other passengers with a group-sharing flight. On top, this way to reach Everest Base Camp is affordable as the more people on a shared flight, the less the tour cost for you.
But, if you’re with your family and want private space, you can opt for a Private or chartered helicopter flight to Everest. It’s an ideal way to reach Everest Base Camp with your loved ones being together on a single flight.
Trekking and Helicopter flight
The third way to reach Everest Base Camp is eclectic: trekking and then taking the helicopter ride to base camp. In this way, as a trekker, you can have the experience of hiking on the Everest trail to Namche or Tengboche and then enjoy the beauty of the Everest region on a helicopter.
Tengboche sits at 3,867 metres, where most people hike without getting any signs of altitude sickness. Also, trekkers hike to Namche Bazar and then take a helicopter to Kala Patthar.
Tengboche is also halfway off the Everest Base Camp Trek route. The Sub-Alpine landscape ends past Tengboche, so the oxygen level decreases. As this, trekkers start developing altitude sickness symptoms.
To avoid this, you can take the helicopter from Tengboche to the base camp and Kala Patthar and return to Lukla or Kathmandu. In this way, you’ll fly around Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, and Ama Dablam, like a bird, with the best view from the helicopter’s expansive windows.
- Experience the trek on the Everest trek route to Namche or Tengboche.
- Avoid altitude sickness over 4,500 metres in the Everest region.
- Bird’s eye viewing of Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, Nuptse, Lobuche, Pumori, and other prominent mountains in the region.
- Best for the time constraint trekkers who need more time to complete the 12-day long Everest Base Camp trek.
7 Days Everest trek and helicopter return
Another way to reach Everest Base Camp is by trekking for seven days to the base camp, completing the sightseeing, and returning on the helicopter directly to Kathmandu.
You will not have any acclimatisation stopping at Namche and Dingboche in this style. If you can hike without acclimatisation, this trek can be your ultimate junket to Everest.
On your 8th day, a helicopter picks you up from Gorak Shep or Kala Patthar and flies over the inspiring terrain of Everest, adjacent to mountains, Lukla, and Kathmandu.
It’s also best if you get any injuries on your feet or legs while reaching the base camp and can’t hike back to Lukla. And also, with this, you’ll save five trekking days by returning by helicopter.
In a nutshell
The Everest Base Camp Trekking route is 130 km long, and completing it in 12 days can be tiring. Also, you’ll hike for 8 km on average for five to six hours with an altitude gain of 800 metres daily.
Not everyone can hike at the same pace and complete the trek itinerary on time. Some may get altitude sickness and get tired at the base camp. Some trekkers also have time limits of a week where they can’t hike for 12 long days. Furthermore, some people want to see Everest but need more time to trek.
For all these, separate styles presented above to reach Everest Base Camp can be ideal. Whatever way you take, the ultimate goal is to get to the base camp and return safely.