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Biking Baltistan Karakorum Highway

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Duration

14 days, 14 nights

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Tour Type

Specific Tour

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Group Size

16 people

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Languages

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Overview

Join Vertical Explorers mountain Biking Tour as we leave the highways behind and cycle through breath-taking, mesmerizing valleys. Here you get the chance to see life in a whole new perspective  of unforgettable experiences; where you get adventure and a glance at the cultural fabric of the land enabling you to tap into the cultural fabric of the land and fraternize with the locals! You get cycling , jeep safaris, heritage, heritage walks, ancient sites, village walks into indigenous shepard and centuries old villages. Also you get a chance to see the economic life of the rural communities and envision the strands of economic importance of village communities and the life that revolves around it, it’s simple beauty will sway you away and give you a new view of life in this beautiful part of the world! This adventure will get you closer to Pakistan and it’s beauty in all its simplicity and different activities in all the different zones you will travel.

This is one of the most sought after route for mountain biking in the Covering three largest mountain ranges of the world, Karakorum, Himalaya and Hindu Kush. It is a challenging route not just because most of the day you are cycling on some of the worst road conditions but also the altitude. Physical fitness is a must for this challenge. You cycle over several high altitude en route the highest being Deosai National Park 4100m, but on the last day you’ll also have the opportunity to cycle to the top of Babusar pass, (4140m).

Departure Dates 

2019 Departures

April:    20th,  

May: 1st,  5th, 10th, 15th, 20th, 25th

June : 1st,  5th, 10th, 15th, 20th, 25th

July :  1st,  5th, 10th, 15th, 20th, 25th

August : 1st,  5th, 10th, 15th, 20th, 25th

September : 1st,  5th, 10th, 15th, 20th, 25th

October : 1st,  5th, 10th, 15th, 20th, 25th

November : 1st,  5th, 10th, 15th, 20th, 25th

2020 Departures

April:    20th,  

May: 1st,  5th, 10th, 15th, 20th, 25th

June : 1st,  5th, 10th, 15th, 20th, 25th

July :  1st,  5th, 10th, 15th, 20th, 25th

August : 1st,  5th, 10th, 15th, 20th, 25th

September : 1st,  5th, 10th, 15th, 20th, 25th

October : 1st,  5th, 10th, 15th, 20th, 25th

November : 1st,  5th, 10th, 15th, 20th, 25th

 

 

Apart from the Ordinary.
10 Great reasons to choose Vertical Explorers Trips:
1. Beautiful Hotels, Properties, and More
We stay in some of finest properties, and where possible, we offer a choice of hotel and room categories. We carefully select prime locations that offer wonderful views, amenities, and proximity to attractions. In remote locales, we revel in knowing that we are enjoying the best accommodations available.
2. The Best Travel Experts
Our legendary Travel Experts carefully watch over the smallest details to ensure that you have a wonderful time. They also draw upon years of established V E relationships to ensure that your journey is seamlessly enjoyable and memorable.
3. Epicurean Choices Abound
We believe travel is made better by experiencing culture you can taste. Our Dine-Around program provides you with the freedom to choose renowned restaurant, an inviting neighborhood eatery, or room service at your hotel its all included.(Subject to Package)
4. Small Group Advantages
Limited to just 10 guests averaging around 7-8 our small group size sets the highest standard in personal service. Our journeys remain intimate and create camaraderie, yet allow for independence, flexibility and discovery. Along the way, we re granted access to exclusive events and stay in one-of-a-kind accommodations not available to larger groups.
5. Experts Offer In-Depth Enrichment
Expert local guides to share their experiences and insights about the cultures and places you explore.
6. The Best Wonders
We visit nook and corner of the country. We travel on aircraft, jeep, horse and legendary trains, Whatever your choice, we likely have something to fit your sense of adventure.
7. Responsible Eco Tourism Policy

Vertical Explorers is committed to adopting a responsible attitude to the areas we visit. We are guests of the communities visited and with some thought and care we can ensure that everyone benefits from the experience. We have developed a Responsible Tourism policy which aims to ensure that V E and its clients act in a way that is socially, environmentally and culturally sound. All areas of our operations are planned with responsible tourism in mind, and we require our business partners to support this vision.
8. Unforgettable Moments
Part of what makes a Vertical Explorers trips so special are the surprises and delights along the way. Unexpected doors open and lead to the kind of authentic cultural experiences that make unforgettable memories.
9. Guaranteed Departure Dates 
Plan with confidence knowing that once your deposit is accepted, your departure date is confirmed. Our journey dates are timed to take advantage of local flavors, special events, natural occurrences or simply the best weather.
10. It’s All – Not about the Money

Our prices are competitive and good value, and we offer quality, service, security and an ethical stance on tourism. We don’t want to be so expensive to run fewer trips and have our staff idle, but on the other hand we believe that running  cheap trips that promote the practice of skimming budgets would result in the porters getting next to nothing, which is something we cannot consider. Additionally we plan treks with sufficient rest days and with achievable daily altitude increases which gives good time to acclimatise. Reducing the number of days may make the price cheaper but the chances of successfully completing the trek also greatly reduce.

