Best of Central Asia Tour – Spring

Travel Central Asia in Spring

Discover the cultural and natural highlights of Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan & Tajikistan.

Days

24

Price from:

$5940

Briefing

Comfort level:

Physical rating:

Group size: Max 12

Countries: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan

Route:

  • Ashgabat
  • Tashkent
  • Samarkand
  • Dushanbe
  • Almaty
  • Bishkek

Themes: Cultural Tours

Kalpak Travel’s Best of Central Asia Tour combines the cultural highlights and natural beauty of five different countries in one epic journey. You will visit the modern and historic capitals, and see firsthand the cultural treasures and traditions of both the nomadic people who have crossed this region for centuries, and also the people who have settled in its cities. The eclectic contemporary architecture of Ashgabat contrasts with the sprawling Soviet-styled cities of Almaty, Bishkek, and Dushanbe, and nothing can prepare you for the impact of the great Silk Road cities, where flourishing Islamic culture and the medieval Timurid Empire left a lasting architectural legacy. Travel across the five ‘Stans with us to experience the very best of Central Asian hospitality on an unforgettable adventure.

highlights

  • Combine the cultural highlights and natural beauty of Central Asia in a single tour
  • Gaze upon the turquoise alpine lakes of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan
  • Sleep in traditional yurts and experience Kyrgyz nomadic culture firsthand
  • Marvel at Registan Square and other architectural wonders of ancient Samarkand
  • Wander the bustling streets of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Khiva and Bukhara
  • Shop in authentic oriental bazaars for everything from hand-woven silks to spices.
  • Feast on a barbeque next to Turkmenistan’s burning gas crater known as “the Gate of Hell”

 

 

ITINERARY & MAP

Darvaza yurt

Welcome to Central Asia! Upon arrival, you can check in and take some well-deserved rest after your long flight.

In the afternoon, we will drive to the Darvaza Gas Crater, located in the middle of the Karakum Desert (270km, 4-5 h.). Together we will enjoy a delicious fire-cooked meal for dinner, then sleep overnight at the yurt camp.

Please note: It’s a long and shaky ride to the gas crater and we will drive the same way back to Ashgabat on the following day. If you are not particularly eager to visit this place, you can arrive in Ashgabat on the following day and save 250 EUR.

Accommodation: Overnight in Yurt Camp (2 people per yurt, shared bathroom facilities)

Ashgabat Tour

After camp-style breakfast, we return back to Ashgabat on the same road (c. 4-5h). Today it’s Sunday and we will have a chance to visit the Sunday Bazaar called Tolkuchka, including the livestock section with camels. In the afternoon, have a short sightseeing tour (3-4 h) in Ashgabat. The tour includes a visit to the National Museum of History, the Arch of Neutrality, and the Independence Park. Turkmen welcome dinner with a folklore show.

Accommodation: Hotel Diwan 5*

Old Nisa Ruins in Turkmenistan

After breakfast, we drive to Old Nisa fortress (UNESCO World Heritage site) – the earliest of Parthian Empire capitals. Located in an atmospheric area on an irregular pentagon hill, at the foot of the Kopet-Dag Mountains, Old Nisa is a beautiful landmark. 14 hectares in size, the fort accommodates two semi-excavated complexes of the Parthian period (III c. BC – III c. AD) structures, designated as a royal residence and temple complex. Then drive back to Ashgabat, stopping en route at National Memorial Complex “Halk Hakydasy” with WWII and Earthquake memorials. Spend some time at the Memorial Complex. Lunch at a local restaurant.
After lunch, we continue to the Spiritual Mosque, one of the biggest mosques in Central Asia, and the Turkmenbashi Mausoleum nearby.
Then continue driving to a farm in Anau, about 8 km southeast of Ashgabat, the Ahalteke horse stable, where you can see the famous Turkmen horses called Akhal Teke. Then we drive back to Ashgabat.

Accommodation: Hotel Diwan 5*

Highlights of Kunya Urgench in Turkmenistan

Catch a flight from Ashgabat to Dashoguz at 9.50 AM (50 min flight) and transfer to Kunya Urgench (100 km, 2 h.). Have lunch and step into the pages of history as you explore Kunya Urgench’s ruins. Discover the remnants of mausoleums that, while not perfectly preserved, still exude a mystical charm. Behold the towering Kutlug Timur Minaret that reaches for the sky, symbolizing the architectural mastery of their time. Explore the cultural significance of Kunya Urgench as you unravel the stories woven into its ancient stones.

