Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tour Detailed Itinerary
The Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tour takes place early morning to avoid unpleasant weather circumstances that follow as the day proceeds. In 4-5 hours of this heli tour, you’ll fly from Kathmandu to Lukla, explore the Everest region by landing the chopper at different locations, and fly back to Kathmandu.
Here’s a brief itinerary of the shortest Everest trip ever.
Stage 1: Transfer from hotel to Tribhuvan International Airport (6:00 – 6:30 am)
One of our team members will pick you up from the hotel you’re staying in Kathmandu and take you to the domestic terminal of Tribhuvan International Airport, which is where your heli tour begins. Please make sure to get ready 10-15 minutes earlier.
Stage 2: Airport check-in, flight briefing, and boarding (6:30 – 7:00 am)
After you go through the airport formalities, the airline staff will provide you with a flight briefing along with the essential safety instructions and codes of conduct during the helicopter ride. Before you go ahead and board the flight, you get to meet the captain and have a quick introduction. Make sure that all your questions or queries are addressed before boarding the helicopter to enjoy the trip to the fullest.
Note: Though the flight to Lukla normally takes off between 6:30 and 7 in the morning, the flight may be delayed, depending on the weather. Before taking off, the crew member will carefully inspect the weather conditions to ensure a smooth ride. If there is a delay or cancellation due to adverse weather, we’re happy to reschedule your tour. Safety always comes first in the mountains.
Stage 3: Fly from Kathmandu to Lukla (7:00 – 8:00 am)
The helicopter takes off from the domestic terminal of Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu to Hillary Tenzing Airport, also known as Lukla Airport. Lukla airport is considered one of the most dangerous airports and is situated at an elevation of 2860 meters with a 450 m long and 20 m wide runway, inclined at an angle of 12 degrees.
The flight duration is 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on the weather condition.
There are stunning views to take in as you soar over Kathmandu and the foothills of the Himalayas. We fly past gorgeous Himalayan settlements, lush hills covered with green forests, and pristine mountains. The breathtaking views of mountains like Mt. Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Langtang Lirung, Gauri Shankar, Ganesh Himal, Shishapangma, and Ama Dablam stand out above all others.
Stage 4: Landing and refueling at Lukla (8:00 - 8:15 am)
You will begin to experience local Sherpa culture and their unique way of life as soon as you land in Lukla. Many Sherpa porters and trek guides would be seen waiting for their customers at the airport.
Lukla Airport serves as the fueling station for our Everest Helicopter Tour. The flight's refueling process will take roughly 15 minutes. Meanwhile, you can utilize the time to observe the surroundings and the ambiance. Don’t forget to take a few pictures in one of the most treacherous airports in the world.
Stage 5: Fly to Everest Base Camp/Kala Patthar from Lukla (8:15 – 8:30 am)
Within 15 minutes of taking off from Lukla, the helicopter will arrive at Everest Base Camp or Kala Patthar. Along the way, you will see Namche Bazaar, Sagarmatha National Park, Pheriche, Tengboche, Dingboche, and Gorakshep. Your eyes will be blessed by the aerial view of mesmerizing glaciers, villages, monasteries, suspension bridges, and mountains.
At the height of 5,644 meters sits Kala Patthar, which serves as the best Everest viewpoint from where you can embrace the panoramic view of Mt. Everest and the whole mountain range. Hence, Kala Patthar becomes the main attraction of this helicopter trip to Mount Everest. The vistas are incredible, even more so than at Everest Base Camp, where you won’t be able to see the summit of Mt. Everest.
Stage 6: Brief sightseeing at Kala Patthar (8:30 – 8:45 am)
Mountain views don't get any better than this! Our immediate surroundings include Mt. Everest, as well as Nuptse, Lhotse, Changtse, Pumori, Chumbu, Kangtega, Taboche, and Lobuche. This is the moment we've been waiting for.
The halt at Kala Patthar is only for a short 10 minutes. Abrupt weather conditions and the fact that we are now at a height of 5,545 meters are to blame for the quick landing time. The likelihood of altitude sickness would be high if we stayed here any longer without the acclimatization. However, this is unquestionably sufficient time to appreciate the scenery and shoot some beautiful pictures.
Disclaimer: Due to the high altitude and cold windy weather at Kala Patthar, there’s a chance that the helicopter engine may not start again. So, the engine is kept on during the 10 minutes halt.
