Small Group Tour in Central Asia 2024-2025

Central Asia Ethno-cultural Tour15 days | Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan

Private Tour from US$ 2,990
  • Astana, KazakhstanAstana, Kazakhstan
  • Astana, KazakhstanAstana, Kazakhstan
  • Almaty, KazakhstanAlmaty, Kazakhstan
  • Almaty, KazakhstanAlmaty, Kazakhstan
  • Bishkek, KyrgyzstanBishkek, Kyrgyzstan
  • Bishkek, KyrgyzstanBishkek, Kyrgyzstan
  • Burana Tower, KyrgyzstanBurana Tower, Kyrgyzstan
  • Dushanbe, TajikistanDushanbe, Tajikistan
  • Dushanbe, TajikistanDushanbe, Tajikistan
  • Fann Mountains, TajikistanFann Mountains, Tajikistan
  • Penjikent, TajikistanPenjikent, Tajikistan
  • Penjikent, TajikistanPenjikent, Tajikistan
  • Samarkand, UzbekistanSamarkand, Uzbekistan
  • Samarkand, UzbekistanSamarkand, Uzbekistan
  • Nurata Mountains, UzbekistanNurata Mountains, Uzbekistan
  • Waterfall, Nurata MountainsWaterfall, Nurata Mountains
  • Bread-making in Tandyr, UzbekistanBread-making in Tandyr, Uzbekistan
  • Local Dances, UzbekistanLocal Dances, Uzbekistan
  • Gijduvan Ceramics Museum, UzbekistanGijduvan Ceramics Museum, Uzbekistan
  • Gijduvan Ceramics Museum, UzbekistanGijduvan Ceramics Museum, Uzbekistan
  • Bukhara, UzbekistanBukhara, Uzbekistan
  • Bukhara, UzbekistanBukhara, Uzbekistan
  • Tashkent, UzbekistanTashkent, Uzbekistan
  • Tashkent, UzbekistanTashkent, Uzbekistan
  • Astana, Kazakhstan
  • Astana, Kazakhstan
  • Almaty, Kazakhstan
  • Almaty, Kazakhstan
  • Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
  • Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
  • Burana Tower, Kyrgyzstan
  • Dushanbe, Tajikistan
  • Dushanbe, Tajikistan
  • Fann Mountains, Tajikistan
  • Penjikent, Tajikistan
  • Penjikent, Tajikistan
  • Samarkand, Uzbekistan
  • Samarkand, Uzbekistan
  • Nurata Mountains, Uzbekistan
  • Waterfall, Nurata Mountains
  • Bread-making in Tandyr, Uzbekistan
  • Local Dances, Uzbekistan
  • Gijduvan Ceramics Museum, Uzbekistan
  • Gijduvan Ceramics Museum, Uzbekistan
  • Bukhara, Uzbekistan
  • Bukhara, Uzbekistan
  • Tashkent, Uzbekistan
  • Tashkent, Uzbekistan

Discover the unique culture and traditions of four countries of Central Asia: Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan 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 Dushanbe on any date except SUNDAY, in order to match regional flight in the itinerary.

Tour itinerary:

Day 1: Dushanbe – Arrival
 
Arrive in Dushanbe. Transfer to the hotel (check in at noon). Meet your guide at the hotel lobby to start sightseeing in the capital of Tajikistan. 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, Statue of Ismail Somoni and Rudaki Park. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 4-5 hours
Day 2: Dushanbe – Penjikent
 
After breakfast depart Dushanbe and drive toPenjikent (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 3: Penjikent – Seven Lakes – Samarkand
 
After breakfast your guide and driver will meet you atthe 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 drive to the Jartepa border crossing, customs and passport control. On Uzbekistan side meet your driver and transfer to your hotel in Samarkand.
Day 4: 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 Khanum Mosque, Siyob Bazaar, Ulugbek Observatory, Shakhi-Zinda Necropolis and Gur Emir Mausoleum, authentic shrine of Tamerlane. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 6-7 hours
Day 5: 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 the 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 6: 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 a waterfall. 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. (Available from Sentob village only).
Option 2. Take a ride on a donkey.
Cost: $30 for the service of a guide.
Meals: breakfast, lunch
Day 7: 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 8: Bukhara – Tashkent
 
Breakfast. Check-out from the hotel till noon. Free time. At 14:40 transfer from the hotel to train station. Take 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 9: 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-Imam 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 Chor-Su Bazaar. Then take a ride on Tashkent Metro to the city center. There you will walk around Amir Temur Square, Independence Square and see Applied Arts Museum. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 4-5 hours
Day 10: Tashkent – Bishkek
 
Check out from the hotel at noon. Free time.
Transfer to Tashkent International airport to take flight to Bishkek (15:35 – 17:45).
On arrival, you will be met by your Bishkek driver and transferred to the hotel.
Overnight at the hotel.
Day 11: 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 “Kiyiz Duino” public foundation is engaged in the revival and preservation of traditional knowledge, paying special attention to the Kyrgyz traditional costume.
Here will be excursion and show of 7 ethnic costumes, show of winding of elecheck (traditional women's headdress) and demonstration of making scarfs with felt (customers will take part in it).
In the evening, transfer to the Ethno Complex Supara where you will taste Kyrgyz national dishes, listen to the folk music and songs, watch national dances.
After dinner transfer to the hotel. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 3-4 hours
Meals: dinner
Day 12: Bishkek - Almaty
 