Then it’s time to say a fond farewell to Turkmenistan and cross the border into Uzbekistan, our second “Stan”. Our destination for today – Nukus – is less than an hour’s drive from the border. On the way to Nukus, we will stop at the ancient cemetery of Mizdakhan. Check-in at the hotel in Nukus and Uzbek welcome dinner.

Accommodation: Hotel Tashkent 3*

nukus savitsky museum in karakalpakstan uzbekistan travel

We will start the day exploring Nukus, the capital of the autonomous Republic of Karakalpakstan with its distinct culture, history, and even own language. We will visit the State Art Museum which was founded by Igor Savitsky, a Russian artist and collector, who dedicated his life to preserving and showcasing artworks that were considered controversial and unconventional during the Soviet era. The collection spans a wide range of styles, including paintings, sculptures, and applied art, with a particular emphasis on the 20th-century avant-garde movement. We will also have a walk around the local vicinity to see life in Nukus. Then we will drive around three to four hours to Khiva. Upon arrival, we will check in at the hotel and meet up again for dinner.

Accommodation: Hotel Asia 3* or similar

Khiva, Uzbekistan

Our walking tour of Khiva will begin after breakfast. Khiva is bursting with historical sites and today you will get a chance to see them all. We will visit the walled inner-city section of Khiva called the Ichan-Kala. This old section of the city contains more than 50 historic monuments and hundreds of centuries-old houses. The entire citadel is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As you walk through the enormous city gates, you will be confronted by a glistening beacon of Islamic design, the Kalta Minor. Our tour delves deep into all of Khiva’s sites. During dinner tonight there will be a performance by local dancers and singers, immersing you in Khorezmian culture.

Accommodation: Hotel Asia 3* or similar

Khiva Walls in Uzbekistan

Free time in the morning with optional activities and after lunch transfer to Urgench airport (c. 40 min). Domestic flight from Urgench to Tashkent (3:20 PM – 4:40 PM). Check-in at the hotel and dinner in a local restaurant.

Accommodation: Hotel Inspira-S 4* or similar

Tashkent city tour

With a population of over 3 million people, Tashkent is the largest city in Central Asia. Its history dates back to the first century BC when an urban settlement grew up around a major caravan crossroad on the Silk Road. Much of what you see today, however, dates from the late 20th or 21st centuries, as a devastating earthquake in 1966 destroyed much of the older city. Rebuilding Tashkent was a major Soviet infrastructure project, with laborers coming to work here from across the Soviet Union.

We will start the day’s sightseeing at the Monument of Courage, which remembers the victims of the earthquake. We will then walk to Independence Square, a symbol of freedom for Uzbekistan’s citizens, who declared their independence when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. At Amir Timur Square you will see the statue of the great conqueror. Next, we drive to Chorsu Bazaar, Tashkent’s green-domed market, with its acres of spices, fresh produce, and traditional crafts. We will also visit the Old City to find the Khast Imom complex, which houses the historic holy Quran of Caliph Osman. Today’s city tour will end with the Museum of Applied Arts, an ornate, rainbow-colored building that was previously the official residence of the Russian Ambassador.

After early dinner, transfer to the train station to catch the modern high-speed train to Bukhara (6:45 PM – 10:35 PM). Transfer to the hotel in the old town and check in.

Accommodation: Hotel Paradise Plaza 4* or similar

Bukhara in Uzbekistan

Today we will have a walking tour of Bukhara, one of the most important trading hubs on the Great Silk Road, as well as a respected center of religious learning. The Old City has been well preserved and is crammed full of minarets, mosques, and madrassas. Its once notorious canals and pools, the source of many an epidemic, have now been drained, but the most famous, Lyabi-Hauz, is still there, an oasis shaded by mulberry trees in the heart of the city. Your guide will show you the city’s unmissable sights, and you can soak up the atmosphere wandering through Bukhara’s labyrinthine alleyways. Key sites on today’s tour itinerary include the historic trading domes, Magokiatori mosque, and the Poi Kalon complex. We will also visit the Ark Fortress, the 10th-century Samanid Mausoleum, and Bolo Hauz Mosque. Dinner in the old town.

