Kyrgyzstan – Uzbekistan Tour

Best of Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan in 2 Weeks

Follow the footsteps of the Kyrgyz Nomads and ancient Silk Road traders



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Group size: Max 12

Countries: Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan


  • Bishkek
  • Issyk Kul
  • Song Kul
  • Tashkent
  • Khiva
  • Bukhara
  • Samarkand

Themes: Cultural Tours

This trip will lead you in just over two weeks through Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. During the first week, you will discover Kyrgyzstan’s highlights, from the rural lake shore of Issyk Kul, to the sublime alpine pastures of Song Kul, and Kyrgyzstan’s green capital, Bishkek. You will be immersed in the ancient nomadic culture of the Kyrgyz, including their equestrian traditions.

On a short one-hour flight you will then move on, from Kyrgyzstan’s capital Bishkek to the capital of Uzbekistan, Tashkent. Uzbekistan has been awarded UNESCO World Heritage status for its age-old cities: Bukhara, Khiva, and Samarkand, arguably the jewel in the country’s dazzling crown. In one week in Uzbekistan, you will experience the best of the Silk Road cities. Central Asian mosques, madrassas, fortresses, and bazaars combine to create a timeless atmosphere.


  • Enjoy the quaint charm and hospitality of Kyrgyzstan.
  • Visit the ‘Pearl of Kyrgyzstan’ – Issyk Kul Lake
  • Experience nomadic life at the alpine lake Song Kul, and sleep in a yurt
  • Modern Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan and the largest city in Central Asia
  • Explore on foot the remarkably well-preserved Silk Road city of Khiva
  • Visit ancient Khorezm with ruins of Ayaz Kala and Toprak Kala in the desert
  • Charming old city of Bukhara, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Visit the architectural wonders of ancient Samarkand


Bishkek Kyrgyzstan

Welcome to Kyrgyzstan! Most flights arrive very early in the morning. You will transfer to the hotel and check-in at the hotel with time to rest after your long flight, take a shower, and have breakfast.

Bishkek, the charming capital of Kyrgyzstan, is relatively young. It started as a Russian garrison named “Pishpek” in the late 19th century, and it was only during the Soviet period that it grew into a city. It is a very green place, with tree-lined boulevards and many parks.

In the late morning, we will start the city tour with a visit to an important memorial Ata-Beiyt located near the village of Chong-Tash, 25km south of Bishkek, commemorating two tragic events in Kyrgyz history. Ata Beyit is the resting place of 138 Kyrgyzstanis killed in the purges of 1938. Also a memorial to the 1916 Kyrgyz uprising against Russian rule and fleeing to China. Have lunch at the beautiful ethno yurt complex Supara. Afternoon city tour of Bishkek. During the city tour, we will learn the history of both Bishkek and Kyrgyzstan, as part of the Great Silk Road, and the more recent Soviet Union, and get a glimpse of how it is shaping today. We will explore main sights such as the Ala-Too square, White House, old square, as well as Osh Bazaar, the city’s main market.

Welcome dinner will be in a tasty local restaurant.

B-Hotel 3* or similar

Kyrgyzstan tour

After breakfast, we will depart from Bishkek. 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.

We will then continue driving further into the mountains to a guesthouse in the beautiful Chon-Kemin Valley. Upon arrival, we will have lunch, and in the afternoon you can walk in the village, observe the life of the local people, or opt for a short horse riding tour into the surrounding hills. Before dinner, we will learn how boorsok (deep-fried bread, a Kyrgyz specialty) is made, and you will be able to taste it during dinner. Dinner will be at the guesthouse, where we will spend the night.

Chon Kemin Guesthouse (single/ twin room with private bathroom)

issyk kul lake with mountains in Kyrgyzstan

This morning we will transfer to Karakol, the largest town and administrative center of the Issyk Kul region. Issyk Kul is the second-largest mountain lake in the world, after Titicaca in South America. Located at an altitude of 1,600m, Issyk-Kul is a slightly saline lake with no outlet, surrounded completely by the Tien Shan Mountains. We will drive the entire length of the lake’s northern shore but make a stop half way, near Cholpon Ata, to visit an open-air site with many ancient petroglyphs (artworks carved into the rock). We will have lunch in Cholpon Ata. On the way to Karakol we will make a detour from the main road to visit the beautiful Grigoriev gorge.

By late afternoon we will reach Karakol, where we check in at the hotel. Dinner in Uighur Family.

Green Yard Hotel (single/ twin room with private bathroom)

Karakol Kyrgyzstan

Every Sunday a cattle market takes place in Karakol. If you like, you can visit the market early in the morning, before the city tour.

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 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. Later drive back to Karakol and meet with a representative of the “One Village One Product” cooperative, learning to produce one of their products. Optionally, visit Aksu-Kench hot springs in the evening. Dinner in restaurant Dastorkon.

