Hunza Tour Guide
A Comprehensive and Latest Tour Guide for National & International Tourists visiting Hunza & the Gilgit-Baltistan (aka Northern Areas of Pakistan)
The Hunza Tour Guide is brought to you by Tour Mover Pvt Ltd, a tourism services company with wide network of offices and representation in all major tourist destinations of Pakistan. We also recommend reading of our Skardu Most Beautiful Places to Visit article before you plan your trip to Hunza.
“An Exotic Destination”
Hunza Valley is an exotic tourist destination located in the Gilgit-Baltistan which is also referred to as the Northern Areas of Pakistan. Hunza Valley is situated at an altitude of 2438 meters above sea level.
Hunza valley is top favorite tourist destination for national and international tourists. The visitors to Hunza are overwhelmed by the rugged charm, the fragrant breeze singing through graceful poplar trees and the velvet-like green carpet of wheat fields, set against the background of snow-covered mountains.
It is believed that the people of Hunza descend from Baltir, the village that was founded when the army of Alexander the Great left behind sick soldiers in the valley. The region was later on subdued by Muslims some 1000 years back. The majority of the population of Hunza valley belongs to Ismaili Shia Muslim.
The people of Hunza are very traditional people and value their ancient heritage & centuries old customs. The local languages spoken include Burushaski, Wakhi and Shina but Urdu is also spoken in large and English language mostly understood by educated people. The lifestyle of Hunza people is very simple and close to nature, mostly consuming natural foods produced locally including fruit, vegetables, grains, milk, and cheese. Life expectancy of Hunza people is 100 years plus. The literacy rate of the Hunza valley is more than 77%.
Hunza Valley Popularity
As an Adventure & Heritage Tourist Destination
Hunza is mountain & heritage destination of the matchless beauty. Hunza is top tourist destination for national and international adventure and heritage enthusiasts. Hunza is home to Ganish & Altit towns; Ganish mosque is around 800 years old and Altit is around 900 years. Altit Fort is on UNESCO tentative world heritage list.
Hunza valley provides spectacular views of some of the most beautiful and magnificent mountains of the world which including Rakaposhi (7,788 meters), Ultar Peak (7,388 m), Bojahagur Duanasir II (7,329 m), Ghenta Peak (7,090 m), Hunza Peak (6,270 m), Darmyani Peak (6,090 m) and Ladyfinger Peak (6,000 m). Hunza Valley surrounded by magnificent mountains having beautiful lakes, lush green planes, beautiful landscape, hospitable people, and fresh clean air making every moment an enjoyable experience.
Hunza Regional Sub Divisions
- Gojal Valley also called Upper Hunza Valley. Capital town of Gojal Valley is Gulmit. Other noteworthy towns are Sost, Passu & Hussaini. Gojal valley starts from Attabad and ends at Sost.
- Centre Hunza is the administrative center of Hunza Valley starting from a village Murtaza abad and ends at Atta abad. Major towns include Murtaza abad, Ali abad, Ganish, Karim Abad (formerly known as Baltit), Altit and Attabad. This is the most populous region of Hunza.
- Lower Hunza is culturally similar to center Hunza. Lower Hunza starts from a village Khizir abad and ends at Nasir Abad. It’s composed of Khizir abad, Mayoon, Hussainabad, Khana Abad and Nasirabad. Nasirabad location on KKH makes it as a centre village of Lower Hunza.
Hunza Valley Climate
The temperatures are highest on average in July, at around 28.3 °C. The lowest average temperatures in the year occur in January averaging around 3.2 °C. The least amount of rainfall occurs in November, average is 2 mm. The greatest amount of rainfall occurs in May, with an average of 32 mm.
Best Time to Visit Hunza
Depending on personal taste, if you want to see blossom season, then March-April is the best time to visit when cheery, apricot and peaches are in full bloom. If you are more into adventure and trekking and like hustle and bustle then June to August is the best time to visit Hunza. Or perhaps you might be one of the autumn season lovers who enjoy beautiful fall colors & a quite surroundings, then October – November is the time to be there in Hunza.
Visa Requirements for Foreigners
Pakistan is a country open for tourists now. Nationals of many countries can now get visa on arrival while nationals of other countries can submit their visa application online. You can get more details on Visa requirements for various countries nationals on the official website of Ministry of Interior. A quick overview of Pakistan Visa Policy for different countries of the world is available here.
