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Annapurna vs Everest Base Camp Trek

Annapurna vs Everest Base Camp Trek

Treks to Annapurna Base Camp and Everest Base Camp are the two most popular treks in Nepal. These are the best treks to do in Nepal.

Each of them has something unique and exciting to offer. With the right preparation and equipment, both treks are possible through the year.

These treks offer some of the best views of mountain peaks, sunrises, and landscapes- everything nature has to offer. No wonder! these treks attract a lot of trekkers from all over the globe.

If you are not sure which one to choose from, allow us to make it easier for you.

Here, we have given some facts and features of both these amazing treks.

Let us usher you through.

Introduction

Annapurna Base Camp trek

Annapurna Base Camp trek is an amazing walk through diverse landscape and culture. It takes you through the lush green forests. You can see the terraced fields to the sub-alpine jungles in the higher regions.

Along with an up-close view of Mt. Annapurna(8091m), it also offers views of some of the other high mountains of the Annapurna range. This trek takes you through MBC (Machhapuchhre Base Camp). Here, you can see the popular Mt. Machhapuchhre (Fishtail) known for its unique peak.

This trek is an easy-moderate level trek and is popular for all types of trekking enthusiasts.

Highlights

  • Natural hot springs. Helps to relax and heal your muscles.
  • Explore two base camps in one trek- Annapurna Base Camp and Machhapuchhre Base Camp
  • Spectacular and close views of mountain peaks like Hiunchuli (6,441m), Annapurna South (7279m), Fang, Annapurna I (8091m), Ganagapurna (7485m), Annapurna III (7855 m), and Machhapuchhare (6993m).
  • Explore the quaint villages and the local culture, traditions
  • Exotic flora and fauna
  • Kali Gandaki- the deepest Gorge lies on this trek

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Everest Base Camp trek

trek to Everest Base Camp is a hike on the legendary foothills of the mighty Everest region.

This world famous trek offers upfront views of some of the highest mountains in the world. This region is home to famous Sherpa people of the Khumbu region of Nepal.

This trek takes you through the trails used by legendary mountaineers. You hike through beautiful landscape, ancient monasteries, quaint villages, and Namche Bazaar.

Highlights

  • The viewpoint for magnificent, upfront views of some of the highest mountains in the world like Mt Lhotse (8,516m), Makalu (8,485m) & the giant Cho-Oyu (8,201m).
  • Kala Patthar (5,600m), the highest point of this trek: view of one of the best sunrises in the world.
  • Adventurous and exciting flight to and from: Kathmandu-Lukla
  • Magnificent forests of rhododendron, magnolia, and giant firs.
  • Explore Khumbu region: the settlement area of the world famous “Sherpa” people
  • Tengboche monastery: a 17th-century monastery.

Earthquake Update: Annapurna vs Everest Base Camp Trek

The Annapurna region was one of the least affected regions during the 2015 earthquake of Nepal. Less than 3% of the trails and tea houses along the Annapurna Base Camp route got damaged.

Hence, most of the damages promptly got fixed and the trails opened to the visitors. The autumn of the very year, it started receiving visitors.

The Everest region suffered from moderate to strong quake intensity. The trails leading to Everest Base Camp saw some minor landslides as well.

The treks and the trails are the main sources of income for many of the locals in the area. So, they were quick and energetic to fix the place and clean the rubbles.

There is still some evidence of earthquake from some of the affected houses.

The trails and tea houses were quick on maintenance. The trekking routes opened the same year.

Seasons: Annapurna vs Everest Base Camp Trek

It is possible to trek to the Annapurna Base Camp throughout the year because it lies in the rain shadow area. It is not affected by monsoon. Winters are definitely a bit challenging but are still doable.

Spring is one of the best seasons to go trekking to Annapurna Base Camp. But, you will love the autumns there.

Everest Base Camp trek is also possible throughout the year. But you will need to be well prepared with proper gear and equipment in summer. Winters are definitely challenging. But with a proper equipment and a guide, you can easily tackle Everest in all seasons.

Well, autumn is best here.

Route

There are a number of routes you can take to reach either of your destinations.

Annapurna Base Camp

You can choose from trails that take you straight to Annapurna Base Camp or take a detour to other neighboring villages to reach Annapurna Base Camp.

Some of the beautiful villages that you can trek to on the way to Annapurna Base Camp are Ghandruk, Ghorepani, Pothana.

Most of the routes coincide at Chomrong. From here, you follow the same trail to Annapurna Base Camp.

