Small Group Caucasus Tour 2019

Central Asia Group Tour 201915 Days | Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan

Tour map

Group size: 1 - 16 persons

Please note that itinerary and price on 2019 tour are subject to change due to airline and train schedule changes, currency fluctuations and other unforeseeable events.

Central Asia is so jam-packed with historical and natural sights that it would literally take years to explore it all. We guess that you are rather short on time, but still want to see as much as possible. That’s why we’ve put together this 15-day trip across five countries to offer the most to travelers. The best Central Asia Group Tour 2018-2019 with fixed dates is the best way to see the most interesting places in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. If you want to prolong your trip, we are happy to offer an extension with the Small Group Tour to the South Caucasus.

Participants need to be in good health, be able to walk for 4-6 hours every day at moderate speed, climb stairs and hills, and be able to carry their own luggage for up to 1 km across borders.

Tour itinerary:

Day 1, Mo: Almaty – arrival (KAZ)
 
Arrive in Almaty. You will be met by our driver and transferred to the hotel. Check in to the hotel at 14:00. Free time. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 2, Tu: Almaty (KAZ)
 
Breakfast. At 09:00 your guide and driver will meet you at the hotel lobby to start the sightseeing tour in Almaty: visit Panfilov Park, Zenkov Cathedral, Republic Square, Central State Kazakhstan Museum. Enjoy a panoramic view at Kok-Tobe Hill and and visit Medeo Gorge. Welcome lunch. Free time. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 5-6 hours
Day 3, We: Almaty – Bishkek (KAZ/ KYR)
 
After breakfast at 09:00 depart Almaty and drive to Bishkek via a newly built highway, and enjoy nature landscapes on the way (250 km, 4 h). Cross Kazakhstan-Kyrgyzstan border. Arrive in Bishkek, check in to the hotel.
In the late afternoon start a sightseeing tour: Oak Park, Ala Too Square, Statue of Manas, National Museum of Fine Arts, Philharmonic Hall and Victory Monument – bright examples of Soviet architecture. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 3-4 hours
Day 4, Th: Bishkek – Burana – Don Aryk – Bishkek – Tashkent (KYR/ UZB)
 
Breakfast. At 08:00 start the trip from Bishkek. First, stop at Burana Tower (90 km). This is a historical complex, which marks the original site of Balasagun, a Karakhanid town. After, you will watch Kyrgyz national horse game “Ulak Tartysh” (goat pulling). Ulak Tartysh (a.k.a Kok Boru) is a fight between two teams of riders for a goat carcass. Transfer to Don Aryk village, where you will have a chance to watch a demonstration of yurt building (nomadic dwelling) and even take a part if you wish. Local Kyrgyz woman will tell the meaning and use of the each part of the yurt. Lunch at the home of a local Kyrgyz family. Transfer back to Bishkek (110 km).
Transfer to the Airport. Evening flight HY780 to Tashkent at 18:10.
Day 5, Fr: Tashkent – Urgench – Khiva (UZB)
 
After breakfast at 09:00 start Tashkent city tour. You will visit Old City part of Tashkent that includes Khast-Imam Complex and Chorsu Bazaar. After, continue to the city center to walk through Amir Timur Square, Independence Square and explore the Applied Arts Museum. Free time. At 16:30 transfer to the domestic Airport to get the evening flight HY057 to Urgench at 18:40 (1093 km, 1 h 40 min). Arrival in Urgench at 20:20, transfer to the hotel in Khiva (30 km, 35 min).
Duration of sightseeing tour: 4-5 hours
Day 6, Sa: Khiva (UZB)
 
After breakfast start guided walking sightseeing tour. Spend a day in Ichan-Kala Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Visit Mukhammad Amin Khan Madrasah, Mukhammad Rahimkhan Madrasah, Kalta Minor, Kunya-Ark, Juma Mosque, Tosh-Khovli Palace, Pakhlavan Makhmud Mausoleum, Minaret of Islom-Khoja. Free time in the afternoon. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 5 hours
Day 7, Su: Khiva – Kunya-Urgench – Darvaza gas crater (UZB/ TUR)
 
Breakfast. At 08:00 drive to Uzbekistan-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 drive to Kunya Urgench (100 km, 1 h 30 min). Visit mausoleums of Turebek-Khanym, Sultan Tekesh, Sultan Il Arslan, Najmad-din-Kubra, Sultan Ali. Discover the Kutlug Timur Minaret and Kyrk Molla hill. In the afternoon drive to Darvaza gas crater located in the middle of the Karakum Desert (270 km, 4 h). Set up the camp (tents and necessary equipment will be provided; camping toilet is available on the site). Enjoy a delicious fire-cooked meal for dinner near the burning gas crater. Overnight in tents.

Note: the trip to Darvaza Gas Crater and an overnight in tents can be replaced in the itinerary with a flight from Dashoguz to Ashgabat at an additional price.