Besides the finest accommodations, all meals and sightseeing your escorted Journey includes:
� A professional travel Expert, dedicated and attentive to your needs throughout your journey
� Small group size that allows for personal enrichment, exclusive access and flexibility
� Our unique Dine-Around program
� Unique experiences that allow for a real cultural understanding
� Expert local guides, such as archaeologists and professional naturalists
� All the extra comforts that make sightseeing a personal experience, like a guaranteed window seat and complimentary refreshments along the way
� Itinerary can be customized build your exact dream trip. Customize My Itinerary
� Leaves any day you desire. Lengthen or shorten trip, if you like.
� Best itinerary in terms of acclimatization, enjoyment and safety with options of extensions.
� Lowest Price and best value for money –Save 40-50 % vs. comparable tours of this same quality.
� Group Discounts Available. [ Details ]

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HIGHLIGHTS

  • Cycle the 8th wonder of the world’s Karakoram and highest pleatue & drivable mountain passes
  • Be wowed by magnificent mountain vistas
  • Discover ancient Balti and Hunza culture
  • Let your stress melt away on the beautiful valleys and lakes
  • Admire wonders of nature (along the KKH & surroundings)
  • Visit the fascinating places of Northern Areas
  • Enjoy traditional Pakistani cuisine
  • Explore the valleys and glaciers, waterfall and lakes
  • Experience local life at Villages
  • Fall in love with the sights, sounds and tastes of Pakistan
  • Barter for rare items (precious stones & handicrafts etc) at shops
  • Lowest Price and best value of money --Save 40-50 % vs. comparable tours of this same quality.
  • Dream trip can be.......Itinerary can be customized.
  • Guided by highly experienced professionals with the help of the best supporting staff available in Baltistan, having undergone on the job training over many seasons with us. They are highly experienced at catering to the needs of our members, and do a tremendous amount to contribute to the overall success and satisfaction of our groups.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Islamabad, Meet and Greet
Day 1:  Arrival in Islamabad, Meet and Greet

One of our staff will meet you at the airport and escort you to the hotel. Today either you can relax or (depending upon your arrival time) you can enjoy an exploratory walk in he old part of Rawalpindi; wander past the vegetable and spice markets, beautifully carved old houses and trucks, cows pestering the vegetable vendors, catch traditional craftsmen at work in silver and gold bazaars .You will then continue on the main street linking the Twin cities – Murree Road – before arriving at the gleaming new capital, Islamabad. You pass shining new buildings and thousands of park areas – a full 50 percent of the 350 square mile site is set aside for parks. You will then stop at the Shakar Parian to catch a bird’s eye view of Islamabad. Our next stop will be Shah Faisal Mosque which is the landmark of Islamabad.

Drive: 40 minutes
Activities: Cultural exploration , Sightseeing
Accommodation: Hotel

Day 2: Fly to Skardu, Sightseeing Upper and Lower Kachura Lakes
Day 2: Fly to Skardu, Sightseeing Upper and Lower Kachura Lakes

We rise early to be at the airport in time for our flight to Skardu.

If the weather is good, we’ll be treated to one of the finest views available in the world of aviation, as we thread our way up the largest congregation of mountains of Karakoram, Hindukush, Himalaya and Indus River gorges, third longest in Asia and one of the deepest in the world.

To our east is K2 (2nd highest in the world and Nanga Parbat (killer mountain) and countless peaks and glaciers. It is sometime possible to catch a glimpse of K2 in the distant before our dramatic landing at Skardu. On arrival we are met by our local staff with jeeps and make the short transfer to the hotel.

SKARDU is the administrative capital of Baltistan and gateway to the high peaks of Northern Pakistan. We have some time to explore the town and enjoy the hustle and bustle in peak season of tourists here. Sightseeing in Skardu and surrounding areas during the day. For those seeking a good overview of Skardu, or a place from which to photograph the sunset, Kharfocho Fort is an ideal spot.

If the flight is unable to operate because of bad weather, we will resort to travel by road on Karakoram Highway (KKH) to Chilas. The drive is compensated by the beautiful scenery along the Karakoram highway and Indus gorges.

The journey on the Karakoram Highway is most exciting and thrilling. It is a monument to the engineering feast and one of the most spectacular roads and the world’s highest metalled border crossing. It connects Pakistan and China stretching over a distance of 1300km between Islamabad and Kashgar, winding through three mountain ranges and following the ancient Silk route along the Indus Valley to the Chinese border at Khunjerab Pass.

We pass through the historical town of Taxila, beautiful hill station of Abbottabad, quake affected lush green towns of Mansehra, Shinkiari and finally meet the great Indus on Thakot Bridge. From there onward the road snails along the bank of the Indus with contrasting landscape after every two kilometers.

We pass through Besham, Dassu, Komila and Shatial to arrive at Chilas with many rock carvings and inscriptions along the way left by Chinese pilgrims and ancient travelers of 5th century A.D. Chilas was on the ancient caravan trail over the Babusar Pass into India. The view after crossing the Rai kot Bridge of Nanga Parbat is without any parallel. Standing at around 1,000 m. you see a mountain which rises to above 8,000 m! This is the largest land escarpment in the world. This is also where the three greatest mountain ranges meet; Himalaya, Hindukush and Karakoram.


