Pakistan in Winter:
You go back in time for 4500 years into the ancient Indus Valley civilisation
27 Jan. 2021 – 06 Feb. 2021
This is the unique opportunity to visit the heart of Sindh desert – Mohenjo Daro, the city of the ancient Indus Valley Civilisation built in 2600 BC. You can only visit it during December to February time, in other seasons the heat here is + 50 C.
Pakistan is a wonderful country which has kept traditional Indian culture better than India itself. Pakistan has both modern cities and 5000 years old memorials. Its territory stretches from the tropics and desert to the arctic cold of Himalayan peaks. This unusual tour will give you a taste of the rich Pakistanian culture inhabited by over forty ethnic groups and of its beautiful landscapes.
We will begin our journey in Karachi, a wonderful city of Arabian Sea. Then we drive North up the desert to Mohenjo Daro, explore this anceint site and then fly to Islamabad! After a day in Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan, we drive along the legendary Karakorum Highway North to Hunza Valley and enjoy this unearthly beautiful place with its wondeful peaks, glaciers as well as the peculiar culture of the remote tribes living here. We can also do a few hours hike on Passu glacier.
Important information: Pakistan is open for visitors from all countries. Citizens of some countries get visa on arrival. Visitors from the other countries get electronic visas. Electronic visas can be obtained here: visa.nadra.gov.pk
For entering Pakistan all visitors must have a negative Covid-19 test taken within 72 hours before arrival.
Flights to Paksitan from most countries are operated via Turkey or UAE to Karachi, Islamabad and Lahore.
Karachi – Mohenjo-Daro, Larkana – Sukkur – Islamabad – Karakorum Highway – Hunza valley – Islamabad - Karachi
27 Jan. Day 1. Arrival to Karachi.
Most international flights arrive to Karachi in the morning. We drive you to the hotel and then we have the full day of exploring the biggest city of Pakistan which is also the administrative center of Sindh province as well as the financial and cultural capital of the country. Karachi is inhabited by people from all over Pakistan whose common language is Urdu. From November till February here is an ideal weather for travelling, with about +20 C day time temperature and +10 C in night.
Karachi stands on the coast of Persian Gulf and has the most beautiful beaches. The city also has lots of buildings from the British colonial time. We will visit National Museum of Pakistan, the remnants of the ancient sites from all over Pakistan are exhibited here. Then we will go to the mausoleum of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan. For lunch or dinner we will have a big choice of the restaurants where we absolutely must try Karachi pulao, the internationally famous type of pulao. In the evening we can stroll in one of green parks of this city.
Overnight in a 3 * hotel.
28 Jan. Day 2. Karachi – Mohenjo Daro, Larkana
After breakfast in our hotel we drive 4 or 5 hours North up the desert Sindh to Mohenjo Daro! We can spend the whole afternoon walking in the ruins of the ancient city founded in about 2600 BC. The city was functioning for 900 years. And it was discovered in 1910s when the archeological excavation started. It is in a quite good condition considering the age of it. Mohenjo Daro is a world famous place studied by thousands of scientists ever since it was rediscovered hundred years ago, and the relics found here , like the statue of Dancing Woman and the statue of a Priest, are mentioned in all books on ancient history.
Overnight in a hotel in Larkana which is just 28 km away from Mohenjo Daro. We can enjoy the view of stars on the clear sky above the desert in the night.
29 Jan. Day 3. Larkana – Sukkur. Flight to Islamabad.
There is only few hours drive from Larkana to Sukkur. On the way we will cross the famous Sukkur Barrage built over Indus river, we will stop there to watch occasional dolphins swimming under the barrage. After a lunch in Sukkur we will take our flight to Islamabad. After accommodating in the hotel, in the evening we will walk along Jinnah Avenue where we also can have a dinner at one of the restaurants.
30 Jan. Day 4. Islamabad
Islamabad is the only city of Pakistan fully planned, it was built in 1960s and has broad and straight roads and is divided into bureaucratic, diplomatic, shopping and living areas. After breakfast we will go to Faisal Masjeed – a mosque built by Arabic prince Faisal in 1950s. It has a peculiar modern architecture design and now is a symbol of the city. For lunch we will drive up to a view point hill from where we can see whole Islamabad. In the evening you will have a free time to visit multiple handicraft shops of Jinnah Super Market
31 Jan. Day 5. Islamabad – Karakorum Highway – Karimabad
Today we have to wake up very early in the morning to be able to start driving towards Karakorum at no later than at 7 am. In few hours of driving we will get on to the Karakorum highway itself. This is the most amazing road you can see in the world, it's the longest road at such altitude and goes up to the Chinese border. That will be an unforgettable adventure. You will be struck by the beauty of the mountains which will be higher every hour during the trip. We will have to stop and register at the rare check posts. We will also stop for lunch on the way. By 8 p.m. or later we will arrive to Karimabad, the main town of Hunza valley. And we will be accommodated in Serena or Darbar hotel or similar class hotel, with heated rooms.
