So finally you have decided to go to Hunza valley on a trip but still don’t know what to do in Hunza? Here is a list of things to do in Hunza valley in order to make the most out of your trip. This guide includes recommendations from hotels to food to sight seeing spots.
Taste Chapshuro at Thole, Nagar Valley
When going to Hunza from Gilgit you first go through Nagar valley which is the sister district of Hunza district. If you are feeling hungry or just want to taste some local food then you can make a short break at Thole in Nagar valley to try Chapshuro. Chapshuro is one of the most popular local food items of Hunza and Nagar valleys. It is a bread with Qeema (Ground meat/minced meat) inside it. It is cooked on a large size traditional fry-pan (Tawa in Urdu).
Visit Duikar for Sunset and Sunrise Views
Duikar is a village in central Hunza valley. It is located above Altit village and a paved narrow road leads you there. You can easily go in your car but the drive is very steep and often you might have to go reverse to make way for the cars coming for the opposite side.
Duikar provides one of the best views of the whole central Hunza valley and part of Nagar valley across the river. Lots of people go to Duikar for sunset and sunrise view from Duikar. Sunset happens right in front of you across the whole valley while the sunrise happens from the back of the mountains but when the first rays of light fall on some of the famous peaks, for example Spantik, Rakaposhi, then that itself creates a magical scenery.
Spend night in Eagle’s Nest Hotel
There are two good hotels, Hunza Nest and Fairy Land Hotel, for accommodation. Both of these hotels charge huge amounts and reservation must be made in advance because generally they are fully booked. Especially Eagle’s Nest Hotel because it lies on the edge of Duikar with wide open views towards the valley. Many small hotels and camping options are also available for budget travelers.
Explore Altit Fort
Altit fort is around 1100 years old fort. It is built on a huge rock at the edge of Hunza river. Tourists are charged fees and an experienced knowledgeable guide will walk you through the fort. You will get to hear lots of interesting stories along with views down the river side side.
It is said that Altit fort was built by Balti people who were given as a dowry to Mir of Hunza when wedded a princess from Baltistan. Since there were no roads back then so the people back in old days used the Hisper pass between Hunza and Baltitan for connectivity.
Have Breakfast at Kha Basi Cafe in Royal Garden of Altit
After exploring Altit fort you can have breakfast or just a cup of tea at Kha Basi Cafe in Royal garden of Altit fort. Though they server Coffee, tea and green tea but I would suggest to try something local. For example you can try local mountain tea which is known as Tumoro not just in Altit but in most of the areas of Gilgit Baltistan.
Visit Baltit Fort
Baltit fort is 800 years old fort located above Karimabad in central Hunza. It has been on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative list since 2004. Do take a guided tour to get to know about the lifestyle of Mir of Hunza and the local people in the old days. Also the views from the Baltit fort are stunning so it should be must visit place on your list of attractions in Hunza valley.
Take a Selfie with Mr. Salahuddin
Mr. Salahuddin is a guard at Baltit fort. He is famous for his long mustaches and people love to take selfies with him. He is friendly and doesn’t shy being in your selfies. So don’t forget to take your memorable selfies with him while exploring Baltit fort.
Eat Walnut Cake at Cafe De Hunza
Must try walnut cake from Cafe De Hunza in Karimabad. They offer lots of eateries but their apricot cake is quite famous among travelers going to Hunza valley.
Boating at Attabad Lake
Take a boat ride in Attabad lake. Don’t be too adventurous and make sure you put on safety jacket before boarding the boat. It should be included in your list of things to do in Hunza.
Stay at Moksha Resorts Hunza (former Fallen Man’s Heaven Resort) in Gulmit
Gulmit is one of the villages of Gojal in Upper Hunza. There are few hotels in Gutmit e.g. Gulmit Continental hotel but my favourite is Moksha Resorts. It is a newly built hotel with beautiful architecture from inside.
Visit the Ongra Fort
Hike to Ongra fort from Gulmit to have stunning view of Gulmit, Shihkat and Attabad lake. If you can stay till sunset then you can have stunning views from up there when the artificial lights are turned on all the way to Attabad lake.
Cross Hussain Bridge
One of the adventurous things to do in Hunza is to cross the shaky Hussain bridge over the Hunza valley. It is located in the Hussain village. A street at the start of Hussaini village from Karakoram highway leads you to the Hussaini bridge. One has pay a small fee to step on to Hussain bridge. Hussaini bridge leads to Ghorabad village across the Hunza river.