Flight: 45 Minutes

Drive: 10-12 hrs

Activities: Cultural exploration , Sightseeing, Hiking,Jeep Safari
Accommodation: Hotel

Day 3: Drive to Shigar - Choutron - Basha Valley
Day 3:  Drive to Shigar - Choutron - Basha Valley

Today we rise early and view the beautiful sunrise against the backdrop of the Karakorm. After breakfast drive to Shigar, a history-soaked medieval town. Enroute we will visit Shigar sand dunes. These are on other side of the Indus, impressive sand dunes are visible. It is on the way to Shigar valley, but around 2 km away from the road.Morning departure for Choutron(hot spring) Shigar Valley.

After sand dunes visit, we will continue our drive toward Shigar passing through historic Buddhist Stupa ruins, which is no more in preservation. At Shigar view point, we will stop to take photos of Shigar valley and Blind lakes and sand duens on other side of Shigar River.

Shigar Valley is the gateway to the great mountain peaks of the Karakorams, Gasherbrum & K-2, Broad Peak, Biafo and Baltoro Glaciers, Snow lake, Mashabrum, Trango Tower and other hunderds of 7000m peaks. Shigar valley, formerly known as “Rome of Baltistan” has gentle, irrigated slopes are filled with terraces of wheat, maize and barley. Its orchards of apricots, mulberries, peaches, plums, pears, apples and nuts are unique to Baltistan. The wooden mosque in the middle of the town was built by Kashmiri carpenters several hundred years ago.
Then it will take 4 to 5 hours by jeep on a spectacular road through villages, streams, deserts to the village of Choutron. At 2600 m, we will begin our acclimation in this village of stone houses. We check into our hotel located next to the hot spring the village with magnificent views over the rock spires and towers.
Depending on how we feel, we will either take a short cycle, 16 km, on a part-finished jeep road up to a lake where the views of the Karakoram peaks are superb. If we are acclimating well, we'll go for a longer cycle, 30 km, up the Arindo or Bisial village, where the landscape varies from the high grassland to glacier to high snow-capped peaks. Returning to our hotel in Choutron, there will be time to explore the old houses of the village.

Drive: 4-5 hrs

Activities: Cultural exploration , Sightseeing, Interaction with locals
Meals provided: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel

Day 4: Bike to Skardu
Day 4: Bike to Skardu

After Breakfast, we will start our journey towards Skardu via scenic Shigar valley by the jeep track has now been tarred ( to some part), resulting in an excellent biking road. With hardly any traffic but passing through a succession of small, lush villages set against a backdrop of dramatic mountains, this road is perfect for riding, we will have an undulating ride as we cross a number of nullahs, or small river valleys, until we reach Skardu passing through cold deserts and villages. It is a full day's ride to our hotel in Skardu.

Drive 9 -10 hrs

Activities: Cultural exploration , Sightseeing, Interaction with locals
Meals provided: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel

Day 5: Bike to Deosai National Park
Day 5: Bike to Deosai National Park



Today early morning departure for Deosai, Located in the Great Himalayan Range, conveniently placed between the western massif of the Himalayas and the central Karakoram. It’s stunning scenic views of the snow-clad mountains and streams, natural beauty and impressive grandeur have made it world famous. Spread over an area of 3,000 square kilometres, at an altitude of 13,500 feet above sea level, the plains are home to unique species of plant and animal life, of which the Himalayan Brown Bears are the most famous. In the words of Aleister Crowley, “In front of us lay the Deosai, an absolutely treeless wilderness of comparatively level country framed by minor peaks. It gives a unique impression of desolation. I have never seen its equal in this respect elsewhere.” To the south of and visible from both the Burji and Satpara approaching areas is a 700-foot hill, on top of which is a 500 foot-high-rock cairn. This unnamed hilltop in the northern deosai region produces a clear panorama of the Himalayan Kangri Range and sections of the Karakoram. As you ascend its gentle, grass covered slopes, Nanga Parbat will come into view far to the west of you. In ‘Gypsy Davy’s’ words, “It was such an expanse of immensity as I have hardly imagined…It seems you cannot talk in a matter-of-fact way in a place like that…I thought the Sierras were large, but here, where we could see three or four score miles north, south, east and west, and see only mountains, and most of them above twenty thousand feet, the Sierras seem like sand dunes”. Deosai is one of the best trout fishing spot in the North.

It is a relatively decent tarmac road out of Skardu, which climbs steeply to the beautiful Satpara Lake and continues up on to the Deosai (4,100 m)of a hard slog of around 35 km with a 2,000-m climb to reach the start of the plateau, where the terrain levels out. Our aim is to reach the start of the national park and set up our camp close to a lake.




Bike: 6-7 hrs

Activities: Cultural exploration , Sightseeing, wildlife, nature
Meals provided: Breakfast, packed lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Hotel

Day 6: Bike Across Deosai - Chilim - Tarishing -Rupal Valley
Day 6:  Bike Across Deosai - Chilim - Tarishing -Rupal Valley

After breakfast we will start our ride toward accross Deosai national Park.Now on the Deosai,There is only a rough dirt jeep track to follow now, with the occasional small river crossing. Beyond Sheosar Lake, our route turns into a downhill blast. We aim for a side jeep road, which has a short climb up to the village of Tarashing. Here, we camp (4,200 m) in the shadow of the Rupal Face of Nanga Parbat. The Rupal Valley is located in the Astore District. It lies just south of 8,126 meter Nanga Parbat and is popular for treks to the mountain’s Rupal Face, one of highest mountain faces in the world. The Rupal is home to Shina speaking herdsmen, who have grazed and harvested wood in the valley for hundreds of years. Overgrazing has caused some loss of vegetation, leading to wind-blown dust. Towering peaks on either side of the valley make it a breathtaking, albeit remote destination for adventurers.


