Small Group Tour in Central Asia 2020-2021

Capitals of Central Asia12 Days | Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan

Capital cities are a window into the political, cultural and social life of a country. The Capitals of Central Asia Tour is a great way to visit the capitals of each of the five countries in the region, as well as two former capital cities. Some of these cities have thousands of years of history and carry the legacies of rulers, architects, scientists, and artists, while other capitals have grown out of smaller settlements into regional centers only within the last century.
Start in Dushanbe, a city of parks and museums that grew out of a bazaar town. Almaty is the former capital of Kazakhstan, and though it still remains an important city, the new capital is in Nur-Sultan (Astana), one of the coldest capitals in the world. Next, visit Tashkent, the largest city in Central Asia, with a quick visit to Samarkand, an ancient city that served as a capital for some of the largest empires the region saw. Khiva also served as a capital in the past, most famously for the Khanate of Khiva. The final capital is Ashgabat, filled with a record-breaking number of white marble buildings that give this city an ultra-modern feel. Tour the best of Central Asia on this trip to the Capitals of Central Asia.

 

We recommend arriving in Dushanbe on Monday in order to match regional flights in the itinerary.

Tour map

Tour itinerary:

Day 1, Mo: Dushanbe – Arrival
 
Arrive in Dushanbe. Transfer to the hotel to leave the luggage. Check in at noon. Start guided city tour: Gurminj Musical Instruments Museum, Ismail Somoni Monument and Rudaki Park. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 4-5 hours
Day 2, Tu: Dushanbe – Almaty
 
After breakfast finalize exploring Dushanbe with a visit to the National Museum of Antiquities (closed on Mondays) that includes the exhibits on history, nature and art; Buddha in Nirvana is one of the valuable exhibits of the museum. Transfer to Dushanbe International Airport to get the flight KC132 to Almaty at 13:00. Upon arrival at 15:45 our driver will meet you at Almaty airport and transfer to the hotel. Free time. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 3, We: Almaty
 
After breakfast your guide and driver will meet you at the hotel lobby to start sightseeing tour in Almaty. Visit Panfilov Park, Zenkov Cathedral, Central State Museum (closed on Tuesday) and Republic Square. Enjoy panoramic view at Kok-Tobe Hill, visit Medeo Gorge. Free time. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 5-6 hours
Day 4, Th: Almaty – Nur-Sultan
 
Breakfast. Transfer to the airport to get morning flight to Nur-Sultan (Astana). Upon arrival meet your guide and driver at the airport to start sightseeing in the capital of Kazakhstan. Visit “Old center”, town of merchants in the past. Visit Millennium Axis line named by Kisho Kurokawa, chief architect and creator of Nur-Sultan general layout. Visit Opera building, the Round Square with numerous fountains. Continue to Nurzhol and Green Water boulevards with skyscrapers of exceptional architectural forms. You will go up the Bayterek monument and enjoy a breathtaking panoramic view at the top of the monument and observation tower. The city tour will be rounded up with a visit to Khan-Shatyr, shopping and entertainment center. Free time. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 4-5 hours
Day 5, Fr: Nur-Sultan – Bishkek
 
Transfer to Nur-Sultan International Airport for morning flight KC151 to Bishkek at 08:00. Upon arrival at 09:45 our guide and driver will meet you to start the sightseeing tour: Oak Park, Ala-Too Square, Statue of Manas, the Museum of Fine Arts (closed on Mondays), Philharmonic Hall and Victory Monument – bright examples of Soviet architecture. In the afternoon transfer to the Burana Tower, the remnants of the ancient city Balasagun (11-13th centuries). Return to Bishkek. Free time. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 4-5 hours
Day 6, Sa: Bishkek – Ala-Archa – Bishkek
 
After breakfast transfer to the Ala-Archa National Park. You will be in the alpine gorge through which the fast flowing Ala-Archa River runs. The gorge is flanked by tall, snow-covered, peaks with steep-sided, forested, mountain slopes. You will start your walk (3,5 km) from the alpine camp (2200 m) to Ak-Sai waterfall–the height is 35 m (2700 m) - by the path which goes through conifer forest and alpine meadows. Return back to the alpine camp. Transfer to Bishkek. Free time in the afternoon. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 7, Su: Bishkek – Tashkent
 
Breakfast. Free time till transfer to Bishkek International Airport. Take the flight HY 778 to Tashkent at 11:30. Upon arrival at 12:50 meet your driver and the guide to start sightseeing in the capital of Uzbekistan, the biggest city in Central Asia.
Explore the main sights of Old City, Chorsu Bazaar and Khast-Imam Complex, famous for displaying holy book of Quran that belonged to Caliph Uthman. Then take a ride on Tashkent Metro to city center to walk through Amir Timur Square, Independence Square, Applied Arts Museum. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 4-5 hours
Day 8, Mo: Tashkent – Samarkand – Tashkent
 
