Hidden Treasures of Central Asia

Kazakhstan & Uzbekistan: Hidden Treasures of Central Asia

 

Country: Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan
Tour duration: 12 days / 11 nights
Itinerary: Almaty - Altyn Emel National Park - Charyn Canyon - Kolsay lakes - Kaindy lake - Almaty - Tashkent - Samarkand - Bukhara - Tashkent

Scheduled arrival dates in 2024:

Group №1: 01.05-12.05.2024 - scheduled
Group №2: 04.09-15.09.2024 - guaranteed!
Group №3: 02.10-13.10.2024 - scheduled

During this tour we will see the most famous hightlights of two countries, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.
In Kazakhstan we will discover tourist attractions of Almaty Region, with activities varying between 4WD jeep tour, easy hikes in the most beautiful areas of the Tien Shan Mountains and an excursion to Almaty featuring a visit to the famous high-altitude sport complex Medeo and a descent from the Kok Tobe Mountain in a renovated cable car, with the enjoyment of a panorama of Almaty.
We will explore the 3 largest Nature parks of Kazakhstan as well: Altyn-Emel National Park encompassing the mystic white Aktau Mountains and mysterious Singing Sand Dune; Charyn National Park with its grandiose canyons in the Valley of Castles; and Ile-Alatau National Park located in close proximity to Almaty. In the Tien Shan Mountains we will reveal wonderful turquoise pearls: a cascade of Kolsay Lakes and ghostly underwater forest of Kaindy Lake with tree trunks rising right from cold water.

Then we will visit two iconic Silk Road cities in Uzbekistan – Samarkand and Bukhara, perfect examples of medieval cities. The historic centre of Bukhara and the historic town of Samarkand, that is a crossroad and melting pot of the world's cultures, are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
  • Itinerary,
    Services & Cost
  • Visa
  • FAQ

 


Tour program
Day 1 Wednesday. Almaty, arrival
Arrival in Almaty early in the morning, meet the driver at the airport and further transfer to the hotel for accommodation and rest.
After breakfast start the sightseeing tour in Almaty. Visit Park of 28 Panfilov soldiers, Ascension Cathedral (Russian Orthodox church), Museum of musical instruments and Green Bazaar.
After lunch time we proceed to the National Park of Ili Alatau and its highlights of Medeo rink, Shymbulak resort and Kok-Tobe park. Return to the hotel for rest and overnight.

Meals: breakfast

Day 2 Thursday.

Almaty - Altyn Emel National Park by road (450 km).
After breakfast we start our jeep tour across Almaty region. By the lunch time we arrive in Altyn Emel National park. Accommodation at the local guesthouse and lunch there. After lunch proceed to Aktau White Mountains for a slight hike there and additional visit of the 700 years old osier. Return to the guesthouse for dinner, rest and overnight.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 3
Friday.
Altyn Emel - Charyn Canyon - Kolsay lakes by road (480 km).
After breakfast we continue exploring the beauty of Altyn Emel National Park. We set off to visit another highlight of the region - the Singing dune - rare nature phenomenon that happens at dry weather when the sand becomes to sing similar to the tunes of an organ.
After that we proceed to Zharkent city with its Dungan mosque, the Valley of Castles and Charyn canyon - a small copy of the Grand canyon.
After exploring the area, we drive further to Kolsay lakes. On arrival – accommodation at the guesthouse for rest and overnight.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 4 Saturday. Kolsay lakes.
Breakfast at the guesthouse and further transfer to Kolsay lakes region that represents a group of high mountain lakes at Northern Tien Shan, close to Kyrgyzstan border. The place is for true lovers of nature, surrounded by mountains and coniferous forests; these lakes are located at 1,800m, 2,300m and 2,900m above the sea level. Today we can make trekking from the first lake to the second Kolsay lake; it takes around 3-4 hours one way (lunch boxes included). Optionally, take a horseback ride instead and shorten your trip.
If you are not willing to walk, you can just enjoy the untainted nature of Kolsay with its fresh air, marvelous sceneries and ice-clear water. You can even rent a boat to sail on the lake.
Dinner and overnight at the guesthouse.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 5
Sunday.
Kolsay lakes - Kaindy lake - Almaty by road (350 km).
Breakfast at the guesthouse and further transfer to Kaindy lake - another highlight of the region that is famous for its origin. The lake appeared after a strong earthquake in 1911, when the coniferous forest was flooded after the landslide. The water at the lake is cold and, therefore, trees are still well preserved until now and can be seen through the clear water. Once we pass off-road area and stop by the slope, you are going for walking until Kaindy lake, where fascinating view of the lake opens from top of the hill. En route back we will stop at the local guesthouse for lunch.
After lunch - futher transfer to Almaty. Accommodation at the hotel, rest and overnight.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Переход к перевалу Джиптык

