The standard Everest Base Camp trek happens to be the ‘best seller’, most popular Everest Base Camp trek, and I can understand why. Most people look for the best their money can buy, and this package suits the bill. However, I do not think it’s the best Everest Base Camp trek, and definitely not the one I would recommend if I had to choose the best one.
There are several variations to the Everest Base Camp trek including the standard one mentioned above. So, which one do you choose? As with everything, there is no ‘one size fits all’. You may select one over the other based on your preferences and priorities.
In this article, I list all the variations of the Everest Base Camp treks you can take, including the pros and cons. I’ll also discuss the details of the best Everest Base Camp trek and why this is the best one to take. Lastly, I’ll provide you with links to trekking providers for the best Everest Base Camp trek.
Types of Everest Base Camp Treks
There are many different variations of the Everest Base Camp trek to suit different needs, priorities and requirements. They vary based on the total number of days as well as service levels and inclusions.
Standard/Classic Everest Base Camp Trek
This is the top seller for most trekking companies as it’s the best value trek of them all. It’s the basic Everest Base Camp trek without any bells and whistles.
On this trek, you walk for over 103 kilometers over 11 days from Lukla to Everest Base Camp and back. Along the way, you stay in basic accommodation and get to choose three square meals from the menus offered at the teahouses.
Pros – best value trek, great for budget travelers, introductory trek to Everest region
Cons – basic accommodation, long trekking days, retrace your steps back down
Everest Base Camp Trek for Seniors or Families
If you fit into this category (senior or family), then this Everest Base Camp trek is for you.
The difference between the standard trek mentioned above and this one is the increase in the number of trekking days. Instead of trekking for 11 days, you will be trekking for 15 days. This means shorter trekking days, plus time to acclimatize better as you take more days to climb to Everest Base Camp. If you’re not short on time, this trek is for you.
Pros – best for seniors and families, shorter trekking days, more time to acclimatize
Cons – more trekking days, more expensive package
Everest Base Camp Luxury Trek
Most people understand that the accommodation that you would have on a basic Everest Base Camp trek would be just that – basic. However, in recent times with the influx of trekkers and the popularity of the route, more options have been added to the suite of accommodation available on the route. For those who like to trek in luxury, this trek is for you.
The difference between the standard trek and this luxury trek is the standard of accommodation. In this package, you will be staying in some of the finest accommodation available in the remote mountains of Nepal. In addition to staying at a 5-star hotel in Kathmandu, you will spend a few nights in luxurious mountain lodges in Lukla, Phakding and Namche Bazar.
Pros – stay in luxurious accommodation in the mountain, better rest and recovery
Cons – more expensive package
Best Everest Base Camp Trek
The best Everest Base Camp trek tops all other Everest Base Camp treks for its maximum experience.
I value ‘experiences’ more than anything else in the world. I truly believe that the best thing that money can buy in the world is experiences, and this is worth spending the extra bit of money on.
Everest Base Camp Heli Trek
So why is the Everest Base Camp Heli Trek the best trek? For three reasons.
- Maximum Experience
After trekking to Everest Base Camp, you take a helicopter flight back to Lukla/Kathmandu from Gorak Shep. You get two experiences in one trek – trekking and a helicopter ride. You get to experience the Everest region from the ground and from the air.
- Saves Time
This is the shortest Everest Base Camp trek itinerary as you get to fly back instead of trekking back. This saves you two or three trekking days.
- Saves Energy
Trekking downhill has a lot of disadvantages. This is an in and out route which means you are retracing your steps. There’s nothing new to see on the way down. Moreover, trekking downhill is hard on the knees, especially for women and older people. Lastly, most of the injuries and falls happen on the way down. Save yourself the effort and take a helicopter back.
Now, there are two variations of the Everest Base Camp heli trek.
- Fly from Gorak Shep to Lukla in a helicopter, then fly from Lukla to Kathmandu the next day in a standard airplane
- Fly from Gorak Shep straight to Kathmandu in a helicopter
If I had to do the Everest Base Camp trek again, this is the trek I would do. I would probably choose the first variation over the second one, unless I was feeling super rich.
Pros – get to see the Everest region from the ground and air, less trekking days, don’t retrace your steps to the bottom
Cons – most expensive trekking package
Trekking Providers for a Heli Trek
- Nepal Hiking Team – Everest Base Camp Heli Shuttle Trek
- Nepal Hiking Team – Everest Base Camp Heli Trek
- Adventure Vision Treks & Travels – Everest Base Camp Heli Fly Out Trek
- Himalayan Wonders – Everest Heli Trek
- Exciting Nepal – Everest Base Camp Trek with Helicopter Return
If you’re short on time or have the extra cash to spare, I would highly recommend you choose the Everest Base Camp heli trekking package over all the others. This is a once in a lifetime event, and it’s unlikely you’ll be visiting Everest Base Camp again. Since you’ll be spending a lot of money to get here in the first place, it’ll be worth it to spend the extra dollars and have the best, once-in-a-lifetime experience you can possibly get.
What do you think is the best Everest Base Camp trek? Do you agree with my choice or would you prefer another trekking package?
I love to hear from my readers, so please leave your comments below.