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Best of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan Adventure Tour

Asia

  • Kazakhstan
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Tajikistan
  • Uzbekistan

Spend two weeks discovering a part of the world well off the typical tourist track. Few Central Asia tours offer the cultural flavour this journey through Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and Tajikistan does. Trek through the gorgeous landscapes of Jeti-Oguz, go horseback riding through the breathtaking valley at Chong-Kemin, stay a night in a traditional yurt, and discover the unforgettable warmth of the people in these regions. Visit Central Asia and you'll wonder why you didn't get here sooner.


Transport  

Private vehicle, plane, walking.


Tipping  

In Central Asia It is not customary to tip service providers such as waiters, but it is very appreciated, depending on the service we recommend 3-5%. Tipping shows an expression of satisfaction with the people who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides or drivers we use. You may do this individually, or your CEO will offer to collect the money and tip as a group. Recommendations for tipping drivers and local guides would range from $2-$3 USD per person per day depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture. Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures CEO did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline $20-25 USD per person, per week can be used.


Alert Message  

For the foreseeable future, the Uzbekistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Uzbekistan online E-Visa website is not accepting any applications for travellers from a number of countries worldwide. Please ensure you check visa information specific to your destination and nationality found in our Important Pre-Departure Information page using the link below.

https://www.gadventures.com/travel-resources/prepare-for-your-tour/?ref=footer


Solo Travellers  

We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.


Emergency Fund  

Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an 'emergency' fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!


Trip Specific Safety  

We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.


Planeterra Foundation - the non-profit partner of G Adventures  

Planeterra International Foundation is a non-profit organization committed to turning travel into impact by helping local communities earn an income from tourism. Planeterra connects underserved local communities to the benefits of tourism by developing and supporting small community-owned businesses. These businesses support Indigenous people, empower women, grant youth access to employment opportunities, and protect the environment. Planeterra also works to ensure these businesses have a thriving customer base by integrating their projects into G Adventures' itineraries globally.
G Adventures is Planeterra's largest corporate donor, covering all operating costs, so 100% of your donation will bring opportunity to people in need.

G Adventures Dollar-a-day Program - Make Every Day Count - Turn your travel into impact with Planeterra Foundation.

Did you know? Most communities around the world do not benefit from tourism. Give back to the places you visit on your travels by creating opportunities for local people to earn an income, and protect the environment.

Make every day count by donating $1/day for the length of your trip, and join us in empowering the communities you will visit when you travel. 100% of your donation goes directly to Planeterra projects.


Newsletter  

Our adventure travel e-newsletter is full of travel news, trip information, interesting stories and contests. To avoid missing out on special offers and updates from G Adventures, subscribe at www.gadventures.com/newsletters/

Stay current on how our company invests in our global community through our foundation - Planeterra. Sign up for Planeterra's monthly news to learn more about how to give back and support the people and places we love to visit.


Feedback  

After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we'll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at [email protected] and we will send it on to you.


Travel Insurance  

Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.


Optional Activities  

Song-Köl
- Hiking in Song Kül (Free)

Kolsay Lakes National Park
- Hiking in Kolsay Lakes National Park (Free)

Almaty
- Zelyony Bazaar (Free)


International Flights  

Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.


Group Leader  

CEO (Chief Experience Officer) throughout.


Local Dress  

Central Asian dress is quite conservative. Plan to pack loose-fitting light clothing appropriate for hot weather and plan to cover knees, shoulders and chest. For women, a hair scarf is recommended, though they are easy to buy in country.


Rooming and "My Own Room" Exceptions  

Nights 3 & 5 (Yurt camp); Nights 10-11 (Lake homestay).


Packing List  

Cold Weather:
• Long-sleeved shirts or sweater
• Scarf
• Snow Boots
• Warm gloves
• Warm hat
• Warm layers
• Warm waterproof jacket

Conservative Dress:
• Modest clothing that covers knees and shoulders (Long pants, long skirts, shirts that cover shoulders)
• Shawl or scarf (for temple visits)

Documents:
• Flight info (required) (Printouts of e-tickets may be required at the border)
• Insurance info (required) (With photocopies)
• Passport (required) (With photocopies)
• Vouchers and pre-departure information (required)
• Visas or vaccination certificates (With photocopies)

