Central Asia Tour – Fall 2025

Travel Central Asia

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

Days

26

Price from:

$7160

Briefing

Comfort level:

Physical rating:

Group size: Max 12

Countries: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan

Route:

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

Themes: Cultural Tours

Kalpak Travel’s Best of Central Asia Tour brings together the most fascinating aspects of culture and nature from five countries in one amazing journey. You will visit modern and historic capitals, and see firsthand the cultural treasures and traditions of the nomadic people who migrated across this region, and also those who settled in its cities. Enjoy the captivating mix of contemporary architecture and Soviet-era style in the modern metropolises of Almaty, Ashgabat, Bishkek, Tashkent and Dushanbe.You’ll be captivated by magnificent Silk Road cities of Samarkand, Bukhara, and Khiva, where the Golden Age of Islam flourished and the medieval Timurid Empire left a lasting legacy. Immerse yourself in the diversity of Central Asia’s cultures and breathtaking landscapes on an unforgettable journey along the Silk Road and beyond.

highlights

  • Combine the cultural highlights and natural beauty of Central Asia in a single tour.
  • Sleep in traditional yurts and experience Kyrgyz nomadic culture firsthand.
  • Gaze upon the alpine lakes of Kyrgyzstan (Issyk Kul and Song Kul) and Tajikistan.
  • 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 barbecue next to Turkmenistan’s burning gas crater known as “The Gate of Hell”.
  • Explore futuristic Ashgabat with its iconic white marble buildings.

 

 

ITINERARY & MAP

Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

Welcome to Kyrgyzstan! Most flights arrive early in the morning. Upon arrival, you’ll transfer to the hotel for check-in, giving you time to rest, refresh yourself, and enjoy breakfast after your long flight. In the afternoon, we’ll embark on a walking city tour of Bishkek. Bishkek, the charming capital of Kyrgyzstan, has a relatively short history. Established as a Russian garrison named Pishpek in the late 19th century, it developed into a city during the Soviet era. Known for its lush greenery, Bishkek boasts tree-lined boulevards and numerous parks. Our orientation tour of Bishkek today includes visits to Oak Park and Ala-Too Square.

B-Hotel 3* or similar

mountain peaks in Ala Archa National Park

After breakfast, we’ll venture out to the Ala Archa National Park, situated just 30 km from Bishkek. Our time here will be spent exploring the picturesque trails and admiring the majestic mountain scenery. Following our visit to Ala Archa, we’ll head to the Ata Beyit Memorial Complex, where Chinghiz Aitmatov (the renowned Kyrgyz writer) and his father, along with 138 other Kyrgyzstanis who lost their lives in the purges of 1938, are laid to rest. Ata Beyit also serves as a memorial to the 1916 Kyrgyz uprising against Russian rule. In the afternoon, you’ll be free to explore the vibrant sights and sounds of Osh Bazaar, where you can immerse yourself in the bustling atmosphere and browse a variety of local goods. Alternatively, delve into Kyrgyzstan’s rich history and culture with a visit to the National Museum, where fascinating exhibits await. If you prefer to unwind and take it easy, you can also enjoy some leisure time, exploring the city at your own pace.

B-Hotel 3* or similar

Burana minaret in Kyrgyzstan

Our first stop will be Burana Tower near the town of Tokmok, 80 km 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.

Until 20 September: Kochkor
From Burana we will continue driving about two hours to the mountain village of Kochkor, where we will arrive just in time for dinner. After enjoying your meal, you will see a demonstration of how shyrdak (traditional felt carpets) are made. Kochkor is located at an altitude of almost 1,800 m, so this stop will help you acclimatize for the ascent to lake Song Kul on the following day.
Overnight at Nomad Lodge or similar

After 20 September: Chon Kemin
From Burana, we will drive further into the mountains to our guesthouse in the beautiful Chon Kemin Valley. It is less than two hours’ ride, so we will arrive just in time for dinner. Dinner and overnight at the guesthouse.
Kemin Guesthouse (single/twin room with private bathroom)

Kochkor village

It is only possible to visit Song Kul until the end of September,  as later in the season the lake becomes inaccessible due to snow. In its place, we offer the scenic mountain valley of Chon Kemin. See below for the different itineraries for today, depending on your selected departure.

