Lukla is a town in the Khumbu area of the Solukhumbu District in the Sagarmatha Zone of northeastern Nepal. Situated at 2,860 metres (9,383 ft), it is a popular place for visitors to the Himalayas near Mount Everest to arrive. Although Lukla means place with many goats and sheep, few are found in the area these days.
Lukla has now become a commercial place because of the many trekkers, visitors, and mountaineers that come every year. Thus, though the town is small, it is full of bustling trekkers on a hiking mission to EBC.
Fly into Lukla then trek the forested path to Namche. You’ll see Mount Everest on the second day of trekking, just behind the Lhotse-Nuptse ridge. Alternatively, hike to Yet, the top of Namche Bazaar, toward the Everest View Hotel. Expect a stupendous panoramic view of the Khumbu peaks, including mighty Everest.
So, here in this Lukla travel guide, we will enrich you with all the pieces of information about visiting Lukla.
Quick Facts about Lukla
Lukla is the gateway to the Everest region of Nepal, and most travelers who visit Sagarmatha National Park and Everest Base Camp pass through Lukla. This small town perched on the side of a mountain is also known to have one of the most dangerous airports in the world.
|Geographical Coordinates:||27° 42′ 0″ North, 86° 43′ 0″ East|
|Elevation:||2,860 m (9,380 ft)|
|Province:||Province No. 1 (Eastern).|
|District:||Solukhumbu (Sagarmatha Zone)|
|Airport:||Lukla Airport (Tenzing Hillary Airport)|
|Airport Code:||(IATA: LUA, ICAO: VNLK)|
Some other interesting facts about Lukla.
It is a collection of small houses and hotels that are scattered within proximity to the region’s only airport- the Tenzing Hillary Airport. Because of its prominence, Lukla has transformed from a small farming community to a commercial hub of the region that is on par with Namche Bazaar.
Due to trekkers staying overnight at Lukla during Everest Treks, the town has seen a rise in the number of luxury guesthouses and hotels in recent years. From Kathmandu, it takes about 40 minutes to reach Lukla via plane.
- Lukla means “the area for goats and sheep.”
- There is only a Money Exchange but not an ATM machine yet at Lukla.
- Lukla airport got its name Tenzing-Hillary Airport in 2008 after Tenzing Norgay and Sir Edmund Hillary to ascend Mt. Everest successfully.
- Sherpa culture and traditions are widely prevalent there.
- The 35min flight from Kathmandu is the fastest way to reach Lukla for the Everest trekking and expeditions.
- The airport has a short runway with a length of 527m and 30min wide which causes difficulty in the landing and take-offs.
- The flight from Kathmandu to Lukla offers stunning views of mountains, landscapes, and valleys.
- There would be about over 40 flights every day in the high trekking season (Mid. September to End of November).
- At Lukla Airport, there is no Radar System, but there is a radio communication system to take on and take off.
- Only a Twin Otter size plane can land at Lukla airport.
- The baggage allowance on the flight to Lukla airport is 15 kg.
- In 2010, The History Channel broadcast Lukla airport as the world’s most dangerous airport.
- The weather of the Lukla changes very frequently, therefore cancellation of flights are bound to happen very often.
Best time to travel to Lukla
Lukla is a heartland of the Khumbu region, where hundreds of trekkers fly in and out every day in peak trekking and expedition season. The weather of the Lukla depends upon the seasons of the year. Normally, Autumn (Sept-Nov) and Spring (March-May) is the best season to travel in the Everest region as well as Luka town.
During this season, the sky gets clear almost every day, so that the flights are on time and less risky as well. Fewer clouds, the speed of the wind is less, the airport becomes dry which is relatively safe while landing, super good visibility for the pilots are the major reason why spring and autumn is the best season to travel in Lukla.
It is strongly recommended to add at least a day or two to the end of the trip for flexibility in case of any delays. Extra days should always be scheduled at the end of the trip as this provides flexibility with the trekking itinerary in case of any weather delays.