Accommodation: Hotel Paradise Plaza 4* or similar

Uzbekistan tour in Bukhara

Today morning we visit a couple more sights near Bukhara. First, we visit the Mausoleum of Naqshbandi, 15 km outside the city center. There are many orders in Sufism, all of which have been represented at different times in what is now Uzbekistan. The Naqshbandiyya order has a great and long-lasting influence, and a memorial place is still a popular place of pilgrimage for Sufis. From here, we will visit the summer residence of the last Emir of Bukhara. In Persian, it is called Sitorai Mokhi Hossa, “the place where the moon meets the stars”. On the way back to the old town we will stop to see Chor Minor madrassah. In the afternoon at 03.20 PM, we will transfer to the train station to catch the high-speed train to Samarkand (1.5 hours train ride). In the evening after dinner, we visit Registan Square, the most famous landmark in all of Uzbekistan. This square was the focal point of medieval Samarkand and is framed by three beautiful madrassas (religious schools), Ulugbek, Sherdor, and Tillya Kori.

Accommodation: Hotel Jahongir Premium 3* or similar

Registan square in Samarkand

Sublime Samarkand was the capital of the Timurid Empire; Timur was one of history’s greatest conquerors. His vast empire rivaled any, stretching across the Eurasian steppe. He ruled his kingdom with an iron fist, whilst at the same time patronizing the arts and literature. Much of the architectural heritage from this period has been preserved, allowing us to see how the city might have been at the peak of Timur’s power.
We will start the city tour with a visit to Bibi-Khanum Mosque, a structure that legend says was gifted to Timur by one of his wives. We will also have some time to explore Siyob Bazaar. After lunch, We will complete today’s city tour with a visit to Gur-e-Amir, the gilded mausoleum where Timur is buried. We will hear stories from his life and how he began the construction of Samarkand.

Accommodation: Hotel Jahongir Premium 3* or similar

Shahizinda Samarkand in Uzbekistan

After breakfast, we continue to explore the fairytale city of Samarkand. We go first to the Shah-i Zinda, a magnificent tiled necropolis; and then visit Ulgubek’s Observatory, which was once the biggest research center in Central Asia. Ulugbek was decades ahead of the West with his observations of the solar system and the Earth, and we will learn more about his story in this prestigious setting. Our next stop will be the Konigil Paper Mill. Here you will see the process of making paper from mulberry tree bark, just as it was done in 8th-century Samarkand. After lunch, we will visit Afrasiyab Museum to learn about the ancient city of Samarkand – then known as Afrasiyab – which was destroyed by the Mongols in the early 13th century. Uzbek farewell dinner in a popular local restaurant.

Accommodation: Hotel Jahongir Premium 3* or similar

Tajikistan one of the seven lakes in the Fan mountains

Today, embark on a memorable adventure as we cross the border from Uzbekistan to Tajikistan. Our day trip will start with a bumpy ride into the mountains to explore the area of the Seven Lakes. This mountain valley is not far from Penjikent, but due to the terrible road conditions, this trip takes a full day. We will drive up until the sixth lake. It is then a short and easy hike of about two hours (both ways) to the seventh and highest lake, Hazorchashma. There will be time to enjoy the scenery and wander along the lake shore before hiking back down to the sixth lake and going slowly by road to Penjikent with a few stops in some of the mountain villages.

Accommodation: Hotel Umarion 2* or similar

Isakanderkul Tajikistan

Today we will drive to Iskander Kul, a mountain lake named after Alexander the Great. Triangular in shape, it is considered one of the most exquisitely beautiful lakes in all the former Soviet Union nations, It is nestled in the Fann Mountains at an altitude of 2,200m. The route is a delightful one, through rugged mountain scenery. On the shore of the lake, we will have lunch, then take a short hike to a nearby waterfall. We can also go on a short boat ride.
We reach the Tajik capital Dushanbe in the evening just in time for dinner.

Accommodation: Hotel Rumi 4* or similar

Dushanbe sightseeing Rudaki park

Originally, Dushanbe was a small village centered on a market that took place every Monday. The Persian word Dushanbe means “Monday”, so this is how the city got its name. It was during the Soviet Union that Dushanbe became the industrial center of Tajikistan and the capital city it is today.
Arriving in Dushanbe you will meet your Tajik guide and start the city tour. We will visit the Museum of Antiquities with its 13m-long sleeping Buddha, then tour the marvelous modern Navruz Palace. We will then enjoy a nice city view from the top of the newly built Independence Monument. Next, we will visit the Ismail Samani statue. This large gold and marble monument commemorates the 1,100th anniversary of the Samanid State, a Golden Age of the Tajik nation when science and arts flourished. From there we will walk across to Rudaki Park, dedicated to the great Persian poet Rudaki, who lived under the Samanids during the 10th century. Dinner in a nice Tajik restaurant.

