Pakistan – Hindu Kush & Karakorum

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$2,950

A 14-day road trip through the awe-inspiring Karakorum and Hindu Kush mountain ranges of Northern Pakistan. These mountains contain a kaleidoscope of people as well as some of the earth’s most incredible scenery.

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  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
      Culture
    • Activity Level Leisurely
      1/8
    • Group Size Medium Group
      10
    All about the Pakistan – Hindu Kush & Karakorum.

    A 14-day road trip through the awe-inspiring Karakorum and Hindu Kush Mountain ranges of Northern Pakistan. These mountains contain a kaleidoscope of people as well as some of the earth’s most incredible scenery. We’ll begin in the Chitral region where we will take our time experiencing life in the pagan Kalasha valleys. From there we take a three-day road trip through the Hindu Kush range and into the Karakorum. Next, it is the Hunza valley, exploring the rope bridges of Husseini, Passu glacier and learning about life in the high mountains of Pakistan. Finally, we’ll take one of life’s great road trips, the Karakorum Highway, back to Islamabad.

    Highlights:

    • Experience life in the pagan villages of the Kalasha valleys
    • Explore the wonderful Hunza valley
    • Cross Husseini rope bridge
    • Drive the legendary Karakorum Highway

    Start point  – Islamabad
    End point   – Islamabad

    The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
    What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.
    • All accommodation
    • Breakfast
    • Transport
    • Guiding
    • Meals in the Kalasha Valleys
    • Bottled water
    • Entrance fees
    What is not included in this tour?Items that are not included in the cost of tour price.
    • Any necessary visas
    • Insurance
    • Flights to Pakistan
    • Lunch & dinner
    • Other Drinks
    • Tips
    1. Day 1 Islamabad

      After meeting you from the airport and checking in to your guesthouse, we will take a short tour of Islamabad.

      It is assumed guests will arrive in the early hours of the morning.

      Overnight in Islamabad.

    2. Day 2 Islamabad – Kalasha

      A long days drive from Islamabad to the Kalasha valleys.
      This will be a full day driving including passing through the 10km long Lowari tunnel that links the region of Chitral with the rest of Pakistan. Once in the Chitral region we will head straight to the Kalasha Valleys.

      Overnight in Kalasha valleys.

    3. Day 3 Kalasha Valleys

      We will spend 2 days visiting Rumbour and Bumboret valleys, staying with locally owned guesthouses, eating locally grown food and drinking the locally made wine. The days will be spent relaxing, walking or jeeping to the Kalasha villages of these isolated valleys. We will ensure that the accommodation is with Kalasha families so that you get a chance to immerse yourself in the unique culture of the Kalasha.
      This day will be spent in the quieter Rumbour Valley

      Overnight in the Kalasha valleys in a very simply guesthouse.

    4. Day 4 Kalasha Valleys

      We try and time this trip to coincide with a little know festival called “Marachwaki Joshi”, which is to do with the mulberry harvest in Bumboret valley.

      Overnight in the Kalasha valleys in a very simple guesthouse.

    5. Day 5 Kalasha Valleys - Chitral

      A morning drive to the town of Chitral. Lunch in own and then an afternoon in Chitral which can be spent visiting the fort, Shahi Mosque and the local bazaar.

      Overnight in Chitral.

    6. Day 6 Chitral - Mastuj

      The road between Chitral and Gilgit crosses through the Hindu Kush. The mountains get bigger, and the road condition deteriorates. We take three days (days 6,7 & 8 to make the journey). In 2024 this road is being redeveloped and so drive times and conditions could vary.
      The first night, we will break the journey in Mastuj, which is less of a town than a collection of small holdings linked by winding lanes. It is a perfect place to do nothing except drink in the views.

      Overnight in Mastuj.

    7. Day 7 Mastuj – Shandur Pass - Phandur

      We continue our drive through the Hindu Kush, crossing the 3700 metre Shandur Pass, home to the world’s highest polo ground.
      In the afternoon, we break the journey at Phandur to relax by the lake.

      Overnight in Phandur.

    8. Day 8 Phandur – Gilgit

      Drive from Phandur to Gilgit, the largest town in the far North of Pakistan. At the entrance to Gilgit we will visit the Kargah Buddha carving.

      Overnight in Gilgit.