Essentials:
• Toiletries (required) (Shampoo, bodywash, soap, etc.)
• Binoculars (optional)
• Camera (With extra memory cards and batteries)
• Cash, credit and debit cards
• Day pack (Used for daily excursions or short overnights)
• Ear plugs
• First-aid kit (should contain lip balm with sunscreen, sunscreen, whistle, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, bandaids/plasters, tape, anti-histamines, antibacterial gel/wipes, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, water purification tablets or drops, insect repellent, sewing kit, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
• Flashlight/torch (Headlamps are ideal)
• Fleece top/sweater
• Footwear
• Hat
• Locks for bags
• Long pants/jeans
• Moneybelt
• Outlet adapter
• Personal entertainment (Reading and writing materials, cards, music player, etc.)
• Reusable water bottle
• Shirts/t-shirts
• Sleepwear
• Small travel towel
• Sunglasses
• Swimwear
• Watch and alarm clock
• Waterproof backpack cover
• Windproof rain jacket

Health & Safety:
• Hand sanitizer (required)
• Face masks (Clients will be only be required to wear a face mask where it is mandated by local regulations.)
• Pen (Please bring your own pen for filling out documents.)
• Quick Covid Test/Antigen Test (optional)

Light Hiking:
• Hiking boots/sturdy walking shoes
• Hiking pants (Convertible/Zip-off and quick dry recommended)
• Sleeping bag liner/sleep sheet

Warm Weather:
• Sandals/flip-flops
• Shorts/skirts (Longer shorts/skirts are recommended)
• Sturdy water shoes/sandals
• Sun hat/bandana
• Swimwear


Laundry  

Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.


Health  

Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.

You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that sometimes we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. In Asia pharmacies tend to stock the same western drugs as you get at home but they are usually produced locally so please bring the full drug name with you when trying to purchase a prescription drug. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical and Culture Shock ratings for trip specific information. G Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of our CEO they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.


A Couple of Rules  

llegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.


Important Notes  

ACCOMMODATION NOTE:
Please be aware that properties we stay in with only two stories may not have elevators installed and climbing the stairs with your luggage will be necessary.

CULTURE
Central Asia is a region which may be very different to anything you have experienced before. Mixture of Soviet heritage and Islam, summer heat and winter cold, religious conservatism, traffic and crowds can result in initial culture shock but should be seen as an exciting new challenge.

DRESS CODE
Though you can see lots of people in traditional clothes, Central Asia has adopted western style clothing as well. Don't hesitate to pack your usual travel clothes: in summer it can be shorts and t-shirts, sandals etc. We recommend not to bring tank tops/singlets and any types of clothes with bare shoulders and backs - it is unacceptable in most areas, even in bigger cities. Our tour takes us to many religious sights, where dress code is very strict. We recommend women to have a headscarf in their day bags to cover up when going inside mosques (it's also a great help in the heat in summer). Best things to pack for the hot Central Asian climate is loose, long clothing - long trousers and sarongs or long skirts for women. In colder months (from the end of October through the end of April) it can rain and snow - bring warm clothes, jackets and comfortable warm shoes for walking.

ALTITUDE CONSIDERATIONS
This trip operates at altitudes over 800m (max altitude 3016m at Song Kul ). Whilst we travel slowly allowing plenty of time to acclimatize you may experience headaches, nausea, lethargy, especially when visiting Song Kul & Iskanderkul. It is important to be aware of the affects of altitude on one's tolerance especially on long driving days.

MONEY
Due to the restrictions on changing money in Central Asia region, only notes/bills printed after 1996 and in good condition will be accepted for exchange. Usually 50 and 100 USD/EUR notes get better exchange rate. We recommend to bring smaller denominations as well - many vendors accept them if you don't have local currency.

RAMADAN
According to the lunar cycle, Ramadan will fall between Mar 11th - Apr 8th 2024, and Mar 1st - Mar 29th 2025. Please note that Ramadan is a month of fasting observed by Muslims throughout the world, during which time the followers of Islam should not eat or drink between sunrise and sunset. There may be some limitations to services and disruptions to schedules during Ramadan, but generally our tours still operate effectively during this period and food is available to non-Muslims throughout the day. It is very important to display increased cultural sensitivity during Ramadan. Please wear loose fitting clothes, that cover knees and shoulders, and try to avoid eating, drinking or smoking in public out of respect for those who can't at that time.

