There is something adventurous and exciting about boarding a spinning helicopter. These are three of the most memorable helicopter rides.

1. Helicopter to Everest Base Camp

"Landing at Everest Base Camp"

Landing at Everest Base Camp

You can choose to trek to Mount Everest Base Camp but, if you don’t have 7-14 days to spare the fastest way to the highest place on Earth not requiring life threatening training is, via an helicopter ride to 5,300m

The trip will also includes breakfast at Everest View Hotel, at the more bearable 3,400m high where the uninterrupted views of the highest mountain in the world appear in front of your eyes. Feast on a hot breakfast because the temperatures are likely to be low. Even at the peak of the summer you will be barely above zero.

Because of the risk of altitude sickness the pilot will be hooked on oxygen, but you won’t. On the way, you will make a pit stop at Lukla Airport, one of the most dangerous in the world, to drop some petrol weight which you will pick up on the way back. Unless, like us, your pilot is called on during breakfast to pick up a sick trekker from Base Camp down to Kathmandu.

The stop at Base Camp will be brief, enough to take 1-2 selfies with the majestic mount behind you and you will hop back again onto the helicopter immediately feeling slightly dizzy. But it will be, oh so worth it! Read my full adventure here!

2. Hover over Angkor Wat’s temples

"Angkor Wat from an helicopter"

Angkor Wat from an helicopter

Southeast Asia has a fair share of beautiful religious complexes but together with Bagan in Myanmar, the Angkor Wat series of temples are intricate and sophisticated. There is a magical sense of place around the narrow alleys, the steep pagodas and the wrap around storytelling carvings.

From the sky, the magnitude of the temples reveals itself and you will also be able to spot Tonle Sap Lake. The ride will not replace the sunset and sunrise visits but will show you how impressive the complex is. Read more about my adventures at the Angkor Wat here!

3. Fly over Victoria Falls and through the Zambezi Gorges

"Victoria Falls from a helicopter" helicopter rides of a lifetime

Victoria Falls from a helicopter

The mighty Zambezi river offers lots of adventure opportunities. From kayaking down to Mana Pools to animal spotting. But the most exhilarating one must be riding an helicopter through its narrowly carved gorges created over years of erosion from the fast flowing waters of the Victoria Falls. After you emerge from the gorges you will have a unique bird’s eye view of the Falls.

After you have fully understood the size of the largest sheet of falling water in the world you will be better prepared to walk along the pathways that provide a closer look. Although the amount of water varies significantly across seasons at the peak of the rainy season an helicopter ride is a must. From the ground, you will not be able to take in the sights because the curtain of water spray shot into the air by the falling water will not let you see the Falls. Read about my helicopter tour here!

  • I’ve only ever experienced a helicopter ride once in my life, but you’ve certainly picked three stunning locations for yours (mine was in the Grand Canyon, so still not a bad spot)!

    What a view of Victoria Falls!!

  • Tamara Wilcox

    Wow! That shot of Angkor Wat is spectacular! I guess a helicopter tour there is a must-do. How else could you ever get that perspective?

  • Neha Verma

    Got to totally agree with you. Just finished reading your everest base camp post, truly an experience of a lifetime

  • TravelingWellForLess

    I’ve yet to fly in a helicopter. Totally agree that these 3 spots would be so worth it, especially over Victoria Falls.

  • This is incredible! I’ve only flown a helicopter in Franz Josef (NZ), which was pretty cool but too short. A full-on heli tour would be a fantastic experience – I can’t even tell which one of the 3 I’d do first!

  • Kevin Wagar

    Helicopter rides seem so awesome. The idea of flying up to Everest base camp is so enticing!

    • It really is an awesome experience! I would highly recommend it, it’s a different view from the trek up.

  • These are awesome helicopter rides to be sure. The ride to Everest may be our favourite. We don’t have the climbing chops for Everest, but we would like to see the base camp. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Haha. Yeah, trekking up would have been a completely different experience. My pleasure for the inspiration.

  • Vyjay Rao

    Helicopters are strangely fascinating, but I have never sat in one. These three rides over spectacular terrain is really something of an experience of a lifetime. Viewing the Everest, Victoria Falls and the Angkor Wat temples from an helicopter must be in a different league altogether.

    • You’re so right Vyjay, it is an otherworldly experience. And so thrilling at the same time.

  • Well I have not flown a copter before but would so love to. And after ur description of these three places, even more so…. Will have to find out more. How much does the basecamp one cost?

    • The helicopters are used mostly for evacuation, so the cost is negotiable as it’s not really an activity available to book. Get your haggling hat on 🙂

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