Most Popular Everest Base Camp Trek and Tour Packages For 2024

  • Updated on Dec 24, 2023
  • Rugged Trails Nepal
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Everest reigns supreme in Asian tourism, drawing thousands to its base camp. While some may say it's not for everyone, we'll delve into the easiest and most challenging routes to Nepal's Everest Base Camp. This distinction is crucial, as Everest straddles the border between Nepal and Tibet. The northern Tibetan base camp stands at 5,100 meters (16,900 ft), while Nepal's base camp reaches 5,364 meters (17,598 ft). Though both nations share the mountain, the peak itself lies within Nepal's territory. Here, the mountain is known as Sagarmatha, while Tibetans call it Qomolangma in their language.

But why is this majestic peak called Mount Everest? In 1865, the Royal Geographic Society officially bestowed the name "Mount Everest" upon it, based on the recommendation of Andrew Waugh, the then Surveyor General of India. Sir George Everest, Waugh's predecessor in the post, is the namesake for this iconic mountain. Read more about the fascinating history of Everest's name here: https://www.montana.edu/news/11464/everest

Why is the Nepal side of Everest Base Camp more popular than the Tibet side?

Deciding between the Nepal and Tibet sides for your Everest Base Camp trek can be tricky. While the answer isn't black and white, several factors contribute to Nepal's undeniable popularity. The first has historical significance. Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay's landmark ascent in 1953 from the Nepal side cemented its place in mountaineering history, fostering an emotional connection for many adventurers. The warm hospitality of the Nepalese people and the presence of the Sherpa community, renowned for their expertise and resilience, further enhance the experience.

However, practical considerations also play a role. Obtaining visas and permits for Tibet, under Chinese authority, can be more challenging and expensive than those for Nepal. Strict regulations and limited flight options add to the complexity. Conversely, the Nepal side offers a wider range of trek options and more flexible itineraries.

While the Tibet side boasts a shorter trek route to Base Camp, the high altitude of Lhasa necessitates additional acclimatization time, potentially extending the overall trip duration. Ultimately, the Nepal side's historical significance, cultural charm, relative ease of access, and diverse trekking options make it the preferred choice for most Everest Base Camp aspirants.

Here's an example of the Tibet side trek itinerary:

  • Day 1: Trek from Tingri to Lungthang (4,510 m)
  • Day 2: Acclimatization in Lhasa (3,656 m)
  • Day 3: Trek to Lamna La (5,150 m)
  • Day 4: Trek to Zommug (4,790 m)
  • Day 5: Trek to North Base Camp (5,150 m)

Table of Contents

After delving into fascinating facts about Mount Everest and its surrounding regions, let's shift gears and explore the most popular Everest Base Camp trek routes. Specifically, we'll focus on the best trekking options and tours offered on the Nepal side, leading you to the iconic base camp. We'll answer your burning questions related to this remarkable journey, so keep scrolling!

Here are some common inquiries we'll address:

  • Which route is best for reaching Everest Base Camp?
  • Which Everest Base Camp route is more popular?
  • What's the most popular trek to Everest?
  • Is there an easy trek to Everest Base Camp?
  • 14-day and 12-day Everest Base Camp trek itineraries
  • Can a beginner conquer the Everest Base Camp trek?
  • What's the most challenging Everest route?

By tackling these queries, we aim to empower you with the knowledge to choose the perfect Everest Base Camp adventure for your skill level and interests. Stay tuned for detailed insights on each route, its difficulty level, scenic highlights, and valuable tips for a successful journey!

Most Popular Everest Base Camp Tour and Trek Packages

Nepal boasts six captivating trekking trails and tour packages leading you to the foot of Mount Everest. If you're curious about the easiest option, let's start with the Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tour (4 hours).

Everest Base Camp, Kalapatthar Helicopter Tour (4 hours)

This luxurious helicopter tour offers a breathtaking glimpse of the iconic peak at an affordable price, especially when shared with a group. While the name suggests landing at the base camp, it's important to note that the helicopter only touches down below the Kalapathar viewpoint. This stunning location offers panoramic views of Everest without actually stepping onto the base camp itself.

