Difference between Annapurna Circuit and Annapurna Base Camp Trek

Trip Overview


Annapurna Circuit and Annapurna Base Camp both are the highly admired trekking trails in Nepal. Both of them are located in the northwestern part of Nepal inside the Annapurna Conservation Area. Annapurna Circuit Trek is also famous by the name of Annapurna Round Trek likewise Annapurna Base Camp Trek is by Annapurna Sanctuary Trek. They are different trekking routes. Annapurna is one of the top ten high snowy mountains above 8000 meters from the sea level. The hiking trail of Annapurna Circuit Trek circles the Mt. Annapurna Massif/ range whereas Annapurna Base Camp trekking route takes you to visit the base camp of Mt. Annapurna.

Many people want to know the difference between Annapurna Circuit Trek and Annapurna Base Camp Trek. Here, you will find a comparison of them in terms of different factors.

Trekking Route of Annapurna Circuit vs. Annapurna Base Camp Trek

Annapurna Circuit Trek starts from Besi Sahar, a small town, 175 km distance from Kathmandu city whereas Annapurna Base Camp starts from Nayapul nearby Pokhara City, 242 km from Kathmandu. Topographically, the Annapurna Circuit Trekking route goes through more diversified terrain than Annapurna Base Camp. Annapurna Circuit Trek covers four small zones. They are Lamjung, Manang, Mustang, and Myagdi. Lamjung and Myagdi are at the lower altitude with lush green subtropical valleys with villages and terraced farming. Manang and Mustang are at a higher altitude with arid Tibetan style landscape dominated by Buddhist people. But the entire route of Annapurna Base Camp lies in the Kaski district of Nepal. Like Annapurna Circuit, the route of Annapurna Base Camp also starts from a lower altitude and passes the small villages, forest, farmlands, lush hills, rivers, but without arid landscape, it takes ultimately to the alpine area.

How high/ elevation of Annapurna Circuit vs. Annapurna Base Camp Trek

The maximum height of Annapurna Circuit Trek is 5416 meters 17769 feet from Sea Level. That is at Thorong La Pass. Thorong La is also said as the longest mountain pass of hiking in the world. In Annapurna Base Camp there is no high mountain pass to be crossed. The highest point of Annapurna Base Camp trek is 4130 meters/ 13550 feet. That is at the base camp. As Annapurna Circuit is higher land trekking than ABC, it has somehow more risk of altitude sickness. Thus in the Annapurna Circuit trek itinerary, there is one extra day in Manang for acclimatization for the precaution of altitude sickness.

How long/ many days of Annapurna Circuit vs. Annapurna Base Camp Trek

Annapurna Circuit Trek is relatively longer than Annapurna Base Camp Trek. For Annapurna Circuit Trek it requires more than two weeks. The complete itinerary of Annapurna Circuit Trek is 19 days. Now due to the development of the road, it can be minimized to 14 days or 16 days. But Annapurna Base Camp Trek can be completed in 10 days or 11 days. If Annapurna Base Camp trek to be joined with Poon Hill, it will extend to 14 days. Thus, the Annapurna Circuit trek requires some more stamina and patience than Annapurna Base Camp Trek. The trekking hour in a day in both trekkings is from 5 to 7 hours.

The difficulty of Annapurna Circuit vs. Annapurna Base Camp Trek

In terms of difficulty, Annapurna Circuit, and Annapurna Base Camp both are moderately graded treks. Even average physical fitness who has the strong will power and a positive attitude can do both trekkings. When to compare both treks Annapurna Base Camp is physically less demanding and easier than the Annapurna Circuit trek. But Annapurna Base Camp Trek has more steep ascents and descents than Annapurna Circuit Trek. Annapurna Circuit trek has also ups and downs. But they are lesser steep and more inclined sections. Thus, the Annapurna Circuit trek trail is some gentle climb comparing with Annapurna Base Camp. But no worry, if you use trekking poles and wear knee guards, this will not be a great problem while trekking to Annapurna Base Camp.

By the above points, it can be concluded that Annapurna Circuit and Annapurna Base Camp both treks are wonderful hiking trips. No matter you may choose either Annapurna Base Camp or Annapurna Circuit considering your availability of time, convenience, and interest.

