Annapurna Circuit and Everest Base Camp Trek are two of the most iconic trekking routes of Nepal. These are probably the most enticing and legendary too. However, there are numerous questions and dilemma for the trekkers to choose between these two. As a travel planner this blogger strongly requests travelers / trekkers to do both of these trekking. If you are in mood to choose between these two here are the few parameters in which the blogger tries to differentiate. Read out all the parameters and make decision. Moreover, the ultimate choice is yours!
Ease of Access
Annapurna Circuit is in the Annapurna Region of Nepal which spans between Nepal’s Lamjung, Manang, Mustang, Myagdi and Kaski districts. Travelers can reach the trekking destination via road trip. Trekkers will travel to Besisahar through black topped road and further towards Manang on hilly gravel road. The first phase is comfortable but the later road trip is tiresome as it is on the hilly road on a four wheel jeep. As for the Everest Base Camp Trek trekkers can reach the trekking start point via flight (plane or helicopter). The trekking trail is well paved and has signage. In terms of the trail condition the Everest Base Camp Trek trail is better than Annapurna Circuit Trek.
There are enough teahouses/lodges in the Annapurna Circuit Trail. However, after passing Manang Valley there are limited rest points and limited hamlets only. Therefore, trekkers need to carry or plan ahead or meticulously during entire trip until they reach Lower Mustang Area. However, the facilities like WIFI, hot shower, rooms, food and other basic needs are not an issue on this trail.
Everest Base Camp Trail is fully commercial. Probably the most modern trail is EBC trek route. It is because of the presence of Banks, ATMs, Lodges, Hotels and others. Trekkers can get all kinds of facilities during the trip. In fact until Namche Bazaar there is no difference between any kinds of modern towns. Therefore, in terms of Comfort and Facilities Everest Base Camp Trek leads than Annapurna Circuit Trek.
Annapurna Circuit Trek price ranges from 900 $ to 1300 $. However, trekkers can choose to get rid of various services. The above price comprises of full board basis packages. Everest Base Camp Trek price ranges from 1100 $ to 2600 $. However, trekkers can get the bargain prices. There are numerous ways to book the EBC Trek.
The number of people doing Annapurna Circuit Trek in comparison to Everest Base Camp Trek is very less. If you consider having the tranquil trekking experience then Annapurna Circuit is the best. However, in terms of traffic the blogger keeps it both in same page. The huge area means no matter how many people are on the trail it looks dwarf.
Annapurna Circuit Trek wins in the department of Cultural Experiences. While doing the Everest Base Camp Trek trekkers can experience the Sherpa community culture. However, during the Annapurna Circuit Trek Trekkers can experience the Magar, Brahmin, Gurung, Thakali, Tibetan and Dalit community culture. If you want to have the Himalayan experience along with the cultural grandeur then Annapurna Circuit wins it all.
If you talk about the difficulty to do trek then Everest tops it. However, the trail is easier to walk during Everest Base Camp Trek in comparison to Annapurna Circuit. The circuit Trekking involves more uphill and downhill but Everest is comparatively on Nepalese Flat track. The highest point during the Annapurna Circuit Trek is 5,416 m but this altitude is only for very short period of time as trekkers descend quickly to low altitude. However, during Everest Base Camp Trek trekkers stay at 5,164 m and travel as high as 5,545 m (Kalapathar). Therefore, EBC is difficult than Annapurna Circuit Trekking.
Nepal is country of multiple ethnic and diverse terrains. This results in the changes in weather abruptly. However, the accessibility in Annapurna Circuit Trekking is via road. Therefore, there is less chances of changes in itinerary. During Everest Base Camp Trek the accessibility is by air. Therefore, the climatic conditions results in the unpredictability of the flights to Lukla. Climatic conditions in Everest Region are unpredictable therefore the itinerary is not certain as planned in EBC Trek.
Landscapes are similar in both Everest Base Camp Trek and Annapurna Base Camp Trek. However, the Himalayan desert experience is possible only during Circuit Trekking. In terms of vegetation temperate, sub alpine, alpine and tundra are possible to experience in both trekking trails.
In terms of bragging rights Everest wins. To reach the base camp of world’s tallest mountain is not comparable. Therefore, in this regard Everest Base Camp Trek wins.
If you are searching for the side treks Everest Base Camp and Annapurna Circuit Trek both has enough alternatives. The side treks during Annapurna Circuit Trek are Poon Hill, Annapurna Base Camp, Dhaulagiri, Tilicho Lake Trek and Upper Mustang Trek. The side treks during Everest Base Camp Trek are Gokyo Valley Trek, Everest View Trek, Three High Passes Trek etc. The blogger highly recommends travelers to do both these treks. For more information about any things regarding these two trekking routes don’t hesitate to contact this blogger at Karma Eco Adventure.