7 Days Everest Base Camp Trek with Helicopter Return

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Starts at: Lukla Ends at: Lukla
Trek Region: Everest Transport: Flight
Duration: 7 days Trip Grade: Strenuous
Max Altitude: 5,545 m/ 18,192 ft Accommodation: Teahouse

Experience the best of the Everest Base Camp Trek without the arduous long hiking!  This 7-day trip takes you through the lower reaches of the Everest Region with its pine forests and raging ice-cold rivers, into Sagarmatha National Park, and up to Namche Bazaar and Tengboche. 

Experience the history of the Sherpa community as well as follow the footsteps of those first famous climbers, Edmund Hillary and Tenzin Norgay in Namche. 

Then breathe in the rarified air mixed with oil prayer lamps at Tengboche Monastery while meeting the Buddhist monks and participating in a puja (when possible). 

All this while taking in the panoramic view of the Himalayan mountains from the same location.  A wonderful helicopter ride takes you over Everest Base Camp to land at Kalapattar, with its even more wonderous views of Mt Everest before taking the helicopter back to Kathmandu.  This 7-day EBC trek is the best suitable option for those who don’t have time for 14 days Everest base camp trek

With three days of trekking, some hiking around the interesting spots of Namche, and half a day on board a helicopter, you get all the adventure of Everest base camp packed into 5 days of memories. 

Also included in this tour is accommodation the night before and the night after the trip.

Highlights of the 7-Day Everest Base Camp Trek

  • Your adventure starts in the wee hours of the morning as we drive to the airport located a few hours southeast of Kathmandu. Consider it as part of your exciting voyage into the land of snow and Sherpas.
  • Fly into the high-altitude airport at Lukla, named after those first adventurers, Hillary Tenzing Airport. 
  • Experience the best of trekking with the knowledge there is a helicopter waiting and the end to take you home!
  • Learn something about the ancient and the modern Sherpa culture.
  • Stare at the beauty of the Himalayan mountains from the two best locations there is: Tengboche and Kalapattar.
  • Compare the abundant flora and fauna of the lower Everest Region to the rugged landscapes above Namche. 
  • Be awakened not only by the mountains but also by the spiritual atmosphere at Tengboche Monastery. 
  • Stand atop Kalapattar, known as Everest viewpoint for good reason, and get a close-up view of the grand mountain itself.
  • Depart straight from Everest Base Camp (Kalapatthar) back to Kathmandu by helicopter.

Permits for Everest Base Camp Trek

Regardless of the fact you are in the region for only a short period of time and are taking a helicopter back out again, you still need to buy permits.  These permits help to ensure the region remains beautiful.  But please play your part also in ensuring the beauty of the countryside and the integrity of the locals are maintained. 

There are two permits required as detailed below.  One is for the Sagarmatha National Park.  Like all the national parks in Nepal, a fee is collected from all visitors. 

  • Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality Entrance Permit (NPR 2,000 Per Person)
  • Sagarmatha National Park Entry Permit (NPR 3,000 Per Person)

We will purchase these permits on your behalf at the relevant checkpoints. 

A Typical Day on the Base Camp Trek

Here we would normally detail out what happens on your trek.  But your trek is not a ‘normal’ one.  So there is no ‘typical’ day as such!  Your five-day trip is different every day.   What will be the same is the high standard of guidance, reassurance and care you will receive from our guide; the high quality and range of local Sherpa cuisine and western fare; the stunning mountain views; the early starts and early to sleep, and experience of your pilot and high quality of helicopter provided. 

Important Notes for the 7-Day EBC Trek

As with all treks in the Everest Region, there are some things you need to know before you go. 

