Annapurna Circuit Trek and Everest Base Camp Treks are the most sought after trekking destinations in Nepal. The first is one of the most beautiful trekking destinations. The latter being the base camp of the world’s highest mountain, deserves it all.
It might not be wrong to say that these two Himalayan ranges are just as popu lar and in demand. Thousands of trekkers and trekking enthusiasts come to Nepal, and most of it is for these two gorgeous mountains trek.
Indeed, they are both different yet similar in many kinds. Both with no doubt stun you. And, both are absolutely spectacular.
The socio-cultural aspects and the biodiversity differ with regard to the geographical placement. Both are unique and interesting.
Allow us to introduce you these two trekking trails with regard to their similarities and differences.
Overview Annapurna Circuit Trek
Annapurna Circuit trek is a spectacular trekking destination that gives you the best views of the mountain vistas. Annapurna mountain is the tenth highest mountain in the world and is the most beautiful mountain too.
Mountains like Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, and Machapuchre are some of the mountain vistas that you will be witnessing.
The rivers, waterfalls, paddy valleys and many Tibetan Buddhist villages should please you along the way. They will give you time to enjoy the blissful nature.
Trek to Annapurna Base Camp or Annapurna Circuit are a lot less difficult than to the Everest Base Camp.
Overview of the Everest Base Camp trek
The Everest Base Camp trek is a trek sought by a lot of trekking enthusiasts and also the non-trekkers. Standing on the same base and facing the tallest mountain in the world is absolutely satisfying.
You can choose from a number of trekking routes to get to the Base Camp. The Gokyo Lakes treks, Jiri to Everest Base Camp, Three Passes Trek and the Island Peak treks are some choices.
The trek takes you through amazing villages ozzing with cultural and traditional beauty. The pseudo-culture portrayed by these villages give you a hint of the uniqueness of the place.
Kalapathar is a viewpoint on the way, it is where most mountain photographers get picture-perfect views of this mountain.
Further, at Tengboche, you will get a chance to enjoy the Sherpa culture and witness the Northern Buddhist Culture. Prayer flags, mani wall, prayer wheels, and the chortens, you name it, you will see it all. These images will definitely awaken your spiritual side.
How to get there?
Getting to the starting point of Annapurna Circuit Trek (Besisahar)
Pokhara is the starting point of this trek. It is a famous tourist destination. Definitely take some time to enjoy this city of lakes on your way back. You can enjoy the spas, massages outlets, and meditate if you please.
You will be taking a short drive from Pokhara to Beshisahar where your trek on foot begins.
Getting to the starting point of Everest Base Camp Trek (Lukla)
The trek to the Everest Base Camp begins as soon as you reach Lukla. You will get a taste of what your trek will be like as you reach Lukla. The view from the plane is absolutely unforgettable.
This is a classic trekking route. It starts at Lukla and heads south at Namche Bazaar. This is a marketplace that is at the highest altitude in the world. You get to enjoy several facilities and local delicacies here.
You can also choose a different starting point too, Jiri (trek head for the classic Jiri- Everest Base Camp Trek route).
Acclimatization is absolutely necessary. It is a way to help your body adjust to the changing altitude.
Lack of acclimatization can lead to serious health issues. This is why trekking packages that involve high altitudes have acclimatization days. It is always best to walk slow and stick to your normal pace.
After all, trekking is a fun activity that you should enjoy, isn’t it?
Acclimatization places for Annapurna Circuit Trek
The Thorung La Pass (5400 m) is the highest point of the Annapurna Circuit trek. After 4000 m.a.s.l. one may start to experience the symptoms of altitude sickness. If undermined, it can cause serious problems, but with simple precautions it is avoidable.
You will be acclimatizing at Manag for about a day on the 7th day of your trek. This is at an altitude of 3540 m.
Acclimatization places for Everest Base Camp Trek
The Kala Patthar (5645 m) is the highest point of the Everest Base Camp Trek. The Everest Base Camp (5365 m) is the main destination of this trek.
You will be taking a day for acclimatization at Namche ( 3440 m). Depending on your schedule if you are ready for a longer package you can also choose to rest at Dingboche (4260 m) before you head to Lobuche.
Enjoy all your time and involve yourself in shorter walks and hikes. Do enjoy your time exploring the local culture.
Accommodation and Food
Accommodation and Food along the way during Annapurna Circuit Trek
The Annapurna Circuit is definitely less popular than the Everest Base Camp. This means the choices of food that you can expect here is lesser than the previous. But, the choices are still plenty and a lot more affordable.