Until 25 September: Kochkor – Song-Kul
In the morning we will learn how boorsok (deep fried bread, a speciality of Kyrgyzstan) is made and we will eat it for breakfast. Ready for the day, we will start our ascent towards the mountain lake of Song Kul. The lake is not very far from Kochkor, but due to bad road conditions, it is still quite a long and bumpy ride (c. 3 hours). Song Kul is at an altitude of 3016 m above the sea level. Nomads spend the summer months on the jailoo (summer pasture) with their animals. We will arrive in time for lunch, which will be served in the yurt camp. You will have free time in the afternoon to walk to the lake shore (about 3 km) or to horse ride and observe nomadic life. We will also watch a match of Kok Boru – an exhilarating spectacle of traditional horsemanship.
Overnight in a yurt (2 people in a yurt, shared western toilets outside, simple shower)

After 25 September: Chon Kemin – Kochkor
In the morning we will learn how boorsok (deep fried bread, a specialty of Kyrgyzstan) is made and we will eat it for breakfast. Ready for the day, you can walk into the village and observe the lives of local people; or opt for a short horse ride into the surrounding hills. We will also have a chance to watch a match of Kok Boru – an exhilarating spectacle of traditional horsemanship. After lunch, we will drive for about two hours through the mountains to the village of Kochkor.  Before dinner, you will see a demonstration of how shyrdak (traditional felt carpets) are made. Dinner will be in a family guesthouse and you will spend the night in a simple hotel.
Overnight at Nomad Lodge or similar

Central Asian Eagle hunter

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 m, it is a popular beach destination for locals. 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 the 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, named for its surreal landscape of unique rock formations, we’ll take a leisurely one-hour walk to immerse ourselves in its natural wonders. From here, it then takes just half an hour to reach our destination, a yurt camp near the shore of Issyk Kul. We will have dinner and spend the night in the yurt camp.
Overnight in a yurt (2 people in a yurt, shared bathroom facilities)

Broken Heart in Jeti Oguz Issyk Kul

Today, we will journey further east along Issyk Kul’s southern shore towards the town of Karakol, pausing at several points of interest, starting with Barskoon Gorge. Here, amidst a picturesque blend of fir trees and vibrant bushes of barberry, mountain ash, and sea-buckthorn, we will enjoy breathtaking views of Issyk-Kul and its surrounding peaks. We will break for lunch at a scenic spot en route. Here there are two intriguing monuments to Yuri Gagarin, commemorating his visit to the south shore after his historic space flight. Continuing from Barskoon, we’ll ascend towards the Kumtor gold mine, reaching the beautiful Arabel Plateau at an altitude of almost 4000 m. Afterwards, we’ll venture into the side valley of Jety Oguz, renowned for its distinctive red rock formations known as the Seven Bulls and The Broken Heart, each of which is steeped in fascinating legends. You’ll have the opportunity to explore these formations while our guide shares the stories behind their names. Finally, we’ll check-in at the hotel and enjoy dinner with a Uighur family.
Accommodation: Hotel 78 or similar

Karakol dungan mosque Kyrgyzstan

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 welcomed a significant number of Dungans, Chinese Muslims seeking refuge from conflicts 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 stood on this site since 1869.  After the short city tour, we will drive about half an hour to Yrdyk village to visit the small Dungan Museum, and learn about the Dungan community. Lunch will be served at a Dungan family’s house. We will also visit the museum of Russian explorer Przhevalsky, and the local market of Karakol. Dinner will be at a local restaurant.
Accommodation: Hotel 78 or similar

