Explore The Five Stans on an incredible Central Asian adventure of history, nature and culture
Start in the grand Ashgabat of Turkmenistan, explore Samarkand in Uzbekistan, head to Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan – yep, that’s a total of five Stans! See the best of the Silk Road and deep dive into the fascinating history, captivating landscapes and beautiful culture that is intertwined throughout this region. You'll stay in traditional yurts on the bank of Lake Issykul, explore Registan square in Samarkand and discover Darvaza Crater, a 70-metre wide hole in the Karakum Desert that is permanently aflame (yes, you read that right). And that’s just a few of the highlights of this trip! There’s so much to see, do and learn in this region, you’ll constantly find yourself surprised and delighted on this 24-day adventure through Central Asia.
Important Notice: Turkmenistan is not open now due to Covid-19. We will review the status of trip operation in Turkmenistan about 3 months before departure and inform our customers accordingly.
This trip explores the essential highlights of Central Asia and uncovers culture, nature and history while meeting some of the most hospitable people in the world
With breathtaking scenery at every turn, you’ll discover the incredible Darvaza Crater, Altyn-emel National park, Kolsai Lakes and Issykul Lake
Take a step back in time as you explore the Silk Road history and visit Khiva ancient town, Registan in Samarkand, Bukhrara, and Khujand
Get to know the locals as you visit a carpet-making workshop, meet a local eagle trainer (or Berkutchi), rub shoulders with the locals in the bustling bazaars and test your taste buds in a dinner of home-cooked plov (Uzbekistan's national dish)
Enjoy authentic experiences like sleeping in traditional yurts on the banks of Lake Issykul, staying in local villages and making yourself at home in a boutique hotel that used to be an old Jewish house in Bukhara
This trip explores the best of Central Asia in a short time, covering a lot of ground. If you want to be far, far away from everywhere and experience the key highlights of Central Asia – this trip is for you.
In true adventure style, the trip involves some long travel days by private vehicle. The road may be bumpy and dusty, but the experience and the journey will be rewarding. This is a great opportunity to sit back, unwind and let the sweeping views roll by. Drives range from 3 to 10 hours in duration. Though the longer travel days and single night overnight stays can be tiring, you'll be in a private vehicle, and much of the scenery in this part of the world is simply stunning.
You’ll experience varying temperatures in the desert and out on the steppe or in the mountains from below zero to over 40 ºC, so check the weather forecast online before you visit and pack accordingly.
Tourism is strictly controlled in Turkmenistan, with Letters of Invitation needed in advance in order to apply for your visa (which you can then get on arrival) and guides tending to be protective of what tourists see and fiercely proud of their nation and its leaders. Those used to more freedom of exploration and tour guides with a more global perspective may find their experience here different from in other destinations. Please see the ‘Passport and visas’ section of the Essential Trip Information for more details.
Be prepared to experience the full legacy of the Soviet era – not just in the sights and history, but also in the standards of accommodation and service! A range of different accommodations are used on this trip, including yurt camp, home stay, guesthouse, hotels and camping. The conditions at the camping, yurt stay and the home stays are basic with shared facilities. This means the group being split between different houses, multi-share rooms and the bathroom facilities are separated from your sleeping quarters. For the camping at the Darvaza Crater, sleeping bags, mattresses and tents are all provided, but there are no bathing or permanent toilet facilities at the campsite. You won't be able to take a shower every day on this trip.
Trip departures are unavailable.
There are currently no scheduled departures on our Central Asia: Five Stans Express trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.
1. A single supplement is bookable if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement excludes Days 2 (camping), Day 12 (home stay), Day 17 (guest house), Day 18&19 (home stay), and Day 21&22 (yurt camp), where you will be in shared accommodation. Single supplement is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
2. Please provide your full name exactly as per passport at the time of booking (including any middle names listed on your passport) for flight ticket booking no later than 45 days prior to departure. Fees may apply for amendments or failure to provide the required details within 45 days of departure.
3. This is a multi-country trip. Please read the visa section of the Essential Trip Information carefully for the visa requirement. Visa for Turkmenistan requires a Letter of Invitation in advance which needs to be organized by our local operator. Essential documents for the letter of invitation should be submitted no later than 60 days before the trip.
4. Independent travel is not allowed in Turkmenistan. If you have pre trip accommodation booked with us, you won't be allowed to leave your hotel without a guide in Ashgabat. Please consult with your booking agent if you need to book pre-trip accommodation in Ashgabat.
Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.View Essential Trip Information