Annapurna Sanctuary Trek vs Everest Base Camp Trek

annapurna sanctuary trek vs everest base camp trek

Without a doubt, the Everest Region and the Annapurna Regions are the most popular trekking regions in Nepal. The previous for having the tallest mountain in the world and the latter for being one of the most beautiful mountain ranges.

Thousands of trekkers from all over the world visit Nepal, only for the majestic views from both regions.

Most trekkers are always torn between taking an Everest Region Trek or the Annapurna Base Camp Trek. It is obvious that the choices would gravitate towards the Everest region treks. You get to the foothills of the highest mountain in the world.

Nothing to beat that!

But wait till you browse through the Annapurna Range and the region.

One look at those breathtaking views of the Annapurna Range and you will want to go there too. Now you are torn between choosing among two amazing regions.

Trekking to the Himalayas once is never enough.

The views and hospitality will leave you craving for more. Your appetite for the mountain, the culture, and the hospitality will only increase when you have experienced it once. If you choose to take the Everest route this time, you will definitely come back for the Annapurna Mountain Range Treks.

Everest and Annapurna region each have amazing trekking routes. You can choose any of these treks can get an up-close view of the mountain ranges. Here, we are going to compare two amazing treks – Annapurna Sanctuary Trek and Everest Base Camp Trek.

Getting to know the Regions

Annapurna Region

Besides having the stunning views of the mountain ranges, Annapurna region is also described as a paradise by nature lovers.

Trekking in this region will offer you a spectacular view of the Annapurna Range, Dhaulagiri Range, Mount Manaslu, and Mount Machhapuchhre. The landscape, wild animals, and monasteries along the way all make Annapurna region a very captivating and a memorable one.

You will be able to indulge in culturally diverse treks. Annapurna region has a very diverse population from Brahmins to Sherpas. So, the region offers you more chance to interact with the local people, their culture, and tradition.

Annapurna Region also has good tea houses with great service, since the region is one of the more popular ones.

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Everest Region

The Everest region lies in the north-east side of Nepal. The region is most famous for the gorgeous panoramic views of Mount Everest.

Besides this, Everest region has many Buddhist Monasteries spilled all over the region. Not to mention the warm hospitality of the Sherpa communities that live in the area.

Everest region treks are generally termed difficult in compared to the Annapurna region due to the altitude of the region. But you need not worry about altitude sickness as there many tea houses along the way providing luxurious accommodation and service.

Talking about the terrain you will experience everything from rugged rocky valleys to alpine forests and meadows to neat Sherpa Villages to glaciers and icefalls.

Trekking in Annapurna vs Everest

Annapurna Sanctuary Trek

Comparatively, Annapurna Sanctuary Trek is a little less challenging and less difficult trek than the Everest Base Camp. The altitude of this trek is 4,130 meters at its highest point.

The trail is more achievable as it has fewer demanding uphill climbs. For this reason, the trek has merciful descends that do not hurt your joints in the longer run.

Annapurna Sanctuary Trek is a more favorable option for you if you are a novice trekker or want to test your trekking abilities in Nepal.

The Annapurna Region has many routes. So, you can opt to take a different route while you travel down Annapurna Sanctuary.

Everest Base Camp Trek

everest base camp trek in june

Everest Base Camp is the most iconic trek every trekker dreams of achieving. It is, however, more challenging and adventurous than the Annapurna Sanctuary trek.

The altitude of the trek is quite high which makes the trail a challenging in compared to the Annapurna Base Camp. The highest point of the trek stands at 5380 meters above sea level.

It is recommended that trekkers take proper breaks to adapt to the altitude as they climb their way up to the Everest Base Camp. This is to prevent altitude sickness.

Getting to Annapurna vs Everest

Annapurna Sanctuary Trek

Your journey on foot to the Annapurna sanctuary trek starts from Nayapul. Nayapul is at least one and half hour bus ride away from Pokhara.

Pokhara is a small laid back valley, also known as the tourist capital of Nepal. The lakeside hotels and bars will give you many options to relax in the city.

You can easily get to Pokhara from Kathmandu via a bus ride or a flight.

Everest Base Camp Trek

You can start your Everest Base Camp experience in two ways.

First, a 40-minute scenic flight to the Tenzing–Hillary Airport in Lukla. The scenic journey to and from Kathmandu is worth the cost.

The second, you can also get on a bus ride to Jiri. A lot of local tourists walk from Jiri to avoid the Lukla flight expenses. The bus ride to Jiri is definitely cheaper than catching a flight to Lukla.

Opting to start your trek from Jiri, lets you enjoy five to seven more days of exploring the cultures of Nepal.

Mountain Ranges and Scenery of Annapurna vs Everest

Annapurna Sanctuary Trek

Annapurna Sanctuary Trek offers a constant view of the snow-capped Himalayan range. The mountain ranges are a constant backdrop throughout the trail.