Charyn canyon in Kazakhstan

It’s time to depart from Kyrgyzstan and drive through southern Kazakhstan towards Almaty, its former capital. It is a very long ride and partly on bad roads. About halfway between Karakol and Almaty, we will stop for a picnic lunch at one of Kazakhstan’s most famous natural attractions, Charyn Canyon. The canyon is often compared to the Grand Canyon, although it is much smaller in size, with a total length of 80-90 km. We will explore the section of the canyon known as the Valley of Castles because of its distinctive rock formations, which stretch for 3 km and descend to a depth of 100 m. We will walk 3 km down to the river and have our lunch in a scenic spot. We will arrive in Almaty in time for dinner.
Accommodation: Hotel Kazzhol Park 4* or similar

Zenkov cathedral

Almaty served as the capital of Kazakhstan for 70 years until 1997, and it remains a pivotal center for business and education in the country. Today, our city tour starts with a visit to Panfilov Park to see the memorial dedicated to Soviet soldiers who served in WWII Soviet soldiers, and a leisurely stroll to experience local life. Additionally, we’ll explore Almaty’s iconic Zenkov Orthodox Cathedral, renowned for its unique wooden construction and stunning architecture. At Green Bazaar, you will get the chance to meet and engage with local Kazakhs as you browse for fresh fruits and vegetables. We will also have the chance today to visit the house museum of Dinmukhamed Kunayev, the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Kazakhstan, who played a pivotal role in the social, economic, and cultural development of the country. This is a unique opportunity for you to have a glance inside an authentic Soviet apartment and understand how the Soviet elite used to live. We will then head back to the hotel. In the evening, we will meet again in the hotel lobby and take the cable car to Kok Tobe Hill, from where you will have an impressive view of the city at dusk. Dinner will be in a local restaurant.
Accommodation: Hotel Kazzhol Park 4* or similar

Buddha from Ajina Tepe in Dushanbe Antiquities museum

In the morning, we will transfer to the airport for our flight from Almaty to Dushanbe, Tajikistan, which departs at 10:10 am and will arrive at 12:00 pm. Upon arrival, our local Tajik guide will greet us at the airport and escort us into the city. We will then enjoy lunch at a local restaurant as we begin to explore Dushanbe. Originally, Dushanbe was a small village centered on a market which took place every Monday. The Persian word Dushanbe means Monday, so this is how the city got its name. It was during the Soviet period that Dushanbe became the industrial center of Tajikistan and eventually capital city it is today. We will visit the Museum of Antiquities with its 13m-long sleeping Buddha, then tour the marvelous modern Navruz Palace.
Accommodation: Hotel Serena 5* or similar

After breakfast, we will head into the city center to continue our tour, one of the highlights of which is visiting the statue of Ismail Samani. This grand monument, adorned with gold and marble, commemorates the 1,100th anniversary of the foundation of the Samanid State, a Golden Age of the Tajik nation marked by the flourishing of science and the arts. From there, we will walk across Rudaki Park, which is dedicated to the great Persian poet, Rudaki, who lived under Samanid rule during the 10th century. Following lunch, you will have the option to either visit the local market or to explore the city at your leisure. Dinner will be in a lively Tajik restaurant.
Accommodation: Hotel Serena 5* or similar

Isakanderkul Tajikistan

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

Our day will start with a bumpy ride through the mountains to explore the area known as the Seven Lakes. This mountain valley isn’t far from Penjikent, but the rough road conditions make the journey quite lengthy. We’ll drive up to the sixth lake, enjoying scenic views despite the challenging terrain. It is then a short and easy hike of about two hours (there and back) to the seventh and highest lake, Hazorchashma. There will be plenty of time to enjoy the scenery and wander along the lake shore before hiking back down to the sixth lake. After returning to the main road, we will head west to Uzbekistan, making a stop at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ancient Sarazm before crossing the border. We will cross into Uzbekistan on foot and meet our Uzbek guide, continuing on to the much-fabled city of Samarkand, which we will reach in time for dinner.

