Comparing Annapurna Circuit Trek vs Everest Base Camp Trek and making a decision about which one is better is certainly a challenging task.
There is no doubt, Nepal is number one destination for never-ending outdoor adventures.
There are several options for trekking you can take depending on the activities you like and how much time you have.
Annually both these trekking trails see thousands of foreign and local trekkers.
Since, both of them being most popular, it is obviously difficult to pinpoint which is the best.
So, if you’re after stunning mountain views, unique culture and epic adventure then both treks most be on your expedition list.
Comparing Annapurna Circuit trek vs Everest Base Camp trek, they are different, but both are very enjoyable.
Both treks are amazing and ideal for anyone who is willing to go for it !!!
So, now let’s see what these both treks has to offer?
But one thing is sure that both these treks will offer you an unforgettable experience and life-long memories.
I hope at the end of this article will guide you in planning your next adventure trip in Nepal.
Table of Contents
- Overview: Annapurna Circuit Trek Vs Everest Base Camp Trek
- How to get there? : Annapurna Circuit Trek Vs Everest Base Camp Trek
- The Best time to visit: Annapurna Circuit Trek Vs Everest Base Camp Trek
- Acclimatization Places: Annapurna Circuit trek Vs Everest Base Camp trek
- Accommodation and Food: Annapurna Circuit Trek Vs Everest Base Camp Trek
- The rate of flow: Annapurna Circuit Trek Vs Everest Base Camp Trek
- Communities: Annapurna Circuit Trek Vs Everest Base Camp Trek
- Difficulty: Annapurna Circuit Trek Vs Everest Base Camp Trek
- Comparing Packing for Annapurna Circuit Trek vs Everest Base Camp Trek
Overview: Annapurna Circuit Trek Vs Everest Base Camp Trek
Annapurna Circuit Trek in Nepal
Annapurna Circuit trek is one of the finest and fantastic classic treks in the world.
This trekking route offers a fantastic close-up view of Annapurna range. Annapurna is the tenth highest mountain in the world
During this trek, you’ll get the glimpse of mix natural beauty.
Initially, the trail traverse through a sub-tropical region to the alpine and further stretches to semi-deserts landscape similar to the Tibetan plateau.
The major attractions of the trek are the picturesque Manang and Mustang valley, Kali Gandaki river, world’s deepest gorge and close up views of the Himalayas.
The major peaks like Mt. Annapurna, Mt. Dhaulagiri, and Mt. Machapuchare are closely visible during the Annapurna Circuit trek.
The circuit trials take you through rice paddy valleys, roaring rivers, and different Tibetan and Buddhist villages.
This trek offers wonderful opportunities to intact with different ethnic groups including Brahmin, Magar, and Gurung.
Annapurna Circuit trek is not trekking in the wilderness, as the trail is full of tea houses and lodges.
So, you don’t need to carry camping gear and food during the whole journey. It lasts anywhere between 16 to 21 days.
Everest Base Camp trek in Nepal
Trekking to Everest Base Camp has been on top of adventure list for many trekkers.
Everest Base Camp Tour offer to stand face to face with Mt. Everest, the highest mountain in the world.
During EBC trek journey, trekking route pass via some old and traditional villages like Namche Bazaar, Tengboche, Dingboche and Lobuche.
Passing via these picturesque villages the trek ends at Kala Patthar the best viewpoint.
From the top of the Kalapatthar, you’ll get a close-up view of Everest and other surrounding peaks.
During the trek, you’ll get a chance to visit the world’s highest Tengboche monastery.
You’ll get a plenty of opportunities to enjoy the Sherpa culture, visit different ancient monasteries, and learn about Buddhism.
On the trail, you’ll encounter several tea houses.
During the trek, you’ll pass via several suspension bridges with colorful prayer flags, prayer wheels, and mani stones.
There are a number of possible trekking route variations for the trek to Everest Base Camp.
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How to get there? : Annapurna Circuit Trek Vs Everest Base Camp Trek
How to get the starting point of Annapurna Circuit Trek (Besisahar)
The starting point of Annapurna Circuit trek is Pokhara “the city of lakes” or Kathmandu.
From Pokhara or Kathmandu, you go on a short drive to Besisahar.
Then, the trek route passes through the different villages like Chame, Bagar Chap, Pisang, Manang and ascends to the Thorung La Pass at 5,416 meters (11,769 feet).
The trail first follows the Marsyangdi river valley and then switch over to the Kali Gandaki river valley.
How to get the starting point of Everest Base Camp Trek (Lukla)
The Everest Base Camp treks start from the unforgettable flight into Lukla.
The Lukla airport has been declared as the “world’s most dangerous airport”.
Other alternative trekking routes to Everest Base Camp trek starts from Jiri.
The main classic route starts at Lukla in the south and then heads to the north to Namche Bazaar.
From there, the trek continues to different traditional Sherpa villages including Tengboche, Dingboche, Lobuche, Gorak Shep and finally to Everest Base Camp.
