Are you planning a trip to northern Pakistan this summer? If so, this complete guide to Hunza Valley is going to be of great help.
I have compiled all the necessary information you need to know before going to Hunza Valley. Getting to know about the place before going is important.
Whether you are a local or a foreigner with a bit of knowledge about tourism in Pakistan, you would have heard the name Hunza. It is one of the most beautiful tourist destinations in Pakistan.
The place is blessed with breathtaking scenery and crystal-clear lakes. Therefore, people fall in love with the valley instantly. This place is worth love at first sight.
Apart from the scenery, the locals of Hunza Valley are worth admiring. It would not be wrong to call these people among the kindest souls on Earth. Moreover, they are welcoming to all tourists.
You will be surprised to know that Hunza valley is among the most developed northern area of Pakistan. Authorities pay good attention to the place and thus enhance tourism in the area.
With the tallest mountains in the world, the place is no less than a paradise valley. This Hunza Valley tourism guide will help you plan your next trip and fully enjoy the beauty of this place.
Hunza Valley Location
The next question that comes to mind is where is this heavenly Valley. Hunza Valley lies in Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakisatn. It is near the Pakistan-China border.
Karimabad (famous for the Karimabad market) is the capital of this region. In addition, spotting Hunza valley is easy. The legendary Karakoram highway passes through this spot.
There are three geographical subdivisions of Hunza valley; Lower Hunza, central Hunza, and Upper Hunza. Although all three parts are worth visiting, central Hunza is the most famous.
Hunza Valley Weather
Hunza Valley is approximately 2438 meters above sea level. Therefore, it is thinkable that the valley is extremely cold during snowfall. The temperature can go below -10 °C.
Moreover, during winter, there is heavy snowfall. This results in the blockage of roads. The roads are covered in snow, thus making Hunza Valley unapproachable during winter.
Summers are better here. The weather is pleasant. Being at a height, the sun’s rays can be harsher. However, the temperature never exceeds 31°C.
How To Reach Hunza Valley
Hunza Valley is an easy-to-access destination. It is approximately 320 km away from Islamabad (the capital of Pakistan). There are two ways of reaching Hunza Valley:
If you are up for one of the most amazing road travel experiences of your life, go to Hunza by road. The bus ride is of 24-hours. However, the journey is so beautiful, you will lose track of time.
On your way, you will bless your eyes with the beautiful scenery of Karakoram, Kaghan valley, and Skardu. Since the journey is long, you should not forget to pack your travel essentials with you.
(NOTE: There is no direct bus from Lahore)
Another way of reaching Hunza Valley is by air. There is no airport in Hunza, however, Gilgit airport is almost a 2.5-hour drive away. You can easily rent a car from Gilgit and travel to Hunza. Moreover, you can choose a local bus.
(NOTE: The availability of flights depends upon the weather)
Best Places To Visit In Hunza Valley
Unlike other northern areas of Pakistan, Hunza is not commercial. Therefore, you are guaranteed to get the non-authentic view. The must-visit places mentioned in this Hunza Valley tourism guide by Us will give you a detailed overview of how the Valley is.
Hussaini Hanging Bridge
One of the most popular places in Hunza Valley is Hussaini Bridge. It is regarded as one of the most dangerous bridges in the world. Once you visit the place, you will understand why it is called dangerous.
The bridge, hanging by a rope, has no strong grip. It will start shaking as soon as you lay your feet on it. In addition, the bridge has no strong surface. There are wooden pieces arranged to make the surface of this bridge.
The surface is also not strong. The gap between them is scary. Moreover, there are several missing pieces of the wooden board as well.
Now the question that comes in the mind is ‘why would I go on this bridge?’
The answer is simple. Although dangerous, the bridge is among the most adventurous places in the world. The river passing beneath the bridge and the surrounding mountains enhance the beauty of the place.
And let’s accept, you do not want to miss the adventure of one of the most dangerous bridges in the world.
History of Bridge: The historical Hussaini Hanging Bridge is not the original one. As per locals, the original piece was destroyed by the floods in the 1930s. It was reconstructed by Ayub Khan(former president of Pakistan)
The bridge was used to transfer goods between Pakistan and Afghanistan. However, it is currently playing the role of Hunza Valley tourism destination.
Hunza Valley is famous for its remarkable history. The living proof of that history is Baltit Fort. According to the tour guides, this fort has been standing firm on the lands of Hunza since 800 BC.
You can see this magnificent fort on the top of a hill from Karimabad. This landmark will surely capture your attention as soon as you lay your eyes on it.
