The most delightful trekking in the globe- Everest Base Camp Trekking quenches the thirst of thrill seekers. The adventurous experience during the excursion is just mind-blowing, which escorts you to the awesome Himalayan paradise of the base camp of Mount Everest (aka Sagarmatha/Chhomolongma) at 5364 meters altitude and most amazing Himalayan viewpoint of Kalapatthar (5545 meters). The straightforward route holds 12 days hiking itinerary including a couple of rest and acclimatization breaks to adapt to the thin-air region.
Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tour, on the other hand, offers a lifetime experience in a single day. It is about a 4-hour round trip in total from the domestic airport of Kathmandu to EBC Kalapatthar and back to Kathmandu. To achieve the dream of exploring the top pinnacles, heli ride to EBC and Kalapatthar is the best way for the timely bounded people, family groups, and senior citizens. Thus, the tour is aptly called the alternative trip to EBC Trekking in the Khumbu region.
Let's talk about the epic excursion to Everest base camp. The trek kicks off from the Tenzing Hillary airport of Lukla (Kathmandu to Lukla is a 35-minute picturesque Himalayan flight). Often the porters join from Lukla, who safely carries your backpack.
Heading through the picturesque Sherpa valleys enchants trekkers. In the low altitude, Sherpa people grow potatoes and barley, which are the main agricultural products. During the trek, the tingling bells on the neck of the yaks that carry heavy loads exhibit the Himalayan caravan, a film by Eric Valley that was shot in the Dolpo valley.
Steel bridges on the EBC trail are nicely decorated with Buddhist prayer flags. Passing Phakding and Jorsalle, the Sagarmatha National Park begins, which is rich in flora and fauna.
Major flora in SNP: Almost a thousand floral species are found in the Sagarmatha National Park. The park can be divided into two parts in terms of floral beauty. The woods in the subalpine territory are dominated by fir, Himalayan birch, and rhododendron. Junipers and rhododendron exist at elevations of 4,000–5,000 m (13,000–16,000 ft). Mosses and lichens grow above 5,000 m (16,000 ft).
Major Fauna in SNP: the national park is home to more than 208 bird species, including the Impeyan pheasant, bearded vulture, snowcock, and alpine chough. The animal species include Himalayan Thar, Himalayan serow, and musk deer. The snow leopard can be found in elevations above 3,500 m (11,500 ft), and the Indian leopard wanders forests in lower elevations.
Namche Bazaar and Khumjung valley
Namche Bazaar is a picturesque town in the Khumbu region, located at 3440 meters altitude. It is also known as a Sherpa cultural hub and a commercial zone. The town remains bustling as it is the best point to take a rest and acclimatization break. Unlike other parts, trekkers spend a couple of days here. It becomes further exciting to explore the market and visit Khumjung village, which is a culturally blessed destination in the Everest region. The traditional pattern of the village is magnificent. Khumjung monastery, after all, exhibits the real cultural aura, which holds the purported yeti scalp (a mysterious snowman).
Pangboche and Tengboche
Pangboche and Tengboche are culturally blessed towns that date back centuries. Pangboche Monastery is taken as the oldest monastery in the entire Khumbu region, which was built in the 17th century. Also, the yeti skull can be seen in the Pangboche monastery.
Tengboche monastery is beautifully located below the shadow of Mount Ama Dablam. It is the highest-located monastery of this size in this region. The spiritual vibes that you can get from the monastery are just outstanding.
Located at an elevation of 4,410 meters (14,470 ft) above sea level in the Chhukung valley, Dingboche is a magnificent town to stop and acclimatize for trekkers to the Everest base camp. It has got a long stone wall, which surrounds the entire Chhukung valley that stops wind and is good for their crops.
Gorakshep, located at an elevation of 5,164 meters (16,942 ft) elevation, near Mount Everest base camp is the last human settlement you find on the EBC trekking trail. Trekkers often hike from Lobuche and reach Gorakshep during lunchtime. Then they hike to the dream destination of Everest base camp and back to Gorakshep. It is the same to hike to Kalapatthar.
Everest Base Camp and Kalapatthar
Everest base camp is located at 5364 meters altitude, which is a base for thrill-seekers. Not only mountaineering but also trekking to EBC is adventurous with the slippery trail and alpine altitude. Kalapatthar, on the other hand, is the best Himalayan viewpoint at 360 degrees, including Mount Everest (8848.86 meters), Lhotse, Makalu, Ama Dablam, and the surrounding stunning peaks.
Meals during Everest Base Camp Trekking
What would you like to have? Typical Nepali (Dal, Bhat, curry, pickle), Indian, Chinese, or continental? Every item is available on the trekking route to the Everest base camp. There are excellent hotels and restaurants that serve amazing meals that leave your mouth watering.
Hotels/lodges/tea houses: from basic standard to the facilitated hotels are there on the EBC Trekking route. All are nice, neat, and clean. The price range differs on the selections you make: dormitory, normal or attached room.
Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tour: How is it Different from the trek to EBC? Which one to take?
Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tour is a short program for epic journey lovers in Nepal. In the duration of 4 hours, you can enjoy the heli ride from Kathmandu to Kalapatthar flying over EBC and landing there. It is such a gratifying Himalayan viewpoint that you remain silent with a wide-open mouth, just adoring the incredible Himalayan vistas of Mount Everest and many other 8000-meter peaks. The route goes like Kathmandu-Lukla-Everest View Hotel (or Pheriche)-Kalapatthar-Lukla-Kathmandu.
To be honest, it's quite a tough job to tell exactly, which one to choose- EBC trekking or Everest Heli tour? If you are bounded by time or you have a family group with kids or senior citizens, you can choose the heli-ride option. If you have time and would prefer to explore the mystical Khumbu valley, the natural diversity, and the surroundings, set out for the Everest base camp trekking.
Best seasons for the EBC Trekking and EBC Helicopter Tour
March, April, and May
The days are warmer and wonderful weather prevails that makes the trekking to EBC gratifying. The spring season is the first season of trekking that welcomes thousands of trekkers to hike through the picturesque Sherpa valleys.
September, October, and November
Days and warmer and nights are cold from September to November. However, the magnificent weather and incredible Himalayan vistas during these months are seen as amazing. This is the autumn season, which is a festival time in Nepal.
December and January
For the trekking to Everest base camp, December and January are more adventurous due to the cold weather and probably the snowfall. However, if you want to experience a real adventure with less traffic, they are the best seasons.
The Everest Base Camp Helicopter tour is amazing in December and January. The views can be explored amazingly in crystal clear weather.