Are you looking for the best trekking destination in Nepal? Or are you confused about choosing any destinations out of Annapurna Base Camp, Annapurna Circuit, and Everest Base Camp Trek? If yes, this blog is a perfect answer for you as it comprehensively compares Annapurna Base Camp vs. Annapurna Circuit vs. Everest Base Camp Trek. This blog clearly compares the natural richness, cultural experiences, difficulty level, duration, and cost requirements.
Let’s explore this in detail.
Understanding Annapurna Base Camp vs. Annapurna Circuit vs. Everest Base Camp Trek
Before embarking on any one trek out of these three popular treks in Nepal, it is essential to know the basic backgrounds. So, here are certain things you should know and acknowledge about Annapurna Base Camp vs. Annapurna Circuit vs. Everest Base Camp Trek.
Annapurna Base Camp Trek
Annapurna Base Camp Trek is a mesmerizing trekking package based on the base camp of the beautiful and challenging peak Annapurna. It is located 40 kilometers (24.85 miles) north of the beautiful city of Pokhara. It takes you from the vibrant lifestyle of Pokhara to the remote and harmonious environment of the Annapurna region. The snowcapped peaks like Tilicho Peak 7,135 m (23,409 ft), Nilgiri Himal 7,061 m (23,166 ft), Gangapurna 7,455 m (24,457 ft), Hiunchuli 6,441 m (21,132 ft), and Machhapuchchhre 6,993 m (22,943 ft) sparkles the beauty of this trek. Similarly, the diverse cultural experiences of the Thakali, Gurung, and Magar communities are praiseworthy.
The Annapurna Base Camp is situated within Annapurna Conservation Area. The diverse flora and fauna of the region offer a spectacular experience, which many trekkers would be looking for. To embark on this trek, you must acquire an Annapurna Conservation Area Entry permit since it is a protected land to conserve wildlife and plant species. The lush green rhododendron and bamboo forest is very pleasing, and the Annapurna region’s colorful jungles offer a great view during the trek.
Highlights of Annapurna Base Camp Trek
- Exploring Annapurna Base Camp at 4,130m / 13,550 feet.
- 360 Views of snowcapped peaks like Annapurna, Himchuli, Gangapurna, Dhaulagiri, Tilicho Peak, and many more.
- Exploring Gurung and Thakali people and community.
- Visiting beautiful villages like Ghandruk and Poon Hill, famous for sightseeing activities.
- Cultural Immersion
- Exploring the beauty of Pokhara City.
Annapurna Circuit Trek
Annapurna Circuit Trek is a little different from the base camp trek. While the base camp trek is more focused on reaching the base camp of Annapurna, Annapurna Circuit is more leaned on covering all the destinations around the Annapurna region. During the trek, trekkers will visit famous places like Chame, Pisang, Manang, Thorong La High Pass, Muktinath, Tatopani, Jomsom, and Pokhara.
Similarly, the stunning scenery of mystic peaks like Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Machhapuchhre, Himchuli, and many others offer a pleasing experience. The cultural and religious experiences we acquire from Muktinath, Jomsom, and Manang are noteworthy. The Buddhism culture practiced around the region and the harmonious experience offered by Buddhist monasteries are breathtaking. The hospitable welcome from the Thakali, Magar, and Gurung people are unmatchable. Similarly, traditional Nepali and Thakali Cuisine add flavors to your trekking experience.
Highlights of Annapurna Circuit Trek
- Views of the snowcapped peaks like Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Machhapuchhre, Himchuli, and many others.
- Reach one of the highest passes in Nepal, Thorong La High Pass (5,416 meters above sea level)
- Explore monasteries around Manang village.
- Reach Jomsom, the windiest city in Nepal.
- Explore Muktinath Temple, its 108 sprouts and eternal flame.
- Cultural Immersion with Gurung and Thakali Community.
- Sightseeing activities in Pokhara City.
Everest Base Camp Trek
Everest Base Camp Trek is one of the most beautiful treks in the world. Nestled in the lap of the largest mountain in the world, Mount Everest, this trek offers a rewarding experience of the Himalayan region. Everest Base Camp sits in the lap of Mount Everest. EBC in Nepal, also called South Base Camp, is 5,364 meters (17,598 feet) above sea level, and it offers pristine views of the peaks from the Mahalangur Mountain Range. Mount Everest, Ama Dablam, Lhotse, Cho Oyu, Nuptse, Island Peak, and others. Similarly, the Buddhist Culture we immerse into during the trek is peaceful. Monasteries around Namche Bazaar, Pangboche Monastery, Tengboche Monastery, and others reflect the significance of Buddhism in the Everest Region.
