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The aerial gateway to Nepal’s Everest Himalaya region, and a trekkers’ hub, in the mountain town of Lukla

Tenzing Hillary Airport in Lukla, NepalStepping out of the plane at Lukla’s Tenzing-Hillary Airport, you can immediately sense the altitude. The air feels thinner, the sun brighter, or the shade more crisp. Flights arrive here daily from Kathmandu, and the airport (along with the town that has grown up around it) has served as a stepping stone for trekking in the Everest region since 1964. Flying here gives you immediate access to the mountains — the alternative is a one-week trek and long bus ride from Kathmandu.

In truth there’s little to keep you in Lukla, and you’re likely to spend only one night here, at the very most, either at the beginning or end of a trek, and then only for purely logistical reasons. Once a tiny farming community, it’s now a hive of commerce.

Lukla, NepalWithin the narrow streets of the town, you’ll find the odd tongue-in-cheek local version of big-name Western chains (Yak Donald's springs to mind), along with the ubiquitous Irish pub as well as tea bars, bakeries, and internet cafes. Shops cater to trekkers’ needs, selling everything from batteries and soap to yak-hair gloves and copycat versions of big outdoor clothing brands.

Local porters carry goods and supplies on their backs through the town, en route to remote villages. As dawn breaks each morning, you might notice sightseeing helicopter flights to Mount Everest taking off from the airstrip. And, although your stay in Lukla will most likely be a functional one, it does give you a chance to get accustomed to being at altitude.

Best time to visit

Your stopover in Lukla is going to be governed by when the weather is best suited to trekking. November and October are rewarding months, with warm days and clear skies. February and March also have temperate weather and good visibility, while April and early May, though showery, see the mountainsides blossoming with rhododendrons.

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Audley Travel specialist Nick

Start planning your tailor-made trip to Lukla by contacting one of our Nepal specialists

Suggested itineraries featuring Lukla

Our itineraries will give you suggestions for what is possible when you travel in Lukla, and they showcase routes we know work particularly well. Treat them as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.

Map of Lukla

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    Places near Lukla

    Our expert guides to exploring Lukla

    Written by our specialists from their own experiences of visiting Lukla, these guides will help you make the most of your time there. We share both our practical recommendations and the best ways to appreciate Lukla at its best.

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      Everest Base Camp, Nepal

      Nepal trekking: walking on the roof of the world

      Nepal trekking: walking on the roof of the world

      Having first visited the country in the 80s, Nepal specialist Andy has re-visited multiple times. He shares his experiences of tackling a variety of Nepal’s trekking routes and explains why it’s the only way to access certain parts of the country.

      10 min read

      Read this guide

    Accommodation choices for Lukla

    We’ve selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit Lukla. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.