Invitation Letter for Foreigners
Some International Tourists might need an invitation letter from host/tour operator in Pakistan. If you needed any such invitation you can contact us and we will arrange an invitation letter for you free of cost. NOC (No Objection Certificate – sometimes a requirement for foreign travelers to travel various parts of Pakistan) requirements for foreigners to travel in Pakistan has been removed for many nationalities. However, you may double check before departure with your host/tour operator in Pakistan if you would need one, your host/tour operator can get one for you easily.
Dress Code & Cultural Sensitivity
Any modest/conservative dress such as trouser with T shirt or Shalwar & Kameez (National dress of Pakistan, easily available in garments shops in all cities and towns, normal price PKR1500-2000) will be just fine; it applies to both male & female. People of Hunza have simple lifestyle, growing their own food and raising their own cattle for meat and milk, very hospitable & welcoming.
Travel to Hunza by Road
If you are planning to travel Hunza by road in private vehicle, you can follow either of the following routes most convenient to you (assuming you are starting off from Islamabad):
- Islamabad – Abbottabad – Mansehra – Balakot- Shogran- Naran – Babusar – Chilas – Hunza
It is about 690+ Kilometers long route & can take more than 21 hours total journey time to reach Hunza. But it is recommended to stop over for night at Naran (Islamabad to Naran distance is 300+ Kilometers & takes upto 8 hours) & then another overnight stop in Chilas (Naran to Chilas is about 170 kilometers & can take upto 6 hours) and then leave early morning for Hunza (Chilas to Hunza distance is about 220 Kilometers and can take upto 7 hours).
- Islamabad – Muzaffarbad- Naran- Babusar-Chilas- Hunza
It is about 650+ kilometers long route and can take 21+ hours total journey time to reach Skardu. Islamabad to Muzzafarabad is about 150 kilometers and can take upto 4 hours and distance between Muzaffarabad and Naran is about 120 kilometers and is about 3.5 hours travel. From Naran onwards to Hunza is the same as route 1 above.
- Islamabad – Abbottabad – Mansehra – Batagram – Besham- Dasu – Chilas – Hunza
It is about 750 kilometers long route. Islamabad to Chilas is about 500 kilometers and can take upto 15 hours journey time. From Chilas onwards you will have to follow same route as previously mentioned in the route option 1 or option 2 above.
- Coming from China
If you are coming from china to Northern Areas, you will need to travel from Tashkurgan to the Pakistani border post at Sost, takes about 6 hours . You can book buses either with NATCO or Hunza Xinjiang Trading & Tourism from the bus station in Tashkurgan. Chinese customs and immigration will need to be cleared in Tashkurgan before boarding your bus. From Sost you can find buses for the Hunza Valley.
Travel to Hunza by Air
PIA (Pakistan International Airline) operates daily flights from Islamabad to Gilgit, flight operations are subject to clear sky/weather. One way ticket is around USD 100 to USD 125 (You may check prices before planning your trip). But the flight will for sure will the most interesting & scenic as you flyover the most beautiful valleys of the northern areas of Pakistan.
Public Transport Service to Hunza
NATCO (Northern Area Transport Corporation) operate bus service from Islamabad to Gilgit-Baltistan. The main bus stand is on the KKH Aliabad in Hunza Valley. You can get bus schedule, fares, online booking information from here.
Getting Around in Hunza
You have few options to get around in Hunza. You can hire local jeep with driver costing PKR 7000 to PKR 8000 for a day to move you around. It is perhaps the best option as the driver will guide you also. You can share jeep ride and the cost with other tourists also if you are lucky to find other travelers having the same travel plan as you. You can choose to travel by public transport which might be time consuming though as they have to make frequent stops for passengers to get on and off the bus.
Hotels in Hunza
There is variety of hotels available in Hunza, some are budget hotels, room rent per night about PKR2000, while others high end luxury hotels room rent starting from PKR5000 to PKR25,000 per night.. Followings are some good hotels in Skardu;
For latest Hunza hotel deals and discounts visit Tour Mover Hotels Deals
Local Food/Delicacies of Hunza
Gilgit-Baltistan has fantastic healthy cuisine. The Gilgit-Baltistan cuisine has heavy influence of Himalayan local produce like buckwheat, nuts and sun dried fruits & apricot kernel oil, which is very healthy and delicious. Some of the traditional dishes recommended to try are
- Chapshuro: Chapshoro is bread filled with minced meat, onions, peppers, tomato and fresh coriander leaves.