Accommodation: Hotel Kosh Hovuz 3* or similar

Samarkand, Uzbekistan

Sublime Samarkand, once the capital of the Timurid Empire, was ruled by Amir Timur (Tamerlane), one of history’s greatest conquerors, until his death in 1405. His vast empire rivaled any, stretching across the Eurasian steppe. Timur governed with an iron fist, yet also patronized the arts and literature. Much of the architectural heritage from this period has been preserved. We will start the city tour with a visit to Bibi-Khanum Mosque, a structure which legend has it was gifted to Timur by his wife. We will also have time to explore Siyob Bazaar.
After lunch, we will visit Registan Square, the most famous landmark in Uzbekistan. The Registan was the focal point of medieval Samarkand and is framed by three beautiful madrassas (religious schools), Ulugbek, Sherdor, and Tillya Kori. We will complete today’s city tour with a visit to Gur-e-Amir, the gilded mausoleum where Timur is buried.
Accommodation: Hotel Kosh Hovuz 3* or similar

After breakfast, we will continue exploring Samarkand. Our first stop will be the magnificent Shah-i Zinda, the tiled Timuirid necropolis which was built around the grave of Qutham inn Abbas, a cousin of Prophet Muhammad and the patron saint of Samarkand. Following this, we’ll visit Ulugbek’s Observatory to learn about Emperor Ulugbek’s remarkable contributions to medieval astronomy and mathematics. In the afternoon, you can dive into the rich history of ancient Samarkand at the Afrasiyab Museum, uncovering the story of Afrasiyab, the city tragically destroyed by the Mongols in the early 13th century; or spend the time between lunch and dinner at leisure.

Accommodation: Hotel Kosh Hovuz 3* or similar

Samanid Mausoleum

After breakfast, we will transfer to the train station to catch the high-speed train to Bukhara (10:45 am – 12:30 pm) and then drive into Bukhara’s old Town to check into the hotel and have lunch. In the afternoon we will have a walking tour of Bukhara, one of the most important trading hubs on the Silk Road, as well as a respected center of theology and scholarship. The Old City (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) has been well preserved and is crammed full of minarets, mosques, and madrassas. Your guide will show you Bukhara’s unmissable sights, including the Poi Kalon complex, the bazaars inside Bukhara’s unique trading domes, and the Samanid Mausoleum, and as you wander the labyrinthine streets you’ll soak up the city’s atmosphere. Dinner will be in the Old Town.
Accommodation: Hotel Alexia Suite or similar

This morning we will visit a couple more sights near Bukhara. First is the Mausoleum of Bahauddin 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 this shrine complex is still a popular place of pilgrimage for Sufis. From here, we will continue to visit the summer residence of the last Emir of Bukhara, the Sitorai Mokhi Khosa, and then return to central Bukhara for lunch. In the afternoon, you will have the option to enjoy free time or to continue exploring the enchanting Old Town of Bukhara. The Ark Fortress, the 10th-century Samanid Mausoleum, and the Bolo Hauz Mosque are of particular interest. Dinner will be in the Old Town.
Accommodation: Hotel Alexia Suite or similar

Today we will drive to a village near Bukhara to experience rural life in Uzbekistan. We will meet the Rustam family, who will show us around their home and village. We will take a walk in the village, meet local people, and see the cotton fields. We will prepare and have lunch together. In the afternoon, we will transfer to the train station to catch the modern high-speed train to Tashkent (3:45 pm – 7:35 pm), and then transfer to the city center for dinner and to check in at the hotel.
Accommodation: Hotel Lotte 4* or similar

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 will drive to Chorsu Bazaar, Tashkent’s blue-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 at the Museum of Applied Arts, an ornate, rainbow-colored building which was originally built as the official residence of the Russian Ambassador.
Accommodation: Hotel Lotte 4* or similar

You will have free time this morning and then at 11:00 am transfer to Tashkent’s domestic airport to catch the flight to Urgench (1:00 pm – 2:30 pm). It is a short drive from Urgench to the historic city of Khiva. We will arrive in time for an introductory walk around the walled city, known as the Ichan Qala, and dinner at a local restaurant.
Accommodation: Hotel Bankir 3* or similar

Our walking tour of Khiva will begin after breakfast. Khiva is bursting with historical sites, and more than 50 of the monuments, plus dozens of traditional houses, are located within the Ichan Qala. Today you will have the chance to see them all. 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, including the elegant Juma Mosque with its forest of carved wooden pillars, and the Toshhovli Palace, the royal residence of the khans of Khiva.
Accommodation: Hotel Bankir 3* or similar