Duration of sightseeing tour: 2 hours
Day 8, Mo: Darvaza Gas Crater – Ashgabat (TUR)
 
After a camp-style early breakfast depart to Ashgabat at 08:00 (280 km, 3h 30 min). On the way stop at Erbent village to witness life of locals surrounded by desert. Arrive in Ashgabat at 11:30. 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 Nissa (included in UNESCO World Heritage list) and Spiritual Mosque, one of the biggest mosques in Central Asia. You will visit the National Carpet Museum, the Monument of Neutrality, Presidential Square, Ertugrul Gazy Mosque and newly built Independence Park. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 6 hours
Day 9, Tu: Ashgabat – Mary – Merv – Bukhara (TUR/ UZB)
 
Early breakfast. Transfer to the airport to take a morning flight to Mary at 06:15 (370 km, 40 min). Upon arrival drive to Merv (40 km, 30 min), an ancient city that was a major center of international trade and crafts located on the Silk Road. Discover the historical park with Sultan Sanjar Mausoleum, Large and Small Gyz Gala, Erk Gala, Gyaur Gala, Keshk Fortress, and others. In the afternoon drive to Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan border point “Farap-Alat” (290 km, 5 h 30 min). Go through border formalities on both checkpoints. Cross the 1.5 km neutral zone (transportation may not be available). Meet your driver and continue to Bukhara (100 km, 1 h 30 min). Arrival in Bukhara, check in to the hotel. 
Duration of sightseeing tour: 4-5 hours
Day 10, We: Bukhara (UZB)
 
Breakfast. Enjoy a walking sightseeing tour with a guide in Old City. Visit Lyabi-Khauz 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. Visit a national show at Nadir Divan-begi Madrasah. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 6-7 hours
Day 11, Th: Bukhara – Samarkand (UZB)
 
Breakfast. Continue sightseeing tour with a guide. Drive out of the city to Sitorai Mokhi-Khosa – the summer residence of Bukhara’s last emir. Head to the Mausoleum of Bakhouddin Naqshbandi. At 15:00 transfer to the railway station to take the high-speed Afrosiyob train departing to Samarkand at 15:50. Arrive in Samarkand at 17:25. Transfer to the hotel. Free time. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 2-3 hours
Day 12, Fr: Samarkand – Penjikent – Samarkand (UZB/ TAJ/ UZB)
 
At 08:00 transfer to Uzbekistan-Tajikistan border Jartepa (50 km, 1 h). Customs and passport control on both sides, cross the border, meet Tajik local guide and driver and drive to Seven Lakes (80 km, 1.5-2h). The Seven Lakes are located in the west of the 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. After lunch drive to Penjikent, a major Sogdian city in the 5th century destroyed by Arab conquerors in the 8th century. Sightseeing in Penjikent: Rudaki Museum, local Bazaar and mosque. Visit ancient Penjikent located a 5-minute drive away from modern Penjikent. 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.
Day 13, Sa: Samarkand (UZB)
 
Breakfast. At 09:00 start city tour. Visit spectacular Registan Square, Gur Emir Mausoleum – (the resting place of Amir Timur), remains of Bibi Khanum Mosque, Siab Bazaar and Ulugbek Observatory. Then drive to Konigil to explore traditional way of making Samarkand paper from mulberry trees.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 6-7 hours
Day 14, Su: Samarkand – Tashkent (UZB)
 
Breakfast. Continue sightseeing: visit Shakhi-Zinda Necropolis, Afrasiab Museum, the Tomb of Saint Daniel. Free time. At 16:30 transfer to the railway station. Take the high-speed Afrosiyob train departing to Tashkent at 17:30 (300 km). You will arrive at 19:40. Pick-up and transfer to the hotel. Farewell dinner. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 3-4 hours
Day 15, Mo: Tashkent – departure (UZB)
 
Check-out from the hotel at noon. Free time until transfer to Tashkent International Airport. Departure. End of the tour.

Accommodation:

City

Economy Hotels

Nights

Almaty

Kazzhol

2

Bishkek

Park Hotel, Smart

1

Tashkent

Ichan Qala, Bek, Sharq

2

Khiva

Malika Kheivak, Orient Star, Qosha Darvoza

2

Darvaza

Camping

1

Ashgabat

Grand Turkmen, Ak-Altyn

1

Bukhara

Fatima, Volida, Amulet, Minzifa, K.Komil

2

Samarkand

Sultan, City, Platan, Malika Prime

3

 

  • All transfers: 3-7 pax on minivan/van, 8-13 pax by 20 seat bus;
  • Accommodation based on double/twin room sharing, breakfasts included;
  • Sightseeing tour program with English speaking guides in each country;
  • Entrance fees to sights as per itinerary;
  • Economy class tickets for flights: Bishkek-Tashkent-Urgench, Ashgabat-Mary;
  • Economy-class tickets for trains: Bukhara-Samarkand-Tashkent;
  • Visa support for Uzbekistan triple entry visa;
  • Visa support for Turkmenistan tourist visa;
  • Tajikistan E-visa;
  • National folklore show in Bukhara on Day 10;
  • Meals: welcome lunch in Almaty on Day 2, lunch at home of a local family on Day 4, camp style dinner at Darvaza on Day 7, lunch in Penjikent on Day 12, farewell dinner in Tashkent on Day 14;
  • Tour leader to accompany the travelers for the whole period of the tour starting from 6 pax;
  • Tips are included starting from 6 pax and will be disturbed by Tour leader.
  • Tour leader to accompany the group of 1-5 travelers 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;
  • Consular fees for tourist visas and Turkmenistan migration tax (12 USD);
  • Visa support for Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan tourist visas;
  • Personal travel insurance;
  • International flight tickets before and after the tour.

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