Hunza Valley is a paradise for adventure seekers, nature lovers, and culture enthusiasts. Nestled in the northern regions of Pakistan, this beautiful valley offers stunning landscapes, rich history, and warm hospitality. From trekking to mountain climbing, from exploring ancient forts to relishing the local cuisine, there’s something for everyone in Hunza Valley. In this article, we’ll explore some of the best things to do in Hunza Valley, so that you can plan your trip accordingly.
Getting to Hunza Valley
Hunza Valley is located in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan, which is accessible by road, air, and rail. The nearest airport is in Gilgit, which is about 2 hours away from Karimabad, the main town in Hunza Valley. The road journey from Islamabad to Hunza Valley takes around 18 hours, but it’s a scenic route that passes through several beautiful valleys and high-altitude passes. You can also take a train from Rawalpindi to Gilgit, but it’s a long and uncomfortable journey.
Best time to visit Hunza Valley
The best time to visit Hunza Valley is from April to October, when the weather is pleasant and the skies are clear. During this period, the valley is alive with greenery, blossoms, and festivals. The temperature ranges from 10°C to 25°C, which is ideal for outdoor activities such as hiking, trekking, and sightseeing. However, if you want to witness the cherry blossom season, which lasts from mid-March to mid-April, then plan your trip accordingly.
Explore the Bazaar in Karimabad
Karimabad is the heart of Hunza Valley, where you can experience the local culture and history. The bazaar of Karimabad is a must-visit place, where you can find traditional handicrafts, souvenirs, and local food. The bazaar is a colorful and vibrant place, where you can interact with the locals, taste the local fruits, and buy unique souvenirs to take back home.
Visit the Baltit Fort
Baltit Fort is an ancient fort located in Karimabad, which was once the residence of the rulers of Hunza. The fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it has been restored to its original glory. You can explore the various rooms, halls, and courtyards of the fort, and learn about the history and culture of Hunza. The fort also offers stunning views of the surrounding valley and mountains.
Hike to the Eagle’s Nest
The Eagle’s Nest is a viewpoint located above Duikar village, which offers panoramic views of Hunza Valley. The hike to the Eagle’s Nest is a challenging one, but it’s worth the effort. The trail passes through lush green forests, rocky terrain, and steep slopes. Once you reach the top, you can enjoy the breathtaking views of the valley, and take memorable photos.
Attend a Local Festivity
Hunza Valley is famous for its vibrant festivals and celebrations, which showcase the local culture and traditions. The most popular festival in Hunza is the Hunza Cultural Festival, which takes place in May every year. The festival features traditional music, dance, food, and sports activities, and it attracts visitors from all over the world. Other festivals include the Cherry Blossom Festival, the Silk Route Festival, and the Apricot Blossom Festival.
Taste the Local Cuisine
Hunza Valley is known for its delicious and healthy cuisine, which includes traditional dishes such as chapshuro, gilgit chapli kebab, and khubani ka meetha. The food is prepared using fresh and organic ingredients, and it’s cooked in a simple and flavorful way. You can try the local cuisine at the restaurants and cafes in Karimabad, and also at the homestays and guesthouses in the valley.
Visit the Attabad Lake
Attabad Lake is a natural marvel located on the Karakoram Highway, which was formed as a result of a massive landslide in 2010. The lake is surrounded by stunning mountains, and it offers a serene and peaceful atmosphere. You can go on a boat ride on the lake, or you can hike to the nearby mountains to enjoy the panoramic views.
Visit the Hoper Glacier
Hoper Glacier is a beautiful glacier located in the Hoper valley, which is accessible by jeep or on foot. The glacier is a popular spot for trekking and camping, and it offers magnificent views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. You can also explore the nearby Hoper village, which is home to the Wakhi people, who are known for their unique culture and traditions.
Go on a Day Trip to Passu
Passu is a charming village located on the Karakoram Highway, which is known for its stunning views of the Passu Glacier and the Batura Glacier. You can explore the village on foot, and visit the Passu Cones, which are natural rock formations that resemble giant ice cream cones. You can also go on a hike to the Passu Glacier, which offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.
Experience the Traditional Music and Dance
Hunza Valley is famous for its traditional music and dance, which is an integral part of the local culture. You can attend a live performance of the traditional music and dance at the local festivals or cultural centers, and witness the colorful and lively performances of the local artists.
Go on a Trek to the Rakaposhi Base Camp
Rakaposhi is one of the highest mountains in the Karakoram range, and it offers a challenging yet rewarding trekking experience. You can go on a trek to the Rakaposhi Base Camp, which is located at an altitude of 4,080 meters, and offers stunning views of the mountain and the surrounding valleys. The trek is a multi-day adventure, and it requires a good level of fitness and experience.
Enjoy the Scenic Views of Hunza Valley
Hunza Valley is a photographer’s paradise, offering breathtaking views of the mountains, valleys, and glaciers. You can enjoy the scenic views from various viewpoints such as the Eagle’s Nest, the Baltit Fort, and the Passu Cones. You can also go on a drive on the Karakoram Highway, which offers spectacular views of the surrounding landscape.
Hunza Valley is a destination that offers a perfect blend of adventure, nature, and culture. From hiking to mountain climbing, from exploring ancient forts to relishing the local cuisine, there’s something for everyone in Hunza Valley. The valley is also known for its warm hospitality and friendly locals, who welcome visitors with open arms. So, if you’re looking for a unique and unforgettable travel experience, Hunza Valley should definitely be on your bucket list.
What is the best time to visit Hunza Valley?
The best time to visit Hunza Valley is from April to October, when the weather is mild and pleasant. The valley is also famous for its cherry and apricot blossoms, which bloom in spring.
Is Hunza Valley safe for tourists?
Yes, Hunza Valley is generally safe for tourists. The locals are friendly and welcoming, and the crime rate is low. However, it’s always important to take the necessary precautions and be aware of your surroundings.
Can I hike to the Rakaposhi Base Camp without a guide?
No, it’s not recommended to hike to the Rakaposhi Base Camp without a guide. The trek is challenging and requires a good level of fitness and experience. A guide can also help you navigate the trail and ensure your safety.
How do I get to Hunza Valley?
Hunza Valley is accessible by road from Islamabad or Gilgit. You can also take a flight to Gilgit and then drive to the valley. It’s recommended to hire a local driver or take a private tour to explore the valley.
What is the currency used in Hunza Valley?
The currency used in Hunza Valley is the Pakistani rupee (PKR). You can exchange your currency at the local banks or exchange offices. It’s also recommended to carry cash, as credit cards are not widely accepted in the valley.