Short Everest Base Camp Trek with Helicopter Return to Lukla

  • Short Everest Base Camp Trek with Helicopter Return to Lukla


Everest Base Camp Trek – Helicopter Return – 12 Days

A gripping Heli-Trek-Tour that leaves you with a sense of accomplishment…

If you are cramped on time, then this fantastic Heli-trek might just be right up your alley. This heli-trip takes you to the base of the Mother of all Peaks, Mt. Everest. Your scintillating venture begins in the ancient valley of Kathmandu. The next day we board a flight for Lukla where we begin our walk in the footsteps of legends gone by. We hike through pretty Sherpa villages as the sweet sounds of nature ring in our ears on our way to the happening capital of the Khumbu region – Namche. As we ascend the heights above the timberline we begin gasping for breath with the astonishing views that slowly come into eye range; opening up vistas to some of the biggest peaks on the planet – Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse Pumori, Thamserku and other famous peaks. Our program is designed to give you enough time to acclimatize on your way to Everest Base Camp with a climb up to towering Kalapathar. The curtain falls on this dramatic journey with a chopper flight from Gorekshep to Lukla for your onward flight to Kathmandu, with lasting memories for a lifetime. 

Your Itinerary in detail to get you set for the journey:



Itinerary Details

Day 01: Your arrival in Kathmandu at (1,350m/4,428ft) – overnight hotel

We hope it’s a fine day when you are flying into Kathmandu, if it is; your tour begins right from the clouds itself. The sights from the windows of your jet shows us shimmering snow-capped mountain peaks spread out below us, giving us the first thrills of a vacation just begun, sparking off a whole reaction of unforgettable experiences that hang on to us for a long while. As soon as our plane hits the tarmac of Tribhuwan International Airport, a Unique Adventures office representative and driver will be on standby to meet and greet us at the airport and escort us to our hotel. The rep will help us check into our designated hotel while we enjoy our welcome drinks, and then we go to our rooms and refresh ourselves. The rest of our time is free to stroll down the neighborhood and get familiar with our surroundings. At eventide, we will meet our senior trek guide who will brief the group about details related to our trip. This is our first overnight in the ancient city of temples, probably the most in the world. 

Day 02: Fly to Lukla, trek to Phakding (2,610m/8,563ft): 25 minutes flight; 8km, 3 - 4 hours trek

After breakfast; we take an early morning regular flight to Lukla by a Twin Otter plane. It is here, what we’d like to call ‘Hillary’s airport’ from where all Everest treks and expeditions begin. 

At the STOL airport, we meet the rest of our team in Lukla and start trekking from hereabouts. We hike on a trail that gradually descends to Cheplung village from where we get a glimpse of Mt. Khumbila, a sacred mountain which has never been climbed. From here, we gradually descend until Phakding. We do an overnight in Phakding.

Day 03: Phakding to Namche Bazaar (3,438m/11,280 ft): 11km, 5 - 6 hours

After a good breakfast at Phakding, we cross the green/aqua waters of the Dudh Kosi and pass through the gates of the Sagamartha National Park. We cross and re-cross the river on high airy suspension bridges. Beyond Monjo is the entrance to the Sagarmatha National Park which was set-up in order to protect and preserve the fragile mountain environment. We then take a steep hike to Namche. If the weather is clear, we get the first glimpse of Mt Everest. Namche is the main trading village in the Khumbu and has a busy Saturday market - a meeting place for the Hindu traders from the lowlands and the Tibetan yak caravans that have crossed the glaciated Nangpa La. Namche is a gateway to the Khumbu. This prosperous town has restaurants, shops, banks, a currency exchange kiosk, ATMs and bakeries churning out fresh hot bakes every half hour. Despite the harsh geographical location, Namche also has on offer cyber cafes and pool halls to refreshen you mentally from grueling hikes on the trail. Some trekkers even compare Namche to Las Vegas’ sin city of the Khumbu! But most tend to disagree with this heady opinion.  After lunch you will have enough time to stroll around the Tibetan trader's stalls or the Sherpa shops in search of a deal. This is where we crash out for the night with all meals included. 