Walk: Distance: 10 Km, Ascent: 10 m, Descent: 310 m
Time: 06-07 hrs, Grade: Moderate, Altitude: 3050 M
Activities: Trekking
Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Mobile Camp

Day7: Rupal Glacier - Bike to Rama - Astore
Day7:  Rupal Glacier - Bike to Rama - Astore

After breakfast, we traverse to Rupal glacier and then with a fantastic descent to the small villages of Astore valley to Rama valley.
Rama lake and pastures are the most famous tourist attraction in the region. Due to its diverse landscape and climatic conditions the valley provides excellent habitat for a variety of commercially important medicinal plants. The region has low average rainfall and low vegetation cover hence the loss of forest cover is of a very serious concern.

Bike: 5-6 hrs

Activities: Cultural exploration , Sightseeing, Interaction with locals
Meals provided: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel

Day 8: Astore - Bike to Gilgit
Day 8:  Astore - Bike to Gilgit

More downhill biking into the roaring Indus Valley, where we eventually cross the river and climb onto its western bank to reach the Karakorum Highway. It's then a rolling route that winds its way to Gilgit.
Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Mobile Camp

Day 9: Drive to Passu
Day 9:  Drive to Passu

Today after breakfast we proceed to Attabad lake, Husaini suspension bridge and Passu. Today is our first day off the bikes in seven days! We load our bikes onto the support vehicles for a drive up to passu.The glaciers are really eerie, almost alive, as they creak and melt in the sun. Rocks continually fall down as the ice melts.Experience the passu glacier cracking and spikes from the view point.

The valleys of Hunza and Nagar are some of the most beautiful valleys in the northern parts of Pakistan. The people of this area are known for their legendary good health, longevity and hospitality.

Drive: 4-5 hrs

Activities: Cultural exploration , Sightseeing, Interaction with locals
Meals provided: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel

Day 10: Bike to Attabad Lake - Hoper Nagar and Hunza
Day 10: Bike to Attabad Lake - Hoper Nagar  and Hunza

After break fast We bike down to the Karakoram Highway via Husaini, gulmit Attabad lake to Ganish and cross it for a stunning ride through the Nagar Valley to explore Hunza's once rival state of Nagar. We cycle on an old jeep road that follows the Hispar River to the village of Nagar and climb gradually upwards for 800 m to a spectacular viewpoint above the village of Hopar, which lies at the end of the jeep road and the start of the jagged Bualtar Glacier. There we have a well-earned lunch a restaurant , and if you have the energy, it is worth taking a short walk above Hopar for a magnificent view of the Bualtar Glacier and the surrounding peaks of the Karakoram. Retracing our tracks to Karimabad, it is downhill all the way, well nearly. From the highway there is a last short climb to Karimabad, which should finish you off nicely!

Drive: 5-6 hrs

Activities: Cultural exploration , Sightseeing, Interaction with locals
Meals provided: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel

Day 11: Hunza Sightseeing
Day 11: Hunza Sightseeing

Morning visit to Baltit Fort. Baltit Fort is an ancient fort in the Hunza valley in Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan. Founded in the 1st CE, it has been on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative list since 2004.In the past, the survival of the feudal regime of Hunza was ensured by the impressive fort, which overlooks Karimabad. The foundations of the fort date back to 700 years ago, with rebuilds and alterations over the centuries. In the 16th century the local prince married a princess from Baltistan who brought master Balti craftsmen to renovate the building as part of her dowry. Visit around the area, you would feel as if you’d stepped back in time in past period.

After Baltit Fort you go to Ganish village. Ganish is the oldest and first settlement on the ancient Silk Road in Hunza, and is the site of various ancient watch towers, traditional mosques, religious centers, and a reservoir.The Ali Gohar House in Ganish, is located next to one of the iconic shikaris (watchtowers) of the town. The 400-year-old house was awarded the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation in 2009

Then we proceed to Altit Fort. Altit Fort is an ancient fort at Altit town in the Hunza valley,It was originally home to the hereditary rulers of the Hunza state who carried the title Mir.Altit Fort and in particular the Shikari tower is around 1100 years old, which makes it the oldest monument in the Gilgit–Baltistan.

Then go up to the highest observation place at Duikar to enjoy 360-degree panoramic view and sunset reflections on peaks of lady finger, Haramosh peak, Rakaposhi and many others. This is one of the best elevated way to fully enjoy a sunset. Spiritually and physically, we would like you to feel the air as well. It will be unforgettable experience.

