As a tourist destination, Pakistan is probably one of the world's best kept secrets. Not only does it offer some of the highest and most spectacular mountain ranges in the world, but also boasts architectural glories of the Mughal empire as well as the drama, and adventure of the Khyber Pass; moreover, it also holds the magical Karakoram Highway which travels 1300km through stunning scenery beside the Indus and Hunza rivers, and over high mountain passes into central Asia.
Although subject to security concerns, Pakistan offers a number of advantages: tourism is minimal and much of the country remains undiscovered by international travelers; Pakistanis are by nature welcoming people and meet travelers with genuine warmth and enthusiasm; the ancient bazaars offer unrivalled shopping; the cuisine is one of the most multi-facetted in the world, and the culture and music are some of the most colorful elements.
Main attractions include adventure tourism in the Northern Areas, cultural and archaeological tourism as found in Taxila, Moenjodaro, Harrappa, Multan, and Lahore. For centuries, the ancient Silk Road remained the main trading route between the South and Central Asia. After construction of the Karakoram Highway (KKH), which joins Pakistan with the Chinese Muslim - autonomous region of Xinjang, tourism on the ancient trade link has been revived. The KKH has provided a great opportunity for international travelers to explore the unspoiled natural beauty and the unique culture and traditions of Northern Pakistan, together with other Silk Route destinations, such as China, Kirgizstan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.
From the mighty stretches of the Karakoram's in the north to the vast alluvial delta of the Indus River in the south, Pakistan is a land of adventures. Trekking, mountaineering, white water rafting, wild boar hunting, mountain and desert jeep safaris, camel and yak safaris, trout fishing, and bird watching are all popular activities. Pakistan has 255 protected areas, including 14 national parks, 99 wildlife sanctuaries, and 96 game reserved parks equating approximately to 91,700 sq km or 10.5% of the country’s land. The most renowned parks include: Central Karakoram National Park, Chitral Gol National Park, Deosai Plains National Park, Khunjerab National Park, and Lal Suhanra National Park.