  • Flights to the Everest Region now depart from Ramchhap airport in the east of the country. Ramchhap is several hours’ drive from Kathmandu, so we leave Kathmandu at 1 am to reach there for the early morning flight that is necessary in the mountains as high winds tend to occur in the afternoon.    
  • It is unusual for helicopters to be delayed due to bad weather, but sometimes planes can be delayed. So we request our clients not to book their international flights home the day after arriving in Kathmandu.  Leave some days space in case of delays due to bad weather in the mountains. 
  • We require a copy of your passport in order to book the domestic flight. Please send us a copy when you book your trip. 
  • Porters are included in this package but please remember they are human too!  One porter can only carry 20kg.  So please pack lightly.  We will provide you with a bag/duffle bag that is easy for porters to carry.
  • Airlines have a weight limit of 15kg per person.  
  • Not included in the package are hot and cold drinks, alcohol, and extra food.  Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included, however.  Also not included is the cost the lodge will charge for a hot shower and for charging your devices.  Please bring Nepali rupees with you for this.  
  • As an indication as to how much money to bring: hot showers are $3 to $5 and charging your battery is $1 to $3. Beer will cost around Rs700 to Rs1,000 and cold drinks will be around Rs 400, as will café latte and americano – when available on the lower slopes. 
  • A Wi-Fi card is available in Lukla or Namche Bazaar at http://everestlink.com.np/  for $25.  Data can be used over 30 days only in the Everest Region.  We cannot guarantee the Wi-Fi quality – it will depend on the weather and location. 
  • If the weather does change, please follow your guide’s advice and be patient. 
  • Drones are not permitted without permission.  It is extremely hard to obtain permission. 
  • Remember your insurance must cover you for trekking and for trekking up to 5,000 m / 16404 ft

Everest Base Camp Trek Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Kathmandu!

Kathmandu – 1,300 m / 4,265 ft

Day 2: Kathmandu to Lukla (Flight) to Phakding

Phakding – 2,651 m / 8,697 ft – 4 hrs

Day 3: Phakding to Namche

Namche – 3,440 m / 11,286 ft – 5 to 6 hrs

Day 4: Acclimatization Day in Namche

Namche – 3,700 m / 12,139 ft – 4 to 5 hrs

Day 5: Namche to Tengboche

Tengboche – 3,956m / 12,979 ft – 5 to 6 hrs

Day 6: Tengboche to Everest Base Camp by Helicopter, Landing at Kalapattar, Helicopter from EBC to Kathmandu and car to hotel

Kalapattar -5,545 m/ 18,192 ft – 2 hrs

Day 7: Final Departure


Day 1: Welcome to Kathmandu

  • Accommodation: Hotel

You will be met from your flight to the TIA (Tribhuvan International Airport) by our staff who will accompany you to your hotel for the night. 

Your hotel is in a prime location, with everything visiting travelers could need, including trekking shops in case you have forgotten something!

Later, you will get a chance to ask any questions to your guide and get to know him before the trek.

Day 2: Kathmandu to Lukla (Flight) to Phakding

  • Flight time: 35 to 40 minutes
  • Trek time: 3 to 4 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House
  • Trek Distance: 6.2 km/3.8 miles

Your trip starts with an early morning road journey from your hotel in Kathmandu to Manthali Airport in Ramecchap District, some four hours’ drive away.  Since your flight to Lukla takes place around 6 a.m., you need to leave Kathmandu very early.  The short flight takes only 20 minutes and during that exhilarating flight, you will forget about the road trip to get there.  

Once you land in Lukla, our team of porters will greet you and your guide will get you on the right path heading out of Lukla to your first overnight at Phakding.  Interestingly, despite some uphill parts, the trail to Phakding takes you to a lower altitude than you landed at in Lukla.  Part of the reason for that acclimatization day in Namche.  

Today the trail is not too difficult, with stone and rocky paths and lots of green pines.  The Dudh Koshi is the river most prominent today.  After the early start from Kathmandu, it’s a relief to reach the lodge for an early night in preparation for Day 2. 

