Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tour Ultimate Guide

  • Jan 17, 2023
  • Karna Rana

Everest Base Camp Helicopter tour is the famous helicopter tour around the base camp of Mount Everest and landing on Kala Patthar. You will discover in-depth information about the tour and Helicopter price to EBC in this blog.

Generally, a helicopter ride to Everest Base Camp passes through rural communities on verdant hills while providing a bird's eye view from a helicopter. You can also enjoy the beauty of the snow-covered Himalayas at the same time. The Langtang, Gaurishankar, Ganesh Himal, Mahalangur, and many others are part of the Himalayan mountain range you can witness.

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Everest Base Camp helicopter tour with landing takes around 4 hours. You will fly over EBC and Sagarmatha National Park during those times, eat breakfast at the highest 5-star hotel, land on Kala Patthar, and also witness Lulka (Everest's gateway) while doing so.

Hiking to the base camp of the world's highest mountain has been on the bucket list of many travelers. But are you worried about walking up to 5,364 meters? Or are you short on time? Well, maybe Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tour is what you are looking for. 

Before starting the topic, we, Nepal Mother House, are registered specialists in helicopter tours in Nepal. If you have any questions, we are ready to answer them. 

Everest Base Camp trek Helicopter Tour Highlights:

  • The pristine beauty of World Heritage Site Sagarmatha National Park.
  • Heli tour around Everest Base Camp and Khumbu Glacier.
  • Awe-inspiring view from Kala Patthar.
  • A lifetime experience in 4 hours.
  • Discover Sherpa culture and hospitality.
  • Enjoy breakfast with a view of Everest. 
  • A bird's eye view from the Helicopter.

Major attractions of Everest Base Camp Helicopter tour

Kala Patthar:

Kala Patthar is a peak just above Gorek Shep. It is just a couple of hours away. It has one of the iconic views of Mt Everest. Not only that, it has a panoramic view consisting of Mt Pumori, Khumbutse, Everest Shoulder, Nuptse, Lhotse, Ama Dablam, and many more. 

Everest Base Camp:

Everest Base Camp doesn't need an introduction, everyone knows it as the starting point of the Everest expedition. The place carries lots of histories and hopes of the expedition team. It is the best place for huge admirers of mountains. 

Breakfast at Everest View Hotel:

Everest View Hotel is the highest 5-star hotel in the world. More than that, it has a splendid view of Mount Everest. It has a balcony which is perfect for having breakfast while enjoying the view of Mount Everest.

Khumbu Glacier:

Khumbu Glacier is the highest glacier in the world. It is located at the base of Mt Everest and the ridge of Nuptse and Lhotse. It is just below the Khumbu icefall. 

Lukla Airport (Tenzing-Hillary Airport):

Lukla Airport, one of the most dangerous airports in the world, is the entry point of Everest. Likewise, this airport has a long history. Also, the airport is named after legendary climbers Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa.

Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tour Itinerary

The Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tour has a one-day schedule if we're talking about it. But in a single day, the flight will take us away in a matter of hours to the Everest base camp, Lukla, and Syangboche.

The tour typically starts at around 7 AM and lasts for about 4-5 hours. The process is the same as described below, regardless of the time:

The hotel picks up and drops to the Domestic terminal of TIA.

In the morning, our representative will come to pick you up at your respective hotel. They will help to transfer to the domestic terminal of TIA. The airport is just a 15-minute ride from the Thamel area. 

Check inside Airport and prepare for the flight.  

As you reach Airport, you will proceed to enter the airport. Inside, you will be meeting with the captain and crew. The captain will give a short briefing about the trip. After completing the briefing, you will be taken to a helicopter by check permits and tickets. 

Fly to Lukla and stop for Refueling.

When everything is ready, finally, it is time to fly to Lukla. As the helicopter took flight, you could see the huge Kathmandu city just below the Ganesh Himal range and Langtang range. It is not only about flights around Everest, it has a lot to offer.

The helicopter moves towards the eastern part of Nepal, providing a beautiful view of small villages nestled on green hills. Above them, the snow-capped mountains add perfume to the gold. After 20 minutes of flight, you will be able to see Gaurishankar mountain along with Melung-Tse peak.

After a while, passing through Lamjura-La pass ridge, you will witness the first glimpse of Mount Everest. In addition, you will see the ridge of Nuptse and Lhotse. Believe it, you can’t take your hand off your camera.

