Hunza Valley Travel Guide [UPDATED 2021]

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This summer, I paid a visit to the beautiful and breathtaking Hunza Valley in Gilgit Baltistan which is the northernmost territory administered by Pakistan.

It is a mountainous region that extends from Azad Kashmir to Afghanistan & from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to China. The vast & unique cultures of GB gets millions of travelers to visit this beautiful piece of land every year.

The area is a popular tourist destination due to its vibrant, beautiful lakes where you can camp and the curling roads through which tourists get to travel across the area.

Not to forget the aesthetic sight of gigantic mountains, which give an even more breathtaking sight due to snow-capped peaks in winters.

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Islamabad to Hunza Valley Travel Guide

karakoram high way
On the way to Hunza Valley

Due to advancements in transportation, one can easily get around from one place to another through various means.

However, you can’t reach Hunza Valley via air as it doesn’t have access to any airport located in the valley.

The nearest one is Gilgit airport, which is at a drive of 2 hours. Once you have reached Gilgit airport, you can easily catch a bus or any local transport to get to Hunza Valley.

On a daily basis, flights take off from the major cities of Pakistan to the Gilgit airport, so you don’t have to worry about any pre-bookings of flight.

It is best to travel via a car around the area as it allows you to explore the beautiful sights of the region. Surely, once in Hunza Valley, you don’t want to miss the spectacular views the area has to offer.

If you are traveling from Islamabad, you can choose from three routes valley, and each route takes an estimated 14 hours to reach Hunza Valley.

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Islamabad to Hunza Valley via Abbottabad

Islamabad to Hunza Valley via Murree

Best Places to stay in Hunza Valley?

Being a popular tourist destination, the small towns of Hunza Valley are flooded with many hotels and motels, but according to my experience, the best place to reside in is Karimabad

Karimabad is a small, remote town with a vast number of options to stay in, ranging from affordable hotels to expensive ones, whichever suits your needs. The hotels include local ones that are either two or three-star rated or above.

The cost varies between Rs 2000 to Rs 15,000 depending upon the facilities each hotel has to offer. One of the reasons why Karimabad is ideal for staying in is that the Baltit fort, which is a historic landmark, is within walking distance from Karimabad Road.

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Places to Visit in Hunza

Hunza is divided into three major regions that include Upper Hunza, lower Hunza & central Hunza.

The main attractions of Hunza Valley are listed below:

  • Karimabad
  • Altit fort
  • Baltit Fort
  • Attabad Lake
  • Rush Lake
  • Sost Border
  • Borith Lake
  • Eagle Nest Duikar

While staying in Hunza, you can also take a tour to Khunjerab pass, which is China Pakistan border whose elevation is 4693m, but the elevation can’t be felt on land due to the smooth road leading to the pass that is unaffected by the rugged landscape of the region.

Besides this, it will take 3 hours to reach Naltar valley from Karimabad, but this time is cut down to half if you visit this beautiful valley through Gilgit city.

Things to Do in Hunza Valley

If you are visiting Hunza Valley for the first time, there are a bunch of activities you can experience that will make your trip worthwhile.

#1 – Ruby & Local Handicrafts

Famous for its traditional handicrafts made by the local people, the bazaar of Karimabad in Hunza Valley is a good place to visit if you want to go shopping and buy some locally made items.

This bazaar is also well known for embroidered caps, woolen shawls, handwoven cloth, and gemstone, including Ruby.

Hunza valley is the home to the largest Ruby deposits in Pakistan. After Burma, the only region in the world to produce ‘Blood Red’ Ruby is Hunza valley.

However, besides being rare, it is also quite difficult to mine this precious gemstone.

Apart from Ruby, many other emeralds and gems can be purchased from this market, which has a vast range to offer.

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#2 – Sunrise at Eagles Nest Hunza

If you are a nature lover and want to experience an aesthetic view, then you don’t want to miss out on the amazing sunrise from the eagle’s nest in Hunza Valley. A lot of people gather on Eagles nest to witness this magnificent view.

The rising sun of the morning gives a pure touch of gold to the white snow-capped peaks of the valley. The fine view will be among one of the most beautiful memories you take from this place.

#3 – Play Flute & Enjoy Cherries

         Playing Flute in Hunza Valley

While passing through the bazaar of Karimabad to visit Baltit fort, you can and stop by play flute at the local shops if you are an instrumental music lover.

These local shops have their own, locally made musical instruments with a melody that is not only soothing to the ears but also adds a lively vibe to the atmosphere.

If you are willing to buy something different, then what’s better than getting your hands on a local musical instrument?

The region is not just all about locally made items but also the locally produced natural food items.

This reminds me of the scrumptious cherries that grow on the trees of Gilgit Baltistan and are available in most of the shops in Karimabad.

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#4 – Boating & Jet Skiing in Attabad Lake

view of atabad lake

You will be amazed to read or hear the story of Attabad Lake. Ten years ago there wasn’t any lake at this place where currently the Attabad Lake is situated.

This Lake, between the mountains, came into existence due to Attabad Disaster in January 2010.The disaster was a huge landslide that took place, which resulted in the creation of this mighty lake.

So while visiting Hunza, don’t forget to visit Attabad Lake. If you are an adventure-seeking person, then boating and jet skiing will greatly satisfy your search for adventure.

You can also spend a night over there by camping on its bank while you enjoy the mild and calming sound of flowing water.

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#5 – Delicious Traditional Dishes

Hunza is home to a variety of traditional dishes, with the most popular one being Chap-churro.

Chap-churro is one of the most delicious dishes of Gilgit Baltistan & is the local version of pizza in Gilgit Baltistan.

Chap-churroo is a bread filled in with a mixture of chopped Beef/Yak meat, fresh coriander leaves, onion, and other spices.

Chap Shoro Recipe

https://youtu.be/3EgK3LLx8Bc
Chap Shoro Recipe | Traditional Food Of Gilgit Baltistan | Video Credit – SooperChef

Jugloot Gouro is the most famous place for getting the best  Chapchurro in Gilgit Baltistan other Chap-churoo selling points have pretty much the same taste.

Chap-churro has some different versions and types, so you can choose the one that best suits your taste buds and craving. It can also be taken as a one-time meal & I ate it for breakfast.

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#6 – Trekking to Ultar Sar & Bubulimuting

Trekking to Ultar Sar & Bubulimuting

Near the entrance of Baltit fort, there’s a trekking opportunity for the adventure lovers. The trek leads to the base camp of Ultar Sar & Bubulimuting.

The elevation of Ultar Sar is 7,388 m, whereas the elevation of Bubulimuting is 6,000 m above the sea level. Ultar Sar lies about 10 km northeast of the Karimabad.

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FAQ’s

What is the best time to visit Hunza Valley?

The best time to visit Hunza Valley is from April to October but if you don’t like crowds avoid June to August.

Is there any Internet Facility in Hunza Valley?

You should buy a local sim card from Islamabad or Lahore, If you don’t have a local sim card, its a bad luck for you as there is no service center in Hunza Valley to register the sim card. You can also use internet from Cafe de Hunza.

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