Itinerary of Annapurna Circuit vs. Annapurna Base Camp Trek

Annapurna Circuit Trek

Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu International airport. We pick up at the airport by our car and transfer to the hotel. Overnight at Hotel in Kathmandu.
Day 02: Drive from Kathmandu to Besi Sahar (Altitude 1310 meters/ 4298 feet), 172 km west of Kathmandu by public bus. Driving 5:30 hours. Overnight at Mountain Lodge.
Day 03: Trek from Besi Sahar to Bahundanda (Altitude 1385 meters/ 4544 feet). Hiking 5: 30 to 6 hours. Overnight at Mountain Lodge.
Day 04: Trek from Bahundanda to Chamje (Altitude 2160 meters/ 7087 feet). Hiking 4 to 5 hours. Overnight at Mountain Lodge.
Day 05: Trek from Chamje to Bagarchhap via Dharapani (Altitude 2160 meters/ 7087 feet). Hiking 6 hours. Overnight at Mountain Lodge.
Day 06: Trek from Bagarchhap to Chame (Altitude 2710 meters/ 8891 feet). Hiking 5 hours. Overnight at Mountain Lodge.
Day 07: Trek from Chame to Upper Pisang (Altitude 3310 meters/ 10860 feet). Hiking 5 hours. OR trek from Chame to Lower Pisang (Altitude 3250 meters/ 10663 feet). Hiking 4:30 hours. Overnight at Mountain Lodge.
Day 08: Trek from Upper Pisang to Manang (Altitude 3540 meters/ 11614 feet). Hiking 6:30 hours. OR trek from Lower Pisang to Manang (Altitude 3540 meters/ 11614 feet). Hiking 4:30 hours. Overnight at Mountain Lodge.
Day 09: Day in Manang (Altitude 3540 meters/ 11614 feet) for acclimatization purpose. Overnight at Mountain Lodge.
Day 10: Trek from Manang to Yak Kharka (Altitude 4050 meters/ 13287 feet). Hiking 3 hours. Overnight at Mountain Lodge.
Day 11: Trek from Yak Kharka to Thorong Phedi (Altitude 4450 meters/ 14600 feet). Hiking 3 hours. Overnight at Mountain Lodge.
Day 12: Trek from Thorong Phedi to Thorung La Pass (Altitude 5416 meters/ 17769feet) to Muktinath (Altitude 3800 meters/ 12467 feet). Hiking 7:30 hours. Overnight at Mountain Lodge.
Day 13: Trek from Muktinath to Jomsom (Altitude 2720 meters/ 8923 feet). Hiking 6:30 hours. Overnight at Mountain Lodge.
Day 14: Trek from Jomsom to Kalopani (Altitude 2535 meters/ 8317 feet). Hiking 7:30 hours. Overnight at Mountain Lodge.
Day 15: Trek from Kalopani to to Tatopani (Altitude 1200 meters/ 3937 feet). Hiking 7 hours. Overnight at Mountain Lodge.
Day 16: Trek from Tatopani to Ghorepani (Altitude 2870 meters/ 9416 feet). Hiking 6:30 hours. Overnight at Mountain Lodge.
Day 17: Early morning excursion to Poon Hill (Altitude 3210 meters/10531 feet). Then trek from Ghorepani to Nayapul (Altitude 1070 meters/ 3510 feet). Hiking 6:30 hours. Drive from Nayapul to Pokhara by car. Driving 1:30 hours. Overnight at Hotel in Pokhara.
Day 18: Drive back from Pokhara to Kathmandu by tourist bus. Evening farewell dinner with Nepali Cultural show. Overnight at Hotel in Kathmandu.
Day 19: Departure to your home country. Our tour officer will drop you at Kathmandu International airport and see you off. End of Service. Or you may take optional side tours.

Notes:

I. The above is complete Annapurna Circuit Trek itinerary. If you do not have 19 days’ time for Annapurna Circuit trek, it can be completed in 14 days, 16 days, and 17 days as well. Please contact us for detail of the short Annapurna Circuit Trek.
II. We are a local direct operator of Annapurna Circuit Trek. We are not the agent who sell trips and give others to operate the trip. So we are able to give the best reasonable cheap price. For the price of the trip, please contact us.

Annapurna Base Camp Trek

Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu International airport. We pick up at the airport by our car and transfer to the hotel. Overnight at Hotel in Kathmandu.
Day 02: Drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara, 200 km west of Kathmandu. Driving 7 hours. Evening stroll around Lake Street Market. Overnight at Hotel in Pokhara.
Day 03: Drive from Pokhara to Naya Pul. Trek to Tikhe Dhunga (Altitude 1540 meters/ 5005 feet). Driving 1 hour. Hiking 3:30 hours. Overnight at Mountain Lodge.
Day 04: Trek from Tikhe Dhunga to Ghorepani (Altitude 2860 meters/ 9295 feet). Hiking 5:30 hours. Overnight at Mountain Lodge.
Day 05: Early morning excursion to Poon Hill (Altitude 3210 meters/10531 feet). Then trek from Ghorepani to Tadapani. (Altitude 2630 meters/ 8548 feet). Hiking 6 hours. Overnight at Mountain Lodge.
Day 06: Trek from Tadapani to Chhomrong (Altitude 2170 meters/ 7053 feet). Hiking 5 hours. O/n in Mountain Lodge.
Day 07: Trek from Chomrong to Dobhan (Altitude 2600 meters/ 8450 feet). Hiking 5 hours. Overnight at Mountain Lodge.
Day 08: Trek from Dobhan to Deurali (Altitude 3230 meters/ 10497 feet). Hiking 5 hours. Overnight at Mountain Lodge.
Day 09: Trek from Deurali to Annapurna Base Camp (Altitude 4130 meters/ 13422 feet) via Machapuchchhre Base Camp (Altitude 3700 meters/ 12025 feet.). Hiking 5 hours. Overnight at Mountain Lodge.
Day 10: Trek back from Annapurna Base Camp to Bamboo (Altitude 2310 meters/ 7507 feet). Hiking 7 hours. Overnight at Mountain Lodge.
Day 11: Trek from Bamboo to Jhinu Danda (Altitude 1780 meters/ 5785 feet). Hiking 5 hours. Overnight at Mountain Lodge.
Day 12: Trek from Jhinu Danda to Nayapul (Altitude 1070 meters/ 3477 feet). Hiking 6 hours. Drive from Nayapul to Pokhara. Driving 1:30 hours. Overnight at Hotel in Pokhara.
Day 13: Drive back from Pokhara to Kathmandu. Evening farewell dinner with Nepali Cultural show. Overnight at Hotel in Kathmandu.
Day 14: Departure to home country. Our tour officer will drop you at Kathmandu international airport and see you off. End of Service. Or you may take optional side tours.

Notes:

I. The above is complete Annapurna Base Camp Trek itinerary. If you do not have 14 days’ time for Annapurna Base Camp trek, it can be completed in 9 days, 10 days, 11 days, 12 days, and 13 days as well. Please contact us for detail of the short Annapurna Base Camp Trek.

II. We are a local direct operator of Annapurna Base Camp Trek. We are not the agent who sell trips and give others to operate the trip. So we are able to give the best reasonable cheap price. For the price of the trip, please contact us.

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