12 Days~Best of Hunza Valley – Cultural road-trip and summer adventure trek

Hunza Valley is hidden between the Himalayan, Karakoram, and Pamir Mountain ranges. Since ancient times, it was the crossroads for trade between Central and South Asia, a fabled place travelers tell of  “Heaven on Earth.” Join us for a breathtaking journey through the lush green orchards of apricots, cherries, and apples; be refreshed by the sparkling clean glacial waters

at 2500 meters above sea level surrounded by mighty snow-capped mountains. Feel your spirit elate in this beautiful valley and experience what paradise might have to offer!

Day 1

Our journey begins after one night’s stay in Islamabad, the capital city of Pakistan. An excursion of Islamabad will take place either in the beginning or end of this tour depending on your flight arrival time. The excursion includes Faisal mosque, one of the largest mosques in Pakistan and the Islamabad Monument on the hills with breathtaking views overlooking the city.

Day 2

We embark on our bus journey up the renowned Karakoram Highway, along the deep gorge carved out by the Indus River. To ease the arduous journey, we will rest half-way at either Besham or Naran. Start experiencing the change in altitude and atmosphere, as life slows down into the mountain pace.

Day 3

We will start the second half of the road trip towards Naltar, stopping for a view of Nangah Parbat, the Killer Mountain, and the junction of Gilgit, Hunza, and Skardu Rivers, which join to form the River Indus. We will go to see the Kargah Nala buddha carving high up on the cliffs by Gilgit city before moving into Naltar Valley. This beautiful green valley, located at above 3000m, is filled with  pine and juniper, and known for its winter sports. We will be welcomed by a heartwarming dinner and campfire at the lodge.

Day 4

We rise early to hike (or go by jeep) to the verdant Naltar Lakes, known for their trout fish and green algae. After lunch at the lodge, we will move toward Central Hunza for the next few night’s stays at Aliabad or Karimabad. On the way, we will experience the snow-laden Rakaposhi peak (7000m+), and catch our first glimpse of the fabled Hunza Valley.

Day 5

We will visit the magnificent 8th century Baltit Fort at Karimabad and Ganesh, the oldest settlement of Hunza. Then, we move toward Hopper Valley to hike onto the Hopper Glacier. From here, you can see the Golden Peak, or Spantik Peak, known for its grandeur and difficult climbing route.

Day 6

We drive to Attabad Lake via the Haldeikish Sacred Rocks. Enjoy the chilly blue waters, which changes color depending on the sunlight, on a boating trip on Attabad Lake. Then, dare yourself to walk over the hair-raising Hussaini Suspension Bridge, before we drive on to Borith Lake. From this groundwater lake, we will hike toward the Passu Glacier, enjoying the splendid views of the Passu Cones. In the evening, we will visit some Hunza storytellers to for a night of folk stories and music [*only at Apple Tourz*].

Day 7

We start the day from 11th century Altit Fort, perched on the precarious rocks high above the Hunza River, and explore the surrounding old settlement. Then, we will hike up the local trail to the Duikar viewpoint in the afternoon to experience the sun setting over the entire valley and snowy peaks including Ladyfinger and Ultar Peak.

Soldiers used to get recruited after passing the test of jumping to this rock and back again from the Altit Fort, braving the steep height over the Hunza River.

Day 8

We set out on our trekking adventure to Rakaposhi Base Camp via Minapin Village. It will take 3-4 hours to reach the first base camp at Happakund, which is a green meadow with spring water flowing through it. We will warm ourselves at night bonding around the campfire.

Day 9

From Happakund camp we keep climbing upward for 2 hours toward Tagaphari base camp. On the way, we will see the Rakaposhi Glacier and the white face of Rakaposhi Peak. From Tagaphari, we will experience a glacier-crossing hike, then come back to camp here for the night.    

Day 10

We descend from Tagaphari base camp back to Minapin Village and rest, soaking in the majestic mountains one last night before we return to the plains.

Day 11 

Return by bus (18 hours). Night stay in Islamabad.

Day 12

Tour of Islamabad (optional) before dispersing home.

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Tour at a glance

Day-01:          welcome in Islamabad and check in to Hotel and overnight stay

Day-02:          Drive up KKH to Chilas (Approx 10 hours) and make over night stay

Day-03:          Drive to Minapin (5hours) with stops at view points

Day-04:          Trek to Hapakun (3 hours) and overnight in tents

Day-05:          Trek to Taghafari (3hours) overnight in tents

Day-06:           Exploring of Diran peak base camp or free day optional 

Day-07:          Trek down to Minapin and drive to Aliabad/Karimabad 30minutes

Day-08:          Excursion of karimabad Tourist Street, Baltit fort and Altit fort 

Day-09:          visit to Hopper valley, Hopper glacier,Atttabad lake,Hussaini suspension bridge, Passu glacier and Passu cones.

Day-10:          Drive to Besham or Naran (5_7hours) overnight stay   

Day-11:          Drive to Islamabad 7 hours

Day-12:          Excursion of Islamabd before airport and fly home

Notes for trip

  1. Trekking level is easy-medium, maximum 3 hrs per day (see table below for details).
  2. You need to bring: sleeping bag good trekking shoes, light rain-proof jacket, backpack for carrying your own water and personal belongings (porter will carry tents and camp food), and water flask.
  3. We will provide clean drinking water throughout the trip. However, to conserve the environment, we will not provide plastic water bottles, so please bring your own water flask.
  4. Weather conditions vary in the mountains, be prepared with layers of short and long sleeve tops and trousers
  5. Seasonal fruits: mulberries and cherries are ripe mid-June to July; apricots are ripe end-July; apples are ripe in August
  6. Road conditions vary in this part of the mountains. This may result in longer   travel times. In case of unavoidable road blockage that prevents travel, we will be responsible for managing your lodging and food during this extra time. However, you will need to cover the expenses for the extra days.

Booking

  1. We can arrange trips for 2-10 persons per group (can be multiple groups), costs will vary depending on the number of person per transport, dates, and exchange rates. Please contact us directly for the price quote and discuss possible tour dates (see cost below for groups of 6-10 people). 
  2. We can customize and combine itineraries according to your interests, please contact us to discuss feasibility.
  3. Operating season: 1st June to 31st August
  4. After signing up, booking will be complete with payment of 50% advance fee, to be paid 30 days before start of trip.  

Cost [for groups of 6-10 person]

[$1350 USD/per person]:

Services

Includes:

  • All road transportation by mini-bus/Tourist Van
  • All night stays in hotels (will have wifi, hot water from tap, plush rooms, room service, restaurants in hotel), 2 persons per room (additional charges if you want to stay in your own room) excluding night on trek (tents)
  • Professional tour guide accompanying throughout your trip
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner, drinking water, fresh local fruits depending on season
  • Shared tent, sleeping bag, food for camping
  • Tickets to historical monuments listed in the itinerary
  • Option of flight from Islamabad to Gilgit instead of by road (additional charges apply, flight is subject to weather conditions)

Does not include:

  • Travel insurance
  • Visa to Pakistan (we will help provide supporting documents)
  • Tips for guides

Refund policy:

  • For cancellations 15 days or more prior to start of trip, you will be refunded half of the advance payment.
  • No refunds if you cancel within 2 weeks of tour start date.