Map of Central Asia: Five Stans Express including Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan

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.

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Ashgabat, Turkmenistan
Finish
Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
Destinations
Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan
Style
Original
Code
KFSS
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why you'll love this trip

  • 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

Is this trip right for you?

  • 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.

Itinerary

Welcome to Turkmenistan! Your adventure begins in the country’s capital of Ashgabat. This fascinating city is currently being transformed into a lavish, marble-lined oasis. You’ll find perfect parklands and manicured streets – a vast contrast to the rest of the ancient country we’re about to explore. We kick things off at 6 pm this evening with a welcome meeting where you’ll meet your fellow adventurers and group leader before going over a few details of your epic trip. Then, you’ll head out for dinner as a group, tucking into your first taste of Turkmenistan cuisine.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Special Information
It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place.

Plese note that tourism in Turkmenistan is controlled, so you can’t explore the city without a guide. Therefore, we don’t recommend spending extra time in Ashagabat.
Wake with excitement for your first day exploring this intriguing desert city. Your locally based leader will take you to the main sites to see. You’ll spend hours touring the city – and trust us, you’ll need every minute to soak up everything this place has to offer. You’ll marvel at the four-pointed minarets atop the Ertugrul Gazi Mosque and the extravagant Independence Monument. This sculpted park is filled with statues of Turkmen heroes (and controversial politicians) line the paths that lead to a golden dome and a (surprise!) massive minaret. From this lavish ode to Turkmen identity, continue to the Neutrality Arch, which despite its name has a provocative history. Then travel outside of the city to the Turkmenbashy Ruhi Mosque, the mausoleum of former Turkmen leader Saparmurat Niyazov, before heading further out of town to the ruins of Anau. The crumbling remains of the medieval mosque still attract the devout, who come to pray and make offerings. After an action-packed day full of sightseeing, the evening will be at leisure for you to explore (or simply relax) as you wish.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Ashgabat - Ertugrul Gazi Mosque
  • Ashgabat - Anau ruins
  • Ashgabat - Independence Monument
  • Ashgabat - Turkmenbashy Ruhi Mosque & Family Mausoleum of the First President of Turkmenistan
  • Ashgabat - Neutrality Arch
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Wake up without an alarm today – you've got a leisurely morning to explore Ashgabat at your will. In the afternoon, we’ll make tracks for Darvaza Gas Crater – an astounding 70 metre wide hole in the Karakum Desert that is permanently aflame (yes, you read that right). Soviet oil prospectors started drilling in this area in 1971, with the expectation of finding oil, when suddenly the ground collapsed to form the crater. Worried about the gas released into the air, they deliberately set the crater on fire to burn off the excess, expecting it to last a few weeks. As you’ll see today, they were wrong – the crater has been burning ever since. You’ll be treated to sunset over the crater, also known as the 'Door to Hell', from your nearby camp. Then, dig into a Turkmenistan-style barbecue dinner with your newfound travel companions before retiring to your tent for a night camping under the desert stars.
Accommodation
  • Camping (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Darvaza - "Door to Hell" Crater
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
Today’s travel time is approximately 4 - 5 hours.

Depending on the group size, the group may be split into more than one vehicle for our journey into the desert today.