Day 6
Monday.
Almaty - Tashkent by a night train (18:30-10:30).
Breakfast at the hotel. Today we will visit the Kazakh ethno-village “Huns” - a perfect place for those willing to plunge into and experience the nomadic past of Kazakhs, their traditional games and rituals. Entertaining program in the village includes: show of felt craft, performance of “Besikke salu” or “Tusau kesu” rituals, horse games, traditional dances and music, master class on cooking “baursak” – traditional Kazakh pastry.
Lunch of national Kazakh style.
16:00 Return to the city and further transfer to the railway station.
18:30 Departure to Tashkent by a night train.

Meals: breakfast, lunch.

Day 7
Tuesady.
Tashkent.
10:30 Arrival in Tashkent. Meet your guide and driver at the railway station and further transfer to the hotel for accommodation, breakfast and short rest.
Start the sightseeing tour in Tashkent. Today we visit first the old part of the city and the religious complex Khasti Imam, consisting of Kaffal Shashi Mausoleum, Barak Khan Madrassah, Muy-Mubarak Mosque - the storehouse of the well-known Koran of Khalif Osman and gold hair of prophet Muhammad; Dzhuma-mosque of Khodja Akhrar Vali, Kukeldash Madrassah and Chorsu Oriental bazaar.
In the afternoon explore the new city, including visiting of Independence Square and Amir Temur Statue. Return to the hotel for rest and overnight.

Meals: breakfast.

Day 8
Wednesday.
Tashkent - Samarkand by a high-speed train (2 hours).
Early breakfast at the hotel (or breakfast boxes).
06:20 Transfer to the railway station.
07:28-09:42 Transfer from Tashkent to Samarkand by Afrosiab high-speed train.
Upon arrival in the city, we start our busy day in a jewel of the ancient and modern Silk Road. There is the mysterious jade Mausoleum of Gur-i-Emir, the graveyard of Tamerlane. One of the greatest treasures is Registan Square, Temur’s outstanding creation, a huge complex of minarets, mosques and madrassas. Further we move on to Bibi Khanum Mosque, the gorgeous Necropolis of Shah-i-Zinda, and the old Observatory of Ulugbek, the greatest Muslim astronomer, and the neighboring Ulugbek museum.
Accommodation at the hotel in the evening, rest and overnight.

Meals: breakfast.

Day 9
Thursday.
Samarkand - Bukhara by road (280 km).
Breakfast.
09:00 Meet the guide and continue exploring the city. Today we visit Afrosiab Museum and settlement and Saint Daniel’s Tomb.
After lunch time we will have a 20 min transfer to the countryside to visit Konigil village – a place, that gives a chance to explore the traditional centuries-proofed way of making Samarkand paper from mulberry. Besides, the locals will show us the process of oil and flour production using the ancient methods.
After lunch time we will continue our trip to Bukhara (4 hours driving).
On arrival – accommodation at the hotel and rest.

Meals: breakfast.

Day 10
Friday.
Bukhara.
Breakfast at the hotel.
09:30 We meet our guide at the hall of the hotel and start exploring Bukhara. Bukhara is filled with over 900 historical monuments, here we will spend time visiting many sites and wandering amongst the old city streets. Our focus will be directed today on Samanids Mausoleum and Bolo-Khauz Mosque. Further we proceed to the Fortress Ark, the old citadel of over 20 m in height.
In the afternoon we will visit Poyi Kalon Architectural Ensemble that consists of Kalon Minaret, Kalon Mosque and Miri Arab Madrasah; Ulugbek Madrasah; Abdul-Aziz khan Madrasah, Lyabi Khauz Complex and the Trading Domes – Coumpol Bazaar, that has been existing here from the times of the Great Silk Road.
During the tour we’ll have a wonderful opportunity to walk over the narrow streets of the old city and take unique photos.  Return to the hotel in the evening. Rest and overnight.

Meals: breakfast.