Just a few minutes later, you will be landing at Tenzing-Hillary Airport in Lukla. Also, the crew will stop here for a quick refueling. It can take around 15 minutes. 

Fly over Everest Base Camp and Khumbu Glacier. 

After refueling in Lukla, the flight continues towards Everest Base Camp. En route, the helicopter passes through the famous Sherpa town- Namche Bazaar, and the lush green forest of Sagarmatha National Park.

*Remember: If the group consists of 4-5 people, then it is split into two groups due to weight limitation. For the procedure, the helicopter may stop in Pheriche or Dingboche.

Passing through Pheriche or Dingboche, the helicopter flies through Lobuche peak and the Lobuche settlement below it. Likewise, after a while, it passed the last settlement of the Everest region- Gorek Shep. 

As the flight continues, it will fly over the highest Khumbu glacier and eventually Everest Base Camp. If you fly there in the spring season, you can notice many tents preparing for the expedition to the world's highest mountain.

Landing on Kala Patthar and having a good time.

After flying through EBC, the helicopter flew towards Kala Patthar for landing (approx. At 5,500 meters). As the helicopter flies higher towards Kala Patthar you can witness Mt Everest, Everest Shoulder, Nuptse, Khumbutse, Pumori, Ama Dablam, and many peaks.

When the landing succeeded on Kala Patthar, the captain would only stop for 10 minutes. Because your body will have a hard time adjusting to such a high altitude. It is such a short time but still, you can have all your wishes fulfilled.

After spending quality time, again the tour proceeds towards Syangboche for breakfast. 

Fly back to Syangboche in the Everest View Hotel for breakfast.

Now, it's time to fly back toward Syangboche for breakfast. The Everest View Hotel is located at a height of 3,692 meters, listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the highest 5-star hotel in the world.

As you land on Syangboche, you can notice a panoramic view of the Mahalangur range. It shares one of the best views in the Everest region. Few minutes for taking pictures and you will move to Everest View Hotel.

Enjoy breakfast at the world’s highest 5-star hotel.

Having breakfast at Everest View Hotel is one of the highlights of the tour. It also counts as the celebration of the accomplishment of the Helicopter tour. 

The time limit for breakfast is 30 minutes. After entering the Everest View Hotel, you will be moving towards the balcony for breakfast, enjoying the magnificent view of snow-capped mountains.

Fly to Lukla again and refuel.

Again, the helicopter flies to Lukla for the same reason: refueling. Like before, it will take around 15 minutes. As everything is ready then, the captain will proceed to fly to Kathmandu. 

Fly back to Kathmandu and transfer to the hotel again.

After spending a few hours on Everest, it's time to get back to Kathmandu. Just like before, it will return through the same route as you came. As a result, you can enjoy the same scenery on the way back.

Are interested in other helicopter tours besides Everest then, make sure to check out the Annapurna Base Camp Helicopter tour. 

Best season for the Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tour

Except for the monsoon season, most seasons are acceptable for the Everest Base Camp Helicopter landing tour. The monsoon season's clouds make helicopter flight more challenging and reduce visibility. Let's discuss in short:

Spring season:

It is one of the best seasons in Nepal. It is also the season for blooming flowers and much greenery. The climate gets pleasant which leads to a busy season. 

Monsoon season:

Monsoon season is noted as the off-season. The clouds and rain make the trip terrible. You can’t get the reward because the clouds block visibility. Also, helicopters have a hard time flying.

Autumn season:

Autumn is the best season with a clear sky along with pleasant weather. It is the perfect season for the Everest helicopter ride but it is the busiest season of all. 

Winter season:

In this season, the crowds are less than in autumn due to freezing temperatures. But, it is also the perfect time for the Everest Heli tour to avoid crowds. But occasionally, snowfall can halt your trip.

Everest Base Camp Helicopter tour price and cost details.

Prices for an Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tour might vary depending on whether it is a private or group charter. The private charter can cost around $4,200. Group charters can start at $1,000 per person. This price is just a rough sketch, the price can be negotiated.

$1,000 is reasonable and the best price. $750 is the charter cost and the remaining $250 is for fuel(if all 5 pax are chartered at once). It is the price of a helicopter charter only.

Lukla to Everest Base Camp flight cost is different. And yes! It is mostly preferred by wanderers. While a sharing charter costs less but private charter will cost more dollars. Sharing charter starts from $500 and private charter starts from $1500.

