Small Group Tour in Central Asia 2023-2024

Central Asia Ethno-cultural Tour ItineraryKazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan

Central Asia Ethno-cultural Tour

Discover the unique culture and traditions of four countries of Central Asia: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan with the Central Asia Ethno-Cultural tour. You will explore the history of the Kazakh steppe, its wealth, culture and culinary art and take part in a Kyrgyz wedding party in the Ethno Complex Supara. In Tajikistan, you will visit historical places and ancient settlements and relax in a chayhana (tea house). Create your own masterpiece at the Gijduvan pottery workshop and enjoy architectural beauties of Uzbekistan. This travel will make one of the magic corners of the world closer and bring you the best of Central Asia on tour.

We recommend arriving in Astana on TUESDAY in order to match regional flights in the itinerary.

Tour itinerary:

Day 1, Tu: Astana – Arrival
Arrive in Astana. Transfer to the hotel (check in at noon). Meet your guide at the hotel lobby 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 Astana general layout. Visit Astana 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. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 4-5 hours
Day 2, We: Astana
Breakfast. Today you will explore the history of the Kazakh steppe, its culture and art. Your experience will start with cooking traditional dishes yourself, where you learn the secrets of traditional culinary arts. You can also participate in the process of manufacturing of ‘sazsyrnay’, a very ancient Kazakh musical instrument.
The next highlight of the day is yurt constructing workshop. Neither of stories about the Great Kazakh steppe and nomadic people do without the yurt - a traditional dwelling of the nomads. The workshop will give comprehensive insight into the construction process of erecting wooden walls – ‘kerege’, raising the dome – ‘Shanyrak’, as well as strengthening of wooden poles – ‘uyk’.
Finally, at the end of the program you will be offered to try on the Kazakh national clothes and dance the national dance "Kara zhorga". Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 3 hours
Day 3, Th: Astana – Almaty
After brekfast transfer to the airport, take a flight to Almaty (965 km). Your guide and driver will meet you at the airport to start sightseeing tour in Almaty. Visit Panfilov Park, Zenkov Cathedral, Central State Museum (closed on Tuesdays) and Republic Square. Enjoy panoramic view at Kok-Tobe Hill, visit Medeo Gorge. Check in to the hotel. Free time. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 5-6 hours
Day 4, Fr: Almaty – Bishkek
Breakfast. Check-out till noon. Your guide and driver will meet you at hotel lobby in Almaty to start the tour. Tour starts from Al Farabi Avenue with a visit to Muslim mosque and University Nur-Mubarak founded by the presidents of Kazakhstan and Egypt. Afterwards visit Presidential park. Depart Almaty and drive to the natural park and the Big Almaty gorge and Big Almaty lake. Visit drinking water supply construction, built by the imprisoned Japanese soldiers after the World War Two. Stop for a picnic lunch. After lunch, take an excursion and have some rest on the Big Almaty lake. Finish your trip walking up to the gorge admiring glaciers and snow peaks. Drive back to Almaty. Transfer to Almaty airport. Check in for evening flight to Bishkek (55 min). On arrival, you will be met by your Bishkek driver and transferred to hotel for overnight.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 3-4 hours
Day 5, Sa: Bishkek – Burana Tower – Bishkek
After breakfast start sightseeing tour: visit Oak Park, Ala Too square, Statue of Manas. See Philharmonic Hall and Victory Monument – bright examples of Soviet architecture. Continue to Burana Tower, 11th century minaret located in 85 km from Bishkek.
In the evening, transfer to the Ethno Complex Supara for a Kyrgyz wedding party. You will be dressed in Kyrgyz national costumes and have a small, improvised Kyrgyz wedding in the yurt. During the feast an old Kyrgyz woman will tell you about culture and traditions, you will taste Kyrgyz national dishes, listen to the folk music and songs, watch national dances and take part in games. After dinner transfer to the hotel. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 3-4 hours
Day 6, Su: Bishkek – Dushanbe
Breakfast. Transfer to Manas International Airport for morning flight to Dushanbe. Our guide and driver will meet you at Dushanbe airport upon arrival. Start guided city tour with the visit to the Tajikistan National Museum of Antiquities that includes the exhibits on history, natural history and art; Buddha in Nirvana is one of the valuable exhibits of the museum. Continue to Gurminj Musical Instruments Museum, Ismail Somoni Monument, Rudaki Park and Kokhi-Navruz Palace a place where you can see great example of Tajik national handicrafts. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 4-5 hours
Day 7, Mo: Dushanbe – Penjikent
After breakfast depart Dushanbe and drive to Penjikent (270 km, 4-5 h). The mountain road goes via picturesque Anzob pass (3300 m above sea level). Arrive in Penjikent, check in to the hotel. Start city tour of ancient Penjikent - a major Sogdian city in the 5th century destroyed by Arab conquerors in the 8th century. Visit to Rudaki Museum, local Bazaar and mosque. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 8, Tu: Penjikent – Seven Lakes – Samarkand
After breakfast your guide and driver will meet you at the hotel lobby. Transfer to Seven Lakes (80 km, 1.5-2 h). The Seven Lakes are located in the west of Fann mountains; each of them has its own colour which varies from calming turquoise to mesmerizing purple. At the last lake of Khoazorchashma you will enjoy a picnic.
Late in the afternoon return to the Jartepa border crossing, customs and passport control. On Uzbekistan side meet your driver and transfer to your hotel in Samarkand. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 9, We: Samarkand
After breakfast your guide and driver will meet you at hotel lobby to begin sightseeing in Samarkand. Visit spectacular Registan Square, remains of Bibi Khahum mosque, Siab Bazaar, Ulugbek observatory, Shakhi-Zinda Necropolis Necropolis and Gur Emir Mausoleum, authentic shrine of Tamerlane. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 6-7 hours
Day 10, Th: Samarkand – Ashraf, Sentob or Yangi Hayot village in Nurata Mountains
After breakfast depart Samarkand and drive to a village located in Nurata Mountains (330 km, 5-6 h*). Arrive in Ashraf, Sentob or Yangi Hayot village, accommodation in the guesthouse.
All villages are located far away from roads and cities in a picturesque mountain area with fresh air, green orchards, singing birds, sky full of stars, and friendly people.
Have a tour around the village and explore life of locals. Overnight in the guest house.
Meals: dinner
*The drive on vans and buses is on average an hour longer.
Day 11, Fr: Village – Bukhara
Breakfast. Free time. People have been living in Nurata Mountains since the times of Alexander the Great. Villagers keep house and farm as it was done centuries ago. Women cook on the open fire, weave, spin yarn, bake their own bread, milk the cows. Men farm, shepherd, built houses of stone, rocks and clay.
Stay in a village, watching birds, hiking, riding donkey, and participating in cooking traditional food gives an excellent opportunity to witness life of local peasants. In the afternoon depart to Bukhara. On the way stop in Nurata pass to see petroglyphs, Nurata town to visit a local mosque with a holy spring water. Continue to Gijduvan pottery masters workshop. Arrival in Bukhara. Overnight at the hotel.
Extras to do in the area:
Option 1. Take a guided hike to surroundings. Have look at petroglyphs on the way. (6-7 km, 2-3 h one way). Return to the guesthouse.
Cost: $30 for the service of a guide.
Option 2. Take a ride on a donkey.
Cost: $30 for the service of a guide.
Meals: breakfast, lunch
Day 12, Sa: Bukhara
After breakfast enjoy a walking sightseeing tour with a guide in Old City. Visit Lyabi Hauz Ensemble, Magoki-Attori Mosque, Chor-Minor Madrasah, trade domes, Kalyan Minaret, Kalyan Mosque and Miri-Arab Madrasah, Ulugbek and Abdulazizkhan madrasahs, Ark Fortress, Bolo-Khauz Mosque, Ismail Samani and Chashma-Ayub mausoleums. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 6-7 hours
Day 13, Su: Bukhara – Tashkent
Breakfast. Check-out from the hotel till noon.
Free time. At 14:40 transfer from the hotel to train station. Take the high-speed Afrosiyob train to Tashkent departing at 15:52, arriving at 19:40. Upon arrival the driver will transfer you to hotel. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 14, Mo: Tashkent
After breakfast meet your guide to start sightseeing in the capital of Uzbekistan, the biggest city in Central Asia. You will visit Old City where Khast-Imam Complex is located. The sight is famous for keeping Quran of Caliph Uthman. In Khast-Imom you will see Madrasah of Barak-Khan, Tilla Sheikh Mosque, Mausoleum of the Saint Abu Bakr Kaffal Shashi and the Islamic Institute of Imam al-Bukhari. Explore Chorsu Bazaar. Then take a ride on Tashkent Metro to the city center to visit Applied Arts Museum and walk through Navoi Theater to Amir Timur Square where you will end Tashkent city tour. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 5-6 hours
Day 15, Mo: Tashkent – departure
Check-out from the hotel till noon. Transfer to Tashkent 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;
  • Entrance fees to sights as per itinerary;
  • Economy class tickets for flights: Astana-Almaty, Almaty-Bishkek, Bishkek-Dushanbe;
  • Ticket for train Bukhara-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 tourist visa;
  • Visit to Supara Ethno Complex.
  • Tour leader to accompany the travellers for the whole period of the tour;
  • Full board (lunches and dinners);
  • Hotel charges for additional services;
  • All costs associated with visas;
  • 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.