In the morning, we’ll embark on our drive to the Turkmenistan border crossing of Shavat-Dashoguz (60 km, 1 h.). We’ll aim to arrive at the border by 9:00 am when it opens, and will go through the formalities at both checkpoints, which typically takes around 2-3 hours. In Dashoguz we will have lunch and a short city tour, and in the afternoon we will take the domestic flight to Ashgabat. Upon arrival in the Turkmen capital, we will transfer to the hotel and then have dinner in a local restaurant. 
Accommodation: Hotel Diwan 5* or similar

After breakfast, we’ll begin our city tour exploring the capital of Turkmenistan. Ashgabat has been rebuilt multiple times over its extensive history. Today, the city’s opulent marble architecture, reflecting Turkmenistan’s natural gas wealth, stands as a testament to its prosperity. In fact, Ashgabat holds a Guinness record for the world’s highest density of white marble buildings, a feature you’ll witness firsthand during today’s city tour. Alongside this remarkable feat, the tour also showcases other world records set by the city. Highlights include visits to the National Museum of History, the Arch of Neutrality, and Independence Park. After dinner, we’ll drive back to Ashgabat through the New City area, soaking in the breathtaking night illuminations.
Accommodation: Hotel Diwan 5*or similar

After breakfast, we will drive to the Old Nisa fortress (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) – the earliest capital of the Parthian Empire. Located on an irregular pentagonal 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 from the Parthian period (III c. BC – III c. AD), thought to be a royal residence and a temple complex. We will then drive back to Ashgabat, stopping en route at the Halk Hakydasy National Memorial Complex, which remembers the victims of WWII and catastrophic earthquakes. Lunch will be at a local restaurant. As today is Sunday, we will have the chance to visit Tolkuchka Bazaar, including the livestock section with camels. You will have free time in the afternoon and then an early farewell dinner at the hotel. (Most flights depart very early in the morning).
Accommodation: Hotel Diwan 5*or similar

Those guests who choose to visit Darvaza will drive in the afternoon to the Darvaza Gas Crater, situated in the heart of the Karakum Desert (270 km, 4h). Together, we’ll savor a delightful fire-cooked dinner at the yurt camp, where we’ll also spend the night. Please note: the journey to the gas crater is long and bumpy. We’ll drive back to Ashgabat the following day using the same route. If you prefer not to visit Darvaza, you can leave Ashgabat on the following day and save 280 USD.
Overnight in a yurt camp (2 people per yurt, shared bathroom facilities)

Transfer to Ashgabat Airport for your flight back home, or return to Ashgabat from Darvaza, with free time in the afternoon.

departure passport with stamps

Transfer to Ashgabat 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
  • 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
from

$7160

USD

26

Days

Single supplement available for $1100

Deposit: $500

Departing
Finishing
Status
Price
Booking
22 Aug 2025
16 Sep 2025
+ Available
$7160
12 Sep 2025
7 Oct 2025
+ Available
$7160
19 Sep 2025
14 Oct 2025
+ Available
$7160
26 Sep 2025
21 Oct 2025
+ Available
$7160
3 Oct 2025
28 Oct 2025
+ Available
$7160
Price includes
  • All transfers, including airport pick-up and drop-off.
  • Accommodation is based on two people sharing a double/twin room; breakfasts are included.
  • Full board (all lunches and dinners)
  • English-speaking local tour leader in each country / for groups of more than 6 people tour leader accompanying the group during the whole trip
  • All entry fees as per the itinerary
  • Train tickets Samarkand-Bukhara
  • Economy class flight tickets Almaty-Astana, Astana-Tashkent, Tashkent-Dushanbe
Price does not include
  • International air fares to and from Central Asia
  • 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

  • All listed departures are guaranteed
  • The maximum group size is 12 people
  • 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.
  • 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/
  • Single supplement available for USD 1,100 and required for solo travelers.
  • Travel insurance is required
  • We are happy to suggest flights to get to Central Asia and back home: please contact us
  • See our book 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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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