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Annapurna Circuit vs. Everest Base Camp Trek

Annapurna Circuit Trek and Everest Base Camp Trek are two of the most popular treks in Nepal. Everyone has second thoughts about finalizing their trekking destination between these two treks. There are different trekking trails on both treks that an adventurer can choose from to explore the Himalayan Region. Let’s discuss the details of these two treks, which will help you gain in-depth knowledge about these places.

Everest Base Camp Vs. Annapurna Circuit Trek

Introduction to Annapurna Circuit vs. Everest Base Camp Trek

Annapurna Circuit vs. Everest Base Camp Trek: The EBC trek guides you to the base of Mt. Everest, where you can explore the Himalayas. Despite being one of the most challenging treks, it attracts numerous tourists yearly as every trekker dreams of seeing the world’s tallest peak. There are several attractions on an Everest Base Camp trek, but Kala Patthar is the one that provides a spectacular view of Everest, Ama Dablam, and other peaks.

Annapurna Circuit vs. Everest Base Camp Trek

Another famous trek globally, the Annapurna Circuit Trek, offers spectacular views of different mountains in the Annapurna region. Although the region offers numerous tourist attractions, Thorong La Pass and the deepest gorge in the world, The Kali Gandaki Gorge, are the ones that leave everyone awe-struck.

Short Annapurna Circuit Trek 10 Days

Location and Geography

This Trek offers one of the longest trekking trails in Nepal, whose total length varies between 160 and 230 km. The trek begins at Besisahar or Bhulbhule in the Marshyangdi river valley and concludes in the Kali Gandaki Gorge. People worldwide vote for one of the best long-distance treks because it covers different climate zones, from Besisahar (600 m) to Thorong La Pass (5416 m).

During this trek, you can observe cultural variety, from Hindu villages at the low foothills to the Tibetan culture of Manang Valley and Lower Mustang. This trek presents a close view of mountain peaks in the Annapurna region. This trek is often hiked anticlockwise as the altitude gain is slower, which helps cross the Thorong La Pass quickly and safely.

The Everest Base Camp Trek stands as one of the world’s most popular trekking destinations. The distance varies between 120 km and 130 km. The EBC trek begins from Lukla and concludes at the base of the Gigantic Mount Everest. Trekkers usually fly to Lukla, as there is no motorway, or they can hike from Jiri to reach Lukla.

The trek begins at Lukla Airport, which sits 2,846 meters above sea level and climbs to 5,364 meters upon reaching the Base. It offers breathtaking mountain panoramas and a chance to encounter diverse Himalayan wildlife such as yak, snow leopard, and goral.

Besides that, the Everest region is equally famous for the Sherpa people, who are native to the Himalayan region. With the increase in Elevation, the trek has become difficult, so acclimatization day is compulsory while trekking in EBC. 

Difference Between Trekking Experience in ACT and EBC

During this trek, you will experience several unique things. The Annapurna region is home to the Thakali people, who serve the most popular Nepali dish, “Thakali Khana.”. The popular food you get during the trek is Daal Bhaat, Noodles, Thukpa, etc. 

We pass through the Hindu villages in the foothills, and when we reach the Mustang or Manang valley, we can find people who follow Tibetan Buddhist culture. Tea houses are available for accommodation with decent sleeping rooms. Tea houses can get crowded during peak season, so booking them early is best.

Itinerary for Annapurna Circuit Trek

Day 1Kathmandu – Besisahar/Bhulbhule (by Bus) 
Day 2Bhulbhule – Jagat
Day 3Jagat – Dharapani
Day 4 Dharapani – Chame
Day 5Chame – Upper Pisang
Day 6Upper Pisang – Manang
Day 7Rest and Acclimatization in Manang
Day 8Manang – Ledar
Day 9Ledar – High Camp
Day 10High Camp – Thorong La Pass – Muktinath
Day 11Muktinath –  Tatopani (by Bus)
Day 12Tatopani – Ghorepani
Day 13Early morning Poon Hill hike– Trek to Hile and return to Pokhara (by Bus)
Day 14Pokhara – Kathmandu (by Bus)

The trek to Everest allows you to experience various aspects of the Himalayan region of Nepal. Very few crops grow in this region. Some popular foods you can eat during the Trek are Daal Bhat, Noodles, Thukpa, Etc. There are a few good hotels and restaurants in Lukla and Namche Bazaar where you can get food from other cuisines. In addition to lodges and guest houses in Lukla and Namche Bazaar, other trekking spots have tea houses for accommodation.  

