Trekking to Everest Base Camp vs Annapurna Base Camp: Which one is best?

When it comes to trek in Nepal, the first thing that pops up in everyone’s mind is either to do the Everest Base Camp Trek or Annapurna Base Camp Trek. As both of the treks are popular throughout the world, it is the common queries among the trekking enthusiasts. However, it is really very difficult to decide which one is best. If you have enough time then, both of the treks are amazingly beautiful and adventurous along with their unique features. But, if you are planning to do only one trek then, it is essential for you to collect information and compare both of the treks so that you can decide which one to trek.

The information on this blog provides some insights into both Annapurna Base Camp Trek and Everest Base Camp Trek. This article could help you to determine your choice between either of the trek.

Stepping to the foot of the world’s tallest mountain is the dream of every trekker. Joining the trek to the Everest Base Camp, you will find yourself in front of the majestic Mount Everest. Spectacular mountain views and Sherpa culture are the highlights of the trek to the Everest region.

You will get to observe the variety of landscapes and cultures while trekking in the Annapurna Region of Nepal. Passing through the subtropical region to the alpine and further trekking to the semi-deserted terrain, you will experience a totally different side of the Himalayas.

If you want to enjoy the mountain vistas other than the landscape then, Everest Base Camp Trek suits you the best.

 

Getting there: 

Everest Base Camp Region

The starting point of the Everest Region trek is Lukla. You can reach Lukla by taking the scenic flight from Kathmandu to Lukla. However,  if you want to avoid the flight then, you can opt for Jiri to Everest Base Camp Trek. Around 8 hours of drive from Kathmandu, you can reach Jiri from where you can start your trek. Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa completed their Everest Trek by trekking through the same route. Walking from Jiri to Lukla, you can continue your Trek from there. But you need an extra week more to reach Lukla or Namche if you choose to trek along this old route.
 

Annapurna Trekking Region

Pokhara is the gateway to most of the treks in the Annapurna region. Few hours of drive from Pokhara, you can reach Nayapul or Tikhedhunga from where you can start your trek to Annapurna region. Either taking the drive or flight from Kathmandu, you can reach Pokhara. Further, you can also start your Annapurna Circuit trek from Besisahar, which is around an 8-hour drive from Kathmandu.

 

Elevation:

Everest Base Camp Trek

The trek to the Everest Base Camp starts at 2860m in Lukla. The trail takes you to the Everest Base Camp, which is located at an elevation of 5364m from the sea level. That highest vantage point of Everest Base Camp Trek is Kalapathar. Situated at an altitude of 5545m from Kalapathar, you can enjoy the spectacular sunrise and mountain views. Moreover, if you opt for Everest Region Trek via Gokyo Valley, then you can also hike to Gokyo Ri at 5367m. As the places in the Everest region are at a higher altitude, you have to give proper time for acclimatization. Due to this region, the trek to the Everest region requires more days than that of the Annapurna region.

Annapurna Base Camp Trek and Annapurna round

The Annapurna region trek takes the trekkers to the slightly lower altitude than Everest Base Camp Trek. The trek to the Annapurna Base Camp commences from Besisahar, which is located at 800m above the sea level. The maximum elevation of the Annapurna Base Camp Trek is 4130m at the Annapurna Base Camp. However, if you want to do the Annapurna Circuit Trek then, you have to cross Thorang La Pass. Located at an elevation of 5416m, Thorang La Pass is the highest point of the Annapurna Circuit Trek. For the trekkers who anticipate problems with the altitudes, for them, Annapurna Base Camp Trek is more reliable than EBC Trek.


 

Scenery:

Everest Base Camp

If you are in Nepal just for the mountains, then you will find Everest Base Camp Trek more fascinating. It is the dream of every trekker to observe the beauty of the world’s tallest Mt Everest from close. Hence joining the trek to Everest Base Camp one can relish the spectacular beauty of Everest.  Besides the fascinating Mt Everest views, trekkers doing this trek also get astonished by the ravishing views of peaks like Ama Dablam, Pumori, Lhotse, and many more. The tranquil lakes of Gokyo Valley lure the trekkers to do the Gokyo Valley Trek. Even the flight from Kathmandu to Lukla is scenic in itself. High suspension bridge, prayer wheels, Mani walls, colorful prayer flags, and ancient Buddhist monasteries attract trekkers throughout your journey.