Drive: 5-6 hrs

Activities: Cultural exploration , Sightseeing, Interaction with locals
Meals provided: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel

Day 12: Bike to Gilgit
Day 12:  Bike to Gilgit

After breakfast We bike down to the Karakoram Highway to Gilgit. On the way, we stop off at a café below Rakaposhi, which at 7,788 m (25,552 ft) is the 29th highest mountain on earth. Rakaposhi was first climbed in 1958 by a British expedition that included George Banks and Tom Patey. The glacier spilling down from its flanks reaches almost to the road.This first hour is one of the most relaxed and beautiful sections of our trip, being a constant downhill, cycling through small villages shaded by poplar trees and all overshadowed by the huge white bulk of Rakaposhi. Just past Minapin, we again leave the main road and cross the river to join part of the original Silk Road caravan route. After Chalat we cross the river on a wild foot bridge and join the old road to Gilgit from Naltar. We follow the river to Gilgit, arriving in the evening hotel.
Drive: 5-6 hrs

Activities: Cultural exploration , Sightseeing, Interaction with locals
Meals provided: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel

Day 13: Drive to Babusar Pass and Bike Down to Naran
Day 13:  Drive to Babusar Pass and Bike Down to Naran

Today leave for Naran travelling on the Karakoram Highway through captivating and enthralling landscape. From Gilgit to Babusar Pass, we will drive and from Babusar Pass we will bike down to Naran. In places, sheer, snow capped mountains ascending from deep valleys while elsewhere, lush alpine meadows are carpeted by colorful wildflowers and dazzling apple blossoms. Terraced villages dot this monumental terrain, supported by traditional farming methods and lifestyles that have changed little over the centuries. On Naran Chilas Road through captivating and enthralling landscape of zigzag road winding through terraced filed, fruit laden orchard and above Babusar pass at a height of 4145 m. The Valley extends for 155 km rising from an elevation of 2,134 meters to its highest point, the Babusar Pass, at 4,145 meters. Before Karakoram Highway was opened in 1978, the only road access to Gilgit was through Kaghan Valley. Kaghan valley is a very beautiful & attractive valley. That’s why it is called virtual paradise, unbelievably in pristine state and still unspoiled by the human. You’ll find the Himalayan peaks hidden with clouds or snow, somewhere you’ll find the beautiful fairy tale lakes, which will attract you toward them, and you might decide not to leave this at any cost.Take a rest at the pass enjoying the scenic beauty around before descending down to Lulusar lake.

Lulu Sar Lake which is wreathed in blue and gold wild flowers, and is the main source of river Kunhar. Near Gittidas is the 11,000 feet high Lulusar Lake out of which river Kunhar issues anew with redoubled strength to flow down the valley first as placid blue stream and then a roaring torrent until it joins the Jhelum. Lulusar has very enchanting beauty and its view remains in the mind of tourist for a long time. The is surrounded by snowcapped hills whose purple and white forms are reflected in the green-blue waters of the silent lake, making it one of the most beautiful spots in the valley. Take a rest at Lulusar lakes and drive down to Naran stopping at Gittidas, Batakundi for scenic photo ops. These are numerous scenic places, sheer, snow capped mountains ascending from deep valleys, lush alpine meadows are carpeted by colorful wildflowers and dazzling fruits. Terraced villages dot this monumental terrain, supported by traditional farming methods and lifestyles that have changed little over the centuries.

Naran to Lake Saiful Muluk dusty jeep track is approximately 9 km in length with hiking tracks difficulty level ranging from easy to medium. It can be traveled by jeep in one Hour. Net elevation gain is around 700m (2300 feet).
Time permitting we will visit Saiful Maluk lake in Naran valley.

It is almost impossible to describe the beauty of this lake, which is like mirror at the altitude of 3200 meters. The Queen of the Mountains is standing in the east and looking her image in the mirror of Lake Saiful Maluk. You can spend few days here to monitor the guards of lake, which are towering peaks and spread all around the lake.

Activities: Cultural exploration, Sightseeing, jeep safari
Meals provided: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel

Day 14: Galyat - Islamabad
Day 14: Galyat - Islamabad

Drive in the morning to the top of shogran valley, amidst clouds and natural beauty and drive down to Balakot. Aftter a brief stop at Balakot, drive onward to mansehra stopping at scenic points for photo ops and also in Manserha to visit Ashoka Rock Eddicts.

Mansehra Rock Edicts are fourteen edicts of the Mauryan emperor Ashoka, inscribed on rocks in Mansehra. The edicts are cut into three boulders and date back to 3rd century BC and they are written in the ancient Indic script of Gandhara culture, Kharosthi. The edicts mention aspects of Ashoka’s dharma. This site is World Heritage Sites tentative list.

After Manserha rock edicts visit, we will pass through the alpine scenery of Galyat and Murree towards Islamabad.

Evening back to Islamabad, proceed to airport for onward flight.

Drive: 7-8 hrs

Activities: Cultural exploration , Sightseeing, Interaction with locals
Meals provided: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel

Included/Exclude

  • check-1 ACCOMMODATION:
  • check-1 Accommodation in 2-3 Star Hotel. The style of accommodation is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.
  • check-1 TWIN SHARE / MULTI SHARE BASIS: Accommodation on this trip is on a twin share basis with ensuite bath (on request multi share basis). Please note there may be times in remote and far flung areas where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite and rare occasions when you share a room with passengers travelling on our different trips than your own. Some of the accommodation along the way is basic or simple, staying in local guesthouses and home stays. Some areas of Pakistan experience daily load shedding. This is where the power may be turned off at certain times of the day and usually occurs for a few hours. Most hotel properties have a restaurant or cafe serving local meals. All restaurants and hotels (except a few) do not serve alcohol for religious reasons or due to local laws.
  • check-1 SHOWERS: Showers at some hotels only have hot water at peak times (usually morning and evening). Outside of these times you may need to speak to reception to obtain hot water.
  • check-1 ROOM ISSUES: If you have any issues with your room, please speak to the hotel and your tour leader right away rather than your travel agent so that the problem can be addressed without delay.
  • check-1 CHECK-IN TIME: Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. (In Pakistan, normal check-in is at 14:00 hrs, check-out is at 12:00 hrs). This may not be always possible to manage early check-in for you; in that case you won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.
  • check-1 PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION: If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.
  • check-1 SHOWERS: Showers at some hotels only have hot water at peak times (usually morning and evening). Outside of these times you may need to speak to reception to obtain hot water.
  • check-1 ROOM ISSUES: If you have any issues with your room, please speak to the hotel and your tour leader right away rather than your travel agent so that the problem can be addressed without delay.
  • check-1 • MEALS:
  • check-1 Daily breakfast at coffee shop or restaurant at the hotel.
  • check-1 This tour offers vegetarian and special food options on request. Simply let our Customer Support team know the food option that you prefer.
  • check-1 TRANSPORT:
  • check-1 All transfers and sightseeing by an air-conditioned vehicle with a courteous experienced professional driver so you can easily sit back, relax and enjoy the tour in complete privacy. Drivers of our private vehicles are experienced with good knowledge of the road conditions and well trained. Main roads in Pakistan are usually very busy with an assortment of vehicles from the biggest trucks (who always have right of way) down to bikes (and animals!). Overtaking on blind corners at speed is common as is the total use of the horn as a form of communication. If you are uncomfortable with your driver, please always let your tour guide know immediately.
  • check-1 TRAVEL TIMES: Distances in Pakistan do not reflect the driving time and to cover hundred km may take much longer than you would expect at home, even if much of the route is on a highway. The type of vehicles provided are as follows;
  • check-1 Passenger Vehicle type
  • check-1 • 1-2 persons Air-conditioned medium car such as Toyota Corolla or similar
  • check-1 • 3-4 persons Air-conditioned large car such as Toyota MPV or similar
  • check-1 • 5-10 persons Air-conditioned mini-van such as Toyota Hiace/Commuter or similar
  • check-1 • 10-15 persons Air-conditioned mini-van such as Toyota Coaster or similar
  • check-1 GUIDE:
  • check-1 The aim of the guide is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. We provide English speaking local guides at each destination of your trip, the chosen local guide will strike a great balance between knowledgeable storytelling, humor, and giving you sufficient space and personal time to enjoy the awe-inspiring sites. Your guide will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. If you were interested in diving deeper into the local culture at a specific site, you can count on your assigned local speaking guide.
  • check-1 ADDITIONAL SERVICES:
  • check-1 Sightseeing as per the itinerary (However you have the flexibility to explore more )
  • check-1 Experienced professional English-speaking driver and guide throughout tour
  • check-1 Arrival and departure airport transfers
  • check-1 Charging facilities
  • check-1 Personal assistance by our representative & offices during arrival and departure
  • check-1 All interstate taxes, permits, parking, road tax, toll taxes and fuel charges etc are included
  • check-1 All government applicable taxes and service charges
  • check-1 All the departures are guaranteed. Even if you are a single person, the tour will still depart.
  • check-1 24 x 7 Assistance.
  • check-1 First Aid Kit
  • check-1 Letter of Invitation (LOI) and supporting documents for visa processing
  • remove PASSPORTS AND VISAS :
  • remove All travelers listed on the Participant Information form must be in possession of a valid passport and all relevant visas. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have valid travel documentation, including but not limited to passports and visas, which meet the requirements of immigration and other Government authorities at every destination. If your itinerary includes travel to any other country besides Pakistan, please check on visa requirements for each country that you will visit. Any fines, penalties, payments or expenditures incurred as a result of such documents not meeting the requirements of those authorities will be your sole responsibility.
  • remove INSURANCE
  • remove Travel insurance is not covered in the tour price. You can organize travel insurance with your preferred insurance company. We recommend World Nomads, RoamRight.
  • remove FLIGHTS
  • remove The flight tickets are not included in the package cost. Once you tell us the dates of your travel, we will advise you the exact flight fare.
  • remove International flight tickets have to be booked on your own, once you book your flight tickets, please share with us your schedule so that we can arrange your smooth pick-up and drop off from airport to hotel on your arrival day and hotel to the airport on the departure day.
  • remove To enter the airport, you must have a copy of your flight ticket and passport. Schedule changes and delays do occur, especially when weather conditions make visibility poor.
  • remove OPTIONAL
  • remove If you want to upgrade Hotels or Vehicle, we can definitely do that. Please contact us for more information.
  • remove Additional Services
  • remove Monument Entrance & Camera Fee
  • remove Airport and departure taxes
  • remove Hotels- early check-in and late check-out
  • remove Cost incurred from early leaving the trip
  • remove Travel Insurance of member
  • remove Any airfare (International or Domestic)
  • remove Any mandatory Gala Dinner of any occasion
  • remove Any item of personal nature viz. Laundry
  • remove Charges, telephone bills, drinks, shopping, etc
  • remove Any items that is not mentioned under Inclusions Pre and post tour accommodation
  • remove Single supplement (Optional)
  • remove Excess days beyond the itinerary
  • remove Lunch and dinner. We make stop at clean and quality restaurant. You may dine as you wish.
  • remove Satellite phone with solar charger (can hire)
  • remove Any expenses arising out of unforeseen circumstances like flight delay/cancellation/hike in fare, strike or any other natural calamities
  • remove • Tips : Tipping is a common custom and we always suggest our travelers to comply. No tip is compulsory, however in case of good services rendered, it is advisable to pay by a few rupees (driver / guide)

