GILGIT BALTISTAN TOUR
Gilgit Baltistan Pakistan – Land of Lakes and Landscapes Vistas
Starting point: Islamabad Airport
End: Islamabad Airport
Duration Trip: 11 nights/ 12 days
Ideal time: March to end of November
Visiting Pakistan is a lifetime experience in particular the northern part (known as Gilgit-Baltistan), surrounded with majestic snow-capped mountains, deep colored rivers, lakes and massive glaciers, making it one of the best destinations for nature and adventure seekers.
This 12 days customized tour program takes you from the capital of Pakistan to up north either with a scenic flight over the heart of Hindu Kush and West Himalaya to Skardu or drive on the Karakoram Highway along the river Indus.
In the north, you will be able to explore scenic views of Baltistan, Gilgit, Hunza and Nagar valley, and Khunjerab Top. Moreover, you will travel through the Karakoram mountains to reach the Khunjerab Pass (Pakistan-China border) located at 4,700 metres, known as the highest international border crossing and the end of Karakoram Highway (887 km) within Pakistan.
Tour of Islamabad
Explore Baltistan – the little Tibet.
Drive on the legendary Karakoram Highway
Visit Gilgit – Silk Route town
Explore the wonderful Hunza valley
Cross Husseini rope bridge and visit white Passu glacier
Excursion to Khunjerab – Pakistan-China border
Tour of Naltar valley and Green lake
Day 1 – Arrival in Islamabad
Meeting you at the airport, pick up and transfer to hotel for rest. If arrival is in the daytime, we take you out for a tour around Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan.
Overnight in Rawalpindi/ Islamabad
Day 2 – Islamabad – Skardu (Baltistan)
We catch a scenic flight over west Himalaya & Karakoram Mountains to Skardu – the capital town of Baltistan region, surrounded by majestic Karakoram. The flight takes an hour to reach the Skardu airport.
Pick up & transfer to hotel for check-in and breakfast if not in Islamabad, depends on flight’s departure timing. We then take you out for sightseeing in and around Skardu town, this includes a visit of famous Shangrila Resort and lake, Katchura village and upper Katchura lake.
Overnight in Skardu
Day 3 –Skardu – Khaplu Valley
Today we head out from Skardu and drive along the Indus river to Khaplu, which lies 103 km east of Skardu. The scenic drive will take you through the Karakoram into Khaplu while making photography stops along the way, including where river Indus and Shyok meets.
On arrival at Khaplu, we check into the hotel and then go out to explore the town, this will include Khaplu Palace located at the upper side of the village. The palace is considered a heritage building and was built in the mid-19th century, served as a royal residence for the Raja of Khaplu. Now it serves as a museum and part of it has been converted into a hotel by Serena community.
Overnight in Khaplu
Day 4 – Khaplu – Shigar – Skardu
Today we drive back to Skardu, en route we leave the Skardu road off to the Shigar valley, the gateway to the high mountains of the Karakoram.
We will pass the cold desert on the way. It’s worth stopping to take some time here.
On arrival at Shigar valley, we visit the ancient Shigar fort, which was built in the 17th century by the Raja of Amacha dynasty. Meanwhile lunch will be prepared and you will have a chance to enjoy the traditional/ continental food in the refreshing atmosphere of the royal garden.
Return to Skardu in the afternoon for
Day 5 – Skardu – Gilgit (the capital region of Gilgit-Baltistan region)
Set out for a long drive along the Gorge of Indus river down to Gilgit, the road here is under construction and the journey can take up to 8 hours. Until next year, it depends on the progress of the work. You will join the Karakoram Highway near Gilgit and travel up on the smooth part of the highway until Pakistan-China border.
Overnight in Gilgit
Day 6 – Gilgit – Karimabad (Hunza Valley)
Today we travel up north to Karimabad, the capital of fabled Hunza valley, nestled in many snow-capped mountains of the mighty Karakoram.