Day 04: Namche Bazaar: acclimatization

Namche is tucked away between two ridges amidst the giant peaks of the Khumbu and has an abundance of lodges, tea shops and souvenir shops. It is an ideal place to spend a day, acclimatising to the new altitude and the thin oxygen in the air before we head off for a stroll towards Syangboche. 

To acclimatize, we also have options to visit Khunde Hospital set-up by Sir Edmund Hillary, or take a one hour walk up to the Everest View Hotel above Namche for some stunning sunset views of Ama Dablam, Nuptse, Lhotse and Everest. We then go to Khumjung where we visit a school established by Sir Edmund Hillary. We begin our hike after enjoying lunch; by passing the route of Khunde. There are also good views from the National Park Centre and Museum just above the town. After going through our acclimatization drills, we head down to our lodge for some beers and a well earned sleep. 

Day 05: Namche Bazaar to Tengboche (3,870m/12,694ft): 10km, 5 - 6 hours

After breakfast in Namche, we start our trek towards Tengboche enjoying superb views of Mt. Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, Ama Dablam and close up views of Thamserku, too.

Our trek follows on a gradual trail with few ups and downs overlooking magnificent views of the great Himalaya. Along the way we can spot wild lives like pheasant, musk deer, or a herd of Himalayan Thar. The trail goes gradually down up to Kyangjuma. The path eventually reaches Sanasa which is the major trail junction to Gokyo valley and Everest Base Camp. The track then follows through pine forests and after we cross the airy prayer flags festooned bridge over Dudh Kosi River, we reach Phunki Tenga, a small settlement with a couple of teahouses and a small army post amidst the alpine woods. After having a relaxed lunch at Phunki Tenga we then have a little tough climb steep up through the pine forests before we reach Tengboche. Tengboche is a great place for close up views of Ama-Dablam, Nuptse, and Everest. This is the biggest Buddhist Monastery in the Khumbu region. We can enter and strike up a chat with the monks as we listen to their mantras. This is a tranquil area to spend the night. 

Day 06: Tengboche to Dingboche (4,360 m/14,300 ft): 9km, 5 - 6 hours

After a hot breakfast this morning, we hit the trail with a steady ascent. The dramatic views of Everest, Lhotse, Kantega, Thamserku, Ama Dablam and Nuptse give us gripping displays throughout our hike today. We head down to cross the Imja Khola before an easy climb along a spacious, open trail to the small village of Pangboche (4000m). We will do a slight detour to visit the Pangboche Gompa - the oldest monastery (around 300 years old) which is believed to have introduced Buddhism in the Khumbu Region. We cross the river again and then gradually trek up to Dingboche, situated just beneath the impressive Ama Dablam. This is where we haul up for the night.  

Day 07: A day to acclimatize and rest at Dingboche

Today you can go slow and easy with your morning, at your pace. Dingboche has always been an ideal stopover for trekkers and climbers heading up to Mt. Everest, Ama Dablam or Imja Tse. It’s good to haul up for some rest to get used to the thinning air. But rest means we ought not to sleep out the day. We need to move around a bit. The village is lovely with an array of fields enclosed by stone walls to protect barley, buckwheat and potatoes from the cold wind and grazing animals. We spend a day at Dingboche for acclimatization. We have options to take day hikes to either Nagarjun Hill or Chukkhung Valley for some great views of Makalu, Lhotse, Cholatse, Tawache, Ama Dablam and Island peak. Towards twilight we can return to our lodges for some rest and perhaps catch up on some reading or do some washing. We bunk out hereabouts for the night. 

Day 08: Dingboche to Lobuche (4940 m/16,207 ft): 7km, 5-6 hours

After breakfast, we begin our day with a gradual climb to Duglha at the end of the terminal moraine of the Khumbu Glacier. From here on we begin to gain altitude and it is important that we move at a slow, steady pace. We soon begin to notice the slopes are pretty barren now with no vegetation as we move above the timberline. Views of different peaks, such as Cholatse and Lobuche, unfold before us in this distinct and magnificent landscape. 

