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Your flights to Lukla from Kathmandu may be diverted to Ramechhap Airport. Here’s Why!

Your flights to Lukla from Kathmandu may be diverted to Ramechhap Airport. Here’s Why!

Everest Base Camp Trek Vs Annapurna Base Camp Trek

 

Annapurna Base Camp Trek or Everest Base Camp Trek?

A question that is always asked is, “Which trek is better, the Annapurna Base Camp (ABC) Trek or the 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 worthwhile, even back-to-back if you have enough time. Below are some things to consider when deciding which trek is the right one for you.

Quick Summary

Aspects ABC Trek EBC Trek
Region Annapurna region Everest region
Starting Point Nayapul Lukla
Trip Duration 11 to 14 days 14 to 16 days
Highest Elevation 4,130 meters (13,549 feet) 5,364 meters (17,598 feet)
Highest Overnight Stay Annapurna Base Camp at 4,130 meters (13,549 feet) Gorak Shep at 5,164 meters (16,942 feet)
Difficulty Moderate Moderate to Challenging
Permit Annapurna Conservation Area Permit, TIMS Card Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality Entrance Permit, Sagarmatha Naional Park Entry Permit
Access to Airport Pokhara Airport Lukla Airport
Popular Side Trek Poon Hill Trek Everest View Hotel, Gokyo Lakes
Prominent Peaks Annapurna, Machapuchhare, Hiunchuli, Dhaulagiri Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Ama Dablam

 

Trek Difficulty: ABC vs EBC

Both treks are challenging, but in terms of difficulty, most people will agree that the Annapurna Base Camp Trek is easier. A lot of people trek to Annapurna Base Camp and then return for Everest Base Camp. When delving deeper, the elements that make Annapurna Base Camp easier are the shorter trekking days and the lower altitude. ABC reaches an altitude of 4,130 meters, and Everest Base Camp reaches an altitude of 5,364 meters. When trekking Everest Base Camp, you spend more days at higher altitudes than on the ABC trek.

The effects of altitude are usually felt above 3,000 meters. On the Everest Base Camp Trek, you spend 9 days above 3,000 meters, and on the ABC trek, you spend 3 days above 3,000 meters. This means the risk of suffering from altitude sickness is much lower. If you are concerned about altitude sickness, ABC is a better option for you. The ABC trek features more uphill and then downhill, and then there are a lot of steep ascents on the steps. The Everest Base Camp Trek has more gradual ascents with fewer steps. For anyone with knee problems, the Everest Base Camp Trek might be a better option.

Trip Duration: ABC Trek vs EBC Trek

If you have time limitations, Annapurna Base Camp is a shorter trek. Our 11-day itinerary can be shortened further if you choose to fly to Pokhara instead of travelling 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 Everest Base Camp 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. The total trekking distance for the Everest Base Camp Trek is 130km, round trip. The total round trip distance for the Annapurna Base Camp Trek is 80km.

Accommodation and Food: ABC vs EBC

There are a few differences in relation to accommodation. Tea houses are used for both treks, and they follow a similar model. 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. The one big difference between both treks is that the lodges on the Annapurna Base Camp Trek do not have fireplaces. This is due to the difficulty in getting firewood or yak poo (yak poo is used for fires).

The Everest Base Camp trekking lodges all have fireplaces; it’s always lovely to sit around the fire after a day of trekking, but this should not be a deciding factor for you. There are also not many noticeable differences in relation to meals; on both treks, the menus have a variety of Nepalese, Tibetan, Indian and Western dishes. Due to its popularity, the food on the Everest Base Camp trek is better catered for Western tastes, the menus are more varied, and the options are greater.

Best time to travel: Annapurna Base Camp Trek vs Everest Base Camp Trek

Spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) are the two prime seasons to do both these treks. The best months are March, April, October and November. You can also schedule your trek in December; the only downside is the cold weather. But you will walk on the less-crowded trails. These periods offer clear skies, balmy weather and excellent visibility of the majestic mountains. While autumn offers cooler temperatures and cleaner air following the monsoon, making it a popular destination for hiking, spring brings flowering flowers and a somewhat milder climate. Both seasons present ideal conditions, allowing trekkers to experience breathtaking landscapes and remarkable mountain views.

Altitude and Elevation Gain: ABC Trek vs EBC Trek

The altitude gains can vary based on specific routes and selected itineraries. The ABC trek boasts lower a starting point, Nayapul at 1,070 meters and gradually ascend to the Annapurna Base Camp at 4,130 meters. This relatively moderate elevation allows for a gradual ascent. On the other hand, the EBC trek commences with a dramatic flight to Lukla at 2,840 meters. The trek has acclimatization days strategically placed in Namche Bazaar and Dingboche. The ABC trek won’t take you higher than 4200 meters, while the Everest Base Camp is at a whopping 5,364 meters above sea level. And if your itinerary has a stop at Kala Pathhar, it’s even higher- 5,644 meters. Let’s look at daily altitude gains on both of these treks.