Day 3: Phakding to Namche

  • Trek time: 5 to 6 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House
  • Trek Distance: 7.4 km/4.6 miles

A bit more greenery and forests and some plowed fields and yak pastures around small villages are on the menu today.  Today we pass through the gateway into Sagarmatha National Park.  Then its on to Namche Bazaar. 

As you may know, Namche is the biggest Sherpa town in the region and is famous for being the last main stop on the route to Everest.  For decades trekkers and mountaineers have made their way up the path to Namche, stopping to buy last-minute purchases and prepare themselves for what is ahead.  

Day 4: Acclimatization Day in Namche Bazar

  • Trek time: 5 to 6 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

In order to endure the high altitude and low oxygen, our bodies need to acclimatize.  Here at Namche, everyone takes an extra day to allow their bodies to adjust.  The best way to adjust is, believe it or not, to be active.  This is a perfect day for exploring Sherpa culture, exploring the legacy that Edmund Hilary left behind, and simply enjoying being out in the Himalayas. 

We suggest walking to Khumjung village to see the school set up by Hillary.  And we also suggest stopping to enjoy, and photograph, some of the mountains on display.  These include Thamserku (6,623m), Lhotse (8,516m), Ama Dablam (6,812m), and of course Mount Everest at the record-breaking 8,848m.  Among others. 

By now you are feeling part of the community of trekkers and mountaineers and joining the conversation over dinner. 

Day 5: Namche to Tengboche

  • Trek time: 5 to 6 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House
  • Trek Distance: 9.2 km/5.7 miles

While Namche is a Buddhist town, the route between Namche and Tengboche is even more colorful with prayer flags, mani walls, and stupas – all related to the Tibetan Buddhist culture.   

Climbing the switchback road to Tengboche with its monastery, we see great mountains and a great panorama once we reach the monastery.

We may have an opportunity to join the monks in prayer and private contemplation and lighting of lamps for loved ones is always available.  A small donation will be much appreciated. 

We sleep in Tengboche tonight.  Or try to sleep, for tomorrow is a big day!

Day 6: Dingboche to EBC by helicopter, landing on Kalapattar, fly back to Kathmandu

  • Flight time: 5 to 6 hours
  • Accommodation: Hotel

After breakfast, we board a helicopter to fly over Everest Base Camp and land at Kalapattar.  It is not possible to land a non-emergency helicopter at the base camp, so we land on Kalapattar at the height of 5,600m / 18,000 ft.  Kalapattar is a well-known viewpoint for Everest and it is from here you get the best views. 

Much better than at base camp because at base camp we stand too close to the mountain to get a good view.  From Kalapattar we feel we can reach out and touch the mountains.  Due to the altitude and high winds, we can only land for 10 to 15 minutes but that is plenty of time to take photographs and fix the scene in your memory.  

While flying we will also see the Khumbu Ice Fall and other glaciers.  Also, perhaps some mountaineers are far below.  Then it is time to turn the helicopter around and head back to Kathmandu. Kathmandu brings us back to reality as we reach the bustling capital city in time for lunch.   

You will be escorted back to your hotel and the rest of the day is yours to explore, shop, or relax. 

Day 07: Departure

Our representative will accompany you to the airport for your departure. 

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Includes for EBC Trek

  • Local transfers for your international flight x 2 (arrival/ departure)
  • Local transfers for your domestic flights x 2
  • Kathmandu Lukla flight
  • Sagarmatha National Park Entry Park and Local Entry Permits
  • Guide for 7 days
  • Porter for 6 days
  • 2 nights accommodation in a Kathmandu (Bodhi Boutique or similar)
  • 5 nights accommodation in mountain teahouses
  • Helicopter from Tenboche Everest base camp Kalapathar Kathmandu
  • Staff insurance and necessary ground transport for support staff
  • 7 x set breakfast, 6 x set lunch and 6 x set dinner while on the trek
  • Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu
  • Personnel expenses of any kind and travel insurance

Equipment Checklist for Everest Base Camp

The following PDF gives you a general idea of the trekking equipment and clothing needed for the Everest Base Camp trek.

