If you're either an aviation geek or a high-altitude trekker, you must have heard about Lukla. Lukla sits just above 2,860 metres in Solukhumbu District, particularly in Khumbu Pasang Rural Municipality.
"Lukla" translates to pasture land with countless sheep and goats. But now, Lukla gets filled with Everest region trekkers, more than 10,000 trekkers in each trekking season, in Spring and Autumn.
Lukla in Sagarmatha National Park is known for two major elements, the Tenzing Hillary Airport and luxurious lodges and restaurants for trekkers. Countless other factors make Lukla a noticeable hub in Nepal.
Let’s explore Lukla in this blog.
Lukla Airport (Tenzing Hillary Airport)
Steeper runway of just 527 metres in length and with arduous approach, Lukla airport is often termed one of the deadliest airports in the world. Despite being the scariest, Nepal's second busiest airport after Kathmandu airport, particularly in peak Everest Base Camp Trek and other Everest region trekking seasons.
The First Everest summiteer, Sir Edmund Hillary, supervised and contributed tirelessly in 1964 to construct this airport. It finally got the name "Tenzing Hillary Airport" to honour the first successful Everest climbers, Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa.
Getting in and out from Lukla
As a trekker to Everest, you have two choices: getting in and out of Lukla. First, the regular Kathmandu to Lukla flight and second, Kathmandu Lukla Helicopter Flight.
Kathmandu to Lukla flight and Lukla to Kathmandu flight operate on schedule on a given day with mild weather conditions. The flight time is around 40 minutes, throughout which you can enjoy mesmerising glimpses of the Himalayan ranges of the Everest region.
This flight might be scary for some travellers as Lukla airport is often called the deadliest airport. For them, Kathmandu to Lukla Helicopter flight is a reasonable alternative.
Kathmandu Lukla Helicopter flight lets you enjoy the vivid terrain of hilltops, terraces, and alpine terrain with a broad view from the helicopter window. This flight comes in two forms, private or group sharing. The group-sharing flight is more affordable than the private Kathmandu Lukla helicopter flight. The flight time is around 40 minutes either way.
You can also take one day Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tour from Lukla or Kathmandu if you want to enjoy the helicopter ride in the Everest region.
Accommodation in Lukla
You can get the desired meals and accommodation services in Lukla, depending on how much you want to spend. Your accommodation and meals vary where you stay, either at a tea house, lodge, or luxury hotel.
The popular trekkers stay overnight in hotels for accommodation in Lukla, including Yeti Mountain Home, Himalayan Lodge, North Face Resort, Buddha Lodge, etc. These hotels offer the best among all other tea houses in Lukla. Heated blankets, neat and clean beds, and attached bathrooms with hot showers, drinking water, internet, and beverages make your accommodation in Lukla the best.
Most hotels for overnight accommodation in Lukla offer twin sharing rooms with attached bathrooms. You can also get a single bedroom in some hotels, which will make the extra expense.
Meals in Lukla
The affluent tea houses, lodges, restaurants, cafes, and hotels in Lukla make it the best place for decent to luxurious meals. The food of your choice, whether it's a Chinese, Continental, or Traditional Nepali Dal Bhat, you can get any at most places in Lukla.
Typically, trekkers consume three meals a day, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Here, we'll give you insight into meals in Lukla you can get at any time of the day.
Breakfast in Lukla can be lavish, including fresh fruits, nuts, oatmeals, chapati, pancakes, toast, omelette, porridge with honey, and fries. You can also try hot milk, tea, coffee, or fresh juice. If you're on Everest Base Camp Trek and starting the hike from Lukla, a decent breakfast in Lukla can recharge you till Phakding.
Lunch and Dinner meal menus in Lukla are almost identical. Pizza, sandwiches, burgers, Tenduk, Tibetan Breads, and Nepali Dal Bhat come with boiled rice, veggies, lentil soup, and pickles. Rice pudding and spicy potato gravy can be your ultimate bite in Lukla for either lunch or dinner.
Temperature and Weather in Lukla
Suppose one word that mainly defines the word "unstable"; the weather of Lukla gives justice to it. Even on a clear morning, without notice, the landscape gets covered by clouds.
However, on a clear weather day in Lukla, even while landing, you'll be amazed at the mesmerising beauty of the mountains around Lukla. A clear weather day in Lukla can be a heart stealer in late winter or early spring.
The sub-alpine climatic zone of Lukla makes the summer cool and winter colder.
The mean temperature in Lukla from January to March remains around 3 degrees celsius on average. Even in the hottest months, June and July, the temperature only averages 15 degrees Celsius.
Summer months from June to early September and the core winter months of December to mid-January is not the best time for trekking for the Everest region. Lukla remains a quiet place devoid of trekkers and airline flights.
In winter, the temperature in Lukla drops to nearly -3 degrees, averaging 2 degrees in the whole winter. The snowfall covers the landscape and Lukla airport, making helicopters and flights inaccessible.
Autumn from March to May in Lukla remains mild, with an average of 11 degrees Celsius. Autumn is also when Lukla sees the highest number of trekkers, porters, and guides. A busy Lukla becomes joyous to watch.
What to expect in Lukla
- Enriched Sherpa Ethnicity: Lukla is home to Sherpa, the locals of the Himalayas. The attire, lifestyles, cultures, and festivals are attractions when celebrated.
- Best accommodation: Lukla is probably the ideal place in the Everest region where you'll get the best accommodation and meals. Here, you can expect things of your choice.
- Trek guides and porters:If you're on your own for Everest Base Camp Trek or other popular treks in the region and looking for a trekking guide and porter, you can find these guide cum porters right after you come out from the Lukla airport gate. You can get these guides and porters for USD 15 a day.