My first three group expeditions to Pakistan have come and gone, and I have never been more certain of anything than running this trip back again next year. We’ve finally confirmed our first round of dates for this once-in-a-lifetime trip, a challenging but immensely rewarding experience. Pakistan is a country that captivated me from the get-go. There is nothing I would love more than to share my love for this country with travelers year after year.
Pakistan will leave you breathless in every sense of the word. From its breathtaking mountain landscapes to its colorful and unique culture. Pakistan is another world waiting to be explored, a stunning country that few travelers ever visit. Those of you who have followed me for a while know that when it comes to travel, I feel most alive in the mountains and immersed in new cultures. Watch the video below, and you’ll get it.
I’ll be bringing up to 15 of my fellow adventurers with me for two unforgettable weeks of otherworldly landscapes, intense cultural immersion, and one heck of a good time with myself and the best crew you could imagine.
Recognize a once-in-a-lifetime adventure when you see one? Type in your name, email, and say hi below, and we’ll send you a more thorough information pack and the next steps to secure your spot on this epic adventure. If you’re a harder sell, keep reading.
Let’s start with our itinerary, because if that doesn’t sell you, then I don’t know what will.
This is the tentative itinerary. I’m as go-with-the-flow of a traveler as it gets, so at times, we’ll make decisions based on what the group wants and adjust accordingly. Certain routes and areas may also be closed or become inaccessible at any time, but we will always supplement with alternative activities, treks, or routes where possible. We’ve dealt with road closures, flight cancellations, and many other of Pakistan’s surprises. We always have a Plan A to Plan Z, so just go with the flow and trust in our local guides and experts.
Day 1: Start Tour in Lahore (Arrive Before 12 PM)
Welcome to Pakistan! After the entire group has arrived, we will begin our exploration of the bustling city of Lahore. We will explore historic Lahore Fort, the gorgeous Badshahi Mosque, and then take a walk through a bustling bazaar street to Wazir Khan Mosque. After a break for lunch, we will head over to the Pakistan-India border for the truly one-of-a-kind Wagah Border Ceremoy. It’s one heck of an intro to Pakistan. We’ll head back to the hotel before an optional evening adventure to a covert bar in Lahore where we can have a few drinks in an otherwise dry country.
Day 2: Flights to Gilgit, Jeep Ride, and Hike to Fairy Meadows
We leave Lahore in the morning to fly north to the mountains. After an early breakfast, we’ll hop in a car to the Jeep Point where we’ll start the death-defying journey to Pakistan’s famed Fairy Meadows. After an hour and a half on the Jeeps, we’ll begin our trek to Fairy Meadows, where we’ll be staying in cabins for the night. The trek is about three hours long, but might take longer as we adjust to the altitude. Horses are an option at an additional cost. In the evening, we’ll have a dinner, a bonfire with the locals, and likely some singing and dancing in the shadow of the world’s ninth tallest mountain, Nanga Parbat.
Day 3: Hike to Nanga Parbat Base Camp
Today, we’ll take on the long but beautiful hike to Nanga Parbat base camp, a 6-8 hour round trip hike that takes us through local villages, glaciers, and epic viewpoints. We’ll have lunch along the way and some noodles at base camp before returning to Fairy Meadows for our second night in the cabins. Dinner, bonfires, and more singing and dancing are sure to follow.
Day 4: Leave Fairy Meadows and Head to Naltar Lakes
Naltar Lakes will be a new addition on this year’s expedition. We’ll hike back down from Fairy Meadows, taking the Jeep Road back before heading towards Naltar Lakes. We’ll stay at Naltar for two nights.
Day 5: Hiking Around Naltar Lakes and Free Time to Explore the Area
Naltar is home to colorful lakes and stunning views, and we’ll spend the day taking it all in. We’ll go on a trek around the area before settling back into our cabins for the night.
Alternatively, if the Naltar Lakes area is closed, we will adjust the itinerary and take on the two-day trek to Rakaposhi Base Camp instead.