The mountain ranges you will be able to see Mount Annapurna South, Mount Annapurna I, Mount Annapurna III, Mount Himchuli, Mount Gandharva Chuli, Mount Gangapurna, Dhaulagiri ranges, Mount Manaslu and Mount Machhapuchhre.

You will find the gorgeous lowlands trail as captivating as the snow-capped mountain range vistas. The green terraced fields, the Dhampus ridge, the Gurung villages and the Hinko cave will all make the trail a perfect one.

The first few days of the trip you will be trekking into the deep canyon of the Modi Khola River. Not to mention that the dense forests you will walk through will be decorated with rhododendrons, roses, apricots, and other flowers. Most of the flowers, including rhododendron, will be in full bloom in April.

The rivers, waterfalls and suspension bridges will not let the trail lose its charm.

Everest Base Camp Trek

Everest Base Camp Trekking in Nepal

You get the stunning view of the highest, wildest and the most dramatic mountains in the world. Due to the altitude, it is definitely challenging but it should not be an issue if you acclimatize well. The views are spectacular.

The mountain ranges you will witness on the trek Mount Everest, Mount Lhotse, Mount Nuptse, Mount Pumori, Mount Changtse, Mount Lingtren, Mount Amadablam, Mount Thamserku, Mount Kantega, Mount Kusum Kanguru, Mount Kongde, Mount Khumbila, Mount Twitch peak, Mount Cholatse, Island peak, Lobuche peak, Pokalde peak, and Honku south peak.

The trail isn’t all barren until you see the mountains. You will pass by stunning landscapes, glacial lakes, foothills, and not to mention the peaceful Buddhist monasteries.

Communities and Culture of Annapurna vs Everest

Annapurna Sanctuary Trek

Annapurna Sanctuary Trek is rich and diverse in terms of the cultural experience you will be able to take away. This makes exploring the trek a culturally rich experience.

The circuit will take you through numerous rural settlements that cling to the sides of the valleys.

These settlements are filled with local ethnic communities from Brahmins, Chettris to Thakalis, Magars, Tamangs, Gurungs to Tibetan Sherpas.

Although, the dominant communities you see throughout the trail are that of the Gurungs and Magars.

If you are looking to get more in touch with the culture of Nepal, Annapurna Sanctuary Trek is definitely the one for you. The trek will, obviously, give you a taste of the lifestyle and heritage of a wide range of cultures along with the view of the Mountain ranges.

Everest Base Camp Trek

The Everest Base Camp route is predominantly a Sherpa territory.

The Sherpas residing en route and on the Everest Base Camp are said to have moved from Tibet a long time ago. This is why the lifestyle, culture, and heritage in the area are heavily influenced by Tibetan cultures.

The Everest Base Camp is majorly inhabited by one culture. This lets you understand the one culture in a unique and close way.

Also due to the popularity of this region, you can experience the display of pseudo-culture as well.

Accommodation at Annapurna vs Everest

Annapurna Sanctuary Trek

The accommodation throughout the Annapurna Sanctuary Trek is similar to the Everest Base Camp. Since the route is one of the more famous ones, the tea houses along the way have good quality and service.

The only difference you will notice is the Annapurna Sanctuary trek has traditional squat toilets as compared to the western toilets in Everest Base Camp.

Some of these tea houses have attached baths while other have a common bathroom system. The common bathroom is usually outside of the tea house. The thing about common toilets is you can talk to other trekkers while you wait your turn.

Everest Base Camp Trek

The Everest Base Camp trek is more popular than the Annapurna Sanctuary Trek. So naturally, the accommodation on this trek is better than Annapurna trek. The tea houses and the services they provide are more luxurious in this trek.

The tea houses have tourist standard bedrooms to accommodate the trekkers. Most of the tea houses have western toilet systems as opposed to the more prevalent squat toilets on the Annapurna Sanctuary Trek.

The tea houses in the lower altitude also have attached bathrooms. The bathrooms in the higher altitude are on sharing basis.

Food at Annapurna vs Everest

Both Annapurna Sanctuary Trek and Everest Base Camp are popular destinations. So, you will be able to get similar quality and service when it comes to the food menu.

The tea houses along both trails will all have the staple trekking food Dal Bhat on their menu for both lunch and dinner.

The tea houses also provide a selection of western dishes besides Dal Bhat on their menus. The tea houses will provide meals three times throughout the day – breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Annapurna Sanctuary Trek

Annapurna Sanctuary Trek comparatively has more fertile land. The terrain itself gives this away with the terrace farmings and vegetable patches you will pass and see near the tea houses.

Most items on the menu will be made of fresh and organic food. Along with plenty of fresh vegetables.