Everest Base Camp 7 Days Trek

Is the Everest base camp trek worth it?

Yes! It is worth it to trek to Everest Base Camp. The views are spectacular, particularly in October and November. The base camp is busy with climbers during the expedition period from April to May. If you feel you can do this trek in the winter, there will be fewer other trekkers and climbers, and the views will be clear. However, it will be more challenging and cold!

Is the Everest base camp trek harder than Kilimanjaro?

The daily walking distance of EBC is longer than trekking Kilimanjaro. Elevation lost and gained each day is also more with more nights at high altitudes than in Kilimanjaro. However, summiting Kilimanjaro is harder than any part of the EBC Trek.

How much money do I need for the Everest base camp trek?

Our tour Package covers your accommodation and food. You may need money for a hot shower, wifi, battery charge, and drink We recommend you carry an additional USD 15 a day.

How cold is it at Everest base camp?

When you arrive at Lukla, you are already at 2800 m, so you will immediately feel the difference in the air temperature. Once you get to Dingboche (above Namche Bazaar), the temperature will drop. And continue dropping the higher you go. During the winter, the temperature can go down to -20 Celsius at night.

When is the best time to visit Everest base camp?

Since this is the most popular trek, the teahouses and lodges are open throughout the year, and people trek all months of the year. The best time in terms of weather and scenery is October, November, and April May.

How hard is it to walk to Everest base camp?

You do not require technical expertise or mountaineering skills to trek to Everest Base Camp. Be aware this is not a climb. It is a trek. There are also no high passes to cross. However, there is the altitude to consider, and you need to acclimatize properly, which will be done when you trek with an experienced guide. Suppose trekking solo does; take note of your health and go slowly.

How long should you train for the Everest base camp?

If you know you are planning to come to Nepal to do the Everest Base Camp Trek (or any trek), start preparing yourself physically. Aim to make walking the main part of the training by taking long and regular walks to keep fit.

What is it like at Everest base camp?

Prayer flags and stone piles mark Base Camp. During expedition time, you will see climbers’ tents in preparation for their push to the summit. There are no tea houses at the base camp. The nearest one is around 2.5 hours away at Gorak Shep. You will witness the Khumbu Icefall and glacier.

Where is the base camp for Mount Everest?

There are two base camps for Mount Everest. One is in Nepal, and the other is on the Tibet side near the Rongbuk Monastery. On the Nepal side, the base camp is at the base of Lho La Mountain, next to the Khumbu Icefall.

Has anyone died trekking to Everest base camp?

Although the Himalayan Database has an excellent record of deaths occurring during Everest expeditions, there are no official statistics on the Everest Base Camp Trek. Magical Nepal estimates around 3 or 4 people die annually on this trek, which is around 0/01% of the 35,000 treks on average to EBC each year.

How long does the Everest base camp trek take?

There are several answers! If you follow the regular, and most popular route, from Lukla to Lukla, it will take 12 days. If you want to explore more and go to Gokyo Lake or the Everest Three Passes, the number of days will vary from 14 to 16. If you decide to walk in from Jiri and then fly out from Lukla, it will take 18 to 20 days.

Is it dangerous to go to Everest base camp?

The altitude is the main ‘danger’ to trekking to Everest Base Camp. You will be spending three days at 5,000m elevation. However, going slowly and taking the recommended acclimatization days will reduce that danger considerably. Landslides are very rare, and there is no record of avalanches on this trek.

Can you trek to Everest base camp on your own?

Yes. You can trek to EBC by following other trekkers or groups. However, we never suggest trekking alone is a good idea. If you are taking any side routes crossing passes, please consider hiring a local porter if you do not want a guide. This is for your own safety. And the safety of others who might have to come to your aid if you encounter difficulties.

Is there WIFI at the Everest base camp?

Yes! There is WIFI at Everest Base camp and more than 200 hot spots along the route, thanks to Everest Link company.