Itinerary for Everest Base Camp Trek

Day 1Arriving in Kathmandu
Day 2Fly from Kathmandu to Lukla – trek to Phakding
Day 3 Phakding – Namche bazaar
Day 4Acclimatization Day at Namche Bazaar
Day 5 Namche – Tengboche
Day 6Tengboche – Dingboche
Day 7Acclimatization at Dingboche- hike to Nakharshang Hill
Day 8Dingboche – Lobuche
Day 9 Lobuche – Gorakshep – EBC
Day 10Gorakshep – Kala Patthar – Periche
Day 11Periche – Namche Bazaar
Day 12Namche- Lukla
Day 13Lukla – Kathmandu
Day 14Final Departure

Scenery and Views

The Annapurna Circuit begins from the Besisahar or Bhulbhule, passing along paddy fields and subtropical forests. You will pass through gigantic cliffs, waterfalls, and villages on the way. You’ll love the trip with incredible views of the Annapurna mountains. On the circuit trek, you’ll find natural wonders like the incredible Kali Gandaki Gorge, the deepest in the world. The scenic beauty of Thorong La Pass, Villages of Upper Mustang, renowned for its unique cultural and stunning landscape, will create an unforgettable trekking experience. 

During the trek to EBC, Most trekkers begin their journey by flying to Lukla, which offers stunning views of the Himalayan ranges. As you hike toward Namche, you’ll walk along the Dudh Koshi River, spotting Himalayan animals like yaks and gorals. Continuing from Namche, you’ll experience the serene landscapes of the Everest region. You’ll pass the Khumbu Glacier, the world’s deepest glacier, on the way to base camp. Reaching Kala Pathar, you’ll witness the towering Everest from its base. These scenes will leave an unforgettable memory in your life.

Trekking Difficulty

Experts rate trekking in the Everest region as slightly more challenging due to the constant hiking at higher elevations. In contrast, they rate the Annapurna Circuit as moderate because trekkers hike from lower to higher elevations. The trekking trails in the Annapurna region are not as steep as those in Everest. Beginners or first-time trekkers with decent fitness can go on a Circuit Trek. Meanwhile, going on a few hikes or treks before leaving for Everest will be best.

Altitude and Acclimatization

Climbing above 5000m in EBC and Annapurna Circuit is challenging because there’s less oxygen at that altitude. Our bodies aren’t used to it, so we need acclimatization days in our trek plans. These days help us get used to high places, which makes the trek safer and more enjoyable.

Trekking Routes and Duration

The Annapurna Circuit Trek is primarily performed anticlockwise because it is easier for trekkers to ascend slowly on higher elevations. This trek has two starting points, one from Besishar and the other from Bhullbhule. The trek concludes at Kali Gandaki Gorge. Completing the circuit takes two weeks, but following the old trails extends the duration to around 18 days.

map of annapurna circuit trek

The EBC trek starts from Lukla. You can reach Lukla in two ways: by direct flight from Kathmandu or Ramechhap or by hiking up from Jiri. Most people fly to Lukla, so the trek begins straightaway from the airport. This trek has a single hiking trail, but other spots go through it. It usually takes two weeks to complete, but you can extend it up to 17-18 days according to the acclimatization days you need.

route map of EBC

Weather Conditions

Trekking in the Annapurna Region is a moderate-level trek. Despite its accessibility all year, weather plays a crucial role in determining the views and surrounding environment.  The best time to go on this trek is  Autumn and Spring. The temperature is around 15 degrees Celcius during these seasons. During Monsoon and Winter, the trek becomes challenging because of unprecedented rainfall and snowfalls.

On the other hand, trekking on Everest is only favorable for a few months. Autumn and Spring are the best times to go on an EBC trek. Still, the trail temperature can be chilly in overcast conditions, and the temperature during the night may drop below freezing. The trek to base camp is tricky because of the challenging weather conditions.

