Small Group Tour in Central Asia 2019-2020

Central Asia Summer Group Tour 2019-202021 Days | Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan

Tour map

Group size: 1 - 16 persons

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

Our Summer Central Asia Group Tour will help you make the most of your time in the region by providing a comprehensive overview of the best of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan in 21 days. Join us as we experience the main historical, scenic, and cultural highlights of Central Asia and take advantage of excellent weather in May and September to showcase places that are at their best in summer or are difficult to access at other times of the year. If you are lucky enough to have more time, you could extend your trip into Georgia and Armenia by tagging on our 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, Th: Astana – arrival (KAZ)
 
Arrival in Astana. Transfer to the hotel. Check in at 14:00. Free time. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 2, Fr: Astana (KAZ)
 
Breakfast. At 09:00 meet your guide and other group members 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. Welcome lunch. Free time. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 4-5 hours
Meals: lunch
Day 3, Sa: Astana – Almaty (KAZ)
 
Breakfast. Transfer to the Airport to get the flight to Almaty. Upon arrival your guide and driver will meet you at the Airport to start sightseeing tour in Almaty. Visit Panfilov Park, Zenkov Cathedral, Central State Museum of Kazakhstan 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, Su: Almaty – Charyn Canyon – Karakol (KAZ/ KYR)
 
Early breakfast. At 06:30 your guide and driver will meet you at the hotel lobby. Depart Almaty and drive to Charyn canyon (220km, 3-4h). Charyn Canyon located to the east of Kazakhstan, with an unforgettable view of a huge gorge with cliffs and of various colours and shades. The canyon is a part of the Charyn National Park territory has an opportunity to see the old ash-tree grove, the Castle Valley, one part of 154-meter canyon with cliffs resembling towers. Despite a long way to go, the beauty of the Canyon makes you forget long hours of drive and this sight of nature in Kazakhstan will stay long in your memories. Arrive in Canyon. Have some time for picnic and rest. After that walk along canyon and enjoy its beautiful view. Continue transfer to the Kazakh-Kyrgyz border Kegen (116 km). Meet with Kyrgyz driver and guide at the border Kegen and transfer to Karakol via Karkara valley (110 km). Dinner in Uigur family with a Kyrgyz folkloric show, national music and songs. Overnight at the hotel in Karakol.
Meals: picnic lunch, dinner
Day 5, Mo: Karakol – Jety Oguz – Kochkor (KYR)
 
In the morning visit to Wooden Orthodox Church, Dungan mosque in Chinese style. Transfer to Jety-Oguz gorge. Afterwards you will have short hiking in the gorge and then transfer to along the Southern Shore of Issyk-Kul lake. On the way stop in Bokonbaevo, where you will see an eagle hunting show. Continue driving to Kochkor. One of the best views on the Issyk-Kul Lake is guaranteed. Dinner and overnight in Kyrgyz family.
Meals: lunch, dinner
Day 6, Tu: Kochkor – Son-Kul (KYR)
 
After breakfast transfer to Son-Kul (120 km). Son-Kul is one of the highest lakes in Kyrgyzstan (2030 m above sea level). It’s a place where you can experience a nomadic life. You will have a chance to ride a horse, see edelweiss flowers, camels, yaks, golden eagles, and to see how local women make Kyrgyz national drink – Kymyz (mare’s milk). This is a remote mountain lake situated on a treeless, high mountain plateau ( 3016 m ) where shepherds bring the livestock in the summertime, establish a camp where they will live – setting up their yurts. In this magnificent place you can see hundreds of herds and a lot of different yurts. Dinner. Overnight in the yurt camp.
Meals: lunch, dinner
Day 7, We: Son-Kul – Bishkek (KYR)
 
At 09:00 transfer to Bishkek (400 km). On the way visit a felt carpet workshop in Kochkor, where you can see the process of making Kyrgyz national felt carpets. After lunch continue driving to Bishkek. On the way stop to see Burana tower, which is left from ancient city Balasagun (11-13th centuries). Arrival in Bishkek. Overnight at the hotel.
Meals: lunch
Day 8, Th: Bishkek – Ala-Archa Gorge – Bishkek – Tashkent (KYR/ UZB)
 
At 09:00 start sightseeing tour in Bishkek. Visit to Oak Park, Ala-Too square, Philarmonic hall, Statue of Manas, Victory Square and Oriental market – Osh bazaar. After lunch transfer to the Ala-Archa National Park (40 km). You will be in the alpine gorge through which the fast flowing Ala-Archa River runs, flanked by tall, snow-covered, peaks with steep-sided, forested, mountain slopes. Hiking in the gorge. Transfer to Bishkek Airport to get the evening flight HY780 to Tashkent at 18:10. Arrival at 18:30. Transfer to the hotel for overnight.
Day 9, Fr: Tashkent (UZB)
 
After breakfast 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. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 4-5 hours
Day 10, Sa: Tashkent – Urgench – Khiva (UZB)
 
Early breakfast. At 05:40 transfer to local airport for flight HY055 to Urgench at 07:40 (1093 km, 1 h 40 min). Arrival in Urgench at 09:20, transfer to the hotel in Khiva to leave luggage (30 km, 35 min). Later proceed for 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 11, Su: Khiva – Kunya-Urgench – Darvaza gas crater (UZB/ TUR)
 