Stage 7: Fly to Everest View Hotel at Syangboche from Kala Patthar (8:45 – 9:00 am)
After taking in the breathtaking moments at Kala Patthar, you'll fly to the Everest View Hotel, one of the world's highest hotels. The magnificent view of Khumbu Glacier, Gorak Shep, monasteries, Chortens, and snow-capped Everest region peaks are visible from the air. It’s a short 15 minutes helicopter ride from Kala Patthar to Syangboche, where the hotel is located.
Stage 8: Breakfast at Everest View Hotel (9:00 – 9:30 am)
One could only imagine having a relishing breakfast at a luxury hotel in the remote location of the Everest region. But, you’re up for a treat.
After we land, we'll take the stairs to Everest View Hotel for the most magnificent breakfast as a celebration of completing your dream trip. All around you are majestic mountains, such as Mt. Everest and Ama Dablam. You can hardly believe what you see as you take a sip of coffee with the glorious mountains standing tall right in front of you. We stay here for a total of 30 minutes before returning to Lukla.
Stage 9: Fly back to Lukla for refueling (9:30 – 10:00 am)
Following a delicious breakfast at the hotel, you'll fly back to Lukla, taking in the breathtaking Himalayan vistas all over again. Nothing tops a clear bird's eye view of the majestic Himalayas. The 15-minute helicopter ride from Syangboche to Lukla is just enough for your eyes to cherish the last sight of Mt. Everest and the surrounding mountains.
The aircraft will make a 15-minute stop at Lukla for refueling before finally taking off to Kathmandu. Be quick and capture some memorable pictures of you in the backdrop of Lukla Airport, if you’ve missed it before.
Stage 10: Return flight to Kathmandu (10:00 – 11:00 am)
We fly along the Himalayas to return to Kathmandu while swooping over the lush landscapes all over again. With a sense of satisfaction and pleasure, we say goodbye to the majestic Mt. Everest. Our pilots will secure a safe landing for you at the domestic terminal of Tribhuvan International airport.
It will take approximately 45 minutes to get back to Kathmandu.
Stage 11: Transfer from Kathmandu Airport to the hotel (11:00 – 11:30 am)
As you arrive at the airport, our representative will be waiting with a taxi to take you back to your hotel. This taxi ride marks the end of your Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tour.
We hope your heart would be pumped with adrenaline rush and a sense of satisfaction upon completing your dream trip to the one and only Mt. Everest.
Important: The timing mentioned on the itinerary is only tentative and is subject to change depending on the weather condition.
Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tour Cost
The cost of the Everest Helicopter Tour depends on the number of travelers. The price range decreases with an increase in the number of group members. We also offer a charter flight at a discounted price. So, it’s a wonderful opportunity to take that family or friends trip up to the mountains.
- US$ 1000 for a single person
- US$ 950 for a group of 2
- US$ 850 for a group of 5
- US$ 4250 for a charter helicopter ride
Important: The Heli Tour is based on a group departure. So, if you’re traveling alone, you’ll have to depart on days when we have a group of 5 travelers.
- Transfer from hotel to airport and back
- A charter helicopter ride with an experienced pilot
- Domestic Airport taxes
- Company service charges
- Salary for the tour crew
- Medical assistance and oxygen supply on board
- Passenger insurance during the flight, provided by the helicopter company
- International airfare to and from Nepal
- Nepal Visa costs
- Entry permits for Sagarmatha National Park
- Breakfast at Everest View Hotel
- Meals and stay in Kathmandu
- Personal expenses like phone, internet, and beverages
- Mountain gear (thick woolen clothes and windproof jacket)
- Travel and medical insurance
Best time for Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tour
Due to its great elevation, the Everest Region experiences frequent weather fluctuations. It’s not recommended to fly during adverse weather conditions, especially when it's rainy or foggy. If we can't vividly see the mountain range and mesmerizing landscape from above, there's no point in flying.
Spring and autumn seasons are the best to embark on this thrilling Everest helicopter tour. The weather is pleasant with clear blue skies which makes these two seasons the crowd favorite. As a result, you’d encounter many tourists taking this heli tour during these peak seasons.