Tour's Location

Ico_maps Created with Sketch. Pakistan

FAQs

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Can we customize trips?
We loves to customize personal trips -- for you, your friends, or organization. Our published land costs are typically based on number of individuals, so the number in your party may affect your land costs. Just give us a call/contact us and let us know what you're interested in, and we'll do our best to Make It Happen.
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who will i meet on my arrival in pakistan ?
You will be greeted by our representative at airport on your arrival. He shall be holding a placard of your name for identification. We shall also provide you list of emergency 24 hours contact numbers for any emergency.
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What if i want to arrive earlier or depart later than the trip dates?
We are happy to help you arrange accommodations before and after your trip. Our area directors can recommend side excursions and restaurants for the extra time.

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Who will be picking me up and where?
Our guide or representative will pick you up at the airport on the scheduled arrival date. We can help you arrange accommodations if you arrive earlier, and we are happy to make suggestions for transportation, restaurants and sightseeing.
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Who will my guide be?
All of our guides are highly skilled experienced professionals who have been selected based on their careful judgment, local knowledge, understanding of our client's needs, patience and supportive guiding styles, and great personalities. In addition to their impressive personal achievements in the field, our guides bring a wealth of natural history, cultural anthropology and linguistic knowledge for their group's enlightenment. Our international guides and staff surpass the needs of our clientele and make the trip enjoyable beyond expectations.
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Reserving a trip: how quickly do the trips fill up?
There is no way to know how quickly our trips are going to fill up. Many of our trips fill up months in advance. So send in your application and a deposit as soon as you have decided which trip date you want.

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Do I need a visa to travel to Pakistan?
This must be obtained before arrival and we recommend that you contact your local Pakistani embassy or consulate when planning your trip.
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How is Gilgit Baltistan as a destination? Which places can we see in winter?
Gilgit Gilgit Baltistan is a beautiful destination. So much so, that one should definitely plan a visit to this cold desert as a bucket list check box. With beautiful lakes and treks to offer, Gilgit Gilgit Baltistan is a must-visit place to go to. In winter, the temperature in Gilgit Gilgit Baltistan drops down severely and becomes even more picturesque. One can visit the frozen lakes, if not the Baltoro trek, one can do the trek on the Shigar, Khaplu valleys, visit Gilgit Gilgit Baltistani festivals that help you interact with the locals as well.
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Is it possible for me to store extra clothing that i will not need?
Yes, if you have a small bag of extra clothing for when you return from the trek, you will be able to store it safely in Islamabad or Skardu for the duration of the trip.
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What do i need to bring?
What do i need to bring?
A complete clothing and equipment list specific to your trip will be sent to you in a dossier. Every year, after assessing feedback from our clients and guides, we review and update our lists so they are as complete and up-to-date as possible. Every list has a description of each item, however feel free to call us if you have questions or need help locating any of the items on the list. It is extremely important that you adhere strictly to the equipment list.
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Can i drink the tap water ?
Pakistani tap water is not safe to drink. Bring water purifying tablets or a water purifying stickto save money and the environment. Note that at higher elevations during the coldest times of year the water will freeze, so you’ll need to use boiled water.Buy a decent thermos flask or plastic water container, so that you can top up with hot, boiled water at the beginning of the day – starting with hot water will stop it freezing.
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Can i request single accommodations?
All accommodations are based on double or triple occupancy. If you are traveling solo and wish to share accommodations, we will pair you with another traveler of same gender. If you request single accommodations or a roommate cannot be assigned, you will be responsible for paying the single supplement fee.
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Are there any restrictions for the Photography in Pakistan ?
Pakistani people love to take pictures and photograph themselves !
Do not forget your camera !
Photography is a great fun in Pakistan as you will have enough sunlight most of the time. In some of the monuments one has to pay fee for the photography. Our guide will suggest you where it is worth to photograph and where not. At some of the locations photography is not allowed. It is prohibited to photograph military installations, which can include some the train stations, bridges and airports also.Do not photograph these objects otherwise your film can be confiscated.
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Should I tip my guide?
Tipping is always a personal choice, but is greatly appreciated by your guides. Check your departure packet for details.
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How do i sign up for a trip?
You can sign up for the trip directly on our website. To secure your place on this trip, please click on the BOOK NOW button at the side of the page, or the dates tab to the right. You will also need to have the below information to hand:
• Name as per Passport
• Home Address
• Email Address
• Telephone Number
• Date of Birth

Before you embark on your trip, it is essential that we receive your passport, travel insurance, next of kin, medical details and dietary requirements (if applicable). If you have any medical conditions to declare or are over the age of 65, you will be required to complete a medical declaration form, signed and stamped by your GP. If you don’t have all this information to hand, you can still register your place today, and then re-log into the form before you depart by using your email address and the password you create upon registration.
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What is the deposit amount to hold my space?
US$300 for scheduled trips. An application alone won’t reserve a space.
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What happens if VE has to cancel my trip?
If we cancels a trip due to any reason, you will receive a full refund.
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Is it safe to travel in the Karakorum region?
The incidence of personal violent crime is certainly almost none despite sensational headlines and occasional saber rattling. The Karakorum region is known for centuries of peaceful coexistence.

