Enjoy a unique exploration of Central Asia, across the vast nations of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan
Beginning in the futuristic cityscapes of Nur-Sultan (until recently, Astana), join us on this exploration from mighty Kazakhstan to mountainous Kyrgyzstan and history packed Uzbekistan. From the space port of Baikonur to the ancient city of Turkistan, the Silk Road ruins of Sayram and Otrar, and the majestic, surreal landscapes of Altyn-Emel National Park and Charyon Canyon, the sights along the way are unlike anywhere else on earth. Take in the tranquil landscape of Son-Kol Lake, see Solomon's Throne in historic Osh, and get your fill of mosques and museums in Samarkand and Bukhara. Abounding with ancient culture, divine natural beauty and intriguing relics this is a journey that will leave you eager to discover more of Central Asia.
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Central Asia is a fascinating and unique mix of ancient Silk Road culture, Soviet influence and striving to redefine nations post independence. Geographically and for a time historically, it is the real centre of Asia
The much-photographed Registan in Samarkand is one of the true pinnacles of Islamic architecture. You'll be wowed by the scale, grandeur and beauty of the monuments to iconic figures such as Tamerlane and the Persian influenced madressas, mosques and mausoleums.
Kyrgyzstan's mountains are its monuments and its majesty. The landscapes here will stay with you long after the journey is over.
Unveil the mysteries of space explorations in Baikonur, where the Russian Cosmodrome is located and launches to the International Space Station take off.
Surround yourself with the surreal landscapes of the Altyn-Emel National Park, including the mysterious singing sand dunes, then visit Grand Canyon's "little brother", Charyn Canyon.
Marvel at the beautiful Song Kol Lake, where in mid-summer you may see flocks of sheep, goats and herds of horses watched over by nomadic herdsmen and their families. Stay overnight in a yurt lakeside and live like the locals have for centuries in these portable, felt lined traditional tents.
Experience for yourself the legend that is Central Asian hospitality – there's really nothing like being welcomed into a local home or yurt for a meal, chatting with stall holders at bazaars or simply marvelling at the sights alongside locals
This trip takes you way off the tourist trail to explore just some of the vastness that is Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. If you want to be far, far away from everywhere – and from anything you've experienced before – this trip is for you.
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! In other words, while you’ll be comfortable, don’t expect luxury.
In true adventure style, the trip involves some long travel days by private vehicle and trains. While tiring, this is a great opportunity to sit back, unwind and let the sweeping views roll by.
We’ll experience varying temperatures in the desert and out on the steppe. The days can be very hot, while at night, the mercury plummets. Make sure you bring warm, comfortable layers, drink plenty of water and take care to protect yourself from the sun. For women, we recommend bringing a scarf to cover your head and shoulders while on visits to mosques and mausoleums.
Accommodation may on occassion be more basic than what you are used to in homestays, guesthouses and yurt stay. Shower and toilet facilities will be limited in some places and non existant in others. While the comfort level won't always be high, the rewards of living in true local style in this far-out part of the world are immeasurable.
This is an overland journey, so there will be some very long days of travelling and driving, often over rough terrain. This can be tiring at times and will require a great deal of patience at others, especially at border crossings. The vehicle size can be rather compact when the group is almost full. This is to enable us to travel to small villages where the general road condition doesn't allow big buses. We find this is a great way for the group to bond and share an amazing journey together and there will be stops along the way to take photos and stretch your legs too.
What Kyrgyzstan lacks in "sights" compared to the Silk Road monuments and old towns of Uzbekistan, it makes up for in alpine landscapes, opportunities for interaction with local families and plenty of time spent on the road or outdoors exploring natural surroundings.
1. A Single Supplement to have your own room is available, excluding nights in homestays, guesthouses, the overnight train and yurt.
2. This trip visits three Central Asian countries - Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. Please read the visa section in the Essential Trip Information to make sure you have the correct visa information for all countries.
3. Please note that you'll need to send us a scanned, color copy of your passport info page and the application form for us to purchase the permits for Baikonur, no later than 60 days before departure. This permit is date specific and non-refundable. Please request the application form with your agent.
4. As the schedule is subject to frequent changes and cancellations, this trip is not scheduled to coincide with any space launches from Baikonur.
5. Your leader may change at the KAZ/KGZ and KGZ/UZB borders.
6. As Central Asian immigration and customs officials are notoriously strict, please make sure you keep all forms for when you exit the country. A lost customs or immigration form could result in a fine or being detained at the border. You must also declare ALL currency when entering and exiting the country; keep all currency exchange slips or ATM receipts.
7. As this is a combination of 2 popular Central Asian trips, the composition of your group may change in Bishkek.
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