Likewise, there are a lot of various aspects which can change the cost of the tour. Choosing the right travel agency can be one factor too.

Other options for Helicopter charter in Everest Base Camp.

In the Everest region, there are many alternatives for helicopter charter. Following are a few of them:

Kathmandu-Lukla-Kathmandu:

It is the only charter to transfer from Kathmandu to Lukla and vice versa. For the rest of the trip, the base camp is only possible by trekking.

Kathmandu-Everest Base Camp/Gorakshep-Kathmandu:

This is similar to the Everest Base Camp Helicopter tour but it doesn’t include breakfast in the Everest View Hotel. It is the direct flight to Everest Base Camp and again a direct flight to Kathmandu.

Lukla-Everest Base Camp/Gorakshep-Lukla:

Yes, Lukla to Everest Base Camp Helicopter is also possible. Likewise, you can charter to return back to Lukla as well. But for Kathmandu to Lukla, you have to fly by plane. 

Everest Base camp/Gorakshep-Lukla:

Helicopters from Everest Base Camp to Lukla are most popular with Everest Base Camp Trek with helicopter return. It is also one of the most popular in the Everest region. You have to trek from Lukla to EBC and fly back to Lukla.

Pheriche/Dingboche-Kala Patthar:

Unlike other Everest helicopter landing tours, Kalapatthar is a bit higher than others. The weight of the Helicopter should be as light as possible(maximum 220 kgs). The charter to Kala Patthar can be done from other locations too.

Complete the Packing list for Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tour

Here, we have provided a complete packing list for the Everest Helicopter tour. There are many things to pack; only pack the items that are necessary. Also, the helicopters have weight limitations.

  • Down Jacket.
  • Warm Trousers.
  • Long sleeves shirt.
  • Proper Shoe.
  • Buff/Scarf.
  • Woolen Cap.
  • Reusable Bottles.
  • Sunglasses with UV protection.
  • Toiletries.
  • Moisturizing cream/Sun Cream.
  • Cameras.

The list seems a little short but it is the only essential gear and equipment for the trip.

List of helicopter companies and charter operators in Nepal.

Helicopter tours are offered by a wide variety of companies in Everest Base Camp. As follows:

Simrik Air:

Simrik Air was established in 2001. Till then it has been a leading helicopter service provider in Nepal. Their services include rescue, external cargo/load, adventure flight, aerial surveys, and many more. They have 5 copters including 4 AS350 B5Es and a Bell 407GXP.

Heli Everest:

Since 2016, on December 9 Heli Everest has been providing commercial helicopter charter. Besides helicopter tours, they also provide emergency medical services, aerial filming and photography, pilgrimage tours, and so on. They have a couple of fleets and they both are AS350 B3E.

Altitude Air:

Altitude Air was established with the aim of making a difference in helicopter services. It is also a newly established airline in 2016. They also provide different services. But unlike others, they are focused on rescuing. They have 2 fleets: 9N-AMS and 9N-AMX. Moreover, they are planning to add a new AS350 B3E.

Kailash Helicopter Service:

Kailash Helicopter Service was established on May 5, 2017. Later, it officially launched its service on December 6, 2017. They have 3 fleets of AS350 B3 series helicopters. Likewise, the services they provide are human sling operations, rescue missions, adventure tours, along with aerial filming and photography. 

Mountain Helicopter

Mountain Helicopter is a Kathmandu-based helicopter service company providing its services since 2009. The company has claimed that it has over 10 years of service and 5,000 hours of flying at higher altitudes. They have 3 helicopters of model AS350 B3E, AS350 B2, and EC130 B4. 

Air Dynasty Heli Services

Air Dynasty is one of the oldest helicopter service companies in Nepal. It was established in 1993. They are really concerned about the client's safety in those 25+ years of experience. They have 4 helicopters, in which two of which are AS350 B3E, and the other two are AS350 FX II.

Fishtail Air

Fishtail Air, previously known as Summit Helicopter Air, was established in 1997. They have been operating flights for sightseeing, rescue, medical evacuation, and project support, also involving trans-border to Bhutan and India. They have a fleet of 3 helicopters: AS350 B3E, AS350 B3+, and Bell 206B III.

Manang Air:

Manang Air was established with the scope of providing commercial helicopter charters to the public as well as the private sector. The airline was founded in 1997 only to provide service within the territory of Nepal. They have recently imported two brand new helicopters of model AS350 B3 (H125).

