how hard you want to push yourself physically what sort of sights you most want to see how much of Nepal you wish to explore when you want to travel how much you can afford to spend on the trip
While it would be nice to have Scotty beam us all to the starting point of each trek trail rather than deal with airport queues and tiny airplane seats, this of course isn’t possible.
The starting point of the Annapurna Circuit trek takes longer to reach than that of the Everest Base Camp trek.
Getting to the start of the Everest Base Camp trek
Getting to the Annapurna Circuit
Number of trekking days
Everest Base Camp
Summary: Annapurna Circuit involves fewer trekking days
Everest Base Camp
Summary: Annapurna Circuit is far shorter than EBC trek
The Everest Base Camp trek is harder than the Annapurna Circuit trek as it’s overall the far longer route.
Everest Base Camp elevation
Annapurna Circuit elevation
Time spent at altitude
If you’ve never trekked at altitude, the Annapurna Circuit is probably the smarter option.
The two main weather systems that we as trekkers have to consider are the summer and winter monsoons.
Everest Base Camp trek peak seasons
Annapurna Circuit peak seasons
Everest Base Camp trekker numbers
Annapurna Circuit trekker numbers
And yes, if you want to be He-Man or She-Ra, you could trek Annapurna and then trek EBC straight after!
Follow Alice fee
The Annapurna Circuit trek is more affordable than the Everest Base Camp trek.
Mountains of the Everest Base Camp trek
Other noteworthy peaks of the Everest Base Camp trek
Ama Dablam (6,812 m). This distinctly shaped mountain is a favourite with many Everest Base Camp trekkers because it keeps you company to the right for a few days along the trail. It’s steep faces are dramatic and its sharply jutting peak make it unique and memorable among the rest of the peaks. The ridges on each side of the main peak are said to resemble the arms of a mother protecting her child. Cholatse (6,440 m) and Taboche (6,542 m). These two peaks are connected by a long ridge. The Chola glacier slides down the east face of Cholatse, while Taboche towers above Dingboche, where we spend a night on the outgoing trek. When we head back from Everest Base Camp we trek straight towards these two peaks. Nuptse (7,861 m). This is a stately mountain when viewed from the south that lies just 2 km west of Everest. Though a thousand metres shorter, it more than holds its own next to its illustrious neighbour. Cho La Pass (5,420 m). This pass is special because we actually cross it! The views down to the villages of Dzongla and Thagna are fantastic, not to forget the views out to numerous other peaks. Gokyo Ri (5,357 m). This peak sits adjacent to the Ngozumpa glacier, which is Nepal’s largest. We trek to its namesake town of Gokyo on our return route.
Mountains of the Annapurna Circuit
Eight of the 14 tallest mountains in the world are in Nepal!
Noteworthy peaks of the Annapurna Circuit
Annapurna II (7,937 m). This is the world’s 16th highest peak. It’s also the easternmost peak of the Annapurna range, so the first one we see when we join the circuit. It’s a stunner. Khangsar Kang (7,485 m). This peak is adjacent to the ice lake of Kicho Tal. We hike to the lake while acclimatising for a couple of days in the town of Manang. When at the ice lake we’re surrounded by a glorious 360 degrees of snowy mountain peaks. Chulu (6,584 m). This is a popular summiting mountain. If you take binoculars on the trek (a good idea), you might like to look for little ant people ascending it. Machhapuchhre (6,993 m). This mountain is off limits to climbers to maintain its shape and health. We’re more than happy with this decision, as its sheer slopes are a thing of true beauty. Dhaulagiri (8,167 m). This mountain - the seventh highest in the world! - is to the west of the Annapurna Circuit. Its name means ‘dazzling, white, beautiful mountain’. We see it near the end of our trek when we descend into the Mustang District.
Culture and religion
The Sherpa of the Everest Base Camp trek
The Everest Base Camp trek exposes you to the culture of the Sherpas. The Annapurna Circuit exposes you to the cultures of various distinct people groups.
Different people groups of the Annapurna Circuit
Hinduism is a prominent religion in the Annapurna region.
Everest Base Camp cultural attractions
Annapurna Circuit cultural attractions
Trek route variety
Both the Annapurna Circuit and the Everest Base Camp trek have so much to offer in terms of fascinating wildlife, local culture, and religious landmarks.
Everest Base Camp natural features
The Khumbu Glacier
Annapurna Circuit natural features
The Kali Gandaki Gorge
Other animals in the two regions include:
Himalayan black bears (they have thick fur with a white chest mark) martens (an adorable creature that, like a cat, is really rather deadly) Himalayan tahrs (large and rather beautiful, darkly coloured goats) musk deer (a pretty deer without antlers) Himalayan wolves (these beautiful creatures are tan and grey in colour) Himalayan blue sheep (also called naur, though who knows why)
One of the perks of travelling in a group is having a local tour guide who is trained to spot wildlife.
Trees, plants and flowers
Plants of the Annapurna Conservation Area
Plants along the Everest Base Camp trek
Summary of differences
There's no bad decision here. If you trek to Everest Bae Camp, you win. If you trek the Annapurna Circuit, you win. 😉