Accommodation: Hotel Rumi 4* or similar

Dushanbe Bazaar

In the morning we will visit the local bazaar or you can enjoy your free time until the transfer to the airport at 11:00 AM. Our flight is scheduled for 1:30 PM – 4:15 PM to take us to Almaty, Kazakhstan.

We will meet our local Kazakh guide at the airport and transfer to the city for our Kazakh welcome dinner in a local restaurant.

Accommodation: Hotel Kazzhol Park 4* or similar

Almaty Zenkov cathedral

Almaty is the largest city in Central Asia’s richest country, Kazakhstan. For 70 years – up until 1997 Almaty was the country’s capital and it remains today the country’s business and educational center.
We will visit Panfilov Park to see the impressive memorial dedicated to the Soviet soldiers who fought in WWII and take a look at the most famous Orthodox cathedral of Almaty. In the afternoon, you have some free time to explore the city on your own or relax at the hotel. Your guide will be available and happy to suggest places to go/ things to see or do.
In the evening we meet up again in the hotel lobby and take the cable car to Kok Tobe Hill, from where you will have a nice view of the city. Then we have dinner and return back to the hotel.

Accommodation: Hotel Kazzhol Park 4* or similar

Charyn canyon in Kazakhstan

Today we will have a very long ride and partly on bad roads. About halfway between Tepke and Almaty, we will stop for a picnic lunch at one of the most famous natural sights in Kazakhstan, Charyn Canyon. The canyon is often compared to the Grand Canyon, although it is much smaller in size with a total length of 80-90km. The part of the canyon you will visit is known as the Valley of Castles for its unusual rock formations. It is 3km long and 100m deep. We will walk these 3km down to the river, and have our lunch in a scenic spot there. We continue our drive to Kazakh – Kyrgyz border Kegen. Meet your Kyrgyz guide and driver and transfer through the Kyrgyz mountains to the town of Karakol. Check-in at the hotel and dinner with a Uighur family.

Accommodation: Hotel 78 or similar

Karakol - top places

Karakol was founded as a Russian military outpost in 1869. It grew in the 19th century after explorers came to map the peaks and valleys separating Kyrgyzstan from China. In the 1880s Karakol’s population surged with an influx of Dungans, Chinese Muslims fleeing warfare in China. After breakfast, we will tour the town’s most interesting sights. The tour includes the Dungan Mosque, built in 1904; and the wooden Russian Orthodox Church, which has been standing since 1869. We will also visit the museum of Russian explorer Przhevalsk and the local market of Karakol.

After the short city tour, we will drive about half an hour to Yrdyk village visit the small Dungan Museum, and learn about Dungan ethnicity. Lunch at the Dungan family house. Afternoon excursion to Jety-Oguz gorge, which is a lush valley with some striking red sandstone rock formations (the “seven Bulls” from which the valley takes its name). Easy hike in the gorge and return back to Karakol. Dinner in restaurant Dastorkon.

Accommodation: Hotel 78 or similar

Best of Central Asia Tour

Today we will drive along the southern shore of Lake Issyk Kul to a yurt camp near Bokonbayevo on the shore. Our first stop along the way is at Skazka (Fairytale) Canyon, which derives its name from its bizarre landscape made of fabulous rock formations, we will walk for around one hour. We will also meet an eagle hunter, who will show us his eagle and give a short demonstration for us. In the evening we will enjoy a folklore concert by a family of local musicians.

Accommodation: Yurt Camp (2 people in a yurt, shared bathroom facilities)

traditional felt making

Today we will drive to Chon Kemin. Before departing from Bokonbayevo, we will first see the demonstration of how shyrdak, traditional felt carpets, are meticulously crafted. We have the opportunity to observe skilled artisans as they create intricate patterns using vibrant colors and centuries-old techniques. It’s an enriching experience to witness the preservation of this traditional art form. Our next stop is in the village of Kyzyl Tuu, where we will meet a yurt maker and learn more about this traditional nomadic dwelling. We will be able to set up a yurt together. Lunch with the yurt maker and his family. We will then continue driving to the mountain valley of Chon Kemin. Before dinner, we learn how borsook, fried bread, is made and we can taste it.

