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HomeTrekking in NepalEverest Base Camp TrekMost Popular Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tours You Will Love

For those pressed for time or lacking the physical fitness to trek to Everest Base Camp, a helicopter tour to Everest Base Camp is the perfect option. Check out our list of the most popular helicopter tours to Everest Base Camp with landing and find one that’s best for you.

Trekking to Everest Base Camp is one of the best experiences in the world. It sits on many people’s bucket lists. However, it takes up to two weeks and involves trekking 103 km at high altitudes to get there and back. Many of us either don’t have the time or the fitness levels to make this arduous journey. Luckily, there’s an easier and faster way to see this beautiful part of the world – on a helicopter tour to Everest Base Camp.    

In my opinion, a helicopter tour is the best way to see the Himalayan mountains at their best. Even while trekking to Everest Base Camp, it’s hard to get a good view of Mount Everest as it’s blocked by many other mountains in all directions. Even from Everest Base Camp, all you can see is a tiny smidge of the top of Mount Everest as it’s cloaked by other mountains in front of it. 

“A HELICOPTER TOUR IS THE BEST WAY TO SEE MOUNT EVEREST .”

An Everest Base Camp helicopter tour on route to its destination.
A helicopter tour passes many tall mountains on route to Everest Base Camp.

Best Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tours

There are many different helicopter tours to and from Everest Base Camp. Below is our list of the most popular helicopter tours you can take to and from Everest Base Camp.  

1. One-Way Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tour

People waiting for an Everest Base Camp helicopter tour.
People waiting to take a helicopter tour from Gorekshep to Lukla.

If trekking for 14 days sounds too long or too much effort, you can opt for a shorter 7-day trek to Everest Base Camp with a return helicopter ride. 

In my opinion, this is the best way to see Everest Base Camp as you get two experiences in one journey – trekking in one direction and a helicopter ride in the other. 

Advantages of a combo tour include:

  1. You get to see the Everest region from the ground as well as from the air.
  2. I find the descent the hardest which you will avoid if you take a helicopter tour from Everest Base Camp to Lukla. 
  3. A one-way helicopter tour from Everest Base Camp is also cheaper than taking a helicopter tour from Kathmandu to Everest Base Camp and back.  

Bear in mind that the helicopter tour begins from Gorakshep so you will need to trek from Everest Base Camp back to Gorakshep where you would have left your luggage.  

2. Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tour with Landing
(Group Sharing)

An Everest Base Camp helicopter tour lands at Kala Patthar.
A helicopter tour to Everest Base Camp lands at Kala Patthar.

For those single travellers who only have a day in Kathmandu and wish to see Everest Base Camp, you can choose to fly with other like-minded travellers (up to 5 persons) on a helicopter tour from Kathmandu to Everest Base Camp. 

The helicopter tour takes about four hours in the morning which is a perfect way to see the beautiful Himalayas.

There is a misnomer about helicopter tours to Everest Base Camp with landing. 

I have not come across a single helicopter tour that actually lands at Everest Base Camp. Instead, they fly over Everest Base Camp and land instead at Kala Patthar. 

This is not a bad thing as the views of Mount Everest are actually much better at Kala Patthar than from Everest Base Camp. In fact, the best views you’re going to get of Mount Everest are from Kala Patthar. 

Also, Kala Patthar (18.519ft/5,644m) is situated at a higher elevation than Everest Base Camp (17,598ft/5364m).

Most helicopter tours do not land at Everest Base Camp so check with the agency before booking. Instead, the helicopter lands at Kala Patthar and Everest View Hotel on the way back. These are great stops as you get to see Mount Everest from many different angles and viewpoints. 

The helicopter also lands at Lukla for a refuel stop. Lukla is a lovely little town where you can see the planes take off and land at Tenzing-Hillary Airport. It’s also the starting and ending point for trekkers heading for Everest Base Camp.  

Landings include:

  • Lukla
  • Kala Patthar 
  • Everest View Hotel 

Choose tours from Viator or Master Himalaya.

3. Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tour with Landing and Optional Breakfast (Group Sharing)

Standing in front of Hotel Everest View on my acclimitisation day.

For those who would like to add another experience to their helicopter tour to Everest Base Camp can opt for this tour which comes with additional breakfast at Everest View Hotel. 

Everest View Hotel is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records (2004) as the Highest Placed Hotel in the world at 13000ft (3,962m). 

Note, the cost of breakfast is not included in the price of the tour. 