Day 11
Saturday.
Bukhara - Tashkent by afternoon train (4 hours).
Breakfast at the hotel.
10:00 Meet the guide and driver. Today we make a short transfer to the country and visit the Mohi-Khosa summer palace of the Emirs of Bukhara, which is known as the '”Palace of Moon-like Stars'” and represents the work of Russian architecture. Finally, we will take a look at the Bakhouddin Naqshbandi Ensemble – the important Muslim shrine and a place of wonderful calming energy.
15:00 Transfer to the train station.
15:50-19:43 Transfer from Bukhara to Tashkent by Afrosiab high-speed train. On arrival - accommodation at the hotel in Tashkent and overnight.

Meals: breakfast.

Day 12
Sunday.
Tashkent, departure.
Breakfast at the hotel. Check out before 12:00.
Transfer to the International airport for departure.

Meals: breakfast.

COST OF THE TOUR:

The cost for 1 person 2955 USD
Single supplement at hotels 295 USD

This tour is guaranteed and will be arranged whatever final number of persons in a group.

Tour price includes:

  • Accommodation at the hotels, mentioned above, or in similar, but of the same category in double/twin rooms with breakfasts, including early check in on day 1 in Almaty and on day 7 in Tashkent; check-in at other hotels - at 14:00; check-out - at 12:00;
  • Accommodation in a guesthouse in Altyn Emel on twin sharing basis (single accommodation is not possible);
  • Accommodation in a guesthouse at Kolsay lakes, 2-4 persons in a room (single accommodation is not possible);
  • Meals - all breakfasts, 5 lunches and 4 dinners in Kazakhstan (according to the program);
  • Entrance fees to the monuments and museums listed above, including entertaining shows in Kazakh ethno-village;
  • Services of English-speaking local guides for sightseeing;
  • Comfortable air-conditioned transportation throughout the tour, including ‘airport-hotel-airport” transfers (in Almaty region - Toyota jeeps, 3 persons in a car);
  • Railway transfer from Almaty to Tashkent by a night train (2nd class);
  • Railway transfers from Tashkent to Samarkand and from Bukhara to Tashkent on a high-speed train (economy class).

Tour price does not include:

  • The cost of international flights;
  • Meals not mentioned above;
  • Medical expenses and insurance;
  • Porters at the hotels, train stations and airports;
  • Tips and gratitudes;
  • Visa fees.

Accommodation.
This tour comes with the following accommodation:

Location Accommodation
Almaty Kazakhstan Hotel 3* or similar
Altyn Emel NP Guesthouse
Kolsay lakes Guesthouse at Saty Village (15 km from Kolsay Lake)
Tashkent Sato Hotel 3* or similar
Samarkand Arba Hotel 3* or similar
Bukhara Devon Hotel 3* or similar
Hotels.
We offer accommodation in cozy hotels often decorated in a national style. It is completely unique: it combines modern comfort and a unique culture of hospitality.
Guest house .
Accommodation in guest houses will allow you to take a dip into traditions and habits of local people. These are traditional houses located in remote mountain villages.

Transport
During the tour the following types of transport will be provided depending on the number of people in a group:

Uzbekistan and other countries Venicle
Group 1-2 pax "Chevrolet Lacetti" or similar
Group of 4 pax Hyundai Starex minivan or similar
Group 6-8 pax "King Long" or similar
Group 9-15 pax "Eurise" or similar

 

Visa to Uzbekistan Visa to Kyrgyzstan Visa to Turkmenistan Visa to Kazakhstan Visa to Tajikistan

Visa to Uzbekistan

Visa-free regime for up to 60 days has been established  for citizens of countries below:

  • Azerbaijan
  • Armenia
  • Belarus
  • Georgia
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Moldova
  • Russia
  • Ukraine

Visa-free regime for up to 30 days has been established  for citizens of countries below:

  • Andorra
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Brazil
  • Brunei Darussalam
  • Bulgaria
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Indonesia
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • The Republic of Korea
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malaysia
  • Malta
  • Monaco
  • Mongolia
  • Montenegro
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Republic of Cyprus
  • Romania
  • San Marino
  • Serbia
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Tajikistan
  • Turkey
  • Singapore
  • the Vatican
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

A great number of other countries can obtain an e-visa to Uzbekistan by simply visiting the governmental portal e-visa.gov.uz.