Accommodation: Kemin Guesthouse

Burana Tower Minaret Kyrgyzstan

We will spend the entire morning in Chon Kemin Valley. We will watch a performance of traditional Kyrgyz horse games. There is also an optional hike on foot or horseback to a panoramic viewpoint. After lunch, we will then depart to Bishkek with a stop en route at Burana Tower near the town of Tokmok. Burana’s 11th-century minaret is the only remaining building from the ancient city of Balasagun, once the capital of the mighty Karakhanid empire. You can walk up the winding staircase and enjoy a wide view of the scenic Chuy Valley. There is also a small open-air museum of balbals, carved stone figures often found around ancient burial mounds.
From Burana, we will drive another one and a half hours to Bishkek. Check-in at the hotel and dinner in a local restaurant.

Accommodation: B Hotel 3* or similar

Bishkek Kyrgyzstan

Bishkek is a city of wide boulevards and marble-faced public buildings combined with numerous Soviet-style apartment blocks surrounding interior courtyards. There are also thousands of smaller privately built houses, mostly outside the city center. Streets follow a grid pattern, with most flanked on both sides by narrow irrigation channels, watering innumerable trees to provide shade in the hot summers. We will visit Ala-To Square and visit the newly renovated History Museum. Walk along Oak Park to the open art gallery of sculptures. Farewell dinner.

Accommodation: B Hotel 3* or similar

departure passport with stamps

Meet your driver in the hotel lobby for your transfer to the airport or continue the tour on an extension trip.

Inclusions

Transport
Metro, Minibus, Train, Airplane, Foot, Minivan, Jeep
Meals
Accommodation
Included Activities
  • Ashgabat – city tour
  • Tashkent – city tour
  • Khiva – city tour
  • Bukhara – city tour
  • Samarkand – city tour
  • Dushanbe – city tour
  • Almaty – city tour
  • Bishkek – city tour
Download PDF

dates & price

You can choose to join a small group on a guaranteed departure or book a private tour on the date of your choice
*
*
*
Total trip price
from

$5940

USD

24

Days

Single supplement available for $1000

Deposit: $500

Departing
Finishing
Status
Price
Booking
13 Apr 2024
6 May 2024
Full
$5940
4 May 2024
27 May 2024
Few Places Left
$5940
12 Apr 2025
5 May 2025
+ Available
$6180
19 Apr 2025
12 May 2025
+ Available
$6180
26 Apr 2025
19 May 2025
+ Available
$6180
3 May 2025
26 May 2025
+ Available
$6180
Price includes
  • All transfers, including airport pick-up and drop-off
  • Accommodation based on two people sharing a double/twin room; breakfasts included
  • Full board (all lunches and dinners)
  • English-speaking local tour leader accompanying the group in each country
  • All entry fees as per the itinerary
Price does not include
  • International air fares to and from Central Asia
  • Covid-19 PCR tests, if required (at the moment needed for entry to Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan) – they cost around 20 USD and we can arrange it for you in each country
  • Hotel charges for additional services
  • Consular fees for tourist visas
  • Travel insurance (required)
  • Personal expenses (e.g. souvenirs)
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Tips for guides and drivers (optional)

Important notes

  • This is the Spring version of our bestselling tour to the “Five Stans”. We also have a Fall version (starting in Bishkek), and a Summer version (cheaper, shorter, and including more mountains).
  • All listed departures are guaranteed.
  • You can also opt to book the whole itinerary as a private tour. We can arrange extra nights before or after the trip, and suggest private tour extensions, for example to Astana at the end of the trip or to spend more time in the mountains in Kyrgyzstan.
  • You can opt to arrive a day later and skip the visit to the Darvaza gas crater. This way you will save 250 EUR.
  • The maximum group size is 12 people.
  • We can advise and take care of all visas for you. For Turkmenistan, you can get a visa on arrival with a letter of invitation pre-arranged by us. Other countries are visa-free for most nationalities.
  • A €500 per person deposit is required at the time of booking, and the balance is due 15 days prior to departure. Terms & Conditions: https://kalpak-travel.com/terms-and-conditions/
  • Travel insurance is required
  • We are happy to suggest flights to get to Central Asia and back home: please contact us
  • See our books recommendation on Central Asia & the Silk Road
  • Read more about food in Central Asia

TURKMENISTAN TRAVEL INFORMATION

MONEY & COSTS:

The Turkmen currency is called the Manat. In Ashgabat, you may find ATMs that accept international payment cards. VneshEkonomBank for example accepts Visa credit cards. However, most ATMs accept only local cards issued by Turkmen banks. Credit cards may be accepted in a few high-end hotels, but most stores and restaurants do not accept any cards. We recommend bringing all money in cash, in new USD banknotes of denominations of at least 20 USD. They will be easy to exchange. An emergency fund of around 500 USD in cash is always good to have during guided trips to Central Asia.

