Chamb waterfall is real small hidden gem of Azar Jammu & Kashmir. It is located 200km away from Islamabad in Chinari, Hatian Bala district.
The road to the waterfall is partly good and partly in real bad condition. You set out from Islamabad towards AJK via Murree Expressway. This means the start of the journey is on one of the best roads but once you reach Murree then the poorest portion of road journey begins until Kohala bridge on river Jhelum which connects Punjab with AJK. The next phase of road journey from Kohala bridge to Chinari is real smooth.
Once you reach Chinari then you have to hire a local 4×4 jeep or old 80s model Datsun, which are in abundance there and cheap compared to 4×4 jeeps. The Datsun cost Rs. 1200 for round trip but if you plan to spend around couple of hours there then you might end up paying as much as Rs. 3,000.
I went to this beautiful waterfall twice recently, once in start of February and once towards end of March. I went both times in my own Suzuki Alto car but you can also take local transport from Pir Wadhae in Rawalpindi. The fare for one side is around Rs. 400. As per my info, collected from locals in Chinari, the local transport bus starts the journey from Rawalpindi to Chinari at 9pm and reaches there at around 3am which is little awkward time because you will be left with no option to spend your time there. There are only two hotels in main Chinari bazar, one is small old dhaba type traditional hotel and the other one is quite new and modern and has rooms for night stay as well. But chances are that the Karim hotel will be closed until early in the morning while the dhaba hotel will be open so you can have tea or breakfast from there.
The daily life starts early in the morning in Chinari so you should be able to book a local datsun for Chamb village. For round trip they charge Rs. 1200 but if you spend more than 2-3 hours then you might end up paying a little more.
The road from Chinari to Chamb waterfall is dirt road and not suitable for luxury cars so don’t try to take your car beyond Chinari. It takes around 1 hour for local datsun to reach Chamb. Along the way you will get some amazing views back towards Chinar as you gain the height.
Since Chamb village is very close to Pak-India border so there is a army settlement as well and people even in civilian dress might ask about your purpose of visiting that area. Otherwise the waterfall comes before the village so you go down to the waterfall and have some fun but please don’t throw any trash over there. If possible collect some trash thrown by others which is exactly what I did during my second visit to Chamber waterfall.
Travel time from Islamabad to Chamb waterfall is around 6-8 hours so you must leave at night around 2am to reach there in the day time and reach back Islamabad by 8-9pm. That’s how I managed the day trips both times.