From here, we climb up a steep trail to Chupki Lhara, where we stumble upon an array of stones with prayer flags used as memorials to Scott Fischer (American mountaineer) and 10-time Everest submitter Babu Chiri Sherpa (Nepali mountain guide) who died on an expedition to climb Everest. Next up, we continue to the Khumbu Glacier moraine and find ourselves upfront with several famous peaks - Khumbutse, Lingtren, Pumori and Mahalangur Himal. The trail then fades away as we follow the valley to Lobuche. We do an overnight in Lobuche.  

Day 09: Lobuche to Gorak Shep (5,170 m/16,961ft), visit Everest Base Camp (5,364 m/17,594 ft): 13km, 7-8 hours

Today, after a good steamy breakfast, we trek flanking the Khumbu Glacier as the path winds over the rocky moraine towards the settlement of Gorak Shep. Hereabouts, we are high up, virtually; among the glaciers of the planet's highest peaks. We take the path to Everest Base Camp through Gorak Shep which was once a big Lake. As we plod straight ahead, we come across the Indian army mountaineers' memorials. The route from here can be tricky and messy; so, it is significant that we follow our lead Sherpa carefully. The hike can be arduous due to thin air as we go to higher elevations. We pass through wobbly dunes, a moraine and streams before reaching the Everest Base Camp. As we reach Everest Base Camp, we see a whole lot of colourful tents of mountaineers that look unique in bright colors against the dullness of gray surroundings (especially in the spring). From this camp we get superb views of Nuptse, Khumbuste and the Pumori peaks. After soaking in the base camp, we get back to Gorak Shep for a well earned and much needed night's rest. Overnight in Gorak Shep.

Day 10:  Gorak Shep to Kala Pathar, (5,545m/18,192ft) back to Gorak Shep - fly to Lukla by Helicopter: 3 km, 3-4 hours trek

We wake at the break of dawn today with some piping hot coffee. It must be an early morning departure amid pre-dawn darkness and cold temperatures (-10 to -14 C). Plus, there’s a likely chance for biting chilly winds which are pretty common hereabouts.  ‘Kala Pathar’ is actually a Hindi name and translates to "black rock". It’s from these black rocks atop the mountain where the views leave your senses stunned to the core with the magnificent beauty that surrounds you. Nature is alive and talking to us hereabouts. This is not a metaphor. Most eyes are hypnotised on the mass of Everest and its rocky ramparts upfront before us. Many of the famed ascent routes are pretty clear. Below us the Khumbu Glacier meanders towards the icefall and Western Cwm. We get bird’s eye views of the area where expeditions set up their base camps but the actual site was at Lake Camp, now we know it as Gorak Shep. Take in the sights as far as your eyes can go and soak it in. for many this is a ‘once in a lifetime journey’. The view south and our route out, is particularly striking. We take as many pictures as we can. After spending some prime time here, we make the return trek to Gorek Shep for a hot breakfast. After breakfast, we will be airlifted on a scenic sky tour to Lukla for a restful overnight.

Day 11: We fly to Kathmandu

Most flights from Lukla to Kathmandu are scheduled early morning to avoid the strong winds. It’s a scenic flight from Lukla to Kathmandu for about thirty five minutes. We touch down at Kathmandu and a Unique Adventure vehicle will be on standby to escort you to your hotel. But please note, sometimes the flight can be delayed or cancelled in the mountain regions of this type due to inclement weather and other unpredictable reasons beyond our control. Our guests are expected to be patient and understanding in such situations. After reaching Kathmandu, we can take rest or do some souvenir shopping. If we want to explore any other areas of Kathmandu, we may do that today. Our guides can help you with both souvenirs shopping or sightseeing. There will be a farewell dinner in the evening to celebrate the successful completion of our high flying journey. Overnight in Kathmandu

Day 12: Departure for that place we love calling ‘home sweet home’.

After breakfast, our rep and office vehicle will be on standby at your hotel to transfer you to the airport for your connecting flight home. Serving you was an honour and pleasure. We at Unique Adventure International will treasure the bonds of our friendship created over the time you spent with us and we thank you for choosing us as your travel operator and visiting our incredible country Nepal. We know that trekking in this striking region of the Khumbu [Everest region] will give you lifetime memories of a vacation well enjoyed. Adieu friends! Till we meet again.