Tents, sleeping bags, and mattresses are provided. Please note this is simple camping, with no bathroom or toilet facilities available.
After breakfast at your desert camp oasis, we’ll hit the road enroute to Khiva – with a few sightseeing stops along the way, of course. Our first stop will be in Kunya Urgench, once a main hub of the Islamic world, it suffered destruction at the hands of Genghis Khan and the Timurid dynasty and fell into decay until the 20th century. Sporting plenty of monuments and interesting sites from the 11th to 16th centuries, you’ll explore a mosque, mausoleum and 60 metre Gutlug Timur Minaret in this interesting city. After a little time to explore, we’ll continue to the Turkmen/Uzbek border of Khodjeyli (Xo’jayli) and on to Khiva. On arrival in Khiva, you’ll have free time to get acquainted with the city before exploring in depth with your leader tomorrow.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Konye-Urgench - City tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today’s travel time is approximately 5.5 hours. Please be aware, your tour leader may change today at the border.
Today is for sightseeing – and trust us, you’re going to see a lot. So, strap on your best pair of walking shoes, have the camera fully charged and hit the streets with your local leader to guide the way. You can expect to see the magical blue-tiled Kalta Minor Minaret and the Mohammed Amin Khan Madressa. Then, explore the Kuhna Ark, the 'citadel within a citadel' which once housed the Khan and his family in the 17th century. You’ll visit the Pahlavon Mahmud Mausoleum, a complex constructed in honour of the famous 13th-century poet, craftsman and fighter – the mint-coloured dome that tops the main mausoleum is stunning. You’ll marvel at the towering Islom Hoja Minaret, the tallest building in Khiva. Explore Juma Mosque and see how the roof is propped up by 212 wooden columns designed to let in sunlight. Next, take a peek at Uzbek luxury – explore Tosh-Hovli Palace, built in the first half of the 19th century. Wander through elaborately decorated courtyards connected by labyrinthian corridors. We told you there’s plenty to see here and this is a big morning of sightseeing, so the afternoon is at your leisure.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Khiva - Juma Mosque
  • Khiva - Islom Hoja Minaret & Medressa
  • Khiva - Tosh-Hovli Palace
  • Khiva - Kunya Ark
  • Khiva - Pahlavon Mahmud Mausoleum
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today’s requirements – a good book, fully charged phone or pair of trusty headphones, ideally all three! We have a big travel day ahead of us. You’ll arrive in Bukhara in Uzbekistan in the late afternoon, and the long drive will be forgotten as you’re swept up in the beautiful mosaics and incredible ancient monuments of this destination. Founded no later than the 1st century BC, across its many years, the city has been ruled by countless empires and dynasties which are reflected in the colourful culture here.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today’s driving time is approximately 10 hours.
It’s time to explore all that Bukhara has to offer. You’ve got a full day of sightseeing ahead of you. First up, visit the Sitorai Mohi Khosa – once the summer palace of the last Bukharan emirs. Designed by Russian architects, it has interiors decorated with traditional filigree plaster, mirrored surfaces and delicate floral wall paintings crafted by local artisans. After some time to explore the palace, you’ll continue to the little-known, 16th-century Chor-Bakr necropolis. This complex was built in 1563 by a Shaybanid Dynasty ruler to memorialise his family – with a number of their graves found here, it’s also known as the ‘city of the dead’. You’ll wander through the madrasa and mosque, learn of the history here and marvel at the beautiful architecture and mosaic touches. Then in the afternoon, visit the Ark Fortress and Kalon Mosque before continuing to one of Central Asia's oldest and most exquisite structures – the tenth-century Ismail Samani Mausoleum. The superb decorative brickwork here has survived 1000 years of rugged history and the geometric architecture is recognised the world over. This evening, maybe have dinner in the LyabiHaus area, a busy 17th-century plaza featuring beautiful trees that are hundreds of years old. Later, you may want to wander the small craft studios tucked into the nearby madrasas and trading domes.