COMBO TRIP
Please note that this tour combines with other G Adventures tours. As such, the staff and some travel companions on your tour may have previously been traveling together with G Adventures, prior to Day 1 of your tour. Likewise, some staff and travel companions may be continuing together on another G Adventures tour, after your trip concludes.

INTERNAL FLIGHT TIMES
Please be aware that flight delays between Bishkek and Dushanbe can occur. Your CEO may need to make adjustments to your itinerary in case of flight schedule changes.


Detailed Trip Notes  

Border Crossings for AYBT:
Kazakhstan/Kyrgyzstan border - Kegen - Tup/Kensu border
Tajikistan/Uzbekistan border - Oybek border


Arrival Complications  

We don't expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your CEO (if you are not on a group tour please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier). If you are unable to get in touch with your leader, please refer to our emergency contact details. If you have pre-booked an airport transfer and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.


Emergency Contact  

Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Representative (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.

AIRPORT TRANSFER
If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that:

Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change or flight cancellation within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, please call the emergency contact number to advise of your new arrival flight information. If you do not, we will not be able to rearrange your arrival transfer and you will need to make your own way to the starting hotel at your own expense. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel. 

If your call is specifically concerning Airport Transfer complications please call our local G Adventures Transfer provider directly: Mr. Arlan +996700602090, Mrs. Asel +996777202888

EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS

G Adventures Office Central Asia:

Mr. Laziz Otayarov (Operations Manager - Central Asia)
Mobile 1: +99890 963 4779 (24h)


If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below which will connect you directly with our Sales team who will happily assist you. Hours of operation by region can be found here.

Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999


What to Take  

What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking though, you should pack as lightly as possible. On the vast majority of our trips you are expected to carry your own luggage (please see below for exceptions), and though you will not be required to walk long distances with your luggage (max 30 minutes) we recommend keeping the weight under 10kg/22lb.

Suitcases are not recommended for G Adventures travellers! Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags with wheels are acceptable, although we recommend your bag has carry straps as well, as you may be required to negotiate bus and railway station steps. You will also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day walks and day trips.


Spending Money  

Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.


Safety and Security  

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your CEO will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.

Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.

Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).

Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.

We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:


www.gadventures.com/travel-resources/safety/


Minimum Age  

You must be 18 to travel unaccompanied on a G Adventures tour. For minors travelling with a guardian over 21 years old, the minimum age is 12.


Highlights  

Stop and marvel at Charyn Canyon, Explore Karakol with guided city tour, Settle into a Chong-Kemin homestay, Visit the Mug Teppe settlement


Group Leader Description  

All G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of our Chief Experience Officers (CEO). The aim of the CEO is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting- we think it's the best of both worlds.


Group Size Notes  

Max 16, avg 14.


Meals Included  

13 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 7 dinners


Local Flights  

Please be advised that any flights noted on the G Adventures Itinerary for this tour are included in the tour services provided. Flight tickets are provided by G Adventures during the tour. The date for this service will match the day of the itinerary, for which Day 1 is equal to the start date noted on the Invoice under Land Services: Tour. If flight information is required in advance for visa purposes, please contact G Adventures.


Visas and Entry Requirements  

All countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). Contact your local embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. It is your own responsibility to have the correct travel documentation. Visa requirements for your trip will vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. We keep the following information up to date as far as possible, but rules do change and sometimes without warning. While we provide the following information in good faith, it is vital that you check the information yourself and understand that you are fully responsible for your own visa requirements.


KAZAKHSTAN

Please note that visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change. It is important that you check for yourself with the Embassy of Kazakhstan. Please, keep in mind that all countries require passports valid for at least 6 months from the moment of departure from the country.
Visa information specific to your destination and nationality can be found in our Important Pre-Departure Information page here

If you require a Letter of Invitation (LOI) to apply for a Kazakhstan visa, please fill out & submit the following request form

For the following multi-country trips, the days spent in Kazakhstan are as follows:
AYKK - Highlights of Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan: Days 7-9
AYBT - Best of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan: Days 7-9
AYKU - Multi-Stan Adventure - Bishkek to Tashkent: Days 7-9
AYBA - The Five Stans of the Silk Road: Days 7-9


