Southern Pakistan: Confluence of Civilizations
Group Travel | 16 Days
- 5,000-year-old Indus Valley archaeological sites, comparable to Mesopotamia and Egypt
- Massive mud-brick forts and dome-roofed, tiled tombs set in the desert
- Immersion in everyday exotica, from Pakistan’s painted buses to bustling bazaars to famed blue pottery
- Convergence of Muslim, Hindu, Sufi, Sikh, and other religious traditions
- Intimate explorations with Pakistani curators, scholars, and artisans
Traveling through Pakistan’s Indus River Valley from Islamabad to Karachi, we find a host of historical riches to celebrate: UNESCO World Heritage sites, extraordinary mosques, Mughal monuments, Buddhist monasteries, Hindu temples, and Greco-Bactrian ruins. At the same time, we appreciate the diverse attractions of contemporary Pakistan, from exhilarating bazaars to delicious cuisine to hospitable Pakistani people. Among the prime joys of our journey are encounters with locals: watching traditional musicians play the tabla and sitar while their friends dance and sing their hearts out; witnessing an entire Pakistani village emerge to help when a vehicle gets stuck fording a stream; breaking bread with new friends over endless Punjab and Sindh specialties. As we venture south, we gain a new appreciation of Pakistan’s infinitely intriguing layers and reflect on how much richness we have been given by this marvelous and all-too-often misunderstood land.
This trip is an extraordinary opportunity to see a significant swath of Pakistan from Islamabad on the Pothohar Plateau of Punjab province to Karachi, edged by the Arabian Sea in the Sindh province, and GeoEx is one of a select few U.S. companies traveling in Pakistan right now.– SARA BARBIERI, TRIP LEADER
1 – 2
Arrive and explore the twin cities of Islamabad, modern capital, and Rawalpindi, a cultural mélange The UNESCO-recognized Taxila offers some of the most well-preserved archaeological treasures in Asia.
3 – 5
A scenic drive along the outer Himalaya takes us through the Salt Range and to the world’s second-largest salt mine Vibrant Lahore welcomes us with its culinary and cultural riches, historic monuments, and the majestic Lahore Fort Witness the spectacle of the Wagah-Attari border ceremony.
6 – 7
Drive to ancient Harappa, one of the three early civilizations (along with Egypt and Mesopotamia) Arrive in Multan, “the city of saints,” and explore its shrines and bazaars.
8 – 9
Meet artisans who carry on the tradition of kasha kari pottery, the tile work found on shrines throughout Multan The nawab city of Bahawalpur provides a good base from which to explore Uch Sharif and the desert forts of Cholistan.
10 – 11
Near the riverside city of Sukkur we visit Sadh Belo, a revered Hindu pilgrimage site A boat ride along the Indus River may reveal the endangered blind dolphins, who use echolocation to navigate and hunt their prey.
Drive to Larkhana, stopping en route to explore Kot Diji and the UNESCO site of Mohenjodaro, one of the world’s earliest major cities.
Drive to Hyderabad via historic Sehwan, visited by thousands each year for its Sufi shrine.
Explore the tiled and stone tombs at the Necropolis at Makli Hills, another UNESCO site Marvel at the ornate Shah Jahan Mosque in nearby Thatta before continuing on to Karachi.
Extraordinary Karachi is the fifth-largest city proper in the world, and one of the fastest growing. We take our time exploring its neighborhoods, mosques, museums, and markets.
Depart for home.
Dates & Prices
11/03/21 – 11/18/21 (Led by Sara Barbieri)
12/01/21 – 12/16/21 (Led by Tese Wintz Neighbor)
01/12/22 – 01/27/22 (Led by Bill Jones)
11/02/22 – 11/17/22 (Led by Sara Barbieri)
11/30/22 – 12/15/22 (Led by Bill Jones)
Custom trips offered October-March
Group Trip: From $11,730 per person
Optional Peshawar & Swat Extension (5 days): From $2,950 per person
based on double occupancy
Custom Trip: Please call for individually tailored recommendations and pricing.
- Expertise of GeoEx’s travel specialists
- Services of GeoEx’s in-house air reservations team
- All accommodations
- All ground transportation and airport transfers
- Sightseeing, events, visits, and entrance fees
- Most meals
- Bottled water at included meals and while sightseeing
- Services of a GeoEx trip leader, local guides, drivers, and other staff
- Some gratuities
- Emergency evacuation services and secondary medical expense insurance
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