Accommodation
  • Bukhara (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Bukhara - Ark Fortress
  • Bukhara - Chor Minor
  • Bukhara - Bolo Hauz Mosque
  • Bukhara - Kalon Minaret & Mosque
  • Bukhara - Taki Zargaron Trading Dome
  • Bukhara - Ulugbek Madrasa
  • Bukhara - Lyabi-Hauz Plaza
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning, you’ll jump aboard the high-speed train bound for Samarkand – located at the very centre of the ancient Silk Road. On arrival, you’ll have a little free time to get acquainted with the city and explore. You might like to check out the remains of the remarkable medieval observatory developed by Ulug Beg or perhaps visit the Afrosiab Museum of Samarkand, the main attraction of which is a tenth-century mural. After the day at your leisure, you’ll visit a local family to learn the secrets of plov cuisine during a cooking demonstration in the evening.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Samarkand - Plov cooking demonstration & family visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
Today’s total travel time is approximately 2 hours.
It’s time to explore Samarkand with your group leader. First up is the Gur-Amir mausoleum where the great Uzbek conqueror, Tamerlane, is buried. From here, continue to a central square called the Registan, which features three of the most famous madrassahs in Uzbekistan - standing as true pinnacles of Islamic architecture. Then, you’ll visit the enormous Bibi Khanum Mosque and explore the ancient bazaar right behind it and maybe sample Khalva (local sweets made of sunflower seeds or peanuts) and get a glass, or two, of squeezed pomegranate juice (depending on the season). From here, a short stroll will take you to Shak-i-Zinda, a necropolis that features a series of gleaming, blue-tiled mausoleums. This sacred site has monuments from the 14th-19th century, reflecting the development of the monumental art and architecture of the Timurid dynasty onwards. You’ll be drawn to capture photos at every turn, just remember to be respectful as pilgrims still visit this complex.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Samarkand - Shakh-I-Zinda
  • Samarkand - Gur-e-Amir Mausoleum
  • Samarkand - Bibi-Khanym Mosque
  • Samarkand - Registan
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today, you’ll jump back on the high-speed train and head straight to Tashkent. On arrival, we’ll explore the city on a leader-led walking tour. From the city center, you’ll discover Amir Timur square, Duke Romanoff house and visit the State History Museum, which shows exhibits and collections spanning the countries 5000-year history. After a quick stop for an optional lunch, lose yourself in the exciting Chorsu Bazaar, browsing traditional wooden cradles, handmade musical instruments, and the extensive vegetable and spice markets. With some free time in the afternoon, you might like to explore Abdul Khasim Medrassah, where craftspeople operate in many small ‘cells’, making jewellery and other things. Or head to the Khast Imom complex – a restored series of religious buildings including a mosque and a library containing an ancient Qur’an, parts of which have been dated to the 9th century.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Tashkent - Chorsu Bazaar
  • Tashkent - History Museum of the People of Uzbekistan
  • Tashkent - Metro tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today’s total travel time is approximately 2 hours.
After breakfast this morning, we’ll hit the road to the Oibek border to cross into Tajikistan before arriving in Khojand. This city is known as Alexandria Eskhata (Alexandria the furthest) and believed to have been founded by Alexander the Great in 6th century BC. You’ll get a chance to explore Khojand in the afternoon, with a visit to the fascinating history museum and an opportunity to wander around the bazaar and Jami Mosque. If you have any free time, you might like to visit Arbor palace – an example of soviet architecture of the 1950’s.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Khujand - History Museum
  • Khujand - Jami Mosque
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today’s total travel time is approximately 3 hours.