- Harissa: Harissa main ingredients are wheat, boiled meat, and butter or apricot oil. The mixture is boiled and simmered and stirred regularly until paste like thickness. It is basically served in weddings parties.
- Mantu: It is pasta dish; basically it is mincemeat, herbs, garlic dumplings.
- Marzan: Ground buckwheat dough seasoned in very specific way for special flavor normally eaten with apricot oil
- Gyal: Buckwheat patties/cookies cooked with apricot oil, some people prefer to top it with honey also.
- Prapoo: Homemade Pasta cooked & mixed with apricot oil and ground almond paste, all mixed together well, looking more like thick gravy.
- Gholmandi: This is like paratha stuffed with homemade cheese, coriander and chives
- Trout Fried in Apricot Oil: Trout fish shallow fried in apricot oil very delicious.
- Butter Tea: Butter Tea is Baltistan special drink. It contains salt, butter, milk, and green tea leaves. Some people prefer to add wheat flour and apricot oil to it also. Good in winter season.
- Chutney & Pickles: Walnut, Almond & Apricot Chutney, Apricot pickles & James, very flavorful.
- Drinks: Butter Tea, Green Tea, Black Tea, Apricot Juice
- Fruit: Cherry, Apricot, Apple, Queen Apple, Peaches, Mulberries, Plums, Grapes, Almond, Walnut (subject to season)
Activities to Enjoy in Hunza
Hunza as a tourist destination has something special for everyone, activities ranging from easy goers to hardcore adventure travelers and food lovers.
- Sightseeing: Hunza Valley is stunningly beautiful. You will enjoy the sights and sceneries including mountains, lakes, waterfalls, meadows, spring blossoms and autumn colors, every scene just out of this world. The roses, lilies, pansies, willow, pine and fir trees are found in abundance.
- Wildlife & Hunting: Gilgit-Baltistan boasts of wildlife like Markhors, ibexes, snow leopards and birds, namely Chakors, partridges and ducks. Hunting of many of the animals and birds are protected but limited shooting is allowed. Hunting permits are issued by the local administration.
- Trekking: Hunza is an ideal location for mountaineering, trekking and hiking
- Camping: You can do camping. You can pitch your own tent or get one on rent also.
- Fishing: Attaabad Lake is best for trout fishing. Fishing permits are issued by the Fisheries Department of Gilgit-Baltistan.
- Cycling: Many tourists come to cycle the Karakoram Highway. It is an amazing experience.
- Meet Locals: Experience this ancient culture first hand. Meeting local people & trying local food is best thing to do in Hunza.
Travel Tips & Precautions
General travel trips, not specific to Hunza, which adventure tourists may find helpful.
- Your Identification Document (NIC for nationals and Passport for International Tourist, you can carry copy and keep the original safely)
- External battery pack for keeping gadgets charged on long bus rides and for power outages
- GPS device for trekkers who wants trek in the remote areas
- Solar charger for keeping your gadgets charged when camping and trekking
- Hiking Boots
- Backpack of 50 to 65 Liters
- Tent for campers and trekkers
- Sleeping bag useful for trekkers & cyclists
- Lightweight cooking stove for campers or cyclists who need to cook meal
- Water Purifier
- Trekking Poles
- Headlamp or Flashlight if camping, and for power outages
- Sunscreen for protecting you from sunburn at high altitudes
- Mosquito Repellent
- Prescription medications
- Toiletries & personal hygiene equipment
- Last but not the least, Skardu adventure will require certain level of physical fitness, not recommended with infants and elderly people.
Hunza Valley Most Beautiful Places to Visit
- Altit Fort
- Baltit Fort
- Ganish Village
- Karimabad Town
- Eagles Nest View Point
- Hussaini Hanging Bridge
- Passu Glacier
- Rakaposhi View
- Khunjarab Pass
- Attabad Lake
- Borith Lake
- Rush Lake
For more details & beautiful pictures please read our article on Hunza Most Beautiful Places to Visit.
Hunza Tour Free Advisory Service
To see Hunza best is to see it with Tour Mover Pvt Ltd. We operate tours and provide hotels booking and car rental & tour guide services for Hunza. Our tour experts will be more than happy to help you with your tour needs. Know more about Tour Mover services by visiting our website or contact us by phone, email or through our contact forum for an advise on Hunza tour plans.
Hunza Tour Itinerary
Skardu Baltistan Stress Buster Tour Package taking you to the serenity of the mother nature out of the bustling city dwelling to rejuvenate. Check out detailed Skardu Tour Plan here.