HINDU KUSH AND KARAKORAM
Start point: Islamabad
End point: Islamabad
Ideal time: May to end of October
A 14 day road trip through the awe-inspiring Karakoram 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 by taking a flight from Islamabad to Chitral. There we will take our time experiencing life in the Kalash valleys. From there we take a three-day road trip through the Hindu Kush range and into the Karakorum. Next 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 Karakoram Highway back to Islamabad.
Experience life in the pagan villages of the Kalasha valleys
Cross the Shandur Top
Explore the wonderful Hunza valley
Drive the legendary Karakorum Highway
Day 1 – Islamabad
Arrive in Islamabad and you will be met at the airport and checked into your guesthouse. We will take a short tour of Islamabad.
Overnight in Islamabad
Day 2 – Fly from Islamabad to Chitral
We will catch a scenic flight over the heart of the Hindu Kush to the remote Chitral valley. Chitral is cut off from the rest of Pakistan for six months of the year and feels very different from the Punjabi plains of Islamabad. The afternoon in Chitral can be spent visiting the fort, Shahi Mosque and the local bazaar.
Note: If the flight is delayed then we will take a full day to drive to Chitral. Overnight in Chitral
Days 3-5 – Chitral and the Kalasha Valleys
We will spend three 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.
Overnight in Chitral or the Kalasha valleys
Day 6 – Kalasha Valleys – Chitral – Mastuj
The road between Chitral and Gilgit crosses through the Hindu Kush. The mountains gets bigger and the road condition deteriorates. We take three days to make the journey. The first night, we break the journey in Mastuj, which is less of a town than a collection of small holdings linked by winding lanes. It’s a perfect place to do nothing except drink in the views.
Overnight in Mastuj
Day 7 – Mastuj – Shandur Pass – Phandur
We continue our drive through the Hindu Kush, crossing the 3,700 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
Day 8 – Phandur – Gilgit – Hunza
We join the famous Karakoram highway at Gilgit and head to the fabled Hunza valley. We then use Hunza as a base for exploring the surrounding area.
Overnight in Hunza
Day 9 – 11 – Around Hunza
We have three 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. The second day we will visit the ancient forts of Baltit and Altit, the traditional residences of the Mirs of Hunza. To stay fit, on the final day, 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
Day 12 – Hunza – Naran or Besham
A long days drive from Hunza to Naran.
The first section will be on the Karakoram highway where we pass the point were the three great mountain ranges meet. After passing between the Himalayas, the Karakoram, and the Hindu Kush, we leave the Karakoram Highway and cross the 4,000 metre high Babasur Pass before breaking our journey in Naran in the Kaghan valley.
Overnight in Naran
(Note: if the Babasur Pass is not yet open for the season, we will drive on the Karakoram highway via Besham)
Day 13 – Besham or Naran – Islamabad
Another day spent enjoying the scenery of the Kaghan valley and the final section of the Karakoram highway. We will arrive in Islamabad early enough for a final meal together.
Overnight in Islamabad(Note: if the Babasur Pass is closed we will drive from Besham to Islamabad via the Karakoram Highway)
Day 14 – Islamabad short tour – Transfer to airport.
You will have a city tour of Islamabad including the National Museum and city viewpoints, however this will depend on your homebound flight’s departure.
transfer to airport three hours prior to homebound flight.
Tour Cost: Ask (depends on numbers of people)
- One internal flight (Islamabad-Chitral)
- Private transport for the length of entire trip
- All accommodations, one room twin sharing basis (medium range, neat & clean)
- All three times meals (Pakistani food based on available menu)
- Mineral water
- Entrance Fee
- English speaking guide & assisting staff
- Toll & Tax
- Sales & Services
- Visa support in form of Letter of invitation
Trip doesn’t include
- Any extras in hotel/ on the way
- Any personal nature expenses, cell phone, laundry etc.
- Insurance Liabilities
- Any service which has not mentioned