The Everest Base Camp Trek also offers scenic views of the natural perks in the Everest Region. The Khumbu Glacier, Gorakshep Village, and Kalapatthar are very pleasing. The EBC trail resides within the Sagarmatha National Park, a UNESCO-enlisted natural park worldwide. It is home to diverse flora and fauna. Endangered animals like Snow Leopards, Blue Sheep, the Himalayan Tahr, Red Panda, and many more can be seen during the trek.
Highlights of Everest Base Camp Trek
- 360 Views of the Himalayas, including Mount Everest, Ama Dablam, Lhotse, Nuptse, and Cho Oyu.
- Exploring Tengboche Monastery and Pangboche Monastery.
- Explore Namche Bazaar and Everest View Hotel.
- Sightseeing Khumbu Glacier.
- Diverse Flora and Fauna in the Sagarmatha National Park.
- Visit Kala Patthar at 5,545 meters.
- Exploring Buddhist culture and tradition.
Difficulty Level | Annapurna Base Camp vs. Annapurna Circuit vs. Everest Base Camp
Concerning the difficulty level of Annapurna Base Camp vs. Annapurna Circuit vs. Everest Base Camp, they all are moderately challenging treks. All three trekking packages are based in the remote locations of the mountainous country Nepal. And they all come with physical, mental, and logistical demands. Let’s explore their difficulty level one by one.
Annapurna Base Camp Trek Difficulty
The most important thing to consider during Annapurna Base Camp Trek is that it takes you above 4,130 meters/13,549 feet above sea level. It is a physically demanding trek that requires high strength, endurance, and stamina. The trek starts from Pokhara with a short drive to Nayapul. After reaching Nayapul, the physical hurdles begin as trekkers will involve in full-fledged hiking from Nayapul to Annapurna Base Camp.
The trail to Annapurna Base Camp is remote and rugged. If you do not have experience in remote trekking, you might get into physical trouble. It is recommended to practice short treks before embarking on Annapurna Base Camp Trek. The trail stretches to Ghorepani, Poonhill, Tadapani, Machhapuchhre Base Camp, and Annapurna Base Camp. Since this is a multi-day trek, trekkers might find walking for over 6 hours daily challenging. The trails are steep and slippery at some points, making hiking more complicated.
Annapurna Circuit Trek Difficulty
Annapurna Circuit Trek is a comprehensive package covering most of the Annapurna Region’s regions. It takes around a couple of weeks [14 days] to complete on average. The Annapurna Circuit Trek also requires high physical fitness and mental preparation. Since the routes are rugged and seasonal, trekkers must prepare essential gear like hiking boots, poles, and other requirements. Though trekkers will have some days spared for acclimatization, they must embark on more than 6 hours of hiking daily. This means the hike is physically demanding.
Moreover, the highest altitude trekkers reach during this trek is 5,416 meters / 17,756 feet at Thorong La High Pass. The air is thin with depleted oxygen levels, and trekkers are more prone to altitude sickness and other related illnesses. Similarly, the weather and climate conditions around this region are unpredictable, which might create barriers to navigation.
The trek takes you from Jagat, Dharapani, Manang, Thorong La High Pass, Muktinath, Jomsom, and Tatopani. So this multi-day trek will be a test put into analyzing your adventure enthusiasm.
See more: Annapurna Circuit Trek Difficulty
Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty
Everest Base Camp Trek is also a moderately challenging trek. As it lies in one of the coldest regions of Nepal, the Khumbu region, trekkers might expect unpredictable weather and freezing temperatures. Also, it sits at 5,364 meters/17,598 feet above sea level, standing as one of the crucial elevations prone to AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness), HACE (High Altitude Celebral Edema), and HAPE (High Altitude Pulmonary Edema). This might be an acknowledged fact that many trekkers suffer from altitude sickness as they hike up to the base camp, where the air is thin.
Moreover, the Everest Base Camp trek requires robust physical fitness. The trail that starts in Lukla and ends in the base camp puts you on a test for sure. The off-road and unbeaten paths, freezing temperatures, sharp inclinations, and weather condition makes it hard to embark on this trek soothingly. Trekkers have to prepare on the physical aspect and with essential equipment for sound travel. The icy routes around Gorakshep will be breathtaking, but they will also test your strength due to their elevation and inclination.
Distance & Duration of Annapurna Base Camp vs. Annapurna Circuit vs. Everest Base Camp
Now let’s explore the distance and duration of these three popular trekking destinations!
Annapurna Base Camp Trek Total Distance
The total distance covered by the Annapurna Base Camp Trail is around 110km (approximately). The journey begins from Pokhara, touching the countryside location of Nayapul via public transportation. As the hike begins from Nayapul, the trail stretches to Ulleri, which is around 7 kilometers in distance. From there, trekkers must walk another 11 kilometers to reach Ghorepani and another 11.5 kilometers to reach Tadapani via Poon Hill.