Is there cell service on Mount Everest?

There has been 4G connectivity since 2010 in the Everest Region. However, it does not work everywhere. You will not receive service in some Gokyo and the Thame Valley parts.

Everest Base Camp Trek Map

After your trek, we would love to hear from you about how you enjoyed the trip and any suggestions on improving the experience for others.  

General Information

What is the Everest Base Camp Trek with Helicopter Return?

This trek combines a traditional trek to Everest Base Camp with a return journey by helicopter, providing a quick and scenic way back to Lukla or Kathmandu.

How long is the trek?

The trek lasts for 7 days, with the final day dedicated to the helicopter return from Gorakshep to Lukla.

What is the maximum altitude reached during the trek?

The maximum altitude is 5,364 meters (17,598 feet) at Everest Base Camp.

What is the difficulty level of the trek?

The trek is considered moderate, suitable for trekkers with a reasonable level of fitness and some hiking experience.

What kind of accommodation is provided during the trek?

Accommodation is provided in teahouses along the trekking route, offering basic facilities such as beds, pillows, and blankets.

What meals are included in the trek?

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included throughout the trek. Meals are typically simple but nutritious, catering to trekkers’ dietary needs.

What is the best time of year to undertake this trek?

The best time to trek is during spring (March to May) and autumn (late September to early December), when the weather is stable and the views are clear​.

Is previous trekking experience necessary?

While not mandatory, previous trekking experience is beneficial. The trek requires good physical fitness and some acclimatization to high altitudes.

What should I pack for the trek?

Essential items include sturdy trekking boots, warm clothing, a quality sleeping bag, water purification tablets, and a first aid kit.

Is travel insurance necessary?

Yes, travel insurance that covers high-altitude trekking and emergency evacuation is highly recommended.

Trekking Itinerary

What is the daily itinerary for the trek?

The trek includes stops at Phakding, Namche Bazaar, Tengboche, Dingboche, Lobuche, and finally Everest Base Camp, followed by a helicopter return from Gorakshep.

What are the highlights of the trek?

Highlights include crossing the Hillary Suspension Bridge, visiting Tengboche Monastery, and reaching Everest Base Camp, with stunning views of the Himalayas throughout.

What is the first day’s plan?

The first day involves a flight from Kathmandu to Lukla, followed by a trek to Phakding.

What activities are planned for the acclimatization day?

Acclimatization includes a hike to the Hotel Everest View or exploring Namche Bazaar, which helps adjust to the altitude.

How long is the daily trekking duration?

Trekking duration ranges from 4 to 6 hours per day, depending on the terrain and altitude.

What happens after reaching Everest Base Camp?

After reaching Everest Base Camp, trekkers return to Gorakshep and then take a helicopter back to Lukla the next day.

Is there time to explore Kathmandu before or after the trek?

Yes, there is time to explore Kathmandu, particularly if you arrive a day early or extend your stay after the trek.

Are there rest days included in the itinerary?

Yes, rest and acclimatization days are included in Namche Bazaar and Dingboche.

What is the return plan from Everest Base Camp?

After reaching Everest Base Camp, the return journey is via helicopter from Gorakshep to Lukla, offering a quick and scenic return.

Can the itinerary be customized?

Yes, the itinerary can be customized to include extra days for acclimatization or additional activities.

Health and Safety

What should I do to prepare for the high altitude?

Acclimatization is key; spend extra days at high altitudes, stay hydrated, and ascend gradually.

What are the symptoms of altitude sickness?

Symptoms include headaches, nausea, dizziness, and shortness of breath. It’s essential to report any symptoms to your guide immediately.

How are health emergencies handled?

Guides are trained in first aid and altitude sickness management. In severe cases, emergency evacuation by helicopter is available.

What vaccinations are recommended for the trek?

Vaccinations for Hepatitis A and B, Typhoid, and Tetanus are recommended. Consult your doctor before the trip.