Reaching this fort is fun in itself. You will have to walk up a steep path for almost 15 minutes. Once on the top, you will realize why Blatit Fort is a must-visit place in Hunza Valley.
Being an ancient landmark, the fort depicts the architecture of ancient times. It is at a decent height, therefore, you get to see the entire view of Karimabad from the top.
(NOTE: You can visit Baltit Fort from 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM)
Another famous historical place to visit in Hunza Valley is the Altit fort. Unlike Baltit Fort, this one is not well maintained. The interior of this fort is also not as charming as that of the Baltit fort.
However, the exterior wins the game. The surrounding of the fort and the top view is something that makes it a worth visiting place. It also holds the status of being the oldest landmark in Gilgit Baltistan.
According to the locals, the Altit Fort used to be the residence of the ‘Mir of Hunza’. It was constructed almost 900 years ago. Thus, it preserves the history and designs of ancient times.
(NOTE: You can visit Altit Fort from 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM)
If you want to have a peaceful time with nature, visit Attabad Lake. This lake is the true picture of peace and calmness in the hands of nature. Thus, you will agree that this lake is the most beautiful location in the entire valley.
Attabad Lake has not been in existence forever. You can call this lake a blessing in disguise. Back in 2010, there was a massive landslide in Attabad village.
As a result of this landslide, the water of the Hunza river was blocked. Hence, it resulted in the construction of the breathtaking Attabad Lake. It is one of the perfect spots for spending alone time.
The lake is easy to approach. It is almost 23.9km away from Karimabad. However, the distance of Attabad lake from Hunza Valley is 124 km.
(TIP: If you want to spend a night near the lake, book a room at Luxus Hunza Hotel)
Most people are unaware of the existence of this lake. Therefore you will not be seeing many tourists talking about Borith Lake. It also requires you to hike, therefore people usually avoid visiting the lake.
Although reaching this is a bit more challenging than Attabad Lake, the beauty is undeniable. You can also learn about the culture from the nearby village.
Moreover, the trekking opportunity is the main attraction for all mountain climbers visiting Pakistan. The 30-minute trek to reach the lake is a first. However, you can also trek to the nearby glacier.
Are you a hiking/trekking lover? If so, a trip to Hunza Valley is going to be a great adventure for you. At 6,106 meters above sea level, Passu cones stand still to make your trip adventurous.
Moreover, the Passu Cones can be located along with the river of Hunza. The breathtaking mountains are the perfect destination for hiking. You can hike up to the glacier for the best view.
(Passu Cones are 10km away from Gulmit and 56.5 km from Karimabad)
- Passu Glacier
- Passu Sar Mountain
- Mount Tu Popdan (Passu Cones)
Ultar Base Camp
Another amazing place for hikers is Ultar Base Camp. It is a day-long hike that will make you fall in love with the entire Hunza Valley.
The hike to the base camp starts from Baltit Fort. Once you reach the base camp of Ultar peaks, you can get a clear view of the glorious peaks of Ultar along with the magnificent glacier.
You can either return after a short stay or admire the night view of Ultar Base Camp. Either way, the journey here is going to be the best memory of your life.
Read more: Winter Festival On Ganga Choti Azad Kashmir
Are you interested in seeing the highest land border in the world?
At a height of 4,733 meters, Khunjrab pass is known as the highest land border (It connects china to Pakistan)
The drive from Karimabad to Khunjrab Pass is approximately 4-hours long. However, the view is truly amazing. The mountains in the surrounding make the ride one of the best rides of your life.
(NOTE: Khunjrab Pass is an extreme height therefore you might feel a little lack of oxygen and extreme cold)
There is nothing better in mountains than a sunset and a sunrise. Eagles Nest is the best spot in Hunza Valley to witness this. 6 km away from Karimabad lies this beautiful spot.
This viewpoint is famous for getting an entire view of the valley. However, being at the height, the sunset and the sunrise are the most beautiful. This amazing view is something giving fame to this viewpoint.
From Eagles Nest, you get to see the magnificent view of almost 11 peaks. A few of the most common peaks include:
- Lady Finger
- Golden Peak
- Ultar Peak
- Diran Peak
Apart from nature, history and culture have been prominent features of Hunza Valley. The village of Gulmit is proof of that history and culture. This town is said to be centuries old.
Being a historical town, the place is full of museums. Moreover, the people here are very welcoming. They would love to teach you about their history and culture.
The Hunzakuts (people of Hunza are called Hunzakuuts) are habitual of entertaining tourists with the long tails of their history and culture. Therefore, you will get an overview of the entire town without needing a tour guide.
