Pakistan's Hunza Valley
Rare is the traveler who knows the allure of Pakistan, a deeply fascinating country with tremendous Silk Road history and sensational natural beauty—particularly in the Hunza Valley. Journey on the legendary Karakoram Highway from the desert to the snowy Pamirs, we delve into peaceful hidden corners of the old kingdom of Hunza, meet amiable locals, witness polo matches, and drink in galactic Karakoram peaks.
Read Bill's article entitled The Ultimate Road Trip: Traveling To Pakistan here.
July 10 - July 28, 2021
August 28 - September 15, 2021
|Day 1 - Arrive in Kashgar, China||Arrive Kashgar where you'll be met and transferred to your comfortable hotel. Radisson Blu|
|Day 2 - Kashgar with Sunday bazaar||Full day Kashgar including Abakh Hoja, the livestock market, the bazaar, lunch, walk through the Old Town and Idk Mosque. Dinner with local family & musicians. Radisson Blu|
|Day 3 - Karakorm Highway, Upal||Drive along the scenic Karakoram Highway (KKH) via Lake Karakol to Tashkorgan via the village of Upal, briefly stopping to visit its Monday market and buy nan. Lunch in yurt at Lake Karakol.Crown Inn|
|Day 4 - Khunjerab Pass to Passu||Continue along the KKH to the Khunjerab Pass (~15,000 feet) and Sost where you'll enter Pakistan and proceed through customs & immigration procedures. Continue on to Passu. Passu Ambassador Hotel|
|Day 5 - Attabad Lake by boat, drive to Karimabad||Drive Gulmit to Attabad Lake, cross by boat. Drive to Karimabad and check-in to hotel. Following lunch, presentation by guide in Hunza Room near reception on history, culture, religion, plus Q & A. Short walk through Karimabad bazaar before BBQ dinner in Serena Garden, weather permitting. Serena Hunza Baltit Inn|
|Day 6 - Baltit Fort, Aga Khan Academy||Visit Kado Workshops, IT Training center for women & Jewelry making workshop. Walk to Aga Khan Academy, Hunza Carpet workshop. Lunch at Didar's home. Drive back to hotel for afternoon rest. Reconvene at 4:30 for tea/snacks. Leave for Baltit Fort visit (walking and/or driving) followed by dinner. After dinner there will be a brief cultural show. Serena Hunza Baltit Inn|
|Day 7 - To Nagir Valley, Hopper Glacier village||Drive to Haldikeish to see sacred rock inscriptions then on to Nagir Valley (9150ft), visit Hopper Village and glacier (2 hours each way, with approx. 1 hour at the glacier) Lunch at Hopper Hilton, return to Karimabad where the evening is at leisure. Serena Hunza Baltit Inn|
|Day 8 - Altit Fort, drive to Duiker||Easy walk (about 1 hour) along the water channel, locally known as Smarqan-e-Dala or just Dala, through fruit orchards and exploring the village of Karimabad. Enjoy tea at girls' college and chat with teachers and students. Choice of either walking (with some uphill) or driving back to hotel. Walk is about an hour along Berbar water channel which derives from Ultar glacier below Baltit fort. Checkout of hotel and drive to Altit Fort Garden Restaurant for lunch. Following lunch tour Altit fort, then drive 20 - 30 minutes to Eagle's Nest Hotel. Tea on terrace with spectacular views of majestic peaks such as Rakaposhi, Diran Peak, and Golden Peak as well as the Ultar Glacier and Lady Finger (Bubulimo Ting). Dinner at the hotel. Eagle's Nest Hotel|
|Day 9 - Duiker walk, drive to Gilgit, explore||Drive to Gilgit (4920ft) stopping en route at Rakaposhi view point for tea. Arrive at approx. 1:30 pm for lunch at hotel. Explore Gilgit including visit to Biddulph House, former official resident of First British Political Agent in Gilgit and now the library. Meet with librarian. Excursion to Kargah Buddha. Possible/optional walk through bazaar. Optional shopping for shalwar kameez. Dinner in hotel garden. Gilgit Serena Hotel|
|Day 10 - On to Skardu via Indus River Gorge||Drive through Indus valley gorge to Shangrila Resort, Skardu.
Shangrila Resort Hotel
|Day 11 - Skardu bazaar, continue to Khaplu||Continue to Khaplu VIA Skardu. Visit bazaar in the morning before the heat of midday. Lunch at K2 motel, museum. Afternoon at leisure. Khaplu Fort Palace|
|Day 12 - Khaplu village and fort||Explore Khaplu including Khanqah, and two settlements (Hunduli and Banpi) where homes have been restored by AK Trust for Culture. Tour Khaplu fort. Khaplu Fort Palace|
|Day 13 - Drive to Shigar||Drive to Shigar. Perhaps stop at lake en route? Tour of fort plus tea in fort with Q & A.Shigar Fort Residence|
|Day 14 - Explore Shigar, polo match||Explore Shigar including Khilingrong and Amburiq mosques. For those who wish, go for sightseeing drive through valley before lunch at fort. Polo match.
Shigar Fort Residence
|Day 15 - across Deosai Plateau to Rama||Drive (321km/12-13H) to Rama via Deosai Plateau. 10 to 12-hour drive, including stops en route for photos, breaks, etc. Morning tea at Ali Malik in the plateau. Picnic lunch at Shoser Lake. Hoping to arrive in Rama about 6 pm. Rama PTDC|
|Day 16 - Naran||This morning, you have the option to rise very early (approximately 4:15 am!) to hike (possibly drive, depending on the road conditions) and see the sun rise over the ridge of Nanga Parbat that faces Rama (weather permitting). This early morning excursion will last about approximately two hours. Enjoy breakfast at the hotel upon your return. Then, drive to the Karakorum Highway (KKH) with more incredible scenery as we continue through the Astor Valley. We stop to view Nanaga Parbat and Buddhist rock inscriptions on the way to Chilas. After lunch in Chilas, continue over Babusar Pass (13,690 ft.) into the scenic and lush Kaghan Valley. We spend the night in Naran. PTDC Motel Naran|
|Day 17 - Drive to Islamabad||We continue the drive to Islamabad. The road runs through the green and well-forested western Himalayan spurs in the Hazara district. The area is rich in history with the earliest written accounts dating back to Alexander’s conquest of the region in around the 4th century BC. This period was followed by Buddhist rule in the 3rd century BC who left behind some interesting archaeological sites e.g. Asoka’s Rock Edicts at Manshera (dating back to around the 3rd century AD the script is weather-beaten and can hardly be seen). Islamabad Serena Hotel|
|Day 18 - Explore Islamabad||Explore the ancient and modern faces of the fascinating city twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad.|
|Day 19 - Depart Islamabad||You're taken to the airport in time for your flight out of Islamabad.|