Everest Helicopter Tour has now become a popular way of experiencing the world’s tallest mountain. If you do not want to climb the 8848 meters high mountain but still want to see it, the Everest Helicopter Tour is something you should undertake.
This Helicopter tour takes you to Everest Base Camp. You can trek to the base camp, but it takes weeks to do so and is tiring as well. So, the Helicopter Tour is ideal for you if you want to have a glimpse of the mountain in a short time and with the least effort.
Flying in the Everest region with a breathtaking view of peaks including Everest, glaciers, and lakes can provide you with a refreshing and relaxing experience that you will like to recall for a lifetime.
Without any delay, I will take you through the details about the tour so that you can make an informed decision about taking the tour. Important information is obtained when we raise important questions. So, let’s do it.
What is the Everest Helicopter Tour?
Everest Helicopter Tour is a helicopter journey that takes you to the foot of Mt Everest–the Everest Base Camp. Situated at Kala Pathar (5545 meters), the base camp is an ideal place to have a standstill view of Everest. People generally board from Kathmandu and the route of the tour is roughly like Kathmandu-Lukla-Kala Pathar-Kathmandu.
Helicopters stop at Lukla for refuelling and then head towards Kala Pathar. However, you can take the tour starting at any place within Nepal provided that it may cause fluctuation in standard costs of the tour.
The tour generally takes 4 hours to complete. You will be given 10-15 minutes of time to stay at the base camp. Since you reach the base camp at a height of 5545 meters within a few hours, you will not have adapted well to the low oxygen level and cold climate of high altitude.
So staying for more than 15 minutes at the camp can cause you altitude sickness. After that, you will have breakfast at Hotel Everest View–the hotel at the highest altitude in the world before returning back to Kathmandu or any place where you began your journey.
What is the cost of the tour?
Itinerary of the tour and your preference between the PRIVATE and SHARED tours determine the cost of the tour to a great extent. If you begin your tour from Kathmandu or Lukla, it is going to be quite cheap for you.
There is a common misconception that Everest Helicopter Tours are costly. But the truth is that PRIVATE Helicopter Tours can be costly, whereas SHARED Helicopter Tours is much more affordable.
PRIVATE Tours can cost as much as 4,200 per person. As many as five people can be accommodated in a single Helicopter Tour, but if you want to take PRIVATE Tour, you can have the comfort of deciding the number of people (not exceeding five) in the helicopter by booking the whole helicopter.
In the SHARED Helicopter Tours, you team up with four people which reduces the cost of the tour to a great extent. The cost per person for a SHARED Tour is about $ 1,000.
What will you see and do?
As soon as the tour begins in the morning, you will start seeing beautiful scenes of Hilly and Himalayan regions of Nepal.
Observe Hilly and Mountain region of Nepal
On your way and back, you will see the snow-covered mountains and green hills. You will see the thin human settlements throughout your journey. Mera Peak, Kursum, Kangaru, Kantega, Mutspe, and the Island Peak are among the numerous peaks you can see from the helicopter. During your journey from Lukla to Kala Pathar, you will see the Sherpa settlements of Tengboche, Dingboche, and Gorakshep.
Land at Kala Pathar
You will land at Kala Pathar. The foot of the world’s tallest mountain is rocky. You can take a long breath at this chilling place.
See Mt Everest and Capture its photographs
You can have a standstill view of Mt Everest from Kala Pathar. You will see the glittering Everest right from its foot. You can capture photographs of the mountain and cherish the memory for the rest of your life.
See the highest-altitude freshwater lakes in the world
Gokyo lakes, a group of six lakes in the Everest region, are the highest-altitude freshwater lakes in the world. You can have a sight of these lakes during your journey.
See Khumbu Glacier
Khumbu Glacier, the glacier which flows from the Himalaya, is the world’s highest glacier. The slow-moving ice of this glacier is one of the major obstacles for Everest summiteers. You can see this glacier from the base camp at Kala Pathar.
How safe is the tour?