01 Feb. Day 6. Karimabad
Today we slowly wake up and enjoy our breakfast having the view on Hunza. The local people of Karimabad district are Burushi, a unique ancient ethnicity which had an independent kingdom in the past. We will visit either Altit Fort or Baltit Fort. Altit is 15 minutes drive down from Karimabad, it was a Medieval residence of Mirs (kings) of Hunza and their families built in the style similar to the Tibetan Namgyal dynasty style. In late 20th c. the Mir left it and it was turned into a museum. Baltit Fort is in Karimabad itself, it's built in the same style and was more of a fortress defending the place from Northern invaders, now it is a museum too. For lunch we will drive to Eagle's Nest – a view point from where we can have the best view on Hunza, it has also a nice restaurant where we can taste the best tandoor dishes. We will be surrounded by wonderful peaks like Rakaposhi and Lady's Finger mountains. On the way back to Karimabad we will explore local handicraft shops as well as different workshops. And for dinner we can go to Hidden Paradise restaurant and try the local cuisine delicacies – like Burushi buckwheat pie or lentil mutton stew.
02 Feb. Day 7. Upper Hunza
Today we go North to Upper Hunza. On the way there will be a beautiful ice of Attabad lake which is frozen in winter so that we can walk over it. Or we can just drive by the road above the lake through a newly built tunnel and get into the wonderful landscapes of Upper Hunza where Wakhis live – the tribe which living area stretches from Hunza in Karakorum across Pamir and includes Badakhshan of Tajikistan. First we stop at the oldest settlement of Hunzais called Ganesh. We can also visit a shrine of Baba Ghundi, a saint.T hen we will go to the traditional Wakhi house at Gulmit village where we also visit a museum of local culture founded over hundred years ago. After that we continue our travel to Passu village and depending on the mood of the clients we can do a short trek to Passu or Batura glacier. In the evening back to Karimabad we will visit a house of a Hunzai family and warm up next to the oven and have a chat with local people.
03 Feb. Day 8. Khunjerab National Park.
Today we again drive North up the valley but this time we travel a bit further - to Khunjerab Pass which leads to Chinese border. There is a famous Khunjerab National Park which stretches along the border and covers the area above 4000 m. Snow leopard and Marco Polo sheep inhabit the park. In winter due to thick layers of snow the animals are likely to run along the road from where we can see and photograph them. On the way back we will stop at Sost - a village which serves as an immigration point from Pakistanian side, we will have a late a lunch here and drive back to Karimabad. Overnight in Karimabad.
04 Feb. Day 9. Gilgit – Islamabad (Flight or overland)
Today we will try to catch a flight from Gilgit to Islamabad though the possibility it can be canceled is high. Clouds make the atmospheric pressure not possible for a flight in the mountains. So if we are lucky then we drive from Karimabad to Gilgit in the morning and then fly above Karakorum. If we fail to have a weather good enough for flight then we drive by the same Karakorum highway from Karimabad to Islamabad, and late in the evening we check in to our hotel in Islamabad.
05 Feb. Day 10. Flight from Islamabad to Karachi
In the morning we can buy the souvenirs, and in the afternoon we fly to Karachi!
06 Feb. Day 11. Departure to your home country.
International flights usually depart from Karachi early in the morning, so by the evening of this day you can be back at home already!
The cost includes:
invitation for tourist visa;
all domestic flights within Pakistan;
private overland transportation (Toyota Prada);
3* hotels. In Karimabad – 4* hotel;
entrance tickets to museums;
English speaking guide
This relatively high cost is because the hotels in Hunza which can provide heat in each room are about $150 per night, and the heated rooms are essential for traveling in winter
The cost does not include:
lunches and dinners;
souvenirs and personal purchases;
visa. Electronic visa is about $35, process time is up to 2 days;
negative Covid-19 test taken within 72 hours before arrival to Pakistan, in English;