The Oibek border crossing entails some walking between check points, make sure you have comfortable shoes and reasonably sized bags today.
This morning, you’ll take the epic drive across Shahriston pass (with an elevation of 3378m) to Iskanderkul Lake. Strap in, this is sure to be an exciting ride but don’t worry, your experienced driver is a pro when it comes to the twists and turns of this high-altitude highway. You’ll be delighted to arrive at Iskanderkul Lake, named after Alexander the Great, this place is a weekend destination for many locals from Dushanbe. You’ll get a chance to marvel at the local “Niagara” and Zmeinnoe Lake before continuing to Sary Tag – a mountain village on the other end of the lake in the heart of Fann mountains. This evening, you’ll have a little time to explore the village and truly discover the local way of life.
Accommodation
  • Homestay (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Sary Tag - Iskanderkul Lake
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
Today’s total travel time is approximately 6 hours

Your accommodation tonight is a homestay in the village. The group may be split between different houses depending on the group composition. While the rooms are multi-share and the facilities will be basic, your host’s hospitality will certainly be unforgettable.
This morning, we’ll hit the exciting mountain roads once more and drive over the Anzob Pass (with an elevation of 3373m) to Dushanbe – the capital of Tajikistan. After lunch, we’ll pay a visit to Hissor Fort, the former capital of Eastern Bukhara province. Explore this ancient fortress, located atop a hill overlooking the town of Hisor, and check out its impressive stone walls, commanding gateway and perfectly manicured gardens. Then, the afternoon is free for you to explore Dushanbe however you please, you might choose to explore one of the many parks or museums in the city.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Dushanbe – Hissor Fort
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today’s total travel time is approximately 3 hours.
Today is made for a full day of sightseeing in Dushanbe with your locally based guide by your side. You’ll see Rudaki square, Ismail Somoni monument overlooking city hall and friendship palace. And, anyone with a soft spot for archaeology will enjoy the Museum of National Antiquities, which opened in 2001. You can check out exhibits here from Tajikistan’s pre-Islamic civilizations (Greek/ Bactrian, Buddhist, Hindu and Zoroastrian). The centerpiece is the 14m reclining Buddha in Nirvana – since the tragic destruction of the Bamiyan statues in Afghanistan, this is the largest surviving Buddha statue in Central Asia.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Dushanbe – National Museum of Antiquities of Tajikistan
  • Dushanbe - Rudaki Square and Somoni Museum
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
After breakfast today, we’ll catch a flight to Almaty – the largest city in Kazakhstan. It’s known as a skier's paradise, with snow-capped mountains framing the entire city. With beautiful parks, ritzy restaurants, excellent museums and plenty of shops and markets to choose from, this city stands in stark contrast to the countryside surrounding it, where locals live much more simply. Depending on the time of your flight today, you may have an opportunity to explore the city at your will this afternoon, otherwise grab an early night and get prepared for a jam-packed day of sightseeing tomorrow.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today’s total travel time is approximately 4 hours including your flight (approximately 2 hours).
Strap on your walking shoes – we have a full day of sightseeing in Almaty ahead of us today. Kazakhstan is one of the world's top five oil-producing nations and you’ll sure notice the development and wealth that comes from it as you wander the glittering streets today. You’ll visit Central Square and the colourful Zenkoff Cathedral in historic Panfilov Park, dedicated to the 28 guardsmen who died defending Moscow against Nazi tanks in WWII. Then, check out the fascinating Museum of Kazakh Musical Instruments and the State Historical Museum, which features a great collection of ancient relics. And finally, summit Kok Tobe Hill to take in the breathtaking views over the city before returning to the hotel to relax after an action-packed day.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Almaty - Kok Tobe Hill
  • Almaty - Central State Museum
  • Almaty - Zenkov Cathedral
  • Almaty - Museum of Kazakh Musical Instruments
  • Almaty - Panfilov Park
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today, kiss the city goodbye as we set our sights on something with a little more wide open space, the spectacular Altyn-Emel National Park. Plus, enjoy a stop along the way at Ili River to see the 18th century Buddha. Altyn-Emel National Park is the largest national reserve in the country and many rare plants and animals can be found here, including zheyran (goitred gazelles), argali sheep and kulan (wild donkeys), which you may be lucky enough to spot during your time here. You’ll marvel at the Singing Barkhan, an epic sand dune running 3km wide and up to 120m high. Its name comes from the way the fine sand hums in windy weather and if conditions are right, they say the sand dunes song can be heard kilometres into the distance. The view from the top of these dunes gives a panorama of the surrounding Djungarian Alatau, Sogety, Boguty and other mountains.
Accommodation
  • Guest house (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Altyn-Emel National Park - Singing Sand Dune
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Today’s travel time is approximately 3.5 hours.

Today’s inclusions may vary depending on the weather and season.
This morning, we’ll drive to Saty Village with a stop along the way at the spectacular Charyn Canyon. The richly coloured orange canyon etched into the surrounding landscape is no less impressive than the Grand Canyon in the US (though much smaller). Enjoy some time here to marvel at this natural wonder and grab some photos before we continue to Saty Village.
Accommodation
  • Homestay (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Charyn Canyon - National Park
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Today’s total travel time is approximately 5-6 hours.