SAFETY:

Turkmenistan is a safe country and most trips are trouble-free. There is a visible police presence and most citizens are law-abiding. That said, you are advised to wear a money belt, watch your belongings, steer clear of dark streets at night and avoid taking rides in unofficial taxis alone. Your safety is our first priority at Kalpak Travel; we know and regularly assess all our Turkmen partners and we closely monitor political events.

ENTRY & EXIT:

Citizens of every country in the world need a visa to enter Turkmenistan. As soon as you book a tour, we will ask you to provide some additional information to apply on your behalf for a letter of invitation. If the Ministry of Foreign Affairs approves your application, we will send you a letter of invitation. With this letter, you will be able to purchase the visa on arrival at Ashgabat Airport or at the land border.
As soon as we receive the deposit payment for your tour, we will confirm your booking and send you an email with important pre-departure information. Please read it carefully as it contains important information on customs regulations for Turkmenistan.

BEST TIME TO GO:

The climate of Turkmenistan is continental and dry and the best seasons to visit are Spring and Autumn, from mid-April until early June and then again from September until early November. Autumn is drier than Spring, but even in Spring chances are high you can enjoy the bluest sky you have ever seen. Autumn is also the time when the country goes to harvest, meaning markets are full of fresh fruit and vegetables. If you don’t mind the dry heat of 40° Celsius, sometimes more, summer is the best time to go. There are few tourists and the sun is shining every single day. If you are considering visiting Turkmenistan in winter you will practically have the country all to yourself. We recommend you go in November or December when daytime temperatures are still around 10° Celsius and the often chilly winds of January & February have not yet begun to make their presence felt.

HEALTH:

Do not drink water, unless it is bottled, filtered, or boiled. Do not use tap water for brushing your teeth or making ice either. Do not eat ice cream. Only eat well-cooked meat and fish, preferably served hot. Vegetables should be cooked and fruit peeled. If you follow these basic rules, you are likely to avoid any health issues like traveler’s diarrhea. Diphtheria, Hepatitis A, and Tetanus are recommended vaccinations for Turkmenistan. Ensure you are fully insured for medical emergencies including repatriation. Medical services in Turkmenistan are basic at best.

UZBEKISTAN TRAVEL INFORMATION

MONEY & COSTS:

The Uzbek currency is called the Som (UZS). There are many ATMs in the cities of Uzbekistan. Most stores and restaurants accept credit cards, but not all. We recommend you bring at least some money in cash, preferably carrying new USD bank notes of different denominations. They will be easy to exchange and you will be able to pay directly with USD for some souvenirs. An emergency fund of around 500 USD in cash is always good to have during trips to Central Asia.

SAFETY:

Uzbekistan is a safe country and most trips are trouble-free. There is a visible police presence and most citizens are law-abiding. In Tashkent, Khiva, Bukhara, and Samarkand there is also a "tourist police" with English-speaking officers. That said, you are advised to wear a money belt, watch your belongings, steer clear of dark streets at night and avoid taking rides in unofficial taxis alone. Your safety is our first priority at Kalpak Travel; we know and regularly assess all our Uzbek partners and we closely monitor political events.

ENTRY & EXIT:

Citizens of most countries do not need a visa to visit Uzbekistan for a period of up to 30 days. A notable exception is the United States - US citizens below the age of 55 need to apply for an electronic visa to visit Uzbekistan. You can get the visa yourself through the official government website for 20 USD per person: https://e-visa.gov.uz/. If you book a trip to Uzbekistan with us we will get the visa for you.

BEST TIME TO GO:

The climate of Uzbekistan is continental and dry. The best season to visit is during spring and autumn, from mid-March until early June and then again from September until early November. Autumn is drier than spring, but even in spring chances are high you can enjoy the bluest sky you have ever seen. Autumn is also the time when the country goes to harvest, meaning markets are full of fresh fruit and vegetables. If you don’t mind the dry heat of 40°+ Celsius, summer is the best time to go. There are few tourists and the sky is blue every single day. If you consider visiting Uzbekistan in winter, having the country all to yourself, we recommend going in December, when the day temperature is still around 10° Celsius and the chill wind that characterizes January & February has not yet reared its ugly head.

