Trekking is the primary activity that attracts thousands of tourists to visit Nepal repeatedly. Base Camp treks, Circuit treks, peak climbing, what more are the choices? We can guarantee that no matter which trekking option you choose, you will surely experience excitement and adventure to the fullest. Regardless you visit the Everest Base Camp trek or go for the Annapurna Circuit trek, every penny you spend will come back to you in the form of entertainment, adventure, and knowledge.
Annapurna Circuit vs Everest Base Camp
Table of Contents
The Everest Base Camp trek is the first thing that comes to anyone's mind when considering Nepal's best base camp treks. The same goes with the Annapurna Circuit trek for the circuit treks with the best experience. However, the two of these best trekking options have some significant differences, which every trekker might know before choosing any one of these treks. If you have limited time in Nepal and want to go for one of the best adventures, this blog will help you choose the better option.
Comparing the significant highlights of Everest Base Camp and Annapurna Circuit
Both EBC and Annapurna Circuit treks have significance, beauty, and many other factors that help them stand out amongst many circuit and base camp treks. So, in this section, let us entertain you with some of the major highlights of the Annapurna Circuit and EBC trek. To start with, here are some significant highlights of the Everest Base Camp trek:
Significant highlights of Everest Base Camp Trek
- A beautiful 35 minutes flight from Kathmandu airport to Lukla with majestic views of hills and plains.
- Get the picturesque view of the tallest peak in the world, Mt. Everest (8848m), from Kala Patthar.
- Experience the breathtaking views of sunrises, sunsets, challenging landscapes, and other snowy mountains like Lhotse, Makalu, Choyu, etc.
- Visit the Sagarmatha National Park and see different flora, fauna, and heart-melting green forests.
Highlights of Annapurna Circuit Trek
- Chances to watch and experience the beauty, lifestyle, culture, and tradition of Kathmandu valley and Pokhara.
- Interaction with the locals living in the habitats of the Annapurna region and getting to know more about that region.
- Sightseeing at the deepest gorge in the world, the Kali Gandaki Gorge.
- Experiencing the majestic and panoramic views of the Annapurna range.
- A relaxing hot spring bath at Tatopani. This is a place where the water is naturally hot, so it is one of the attractions of this trek.
- The happiness and astonishment after crossing the Thorang La Pass (5416m).
Annapurna Circuit vs Everest Base Camp: Basic Insights
Before visiting any of the two treks, trekkers need to understand the general information about the trek and the trekking region. Several factors impact the choice of the trekkers in choosing Everest Base Camp or Annapurna circuit trek.
Keeping the same agenda in the point of view, we have provided some general but critical information about both the Annapurna Circuit and Everest Base Camp trek.
Trekkers need special permits to visit any trekking areas of Nepal. Therefore, specific permits are also required to visit Annapurna Circuit and Everest Base Camp.
For the Annapurna Circuit trek, trekkers must have two permits: the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) and Trekkers' Information Management System (TIMS) card which costs 1,000 Nepalese Rupees (about $8 USD) per person. Talking about the cost, these permits will cost you NPR 3000 per person on a single entry.
The Everest Base Camp trek requires the trekkers to obtain two primary permits: the Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality permit, which will cost around USD 20 per person, and the Sagarmatha National Park Permit, which costs approximately USD 23 per person. Besides these, the trekkers also need to get peak climbing permits before climbing any high points of the Everest region.
Budget Allocation for treks
One significant factor that impacts the planning of any trek is the budget required for the complete journey. Therefore, trekkers must know how much money they need for the start and end of the trek they are planning. In this section, we have broken down the proper budget required for both Everest Base Camp and Annapurna Circuit Trek.
Annapurna Circuit trek
The total budget to book the Annapurna Circuit trek is $1225 per person if you choose us as your trekking companion. If trekkers are in a group of 5 to 9 people, the total cost decreases to $1200. If the group has more than ten people, you can book your trek with Marvel Adventures at just $1175.