KYRGYZSTAN

Please note that visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change. It is important that you check for yourself with the Embassy of Kyrgyzstan. Please, keep in mind that all countries require passports valid for at least 6 months from the moment of departure from the country.
Visa information specific to your destination and nationality can be found in our Important Pre-Departure Information page here

If you require a Letter of Invitation (LOI) to apply for a Kyrgyzstan visa, please fill out & submit the following request form

For the following multi-country trips, the days spent in Kyrgyzstan are as follows:
AYKK - Highlights of Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan: Days 1-7
AYBT - Best of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan: Days 1-7
AYKU - Multi-Stan Adventure - Bishkek to Tashkent: Days 1-7
AYBA - The Five Stans of the Silk Road: Days 1-7


TAJIKISTAN

Please note that visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change. It is important that you check for yourself with the Embassy of Tajikistan. Please, keep in mind that all countries require passports valid for at least 6 months from the moment of departure from the country.
Visa information specific to your destination and nationality can be found in our Important Pre-Departure Information page here

If you require a Letter of Invitation (LOI) to apply for a Tajikistan visa, please fill out & submit the following request form

For the following multi-country trips, the days spent in Tajikistan are as follows:
AYBT - Best of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan: Days 9-13
AYKU - Multi-Stan Adventure - Bishkek to Tashkent: Days 9-13
AYBA - The Five Stans of the Silk Road: Days 9-13

Address in Tajikstan 
Dushanbe - “Atlas Hotel” - 32,34 Nisor Mukhammad st, Dushanbe, Tajikistan 734124 
Khujand - “Feruz Hotel” - Lenina street 223, Khujand 
 
If required:
The local operator in Tajikistan  - “Panjakent Intour”
Address: 12, Borbadi Marvazi street, Panjakent
Tel: +992 3475 56674


UZBEKISTAN

Please note that visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change. It is important that you check for yourself with the Embassy of Uzbekistan. Please, keep in mind that all countries require passports valid for at least 6 months from the moment of departure from the country.
Visa information specific to your destination and nationality can be found in our Important Pre-Departure Information page here

Citizens of the United States, China and Vietnam older than 55 years old can travel to Uzbekistan for up to 30 days visa-free.

If you require a Letter of Invitation (LOI) to apply for a Uzbekistan visa, please fill out & submit the following request form

For the following multi-country trips, the days spent in Uzbekistan are as follows:
AUTA - Best of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan: Days 1-9
AYBT - Best of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan: Days 13-14
AYKU - Multi-Stan Adventure - Bishkek to Tashkent: Days 13-23
AYBA - The Five Stans of the Silk Road: Days 13-22

Information accurate as of April 1st, 2024.


Accommodation  

Hotels/guesthouses (11 nts), community homestay (1 nts), yurt (1 nt, multishare up to 4 people per yurt).


Joining Instructions  

For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.

When you arrive to Bishkek International Airport (Manas International Airport), you will have two options to get to your starting hotel.

TAXI: we always recommend printing out the address of the hotel (in the native language as well as English if available), to show to your taxi driver.

Once you exit from the customs area there will be a lot of drivers offering taxi services, but on the ground floor there is also an Information Desk where you can get assistance with arranging an official taxi service.

If you have paid in advance for an arrival transfer, a G Adventures representative will be at the airport to meet you. If for any reason you are not met at the airport, please call our local support line. If you are unable to make contact for whatever reason, please make your way to the joining point hotel via taxi.


Please note that day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned on this day.

Upon arrival to your Joining Hotel (note that check-in time will be in the afternoon), look for a note or bulletin board in the reception with a note from your CEO. This note will give the details of your Welcome Meeting on day 1 (usually between 5pm and 7pm), where you will get a chance to meet your CEO and other travellers, as well as learn more about how the tour will run. If you don't see a note, please ask reception for details!

If you are arriving later and will miss the Welcome Meeting, your CEO will leave a note at reception for you with any information you may need, and with morning instructions for the next day.


Money Exchange  

In general Central Asia is a cash operating region, and travellers cheques are not recommended. Due to bank restrictions, only banknotes printed after 1996 can be exchanged. Better to bring notes without marks or stamps on them. We recommend to bring about 70 USD in small denominations: 1, 5 and 10 USD notes. If you are not able to get local currency it's always possible to pay in USD or EUR.