Winter season also makes a good time to take a heli ride to the Everest Base Camp if you can withstand the cold. The views are magnificent due to the fresh white snow on the mountain peaks and there’s way less traffic. Monsoon, however, is not at all recommended for the Everest Heli tour. Monsoon season is when flight delays and cancellations are most likely to happen due to unclear weather.
Keep reading to find out the detailed weather and temperature conditions in the Everest Region.
Everest Helicopter Tour in Spring Season (March, April, and May) 2023
The spring season in Nepal, which runs from March to May, also known as a dry season, is said to be the ideal time to take a helicopter tour to the Everest region. Now that rhododendrons and other wildflowers are in bloom, the lush green hills seem lovelier than ever.
Thanks to the clear skies in the spring, not only the hills but also the mountain views are magnificent. The mountains are covered with fresh snow from the winter, making the Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tour even more exciting.
At this time of year, the weather is ideal, averaging a comfortable 15 to 20 degrees Celsius during the day. The temperature gradually decreases after sunset, leading to the lowest of -10 degrees Celsius at night. The days are longer during the spring so the early morning heli ride does not feel challenging at all.
The Everest region is busiest around this time. Hence, it is advised to book the Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tour in advance.
Let’s break down the season in months and discuss what each month has to offer you during your Everest Heli Tour.
Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tour in March 2023
Spring officially begins in March as the temperature starts to warm up. All plants, animals, and birds come back to life with the temperature rise. You will encounter the fresh bloom of wildflowers, predominantly the national flower of Nepal, the Rhododendron.
Although there is a potential for chilly weather in the high Himalayas, particularly at night, the weather conditions are best for an early morning Helicopter tour to Everest. The snow still appears fresh at the mountain peaks, providing a bright spark to the Everest region.
Since it is the beginning of the peak season, the region is yet to be crowded, which makes it possible for you to enjoy the majestic Himalayas in solitude.
Temperature – Daytime high reaches 10 degree Celsius, whereas, the average minimum temperate drops down to -12 degrees Celsius.
Wind – March sees a 15 km/h wind speed on a daily average.
Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tour in April 2023
April is the greatest spring month to take a heli ride to the Everest Base Camp. The temperature starts to rise higher than it did in March and yet the dry season continues. This month of the year is neither too cold nor too hot. The bright morning skies make a great mountain view from the helicopter.
Everest Helicopter Tour in April is a fantastic opportunity to experience the Himalayan landscape at its best, with vibrant woods filled with flowers and foliage. The Rhododendron blooms brilliantly by now turning the green forest into red and serving an excellent aerial view.
The Everest region seems to be busiest in April due to its most favorable weather.
Temperature - The average minimum temperature is -10 degrees Celsius, while the daytime high temperature soars up to 15 degrees Celsius.
Wind - The average daily wind speed in April is 15 km/h.
Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tour in May 2023
The spring season in Nepal ends in May, just before the monsoon begins. Most of the Everest region is expected to have brilliant sunshine and mild sunny weather in May. Even in high-altitude locations like the Everest Base Camp and Kala Patthar, temperatures are more tolerable than ever.
Though the days are the warmest in May, avoid booking the heli ride at the end of May as the monsoon begins in Nepal around that time, covering the sky with dark clouds.
Temperature – The average high temperature during the day in May will be around 15 °C. The average low temperature at night is around 0 °C.
Wind – May's average daily wind speed is approximately 15 km/h.
Everest Helicopter Tour in Autumn Season (September, October, and November) 2023
In Nepal, the months of September to December make the autumn season and is another peak travel and hiking month. The Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tour is no exception. This time frame is renowned for its wonderful blend of good weather, moderate temperatures, clear skies, and stunning landscape. Just like spring, the autumn season is wonderful for visiting the Everest Base Camp.
The temperature often ranges from 15 to 20 degrees Celsius during the day and from -10 to 5 degrees Celsius at night. Don't forget to wear the right sunscreen to protect your skin because the sun's UV rays are considerably stronger than you may anticipate at the Everest Base Camp.
Again, there can be a queue during the peak season of Autumn, so the earlier you book, the better.
Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tour in September 2023
The weather in September is one of the nicest in the Himalayas. The temperature is neither too low nor too high. It strikes the ideal balance and enhances your trip experience with its cozy atmosphere. During this time of year, the skies are consistently clear and bright. However, there may be a very slim likelihood of precipitation throughout the first few weeks of September, as it is post-monsoon weather. Keep in mind that you might need a spare day in case the weather goes down.