If you are looking for more adventures then you can make a loop by first crossing Hussaini bridge and then crossing the more fragile bridge i.e. Passu bridge to come back to Karakoram highway. It will take 2-3 hours to complete the loop.
Must See Borith Lake
Borith lake lies above Hussaini village. It is a long salt water lake. It is a hidden gem of Hunza valley and many tourists skip it first time unknowingly. The road from Karakoram to Borith lake is dirt steep road. One can go in a car but I would suggest going in 4×4 jeeps.
You can even spend a night at Borith lake’s side as there are hotels and camping sites for night stay. In winters this lake totally freezes and can be a good option for ice-skating.
Spend a Night at Passu
Spending a night at Passu village is highly recommended on a trip to Hunza valley. The reason is that you will not get bored of looking at the Passu cones during your stay and you might also get a stunning sunset view of Passu cones.
Eat Apricot Cake at Passu
Glacier Breeze Restaurant in Passu offers one of the best apricot cakes or mixed dry fruit cakes in whole Hunza. Think about having a slice of delicious apricot cake and a cup of tea with stunning views of Passu cones. It is a rare combination of food with view anywhere in the northern areas of Pakistan.
Eat Apricots of Khyber Village
In whole Hunza valley I personally love the taste of apricots from Khyber village of Gojal region in Upper Hunza. If you are like me, who loves to eat the half dried apricots, then do try to some from Khyber village.
Make a Stop at Sost Bazaar
While going to Khunjerav pass take a short break to have a look at the booming economic of Hunza valley. Sost is a dry port where lots of economic activity happens from Chinese side. With the initiation of CPEC under One Belt One Road project of China, Sost is going to get more busy as times goes by.
You can buy some eateries from where if you forgot to get some from Karamabad/Ali Abad in Central Hunza. There are also hotels for night stay but I do not recommend stay at Sost, first for the cold weather and second because of the noise there.
Short Break at Kuksil View Point
While going towards Khunjerab pass you will come across a point where the road will take left turn with steep ascend while on your right the valley opens. On your right far at the end you will see a snow-capped mount which is one of the famous Kuksil mountains. So take a short break there and take couple of selfies before getting on to the last zigzag section of Karakoram highway till Khunjerab pass.
Touch Khunjerab Pass (Pak-China Border)
If you go to Hunza and do not go to Khunjerab pass then will surely have to go back to Hunza sometime soon because it is the ultimate goal of every traveler going to Hunza valley. Best time is peak summer when road is clear but going to Khunjerab pass in snow has its own charm. I myself have been to Khunjerab pass in first week of April in 2016 when the road was opened for public on that day after the winter season. I loved my adventure through the snowy road to Khunjerab pass.
Make a Day Trip to Chapursan valley
If you are not short on time then you can make a day trip to Chapursan valley. Chapursan valley is a long valley which touches the border of Afghanistan and China. Chapursan valley can be approached via 4×4 jeeps because it is dirt road. The road to Chapursan valley separates from Karakoram highway right after Sost town.
An annual cultural festival, “Baba Ghundi Ziarat Festival”, is held every year in summer at the far end of the valley. The dates vary hence I cannot mention when exactly that festival is held but if you go there exactly in the festival dates then you will get to see Yak polo along with local dances and many other performances.
Make a Day Trip to Shimshal valley
Once again if you have time then you can make a day trip to another sub-valley of Gojal, Upper Hunza region. You will need to book a 4×4 jeep for this adventurous trip. The road to Shimshil valley separates right after Passu village while going towards Sost.
Visit Hopper valley in Nagar District
Hunza and Nagar are sister valleys separated by river Hunza. Since Karakoram highway goes through Hunza so is more developed and touristy place than Nagar valley. But few knew that Nagar valley has its own attractions which are totally worth exploring. One such attraction of Nagar valley is the sub-valley of Hopper.
It takes less time to reach Hopper valley than Khunjerab because it is just across the river but deep inside Nagar valley. One can go in his/her own car or hire local jeep from karamiabad for a day visit to Hopper valley. You can go up to glacier view point to see the Hopper glacier which lies below the Hopper village.
Especially if you go to Hunza valley to witness the autumn beauty then it is must to go to Hopper valley because the best autumn scene in whole Hunza-Nagar region can be found in Nagar Khas till Hopper valley.
Hopper is the gateway to Rush lake which is considered to be the highest alpine lake of Pakistan.
I hope this list of things to do in Hunza will help you better plan your trip and make the most out of it. If you have any questions or suggestions then please use the comments section below to ask/share.