Everest Base Camp

You can choose the most popular, direct routes to Everest Base Camp or take the longer, classic trails used by the early climbers of Everest.

You can visit the more remote regions of Everest like Jiri, Gorakshep, Chorong and so on.

The trek route to the Annapurna Base Camp is quite easier in comparison to the Everest Base Camp. Also, the risk of altitude sickness is quite less in the Annapurna region than in the Everest region.

Itinerary: Annapurna vs Everest Base Camp Trek

Once you decide the route you want to trek, you can choose the itinerary that meets your choices.

Some of the itinerary for Annapurna Base Camp is Annapurna Base Camp trek, Annapurna Circuit trek.

Some of the itinerary for Everest Base Camp are Everest Gokyo trekEverest-Jiri trekEverest Base Camp-Island peak trek.

Trekking Permits

Every trekker needs to obtain permits to trek to different trekking destinations in Nepal.

Annapurna Base Camp trek

  • Annapurna Conservation Area Entry Permit (ACAP): The costs for this is:

For SAARC nationals: Nrs.200 ($2)

For Others: Nrs.2000 ($20)

  • Trekkers’ Information Management System (TIMS) card: This costs Nrs. 2000 ($20)

Everest Base Camp trek

  • Location permit: Nrs. 2000 ($20)
  • Sagarmatha Conservation Area Entry Permit: Nrs. 3400 ($34)

All of these permits are easily available in Kathmandu. The permit costs slightly more in the trek-head.

Duration: Annapurna vs Everest Base Camp Trek

The duration of both Annapurna Base Camp and Everest Base Camp treks depends on a number of things:

  • The starting point of your actual trek
  • Modes of transportation used
  • Number of villages explored
  • Length of walking days

The Annapurna Base Camp(Annapurna Base Camp) Trek extends from 7 to 18 days.

While the Everest Base Camp (Everest Base Camp) trek extends from 14 to 28 days.

Accessibility

Annapurna Base Camp trek

The Annapurna trekking region is easily accessible with different trailheads starting just an hour or two away from Pokhara.

Once you land in TIA (Tribhuvan International Airport) in Kathmandu, you can choose to spend the night here. From here, you can reach Pokhara by land or air.

There are lots of options on land like local buses, tourist buses, vans, jeeps, taxi(cabs).

Via land, it takes 6-10 hours to reach Pokhara. This journey is full of views of the surrounding landscapes of terrace farms, lush green forests, villages, and marketplaces.

Via air, it takes 25 minutes to reach Pokhara. You get an aerial view of Kathmandu as well as Pokhara.

From Pokhara, the different trailheads are just an hour or two away.

Everest Base Camp trek

One of the most adventurous and exciting mountain flight takes you to Lukla from Kathmandu. Lukla is the starting point for treks to Everest Base camp.

This 45-minute flight will give you spectacular views of the landscape diversity of Nepal.

Solo or Group: Annapurna vs Everest Base Camp Trek

Because these are both popular treks, solo treks are possible in both the regions.

It is possible to do both these treks in all seasons. Some of the higher passes may remain closed during winter. You might have to improvise the route during the winter and summer months. You will need a professional guide to take you through.

Both these treks have well-maintained trails.

However, if you are on your first trekking trip, we do not recommend you to do any of these treks alone.

Accommodation: Annapurna vs Everest Base Camp Trek

Accommodation is quite similar in both the trekking trails. In Kathmandu and Pokhara, the starting point of your journey, there are lots of options in accommodation.

You can choose from lodges with basic facilities in five-star hotels.

On the trails, your accommodation choices are quite limited to tea houses.

The tea houses usually have rooms that are small, cozy, and tidy. You may get options for shared bathrooms. Most of the tea houses have very basic facilities.

The tea houses have rooms with 2 beds to a dorm of 7 or 8. The beds have a thin mattress, pillow, and blanket.

There are slightly more fancy lodges as well. They are slightly more expensive and considered luxury trekking.

Meal and Drinks: Annapurna vs Everest Base Camp Trek

Most of the tea houses offer some choices in the menu on the trails. In both the trekking trails you will receive quite similar menu and food. The vegetables definitely differ suiting to the season.

These can include the basic meal of dal, bhat, tarkari (steamed rice, lentils, and seasonal vegetables. It can also include chapattis (flatbreads), potatoes (fried, boiled, mashed), momo (dumpling), sandwiches, noodles and so on.

In Kathmandu and Pokhara, the range in food is limitless. You can find something of everything in these places.

