Seeing aerial view of Everest base camp, landing in Kala Patthar to see Mount Everest in front of your eyes, and closing with breakfast at the highest luxury hotel in the world are the highlight of private helicopter to Everest base camp tour.
Everest Base Camp (EBC) is the second popular trekking destination in Nepal after Annapurna Region. Most of peoples want to go trekking here is for climbing the highest mountain in the world or to see the highest peak of mount Everest from a close point that can reach without climbing further, Everest base camp.
You can reach Everest base camp by trekking and helicopter. The start point of Everest base camp trek is Lukla. So you need to take a domestic flight or helicopter to Lukla, then trek. You can use Bus to Jiri and start a trek from there to Lukla, and then continue to Everest base camp, if you don’t want to go by flight. If you want to want to take a helicopter to Everest base camp. You can take a helicopter flight from Kathmandu to Lukla and then continue to Everest base camp.
Sometimes people wonder, why need helicopter ride is they can go with domestic flight (fixed-wing aircraft) and then trekking to Everest base camp. Here I try to give my point of view based on the people’s experience when they get a helicopter ride in short.
Reach Everest base camp with Helicopter flight and fixed-wing aircraft combine with trekking is a unique experience that are not comparable. The following are stunning points when you are reaching Everest base camp by helicopter, you can experience.
- A lifetime must-go-to place in the world, Highest peak in the universe, Mount Everest only in 3 hours.
- Aerial views or view from above with a wide angle of famous peaks such as Ama Dablam, Lhotse, Himalayas landscapes, Icefalls, glaciers, beautiful unique Sherpa villages and valleys. You can’t get this experience when you are trekking.
- Experience adventurous experience to see the highest peak in the world and exciting experience fly with a helicopter at the same time. Landing in Kala Patthar (5545m).
- Visit and breakfast at Everest View Hotel. They consider it as the highest luxury hotel in the world at 3880m altitude.
Lukla is a dangerous airport in the world because the location enclosed by the hill and mountain and the weather is unpredictable. Only a small plane can flight there. And they depend on the weather. They need to back to Kathmandu, if the weather turn to worse in the middle of the way.
But if you do with a helicopter ride, helicopter possible to land everywhere, as long as there are available land to landing. You can land without back to Kathmandu, if the weather turn to be not good and not possible to continue. This helicopter ride will save time.
Trekking to Everest base camp need over 12 days, so if you don’t want to miss international flight to your home, and keep the itinerary and schedule on track, choose helicopter ride is a suitable option.
Maximum person in one helicopter is 5 person. You can take private (charter) helicopter or shared helicopter. The difference between helicopter private and share-group is in private helicopter, you need to pay helicopter all cost by yourself or if you go with your own group within 5 person, you will share the cost with your own-group.
But if you go yourself and you want to save the cost but you have less than 5 people in your group, you can go with the other group (share-group) until max 5 peoples in one helicopter ride.
You can get a good price, which is cheaper if you have your own group and charter private helicopter ride. You can save almost USD$100 per person if you go with a private helicopter ride.
Because helicopter ride give you flexibility in time. If everything is good and weather is great, you can go with your own group in preferable time.
What is the different between reach Everest Base Camp by Helicopter and trekking?
The biggest different and priceless experience to reach Everest base camp by helicopter is an impressive aerial view of the highest peak in the world, Everest, Khumbu glacier and surrounding of great Himalayan Mountain range.
You will not get this experience when you reach Everest base camp by trek.
Here are the difference between flight from Kathmandu to Everest Base Camp by helicopter and trekking to Everest base camp:
- Reach Everest base camp in a shorter time. It only takes 3-4 hours from Kathmandu, Lukla, Everest base camp and back to Kathmandu. Trekking in EBC need at least 12 days.
- Amazing Aerial views of the Himalayas of famous peaks such as Ama Dablam. Eye-bird’s views of beautiful villages and valleys, impressive landscapes, Icefalls, and glaciers. Trekking not give you aerial views, but trekking have a special point of interest and adventures feeling about determination to keep continue the journey.
- Experience 2 adventurous activity at the same time. They are seeing the highest peak in the world, then landing Lands at Kala Patthar for viewing the Everest and exciting feeling fly with a helicopter.
How much does the cost, to go to Everest Base Camp by Helicopter tour?
