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We all know how prosperous Nepal is in trekking destinations. Almost every avid trekker dreams of conquering at least one of the most popular classic treks of Nepal.
These classic treks mainly focus on offering explorers the best Himalayan experiences possible. And, among these treks, Annapurna Base Camp (ABC) and Everest Base Camp (EBC) treks are the most popular ones. Both of the destinations have unique features, making them exceptional in their way.
Let’s suppose you need to choose between the two adventures. How do you decide–Annapurna vs. Everest Base Camp Trek, what things will you look out for?
As we mentioned, both the treks are magnificent. But, if you don’t know which one is best for you, don’t worry!
We have made a comparison of all the possible topics of each of the destinations. So, all you need to do is to decide which adventure suits you.
- About Annapurna Base Camp
- About Everest Base Camp
- ABC vs EBC Trek: Highlights
- ABC vs EBC Trek: Transportation
- ABC vs EBC Trek: Difficulty
- ABC vs EBC Trek: Itinerary and Duration
- ABC vs EBC Trek: Mountain Views
- ABC vs EBC Trek: Cost
- ABC vs EBC Trek: Cultures and Lifestyles
- ABC vs EBC Trek: Permits
About Annapurna Base Camp
Annapurna Base Camp is one of the most visited places in Nepal. Some even argue that it is the best base camp experience out of a moderate difficulty level. Thousands of travelers trek the epic route every year.
And why not?
Trekking to the ABC comes up with a fantastic experience. The place is a complete package, offering trekkers the best of the best. You see terrific Himalayan peaks, unique cultural practices, and enjoy some delicious cuisines.
Walking through changing terrains, meeting new people and the beauty of nature are significant features of the ABC trek. Various viewpoints along the trail present breathtaking views of the Annapurna region and the Himalayas. The locals are amicable and helpful.
About Everest Base Camp
There is barely any adventure seeker who doesn’t know about Everest Base Camp trek. Trekking up to the base camp of the highest peak in the world is a different phenomenon. It’s a note, completing a wish from your bucket list.
Making it to the EBC is like making history. It’s the starting point from where many adventurers reach the pinnacle of Mt. Everest. The journey to the base camp itself is equally majestic. You get a chance to meet the famous Sherpas and enjoy their hospitality.
The Everest Base Camp, no doubt, amongst the best scenic treks you’ll ever try. You walk through rugged terrains of such a beautiful landscape all around.
ABC vs EBC Trek: Highlights
Both the Annapurna and Everest Base Camp treks tender an unforgettable trekking experience of the Himalayan terrains. As they’re in different parts of the country, you can expect remarkable highlights, exclusive of each trek.
Highlights of Annapurna Base Camp Trek
- Beautiful trekking route via Annapurna Conservation Area
- Trail surrounded by bamboo, rhododendron and pinewood forests
- Moderately difficult trek, perfect for nature lovers
- Panoramic views of mountains like Annapurna, Machhapuchhre, and Dhaulagiri
- Additional visit to Poon Hill; a popular vantage point for sunrise over the mountains
- Ethnic Gurung and Magar settlements at Ghandruk and Ghorepani
- Relaxing bath in natural hot springs at Jhinu Dada
Highlights of Everest Base Camp Trek
- The historical route followed by popular trekkers and adventure seekers
- Moderate to challenging trek, best for adventure seekers
- Breathtaking views of Mt. Everest and other peaks like Nuptse, Lhotse, and Makalu
- Trek through the Sagarmatha National Park
- Explore Namche Bazaar
- Visit Tengboche Monastery
- See the Khumbu Glacier
- Live with the Sherpas and enjoy their hospitality
- 360° views of Khumbu region from Kala Patthar
Now, the only thing is that both the treks are equally amusing and offer you the best moments in the Himalayas. It’s impossible to decide which one is better by just comparing the highlights.
ABC vs EBC Trek: Transportation
The classic Annapurna Base Camp trek begins with a ride or flight to Pokhara from Kathmandu. Once you reach here, you take another trip to Nayapul from where you start trekking.