With stupendous views of Mount Everest on a clear day, you can’t beat the experience of eating breakfast while enjoying one of the best views in the world.

Landings include:

  • Lukla
  • Kala Patthar 
  • Everest View Hotel (optional breakfast)

Check out this Everest Base Camp helicopter tour from Viator.

4. Private Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tour with Landing

A private helicopter tour allows you to travel in the comfort of your own company.

When you have your own group of two or more people, consider taking your own chartered helicopter ride to Everest Base Camp. 

Not only is this option cheaper for the group, you might be able to negotiate your own itinerary. If so, you’ll be able to choose which stops you’d like to make along the way.

Landings include: 

  • Lukla (compulsory stop for a refuel)
  • Kala Patthar (with a fly over Everest Base Camp)
  • Everest View Hotel (optional breakfast) 

View this private helicopter tour for 2 people from Viator.

5. Private Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tour with Landing and Tengboche Monastery Visit

Standing in front of Tengboche Monastery. No photos are allowed inside the monastery.

For groups of two or more people who would like to travel by themselves, choose this private helicopter tour to Everest Base Camp and Tengboche Monastery. 

Landings include: 

  • Lukla (compulsory stop for refuel)
  • Kala Patthar (with a fly over Everest Base Camp)
  • Tengboche Monastery (inside tour of monastery including watching monks chanting their daily prayer)
  • Everest View Hotel (optional breakfast)

For a helicopter tour to Everest Base Camp with a Tengboche Monastery visit, see this tour from Viator.

6. Private Helicopter Tour With Landing at Everest Base Camp

A group of friends get ready to take their private helicopter tour at Lukla airport.

This is the only private helicopter tour that actually lands on Everest Base Camp. (Just to be sure, check with the tour operator before booking.) 

It’s no surprise that it’s also the most expensive helicopter tour coming in at almost US$4,000 per person.

If you’ve got the spare cash to splurge on this tour, you can tell all your friends you made it to Everest Base Camp without trekking a single kilometre. 

Landings include:

  • Everest Base Camp or Kala Patthar
  • Everest View Hotel
  • Lukla 

To view this private helicopter tour with landing at Everest Base Camp, visit Tripadvisor.

Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tour Cost

Helicopter tours anywhere in the world are expensive. So you can expect the costs to be high for a helicopter tour to Everest Base Camp where the weather is so unpredictable and the elevation is so high. 

Moreover, the new regulations only allow a maximum number of passengers in a helicopter making it more expensive. Starting from Kathmandu, a helicopter can carry up to 5 people till Pheriche. From Pheriche to Everest Base Camp and back, they need to reduce the number of people to 3 and limit the weight to 220-240 kg. 

A helicopter tour takes off from Pheriche on route to Everest Base Camp.

So what can you expect to pay for a helicopter tour to Everest Base Camp? 

This depends on a number of factors. 

The cheapest way to enjoy a helicopter tour is to take a 7-day trekking tour with a one-way helicopter ride back. Expect to pay around US$800 per person for the helicopter flight from Gorakshep to Lukla (trekking tour cost not included). 

Private helicopter tours from Kathmandu are the most expensive way to travel. However, you do enjoy the luxury of having the helicopter to yourselves. This is the best option if you have a group of 3 or more people. Expect to pay in excess of US$3500 for 2 persons. 

If you’re travelling by yourself, choosing a helicopter tour with group sharing is the best option. Alternatively, if you’re in a group and don’t mind sharing, this is also a good option. Of course, the more people in your group, the cheaper it gets per person. Expect to pay a bit less than US$2000 per person. 

“A HELICOPTER TOUR TO EVEREST BASE CAMP IS EXPENSIVE BUT WORTH EVERY DOLLAR.”

There’s a lot of different options for taking a helicopter ride to Everest Base Camp. Which option you choose depends on your own individual circumstances, time restrictions and personal preferences. 

At the end of the day, it’s an expensive option whichever way you go, but the experience is worth every dollar you spend. There’s no better way than seeing the Himalayan mountain range including Mount Everest in all its ethereal glory. These memories will stay with you for the rest of your life. 

What’s your opinion on taking a helicopter tour to Everest Base Camp? I’d love to hear your thoughts so please leave your comments below.

Shareen Pote
Shareen Pote
Hello! I'm Shareen. I love to climb mountains. When I'm not out hiking or trekking with my family, you can find me outdoors enjoying the sunny weather in Queensland, Australia where I live with my husband and two boys.
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