HEALTH:

Do not drink water, unless it is bottled, filtered, or boiled. Do not use it for brushing your teeth or making ice either. Do not eat ice cream. Only eat well-cooked meat and fish, preferably served hot. Vegetables should be cooked and fruit peeled. If you follow these basic rules, you are likely to avoid any health issues like traveler’s diarrhea. Diphtheria, Hepatitis A, and Tetanus are recommended vaccinations for travelers to Uzbekistan. Ensure you are fully insured for medical emergencies including repatriation. Medical services in Uzbekistan are basic at best.
As soon as we receive your deposit, we will confirm your booking and send you additional pre-departure information.

TAJIKISTAN TRAVEL INFORMATION

MONEY & COSTS:

The Tajik currency is called the Somoni (TJS). In the capital Dushanbe there are a few ATMs that you’ll find in shopping malls, supermarkets, or on the main streets, but most of them accept only Visa cards. Outside of Dushanbe, we don’t recommend relying on ATMs as there are only a few of them and they may run out of money or have very small withdrawal limits.
We recommend bringing cash in new USD banknotes of denominations of at least 20 USD. There are many exchange offices, some working 24/7. Small and old-looking bank notes are harder to exchange. Paying directly with a credit card is still not possible in most places, except for a few high-end restaurants and hotels. An emergency fund of around 500 USD in cash is always good to have during guided trips to Central Asia.

SAFETY:

The political situation in the country has been calm in recent years and there are no indications of upcoming tensions, except for the border conflict with Kyrgyzstan in the Fergana valley - we do not visit this area on our tours. The border with Kyrgyzstan is closed due to political tensions and it is not clear when it will open again. The border with Afghanistan is closed as well. Guests and locals are treated with respect and Tajikistan can be regarded as a safe destination for travelers. That being said, you are advised to wear a money belt, watch your belongings, avoid dark streets at night and only take official taxi rides. Your safety is our first priority at Kalpak Travel; we know and regularly assess all our Tajik partners and we closely monitor political events.

ENTRY & EXIT:

Citizens of most countries do not need a visa to visit Tajikistan for a period of up to 30 days. A notable exception is the United Kingdom - UK citizens need to apply for an electronic visa to visit Tajikistan. You can get the visa yourself through the official government website for 30 USD per person: https://www.evisa.tj/. If you book a trip to Tajikistan with us we will get the visa for you.
Please note, if you are planning to visit the Pamir region, you need a GBAO permit, which you can purchase online, together with the eVisa, for an additional fee of USD 20. If you book a tour with us, we can get the GBAO permit for you.
As soon as we receive the deposit payment for your tour, we will confirm your booking and send you an email with important pre-departure information. Please read it carefully as it contains important information on customs regulations for Tajikistan.

BEST TIME TO GO:

The climate of Tajikistan is continental and dry across most of the country, including the largest cities. In regions situated at relatively low altitudes, such as the capital Dushanbe, the south of Tajikistan around Kulob, and the Khujand region, summers are very hot with day temperatures between 30° and 40° Celsius. However, most of the country is situated at high altitudes, where temperatures are in the mid-20s or less during the summer. If you visit the Fann or Pamir Mountains, make sure to bring some warm clothes, as it can get very cold at night at elevations of more than 3000 meters. The best season to visit Tajikistan is during summer when it's possible to go to the mountains.

HEALTH:

Do not drink water, unless it is bottled, filtered, or boiled. Do not use tap water for brushing your teeth or making ice either. Do not eat ice cream. Only eat well-cooked meat and fish, preferably served hot. Vegetables should be cooked and fruit peeled. If you follow these basic rules, you are likely to avoid any health issues like traveler’s diarrhea. Diphtheria, Hepatitis A, and Tetanus are recommended vaccinations for Tajikistan. Ensure you are fully insured for medical emergencies including repatriation. Medical services in Tajikistan are basic at best. Please note: there is a small risk of malaria in the south of Tajikistan by the borders with Uzbekistan and Afghanistan. None of our tours visit this region.

KYRGYZSTAN TRAVEL INFORMATION

MONEY & COSTS:

The Kyrgyz currency is called the Som (KGS). In the capital Bishkek and larger towns, there are many ATMs that you can find in shopping centers, supermarkets, or on the main streets. All of them accept Visa cards and some, like Kyrgyz Kommerts Bank, Demir Bank and Uni Credit accept other cards such as MasterCard. In the mountains and small villages, you better don't rely on ATMs. We also recommend that you bring some cash in new USD banknotes of denominations of at least 20 USD. There are many exchange offices, some working 24/7. Small and old-looking bank notes are harder to exchange. Paying directly with a credit card is still not possible everywhere. An emergency fund of around 500 USD in cash is always good to have during guided trips to Central Asia.

