Top 10 New Destinations in Pakistan to Visit in 2020
By: Fahad Khawaja
Must visit places in Pakistan 2020
Pakistan is emerging back on the world tourism map with a big bang. After being declared the Top Travel Destination for 2020, Pakistan is certainly getting a lot of attention in international travel community. So if you are planning to visit Pakistan in 2020, we have compiled a must see list of top 10 destinations that you should be visiting while in Pakistan.
Pakistan has lot to offer when it comes to top destinations. From the delta of the Indus River in the South to the mighty stretches of the Karakorams in the North, Pakistan is a land of nature and high adventure. Mountaineering, trekking, white water rafting, wild boar hunting, camel and yak safaris, bird watching and trout fishing, are a few activities, which entice the adventure and nature lovers to Pakistan.
‘Conde Nast Traveller’, a luxury travel magazine aimed at upmarket tourists, has named Pakistan as the destination its editors are most excited about in their annual list, not only for 2020 but also for the next decade. Tourist traffic has seen a massive increase of 317% over the past five years, over 1.4 million international arrivals have travelled by the end of 2019, according to the estimates by World Travel and Tourism Council.
Another major factor is a new visa policy, which offers e-visas and visa on arrival to tourists. Pakistan has also abolished the need for No-Objection Certificates (NOCs) to visit certain parts of the country. Besides this, the government is also converting its rest houses and palatial buildings to hotels, offering more charming accommodations to visitors. Moreover, international travel bloggers have further promoted Pakistan’s case in global circles by showcasing the true nature of Pakistan and the incredible hospitality of locals. To celebrate this amazing feat Voyage Planner has compiled a 2020 Top 10 destinations guide for Pakistan Travel. So, sit back and plan your dream vacation in Pakistan with our best vacation packages.
1. Kumrat Valley – Swat
Kumrat Valley is at #1 Spot in our Top destination list for 2020 in Pakistan. Located near the Dir District of the KPK Province and adjacent to the Swat Valley. Kumrat valley will leave you breathless with its many picturesque spots. Kumrat Valley is a hidden gem, although popular among local KPK tourists, it is hardly ever visited by international tourists.
Thall, the nearest local town is about 28 miles away and is a very conservative locality. We would advise you to respect their traditions and behave accordingly.
The Panjkora River is a stunning river surrounded by lush greenery, that runs through the entire valley. The Wooden Canals in the Thall area are a must-visit. Moreover, you can also enjoy trekking to either the Katora Lake or Jandrai in Kumrat Valley. The beautiful waterfall in Jahaz Banda is a magnificent sight and should not be missed. Other popular places in Kumrat Valley for tourists include the Badagoi Pass and Do Kala Chashma.
You can get to Kumrat Valley from Kalam Valley by first taking a shared taxi to Thall and then going towards Kumrat in a Jeep. You can stay at the several tent camps available in Kumrat Valley, but be sure to bargain to get a good deal. The best time to visit Kumrat Valley would be either in the Summer or Spring season. The weather here is pleasant during the summer but easily drops below 0 degrees in the winter. Check out our Kumrat Valley tours here.
2. Arang Kel – Neelum Valley
Arang Kel is a beautiful village located in Neelum Valley, Kashmir. It got 2nd spot in our Pakistan’s Top destination list for 2020. The Neelum Valley, 144 km long filled with majestic pine, fir and deodar trees, lies north-south of Muzaffarabad- the capital of Azad Jammu and Kashmir. The ninety-mile long valley is ripped apart by the indigo blue Neelum river which flows downhill to merge itself into the river Jhelum at Domail. The district is considered a hub of tourism in Azad Kashmir. There are many amazing spots to visit in this ‘Paradise on Earth’. When it comes to natural beauty and tourism in Kashmir, Neelum valley surpasses all other claims of supremacy.
Arang Kel is a grassy field surrounded by magnificent snowcapped mountains and green vegetation, we guarantee a surreal experience. Tourists often enjoy hiking and trekking in this area, you can also use chairlifts to get to other surrounding areas. We highly recommend staying overnight in Arang Kel to have a truly breathtaking experience, at night, you fall in love with the night sky full of glittering stars. You will truly feel at peace here. The town is home to the native Kashmiri culture and culturally rich. Kel Bazaar is well known for its Kashmiri handicrafts and dresses.
There are various guest houses and camps available in Arang Kel, albeit of moderate standards. You can get to the Neelum Valley two approaches to the valley. The first approach is from Muzaffarabad and is 88 km long through the Neelum Road. The entire valley is accessible via roads that traverse the Neelum valley along the Neelum river. The second approach is from the Kaghan Valley, this links with it at two points. The Nuri Nari Hali (Pass) and the Ratti Gali and many minor Passes.