The distance between Tadapani and Sinuwa is 10 kilometers, and it takes 5 hours to get there. The trail is around 24 kilometers long from Sinuwa to Annapurna Base Camp via Machhapuchhre Base Camp, which trekkers distinguish as a 2 days hike. The returning route is the same one trekkers follow to get to the base camp.
Duration of Annapurna Base Camp Trek
The standard package for Annapurna Base Camp Trek includes 12 days or 14 days itinerary. It includes the beginning day of the journey to the end, which happens in Pokhara. Among these days, around 2 days are separated for acclimatization to adjust your body to the changing altitude.
Annapurna Circuit Trek Distance
While embarking on the Annapurna Circuit Trek, trekkers often cover approximately 160 km-230 km. The journey starts from Kathmandu to Bulbule. From Bulbule, trekkers will hike through the remote settlements of the Gurung and Thakali communities during the hike. The first destination is Jagat, which is 16 kilometers away from Bulbule. The distance between Jagat and our next location, Dharapani, is 15 kilometers, and it takes 5 hours to hike. As trekkers leave Dharapani behind and commence their trip to Upper Pisang via Chame, they must hike over 28 kilometers. From there, the trail continues to Mananag (17 kilometers far) and then to Yak Kharka (9.4 kilometers from Manang).
Trekkers reach Thorong Phedi first after hiking for over 8.5 kilometers. From Thorong Phedi, the next destination is Muktinath via Thorong La High Pass, and the total distance to cover is around 15.6 kilometers approx.
The descending part continues from the Jomsom side as trekkers need to divert their journey to Jomsom and Tatopani. The total distance is 113 kilometers, and the best option to get to Tatopani is by Jeep. From there, the trail stretches to Ghorepani and Poonhill, around 30 kilometers. The trek ends after a hike from Poon Hill to Birethanti and then a drive to Pokhara.
Annapurna Circuit Trek Duration
The average duration of the Annapurna Circuit Trek is 14 days, which can be extended depending on the trekker’s interest and preferences.
Everest Base Camp Trek Distance
The total distance of the Everest Base Camp Trek is 130 kilometers. The starting point of EBC Trek is Lukla, which can be reached by a 45 minutes flight from Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu. Trekkers from Lukla point their destination to Namche Bazaar, the Gate of Everest. The total distance from Lukla to Namche Bazaar is 13.6 kilometers. From Namche, the trail continues to Tengboche, 9.2 kilometers away. From there, trekkers will continue to Dengboche (12 kilometers far) and Lobuche (8.5 kilometers far). The next destination will be Everest Base Camp, which is 15 kilometers far from Lobuche. As we return from Everest Base Camp, trekkers also can hike to Kala Patthar, a perfect viewpoint to view Mount Everest, Ama Dablam, Lhotse, Nuptse, and Island Peak. And the distance is around 9.6 kilometers from Gorakshep, the last Sherpa Settlement in Khumbu Region.
Duration of Everest Base Camp Trek
The Everest Base Camp Trek package has a standard duration of 14 days. But it is completely customizable depending on the trekker’s preferences. We also have 7 days Everest Panorama Trek if you want a budget-friendly package. And if you are looking forward to embarking on a long journey to Everest Region, then we also have an option for Everest Three Passes Trek and Gokyo Valley Trek from the Base Camp.
Cost Comparison of Annapurna Base Camp vs. Annapurna Circuit vs. Everest Base Camp
The cost comparison of Annapurna Base Camp vs. Annapurna Circuit vs. Everest Base Camp Trek offers a complete guide to essential expenses required throughout the journey. It is interesting to know that all three of the above-listed trekking packages come with a high price tag [for the standard package]. Let’s find out what factors contribute to the cost of these popular treks:
Annapurna Base Camp Trek Cost
While embarking on Annapurna Base Camp Trek, trekkers must allocate around $700 to $1000 per person. There are several things you should consider while allocating a budget. Some of them are:
There are two permits trekkers must obtain before embarking on the beautiful journey to Annapurna Base Camp. The first is Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) Permit, which costs NRs. 3000 for foreign trekkers. Travelers from South Asian Countries (SAARC Nations) should pay NRs. 1000 per person. Similarly, Nepalese trekkers should pay only NRs. 100 per person to obtain this permit.
The next permit you need is TIMS Card (Trekkers Information Management). The cost of a TIMS Card is NRs. 2000 for foreign trekkers, while the SAARC Nationals must pay only NRs. 1000.