Day 6: Leave Naltar Lakes and Head to Karimabad
We leave the Naltar Lakes and head to the town of Karimabad. There, we’ll have dinner and free time to shop on the bazaar street and take in the beautiful views. It’ll be a much needed chill day, and also where we’ll stop to pick up Hunza water (local moonshine) for the rest of the journey. Use this evening for souvenir shopping, as Northern Pakistan is famed for its gemstones and textiles.
Day 7: Karimabad Bazaar Day and Hike to Eagle’s Nest
We’ll finally get the chance to sleep in a little bit as we’ll spend the morning in Karimabad. You can kick back in the garden of apple trees overlooking views of Hunza Valley and Rakaposhi Mountain. If you haven’t gotten your fill of shopping, roam through the bazaar again or have an apricot juice or coffee with views overlooking the valley. In the afternoon, we’ll hike to the top of the valley, where we’ll stay at Eagle’s Nest for the night. We’ll make it to a viewpoint at golden hour for a stunning view of thirteen different mountain peaks. At our cabins, we’ll have a bonfire and barbecue, feasting on yak for the first time.
Day 8: Attabad Lake and Ghulkin Village Homestay
The moonshine was likely flowing during last night’s barbecue, but don’t worry. Today is a chill and easy day. We’ll leave Eagle’s Nest in the late morning to drive down to the stunning Attabad Lake. We’ll hop on a local boat to take us around the lake and immerse ourselves in views of one of Pakistan’s most beautiful destinations. Afterwards, we head to the village of Ghulkin where we will spend three nights with a lovely local family at their farm.
Day 9: Black Glacier and Borith Lake
From the homestay, we’ll hike across the Black Glacier and head to Borith Lake. Here, we’ll have the option to swim or take boats out across the lake. We’ll have snacks and chai with a beautiful view of the surrounding mountains. An optional hike will take us to the White Glacier, about an extra three hours roundtrip.
Day 10: Bascochi Meadows Hike and Hanging Bridges
Today’s hike will leave you breathless, in every sense of the word. It’s a short but steep hike up to Bascochi Meadows with a viewpoint of Attabad Lake that is one of the hidden gems of Pakistan. We’ll soak up the views from here before heading to Hussaini Bridge, a 900-foot long suspension bridge straight out of Indiana Jones. Cross it if you dare.
Day 11: Leave Ghulkin and Drive Down to Naran
We begin our journey back down to Lahore, leaving behind the mountains of the north. We’ll break the drive up with a stop at Naran, a cute town with opportunities for souvenir shopping. We’ll have food here and spend the night before we finish the drive to Lahore the next day.
Day 12: Drive to Islamabad For Lunch and Faisal Mosque, then Continue to Lahore and Farewell Party
We’ll leave Naran early in the morning and continue the drive to Lahore. We’ll break up the journey with a stop in Islamabad for lunch and a visit to Faisal Mosque, one of the largst and most beautiful in the world. Its ivory-white exterior in contrast with the lush green mountains of Margalla Hills in the background make for an otherworldly sight. We will arrive in Lahore in the evening, having one final dinner with the group and a farewell party to close out our time in Pakistan.
Day 13: Depart from Lahore
This is the last day of the trip. The guides and I will be taking people to and from the airport. However, since you’re already in the area, feel free to continue exploring Pakistan, or maybe even move on to the other incredible countries in the area. I’ve heard that the other -Stan countries are amazing, and am considering Uzbekistan myself. India, Nepal, and other parts of Asia are high on my list. As the group fills up and the dates get closer, we can coordinate post-Pakistan travel together and keep the adventure going!
Pakistan Expedition FAQ
Is Visiting Pakistan Safe?
I can say nothing but incredible things about the people of Pakistan. Every traveler I’ve met has told me the same thing. Like many countries that don’t see too much tourism, foreigners are almost treated like celebrities. The Pakistani people will welcome us with genuine intrigue and curiosity, mostly wondering what brought you to their beautiful country of all places. We will be staying with some local families along the way, but many others will offer you to stay with them as well. The food in Pakistan is amazing, and the local people will gladly feed you until you can’t eat any more.