Temperature – The September temperature in the Everest Base Camp ranges from -5 to 15 degrees Celsius.
Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tour in October 2023
As you watch from above, you will witness a calming aura emanating from the dense vegetation's fading green into brown. You won't ask for the weather to stay any clearer than it is in October. The lovely skies make up a stunning mountain view. You will surely get the views that you came for. You’d find a buzzing crowd of hikers when stopping at Lukla and even at the Everest Base Camp as it is the peak trekking season in the Nepalese Himalayas. The chances of a heli ride getting delayed or canceled are rare due to stable October weather.
Temperature - The temperature is typically between 0 and 15 degrees Celsius.
Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tour in November 2023
The steady weather and the least chances of rainfall make the helicopter tour to Everest Base Camp full of aesthetic appeal in November. The jaw-dropping vistas of the Himalayas and alpine forests are at their best with hillsides covered in the November bloom of wildflowers.
Temperature - The temperature in November ranges from -10 to 13 degrees Celsius.
Everest Helicopter Tour in Winter Season (December, January, and February)
Winter is also a favorable season for the Everest Helicopter Tour as it provides the most beautiful view of the mountains that are covered with thick layers of fresh snow. The weather is mostly clear in the morning so our early morning helicopter ride won’t be affected much.
However, it can get foggy and windy at times and snowfall is frequent in the Everest region, making it difficult to take off and land at several locations. If you opt for a winter heli tour to the Everest Base Camp, make sure you have enough mountain gears to keep you warm and an extra day to reschedule the tour if it gets canceled due to bad weather.
The average daytime temperature is 15°C, and the overnight lows can reach up to -17°C. The sights are amazing despite the bitter cold. Many tourists select winter for their Everest Heli trip since it is less crowded.
Everest Helicopter Tour in Summer/Monsoon Season (June, July, August)
The worst time to go for the Everest Base Camp helicopter tour is without a doubt, monsoon season comprising June, July, and, August. The sky is dark with continuous downpours making the helicopter ride almost impossible to navigate.
The mornings are comparatively clearer than other times of the day, making the tour still viable with additional safety measures. The average temperature starts to fluctuate between 17°C and 5°C during this period. It is crucial to keep in mind that flight cancellations are more likely to occur due to bad monsoon weather. The possibility of such obstacles is inevitable in Monsoon, so avoid the season at any cost.
Things to pack for the Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tour
As the Everest region is icy all year round, it is essential to pack suitable clothing and accessories to protect yourself from cold and sun rays.
The things on the list below are typical essentials for travelers on EBC Heli tours. Before the trip, our adviser will give you a complete packing list based on your health state.
- Windproof down jacket
- Shirts with long sleeves
- A pair of warm trousers
- Warm socks and comfortable shoes
- Woolen cap or hat
- Sunglasses with UV protection
- Sun cream
- A water bottle
- Personal items like tissue paper, lip balm, moisturizer
- Camera (optional)
Safety Tips to follow during Everest Helicopter Tour
There are some strict safety measures and travel tips that must be followed at all costs during your helicopter tour to the Everest Base Camp. A slight mistake could lead to frightening consequences for both travelers and the crew.
- Pay close attention to the caption during the briefing. They will explain how, when, and where to board and get off the aircraft.
- Only approach the helicopter once the captain has given the all-clear, and enter as instructed during the briefing.
- The seats are appointed to distribute the weight in the aircraft appropriately. Stay in your designated seat.
- Fasten the seat belt securely.
- Standing or moving in the aircraft is forbidden.
- All of your belongings, such as hats and sunglasses, should be secured. Do not pursue an object that has been blown away.
- Smoking is prohibited within 50 feet of an aircraft.
- Get off the helicopter only when the pilot has given the all-clear.
- Acknowledge these safety regulations, and abide by the instructions, and you should have a safe flight filled with excitement and fun.
- Why pick Outfitter Nepal for your helicopter tour to Everest Base Camp?
- A simple Google search leads you to numerous tour operators, but not all of them are trustworthy. Here are some of the main distinctions between Outfitter Nepal and other service providers:
- Committed to providing customers the best experience possible
- Guarantees customer safety with top-most priority
- The most affordable price points with no additional costs
- Simple booking procedure (you may simply mail us your requirement)
- Well-trained crew to fly to the Everest Base Camp
- Been in the trekking and expedition industry for 2 decades
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How high does the helicopter fly during the tour?