It means you can choose how you begin the ABC trek with road travel or flight. You can select a mode of transportation that suits you and your budget.
On the other hand, the classic Everest Base Camp trek begins with a flight to Lukla. You land at Tenzing Hillary Airport, one of the most extreme airports in the world. There is no road transportation connection with Lukla.
If you plan on saving the money of the flight or experience longer trails, you need to extend your itinerary and add 4-5 days of trekking. You will follow the popular Jiri to Everest Base Camp trail. You can reach the starting point of this route via road transportation. And trekking on this path for a few days connects you to the classic EBC trail.
ABC vs EBC Trek: Difficulty
Trekking anywhere in the Himalayas is challenging, whether it be ABC or EBC. But, when comparing the difficulty between the two treks, Everest Base Camp is more challenging than Annapurna Base Camp.
The highest altitude in the ABC trek is the base camp itself at an elevation of 4,130 meters. The gradual increase in elevation and no extreme height makes the trek a bit less challenging.
Also, as you trek towards Annapurna Base Camp, you ascend and descend time and again. It helps your body to accommodate the change in elevation and oxygen levels.
EBC has a different story. The highest point in EBC trek is Kala Patthar, at an altitude of 5,643 meters. Most of the places along the trek are above 3,000 meters. It makes the Everest Base Camp Trek more challenging.
Your body needs proper acclimatization to tackle the change in altitude and oxygen levels. If you don’t take precautions against altitude sickness, you will possibly suffer from it. It’s essential to trek slowly and hydrate yourself throughout the journey.
Finally, trekking is all about taking precautions and experiencing something new. And everything is worth it once you reach Everest Base Camp.
ABC vs EBC Trek: Itinerary and Duration
The itinerary for the classic EBC Trek is of 14 days. Whereas it takes around 12 days to complete the classic ABC trek.
Outline Itinerary of Annapurna Base Camp Trek
Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu
Day 02: Drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara, drive to Nayapul, and trek to Tikhedhunga
Day 03: Trek to Upper Ghorepani
Day 04: Upper Ghorepani- Poon Hill- Tadapani
Day 05: Trek to Chhomrong
Day 06: Trek to Himalaya Hotel
Day 07: Trek to Annapurna Base Camp
Day 08: Trek to Bamboo
Day 09: Trek to Jhinu Danda
Day 10: Trek to Ghandruk
Day 11: Trek from Ghandruk to Pokhara
Day 12: Final Departure
Outline Itinerary of Everest Base Camp Trek
Day 01: Arrival to Kathmandu
Day 02: Fly to Lukla and Trek to Phakding
Day 03: Trek to Namche Bazaar
Day 04: Namche Bazaar: Acclimatization Day
Day 05: Trek to Tengboche
Day 06: Trek to Dingboche
Day 07: Acclimatization Hike to Nangkartshang Peak
Day 08: Trek to Lobuche
Day 09: Trek to Everest Base Camp and Trek Back to Gorakh Shep
Day 10: Morning Hike to Kala Patthar and Descend to Pheriche
Day 11: Trek to Namche Bazaar
Day 12: Trek to Lukla
Day 13: Morning Flight from Lukla to Kathmandu
Day 14: Transfer to the International Airport for Departure
ABC vs EBC Trek: Mountain Views
Everest Base Camp trek is all about the panoramic views of mountains. Just after you land at Lukla, you come across incredible vistas of the Himalayas. You get glances of Mount Everest from different places along the trek, while other peaks are much clearly observed throughout the trek.
Views on the Everest Base Camp Trek
- Mount Everest (8,848 meters)
- Mount Lhotse (8,516 meters)
- Mount Cho Oyu (8,201 meters)
- Mount Nuptse (7,861 meters)
- Mount Abu Dablam (6,812 meters)
- Mount Pumori (7,161 meters)
- Mount Thamserku (6,608 meters)
- Mount Imja Tse (6,189 meters)
The views from the Annapurna Base Camp are equally mesmerizing. But, you don’t see as closer and wider vistas like in the Everest Base Camp trek. As there are specific viewpoints along the trek, you don’t see the mountains from every place along the trek.
