Central Asia Tour 2022

Travel Central Asia

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

Days

21

Price

€4380

Briefing

Comfort level:

Physical rating:

Group size: Max 12

Countries: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan

Route:

  • Bishkek
  • Almaty
  • Nur-Sultan
  • Tashkent
  • Samarkand
  • Dushanbe

Themes: Cultural Tours

Kalpak Travel’s Best of Central Asia Tour combines the cultural highlights and natural beauty of four different countries in one epic journey. In each of the four Central Asian republics you’ll 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 Nur-Sultan 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 four ‘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
  • Visit the diverse capitals of four Central Asian republics
  • 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 UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Khiva and Bukhara
  • Shop in authentic oriental bazaars for everything from hand-woven silks to spices.

 

 

ITINERARY & MAP

Burana tower in Kyrgyzstan

Welcome to Kyrgyzstan! Most flights arrive very early in the morning. You will transfer to the hotel and check-in with time to rest after your long flight, take a shower, and have breakfast. Meet your fellow travelers and your guide at 10:00 AM in the hotel lobby and depart for the mountain village of Kochkor. Our first stop will be Burana Tower near the town of Tokmok, 60km east of Bishkek. 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. After a couple more hours ride, we arrive in Kochkor, where we visit a workshop where local women produce carpets from felt. You can even try to make your own. Dinner in a family-run guesthouse and overnight in a simple hotel.

Overnight in Hotel Nomad Lodge or similar

Song Kul lake in Kyrgyzstan with yurts

After breakfast, we start our ascent towards mountain lake Song Kul. The lake is not very far from Kochkor, but due to bad road conditions, it will still be a quite long and bumpy ride to the lake. Lake Song Kul is a mountainous lake on the altitude of 3016 meters above the sea level. The nomads pass their summer on the “jailoo” (summer pasture) with their animals. We will arrive in time for lunch, which will be served in the yurt camp. Free time in the afternoon to go on a walk to the shore or horse ride and observe nomadic life. The yurt camp is located about 3 kilometers from the shore of the lake. We will also watch a match of Kok Boru – a traditional spectacle of horsemanship.

Overnight in a yurt (2 people in a yurt, shared western toilets outside, simple shower)

Kyrgyzstan Skazka canyon

After breakfast, we will drive to Issyk Kul, “the pearl of Kyrgyzstan” and the second-largest mountain lake in the world. At an altitude of 1,600 meters, it is warm enough in summer for swimming and a popular beach destination for the Kyrgyz and Kazakh people. The way down to Kochkor is the same road again. It’s only a short distance on from Kochkor to Issyk Kul, but we will have several interesting stops along the way. Our first stop is in the village of Kyzyl Tuu, where we will meet a yurt maker and learn more about this traditional nomadic dwelling. Many people in this village are involved in yurt making business. Near Bokonbayevo, we will meet an eagle hunter, who will show us his eagle and give a short demonstration for us. At Skazka (Fairytale) Canyon, which derives its name from its bizarre landscape made of fabulous rock formations, we will walk for around one hour. From here, it is then just half an hour to reach our destination, a yurt camp near the shore of Issyk Kul. Dinner and overnight in the yurt camp.

Overnight in yurt (2 people in a yurt, shared bathroom facilities)

Djeti oguz in Issyk Kul near Karakol

Today we will drive further east along Issyk Kul’s southern shore towards the town of Karakol. En route we will take a diversion into the side valley of Jety Oguz, famous for its two red rock formations called “Seven Bulls” and “The Broken Heart”. You will see these rocks and our guide will tell you the legends behind their interesting names.

In Karakol, we will have lunch with a local Uighur family, and a short sightseeing tour of the town’s most interesting sights. These include the Dungan Mosque, built in 1904; and the wooden Russian Orthodox Church, which has been standing since 1869. From Karakol, it is another 30km drive north to the village of Tepke, where we will spend the night in the welcoming guesthouse of a family who breed horses. You can see their horses and learn how boorsok (deep fried bread, a speciality of Kyrgyzstan) is made.

Overnight at Reina Kench Guesthouse (single/twin room with shower and toilet in the room)

Charyn Canyon in Kazakhstan

It is time to leave Kyrgyzstan behind and cross the mountains into Kazakhstan, driving to Almaty, Kazakhstan’s former capital and its largest city. It is a very long ride and partly on bad roads. About half way between Karakol 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 will arrive in Almaty in time for dinner.