Cost and Price Comparison of both Trek

The Annapurna Circuit Trek is slightly more economical than the EBC Trek. However, it depends on the package you pick. Generally, the cheapest package ranges between 800 and 1000 USD. Other better packages range from 1300 to 1600 USD. Besides that, it depends on how you spend your money on miscellaneous activities. 

The trek to the base camp is one of the most expensive treks in Nepal. The cheapest package ranges from 1200 to 1400 USD, while luxury packages range from 2000 to 2200 USD and even higher, from 2800 to 3000 USD. The other extra expenditure is all in your hands.  

Permit Requirements


You need a Trekkers’ Information System(TIMS) card to trek in Nepal. You can obtain one in Pokhara or Kathmandu from TIMS check posts, Nepal Tourism Board offices, or Trekking Agencies. Generally, there are two TIMS cards: green and Blue. The Blue card is for trekking in restricted areas like the Upper Mustang and parts of Manaslu, while the Green card is for trekking in other non-restricted areas in the Himalayas. The price for the trekking card is NPR 1,000 for SAARC country applicants and NPR 2,000 for others.


ACAP stands for Annapurna Conservation Area Permit. This permit is mandatory for everyone who visits the Annapurna Area. You can get your ACAP from any tourist agency or at the starting point of Trek Besisahar. The ACAP permit fee for foreigners is 3000 NPR and 1000 NPR for SAARC nationals.

Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Muncipility Permit

For trekkers to trek in EBC, they no longer need a TIMS card, but they must get the Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Permit. This permit costs Npr 2000 for the first four weeks and rises to 2500 if the person stays longer than four weeks. The price remains the same for all international tourists. Further, the fee is only accepted in Nepali rupees.  

Sagarmatha National Park Permit

Mt. Everest is one of Nepal’s most protected regions, and it lies within the Sagarmatha National Park. Trekkers who hike up to the Base Camp must get a Sagarmatha National Park and a Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Permit. The national park permit costs NPR 3000 for foreigners, but it is half that for SAARC nationals. They add 13% VAT to everyone’s ticket price.


Which is better, Annapurna Circuit or base camp?

It is your preference to pick a trek. If you seek to explore mountains and ascend to higher elevations, opt for EBC. However, choose the Annapurna Circuit if you desire a longer trek with greater diversity. Both the trek are equally rewarding.

Is Annapurna more difficult than Everest?

Hiking up to EBC, we start from nearly 3000m and climb up to 5300m, spending most of our time above 5000m, which makes us feel exhausted due to lower oxygen levels. However, we hike from around 700m to 5000m in the Annapurna Circuit, spending slightly less time at higher elevations.

Can you see Everest from Annapurna Circuit?

The Annapurna Circuit Trek is in the Western part of Nepal, whereas the EBC Trek is in the Eastern Region. These are two completely different regions. So, we can’t see Mt. Everest from the Annapurna Circuit, but it offers other peaks like Dhaulagiri, Machhapuchhre, Manaslu, Pisang Peak, etc.

Can a Beginner do Annapurna Circuit?

The Annapurna Circuit trek begins in the low foothills and climbs to higher elevations. Unlike EBC, which often starts at a higher altitude with steep trails, Annapurna provides better hiking paths. These trails are suitable for beginners with a good level of fitness.


Both the Everest Base Camp Trek and the Annapurna Circuit Trek are top-rated trekking destinations worldwide. Thousands of tourists go on these treks every year. EBC and the Annapurna Circuit treat trekkers to abundant natural scenery along their routes. It is tough for anyone to pick between these two treks. Both the treks should undoubtedly be on your bucket list if you’re fond of trekking. Make sure to experience both treks at least once in your lifetime.

Hillary Treks

My name is Hillary. Since completing the Government Guide Training from Nepal's Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation (KEEP and HRA), I have been a specialist in mountain trekking and peak climbing. With specific expertise in the Nepal, Tibet, and Bhutan regions, I have now been a trekking guide and tour operator in Nepal, and across the Himalayas, since 2012.

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