After breakfast at 07:30 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. Enjoy a delicious fire-cooked meal for dinner near the burning gas crater. Overnight in tents.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 2 hours
Meals: dinner
Day 12, Mo: Darvaza Gas Crater – Ashgabat (TUR)
 
After a camp-style early breakfast depart to Ashgabat (280 km, 3h 30 min). On the way stop at Erbent village to witness life of locals surrounded by desert. Arrive in Ashgabat. 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 Museum of History, 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 13, 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 at 06:55 drive to Merv (40 km, 30 min), an ancient city that was a major center of international trade and crafts on the Silk Road. Discover the historical park: 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 14, We: Bukhara (UZB)
 
After 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
Meals: dinner
Day 15, 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.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 2-3 hours
Day 16, Fr: Samarkand (UZB)
 
Meet your guide and driver at the hotel lobby to start city tour. Visit spectacular Registan Square, remains of Bibi Khanum Mosque, Siab Bazaar, Ulugbek Observatory, Shakhi-Zinda Necropolis and Gur Emir Mausoleum – the mausoleum of Amir Timur. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 6-7 hours
Day 17, Sa: Samarkand – Penjikent – Seven Lakes (UZB/ TAJ)
 
Early morning transfer to the 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 Penjikent via the settlement of Sarazm, included in the UNESCO World Heritage List (20 km).
Start sightseeing tour in Penjikent: Rudaki Museum – Penjikent is a birthplace of Abu Abdallah Rudaki, considered by many to be the father of Persian Poetry. Visit ancient Penjikent - ruins of old Sogdian town, founded in the 5th century and abandoned in the 8th century by Arabs. Foundations of houses, a citadel with a couple of Zoroastrian fire temples and city bazaar are visible in the excavated ruins. Continue to Seven Lakes (80 km). Visit Haf Kul - seven lakes of different colors in mountains of Tajikistan: 1. Mijgon, 2. Soya, 3. Hushyor, 4. Nophin lakes (2139m a.s.l.). Overnight at the guest house.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 3-4 hours
Meals: lunch, dinner
Day 18, Su: Seven Lakes – Iskanderkul (TAJ)
 
After breakfast continue drive to the lakes 5.Khurdak, 6.Marguzor, 7.Hazorchashma lakes (2400m a.s.l.). Picnic at the lake. Drive to Iskanderkul Lake known as a lake of Alexander the Great. (270 km, 4-5 h.). The mountain road goes via picturesque Anzob pass (3300 m above sea level). Accommodation at the guest house.
Meals: lunch, dinner
Day 19, Mo: Iskandarkul – Dushanbe (TAJ)
 
After breakfast explore the surroundings of the lake. The area of the lake is 340 ha. According to the legend, the Iskanderkul Lake was named after Alexander the Great, known as Iskander in the East. People say that Alexander the Great’s path to Central Asia from India laid through this lake. Visit to Zmeinoe lake (Snake lake), walking to 38m high waterfall which is called “Fan Niagara“. After lunch continue drive to (130 km, 2-3 h.). Arrive in Dushanbe, check in to your hotel. Overnight at the hotel.
Meals: lunch
Day 20, Tu: Dushanbe (TAJ)
 
Breakfast. Meet your guide and driver at the hotel lobby to start city tour. Visit Hissar Fortress where you can see Madrasah Kuhna, Mosque of Hoji Yakub, National Museum of Antiquities of Tajikistan, Gurminj Musical Instruments Museum, Ismail Somoni Monument, and Rudaki Park. Free time. Farewell dinner. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 4-5 hours
Meals: dinner
Day 21, We: Dushanbe – departure (TAJ)
 
Check-out from the hotel at noon. Free time until transfer to Dushanbe International Airport. Departure. End of the tour.

Accommodation:

City
Hotels
Nights
Astana
2
Almaty
1
Karakol
Green Yard, Karagat***
1
Kochkor
Home stay (B&B), family run accommodation
1
Son-Kul
Yurts (4-5 people in 1 yurt)
1
Bishkek
Plaza, Park**** or similar
1
Tashkent
2
Khiva
1
Darvaza
Camping
1
Ashgabat
1
Bukhara
As-Salom, Fatima*** or similar
2
Samarkand
Sultan, City*** or similar
2
Seven Lakes
Guest house
1
Iskanderkul Lake
Guest house
1
Dushanbe
2

 

  • 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 in each country with local English-speaking guides;
  • Entrance tickets to sights as per itinerary;
  • Economy class tickets for flights: Astana-Almaty, Bishkek-Tashkent, Tashkent-Urgench, Ashgabat-Mary;
  • Economy-class tickets for train: Bukhara-Samarkand;
  • Visa support for Uzbekistan triple entry visa;
  • Visa support for Turkmenistan tourist visa;
  • E-visas to Tajikistan;
  • Meals as per the program
  • Full board (lunches and dinners);
  • Hotel charges for additional services;
  • Personal travel insurance;
  • A tax of 2 US$ per night in Turkmenistan, paid to the hotel upon check out;
  • Consular fees for tourist visas and Turkmenistan migration tax (12 US$);
  • Visa support for Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan tourist visas;
  • Outbound and inbound flight tickets.

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