Overnight in Hotel Kazzhol Park 4* or similar

Zenkov Kirche in Almaty

Almaty was Kazakhstan’s capital until 1997 and it remains the country’s business and educational center. The roads are wide and tree-lined, and there are good views of the Zailisky Ala-Tau Mountains which form a backdrop to the city. The name Almaty means “the place with apples” and it is believed that this is where apples originated from.

In Almaty we will visit Panfilov Park to see the city’s most famous sight, Zenkov Cathedral. In the same park is the impressive Soviet Glory Memorial, a tribute to 28 men who, as the story goes, repelled 50 German tanks from the outskirts of Moscow during World War II. At Green Bazaar, you will get the  chance to explore local Kazakh culture as you shop for fresh fruits and vegetables. There will be some free time in the afternoon to explore the city on your own, or to relax at the hotel. Your guide will be available to help and happy to suggest places to go and things to see or do.

In the evening, we will meet again in the hotel lobby and take the cable car to Kok Tobe, a hill overlooking the city from which there are panoramic views. We will then have dinner together before returning to the hotel.

Overnight in Kazzhol Park Hotel 4* or similar

Medeu ice skating rink in Kazakhstan

After breakfast, we are heading to the mountains just outside of Almaty. We will take a cable car to reach one of the main landmarks of Almaty, the Shymbulak ski resort, where you will enjoy wonderful views of the Ili Alatau Mountains from the top at 3,200 meters altitude. On the way to the ski resort you will pass the legendary Medeo skating rink. It is located in the picturesque Medeo Gorge at an altitude of 1,600 m and it is one of the largest and highest ice rinks in the world. After lunch, transfer to the airport to catch the domestic flight to the Kazakh capital Nursultan (4 PM – 6 PM). Dinner on the way to the hotel. Check-in at the hotel.

Overnight in Hilton Garden Inn 4* or similar

Nur-Sultan panoramic view of the city

Nur-Sultan is Central Asia’s youngest capital and a showpiece for 21st century Kazakhstan. We will visit the National Museum of Kazakhstan, walk to Independence Square, and in the afternoon enjoy the panoramic city view from the top of Baiterek Tower. We will walk along Nurzhol Boulevard, designed by celebrity architect Kisho Kurokawa, to the Khan Shatyr, the giant, tent-like shopping center designed by the equally famous Norman Foster. We will also have a chance to see the center of the “old” part of Nusultan and have a walk along Ishim river.

Overnight in Hilton Garden Inn 4* or similar

Kazakhstan expo museum in form of glass ball in Nur Sultan

After breakfast, check-out from the hotel. On the way to the airport we will visit the futuristic Expo 2017 complex which boasts the biggest spherical building in the world, the Nur Alem Museum of the Energy. It was originally the Kazakh Pavilion. From there we will continue to the airport to catch the flight to the Uzbek capital Tashkent (2:10 PM – 3:10 PM, Air Astana).

From Tashkent airport we transfer to the hotel in the city center and have Uzbek welcome dinner in a local restaurant.

Overnight in Hotel Inspira-S 4* or similar

Tashkent is the capital of Uzbekistan

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.

Overnight in Hotel Inspira-S 4* or similar

Khiva city walls in Uzbekistan

Free time in the morning. Around noon we transfer to the airport to take the domestic flight to Urgench (Khiva). The flight departs from Tashkent at 1:40 PM and arrives in Urgench at 3:10 PM.

From the airport of Urgench it takes about 40 minutes to reach the hotel in the old town of Khiva. Check-in and free time until dinner.

Overnight in Hotel Zarafshan 3* or similar

Khiva is a Silk Road city in 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, and ends with panoramic views from the top of the Kunya-Ark Citadel. During dinner tonight there will be a performance by local dancers and singers, immersing you in Khorezmian culture.

Overnight in Hotel Zarafshan 3* or similar

Bukhara is has been an Islamic Silk Road city

We will check out from the hotel after breakfast and depart around 9:00 AM to Bukhara. It is a long but scenic ride through the Kyzylkum Desert, but the roads are shaky in places. On the way, we will stop for lunch in a small restaurant, and also have time to stretch our legs. At the end of this arduous drive, we will be rewarded with the magnificence of Bukhara. We will arrive in the evening, just in time for dinner in the Old City, and check in at the hotel for the night.

