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Lukla FLights, Trekking recommnendations

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Heard the Lukla airport is closed for repair tearly this year, so flights seem to be more expensive as one has to take a helicopter in. Prices are being quoted at about $280 round-trip to me via the web--anyone know this for a fact? Are there less expensive routes into Lukla?

Also, if anyone's been on the Everest Base camp trek recently, would appreciate any tips/warnings. Am wondering if I could follow the trail myself or if I'll need to hire a guide.

Thanks in advance for any help.


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