The Best time to visit: Annapurna Circuit Trek Vs Everest Base Camp Trek
The best time for Annapurna Circuit Trek
The best time for Annapurna Circuit trek is in October just after the monsoon ends.
The monsoon clears all the pollution and dirt and makes the views of the Himalayas stunning.
There is a less chance of rainfall making the trail less slippery.
Last but not the least the temperature is perfect neither too cold nor too hot.
Besides fall, Annapurna Circuit trek in early spring, i.e March and April just before the monsoon begins are other good options.
If you don’t like too much cold, then these months are perfectly suitable as this is also the warmest time of the year.
Spring is the season of the flower.
The Annapurna trails are fully decorated with the colorful rhododendrons and other flowers.
Normally, autumn and spring are considered as the best time but at the high altitude, the weather may change even during this time of the year.
Despite this, the trekking route is opened throughout the year, but the monsoon and winter season are not highly recommended.
Apart from slippery and muddy trials during monsoon, there is also a high chance of flight cancellation and delay.
The best time for Everest Base Camp Trek
While Everest Base Camp trek is possible throughout the year, autumn and spring are the best time to go.
Especially April, May, October,and November are the best months.
The trail is more crowded during this time.
The spring months of March to May is considered as the second-best time to visit Everest Base Camp trek.
Weather is generally dry and stable.
The mountains are colorful during these months, especially hillsides are fully covered with colorful rhododendrons.
During the October and November month, the skies are clear with the good views of the peaks.
The temperature is also stable neither too hot or nor too cold. The mountain views are at their best.
It’s possible to trek in other months as well.
But, for this, you must prepare yourself both physically and mentally for the extreme weather and dangerous trail conditions.
Acclimatization Places: Annapurna Circuit trek Vs Everest Base Camp trek
Altitude sickness is no joke!
If you start to feel the symptoms of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), you must take immediate actions- descending to the lower altitudes.
And, acclimatizing more.
During the high altitude trek, acclimatization is essential to avoid and prevent the altitude sickness.
Thus, the best way to acclimatize is to climb higher in the day and come back to the same altitude to spend a night.
The secret to acclimatize well is to walk at a slow pace, follow a good itinerary, rest sufficiently, eat good food, sleep well and drink plenty of fluid.
Acclimatization places for Annapurna Circuit Trek
The highest point of Annapurna Circuit trek is 5,416 meters at Thorong La Pass.
Thus, to reach this much height you need acclimatization days and good physical conditions too.
Most of the people get the symptoms of altitude sickness as they get to around 3,500 m.
So, the acclimatization is essential at least for two days minimum.
During Annapurna Circuit trek, most people acclimatize in Manang at least for a day.
Acclimatization places for Everest Base Camp Trek
Trekking is not a marathon, you need to go slowly by taking breaks.
Don’t ever try to compare your pace with others.
Acclimating to the low levels of oxygen takes time, so listen to your body.
During Everest Base Camp trek, most people choose Namche Bazaar and Dingboche for the acclimatization.
Actual distance cover between Lukla to Everest Base Camp can be covered far quicker, but that makes you ill.
Thus, for the enjoyable trek, you need a plenty of time for acclimatization.
Accommodation and Food: Annapurna Circuit Trek Vs Everest Base Camp Trek
Accommodation and Food along the way during Annapurna Circuit Trek
Annapurna Circuit trek is quite remote, so the accommodation along the trail is basic compared to Everest Base Camp trek.
But the one thing is sure that you’ll find plenty of accommodation throughout the circuit trail.
Generally, most of the tea house offers the basic rooms with western or squat toilets.
WiFi service is also available though it is limited.
Once you reach higher than Manang, the services become more basic.
During the peak seasons, the guest houses are full of trekkers.
So, sometimes during this time, you’ve to share your room with other fellow trekkers.
Also, you may have to sleep in common dining room too.
During this trek, the meals are basic ranging from porridge, pancakes, and eggs for breakfast.
For lunch and dinner, generally, the options are Dal Bhat, fried potatoes with mixed vegetables.
Accommodation and Food along the way during Everest Base Camp Trek
Everest Base Camp trek is teahouse trek meaning that there are tea houses along the way that provide basic accommodation to trekkers.
On the Everest Base Camp trail, you’ll find a variety of accommodations.
At the beginning of the trek, the accommodations will be basic with room showers, western style flush toilets.
As you ascend at the higher altitude, the accommodations become more basic.
There is rare chance to get a hot shower and only squat toilets are available.
There is low chance to have a heater in a room.
So, the warm sleeping bags are highly recommended.
On the trail, you’ll find the small shops.
Thus, along the trail, you’ll get a plenty of places to stop and eat or have some tea for refreshment.
But be aware that the higher you reach, the price of goods gets more expensive.
Normally, breakfast usually consists of porridge or eggs, potatoes, and bread toast.
Whereas, the lunch and dinner include Nepalese traditional dishes Dal Bhat, fried noodles, fried rice, and Nepalese stew.
The rate of flow: Annapurna Circuit Trek Vs Everest Base Camp Trek
Yearly millions of people travel Nepal from the different corner of the world to see the highest peak of the planet.