After breakfast transfer from your hotel to the railway station. The high-speed train Afrosiyob arrives in Samarkand in two hours (300 km). Your guide and driver will meet you at the train station to begin the city tour. Visit spectacular Registan Square, remains of Bibi Khanum Mosque, Siyob Bazaar, Ulugbek Observatory, Shakhi-Zinda Necropolis and Gur Emir Mausoleum - the mausoleum of Amir Timur. Transfer to the train station, take the evening train to Tashkent. Arrival in Tashkent, transfer to the hotel for overnight.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 6-7 hours
Day 9, Tu: Tashkent – Urgench – Khiva
 
After early breakfast transfer to the local airport for flight to Urgench (1093 km, 1 h 40 min). Arrival in Urgench, transfer to the hotel in Khiva (30 km, 35 min). Later proceed to guided walking sightseeing tour. Spend a day in Itchan-Kala Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Visit Mukhammad Aminkhan Madrasah, Mukhammad Rahimkhan Madrasah, Kalta-Minor, Kunya-Ark, Juma Mosque, Tash-Khovli Palace, Pakhlavan Makhmud Mausoleum, Minaret of Islam-Khoja. Free time in the afternoon. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 5 hours
Day 10, We: Khiva – Darvaza Gas Crater – Ashgabat
 
In the morning check out from the hotel and drive to Turkmenistan border point Shavat-Dashoguz (60 km, 1 h). Go through border formalities on both checkpoints. Cross the 1.5 km neutral zone (transportation may not be available). Meet your Turkmenistan guide and transfer to Darvaza gas crater in the Karakum desert (270 km, 4 h). Enjoy a delicious fire-cooked meal for dinner near the burning gas crater. After dinner continue driving to Ashgabat (280 km, 4 h). Upon arrival transfer to the hotel in Ashgabat for overnight.
Day 11, Th: Ashgabat
 
After breakfast start sightseeing tour in Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan that has recently been noted by the Guinness Book of World Records as having more white marble buildings than any other city in the world. During the city tour you will explore an archaeological site of Old Nisa (included in UNESCO World Heritage list) and Spiritual Mosque, one of the biggest mosques in Central Asia. You will visit the National Museum of History, the Monument of Neutrality, Ertugrul Gazi Mosque and newly built Independence Park. Intense and interesting excursion also includes a stopover at the Akhalteke horse stables and Lenin Monument. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 6 hours
Day 12, Fr: Ashgabat – Departure
 
Check-out from the hotel till noon. Transfer to Ashgabat International Airport. End of the tour service.
  • All transfers: 1-2 pax on sedan type car, 3-8 pax on minivan/van;
  • Accommodation based on double/twin room sharing, breakfasts included;
  • Sightseeing tour program in each country with local guides (in Uzbekistan, different guides in each city);
  • Entrance fees to sights as per itinerary;
  • Economy class tickets for flights: Dushanbe-Almaty, Almaty-Nur-Sultan, Nur-Sultan-Bishkek, Bishkek-Tashkent, Tashkent-Urgench;
  • Ticket for trains Tashkent-Samarkand-Tashkent (on rare occasions when the high-speed train is unavailable, we will replace this with the most-comfortable class of regular train);
  • Visa support letters for Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan tourist visas.
  • Tour leader to accompany the travellers for the whole period of the tour;
  • Full board (lunches and dinners);
  • Hotel charges for additional services;
  • A tax of 2 USD per night in Turkmenistan, paid to the hotel upon check out;
  • All costs associated with visas and Turkmenistan migration tax (14 USD);
  • Visa support for Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan tourist visas;
  • International flight tickets before and after the tour;
  • Tips are not included, but would be appreciated;
  • Personal travel insurance.

Accommodation:

Economy Option
Comfort Option
Dushanbe - 1 night
Atlas B&B or similarHilton Dushanbe or similar
Almaty - 2 nights
NovotelRixos Almaty
Nur-Sultan - 1 night
KazzholRixos President
Bishkek - 2 nights
Plaza, Park Hotel, Ambassador or similarOrion
Tashkent - 2 nights
Navruz, Praga, Sharq, Grand Capital, BekWyndham Tashkent, Miran, Grand Mir, City Palace
Khiva - 1 night
Malika Kheivak, Orient Star, Muso Tura, Malika Khiva, Polvon Qori, Qosha DarvozaErkin Palace, Asia Khiva, Bek Khiva, Lokomotiv
Ashgabat - 2 nights
Sport, Ak-Altyn, Grand TurkmenOguzkent, Nusay

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