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Annapurna Base Camp (ABC) Trek VS Everest Base Camp (EBC) Trek, it’s a dilemma for trekkers. Nepal is a country of mountains with eight of the world’s tallest mountains. It is heaven for trekkers worldwide. The Annapurna Base Camp and Everest Base Camp Trek are popular trekking routes. The ABC lies in the western region of Nepal, while the EBC lies in the eastern region. So which trek route is worth more than the other?

Annapurna Base Camp lies at 4,130 meters altitude above sea level. Meanwhile, the Everest Base Camp is situated 5,364 meters above sea level. The EBC Trek is one of the most challenging trek routes. The ABC Trek is considered a moderately difficult trekking route. Both routes let you experience the diverse landscape of Nepal, biodiversity, villages, culture, and tradition. Similarly, both the trekking route have their uniqueness that you cannot experience anywhere else.

Everest Base Camp in March
Everest Base Camp

ABC Trek trail will let you explore the beauty of western Nepal. Aside from Mt. Annapurna, you can view other mountains like Machhapuchre (Fishtail), Gangapurna, Hiunchuli, etc. Similarly, you will journey through the forests of rhododendrons, oaks, and bamboo. You will get to immerse in the culture of the Gurung, Magar, and Thakali communities.

Meanwhile, the EBC trek will take you through remote valleys and villages. You will journey through ancient monasteries, Sagarmatha National Park, and rocky terrains. You will witness mountains like Mt. Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Cho Oyu, etc. Likewise, you will explore the Sherpa culture and tradition during the trek. Whichever trek you choose, you are guaranteed to get an extraordinary experience.

Factors that influence your trekking experience

You have to consider various factors while deciding ABC Trek VS EBC Trek. These factors hugely contribute to your trekking experience and your safety during the trek. So you must understand and consider these below-mentioned factors:

Route

The EBC lies in the eastern region of Nepal. You will have to fly from Kathmandu to Tenzing Hillary Airport, Lukla. It takes around minutes to fly to Lukla. From then onwards, you will start your trekking. You will slowly make your way to a higher altitude. Another way you can reach the Everest Base Camp is via helicopter. You can book an EBC helicopter tour if you do not have the physical strength to trek to the base camp.    

The ABC lies in Nepal’s western region. You will have to reach Pokhara to start your trek. There is easy access to the road from Kathmandu to Pokhara. It takes around 7 hours by bus. You can also take a flight which is the fastest way to reach there. It takes only 20 minutes to reach Pokhara via flight. 

Annapurna Base Camp vs Everest Base Camp Trek Difficulty

The ABC Trek is moderately difficult that even beginners can take. The base camp is located at 4,130 meters altitude which is comparatively lower than EBC. However, trekkers do need to be physically fit. They have to ascend and descend through hilly terrain during the trek. You have to climb around 3,000 stairs during the ABC trek. 

Annapurna Base Camp Trek Map
Annapurna Base Camp Trek

Meanwhile, EBC Trek is difficult as it is situated at 5,364 meters. You will have to climb uphill in steep and rocky terrains. Similarly, you have to cross several suspension bridges and hike through moraines. The temperature can change rapidly as you move higher. It is physically as well as mentally strenuous. The EBC Trek is not for beginners. You need proper physical and mental preparation to complete the EBC Trek. 

Altitude Sickness (High Risk of AMS) During Trekking

Since ABC lies at a lower altitude of 4,130 meters, the risk of altitude or acute mountain sickness (AMS) is minimal. Unlike EBC Trek you do not have to acclimatize. It is the reason why the ABC Trek itineraries do not have a rest day for acclimatization. 

EBC Trek has a high risk of AMS. The oxygen level is lower at higher altitudes. Many trekkers get altitude sickness as they move to the higher elevation. Similarly, the trekking also becomes difficult and exhausting. It is important to acclimatize to allow your body to adjust to the altitude. Altitude sickness can prove to be fatal if necessary precautions are not taken. Therefore, the EBC Trek itineraries include a rest day for acclimatization. 