So, is the helicopter tour a true landing experience? Not quite. Helicopters cannot land directly at the base camp due to safety regulations. Instead, they provide a 10-minute scenic hover near Kalapathar before landing in Pheriche village for a short shuttle or at the Everest View Hotel for an unforgettable breakfast overlooking the majestic peak (additional cost of $31). Group tour prices start at $1200 (excluding national park fees and airport taxes), while private charters begin at $4500 with the option to add a Kalapathar landing for $700 per couple. If you want to book a helicopter tour to Everest, simply reach us by email at info(@)ruggedtrailsnepal.com or by WhatsApp at +9779851065387, or follow the tour package link below for more details. The Everest Helicopter photos and tour videos are from our previous customers, so feel relaxed, and they're not downloaded from the internet.

Remember: While not a true landing experience, this helicopter tour offers a thrilling aerial perspective of Everest and surrounding peaks.

Don't miss: breakfast at the Everest View Hotel, with breathtaking views of Everest, for an additional $31.

The Jiri-to-Everest Base Camp Trek: A Classic Journey into the Himalayas

The Jiri to Everest Base Camp trek is a timeless route steeped in history. It was the route that Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay took on their illustrious ascent of Mount Everest in 1953. In 1985, the Swiss government, drawing on their Alpine expertise, helped build the Jiri road. This innovative project, designed to minimize landslides and erosion, aimed to set a model for other mountain highways in Nepal.

With the arrival of the road, Jiri became the gateway to the Everest trek, and its economy blossomed with tourism. But this wasn't its first connection to the mountain. Prior to the road, Jiri boasted an airport, operational from 1979 to 1979, serving as an aerial entry point for trekkers. Unfortunately, this vintage airstrip is no longer in use.

Despite the convenience of modern transportation options, the classic Jiri to Everest Base Camp trek remains popular for those seeking a more immersive Himalayan experience. It offers:

  • Greater acclimatization: The gradual ascent starting in Jiri allows for better acclimatization to the high altitude compared to flying directly to Lukla.
  • Diverse landscapes: The route traverses a wider range of scenery, from subtropical foothills to rhododendron forests and glacial valleys, compared to the Lukla approach.
  • Cultural immersion: Spending more time in the villages and towns along the way provides a deeper connection with Nepalese culture and hospitality.

The total duration of the Jiri to Everest Base Camp trek, including a flight back from Lukla, is typically around 20 days. We believe this route offers a more authentic and rewarding experience than simply flying to Lukla. If you have the time and desire to fully immerse yourself in the beauty of Nepal and its warm hospitality, consider embarking on this classic journey. Follow the link below for the Everest Base Camp Trek from Jiri.

14-Day Everest Base Camp Trek: A Popular Choice

The 14-day Everest Base Camp trek package remains the most popular option for visitors seeking to reach the iconic Everest Base Camp and Kalapathar. This exciting journey begins with a scenic 25-35 minute flight from either Manthali or Kathmandu airport to Lukla, often called the world's most dangerous airport. Let's delve deeper into the fascinating history of Lukla Airpor:

  • Built in 1964 under the supervision of Sir Edmund Hillary himself, the Lukla Airport's runway wasn't even paved until 2001.
  • Renamed in 2008 to honor Sir Edmund and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa, the pioneers of Everest's summit, it serves primarily passenger flights and cargo transportation to Lukla and surrounding villages due to the lack of road access.
  • The runway measures a modest 527 meters in length and 30 meters in width.

Can you reach Everest Base Camp in just 12 days?

Technically, yes, by omitting the two nights in Kathmandu included in the standard 14-day package. However, we strongly recommend the full 14-day itinerary as the most authentic and safe option. This allows for proper acclimatization, buffers against potential flight delays due to weather, and ensures a more enjoyable experience.

12-day Everet Trek itinerary will not cover Kathmandu stays, but the shorter durations often marketed by other companies may compromise safety and enjoyment. Remember, the 14-day trek with two days in Kathmandu is the established itinerary for a reason.

Of course, flexibility is key! At Rugged Trails Nepal, we understand that everyone's preferences are unique. If you desire an extra buffer day before or after your Lukla flight, we highly recommend it. Similarly, the 16-day Everest base camp trek package, once more popular, offered a full day of Kathmandu sightseeing and additional pre-trek preparation, which some may prefer. No matter your chosen duration, Rugged Trails Nepal is here to make your Everest adventure unforgettable!