You can also allocate $1.15 to $5 per meal. Remember that the meal cost is cheaper in the lower altitude but gets expensive as much as you ascend. Accommodation facilities can be accessed within $1-$2 per night, including extra services like free wifi, shower, charging electronics, etc.
Everest Base Camp trek
The cost of the Everest Base Camp trek varies as per the packages you choose. If you select the 12 days itinerary package, it will cost you $1395 per person. However, if you go for the 10 days Everest Base Camp trek, the booking price will be $1199 per person. Nevertheless, if you visit our website, you will notice that we also provide group discounts.
Regarding food and accommodation during the Everest Base Camp trek, you will have to spend $8-$12 per breakfast, $10-$15 for Dinner, and the same for lunch. Besides, accommodation in lodges or teahouses of the Everest Base Camp trek will cost around $10 per person per night.
By this, we can see that the fooding and accommodation are pretty expensive in the Everest Base Camp compared to the Annapurna Circuit trek. However, the agency and guide cost entirely depends on your selected package.
While comparing the Everest Base Camp trek with the Annapurna Circuit trek based on people going there, the EBC trek certainly has more people than Annapurna Circuit. Suppose you are someone who wants to have a free trekking experience and wants to stay away from too many people strolling and blocking the path.
In that case, we recommend you go for the Annapurna Circuit trek. However, you feel safe walking with many people walking around, talking to them, and having fun with company. In that case, Everest Base Camp is perfect for such trekkers.
According to some statistics and data collected, around 35,000 to 40,000 people go to the Everest Base Camp every year even after COVID-19, i.e., after 2020. In contrast, the Annapurna Circuit trek only had around 15,900 tourists in 2022. We think these numbers have given you the result of the crowd comparison of the Everest Base Camp trek with that of the Annapurna Circuit trek.
Ultimately, we suggest that trekkers choose the Annapurna Circuit or the EBC trek per their preferences. If you want to avoid being crowded and enjoy a peaceful trek along the primarily empty trekking path, the Annapurna Circuit trek is the best option.
The Everest Base Camp trek and the Annapurna circuit trek are considered moderately complex. Many trekkers say that both tours are very adventurous and exciting enough to experience the culture and lifestyle of the Himalayan region of the country.
The rugged terrain of the Everest Base Camp starts right from Lukla. In contrast, the first phase of the Annapurna circuit trek, which goes from Pokhara to Nayapul, is straightforward. However, the trek starts becoming more and more physically and mentally challenging as you ascend.
The Everest Base Camp trek covers an area of 130 kilometers, whereas the Annapurna Circuit trek is only 67 km. Therefore, you will have to walk comparatively less during the Annapurna Circuit trek when compared to the Everest Base Camp trek. As a result, the physical strength trekkers need for the EBC is way higher than that required for the Annapurna Circuit trek.
See also:Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty
Accommodation Facilities: EBC trek vs. Annapurna Circuit trek
Both the Everest Base Camp trek and the Annapurna circuit trek are considered moderately complex, so these treks are recommended to trekkers with prior trekking experience. Because of this difficulty level, your body might require more energy and better acclimatization facilities. So, better accommodation and fooding are necessary for any trekkers attempting the Annapurna Circuit trek and the Everest Base Camp trek.
The accommodation facilities are almost similar in both EBC and Annapurna Circuit. Trekkers will find several Hotels/Lodges to stay a night, tea houses for lunch and dinner, or resting and camping. However, one thing to remember is that you will also find homestay facilities in the Annapurna Circuit trek, which are unavailable in the EBC trek. Furthermore, tea houses are also available only at some stops in the Everest Base Camp. In contrast, the Annapurna Circuit trek has tea houses at almost every stop.
This comparison shows that accommodation facilities are better and more accessible in the Annapurna Circuit trek than in the Everest Base Camp trek.
Preparations to be done
No matter which circuit trek or base camp trek you choose, you must prepare and plan appropriately for a safe and sound trekking experience. The same goes for both Everest Base Camp and the Annapurna Circuit trek. These treks, two of Nepal's most challenging trekking routes, need structured planning and preparation.
