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Trip Name: Northern Pakistan's Fascinations
     

This trip combines the spectacular diversity of natural landscapes, favorite national parks, and historic sites, tranquil lakes, with the strikingly beautiful sceneries of rocks, villages, passes and culture as well as into the incredibly remote and spectacular backcountry. We hike among pine trees, and by refreshing waterfalls. All around us sky touching natural walls stand out in contrast against a brilliant blue sky. At night we enjoy star-filled skies while relaxing in comfortable lodges and

Price: US$
 Days: 15
Destinations: Islamabad, Skardu, Kachura , Froq zhou, Satpara, Budha Rock, Shigar, Hunza, Deosai, Astore, Gilgit, Takhtbhai, Saido Sharif, Peshawar, Khyber pass, Phander, Shandur, Chitral, Kalash, Dir, Lowari
 Activities: Cultural exploration , Sightseeing, Fishing, Hiking, Wildlife, Boating, Jeep Safari, Photography
 Difficulty: Easy
 Departures: April 8, May 6, May 16, June 2, June 18, July 3, July 15, July 20, August 8, August 21, September 10

 

 

 

Day: 1
ARRIVAL ISLAMABAD
Arrival Islamabad today. A member of the Vertical Explorers staff will meet you at the airport and escort you to the hotel. Today either you can relax or you can enjoy an exploratory walk in the old part of Rawalpindi; wander past the vegetable and spice markets, beautifully carved old houses and trucks, cows pestering the vegetable vendors, catch traditional craftsmen at work in silver and gold bazaars .You will then continue on the main street linking the Twin cities - Murree Road - before arriving at the gleaming new capital, Islamabad. You pass shining new buildings and thousands of park areas - a full 50 percent of the 350 square mile site is set aside for parks. You will then stop at the Shakar Parian to catch a bird's eye view of Islamabad. Our next stop will be Shah Faisal Mosque which is the landmark of Islamabad.
Activities: Sightseeing
Meals provided: Welcome Dinner

Accommodation:

Marriott Hotel, Pearl Continental Hotel, Sunrise Hotel, Civic Hotel, Regency Hotel /Besham Continent

Day: 2
SKARDU OR CHILAS
We rise early to be at the airport in time for our flight to Skardu. If the weather is good, we'll be treated to one of the finest views available in the world of aviation, as we thread our way up the largest congregation of mountains of Karakoram, Hindukush, Himalaya and Indus River gorges, third longest in Asia and one of the deepest in the world. To our east is K2 (2nd highest in the world and Nanga Parbat (killer mountain) and countless peaks and glaciers. It is sometime possible to catch a glimpse of K2 in the distant before our dramatic landing at Skardu. On arrival we are met by our local staff with jeeps and make the short transfer to the hotel. SKARDU is the administrative capital of Baltistan and gateway to the high peaks of Northern Pakistan. We have some time to explore the town and enjoy the hustle and bustle in peak season of tourists here. Sightseeing in Skardu and surrounding areas during the day. For those seeking a good overview of Skardu, or a place from which to photograph the sunset, Kharfocho Fort is an ideal spot.If the flight is unable to operate because of bad weather, we will resort to travel by road on Karakoram Highway (KKH) to Chilas. The drive is compensated by the beautiful scenery along the Karakoram highway and Indus gorges. The journey on the Karakoram Highway is most exciting and thrilling. It is a monument to the engineering feast and one of the most spectacular roads and the world’s highest metalled border crossing. It connects Pakistan and China stretching over a distance of 1300km between Islamabad and Kashgar, winding through three mountain ranges and following the ancient Silk route along the Indus Valley to the Chinese border at Khunjerab Pass. We pass through the historical town of Taxila, beautiful hill station of Abbottabad, quake affected lush green towns of Mansehra, Shinkiari and finally meet the great Indus on Thakot Bridge. From there onward the road snails along the bank of the Indus with contrasting landscape after every two kilometers. We pass through Besham, Dassu, Komila and Shatial to arrive at Chilas with many rocks carving and inscriptions along the way left by Chinese pilgrims and ancient travelers of 5th century A.D. CHILAS was on the ancient caravan trail over the Babusar Pass into India. The drive through the Indus Gorge is guaranteed to knock your socks off! The view after crossing the Rai kot Bridge of Nanga Parbat is without any parallel. Standing at around 1,000 m. you see a mountain which rises to above 8,000 m! This is the largest land escarpment in the world. This is also where the three greatest mountain ranges meet; Himalaya, Hindukush and Karakoram.
Activities: Sightseeing, Cultural Exploration
Meals provided: Breakfast

Accommodation:

Chilas Inn Hotel (Chilas), Mashabrum Hotel, PTDC (Skardu) Baltistan Continental (Skardu)

Day: 3
SKARDU / CHILAS – SKARDU
This day may be needed to complete the KKH road journey from Chilas to Skardu.
Activities: Sightseeing, Cultural Exploration
Meals provided: Breakfast

Accommodation:

Mashabrum Hotel, PTDC (Skardu), Baltistan Continental (Skardu)

Day: 4
SKARDU - SHIGAR
Today after breakfast drive to the beautiful valley of Shigar vally, which lies at the trail heads of world five top walks.
Activities: Sightseeing, Cultural Exploration
Meals provided: Breakfast

Accommodation:

Shigar Fort Hotel, NAPWD Rest House

Day: 5
SHIGAR - SKARDU
Today morning we will drive back to Skardu. Excursion includes tranquil lakes of Kachura, Foq zhou, Upper Kachura. Kharfochou fort and Budha rock are the archeological sites to visit.
Activities: Sightseeing, Cultural Exploration
Meals provided: Breakfast

Accommodation:

Mashabrum Hotel, PTDC (Skardu), Baltistan Continental (Skardu)

Day: 6
SKARDU - DEOSAI - Shaucer Lake
Today early morning departure for Deosai for fishing and wildlife encounters over there, drive through Sadpara lake .
Activities: Sightseeing, Wildlife, Fishing, Hiking, Phtotography
Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, dinner

Accommodation:

Mobile Camping, Forest Rest House

Day: 7
DEOSAI – Free day
Whole day at Deosai for fishing of trout and experiencing the nature in its wilderness.
Activities: Sightseeing, Wildlife, Fishing, Hiking, Phtotography
Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, dinner

Accommodation:

Mobile Camping, Forest Rest House

Day: 8
DEOSAI - ASTOR
Today’s drive will take us to Astor and then to Rama lake, one of the pictures lake in Northern Areas nestled in the backdrop of spectacular mountains and pastures.
Activities: Sightseeing, Phtotography
Meals provided: Breakfast

Accommodation:

PTDC Motel, NAPWD Rest House

Day: 9
ASTORE - PHANDAR
Today morning departure for Phander Lake along the Gilgit river with beautiful scenery of Ghizer valley. Besides it scenic beauty, Phander lake is well known for its trout fishing. This is one of the best fishing spots in Pakistan.
Activities: Sightseeing, Phtotography
Meals provided: Breakfast

Accommodation:

PTDC Motel, NAPWD Rest House

Day: 10
PHUNDAR - FREE DAY
Free day for fishing and hiking.
Activities: Sightseeing, Fishing, Hiking, Phtotography
Meals provided: Breakfast

Accommodation:

PTDC Motel, NAPWD Rest House

Day: 11
PHUNDAR – CHITRAL
Today leave for Chitral via Langar, Barsat, Shandur Pass, world highest polo ground. At Shandur Pass we will take a tea break and then continue our drive through scenic villages of Laspur, Mustuj and Boni towards Chitral.
Activities: Sightseeing, Phtotography
Meals provided: Breakfast

Accommodation:

Hindu Kush Heights Hotel,PTDC Chitral Motel

Day: 12
CHITRAL - KALASH
After breakfast we visit Chitral Fort, standing on the bank of Kunar River beside a 1000 years old Shahi mosque rounded by many chinaar trees. Leave for Kalash valley, drive to village Bamburet. The people inhabiting these valleys are the primitive Pagan Tribes of Pakistan, who are known as Kafir Kalash. They are known for their own ancient culture and religion. Their ancestry is enveloped in mystery and is the subject of controversy. A legend says that five soldiers of the legions of Alexander of Macedonia settled in Chitral and are the progenitors of the Kafir-Kalash.The Kalash women wear black gowns of coarse cloth in summer and hand-spun wool dyed in black in winter. Their picturesque headgear is made of woolen black material decked out with cowry shells, buttons and crowned with a large colored feather.You can also visit a typical Kalash house to observe their life style and Kalasha Museum in Bumboret.
Activities: Cultural Exploration, Heritage
Meals provided: Breakfast

Accommodation:

Alexander Post Bumboret, PTDC Motel Bumboret

Day: 13
KALASH - CHITRAL
Today is reserved for a day hike over to the other village of Kalash Valley, for our lunch we will be having packed light lunch with us with some juices and biscuits. It’s a magnificent short trek into the beautiful Birr.Morning visit to village Birir, and hiking, etc. Afternoon leave for Chitral.
Activities: Cultural Exploration, Sightseeing
Meals provided: Breakfast

Accommodation:

Hindu Kush Heights Hotel,PTDC Chitral Motel

Day: 14
CHITRAL - PESHAWAR
Today morning from Chitral Valley a spectacular flights takes us to Peshawar city. After transfer to hotel and a short break we set off to explore this ancient historical city, which homes to the most hospitable hosts of the world, the Pathans! It’s where Alexander the Great came with his Army, where Buddhists flourished their Buddhism and The great Babur marched through historic Khyber Pass to conquer South Asia in 1526 and set up the Moghal Empire in the Indo-Pakistan subcontinent. We will be visiting the Old City, Qissa Khawani Bazaar, Mosque of Mahabat Khan and Peshawar Museum. In case of flight cancellation we recourse to travel by road via spectcular Lowari and Malakand passes to Peshawar.
Activities: Jeep Safari, Cultural Exploration
Meals provided: Breakfast

Accommodation:

Greens Hotel. Pearl Continental, VIP Guest House

Day: 15
PESHAWAR – KHYBER PASS - ISLAMABAD
Today after our short visit to authorities in Peshawar, we will continue towards the Great Khyber Pass, the prime attraction in this region is the Khyber Pass situated in the Sulaiman Hills which form the western barrier of Pakistan. The hills dip down here, leaving a passage sometimes as broad as 1 ˝ kms (1 mile) and sometimes as narrow as 16 metres (42 feet). The Pass begins near Jamrud Fort 18 kms 11 miles) from Peshawar and extends beyond the border of Pakistan at Torkham 58 kms (36 miles) away. After driving back to Peshawar, we will drive towards Islamabad the Capital City of Pakistan.
Activities: Cultural Exploration, Sightseeing
Meals provided: Breakfast

Accommodation:

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