Prices of meals and drinks are quite expensive in the Everest Base Camp trekking route because it is more popular than the Annapurna Base Camp. The popularity, services, and the facilities add up to making it a bit more expensive.

Physical fitness: Annapurna vs Everest Base Camp Trek

You do not need to be a professional athlete or mountain climber to do these treks. But, a reasonable level of fitness will go a long way.

Compared to Annapurna Base Camp, EBC demands a bit more preparation. Because of the altitude and the terrain, you will be on the benefiting side, if you pre-work on it.

There are a lot of ways to physically prepare for your trek. You can opt for cardiovascular training several times a week, cycle, swim, climb hills, jog or even go for long walks. You can also walk up and down a flight of stairs for endurance.

Terrain

Both Annapurna Base Camp trek and Everest Base Camp trek gives you a glimpse of the diverse landscape of Nepal.

Annapurna Base Camp

The first few days of the trek, you will be trekking uphill for the most parts. There are plenty of uneven, stone steps to climb during these days. After that, the terrain flattens out. You can cover more distance.

Everest Base Camp

The terrain is mostly flat with more gradual ascents and descends. The trails are rough and rocky but well-maintained.

Scenery

Annapurna Base Camp

The first few days of the trek takes you through beautiful, lush green forests of rhododendron, bamboo, and terrace farmlands. To see the flowers in full bloom you should trek during the spring season.

You will get a mesmerizing view of pink, white and red rhododendron in all their glory during spring. You will be trekking through beautiful, quiet villages with stone houses.

The entire Annapurna range is on show from different parts of the trails. A range of mountain like Annapurna I, II, III, and IV are visible along with Mt. Dhaulagiri, Machhapuchhre, Manaslu is visible.

Everest Base Camp

The vantage points of Everest Base Camp including Kala Pathar gives you a full and up-close view of the world’s tallest mountain, Mt. Everest along with Ama Dablam, Thamserku, Lhotse.

You also get a majestic view of the Khumbu region, home of the world-famous ‘Sherpa’.

You will also get stunning glimpses of the magnificent glacier, ancient monasteries, mani walls.

Communities: Annapurna vs Everest Base Camp Trek

On the lower regions of Annapurna Base Camp trek, you will trek through different farming communities of Brahmin and Chhetri people. From Ghandruk, you can explore the Gurung villages.

On this trek, you will have the opportunity to explore both the rich Buddhist and Hindu culture present in Nepal.

The Everest (Khumbu) region is home to the world famous ‘Sherpa’ people. They are well known for their endurance at high altitudes.

You have the opportunity of exploring the lifestyle and culture of the Sherpa people in their hometowns scattered throughout the Everest region.

Some Additional Comparisons for Annapurna Base Camp and Everest Base Camp trekking

  • The cost for Everest Base Camp trek is slightly more than Annapurna Base Camp. The cost of food and accommodation is slightly more on the trails of Everest Base Camp than on the trails of Annapurna Base Camp.
  • Everest Base Camp is more popular than Annapurna Base Camp. It sees slightly more number of trekkers than Annapurna Base Camp.
  • The Annapurna Base Camp trek is slightly easier than Everest Base Camp. You reach a high altitude a lot quicker (2860m Lukla) in Everest Base Camp trek compared to Annapurna Base Camp trek (1400m Pokhara).
  • The highest point of the Everest Base Camp trek is at 5545m (Kala Patthar) wheres the highest point of Annapurna Base Camp trek is at 4190m (Annapurna Base Camp).
  • Always have a day or two extra. Once you are on the trails, you may want to explore the surrounding villages or just want to chill and relax in the beautiful villages. At Everest Base Camp, this can include Namche Bazaar, Tengboche, Chumrong and so on. On Annapurna Base Camp, it can include the Gurung villages on the way to Ghandruk, poon hill.

Conclusion

Both Annapurna and Everest Base Camp treks are popular treks to do in Nepal. Both of these have unique and exciting things to offer.

Regardless of your choice, you are bound to have an experience of a lifetime in either of the treks. The memories of splendid views, diverse culture, and beauty will always stay with you.

For further queries on your treks please do contact us. We are here to assist you for the best experience.

Do you have any question about trip to Nepal?

Tell us about your trip to Nepal and what you expect from it. We will answer your questions in 24 hours and help you design a trip with a comfortable itinerary to best meet your needs.
1 Group Size
2 Travel Dates
3 Trip Details
4 Contact Details

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