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Many of the following clients may be directly contacted as a reference of Vertical Explorers. For contact information, please call our travel consultant at 0092-(0)-345-5061634 and express your interest in speaking to one of our past client references.
Dr.George Banu - Grand Base Camps
28th November, 2010
Just a note to tell you how pleased I was with your service and of course the fact that you saved me $1000.00. I couldn't believe that your price was that much lower than others I loved every minute of this trip! It was exciting, memorable, and overall just wonderful! The guide did a fantastic job, and it has definitely been an experience of a lifetime!
Keith & Frankie Ross - K2 Gondogoro La Circuit Trek
24th November 2010
We thoroughly enjoyed our trip. Saif was a great guide.I even recommended Vertical Explorers to people we met in our hotel in Beijing.The pictures we got, made the whole trip worth it.
I enjoyed both my guide and my driver very much! And you were extremely helpful and efficient throughout this process.
Betty, Jean Moura and Robert Cobb - Snowlake Hispar La Trek
19th November 2010
Our two-week holiday with Vertical Explorers was absolutely fantastic. At first, we were hesitant about picking a tour company off the Internet, but VE delivered everything promised and more. The knowledgeable, trustworthy and friendly guide and drivers made our tour a truly memorable experience. The meals shared with locals gave us an opportunity to see what life behind the private walls of the city is really like. We felt Syed's personal touch along the way in everything we did. We loved every place we stayed. The locations were always surprising and mysterious. The staff at every place was extremely welcoming. Food was absolutely delicious. They were unique places we would not have found on our own. I would not hesitate to recommend Vertical Explorers Treks Tours...in fact, I already have.
Michele, Bill, Cheryle and Jill - Pakistan Family Tour
11th November 2010
Thank you for all your help with the trip to Pakistan. We had a great time and your input and arrangements were key to this...Your help and planning with this trip was excellent and very much an indication of your really listening to us and what we wanted. What we didn't expect were all the signs of how invested you are in Pakistan itself and your commitment to the growth, advancement, and development of the people you work with. Realizing that was part of the agenda of the travel agency we were working with made the trip all the more enjoyable and special. Thank you for your help.
Howard and Janet - Private Couple Trip
17th October 2010
We loved our behind-the-scenes, off-the-beaten-path adventure in Pakistan! With VE's personal connections, we felt more like welcomed visitors than "tourists".
John Iaquinto & David Butler - October Custom Pakistan Holiday
5th October 2010
Travelling with Vertical Explorers was simply fantastic! As a keen independent traveller, I was very impressed with the flexibility and intimacy of this group. The organisers and tour guides were very professional, knowledgable and provided individualised information as necessary. The VE team have developed knoweldge and relationships that only a local could have, and we as travellers reaped the benefit of this. There was lots of time to explore as well as some interesting local guides who provided invaluable insight into their lives, homes and local areas. The main reason I enjoyed my trip with VE was that we got to experience many places and meet local people that were off the beaten track and that other groups [traveling with another company] would not even know about, let alone visit. These were the hightlights of my Pakistan experience. I felt safe and secure at all times, never was a time when I wondered where I was or what I was doing.
Erin Miller, Northern Pakistan Fascinations Tour
25th September 2010
An intense trip with a lot of travelling but very well worth it. If you
are restricted for time its the best way to see Pakistan without breaking
Atsuko Yoshihara -Enchanting Northern Areas
13th September 2010
Short and sweet introduction to Northen Pakistan. I recommend this trip to those who wants to see the major sights of Pakistan in a short time.Everything was well organized. Good value. More included activities than I thought.
24th August 2010
I had to e-mail you to tell you that you did a wonderful job setting up our trip. We had a great time in Pakistan and were very impressed with VE's planning, down to the last detail. We got a fascinating, detailed view of life in Pakistan that a "standard" tour would not provide - from spectacular scenery to informal discussions with our guides about their daily lives, from welcoming visits to family homes to elegantly restored forts/palaces.
Lianne and Shawn -Tailored Pakistan Holiday
10th August 2010
Great trip!! Opened our eyes to the culture and history of Pakistan.
"Wahga to Sost overland - Chitral Kalash" really did include everything that I wanted on my first adventure to Pakistan. The combination of the north and south truly allowed an excellent opportunity to experience different aspects of Pakistan. The north was hectic, intense but stunningly beautiful. The south was the perfect antidote to the north. A much needed change of pace. What an experience. Thank you!
Declan & Clare Donovan, Wahga to Sost overland -Chitral Kalash
19th July 2010
The level of organisation on this tour was perfect; all the essentials were in place like accommodation and transport, and the activities for each day were well explained, but then we had the freedom do to as we wished with our time.
