Pakistan: Travel Guide to Hunza

If you’ve seen our last post, Travel Guide to Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, you’ll know that we absolutely loved our trip to Pakistan. The major cities each offered us a unique and amazing experience. Something you’ll need to experience yourself to truly understand. But in all honesty, none could match what we experienced when we went to Hunza, a city in the northern mountainous regions of Pakistan. And we can’t thank Baydaar Travels enough for making it happen for us.

Why We Decided to Visit Hunza

The northern regions have been on our bucket list for quite some time, and they are for most Pakistanis. But, it should be on even more people’s bucket lists.

Solely from the perspective of sights to see, you won’t find anything like Hunza. Tucked away in remote mountains of the Gilgit-Baltistan regions of Pakistan, Hunza wasn’t easily reachable until pretty recently. Much of the beauty of Hunza is untouched, as is the route to get there. Just getting there, you get to ride along the world’s highest paved road. But it’s not just sightseeing if you don’t want it to be.

For the thrill seekers and adventurers, the Pakistan has some of the most challenging rock climbing in the world. Five of the world’s 14 highest peaks are in Pakistan, and you’ll get to experience things like the Fairy Meadows and Nanga Parbat. Not to mention the food!

Where We Went – The Itinerary

Day 1: Depart from Islamabad at 3am in the morning. Breakfast at Chattar plains. Reach Chilas for the night at around 7pm. Dinner at the hotel
Day 2: Leave for Hunza at 8:00am after breakfast Reach Hunza by 2pm. Visit Baltit fort and the market place. Night stay and buffet dinner at Karakoram hotel
Day 3: Explore Altit fort and the Royal Gardens. Visit cafe de Hunza and then leave in the evening for Ataabad lake for boating and bonfire dinner at a camp site for the night
Day 4: Leave for Khunjerab top. Visit Gulmit, Passu and Sost on the way. Stop over at Fallen Man’s Heaven (now known as Mokshi). Back to Karakoram hotel to stay the night
Day 5: Free day in Hunza. Breakfast at the hotel. Explore the local culture and time to visit the local gemstones and dry fruits market in detail.
Day 6: Early breakfast at the hotel at around 6am. Leave for Besham. Reach Besham by 9pm. Dinner at the hotel
Day 7: Breakfast at 8:30am at the hotel in Besham. Leave for Islamabad by 9:30am. Reach Islamabad by 8pm

Getting to Hunza

If you’re coming from out of the country, our last post on Pakistan will have most of the travel details. But if you’re going to Pakistan just to visit Hunza, we recommend flying in straight to Islamabaad. From there, using a tour group like Baydaar Travelswill get you to Hunza with no problems at all.

Our tour group had about 15 people, we took a Coaster (van) up to Hunza. Up through the mountains, passing beautiful mountains, natural waterfalls, and delicious local foods along the way.

To be clear though, the route up is a no-frills experience, and we loved that. Hunza has not been easily accessible for the majority of the region’s history, short of the silk trade route (which you can see for a majority of ride up). With recent infrastructure improvements and a spike in tourism interest, much to the credit of the Aga Khan Foundation, Hunza has begun to see a lot of development. However, most of the north has not seen a lot of luxury development, so go with those expectations in mind.

Packing for Hunza

Again, this is largely covered in our previous post. However, a few things we highly recommend bringing along are:

  • Dry Shampoo
  • Large capacity power bank
  • Comfortable shoes (there are a lot of hills and rocky roads)
  • A warm jacket for when you visit Khunjerab Pass and Eagle’s Nest

Things To Do

  • Eat at local resturants
  • Explore the local markets (famous for shawls, dried fruits, walnut cake, etc)
  • Hussaini Bridge – take a small rock home
  • Rent a motorcycle in Hunza
  • Eagle’s Nest

Some Memories to Share

Some of our favorite memories during our trip weren’t necessarily things we could capture in pictures of videos. They were moments, events, and conversations. A lot of stuff just happens by luck, but some stories we tell are:

    • We were lucky enough to visit during a full moon. At night, when the moon was at it’s peak, the mountain peaks would be clearly visible. Sometimes we would catch ourselves just staring at the night sky while we walked home from a long day.
    • When spending the night by Attabad Lake, Baydaar Travels had organized a bonfire with live music. Shortly after the bonfire though, a few of us climbed on top of the Coaster we rode in and just stared at the stars.
    • There are a few local chai shops in Hunza, our favorite being “Cafe De Hunza”. We would go there at night with Ludo or some cards, drink chai, and hang out for hours.
    • After crossing Hussaini Bridge (which is a memory in and of itself), we started a friendly competition for skipping rocks. In doing so, we found some gorgeous rocks (some of which my Mom decided would be perfect for our home)
    • Along the route to Hunza, there is a small town with a wonderful restaurant. The restaurant has an open tap where the water is fed from the stream immediately next to it. Though it’s not a big deal to most locals, drinking from an open stream isn’t something we do often in the States, so we jumped at the opportunity.
    • At one of our rest stops, we ate at a small restaurant at the bottom of a beautiful vantage point of Karakoram Moutains. A group of us hiked up a ways from the restaurant, talked to some locals along the way, and eventually cooled off the ice cold mountain runoff.


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I’m Maryam, your new guide. Welcome to my Blog!

Maryam Ishtiaq is a content creator and social media strategist who currently resides in Dallas, Texas.

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