Annapurna Base Camp vs. Annapurna Circuit Trek, Which one to choose?
Both Annapurna Base Camp and Annapurna Circuit will take you from the different routes varying the trails. Annapurna Base Camp starts from the beautiful city of Pokhara where Annapurna Circuit starts from the Besisahar.
It is the ring trail of Annapurna. You'll complete one full circle in this trail, starting from Besisahar ends from Nayapool (Near Pokhara). Annapurna Circuit trek takes you from the high passes like Thorunglapass. Tilicho Lake also appears in the path of Annapurna Circuit. With the view of snow-capped mountain high in the hills, you'll be thrilled while doing this trek.
Annapurna Base Camp starts from Nayapool during the trail you'll visit two Basecamp Machhapuchhre and Annapurna Base Camp. This has not circular route like of Annapurna Circuit. Trekker uses the same route while returning from the trek.
In an ideal world, you may not have to choose between these two magnificent treks, because no one wants to miss any one of this trekking while in Nepal. But there come the circumstances' that you have to choose between these. The question is which one to choose, Between the High Passes of Annapurna Region and Base of the Annapurna Mountain. Here are some comparisons to make your choice easy.
Both of the trekking is in Annapurna Region but it doesn't mean that both treks are the same. Both treks have got a unique definition. In terms of difficulty sometimes it depends on trekker. But during Annapurna Circuit you need to pass higher elevation of 5416m at Thorong la pass and it is of 20-25 days long. Physical Durability of the body is highly recommended.
Annapurna Base Camp trek is moderate trek unlike Annapurna Circuit it is not difficult but of course you need to have strength in your body for any type of trek. In ABC trek the Maximum height is 4,130m of Annapurna Base Camp. Annapurna Base Camp trek is an easy trail to Annapurna Sanctuary whereas Annapurna Circuit is a moderate trek but harder than Annapurna Base Camp.
Both of the treks are in the same region so the cost wouldn't be much difference but given the gap of duration could make a high impact on the cost of both treks. Annapurna Base Camp could be completed within 10/11 days but Annapurna Circuit takes almost 20/25 days.
Given the duration of both treks with the same amount of cost on everything we include in cost, Annapurna Base Camp is the cheapest trek. 11 days of ABC trek cost about $975 per person whereas 21 days of Annapurna Circuit trek cost about $1600 per person.
Both of the treks are of Annapurna Region and no difference in Accommodations. In both treks, trekkers use teahouse lodges. Accommodations will not be a problem while trekking.
Mesmerizing views of the Annapurna Mountain Range is the main highlight of both trekking. The closer you go to the mountain the better view you'll get. Scenery wise both of the treks are excellent with a similar type of view. Given the height, you'll meet at Annapurna Circuit and addition of Tlicho lake Annapurna Circuit could get best views. But Annapurna Base Camp gives neck to neck competition in terms of views with any of the trekking route of Nepal.
Both of the treks have got their unique specifications, both are excellent trek. It depends upon the mood, physical strength, altitude sickness and many more factors affecting trekker. So, you need to be wise when you need to choose between these treks. If you missed a trick you may also miss the thrill. So, it's up to you