You must be physically and mentally strong for the Everest Base Camp and Annapurna Circuit trek. Trekkers must be well-planned and straightforward, from hiring the correct guide to choosing the perfect package.
We recommend you start doing exercises, workouts, and other activities that increase the stamina of your body. Also, packing is one of the most important preparations for these treks. After this, we will list some essential things to pack for the Anapurna Circuit and Everest Base Camp trek.
See also: Everest Base Camp Trek Preparation
What to pack?
As mentioned above, packing is one of the essential steps in planning and preparing for any trek. You must cross high and steep slopes, extreme weather conditions, and coldness. Furthermore, there are also chances of suffering from altitude sickness and cold-borne illnesses. To overcome these hurdles, you must have a backpack carrying all the necessary gear and items required throughout the trek.
The packing list is almost similar for both the Annapurna Circuit trek and the Everest Base Camp trek, which means there is little to compare in the packing list. So here are some of the most important things that you must not forget while ascending either Everest Base Camp or Annapurna Circuit:
- Trekking boots
- Three Layers of clothing (base layer, second layer, and outermost layer)
- Warm Clothes
- Trekking stick
- Sleeping Bags
- Blankets or quilts
- Raincoats and rain boots
- Headlamps and torches
- A lot of liquid (mainly water)
- Energy Bars and some snacks
- Mobile phones
- Documents containing details about yourself
- All the permits required
- A little extra money
- Vomit-resisting medicines
- Sunscreens, sunglasses, and hats
Remember to check your backpacks more than once before starting the trek. If anything needs to be added, take the help of your guides, porters, or the trekking agency and include all the required gear and items in your backpack. Don't forget that proper packing of every equipment and item plays a significant role in ensuring a successful and safe trekking experience, whether you go for the Everest Base Camp or the Annapurna Circuit trek.
See also: Everest Base Camp Trek Packing List
Similarities between Everest Base Camp and Annapurna Circuit trek
In the above section, we tried to enlighten the trekkers about the significant differences in comparing the Everest Base Camp trek and the Annapurna Circuit trek. However, there are also some similarities between these two treks, which will be discussed in the next section of the blog.
The right time to visit these treks
Before heading out for the trek, trekkers should know when and when not to go for any specific treks or excursions. Weather conditions and climate play a significant role in making the trek accessible or not accessible. Furthermore, the condition of the trial, the crowd in the trial, etc., also depend on the month you choose to go for the trek.
As per our experience and the suggestions of all the experienced trekkers, Spring and Autumn are claimed to be the best seasons to do any trek in Nepal. Spring falls between March to May, and Autumn falls between September and November. These are considered the safest months to see any trekking regions of Nepal, whether you visit the Everest Base Camp or the Annapurna Circuit trek.
Spring and Autumn in the Himalayan region let trekkers experience the most transparent sky, pleasant temperature, less challenging paths, more accommodation and fooding options, fewer chances of any illness and altitude sickness, and the trek can also be completed within the exact days allocated in the itinerary. This helps trekkers save a lot of money and use less physical strain. Even if the nights at the higher altitude are colder, the days will still have pleasant sunshine and comparatively warm weather ideal for long walks and crossing challenging landscapes.
If you go trekking in Winter, the weather will be bone-chilling cold, which makes it difficult for many trekkers and compels them to return halfway. However, trekking in Winter is possible. You can still successfully travel Annapurna Circuit and the Everest Base Camp trek in Winter with proper planning and better physical and mental preparation.
However, as a registered trekking agency, we recommend trekkers not go for any of these two destinations in the summer and monsoon seasons as these seasons are very dangerous for trekking in any snowy trials. Summer is when the snow starts to melt, making the trail very slippery and wet, and in monsoon, the same thing happens because of too much rain. Due to this region, trekkers may have to extend many days in their itinerary or even return halfway without reaching their destination.