 Annapurna Base Camp

Annapurna region trek embraces a variety of landscapes. The trek to Annapurna Base Camp starts in the lower fertile hills. As you ascend higher, you will pass through the terraced rice fields, oak, and rhododendron forest. During the Spring season, the blooming rhododendron forest adds more pleasure to your journey. Don’t worry the trek never fails to astonish you by its incredible mountain views. They become regular backdrop throughout your trek to the Annapurna Base Camp. The stunning views of Machhapuchhre and the 8000m giant Dhaulagiri make you feel overwhelmed. Moreover, the view of fascinating peaks and sunrise from Poonhill is just outstanding. High altitude mountain lakes such as Tilicho and Ice Lake in Annapurna region provides you the different experience of trekking. Apart from all of these, the arid landscape of Upper Mustang makes your trek to the Annapurna region more wonderful and reminiscing.

 

Community and Local Culture:

Annapurna  Region

If you are someone who wishes to explore varieties of culture and tradition then Annapurna Base Camp Trek is perfect for you. While traversing through the trail of the Annapurna region you can encounter diverse ethnic tribes such as Brahmin, Chhetri, Magar, Tamang, Thakalis, and Gurungs. Most of the villages in lower land are inhabited by Brahmin and Chhetris whereas the Upper one consists of Tamang and Gurung settlements. For instance; Strolling around the Ghandruk, wherever you go, you will meet Gurung people. The people living in this region follow Hinduism, Buddhism, and Animism. Hence, you can observe the lifestyle and culture of varieties of ethnic communities along different routes in the Annapurna region. You can see farmers and traditional villages on the way to Annapurna Base Camp. When it comes to interacting with the locals, then you will find people of this region more friendly. The overwhelming hospitality of locals adds an extra essence on your journey. Annapurna trek gives you a more local flavor than Everest trek.

 

Everest Region

Everest region is the home to famous Sherpa people who practice Tibetan Buddhism. These people are well known for their endurance and stamina at a higher elevation. As the whole Everest region is inhabited by the Sherpa people, you can observe a similar type of culture and tradition along the way to Everest Base Camp. People living in this region are mostly engaged in tourism. You will pass various mani walls, prayer wheels, prayer flags, chortens, and Buddhist monasteries on the way. The beauty of the famous Tengboche Monastery leaves you spellbound. During your stay at Namche Bazar, it is highly recommended to visit the Sherpa cultural site in the town such as Khangba Ngingba house, the oldest traditional Sherpa home. 
 

Difficulty level

It is not an easy task to trek in the Himalayas of Nepal. It requires lots of endurance and willpower to accomplish the trekking in both of these destinations. The difficulty level of the trek depends on several factors such as altitude, duration, state of the trail, and many others.

 

If we observe the trek by pointing out the altitude, Everest Base Camp Trek is the most challenging one. With the increase in altitude, there is a high chance of getting altitude sickness. Starting the trek from Lukla the trail leads you to an elevation of 5364m. Further, hiking up to a high altitude place like Kalapathar adds more pain to your knees and shoulder. Also, if you decide to do Gokyo to Everest Base Camp Trek then you have to cross Renjo La Pass and Cho La Pass which are situated at an elevation of 5360m and 5420m respectively. You have to spend several days above the temperature of 4000m. Hence to avoid the acute mountain sickness, you should take proper acclimatization. 

While doing the Annapurna Base Camp Trek, we will be trekking to the elevation of 4130m from sea level, which makes the Annapurna region trek comparatively less difficult. Moreover, we should not have to spend more days at a higher altitude while traversing the trail of Annapurna Base Camp.

 

Both of the treks take you to the higher elevation. Therefore, if you observe any of the symptoms of acute mountain sickness such as loss of appetite, difficulty in breathing, nausea, and so on, then just descend towards the lower altitude. You have to drink lots of water to keep your body hydrated.

 

Variety of treks

Everest Base Camp Trek is one of the most popular treks in the Everest region of Nepal. Taking the scenic flight from Kathmandu, you can reach Lukla. Following the trekking trail from Lukla to Namche through Phakding, you will take a day rest at Namche Bazar. Further, continuing the trek through Tengboche, Dingboche, Lobuche, and Gorakshep you reach Everest Base Camp. If you wish to observe the close-up views of Mount Everest, then you can hike up to Kalapathar from Gorakshep. Return to Lukla through Periche and Namche.