Trek Duration ABC Vs EBC

You can complete the short ABC Trek in a 7-day time frame. Since there is no need to take a rest day for acclimatization, you can complete it in a week. But the trek duration can take anywhere from 11 to 14 days if you customize your itinerary. 

EBC Trek duration is longer than the ABC Trek. There are tour packages for a 12-day Everest Base Camp Trek. But it takes 14 to 16 days to complete the trek. Every EBC Trek itinerary has two rest days included for acclimatization. There is also an option of booking a helicopter tour to EBC. You can customize the itinerary as you please but it is important to let your body adjust to the high elevation.  

Everest vs Annapurna Trek Region

The EBC lies in Nepal’s eastern region, Solukhubhu district. You will have to fly to Lukla from Kathmandu to start your trekking journey. You will walk uphill following the Dudh Koshi and Bhote Koshi Rivers along the way. You will pass through the UNESCO World’s Natural Heritage Site, Sagarmatha National Park. Similarly, you will pass by many remote valleys, villages, and ancient monasteries. The trails are mostly rocky and steep. The Sherpas are the natives of the Everest Region. Therefore, you will get a chance to explore their culture, traditions, and customs. Along the way, you can view some of the world’s tallest mountains like Lhotse, Nuptse, Cho Oyu, and many others. 

The Annapurna region which lies in western Nepal is blessed with natural beauty. You get the chance to walk through luscious green forests, terraced fields, and charming villages. Likewise, you can view mountains like Machhapuchre (Fishtail), Gangapurna, Hiunchuli, Dhaulagiri, etc. You will pass by beautiful lakes, sparkling rivers, deep gorges, and monasteries. The locals belong to the Gurung, Magar, and Thakali ethnicity. You can get deep insight into their culture and traditions.   

Crowd During Peak Season

Trekkers need to pick the right time for their trek. So which is the peak season for Annapurna Base Camp Trek VS Everest Base Camp Trek? Nepal has four distinctive seasons, i.e., spring, summer, autumn, and winter. The peak season for trekking is spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November). 

Since ABC Trek and EBC Terk are popular routes, both routes are pretty crowded during peak season. The weather conditions are ideal for trekking. The EBC route is more crowded in the spring season. The tea houses and accommodations can get packed in peak seasons. You should plan well with your trekking agencies and book accommodations beforehand if you are trekking during the peak season.    

Food Option During the Trek

Dal bhat is the staple food of Nepalese. It consists of rice, lentils, vegetables, and sometimes meat. It is a hearty dish that is nourishing and easy to digest. Thus, the food options on ABC Trek and EBC Trek are similar. You can also find other dishes like momo, bread, and soups. Similarly, you can also find international options like sandwiches, pizzas, burgers, etc. 

We would suggest you stick to the local cuisines during the trek. Avoid heavy and spicy foods that can upset your stomach. The local cuisines are great for fueling your body and also experiencing the unique taste of the region. 

Cultural Variation

The cultural variation of the Annapurna Base Camp Trek VS Everest Base Camp is diverse. The Sherpas inhabit the Everest Region. They follow the Buddhist region and consider Everest as a sacred mountain. You will experience the Sherpa culture, their local customs, traditions, and food. Similarly, you will pass by ancient monasteries like the Tengboche monastery which have cultural and historical significance. 

On the other hand, the Annapurna Region is inhabited by Gurung, Magar, and Thakali communities. Trekkers can experience a mix of the culture and traditions of these ethnic communities. You can experience the Gurung dances and songs, taste local cuisines, and get deep insight into their history and customs.  You will be able to experience diverse cultures while trekking on diverse terrain and enjoying the diverse biodiversity. 

Landscape

The ABC Trek will take you through beautiful forests, alpine meadows, lowland terrace fields, villages, gorges, and rivers. You will trek through the bamboo, rhododendron, and oak forests. During the spring season, you can witness the rhododendrons in full bloom. Similarly, the trail goes through deep gorges and across the rivers. As you go higher, you can view the alpine meadow and panoramic view of the mountains.   

