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Annapurna Base Camp Trek or Everest Base Camp Trek?

A question that is always asked is “Which trek is better,  Annapurna Base Camp (ABC) Trek or Everest Base Camp (EBC) Trek? Having trekked both on multiple occasions we can answer by saying that there is no right answer! Both treks are amazing but for different reasons and both treks are very much worthwhile doing, even back to back if you have enough time. Below are —- things to consider when deciding which trek is the right one for you:

 

Length of the trek: If you have time limitations, ABC is a shorter trek, our 11 day itinerary can be shortened further if you choose to fly to Pokhara instead of traveling by bus. This means that if you have 2 weeks off work you will be able to travel to Nepal, trek and return home on time. The 14 day EBC trek cannot be shortened and because of the possibilities of delays in and out of Lukla we recommend that you allow at least 3 weeks in Nepal for this trek.

Photo Tadapani Annapurna Region

 

 

Starting the trek: For some people this is the deciding factor, we know that the flight in and out of Lukla airport puts some trekkers off trekking to Everest Base Camp. To start the ABC trek, you either bus it or fly to Pokhara to begin the trek. The trek to EBC requires you to fly from Kathmandu airport to Lukla airport , flights in and out of Lukla are sometimes postponed due to weather conditions, for this reason we always recommend that you allow at least 2-3 days at the end of the trek as a buffer. There is the option of walking into Lukla from Jiri but this adds 5-6 days on to the trek time.

 

Scenery: Both treks are undeniably spectacular, you will find yourself in awe of the mighty Himalayas. The trek to ABC allows you to pass through different terrain, it begins in the lowlands, you will pass farms and forests of Rhododendrons before gently ascending to an altitude of 4,100m. When starting the EBC trek at Lukla you are at a much higher elevation that at the start of the ABC trek, on the EBC trek you will witness the Himalayas from Day 1, you will also get a feel for the Sherpa culture and traditions, you pass many Buddhist landmarks and monasteries.

The ABC trek is less challenging than the EBC trek, the ascents are not as relentless and the lower altitude means less risk of altitude sickness. For anyone with knee problems, the ABC trek has gentler descents. The EBC trek takes you closer to the highest peaks in the world that you can imagine, during the last few days of trekking you will literally be walking through valley’s between the mighty Himalayan giants, it’s spectacular. At ABC you will also be surrounded by the Himalayas, Mt. Machhapuchhre and Dhaulagiri will be sure to impress you.

In short, both treks will impress you with their scenery.

Accommodation and Food:

There are not many differences in relation to accommodation, trekking lodges are used for both treks and they follow a similar model on both treks, the dining area is where trekkers gather to eat and chat with one another, on both treks the lodge bedrooms are very basic, just a place to sleep.

There are also not many noticeable differences in relation to meals, on both treks the menu’s have a variety of Nepalese, Tibetan, Indian and Western dishes. Due to its remoteness, food on the EBC trek is more expensive.

In essence, there is little difference between the accommodation and food on both the ABC and EBC treks.

Photo Thukla Yak Kharka Everest Region

Level of Difficulty: We don’t believe that your final decision should come down to this factor, although the ABC trek is a bit easier on your body this is because it doesn’t take you as high into the Himalayas as the EBC trek will. We believe that you should not train less or be less prepared for the ABC trek as you would be for the EBC trek, the same level of commitment to preparation should be done for both treks. If you have serious issues with your knees, the gentler ascents on the ABC trek may be a better option but if there are no other health concerns, both treks need to be given the same consideration.

The ABC trek reaches an altitude of 4,100m, whereas the EBC trek will take you up to 5,400m. The likelihood of having altitude sickness on the ABC trek is much lower.

The EBC trek is more difficult but the rewards are worth it, walking among the highest peaks in the world is a feeling like no other.

Photo Everest Base Camp

Overall: It’s a tough decision to make but time and altitude should play a role in deciding.  Both treks are equally spectacular but the EBC does have that special allure, you get to see Mount Everest!

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