The weather conditions of the district remain pleasant in summer, but hard and snowy in winter. In the winters, there is an average snowfall of over 3ft. It is best to visit Arang Kel during either the summer or spring season.
If you’re a person who loves history and archaeology then you would not want to miss out on Mohenjo-Daro, a top tourist destination in Pakistan. Mohenjo-Daro is an archaeological site of the remains of the Indus Valley Civilization located in Sindh, dating back to 2500 BCE. Mohinjo Daro is at 3rd place in our Top destination list for 2020 in Pakistan.
Once one of the largest settlements of the Indus Valley Civilization, consisting of water management systems and advanced urban planning. The Indus Valley Civilization was rediscovered in the 1920s after which archaeological work was started.
In 1980, UNESCO declared Mohenjo-Daro a World Heritage Site. While exploring the 5,000-year-old city you will be fascinated by seeing the Buddhist Stupa, The Great Hall and the Archaeology Museum. Tour guides are easily available here to facilitate your trip. Walking down the streets of Mohenjo-Daro you will definitely feel like a citizen of the Indus Valley Civilization.
This Indus Valley Civilization can be visited through Karachi by taking an hour-long flight or by taking a Public Bus from any major city in Sindh. First, you need to get to Larkana, and then take another bus to Mohenjo-Daro. It is best to visit Mohenjo-Daro in the cooler winter months (October to March) as the extreme heat during the summer months can be quite dangerous.
4. Kalam Valley
Kalam Valley is at the 4th Spot in our Top destination list for 2020. Swat valley located in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan is home to some of the most extraordinary and top tourist and leisure destinations. From trekking to fishing and boating, this valley offers loads for opportunities for the tourists. With its roaring rivers, waterfalls, meandering streams, glacier-fed lakes and thick pine forests, the beautiful valley of Swat is popularly known as the Switzerland of the East. Kalam Valley holds gushing streams and rivers, lush green meadows, exhilarating peaks and glacier lakes that are heavenly for every tourist. In the winters the white snow changes the entire valley into a state of paradise.
Swat valley located in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan is home to some of the most extraordinary and top tourist and leisure destinations. From trekking to fishing and boating, this valley offers loads for opportunities for the tourists. With its roaring rivers, waterfalls, meandering streams, glacier-fed lakes and thick pine forests, the beautiful valley of Swat is popularly known as the Switzerland of the East. Kalam Valley holds gushing streams and rivers, lush green meadows, exhilarating peaks and glacier lakes that are heavenly for every tourist. In the winters the white snow changes the entire valley into a state of paradise.
Whether you’re a newly-wed couple, a corporate executive or someone wanting to take your family on a memorable trip, Kalam Valley is the place to go in 2020. You can choose to go trekking in Kalam Valley along the Kandor or Spinkhor Lake or visit Kalam Forest and the Deasan Meadows. We highly recommend trying the local trout fish, a popular delicacy among tourists. You can choose to either explore the area yourself or be accompanied by a tour guide. There are plenty of things to see in Kalam Valley, so make sure to take your time and enjoy nature.
Regular flights are available from Islamabad to Swat, alternatively, you can also drive here from Peshawar or Islamabad. There are several good hotels in the area along with plenty of other tourist facilities. The best time to visit in Kalam Valley is from June to September. In the summer, the weather is pleasant and fairly warm with regular precipitation. Click here to view our amazing Swat Valley tours.
Chitral is a must-visit destination in 2020. We have placed Chitral at 5th place in our Top destination list for 2020 in Pakistan. It is a hidden gem known for high peak mountains, roaring rivers, and spectacular waterfalls. Chitral is situated in the Hindu-Kush mountain range in North-West Pakistan. Bestowed with cultural and ethnic diversity, it is one of the most cherished tourist destinations in the country that comes packed with a culturally enriching experience.
Standing at approximately 25,000ft Tirich Mir is one of the tallest mountain ranges of the Hindu-Kush Mountain Range and you simply cannot miss the fascinating sunsets here. There are several hotels that ensure you get a fascinating view of Tirich Mir. The Chitral Museum is the epitome of cultural preservation and showcases the cultural heritage of the area. It is divided into two different sections, the Ethnological Gallery and the Archaeological & Kalash Valley. The museum houses 12th Century artifacts along with other artifacts that commemorate the heritage of the ‘Kalash’ people.
Moreover, the Shandur Polo Ground near the Chitral Valley is world-famous for its annual ‘Shandur Polo Festival’ which is held in July. It is a wonderful experience for people of all ages. Another popular tourist spot in Chitral is the Kalash Valley. Known for their indigenous people, fascinating festivals and spectacular sights. The Bumburet Valley is a source of attraction for Pakistani and international tourists alike. Chitral is a haven for natural beauty and a perfect vacation spot.
