Everest Base Camp vs Annapurna Circuit

Everest Base Camp vs Annapurna Circuit

The Everest Base Camp vs Annapurna Circuit treks are Nepal’s two most well-known trekking routes. The Everest Base Camp Trek will lead you to Mount Everest, the highest peak in the world. On the other hand, the Annapurna Circuit takes you across one of the most beautiful mountain areas in the world, the Annapurna mountain range. You can see breathtaking views of the Himalayas on both treks, interact with locals, learn about their culture, and push your physical limits. 

Trekking has been done in Nepal since the early 1900s when British explorer Lieutenant Colonel Jimmy Roberts made the first trek in 1950. After Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay successfully climbed Mount Everest in 1953, hiking in Nepal became more popular. Today, Nepal is regarded as one of the top trekking locations in the world. 

This blog will compare the Everest Base Camp Trek and Annapurna Circuit Trek to help you understand their differences and similarities. Then, based on your preferences, budget, and fitness level, you can determine which trek is best for you.

Analyzing the Annapurna Circuit Trek and the Everest Base Camp Trek

The Annapurna Circuit Trek and the Everest Base Camp Trek are especially well-known among trekkers worldwide. However, if you have to choose between these climbs, the Everest Base Camp trek is the best. This is also based on what a particular trekker chooses and wants. Every trekker intends to step on the path of the world’s highest mountain, which is why this trek is better than Annapurna Circuit Trek. However, Annapurna Circuit Trek is visually stunning in its way. It’s thrilling and challenging. The number of trekkers ascending the Annapurna Circuit Trek is similar to that of hikers visiting Everest Base Camp.

Annapurna circuit Trek

This is a fascinating and challenging part of the Annapurna Circuit Trek. Because the Annapurna region has more diverse views than the Everest region, many trekkers choose the Annapurna Circuit Trek. If you are new to trekking, start the Annapurna Circuit Trek before proceeding to Everest Base Camp.

Itinerary Difference of Annapurna Circuit and Everest Base Camp

Annapurna Circuit Trek Itinerary 

  • Day 1: Arrival at Kathmandu (1400m)
  • Day 2: Drive from Kathmandu (1400m) to Dharapani (1860m)
  • Day 3: Trek from Dharapani (1860m) to Chame (2610m)
  • Day 4: Trek from Chem (2610m) to Upper Pisang (3300m)
  • Day 5: Trek from Upper Pisang (3300m) to Manang (3540m)
  • Day 6: Rest and Acclimatization at Manang (3540m)
  • Day 7: Trek from Manang (3540m) to Ledar (4200m)
  • Day 8: Trek from Ledar (4200m) to Thorung Phedi (4525m) or Thorung High Camp (4925m)
  • Day 9: Trek from Thorung Phedi (4525m) to Muktinath (3760m) then Drive to Jomsomm (2720m)
  • Day 10: Take a flight from Jomsom (2720m) to Pokhara (822m)
  • Day 11: Drive from Pokhara (822m) to Kathmandu (1400m)
  • Day 12: Final Departure

Everest Base Camp Trek Itinerary

  • Day 1: Arrival at Kathmandu (1400m)
  • Day 2: Flight from Kathmandu (1400m) to Lukla (2840m)
  • Day 3: Trek from Phakding to Namche Bazaar (3440m)
  • Day 4: Acclimatization Day in Namche Bazar (3440m)
  • Day 5: Trek from Namche Bazar (3440m) to Tengboche (3810m)
  • Day 6: Trek from Tengboche (3810m) to Dingboche (4410m)
  • Day 7: Acclimatization Day in Dingboche (4410m)
  • Day 8: Trek from Dingboche (4410m) to Lobuche (4910m)
  • Day 9: Trek from Lobuche (4910m) to Gorakshep (5140m), then Everest Base Camp (5364m), and back to Gorakshep (5140m)
  • Day 10: Trek from Gorakshep (5140m) to Kalapatthar (5545m), then Pangboche (3930m)
  • Day 11: Trek from Pangboche (3930m) to Monjo (2835m)
  • Day 12: Trek from Monjo (2835m) to Lukla (2840m)
  • Day 13: Flight back to Kathmandu
  • Day 14: Final Departure

Which trek requires the least amount of preparation? 

The Annapurna Circuit Trek and Everest Base Camp Trek need mental and physical endurance. Preparation for both treks is the same. Regardless of your route, you must be well organized and plan your trip to secure your safety. You must be organized and transparent throughout the process, from picking the best package to hiring the proper guide. If you plan on carrying your bag, ensuring your body is prepared is essential. If you don’t exercise often, taking long walks and using stairs instead of the lift will significantly help you.