    9. Day 9 Gilgit - Hunza

      From Gilgit, we join the famous Karakorum highway and head to the fabled Hunza valley. The morning drive will stop at various viewpoints as giant 7500m+ peaks tower over the valley.
      Once in Hunza we will visit the fort of Baltit.
      We then use Hunza as a base for exploring the surrounding area.

      Overnight in Hunza.

    10. Day 10 Hunza and surrounding area

      We have two days of exciting trips planned in Hunza. However, you may want to do nothing more than sit under an apricot tree, watch the mountains and read a book.
      On one day, we will pass the newly formed Attabad Lake to Passu. The 30 km long lake was only formed in 2010 after a massive landslide dammed the mighty Indus river. At Passu we can visit the glacier and the famous Husseini rope bridge.

      Overnight in Hunza.

    11. Day 11 Hunza and surrounding area

      This day we will visit the ancient fort of Altit, one the traditional residences of the Mirs of Hunza. For the fit, we will take a walk on the high irrigation channels cut into the rock, giving tremendous views and an insight into how the people of Hunza created their Shangri-La.

      Overnight in Hunza.

    12. Day 12 Hunza – Naran or Besham

      A long day’s drive from Hunza to Naran.

      The first section will be on the Karakorum highway where we pass the point where the 3 great mountain ranges meet. After passing between the Himalayas, the Karakorum and the Hindu Kush we leave the Karakorum Highway and cross the 4000-metre high Babasur Pass before breaking our journey in Naran in the Kaghan valley.

      Overnight in Naran.

      (Note that if the Babasur Pass is not yet open for the season we will drive the Karakorum highway via Besham)

    13. Day 13 Besham or Naran – Islamabad

      Another day spent enjoying the scenery of the Kaghan valley and the final section of the Karakorum highway. We will arrive in Islamabad early enough for a final meal together.

      Overnight in Islamabad.

      (Note that if the Babasur Pass is closed we will drive from Besham to Islamabad via the Karakorum Highway)

    14. Day 14 Islamabad - End

      Transfer to airport.

      End of trip. 

    Accommodation

    We do not and cannot offer a uniform accommodation standard on our itineraries. Even if we wanted to, the reality is that standards in Islamabad cannot be compared to a Kalasha guesthouse in an isolated valley in the Hindu Kush. We consider comfort, location, design, character, historical interest and whether the money we spend will go into the pockets of the local community when we make our choices of where to stay.

    The accommodation will be based on 2 people sharing.

    In the Kalasha Valleys it is possible that three will share a room in the local home.

    Single supplement is available for an additional cost. 

     

    The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance.
    Included in the price:
    • All accommodation
    • Breakfast
    • Transport
    • Guiding
    • Meals in the Kalasha Valleys
    • Bottled water
    • Entrance fees
    Not included in the price:
    • Any necessary visas
    • Insurance
    • Flights to Pakistan
    • Lunch & Dinner
    • Other drinks
    • Tips

    We do not directly arrange international flights to Pakistan. We can suggest routes and operators.

    We do not arrange Pakistan visas directly. We will provide visa support in the form of letters of invitation to assist in your Pakistan visa application.

    We include breakfast every day. We also include some other meals in remote areas were stated on the itinerary. In our experience people sometimes want to eat different things in different places at different times and when there is an option, we will be happy for you to have your say. We know some great places and will also happily show you some of our favourite restaurants and tea houses. Some are luxurious, some are more earthy, but all have character. However, we do not pretend to be the arbiters of good taste and are equally happy for you to go off and find your own favourites. However, when restaurants are unavailable, such as when we are living in a Kalasha guesthouse, we ensure that food is provided.

    When we choose our vehicles and drivers we take into consideration the road conditions, the length of journey and the competence of the man behind the wheel. Most of the roads on this trip are paved although the state of the surface can vary. In the Chitral valley the roads are sometimes very bad and we will be in jeeps for this section. Your comfort and enjoyment of the journey is the first priority.

    On this trip you will be accompanied by an experienced English-speaking guide from Untamed Borders for the full length of the trip.

    The far North of Pakistan in Chitral, Gilgit, and Hunza are currently stable areas. However, we monitor the situation closely and we listen very carefully to advice from the foreign office and from our friends in the areas we visit. Our client’s safety is our primary concern. We must state that the tour leader has the final word with regards to changes in the itinerary for safety reasons. Whilst the route we have chosen passes through areas which we consider to be stable, things can change, and we may have to alter the route or cancel sections of the trip at short notice.

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