Annapurna Base Camp Trek vs. Annapurna Circuit Trek- What’s the Difference?

Nepal is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places on Earth. With majestic Himalayas and a diverse ecosystem, Nepal presents a perfect landscape for all nature and adventure lovers. Not only that, but Nepal also harbors a very rich cultural ethos. Moreover, Nepal also has many amazing trekking destinations. Enthusiastic trekkers from all parts of the world visit Nepal for unforgettable treks. From the wonderful Everest Himalayas to the dry arid rock formations in Mustang, trekking in Nepal is always a grand vacation. One such famous trekking destination is the beautiful Annapurna region of Nepal. Between the Classic Annapurna Circuit Trek and the eccentric Annapurna Base Camp Trek, trekkers have a choice between two epic adventures. So, if you are looking for more information between the Annapurna Base Camp Trek vs Annapurna Circuit Trek, then look no further! Annapurna Base Camp Trek vs Annapurna Circuit Trek- what’s the difference?

Annapurna Base Camp Trek vs Annapurna Circuit Trek- Route

Manang Valley

Where the Annapurna Base Camp Trek vs Annapurna Circuit Trek are concerned, the route can be a major difference. For starters, both of these treks take about a fortnight to complete. However, the Annapurna Circuit Trek is a relatively more strenuous trek than that of the base camp. However, where the similarities arise between the two treks is in terms of the topographical terrain- you start both treks from subtropical zones, going through deciduous trans-Himalayan woods and ascend along alpine regions. For the major difference in the route between the two treks, the Annapurna Circuit Trek takes the route through Manang and has trails that go to Thorong Phedi. Most trekkers doing the Circuit Trek acclimatize at Manang to prepare for the Thorong La Mountain Pass further along the journey.

As for the Annapurna Base Camp Trek, trekkers usually start the trip from Pokhara- the prime destination of the Annapurna from where most of the region’s base camp treks start. The trekking trail of the Annapurna Base Camp Trek is to reach the base camp itself, which is reached after going through famous ethnic Sherpa and Gurung villages like Ghorepani, Dovan and Deurali. Where the Annapurna Circuit takes you to high mountain passes and revered places like Muktinath, the Annapurna Base camp Trek takes you through high alpine settlements and to the vantage point of Poon Hill.

Annapurna Base Camp Trek vs Annapurna Circuit Trek- Elevation

Thorang-LA

The next major difference between the Annapurna Base Camp Trek vs Annapurna Circuit Trek is the elevation. The ABC Trek takes you to an elevation of around 13780 feet whereas the Annapurna Circuit trek takes you to over 17770 feet. As such, the Annapurna Circuit Trek is relatively more challenging than the base camp trek. The high elevation of the Annapurna Circuit requires a more physical soundness of the body to complete, but the Annapurna Base Camp Trek does not. Nevertheless, you can do both the treks without having any prior experience.

Annapurna base camp Trek vs Annapurna Circuit Trek- Highlights

Poon Hill

The next major factor in determining which to choose between the Annapurna Base Camp Trek vs Annapurna Circuit Trek is their individual highlights and features. Both of the treks possess their own aspects that make trekking worthwhile. For starters, the Annapurna Base Camp Trek takes you to the famous ethnic village of Ghorepani, situated high above the Kali Gandaki Gorge. Moreover, the ABC Trek also takes you to the vantage point of Poon Hill, from where you can see the entire panorama of the Mount Annapurna massif. Similarly, you can also explore the Hinku Cave in Deurali, another famous destination of the base camp trek. Due to its comparatively lower elevation as compared to the Annapurna Circuit, the base camp trek is a lot more verdant, with farmlands, grasslands and trans-Himalayan rhododendron blooms.

Likewise, the Annapurna Circuit Trek also has a changing terrain the higher the elevation. Places like Thame and Jagat along the journey possess forested hills and thick woods. Towards Manang, the terrain changes and the vibrancy is quickly replaced by treeless rocky slopes. The trekking trail also reaches Muktinath, one of the most revered Hindu and Buddhist temples in Nepal.

In conclusion, these are some of the major differences between the Annapurna Circuit Trek and the Annapurna Base Camp Trek. The Annapurna Base Camp Trek can also be done during the winter month of December, but it might prove difficult to do the Annapurna Circuit Trek during the winters because of the mountain pass getting blocked by snow. For a more longer and strenuous trek, you can prefer the Annapurna Circuit. But if you are looking for something that is relatively easier, than you can also opt for the Annapurna Base Camp Trek instead.   

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