Economy Option
Comfort Option
Astana - 2 nights
KazzholRixos President
Almaty - 1 night
NovotelRixos Almaty
Bishkek - 2 nights
Plaza, Park, Ambassador or similarOrion
Dushanbe - 1 night
Atlas B&B or similarHilton Dushanbe or similar
Penjikent - 1 night
Sugd, UmariyonSugd, Umariyon
Samarkand - 2 nights
Usman, Meros, Asia Samarkand or similarDilimah, Sultan, Grand Samarkand Superior, Grand Samarkand, Platan or similar
Village in Nurata Mountains - 1 night
Yahshigul (Ashraf), Shiringul (Yangi Hayot) or Rahima (Sentob) guesthousesYahshigul (Ashraf), Shiringul (Yangi Hayot) or Rahima (Sentob) guesthouses
Bukhara - 2 nights
Minzifa, K.Komil, Bibikhanum, Amulet, As-Salom, Fatima, Kavsar or similarParadise Plaza, Omar Khayam, Minor, Asia Bukhara, Zargaron Plaza or similar
Tashkent - 2 nights
Ateca, Navruz, Praga, Grand CapitalWyndham Tashkent, Courtyard by Marriot, Hampton by Hilton, Mercure

More similar tours toCentral Asia Ethno-cultural Tour

Central Asia Tour by Road
Central Asia Tour by Road
20 Days | from US$ 4,490 / person
Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan
end of May - September
Capitals of Central Asia Tour
Capitals of Central Asia Tour
12 Days | from US$ 3,790 / person
Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan
Spring, autumn
The Five Stans Tour
The Five Stans Tour
23 Days | from US$ 5,440 / person
Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan
Spring, autumn
Central Asia Destinations
Central Asia Destinations
15 Days | from US$ 2,820 / person
Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan
Spring, autumn