Ms. France Addington Lee, Mesmerizing Fairy Meadows
11th July 2010
The trip, for me, was like a gorgeous kaleidoscope of Buddhist sites, Chitral, Kalasha and Balti culture. One week after returning, I can simply close my eyes and the sounds and sights come back vividly. The places were unforgettable.
Peter, David Bergmann, Ms. Gayle Templeton Bergmann & Donald Rudolph Bergmann - Spectral Northern Area
29th June 2010
This is a great tour as it takes in some really wonderful sights;. It made travelling around easy, as Northern Pakistan can be challenging when arranging oneself.
Sarah and Barry - Enchanting Northern Areas
19th May 2010
"The Spring Blossom trip was extremely well planned, fit our needs perfectly, well organized etc.All in all, this was an excellent trip. Hotels were beautiful, clean and comfortable; all meals were delicious and ample. A trip of a lifetime! Thank you for helping me make this a reality!!"
"Have just returned from beautiful Lahore--& wanted immediately
to thank the entire V.E. team for making my trip a most memorable one
Richard Steadman, 28/02/201
"Thank you for all you did to make our Hunza and KKH visit enjoyable. The itinerary was well planned, and we were able to see and do everything that we had hoped to accomplish. We were especially impressed with the guide and driver that did a nice job of escorting us around. The hotels was perfect base to see the surroundings"
.Erica , Sheldon & Chris , 08/22/09
"Everything was perfect. The guide Anwar Ali was excellent, with
us the whole time and knew a lot about the places we visited.He took us
to special places not on the original itinerary and his surprise side
trips were just fantastic and some of the highlights of the trip. The
hotels were also great. Thank you for organizing such an excellent trek
to K2. We really enjoyed it very much."
Nessija, 07/27/09, Hunza valley and K2 Gondogoro La
"Thank you. I just got back from my trip, and it was the most extraordinary
trip I have ever taken. Thank you for choosing such beautiful places.
Will definitely keep Vertical Explorers posted on my next travel needs."
"I am quite well though sad to have ended such a memorable holiday! I truly hope that more people visit Pakistan to see the beauty of your land and the warmth of your people firsthand.
Ahh, did you know that I hassled Sharif almost every day regarding the
‘comments, suggestions, criticisms, etc.’? I think I told
you in one of my many boring, emails that as long as I was outside enjoying
nature I was fine with the itinerary. Well I stayed true to my comment.
I was so content with visiting northern Pakistan for the first time that
I had no complaints or criticisms! Truly I was well taken care of by Sharif,
Latif and Amman, sweet Amman – you know they were all one of a kind.
They seemed to read me like a book and before I even knew I was cold or
hungry or tired they had my sleeping bag out or snacks available or made
me take a break. My only complaints are on a personal level and by that
I mean they are geared toward me. I wish I had been in better health,
I wish I knew what I had wanted and stayed in the mountains longer. Next
time I will know better.
Bertha Horcasitas, 11/19/2008
KKH, Skardu, Thale La, Shigar, Deosai, Nanga Parbat Rupal Face, Astore, Naltar, Karimabad, Passue, Sust, Shimshal, Dastghil Sar, Gilgit, Naran Kaghan, Murree
"We had a wonderful holiday and everything went as planned, thank
you. The group of people was exceptionally good. Thank you for your help
organizing this trip! Best regards."
"It was a great trip! The guide was awesome. We had good weather and the views were incredible. We were treated like royalty! Thanks for putting together this wonderful adventure, hoping we can squeeze in another trip in coming years to Snow Lake Hipsar La or Grand Karakoram Traverse or Nanga Parbat Circuit.You were great to work with and I would use Vertical Explorers again on my next adventure."
Monika, 10/1/08, K2 Gondogoro La, Karakoram
Andrew, 09/12/08, K2 Gondogoro La, Nanga Parbat Rupal Face, Deosai, Naran Kaghan
"I'm truly sorry that it has taken me so long to respond. Work has been extremely busy for both Robby and myself since we have returned from Pakistan. We normally are never this busy! Pakistan has been on our minds, and we are both still working on finishing up our trip notes and selecting which photos to post on our website...its a work in progress and hopefully we will have it up online soon. Inshallah! :)
Our Northern Areas journey was fantastic...we have only the best memories from our trip there. The itinerary that Saeed helped us develop was excellent as we had a nice, broad overview of many Northern Areas, which is fantastically beautiful and the stuff of dreams. We never knew how gorgeous the scenery would be up North...even though we had read the reviews of other travellers who were equally enamoured. I know that tourism in Pakistan is still developing, and wanted to provide you with some feedback that future customers may find helpful.
