The Karakoram Highway is the eighth wonder of the world, running through 1200kms of rocky terrain and crossing into the Xinjiang province of China. The Karakorum Highway is monument to the toil and skill of an army of 15000 Pakistan and Chinese workers who worked for nearly two decades to master the Hazards and challenges that the forbidding terrain offered. A number of them laid down their lives to rebuild for us the historical Silk Road to china-the road through which traveled Marco polo and which brought such famous Chinese travelers as Fa Hien and Huen. Highway snakes its way through the Kkhunjrab pass at height of 4770 meters-the highest metaled road in the world.
This trip follows in the footsteps of Marco Polo, but in a four-wheel drive jeep. The multi-faceted journey presents the astonishing contrasts of Northern Pakistan, from lush green valleys to stark barren cliffs, from thundering rivers to serene sleepy lakes, and from towering snow-capped mountains to arid deserts. As we traverse through the mighty mountain ranges of the Hindu Kush, Karakorum and Himalayas, the culture and language of the local people seems to change from one valley to the next.
Our trip starts from the historic city of Peshawar. From here we drive to Swat and visit the ruins of Gandhara civilization before traversing to Chitral over the Lowari Pass (3234m). Chitral is guarded by Tirich Mir (7706m), the highest peak of the Hindu Kush range. Two days will be spent among the Kafirs of Kalash, who still retain their centuries old traditions. From here, a three-day journey takes us to Gilgit over the Shandur Pass (3734m), site of the world’s highest polo ground, and passes the serene Phandar lake and the Gupis and Punial valleys. A day can be reserved for leisure and fishing at Phandar lake. From Gilgit, we will visit the picturesque Hunza valley and travel up to the Khunjrab Pass (4733m). A free day in Karimabad before returning back to Gilgit will keep you busy meeting people and visiting ancient forts. Then we will drive back to Rawalpindi on the Karakorum Highway with an overnight stop at scenic Besham on the Indus River.
Day 01: Pick up from Islamabad airport and transfer to Hotel. Overnight Islamabad
Day 02: Islamabad – Abbottabad – Besham (280kms/07-08hrs)
We depart early and drive to Besham via Haripur, Abbottabad and Mansehra en-route visit Taxila which is one of UNESCO heritage of Pakistan. After a short break at Besham, we resume our drive on Karakoram Highway, along River Indus. We will make photo stops at Batagram. We reach Besham and transfer to hotel for night stay.
Day 03: Besham – Chilas – Gilgit (335kms/10-11hrs)
From Besham we travel on towards Gilgit and on the way sightseeing at Nanga Parbat View Point and confluence of 3 mountain ranges (Karakorum, Himalaya and Hindukush) including the confluence of Gilgit River into the Indus. From here we reach Gilgit. Stay there for night.
Day 04: Gilgit – Rakaposhi view point – Hunza valley
We shall continue drive towards Hunza valley following Hunza River. We will have stopover at Rakaposhi viewpoint and then will move on to reach Karimabad, the capital of Hunza valley. We will check in to hotel in Karimabad and stay.
Day 05: Karimabad – Hoper Glacier – Baltit & Altit forts – Gilgit
Morning Drive to hoper glacier, Ultar, Hunza Dome, Bublimating, Spantik and Diran are famous peaks surrounds us at Karimabad, while Rakaposhi at 7788m dominates the whole panorama. At Karimabad, we will visit Baltit Fort Museum and Altit Fort and in the afternoon drive to Gilgit and make brief trip to the bazaar on arrival. Night stay Hunza Karimabad.
Day 06: Karimabad – Khunjerab Pass (340kms/9-10hrs)
Today we will make an excursion to the Sino-Pak border at Khunjerab, crossing the villages of Gulmit, Passu and Sost en route. Khunjerab is the highest point on KKH at 4734 meters and considered as the highest trade route in the world. In the evening we will return to Karimabad and stay there for night.
Day 07: Karimabad – Gilgit – Chilas (230km/06hrs)
Day 08: Chilas – Shatial – Besham (210km/08hrs)
After breakfast, we will drive to Besham en-route visit Shatial Rocks with ancient graffiti’s on it and move to Besham hotel for night stay.
Day 09: Besham – Islamabad (270kms/7-8hrs)
From Besham we will resume our journey towards Islamabad passing through Mansehra, Abbottabad and Havelian we will reach Islamabad.overnight Islamabad
Day 10: Half day city tour Islamabad and transfer to Islamabad airport
-End of the Tour-