Prabhu Helicopter:

Prabhu Helicopter is a helicopter service company that operates under the Prabhu Group. Prabhu Group is a leading corporate house, providing helicopter services since 2015. The Robinson Helicopter Company from the U.S.A. nominated them as an authorized dealer and service provider in Nepal. Likewise, they have a fleet of 4 Robinson R66 and an Airbus AS350 B3E. 

Shree Airlines:

Starting a business in 1999, Shree Airlines stands as the largest operator of Mi-17 Helicopters in South Asia. Also, it is the first private company to operate charter helicopter services in Nepal. They have 8 Mi-17 helicopters including AS350 B3E helicopters. 

Is the Everest Helicopter tour safe?

Of course! Everest helicopter tours are risk-free. All of the captains have licenses and expertise. They use helicopters daily, as well.

Before taking off, the crew also evaluates the weather and the wind direction. When the expert gives a thumbs up then, the further process is carried on.

Permits for Everest Helicopter tour. 

It is obvious that the Sagarmatha National Park entry permit is required for the Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tour in Nepal. The permit cost $30 per person and $10 for SAARC countries.

The permit can be obtained from the Tourism Board office in Kathmandu. We can manage every permit required for the trip.

Accommodation on Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tour. 

The only lodging option for the Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tour is the Everest View Hotel. It is the highest five-star hotel and offers a lovely vista of Mount Everest. You will simply be having breakfast and admiring the gorgeous scenery.

Everest offers a variety of helicopter tours, some of which may or may not include lodging. You will receive standard lodges and tea houses if lodging is provided.

Weight limits during the flight in Helicopter. 

As the chopper soars above 5,000 meters in altitude. It's difficult to fly a helicopter at that altitude. Additionally, it may be challenging to take the aircraft if the weight is overloaded. The weight should be lighter as we fly up.

The helicopter can hold five passengers and, depending on the situation, one extra. The Everest helicopter's weight limitation is 450 kg.  Here is a chart detailing the weight restrictions according to passenger capacity:

No. of pax  Weight limit
5 450 kg
4 350 kg
3 250 kg
2 150 kg
1 80 kg

Remember: If you go for the Kalapatthar Helicopter Landing Tour then, the weight limit is 220 kg only. Likewise, the weight limit up to Pheriche is 420 kg.  

Private flight vs Sharing Everest Base Camp Helicopter tour. 

On Everest, there are two ways to book a helicopter. One is a shared helicopter charter, while the other is a private Everest Base Camp helicopter tour.

Private flights are only available among them small, specialized groups. Because there is less weight, the helicopter can soar higher. Additionally, there are fewer people, allowing you to select the ideal location for the finest view.

However, a shared flight has multiple groups traveling together. Choosing the ideal seat can be challenging because there are several groups. And the trip can't go ahead in your way. 

Want to avoid the crowds of Everest, then Langtang Helicopter Tour can be the best option. 

Altitude sickness in Everest Helicopter tour.

The helicopter's altitude ranges during this tour from 1400 meters to 5500 meters. Going to such a height so quickly can be harmful to some travelers. The acclimation process takes time for the human body.

For that reason, the helicopter only stays for around 10 minutes at higher altitudes. 

Altitude sickness is also the first priority when flying at such height. If anyone is attacked by altitude sickness then medical treatment is provided as well as ejaculation to the lower height. 

Best Everest Helicopter tour packages. 

There are numerous helicopter tour packages in the Everest region. Some of them require a few days while some can be done in a single day.

Some of our favorite packages are the 5 Days Everest Helicopter tour, Everest Base Camp trek with helicopter return, Everest view hotel breakfast helicopter tour, and so on.

In brief, the 5 days Everest Helicopter Tour is a basic helicopter tour that includes a couple of days of hiking and rests on the helicopter. Everest Helicopter Tour with Breakfast is the trip that takes you to the Everest View Hotel for breakfast by helicopter.

In terms of the package, the agencies will provide extra services like pickup and drop. All the meals and accommodation are included. In a nutshell, the main aim of the package is to give you a tension-free vacation. 

More Everest Helicopter Tours you should know about. 

