Planning to visit Hunza from Islamabad? Great Decision! It would take roughly 2 days on the road but the memories you would gather would last for a lifetime. Hunza is a lush green valley surrounded by mountains in the northern region of Gilgit Baltistan, Pakistan. It has been the sweetheart of tourists for quite some time now due to its landscapes and weather. Hunza has geographical significance too. It borders the Wakhan corridor of Afghanistan to the north and the Xinjiang region of China to the northeast. Other than that, it touches Shigar and Ishkoman regions as well. Hunza is the home to some great cultures. Three major languages are spoken here which are Brushushki, Wakhi, and Shina. This Hunza travel guide sheds light on route details from Islamabad to Hunza covering all the major tourist attractions that lie on the road.
Islamabad to Naran - Patch 1 of Hunza Travel Guide
Islamabad to Naran is roughly a 5 to 6 hours drive if your taken route is Islamabad, Abbottabad, Mansehra, Balakot, Kiwai, and Naran. Start your journey early in the morning so you could reach Naran by noon. If you are traveling with family, you can shorten your patches and take stops along the way. You can add a brief stop of about 30 minutes at Kiwai and treat yourself with Tea and Pakoras at the famous Aabshar Café.
After a brief stop here, reach Naran. If you are not a frequent traveler, you should have your night’s stay here. Book a good hotel in Naran bazaar and give your body some rest. You can take a walk in Naran Bazaar, enjoy some local food, and see some of the amazing landscapes. Pro Tip: Suspension Bridge at PTDC Naran is a great picturesque place.
However, if you are a frequent traveler and want to travel further, you could go until Chillas and have your first night stay there. But remember, Chillas is a hot place as it does not lie at so much altitude as that of Naran. It could be a bit problematic for people who are not used to of hot places. Therefore, decide accordingly. You wouldn’t want to kick off your trip on a bitter note!
Naran to Chillas - Patch 2 of Hunza Travel Guide
Make sure to get up quite early in the morning because you have a long day ahead. Naran to Chillas takes roughly 3 hours (115km approx.) if you maintain a moderate speed at N-15. Along the way, you’ll see Lulusar Lake, and Babusar Top or Babusar Pass. Babusar is the highest point in Kaghan Valley at the approximate altitude of 10,700 ft. from sea level. It connects the rest of the valley with Chillas through Karakorum Highway (KKH). Don’t forget to take a short stop here and make some great pictures.
After a brief stop at the Babusar Top, resume your journey and you’ll reach Chillas in about a couple of hours. Welcome to the great region of Gilgit Baltistan. Chillas is divisional capital of Diamer District in Gilgit Baltistan. It is a very hot place; therefore, not many people prefer to stay here. However, in case you want to shop something for yourself or your kids or family, this might be a good place. Pro Tip: Get a good amount of snacks. You are gonna need them real soon. Take a brief stop of about 30 minutes to bag essential items and get going immediately because you still have to cover around 225km to reach KarimAbad, Hunza and that would take roughly 5 hours.
Chillas to Hunza - The Last Patch
The third patch could be a little distressing as you’d see sandy mountains with no tourist spots. Here is where your collection of Songs and your travel partners come in. Make sure to have a lot of fun with the people traveling with you. If you’re a solo-traveler and traveling with any travel company, now is the time to do networking. Know each other and set a solid basis for the tour ahead. If you’re traveling with family, assign someone the task to handle the playlist. Do chit-chat. Where are the snacks that you bought in Chillas? Well, it’s time to unpack them. In case you are driving, make sure to drive carefully and do not indulge in these activities too much. Driver’s got the hard job to ensure the safety of everyone aboard, doesn’t it? But don’t worry! These sandy mountains are not all this patch has got. As soon as you enter Jaglot, look for the monument where the three mightiest mountain ranges i.e. The Karakoram, The Himalayas, and The Hindu Kush meet.
After crossing Jaglot, pat yourself on the back as the hard part is almost over and you’ve covered most of the distance. Soon, you will start to see some amazing picturesque spots on the way. Make sure to capture them all. After all, all of us have an Instagram-ish duty to fulfill, don’t we?
Welcome to Nagar !!
As soon as you enter Nagar, your eyes should search for the Rakaposhi viewpoint where the mighty Rakaposhi could be seen. Rakaposhi is the 27th highest peak in the world and it is famous around the world for its beauty. It presents a mesmerizing view when sunlight touches its peak. Furthermore, it is the only mountain to have a difference of about 5000 meters between its base camp and summit, and therefore, it grabs the attention of a lot of mountaineers from around the world.
Until now, the sun would almost be setting and you’d see darkness prevailing all around. So, head straightaway to KarimAbad, and get yourself a nice cozy room to stay in. Treat yourself with some good food as you did a wonderful job with the traveling today. You can also roam around the KarimAbad Bazaar if your body allows you to do so. It would also help your body to acclimatize to the new climate. Have a great sleep at night as you would want to feel positive and energetic exploring the beautiful Hunza Valley in the coming days. Happy Exploring!
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