Uzbekistan
There are lots of ATM's to withdraw local currency (UZS), and banks around to exchange USD or EUR. Travellers cheques are not recommended, as only limited amount of banks work with them. Please, note that you can withdraw only local currency (Uzbek Sums) from ATM's. Some banks in Tashkent allow USD cash advance, but this option depends on the amount of USD cash in the bank.

Kazakhstan
The preferred currency for local transactions is the tenge, and local establishments rarely accept credit cards so keep cash on hand. ATMs in Kazakhstan are accessible in the larger cities, and withdrawals can be made by credit card. There are many currency exchange locations available to exchange EUR, USD, GBP, Russian rouble, Kyrgyz som and Chinese yuan.

Kyrgyzstan
The preferred currency for local transactions is the som, and local establishments rarely accept credit cards so keep cash on hand. There are many of ATMs accessible in Bishkek and other larger cities such as Cholpon Ata and Karakol. Larger cities will also have money exchange locations that will trade EUR, USD, Roubles; some locations will trade GBP, and Chinese yuan.

Tajikistan
The preferred currency for local transactions is the somoni, and local establishments rarely accept credit cards so keep cash on hand. You may be able to pay in USD and EUR in some places, however, it is recommended that you take out somoni at ATMs in Dushanbe; there are very few ATMs outside of Dushanbe, and those that exist are less dependable.


What's Included  

Your G for Good Moment: Yurt Building Demonstration, Barskoon
Your Welcome Moment: Welcome Moment - Meet Your CEO and Group, Bishkek
Your Local Living Moment: Overnight in a Yurt, Song Köl
Your Local Living Moment: Tamga Village Stay, Tamga
Your Local Living Moment: Community Homestay, Kuli Iskandarkul. Half-day city tour (Bishkek). Burana Tower visit. Community-based tourism (CBT) stay. Felt-making workshop visit. Yurt building presentation (Kizil Tuu). Karakol city tour (half-day). Saty Village stay. Charyn Canyon stop. City tour (Almaty). Dushanbe city tour. Hikes and picnic lunch. Mug Teppe settlement visit (Ura-Tube). City tour (Khujand). Khujand market visit. City tour (Tashkent). Internal flight. Transport between destinations and to/from included activities.


Itinerary Disclaimer  

While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.

Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.

Day 1 Bishkek

Arrive at any time.

Welcome to Kyrgyzstan's artsy capital and cultural hub, situated at the base of the Tian Shan mountain range. There are no planned activities until the evening welcome meeting, so get out there and explore!

Day 2 Bishkek/Chong-Kemin

After breakfast, embark on a city tour of Bishkek before travelling to the serenity of Chong-Kemin Valley. Along the way, stop at one of Kyrgyzstan's oldest sights, the Burana Tower and learn about this ancient structure, rare in nomadic culture. Tonight, stay in a cozy guest house run by Ashuu villagers. Soak in the stunning scenery while exploring the village and savour a home-cooked traditional dinner.

Day 3 Chong-Kemin/Song Kul

In the morning, opt for a hike to the nearby mountains or explore the famous gorges of Chong-Kemin. After lunch, enjoy the scenic drive along the Kalmak-Ashuu mountain pass to Song Kul Lake. Immerse yourself in Kyrgyz culture with an overnight stay in a traditional yurt. Experience daily nomadic life and wander the breathtaking landscape. With an altitude of 3,016 meters above sea level, it's possible to experience four seasons in one day! Indulge in delicious home-cooked cuisine for dinner, then get cozy in the yurt around the stove.

Weather related conditions may limit access to the Song Kol mountain pass in May and June. If the pass is closed, the group will instead overnight at a yurt stay near Issyk Kol Lake.

Day 4 Song Kul/Tamga

Spend the morning soaking in all the beauty of Song Kul Lake before departing for Kochkor to learn the importance of felt-making to Kyrgyz culture and local artisans. Learn the craft during a hands-on workshop creating a small version of the traditional carpet known as ala-kiyiz, and enjoy lunch together. Afterward, head to Tamga village in the clutches of the Terskey Ala-Too and celestial Issyk-Kol' Lake, where you'll spend the night at a village guesthouse and get to know the local community members.