Once you reach famous viewpoints like Poon Hill, the scenery will surely look breathtaking.
Views on the Annapurna Base Camp Trek
- Annapurna I (8,091 meters)
- Annapurna II (7,937 meters)
- Annapurna III (7,555 meters)
- Annapurna IV (7,525 meters)
- Annapurna South (7,219 meters)
- Machhapuchhre (6,993 meters)
- Hiunchuli (6,441 meters)
As you trek through higher altitudes in EBC than in ABC, you see better scenic views and clearer skies. Also, you see glaciers, high passes, and unusual Himalayan terrains in EBC.
So, Everest Base Camp Trek wins on the scenic aspect.
ABC vs EBC Trek: Cost
The cost depends on how much you spend on each of these treks. Firstly, the Annapurna Base Camp trek is shorter. And you don’t necessarily need a flight to begin this trek. It reduces your expenses by quite an amount.
On the other hand, reaching the Everest Base Camp means taking a flight to Lukla. The trip costs about USD 175-180 for a one-way ticket. It means you spend over USD 350 just for the plane tickets. The trek is a few days longer than ABC trek that increases your expenses.
As both are teahouse treks, your daily expenses are almost the same in both cases. As you trek to higher altitudes, the price of the rooms and their amenities gradually increase. Additional benefits like hot water baths, charging phones cost extra.
Overall, the EBC trek is more expensive due to flight expenses and extra duration for the trek.
ABC vs EBC Trek: Cultures and Lifestyles
Both these regions are rich in cultures and traditions. So, whichever trek you choose, you’re sure to see something unique.
Along the Annapurna trail, you come across Gurung and Magar tribes. These people have their practices and lifestyles that you’ll fall in love with. Most of these people follow Buddhism or Hinduism. But, you can find other castes and ethnic groups, following a different way of life.
On the Everest Base Camp trek, you mainly find the popular Sherpa communities. They are widely known as the ‘People of the Himalayas’. You can see these people, practicing Buddhist and Tibetan cultures.
ABC vs EBC Trek: Permits
You require specific permits to trek anywhere in Nepal. As these treks lie in completely different areas of Nepal, you need different permits for each.
Permit for Annapurna Base Camp
- Trekkers’ Information Management System (TIMS)
Cost for trekkers from SAARC nations:
USD 3 (NPR 300) for Group Trekkers
USD 6 (NPR 600) for Solo Trekkers
Cost for trekkers from other nations
USD 10 (NPR 1,000) for Group Trekkers
USD 20 (NPR 2,000) for Solo Trekkers
- Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP)
Cost: USD 20 (NPR 2,000) per Trekker
Permit for Everest Base Camp
- Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality Entrance Permit
Cost: USD 20 (NPR 2,000)
- Sagarmatha National Park Permit
Cost for Nepali Citizen: About USD 1 (NPR 100)
Cost for SAARC Country Trekkers: About USD 15 (NPR 1,500)
Cost for Other Countries: About USD 30 (NPR 3,000)
- Gaurishankar Conservation Area Permit
Cost for Nepali Citizen: About USD 1 (NPR 100)
Cost for SAARC Country Trekkers: About USD 10 (NPR 1,000)
Cost for Other Countries: About USD 30 (NPR 3,000)
(this permit is optional and is only required if you trek the Jiri- EBC trail)
After getting all the information, you can now decide which one to choose between Annapurna vs. Everest Base Camp Trek.
But, we highly recommend you try both the treks once in your life. Even if you’re tight on a schedule, you can try any one of these treks and keep the other one for your next visit to Nepal.
It’s impossible to decide which trek is better. In the end, all that matters is the experience. And, we promise, you’ll have some of the best time of your life in either of these treks.