In terms of adventure and expedition, Everest Base Camp trek possess heavy traffic.
So, the large groups are common in Everest region.
Whereas, Annapurna Circuit Trail is famous for its landscape and cultural diversity.
But comparing Annapurna Circuit Trek Vs Everest Base Camp Trek for the flow of tourist, the Annapurna Circuit trek has somehow a small number of groups.
Communities: Annapurna Circuit Trek Vs Everest Base Camp Trek
The communities of both trekking regions are home to some of the warmest and most welcoming people.
During the trekking period, you’ll hike through some of the oldest and untouched villages of the Nepal Himalaya.
The families who live here live a beautiful simplistic lifestyle.
Communities of Annapurna Circuit Trek
Throughout the trekking journey, you’ll stay in both Nepalese and Tibetan villages.
Thus, you’ll notice a shift in the cultures and landscape from place to place.
During the Annapurna Circuit trek, you’ll encounter different ethnic groups following Buddhism as well as Hinduism.
From Brahmin and Chhetris to Gurung and Magar communities you’ll get a different vibe of different culture and ethnicities in the Annapurna region.
Communities of Everest Base Camp Trek
Everest region is highly dominated by the legendary Sherpa community who follow the Buddhist religion.
During the base camp trek, you’ll come across multiple Buddhists monasteries, prayer wheels, mani stones, and gompas which traverse a spiritual feel.
Difficulty: Annapurna Circuit Trek Vs Everest Base Camp Trek
More than physical fitness, both these treks demand the mental strength!
Talking about the difficulty level, both treks are nothing short of sensational.
First thing it is not a climb, it is a trek.
The higher up you go, the more you are rewarded with an amazing view of turquoise blue lakes and new summits.
Yes, there will be a couple of steep sections but there is no rush. You can stop on these sections for a rest and chat.
Both of these treks are a straightforward trek!
In both treks, there is no any need of crampons, ropes, or any technical equipment.
Annapurna Circuit trek is a moderate-level trek, the one major challenge is to cross Thorung La Pass at 5,416 m.
But you can go at a slow pace, this will help you to acclimatize better.
Comparing Packing for Annapurna Circuit Trek vs Everest Base Camp Trek
When you’re getting ready for Annapurna Circuit Trek or Everest Base Camp Trek, it’s important to think about how the heights and temperatures change.
This helps you pack smarter.
For Annapurna Circuit Trek, it goes from below 1000 meters to above 5000 meters up.
That means the temperatures change a lot. So, when you’re getting your stuff together for this trek, think about wearing layers of clothes that you can easily add or take off.
This helps when the weather shifts.
Remember, it gets colder as you go up, so bring warm clothes like a cozy jacket, thermal layers, gloves, a hat and even a sleeping bag.
There might be light rain at the lower parts, so having a waterproof jacket and pants can keep you dry.
Also, pick good, sturdy hiking boots that support your ankles since the ground changes a lot.
And don’t forget to bring sunglasses, sunscreen and a big hat to shield you from the strong sun at higher places.
Now, Everest Base Camp Trek starts around 2000 meters and goes up to over 5000 meters.
So, as you move up, it gets colder.
When you’re packing for this journey, remember to put in warm layers like fuzzy jackets.
These will help you stay toasty when it’s chillier up high.
And keep in mind that because you’re going up slowly, it gets colder the more you go.
Thinking about these height-related things and how the temperature changes will help you pack just the right clothes and gear.
That means you’ll have a comfy and fun time trekking on both Annapurna Circuit and Everest Base Camp routes.
Overall, when comparing Annapurna Circuit Trek vs Everest Base Camp Trek, we can determine that both are amazing in their own ways.
You’ll enjoy both treks immensely!
If you want more challenging trek with diverse landscapes and culture then make your way to Annapurna Circuit trek.
If you want more epic and adventure and want more views of snow-capped peaks then make your way to Everest Base Camp.
But one thing is sure, whatever you decide, you will not have any regrets!
So, don’t waste the opportunities to explore Nepal by choosing any of one these amazing treks in Nepal.
If you want any information about Annapurna Circuit Trek and Everest Base Camp trek or any other treks in Nepal, you can contact us at any time.
Want more information? Send us your query, and our experts will get back to you within 24 hrs.
Madhav started working as a porter in 2001 and then moved on to work as a trekking guide. After working in the trekking and tourism industry for eight years, he co-founded Mosaic Adventure in 2009.
Madhav has trekked to most of the trekking destinations in Nepal, including Everest Base Camp Trek, Annapurna Base Camp, Annapurna Circuit Trek, Poon Hill Trek, Jomsom Muktinath Trek, Indigenous Peoples Trek, Langtang Valley Trek, Mardi Himal Trek, and all of the day hikes around Kathmandu.
He has also extensively traveled to other countries such as Australia, the USA, the UK, France, Hong Kong, Japan, China, the Philippines, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Thailand, Turkey, and India. Madhav is the one who answers most of your questions about trekking and tours and helps to plan your trip by giving a personal touch.