Your accommodation tonight is a homestay in the village. The group may be split between different houses depending on the group composition. While the rooms are multi-share and the facilities will be basic but your host’s hospitality will certainly be unforgettable.
We’ll explore the surrounding area of Saty Village today with a hike to Kolsai Lakes – also known as ‘the blue necklace’ for their azure water framed by lush, green mountains. Trust us, the hike through the forest will be well and truly worth it once you arrive at these lakes. You may also get a chance to visit the lesser-known Kaindy Lake, a stunning turquoise lake with a striking ‘submerged forest’ protruding from the water. Amazingly, the lake was created by an earthquake in 1911 which caused a limestone landslide causing a dam in the forest. As time went on, the dam filled with water and the trees were covered, leaving just their trunks standing dramatically in the centre. Enjoy a picnic lunch during your hike and then return to a hearty meal after a big day on your feet. After dinner, the evening is all yours to rest, relax or explore as you wish.
Accommodation
  • Homestay (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kolsay Lakes National Park - Hiking
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
After breakfast this morning, we’ll cross the border into Kyrgyzstan. In the afternoon, you’ll enjoy a little sightseeing in Karakol, once a small Russian military post, then a bustling soviet state, this town is bursting with history just waiting to be explored. You’ll visit the Dungan Mosque, built in 1910 this colourful mosque was created without the use of a single nail – instead, the structure was built using special cutting and groove techniques. You’ll also get a chance to explore the Holy Trinity Orthodox Cathedral and a local market and then take a short hike along the panoramic Jeti Orghuz Canyon Track. After lunch, stroll along Karakol’s streets and lanes, spotting Russian-style ‘gingerbread’ houses as you go.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Karakol - Holy Trinity Orthodox Cathedral
  • Karakol - Dungan Mosque
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today’s total travel time is approximately 5 hours.
Today is for scenic hikes, waterfalls and panoramic views! After breakfast, we’ll drive along the south shore of Lake Issykul. As one of the largest lakes in the world, the lake is 178km long and 60km wide – it's a fantastic sight to see! On route, we’ll stop to see the picturesque Jety Oguz, also known as Seven Bull Valley, where your leader will take you on a forest hike to a waterfall with panoramic views. From here, you’ll continue to Skazka (Fairy Tale) canyon where you’ll marvel at the rich orange landscapes that blanket the area – it's dry and arid but there’s something incredibly beautiful about this place. This evening, you’re in for a real treat – you'll get the chance to stay in traditional yurts on the shore of Lake Issykul. A truly authentic experience, yurts have a long history in this area – used for generations by nomadic tribes as the structures are easy to transport and assemble. Enjoy your night by the lake, under the stars!
Accommodation
  • Tourist yurt camp (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Karakol - Jeti Orghuz Canyon Hike
  • Issyk-Kul Lake - Fairy Tale Canyon picnic lunch
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Today’s total travel time is approximately 4 hours.
Sleeping arrangements tonight are on a multi-share basis with mattresses on the floor, potentially mixed gender sharing depending on the group composition. There will be up to 4 people sharing one yurt. It can get very chilly in the evenings, so there's a stove for heating and plenty of blankets. Toilet and shower facilities are located separately from the yurts and are shared on the camp. The conditions here are basic but the stunning view and the unique experience of staying in a yurt is certainly rewarding.
With relaxed plans for today, we’ll wander the beautiful alpine area and visit a few local families who’ll teach you more about their traditional yurts. With a special workshop, you’ll learn the basics of how these nomadic dwellings have been manufactured and how they play an important role in the community here. Afterwards, meet a local eagle trainer (or Berkutchi) and discover the ancient principles of training these beautiful creatures to follow commands, catch prey and return back to their masters. From here, you’ll visit a local family and learn how they make felt. Then, tonight, relax in your authentic yurt camp and sit back with a cold homemade vodka – created by your yurt camp owners, just for you.
Accommodation
  • Tourist yurt camp (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Issyk-Kul Lake - Home-cooked dinner
  • Issyk-Kul Lake - Carpet workshop
  • Issyk-Kul Lake - Yurt workshop
  • Issyk-Kul Lake - Eagle Hunter Visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
This morning, you’ll kiss your alpine camp goodbye and hit the road for Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan. After lunch, you’ll step back in time with a city tour showcasing the country's fascinating history. You’ll visit the centre of the city – Ala-too Square, which was known as Lenin Square in Soviet times. Lenin used to stand in his concrete overcoat in the middle of this square, proudly gesturing towards the mountains. Then, we’ll explore Dubovy (Oak) Park, where you'll find a few open-air cafes and lush, century-old oaks. Later in the afternoon, you'll have some free time to further explore Bishkek at your leisure. You might like to visit Osh Market – it might be a little noisy and crowded but it provides the perfect peek into local life. You'll find all kinds of things on sale here from spices and fruits to clothes and carpets. In the evening, perhaps get together with your travel mates and enjoy an optional final dinner together to celebrate a great journey through The Five Stans.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Bishkek - City Tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today’s total travel time is approximately 5 hours.
With no further activities planned, your Five Stans adventure comes to an end after breakfast today. You can check out of your hotel any time before noon.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