After breakfast depart Bishkek and drive to Almaty via a newly built highway, enjoy nature landscapes on the way (250 km, 4 h). Cross Kyrgyzstan-Kazakhstan border. Arrive in Almaty, check in to the hotel.
In the afternoon your guide and driver will meet you at the hotel lobby start sightseeing tour. Visit Panfilov Park, Zenkov Cathedral, Central State Museum and Republic Square. Enjoy panoramic view at Kok-Tobe Hill, visit Medeo Gorge. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 4-5 hours
Day 13: Almaty – excursion to Huns complex
 
After breakfast, we start way to Huns complex near Almaty, where you will see and take part in different Kazakh traditions. 11.00-11.20 Arrival of the group at the ethno-village "Huns". Costumed meeting of guests. You will be treated to baursaks, and then a short master class on how to prepare them will be held.
11.20-12.00 You will see a Kazakh yurt, learn about the customs and traditions of the Kazakh people.
Acquaintance with the structure of the yurt, the philosophy and sacred meaning of the yurt for nomads. Demonstration of the wedding ritual of putting on earrings called “Sirga salu”.
Guests will also learn about the way of life of the Kazakh people: cleaning and beating wool, making yarn using a spindle, obtaining flour and talkan in the dermen, and the ritual of placing a child in a “besik”.
12.00-13.00 Show by the group "Sarbaz" (theatrical performances, legends, horse games). Master class on traditional dance Kara-Zhorga.
13.00-14.00 Lunch (pilaf, salad, baursaks, tea).
14.20-15.00 Master class on traditional archery.
15.00-16.00 Free time (you can walk around the territory of the village, take pictures in national clothes, ride on the Altybakan swing, play with animals in the petting zoo).
16.00 Return to the city transfer to hotel.
Free time and overnight.
Meals: breakfast, lunch
Day 14: Almaty – Astana
 
In the morning transfer to the airport, take a flight to Astana (965 km). Arrival in Astana, transfer to the hotel. 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 15: Astana – departure
 
Check-out from the hotel till noon. Transfer to Astana International Airport. End of Central Asia Ethno-cultural Tour.
  • 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, Kok tube cable car;
  • Economy class tickets for flights: Almaty-Astana, Tashkent-Bishkek;
  • Ticket for train Bukhara – Tashkent;
  • Visa support letters for Uzbekistan tourist visa;
  • Visits to Supara Ethno Complex and Huns complex;
  • Dinners on Days 5 and 11, lunches on Days 6 and 13.
  • Tour leader to accompany the travellers for the whole period of the tour;
  • Full board (lunches and dinners);
  • Hotel charges for additional services;
  • Consular fees for tourist visas and;
  • Visa support for Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan tourist visas;
  • International flight tickets before and after the tour;
  • Personal travel insurance;
  • Tips are not included, but would be appreciated.

Prices per person

 
 
Economy
Comfort
1 person
US$ 6,700
US$ 7,070
2 persons
US$ 3,950
US$ 4,150
3 persons
US$ 3,430
US$ 3,650
4 persons
US$ 2,990
US$ 3,210
Single supplement
US$ 420
US$ 540
Winter discount of 10% valid until the end of February 2024.
Prices are for 2024 in US$ per person, with discounted prices for larger groups available on request.

Accommodation

Dushanbe - 1 night
Economy:
Atlas B&B or similar
Comfort:
Rumi / Serena Dushanbe 5*
Penjikent - 1 night
Economy:
Panjakent Plaza / Rudaki / Sugd / Umariyon
Comfort:
Panjakent Plaza
Samarkand - 2 nights
Economy:
Wellfort / Gur Emir Palace / Jakhongir Premium / Bibikhanum / Shohjahon Palace / Silk Road Empire
Comfort:
Platan / Royal / Dilimah / Grand Samarkand Superior / Arka Boutique / Emirhan
Village in Nurata Mountains - 1 night
Economy:
Yahshigul (Ashraf) / Shiringul (Yangi Hayot) or Rahima (Sentob) guesthouses
Comfort:
Yahshigul (Ashraf) / Shiringul (Yangi Hayot) or Rahima (Sentob) guesthouses
Bukhara - 2 nights
Tashkent - 2 nights
Economy:
Ateca / Milan / Ramada Encore / Aster / Europe / Praga / Navruz / Moderno
Comfort:
Hampton by Hilton / Wyndham Tashkent / Courtyard by Marriot / Mercure Tashkent / Panarams
Bishkek - 2 nights
Economy:
My hotel / Bridges / Navat / Art hotel
Comfort:
Damas / Ambassador / Sofia / Novotel
Almaty - 1 night
Economy:
Holiday Inn Express / Grand Sapphire / Plaza / Kazzhol
Comfort:
Kazzhol Park / Garden Park / Resident City
Astana - 2 nights
Economy:
Kazzhol / G Empire / King
Comfort:
Wyndham Garden / Ramada

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