Everest Base Camp Trek via Gokyo Lakes and Cho La Pass:

This breathtaking trek also begins with a scenic flight from Kathmandu or Manthali Airport to Lukla. You might wonder why we mention both airports. During peak seasons like April–May and October–November, Lukla flights operate from Manthali, while for the rest of the year, they depart from Kathmandu's domestic airport. Keep in mind that reaching Manthali takes a 4-hour drive from Kathmandu.

After following the classic route from Lukla to Namche Bazaar, the adventure diverges, taking you on a new path towards the enchanting Gokyo Valley and its pristine lakes. This route typically spans 15–17 days, including 2 nights in Kathmandu, making it slightly longer and more challenging than the 14-day classic trek. The main obstacle? Conquering the Cho La Pass, perched at a daunting 5,420 meters (17,782 feet).

But the challenge is met with unparalleled beauty. The stunning Gokyo Lakes, frequently regarded as even more magnificent than Kalapathar, will enthrall you. And guess what? This unique itinerary lets you experience both! Witness the breathtaking panoramas from both Kalapathar and Gokyo Ri viewpoints, soaking in the majestic Himalayan ranges and serene glacial landscapes.

This trek also immerses you in the vibrant Sherpa culture, with frequent encounters in charming villages along the way. If you seek a blend of challenge, breathtaking scenery, diverse landscapes, and rich cultural experiences, the Gokyo Valley Everest Base Camp trek is for you. Expect encounters with mountain ranges, glacial valleys, crystal-clear lakes, and the warmth of the Sherpa people. Remember, this route includes a convenient loop that returns to Namche Bazaar after visiting Everest Base Camp, Lobuche, Pheriche village, Pangboche village, and the iconic Tengboche Monastery.

Do you offer a pre-designed Gokyo Valley Everest Base Camp Trek package?

Absolutely! We have a detailed 17-day itinerary listed on our website, starting at only 1720 USD. This package includes:

  • 2 nights of accommodation in Kathmandu
  • 14 nights of accommodation during the trek
  • All meals throughout the trek
  • Experienced Sherpa guides and porters
  • Roundtrip Lukla flight tickets
  • All ground transportation
  • Trekking maps, duffle bags, etc.

Please note that the price may vary slightly depending on group size. For a personalized quote and more information, simply send us an email or follow the link below to browse the full Gokyo Everest Base Camp trek details and itinerary. Wait before scrolling We have an exciting 18-day Everest Base Camp Yoga Trek journey that covers the same routes but with meditation and yoga while hiking. Trip Yoga Trek itinerary and dates are fixed for twice a year, so if you want to join, check out the dates and call your friends to join on the spiritual journey of Everest Base Camp. If you are thinking of where to buy trekking gear, you can buy it here in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Everest Base Camp 3 High Passes Trek: A Challenge Like No Other

The 3 High Passes Trek stands out as one of the most difficult Everest Base Camp treks and tour packages, and guides even rank it as the most challenging in Nepal. Nicknamed the "Everest Circuit" for its resemblance to the popular Annapurna Circuit, it surpasses its counterpart in sheer difficulty, often reaching the "Extreme" level on trek scales. The challenge lies in conquering three colossal passes over 5,000 meters: Kongma La (5,535m), Cho La (5,420m), and Renjo La (5,340m).

The three high passes, exceeding 5,000 meters each, are the heart of the challenge.

  • Kongma La Pass (5,535 m/18,159 ft) is the highest of the three, offering stunning views of the Himalayas.
  • Cho La Pass (5,420 m/17,782 ft) is a demanding climb with steep ascents and descents.
  • Renjo La Pass (5,340 m/17,520 ft): Renowned for its breathtaking panorama of Gokyo Valley, it is considered by many to surpass even Gokyo Ri and Kalapathar.

But the reward is unmatched. Renjo La, before reaching the Gokyo Valley, is touted as the most breathtaking viewpoint, surpassing even Gokyo Ri, Kalapatthar, and Kong Ma La. While demanding, the trek traverses unique ecosystems, showcasing diverse flora and fauna, including the elusive Himalayan snow leopard. You'll encounter stunning lakes, glacial valleys, traditional Sherpa villages, and sacred Buddhist monasteries and stupas along the way.