The EBC Trek trails are rocky, steep, and challenging. Like the ABC Trek route, you will pass by dense rhododendron forests, terraced fields, alpine meadows, rivers, and gorges. You will also pass by remote and picturesque valleys. Likewise, the trail will take you through glacial moraines and lakes. Along the journey, you get to view some of the tallest mountains in the world. 

Trip Cost 

The trip cost of Annapurna Base Camp Trek VS Everest Base Camp Trek depends on the route, season, and duration of the trek. The trip cost includes the cost of food, transportation, accommodation, and permits. Based on these factors, the ABC Trek is more budget-friendly than the EBC Trek. For beginners and trekkers with a limited budget, ABC Trek is the best option. Likewise, if you only have limited time, ABC Trek is the best option.  

The EBC Trek duration is longer and more expensive than the ABC Trek. Similarly, you have to fly to Lukla from Kathmandu to access the trekking route. You might have to hire porters to carry your heavy luggage. 

During the peak season, the trip cost can get a little more expensive. It is more cost-effective to travel in a group than solo. For full trip details check out our packages for both routes. You can also customize the itinerary to suit your requirements. 

FAQs 

Is ABC easier than EBC Trek? 

The altitude of ABC is 4,130 meters (13,550 feet) and EBC is 5,364 meters (17,598 feet). Trekkers have to climb and descend steep paths and various terrains. However, the EBC Trek takes a more physical toll because of the challenging landscape and higher altitude. Similarly, it also requires more days to finish the EBC trek.  

Which one is for beginners? ABC or EBC? 

ABC route is the most suitable for beginners. Trekkers who have no experience of trekking can take ABC Trek. It lies at 4,130 meters (13,550 feet) altitude. It is lower compared to the EBC. Likewise, it takes fewer days to complete the ABC Trek than the EBC Trek.   

Is Annapurna Base Camp more popular than Everest Base Camp? 

The Annapurna Base Camp and the Everest Base Camp are the most popular trekking routes. In comparison, the Everest Base Camp is more popular. It is because Mt. Everest is the world’s highest mountain. Despite the route being a challenging one, many trekkers seek to complete the EBC Trek route. 

How hard is the trek to Everest Base Camp? 

Everest Base Camp is a challenging trek route. It is at an elevation of 5,364 meters. Because of the high altitude, many trekkers are affected by acute mountain sickness. Similarly, trekkers have to climb uphill and steep terrains. It is a physically and mentally challenging route. Therefore, trekkers need strength and physical fitness to take the EBC Trek.   

What is the age limit for Annapurna Base Camp Trek? 

There is no age limit for Annapurna Base Camp Trekking. It is suitable for all age groups but all trekkers must take necessary safety measures. They should be physically as well as mentally prepared for the challenges. Similarly, trekkers should take precautions for acute mountain sickness. 

Conclusion

Annapurna Base Camp Trek VS Everest Base Camp Trek is a debatable topic for trekkers. Each trek provides you with a unique experience that cannot be experienced anywhere else. So it all comes down to your choice. 

If you’re new to trekking and are looking for an affordable option, the Annapurna Base Camp Trek is a great place to start. On the other hand, if you’re an experienced trekker seeking a new challenge, the Everest Base Camp Trek in 2024 is an excellent choice.

Consider all the factors that can influence your trekking experience, duration, and budget when you make your choice.  If you need further information, you can reach us through our social media or you can mail us directly on our email. Feel free to contact us anytime. 

Tej Bahadur Gurung

With an experience of almost two decades, founder Mr. Tej Bahadur Gurung has established Nepal Alternative Treks as a widely recognized and reliable tourism operator. His degree in Tourism Studies and devotion to the sector has given him in-depth knowledge about trekking, climbing, cultural, and geological aspects of the country. He is a pioneer in introducing the concept of ‘off-beaten tracks’ and ‘alternative routes’ as well as treks and tour packages surrounding it.

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