Annapurna Circuit Or Everest Base Camp
"By Wanderers India"
Annapurna Circuit OR Everest Base Camp Which one to attempt and why?
Confused between Annapurna Circuit Trek OR Everest Base Camp Trek and which one to attempt? Read through the article to know more about both the treks.
Everest base camp trek is the most popular trail that is attempted in Nepal followed by Annapurna circuit trek (Or Annapurna Base Camp Trek). First of all, it is not only difficult to choose between the two, there is a very high possibility that you will end up doing both.
Trekking in Nepal: Nepal offers a wide range of treks, forest trails and summit peaks. Along with the world famous Everest Base Camp Trek, Annapurna Circuit Trek, Langtang Valley Trek, Manaslu Circuit Trek, there are a lot of treks that you can choose from.
Everest Base Camp : The highest altitude for Everest Base Camp is at Kala Pathar (5643 Meters) and the altitude gain everyday compared to Annapurna Circuit is quite high. Reaching Namche Bazar on the second day of the trek brings you straight to 3400 meters. While the trail within Khumbu Valley is a beautiful one with steep ascents and descents along with dense forest patches, the stay options are very well organized. There are a few other options or trails to take as well, for example; attempting Everest Base Camp via GokyoRi Lakes. Island Peak trek is another option within Khumbu Valley. The views on this trail are thrilling. Mt. Everest, Lhotse, Makalu and Cho Oyu are all part of Sagarmatha (and Makalu Barun) National parks.
Annapurna Circuit Trek : Compared to Everest Base Camp Trek, Annapurna Circuit Trek is not only extremely scenic but also perfect for someone who doesn’t like the idea higher altitudes and their challenges. The advantage of doing a circuit trek is a big plus too. You do not need to retrace your steps. Every day is a new and an exciting day. It takes about 13-16 days to cover the entire circuit that circle around the Annapurna Massif. The highest point on the trek is Thorung La Pass at 5416 meters but it is a gradual ascends. Most trekkers find Annapurna Circuit more scenic and less crowded. The magnificent Annapurna I,II,III& IV, along with Dhaulagiri, Machhapuchhre, Tilicho and Gangapurna peaks is simply incredible.
Everest Base Camp: The Sherpa people (community) run the lodges/homestay options on the entire trek. Buddhist Monasteries and prayer wheels welcome you to every village. The prayer flags are a common sight. Namche Bazar still serves as a business hub for Sherpa people. The trek generally has trekkers/mountaineers from around the world. In summer months you can get to meet people attempting the Mt. Everest summit as well.
Annapurna Circuit Trek: The stays here are managed by the local villagers and are very well organized. The farmer community working through the fields in the valley is a common site along with their livestock. Most people here follow Hinduism. There is a wide presence of the Gurung community as well. Annapurna Trek is a great choice for trekkers wanting to experience the authentic Nepalese life/food.
Both treks cost more or less $1000 USD usually. This includes stay and meals along with the KTM to LUA for Everest Base Camp Trek and KTM to PKH for Annapurna Circuit Trek flights.
If you choose to take a bus from KTM to PKH, it will surely drop the cost a little.
Also keep in mind that the cost for SAARC nations is slightly less.
Everest Base Camp Trek: Has extremely well organized lodging options. Most locations have small rooms with twin beds along with a restaurant to eat. Hot Water and Electricity comes with a cost. And it keeps getting higher as you go up.
Annapurna Circuit Trek:You can choose from a wide range of hotels, homestays or dorms. There are all comfortable stay options (depending on how much you would like to spend).
Everest Base Camp Trek:There are daily flights from Kathmandu to Lukla and return. Depending on the season, sometimes there are cancellations because the aircraft (which is a small 17 seater) can either not take off or cannot land. It is suggested the flight to Lukla is booked well in advance so that the earliest possible flight can be taken. Alternatively, there are chopper options available that charge anything between $2000 - $4000 USD.
Annapurna Circuit Trek:Pokhara can be accessed pretty much throughout the year without any challenges. There are hardly any cancellations owing to the weather. Alternatively, there are daily bus services from Kathmandu bus stand that take approximately 8 hours to get you there. There are some shared cab/jeep services available as well.