  • Everest Base Camp trek helicopter return.
  • Everest Base camp helicopter tour with landing.
  • Breakfast at Everest view hotel Helicopter tour.
  • Kala Patthar Helicopter tour

These tours are quite flexible; you can customize your own Everest base camp helicopter tour packages.

Everest Helicopter Tour Altitude Chart.

Everest Base Camp with Helicopter return, is it different?

A distinctive and unique trekking experience in Nepal is the Everest Base Camp trek with helicopter return. The only way to reach Everest Base Camp is through walking, and return to Lukla from Gorakshep by helicopter.

The climb to Everest Base Camp is essentially one way. It follows the same path both up and down, then. The best choice for returning, though, is a private helicopter. You will have a deeper understanding of the Khumbu region as you walk the trail. You'll later witness a helicopter's bird's-eye view of the path you've traveled.

It is distinctive trekking that requires only a few days to complete. As there are multiple itineraries with various sets of days, you can make a good choice. While some treks need 10 days, some can be completed in 5 days.

Here we have provided an outline itinerary of Everest Base Camp with Helicopter return:

Day 01: Fly to Lukla and trek to Phakding.

Day 02: Phakding to Namche Bazar.

Day 03: Acclimatization in Namche Bazaar.

Day 04: Namche Bazaar to Tengboche.

Day 05: Tengboche to Dingboche.

Day 06: Acclimatization day in Dingboche.

Day 07: Dingboche to Lobuche.

Day 08: Lobuche to Gorak Shep and hike to Everest Base Camp.

Day 09: Early morning hike to Kalapattar and Fly to Lukla by Helicopter.

Day 10: Fly back to Kathmandu via plane.

You may take a direct helicopter flight to Kathmandu from Gorek Shep. It can be changed as per your desire.

Why Everest Base Camp by Helicopter?

First of all, Everest Base Camp is situated at a height of 5,364 meters. Also, it can take around 7-9 days to reach the base camp by trekking. But for the helicopter, it is a matter of a few hours. Why walk so much when you can just do it in a day?

It helps to save you time. You can pretty much see everything that Everest has to offer in a single day. Additionally, you will be flying toward the highest mountain in the world, so it's not just about riding in a helicopter.

Point to be noted.

Before you hop into the Everest Base Camp Helicopter tour, there are some points you should keep in mind. In addition, we have provided some safety measures too.

  • Make sure to book your trip in advance. In high season, there are more tourists than you expected. If you didn't book your trip earlier all the seats would be full. 
  • The weather is pretty much unpredictable in the Himalayas. Sometimes, due to harsh weather, the flight can be delayed or postponed. You should be ready for the obstacle. 
  • Usually, the flight takes off in the morning. But, the time may be different than the given time. So, don't get frustrated when you don't get to fly at the right time.
  • Always make sure to make your backpack as light as possible. We have already talked about weight limitation.
  • Listen to the captain while giving a briefing. Always enter and exit from the helicopter when the captain gives signals.
  • Smoking within the area of 50 feet of the chopper is extremely prohibited.
  • Be responsible for your own belongings. The force of rotor blades can blow your stuff. 
  • Travel with responsibility and respect for locals. 

Conclusion:

Till now, we have learned what the Everest Helicopter tour in Nepal is all about. The purpose of this blog is to provide complete information about the tour. Traveling to another country without any guidance can be troublesome. Hopefully, this will make a difference before planning your vacation. We would like to hear from you in near future.

Karna Rana

Karna Rana

Namaste!

I hearty welcome to Nepal, known as the Kingdom of Himalayans and the roof of the World “Mt. Everest.” Nepal has been named a Heaven on Earth and is a wonder in the Himalayan. It is the Shangri-La, a living cultural Museum, the Birthplace of the Lord Buddha and it is the country of the living Goddess “Kumari.”

I am Karna Rana Trekking Tour Operator and Mountain Guide, specializing in Trekking, Tour, Travel in Nepal, Hiking in the Himalayan and other Outdoor Activities including, Peak Climbing, Expedition, Adventure Trekking, Rafting, etc. applying my field expiring since 2000. Meanwhile, I have completed my Master’s degree in Rural Development (2016) from Tribhuvan University of Kathmandu, Nepal’s leading educational institution. Now, I have been applying my field experience in tourism, especially in remote areas of the country for sustainable eco-tourism for local empowerment. I enjoyed writing my blog own word sharing my travel experience in the Himalayan, aiming to provide the right information and help to the Nepal Traveler.

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