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 treks are popular throughout the world, it is the standard query among trekking enthusiasts. However, it is tough to decide which one is best. If you have enough time, both of the treks are amazingly beautiful and adventurous, along with their unique features. But, if you are planning to do only one tour, you need to collect information and compare both the treks to decide which one to walk.
The information on this blog provides some insights into both Annapurna Base Camp Trek and Everest Base Camp Trek. This article could help you determine your choice between either trek.
Stepping to the foot of the world’s tallest mountain is every trekker's dream. 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 highlight the walk to the Everest region.
You will 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 different side of the Himalayas.
Everest Base Camp Trek suits you the best if you want to enjoy the mountain vistas other than the landscape.
Everest Base Camp Region
The starting point of the Everest Region trek is Lukla. You can reach Lukla by taking a scenic flight from Kathmandu to Lukla. However, if you want to avoid the flight, you can opt for Jiri to Everest Base Camp Trek. Around 8 hours of drive from Kathmandu, you can reach Jiri, 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. A few hours of drive from Pokhara, you can reach Nayapul or Tikhedhunga, where you can start your tour to the Annapurna region. Either taking the drive or flight from Kathmandu, you can reach Pokhara. Further, you can also begin your Annapurna Circuit trek from Besisahar, which is around an 8-hour drive from Kathmandu.
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, located at an elevation of 5364m from sea level. The 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, 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 a slightly lower altitude than Everest Base Camp Trek. The walk to the Annapurna Base Camp commences from Besisahar, located at 800m above 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, 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 their altitudes, Annapurna Base Camp Trek is more reliable than EBC Trek.
Everest Base Camp
If you are in Nepal just for the mountains, you will find Everest Base Camp Trek more fascinating. Every trekker's dream is 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 beautiful 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. The 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 walk to Annapurna Base Camp starts in the lower fertile hills. You will pass through the terraced rice fields, oak, and rhododendron forest as you ascend higher. During the Spring season, the blooming rhododendron forest adds more pleasure to your journey. Don’t worry. The trek never fails to astonish you with its incredible mountain views. They become a regular backdrop throughout your tour to the Annapurna Base Camp. The stunning views of Machhapuchhre and the 8000m giant Dhaulagiri make you feel overwhelmed.
Moreover, the idea of fascinating peaks and sunrise from Poonhill is just outstanding. High altitude mountain lakes such as Tilicho and Ice Lake in the Annapurna region provide you with a different trekking experience. Apart from all of these, the arid landscape of the Upper Mustang makes your trek to the Annapurna region more wonderful and reminiscing.
Community and Local Culture:
If you are someone who wishes to explore varieties of cultures and traditions, then Annapurna Base Camp Trek is perfect for you. While traversing 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 the lower land are inhabited by Brahmin and Chhetris, whereas the Upper one consists of Tamang and Gurung settlements. For instance, by Strolling around the Ghandruk, 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 various ethnic communities along different routes in the Annapurna region. You can see farmers and traditional villages at the Annapurna Base Camp. When it comes to interacting with the locals, you will find the people of this region more friendly. The overwhelming hospitality of locals adds an extra essence to your journey. Annapurna trek gives you a more local flavor than the Everest trek.
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 elevations. As the Sherpa people inhabit the whole Everest region, you can observe a similar type of culture and tradition along the way to Everest Base Camp. People living in this region are primarily engaged in tourism. You will pass various mani walls, prayer wheels, prayer flags, chortens, and Buddhist monasteries. 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.
It is not an easy task to trek in the Himalayas of Nepal. It requires lots of endurance and willpower to accomplish the trekking to both of these destinations. The difficulty level of the tour 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. With the increase in size, 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, 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 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, making the Annapurna region trek comparatively less complicated. 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 acute mountain sickness symptoms, such as loss of appetite, difficulty breathing, nausea, etc., descend to 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's 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 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, 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 the Himalayas but wish to explore Mount Everest from close, 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 most popular ones. The walk to ABC starts from Nayapul. You will reach Annapurna Base Camp by passing through the vibrant rhododendron forests, eye-catching waterfalls, terraced landscape, and charming villages of Ghorepani and Chhomrong. The mesmerizing views of Mt Dhauligiri, Mt Annapurna, Mt Machhapuchhre, Gangapurna, and the Langtang range add 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 the 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 a higher altitude, you must acclimate correctly to avoid altitude sickness. Manang is a beautiful place where you stop for acclimatization during this trek. From Manang, you head towards Tilicho Lake via Sri Khalkha. 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, the pilgrimage destination of both Hindu and Buddhist people. Descending from Muktinath, you get Jomsom. Further, trekking through Tatopani, Ghorepani, Ulleri, and Birethanti, you can return to Pokhara from Nayapul.
Short Annapurna Base Camp Trek is there if you are short on time in Nepal. However, if you opt for quick and easy treks, Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek best serves you. Although the walk 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 are awe-inspiring.
Those who want to skip the arduous journey but wish to explore the beauty of the Annapurna Himalayas from close 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 spectacular views of mountains and surrounding ambiance. The Spring season adorns the trail with the rhododendron blooms and other wildflowers.
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.
You will find many tea houses on the trail to Annapurna Base Camp. However, the facilities are basic compared to Everest Base Camp. You may have to share the room with other trekkers during the peak season. 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 during the peak season, you may have to spend the night on a sharing basis.