Everest Base Camp Trek daily altitude gain:

Initial Destination Final Destination Altitude Gain
Lukla (2,840 meters) Phakding (2,610 meters) -250 meters (descent)
Phakding (2,610 meters) Namche Bazaar (3,440 meters) 830 meters
Namche Bazaar (3,440 meters) Tengboche (3,860 meters) 420 meters
Tengboche (3,860 meters) Dingboche (4,410 meters) 550 meters
Dingboche (4,410 meters) Lobuche (4,910 meters) 500 meters
Lobuche (4,910 meters) Gorak Shep (5,140 meters) 230 meters
Gorak Shep (5,140 meters) Everest Base Camp (5,364 meters) 224 meters
Everest Base Camp (5,364 meters) Kala Patthar (5,643 meters) 279 meters

Annapurna Base Camp Trek daily altitude gain:

 

Initial Destination Final Destination Altitude Gain
Nayapul (1,070 meters) Ghandruk (1,940 meters) 870 meters
Ghandruk (1,940 meters) Chhomrong (2,170 meters) 230 meters
Chhomrong (2,170 meters) Bamboo (2,310 meters) 140 meters
Chhomrong (2,170 meters) Dovan (2,500 meters) 330 meters
Bamboo (2,310 meters) Deurali (3,230 meters) 920 meters
 Deurali (3,230 meters) Machapuchhre Base Camp (3,700 meters) 470 meters
Machapuchhre Base Camp (3,700 meters) Annapurna Base Camp (4,130 meters) 430 meters

Safety: ABC Trek vs EBC Trek

ABC trek and

trek are both safe, even for solo female travelers and family treks. ABC trek’s lower starting point in Nayapul reduces the risk of altitude-related issues, making it ideal for those with limited high-altitude trekking experience. Similarly, the highest elevation point of around 4200 meters at Annapurna Base Camp is comparatively lower than the EBC trek’s highest elevation at 5,364 meters. The well-established trail and teahouse infrastructure on both treks make it an even safer trekking experience. In terms of acclimatization days, the EBC trek is deemed risky and requires careful acclimatization to mitigate the risk of altitude sickness. The ABC trek usually doesn’t require acclimatization due to moderate maximum elevation.

 

Crowd: ABC Trek vs EBC Trek

Both the ABC and EBC treks are among the most popular trekking routes in Nepal, attracting thousands of trekkers every year. While there are no exact statistics regarding the exact number of people undertaking the ABC and EBC treks annually, the EBC trek, being the most iconic trekking route in the world, draws a larger number of trekkers. During the spring and autumn seasons, the teahouses along the route of the ABC trek may see increased activity, but it is often more manageable than the crowds experienced along the route of the EBC trek. The Annapurna Base Camp trek typically experiences low crowding compared to the EBC trek.

Scenery: ABC Tre vs EBC Trek

Both treks are undeniably spectacular; you will find yourself in awe of the mighty Himalayas. The trek to Annapurna Base Camp takes you through lush tropical jungles of rhododendrons and bamboo, picturesque villages, and alpine meadow. It begins in the lowlands, and you will pass farms and forests of rhododendrons and bamboo before gently ascending to an altitude of 4,100m. The trek to Annapurna Base Camp takes you literally to the foothills of the giant Himalayan peaks; you feel as though you could touch them.

When starting the EBC trek at Lukla, you are at a much higher elevation than at the start of the Annapurna Base Camp Trek. On the Everest Base Camp Trek, you will witness the Himalayas from Day 1. You will also get a feel for the Sherpa culture and traditions. You will pass many Buddhist landmarks and monasteries. The best perk of the trek is its unparalleled opportunity to marvel at the world’s tallest peak up close. The trail to EBC lets you traverse through varying landscapes ranging from lush forests to Sherpa village and high-altitude glaciers.

Cost of Annapurna Base Camp Trek vs Everest Base Camp Trek

The EBC trek is comparatively costlier than the Annapurna Base Camp trek. The ABC trek is often considered more budget-friendly compared to the EBC trek. The EBC trek is usually associated with higher overall costs compared to the ABC trek. If we compare, the flight to Lukla is significantly higher than the flight to Pokhara. Similarly, the accommodation costs in the Everest region are slightly higher than in the Annapurna region. The overall trek duration also contributes to the cost of the treks; the ABC trek typically spans for around 10 to 14 days, allowing for a shorter itinerary and, hence, reduced overall expenses. Meanwhile, the EBC trek takes around 14 to 16 days. In short, the EBC trek has a slightly higher price tag compared to the ABC trek.

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