Green Yard Hotel (single/ twin room with private bathroom)

statue of Gagarin in Kyrgyzstan

Breakfast. Transfer along the southern shore of lake Issyk Kul to the village of Tamga. En route, we will visit Barksoon Gorge. You can see a nice mixture of fir trees and different colored bushes of barberry, mountain ash, sea-buckthorn, currant, raspberry, dog rose, and honeysuckle. In addition, you will enjoy a wonderful view of Issyk-Kul lake as well as different peaks. There are two interesting monuments along the road – a bust of Yuri Gagarin, who holidayed on the South shore of Issyk Kul after his historic first manned space flight. From Barskoon we will drive further up toward Kumtor Gold mine, to the beautiful Arabel plateau at almost 4000m altitudes. BBQ lunch in the forestry.

After, we drive back down to the main road and continue to Tamga, where we spend the night in a yurt camp near the shore of Issyk Kul lake. Those who like can go swimming at the beach nearby.

Before dinner, together with the chef of the yurt camp, you will cook a local dish called «Manty». During dinner, we will watch a folklore show with traditional Kyrgyz music.

Overnight in yurt camp – 2 people in a yurt, facilities are outside (Western toilet and shower)

Best of Central Asia Tour

After breakfast, we drive further along the southern shore of lake Issyk Kul to the village of Kochkor. Our first stop after just about half an hour is at Skazka Canyon. Skazka means “fairytale” and it’s a reference to the bizarre rocky landscape, which has been formed by wind and rain into fabulous sculptures and formations. We will go for a short hike here. Not far from Skazka we will also meet an eagle hunter, who will his eagle and make a demonstration for us.

Later, we stop 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.

Upon arrival in Kochkor, we will visit a workshop where local women produce traditional shyrdak carpets from felt. The workshop is a women’s cooperative. Dinner and overnight in the hotel.

Hotel Nomad Lodge 3*


Today we will depart from Kochkor towards another mountain lake, Song Kul. The lake is not too far from Kochkor, but due to the bad road conditions, it will still be quite a long and bumpy ascent. Song Kul is at an altitude of 3,016m above sea level. The nomads pass their summer on the jailoo (summer pasture) with their animals. You will see herds of horses and sheep grazing on meadows full of Edelweiss. If you like, you can go for a short horse ride. Accommodation and dinner will be in a traditional Kyrgyz yurt. You can taste kymyz (mare’s milk) and watch the shepherd’s wife preparing bread and cheese. We will also get a chance to watch Ulak Tartysh, a traditional spectacle of horsemanship.

Overnight in yurt – 2 people in a yurt, facilities are outside (Western toilet, shower with heated water)

airport manas in kyrgyzstan

After breakfast, we must return to Bishkek. We will arrive in the late afternoon. Upon arrival, you can have some free time for rest or shopping. Farewell dinner in a local restaurant.

After dinner, transfer to the airport to catch the flight from Bishkek to Tashkent on Uzbekistan Airways (9:00 PM – 9:20 PM). Upon arrival at Tashkent Airport, meet your Uzbek guide and driver and transfer to the hotel.

Hotel Wyndham 4* or similar

Group of tourists in Central Asia

Welcome to Uzbekistan! Today, you will begin an authentic journey deep into the remarkable history of Uzbekistan. Where better to start than a tour of Tashkent? The largest city in Central Asia is a curious blend of Islamic and Soviet influences. Visit the Old City area of Tashkent where you will find the Khast Imom Complex which contains the ancient holy Quran of Caliph Osman. Experience the bustling crowds of traders at Chor-Su Bazaar. Visit Amir Temur Square to view the statue of the great conqueror and next to it, the grand Independence Square. We complete the city tour of Tashkent with a visit to the Applied Arts Museum.

Hotel Wyndham 4* or similar

Karakalpakstan Khorezm Uzbekistan

Early morning flight to Urgench. From the airport, we depart towards Toprak and Ayaz Kala, clay ruins of ancient Khorezm in the desert. First, we drive one hour to Toprak Kala, the ancient capital city of Khorezm around the 2nd century AD). From there it is another shaky one-hour drive to Ayaz Kala. According to archeological excavations, the Ayaz Kala fortress dates from the 2nd century BC. It was part of a system of border fortresses that stretched as a chain from east to west and which defended the Khiva oasis from the desert side. We will have a look at the ruins in the desert and then drive one and a half hours back to Urgench, where we will have lunch.

In the afternoon, transfer c. 30 minutes to Khiva. Check-in at the hotel. Before dinner, we will have an introduction walk in the old town. Dinner in a local restaurant inside the old town of Khiva.

