Explore the Everest region by foot and by air in this unique Nepali tour. You'll have time to wander Kathmandu's windy, eclectic streets before heading to Lukla to begin your trekking adventure. Pass through local villages, cross thrilling suspension bridges in the verdant Dudh Koshi Valley, and spend some time in the charm and history of Namche Bazaar. You'll end your trip with a once in a lifetime flight aboard a private helicopter for a tour of the Himalaya, including a stop at Everest Base Camp.

Highlights

  • Explore the vibrant bustle of Kathmandu, the Nepali capital
  • Trek through villages and the stunning Dudh Koshi Valley
  • Discover the beauty of Sagarmatha National Park en route to Namache Bazaar
  • Experience a private helicopter tour of the Himalaya, including Everest Base Camp

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Welcome to Kathmandu! Kathmandu
Day 2 Fly from Kathmandu to Lukla, Trek to Phakding (8,563 feet / 2,610 m) Phakding
Day 3 Trek from Phakding to Namche Bazaar (11,290 feet / 3,440 m) Namche Bazaar
Day 4 Acclimatization day in Namche Bazaar Namche Bazaar
Day 5 Helicopter from Namche Bazaar to Kathmandu via Everest Base Camp Kathmandu
Day 6 Depart Kathmandu  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Kathmandu!

The cityscape of Kathmandu and Boudhanath Stupa
The cityscape of Kathmandu and Boudhanath Stupa

Flying into Kathmandu, you'll have views over the valley, the Himalaya, and the terraced fields below. After completing customs, a representative will be waiting to greet you outside the airport and to guide you through the initial culture shock of Kathmandu’s narrow, winding streets to your hotel.

Once you've settled in, head out and explore the city. Kathmandu Durbar Square is a great place to start your exploration, where you'll walk through narrow alleyways teeming with small shops, ancient temples, and local restaurants. If you want to stretch your legs, Swayambhunath, the white stupa rising above the valley, is the perfect spot to catch the sunset over the valley.

In the evening, the tourist hub of Thamel is a good place to grab your first meal, with a variety of restaurants to chose from offering both Western and local Nepali dishes.

Day 2: Fly from Kathmandu to Lukla, Trek to Phakding (8,563 feet / 2,610 m)

Experience landing at Lukla's mountain airport
Experience landing at Lukla's mountain airport

After breakfast, you'll fly to Lukla (30 minutes) and land on a steep mountain runway, which brings you to the start of your trek. Try to get a window seat on the left-hand side of the plane and keep your camera close: the flight takes you between mountains and through valleys, with great views of the Himalaya on clear days.

You'll then trek a short distance today through local villages, where you'll likely encounter fellow trekkers, locals, and yaks with their tinkling bells. (Having an easy first day is intentional, allowing you time to get used to the higher elevation.)

Continue through the Dudh Koshi Valley on a well-marked trail and stay overnight in Phakding. 

Trekking time: 3-4 hours (4.7 miles / 7.5 km)

Day 3: Trek from Phakding to Namche Bazaar (11,290 feet / 3,440 m)

The Hillary suspension bridge before the climb up to Namche Bazaar
The Hillary suspension bridge before the climb up to Namche Bazaar

After breakfast in Phakding, you'll start a steady and steep incline towards Namche. This is a challenging day as you'll start to feel the altitude. The route also consists of a number of high suspension bridges over the Dudh Kosi River that you need to cross.  

Just beyond the village of Monjo is the entrance to the Sagarmatha National Park, which was set-up in order to protect and preserve the fragile mountain environment (your guide will cover your permit fees here). The trail gets steeper along the way, and if the weather is clear, you will get the first glimpses of Mount Everest.

When you arrive at Namche, settle into your accommodations and explore the town. Namche is a great place to stock up on supplies as there are numerous small shops selling snacks and trekking gear, as well as restaurants and bars. If here on a weekend, check out the Saturday market—a meeting place for the Hindu traders from the lowlands and the Tibetan yak caravans that have crossed the glaciated Nangpa La

Trekking time: 4-6 hours (4.6 miles / 7.4 km)

Day 4: Acclimatization day in Namche Bazaar

View of Khunde and Khumjung villages
View of Khunde and Khumjung villages

Today is a rest day so take time to relax and sleep in. Namche is tucked away between two ridges amid the giant peaks of the Khumbu and has an abundance of lodges, tea shops, and souvenir markets. It is an ideal place to spend a day acclimatizing to the higher altitude.

To speed up the acclimatization process, you can also head to the Khunde Hospital, set-up by Sir Edmund Hillary, or take a highly-recommended one-hour walk up to the Everest View Hotel above Namche for views of notable peaks like Ama Dablam, Nuptse, Lhotse, and Everest. There are also good views from the Sherpa Culture Museum just above town.

Day 5: Helicopter from Namche Bazaar to Kathmandu via Everest Base Camp

A memorable Heli tour experience in the Himalayas.
A memorable Heli tour experience in the Himalayas

Today, you'll explore the Everest region by helicopter. After an early breakfast, you'll be picked up in Namche for a private helicopter tour of the Himalaya. You'll get aerial views of Ama Dablam, Thamserku, Kantega, Lhotse, Nuptse, and stop at Everest Base Camp before flying all the way back to Kathmandu.

Upon arrival in Kathmandu, you'll be transferred to your hotel and can enjoy the rest of the afternoon and evening on your own, seeing anything you may have missed at the beginning of your trip.

Day 6: Depart Kathmandu

The all-seeing eyes of Buddha at Swayambhunath
The all-seeing eyes of Buddha at Swayambhunath

It's time to say farewell to Nepal. Enjoy your last moments in Kathmandu with breakfast in a café, a final stroll through the narrow alleys and temples, and some final souvenir shopping. A driver will be waiting for you at your hotel to take you to the airport for your return flight home. It's best to be at the airport at least two hours prior to departure.