Overnight in Hotel Safiya 3* or similar

Bukhara minaret and tower Poi Kalan

After breakfast, we will start our 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 10th century Samanid  Mausoleum, Poi Kalon, Ark Fortress, Bolo Hauz Mosque, and the historic trading domes, which still house market stalls. Dinner will be in the city center.

Overnight in Hotel Safiya 3* or similar

Uzbekistan tour in Bukhara

Today morning you can choose to spend some free time in the city or to visit a couple more sights near Bukhara.

First, you may 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 the 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”. Return to Bukhara for lunch.

In the afternoon, on the way to the train station, we will stop to see the Chor Minor Madrassa.  Our high-speed train departs from Bukhara at 3:50 PM and we arrive in Samarkand at 5:20 PM. Transfer to the hotel for check-in and dinner.

Overnight in Hotel Rabat 3* or similar

Registan square in Samarkand

Sublime Samarkand evokes an almost mythical past full of romance and intrigue. This was the domain of Emperor Timur, one of history’s greatest (and most ruthless) 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 Samarkand’s Timurid-era architectural heritage has been preserved, allowing us to see how the city might have been at the peak of Timur’s power.

We will start the day with a visit to the Gur-e-Amir, the mausoleum where Timur is buried. Our guide will tell stories from Timur’s life and how and why he began to build in Samarkand. We will then go to the Registan, Samarkand’s central square, which is undeniably Uzbekistan’s most famous landmark. This focal point of medieval Samarkand is framed by three beautiful madrassas (religious schools): Ulugbek, Sherdor, and Tillya Kori. Next, we will stroll through the spacious courtyard of the Bibi-Khanum Mosque, an impressively tiled structure that is said to have been gifted to Timur by one of his wives.

After lunch, we will have time to explore Siyob Bazaar, where fruit and vegetables grown in the rich soils of the Zarafshan Valley are sold in a colorful market. You may explore the city on your own during your free time this evening.

Overnight in Hotel Rabat 3* or similar

Shahi Zinda necropolis in Samarkand

After breakfast, we will check-out from the hotel and continue to explore the fairytale city of Samarkand. We go first to the Shah-i Zinda, a magnificent tiled necropolis; and then visit Ulugbek’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. After lunch, it is time to say goodbye to the marvelous cities of Uzbekistan and transfer to the border crossing with Tajikistan. We will pass through both border checkpoints on foot, completing all necessary formalities, and meet our Tajik guide and driver on the other side. On the way to Penjikent, just off the main road, we will stop at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Sarazm, the ruins of which date from the 4th to 2nd millennia BC. Upon arrival in Penjikent, we will then check-in at the hotel for two nights. Penjikent translates as “the city of five villages” and is located in the verdant Zeravshan River valley. Established in the 5th century, Penjikent was a thriving regional hub on the Great Silk Road. If time allows, we can visit the town’s local market today – or otherwise the following day in the morning.

Overnight in Hotel Umarion or similar

Tajikistan one of the seven lakes in the Fan mountains

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. Near the fourth lake, there is a guesthouse. If you want to, you can stay there after lunch and relax, otherwise, we will drive further up the valley to 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 lakeshore before hiking back down to the sixth lake and returning by road to Penjikent.

Overnight in Hotel Umarion or similar

Iskanderkul lake in Tajikistan

Today is a long but very scenic driving day through the Zarafshan Mountains to Dushanbe, capital of Tajikistan. On the way, we will visit Iskander Kul, an idyllic mountain lake 30km off the main road. The lake, named after Alexander the Great (“Iskander” is the Persian form of Alexander), is triangular in shape and considered one of the most exquisitely beautiful lakes in all of the former Soviet Union. It’s nestled in the Fann Mountains at an altitude of 2,200m.  We will have lunch on the shore of the lake. Those who want to do so can then take a short hike to a nearby waterfall. Be prepared for colder weather in the mountains. In the afternoon, we will depart from Iskander Kul and finish driving to Dushanbe. After an ascent to the Anzob Tunnel, our route is along the Vazob River down to the Varzob Gorge, a popular weekend getaway for locals from Dushanbe.