1. Pre-trip planning: The trip dossier that you provided (with recommended packing list) was very helpful and gave us a good expectation of what to expect. Of course, situations constantly change, so remind your clients to remain flexible...for example, we had planned on attending the Boroghil Festival but were unable to because it was cancelled. Conditions in Pakistan are fluid and clients should keep that in mind when they are booking a tour.
2. Payment: I must admit, if we weren't repeat customers, I would have been a bit leery about making full payment in advance of arrival. I think many of your other clients may have the same fears, so it would be helpful for them to read about other client's testimonials so they have ease of mind that they are dealing with a reputable company. The more feedback from a wide range of clients, the better. That way, any potential clients will realize that VE isn't some "fly by night" operation but has had numerous years of experience catered to foreign guests.
3. Itinerary: Thank God for Saeed! He worked with me to custom build an itinerary that would suit Robby's and my interests...I think the recommended itineraries on your website are equally invaluable. They give the first time visitor to Pakistan a good first impression of what the country has to offer. Even after our second trip to Pakistan, I am still stunned at the wide range of activities that are possible in Pakistan (i.e. camel riding in the South, trout fishing, kite flying, camping, trekking, white water rafting, etc). One thing that most clients to Pakistan realize already, although it wouldn't hurt to mention, is that in the Northern Areas, many of the destinations are at high elevations. Being in the best possible shape one can be is vital! Our daily hikes were physically challenging at times...I can't even imagine what it must be like to trek one of the routes labeled "tough" considering the easy treks weren't that easy!
4. Food: We really like how, unlike many of the other tours we take in other countries, VE allows complete flexibility on our food stops and choices. If we feel like eating Chinese food, no problem. Or if we want to skip lunch to catch in an extra sight, so be it. It really was nice not to be tied down to eating at a certain restaurant at a certain time. My favorite dish now is karai! I love that stuff. Oh, and the apricots in full bloom everywhere...delicious. I had no idea there were sooooo many types of Apricots in Pakistan. Free for the picking....
5. Hotels: Very good. We like the PTDC chain and found them to be very friendly, clean and hospitable. The Shigar Fort was our favorite....two huge thumbs up! One thing we didn't realize was how electricity would be limited at some places, with the generator only kicking on from 8 pm - 10 pm. Something to let clients know so they can be ready to charge their batteries!
6. Guides: Saeed is our favorite! We were really sad he had a family crisis and couldn't be with us the entire trip but it was completely understandable as family comes first. Zia did a good job taking over from Saeed. He tried his very best to ensure that we were satisfied and happy, which is all we can really ask for in a guide.
7. Drivers: Both Hamid and Jan were EXCELLENT! We loved them both. They were very careful, cautious drivers who paid attention to the road and to our safety. Always courteous, friendly and uncomplaining...the perfect drivers.
8. Vehicles: Our first jeep had mechanical problems that started on our first day. We stopped several times to have it looked at, but the problem persisted. Due to our itinerary, we realized the first place we'd be able to swap out vehicles would be Gilgit, so we had to put up with the jeep for about a week until we could get a replacement jeep. The replacement jeep was great, and we had no further problems throughout the trip.
9. People and Culture: Pakistanis are some of the most amazing people on earth. Nothing quite prepares you for the attention and hospitality that is encountered in Pakistan. Of course, it really helps to respect the local culture, so I'd strongly advise clients to adopt the local dress (shalwar kameez) for both men and women. Very comfortable and practical...easy to hand wash and dry. Thanks so much for arranging ours beforehand...we loved them!
In closing, I think that Pakistan is one of the most alluring countries we've visited (and we've been all around the world). Something compels us to return again and again. In fact, we are already scheming about our return trip and where we want to visit! We really hope more tourists visit and enjoy all that Pakistan has to offer. If you'd like to share our testimonial with everyone, feel free. We'd be happy to answer any questions folks might have. Oh, and photos/trip notes will be posted on our website soon: http://www.thinkbigadventures.com. Click on Pakistan and then "Northern Areas"..."
Becky Clark Thomas & Robby, 09/12/08
Takht Bhai, Chakdara, Chatpat, Dir, Lowari Pass, Birrir, Rumbor, Chitral, Mastuj, Shandur Polo, Phandar, Hundrap lake, Gilgit, Astore, Deosai, Skardu, Khapulo, Shigar, Rondu, Naltar, Karimabad, Nagar, Passu, Fairy Meadows, KKH & Murree
Caroline GL, 08/31/08, Chitral, Kalash, Dir, Peshawar, Ghizer, Gilgit, Hunza, Nagar, Skardu, Deosai, Shigar, Khapulo, Astore, KKH, Naran
"Well, I have been home for two weeks, recovered from my jet lag
and am starting to get my pictures sorted out! I am enclosing the pix
of the "Yak" that "chased" us and hope that you can
make an identification.