The cost is variance, but here I take the best affordable price from Mountain Hike Nepal. It is one of the trusted local tour agency in Nepal, that have specialty to arrange trekking and tours include helicopter tour to Everest Base camp in Nepal.
This is the best price to go to Everest base camp with Helicopter tour. You can get price USD$880 per person, if you go with your own-group within 5 person. This price is cheaper than normal price, which is USD$999 per person. But if you have less than 5 people, your group also still can book helicopter ride, but you need to share total cost with person in your group.
The price for a private helicopter ride includes fuels, airport shuttle, sightseeing to the remarkable Sherpa village Lukla, incredible view of Mount Everest in Kala Patthar, Khumbu Glacier or a large debris-covered glacier in the Khumbu region, boarding pass fee in Kathmandu Domestic Airport, Sagarmatha National Park Fee and Passenger insurance.
The highlight point is you can see Everest mountain from close, landing in Kala Patthar, see the 360 scenic view of a Himalayan mountain like an eagle.
Kala Patthar is the highest altitude where people can climb without a permit. This landmark very popular because the landmark gives closeup spectacular view of Everest, and other tall peak such us Nuptse, Lhotse and Changtse.
How long does Flight to Everest base camp take?
Two-way Flight to Everest base camp from Tribhuvan Kathmandu airport to Everest base camp is about 3 hours 15 minutes. The following are the breakdown How long to take flight to Everest base camp:
- Flight from Kathmandu to Lukla: 40-45 Minute. Here they will take a break and fueling the helicopter.
- Lukla to Kala Patthar at Everest Base Camp takes 25 minutes and ground land time 10 minute to view the gorgeous mount Everest from Kala Patthar.
- Kala Patthar to Everest view Hotel Syangboche for 15 minutes. And ground land time for 30 minutes for breakfast while also complementing the Himalayan panorama.
- Syangboche to Lukla and then continue to Kathmandu for 1 hour and 10 minutes.
Kathmandu to Everest base camp Distance
The distance from Kathmandu to mount Everest is about 241.402 km or 150 miles. We can’t fly over mount Everest but we as a mention previously, we can land in Kala Patthar, the highest point we can climb without a permit to see the best view of mount Everest.
Best Time to do Everest Base Camp Helicopter and Landing in Kala Patthar
All flight in Nepal, either it fixed-wing aircraft or helicopter flight depends on the weather, and it’s difficult to forecast the weather in Himalayan Mountain.
Based on the experience, the best times to do Everest base camp helicopter and landing in Kala Patthar are March, April, May, June, September, October and November. The first season is March, April, May and June. It’s a spring season in Nepal.
Spring season is great for Everest base camp helicopter tour and landing in Kala Patthar because of less wind and less rain. You can see the unobstructed view of the mountain.
The second seasons are September, October and November. It’s a fall in Nepal. This is the most favorable for trekking also best season for trekking because green vegetation at Hills and valley, after rain season.
Not only great for trekking, but fall season also great for a helicopter tour to Everest base camp, because of less rain.
Imagine the great aerial view of green forest and snowcapped mountain in Himalayas.
Things to Carry during Everest Base Camp Helicopter Landing in Kala Patthar
The following are things to carry during Everest Base Camp Helicopter
- It’s best to bring along Good Camera or Mobile Phone with a good camera. Aerial view of Himalaya is mesmerizing. Capture your amazing moment and take aerial shots with your camera.
- It’s better to wear Dark Clothing because Light-colored clothing reflects on the transparent windows of a helicopter and it can cause undesirable flares in photos. Therefore, it’s recommended wearing dark clothing when riding a helicopter.
- Sunscreen, Sunhat and skin/lip balms to protect your skin from UV and keep your skin moist. High altitudes makes your skin and lips dry.
- Warm and comfort clothes to blocking wind and cold Better to wear long-sleeves. It’s also good to wear good shoes. If you are a girl, don’t wear high heels or sandals. Long Loose Hair May disturb your Viewing Experience, so tie your hair and don’t use long scarf cos the wind can increase the risk of entanglement.
- You can bring maximum 2 Bottles of Mineral water. Use small Day backpack to bring your things. Carry the luggage minimum as possible.
- Light snacks, dried fruits or some chocolates.
- Money in cash, in case you want to buy something.