We will reach Dushanbe in the evening, check-in at the hotel, and have dinner.

Overnight in Hotel Atlas 4* or similar

Somoni Statue in the centre of Dushanbe

As well as being the capital, Dushanbe is the largest city in Tajikistan. It was a small village with a market every Monday. The Persian word for Monday is Dushanbe, and that’s how the settlement got its name. It was not until the Soviet period that Dushanbe grew into the political and industrial center of Tajikistan.

Our city tour will start with a visit to the National Museum of Antiquities with its famous Sleeping Buddha, excavated from the Buddhist monastery at Ajina Teppa. Our next stop is the Navruz Palace. Initially, this building was envisaged as the largest teahouse in the world. However, during construction (which involved hundreds of artisans from all over Tajikistan), the interior became so impressive that it was decided to use it as a palace instead of a teahouse. This is a unique opportunity to tour the interior of this ornate modern palace. After lunch, we will visit the statue of Ismail Somoni whose mausoleum you saw in Bukhara. This large 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 up to Rudaki Park, dedicated to the great Persian poet Rudaki, who also lived during the Samanid period, in the 10th century AD.

Overnight in Hotel Atlas 4* or similar

departure passport with stamps

Transfer to Dushanbe Airport for your flight back home.

Inclusions

Transport
Metro, Minibus, Train, Airplane, Foot, Minivan, Jeep
Meals
Accommodation
Included Activities
  • Bishkek – city tour
  • Almaty – city tour
  • Nur-Sultan – city tour
  • Tashkent – city tour
  • Khiva – walking tour
  • Bukhara – city tour
  • Samarkand – city tour
  • Dushanbe – 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

€4380

Euro

21

Days

Single supplement available for €850

Deposit: €500

Departing
Finishing
Status
Booking
28 Aug 2022
17 Sep 2022
+ Available
11 Sep 2022
1 Oct 2022
+ Available
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
  • Afrosiyob train tickets from Bukhara – Samarkand
  • Economy class flight tickets from Almaty-Nursultan, Nursultan-Tashkent, Tashkent-Urgench
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

  • The departure is guaranteed
  • The maximum group size is 12 people
  • We can advise and take care of all visas for you if you need them. All four 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 and you have to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19
  • 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

KYRGYZSTAN TRAVEL INFORMATION

MONEY & COSTS:

The Kyrgyz currency is called the Som (KGS). In the capital Bishkek 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 or Maestro card. Outside of Bishkek, we don’t recommend relying on ATMs as there are so few of them. 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 at most places, except for high-end restaurants, hotels and a small number of international stores. 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. For the last seven years, the political situation in the country has been 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 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 most 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 check on www.thevisamachine.com. 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 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 the 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, weather in some mountain areas may be very changeable.

HEALTH:

Do not drink water, unless it is bottled, filtered or boiled. Do not use tap water for brushing 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.

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.
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. The border area with Afghanistan is safe as well, but we do not recommend crossing the border for a trip into Afghanistan. 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 almost every country can obtain an electronic visa for stays of up to 45 days in Tajikistan. All you need to do is enter the requested information then pay a fee of 50 USD by credit card and you will receive after 2-3 days the eVisa by email. You can print it out and use it just like an ordinary visa to enter the country. Please note, if you are planning to visit 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 visa 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 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.

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 still not possible at most places, except for high-end restaurants, hotels and international stores like Zara, Mango, McDonalds or Starbucks. 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 15 days in Kazakhstan. To be sure whether you need visa or not you can check on the website of The Visa Machine. Any permits you might need for access to places that will be visited during your tour, we will provide 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 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 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 traveller’s diarrhoea. 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.

UZBEKISTAN TRAVEL INFORMATION

MONEY & COSTS:

The Uzbek currency is called the Som (UZS). There are few ATMs in Uzbekistan and even then, most do not accept any card other than Visa. Stores and restaurants typically do not accept credit cards. We recommend you bring all money in cash, preferably carrying new USD bank notes of different denominations. They will be easy to exchange – for the best rates ask your guide – 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. 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 no longer need a visa to visit Uzbekistan for a period of up to 30 days. A notable exception is the United States - US citizens 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 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 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.
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