SAFETY:

Kyrgyzstan is the most liberal and democratic country in the Central Asian region. The political situation in the country is calm and there is nothing to suggest that this situation might change. Guests and locals are treated with respect and the whole country can be regarded as a very safe destination for travelers. That said, you are advised to wear a money belt, watch your belongings, avoid dark streets at night, and only use official taxis. Your safety is our first priority at Kalpak Travel; we know and regularly assess all our Kyrgyz partners and we closely monitor political events.

ENTRY & EXIT:

Citizens of all Western countries do not need a visa for a stay of up to 60 days in Kyrgyzstan. To be sure whether you need a visa or not you can contact us. Any special permits that you might need for access to places that will be visited during your tour, we will provide to you free of charge.
As soon as we receive your deposit payment, we will confirm your booking and send you an email with important pre-departure information. Please read it carefully as it contains important information on customs regulations for Kyrgyzstan.

BEST TIME TO GO:

The climate of Kyrgyzstan is continental and dry in the majority of the country, including the largest cities. In the Ferghana Valley in the south and in the capital Bishkek, summers are very hot with day temperatures between 30° and 40° Celsius. However, most of the country is situated more than 1500 meters above sea level, where temperatures are in the mid-20s during summer. At high altitudes of 3000 meters or more it may even snow overnight during the summer, so make sure you bring some warm clothes. The best season to visit for activity or jeep tours would be in summer and winter for skiing tours. Please note, the weather in some mountain areas may change quickly.

HEALTH:

Do not drink water, unless it is bottled, filtered, or boiled. Do not use tap water for brushing your teeth or making ice either. Do not eat ice cream. Only eat well-cooked meat and fish, preferably served hot. Vegetables should be cooked and fruit peeled. If you follow these basic rules, you are likely to avoid any health issues like traveler’s diarrhea. Diphtheria, Hepatitis A, and Tetanus are recommended vaccinations for Kyrgyzstan. Ensure you are fully insured for medical emergencies including repatriation. Medical services in Kyrgyzstan are basic at best.

KAZAKHSTAN TRAVEL INFORMATION

MONEY & COSTS:

The Kazakh currency is called the Tenge (KZT). The banking system in Kazakhstan is the most developed in Central Asia and in big cities there are many places to exchange money and to withdraw cash from ATMs using a variety of cards. We recommend bringing some cash in new USD bank notes of denominations of at least 20 USD. Small and old-looking bank notes are harder to exchange. Paying directly with a credit card is possible in most places. An emergency fund of around 500 USD in cash is always good to have during guided trips to Central Asia.

SAFETY:

Kazakhstan is a multi-ethnic country with a long history of tolerance. Guests and locals are treated with respect and the whole country can be regarded as a very safe destination for travelers. That said, you are advised to wear a money belt, watch your belongings, avoid dark streets at night and take only official taxis. Your safety is our first priority at Kalpak Travel; we know and regularly assess all our Kazakh partners and we closely monitor political events.

ENTRY & EXIT:

Citizens of most Western countries do not need a visa for a stay of up to 30 days in Kazakhstan. To be sure whether you need a visa or not you can contact us. Any permits you might need for access to places that will be visited during your tour, we will provide them for you free of charge.
As soon as we receive the deposit payment for your tour, we will confirm your booking and send you an email with important pre-departure information. Please read it carefully as it contains important information on customs regulations for Kazakhstan.

BEST TIME TO GO:

The climate of Kazakhstan is continental and dry in the majority of the country, including the largest cities. Summers are very hot with day temperatures between 30° and 40° Celsius and winters are extremely cold with strong winds. In the mountains, however, the weather is quite changeable. If you are planning to visit the mountains the best season is summer. Be aware, however, at high altitudes of 3000 meters or more it may even snow overnight during the summer. For cultural sightseeing tours, spring and autumn are the best seasons. Autumn is also the time when the country goes to harvest, meaning markets are full of fresh fruit and vegetables.

HEALTH:

Do not drink water, unless it is bottled, filtered, or boiled. Do not use tap water for brushing your teeth or making ice either. Do not eat ice cream. Only eat well-cooked meat and fish, preferably served hot. Vegetables should be cooked and fruit peeled. If you follow these basic rules, you are likely to avoid any health issues like traveler’s diarrhea. Diphtheria, Hepatitis A, and Tetanus are recommended vaccinations for Kazakhstan. Ensure you are fully insured for medical emergencies including repatriation. Medical services in Kazakhstan are basic at best.

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