What it looks like riding a helicopter to Everest Base Camp
Riding helicopter is a great and exciting feeling. Flight with helicopter and see aerial view make us flying like an eagle. It is a new, unforgettable experience because it’s offers the combination of great visibility and its lower cruising speed that give us adventurous experience.
Helicopter can adjust altitude so fast, and the sound of the rotor is very noisy. But it’s okay because we will wear a headset with noise cancelation to reduce the engine and rotor noise.
Sometime, helicopter make dramatic moving that you can see and feel. One minute you can see the horizon and the next second you don’t. It creates an exhilarating feeling like riding a rollercoaster.
Turbulence is normal. It could be easy to feel sick for you, if you are prone to motion sick. If you wish, maybe you can read my article about remedies for a helicopter ride here. It’s better to choose a middle seat if it is possible and maybe take preventive-medicine.
Local Tour and Helicopter Agency in Nepal–Mountain Hike Nepal
Mountain Hike Nepal is trekking and tour agency I used to arrange my travel journey in Nepal. Here I try to summarize the benefit and flexibility if you are booking with local agency, especially mountain hike.
The benefit of booking with local agency mountain hike Nepal:
- Flexibility to discuss your trip. You can ask about cost, time and the list related to your trip and get free suggestion before you book. You can get information faster and comprehensive, because you speak with travel advisor directly.
Compare to international company or online travel agencies (OTA) like Klook, Get your Guide, Tour Radar and Trip Advisor. Here you must speak with customer services first before your messages pass to the agencies and you need to book first before you connect to a travel advisor in a registered company in OTA’s Network.
- Price is more affordable and you can custom based on your budget. Some price list in OTA look cheaper, but you need to be careful whether you are joining in a sizeable group over 10 peoples. There is no third party and intermediaries between you and the company /agency, so you are not charge for hidden cost.
- Clear understanding about policy and cancelation. Flexible to negotiate before your book.
- Book now, pay later policy and additional complimentary. Most of trekking and tours that arrange by Mountain Hike Nepal, have complimentary services and have a special policy about book now and pay later.
- Booking with local agencies means you contribute to help them develop their country. This is part of eco-sustainable traveling. You are not only travel for adventure but also giving benefit to local communities.
The things to consider before you are booking with local agencies is making sure its legal company. You also can make some conversation with a trip planner about your inquiry. Try to ask as much as you need the information.
If you can get obvious information, then you can go. But if they do not satisfy you with the answer and they look like to make your inquiry like not important and just skip so much information, then consider getting another agency.
If you wish, here is the link to get a special price to experience Everest base camp trek by Private helicopter by mountain hike Nepal.
International Company or Online Travel Agencies (OTA)
You also can book from international agency or online travel agencies. There are hundred trekking and tour companies both local agencies in Nepal or outside Nepal which is registered in online travel agencies like tour radar, Get Your Guide, trip advisor and Klook.
The difference between international agencies and local agencies are:
- The price is expensive. For the same itinerary, the price is much higher. This is because they are third party or act as an intermediate between you and tour companies. The international company need operational and marketing cost, that’s why the price is higher. OTA get a fee or commission from every success booking. That’s why tour companies sell the tour more expensive.
- Sometime it’s difficult and have delay to ask or discuss your trips. It’s because they are third party. Even they have a messaging platform in their sites, but it need time for tour agencies to reply your inquiry.
- You only can communicate through their messaging platform. Some peoples more convenient to talks and chat through WhatsApp, rather than install or open browser every time need to ask about the tour.
- Hundred tours available. You can choose and sort based on the price. But keep in mind, some companies that sell their tour in cheap price, they put you in an enormous sharing group, especially when you are booking the trek. Sometimes go in a sizeable group, over 10 peoples, is not preferable, because possibilities of delay.
- Flexibility on Online Payment or credit card option. Some local companies not have the flexibility of online payment or credit card option.
- Cancelation fee may applicable once you book the tour.
If you are not having references of local companies, then you can try to book from OTA. Just see the price and rating, cancelation policy and term condition before you book.
Here are resources pages, booking helicopter tours from online travel agencies like GetYourGuide, tour radar and trip advisor/aviator. I arrange the tours based on the companies in that page, so it easy for you to look.
Here are my articles about whether Helicopter tour is right for you and the natural remedies to overcome motion sickness in helicopter ride.
If you wish, you can read that article to give you some references, so you can prepare better if you plan to book and experience the helicopter flight to Everest base camp.
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