You can get to Chitral by air from Islamabad. On the other hand, if you’d prefer taking a road trip then you can either reach via Dir from Peshawar or Swat, alternatively, a 10 hours road trip from Islamabad is also an option. The best time to visit Chitral is either from March to May, or from September to November. The summers are pleasantly warm without ever getting too hot whereas, the winters are extremely cold; longer periods with subzero temperatures are not uncommon. Check out our exciting Chitral tours here.
Bahawalpur is a city with rich heritage and culture dating back to the early 18th and 19th Centuries. Proudly sitting at #6 in our Top Destination List for 2020 in Pakistan. Bahawalpur is said to be the 12th largest city in Pakistan and is situated in Punjab. It was recognized as the capital of a princely state after the Durrani Empire declined. Bahawalpur city has been historically the hometown and hub of various different Nawabs and rulers of their times. Being home to many kings throughout history Bahawalpur is an important attraction for tourists, historians, and archaeologists.
The city’s location itself has historical significance as it is situated near the historical and ancient city of Uch and is also close to Harappa, both of which used to be a stronghold of the Delhi Sultanate and the Indus Valley Civilization respectively. The city also boasts of one of the very few natural safari parks that exist in Pakistan, the Lal Suhanra National Park.
Noor Mahal is a magnificent palace built to resemble Italian Chateaus, it is partially open to the public and often used as a State Guesthouse. Other similar palaces include Gulzar Mahal, Shimla Khoti and Darbar Mahal. The Derawar Fort is located in the Cholistan Desert, 130km south of the city, it is the only fort with a permanent waterhole which indicates that it is from the time period of the Indus Valley Civilization. Originally built in the 9th Century, it was rebuilt to its current form in 1732. The fort presents an impressive look into the heritage and culture of the Cholistan Desert.
Other interesting sites in Bahawalpur include the Abbasi Mosque and the tombs of Channen Peer, Tomb Yazman and the Mausoleums of Haugha Sahib are the some of the most important ones. You can get to Bahawalpur either by road or by taking a direct flight from any major city. The weather is ideal between January and April for touring the city. Check out our exciting Bahawalpur city tours here.
7. Ziarat – Quetta
Ziarat is an emerging tourist destination, located in Balochistan. Some 130km away from Quetta, Ziarat is a holiday resort surrounded by the second largest Juniper forest in the world. It is said some of the Juniper trees are more than 5,000 years old. The word Ziarat literally means ‘shrine’, the valley is named so because of Kharwari Baba, a local religious saint believed to have been buried in the valley. The shrine is 10km from Ziarat. The locals are ethnically diverse being Pathans, Baluchis, and Brahuis. Ziarat is gaining a lot of popularity in local and international tourists due to improved security situation and is at 7th place in our Top destinations of Pakistan in 2020.
Hiking and trekking are popular tourist activities in Ziarat and the Juniper Valley. The ‘Chashma Walk’ is a deep ravine surrounded by hills and a flat stretch of land perfect for peaceful walks right next to mother nature. Another popular tourist attraction is the Prospect Point, located 2713m above sea level, once, at the top with the wind whistling through the woods, one can see the entire valley in its beauty.
Zindra is another magnificent sight located just 14km from Ziarat. In the winter you can experience the sight of snow-capped mountains. There are a dozen gorges surrounding Ziarat that are made by natural spring water falling through narrow mountain openings, the famous ones include the Chutair Tangi, Khan Tangi, and Kawas Tangi. The gorges are located alongside the road to Ziarat. Moreover, Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah spent the last days of his life in Ziarat. Made of wood and stone, Quaid’s residency depicts Western Architecture of the 19th Century.
The tourist season is all year round, especially between May and October. It remains quite cool during summer and receives plenty of snowfall during the winter. Light woolen clothing for summer and heavy for the winter are recommended. Ziarat is a 3hr drive away from Quetta, with bus and taxi cars both available for tourists.
8. Thatta – Sindh
At #8 position in our Top Destinations to visit in Pakistan in 2020, is a very historic and unique city Thatta. Thatta is an ancient city of the Indus delta. The city is situated about 100km from Karachi. It had great importance in history and today is famous for its archeological sites and centuries-old monuments, which are great tourist attractions. Thatta may be the site of ancient Patala, the main port on the Indus in the time of Alexander the Great’s invasion. During the 16th century, Thatta was the capital of the Sammā dynasty in Lower Sindh. This historic city a large number of monuments listed in UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites.
The Makli Hills are home to the largest graveyard in the world and are a UNESCO World Heritage site. The place is popularly known as the Makli graveyard or the city of silence. The graveyard is spread over an area of about 16km and is said to be the resting place of more than a million people including various nobles, saints, scholars of different eras. This necropolis has a unique style of the graves, which are made out of brick or stone. The tombs of saints are embossed with verses of the Holy Quran, whereas the graves of warriors have carvings of weapons such as dagger and swords.