Is it safe to drink water during the trek?

Bottled water is available, but carrying water purification tablets is advised if you choose to drink from local sources.

How physically fit do I need to be?

A good level of physical fitness is required. Regular exercise, especially cardiovascular workouts, is recommended before the trek.

What should I include in my first aid kit?

Include basic medications for pain relief, altitude sickness, blisters, and any personal prescriptions.

Is there mobile network coverage on the trek?

Mobile network coverage is available in some areas, and guides carry local phones for emergencies​

Are there medical facilities along the trek?

Basic medical facilities are available in larger villages like Namche Bazaar. For serious issues, evacuation is necessary.

What safety measures are in place for helicopter flights?

Helicopter flights are conducted by experienced pilots with strict safety protocols. Ensure your insurance covers helicopter evacuation.

Cultural and Environmental Considerations

What cultural sites will we visit?

Key sites include Tengboche Monastery and various Sherpa villages, offering insights into local culture and traditions.

How can I respect local customs?

Dress modestly, ask for permission before taking photos of people, and be mindful of local customs and traditions.

What is the local cuisine like?

Local cuisine includes staples like dal bhat (lentil soup with rice), momo (dumplings), and yak cheese. Meals are hearty and designed to fuel trekking.

Can I buy souvenirs during the trek?

Souvenirs can be bought in Namche Bazaar and other villages, including handicrafts, prayer flags, and traditional clothing.

How can I minimize my environmental impact?

Use refillable water bottles, avoid single-use plastics, and stick to designated trails to protect the environment.

What wildlife might I see?

You may see yaks, Himalayan tahr, musk deer, and various bird species. Respect wildlife and keep a safe distance.

Are there any cultural events or festivals during the trek?

Depending on the timing, you might witness local festivals like Mani Rimdu in Tengboche, celebrating Tibetan Buddhism.

How do locals view tourism?

Tourism is a vital part of the local economy. Being respectful and responsible helps maintain positive relationships.

What language is spoken by the locals?

Nepali is the official language, but Sherpa communities also speak their own dialect. English is commonly spoken in tourist areas.

What are the main environmental challenges of the region?

Challenges include managing waste from tourism and preserving fragile ecosystems. Support eco-friendly practices and responsible trekking.

Logistics and Planning

How do I book the trek?

Treks can be booked through various trekking companies and travel agencies specializing in Nepal tours.

What is included in the cost of the trek?

The cost typically includes accommodation, meals, permits, guides, porters, and the helicopter flight back.

What permits are required?

Permits required include the Sagarmatha National Park Entry Permit and the TIMS (Trekkers’ Information Management System) card.

How do I get to the starting point of the trek?

The trek starts with a flight from Kathmandu to Lukla. Arrange transportation to the airport through your trekking company.

What is the luggage allowance for the Lukla flight?

The luggage allowance is generally 15 kg (33 pounds), including both your check-in bag and daypack​.

Are there any age restrictions for the trek?

There are no strict age restrictions, but trekkers should be in good health and physically fit. Consult your doctor if unsure.

How much cash should I carry?

Carry enough Nepali Rupees to cover personal expenses, as credit cards are rarely accepted on the trail.

What is the cancellation policy?

Cancellation policies vary by company. Ensure you understand the terms and conditions before booking.

Can the trek be customized for private groups?

Yes, many companies offer customizable itineraries for private groups based on preferences and fitness levels.

What tips are customary for guides and porters?

Tipping is customary. A general guideline is to tip 10-15% of the trek cost, shared between guides and porters.

Everest View Trek | Gokyo Lake Trek | Gokyo Chola Pass EBC Trek | Everest Three Pass Trek | Jiri To Everest Base Camp Trek | Island Peak Climbing | Lobuche Peak Climbing | Mera And Island Peak Climbing | Mera Peak Climbing | Baruntse Expedition | Everest Helicopter Tour

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