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Everest base camp helicopter tour vs Everest base camp trek with helicopter return, which one to choose?

Everest Base Camp is a very popular trek in Nepal and all around the world. Many local and foreign tourists are very interested in the tour or trek of Everest Base Camp. The amazing helicopter ride adds some more sweetener to the EBC trek.

Hence there are two types of EBC trek complete Helicopter tour or EBC trek with Helicopter return. So let’s explain both of these scenarios in detail.

EBC Helicopter Tour

The Everest Base Camp Helicopter tour is one of the most popular tour package in Nepal. In the EBC Helicopter tour, you will board the Helicopter at Kathmandu International Airport and then fly to Lukla to refuel.

Once you refuel, you will fly towards Everest Base Camp and enjoy one of the best breathtaking views from the sky. After flying over 3000m, you will land in Kalapatthar to see one of the most scenic views of the mountain ranges that will be engraved in your memory.

Once you take pictures in Kalaphattar, you will land at Everest view Hotel for one of the delicious breakfasts or lunch. After that meal, you will head back to the Helicopter, land in Lukla to refuel again, and then return to Kathmandu.

Major Highlights

  • 360-degree Panoramic view of Mount Everest in the Hell ride from Lukla to Everest Base Camp.
  • A lovely view from the peak of Kalaphattar.
  • A delicious meal and lunch package in the Everest View Hotel.
  • Amazing view of mountain peaks like Lhotse, Nuptse, and Mount Amadablam.

Everest Base Camp Trek with Helicopter Return

Everest Base Camp Trek with Helicopter Return is one of the most popular treks in Nepal. On this trek, you will get the best of the trekking world and enjoy fantastic fun on the helicopter ride.

Your trek starts with the flight from Kathmandu to Lukla and then to Phakding, Manzo, and then towards Namche Bazaar. You will stay in Namche for the day and then go toward Kalaphattar, where you will click some of the best pictures. After a couple of days, you will reach Everest Base Camp, and when you complete your exploration, you will then return to Kathmandu or Lukla. The Everest Base Camp Trek with Heli return will last 10-12 days. You will experience adventure with beautiful mountain ranges around you and also endure some of the friendly cultures of the Sherpa settlement up close and personal.

Major Highlights

  • Unique Sherpa culture and tradition to enjoy.
  • Enjoy some of the best remote villages in Phakding, Namche, Tengboche, and Dingboche.
  • Exciting Helicopter ride from Everest Base Camp back to Kathmandu or Lukla based on the itinerary.

Difference Between EBC Heli Tour and EBC Trek with Heli return

There are generally two choices to enjoy Everest Base Camp in a helicopter. It’s either a complete EBC helicopter tour or an Everest base camp trek with a Helicopter return. So let’s discuss the difference between them, which will determine which one you will choose.

Personal Safety

One of the vital aspects of every trek or tour is personal safety. Tourists are very prepared for their safety and hygiene and often do not take any risks. Hence, it is necessary to understand that EBC heli tour is safer than the complete EBC trek with a Helicopter return.

In the EBC trek with Helicopter return, you must travel from Kathmandu to Lukla and trek towards Periche, Namche, Tengaun, and Everest Base Camp. Hence trekking at these altitudes will increase altitude sickness, Khumbu cough, and other challenges.

However, the Everest Base Camp heli tour is relatively safe and lasts only 4-5 hours. You will also get a delicious view and meal in the Everest view hotel and then return to Kathmandu via Helicopter, which will be a fantastic experience.

Physical Fitness

EBC trek with Helicopter return naturally requires a high level of physical fitness, stamina, and mental endurance to reach the destination with a trek every day for about 8 hours. Hence it is essential to be ready and determined and recognize if you can complete the trek. 

For people who do not possess the physical fitness or mental endurance to trek, the EBC Helicopter tour is the appropriate option.


Another factor to consider when choosing between an EBC Helicopter tour or an EBC trek with a Helicopter return is the budget or price. Despite being a short-distance tour, the EBC Helicopter tour is much cheaper per person than the trek with a Helicopter return.

Since the budget is considered for Helicopter while visiting EBC and then returning, on the other hand, during the trek, you will only ride a helicopter while retuning, so the price is almost half of the EBC with a complete Helicopter tour.


Another aspect to consider, whether during a Helicopter tour or trekking, is the kind of experience you want to have. During an EBC helicopter tour, you will experience one of the most serene views from the top. Still, you will miss out on a unique trekking experience and meeting tons of local people, staying in teahouses, involving in culture and tradition. In terms of the helicopter ride, you will experience it when you return to Kathmandu anyway.

Hence, if you want to experience a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, choose the complete Everest Base Camp Trek with Helicopter return.

Time Constraint

Another aspect to consider while choosing any helicopter trekking or tour packages of EBC is the time. EBC trek with Helicopter return will take 10-12 days to complete, whereas if you choose the EBC Helicopter tour, it will be complete in 4-5 hours.

Hence, if you have a free schedule and can enjoy up to two weeks, you can choose the EBC trek with helicopter return, but if you do not have time, you can enjoy the mountainous adventure of the Everest Base Camp Helicopter tour.


Hence, the Everest Base Camp trek with Helicopter return or just Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tour is fun and provides unique travel experiences and adventures.

Regarding which to choose, it depends on your time, physical fitness, and what kind of experience you want to have.

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