The incidence of personal violent crime is certainly almost none than in anywhere in the world despite sensational headlines and occasional saber rattling. The Karakorum region is known for centuries of peaceful coexistence.

we have continued to operate trips in the region each year and we are confident that these regions remains one of the most beautiful, compelling and welcoming places on earth.
The major concentrations of troubles are in the western parts of Pakistan and 100s of miles to the Islamabad. Their major concentrations are in areas which have had little or no tourism (investment, hard currency, etc) which is one of the reasons that their message has played well in these very poor districts. By comparison, the K2 Region is a very well and worldly part of Pakistan.
That said, whenever you travel in Pakistan (or anywhere in the world for that matter), you should definitely use personal caution. We avoid any known dangerous situations. We monitor political situations posted by the government Office and ground reports from our staff and network of contacts. As when traveling in any region, make sure to keep an eye on your possessions and take certain common-sense measures to prevent theft or dangerous situations.
The first rule of trekking K2 Base Camp is to step to the wall side when you meet a mule, since otherwise you can be knocked off the edge.
The main danger for most people doing the straight-in, straight-out route is altitude sickness(AKA Acute Mountain Sickness or AMS). For most people, this can be avoided by sleeping no more than 300 metres higher than you did the night before and taking an acclimatisation day every 1000 metres. Serious AMS is more common in folk doing group tours than in independent trekkers.
Other common injuries are twisted ankles and sprains. Rock falls, moraine and glacier crossings add significant risk to longer treks involving crossing high passes such as the Gondogoro-La. As always, it’s unwise to trek solo in case you fall and can’t extricate yourself: Do note, that it is illegal to trek solo.
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What is the recommended age and denomination of USD bills?
There is no specific age of USD bills, however, we recommend the guests to carry new crisp bills when traveling. All denominations are acceptable, however, it is easier if you have smaller denominations of 5’s, 10’s and 20’s.
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can I extend my trip ?
Yes – why not stay on and explore more of what Pakistan has to offer! We can request with to change your return date with the airline. Places are limited and all arrangements are subject to availability.
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How is VE able to offer such competitive prices?
Our unique style of off the beaten track, face-to-face travel is the only way to really experience a destination, but it also serves to keep the costs down. We spend your money providing an authentic experience, instead of on lavish hotels and expensive western-style meals. We pass these savings on to you with our low prices. Another thing you'll notice are the inclusions. While we don't include everything, we do throw in the major highlights of a destination, the things that everyone goes to see. On every trip page we show you the 'Included Highlights' of your trip, things that many other companies charge locally for. We leave many other activities as options, to provide you the freedom and flexibility to choose what you want to do on a daily basis.
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What is a customized itinerary?
In brief a customized itinerary is an itinerary prepared according to your personal needs. After all, you would have requested this to us as part of the process of customization. Your specific interest, preferences and needs are weighted with our knowledge of logistics and highlights of the area.
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What currency is used in Pakistan and where can I exchange money? The Pak
istann currency is the rupee, which is made of 100 paisa. Major currencies such as US dollars, British pounds and Euros are easily exchanged throughout Pakistan. Most international airports of the country have the money exchange counters, and also some selected larger hotels and resorts have this facility to their customer.
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Can I use my credit card in Pakistan?
Of course the most regularly used cards are Visa and MasterCard, but neither American Express nor Dinner’s Club are broadly accepted in Pakistan. While you are going out of the main cities to the small places, it is recommended that you carry enough Pakistann currency for purchasing and tipping purpose.
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Is Pakistan a good destination for family traveler?
With its many diverse landscapes and attractions, Pakistan is an admirable destination for the family traveler. Some of the good options are beach holidays and wildlife adventures in the national parks, while many monuments have sight and light shows that will capture children’s imagination. For teenagers, the many outdoor activities, such as camel safari and trekking, are an illustrative card. Without the second thinking, the big challenge for families travelling in this country might be the distances that need to be covered between cities. Air travel and railway journeys are usually the most comfortable forms of traveling, and are strongly recommended to those with the young children.
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What kind of food will I be able to eat in Pakistan?
Pakistani cuisine has several variations, with each region famous for its own techniques, ingredients and spices. In northern regions, meat dishes are very popular, which are usually made with chicken, mutton or lamb whereas in southern part vegetarian cuisine is most favored. In addition, seafood is also readily available, particularly at the coast. While Pakistani cuisine tends to be spicy, most restaurants will gladly prepare a milder variation of the meals on the request of their customer.
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Do you have experienced guides in different cities of Pakistan ?
We have English speaking guides all over Pakistan. At many places , we also have french , German , Spanish ,Italian and Japenese and other language speaking guides. We can also provide accompanying foreign language speaking tourist guides for individuals and groups. The availability of foreign language speaking guides can be confirmed at the time of reservation.

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