If you are the one who loves thrill and adventure, then just join the trek to Everest Base Camp and Gokyo Lakes via Cho La Pass. Trekking through this less crowded trail, you will get to observe the captivating mountain views.

 Furthermore, if you want a more remote and challenging trek, then Everest Three Passes Trek is best for you. However, some previous trekking experience is essential to accomplish this trek.

If you have limited time to spend in the land of Himalayas but wish to explore Mount Everest from close, then you can book the short treks in the Everest region such as Everest View Trek, Everest Panorama Trek and so on. These short treks reward you with enthralling views of Mountain Everest and other mountains in a short period. Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tour is the other fastest and easiest way to observe the close-up view of Mount Everest.  

As the Annapurna region is easily accessible by the roadways, there are many options for varieties of treks in the Annapurna region. Among many Annapurna Base Camp Trek, is one of the popular ones. The trek to ABC starts from Nayapul. Passing through the vibrant rhododendron forests, eye-catching waterfalls, terraced landscape, and charming villages of Ghorepani and Chhomrong you will reach Annapurna Base Camp. The mesmerizing views of Mt Dhauligiri, Mt Annapurna, Mt Machhapuchhre, Gangapurna, and Langtang range adds more excitement to your journey. While returning you can take the pleasure of a hot spring bath at Jhinu Danda. Moreover, the Gurung villages of Ghandruk provide you the ample opportunity to experience the local culture and lifestyle of Gurung People, which is truly rewarding.

 

The classic Annapurna Circuit Trek is there for the one who wishes to spend more days in the land of the Annapurna region. This trek takes the trekkers to the highest elevation of 5416m at Thorang La Pass. Taking the drive from Kathmandu to Besisahar, you can start your Annapurna Circuit Trek from Besisahar or Jagat. As the Annapurna Circuit Trek takes you to the higher altitude, you have to acclimate properly to avoid altitude sickness. Manang is a wonderful place where you stop for acclimatization during this trek. From Manang, you head towards Tilicho Lake via Sri Kharkha. The astonishing beauty of pristine Tilicho lake is something you should not miss. From here, you head to Thorand La Pass. Crossing the Thorang La Pass, you will reach Muktinath, which is the pilgrimage destination of both Hindu and Buddhist people. Descending from Muktinath, you reach Jomsom. Further, trekking through Tatopani, Ghorepani, Ulleri, and Birethanti you can return Pokhara from Nayapul.

 

If you are short for time in Nepal, then Short Annapurna Base Camp Trek is there for you. However, if you opt for short and easy treks, then Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek serves you the best. Although the trek to Ghorepani Poon Hill is short, it still takes you to the heart of the Annapurna region. The sunrise and mountain views from the vantage point of Poonhill is awe-inspiring.

 

Those who want to skip the arduous journey but wish to explore the beauty of the Annapurna  Himalayas from close then, they can join Annapurna Base Camp Helicopter Tour.

 

Best time for Annapurna Base Camp Trek and Everest Base Camp Trek

Spring and Autumn season is considered the best season for trekking in both Annapurna and Everest region. During this season, the weather remains stable offering you the spectacular views of mountains and surrounding ambiance. The Spring season adorns the trail by the rhododendron blooms and other wildflowers.

 

Food

Well, you will not find much difference between the meals on either of the treks. You will get to eat simple local Nepali food on both of these treks. Local Nepali food includes Dal, Bhat, and mixed vegetables. However, you are more likely to get veggies in the Annapurna region as most of the people here are engaged in farming.

 

Accommodation

You will find many tea houses on the trail to Annapurna Base Camp. However, the facilities are basic compared to Everest Base Camp. During the peak season, you may have to share the room with other trekkers. You can enjoy services like wifi or a hot shower in the lower region of Annapurna. But as you proceed higher the service gets more basic and costly.

You will find abundant teahouses and lodges on the trail of Everest Base Camp. The teahouses here commonly provide attached bathrooms with a hot shower. Spending the night at Everest View Hotel above Namche Bazar, you will get bewildered by the beautiful scenery. The teahouses in the Everest region trekking trail are well established. Therefore, even at the peak season, you may have to spend the night on a sharing basis.