Food, Accommodation, and Transportation Cost Breakdown
Meals Cost: $6 to $15
Breakfast Cost: $5 to $10
Tea House Accommodation Cost: $5 to $15 per night
Lodge Accommodation: $7 to $20 (Depending on the luxury and service they offer)
Transportation from Pokhara to Nayapul: $2 per person
Annapurna Circuit Trek Cost
Most trekking agencies operate Annapurna Circuit Trek at around $500 to $800 per person. However, this might significantly change as this trek covers most of the destinations from the Annapurna Region, like Muktinath, Tatopani, Jomsom, and others. With these things in mind, the standard package can cost anywhere from $800 to $1200 per person. Factors like Permits, Accommodation, Transportation, Food, and many others can influence Annapurna Circuit Trek cost.
Annapurna Circuit Trek requires the same permits as Annapurna Base Camp Trek. The Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) Permit will cost you NRs. 3000 per person. If you are from SAARC nations, you only have to pay NRs. 1000. Similarly, TIMS Card will cost you NRs. 2000 per head. Like ACAP, the SAARC nationals have the privilege of budgeting as it only costs NRs. 1000 per person.
Food, Accommodation, and Transportation Costs
Tea Houses: $3 to $5 per night
Guest Houses: $5 to $8 per night
Minimum Meal Cost: NRs. 300 – 500
Maximum Meal Cost: NRs. 500 to 1000
Drive from Nayapul to Pokhara while returning: $2 per person
Drive from Kathmandu to Bulbule: $22 (Cheapest)
Everest Base Camp Trek Cost
If you are embarking on the Everest Base Camp Trek, you should allocate around $1,300 to $1,600 per person. It is one of the most expensive trekking packages in Nepal. However, its cost is highly influenced by the time of year, permits, weather and climate, and availability of transportation and accommodation services.
Permits for Everest Base Camp Trek
There are two different permits required to trek to Everest Base Camp. They are Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Municipality Entry Permit and Sagarmatha National Park Entry Permit. The cost of Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Permit is NRs. 2000 per person. Trekkers must be in the Everest region to obtain this permit, as we cannot get this in Kathmandu. It can be acquired from Lukla or Monjo Checkpost.
Similarly, Sagarmatha National Park Entry Permit costs NPR 3000 Per Person. The SAARC Nationals have to pay NRS. 1000 while the Nepalese trekkers have to pay only NRs. 1000 per person. There is no need to acquire TIMS Card for Everest Base Camp Trek.
There is also another permit (optional), Gaurishankar Conservation Area Entry Permit. It is needed if you are traveling to Lukla via Jiri. It costs NRS. 2000 per person.
Read more: Everest Base Camp Trek Cost
Documents Needed for Obtaining Permits
- Copies of passport
- Hard copy and e-copy of your passport-sized photos
- Valid visa
- Cash in Nepalese Currency
- Guides and Trekking Agency contract
Food, Accommodation, and Transportation Costs
- Average Breakfast Cost: $8-12
- Average Lunch Cost: $10-15
- Average Dinner Cost: $10-15
- Accommodation Cost In Lodges/Teahouses: Around $10 per person
- Flight Cost from Kathmandu to Lukla: USD 180 [Regular Airlines Fee] | NRs. 14,700 [For Indian Citizes] | NRs. 5500.00 Per Person [For Nepalese]
Frequently Asked Questions
How long are the treks to Annapurna Base Camp, Annapurna Circuit, and Everest Base Camp?
The standard duration of Annapurna Base Camp is 12 to 14 days long. Similarly, Annapurna Circuit Trek and Everest Base Camp are also 14 days long.
Which trek is more challenging, Annapurna Base Camp or Everest Base Camp?
All three treks are moderately challenging in terms of difficulty. But if you see these three trekking packages side by side, Everest Base Camp Trek might be slightly more challenging.
When is the best time to trek to Annapurna Base Camp, Annapurna Circuit, or Everest Base Camp?
The best time to trek to Annapurna Base Camp, Annapurna Circuit, and Everest Base Camp is Spring [March to March] and Autumn [September to November].
Are permits required for these treks?
Yes. Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) Permits and TIMS Card are essential for Annapurna Base Camp and Annapurna Circuit Trek. Similarly, for Everest Base Camp Trek, trekkers must obtain Sagarmatha National Park Entry Permit and Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Municipality Entry Permit.
Is altitude sickness a concern on these treks?
Annapurna Base Camp and Annapurna Circuit take you to over 4000 meters above sea level. Similarly, Everest Base Camp is located above 5000 meters, so altitude sickness is a major concern during the trek.
Can I do these treks independently or join a guided tour?
It is mandatory to join a guided tour since Nepal has banned solo trekking. Trekkers need to hire a professional guide to embark on Annapurna Base Camp, Annapurna Circuit, and Everest Base Camp Trek.