Safety of your tour matters. The tour begins early in the morning, usually at 6 am, so that the sky is clear and visibility is strong, marking a safe flight for you. The helicopter pilots have long experiences of flying in the region. So, they are pretty much used to the landscapes. B3+, B-3, and B-2 models of helicopters are used for the tour which makes your time in the air safe.
The Airport in Lukla, where the helicopter will stop for refuelling, is generally considered dangerous for airplanes. But with the helicopter flown by experienced pilots, your safety is ensured.
Many visitors consider health insurance before taking a tour given the tough climatic conditions at a high altitude. You can opt for that as well!
Who is the Helicopter Tour for?
This Helicopter Tour is for anyone! There are no age restrictions for taking the tour. Children, adults, and old people; all can take this memorable tour.
There are other ways of reaching the Everest Base Camp at Kala Pathar. Trekking from Jiri of Dolakha to the Base Camp takes about 20 days and trekking from Lukla to the Everest Base camp takes 14 days. The Helicopter Tour to Everest is for those who do not have enough time to trek through these trails.
Mountain Flights to Everest Region also provide a view of Everest and other attractions, but a flying aeroplane does not provide favourable conditions in order to see the mountain properly and take its photographs. So, the Helicopter Tour is for someone who wants to have a standstill view of Mt Everest and capture its photograph.
Above all, the tour is for someone who wants to have a glimpse of the beautiful mountain without having to expedite it. Also, if you are fond of natural wonders, there is no way you could miss this amazing tour.
When should you take the tour?
Helicopter Tours in Nepal are viable throughout the year. Spring (May) and Autumn (early September to late November) are the best seasons for taking a Helicopter Tour to Everest. No rain, average temperatures, clear sky, and strong visibility make these seasons favorable for any sort of activity in Nepal, including the Everest Helicopter Tour.
Monsoon is the season of rainfall in Nepal, but it does not rain all the time. Weather records are properly assessed before scheduling a helicopter tour. If there are signs of rainfall or lack of visibility, helicopter tours can be rescheduled during this season.
Summer is hot in Nepal, but in high altitudes, summer is not a problem at all. That is because the temperatures in the high altitude Himalaya are moderate during summer compared to other parts of the country.
Winter is also fine except the cold temperatures in high altitudes. But, you can tackle that if you equip yourself well with warm clothes and accessories.
Whichever the season be: Spring, Autumn, Summer, Monsoon or Winter, the weather of the day is a major factor affecting the tour. Sometimes it may rain during a Spring or Autumn day while a Monsoon day may be favorable for the tour. So, the season does not have much control over your time for taking the tour. However, if you prefer one season over the others, you should certainly go with your preference.
What preparations do you need to make?
You do not need a lot of preparations for the 4-hour tour. Moreover, the weight limits of the helicopters make it unfavorable for you to carry everything you want to. However, there are certain things you should not miss. I will list them down for you:
- Down jacket: At the high altitude, the temperature is relatively low during all seasons. So, having a down jacket can ensure your safety from the cold.
- Sunscreen: Although the temperature is low, you are more susceptible to sunburns at a high altitude. So, carrying sunscreen with you can be of help.
- Drinking water: Carrying a bottle or two of water can be helpful since getting water is not easy at the height of 5000 meters from the sea level.
- Camera: A camera would be very helpful if you want to have quality pictures of Everest and other attractions.
You may also want to have a light snack before joining the tour. Joining the tour early in the morning with an empty stomach can cause sickness to some people. You’d better avoid that. You might also want to carry some dry fruits with you.
When people hear about the Everest Helicopter Tour, they sometimes misunderstand that the tour would take them to the top of Mt Everest. But, the tour is about reaching the base camp of the mountain. Didier Delsalle, a French pilot, is the only person to fly a helicopter to the top of Everest. However, tour operators do not have permission to fly helicopters to the top of the mountain because of the high risk involved for both the chopper’s operation and passengers’ health.
Now you have all of the vital information about the tour in your hand. All you need to do is ask yourself whether the tour is for you or not. You can contact us if you have any confusion or query. An email will do!