If you seek a rigorous and unforgettable challenge, the 3 High Passes Trek awaits. This 20-day adventure, including 3 nights in Kathmandu and 16 nights in the Everest region, requires experienced guiding. Our expert Sherpas will navigate the trails while you focus on pushing your limits and soaking in the incredible scenery.

Though not technically challenging, the winter and spring seasons necessitate gaiters, crampons, and hiking poles. Be prepared for the unpredictable mountain weather, and remember, our itinerary prioritizes proper acclimatization for a safe and successful journey.

Whether you're a solo female trekker, a group adventurer, or simply someone seeking a life-changing experience, we understand your needs and will do our best to ensure your safety and enjoyment. With us, you're in good hands. Click below for the Everest High Passes Trek itinerary and price details.

Read inspiring stories of solo female trekkers who conquered this challenge with our guidance, and see how we consistently strive to provide the best possible experience for every adventurer. "Everest Three Passes made me feel everything at once"

Everest Base Camp Trek with Helicopter Fly-Out: Luxury Adventure in Limited Time

While the classic 14-day Everest Base Camp trek is legendary, for those with limited time and a desire for a touch of luxury, the helicopter fly-out option offers an exhilarating alternative. This 10-day Everest Heli Trek itinerary takes you from Kathmandu or Manthali to Lukla by regular flight, where you'll embark on an 8-day trek to Everest Base Camp.

The highlight of this adventure arrives on day 9, when you soar above the world's tallest peaks on a scenic helicopter flight from Gorakshep back to Kathmandu. This unique experience allows you to witness the breathtaking Himalayas from a breathtaking perspective, replacing the traditional return trek to Lukla. The perfect choice for busy adventurers.

The helicopter fly-out option is ideal for:

  • Time-constrained travelers: Experience the magic of Everest Base Camp in just 10 days, perfect for busy schedules.
  • Thrill seekers: Enjoy the world's most scenic helicopter ride over the Himalayas, an unforgettable adventure.
  • Luxury enthusiasts: Indulge in a touch of luxury with this unique and convenient trek itinerary.

Cost Considerations:

  • While the helicopter adds a touch of luxury, it also increases the overall cost of the trek. However, there are ways to optimize your budget:
  • Sharing helicopters: During peak season, sharing a helicopter from Everest Base Camp to Lukla is often readily available and can significantly reduce the cost.
  • Direct flight to Kathmandu: Many clients choose to fly directly to Kathmandu from Gorakshep instead of returning to Lukla and taking a regular flight. This can save both time and money.
  • Group discounts: If you're traveling with a group, chartering a helicopter can be a cost-effective option. Contact our tour experts for customized group pricing.

Ready to embrace the adventure?

Whether you're a seasoned trekker or a first-timer seeking an unforgettable experience, the Everest Base Camp trek with helicopter fly-out is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Contact our team today to discuss your options and embark on your own Himalayan adventure! 

Conclusion Of Popular Everest Base Camp Trek and Tour Packages

From the soaring peaks of Gokyo Ri to the hushed reverence of Tengboche Monastery, our journey through the Everest Base Camp treks has painted a vivid picture of adventure in its purest form. We've trekked through pristine valleys, crossed heart-pounding passes, and stood breathless at the foot of the world's highest mountain. Each route has unveiled its own secrets, from the rustic charm of Sherpa villages to the raw power of glacial landscapes.

Whether you seek the physical challenge of the 3 High Passes, the spiritual immersion of the Gokyo Valley trek, or the luxurious convenience of the helicopter fly-out, one thing remains constant: Everest Base Camp beckons with an undeniable allure. It's a call to test your limits, push your boundaries, and discover the breathtaking beauty that lies within yourself and the Himalayas.

This is not just a trek; it's a transformation. It's a chance to shed your everyday worries, connect with nature on a profound level, and forge memories that will last a lifetime. So, pack your bags, lace up your boots, and let the spirit of Everest guide you. Remember, the journey begins with the first step, and the summit of your dreams awaits.

Are you ready to answer the call?