Now you have decided to go for a trekking in Nepal, the Land of Himalayas, right? Check. You want to embark on a life-changing trek in the mountains. Check. You want to explore the natural scenery, tasty cuisines, authentic lifestyles and rich cultures. Check. Are you going for Annapurna Base Camp Trek or for Everest Base Camp Trek? Error: answer not found?
Worry not dear trekkers! We are here to help you. One thing you need to remember is that no matter which trek you choose, you shall have an experience like never before and you will be left longing for another trek in the vicinity of Himalayas.
Let’s find out which trekking destination is matches your need!
Ease in getting there
For reaching the Everest region this might be the decisive question whose answer might decide your trek. If smaller airports and aircrafts aren’t your cup of tea, the flight to Lukla may be tough for you. But it ain’t as scary as it sounds; the scenery is just spectacular and incredible mountains greet you… In 1950sTenizng and Hillary had to walk by foot to reach Everest region, you have flights to travel. You just pray for fair weather.
Reaching Annapurna is rather easier. No small airports, plus you have good road transportation for reaching the starting point of the trek, the city of Pokhara. So you can either a short and scenic flight or a marvelous drive to the gateway of Annapurna.
If you talk about trekking terrain, trekking to Everest base camp is more strenuous and difficult than Annapurna base camp. If you ask for a reason, the basic reason is altitude. For example, you find that you reach to the altitude of around 3400 meters in the second day of the trek in your trek to Everest base camp while to reach the same altitude you trek for around couple of days more. Trekking in higher altitude makes your do more effort due to thin density of air and thereby less oxygen.
In trekking for the Annapurna base camp you shall start from pretty lower altitude as compared to Everest region. But you still have to encounter pretty strenuous terrain during your trek. An additional advantage is that you generally start at one place and end at another place giving you diversity of scenery and terrain.
If you are trekking in Nepal for the Himalayas which are the biggest and the wildest you are perfectly fit for trekking into the Everest region. In this high altitude trek, you have the view of most spectacular scenery of mountains. Trek to Kalapatthar and Gokyo region has the lofty Himalayas surrounding you from all the sides.
Though you can have the view of high Himalayas in Annapurna region trek, the scenery is more different than Everest region. Starting with the lush hills and terraced fields, you shall be gradually reaching for the Himalayas through the rhododendron forests. With the Himalayas as constant backdrop of your trek, you have more diversity to view.
Additional Factors (Cultures, communities, cost and food)
Let’s first talk about the Everest Region. Everest region is dominated by the legendary Sherpa community who follow Buddhism as their religion. The trail has monasteries, prayer wheels and gompas adorned with prayer wheels and prayer flags radiating a spiritual feel. Regarding the cost Everest region is bit more expensive than Annapurna region. In both the regions, the food available isn’t much different, though you are likely to get more vegetables on the Annapurna trek.
Trekking to the Annapurna region takes you through more diverse communities and cultures. Lots of rural settlements are traversed through that maintain the allure of authenticity since long. You can have the traces of Hinduism as well as Buddhism in this trail. From Gurung and Magar communities to the Brahmin and Chhetris, you have a different vibe than in the Everest region. So, if you are looking for local cultural flavor in the trek, you should probably go for Annapurna region.
So, here you are! We hope that this discussion of ours has made your choice between two of the most popular trekking destinations in Nepal. Saying that the trend has it that trekkers generally end up going for another destination as well because Nepal is one of the countries where you can’t go for the trek just once.