Central Asia: Five Stans Adventure

07/11/2020 through 09/19/2021
07/11/2020 through 09/22/2021
Intrepid Travel

Central Asia: Five Stans Adventure

Beginning in the futuristic cityscapes of Nur-Sultan (until recently, Astana), join your small group on an epic exploration from Kazakhstan, through mountainous Kyrgyzstan, the remote lands of Tajikistan, Islam-influenced Uzbekistan, all the way to grand Ashgabat in Turkmenistan. For those counting, that’s five Stans. These vast lands are still oft bypassed, despite offering outstanding beauty and fascinating sights. The allure lies in the heritage of the Silk Road, where ideas, culture and people flowed from East to West, and in the soaring mountain landscapes that still play host to a traditional nomadic lifestyle. Journey through cities featuring reminders of Soviet occupation and out into the stunning wilderness, where ancient history and welcoming hospitality will illuminate a region often left out of the tourist light. Central Asia doesn’t get much more comprehensive than this.

Activities

  • Nur-Sultan – City tour
  • Baikonur – Yuri Gagarin Museum & House
  • Baikonur – Cosmodrome
  • Baikonur – Space Museum
  • Otrar – Ancient settlement
  • Turkistan – Yasui Mausoleum
  • Almaty – Central State Museum
  • Almaty – Museum of Kazakh Musical Instruments
  • Almaty – Kok Tobe Hill
  • Almaty – Panfilov Park
  • Almaty – Medeu
  • Almaty – Zenkov Cathedral
  • Charyn Canyon – National Park
  • Karakol – Dungan Mosque
  • Karakol – Holy Trinity Orthodox Cathedral
  • Karakol – Przhevalskiy Museum
  • Karakol – Jeti Orghuz Canyon Hike
  • Cholpan Ata – Petroglyphs
  • Bishkek – City Tour
  • Osh – Suleiman’s Mountain
  • Osh – Bazaar
  • Tajikistan – Karakul Lake
  • Langar – Petroglyphs
  • Vrang – Buddist Stupa
  • Ptup – Yamchun Fort
  • Khorog – Regional Museum
  • Khorog – Pamir Botanical Gardens
  • Khorog – Bazaar
  • Dushanbe – City Tour
  • Dushanbe – Hissor Fort
  • Dushanbe – National Museum of Antiquities of Tajikistan
  • Samarkand – Shakh-I-Zinda
  • Samarkand – Registan
  • Samarkand – Gur-e-Amir Mausoleum
  • Samarkand – Bibi-Khanym Mosque
  • Samarkand – Paper making workshop & home cooked lunch
  • Khiva – Pahlavon Mahmud Mausoleum
  • Khiva – Kuhna Ark
  • Khiva – Islom Hoja Minaret & Medressa
  • Khiva – Juma Mosque
  • Khiva – Tosh-Hovli Palace
  • Darvaza – “Door to Hell” Crater
  • Konye-Urgench – City tour
  • Yerbent – Village visit
  • Ashgabat – National Museum of Turkmenistan
  • Ashgabat – Nisa ruins
  • Ashgabat – Anau ruins
  • Ashgabat – Independence Monument
  • Ashgabat – Neutrality Arch
  • Ashgabat – Turkmenbashy Ruhi Mosque & Family Mausoleum of the First President of Turkmenistan
  • Ashgabat – Ertugrul Gazi Mosque
  • Merv – Big & Small Kizkala
  • Merv – Erk Kala & Gayur Kala
  • Merv – Sultan Sanjar Mausoleum

Highlights

  • 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, and visit the Grand Canyon’s ‘little brother’ – Charyn Canyon.
  • Skirting the border with Afghanistan, get glimpses of the other side, from the hair-raising Afghan-built footbridges (ovrings) to the exotic imports on display in Khorog’s local bazaar.
  • Steeped in Silk Road history and immortalised in many great tales, the UNESCO-protected town of Khiva is as photogenic as it is legendary.
  • Witness the eternal flames of the Darvaza Crater, or the ‘Door to Hell’, as you camp nearby – one of the strangest, most mesmerising geological oddities on earth.

Itinerary

Day 1 Nur-Sultan (Astana)
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Day 2 Nur-Sultan (Astana)
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Day 3 Baikonur
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Day 4 Baikonur
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Day 5 Turkistan
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Day 6 Turkistan – Shymkent/Overnight train
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Day 7 Altyn-Emel National Park
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Day 8 Altyn-Emel National Park – Almaty
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Day 9 Almaty
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Day 10 Almaty – KAZ/KGZ Border Crossing – Karakol
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Day 11 Karakol
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Day 12 Bishkek
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Day 13 Bishkek
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Day 14 Bishkek
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Day 15 Chychkan/Toktogul/Kok Bel
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Day 16 Osh
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Day 17 Sary Tash
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Day 18 Kyrgyzstan/Tajkistan Border Crossing – Murgab
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Day 19 Langar
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Day 20 Ptup
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Day 21 Khorog
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Day 22 Khorog
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Day 23 Kala-i Khum
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Day 24 Dushanbe
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Day 25 Dushanbe
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Day 26 Penjikent
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Day 27 Tajikistan/Uzbekistan Border Crossing – Samarkand
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Day 28 Samarkand
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Day 29 Tashkent
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Day 30 Tashkent
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Day 31 Khiva
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Day 32 Khiva
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Day 33 Konye-Urgench – Darvaza
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Day 34 Yerbent – Ashgabat
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Day 35 Ashgabat
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Day 36 Mary
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Day 37 Merv – Mary
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Day 38 Ashgabat
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Day 39 Ashgabat
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