Hiring guides and porters
Since April 1, 2023, foreign trekkers can only get a pass too high altitudes or trekking areas if they hire a local and licensed guide who works for a registered trekking agency. This makes hiring a guide compulsory for Everest Base Camp and Annapurna Circuit trek.
Hiring a guide is not arduous as you can contact any trekking agencies in Nepal, and they will automatically provide you with a guide or porter. However, these people significantly ensure a safe and sound trekking experience for every trekker visiting these two areas.
Annapurna Circuit and Everest Base Camp are moderately difficult treks where the trekkers must pass challenging trials and paths to reach the final destination. In such cases, there are chances of being lost on the journey, fewer interactions with the locals because of the language barrier, extended itinerary because of navigation problems, and many more issues. To help you out of all these and additional obstacles, hiring a trekking guide and porter has been made compulsory by the Nepal Government and the Tourism Board of Nepal.
Porters also help you carry your backpacks throughout the trek so that you can enjoy the Everest Base Camp or Annapurna Circuit trek journey to the fullest without having heavy loads.
Trekking is one of the best things to do in Nepal to escape the busy schedule, enjoy nature's beauty, and test one's physical strength. Therefore, these activities should only be done after proper planning and preparations and with licensed and professional agencies or guides. Visit our website to learn more about Marvel Adventures and check out the reviews experienced trekkers have about us.
At Marvel Adventures, we ensure our clients with safety, entertainment, adventure, culture, and tradition-packed trekking to whichever base camps or circuits you choose. We are solely established to promote international tourism in Nepal and to provide employment opportunities to the youths of the remote areas of Nepal. Therefore, you can also be a part of the happiness of the locals of the remote regions of Nepal alongside experiencing the life-lasting adventure in the Himalayan range of Nepal.
After all the comparisons above and similarity checks, we can see that the Annapurna circuit trek and the EBC trek are two of Nepal's best trekking options. However, both packages have their specialties and cons, which can be used as factors to choose one amongst the two of these.
Annapurna Circuit trek is the best option for people with a limited budget and days and for people who want to avoid much crowd and love peaceful treks. However, if you are someone who wants to explore the base of the tallest peak in the world, sightsee the beauty of Mount Everest, people who feel safe while being accompanied by a bunch of other people, and also trekkers who have enough time for trekking, EBC trek is probably the best treks in Nepal.
Remember that this comparison does not prove which of the Annapurna Circuit trek and the Everest Base Camp trek is the best or worst. Instead, it ensures the trekkers choose one based on their needs and limitations. So, Marvel Adventures requests enthusiastic trekkers to read more blogs on our website and gain more profound knowledge about both of these treks. Only after that should you finalize one of these treks and prepare to collect lifelong memories in the lap of the Himalayas.
Which among the Annapurna Circuit and Everest Base Camp trek is more challenging?
Both Everest Base Camp and Annapurna Circuit are ranked as moderately difficult treks of Nepal. However, because of the area covered, accommodation facilities, and some other factors, Everest Base Camp is claimed to be more challenging than the Annapurna Circuit trek.
How many days does it take to cover each trek?
The Everest Base Camp trek takes around 12 to 14 days to complete, covering a total area of 130 km. On the other hand, the Annapurna Circuit trek takes 12 to 21 days covering 67km.
What are the major attraction points of each of these treks?
The Annapurna Circuit trek is famous for the Thorang La Pass, located at 5,416 m. On the other hand, the central attraction point of the Everest Base Camp is the Kalapatthar viewpoint, located at 5545 m. Besides, there are also several more highlights of both these trials that the trekkers can enjoy during their journey.
When is the best time to visit these treks?
Not only these treks but every trek in Nepal is best if done in spring (March to May) or autumn (September to November). However, summer and monsoon seasons are the worst for these treks.
Do I need guides and porters for both of these treks?
Yes, hiring a guide or porter is one of the first things to be done before visiting the Annapurna circuit trek or Everest Base Camp trek. Without the company of a licensed guide or porter, the Nepal Tourism Board does not permit to go on any treks in Nepal.