Apart from the history, the scenery and beauty of Gulmit are something you can not ignore.
Where To Stay And Eat?
Hunza is not a place you can visit within a day. Therefore, you will be needing a place to sleep and eat. The below-mentioned places are some options you can consider while on a trip to Hunza Valley.
There are plenty of options to stay and eat in Hunza. However, here is the list of the most convenient hotels to stay in.
- Serena Altit Fort Residence
- Hotel SWANS Hunza
- Tourist Cottage Hunza
- Elysian Resort Duiker
- Luxus Hotel Hunza
- Hunza Embassy Hotel
Food has always been the specialty of Hunza. However, the below-mentioned places are the best options to eat.
- Cafe Culture Hunza
- Bazouq Restaurant
- Hidden Paradise Hunza (Pvt) Ltd
- Gingerfort Cafe
Famous Food Of Hunza Valley
Hunza is famous for the myth that people here live for more than a hundred years because of the organic food.
Although with the industrialized products in Hunza, this might not be as true as it was, the food of Hunza is still among the most delicious organic food in the entire of Pakistan.
We Have listed some famous food items you can try when visiting Hunza.
- Diram Pitti
- Buttering Doudo
- Tumoro Tea
Hunza Valley People And Their Religion
There is no doubt that the people of Hunza are some of the kindest people you will meet on Earth. They are known as Hunzakuts. Most of the people here are fair-skinned.
The language spoken in Hunza is Burushaski. There are not many speakers of this language in the world therefore it is mostly unknown. Regardless of the language barrier, Hunzakuts are very generous.
The religion followed by the locals here is Ismaili. It is different from Islam therefore you will see many new customs and traditions.
Best Time To Visit Hunza
Being at a high altitude, this valley is covered in snow throughout winter. The roads are blocked because of snow, therefore it is impossible to access Hunza in winter.
Most tourists turn to Hunza during summer, making it the best time to visit the valley. The most preferred months are from May to October.
(NOTE: Autumn and Spring are the most beautiful seasons here)
Is Hunza A Safe Place?
Although western media has depicted Pakistan as a place of horror and terrorism, Hunza is the exact opposite of that image. It is among the most peaceful places in the entire world.
The worst that can happen to you is food poisoning. Since they use tap water to cook, there is a possibility of you getting sick. Moreover, some people might feel altitude sickness. But there is nothing that can not be prevented with medicines and precautions.
Hunza Valley is famous for its admirable beauty and peace. The valley has a lot to offer to its visitors. People of all interests will find themselves entertained in this part of Pakistan.
Unlike other valleys, the people of Hunza are not much conservative. Therefore you can easily interact with the locals and learn about the history and culture of Hunza Valley.
As summer is approaching, many people are going to go to Hunza Valley for a vacation.
Where is Hunza Valley located?
Hunza Valley is located in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of northern Pakistan.
What is Hunza Valley famous for?
Hunza Valley is famous for its stunning natural beauty, including the Hunza River, Rakaposhi Mountain, and the Hunza Valley’s terraced fields. It’s also known for its local culture and cuisine, which is heavily influenced by Central Asian and Tibetan traditions.
What is the best time to visit Hunza Valley?
The best time to visit Hunza Valley is from May to October, as the weather is warm and dry and the landscape is lush and green.
What activities can one do in Hunza Valley?
Visitors to Hunza Valley can enjoy trekking and hiking, cultural tours, river rafting, and visits to historic and cultural sites like the Altit and Baltit fortresses.
How can one reach Hunza Valley?
Hunza Valley can be reached by road from Islamabad, Alternatively, visitors can reach Hunza Valley by taking a scenic flight from Islamabad to Gilgit, followed by a road trip to Hunza.
What kind of tours is available to Hunza Valley?
There are many types of tours available to Hunza Valley, including cultural and heritage tours, adventure and sports tours, and nature and wildlife tours.
How long is a typical Hunza Valley tour?
A typical Hunza Valley tour can range from a few days to a week or more, depending on the itinerary and interests of the traveler.
What is included in a typical Hunza Valley tour package?
A typical Hunza Valley tour package may include transportation, accommodation, meals, guided tours, activities like trekking and hiking, cultural visits, along with wildlife viewing.
What are some must-visit attractions in Hunza Valley?
Some must-visit attractions in Hunza Valley include the Rakaposhi Mountain, Attabad Lake, the Altit and Baltit fortresses, the Passu Cones, and the Hussaini Bridge.