Tamga village was once famous for its Soviet-era military sanatorium, where Soviet cosmonauts relaxed and recovered after space flights. The complex still exists in its original, untouched 1930's glory, with an atmosphere that would seem to bring you back in time.

Day 5 Tamga/Karakol

Enjoy a free morning getting to know this isolated village. Transfer to Ak-Orgo Workshop Centre to observe how traditional yurts are built and learn about the importance of this Kyrgyz craft. After Lunch at Ak Orgoo, drive to Kyrgyzstan's 4th largest city - Karakol. Stop for a visit at the Prejevalskiy Museum, dedicated to the famous Russian explorer Nikolai Przhevalsky, followed by a city tour. See the Russian Holy Trinity Orthodox Church and pagoda-style Dungan Mosque, built by Chinese Muslims in the early 20th Century.

Day 6 Karakol

After breakfast take a short drive to Jety-Oguz Gorge, located in the footsteps of Terskey Ala-Too Mountains, and visit famous unique red rock formations called “Broken Heart and “Seven Bulls”. Then, hike to the valley of wildflowers and reach a stunning view point overlooking the flower-filled valley. Return to Karakol and have a free afternoon to explore. In the evening enjoy dinner with local family

Day 7 Karakol/Saty Village

Cross the border into Kazakhstan on the journey to Saty Village, part of the Kolsay Lakes National Park. On arrival, jump in a Russian 4x4 for the ride to Kaindy Lake, then embark on a trek to explore the sunken forest. Soak in the bright hues and marvel at the eerie sight of submerged trees. Spend the night in a homestay and indulge in traditional Kazakh meals for a true Kazakh experience.

Day 8 Saty Village/Almaty

Depart early this morning for Almaty, the former Kazakh capital, stopping along the way to marvel at Charyn Canyon. Boasting stunning shades of red, orange, and brown, the Charyn Canyon is a natural wonder comparable in beauty to the Grand Canyon. On arrive in Almaty, take a city tour visiting sights such as Independence Square, Zenkov Cathedral, Panfilov's Park, and the striking WWII memorial. Time permitting, opt to climb Green Hill for panoramic views, visit the local markets, or sip coffee in one of the plentiful cafés.

Day 9 Almaty/Dushanbe

In the morning, transfer to Almaty airport and board a flight to Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan, on the Varzob River. Upon arrival enjoy a tour of Dushanbe, visiting the main monuments, museum, and mosque.

There may be more travellers joining the group here. Opt to attend an evening welcome meeting to get to know them.

Day 10 Dushanbe/Kuli Iskandarkul/ Gazza Village

Enjoy a morning drive through the valleys and mountains to Kuli Iskandarkul. Pass along Alexander the Great's lake and go on a short hike to Iskander Darya waterfall. After lunch continue the drive to our overnight stay at a Community Guest house in Gazza Village. Meet the local people and explore the gorgeous landscape of the Fann Mountains. Upon arrival to Gazza village the group will set out on a walk followed by dinner at local family's home.

Day 11 Gazza Village

After breakfast, embark on a hike alongside Voru River to visit Voru village (one of the old Villages of Fan Mountains). After the village exploration, head back to to Community guest house. Spend the afternoon at leisure. Opt to join a hike to picturesque Khushtarita valley. Have dinner in a community guest house with the group.

Day 12 Gazza Village to Khujand

Continue on to Khujand, stopping first in Istaravshan to explore a local mosque and Mug Teppe, an ancient citadel fortress stormed by Alexander the Great in 329 BC. Enjoy an optional lunch in a local chaikhana (teahouse) before continuing the drive to Khujand. Wander the city in the afternoon, visiting the Historical Museum of Sughd, resembling a castle, and the Mausoleum of Sheik Muslekheddin.

Day 13 Khujand/Tashkent

Visit the Khujand market (largest in Tajikistan) before continuing on to the border. Cross into Uzbekistan and drive to the capital city of Tashkent, where modern skyscrapers mix with Soviet-era architecture and mosaic mausoleums. Enjoy a short orientation walk in the evening before an optional dinner.

Some travellers will be joining the group here as they start their journey into Uzbekistan.

Day 14 Tashkent

Depart at any time.

Details

Prices from: €1799.25

Duration: 14 Days

Travel Style: Classic

Service Level: Standard

Physical Grading: 3 - Average

Trip Type: Small Group



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