Anyhow, please feel free to use my comments on your testimonial page and if you want me to re-write or re-phrase it in the form of a "recommendation" please let me know as I would be happy to do so.
Thank you once again for the best day ever and if I get back (which I hope becomes a reality) you can be sure I'll be calling on you.
All the best and I hope you have many more wonderful days ahead."
Kathryn, 08/19/08, Trango Tower BC, K2 BC, G I and G II BCs & Gondogoro La,
Kanao Yamaoka, 07/21/08, Peshawar, Takht Bhai, Taxila, Kalar Kahar, Rohtas Fort, Lahore, Makli, Thatta, Karachi
"Hello, This is specially to say a very big thank to your organization
for the wonderful efforts in making our trip a memorable one in such a
good rates. the details of our tour have been cared off by Vertical Explorers
so that this fact let us simply enjoy visiting Northern Areas with so
many beautiful places, Rivers, Streams, Valleys, Lakes and forts and kind
and curious people.
Daphne & David Murray, 07/15/08, K2 Gondogoro La, Fairy Meadows
"We traveled with Vertical Explorers to the Northern Areas, and also on a sightseeing tour in Kalash and Chitral this June. Both trips where excellent! The guide where very pleasant and informative, and driving an air-conditioned vehicle was wonderful for us from the cold north. We will definitely use Vertical Explorers again if, or more correctly when, we return to Pakistan"
"In August 2006 we came to Pakistan on a trip organised by Vertical Explorers. We were a little hesitant about entering Pakistan (not to mention the technicalities of the trek) at first, but after pre-trip correspondence with Syed, and subsequently meeting him at the airport our minds were put at rest.
We found the people of Vertical Explorers and of Pakistan in general to be extremely welcoming and helpful throughout our trip. Our 16 day trek up to the famous "Snow Lake" and over the Hispar-La remains one of the most memorable trips of our life. Since then we have trekked in Nepal, Chile, and India but the un-spoilt remoteness of this part of the world cannot be beaten.
The organization of our trip cannot be faulted. We experienced a few
difficulties with the weather on the pass, but our reliable guides and
porters helped us all they could, throughout the experience, making it
as pleasurable as possible. For a full blow by blow account, please see
my blog, here;
We look forward to returning to Pakistan in the near future to do some more trekking in this beautiful part of the world. Vertical Explorers will certainly be our first port of call, and we recommend them to anyone considering trekking in Pakistan."
Ben and Kerry Tubby, 04/05/07, Snowlake, Hispar La, Hunza, Fairy Meadows, KKH, Skardu
"My wife and I used Vertical Explorers for a month long visit to Pakistan in 2005. Our guide was Shigri who also helped us plan the itinerary. From first to last nothing was too much trouble for Shigri, despite some challenging weather conditions forcing us to change our route half way through. Pakistan is a beautiful country with fantastic trekking opportunities and stunning scenery. Arranging a trip with a guide was not significantly more expensive than travelling independently, but gave us the security of being with a local to open doors and helped to give a unique insight to a fascinating country. I would have no hesitation in recommending Vertical Explorers."
Jerry Dunn, Travel Inspirator, Independent Travel Made Easy, http://www.travelinspirator.com, 03/13/07
Lahore, Islamabad, Fairy Meadows, Gilgit, Skardu, Thale La, Khapulo, Shigar, Naltar, Karimabad, Passu, Chapurson, Sost, Khunjerab National Park
"Robby and I had a wonderful time in Pakistan with Saeed and Wajid Ali. We actually written up our experiences and posted some photos on our website.
you can share it with your future potential clients if they are curious as to the type of service VE provides.
Trip was really wonderful and we are amazed that we were able to see and do so much! We are sorry we didn't have a chance to meet you, but hopefully there will be more opportunities.
Saeed was very professional and we enjoyed him as our guide. From our reception at the airport to the departure, he always did his best to make sure that we were having a great time. Wajid Ali was an excellent driver...very safe and reliable. Both of them definitely represent VE very well.
We were quite grateful that Saeed and Wajid Ali were so flexible for our needs. Although we asked for the Regale Internet Inn (Lahore), once we saw it and there were only dorm rooms available, we were quite pleased that Saeed recommended an alternative. Same for the hotel in Peshawar...Saeed booked us at the VIP house instead of the one we asked for, and it was fantastic. So the lesson we learned is to allow you (VE) to recommend hotels to us! Not the other way around...because your company has much more experience and knows which hotels guests will be happy with.
