Pakistan Tour: Celebrate Chawmos in the Hindu Kush, The Kalash New Year
Meet us in Lahore, the heart of the Punjab from which we’ll kick off our Pakistan tour that will take us to Peshawar’s bazaars up to Chitral to celebrate the Kalash New Year of Chawmos. After the conclusion of the Chawmos celebrations we will travel through Pakistan’s gorgeous far northern valleys gnarled between the Hindu Kush and Karakoram Ranges, staying in local homestays.
Chawmos Pakistan Tour Highlights
- Celebrate Kalash New Year with unique rituals, dances, and food & drink at Chawmos.
- Explore the ancient bazaars in Peshawar.
- Experience Punjab architecture, music, food, and culture in Lahore.
- Stay in local homestays and experience hospitality at its finest in remote Northern Pakistan.
- See some of the world’s highest peak in their snowcapped glory as we traverse between the Hindu Kush and Karakorams.
December 8-22, 2019
14 Nights/15 Days
Maximum Group Size
30% due at time of sign up
Included In The Costs
- All accommodations
- Airport pickup in Lahore
- 3 meals per day (excluding arrival and departure days)
- Private and secure transportation
- Pakistani visa support documents
- Professional English-speaking local guiding team
- All entry fees
- International airfare to Lahore and from Islamabad
- Pakistani visa fees
- Travel insurance & medical care
- Personal spending
- Tips for local staff
Chawmos & Pakistan Tour Itinerary
Day 1: Arrive in Lahore
The group will meet in Lahore, the cultural capital and heart of the Punjab. We will have a trip briefing at the hotel followed by a group dinner.
Day 2 & 3: Lahore
We will spend the next couple of days getting to know Lahore. We’ll wander ancient bazaars, pay visits to mosques, try local food, check out the music scene, and even meet with local photojournalists to explore the city.
Day 4: Lahore & Overnight Train To Peshawar
We’ll spend today diving a little deeper into Lahore before boarding a train overnight to Peshawar. We’ll arrive in Peshawar in the early morning where we’ll be met by a local guide who will who us the ethnic Pashtun caravan city. Peshawar has a troubled recent history but situations have improved in the last few years. Today we’ll meet locals in tea shops, appreciate Peshawar’s architecture and explore the sprawling bazaars.
Day 5: Peshawar / Islamabad
Today we’ll depart Peshawar to make the drive to Islamabad, Pakistan’s completely planned capital city. We’ll spend the afternoon getting to know and eating our way through the capital.
Day 6: Chitral
We will take the once-weekly flight from Islamabad to Chitral in mountainous Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province. If the flight is cancelled for any reason, we will have to make the trip overland, which will take about two days.
Day 7: Chitral Gol National Park
As long as we make the Chitral flight today will be spent exploring Chitral Gol National Park, looking for Marco Polo sheep, ibex and if we’re exceptionally lucky snow leopards. If we have to drive from Islamabad this will be a buffer day for transit.
Day 8-9: Kalash Valleys Chawmos Festival
Let the music, dancing and goat sacrifice commence. Chawmos is a Kalash new year festival held around winter solstice.
Impure persons will not be admitted to Chawmos, first they will be purified with fire. Men will have to undergo a special fire ritual where a shaman will wave juniper branches over the,. Women and kids are purified by waving a fire brand over them. Once purified the celebrations begin.
Goat sacrifices, feasts, dancing singing and wine drinking are just a small part of the festivities that will ensue over the next days.
Day 10-13: Ghizar
Next we head to Ghizar to immerse into the local culture, trek in epic mountain landscapes and stay in traditional homestays.
Day 14: Gilgit / Islamabad
Today we plan to take a flight in the morning from Gilgit to Islamabad, though the flight is commonly cancelled if there is even a hint of bad weather on the horizon. In that case we will plan to drive back to Islamabad, a 12-16 hour drive down the Karakoram Highway.
Day 15: Depart from Islamabad
Departures from Islamabad Airport, no scheduled actives today.
This trip is limited to maximum of 12 travelers so spots may fill quickly. Click the button below to sign up for the trip or get email updates about the tour.