23 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 9 dinners

Transport

Private vehicle, Flight, Metro

Accommodation

Hotel (15 nights), Guest House (2 nights), Tourist Yurt Camp (2 nights), Home Stay (3 nights), Camping (1 night)

Included activities

  • Ashgabat - Ertugrul Gazi Mosque
  • Ashgabat - Anau ruins
  • Ashgabat - Independence Monument
  • Ashgabat - Turkmenbashy Ruhi Mosque & Family Mausoleum of the First President of Turkmenistan
  • Ashgabat - Neutrality Arch
  • Darvaza - "Door to Hell" Crater
  • Konye-Urgench - City tour
  • Khiva - Juma Mosque
  • Khiva - Islom Hoja Minaret & Medressa
  • Khiva - Tosh-Hovli Palace
  • Khiva - Kunya Ark
  • Khiva - Pahlavon Mahmud Mausoleum
  • Bukhara - Ark Fortress
  • Bukhara - Chor Minor
  • Bukhara - Bolo Hauz Mosque
  • Bukhara - Kalon Minaret & Mosque
  • Bukhara - Taki Zargaron Trading Dome
  • Bukhara - Ulugbek Madrasa
  • Bukhara - Lyabi-Hauz Plaza
  • Samarkand - Plov cooking demonstration & family visit
  • Samarkand - Shakh-I-Zinda
  • Samarkand - Gur-e-Amir Mausoleum
  • Samarkand - Bibi-Khanym Mosque
  • Samarkand - Registan
  • Tashkent - Chorsu Bazaar
  • Tashkent - History Museum of the People of Uzbekistan
  • Tashkent - Metro tour
  • Khujand - History Museum
  • Khujand - Jami Mosque
  • Sary Tag - Iskanderkul Lake
  • Dushanbe – Hissor Fort
  • Dushanbe – National Museum of Antiquities of Tajikistan
  • Dushanbe - Rudaki Square and Somoni Museum
  • Almaty - Kok Tobe Hill
  • Almaty - Central State Museum
  • Almaty - Zenkov Cathedral
  • Almaty - Museum of Kazakh Musical Instruments
  • Almaty - Panfilov Park
  • Altyn-Emel National Park - Singing Sand Dune
  • Charyn Canyon - National Park
  • Kolsay Lakes National Park - Hiking
  • Karakol - Holy Trinity Orthodox Cathedral
  • Karakol - Dungan Mosque
  • Karakol - Jeti Orghuz Canyon Hike
  • Issyk-Kul Lake - Fairy Tale Canyon picnic lunch
  • Issyk-Kul Lake - Home-cooked dinner
  • Issyk-Kul Lake - Carpet workshop
  • Issyk-Kul Lake - Yurt workshop
  • Issyk-Kul Lake - Eagle Hunter Visit
  • Bishkek - City Tour

Dates & availability

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.

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Important notes

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.

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.
4. 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 requested with your booking agent no later than 60 days before the trip.
5. 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.

Essential trip information

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

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