Hotel Asia 3* or similar

view in Khiva

A jewel of desert architecture, Khiva is one of the most important centers of ancient Khorezm. Locals believe that Shem, son of Noah, founded the city when he discovered a freshwater spring in the middle of this vast desert. Archeologists believe the city was founded some 2,500 years ago. Today, Khiva is the most architecturally intact and tightly packed of Central Asia’s Silk Road cities. Its intense blue-and-green tile work ranks as some of the most ornate in Uzbekistan, and the entirety of the Ichan-Kala – the inner city – is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It also has the feel of a movie set or an open-air museum.

Khiva is full of incredible architecture, and today we will get the chance to see it all. The focus of our tour is the walled Ichan-Kala, within which are preserved more than 60 historic monuments and hundreds of centuries-old houses. You will also have time on your own to wander around this fabled town.

During dinner, we will have a folklore performance of traditional Khorezmian dances and songs on kush-nay, a musical instrument very specific to the Khorezm region.

Hotel Asia 3* or similar

Khiva Walls in Uzbekistan

We will check out from the hotel after breakfast and depart around 8:00 AM to Khiva. 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.

Please note: Flight and train schedule Khiva-Bukhara is available only on relatively short notice. If a flight or a train is available, we will use that instead of road transfer.

Hotel Paradise Plaza 4* or similar

Bukhara Uzbekistan tour highlights

Bukhara is the second of our UNESCO World Heritage Site stops. The city’s very name -Bukhara – conjures up images of the exotic Orient. For centuries, it was an important trading post and center of scholarship. 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. Today it’s an oasis shaded by mulberry trees in the heart of the city.

Your guide will show you Bukhara’s unmissable sights, and you can soak up the atmosphere wandering through the labyrinthine alleyways. Highlights of today’s walking tour in Bukhara include the Poi Kalon complex, the Ark Fortress, Bolo Hauz Mosque, the Ayub Mausoleum and spring, the bazaars inside Bukhara’s unique trading domes, and the Samanid Mausoleum. The guided tour will end in the early afternoon and you will have some free time.

Later, we will visit a family house restaurant in the old town for a cooking master class on a traditional Uzbek dish called “plov”.

Hotel Paradise Plaza 4* or similar

Bukhara in Uzbekistan

Today morning you can choose to spend some free time in the city or 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.

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. After dinner, on the way to the hotel, drive by Registan Square for an evening view of the magnificent madrasahs.

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.

Hotel Rabat 3* or similar

Samarkand, Uzbekistan

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 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.  We will enjoy lunch together, after which those who wish to do so can 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. Farewell dinner.

Please note: If you prefer to fly out of Tashkent instead of Samarkand, we can arrange transport back to Tashkent in the evening (2h train ride) and transfer to the airport.

Hotel Rabat 3* or similar

departure passport with stamps

Check-out at the hotel is any time before noon. You will have free time until your transfer to Samarkand International Airport for your flight home.


Train, Airplane, Minivan
17 breakfasts, 16 lunches, 16 dinners
Hotel (13 nights, incl. early check in on day 1), Yurt (2 nights), guesthouse (1 night).
Included Activities

All sightseeing and cultural activities as per the itinerary.

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





Single supplement available for $760

Deposit: $500

30 May 2024
15 Jun 2024
+ Available
18 Jul 2024
3 Aug 2024
+ Available
22 Aug 2024
7 Sep 2024
+ Available
12 Sep 2024
28 Sep 2024
+ Available
Price includes
  • All transfers, incl. airport transfers.
  • Accommodation is based on two people sharing a double/twin room; breakfasts included.
  • Full board (all lunches and dinners).
  • English-speaking local guide accompanying the group in each country.
  • All entry fees as per the itinerary.
  • Economy class tickets for flights Bishkek-Tashkent and Tashkent-Urgench.
  • Train tickets Bukhara – Samarkand.
Price does not include
  • International airfares to and from Central Asia.
  • Hotel charges for additional services.
  • Consular fees for tourist visas.
  • Travel insurance policy.
  • Personal expenses (e.g. souvenirs etc.).
  • Alcoholic beverages.
  • Tips for guides and drivers (optional).

Important notes

  • Travel insurance is required for this tour. You are free to choose any insurance company.
  • All listed departures are guaranteed.
  • The maximum group size is 12 people.
  • A €500 per person deposit is required at the time of booking, and the balance is due 15 days prior to departure. Terms & Conditions:
  • You can opt to book the whole itinerary as a private tour. We can also arrange extra nights before or after the trip, and suggest private tour extensions in Kyrgyzstan and/ or Uzbekistan.
  • We can advise and take care of all visas for you. Citizens of most countries can visit Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan visa-free. US citizens need an electronic visa for Uzbekistan, which we can get for you.
  • We are happy to suggest flights to get to Kyrgyzstan and back home from Samarkand: please contact us.



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.


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.


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.


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.


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.



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.


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.


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: If you book a trip to Uzbekistan with us we will get the visa for you.


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.


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.

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