Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tour Cost

Taking a helicopter direct from Kathmandu to Everest Base Camp should be on your bucket list.  

Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tour is suitable for people of all ages and abilities.  Even if you have previously trekked to base camp or around the Everest Region, you get a unique birds-eye view and thrilling feel on this tour. 

And it’s not as expensive as you may think.  In any case, placing a monetary value on such an exceptional experience is hard. 

View from Everest View Hotel

How Much Does it Cost?

There are two choices when reserving a helicopter: reserve the whole helicopter or just a seat on a group flight. The basic costs are given here, but please see the end of the page for seasonal costs, which may differ.

  • It costs USD 4,500 to charter the whole flight.
  • It costs USD1,000 per person on a group flight. 

In addition, there is the Sagarmatha National Park fee of  Rs3,000 (USD28) per person and airport tax of NPR 500 (USD 3)

The majority of companies do not include breakfast, although the helicopter does land at Everest View Hotel, from which you can get breakfast.  And, yes, you should – this is the highest and most awe-inspiring breakfast you will ever have.  Overlooking Mt Everest and its neighbours, the view from your breakfast table on the terrace is unforgettable. 

What is the Difference Between Chartering a Flight and Joining a Group Flight?

If you charter the whole helicopter, you can bring your friends and family along.  Or have the whole helicopter for yourself. Consider hiring a professional photographer to get those amazing and unique photographs. 

There is more flexibility within safety standards, i.e., it is not possible to stop for more than 15 minutes at Kalapattar, the highest altitude this trip reaches.  But you can choose between Everest View Hotel or Kongde View Resort for breakfast.

You can also customize your itinerary to take in other scenic places in the Everest region, such as Gokyo Lake. 

You might feel the cost is a little expensive, but it becomes very reasonable if you have two or three friends.  And even if you want to experience the adventure alone – how often are you going to fly in a helicopter through the Himalayas?  Isn’t it well worth the money?

Is adding another stop to the Basic Everest Base Camp Heli Tour possible?

This is only possible if you hire the whole helicopter.  It is not possible to add other stops/ locations on a group helicopter tour. However, there are many other options to fly in and/or out of the Everest Region on a group tour.  Or you can combine a couple of tours together.  See below. 

I Don’t Want to Trek, but I Want to Spend Some Days Around Everest. Is That Possible?

While we do not recommend flying into high altitude and staying overnight for safety reasons – your body will not be able to take the sudden high altitude – you can fly into Lukla and spend some nights there (yes, there is a very high standard of hotel in Lukla).  Whether you want to then trek on to Namche Bazaar via Phakding, a two-day hike, or acclimatize at Lukla for a couple of days and then take a helicopter to Namche to spend another couple of days, or you want to do short hikes around Lukla, it is up to you.  

While the majority of visitors come to do whole treks, now that it is viable to do shorter treks and then take a helicopter, this option is becoming very popular. 

Please discuss the options with us. 

I Want to Trek but Not for the Whole Way.  Is it Possible to Combine Trekking Part of the Route with Getting a Helicopter Back to Kathmandu?

Yes!  It is possible to helicopter in or out of the Everest Region and combine this with your trek.  For example, you can trek to Gorakshep – which takes in all the main sites, including base camp, then take a helicopter out of Gorakshep back to either Lukla or Kathmandu.   

It is also possible to do the whole Everest Base Camp trek and take a helicopter from Gorakshep to Kathmandu. In fact, there are a number of options to combine trekking and helicopters

Additionally, if you wish to complete your trekking route, take a helicopter back to Kathmandu from Lukla rather than wait for a fixed-wing plane to Ramchhap and take road transport to Kathmandu.  

The advantage of trekking and taking a helicopter out is that it opens the trekking route to those who would love to trek to see the region’s beauty but cannot walk for 10 or 12 days.   It is also perfect for those on a tight schedule.  

Please note that you must book well in advance whenever a helicopter flight is involved.  Please discuss this with us when booking your tour. 

If I Customize My Trip, What is the Tentative Additional Cost to Different Places in the Region?

Please note costs may vary depending on the season, location, and availability of helicopters. Therefore, the prices below are tentative prior to a firm booking. 

As mentioned above, combining trekking and helicopter transport is the ideal way to shorten your trip by a few days (for whatever reason) and to enjoy the experience of trekking and the experience of a helicopter tour over the Himalayas at the same time. 

Gorakshep to Lukla Helicopter cost:  USD 350

Gorakshep is the nearest landing site for helicopters to Everest Base Camp.  It is from here also that trekkers can climb up Kalapattar to get the best views of Mt Everest. Once your trek reaches Gorakshep, you will have been to EBC and to Kalapattar as well as see all the famous sites and settlements.  This is perhaps the best way to enjoy the ultimate of the EBC Trek and fly back to Lukla or Kathmandu in comfort by helicopter. 