Read more about visa to Uzbekistan here »»

Visa to Kazakhstan

Visa-free regime for up to 90 days has been established for citizens of countries below:

  • Argentina
  • Armenia
  • Belarus
  • Georgia
  • Ireland
  • Iceland
  • Cyprus
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Moldova
  • Mongolia
  • Russia
  • Ukraine

Visa-free regime for up to 30 days has been established  for citizens of countries below:

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Azerbaijan
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Brazil
  • Great Britain
  • Hungary
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Denmark
  • Israel
  • Spain
  • Italy
  • Canada
  • Korea
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malaysia
  • Malta
  • Mexico
  • Monaco
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • UAE
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Serbia
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • USA
  • Tajikistan
  • Turkey
  • Uzbekistan
  • Finland
  • France
  • Croatia
  • Czech
  • Chile
  • Switzerland
  • Sweden
  • Estonia
  • Japan
  • UN

Visa-free regime for up to 14 days has been established  for citizens of: Hong Kong

Read more about visa to Kazakhstan here »»

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

  ► Memo: Useful tips for tourists »»

Preparation for the tour and general information:

    1.Why should I go to Uzbekistan?

    2.When is it better to come to Uzbekistan?

    3.Do I need to apply for insurance?

    4.Do I need to get any vaccinations before my trip?

    5.What is the time zone in Uzbekistan?

    6.What language is spoken in Uzbekistan?

 

Visa, customs, documents:

    7. Do I need a visa to Uzbekistan?

    8. How much foreign currency is allowed to be imported into Uzbekistan? And exported?

    9. How many alcoholic beverages can be imported?

    10. What medicine should I bring with me? What are the rules for importing medicines?

    11. Do I need to issue any important documents upon arrival?

    12. What if I have a child with me?

 

Currency:

    13. What currency is used in Uzbekistan?

    14. Where can I change my currency? Are there any nuances?

    15. How much cash do I need to have with me – for food, entrance fees, souvenirs and other additional expenses?

    16. Can I pay with a bank card or is it better to pay cash in Uzbekistan?

 

Organizational issues and transport:

    17. Where does the program start from?

    18. If I arrive at night or early in the morning on the first day of the tour, will I be met at the airport? The tour says that check-in at the hotel after 14: 00 - will I have to wait at the airport?

    19. Who and where will meet us at the airport? When will we meet the guide?

    20. What kind of transport will we use during the tour?

    21. We have railway crossings on our tours, who will give us train tickets and when?

    22. We want to independently move between cities and book hotel rooms ourselves. Can we only join city tours?

 

Group tour:

    23. What if the group is not complete enough?

    24. Can I take children with me on the group tour?

    25. Can I book an extra night at the hotel before or after the group program? In this case, what about the transfer to the airport?

    26. If I arrive on my own a few days before the start of the group program, can I cancel the airport-hotel transfer on arrival? Will the tour cost be recalculated?

 

Weather, clothing and footwear:

    27. What do I need to know about the weather and climate in Uzbekistan?

    28. Are there strict rules regarding clothing?

    29. What kind of clothes and shoes should I bring with me?

 

Nutrition and health:

    30. What will we eat during the tour?

    31. What dishes should I definitely try in Uzbekistan?

    32. What about the water? Is it possible to drink tap water?

    33. Where I can buy alcohol?

 

Culture and security:

    34. Is it safe in your country?

    35. Can I take photos/videos everywhere?

    36. Are there any national peculiarities that I should be aware of?

    37. How to behave in religious places? Tips for tourists: rules for visiting Muslim shrines.

 

Internet, mobile communication:

    38. Is there internet in hotels?

    39. Where and how can I buy a local SIM card to have mobile internet?

 

Shopping and souvenirs:

    40. What is recommended to bring home from Uzbekistan?

    41. Where and what to buy?

Useful Information on Traveling to Kazakhstan:

Photo of the tour:

View all photos »»

Video of tours to Kyrgyzstan:

Сharms of Kyrgyzstan’s nature
Сharms of Kyrgyzstan’s
nature
Riding motorbikes through KyrgyzstanRiding motorbikes
through Kyrgyzstan
RideThePlanet: Kyrgyzstan WhitewaterRideThePlanet:
Kyrgyzstan Whitewater
In an off-road vehicle across Kyrgyzstan
In an off-road vehicle across Kyrgyzstan

View all videos »»

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Copying and using all presented information and material is possible ONLY by authority of the originator.

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