Are you planning to go trekking in Nepal? But which trek are you thinking of, the Annapurna Circuit vs Everest Base Camp? Here, I am going to give you information about the length of the trip, complexity, cost, and many other aspects of the Everest Base Camp Trek vs. Annapurna Circuit. The advantages and disadvantages of each trekking route are extensive, and it is primarily your personal choices that will determine whether the Annapurna Circuit or Everest Base Camp (EBC) trek is the better option for you at this time.
Things to know about Annapurna Circuit vs Everest Base Camp Trek
|Difference||Annapurna Circuit||Everest Base Camp|
|Highest Elevation||Thorung La Pass (5416 m)||Base Camp (5364 M)|
|Trekking Days||14 to 16 Days||12 to 14 Days|
|Cultural Ethnics Group||Thakali, Manangis, Gurung etc.||Sherpa, Rai, Tamang etc.|
|Major Peak||Thorung Peak, Annapurna-I, Dhaulagiri, Machhapuchre||Mt. Everest, Cho Oyu, Lhotse, Nuptse|
|Price Per Permit||USD 50 for both TIMS + ACAP||USD 52 for both National park + Local Government|
|Cost Per Day||30 USD||36 USD|
Annapurna Circuit Vs Everest Base Camp
There is no doubt, that both Annapurna & Everest treks are demanding adventure hikes across the world. Literally & figuratively, this trek takes you to the fantastic world’s tallest mountains. I have been to both treks, the good news is that neither of them is a bad choice. Whichever trek you choose, you will certainly like it.
There are a number of factors to consider while comparing these two of Nepal’s most popular trekking routes. Although, attractions, routes & trails, scenery, obstacles and challenges, and many other factors distinguish these two trekking experiences. Let’s compare these two treks with formal details.
Duration of the Trek
Everest Trekking: The duration of the Everest base camp trek is 12 to 14 days in total from arrival to departure. The day increases if you travel via Jiri or Salleri. In this trek, you have to spend two days extra for the acclimatization in Namche Bazaar & Dingboche. If you travel through agencies, they have various options & offer an EBC trek from 7 days to 15 Days. You might prolong the trek by staying in Namche Bazaar for a few extra days or trekking to Gokyo Ri, bringing the total to 16-18 days in the lap of the Himalayas.
Annapurna Circuit: The duration of this Annapurna trek is 14 to 16 days. Nowadays, due to the development of graveled roadways up to Manang & after the Muktinath, many trekkers have shortened the trekking duration and trying to consume their time as much as possible. In this trek, you will spend one extra day for acclimatization in Manang. After crossing the Thorong La pass, you trek to Muktinath (Holy place), subsequently, you can drive to Pokhara via Beni or fly from Jomsom. Though many of them lengthen the duration of the trek via Ghorepani. You can stay in Manang longer if you choose, or go on side trips to Tlicho Lake. This can prolong your trek duration from 16 to 18 days in mountainous regions.
Get to There
Everest Trekking: Lukla is the starting point of this EBC trek. Lukla is a small town that has a small runway airport (Tenzing Hillary) that is accessible by plane from Kathmandu. However, sometimes the weather affects flights and is canceled due to inclement climate. If this happens, alternatively you can take 9 to 10 hours of jeep ride from Kathmandu to Salleri then walk to Lukla for three days. Otherwise, you can take 7 to 8 hours of local bus ride to Jiri & trek to Lukla for five days. Repeat the process on your return journey.
Annapurna Circuit: This trek begins from Besisahar, which is a small bustling town. It’s about a 4-hour, 110 KM bus ride from Kathmandu or Pokhara. Nowadays, the newly constructed jeep route connects many parts of the Annapurna Circuit. You can easily go by jeep up to Manang and skip a few days of hiking if you are on a tight schedule. From Jomsom to Pokhara, you can fly, take a jeep or take a bus. Otherwise, take a bus from Nayapul to Pokhara after the end of the circuit trek. It just takes about one & half hours of drive.
Everest Trekking: The trek to Everest Base Camp is more popular. There are many well-managed teahouses lodges with lots of rooms & a large warm dining hall to look after the tourists. There are multiple bathrooms, and their kitchens are well-organized. The EBC was originally designed for group tours and is still being expanded to suit the group, making it far more convenient than the Annapurna Circuit.
Annapurna Circuit: Most of the accommodations are built by local people; like a family-run guest house. The bathroom & toilet will be outside and away from where you are sitting. Very rare to find the big lodges that accommodate a large number of groups. A hot shower is available with little charge. However, the crowd of tourists is very less in the lodges compared to the EBC trek. The local people treat trekkers are friends rather than guests.