Pheriche to Lukla Helicopter cost: USD 350

Pheriche is one day’s trek above Namche Bazaar, so it might be the place you would want to fly from rather than return to Namche again. This option is similar to the Gorakshep option above but included one more day of trekking.  

Dingboche to Lukla Helicopter cost: USD 330

Dingboche is the highest Sherpa settlement in the region, with stunning views of Mount Ama Dablam.  The settlement is simple, but the views make up for it! The trek to EBC takes an acclimatization day here. This option is perfect for those more interested in the region’s spiritual side.  Of course, there are plenty of mountain views too!

Tengboche to Lukla Helicopter cost: USD 310

Tengboche is the location of the highest monastery in the region.  Not only does it have a serene feel associated with the monastery, but has a beautiful panorama of mountains. Heaven for visitors wishing to know more about or who follow Buddhism and for those who are keen photographers or nature lovers.   For those with less time or who are limited in the number of days they can trek, why not trek from Lukla to Phakding and on to Namche, where there is a day to both acclimatize and explore around the town and neighbourhood, learning more above the legacy left by Sir Edmund Hillary, then up to the wonderful monastery at Tengboche (three trekking days and one hiking/ acclimatization day).  From here, helicopter back down to Lukla, enjoying the scenery below and the mountains surrounding you on the way. 

Namche to Lukla Helicopter cost: USD 300

Namche Bazaar is of course, the main market town in the region.  Today it is renowned for being where expeditions and trekking groups can gather strength and provisions at the start of their journey or relax after their successful adventures. This is a beautiful place to end your trek and share notes and celebratory dinner with fellow trekkers.  Taking a helicopter from here to Lukla saves you from spending a day following your original trail back down the track. 

Gokyo to Lukla Helicopter cost: USD 350

Gokyo is the settlement in the Gokyo Lake area. Here there are several freshwater lakes of both religious and global importance.  The area gives a different perspective to the region.  With less trekkers having found this unique location, the Gokyo Valley is unspoiled with its serene lakes sparkling in the sunshine.  It is also the location of the huge Ngozumpa Glacier, which feeds the lakes. The lakes are not on the traditional EBC trek but can be included under the Gokyo Lakes Trek

How Long Does the Helicopter Stay at Base Camp?

Please note the following if you are taking the set Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tour (or any helicopter tours that stop at EBC).  Due to the nature of the ground, the helicopter does not land at Everest Base Camp but flies over it (so you can get a great birds-eye view) and lands nearby at Kalapattar.  This is a rocky ridge sitting at 5,677m/ 18,517 ft and is the nearest landmark to Mt Everest.  This is also the highest point on the Everest Base Camp Trek.  From this black rock (which is the translation of the name ridge the views of the surrounding mountains are even better than those you get at base camp.  This ‘lookout point’ never disappoints and is one of the highlights of the treks and tours in this region.  

However, since it is at such a high altitude, neither we humans nor helicopter engines are too happy if we spend a lot of time there.  Therefore, for safety reasons, the helicopter will only stop for 10 or 15 minutes (depending on the weather).  This is enough time to gather photographs, videos, and amazing memories to take home.  

Cost of EBC Helicopter Tour in Different Seasons

The group helicopter tours normally remain the same cost per person throughout the year.  But to charter, a flight may vary depending on the season.

The best time to visit Nepal is between mid-March and May spring.  At this time, expeditions can do their climbs, and the clear weather and moderate temperatures attract trekkers.  Therefore, helicopters are in demand and may be more expensive, but if you are doing a group tour, it is easier to find other travellers. Similar can be said for the autumn season of September to the beginning of December. ……

The demand for helicopters is lower in the winter and during the monsoon (summer).  However, there are higher chances of postponement due to bad weather during these two seasons.   They do, however, have their charms with regard to scenery and atmosphere.

Conclusion 

The Everest Base Camp Helicopter tour costs USD 1000 for a single person and USD 4200 for a charter flight. The price for a single person can increase if there are less than 5 members on a particular tour. 

We are torn between the Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tour or combining the Everest Base Camp  Trek with a departure by helicopter!  We must leave the ultimate decision up to you, but we are most happy to discuss this.

Which season you come is also up to you.  We understand this might depend on your circumstances, but we can say the best times in terms of weather are spring and autumn.  However, you have to consider these busy times with many trekkers on the trails, mountaineers at higher altitudes, and many folks taking helicopter tours.  Plan well ahead.

Finally, we can say although chartering a whole helicopter would be a dream come true for many of us; it may seem expensive if you are travelling alone or just with one partner. But how often do we look back 5, 10, or more years and wish we had done that adventurous tour?  But realistically, if that is not for you, group tours can only take between 3 to 5 passengers at a time.  So, it still feels like a very VIP experience!

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Article by Pradeep Guragain

Pradeep is the co-founder of Magical Nepal. He was born and bred in Nepal and is a seasoned hiker and rider.

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