The packing list is also practically the same. You must carry the same items for both journeys since the weather, altitude, and route duration are similar. They both need the same kind of travel insurance that covers traveling up to 5,500 meters above sea level. 

What is the bare minimum of days needed to finish the treks?

The answer to the Annapurna Circuit Trek is more complex because of the newly built road and proximity to Jomson Airport. You have multiple options for traveling—by bus, jeep, or even by flying. Therefore, the minimum duration is nine days, which is a bit much since you’ll spend four days of holiday looking out the bus window. So, the minimum number of days that should be used is between 12 and 16. This time frame includes the trip from Kathmandu to the starting point and back, the trek itself, and the days spent getting used to the altitude.

If you choose the most popular path, flying to Lukla and hiking there, the Everest base camp trek usually takes at least 12 days to complete. This includes a flight from Kathmandu to Lukla and back, the trip itself, and two recommended acclimatization days to help your body get used to the thinner air at high elevations. 

Trek Difficulty 

The Everest Base Camp Trek and the Annapurna Circuit Trek are known for their moderate difficulty. According to many trekkers, both trips offer a thrilling and captivating experience of the culture and lifestyle in the country’s Himalayan region. The challenging landscape of the Everest Base Camp begins directly from Lukla. On the other hand, the initial stage of the Annapurna Circuit Trek, from Pokhara to Nayapul, is quite simple. The trek becomes increasingly mentally and physically demanding as you continue your journey. 

The Everest Base Camp Trek is 130 kilometers long, whereas the Annapurna Circuit Trek is just 67 kilometers long. So, during the Annapurna Circuit, you won’t have to walk as much as you would during the Everest Base Camp Trek. As a result, the physical strength needed for the EBC trek is significantly higher than what is required for the Annapurna Circuit Trek.

Which route requires the least amount of physical effort?

Both treks are on the same level regarding the highest point reached. At an elevation of 5,364 meters, the EBC stands tall. However, the Annapurna Circuit Trek has an impressive high point, the Thorong La Pass, reaching 5,416 meters.  

If you choose to start your EBC trek, the risk of altitude sickness is considerably higher. If you take a direct trip to Lukla, you’ll find that acclimatization becomes more challenging. In addition, you’ll be trekking at an altitude of over 4,000 meters for half of the course, specifically for 6 out of 12 days. You’ll be spending a lot of time at higher elevations. 

On the other hand, if you drive the first part of the Annapurna Circuit, you’ll quickly reach high elevations. Regardless of how you get through the journey, the Annapurna Circuit is lower in elevation, making it safer. This is because the trail only goes up and down over 4,000 meters over three days. To be clear, being at a high level shouldn’t automatically mean getting altitude sickness. If you adjust your body correctly, you shouldn’t encounter any difficulties. However, when you go higher up, the air becomes thinner and more difficult to breathe due to the decreased oxygen levels. Ascending to a higher point presents a significant challenge compared to traversing on lowlands. 

Food and lodging for the ACT and EBC Trek


You’ll come across numerous teahouses and eateries along the Annapurna Circuit route. Most of the teahouses provide only basic amenities. Teashouses in the Annapurna region offer a diverse selection of culinary delights. You can find a variety of local and foreign foods to satisfy your cravings. Local foods such as Dal Bhat and Tarkari and foreign foods such as pizza, burgers, oatmeal, sandwiches, spaghetti, and many others are available. The lodging on the Annapurna Circuit is adequate. You’ll be provided with additional blankets to stay warm. However, the bathrooms are of poor quality; most teahouses may not have sufficient restroom facilities. 

EBC Trek

Unlike ACT, the route to EBC doesn’t offer as many teahouses and eateries. Finding suitable teahouses or lodges during the off-season can be challenging as most are closed. It’s incredible how teahouses along the route to Everest Base Camp provide such excellent amenities, even in such an isolated place. The accommodations are modest but sufficient for a comfortable night’s rest. Standard breakfast options include eggs, oatmeal, and bread, while lunch and dinner often include traditional national dishes. 

Acclimatization During ACT vs EBC

Trekkers on the Annapurna Circuit who go above 3500 meters often get altitude sickness. So, you need at least one day to get used to the altitude. During our 12-day Annapurna Circuit trip, you will spend one day acclimating in Manang. On this acclimatization day, you will travel to the district’s most prominent settlement. Acclimatization in Manag will help you adjust to the higher altitude before you hike to Thorong Phedi (4450 m).

Your 14-day trip to Everest Base Camp includes two acclimatization days. Your first acclimation day occurs in Namche Bazaar (3440 meters). As part of your acclimatization, you will visit Sagarmatha National Park and the Khumjung Valley before continuing to Tengboche and beyond. The second acclimatization day takes place in Dingboche (4410m). On this day, you’ll go on a valley tour. 