Everest Base Camp Trek

The food on Everest Base Camp is fresh in the lowers regions.

The harsh weather on the higher elevations hardly lets you grow anything other than potatoes. So the food in the menu won’t be as fresh as that of Annapurna Sanctuary Trek. The variety on the menu though more than makes up for it.

It is recommended to choose the vegetarian menu. But due to the modern influence, don’t be surprised if you get to enjoy western delicacies like pizzas or cakes

Cost of Annapurna vs Everest

Annapurna Sanctuary Trek

Annapurna Sanctuary Trek is generally more affordable compared to Everest Base Camp.

The cost of the accommodation and food is more reasonable on this trail. The food is more reasonable because they are freshly grown in most parts.

The transportation is another variable that makes the cost more reasonable. The bus to Nayapul if far cheaper than the flight to Lukla. However, the roads on the route are a work in progress.

If you choose to take a flight to Pokhara then your overall cost could go a little high. It will not impact your budget too much though.

Everest Base Camp Trek

The cost of trekking in the footsteps of the highest mountain in the world is more expensive. There are various reasons that will have you spending a little more on the Everest Base Camp Trek. The first is the permits to the Sagarmatha National Park are higher.

The tea houses on this trek also provide the best accommodation and services, that makes it a little more expensive.

The food will be one of your biggest spending areas. The access to transportation via vehicle is almost nil in this region. So, the food and goods available on the trek need to be carried up to the level by porters. This is the reason why the food is more expensive in the Everest region.

Your budget will take a hike if you choose to take a scenic flight to and from Kathmandu to Lukla. You can choose to save up by taking the bus to Jiri.

Weather and Best Seasons of Annapurna vs Everest

Weather is another factor you need to take into consideration for both treks. These are long treks and you will want the best views!

For the best views, you should choose among the two peak seasons i.e Spring (March, April May) and Autumn (September, October, November). Also, these are safer weather choices. If the weather is not a problem for you, you can opt for winters too.

Annapurna Sanctuary Trek

The best time to go on the Annapurna Sanctuary Trek is during the peak seasons. During these months the weather is at its best. You will get clear skies and a beautiful view of the landscape and the mountains.

Choosing the month is on you and what you like to see in your experience to the Himalayas. Do you prefer the flowers in their full bloom or when the leaves are decorating the path? The warm temperature or when the air is crisp and cool?

If you prefer the warmer temperature and the hills draped in blooming flowers, you should choose Spring Season. If you prefer the leaves painting the trails and cooler temperature you should choose the Autumn season.

Everest Base Camp Trek

The best time to trek in Nepal is during the peak seasons and the Everest region is not immune to that. The clear skies and the near-to-perfect views of the mountains are all you can expect during the peak months.

Everest Base Camp trails are the busiest during October and November.

P.S. The roads and the tea houses on both the treks will be crowded during the peak months. So, we would recommend you plan and book the room at different stops beforehand. This lets you enjoy the walk rather than hurry to your destination. Contact us for further details.

Conclusion

The Everest Base Camp Trek or the Annapurna Sanctuary Trek? This is a question every avid trekker asks themselves.

One offers to take you to the foothills of the highest mountain in the world – Mount Everest while other promises a beautiful journey complete with the picturesque view of the Annapurna Range. Both trails have diverse experiences and views to offer, which makes it an even harder decision.

Choosing one is a tricky decision to make.

If you are looking for a trek filled with challenges and epic mountain scenes, choose the Everest Base Camp Trek. But, if you are feeling like an easier trek with diverse cultural experience Annapurna Sanctuary Trek is up against your alley.

Either way, you will go back home with magical pictures, incredible experience, and bragging rights. You will also be back next time to triumph the next trek.

Do you have any question about trip to Nepal?

Tell us about your trip to Nepal and what you expect from it. We will answer your questions in 24 hours and help you design a trip with a comfortable itinerary to best meet your needs.
1 Group Size
2 Travel Dates
3 Trip Details
4 Contact Details

About Author

Mukti is is the founder and CEO of Himalayas on Foot. He started Himalayas on Foot in 2008 after working as a trekking porter, guide and then a sales manager for a decade.

He has done most of the treks in Nepal such as Everest Base Camp, Annapurna Base Camp, Manaslu Circuit Trek, Poon Hill, Langtang Trek, Annapurna Circuit, etc. Apart from Nepal, he has also travelled to Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong, China, Finland, Norway, Germany, Belgium, France and USA.

Mukti was also secretary of Trekking Agency Association of Nepal (TAAN) for the year 2015-2017. TAAN is an umbrella association of trekking agencies in the Nepal.

He speaks fluent English, Japanese and Nepali.

Mukti is friendly and he is the one who answers most of your trip questions. So if you have any inquiry about our trip, don't be shy. Write to us.

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