Annapurna Circuit or Everest Circuit?

annapurna trek

August 28, 2014

We get this question a lot. Plenty of people that contact us want our recommendation on the Annapurna Circuit or Everest Circuit. If you’ve already been to Nepal, it’s likely you’ll know what you’d like to try next. But if you’re planning your first visit it can be a daunting proposition trying to work out the best place to start. Many people have heard about the Annapurna Circuit and are curious how it compares to the Everest region.

When considering an Annapurna Circuit or Everest Circuit trek, we like to ask prospective trekkers the following questions:

1. How challenging do you want your trek to be?
2. How many days can you afford to be away?
3. Do you prefer lodge style accommodation or camping?
4. Is visiting Everest Base Camp a priority?
5. Are you interested in visiting Pokhara?

These questions are a good starting point because plenty of people that travel to Nepal are doing so because they want to trek to Everest Base Camp and lay eyes on Mt Everest. And if Everest Base Camp is your priority then the Everest region is where you’ll need to head. Both the Annapurna Circuit and Everest Circuit take the same number of days to complete so that isn’t a big issue – for the time poor, an Annapurna Introductory trek can represent a good option (this is a 12 day trip as opposed to the 22 day Annapurna Circuit).

How challenging?

The next most important thing to consider is how challenging do you want your trip to be. If you’re a relatively fit person that wants plenty of exposure to higher altitudes then the Everest Circuit might be the way to go. Our Everest Circuit trip involves getting higher than 5000m on a minimum of 4 occasions whereas the Annapurna Circuit trek only tops the 5000m mark once. However it’s worth noting that the high point on the Annapurna Circuit – The Thorong-La Pass – is a significant 5416m. You’ll certainly be working hard by the time you hit the Thorong-La but you then get to enjoy a long descent down to Muktinath. All things considered, the Everest Circuit trek is physically more taxing than the Annapurna Circuit – it starts higher, it finishes higher and you spend more time higher.

What about accommodation

Lodge style accommodation or camping is an important question for many. Some people aren’t keen at all on the idea of tents and some wouldn’t have it any other way. All Trek Climb Ski Nepal Annapurna Circuit and Everest Circuit treks are advertised with lodge accommodation. We offer camping on a range of other treks (and climbs) but we’ve found on these particular itineraries the majority of people are very satisfied with the lodge accommodation we provide. Don’t forget, we are always happy to tailor any of our trips to the needs and wants of private groups, so if an Annapurna Circuit trek with camping facilities is what you’re after then we can easily arrange that too! Apart from where you sleep at night, the significant difference between lodge style trips and camping trips is the way the meals work. If we stay in lodges then all our meals are provided by the lodge and we order from the menus they provide. If we operate a camping trip then we take with us all the kitchen and cooking facilities necessary for our dedicated kitchen staff who will cook all our meals along the way.

So… should I do the Annapurna Circuit or Everest Circuit?

Plenty of people also contact us keen on the idea of visiting Pokhara. Pokhara is the third largest city in Nepal and arguably the most beautiful of all the major centres. Geographically, Pokhara is situated 200 kilometres west of Kathmandu but due to the condition of the roads, this journey by bus or private vehicle can take up to 8 hours. Pokhara is the gateway to the Annapurna region so if Pokhara is a must see, then you’ll get plenty of time to explore this stunning city on any of our Annapurna treks. That said, a side trip to Pokhara is an easy add-on to any of our advertised trips or climbs that originate in Kathmandu.

We hope this short article helps with your decision making. Whichever you choose – the Annapurna Circuit or Everest Circuit – you can’t really go wrong. Be sure to take a look at our Annapurna Circuit photo gallery for images of the beautiful Annapurna Conservation Area.

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Read another post from us about the Annapurna region