Pakistan Mountaineering Trekking Visa

Oct 13,2020

Pakistan is among the most sought-after countries for Mountaineering and Trekking expeditions worldwide. It wouldn't be wrong to state that it is a heaven for mountain lovers. The country offers hordes of facilities for mountaineers and trekkers to facilitate tourism. You can climb some of the world's top-rated peaks or trek across well-maintained, well-guarded, and relatively unexplored tracks in Pakistan. 

Apply for pakistan visa online is not extremely convenient for foreigners. As per the new visa policy of Pakistan, all eligible foreigners can apply for a Mountaineering and Trekking visa online. This guide will inform you all about the visa application process for mountaineering and trekking in Pakistan.

How to Apply for a Mountaineering and Trekking Visa?

Citizens of 175 countries can apply for this category of visa. Travelers can apply for First Time or New Visa in the following subcategories:

  • Mountaineering
  • Trekking

Check out the list of Mountains and Treks for which you can apply for here.

This is a single-entry visa with up to 3 months' validity. When applying for the visa, under the Purpose of Visit subheading, the applicant must mention mountains from the provided list they intend to climb.

Documents needed to Apply for Pakistan Mountaineering and Trekking Visa:

The applicant must provide the following Pakistan visa requirements:

  • Valid passport
  • Passport-size photograph
  • Mountaineering Application Form (required for "a" subcategory applications)
  • Trekking Application Form (required for "b" category applications)
  • Sponsor Letter or Agreement with a tour operator authorized by the Pakistan Department of Tourist Services (DTS)

You must mention the list of members who may accompany you on your Mountaineering or Trekking expedition (if any). The information must be provided at the time of submitting the visa application.

The visa issuance is subject to the government of Pakistan's approval. The processing of Mountaineering and Trekking visas generally takes up to four weeks (working days). We suggest that you plan your trip and make travel arrangements after receiving the Visa approval against your application.

Visa Fees:

You will pay the Pakistan visa fees at the time of submitting the application and supporting documents. You can pay through a Visa or MasterCard credit card, any debit card, or even via PayPal, UnionPay, Alipay, and WeChat.

Royalty Fee:

Apart from the Visa Application Fee, travelers must pay Royalty Fee, only after the mountaineering and trekking visa is granted. They will pay the royalty fee after arriving in Pakistan.

The government of Pakistan sets trekking and Mountaineering fees at the start of every year. It is to be deposited soon after receiving the visa against your application. The guidelines for the royalty fee are as follows:

  • The fee will vary as per your travel itinerary.
  • There will be 0 royalty fee for climbing up to 6500m peaks.
  • There will be a 10% royalty fee on mountains located in Ghizer and Gilgit, except for the Golden/Spantik peak.
  • During the winter season (Dec to Feb), there will be a 5% royalty fee on all the peaks.
  • The trekking fee for treks in the Gilgit-Baltistan region will be $50/person for one month.

Tourism Permit:

All peaks above 6500m, whether in Open Zone or Restricted Zone, will require a Tourism Permit. Two types of Tourism Permits are issued by the Council Secretariat, including:

  • Trekking Permit
  • Climbing Permit

Foreign tourists may need Tourism Permits from the Gilgit-Baltistan Council Secretariat for climbing the peaks or treks located in the Restricted Access Zone. No permit required for visiting the Open Access zone in the Gilgit-Baltistan region for trekking and climbing peaks up to 6500m.

Trekking in Pakistan:

In Pakistan, trekking refers to walking below 6000m. The trekking experience in Pakistan is unlike any other part of the world. Trekking trails usually are 3000m in altitude, and many tracks run through the animal trails from the last village of a valley to the glacier's snout. Then there are shepherd's tracks that continue along the lower glaciers' edges and allow access to summer pastures and winter hunting grounds at the top.

The country's trekking areas are categorized into three zones- Open Access, Restricted, and Closed. For the Open access zone, there is no limitation for trekkers, and they can apply for the visa at any time throughout the year. The Restricted zone comprises the border areas that touch Afghanistan, India, China, and Iran and covers some of the Baltistan region's treks.

According to Pakistani policy, border areas begin within 48km of the frontier. However, several restrictions in the Azad Kashmir region, such as the restricted zone, are 16 km from the border. The Siachen Glacier region falls into the Closed zone category. It is currently closed for trekking over a territorial dispute with India.

Trekking in Pakistan is classified into several regions in the north, including Hunza, Skardu, Chitral, Kaghan, Nagar, Gilgit, Swat, and Diamer. These regions offer highly adventurous and gratifying trekking and mountaineering experience along with a broad range of mountain sports.

Mountaineer Expeditions in Pakistan:

Pakistan is home to some of the world's greatest mountain chains, including the Karakoram, Hindukush, the Himalaya, and the Pamir. All located on the country's northern side. These regions offer a unique combo of hospitable people, remarkable mountain scenery, and an isolated environment. Before traveling to Pakistan you need to know everthing.  

There are around 108 peaks over 7,000m, and countless peaks above between 4000 and 6000m. Out of the 14 highest independent peaks in the world, five are in Pakistan. For adventure buffs, nature lovers, and those who love challenging sports must apply for a visa to climb these great mountains. The ambiance is satisfying, peaceful, and full of natural wonders. 

Pakistani mountain ranges remain the least explored than any other developed mountain region worldwide. Most of the peaks are over 6000m, some of which are yet unnamed and unclimbed. Among the four mountain ranges, the highest and wildest is the Karakoram. 

The highest peaks lie in the Karakoram range, which entirely lies in the Gilgit-Baltistan region and is a part of the Himalayan range. Above 7000m peaks are located in the Himalayan and Hindu Kush mountain ranges. Furthermore, there are more than 7000 glaciers in Pakistan, which is more than anywhere else in the world except for the Polar regions. 

The world's 9th highest mountain, Nanga Parbat (8,126m height), is in the Gilgit-Baltistan's Diamer region. In Pakistan, you can climb up the world's 11th highest mountain, Gasherbrum I or K5 (8,080m high) in the Gilgit-Baltistan region; the world's 12th highest mountain Broad Peak (8047m). The mighty K2, which is the world's 2nd highest mountain with an approximate height of 8848m, is also in Pakistan. It is located on the Pakistan-China border between Dafdar Township and Baltistan.

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