Whenever there is a discussion among avid trekkers regarding which is the best Long-Distance treks in the world, the name Annapurna has never been segregated.
The gorgeous Annapurna massif, stretching 55 kilometers from the never-ending Kaligandaki gorge in the west to the gushing Marshyangdi river in the east, invites the delusive views of the mountains throughout the journey.
Having said that, trekking in the Annapurnas is not all about exploring the mountains only or, so to speak, the Annapurna massif. It is about investigating the long-stayed cultures, rituals, festivals, and ceremonies of traditional Nepalese society.
It is about gaining new experiences in the classical houses of rural Nepal by chatting with the indigenous people. It is about learning to smile from the hospitable Gurungs even if the whole world goes against you.
It is about challenging yourself in every step and believing that something strange but wonderful awaits at the end of the journey.
However, what next- Annapurna Base Camp or Annapurna Circuit? Indeed, it is a very tough decision. Down here, I will be mentioning the overview as well as the pros and cons of both trekking options so that you can easily consider which one to grab.
Annapurna Base Camp Trek takes you to the base camp of the southern Annapurna face along with the quaint hamlets of local people and lush farm fields. On the way, there is a natural hot spring at Jhinu Danda, which is believed to have supernatural powers of healing and regeneration.
Also, there is a Hinku cave before Deurali, which is adorned with a handful of sophisticated sculptures of Lord Shiva and other Hindu deities.
In the longer version of this trek, you will pass through the incredible village of Ghorepani (Poonhill) and spend an overnight there to witness the splendid sunrise from the far-rising snow-laden pinnacles.
At times, the path intrudes through the sub-tropical forest and then, extrudes out of an alpine forest. As fascinating as it sounds, Annapurna Base Camp Trek has all the means to keep you engaged on the trail throughout the trip.
Annapurna Circuit Trek is a circular trek in the northern central region of Nepal in which the trail revolves around the massive Annapurna ranges in a circular fashion.
Because of the variety in climatic zones that this trek has to offer- from tropical (600 m asl) to arctic (5416 m asl)- it has been loved by many trekking enthusiasts from around the world.
Plus, the cultural diversity of this region is equally commendable as in the lower hills, most of the population are Hindus while as you approach the mountains, Tibetan Buddhism is widely spread. The most interesting part of this diversity is that you will never become bored by the sameness in the trail.
In the past, most parts of the routes were off-the-beaten and silent; however, the ongoing development works (road constructions), carried out by the Government of Nepal, have spoiled the older trails of the Annapurna circuit.
The road tributaries have extended their reach to the high altitudes. Despite that, alternative trails have been created so as to make render the same tranquility and adventurous experience as was gained by the trekkers of the 1900s.
After reading the above information, you have become pretty familiar with both packages. However, it is still difficult to say which one is best for you.
This decision greatly depends upon how long you want to travel, what is your fitness level, what kind of experiences do you want to achieve, and many others. Find your best matches.
Annapurna Base Camp (ABC) is only 4,130 m above sea level while during Annapurna Circuit, you will have to cross the Thorang La pass, which is 5,416 m above sea level. So, the chances of being victimized by altitude sickness are greater at the latter package.
Generally, the Annapurna Circuit Trek takes longer days (over 20 days) than the Annapurna Base Camp Trek (around 15 days or less). But the altitude gain is gradual in Annapurna Circuit than in the Annapurna Base Camp.
As compared to what is available in the Annapurna Base Camp, the services in the Annapurna circuit is better. The number of hotels and lodges is limited in the Annapurna Base Camp, and in the peak seasons, the trekkers are so crowded that you may have to share a room. But this case is very rare in Annapurna Circuit.
There is barely a place to comment on the scenario. The Annapurna Base Camp Trek takes you along the quaint villages, and mountains gaze on you most of the time.
Being on the base camp of Mt. Annapurna is, indeed, a wonderful experience, which is only possible from this trek.
On the other hand, Annapurna Circuit Trek is all about variations. You will enter into the unique landscapes and get a chance to revel in the unique culture time and again.
We would love to hear where you choose to go? Please write it in the comment section.
Plus, for further information, you may either email or comment.
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