Kala Patthar, which is at an elevation of 5545 meters, is the highest point the helicopter will take you. Hotel Everest View (3962 meters), and Lukla (2860 meters) are two more stops throughout your Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tour.
Does the helicopter fly over/around Mt. Everest summit?
Mt. Everest's summit is located 8,848 meters above sea level. Sub-freezing temperatures, hurricane-force winds, and air pressure are just a few variables that make it difficult to operate the helicopter around Everest. Additionally, the air is too thin at such a high altitude, preventing most helicopters from producing enough lift to maintain flight. Hence, we’re not able to fly you around or over the Mt. Everest summit. But the view of the summit from Kala Patthar is so brilliant that makes you feel close to the mountain.
Do we land at Everest Base Camp?
We usually land in Kala Patthar. Since Kala Patthar offers a panoramic view of the Everest range which is better than the base camp itself, it is preferable to land there. You won’t be able to see the Everest summit from the base camp, whereas the peak is visible from Kala Patthar. However, you’ll have a good sight of the base camp from the helicopter.
What is the passenger’s weight limit for the helicopter ride?
The helicopter for the Everest Base Camp Heli Tour can carry 5 passengers and a captain. The maximum passenger weight allowed between Kathmandu and Lukla is 500 kilograms. However, the maximum weight allowed from Lukla to Kala Patthar/base camp is 250 kg. So, to maintain a body weight of 250 kg on average, we operate in two shuttle flights from Lukla to Kala Patthar and vice versa.
What is the total time duration of the Everest Helicopter Tour?
The entire heli tour typically takes 4-5 hours to complete. In those 4-5 hours, you’d fly from Kathmandu to Lukla, Lukla to Kala Patthar, Kala Patthar to Everest View Hotel, Everest View Hotel to Lukla, and from Lukla to Kathmandu. The total time duration mostly depends on the weather conditions. It might take longer if the weather is unfavorable.
What is the emergency procedure in case of any mishaps?
In case of any unfortunate circumstances like natural calamities, the captain will immediately rescue you from the site and land somewhere safe. For medical emergencies, the captain will fly you to the nearest hospital, where you’ll be treated by the experts.
Are oxygen cylinders available on board?
The aircraft is equipped with oxygen cylinders and the pilots are trained to use them. There’s a possibility of altitude sickness at that high in the mountains. Hence, in case of any medical emergency requiring oxygen, there’s no need to worry.
Are the pilots flying the helicopter well trained?
The pilots operating the helicopter are extremely qualified and well-experienced. They are among the best in Southeast Asia and have built a reputation by flying across the Himalayas for many years.
Can I take the tour as a solo traveler?
You can book a tour with us even if you’re a solo traveler. However, one downside of taking the tour alone is that you can only take a tour when there’s a group of 5 passengers. So, you have to be flexible with the dates. As there’d be many travelers like you during the peak season, booking a tour for a single person won’t be difficult.
Can kids and the elderly join the Everest Heli tour?
Yes, the Everest Base Camp Heli Tour is completely safe and accessible for kids, the elderly, and people with disability. It is the best way to reach the Everest Base Camp for those who are unable to go on a 2 weeks trek.
Is breakfast provided during the heli tour?
You may enjoy a delicious breakfast at Everest View Hotel during the stoppage. Sipping your morning coffee at 3962 meters while taking in the stunning vistas of the mountains and landscape, is quite an experience in itself. The hotel breakfast, however, is not billed to us. Hence, you’ll have to cover the breakfast cost yourself.
Is the Everest helicopter tour affected by weather conditions?
The weather does indeed affect the helicopter tour. Our helicopter ride will be hindered by severe weather, such as a thunderstorm, heavy rain, or snowfall. We will make sure the flight only takes place when the weather is clear. Safety is our top-most priority, so, the safety of our crew and you won't be compromised by any arrangements we make.
Which helicopters are used for the Everest Heli tour?
We have several different helicopter models available for your visit to Everest Base Camp. Some of them are AS250 H125, AS350b3e, AS350 FX II, and BELL-Jet Ranger 206B III-9N-ALL.
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