Cost Break Down (Annapurna vs EBC)
Everest Trekking: The cost below is average and there are many ways to minimize cost for EBC.
Permit: NPR 2000 for Local Government + NPR 3000 + 13% VAT National Park Entry = NPR 5400
Food: 300 NPR to 1000 NPR (Average cost per meal from lower elevation to higher elevation). It will be around NRs. 3000 Per day including both food & drinks: NRs. 3000 x 14 Days = NPR 42000
Accommodation: 500 NPR to 1000 NPR (Price Range from Lower Elevation to Higher Elevation): Nrs.550 x 12 Nights = NPR 6600
Transportation: USD 360 for flight (Kathmandu/ Ramechhap – Lukla – Kathmandu/Ramechhap): NRs 36000 (If 1 USD = NPR 100)
Hot Shower: NPR 400 to NPR 800
Internet Wifi & Charging: NPR 200 to NPR 1000 (Recommend Everest link Wifi in Everest region trek).
Annapurna Circuit: The cost listed below is an average, and there are many ways to reduce AC costs.
Permit: NPR 2000 for TIMS card to Free Individual Trekkers (FIT) + NPR 3000 for Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) = NPR 5000
Food: 150 NPR to 700 NPR (Average cost per meal from lower elevation to higher elevation). It will be around NRs. 2500 Per day including both food & drinks: NRs. 2500 x 16 Days = NPR 40000
Accommodation: 300 NPR to 500 NPR (Price Range from Lower Elevation to Higher Elevation): Nrs.400 x 15 Nights = NPR 6000
Transportation: NPR 500 to Besisahar (Either from KTM or PKR) + NPR 250 (Nayapul to Pokhara): NPR 750. (If you wish to take a private jeep car, the cost will be more).
Hot Shower: NPR 100 to NPR 300
Internet Wifi & Charging: NPR 100 to NPR 200
Rate of Tourist Flow or Trekkers Number in Annapurna Circuit vs Everest Base Camp Trek
Everest Trekking: The Everest base camp (EBC) from the south means from the Nepal side, at an elevation of 5,364 m (17,598 feet), and is amongst the most famous trekking trails in the Himalayas. More than average 40,000 people make the trek from Lukla airport each year (Lukla is a gateway to the Everest region). According to Nepal tourism statistics for 2019 with the sources of the department of National park & wildlife conservation, about 57,289 tourists visited Sagarmatha national park (Everest region). The majority of EBC hikers complete the trail during one of the two peak seasons.
Annapurna Circuit: The Annapurna Circuit trek one of the most popular tourist sites, had unbelievable growth in visitors in 2018, breaking a new record for the largest number of visitors in the area. The hike route was visited by 28, 534 people in 2018 compared to 27,068 tourists in 2017 according to the Annapurna Conservation Area’s Dharapani Check post in Manang, Jan 2019. Another, based on the Nepal tourism statistics of 2019 with the help of National park & wildlife conservation, around 181,746 tourists visited the Annapurna Region. This region attracts around 40% of Nepal’s worldwide trekking visitors.
Annapurna Circuit Vs Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty
Annapurna Circuit: You gradually obtain altitude in Annapurna Circuit by trekking long hours each day. But for a few days, you’ll need to force yourself up a steep incline to gain altitude. The toughest or most difficult section of the trek is the Thorung La pass (5416 m). You will need to wake up and move early before the wind blows above the mountains. The day between Thorung Phedi (4500 m) to Muktinath (3800 m) takes roughly 9 to 10 hours, first half up to the top (5416 m), which lasts 4-5 hours, is all uphill.
Everest Trekking: Although the Everest Base Camp trek has an abrupt section. You will trek fewer hours each day. While the final stretch from Lobuche to Gorakshep to Everest base camp (5364 m) is particularly challenging. the ascent to Kalapatthar (5550 m) the next morning or same day evening also another difficult section for those who are not used to high altitudes. Comparatively, I have found that the Everest base camp trek is more challenging than the Annapurna Circuit trek.
Annapurna Vs Everest base camp trek, both of these treks are exciting and adventurous. For beginners, I recommend Annapurna and then the Everest trek because of the easier trail and less difficult sections in Annapurna. After completing the Annapurna trip, do not skip the EBC trek because your trekking experience will be incomplete until you reach Everest Base Camp (5364 m) & Kalapatthar (5550 m).