Lukla has a subarctic climate with warm summers and very cold winters. There is high diurnal temperature variation, and temperatures can reach freezing even in the middle of summer.
|Climate data for Lukla, Nepal|
|Average high °C (°F)||1.0
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−5.9
|Average low °C (°F)||−18.2
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||10.8
|Average precipitation days||2.6||2.7||3.6||5.0||9.5||16.1||22||21.8||15.0||4.5||1.9||1.4||106.1|
Tenzing Hillary Airport (Lukla Airport)
Lukla airport is also known as Tenzing–Hillary Airport, and it is the gateway to Mount Everest. Actually, Lukla Airport was named Tenzing-Hillary Airport in 2008 to honor Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa. The first two confirmed ever to set foot on top of Mount Everest. And they also had contributed great effort to construct this airport.
Moreover, without any doubt, Lukla airport is an extremely small and busy airport, and thus it is consistently named as the world’s most dangerous airport.
Weather in the Himalayas is highly unpredictable. Sudden mist, fog, rainstorms or snow are always possible. Despite the short distance and short flight-time, the weather in Lukla can often be completely different from Kathmandu, and frequently changes while the airplane is on its way.
In such circumstances, planes turn around and return to Kathmandu. Afternoons are so frequently cloudy that most flights are scheduled for the early morning. Cancellations from Lukla are common.
Although small, the area is always busy because of the large number of hikers that visit every year in the Everest region. It is the starting point for the popular Everest base camp trek. Besides passenger flights, locals also use it to transport most of the building materials and cargo to Lukla and other towns and villages in the Everest region.
Things to do in Lukla
Lukla is a village in the Khumbu area of the Solukhumbu District in the Sagarmatha Zone of northeastern Nepal. Situated at 2,860 metres (9,383 ft), it is a popular place for visitors to the Himalayas near Mount Everest to arrive. Although Lukla means place with many goats and sheep, few are found in the area these days.
Lukla contains a small airport servicing the region, and a variety of shops and lodges catering to tourists and trekkers, providing western-style meals and trail supplies. From Lukla, most trekkers will take two days to reach Namche Bazaar, both an interesting village and an altitude acclimatization stop for those continuing on.
Here’s a list of a few things to do in Lukla, Nepal.
We probably have the best luxury trek for our seniors citizen! Traveling is not bound by age, so why should a number stop you from standing below the world’s tallest mountains. There are plenty of fun things to do with the kids in and near Lukla. Keep everyone entertained with our family friendly experiences. Go with your kids to reach the Everest base camp or till to Kongde / Tengboche by helicopter ride.
How to Get Lukla – Best Routes & Travel Advice
As the small mountain town of Lukla is the typical starting point for treks in the Everest region, including the Everest Base Camp Trek, it’s a busy little place. As there is no motorized road there from Kathmandu, there are only three ways to get to Lukla: by air, by private helicopter or on foot.
Getting From Kathmandu to Lukla
Lukla’s Tenzing-Hillary airport at 2, 843m, is one of the most dangerous in the world. Most people travel to Lukla by plane, which takes about 30–40 minutes from Kathmandu. Several flights run each day in the early morning or daylight with good weather. But, it’s not 100% guaranteed. Due to unpredictable weather, sometimes the domestic flights in Nepal get delayed for at least 1 or 2 days.
Besides, the flight only allows 10 kg of luggage and 5 kg of hand-carried bags for passengers. So, pack your bag accordingly. If you have more weight, you need to pay an extra $1 per kg.
Usually, the cost of a Lukla flight from Kathmandu is 180 USD per person for foreigners and 140 USD for Indians. But, it keeps changing.
Getting From Kathmandu to Lukla Helicopter
If you’re not on a tight budget, getting to Lukla by helicopter is an unforgettable experience. You’ll leave from the domestic terminal of Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan Airport, and arrive in Lukla less than an hour later.
On the way you’ll see the hilly, farm-studded landscape of Kathmandu rise to the higher elevations of the colder, less fertile mountain areas. From Lukla, most people who travel by helicopter continue on to Everest Base Camp for a sightseeing flight of the area and return to Kathmandu the same day.
Getting From Kathmandu to Lukla By Road & On Foot
On the way you’ll see the hilly, farm-studded landscape of Kathmandu rise to the higher elevations of the colder, less The drive from Kathmandu to Lukla passes through several geographical terrains that offer panoramic views of Nepalese mountains, rivers, villages, culture, and countryside. There is no direct drive to Lukla.
First, we need to drive from Kathmandu to Jiri-Shivalaya-Bhandar-Salleri-Bupsa-Kharikhola. It takes around a day to reach these places from Kathmandu. From here, a few days of hiking will take you to Lukla.