One of the best attractions in Thatta is the Shahjahan Mosque. Built between 1644-47, Mughal emperor Shahjahan took a special interest in its construction. This Mughal and Islamic architectural styled mosque are unique with its dome designs that make sound circulate all over without loudspeakers. UNESCO also included it in the list of National heritage in the year 1993.
Another important tourist destination in Thatta is the Keenjhar Lake, which is about 24 kilometers long and flows parallel to the Indus River. The Shahi Bazaar of Thatta is a mile-long alleyway that houses hundreds of shops and is known for Sindhi handicrafts and souvenirs
Thatta lies on the National Highway and can be reached from all major cities, additionally, buses are available throughout the day both from Karachi and Hyderabad.
9. Kund Malir – Hingol National Park
The Hingol National Park is Pakistan’s largest national park and contains a variety of topographical features and habitats. Situated in the province of Balochistan of southwestern Pakistan, it is about 190km from Karachi and can be accessed through Makran Coast. The coast stretches about a 1,000-kilometer along the Gulf of Oman, with sea shores that are available by means of the long Makran Coastal Highway, that begins from Karachi in Sindh, and finishes in Gwadar. With lots of people visiting Hingol National Park, Kund Malir has found a spot in our top 10 destinations to visit in Pakistan in 2020.
Hingol National Park covers an area of 6,100 square kilometers and is spread over three districts. Kund Malir Beach is one of the emerging tourist spots in Balochistan and is about 150km from the Makran Highway and is part of the Hingol National Park.
Kund Malir is a soothing and serene place filled with untouched natural beauty and is commonly referred to as the “Golden Beach”. The blue sea and the yellow sand dunes will leave you mesmerized in a state of tranquility. The National Park is a place filled with wildlife, mud volcanoes, rugged rock formations and most importantly some of the most diverse collection of wildlife animals. There are several unique rock formations resembling “The Egyptian Sphynx” as well. The Hingol National Park can be thought of as the “Yellowstone National Park” of South Asia, with unmatched natural diversity.
If you’re someone interested in wildlife photography then Hingol is the place for you. Hingol is known to support threatened invertebrates in addition to a variety of endangered bird species. The park is an excellent habitat for wild animals including the famous Ibexes, Chinkara, Sindh Leopard and the Indian Pangolin and other migratory birds.
We recommend taking a 4hr road trip from Karachi to Kund Malir through the Makran Coastal Highway so that you can enjoy the beauty of Balochistan at its best. The winter is just a couple of months away and is the best season for going to Hingol National Park and Kund Malir Beach.
10 : Kartar Pur & Nankana Sahib
Sikhism is the world’s fifth largest religion. It is a monotheistic faith, preaching the existence of only one God, and teaching ideals that may be universally accepted today and in the future. Pakistan being geo-strategic state is also important for religious tourism, especially with respect to world’s fifth religion, Sikhism. Sikh Religion was founded and then flourished in Punjab of sub-continent, which is now the largest part of Present Pakistan.
Nankana Sahib established in the 1490s by first Sikh Guru, Guru Nanak Dev-Ji, Punjab, Pakistan. Nankana Sahib is a city and capital of Nankana Sahib District in the Punjab province of Pakistan. It is named after the first Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Nanak, who was born in the city and first began preaching here.
Kartar pur Sahib was established in 1521 by the first Sikh Guru, Guru Nanak Dev-Ji, near River Ravi, Narowal, and Punjab, Pakistan. Gurdwara Durbar Sahib Kartar pur, also called Kartar pur Sahib, is a Gurdwara in Kartar pur, Shakargarh, and Narowal District, Pakistan. It is built on the historic site where Guru Nanak settled and assembled the Sikh commune after his missionary travels.
Pakistan recently inaugurated the world’s biggest Gurdawara at Kartar-Pur Corridor and Yatri from Pakistan and India are allowed visa free entry to visit the holy shrine. Around 5000 Yatrees daily will be allowed to visit Kartar pur Sahib visa free.
The aim of Religious Tourism is not merely Money and Economy Acceleration, but promoting the Soft Image of Pakistan by making possible safe travel of Yatrees during their Yatra and Pilgrimage. One can say it’s a journey of love, peace and interfaith Harmony ! Voyage Planners has planned a great Sikh Yatra and Cultural Tour of Pakistan for our guests from across the world.
With our deeply rooted destination knowledge and tour execution excellence, Voyage Planners provides a memorable experience to explore the untouched majestic beauty of Pakistan. Our customer-focused approach provides customized experiences that can fulfill your vacation dreams the way you envisage. We are a Registered Private Limited Company and Authorized Tour Operator Nationwide in Pakistan. So go ahead and Plan your Voyage with us, You will be in Safe Hands !!!
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