For attitude, service, responsiveness, both Robby and I felt very lucky with Saeed and Wajid Ali. Both of them are very easy to get along with, very polite, respectful and friendly. I think the only fault is that they were too eager to please, and we made them very tired throughout the tour! We felt quite bad that they weren't getting a lot of sleep each night, but both of them assured us that it was quite normal for them to sleep very little.
We weren't able to see everything that we wanted to, but part of that was my fault since I knew I had requested many sights in such a short amount of time....I think that to do everything we wanted to, we would have to spend about more days.
The vehicle was kept immaculately clean by Wajid Ali, who had a lot of pride in keeping it clean, safe, and away from potential accidents! He is very careful, and a very good driver. We were very happy with him.
Saeed was really wonderful and we have a very good impression of Pakistan because of him! He always went out of his way to help us. For example, we had to reconfirm our tickets, and PIA said that our names were not on the list, and only 10 seats were left. Saeed made all the necessary phone calls, found out where the local PIA office was in Peshawar, and helped us rebook our flight. He was really invaluable, and we were quite happy with his services and care. http://www.thinkbigadventures.com/central%20asia/centralasiaindex.htm
So overall, we loved our experience with VE and would definitely recommend your company to potential clients. We hope to visit Pakistan in the Summer of 2008, and if we do, we will be in touch again."
Becky & Robby, 02/12/07, Lahore, Rohtas Fort, Kheowra, Kalar Kahar, Islamabad, Taxila, Takhat Bai, Peshawar, Charsadda
"I must certainly thank you and Vertical Explorers for preparing such a wonderful trip for us! We had a superb time and it couldn't have gone more smoothly. Traveling, guide scheduling - all went so comfortably. Everything ran smoothly from the first to the last day, very well organized and completely hassle free. We especially loved Swat for its beauty of the land and mountains! and the tranquility of the lakes.
We had excellent guides everywhere - they met us on schedule, they took
great care of us and showed us the personality of their own culture. We
were certainly welcomed as Americans and appreciated - which surprised
me because given the history of the US over there.
Joe, Lucy, Ben MacLean and Claudia Dodge, 01/24/07
Multan, Bahawalpur, Uch Sharif, Sukkur, Moendodaro, Thatta, Bhit Shah, Makli, Karachi, Malam Jabba, Swat
"We just wanted to thank you and your company for providing us with an experience of a lifetime. In December we have spend a week in Swat and Peshawar region with the crew of Vertical Explorers. They have demonstrated an extreme professionalism and skill even in tough situations. Excellent comfort and food compared to the severe conditions we were. Thank you once again, and if anyone we know is thinking Pakistan, we will send them your way!"
Pam Solvang & Pat Gavin, 12/20/06, Swat, Malam Jabba Sky Resort, Peshwar, Takhat Bhai
"Everything was exceptional - I honestly can't thank you or praise you enough for your thoroughness, attention to detail and over-the-top effort and friendly attention in planning this trip for us. It was a great trip! At Shigar people treated us royally. I felt like a guest of the family, and their place is as nice as you said it would be. The food there is excellent. I put on a few pounds in spite of walking and riding. I especially enjoyed seeing the stars at night and the sunrise, sunset at Duikar Hunza.
We stayed at lots of different places over the course of our visit, but one that I really liked and recommend was the Shigar Fort Residence. It is a new place just at the bank of Shigar river, nicely set up on a hillside, very clean and private. The dining area is wonderful - sort of a tented affair with stone floors. Everything you shared about Northern Area was right on and gave me the confidence to venture forth into an unknown land."
Natasha Spillane, Mooil kim and Peter Kendall, 11/12/06, Shigar, Hunza, Gilgit, Skardu
Tom and Lucy, 11/02/06, K2 Gondogoro La, Hushe, Skardu, Shigar, Khapulo
Mark F, 08/20/06, Sialkot, Faisalabad, Lahore, Rawlapindi, Islamabad
"Working with Vertical Explorers' team is an absolute pleasure; they clearly give great value to the qualities that make a successful planner/ operator partnership: trust, equity, creativity, mutual compromise, and tremendous hard work."
Charlie Keenan, 08/15/06, Naran Kahgan, Training Workshop
"We had an outstanding time and guide in South Pakistan and were
enthralled with the historical places of Uch Sharif, Pak Pattan in south,
as well as many other great historical monuments. Itinerary was accurate,
accommodation very comfortable, we were pampered all along
Beth Innes, Georgiana Mentis, 02/25/05, Uch Sharif, Pak Pattan, Bahawalpur
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