En route, we stop to see old traces of the ancient Silk Route and the viewpoint of mount Rakaposhi (7,788 m.), the majestic peak rising above Nanga valley that offers sweeping views from bottom to summit.
After arrival in Karimabad, we will check into the hotel and go out to visit the 700 years old Baltit Fort, which dominates the whole valley, and was once the residence of the King of the Hunza State. It’s now serving tourists as a historical monument and museum.
Karimabad bazaar is a good place to roam and see the local products, from local carpets to other handicraft items to dry-fruits. There are some good cafés where you would like to sit with a cup of coffee to enjoy the views of sunset.
Overnight in Karimabad
Day 7 – Attabad Lake – Passu Valley
Today we head to explore the upper part of Hunza valley via the Attabad lake en route. The long lake was formed back in 2010 due to a massive landslide on Hunza river. We will stop at the lake viewpoint for photography and is a good place to enjoy cruising on the lake.
After this, with a short drive we will reach the Hussaini hanging bridge, a well-known and must-visit footstep bridge over the Hunza river.
Next is the Borit lake. After this an easy and short walk will take us close to Passu glacier. After this we stop for lunch at Glacier Breez Restaurant, located above Passu valley. It’s a good viewpoint to see the Passu cones (a set of great mountain peaks more than 6,000 metres).
In the afternoon, we go for a walk around Passu valley and
overnight in Passu.
Day 8 – Excursion to Khunjerab Pass at 4,700 m. (Pak-China border)
Today you are going to drive through the Karakoram National Park and climb the Khunjerab Pass, located at an elevation of 4,700 m. It’s the highest international crossing between two countries: Pakistan and China.
While travelling through the Khunjerab National Park, you might be able to see some wildlife found in the Karakoram, like ibex, Himalayan marmot and snow leopard.
After some time on the border for photography, we then return to Karimabad and continue uphill to Duikar village – located high above Hunza valley. It’s an ideal place to catch the sunset and the sweeping view of Hunza valley in twilight.
Overnight in Karimabad
Day 9 – Hunza – Naltar Valley – Gilgit
Today we travel down to Nomal village near Gilgit and transfer to 4WD Jeeps for an off-road drive on a narrow, winding road between rocky mountains for a few hours.
Naltar valley is at an altitude of 3,000 m. It’s nestled in snow-capped mountains between the vast shadows of Karakoram and Hindu Kush mountains, making it one of the most spectacular places to visit. That’s where one of the skiing resorts of Pakistan is located.
From Naltar valley, a bumpy road through a jungle track reaching to Naltar lake, also known Green lake or Rainbow lake covered in pine forest.In the afternoon
go down to Gilgit for overnight.
Day 10 – Gilgit – Besham
Set out for a long road trip down to Islamabad via Karakoram Highway, break the journey at Besham and split the long drive into two parts. It will take approximately 12-14 hours to reach the destination.
En route, stop at Junction point of three mountains ranges, the Karakoram, Hindu Kush & Himalayas. Also view of Nanga Parbat, (8,126 m.) the second highest peak of Pakistan.
Overnight in Besham
Day 11 – Besham – Islamabad
Complete the road journey to Islamabad. Expected length of journey would be 7-8 hours. Transfer to hotel for rest.
Overnight in Islamabad/ Rawalpindi
Day 12 – Tour of Islamabad – Transfer to airport
On last day we explore the capital city, this will include a visit of:
Lok Virsa – the cultural heritage museum that showcases the old and living cultures from both mainstream and rural areas of Pakistan.
Pakistan Monument – the petal-shaped granite structure reflecting unity among all provinces and territories of Pakistan.
Faisal Mosque – the largest mosque in Pakistan and iconic symbol of Islamabad.
We spend time shopping at Islamabad then transfer to airport three hours prior to homebound flight.
- One internal flight ticket (Islamabad-Skardu)
- All lodgings
- All meals
- Private transportation
- Road taxes
- Letter of invitation to support the visa
Trip doesn’t include
- Flights to Pakistan and airport taxes
- Insurance liabilities
- Entrance fees