A lot of people have misconceptions about Pakistan, their culture, and the country’s safety. We’re here to absolutely dismantle those misconceptions. The people are kind, welcoming, trusting, and outrageously hospitable. While the lush, green valleys and the towering snow-capped peaks might be what convince you to go on the trip, the people of Pakistan are what will win you over.
How Many Spots are Available?
There will be limited spots on this expedition, and we plan on bringing no more than 15 people.
The sign-up form is at the bottom of the page, and spots will be filled up on a first-come, first-serve basis. If you’re even slightly interested in the trip, just fill in your name and email, and I’ll send over an information packet and the next steps to lock in your spot on the trip.
How Much Does the Expedition Cost?
The expedition cost is $2700
$700 non-refundable deposit to secure your spot on the trip
$1000 second installment six months before the expedition
$1000 remaining balance paid at least three months before the expedition
Except in the case that the trip is cancelled (due to COVID or other reasons), the trip installments are nonrefundable.
What’s Included in the Cost?
All accommodation, transportation within the country, and activities are included. Trust me, it will be a jam-packed trip. We will be doing a lot of things, including uniquely local experiences that you wouldn’t be able to do on your own as a first-time traveler to Pakistan. I’m a budget traveler through and through. Trust me, I’ve gone back and forth with my guides about the cost of this trip to make sure you’re getting the most value for a fair price. Compare this price with any other group tour to Pakistan, and you’ll see that this is as competitive as it gets. We will be working with a lot of local guides and families, and a lot of this money goes towards supporting Pakistan’s amazing people.
All local guides, including sherpas, drivers, and local accommodation
We’ve got a team on the ground with years of experience to make sure everything goes smoothly, and to adjust for when things don’t. This is where the brunt of the cost comes from, as you will be having three experienced guides plus a driver with you for the entirety of the trip to make sure everything goes smoothly.
All accommodation, ranging from hotels to local home stays
If you are coming on the trip alone, you will be paired with the other solo travelers for shared accommodation. If you want private accommodation, let me know and it can be arranged for an additional cost (except the three nights at the homestay).
3 Meals A Day
Despite all the hiking, you might find yourself gaining weight on this trip. Pakistani food is phenomenal, and there will be no shortage of it during our meals. Although Pakistan has a meat-heavy diet, we can accommodate for vegetarians and travelers with other dietary restrictions.
All transportation, ranging from internal flights to offroad Jeeps and air conditioned buses
From the moment you land to the moment you fly out, you won’t have to worry about getting around. Babar, the best driver in Pakistan, will be leading the way in his comfortable and spacious air-conditioned bus so we will be traveling in style. We will also be traveling to some difficult to reach places that you otherwise won’t be able to reach on your own, so get hyped.
Lifelong Friends and Travel Buddies
For me, the best part of these trips is watching a group of strangers become family. All the awkwardness seems to go away after a day, and by the end of the trip, you’ll be leaving with lifelong friends that you know will always be down for an adventure. This trip may have an end date, but the friendships and relationships formed will endure through the years.
What’s Not Included?
International Flights: Flights to Lahore roundtrip from major airports like London and New York can be as low as $500. Let me know your preferred flight path, and I’ll keep an eye out for cheap flights and routes.
Visas: You can obtain Pakistan tourist visas online now, and it can be done relatively easily. Everyone needs a visa to enter Pakistan. It costs $60.
Travel Insurance: We require you to obtain travel insurance, and we will need a copy of your insurance policy.
Spending money: You’ll surely want to walk away with some souvenirs from this amazing country. We recommend about $200 USD in spending money.
Tips: During the trip, we’ll be covering tips for meals, drivers, and other guides. At the end of the trip, we will pass around an envelope to tip Imran, Aziz, and Babar. This is encouraged but not required.
Who Will Be Leading This Expedition?
Hey, that’s me! I’m a passionate traveler who lives for new experiences far outside of my comfort zone and feel most alive in the mountains. I’ve done three expeditions now and can safely say it is always the highlight of my year every year. I have traveled to over 50 countries, sharing my unfiltered experiences for the last six years as a full-time travel blogger. My goal is to inspire as many of you guys to travel and step outside of your comfort zones, and I’m beyond excited to be doing this trip together with you all.