Trip Inclusion

What is included?

  • Airport pickup and drop off, upon arrival and departure in Kathmandu (International and domestic both).
  • Pre-trek briefing.
  • Hotel accommodation in Kathmandu with breakfast as per the programme. 
  • 1 professional and friendly, A class government licensed and well English speaking mountain guide.
  • 1 well experienced English speaking assistant guide if the group size exceeds 5+ persons.
  • Well experienced and equipped trekking porter/s (one porter carry for 2 guest's luggage, 20 kgs - 25kgs).
  • Food during the trek (full board with breakfast, lunch, and dinner).
  • Guesthouse accommodation during the trek.
  • All necessary trekking permits: Sagarmatha National Park, Khumbu Pashang Lhamu Trek Card and Trekkers' Information Management System (TIMS) fee.
  • Internal flight Kathmandu - Lukla - Kathmandu for guest and guide inclusive with all taxes and transfers.
  • Helicopter flight Gorakh Shep - Lukla.
  • In the worst case, assist with all rescue and evacuation arrangements.
  • Unique Adventure sleeping bag and down jacket, duffel bag, area trekking map.
  • First aid medical kit, Oximeter to check pulse, heart rate, and oxygen saturation at higher altitude.
  • All applicable taxes as per the government rules and regulations.
  • All organizational requirements.

What is not included?

  • Nepal visa (can obtain at the airport or immigration counters at the borders: USD 30 for 15 days and USD 50 for 30 days and two passport size photographs is required).
  • Your international flight to and from Nepal.
  • Travel insurance (for helicopter evacuation if needed whilst trekking).
  • Personal expenses such as laundry, telephone, internet/e-mail, etc.
  • Bar and beverage bills, tea / coffee, drinking water, hot showers, battery charger and wifi / inernet.
  • Tips for guide, porter, driver.


Recommended Gear Lists for Everest Base Camp Trek :

  • Good wind/rain jacket
  • Warm fleece jacket or jersey
  • Good boots, either light-weight trekking boots or light full leather boots
  • Good -20 Sleeping bag (which can be rented or buy in Kathmandu)
  • A comfortable day pack, preferably with a waistband.
  • Fleece jacket or pullover
  • Fleece Wind-Stopper jacket (optional)
  • Waterproof (preferably breathable fabric) shell jacket
  • Down vest and/or jacket (optional)
  • Lightweight gloves
  • Heavyweight gloves or mittens with a waterproof shell outer
  • Sun hat or scarf
  • Light balaclava or warm fleece hat
  • Sunglasses with UV protection
  • T-shirts
  • Underwear
  • Hiking shorts
  • Lightweight cotton long pants
  • Light and expedition weight thermal bottom
  • Fleece or wool pants
  • Waterproof (preferably breathable fabric) shell pants
  • Thin, lightweight inner socks
  • Thick, warm wool hiking socks
  • Hiking boots with spare laces
  • Camp shoes (sneakers and/or sandals)

Other necessary equipment:

  • Headlamp (e.g. Petzl Zoom) with spare bulbs and batteries
  • Small pad or combination lock-to-lock trek bag
  • Basic First Aid Kit (We also provide comprehensive first aid medical kit and Oximeter)
  • Large plastic bags - for keeping items dry inside trek bag
  • Daypack (approximately 2500 to 3000 cubic inches)
  • Water bottles (2 bottles recommended)
  • Toiletries
  • Small wash towel


We would like you to know that although we try to follow the program given above, at times local trails or weather conditions may compel us to make slight changes if necessary. The itinerary may also vary slightly subject to our trekkers' acclimatization rates. This odyssey goes into untamed territory above the timberline, so we seek to request maximum flexibility if and when required for the safety of your trip and your life. Thank you so much for your understanding. We value your precious life.

Trip Price

US $ 2,990 per person

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Quick Fact of the Trip

  • Trip Duration : 12 days
  • Best Season : Spring & Autumn
  • Country : Nepal
  • Min Altitude : 2610meter
  • Max Altitude : 5545meter
  • Trip starts : Kathmandu
  • Trip ends : Kathmandu
  • Group size : 1

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