Crowds During Trekking Trail

The Annapurna Circuit is quiet at first, then crowded at Throng La Pass, and then peaceful again. Few trekkers show up because each day at the start of the climb covers such a large distance. The path gets packed about halfway through the circuit, near the settlements of Chame and Upper Pisang. When traveling these short but challenging distances, the sudden elevation increase can cause obstacles. During the ACT, certain spots are likely to get crowded. One of these areas is around Thorong Phede, especially on Pass Day when everyone sets off for Thorong La Pass, and another busy spot is the pilgrimage site of Muktinath.

The EBC Trek is more crowded than the ACT. If you start your trek from Jiri or Salleri, you can experience the tranquility before the storm. You will stay in a rural area and see a few trekkers and donkeys delivering goods to mountain settlements. The storm finally comes in Lukla. Trekkers that fly into Lukla would have a full schedule for the whole EBC journey. Other tour groups and various yak and donkey trains share the trail. The EBC journey is one way up and one way down so that you will encounter the same cross on the descent until the end.

Landscapes & Views

The Annapurna Circuit starts in a green valley with a few small towns scattered among the mountains, which are covered with farmlands. Except for the last day, you’ll be hiking beside a glacier-blue river throughout the journey. Trekking will take you past waterfalls, alpine wildflowers, yaks, and different settlements. Traveling around the Circuit from Jomson takes you through various landscapes, including a vast river basin, historic settlements, and a hot spring at Tatopani. The view from Poon Hill on the last day of the trip is breathtaking, with numerous majestic Himalayan peaks visible for the last time.  


The Everest Base Camp shows a diverse flora, starting from Lukla and extending further from Jiri and Salleri. Once you cross the bridge to Namche, you’ll finally see the river flowing through this area. The communities are filled with guesthouses painted in various shades of white, blue, or green. After Namche Bazaar, the terrain becomes rougher, with gray and white views above the tree line. The mountains make a bold and captivating presence as you traverse the gravel pathways formed by ancient glaciers and navigate around towering rocks.

Table Comparison for Everest Base Camp vs Annapurna Circuit

FeatureEverest Base Camp TrekAnnapurna Circuit Trek
LocationEverest Region (Khumbu)Annapurna Region
Starting PointLukla (after a flight from Kathmandu)Besishahar (can be reached by road)
Ending PointLukla (return trek)Jomsom/Pokhara (return via flight or road)
Highest ElevationEverest Base Camp: 5,364 metersThorong La Pass: 5,416 meters
Difficulty LevelModerate to StrenuousModerate to Strenuous
Best SeasonSpring (March-May) and Autumn (September-November)Spring (March-May) and Autumn (September-November)
AccommodationTeahousesTeahouses, lodges
SceneryHigh-altitude landscapes, glaciers, EverestVaried landscapes, lush valleys, high passes
Cultural ExperienceSherpa culture and monasteriesMixed ethnic groups, Tibetan influence
Permit RequiredSagarmatha National Park Permit, TIMS CardAnnapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP), TIMS Card
Notable HighlightsEverest Base Camp, Kala PattharThorong La Pass, Muktinath Temple


Everest Base Camp and Annapurna Circuit treks provide remarkable and unique experiences in Nepal. The Everest Base Camp Trek could be an excellent option if you want a closer look at Mount Everest and Sherpa culture. If you’re looking for a wider variety of landscapes and cultures and want budget-friendly, the Annapurna Circuit trek could be a better choice. Ultimately, the decision is up to you according to your preference and fitness level. Before starting any trek, you should research and choose the best journey.

Can a beginner do Annapurna Circuit?

The Annapurna Circuit Trek is suitable for novices and first-time hikers. It was opened for foreign nationals in 1977 AD.

Is Annapurna Circut still worth it?

Yes, Annapurna Circuit is 100% worth it. It has one of the world’s classic treks and arguably one of the finest treks in the world.

What level of fitness is needed for the Annapurna Circuit?

The Annapurna Circuit requires lengthy days of trekking with 6 to 8 hours of hiking each day, and occasionally more. Building endurance via regular cardiovascular activity, such as hiking, walking, running, or cycling, is essential for tackling the daily distance.

Can you do Annapurna and Everest Base Camp together?

The Annapurna and Everest Base Camp trek combines two of the most popular destinations in Nepal. They take you through the Sagarmatha National Park and the Annapurna Conservation Area.

Do you see Everest on Annapurna Circuit?

No, you cannot see Everest on Annapurna Circuit. You can only see the views of Annapurna I, II, III, IV, Dhaulagiri, Machhapuchhre, and many other peaks.

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