The tea houses and the trail provides all the basic facility that you get elsewhere. The only difference is the local crops that grow and consumed there.
You can expect extra facilities like wifi, hot water flask in the tea houses, throughout the trail.
The meals are basic and the accommodation is basic too.
Accommodation and Food along the way during Everest Base Camp Trek
The Everest Base Camp is a popular trekking destination. This means the facilities on the trail is definitely updated. Due to the increase in the inflow of the trekkers, the tea houses are quite competitive. Well, this is a plus point for us, we can expect the best services.
Although most of the services are basic, you can see a wide menu range. And the facilities like wifi, hot water flask, hot water for showering, and western toilets will be available too.
As you go higher, the services are basic. Be sure to carry your toilet paper. The prices of goods also get more expensive.
You will find small tea shops for breaks. And the tea-houses you stay in for the night usually provide a package including both meal and accommodation.
No matter where you travel to or trek, the local community and the way they treat you will influence your trips.
At both of these trekking destinations, you will feel special and homely. They are warm and welcoming people. The simple life they live is absolutely beautiful.
Communities of Annapurna Circuit Trek
You will stay in Tibetan as well as Nepali homes. As you go higher, you should notice the difference between the culture and the customs.
In lower regions, the ethnic group of Bhramins and Chettries are quite common. They will welcome you into their family-run tea houses or hotels. As you go higher, you will be staying at tea houses owned by Gurung and Magar ethnic communities.
Both the experience is equally satisfying.
Communities of Everest Base Camp Trek
The Sherpa ethnic group dominates most of the trekking trails of the Everest Base Camp trek. Buddhism is highly influential in these regions. You will feel the spiritual energy as you walk along the mani walls and under the prayer flags.
With chortens and gompas on the way, you get to experience the influence of Tibetan Buddhism.
The Best time to visit
The best time for Annapurna Circuit Trek
Annapurna Region lies in the rain shadow area, this means that the rainfall in this area is very minimum. Monsoon does not affect trekking in this area. You can enjoy trekking here any time of the year.
Definitely, winters are quite cold and trekking in this season would be quite challenging. But, if the cold doesn’t bother you then it is, in fact, the best time of the year. The views are not at all compromised and are simply satisfying.
But no doubt, spring and monsoons are the best time of the year to be trekking in any part of the country. Nature, weather, and the trail are at their best.
The best time for Everest Base Camp Trek
The spring and the autumn are the best months to do trekking in this region. Indeed you will be among a small crowd anywhere you go, but you will like it. It is best when you feel the day is challenging. You will need some support and positive words of motivation when you feel this way.
During October, you can also get to take part in the local culture as well as religious festivals. This is an additional benefit that you can reap on your trip. Where else will you see such diversity, right?
Winters can, too, be a great option if you are more into snowy landscapes and mountains. It will be blissfully white and serene in winter. Well, why not?
Trekkers flow and Traffic
Definitely, the number of trekkers you see at the Everest Base Camp is far more compared to the number of trekkers seen at the Annapurna Circuit.
This is solely because of the popularity of Mount Everest. It is well known and every trekker desires to be a part of this proud journey. But, what you expect of Annapurna Region is completely different.
It is popular for being spectacularly beautiful. The landscape, view, and the mountains you see are stunning. So, yes the Annapurna Circuit is also quite popular.
But the traffic flow at EBC trek is comparatively more than at the Annapurna Circuit trek.
Any mountain trek demands mental strength and physical stamina. The Everest Base Camp trek and Annapurna Circuit Treks are no different. It gets more challenging as you go higher.
The Annapurna Circuit trek is a moderate-level trek that is possible for anyone. But the Thorung La Pass at 5416 m is quite challenging. Other than that, the way is quite normal and all you will do is a hike.
Both are treks and mountain climbing isn’t involved which clearly means that you won’t be needing crampons, ladders, or ropes. You need to focus on taking a slow and steady pace and take your time. This way you will not strain your body and also enjoy the time you trek.
Both Annapurna Circuit Trek and Everest Base Camp treks are equally satisfying in their own ways. No doubt these are both unique and special in their own way.
The culture and diverse landscape attract trekkers to the Annapurna Region. And the adventure and the snow-capped peaks attract trekkers to the Everest Region. Both are equally rewarding.
The best solution is, to begin with, the Annapurna Circuit and then move on to the Everest Base Camp later. That will definitely be a win-win. You will enjoy both.
For any further queries, please do contact us. We are more than happy to assist you.