Imran is our man on the ground in Pakistan, and an experienced tour operator with years and years of guided tours under his belt. Imran hails from Islamabad, and has an adventurous passion for travel. Having managed a hostel in Cambodia and guided many expeditions through Pakistan, Imran is the perfect fit for the adventurous tours through the Northern Territories. Imran has travelled more than your average Pakistani and understands the global backpacking culture through and through!
An expert hiker and part-mountain goat from Karimabad, Aziz is our fun-sized sweetheart of a guide who will keep you smiling and laughing the whole way. Growing up in the mountains of Hunza Valley in Northern Pakistan, Aziz is the best local expert one could ask for. Along the way, he’ll keep us entertained with his various musical talents, including the rabab and the flute.
Babar is our one-of-a-kind driver and a gentle giant through and through. His presence alone adds a sense of safety and comfort everywhere we go. He views everyone on our trips as family and along with being our driver, he’ll become a close friend. I would go as far as to say he’ll end up being your favorite part of this trip.
What Kind Of Traveler Am I Looking For?
Let me be blunt. This trip is not for everyone. This won’t be your cushy, five-star resort vacation. This will be an adventure of a lifetime, and oftentimes, adventures can be challenging and uncomfortable. You don’t need to be an experienced traveler or trekker, but you do need to have an open mind, an open heart, and a willingness to step outside of your comfort zone.
- Open-minded, and eager for new experiences, cultures, and people
- Comfortable with getting uncomfortable (squat toilets, bumpy roads, cold showers, or none at all)
- A big love for the outdoors, trekking, and mountains (with preferably some trekking experience)
- Fun, easy-going, willing to go with the flow.
This trip isn’t for everyone. If you have any concerns or questions, I would love to schedule an interview to make sure that you are an ideal candidate for the trip. Since this is a group trip, I want to be sure that there is a good chemistry shared between all team members. We are going to to be together for two weeks straight, often doing things outside of our comfort zones. It isn’t going to be easy at times. I want everyone to be confident that everyone on the trip will be a team player, and most of all, a lifelong friend long after the trip is done.
How In Shape Do You Have To Be For The Trip?
There will be a decent amount of trekking on this trip, although nothing that requires any technical experience. You don’t need to be an athlete by any means, and obviously, we won’t leave anyone behind. Myself or the other guides will always stay at the back of the group. However, the more comfortable you are with trekking, the more you’ll enjoy the overall experience.
This is an adventure, things aren’t always straight-forward, and when that happens, we’re there to make sure your adventure goes as smoothly and efficiently as possible. You will get out of this trip what you put in: a positive attitude, willingness to get to know the locals, and enthusiasm are all important.
So, What Do You Say?
Up for the adventure of a lifetime?
If you’re interested, just fill out the form below to express your interest in being a part of the Pakistan expedition.
enter your name and email below to express your interest in being a part of the Pakistan expedition. Just briefly introduce yourself in the message, and I will get back to you with the next steps for joining us on our Pakistan trip. Don’t worry, this won’t lock you in just yet, but we expect this trip to fill up pretty quickly so if this is something you’d even remotely consider going on, sign up!
If you don’t receive an email within a few hours, check your spam folders. Also, leave your Instagram handle or other form of social media in the message so that we can contact you in case we can’t reach you by email.
“Pakistan pushed me beyond my comfort zone in ways I didn’t even know I could be pushed. It has opened my eyes to bigger adventures and new perspectives. I am beyond grateful to Eli and the team for creating an environment where we could explore this country locally and in a beautiful way.” – Emily, 24, Arizona
“Thank you for all the hard work that went behind planning this expedition. It was full of joy, challenges, and a whole lotta laughs” – Leanna, 22, Washington
“The most incredible trip of my life with the most incredible people.” – Julia, 26, London
“Visiting Pakistan was the trip of a lifetime and I’m so happy I went with a fun and positive group of people. The hikes were breathtaking and I loved exploring the cities and mountains of Pakistan. I felt safe the entire time and everything was well taken care of. I enjoyed my trip so much and can’t wait to go back!” – Brooklyn, 20, Atlanta